Bethel College Co-sponsors International Tweener Time Chapter Book Competition

Bethel College and Tweener Ministries are teaming up to sponsor a teenage writing contest. "Rewarding teenage authors is my goal," states Dr. Marvin Baker, president of Tweener Ministries. The contest is open to students enrolled in grades 9-12, including homeschoolers.

"We expect to make this a special time for "tweeners" – those caught between ‘you're too old for this' and ‘you're too young for that – by motivating young authors to write for 8-12 year old students. Teenagers know what they wanted to read when they were in grade school, and many of them have the talent to provide fast-paced, action-packed adventures without gore and messages without sermons," says Baker.

When school administrators in Malaysia, China, Europe, South America and Africa heard about the competition, they asked if their students could be included. It became an international competition. "I never dreamed it would grow into an international program that will introduce at least one new author to pre-teen readers on every continent," says Baker. "Personal satisfaction may be the greatest reason for creative writing, but $21,000 and the promise of publication is a close second. Combined, they should be pretty good reasons for high school students to get involved."

The competition is co-sponsored by Baker Trittin Press, Bethel College, Joshua Expeditions and Tweener Ministries, Inc. – an organization promoting tweener literacy – an online Christian bookstore. Bethel College is offering $52,000 in scholarships to the top five winners. The first place winner will receive $5000 each year for four years. Second and third place winners will receive $2500 each year for four years, and fourth and fifth place winners will receive $1500 each year for four years. Baker Trittin Press will publish the winning manuscript and give $1,000 royalties advance to the student winner. Tweener Ministries, Inc. is handling the administrative responsibilities.

"I know the motivation and encouragement a teacher can give," says Baker. "From the onset of this idea I wanted to find a way to reward the teacher of the winning student." Joshua Expeditions, a non-profit Christian organization that specializes in educational tours, is offering an eight-day tour to Paris for the teacher of the winning student.

Manuscripts may be submitted any time after April 1, 2007, and the deadline for submitting manuscripts is July 1, 2007. English teachers and librarians will assist in first round for evaluating manuscripts, but Baker Trittin Press will make the final decision. A $25 entrance fee must be included with each manuscript submitted. Every student entering the competition will receive a copy of the winning manuscript, and every school with a student contestant will receive a copy of the student's manuscript for its library.

Baker began his research in the "Motivation for the Release of Creativity through Creative Writing" in the 1960s as one of Ball State University's first graduates from its doctoral program. "I feel like I've come full circle. Finally there is a way to give permanent form to an idea birthed more than 40 years ago," Baker says. Baker is also known at Bethel College for writing their Alma Mater.

Information and forms will be available January 5, 2007, at www.tweenerministries@org or by contacting Tweener Ministries at 888.741.4386 or 701 E. Main St, Warsaw, IN  46580.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,081 includes students from 29 states and Puerto Rico, 21 countries, more than 25 denominational affiliations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four locations: the Mishawaka campus, the Elkhart Campus and two satellite locations (in Nappanee and in Dowagiac, Mich.). The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.