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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Naked and Unashamed
By Bob Zoellner


“Sam, can I talk to you?”

Little did Samantha Prescott know it at the time, but that simple question from her best friend Amanda Wilcox would set off a rather intense, but equally satisfying encounter.

Sam and Amanda have been friends for almost ten years, meeting in the second grade at Hoover Elementary. Now at the end of their junior years of high school, they had been through a lot. They had grown up together.

It was natural, then, for Amanda to come to Sam with this new chapter in their lives. Of course, Sam said yes. “Sure, what’s up?”

“Well, you know Seth and I have been together for over three months now, right?”

“Yeah, go on.”

“And that, well, you know, he is everything I’ve been looking for in a guy, right?”

“O.k.” I think I know where this is going, she said under her breath.

“So, I was wondering, how do you know when it is time?”

I was right, thought Sam, but I want her to say it.

“Time?” Sam said, eyebrows raised a bit.

“Yeah, you know, time,” Amanda said, the exasperation coming through as she wiggled her head just a bit.

Sam stayed silent.

“Do I have to spell it out for you?”

“That would be nice,” Sam said with a hint of a smile. She was not going to make this easy for Amanda, since the direction of this conversation was about to become very serious.

“Hmph,” Amanda said before continuing. “Time to take our relationship to the next level.”


The 600-pound gorilla in the room that everybody senses and feels, especially teen-agers with emerging hormones, but nobody wants to talk about. I guess it’s about time we talked about it, thought Sam.

“The next level, huh?”

“Sam, please don’t make this any more uncomfortable for me that it already is,” Amanda pleaded.

“Why is it so uncomfortable for you?”

“Because I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do,” was all Amanda could think of.

“Well, you’re right to feel uncomfortable, then, because it’s not the right thing to do.”

“Why do you say that, Sam?”

“You sound like this is just something else for you and Seth to do, like some sort of recreation,” Sam said, laying it on the line.

“Well, you make it sound like that would be a bad thing.”

“Look, Amanda, playing basketball, seeing a movie, or going to get ice cream is recreation. Sex is serious business.”

“I know that, that’s why I brought it up.”

“You know, your sexuality is a gift from God, and it should be treated that way.”

“But doesn’t God want us to have a little fun?”

“Sure, but doing it his way. Since he’s the one who came up with the concept, he’s pretty much the one who tells us how to use it. It really is a pretty cool idea, don’t you think?”

“Sure, but what would it hurt to experiment a little?”

“Amanda, I know you’ve heard this all before. Let me ask you this. Do you want to get married some day?”


“So tell me, how many women would you like your husband to have been with before you? One, two, five? How many of those experiences would you like to be compared with when the times comes?”

“O.K., I see your point.”

“Remember, sex was intended to bring a man and his wife closer together. You can only experience the first time once. Wouldn’t that be great to experience with the person you choose to spend your life with?”

“Sure, but what if that’s Seth?”

“And what if it isn’t?” Sam replied. “Amanda, you’re only seventeen, and you’ll probably have several more boyfriends before you get married. You can never be sure someone will be your spouse until that day you say ‘I do.’ “

“I guess you’re right.”

“And don’t forget all the possibilities of disease, or an unwanted pregnancy. Amanda, it’s just not worth it. I know it’s difficult waiting, but I think God knew what he was doing when he said sex is my gift to you, but use it the way I intended.”

“You’re right, Sam, it’s not going to be easy, but you’ve given me a lot to think about.”

“As long as it’s just the thinking and not the doing,” Sam said with a laugh as the two linked arms and headed to the parking lot.

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Sara Harricharan 06/14/07
This is pretty good. Interesting. My only note is the foreshadowing in the beginning (Second paragraph) is a little too obvious. Otherwise, not too bad.
dub W06/14/07
The title more or less gave away the subject. Fairly well written, a POV issue when we jumped into Amanda's head, but otherwise an important lesson.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/16/07
The "subject matter" is definitely a teen topic, especially in these modern times; and Sam seemed to have had a good up-bringing to talk to her friend like an adult...with great advice. The only thing I saw that needed editing was when you wrote about God; (you need to Capitalize "He" and "His" when speaking of deity.) Great writing, excellent advice and nicely done. Kudos!
Gregory Kane06/16/07
I loved the title – as has been said, it gives the game away, but that’s no bad thing. Hint that it’s about sex, and your youth person is all the more likely to read what is written. If anything, I was disappointed that more wasn’t made of the title in the body of the story.
I thought that the dialogue was a bit forced in parts but the bottom line message is extremely well articulated.
Jan Ackerson 06/18/07
Great one to share with your church youth group.

A few punctuation problems, and maybe just a tad on the preachy side, but teens definitely appreciate it when they're spoken to honestly, without pulling any punches, as you've done here.

Good teen characters, realistically portrayed.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/18/07
This is definitely one girls would discuss. I like how you made the advice come from a peer instead of an adult. I thought the last sentence was a good clincher.
Joanne Sher 06/19/07
This did come across a bit preachy, but coming from a peer definitely makes it a bit less so. I love how he didn't let her get off too easy. Great lesson, presented in a way that teens will listen to, I think.