Contact: Sally Ross
Tel. (805) 543-2644 x590

(June 30, 2014) – The Parable Group, a leading retail and marketing services provider, and WestBow Press, the self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, the world’s largest Christian publisher, today announced Richard Newberry as the Grand Prize winner of the 2014 Aspiring Authors Writing Contest. Newberry’s manuscript, The Light at Rat Pond, was selected from a pool of more than 520 entrants. His winning novel will be self-published through WestBow Press and reviewed for possible traditional publication by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.

In addition, upon publication, Newberry will receive a free marketing package from The Parable Group to promote the prize-winning book in catalogs and in bookstores across the nation.

Newberry, from Maryland Heights, Missouri, entered the contest through Christian Book and Gift Shop in Rochester, Minnesota. The Light at Rat Pond is a coming of age novel set in east central Illinois during the summer of 1970. Ten-year old Jack and his crew, The Icks, befriend the new kid in town, who shakes up their group and forever impacts the entire Doverville community.

“We were very pleased to see so many aspiring authors participate in the 2014 Aspiring Authors Writing Contest,” said Pete Nikolai, Publisher of WestBow Press and Director of Publishing Services for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the parent company of WestBow Press. “The Parable Group and their partner stores did a great job of making this opportunity available to local authors. We congratulate Richard Newberry for writing such a great story and encourage all the entrants to keep writing and sharing their stories with the world.”

Additional winners included First-Place winner,Charlene Yoder,who will receive a free Pro Format publishing package for her book, Soul Snare, a fiction title about a college student who finds herself in danger of becoming a kidnapped bride while studying abroad in London. Second-Place winner,Jody Eileen Solinski,will receive a free Essential Access publishing package for her book, A Matter of Control, a novel that takes place in a rough Detroit neighborhood where those caught up in drugs, gangs and the system try to survive, and those who dare to dream try to make a difference. The complete list of finalists can be found here.

The Aspiring Authors Writing Contest was open to authors who were at least 18 years of age and had written an unpublished manuscript.

# # #

WestBow Press is a strategic supported self-publishing alliance between HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the world’s leading Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, LLC, the world leader in supported self-publishing. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. For more information, visit or call (866)-928-1240. For WestBow Press news, click “Like” at and follow @westbowpress on Twitter.

For nearly 30 years The Parable Group has helped independent stores buy, promote and sell products using data, technology and marketing expertise in the Christian market. The Parable Group is a leading retail services provider specializing in print and digital marketingfor independent Christian stores, and delivering innovative, industry-leading marketing solutions connecting products and services to Christian consumers. For more information, contact Sally Ross ( or visit The Parable Group is based in San Luis Obispo, CA.