A prison inmate's feature article published in The South Missourian News in August 2004 took second place in the 2005 Amy Writing Awards competition. The award came with a prize of $5,000.
Inmate and freelance writer Jon Marc Taylor, in his article "The Conviction of Love," described how his mother's forgiveness and unconditional love helped reverse his life's destructive course after his criminal conviction.
Taylor, who has spent the last 25 years in a maximum security prison, has earned three college degrees while serving his sentences, including most recently a doctorate in public administration from Kennedy-Western University. He has also written books and numerous journal articles on penal reform and correctional rehabilitation.
Taylor submitted his story to The South Missourian News after reading that managing editor David Cox had been a finalist in the Amy Writing Awards competition the year before.
Upon learning of the award, Taylor wrote, "What a wonderful gift I can give my mother. To have her story so honored is more than I could have hoped for."
Taylor is incarcerated at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo.
The Amy Writing Award competition, funded by the Michigan-based Amy Foundation, encourages writers in mainstream publications to use scripture and offer a compelling presentations of biblical truth to contemporary issues.
The first place, $10,000 prize winner of this year's competition was Nicole Brambila, staff writer for the San Angelos (Texas) Standard-Times for her essay, "Born by Rape to Live."