Category Archives: Announcements

Interview & Book Give-Away with Dena Dyer: Author of Wounded Women of the Bible, & Who Won Miriam Bradley’s Book?

First Up: Interview with Dena Dyer, Author of Wounded Women of the BibleDena Dyer headshot

What a joy to re-introduce my long-time friend, Dena Dyer. Dena was among my first guests way back in 2008, and she has certainly been busy since then. (You might want to check out Dena Dyer’s first interview at The Christian Writer’s Den here.) You can read her bio below, but I just want to let you know that as a speaker, writer, entertainer, actress, and humorist, she’s definitely a woman after my own heart!

Friends, don’t forget to leave a message for Dena and you’ll be in the Random.org drawing for a free book! Then be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner.

Welcome back, Dena! I’m so happy to have you back with us and to see what God has been doing in your life. Let’s start by letting the readers know the title and publisher of your latest book.

Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts, is my latest book, written with my co-author and dear friend Tina Samples. Kregel Publishers released the book on July 1, 2013.

I LOVE the title of this book! What has the response been so far?

We’ve been so grateful that women have been reading the book and then buying several for friends. That was our prayer—that it would meet a deep need of women who’d been hurt (and that’s all of us!).  Several generous donors have helped us buy books for women in prisons and also women with disabled children at a “Joni and Friends” camp. This summer, we held our first online study for the book and we had ladies from all over the US who participated. And last but not least, we were thrilled to win a Golden Scroll award from Advanced Writers and Speakers for “Non-Fiction Book of the Year” this June. So God has been gracious to us.

Yes, I was so excited when I saw that Wounded Women of the Bible won a Golden Scroll award! Where did the idea for your book come from?

God literally woke Tina up in the middle of the night with the idea. For years, we had been praying for a project we could work on together–-since we both speak, sing and write–-and God nudged Tina to call me and ask me to come alongside her. I said yes, Greg Johnson of Wordserve Literary loved the idea when we pitched it to him, and we co-wrote the proposal over several months.

I’m currently working on a book with a co-writer and we live 1000 miles apart. I must say, it hasn’t been easy for us. I’m curious to know the process you used as co-writers.

Tina lives in Colorado and I reside in Texas, so we wrote our halves of each chapter separately and then combined them. Tina handled the Bible study/reflection half of each chapter, adding in parts of her testimony. I collected and edited modern-day women’s stories, wrote about my experiences, and combined our two separate parts into a cohesive whole.

We worked completely long-distance. Thank God for technology! Our communication happened via emails, phone calls and much prayer. From idea to completion took about three years. It was a long, difficult process, because we completely laid bare many wounds God was (and is) healing us from.

We were thrilled with the job Kregel Publishers did, from cover design to editing to back cover copy, and we were thrilled to share the final product with readers. We’ve also developed a retreat based on the book, and we’re praying for many future opportunities to spread the hope and healing of Jesus Christ.

Your story certainly gives me hope since we’ve been working on our book off and on for well over two years. Changing gears a little here, since we can’t cover everything in such a short interview, would you tell us the synopsis of your book? What do biblical women such as Hagar, Abigail, Martha, Bathsheba (among others) have in common with women today?Wounded Women of the Bible Dena Dyer cover

They’ve all been wounded by relationships, losses, or their own mistakes. In Wounded Women of the Bible, we as authors share fresh spiritual insights gleaned from ancient women who faced the same emotions and questions as contemporary women.

We also tell our own stories of healing, as well as those experienced by our friends and family members. Our prayer is that readers will find hope and strength for their own journeys as they view biblical women’s wounds through the lens of God’s grace.

I love that! What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

We know there are countless women who carry wounds from their past. However, many women feel isolated in their pain, believing that no one could possibly understand how they feel. It’s our fervent desire that Wounded Women of the Bible would touch the hearts of those desperate to find freedom and make them feel less alone.

As they read WWOB, we pray women (and men—because anyone can glean truths from the book!) will find a much-needed connection with biblical women, as well as with those who’ve shared their journeys to healing. In addition, it’s our prayer that readers of the book would come away changed—believing that God is powerful, loves them personally, and longs to heal them.

This is a much-needed book, Dena. Thank you to you and Tina Samples for working so long and hard to bring encouragement and hope to all of us. 

Friends, don’t forget to leave a message for Dena and you could win a free book. But you’ll have to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Bio: Speaker/author Dena Dyer’s books include Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Help When Life Hurts, Let the Crows’ Feet and Laugh Lines Come, and Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms. She serves as a contributing editor with The High Calling (www.highcalling.org). Visit her website (www.denadyer.com) to learn more.

Miriam Bradley cover Legacy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Speaking of Book Winners, Who Won Miriam Bradley’s Book?

It’s Cathy Baker! Congratulations, Cathy! Now all you have to do is contact me with your mailing address and it’ll be right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, I know you want your own copies, so here are the direct Amazon links to Double Cousins and the Missing Watch, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Torn Map, Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure, and All I Have Needed: A Legacy for Life.

Thank you, friends, for joining me week after week. You have no idea how encouraging your visits are to me! Without you, there’d be no reason for me to even post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Contests, and Conferences

newspapersAs many of you know, I’m on a writing retreat, working hard to redirect a book proposal for an interested agent. And yes, even after four traditionally-published book it’s still so hard!

Check out these writing opps, contests, and conferences!

So Here Are This Month’s Writing Opportunities I’ve Located Just for You!

1.  Inspire a Fire is looking for your inspiring articles based on the theme list available at http://www.inspireafire.com/submissions-guidelines/.

2.  Yvonne Lehman is collecting stories for Divine Christmas Moments, a new anthology. The first book in the series, Divine Moments, has just been released. If you have a story about a divine Christmas moment, you can contact Yvonne at yvonnelehman3@gmail.com.

3.  The DreamQuestOne Poetry and 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.  (Must hurry! This webinar is tomorrow!) Tracy Crump and her writing partner, Marylane Wade Koch, will present another Stirring the Pot: Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul webinar on Wednesday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Go to www.WriteLifeWorkshops.com for more information or to register.

5.  The Christian Authors Guild sponsors a writing contest for short stories. Anyone can enter. We will stream winners online on Friday August 15.

6.  Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a regional print publication dedicated to proclaiming the life and work of Jesus Christ in and through ordinary people, is open to article submissions. We publish teaching pieces (800-1,250 words), reflection pieces (500-800 words), and informational pieces on subjects related to the Christian life (health, sports, family, marriage, singleness, church membership, nutrition, etc., 800-1,250 words). We’re especially interested in subjects of interest to men. We are also open to 2-3 part series of articles if the subject can support it. ROC is not a paying market, but a print publishing credit looks great on your resume. Please visit our website for article submission guidelines (www.ReachOutColumbia.com).

7.  Eva Everson is acquisitions editor of Lighthouse of the Carolina’s imprint, Firefly Southern Fiction and is open to submissions. Firefly Southern Fiction will be stories that entertain, have strong plots, and include elements of family and faith. Above everything else, they want stories that are heartfelt and true to Southern roots. Literary agencies interested in receiving proposal and submission guidelines should contact

8.  Christian Home and School Magazine writing guidelines.

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Now Let’s Look at Some Upcoming Conferences…

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

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

3.  Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (We’re full, but the waiting list is open to everyone!)

4.  Maranatha Christian Writers Conference: September 15-18, Muskegon, MI

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

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

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

8.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist Retreat: October 19-22, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

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

Well, that should keep you busy for a while. Be sure to let us know if good things come of any of these leads!

Write on!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Kudos and Who Earned Another MoGo7000 Entry for $100?

newspapersCongratulations to These CWD Friends!

Yes, it’s time to celebrate you! Congratulations to these CWD friends who are working hard and seeing results!

1.  Tracy Crump (MS): The MS Alzheimer’s Association arranged three book signings for my story, “Unsung Heroes,” which appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias released in April. All royalties go to the Alzheimer’s Assn. Also, my blog post “Chicken Soup with a Dash of Faith” appears Monday, July 14, on Alycia Morales and Andrea Merrell’s new blog, The Write Editing. http://thewriteediting.blogspot.com/  And my writing partner, Marylane Wade Koch, and I will present another webinar on “Stirring the Pot: Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul” on Wednesday, July 16. http://www.writelifeworkshops.com/events (From Vonda: You can sign up now!)

2.  Allison K. Flexer (TN): My first book, Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman: Dispelling 10
Common Myths, will be released by Beacon Hill Press on October 1, 2014! I am excited to share this resource with single women, who will be challenged to reject lies, embrace their value, and gain a deeper
understanding of the character of God.

3.  Tammy Whitehurst (TX):  Lifeway has purchased an article I wrote titled, Life In The Middle,
for a 3 page spread in October 2015. I am jumping for joy! And you’re invited to join my morning devotion, Joy for the Journey, on Facebook

4. Jeanne Doyon (CT): Nebraska Family Times has requested to reprint my article, Summer Growth Needs a Plan. You can connect with them at http://www.nebraskafamilytimes.blogspot.com/  And my How-to articles, To Blog or Not to Blog and Ready, Set, Blog! were hosted on The Aspiring Writer Blog.

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And Who Earned ANOTHER Entry for the 2014 MoGo7000 Drawing for $100?

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

#12: Jeanne Doyon – 8077 words
#13: Sue Badeau – 9000 words

Congrats, friends! 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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That’s all the successes for this month, but don’t feel bad if you don’t see your name on this list. Come back next week and I’ll have a new list of writing opportunities and writing conferences, all collected just for you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Call-Outs for Successes, MoGo7000 Results & Who Won Ellen Gee’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!

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Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in June?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in June, 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 June results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in June. (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 7 months and you’ll have 7 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. :-)

My Mothers Song cover Ellen Gee~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who Won Ellen Gee’s Book?

And the winner is…AudreyLengyel! Congratulations, Audrey! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Ellen will get your book right out to you!

For those who didn’t win, but still want to read Ellen’s book, here’s a direct Amazon link to My Mother’s Song. You won’t be disappointed.

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Can’t wait to hear from and celebrate with you!

Grace and peace,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Kudos to These Christian Writer’s Den Friends!

newspapersCWD Writers Have Been Hard at Work!

Yes, it’s time to celebrate you! Congratulations to these CWD friends who are working hard and seeing results!

1.  Jeanne Doyon (CT): Evangel Magazine has accepted two articles for publication this winter and Camp
Berea in New Hampshire extended an invitation to teach a workshop at their fall women’s retreat.

2.  Tracy Crump (MS): My thirteenth Chicken Soup for the Soul story was published in Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias. All royalties from the book go to the Alzheimer’s Association, and the MS chapter set up a book reading/signing event. Through this story, God has opened some unexpected doors not only to share about His goodness but to inform others of a neurological condition that is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s. I love to watch God at work!

3.  Johnnie Alexander Donley (TN): I signed a three-book contract with Revell for a contemporary romance series. The first book releases January 2016. Yay!

4.  Marilyn Nutter (NC): Marilyn’s devotion Fashion Trends appeared on christiandevotions.us on May 29.

5.  If you read last week’s blog post by Lori Hatcher, you know that I missed the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference in May at Ridgecrest, NC. But let me tell you, the Christian Writer’s Den was VERY WELL represented in the winner’s circle! Here are all the winners of the Director’s Choice and the Unpublished Writers Contests.

6.  The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is also host to the Selah Awards. And since I don’t know everyone who hangs out here at the Christian Writer’s Den, here are all the winners of the Selah Awards, too!

Congratulations to everyone who submitted good news. I know there are many more out there who are also doing the work of a writer and finding success. We hope to hear from you next time!

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Where Were the MoGo-ers in May?mogo7000 logo

You may have noticed we had no entries to the May MoGo7000. :-(

If I were you, I’d be writing at least 7000 words on a book project in the month of June and submitting the total next month. With fewer entries submitted so far, those who have submitted this year have the best chance ever of winning $100 in cold, hard cash!

Hope to hear from lots of writers next month. I want to give you some money!

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Well, I think that does it for today. I hope to see you back on Friday as we look at some Parting Words From The WORD…

Write on!

Vonda

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Left Behind: When You Can’t Attend a Writer’s Conference, Call-Out for Kudos & MoGo7000, & Who Won Patty Mason’s Book?

BRMCWC 2014 logoA couple of weeks ago I missed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for the first time in a gazillion years. And man, did I miss it! The classes, the friends, the one-on-ones, the late nights, the opportunity to help other writers and speakers, the chocolate macaroons–I missed it all!

And then there were the pictures. Every time I opened Facebook, there they were! My news feed was a moment-by-moment timeline of BRMCWC life. Everybody in the world was there, and they were having fun. Everyone, that is, except me.

Yea, I was feeling kinda left behind.

So when Lori Hatcher’s article plopped into my Inbox, I have to admit, I was comforted. Hurray! I wasn’t the ONLY writer who wasn’t at Ridgecrest learning and laughing with writer-friends! (Guess you could say I’m proof positive that misery really does love company.)

But as I read Lori’s article, I realized that–unlike me–Lori had already moved past the whining stage and was hard at work putting her experience to good use.

If you didn’t get to go to Blue Ridge or another favorite conference, this post is for you. Let’s join Lori, quite whining, and just move forward!

Left Behind . . . When You Can’t Attend a Writer’s Conference

By Lori Hatcher

Common sense tells me I’m not the only one who was unable to attend the most recent writers’ conference. Social media, however, begged to differ. Every post I saw was from someone squealing with excitement. Agents were hoping to sign the next Karen Kingsbury. Instructors were thrilled to be presenting new and insightful workshops. Writers were eagerly anticipating productive times of learning and networking.

And I was sitting at home. Missing it all. Waaaaaaaaah!

Maybe you’re one of the other three people on the planet who wasn’t able to attend the conference. Perhaps you couldn’t afford it. Or couldn’t get time off from your day job. Or didn’t have someone to watch your kids or your aging parent. Whatever the reason, your inability to attend doesn’t have to hamstring your writing life.

I’d like to share six suggestions to help you move forward:

  1. If a friend attended the conference, invite her over for coffee and pick her brain. Ask her to bring her notes and debrief with you.
  2. If someone attended the conference from your local writers’ group, invite her to share what she learned at your next meeting. If several members went, ask them to share the three (or five) best things they learned.
  3. Subscribe to faculty blogs. Go to your favorite conference’s website and click on the Faculty link. Most professionals have very informative blogs. By subscribing to their feeds, you can get helpful instruction on all aspects of the publishing process. It’s free continuing education that lasts much longer than the writing conference itself. Some of my favorite writing blogs are Writer to Writer, The Write Conversation, MacGregor Literary blog, The Write Editing, and, of course, The Christian Writer’s Den.
  4. Set new goals. One of the most helpful aspects of a writers’ conference is coming away with a new list of writing tasks, ideas, and goals. While it’s easier to overcome inertia with a push from someone else, a prayerful look at where you are and where you’d like to be in the future can help you formulate goals on your own. First, brainstorm several small projects you can complete in a day or two (blog posts, an article, or a computer file cleanup). Be sure to set a larger one that might take a few weeks of steady progress (researching new publications and sending out query letters). Finally set a long-term goal (a book or editing project). Set deadlines for each and ask a writing friend to hold you accountable.
  5. Plan a private writers’ retreat. This is an annual tradition for me. Every year I invite two or three friends to join me for a weekend getaway at a kind friend’s mountain house. We pack the books we never have time to read, our current work in progress, and lots of food and chocolate. We sequester ourselves in different rooms to pray, plan, and write, then come together for meals, brainstorming, and critiquing. While we never accomplish everything we hope, it’s wonderful to have an uninterrupted chunk of time to work.
  6. Think long term. There are several wonderful conferences in my area each year, and it’s unrealistic to expect to attend every one. If I do my research, plan carefully, and save intentionally, I can usually attend at least one. If you really want to attend a conference next year, start planning now. If finances are a challenge, divide the cost by 12 months (or 52 weeks) and begin saving that amount. The total often seems overwhelming, but when you break it down, it’s usually doable. For example, if a conference costs $800, you’ll need to save about $16 per week. This is the equivalent of one lunch out or a few lattes. And the next time your husband, mother, or children ask you what you’d like for your birthday or Christmas, tell them you’re saving to attend a writer’s conference and invite them to contribute to your fund.

Writer’s conferences are wonderful. Every time I attend, I come away inspired, educated, and motivated. They’re a great way to move forward as a writer, but they’re not the only way. If you implement even one of the suggestions I’ve shared today, you’ll begin to move forward on your writing journey. May God bless your efforts.Lori Hatcher headshot

Bio: Lori Hatcher is the editor of South Carolina’s Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and the author of the devotional book Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. A Yankee transplant and a Christian Communicators Graduate, she uses her speaking and writing ministry to encourage and empower women. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time.

Thank you, Lori! I feel better already!

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We 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!

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mogo7000 logoAnd Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in May?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in May, 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 May results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in May. (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 ongoing! 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. :-)

Patty Mason Know That book cover~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Who Won Patty Mason’s Book?

The winner is…Clella! Congratulations, Clella! Now, simply contact me with your snail mail address and the book will be on its way!

And I know many of you are going to want your own copy, so here’s a direct link for Know That I AM God workbook on Amazon. But to get the complete study, including the workbook and Leader’s Guide combo, along with the 10-week video series (taken from the book of Ezekiel), be sure to check out Patty’s Bible Studies section on her website at http://www.libertyinchristministries.com/bible-studies.

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Well, that’s it for this week. I hope to see you back on Friday for our Parting Words From The WORD…

Blessings,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities Just for You, Gideon Intern Program, & Who Won Linda Gilden’s Book?

newspapersHello, friends! First up–Writing Opportunities Just for you!

Here are some great opportunities I’ve collected just for you! (And thanks to Edie Melson for her contribution to this list, too!)

Remember to study the publication before submitting and follow the guidelines. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time and yours!

1.  From Jennifer Hallmark: Have you ever been overwhelmed by gratefulness over an act of kindness by a friend, family member, or organization? One you’d like to share with others? We have openings on our blog, The Most Important Thing. “Monday Meet” consists of a 500-700 word story sharing your experience. Please include photos or pictures if you’d like. We also need any links you’d like to include. Since the focus of these stories is on others, we’ll include no bios, headshots, or book information except links. Please reply to jenlhall63 (at) gmail (dot) com.

2.  Inspire a Fire blog is always looking for posts!

3.  Alaska Magazine writing guidelines

4.  Christianity Today writing guidelines

5.  Relevant Magazine writing guidelines

6.  Rejoice Magazine: Writing guidelines for Devotions and Divine Touch unsolicited stories and poetry guidelines.

7.  Utmost Christian Writers Poetry Guidelines and Utmost Christian Writers Poetry ARTICLE Guidelines

8.  Redbook Magazine Writers’ Guidelines

9.  Toastmasters Magazine writing guidelines

10. Okay, I know some of you are bird watchers and photographers, so here’s your chance! Bird Watcher’s Digest guidelines for artists, photographers, and writers

11. Enrichment Journal Magazine writing guidelines

12. Family Tree Magazine: I looked up my name and found out I had died! :-) Here’s Family Tree Magazine Writing Guidelines.

13. Calling all our Kentucky friends. Do you read Kentucky Monthly? Kentucky Monthly Magazine writing guidelines.

Okay, I think that will do it for this month. Be sure to let me know if your work is accepted. We’ll want to celebrate with you!

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Gideon Interns 2011

Gideon Interns 2011

Calling all 16-18yo teens interested in film, television, acting, directing, and more!

TEENS ages 16 – 18 who’d like to work in FILM & TELEVISION, Gideon offers an annual intern program where you learn from and work with the top Christian filmmakers from across the nation. Here are pics from a music video shoot that just wrapped down in Orlando where many Gid Interns were on hand to help: Garett Sutton (Gideon 2012-13), Brittany Mann (G11-12), Alyssa Cook (G11-13)

Gideon faculty involved: Kyle Saylors (director of video and of the Gideon Film Track), Katrina Cook KatzKasting (casting director for both video and Gideon), and Lynda Stein (AD for video and Gideon Kid’s Track Director)

Please share with any TEENS interested in FILM & TELEVISION. Deadline for applications is May 31. All questions can be directed to Gideon Intern Directors Vonda Skinner Skelton & Sarah Anne Sumpolec. http://gideonfilmfestival.com/News/Teen%20Intern%20Program/index.html

Linda Gilden Called to Write cover~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who won Linda Gilden’s book?

And the winner is…Gwyn Hubbert! Gwyn, be sure to contact me with your snail mail address and Linda will get your book right out to you!

And for those of you who didn’t win, I know you want a copy of Linda’s new book, Called to Write: 7 Principles to Become a Writer on Mission, so I’ve created this link to take you straight to Amazon! :-)

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Well, that does it for another week of Writer’s Headlines. See you next time!

Happy writing,

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Linda Gilden, Kudos, & MoGo7000 Totals

Linda Gilden headshotWhat a great day today…learning about writing with Linda Gilden, celebrating your successes, and offering a chance to win $100!

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Called to Write: 7 Principles to Become a Writer on Mission, by Linda Gilden

First up–What a joy to welcome back my friend Linda Gilden! Linda is not only a talented, prolific writer, editor, and conference director, but she’s also a great roomie! We’ve shared rooms in hotels and conference centers from Florida to Colorado and Atlanta to Texas!

Be sure to read her bio below, but for now I’ll just tell you that she’s the author or co-author of at least six books that I can think of, ghostwriter of a bunch more, and has published gobs of articles, so when it comes to writing, she knows what she’s talking about!

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Writer’s Headlines: The Gideon Intern Program, Call-Out for Kudos & MoGo7000, Chip’s Bad Poetry Contest, & Who Won Tessa Afshar’s Book?

newspapersYou Don’t Want to Miss the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival in Orlando, FL! And We Have a Teen Track, Too!

Do you love film, acting, screenwriting, or directing? Do you dream of writing and singing songs for the Lord? The Gideon was created to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through all types of media with an emphasis on television, film, theater, church drama, singing/songwriting, graphic arts, marketing and distribution, screenwriting, and networking.

Rodney and Lori Marett created the Gideon Conference in 2007 for adults, and yet, they also had a desire for teens to be able to learn from Christian professionals in the industry as well. Registration is open-ended for regular adult attendees.

But teens have a track, too! I’m honored to be co-director, along with Sarah Anne Sumpolec, of the Gideon Intern Program for Teens 16-18 years old. Admission is by application, and the deadline has been extended until May 31, so get to work and get your application in!

I hope you’ll join us at the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival where cutting-edge media arts are combined with one of the most unique Christian conferences and Christian film festivals in the country.

The Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival is “where art and purpose meet,” where cutting-edge media arts are combined with one of the most unique Christian conferences and Christian film festivals in the country. A place to learn and connect with like-minded professionals and learners who look at media from a Christian worldview.

I’d love to see you there! (I’ll also be teaching a class on writing Church Plays.) Check out the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival details here.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

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 April, 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 April results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in April. (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 be $100 richer after the first of the year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Chip MacGregor headshot

Calling All Poets, Especially the Bad Ones! You Could Win BIG!

Yes, it’s that time again–time for agent Chip MacGregor’s Bad Poetry Contest! Yes, it’s time to join in the fun going on over at Chip MacGregor’s Bad Poetry Contest to celebrate his birthday. For those who’ve been around writing conferences for a while, you’ll recognize the name, Chip MacGregor. For those who don’t know him, Chip is owner of MacGregor Literary, one of the most recognized agencies in the business. He’s spoken at writing conferences in over 100 locations. And I can promise you, once you’ve been around Chip, you won’t forget him. He helps writers around the world with his snarky voice and big heart. (Don’t tell I said the big heart part. He likes to protect his image.)

And just to add a little fun to the our week, if you enter Chip’s contest, simply post a comment here, letting me know you entered, and I’ll check out your poem. Then, next Tuesday I’ll announce our own Christian Writer’s Den winner of the Bad Poetry Contest. And the winner will have his or her choice of any of my downloadable writing workshops!

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And Last But Not Least, Who Won Tessa Afshar’s Book?

Random.org selected Jamie Schwenn Herda as the winner! Congratulations, Jamie! Jamie, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Tessa will get your book right out to you!

And friends, I know you’re going to want your own copies of Christy Award Finalist Tessa Afshar’s books, so here are direct links for you!

Harvest of God cover tessaHarvest of Gold

In the Field of Grace

Pearl in the Sand: A Novel

Harvest of Rubies

 

 

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Don’t forget to follow through with your kudos, MoGo7000 totals, and bad poetry. Then be sure to check back next week for all the great announcements!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Christy Finalist Tessa Afshar, and Who Won Norma Gail’s Book?

tessa headshotWhat an honor to have Tessa Afshar, a recently-announced 2014 Christy Award Finalist, with us today! We’ll also announce the winner of Norma Gail’s book!

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First of all, I’m excited to welcome my new friend Tessa Afshar to you. Tessa and I were introduced to one other by mutual friend, Lauren Yarger, and we scheduled this interview over a year ago. Then just last Thursday I read that Tessa is a Christy Finalist! Talk about great timing!

Readers, as you read Tessa’s bio below you’ll see she’s not new to awards and nominations. Wow! I think you’ll agree that she knows a little about how to write quality books, and the good news is, this week you have a chance to win one! Just leave a comment on today’s blog and you’ll be in the drawing. Don’t forget to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

Congratulations, Tessa! I can’t wait to get started. First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself?



I was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of my life. I attended an English boarding school called Princess Helena College in Hertfordshire before moving to the United States permanently. My conversion to Christianity in my mid-twenties changed the course of my life forever. I struggle with loving the wrong things, like too much dessert with additional whipped cream, and not liking things that are good for me, like exercise and quinoa.

Hmmm…sounds like we like–and dislike–the same things! Tell us about your publishing journey.


I don’t mean to be annoying; I really mean this. I WROTE! I wrote until I finished my story. I stopped leaving projects half-finished, or coming up with excuses, or listening to the voices of discouragement in my head. When I was working on my first published book, Pearl in the Sand, I constantly had to resist negative thoughts: who will ever want to read a book about Rahab? No one will be interested in this book. I should just give up. I had to plod on and do the work because I had promised God I would be faithful to the project. To my shock, that book landed a contract within months of being completed and went on to win me “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards, 2011. Sometimes the voices in your head are simply not true. They prevent you from fulfilling the destiny God has set aside for you.Harvest of God cover tessa

How well I know those voices, Tessa. Your novel Harvest of Gold was recently nominated for the prestigious Christy Award. You’ve penned several critically acclaimed novels and the fans seem to want more. And yet I know you sometimes struggle with discouragement. Tell us about that struggle and how you overcome it.

In a recent interview, Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner, who has sold over 38 million books, wrote: “The temptation to give up, to surrender, is very, very strong. And you have to have faith in the work that you’re doing. You have to have faith that as dark and unlikely and as dreary as things may seem, that it’s worth pursuing.”

Most writers need to contend with the temptation to give up. Writing is hard. It means constant sacrifice. Even giants like Hosseini get to the point of wanting to throw in the towel on a certain project. So how do you resist that temptation? How do you hold on to a work that has potential, or even to the dream of writing itself?

While I don’t have a remedy for discouragement, I have several sources of strength to which I turn when discouragement descends. First, for me, writing is not a hobby. It’s not even a job. It is a call. I believe I was created to do this. The Bible says that God created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10). I believe, in my life, part of that work is writing. So what shall I say when things become hard or seem untenable? Shall I walk away from God’s purpose? Shall I ditch my destiny just because it’s hard?

Second, I have writing partners whose opinion I trust. If they felt I was wasting my time over a certain project, they would tell me. Just as they wouldn’t let me walk out the door with toilet paper stuck to my skirt, they wouldn’t let me work on a book that had nothing to offer.

Writing makes me myopic. It’s easy for me to think doom and gloom about my work. So I trust my critique partners to help me discern whether my perceptions of failure are accurate.

Third, I take a break. If I am under a deadline, that break might be for a few hours. If I have the luxury, I step away for a week in order to gain a fresh perspective.

Most of us struggle with some degree of discouragement. You don’t win victory by never having such feelings, but by resisting them. By overcoming and fulfilling your destiny.

In the Field of Grace cover Tessa copyPowerful advice, Tessa. Now, before we go, please tell us about your next project.

My next book, In the Field of Grace, a novel based on the story of Ruth is due out in July 2014. I have always been drawn to the Book of Ruth. Why does God choose so many outsiders to be in the lineage of His Son? Why this barren, destitute Moabite widow? There must have been more suitable candidates available in Israel that year! And yet God’s criteria for being chosen, loved, and redeemed are not ours.

Oh Tessa, I love the story of Ruth and often use it to encourage women that God can use all of us, no matter what we’ve come from. Thank you for the reminder. I can’t wait to read that book, either!

And thank you for joining us today at The Christian Writer’s Den. It’s been a joy to hear your story and learn from you!

Vonda, it’s been a pleasure visiting you on your wonderful blog.

Readers, be sure to check out Tessa’s bio below and then leave a message for her. Be sure to check back next week to see if you win a free book!

And for those who want to go ahead and order your own copies, here are direct Amazon links for Tessa’s books: Harvest of Gold, In the Field of Grace, Harvest of Rubies, and Pearl in the Sand. 

Bio: Tessa Afshar’s book, Harvest of Rubies was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award (formerly known as the Gold Medallion) in the fiction category. World Magazine chose Harvest of Rubies as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel, Harvest of Gold was nominated for the 2014 Christy Award. Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fifteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Norma Gil cover

And Who Won Norma Gail’s Book?

What fun it is to give away another book this week! So who did Random.org chose as this week’s winner? It’s Rene` Diane Aube! Congratulations, Rene! Just contact me with your snail mail address and Tessa will send your book right out to you!

And for those who are ready to order your book, you can get Norma Gail’s Land of My Dreams here.

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Thank you for stopping by this week, my friends. I hope you were encouraged and learned something today. I know I did!

Happy reading and writing!

Vonda

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