It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer. That means that our spring contest will close for submissions soon!

We’re looking for your best flash fiction on the theme “Buried.” There’s no fee to enter, but you must submit your work by July 1. Get all of the details and submit here.

This contest will be judged by three of our apprentices. These apprentices will soon finish their first year with The Company.

R.J. Catlin

RJ Catlin Christian Author

R. J. Catlin grew up on the shores of West Michigan, homeschooled with three younger siblings.

She wasn’t an early reader but stories always came naturally to her, so playing pretend in the backyard and dress-up in the basement were childhood staples. Once she did learn to read, there was always a book in her hands.

She wrote her first book complete with illustrations with the help of her grandpa when she was eight years old. However, it wasn’t until she was fifteen that R. J. realized she actually enjoyed writing outside of school and made friends who also enjoyed writing.

When she was 23 years old, God led her to come to the Company to become an apprentice, where she is enjoying growing her writing craft and her relationship with God. Besides writing, she loves hiking the local Appalachian trails, reading, and talking about movies and books with her friends.

Connect with her and join her newsletter at

Vella Karman

Vella Karman loves God, people, and stories.

Her writing has been read in more than 20 countries so far and she aspires to write raw, impactful stories that spread light and belonging across the world.

She’s native to Little Rock, Arkansas, but can’t wait to visit other countries someday. When she travels internationally, she wants to spread Christ’s light and glean from what other cultures have to teach us.

This is her first time judging a writing contest and she’s hyped! What better way to spend an afternoon than reading a bunch of stories? Vella hopes to find a contemporary gem buried in all the submissions, but is excited to see whatever you bring.

She’s currently an apprentice at The Company, where she laughs with friends, studies her passions, and tries not to fall down any wooden staircases. Read more from Vella at or reach out on Instagram to connect!

Noah J. Matthews

Noah J. Matthews is a writer from Northern Michigan.

Creating stories, especially for the screen, is something of an obsession for him. He’s a bigger Star Wars nerd than he might like to advertise. His mission is to change the game of Christian film by creating stories that are well-financed, well-written, and engaging for the eyes and the heart.

Noah is very passionate about inspiring other people to pursue their creative dreams. You wanna be an author? Start pursuing it! Don’t wait!

On his website, Noah blogs about his own experience and the stories of creative greats in hopes of encouraging people to follow their dreams. Noah is currently a first-year apprentice at The Company, where he learns more about writing, business, and spiritual growth than he admits each Friday when the students are quizzed. It’s much easier for him to write in third person than he’d expected.

Find him at

Ready to let these guys read your work?

They’re not so scary, right?

Submit your short story before the July 1 deadline for a chance to win $100 and be published by The Pearl. Details and instructions for submitting here.

What do you have to lose?

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