Thursday, October 29, 2009

Christian Short Story Contest

Sunpenny Publishing is sponsoring a Christian Writers' Short Story Competition. Contest is open to all writers, no matter what experience level. Entry fee is $8 per story, and cash prizes will be awarded for first and second place. Entry deadline is April 30, 2010. Click here for contest submission guidelines and details.

Based in the United Kingdom, Sunpenny Publishing is also looking for writers of good Christian fiction, poetry, children's books and more. They happily accept new authors from all over the world. They work with printers in the UK and US to produce a professional product aimed at being a witness to the world through the written word.

Who's up for writing a good contest story? Go ahead, we'll cheer you on!

Happy Writing:)

I am blessed to pass contest and other info along here; please note that I cannot completely vouch for each company represented.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blog Readership

Promoting Blog Readership, a recent article in an online Writer's Digest newsletter, offered five blogging tips for writers. This article was linked with another, 22 Essential Elements of Sharable Blog Posts. The latter, written by Chris Brogan, elaborates further on what things catch the blog reader's eye.

Even though I was familiar with many of these tips, these articles made me pause and consider my philosophy and blog writing and visiting habits. What are they? Well for starters, I like to comment on my favorite blogs because I want to show my interest and support. If I can, I also like to comment on reader's comments to my posts. I appreciate their interest and the time that it takes to stop by the blog and say hello. Another initial thought was about my blogging goals. My desire is to share helpful and interesting info for writers, things that have been helpful in my writing journey.

What blogging tips and habits have you found helpful? What kinds of blogs capture your attention? Share your thoughts with us!
Blessings to you all, and of course, Happy Writing! :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Susanne Dietze, who is the winner of this wonderful book by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I'll contact you, Susanne, to work out the details. Thanks to all who participated!

Happy Reading:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blurbing for Structure

What exactly does Blurbing for Structure mean? I wasn't sure, but I was curious when I saw the article title in the Long Ridge Writers Group's enewsletter recently. Long Ridge Writing Instructor and author Mary Rosenblum is kind enough to explain what she means by this phrase. Ms. Rosenblum shares how to remedy issues with story lines by using a blurb to identify exactly what the plot is and where it is headed.

She starts out by explaining how this is a helpful tool for novice writers, but I think that she outlines a good method for all writers, novice or not. She compares blurbing to the description on the back cover of a book - the interesting, yet brief summary of the story. I liked her suggestions and think that they will be useful for all types of writing. Check it out, I'd like to hear what you think. What structure will you be blurbing today?

Happy Writing!

P.S. Last call for the Fields of Grace book giveaway. It ends tonight, so if you'd like to participate, click here for details.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting Your Book Reviewed

The Writing for Dollars site has a harvest basket full of great archived articles. I read one recently entitled:

Getting Your Children's Book Reviewed.

Author Kathryn Lay enlightens us on this topic by giving insider tips from librarians and other publishing industry sources. While the tips are aimed at children's authors, some of what Ms. Lay mentioned applies to those writing for adults, too. She includes links and helpful background info for a well rounded, informative article. While at the Writing for Dollars site, sign up for the weekly newsletter if you are so inclined. It's a great resource.

Happy writing! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Giveaway

Cooler temperatures and gorgeous fall colors have inspired me in many ways, including offering a new book giveaway. Simply comment* to this post, and include your email address, and you will be entered to win a copy of Kim Vogel Sawyer's newest, Fields of Grace. To read my recent review of this gem, click here.

This giveaway runs through midnight Thursday, October 22, 2009. My lovely daughter will do the honors and draw the winning name. The winner will be posted on Friday, October 23. Blessings to you, and happy writing!

(*My apologies; open to residents of the continental United States only.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Review

That Certain Spark
Author: Cathy Marie Hake
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Readers won't be disappointed; sparks certainly do fly in Cathy Marie Hake's newest book. We find ourselves in the pleasant little town of Gooding, TX, the place that acts as the setting for many of Ms. Hake's stories. Taylor and Enoch Bestman have signed contracts to serve as the town's local doctors. Taylor is the medical doctor, and Enoch is a veterinarian.

The twins aim to rescue Gooding from a serious shortage of good medical care. But will they? Upon the Bestman twins' arrival, townspeople learn that Taylor is a woman. Some of the residents are happy about this fact, but others, including the mayor, are not. Seems Mayor Cutter overlooked the portion of Taylor's paperwork indicating that she is indeed, a woman.

Taylor sets out to prove her worth and skill. Her first test involves saving Karl Van der Vort's life. Karl and his brother Piet are the local blacksmiths who are surprised to find a woman doctor in their midst. Karl, especially, doesn't think it's proper for a woman to work as a doctor, but cannot deny Taylor's skill, and more importantly, his debt to her for saving his life. Karl wrestles further with his feelings as he admires Taylor's spunk, and finds himself with feelings for Taylor. How will Taylor respond? Will sparks fly between the two? And what of the sparks that fly between Taylor, the mayor, and the others opposed to her practicing in town?

Hake provides an entertaining journey with unexpected events and colorful characters. True to the title, That Certain Spark really does make a difference in the resident's lives. I enjoyed reading this; can't wait to see what Ms. Hake cooks up next. I hope it finds us in Gooding once again!

Happy Writing:)

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Call for Help

Many of you know that I teach online writing classes for homeschool teens. In addition to lessons, assignments, and forum interaction, I provide the students with additional tips and provoking thoughts about writing. This is the part where you come in; I could use some tips from my writer friends. Do you have any to share? My students seem to enjoy getting feedback from us real writers:)

Any thoughts are welcome, such as grammar tips that you've found helpful, character development techniques, article/essay writing thoughts, ways to overcome writer's block, things that inspire your writing, and so on.

The sessions that I offer include general creative writing (fiction & non-fiction), writing the research paper, essays, and flash fiction. Thoughts do not have to be long, even a line or two would be great. One tidbit that I share with my students is a short list that a reporter from The Press of Atlantic City (NJ) gave me. He basically told students to keep their writing tight, consult a good grammar guide such as The Elements of Style, and to have fun.

If anything strikes you, I would welcome and be blessed by your comments. The tips would include your name, and your website or blog address if you like. Thanks for your help! Blessings to you, and of course, happy writing! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Because I Said So!

A recent Writer's Digest Questions and Quandaries segment asked this question:

Can you start a sentence with 'Because'?

Brian Klems, an online editor for WD shares the rhyme and the reason behind this burning question. I like his reasoning, and it is interesting to see the true grammar logistics behind this puzzling dilemma. Makes you think, have we been sold any other grammar myths and traditions over the years?

Most grammar rules are good ones, and exist for a reason, such as clarity and order for reading and writing. I just have to chuckle, though, when I think of things like this. I was raised in an era where if you did anything wrong at school it would "Go on your permanent record!" Hmm, let's see, I am thinking that my permanent record from the Philip Baker Memorial School doesn't really mean anything any more. Unless of course, all my grammar mistakes were somehow stored in a database somewhere. And someday, when Karen Lange is a household name, one of my teachers of days gone by will drag out this permanent record and show the world that I am not a perfect grammar student...Well, you never know, it might happen.

So what grammar myths, traditions, and stumbling blocks have you tackled over the years? Which ones caused you to run for The Elements of Style to double check your prose? And okay, while I'm on a roll, what's on your permanent record??

Thanks for tolerating my ramblings. Blessings to all, and of course, happy writing!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Live Author Q & A Sessions

The WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group is featuring a series of livestream Q & A sessions this fall/winter. Christian authors such as Cindy Woodsmall, John Bevere, and Joshua Harris, to name a few, will be featured. Topics will correlate with the author's books and will include diet/health/exercise, marriage, theology, teens and more. The first session will be held tonight, October 5, at 7 pm EST, where Bruce Wilkinson talks about his book, You Were Born for This. Stop by WaterBrook Multnomah's site for more info.

The company also has a blogging for books program. If you have a regular blog, you may qualify. Visit the program page for info and to fill out the required form. If you are eligible, you can participate in their regular blog tours.

Happy writing to all:)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Writing Prompt

Thought it might be interesting to have a writing prompt that involved a wild animal. Let's see what ideas this one generates:

An ad was placed in the local newspaper that only said “Wanted: Tame Elephant, call 555-1234.”

I will be happy to post any elephant stories here. Looking forward to seeing what your great minds come up with. Blessings to all. Happy writing!