This publication stands as a testimony of the fifth year a group of authors have assembled their collective muse to create an anthology celebrating the short story. The last four years’ anthologies, Celebrating the Short Story, Over the Moon Travel Treasures, 2020 Vision, and Coming of Age, contributed greatly to advancing the craft of Christian fiction writing in Louisiana. For 2022, nine published authors have collaborated to produce the wonderful collection of diverse short stories you’re now viewing, Second Chances.

The short story has long endured since the creation of language. It is a useful vehicle for presenting an account, more often concentrating on the creation of a mood rather than a plot. A short story can range from a cleverly crafted sentence all the way up to 20,000 words. Whatever the length, a short story is typically centered around one plot, one main character, and one central theme. This stands in contrast to a novel, which is capable of weaving multiple plots and themes among an array of central characters. The writing styles used in short stories can be somewhat unusual or surprising to its readers, sometimes their writers use literary techniques which might wear down a reader if employed through the length of a novel. Being short, by definition, they provide the perfect fodder for being assembled into collections, usually with some unifying theme or common element to tie them together.

The nine short stories contained in Second Chances are as diverse in technique and theme as our previous years’ writings; nevertheless, they are united in the fact that a second chance event is a common element. We invite you to take notice of the techniques used by this array of talented authors to weave those second chance related appearances into their stories.

These nine adventures will take you to places you have never been. C.D. Sutherland’s Pop, Death, & the Devilchronicles the adventures of a retired bomber pilot turned novelist named Chandler Stud after he is brushed by Death. Judy Burford’s The Journey will put you in Jenny Sue Cutter’s struggle to survive the perils of a nineteenth-century wagon train to Oregon and then her challenge to carry-on after others don’t survive. Eileen K. Copeland’s The Fisher will show you a precious moment shared by Josie Grace and her grandfather, and then reveal how it provides comfort and the hope of greater things to come. Beverly Flanders’ The Promise brings back a mother’s memories of a promise she made to God that would assure her of His presence through good times and sad times. Carole Lehr Johnson’s A Chance in Time explains how Bertha Carrick, a character in the novel A Place in Time, came to be at Dunbar Park as she sought peace to salve the sorrow of loss from London’s seventeenth-century plague. Susan Hiers Foster’s Goodbye Mrs. Kravitz is a sweet story of neighbors Sally and Jim who come close to missing out on a friendship that will enrich their lives. Internationally published author Tammy Kirby’s Second Chance Daddy tells a tale of love interrupted and God’s perfect timing. Marguerite Martin Gray’s Loyalties Severed examines George Elliott’s tough choices dealing with a young man’s wavering devotions regarding love, family, and loyalty. Finally, the talented and prolific author Mary Lou Cheatham uses Deborah to retell the story of the Old Testament prophetess and judge who led her nation to know peace without fear. When you return from these experiences, chances are some will have left you wanting for more. If so, then check out that story’s author page in the back of the book. They might have something else you’ll like. We believe you’ll be glad you did.

Coming in Spring of 2022

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