Category Archives: Announcements

Interview & Book Give-Away with Norma Gail, and Writing Opps for YOU!

Norma Gail - headshotWhat a joy to celebrate with Norma Gail as her debut novel, Land of My Dreams, releases TODAY from Lighthouse of the Carolinas! Be sure to leave a comment for Norma Gail and you’ll be in the drawing for a signed copy of her book!

Welcome to The Christian Writer’s Den, Norma Gail. First of all, please tell us how you started writing.

I have always had a vivid imagination, and wrote stories from childhood and all through college. My degree is in nursing, and with marriage, a job, and children, I didn’t write much for about 20 years.

When I broke my right foot and ended up in a wheelchair, I needed something to keep me occupied. Land of My Dreams is the result. I began attending writer’s conferences which helped me learn and gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people who have helped me along the way.

I have always felt compelled to write: poetry, letters to the editor, devotionals to open the Bible study I lead, and stories for my kids about their adoptions. I wanted to see my name on a book. Never give up on your dream.

This may come as a surprise to new writers, but you and I know the writing life isn’t easy. What was the greatest problem you faced in writing this book?

It was challenging to write about a country I had only visited for two weeks and couldn’t return to for more research. It didn’t matter when I was just making up a story, but when I became serious, I needed to be accurate.

I spent hours researching, read everything I could find, watched movies and documentaries, listened to music, and made a screen-saver with over 400 photos, and a Scottish-Gaelic dictionary on-line, and also sites with slang and common terms. I found a wonderful writer and editor, through the ACFW romance loop. Amy Drown lived in Scotland and was willing to read my book for accuracy.

It must have worked because it convinced one editor I must have lived there!

Well, that’s a confirmation for sure! What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?

Of course I want to entertain. As a Bible study leader and devotional writer, I have seen a lot of peopleNorma Gil cover struggle with trusting God when hard times come, and I have struggled myself. It is helpful to use real-life situations to illustrate biblical principles.

Good fiction can teach valuable spiritual lessons. People who would never attend a Bible study will read a novel, and they can learn how to live the Christian life. A novel is a very non-threatening way to introduce someone to the gospel or get a spiritual message across. It might open someone open up to talk about things they might not otherwise discuss.

I totally agree, Norma Gail. And I believe it applies to every area of creativity. So, how did you come up with the idea for Land of My Dreams?

Scotland has intrigued me since I discovered that one of my great grandmothers was from Scotland. My husband and I spend two weeks there for our 30th anniversary and I felt at home from the moment our plane landed in Edinburgh.

We met a woman from Phoenix who married a Scot while in the Peace Corps. It made me wonder what it would be like to transplant your life to another country. My husband’s family immigrated to the US from The Netherlands, so I knew a little about it.

I loved the green fields with their sheep and dry-stone walls. One night I dreamed about a sheep farm, and the idea began to come together.

Tell us something about the book.

Land of My Dreams is a sweet romance about two people who have been hurt by life and no longer trust in God.

Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.

Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny returns to New Mexico for her best friend’s wedding, her former fiancé reenters her life. Four thousand miles away, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to an attractive former student.

How will Bonny decide between her two rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future?

Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

My goodness, this sounds like a book we’d all love! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Norma Gail!

And readers, remember, if you’d like to be in the drawing for a free copy of Land of My Dreams, simply leave a comment for Norma Gail and you could be the winner! But you must be sure to come back next week to find out. :-)

And for those who want to go ahead and get your own copy of Norma Gail’s book, here’s the Amazon link to Land of My Dreams. Happy reading!

BIO: I live in the mountains of New Mexico with my husband of 37 years. We have two adult children and a lovely daughter-in-law. I love mountains, and enjoy tackling 4×4 trails in my Jeep. I am a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. My passion is leading women’s Bible studies, and I have done so for eighteen years. My devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” I belong to American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the newly formed New Mexico Christian Novelists. My website, www.normagail.com, includes a weekly devotional blog, daily scriptures, poetry, and will soon have a writer’s blog.

To connect with Norma and find out more about her writings and ministry, you can email her at NormaGailwrites@gmail.com. She also has a Pinterest board for Land of My Dreams where readers can find photos that helped inspire the book: http://pinterest.com/normagailth/boards.
Website: http://www.normagail.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Norma-GailAuthor/725237467493500.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE

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newspapersAnd Here Are Some Writing Opportunities I’ve Found Just For YOU!

Thanks to Edie Melson for sharing many of these opportunities with us today. Be sure to check out Edie’s award-winning writing blog, The Write Conversation!

1.  Inspire a Fire is always looking for articles. Here are Inspire a Fire submission guidelines

2.  Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest: You must hurry–deadline is May 1, 2014!

3THE DREAM QUEST ONE POETRY & WRITING CONTEST is open to anyone who loves expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful literary art of poetry and/or writing a story that is worth telling everyone. Guidelines: (1) Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, form or style. And/or (2) Write a short story five pages maximum length, single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme, fiction or non-fiction. Multiple entries are accepted. Prizes: Writing First Prize is $500; Second: $250; Third: $100. Poetry First Prize: $250; Second: $125; Third: $50. Entry fees: $5 per poem/$10 per story. Postmark deadline: JULY 31, 2014. How to enter, visit: http://www.dreamquestone.com

4.  Adirondack Life: Writers’ guidelines for Adirondack Life

5.  Ladies’ Home Journal: How to write for Ladies’ Home Journal.

6.  Highlights MagazineThey’re always looking for submissions!

7.  Educational Markets for Children’s Writers: LOTS of markets listed here for children’s writers!

8.  Parents Magazine is always looking for writers

9.  Free Spirit PublishingTheir mission is to provide children and teens with the tools they need to succeed in life and to make a difference in the world. They publish high-quality nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people.

10. Reader’s Digest: “If you are a writer and would like to submit a great article proposal, email us at articleproposals@rd.com.”

11. Go Galavanting, a magazine for women travelers. Read Submission guidelines for Go Galavanting here.

12. In Site Magazine: InSite, the bimonthly flagship publication of Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), seeks to inform and inspire professionals serving in the Christian camp and conference community. InSite Magazine writers guidelines here.

So…now that you have these guidelines before you, what are you going to do about it? :-)

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Well, that does it for another day at the Christian Writer’s Den. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the joy of writing with me!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Planning is Not a Dirty Word: 5 Tips to Being a More Productive Writer by Susan Sleeman, & Kudos, MoGo, & a Free Book!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/koratmember

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/koratmember

Yep, It’s April 15: A Great Day to Have Author Susan Sleeman Talk About PLANNING (And we’re NOT talking about taxes!)

Feel like you’re drowning in tax advice? Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about the IRS. No, no, no! We’re going to talk about IMPORTANT stuff, like planning our novels! And that’s something all us novelists need to hear.

I’m thrilled to have Susan Sleeman with us today as she shares her five tips to being more productive as a writer. Be sure to read her bio below, but let me tell you that Susan is an award-winning and award-nominated author, so if she speaks, I think we should all be listening!

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Michelle Cox; Who Won The Writing Sisters’ Book? and Kudos & MoGo7000 Call-Out

Michelle Cox headshotAs you can see, today is a busy day. And it’s all my fault. Last week, I completely forgot to ask for your Kudos and MoGo7000 totals! So today, in addition to an awesome interview with the multi-talented Michelle Cox, our triple duty day will also cover call-outs, and a book winner!

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First Up–Michelle Cox Shares Her Amazing Journey with Her Book, Blog, and Screenplay, Just 18 Summers®!

Yes, you read right. My brilliant friend, Michelle Cox, got a great idea, the Lord multiplied her vision, and now she has all kinds of stuff going on! Read on to hear how a simple comment from her pastor kicked off an avalanche of opportunities!

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Who Won the Contest?

newspapersCan You Believe It’s Already the 3rd Tuesday in March?

Today I’m thrilled to bring you a new list of writing opportunities and conferences to help you in your writing quest. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many words have been published because of an opportunity or a conference listed here at the Christian Writer’s Den?

Let’s Start with Writing Opportunities

Here’s this month’s list of writing opportunities gathered just for you! As always, be sure study the publisher and read and follow the submission guidelines carefully.

1.  Chicken Soup is ALWAYS looking for stories! Currently look for stories about moms, forgiveness, angels, Christmas, facing challenges, and more. Find the Chicken Soup Call-Out for Stories here.

2.  ADDitude Magazine is looking for articles from health care professionals and journalists, and first person accounts from those living with ADHD, learning disabilities, and related conditions. Find the ADDitude Magazine writers guidelines here.

3.  Outdoor Photographer: Okay, I know we have a lot of photographers among the CWD readers, so here’s your chance to submit your photographs, too!

4.  Good Old Days Magazine“The magazine that remembers the best.” I know there are quite a few of us oldies but goodies out there. This is your opportunity to share your good ol’ days. And the good news is, their instructions ASK you to submit often! Good Old Days Magazine guidelines here.

5.  Last month we featured a dog magazine, but we don’t play favorites. Here’s I Love Cats Magazine writers guidelines.

6.  Jack and Jill Children’s Magazine

7.  Over My Dead Body is looking for fiction, book reviews, and interviews.

8.  In Touch Magazine. In Touch Ministries is the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley.

9.  LifeWay Publications. LifeWay is a great way to connect with the editors of many magazines. Do a good job for one of their publications and you may have an opportunity to write for several others. I know that first hand!

10. Ask Magazine for Kids (Cricket – parent company)

Okay, so that does it for this month’s opportunities. Be sure to read on for upcoming writing conferences. After all, that’s the BEST way to connect with a magazine or book publisher!

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With Al Gansky

With Al Gansky at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference

Upcoming Conferences

1.  Coffee & Quill Mini Conference: March 22, 2014, Woodstock, GA

2.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

3.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

4.  Festival of Faith and Writing: April 10-12, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

5.  Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop: April 10-12, 2014, Dayton, OH

6.  Cross ‘N Pens Creative Nonfiction Workshop: April 12, 2014, Simpsonville, SC (This is my local writers group!)

7.  Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 25-26, 2014, Santa Ana, CA

8.  Writing Success XXIII: April 26, 2014, Stoneboro, PA

9.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 14-17, Estes Park, CO

10. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

11. Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival: June 14, 2014, York, SC

12. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 17-21, Grove City, PA

13. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL (I’ll be there co-directing the Teen Intern Program again and would love to see you there!)

14. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 30-August 2, 2014, Langhorne, PA

15. Christian Authors Guild Catch the Wave Conference: August 14-16, 2014, Marietta, GA

16. Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (Although the financial need scholarship slots are open and accepting applications until April 1, the waiting list is open to everyone!)

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

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PrintI’m Looking for Teens 16yo-18yo Who are Interested in the Media Arts!

I’m honored to again be a co-director of The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival Teen Intern Program at this year’s conference, July 11-15, 2014 in Orlando.

If you know a teen interested in acting, directing, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, or anything else related to the media arts, please send them to the Gideon Intern Page for details and application. But they must hurry–Deadline for applications is April 15. Please note I incorrectly posted the deadline last month. The correct deadline is April 15.

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Who Won Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks?

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Wow, what fun to read your additions to Jolene Philo’s Top 10 Things About Being a Writer! We writers certainly have lots of things to love when it comes to writing. I must say some of my personal favorites about being a writer are 1)working in my PJs; 2) living in a world where I can make anything happen; and 3)doing and saying things to people I would NEVER do or say in real life! I know you have no idea what I’m talking about!

All the entries were excellent, but since my sweet hubby, Gary, doesn’t know any of you, I asked him to choose a winner. And he proclaims that the winner is…Judith Robl!

Congratulations, Judith! Please contact me with your mailing address and Cyn will get your blocks right out to you!

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Well, I think that does it for another Writer’s Headlines week. Please be sure to let us know when you find success!

And, as always, thank you for joining me, dear friends. It’s a joy and an honor to share the writing life with you.

Write on!

Vonda

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Top Ten Things About Being a Writer, A Contest, And Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals!

I love my job fdp pakorn

Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A while back, my friend, Jolene Philo, posted her Top Ten Things to Love About Being a Writer and I immediately knew I wanted to share it with you!

And since this is Kudos and MoGo7000 reporting day, I think it’ll be a great time to have a fun little contest. After reading Jolene’s list below, please post a comment of your own top things (any number) about being a writer. Then I’ll have an independent judge choose the most interesting or unusual or just plain funny answer, and the winner will receive a set of Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks!

Then read on to celebrate with our successful friends this month. :-)

Let’s get started!

Top Ten Things About Being a Writer, by Jolene Philo

 

10. Writing often feels like Show and Tell felt in elementary school…when you knew your show and tell item would be the talk of the playground at recess.

9.   Having our books on library shelves is as exciting as meeting Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, or Derek Jeter is for basketball, tennis, or baseball fans.Jolene Philo headshot

8.   Writing in the afternoon produces a sweet feeling akin to when elementary teachers read aloud to their students after lunch.

7.   Writing in the evening is akin to snuggling with our kids when reading them a bedtime story.

6.   Writers who work from home never stress about drive time weather.

5.   Writing is one Bilbo Baggins adventure after another: “Go back?” he (Bilbo) thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

4.  We writers absolutely must travel to unusual and interesting places to conduct research.

3.  We have to remind ourselves that we are working when “work” involves hours and days of reading.

2.  People buy our words. How cool is that?

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

1.  Writers meet the most fascinating people in unexpected places.

So, what do you think? What are your favorite things about being a writer? Post your answers below and you could be the winner of Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks! Be sure to come back next week to see if you’re the winner. :-)

Bio: Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream Parenting series. Her new book, The Jolene Philo cover Different Dream ParentingCaregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others will be released in November of 2014 by Discovery House Publishers. Over 100 of her articles have appeared in publications including Focus on the FamilyParentLife, and Home Cooking. She speaks at conferences and events throughout the United States. Her blog, www.DifferentDream.com, provides resources and encouragement for parents of kids with special needs. She also blogs about life on her dusty gravel road  at www.jolenephilo.com. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitter,  and Pinterest. She is slightly addicted Netflix. With their two children married and on their own, Jolene and her husband are kicking up their empty nester heels in Boone, Iowa.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kudos to YOU, Cathy Baker!

 

I think this is the first time this has ever happened, but we had only one report of Kudos this month. Yes, it has been a long, cold winter!

So this month, let’s all join together to celebrate with Cathy Baker as she shares TWO exciting reports this month:

Cathy Baker (SC): My blog has been revamped. It’s now “Fragrant Ink.” (same blog address) It has a NEW name, format, and focus. Also, I’ve been asked to lead a workshop on Writing to Heal for mothers who’ve lost children of any age. For more information on the retreat, please contact Cathy at tea4thee@charter.net.

Congratulations, Cathy! Congratulations on two jobs well Done!

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Who MoGo’d in February?mogo7000 logo

 

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

#5: Eddie Snipes – 7,300 words#6: Jeanne Doyon – 7,378 words

Congrats, Eddie and Jeanne! 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!

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Okay, I think that does it for another week at The Christian Writer’s Den. Thank you, friends, for visiting with me week after week. As we celebrate our 6th year of meeting together, I’m reminded again I am blessed to have you joining me in this journey called the writing life.

Writing is hard enough without doing it alone. It’s my goal to encourage and challenge and lift you up for the journey. Please let me know any time you have a new book coming out and I’ll be happy to highlight your success!

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

Vonda

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Who Won Sharon Lavy’s Book? Call-Outs for Kudos, MoGo7000 Totals, & CCC Scholarship Applications

Sharon Lavy Deadly Secrets coverWho Won Sharon Lavy’s Book?

And the winner of Deadly Secret: A Tale from The Ohio Valley is…Julie Garmon! Congratulations, Julie! Just contact me with your snail mail address and your preference of a paperback or digital format and your book will be on its way! But I need to let you know Sharon may still be in Israel, so it may take a few extra days to hear from her.

Israel. Can you imagine? I sure hope to be there one of these days. I would love to walk where Jesus walked! :-)

And friends, you don’t have to miss out. Here’s the Amazon link to Deadly Secret: A Tale from the Ohio ValleyAvailable in both digital and paperback. Enjoy!

Thanks for joining us and sharing your book with us, Sharon.

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Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on You!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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!

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mogo7000 logoCall for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in February, 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 February results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in February. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2014 challenge is underway! 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. Meet it 12 months and you’ll have 12 entries!

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

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Still Accepting Scholarship Applications for the 2014 Christian Communicatorsccclogosmall Conference!

Thank you for your quick responses to the Christian Communicators Conference open registration announcement. The response was overwhelming and open registration is now closed; however, we’re still accepting applications for FIVE scholarships.

If you have a financial need, please feel free to visit the CCC Scholarship Information page and submit the completed application. But you must hurry, deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is April 1, 2014.

And if you don’t have a financial need, but would like to attend CCC, please contact our Conference Coordinator, Cynthia Owens at ccc [@] gowithvision.com to be placed on the waiting list (at no charge).

Okay, that does it for this Tuesday call-out! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to this month! Thank you for letting us celebrate your successes with you!

Blessings,

Vonda

(Celebration image courtesy of m_bartosch/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Conferences, Announcements, & Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

newspapersYep, it’s that time again…Time to help you get published, find a conference and maybe even win Jo Ann’s book!

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Here are this month’s writing opportunities, compiled just for you!

1.  Vista, Light for the World, and Book submission guidelines from the Wesleyan Church

2.  Jeanne Doyon is looking for Guest Bloggers. Deadline May 1. Click here for guidelines: WANTED Guest Bloggers from Jeanne Doyon

3.  Weekly Christian Flash Fiction Writing Contest by Pastor and writer Charles W. Short

4.  Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is accepting submissions February 16 to March 2, 2014. $50,000 Grand Prize!

5.  Castle Gate Press, a new publisher, is looking for submissions with a Christian worldview

6.  Appleseeds Magazine for Kids (Cricket – parent company) is looking for submissions appropriate for kids 6-9

7.  Free Spirit Publishing accepts non-fiction book and resources on character building, self-esteem, service-building, civics education, and more for children and teens

8.  Dog Fancy Magazine writers guidelines. One of our Christian Writer’s Den friends just had an article published in this magazine!

9.  Dollar Stretcher Publications writers guidelines

10. Just 4 Kids Magazine writers guidelines

11. Writer’s Digest Magazine submission guidelines. This is the magazine I insulted Steven James and embarrassed myself about. (And Steven James still likes me, I think!)

12. The Writer Magazine submission guidelines. As far as I know, I haven’t insulted anyone with this magazine. :-)

Well, friends, that should keep you busy for a while. Be sure to let us know if you find success through the writing opps. I sure encourages me to keep working at finding them for you!

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Upcoming Conferences Black and White ladies at BRMCWC2010

We know conferences are THE BEST way to get your training and possibly meet editors and agents, too! So here are the conferences I know about. Feel free to Contact Me with any you’d like for me to add!

1. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: February 21-23, New York

2.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 21-23, 2014, Asheville, NC

3.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 26-March 2, 2014, Leesburg, FL (I’m teaching there and would love to see you!)

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 8, 2014, Memphis, TN

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-15, 2014, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Idahope Writers: March 14-15, 2014, Meridian, ID

7.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

8.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

9.  Festival of Faith and Writing: April 10-12, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

10. Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop: April 10-12, 2014, Dayton, OH

11. Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 25-26, 2014, Santa Ana, CA

12. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 14-17, Estes Park, CO

13. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

14. Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival: June 14, 2014, York, SC

15. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 17-21, Grove City, PA

16. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL (I’ll be there co-directing the Teen Intern Program again and would love to see you there!)

17. Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (Registration now open! Hope to see you there!)

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

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christian-communicators-promo-cove-2014Registration is Now Open for The Christian Communicators Conference for Speakers

Ladies, if you feel called to speak, you don’t want to miss the Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Carolyn Knefely and I would love to see you there!

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more…

By limiting the conference to about 30 ladies, you receive more!

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women . . . but you’ll be embraced by thirty who will become lifelong friends
  • You won’t experience long lines for dinner . . . but you’ll have long conversations over dessert
  • You won’t need change for vending machines . . . but shared stories at afternoon tea can change your life

Come and learn in a small, intimate setting . . .
then go out and change a great big world

Check out the Christian Communicators Conference registration details here. But don’t delay, with only 30 spots, we fill up quickly!Print

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I’m Looking for Teens 16yo-18yo Who are Interested in the Media Arts!

I’m honored to again be a co-director of The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival Teen Intern Program at this year’s conference, July 11-15, 2014 in Orlando.

If you know a teen interested in acting, directing, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, or anything else related to the media arts, please send them to the Gideon Intern Page for details and application. But they must hurry–Deadline for applications is April 1.

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Jo Ann Fore book coverAnd Finally…Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

My goodness, I can tell you loved Jo Ann, her book, and her interview! That was one of the highest number of responses ever received. Thank you for your support and encouragement. And now, the winner is…drumroll please…

…Kimberly Ruedger-Wheatfill!

Congratulations, Kimberly! Just Contact Me with your snail mail address and Jo Ann will have your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Jo Ann’s amazing book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference.

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Okay, friends, that does it for today’s post. Yes, I know it was longer than usual, but that’s because I had so much good stuff to share with you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Jo Ann Fore; Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals

Jo Ann Fore Headshot

You are in for a treat today, sweet friends! Today I have the joy of introducing my friend Jo Ann Fore to you. We’ve known each other for many years and she just gets more and more beautiful!

Jo Ann is a speaker, life coach, and author of a life-changing new book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a DifferenceAs you’ll see in this interview, her ministry is all about hope.

I know you’re going to fall in love with Jo Ann, just as I have. Be sure to leave a comment for Jo Ann and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!

So let’s jump right in, Jo Ann. I think I know the answer to this question, but I want our friends to hear your heart. So tell us, why did you write When A Woman Finds Her Voice?

I believe God created each one of us with this distinctive life message to share, but far too often the hurts of life block us from sharing. Our stories deserve to be told, need to be told, but sometimes there’s this part of us that can’t help but wonder if what we say really matters, wonders if we ourselves matter.

We tend to develop this concept of who we think we should be, so we spend our days presenting that to the world, masking our true voices. And in this masking, we lose our true selves. Sometimes we try to be so many things to so many people that we stuff our voice so deep that even we forget who we are.

That’s not God’s plan.

I’m passionate about helping with women in this area because I’ve walked this journey. I know the silence, fear, and doubt that comes from unfathomable hurts. And I want to help women identify these toxic beliefs that twist our thinking in the fallout of these hurts.

What do you hope readers will gain from your book?Jo Ann Fore book cover

I want women to know, to really know, that just because we walk through some hard stuff in life, it doesn’t mean God’s purpose for us changes.

Sometimes what we need most is a simple word of encouragement that God’s still with us, that if we stick it out we will somehow see His hand and His hand will somehow lead us through.

There’s a scripture tucked in Acts 18:10 where Paul had been trying to share the message that God entrusted him with but no one would listen to him, so in a dream God told him this, “Don’t let anyone silence you. No matter what happens, I’m with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you.”

That’s what Paul needed to stick it out, to make it through the storms that threatened to blow him off course. It’s the same thing we need: to know God is with us. And we need to trust that, to hold to that when nothing else makes sense.

How do you define “finding your voice?”

As a writer we hear a lot about voice, about finding our voices. It’s drilled into us from the beginning, about how it’s our unique voice that sets us apart in the millions of words that are being spread daily.

And much like that individualism that we read in a particular author’s words, each one of us, whether we write or not, holds our own unique voice deep inside.

Our voice is what makes us us, it’s this unique combination of our personality, belief systems, feelings, and passions, it’s basically everything that encompasses all of who God made us to be.

It’s this unique that pours red from the vein of our authentic selves. A crucial individualism that’s about being known, not just to others, but first to ourselves.

Sort of like our favorite author, when we pick up her work and recognize her voice, this is what we need to walk out in our own lives. When we make decisions, when we live our daily lives, we need to check to make sure it’s our own voice we’re walking out and not a substitute because those just waste our time.

How did you decide on this topic?

I have a wise agent. {Really, I do.} About 18 months ago, I had a meeting with my agent {and his lovely wife}, tossing about ideas for what book I would write. He asked me a simple question, “What book would you write that excites you each morning—a book that you will make you want to get out of bed each day so you can work on it?”

It was this book.

Jo Ann Fore logo imageYou are passionate about the power of story—do you have any tips to help us tell our stories?

There is an extraordinary power in the sharing of story. This finding our voices, its about sharing our stories—stories that have the power to change both our lives and the lives of others.

In the book we have a list of tips for finding your voice, but you can also grab them for FREE in a downloadable printable over here.

Jo Ann, you don’t realize it, but you’ve hit on a very important point we stress at Christian Communicators Conference for women: There truly is an extraordinary power in the sharing of our stories. God doesn’t waste any scars. Thank you for sharing your message and your book with us.

And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Jo Ann and you’ll automatically be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you’re the winner.

But you don’t have to wait to get this great book! Here’s a direct Amazon link for When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. You could get yours today!

Bio: Jo Ann Fore is known as the “Hope Coach.” She is a popular blogger, certified Life Purpose Coach-Facilitator, and the author of the recently released When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. Jo Ann serves a powerful promise of hope to a woman’s heart. Her encouraging words have been featured in Guideposts, Christianity Today’s Just Between Us & Today’s Christian Woman, Lifeway’s HomeLife, as well as many others, while her coaching experiences have helped many women transform broken lives into beautiful ones.

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Kudos to YOU!

We only had two Christian Writer’s Den friends to send in their successes this month, but my goodness, what great successes they are!

1.  Eddie Snipes (GA): I had two books released in January. Abounding Grace and Out of the Ashes (a book written for the Pregnancy Resource Center). Here are Amazon links to Abounding Grace and Out of the Ashes.

2.  Lori Hatcher (SC): Lori is pleased to announce a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for her devotional book, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time. Also, this spring, she’ll be the featured speaker at the Women to Women Spring Conference at Myrtle Beach, SC March 28-30. She’ll serve with worship leader Janet Rollings and devotion leader Cherie Nettles to present “Too Stressed to Be Blessed? Come Away.”

Congratulations, Eddie and Lori! We’re so proud of you!

And readers, be sure to check back next week for a list of writing opportunities collected just for you. Follow through with submissions and maybe we’ll be celebrating with you soon!

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Congrats to These MoGo7000 Qualifiers in January!

My goodness, y’all have been busy! These CWD writers have earned an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100 in cash!

#1: Joan Hall – 7,035 words
#2: Susan Baganz – 14,190 words
#3: Jeanne Doyon – 8,520 words

#4: Eddie Snipes – 65,000 words

Want to know how you can qualify for the $100 challenge? Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge here. It’s free and open to everyone!

Well, we’re expecting snow and ice today and the next few days here in SC. Be safe, everyone!

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

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities & Conferences

newspapersHere are writing opportunities collected just for you!

Yes, it’s time for our monthly list of writing opps. I hope you’ll read the following opps, study the guidelines and submit. And don’t forget to let us celebrate with you when you have good news!

1.  Melissa Williams has a call-out for women who found love and marriage after age 30. She says: I’m currently writing an inspirational book for single Christian women (aged 30+) who are hoping to be married. I’m looking for Christian women who did indeed find love and marriage after 30 and are willing to share their stories throughout the book. I’m incredibly honoured by all the women God is

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Writer’s Headlines: Changes, Champions, & Celebrations! And Who Won Johnnie Donley’s Book?

Photo courtesy of SSCreations/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of SSCreations/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today is definitely a day of celebration–and we’re celebrating YOU, the Christian Writer’s Den family!

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Changes at Christian Writer’s Den

First of all, thank you to all who responded to my call-out for help with my blog posts. As I mentioned last week, this year I’m committed to working on the novel of my heart that I’ve been saying I was going to write for the past four years. On top of that, I forgot to mention that a friend and I are also reworking a non-fiction book proposal for an agent who has shown interest.

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