Estillyen Essay Contest: Ten Possible Directions

Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth offers ten portrayals in which Lucifer appears as a real-time observer of well-known Scripture narratives, including the Transfiguration and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In one angst-ridden diatribe, titled simply “The Speech,” Lucifer explodes with theological musings. Seemingly unfazed by the divine construct of Scripture and its story of redemption, Lucifer contends that his chaotic brand of message making will eventually trump God’s choreographed message.

We invite you to muse on this speech and join the contest by submitting a short (300-word) essay on the characterization of Lucifer as reflected in “The Speech.” If you’ve already registered for the contest, thank you! If not, we invite you to do so now. You can register for the contest and read the speech here.

If you need a specific direction for your essay, feel free to use one of the following ideas. Of course you may use your own idea as well. Possibilities are endless; be creative!

Continue reading “Estillyen Essay Contest: Ten Possible Directions”

“Centering in Christ”

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Twelve, “Centering in Christ,” is now available for download. Find it in its entirety here, along with Readings One through Eleven.

Read all twelve readings. Ponder the message.

“Most certainly. Those who swear to follow no one follow at least one. They follow self. Self is full of words lodging in the heart. Did you ever think of your heart that way, Voice? A repository you are. Words have willed their way, winnowing through your mind, rooting in your heart. They move you. They accuse you. They excuse and abuse you.” – excerpt from “Centering in Christ”

“Let Them Go!”

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! Estillyen is pleased that various colleges and universities–among them, Bethel University, Gordon College, Taylor University, The College of the Ozarks, Dordt College, Evangel University, Westmont College, Trinity International University, and Northwestern College–have seen fit to help promote the contest to their students of literature.

In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Eleven, “Piercing Words,” is now available for download. Find it in its entirety here, along with Readings One through Ten.

“READER: A word must be spoken, scribbled, scribed, shouted, or something else, in order to become a word. Words are thought descriptors. They project thoughts from anonymity. They transfer thoughts into messages. Messages move the  world. . . .

VOICE: When does a message become a message, anyway?

READER: When it leaves its origin and transfers meaning in another place. That’s the mark of a message.” -excerpt from “Let Then Go!”

“Piercing Words”

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Ten, “Piercing Words,” is now available for download. Find it here, along with Readings One through Nine. Read them all, and ponder the message.

“READER: God thinks. Does he not? Certainly he does. God thinks in ways beyond knowing, thoughts ever flowing. Creating, communicating, ordering, searching, weighing. In God’s reckoned way, he said this to that, and light was let; the formless formed; the earth was born. Divine thoughts through and through give equilibrium its balance, hold everything together. God never quit, never went away. He’s always there.” – from “Piercing Words,” Reading Ten in Messages from Estillyen

 

Stop Doubting and Believe

The essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth is underway! In conjunction with the contest, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Nine, “Stop Doubting and Believe,” is now available for download. You may find it here, along with Readings One through Eight. Read them all, and ponder the message.

From Reading Nine, “Stop Doubting and Believe”:

“Around the crosses three Freeze [death’s signatory] had surely crept, circling all their bases, waiting to leap, sensing time and pulses faint. Then upon the center cross Freeze leapt. Climbing up on crimson stain, Freeze moved to seize the One with the wordy plaque and thorny crown—the envy of the hill. It was time for pulsing to end its marathon of life. No more pulsing, no more coursing of the blood. Thick darkness draped o’er the land, eclipsing the sun.”

“Remember Me”

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Eight, “Remember Me,” is now available; find it here, along with Readings One through Seven.

From Reading Eight, “Remember Me”:

“The atmosphere on this chilling-killing day was mournfully convulsive. At least it was for some, but certainly not for all. It was a day of retribution for the religious elite. Their fortitude had paid off. They had won, or so they thought. Good riddance was the mood, a chance to finally shake their fists at this dangerous zealot threatening to destroy God’s temple.

For the disciples, bewilderment is the word most appropriate. They had left everything to follow, to learn, to become disciples. Their Redeemer was destined to die. They watched and listened as their Lord, so confessed, hung before them, dying.”

“Get Up–Don’t Be Afraid”

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Six, “Get Up–Don’t Be Afraid,” is now available; find it here, along with Readings One through Five.

From Reading Six, “The Word Became Flesh”:

“The Transfiguration is a story rich with imagery conveyed by words. It’s one of the most amazing stories in all of Scripture. The Transfiguration is saturated with substance, shedding a certain light found nowhere else in the sacred texts.

The centerpiece of the story is the transfigured Christ. The Transfiguration dispels any notion that Jesus of Nazareth was a kind of ingenious messiah figure who functioned with spellbinding zeal and clairvoyant wit. The image of Christ transfigured is that of his divinity permeating his humanity.”

“Lucifer’s Speech” Essay Contest Press Release

Lucifer’s Speech to the Netherworld featured in Literary Contest

Norton Shores, Mich., July 23, 2014—Port Estillyen Productions, publisher of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, announces an essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer in modern literary form.

Messages from Estillyen contains ten portrayals in which Lucifer imaginatively appears as a real-time observer of well-known Scripture narratives, such as the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Lucifer has much to say in his angst-ridden diatribe against God in his speech to the netherworld. Titled simply “The Speech,” Lucifer’s unprecedented address is found in chapter twenty-one of the novel.

Contestants are asked to write a 300-word essay based on Lucifer’s speech. Entries will be accepted until October 31, 2014, and the contest is open to everyone 18 years of age or older. Prizes range from a full-color map of the Isle of Estillyen to a Kindle Fire for first place. For more information, contest rules, and to download “The Speech,” go to http://www.estillyen.com/lucifers-speech-essay-contest/.

 Messages from Estillyen is unlike any novel available on the market today. In it, author William Jefferson addresses God’s messaging of redemption throughout the ages from a vantage point that drives fresh perspective to the very marrow of human worth.

Messages from Estillyen received a coveted starred review from BlueInk Reviews, which says in part, “The author’s writing is skilled, poetic, and reminiscent of the classical period.

“This is a book to savor, not to gulp,” BlueInk contends. “The novel will appeal to readers who appreciate British wit, the skill of a true wordsmith, and the challenge of metaphysical introspection. Christian readers will be especially delighted by the creative way the author brings the Bible to life.”

The fictional characterization of Lucifer plays a major role in the novel and harkens back to the timeless writings of Dante, Milton, and C.S. Lewis. Jefferson depicts Lucifer as an omnipresent, evil predator that harbors unrelenting angst against God and his creation. Lucifer is especially distraught and anguished over the existence of the human race, which he refers to as “fleshies,” nothing but “mud cakes,” “the unfortunate by-product of I AM.”

Through the author’s creative portrayal of Lucifer, juxtaposed against selected Scripture narratives (presented as dramatic readings given by fictional monks on the Isle of Estillyen), Jefferson has managed to offer a fascinating perspective on the subject of redemption and human worth.

Barbara Bamberger Scott, writing for ForeWord Reviews, said “Jefferson uses carefully modulated language that often waxes poetic: ‘In the shadows between Scripture’s lines is God’s face. Like a full-faced moon on a meadow’s pond, it shimmers there.’ He also seems to recognize that some readers need their religious edification spiced with dashes of intrigue, love, and inspiration.”

Messages from Estillyen is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. A free chapter is available for download at http://www.estillyen.com/messages-from-estillyen-chapter-one-lunch-at-grims-park/.

(Press release from Karen Campbell Media, July 23, 2014)

“The Word Became Flesh”

As part of the essay contest on the characterization of Lucifer as found in Chapter 21 of Messages from Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth, Port Estillyen Productions is offering free downloads of the dramatic readings of Scripture from the Monks of Estillyen.

Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh,” is now available; find it, along with Readings One through Four, here.

From Reading Five, “The Word Became Flesh”:

“Listen to a few ancient words from Solomon by way of Ecclesiastes: ‘There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.’ Words of wisdom, these words remembered, not lost and forgotten. For most words this is not the case. As time’s pendulum swings, the words of most men, and those of their kin, disappear without a whisper.”

Estillyen Tunnels

[This is an excerpt from Messages from Estillyen, Chapter Ten, titled “Tunnel House.”  Estillyen monk Drama welcomes the group that has gathered for a dramatic reading based on a Scripture narrative.]

“Hello, everyone. My name is Drama. It’s great to have you here at Tunnel House today. My colleague in the far corner is my dear friend and brother, Chronicle. He’s supposedly now retired, but have you ever seen a retired monk? Brother Chronicle will be assisting me with a bit of the reading.

“Concerning Tunnel House, we’re not sure why the house was built as it was, with the tunnel below. We know carriages have passed through, and it’s an obvious shelter from a storm.

“We like Tunnel House for readings because a tunnel is a space for going through; from one side you pass to the other side. One end of the tunnel may show through to clouds and rain, the other end sunshine. Smiles may populate one end, sorrows the other. Tunnels are an experience. Some people simply dash through them, while others tend to plod along. Tunnels have a way of silently transmitting to travelers the pace prescribed.

“In life, sometimes it can be difficult to discern one’s direction. In a tunnel, there are only two directions: this and that. But that can look like this, and this, that. Tunnels are funny that way. They can lead you in, or take you away. In and out you go.

“A tunnel is a tunnel true—never a passage or a pass. Calling a tunnel something else is like suggesting a crevice is a cave, or a canyon a crack. No, a tunnel is that which surrounds you. You see it all. There’s no denying you’re in it. Encased within you are; through its artery you progress. Whether short or long, you are the life within the tunnel. Yet the tunnel is not you. This you must always remember.

“And residing in a tunnel really does not work. A tunnel is not a place of residence. A tunnel may be quite short or expressly long. Certain tunnels have been reported to grow. Once you enter a tunnel of this description, the light at the other end does not grow brighter, as you might think. It looks as if the light is diminishing, but it’s not. It’s moved. The tunnel is growing longer.

“If you find yourself in a growing tunnel, let me suggest the slightest bit of advice. It’s not wise, particularly when inside a tunnel deep, to start racing towards what appears to be a dimming light. For if you do, the light can go out; it can disappear. Before you get to the end, another tunnel has begun, and tunnel two may be twice as long as tunnel one.

“It’s always best when in tunnel space to move at tunnel pace. Respecting the sense of tunnel enclosure is the mode. See it as a kind of caregiver, a respite from the elements that will bring you through, in tunnel time, to the life God has for you.

“Well, that’s a word on tunnels.”