Announcing the 2019 CBE Writing Contest Winners! | CBE International

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Announcing the 2019 CBE Writing Contest Winners!

On September 20, 2019

This August, CBE International held its third annual writing contest! We received many quality, insightful submissions, making our job of picking just fifteen winners very difficult.

We’d like to thank all the gifted writers who participated. Thank you for being brave, vulnerable, and gutsy with your stories and insights. Thank you for speaking hard truths in a world where easy answers and comfort are often preferred. Thank you for being way-criers for peace, healing, justice, equality, and freedom. We honor your gifts, stories, and courage.

You’ll see the contest winners published on our website in the coming months along with other amazing entries!

Congratulations to our top fifteen winners (in no particular order):

1. Mikaela Bell

Mikaela Bell was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. She studied linguistics and anthropology at the University of Arizona. Two years ago, she got married and relocated to Grenoble, France, where she’s teaching English and pursuing a master's degree.

2. Lindsey Boulais-Duong

Lindsey Boulais-Duong writes about life's joys and challenges, and how faith intersects with them. When not writing, she's usually snuggled up with a good book, cooking a meal for friends, or walking around her town of Portland. Find more of her writing at and follow her @lindsey_boulais.

3. Holly Fletcher

Holly Fletcher grew up in New Mexico. She graduated with a BA in English from York College in York, NE then an MLA from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, TX. She currently lives on a hobby farm in Colorado with her husband, Aaron, and her two daughters, Maddy and Kelsay.

4. Sarah Garay

Sarah and Roberto Garay live on a ranch in Texas they’ve named “Rosarita Ranch,” (Roberto + Sarita) in celebration of the wonderful freedom they experience living in mutuality. Sarah works as a psychotherapist with the Fort Bend Women’s Center and is also the CBE Houston Chapter Coordinator.

5. Mary Stromer Hanson

Mary Stromer Hanson is a 2012 MA biblical studies graduate of Denver Seminary. She is the author of The New Perspective on Mary and Martha and Bold Girls Speak both published by Wipf & Stock 2013. Her German grammar textbook Deutsche Theologie Lesen is available on Amazon. See more poetry and essays at her website

6. Graham Joseph Hill

Graham Joseph Hill is research coordinator at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity) in Melbourne, Australia. Graham is the author or co-author of six books including “Holding Up Half the Sky: A Biblical Case for Women Leading and Teaching in the Church” (Cascade, forthcoming 2020). Graham also directs

7. Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson has a doctorate of ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a master’s in counseling psychology from Trinity International University. She is a licensed mental health counselor, writer, speaker, and consultant. She and her husband, George, live in Florida and co-founded Living in Freedom and Empowerment, a nonprofit that ministers to churches and individuals.

8. Jenn Smith Chen

Jenn Smith Chen has worked with students in church and school settings for fourteen years; she earned an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary. Currently, she is an instructor at California Coast Bible College. Jenn and her husband, Eric, stay busy with their daughter, Junia. Follow Jenn’s blog at  

9. Carli King

Carli King is studying online for her bachelor of theology through Ridley Theological College, Melbourne. She lives in Australind, Western Australia, with her husband and two school age children. Carli has a passion for her academic studies but is happiest when she is teaching what she has learnt to others.

10. Josiane Ngongang

Josiane Ngongang is a Parisian Jesus-lover and slightly nerdy lady. Josiane loves writing, talking and tasting any new vanilla milkshake. She probably spends too much time on her phone and should sleep more!

11. Constance Phelps

Constance Phelps lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her two children.

12. Jill Richardson  

Jill is a writer, speaker, and pastor in the Chicago area. She loves her three daughters and husband, fish tacos, LOTR, Earl Grey, traveling, grace, and Jesus. She is currently finishing her doctorate thesis in preaching and church leadership. You can contact her at:

13. Kara Triboulet

Originally from Southern California, Kara Triboulet serves as a youth pastor in Oregon. Kara received her bachelor’s degrees in both Christian studies and journalism from California Baptist University and is currently a district licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene and working toward her ordination. She enjoys playing card games with her husband and cuddling her furry son, Oliver.

14. Leanne Weber

Leanne has worked in children’s ministry, both unofficially and as a staff pastor. She currently runs a nonprofit dedicated to using the arts to serve and engage the community. She is a wife and mom to two busy three-year-old boys and is an ISTP/J (depends on her mood), grammar and theology nerd, and coffee enthusiast.

15. Cory Driver

Cory earned his PhD in Jewish Religious Cultures from Emory University. His writing and teaching explore intersections of ethnicity, gender, and religious identification in Scripture and the modern world. Driver is an ordained deacon in the ELCA. He is the director of the Transformational Leadership Academy in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Congratulations to our 2019 CBE Writing Contest winners!

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