Latest Blog Posts for September 2014

Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences and Book Winner

newspapersYes! It’s the 3rd Tuesday, and Time for New Writing Opportunities, Contests, Conferences, and the Announcement of Ane Mulligan’s Book Winner!

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Let’s start with a bunch of new writing opportunities with links to their guidelines–selected just for you

Freelance writing is a great way to generate some income and beef up your resume!

1Reach Out Columbia Magazine Guidelines

2.  Elks’ Magazine

3.  Faith Today Magazine

4.  Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking

5.  Vibrant Life Magazine

Courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6.  Connecticut Magazine

7.  The Daily Tea

8.  Women’s Adventure Magazine

9.  Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine

10. Arizona Highways Magazine

11. Georgia Family Magazine

12. Orlando Family Magazine

13. Homeschooling Today

14. Adoptive Family Magazine

15. Wesleyan Church Guidelines for Books and Articles

16. Christian Media Magazine

17. Adventure Kayak Magazine

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Here are THREE Writer’s Digest Writing Contests

Don’t miss your chance to enter these contests.

1.  Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Deadline September 19, 2014.

2.  Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. Deadline October 31, 2014.

3.  Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest. Deadline December 15, 2014.

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Writers Conferences are a great way to learn your craft and make your connections

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Writing for the Soul: September 19-20, 2014 Murfreesboro, TN

2.  American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 25-27, 2014, St. Louis, MO

3.  Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 10-11, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

4.  Queen City Writers Conference: October 14-16, 2014, Charlotte, NC

5.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 19-22, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

6.  CLASS Christian Writers Conference: October 23-25, 2014, Albuquerque, NM

7.  South Carolina Writers’ Workshop: October 24-26, 2014, Myrtle Beach, SC

8.  Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network Conference: November 6-8, 2014, Overland Park, KS

9.  Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

10. Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 25-March 1, 2015, Leesburg, FL

11. Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll see you there!)

12. Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC

13. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NCAne Mulligan book cover

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And who won Ane Mulligan’s book, Chapel Springs Revival?

The winner is Margie Houmes! Margie, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Ane will get your book right out to you!

I know you’re all excited about reading Ane’s new book, so here is a direct Amazon link to Chapel Springs Revival.

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Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headlines Tuesday. It’s my prayer that these resources will help you on your writing journey!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…The Written Word for You and Me

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Praise God for the written Word He spoke and men transcribed thousands of years ago. And even though they were written years ago, they’re specifically written for us today.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

And praise Him that our words, though not the Holy Scriptures, may be written today to encourage others in the future.

On those days when you’re tired, disappointed, hurt, weary, and questioning whether God has really called you, remember that the words we write today may be specifically written for someone who will read it long after you and I are gone.

A powerful thought. So let’s go. Let’s write.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Ane Mulligan and Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals

Ane Mulligan headshotWe have a full, fun day ahead! First, I can’t wait to tell you about Ane Mulligan’s new book, just released yesterday, Chapel Springs Revival

What a joy to introduce my sweet friend, Ane Mulligan! While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Be sure to leave a comment for Ane and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Just check back next week to see if you’re the winner. 

So let’s get started, Ane. Did you always know you would be a writer?

No way did I ever think the stories I told as a kid (back then they called it lying) and played out for weeks with my dolls, would someday become books.

As Creative Arts director for my church, I wrote my first script in 1996, and after we performed it, I sent it to a publisher. They bought that one and everything I sent them afterwards.

How did you start writing novels?Ane Mulligan play

The hubs said I spent a lot on books, I ought to write one. I realized that was God’s call, because as soon as Hubs said those words, an idea dropped into my otherwise empty mind.

But as a playwright myself, I know that plays are a far cry from novels. How did you go from play-writing to novel-writing?

First, I found an online Christian critique group and a few mentors, who told me plainly I had a lot to learn. What an understatement.

POV? Never heard the term.

Omniscient? That’s what God was.

Show don’t tell? How do I tell a story without telling?

Yikes! Yet, with each critique, I absorbed a new concept. I bought every writing craft book they recommended, read them, and absorbed more.

Ane Mulligan crit groupI would never have made it without my original critique partners, either! Who are your critique partners?

In 2005, four other writers and I formed a critique group, and being serious about publishing, we were tough on one another. So tough, we all earned nicknames: Attila the Holmes, Hannibal Dotta, Genghis Griep, and Ludwig von Frankenpen, and Ane of Mean Gables.

Hahahahaha! I love that! Okay, so with your awesome critique group, it must have been easy to get published, right?

Not even. One editor took my manuscript to committee. While I waited for the answer, I got an agent. However … sigh …the editorial committee said no. Then, God called my agent into ministry.

A few months later, I signed with my second agent. Soon, she called, saying my manuscript had passed editorial committee and was going to pub board! This was it! Whoopee! Pub board loved it, but their slate was filled, so the editor was going to hold it for their next quarter. Only she retired before the next quarter, and her computer hard drive was wiped clean.

I was lost in cyber oblivion. Then my agent retired. Do you see a pattern here? I did and it looked like a maze. Once again, I whined, “Lord, what is going on?”

And He said, “Wait. Trust me.” He didn’t offer me another choice, so I chose to trust. Ane Mulligan signing contract

I’m glad I did. In 2012, I signed with Sandra Bishop, and ten years after I began this journey, she called me to tell me we had an offer from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

And my heart quickened. All right, God! This was it. This time, He said, “Yes.”

I believe people let down their guard when they think they’re being entertained. Through fiction, I can entertain readers. Through fiction, I can present seeds of God’s truth. Then when they least expect it, the story can reach out, touch their hearts, and change them. And isn’t that why we write?

Ane Mulligan book coverOkay, friends, here’s the scoop on Ane’s new book, Chapel Springs Revival

With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It’s impossible not to, what with Claire’s zany antics and Patsy’s self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal.

With their marriages as much in need of restoration as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

Ane, thank you for joining us today and sharing your delightful journey. Friends, I know you’re gonna want to be in the drawing for a free copy of Ane’s book, so be sure to leave a comment for her. Then check back next week to see if you’re the winner! And if you’re ready to go ahead and grab your own copy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Chapel Springs Revival.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now, whose successes can we celebrate this month? Oh, and see if you notice a pattern this month. :-)

1.  Edie Melson (SC): I’m excited to share that I’m one of 12 winners in the Guideposts TELL US YOUR STORY contest. Here’s the link to the contest page: http://www.guideposts.org/other/tell-us-your-story

2.  Beth Fortune (SC): Beth has two great things to share: 1)Another article was published in the wonderful publication “Reach Out Columbia” – September Edition. 2) My posts are beginning to show up on In Touch Ministries website in their new daily blog section.

3.  Andrea Merrell (SC):  www.thewriteediting.blogspot.com My new short story, The Gift, will be the first installment in the Christmases Past Series by HHP. The release date is September 25th, and the Kindle version The Gift is now available on Amazon for pre-order for $.99.

So, did you see the thread throughout this month’s kudos? All three successes are from South Carolina writers! Way to go, sweet friends!

Didn’t see your name on the list? Be sure to return next week when I’ll post my monthly list of writing opportunities!

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mogo7000 logoWho received entries into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100 in cold, hard cash?

These CWD writers have earned an August entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100 in cash!

#18: Tim Suddeth – 15,805 words
#19: Susan Banganz – 41,671 words

Woo-hoo! Congrats, Tim and Susan! Keep up the good work and you’ll earn even more entries into the drawing.

Writers, want to know how you can qualify for the $100 challenge? Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge here. It’s free and open to everyone all year long!

Okay, that does it for a fun-filled day at The Christian Writer’s Den. Thanks for stopping by and spending a few minutes with me. I look forward to seeing you Friday as we open to His Word to hear His voice.

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Waiting Before Working

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Okay, I admit it. I’m hardheaded, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Like when I first began my writing journey.

I was hardheaded enough to believe that editors were wrong and that I did have something worthwhile to say, even though I’d been writing for years and had nothing to show for it. After seven years and 63 rejections, I finally received an acceptance–I was a published writer! Since most writers receive 5-10 rejections and quit, I determined that hardheadedness was a real blessing for me as a writer.

But then there are the other times.

I want you to know that most I mornings I do start the day with the Lord. After all, I know that’s the best way to set the day’s course by His course.

But sometimes I’m too hardheaded to do what I know I should. On those days, I tell myself I just don’t have time.

Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with Jesus. There is nothing like starting my day with my Bible, my coffee, and my Lord. But with book deadlines, caregiving responsibilities, and a demanding speaking and ministry schedule, my hardheadedness sometimes convinces me that I just can’t stop and wait on Him.

I had such a day last week at the Christian Communicators Conference, where I was investing in the lives of women who are called to a speaking ministry. It was Friday morning, one of the most jam-packed days, and I’d had a short night of sleep. After getting a late start, I mentally rescheduled my quiet time to the evening and concentrated on my early morning to-do list.

The day went well, but it was late that night when I finally turned to the day’s devotion. My heart was broken by what I read. It was as if Sarah Young had watched me that morning as I put my time with Christ on hold. She called “waiting before working” an act of faith and ended with the promise that when we turn to Jesus for guidance, He enables us to do less, but accomplish more. I confessed the mismanagement of my priorities and belatedly waited on the Lord.

In order to be best prepared for whatever lies ahead, I need to commit each day to waiting before working. Looking at my to-do list through human eyes it’s easy to become hardheaded, thinking that I know more than my Father.

But by putting my waiting before my working, I give Him the honor He deserves and open myself up to His power. I may do less than I thought it required, but accomplish more that He has planned for me.

And even I’m not too hardheaded to see the blessing in that.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 NIV

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Call Outs for Kudos & MoGo7000 and Who Won Verna Bowman’s Book?

newspapersWe Need To Hear About Your Successes!

Hey there, writing friends. We want to know what you’ve been up to. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!mogo7000 logo

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Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in August?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in August, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2014 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your August results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in August. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2014 challenge continues! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Just starting out? Don’t worry! Meet it the next 4 months and you’ll have 4 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have and extra $100 next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. :-)

Crumbs Along Broken Path Verna Cover~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Who Won Verna Bowman’s Book?

Drumroll, please…

The winner is Maureen Hager! Congratulations, Maureen! Simply contact me with your mailing address and Verna will get your book right out to you! I know you’ll enjoy it!

And friends, even though you didn’t win this time, you can still get Verna’s book. Here’s the direct Amazon link to Crumbs Along the Broken Path. You don’t want to miss this book!

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Well, that does it for today’s Writer’s Headlines. Hope to see you back on Friday as we open His Word and hear His voice.

I pray God’s blessings on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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