“Writing is a process. You never reach a point where you’ve learned it all.”
A big white envelope from The Amy Foundation . . . could it be? Alicea Jones, the Georgetown View’s own editor in chief, excitedly tore it open and saw the word CONGRATULATIONS. When Alicea realized that she had won one of the awardsin the prestigious Amy Foundation Writing Award competition, she cried, hugged her daughter, and praised God. Her entry, “Greater Than Willpower,” appeared in the November 2011 issue of the View. It told a powerful story of her father’s years of addiction, unsuccessful attempts by family and rehabilitation groups to help him, a pit of utter hopelessness, intervention by divine grace, and, now, ongoing sobriety for her dad. For Alicea, his journey brought reconciliation, healing, and stronger faith.
Alicea sent only one entry, although writers could submit as many as ten. From across the nation, 750 entries flooded in, but only fifteen were awarded prizes for a total of $34,000. W. James and Phyllis Russell created The Amy Foundation in 1976. Named for their daughter, the organization currently supports seven publications and six ministries, including the Writing Awards. The organization’s mission statement comes from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18–20, “Therefore go and make disciples…”
The Writing Awards program recognizes creative articles and essays that reinforce biblical truths about issues affecting the world today. Material submitted for the award must contain a passage of scripture and must have been published in a secular publication online or in print during the year in question. Judges aren’t looking for the “emotional heart-tug” but instead are seeking articles that are sensitive, thought provoking, relevant, and persuasive. “Greater Than Willpower” beautifully fits these criteria.
Alicea wanted the article to give hope to people who find themselves in what seem like impossible situations. While writing the article, she remembered the 23rd Psalm her dad had taught her and her siblings when they were young, but she chose to quote Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”
As a child, Alicea enjoyed reading and writing; a placement test during her undergrad years revealed strengths appropriate to writing, law, and teaching. During professional years in banking, she excelled in business writing (more functional than exciting, she says), and procedures manuals provided an outlet for teaching. Later, Alicea became a stay-at-home mom, and time opened up for writing. One of her first published pieces appeared in Focus on the Family magazine. Over the years, her work has appeared in Priority! Magazine, Upper Room, Now What? Ezine, and, of course, the View. Law? Well, she married a lawyer whose support she cherishes.
What lies ahead for Alicea? Her current joy is “stringing words together to touch hearts,” and she’s grateful that the View’s publishers, Bill and Jill Skinner, have a vision for their publication that connects the community by showcasing the extraordinary people who live and work here. Alicea enjoys hearing people’s stories and recording them for others to read. “It is our stories that connect the human family,” she says. Her book Genuinely Georgetown, a collection of inspirational stories about people in Georgetown, is scheduled for publication before Christmas. Additionally, she is working on Free to Mother, a devotional collection scheduled for release by the end of next year
Whatever her future endeavors, Alicea will doubtless offer words of insight and encouragement. Congratulations, Alicea!
Genuinely GeorgetownBy Alicea Jones
Book Signing and Raffle
December 7, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Georgetown Visitors Center
103 W. 7th Street
Georgetown, TX 78627
Contact: Erandine Lewis 931-7651
To learn more about the Amy Foundation and the Amy Writing Awards, visit www.amyfound.org.