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‘Well qualified to judge’

Dennis Hensley to judge for 2018 EPA contest

Dennis Hensley, professor of professional writing, was chosen by the Evangelical Press Association to judge the 2018 EPA contest. (Photograph by Ruth Flores-Orellana)

Dennis Hensley, professor of professional writing, was chosen by the Evangelical Press Association to judge the 2018 EPA contest. (Photograph by Ruth Flores-Orellana)

By Braden Ochs | Echo

Dennis Hensley, professor of professional writing, has been chosen to serve as a 2018 judge for the annual Evangelical Press Association contest. Hensley will judge two categories this year: humor writing and student writing.

The Evangelical Press Association (EPA) is a professional organization of Christian print and digital publications including magazines, newspapers, newsletters and content-rich websites. According to EPA’s website, EPA is the world’s largest professional organization for the Evangelical periodical publishing industry.

The EPA contest has been holding an awards contest since 1954. The contest oversees 41 writing, design and digital categories, and for 2018, the contest had 1,064 entries from among 106 contestants.

“It’s an honor to be chosen to judge for EPA, it truly is,” Hensley said. “It pays minimal, but the idea is that you are contributing to something greater, and I appreciate that.”

Hensley enjoys contributing to the writings of Christian writers all over the nation. He not only judges them, but he offers critiques and suggestions on how to make their writings better.

Lamar Keener, executive director of the EPA since 2015, manages the logistics of the contest, and he selects the judges from a large roster of potential qualified judges.

“Dr. Hensley is well qualified to judge writing entries in the EPA contest,” Keener said.

According to Keener’s records, Hensley started judging for EPA in 2004. This year marks his 12th time judging. Keener first met Hensley when Keener was the publisher of a Christian newspaper in 2009. From 2009 to 2013, Hensley periodically placed ads for Taylor’s writing program in Keener’s newspaper.

Hensley has contributed a lot of time with EPA. He is thorough with his judging and makes sure writers know everything they can improve on, so that when they participate next year, they have a better chance at winning. Hensley judges different categories each year he is a judge, so he can experience different writers and different writing styles.

“By every year taking a different category, I am exposing myself to a lot of Christian publications, a lot of different, good Christian writers, and I’m also able to contribute to their development,” Hensley said. “I think it’s just a worthwhile thing for me overall.”

According to Keener, judging for the contest is done through a digital contest platform. All entries are viewed and scored online. The awards are presented during the annual EPA convention held in early April each year. This year, the convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, on April 4–6.

Each year, the EPA contest opens in mid-November for entries, and the deadline is in early January. The assigned judges critique the submissions and choose the winners from mid-January to the end of February. For more information about EPA, visit www.evangelicalpress.com/contest/.

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