Category Archives: MoGo7000

Chip MacGregor: Ask the Agent, Kudos & MoGo7000 Call-Outs & Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book?

Chip MacGregor headshot2If you’re not following agent Chip MacGregor’s blog, I have three words for you: You need to. Chip is a top-notch literary agent and president of MacGregor Literary. He works with both the Christian and general market and loves sharing his snarky-laced words of wisdom with writers. I’m telling you now, you don’t want to miss his annual Bad Poetry Contest in May–what a fun way to celebrate his birthday!

Today, I’m thrilled to share a recent question submitted to Chip’s Ask the Agent blog series. Great advice for those who are serious about writing. But watch out, you must have your humor hat on or you may not get it.

Thanks, Chip!

Excerpt from Chip MacGregor’s blog series, Ask the Agent: “What 10 editorial mistakes do most novice authors make?”

I suppose if you asked this of ten agents, you’d probably get a hundred total answers, but here are my pet peeves with newbie authors:

  • Too many exclamation points!!!
  • A proposal that has not been proof-red
  • Overpromising, as in “This proposal will sell a billion copies!”
  • FEELING A NEED TO PUT LOTS OF WORDS IN ALL CAPS.
  • Random numbering in an outline.
  • I did this, I did that, I did this other thing, I, I, I.
  • Random commas, that make no, sense.
  • A failure to understand how to properly use “quotation” marks. (Also parentheses. And their attached punctuation).
  • Failing to understand the difference between its and it’s (or there and their and they’re).
  • The manuscript is passive due to the author.

Hint for the humor impaired: There are intentional errors in that list. If you see one, don’t send me aHow Can I Find A Literary Agent cover scolding note or you’ll be banned from the blog. It’s a joke. I know you don’t get it. Just trust me – others find it funny. 

Friends, I hope you learned something about agents and what they’re NOT looking for. And if you’re a writer interested in finding out more agent answers to your questions, check out Chip’s new book, How Can I Find A Literary Agent? And 101 Other Questions Asked by Writers .

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Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on 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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Call for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in March, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your March results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in March. (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 2015 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 10 months and you’ll have 10 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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And Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book, Mercy’s Rain?Cindy Sproles Mercys Rain cover

The winner is…drumroll, please…

Cindy Patterson!

Congratulations, Cindy (Patterson)! I’m so happy for you and I know you’re going to love this book. Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Cindy (Sproles) will get the book right out to you. (Hmmm…could this be a Cindy conspiracy?) :-)

Well, for those of you who are not named Cindy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Mercy’s Rain. I know–and you know–you want your own copy!

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Thanks for Tweeting!

Ask Agent Chip MacGregor, Call-Outs & Cindy Sproles’ Mercy’s Rain winner. #amwriting @MacGregorLit @VondaSkelton (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for another 1st Tuesday. I can’t wait to see you back next week to meet another author and to celebrate our successes together!

Happy writing!

Vonda

 

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CC Registration Opened March 1 & We’re Already Half Full, Call-Outs & Book Winner

christian-communicators-promo-cove-2015Registration is Now Open for The Christian Communicators Conference for Speakers–And We’re Filling Up Fast!

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!

Thanks for Tweeting!

Christian Communicators #Speaking #Training is filling up fast! Aug 26-30. $ help deadline April 1. http://bit.ly/1EGCqxl (Click to Tweet)

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Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on 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 2015 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 2015 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 11 months and you’ll have 11 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.

Thanks for Tweeting!

Writing a book? You could win $100 in the MoGo7000 Writing Challenge! @VondaSkelton Christian Writer’s Den #amwriting http://bit.ly/18Hw6cJ (Click to Tweet)

Cynthia Simmons WWO cover

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And Who Won Cynthia Simmons’ Book?

According to Random.org, the winner is…

Judith Robl!

Congratulations, Judith! All you need to do is contact me with your mailing address and Cynthia will get her book right out to you!

And I know there are lots of you out there who also want to read Cynthia’s book, so here is a direct Amazon link to Cynthia Simmons’ Women Who Overcame.

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Thank you for joining me for a new month at The Christian Writer’s Den. I appreciate you and your friendship as we strive to write words others need to read and hear.

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

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away, Kudos and MoGo7000 Results

Sheri Levy and dogsI’m thrilled to share Sheri Levy and her new book, Seven Days to Goodbye, with you today! Normally, this is where I tell you how I met Sheri, but she did such a good job in her interview that we’ll just let her explain it all!

Don’t forget to leave a comment for Sheri and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!

Sheri, welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den. Let’s start with an easy question: What inspired you to write?

For years I taught special education and tried to find the key to each child’s learning potential. Most of my students didn’t have a reading environment at home and it became my goal to instill their love of books. Each morning the students anticipated the continuation of a chapter book I read at the end of each day. They’d lean forward in their desks, hanging on to each word I read. When I retired, remembering their delight motivated me to write for children. I took my first pages to a SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) conference and discovered quickly, writing a book was different than writing a letter or an academic paper. I signed up for classes, discussions on writing, and met Vonda Skelton.

I remember that day very well! What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?

Beginning to write brought feelings of insecurity, questions–if this was a worthwhile desire? The biggest change in my life was writing for hours at a time, and giving-up free time with friends and my husband. I have kept my promise of turning off the computer at 5:00, most evenings! Receiving rejections broke my spirit. Luckily, after hearing Vonda speak about her rejections, and how she bounced back and continued sending them, I realized rejection was part of the writing career. She gave me hope, inspired me to work hard, and not give up.

I’m so glad that encouraged you, Sheri! How do you stay motivated?

I’d not be writing if it wasn’t for friends, new acquaintances, and my critique buddies supporting me. Once again, Vonda reached out to me. Was this a coincidence, or was God stepping in? Vonda knew I was writing about service dogs and she sent me an email. Her editor with Clubhouse Magazine wanted a story about a service dog that had changed a child’s life. I had already met Hayden, an eleven-year-old boy, walking with his Diabetic Alert dog in Walmart, and had interviewed him, completed his story, and was starting to query. After one revision, “Scent with Love” was published in Clubhouse Magazine, July, 2010. Another online friend, Sheila Webster Boneham, PhD, encouraged me to join the Dog Writers Association contest. In 2011, “Scent with Love” won a nomination for a Maxwell Medallion and won in their Special Interest category. Having my first article published was a thrill and a confidence builder.

How did Seven Days to Goodbye find publication?Sheri Levy book cover

I read about Barking Rain Press being open for submissions. I researched them, sent my query, and received a request for the entire manuscript. I had done this a number of times with no results, so I waited. Months later, while drinking coffee and watching the Today Show, I scrolled through my emails on my phone and noticed BRP’s name. I clicked on their email and read it. I lost my breath, handed the phone to my husband, and had him read the message out loud. The rest is history!

My young-YA novel, Seven Days to Goodbye, is my heart book. With permission, I share Carol Baldwin’s description from her October blog.

“What do you get when you mix together a week on Edisto Island with a puppy raiser and her best friend connecting to guys for the first time, protecting a loggerhead turtle’s nest, finding her service dog relating to a young boy with autism, and agonizing over what comes next. You get the ingredients for Seven Days to Goodbye.” Carol Baldwin

Do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to share?

Writers need a thick skin. After the story is completed and revised, send it to reputable blogs that generate contests and critiques. My favorites are Adventures in YA Publishing and Pitch Wars.

Take a break from the computer–do normal activities, allowing your brain to think and create.

Do Not Give Up! Start something new. Change Genres. But keep writing!

Great tips, Sheri! Thanks again for being with us today and sharing your writing journey with us. Best wishes for much success for your book!

And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Sheri and you could win a free book. Be sure to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Bio: Sheri Levy taught Special Ed for sixteen years, a Family Learning Program for nine years, and continues to tutor students once a week. She has two amazing adult children, two brilliant grand boys, and after raising four other dogs, now has two younger Australian Shepherds. Her most favorite activities besides reading and writing are her dogs, having her toes in a sandy beach, music, movies and ice cream. www.sherislevy.com

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Who do we get to celebrate with today?

Kudos to these Christian Writer’s Den writers for doing the work and finding success!

1.  Cathy Baker (SC): My story on a past miscarriage will be included in Chicken Soup of the Soul: Hope & Miracles, on sales February 10. (Vonda here: That’s TODAY! What a great way to celebrate with you!)

2.  Tammy Whitehurst (TX): 1)The United Methodist Publishing House just bought a 5th article from me. 2)I also wrote and sold a greeting card to Warner Press. 3)And I have been invited to speak at Gatesville Women’s Prison again. There is nothing that compares to it! I invite all of you to my daily devotional on Facebook. The page is filled with giggles and grins and a whole lot of God! Connect on FB at https://www.facebook.com/JoyForTheJourneyMinistry

3.  Beth Fortune (SC): 1)I had two more devotions accepted at ChristianDevotions.us; 2)I had another article accepted in Reach Out Columbia; 3)I was recently a guest blogger at the Christian Communicators blog!

Congratulations to these writers! Don’t see your own name on the list? Be sure to check back next week when I’ll have a whole new list of writing opportunities!

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Who were the first ones to earn entries into the 2015 MoGo7000 drawing for $100?

#1: Joan Hall – 7,055 words
#2: Suan Baganz – 16,866 words

Congratulations, Joan and Susan! You’re both off to a great start! And readers, don’t forget, every month you write at least 7000 new words on a book project, you can earn an entry. So what are you waiting for? Get to work!

And if you’re interested in finding out how you might win $100, check out the MoGo7000 Challenge page.

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Thanks for joining me today. Without you, it’d be a pretty lonely place. I appreciate you and pray for you and your work.

Blessings,

Vonda

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Write Your Book & Win $100 with MoGo7000, Call-Outs, & Who Won Lori Hatcher’s Book?

mogo7000 logoWith the new year off and running, I thought today would be a good day to highlight MoGo7000, my monthly–and yearly–writing challenge created to help you write your book. The very first MoGo7000 kicked off in January 2011, and so far I’ve given away $400 in cold, hard cash! The 2015 challenge is now underway and you’re invited to join in!

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to find time to write. We’re all busy. Love and work and family and friends and responsibilities are important and necessary parts of our lives, and they sometimes don’t leave much time for writing a 60,000 to 100,000-word book.

There are many ways to set and reach goals, but we each have to find a system that works for us. Is 500 words a day enough? What about 50,000 a month? Through the years of writing, I’ve discovered that 7000 words a month is a reasonable, achievable  goal. After all, even if we can only write one day a week, most of us could pound out 7000 words in a month. So…

I want to introduce to you MoGo7000! (Do you get it? Monthly Goal 7000)

It’s simple! Write 7000 words in a month and you’ll earn an entry for the end-of-the-year drawing for $100! Meet the goal every month and at the end of a year you’ll have 12 entries AND 84,000 words. Even if you miss the goal here or there, you could still end up with a book-length manuscript. And if you write books for teens or tweens, you might even have TWO books!

Here’s the complete scoop:

1.     Set a goal of writing 7000 words a MONTH on a book project. Even if you can’t write for a chunk of the month, you could most likely meet the goal by seriously writing on those days you can.

2.     You must write new words each month. Yes, rewriting is important to writing a good book, but rewriting the previous month’s words will not count toward your 7000 goal. This does NOT have to be a new project. You can count the words you write beginning today–even if you’re already halfway through the book!

3.     Your 7000 words must be on a book project. Of course you’re free to write as many articles or blog posts or anything else you can each month, but those words will not count toward your 7000-word book goal.

4.     Leave a comment on the first blog post of The Christian Writer’s Den each month, letting me know you met the goal the previous month. Yes, we’re all trusting each other to be honest here. After all, if you

Photo courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

can’t trust Christians to tell the truth, who can you trust?

5.     For each month you meet your goal of 7000 words, you earn an entry for the drawing at the end of the year. Didn’t make it one month? Don’t worry, you’ll have eleven more months to meet the deadline and be entered–again and again!

6.     You can join any time during the year.

7.     The contest ends December 31, 2015.

8.     The winner will be chosen by Random.org, a random integer generator and announced on The Christian Writer’s Den blog!

9.      It’s all FREE!

So, are you ready to join me? If so, take a leap of faith and leave a comment to this blog, letting me know you’re on board. It’d be great to know what category you’re writing, too. Remember, writing the goal is essential to meeting it.

And don’t worry, nobody’s going to harass you or embarrass you or make you feel like a failure if you miss your goal. Either way, you win because you’ll write words that would never have been written if you hadn’t set the goal in the first place.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do it! The month starts…NOW!

Would you share the MoGo7000 Challenge with your writing friends?

TWEETABLE

Write your book & you could win $100 – It’s free with MoGo7000 Challenge @VondaSkelton Christian Writer’s Den  (Click to Tweet)

Thanks!

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Free photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s time to hear about your Kudos!

Okay, friends, now it’s time to hear from you! 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 January?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in January, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

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

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Who Won Lori Hatcher’s Book?

The winner is…Carol Heilman! Carol, please contact me with your snail mail address and Lori will send your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win Lori’s new book, here’s a direct Amazon link to Hungry for God, Starving for Time: 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. You know you want your own copy!

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Thanks for stopping by today, friends. I can’t wait to see what you’ve already been up to in 2015!

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

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Linda Goldfarb, Kudos, & Who Won $100 in the MoGo7000 Challenge?

Linda Barn headshotWow, do we have a jam-packed day today! First up: Linda Goldfarb…

Friends, you can’t imagine how excited I am to introduce Linda Goldfarb to you! As you’ll see in the interview, we go wayyyy back to our much earlier days of writing and speaking. We’ve both experienced the joys and sorrows of living the writer/speaker life…and we wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Be sure to leave a comment for Linda and you’ll be in the drawing for a free copy of her new Bible study, Loving the ME God Sees. Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Okay, let’s get started! Linda, welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den. You and I go way back to the Glorieta Christian Writer’s Conference days, also as trainers with CLASSEMINARS Inc., and I was a guest on your radio show, Not Just Talkin’ the Talk, many years ago. We’ve shared a lot of road on our journey and now you’ve released your first Bible study. These are exciting times!

Ha ha, yes we have so many stories we could talk about for sure, Vonda! Thank you for the opportunity to be here with your readers, it’s an honor for me to be on the other end of the interview especially with you as the host!Loving the Me God Sees cover Linda Goldfarb

What inspired you to write a Bible study for women on Relational Transparency in Loving the ME God Sees?

Seriously, I never had the intention of writing a book, let alone a Bible study. I’m one of those speakers who writes magazine articles, online columns, personal/professional blogs, and yes, I have co-authored an eBook with Kim Garrison called, The Art of The Interview: Before, During, and After the Interview Strategies for Writers, Speakers, and Leaders, but a Bible study was never on my radar.

If it’s okay with you Vonda, I’d like to touch on two concepts leading to my book; our fear of exposure…or being transparent, and God’s will for our best.

Transparency is something we usually run away from, and being truthful, I ran from it with style. As a professional speaker/actress, I had the knack to disguise hurt, pain, shame, and low self-esteem with humor, a quick wit, redirection and if need be, withdrawing from situations that made me vulnerable to exposure. You’re a great actress yourself, so I’m sure you know where I’m coming from.

Linda Goldfarb communicationI knew there were things in my life, my past, that I had to face or let go of, but covering it up and using humor seemed more Christian-like—I became very comfortable with the phrase, “I’m fine. Everything is good. No worries.” Over the years of speaking and coaching I realized women around the globe suffered as I did…especially women in the church.

Several years ago, God’s will brought me face-to-face with our mutual friend, Georgia Shaffer. Without going into a lot of detail concerning our discussion at a CLASS Seminar event, Georgia’s words, “Linda, until you allow others to see your pain, you are limiting God’s impact on their lives and yours” struck me hard.

My gut reaction to her words put me in a defense mode, “Seriously Georgia, people don’t want to hear about my hurts, my pain, my challenges. They want to laugh and be entertained. People really don’t care.”

I walked away from our meeting with an unpleasant taste in my mouth and an unsettling feeling in my heart. Georgia was right. You see, in truth, I was very afraid to be real. Afraid of what others might think. I’m a professional; I should have it all together, right?

I’ve found God’s will is most evident in the scary moments of our lives. When we’re asked to step out on that unseen bridge of faith trusting Him more than we fear the world.Linda Goldfarb affirmation

Would you share with my friends the story of how the book came to be published?

In September of 2009 during my morning quiet time, God prompted me to write a Bible study. What transpired over the next two months is too long to share during this interview, let’s just say I had a two-by-four spiritual awakening to God’s best for me.

I began writing and teaching, at that time the study was called Walking Faith-Full, based on the Book of James. God literally provided seven women who met with me faithfully over the course of 13-weeks to complete the study. After that we opened the study to my church. At one point the women attending asked for the study title to be changed, as walking faith-full didn’t quite hit the mark. The result was Loving the ME God Sees.

In 2014, I approached our friend Cheri Cowell of Living Parables Inc/EABooks. about publishing the study as a POD and eBook. Her team worked with me all through the process and I love the results.

My encouragement to your readers: don’t allow your fears to overshadow God’s best in your life. If His will is for you to write a book, an article, a Bible study or whatever, be alert to life and He will affirm your calling. Then walk boldly through the door He opens trusting He has His best waiting around the corner… never give up.

Warrior Sisters Linda GoldfarbI just love that story! And I love Cheri Cowell, too. :-) A two-by-four moment, isn’t that just like God? Now, before we go, would you tell us what’s next for you?

I’m still speaking at retreats and emceeing events as the Lord allows. As a board certified Christian life coach, I’m blessed to work with women, couples, and parents helping them grow from good living to God’s best life. My hubby, Sam and I co-teach Parenting Awesome Kids in our church each week and I’m also writing a couple more books. One for my sisters-in-Christ called, His Warrior Sisters: Standing Strong for Faith, Family & Freedom, and the second is the I CARE Guide for Parents: Bite-sized Child-caring Principles for Busy Parents.

Thanks for being with us today, Linda. And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and you’ll be in the drawing for a free copy of her book, Loving the ME God Sees. Just check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

BIO: As a national speaker and board certified life coach, Linda Goldfarb empowers women, parents & grandparents to move forward with hope & possibility when life changes. Linda is the author of Loving the ME God Sees: Peeling Back the Layers to Experience a Heart of Transparency. She has over 200 published articles covering physical, relational, and spiritual wellness. Linda is the mother of four adult children, Maw-Maw to six-grandies, and wife to her incredible partner in ministry, Sam. She is the Women’s Ministry Director at First Baptist Church of Universal City, Texas, and founder/instructor of Parenting Awesome Kids. Linda loves her life in the Texas hill country where she and Sam reside with four country dogs! www.Lindagoldfarb.com linda@lindagoldfarb.com

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It’s time to celebrate YOU with our Christian Writer’s Den Kudos!

Congratulations to the following CWD friends who’ve been doing the work and finding success:

1. Cheryl Barker (KS): My article “From Generation to Generation” appeared in the December issue of War Cry. Also, my article “Verbs of the Proverbs 31 Woman” was accepted for publication by Evangel, and my article “Propelled by Mother Love” was accepted for publication in the upcoming spring issue of The Lutheran Digest.

2. Brenda McGraw (SC): Brenda began her blog, AskGodToday.com, in 2013, but in recent months has added some excellent writers to her line-up.

3. Dr. Michelle Bengtson (TX): Michelle is offering a free webinar, “10 Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues” on Tuesday, January 27 at 7:30pmCT. Click here to register for “10 Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues.”

4. Sheri Levy (SC): Sheri’s YA novel, Seven Days to Goodbye, was released in the fall. (I’m so sorry I apparently missed including this earlier. Please forgive me!) You can read more about the book at Sheri’s website and here’s a link to her book trailer

Congratulations, Cheryl, Brenda, Michelle, and Sheri! And friends, if you need help finding success in publishing, be sure to return next week when I’ll be sharing writing opportunities and conferences with you!

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And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . Who won the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge?

Well, before I announce the winner, let me share some exciting statistics with you:

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  1. Would you believe over half a million new words were written on book projects and reported by Christian Writer’s Den friends in 2014? The grand total was 517,772 words!
  2. Nine writers participated in the 2014 challenge.
  3. I know several books came out of these months of writing, but I don’t know how many.
  4. And I know one writer is going to be $100 richer. :-)

Congratulations to all the writers who worked hard and made progress in their book projects this year!

So, are you ready to see who won $100 to spend as desired? Drum roll, please…Random.org says the winner of the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge is…

Joan Hall!

Woo-hoo, Joan! Congratulations! Now, I just need you to contact me with your snail mail address and I’ll get that check right out to you!

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Don’t forget–the 2015 MoGo7000 Challenge is now underway! You could write a book this year and possibly win $100, too!

That’s right, the MoGo7000 Challenge is open to everyone, and it’s free! Check out the page for complete details, but the bottom line is I want to help you write your book this year, and one of the best ways I know to do it is to entice you with cash. :-)

It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s all for you. Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge details and then get to work. Every month you can win an entry. The more months you meet the challenge, the more entries you receive.

So what are you waiting for?

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Well, that’s it for another Celebration Tuesday. I hope you’ve been encouraged today to write the words you were created to write!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Call for Kudos and MoGo Totals, Win $100 with 2015 MoGo7000 and Who Won Allison Flexer’s Book?

newspapersCall for Kudos for the Past Few Months!

Okay, friends, it’s time for us to celebrate YOU and celebrate EACH OTHER! After all, that’s the goal of The Christian Writer’s Den–to encourage and instruct writers.

In order to do that, I need to hear from you! It doesn’t matter how small it may seem to you or how recently it’s been, every step forward is a step that leads to the next one.

So I 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. Everybody’s welcome to share.

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mogo

It’s Time to Earn Your LAST Entry for the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge!

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

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

And remember, the winner isn’t the person who wrote the most words, it’s simply the person Random.org selects from the qualifying entries.

I can’t wait to see who wins the $100 cash prize next week! It could be YOU!

Now Open FDP Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2015 MoGo7000 Writing Challenge Has Begun–YOU Could Win $100 in Cash!

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2015 challenge is now 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. AND IT’S ALL FREE!

Each month you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month in 2015 and you receive one entry. Reach it all 12 months and you receive 12 entries! At the beginning of 2016, a winning entry will be selected at Random.org and the winner will receive $100 in cash to use as he or she desires.

And just think, whether you win the money or not, at the end of the year, you could have a completed book, or at least be well on your way to one…and it doesn’t cost you a cent. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

So what are you waiting for? Sit down and get to work. Be sure to mark your beginning and ending for the month, so you’ll know how many words your wrote, then report them when I post the call-out each month.

Isn’t this fun?Allison Flexer book cover tlsw

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Who Won Allison Flexer’s Book, Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman?

Random.org says the winner is…Bitsy Rawlings! Yay, Bitsy! Now, all you have to do is contact me with your snail mail address and Allison will have your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s a direct Amazon link to Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman, by Allison Flexer!

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Well, that does it for another first Tuesday. What fun to be with you! Don’t forget to check back next week to catch up on all your friends, see who won the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge cash, and learn about a new book from author and speaker Linda Goldfarb!

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

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Marie Senter and Kudos & MoGo7000 Results

Marie Senter headshotToday is the 2nd Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to talking with author Marie Senter and celebrating your successes!

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Interview with Marie Senter

Marie and I first met at the Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference where I was her writing coach as part of the Get Published Now seminar. She brought a rough copy of the true story of the time she, as an industrial nurse, saved the life of a severely injured worker. She worked hard on the piece and turned it into a print-worthy article.

Be sure to leave a comment for Marie and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den, Marie! I’ll never forget how thrilled I was to meet another RN who’s also a writer.

Thank you for having me. As a nurse, I’m still asking myself Cec Murphey’s question: Am I a nurse who writes, or am I a writer who nurses? My answer is, “YES!” I love nursing, and it gives me the economic base to support my writing. Both are God-given passions.

I know what those passions feel like and agree that they’re both God-given! So how long have you been writing?

Mom and Dad would read to us six kids and encouraged us to write our own plays. I believe reading is essential to writing. The combination of memory, wild imagination and the ability to correlate the unrelated defines my style. For instance, one of my high school English assignments turned into a story read over the local 50,000 watt radio station every Christmas Eve for many years.

A high school writing assignment at Christmas time?

Yes, I used a well-known story about a baby born in a stable and placed in a manger. The difference is that my story is told by the straw in the manger with appropriate hay-seed phrases. It has been printed in two different church advent booklets. I’m told it is still part of many Christmas Eve family gatherings.

The Christmas story told by the straw? Now that’s a unique POV! Is your writing confined to short stories?TRESTLE Book One Classroom Edition

The 3-by-5 spiral notebook with my first childhood adaptations still exists. The poems I’ve written have rhyme, rhythm, and a storyline, such as “Suicide” (a college friend), and “A Woman Is…” (ideals plus reality). Twice, newspapers printed my reviews of locally produced musicals, and twice, obituaries: My first husband, diagnosed with leukemia, went heavenward 22 months after our marriage. Our story of life and his death is the lead story in I Believe in Heaven, the recent Cec Murphey/Twila Belk book. Five years later, I wrote a second obituary when a blood clot broke loose, and I became a widow again. Chicken Soup for the Soul printed the story I adapted when my sister encountered breast cancer.

What writing projects have you written and what are you working on now?

Following the example of a petite, gifted author from South Carolina who mentored me at my first big writers’ conference, and with encouragement to “write what you know,” I am polishing Book Three of a mystery trilogy for kids. My mentor wrote of a girl from a loving family who managed to get into and out of situations that skirted disaster. My adaptation is the Trestle over No Name Creek series set in any small town, l960. Junior high kids form a gang and survive “normal for l960” society, culture, and grown-up attitudes. Once chapter one is absorbed, the next chapters build until the very last pages answer the mystery: In Book One, was old man Frank’s death an accident, or was their dark-skinned old friend’s death a murder?  Book Two combines a reclusive old man and a l960’s delinquent with the Meanderthallers in the middle. Book Three―read it and “go figure.” Written for school kids of all ages, the series has no test questions. Instead, the back of each book has an insert with chapter-by-chapter Research Projects. Example: “What’s a trestle?”

This sounds like an interesting series for kids. You must have had a wise mentor! (Hahahaha!) I’m thrilled to see Trestle Over No Name Creek: Book Two has just been released in Kindle version. Congrats!

And our last question: Would you tell us the quick version of your road to publication of your novels?

three books illusAll the writers’ conferences I attended, the publishers, agents, and interviews resulted in zero interest. So once again, d.D.i.–direct Divine intervention–stepped in. It came in the form of a local man who had survived a heart attack, had his books rejected, who then studied Publishing101, and formed his own publishing house. He walked up to me at a local writers’ group and said he wanted to publish my book. After prayer and research, I accepted. My editor is a lifetime Bible teacher friend who has “caught my voice” and shares her gifts of placing punctuation where I do dot-dot-dot.

Yes, I’m very familiar with your dot-dot-dot form of punctuation. :-) We writers are thankful for our editors, aren’t we? Thank you again for being with us today, Marie. Blessings as you continue Book Three of your series!

And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Marie and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book, but don’t forget to check back next week to see if you win!

Bio: Writing since grade school, Marie has produced stories, poems, books, and has been published in school and local newspapers. In college, five of her class writing assignments ended up in print. As a professional nurse, she has written, done art work, and designed curriculum for health topics, aiding fellow nurses and other staff, prn. In addition, she has taught child development seminars for child care workers’ accreditation. Adding medical worker in clinics and hospice to speaker, artist, and teacher, Marie continues to serve with God-given abilities.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Our Kudos are Short and Sweet This Month, but It’s a BIG One!

Edie Melson has just signed a contract with Worthy Publishing for her newest book for military families: While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With a Loved One in the Military. The publication launch date is July 4, 2015.

Congratulations to my long-time writing buddy, Edie!

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Who Qualified for a November Entry in the 2014 MoGo7000 Challenge?

Congrats to these four hard-writing writers who wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in the mogo7000 logomonth of November:

#23: Tim Suddeth – 8,483 words
#24: Glenda Mills – 7,200 words
#25: Susan Baganz – 64,746 words
#26: Joan Hall – 20,000 words

Would you believe these four writers wrote 100,429 words in one month! Congratulations, writers!

And readers, if you want to learn how to enter the challenge, simply check out the MoGo7000 Challenge page. You have 1 more opportunity to reach a monthly goal and win an entry before the $100 drawing in January!

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Well, that does it for another December Tuesday. I hope today’s post encouraged you to do what it takes to reach your goals in 2015.

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver!

Vonda

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The Red Pen is My Friend, Call-Outs, & Laury Davis Book Winner

Image courtesy of IdeaGo/FreeDigitalPhoto.net

Image courtesy of IdeaGo/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy December! Let’s start with a lesson I had to learn…one that will benefit you as well. Repeat after me: The Red Pen is My Friend, The Red Pen is My Friend…

Every time I return from teaching at a writers conference, my Inbox is full. The comments are everything from “Now I know how to make my writing better” to “I quit–I must not be a writer.”

I can’t help but smile. I could be reading my own words, spoken at different times in my writing journey. I hate to admit it, but when I first began this journey, I thought anyone who saw a need for improvement in my writing was just . . . well . . . wrong!

When I wrote my first book, I wanted to show it to everybody. But not because I wanted their input or their help. Not because I wanted to make it better. Not because I wanted to learn how to write well–after all, I already WAS a great writer!

Nope, when I first started writing, I didn’t want to hear anything but praise. I wanted to hear how great my writing was and how it was going to hit the literary jackpot. How it was going to revolutionize the children’s book industry and how producers were going to be groveling at my feet, begging me to let them make the very first Bitsy movie!

That’s not what happened.

The first time I had my work critiqued by somebody who knew what they were doing, I was shocked! Didn’t they know what a good writer I was?

Apparently not. Every page–no, every paragraph–well, actually most every line–had a red mark! What was wrong with that editor? Didn’t she recognize good writing when she saw it? It was obvious to me that this person just didn’t get my work.

So I moved on, sending it out to other editors and publishers. Oh, I made a few minor changes–after all, I could see that my manuscript might possibly need a little tweak here and there. But didn’t they understand that you don’t mess with someone’s story? Didn’t they understand that it was MY story, not theirs?

For years, I worked with this attitude. And no, I’m not proud of it.

Whatever we’re called to do–whether doctors or cosmetologists or writers–we need to work hard at our craft. We need to know our stuff. We need to take the training, learn the lessons, and embrace the critique in order to be the best doctor or cosmetologist or writer we can be.

So now, after many years in the industry, when someone reads my stuff, I feel cheated if they simply say, “That’s great! I love it!” In order to get better, to reach more people with my words, I need to create the best quality work I possibly can.

Your stamp of approval on my sloppy work would not help me achieve that goal.

I pray that you don’t waste the years I wasted, trying to convince myself that I was right and everyone else was wrong. I pray that you quickly develop a heart that yearns for correction so that your words can be worthy words; words that you–and God–don’t have to be ashamed of.

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If we correctly handle the truth of our words, then perhaps we will have the opportunity to correctly handle The Truth of His Words.

And what an awesome opportunity that would be!

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It’s time to hear about your Kudos!

Okay, friends, now it’s time to hear from you! 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!

mogo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in November?

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

And yes–NaNoWriMo totals can be entered!

To report your November results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in November. (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. Didn’t meet the goal in November? No problem! Start writing today and you could earn an extra $100 in January–and it doesn’t cost you a cent! Laury Davis book cover

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Who Won Laury Davis’ Bible Study, In Pursuit of Happiness?

The winner is…Dianne Boyette! Congrats, Dianne! Now, all you need to do is contact me with your snail mail address and Laury will get your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, I know you’re going to want your own copy of Laury’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to In Pursuit of Happiness. You don’t want to miss this opportunity!

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Well, that does it for another first Tuesday. I hope you’ll come back on Friday as we take a look at God’s Word and a message He has just for us.

I pray God’s blessing as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Interview and Book Give-Away with Cheryl Ricker & Who Earned Another MoGo7000 Entry?

Cheryl Ricker in white

(I hope y’all don’t mind, but since there was a problem with the server and several wrote to tell me that they couldn’t see the great interview with Cheryl Ricker, I’m reposting it again. I don’t want you to miss this powerful post about an amazing miracle! I hope you understand.)

It’s the 2nd Tuesday, time to learn about another book from author Cheryl Ricker, have a chance to win a free book, and celebrate our Christian Writer’s Den family success!

 

First of all, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Cheryl Ricker and share her incredibly amazing book, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, co-written with Ema McKinley, and published by Zondervan. If you’ve ever doubted, this interview and book will assure you that God is still in the miracle business!

Don’t miss Cheryl’s bio below, but I’ll just say here that Cheryl and I met years ago, I believe it was at an Advanced Writers and Speakers Association conference in Denver, CO. She is a beautiful young woman, inside and out, and I’m blessed to call her my friend!

Let’s get started, but don’t forget to leave a comment for Cheryl and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!

Welcome, Cheryl. Thanks for joining us today. First of all, would you tell us about what it’s like to be a collaborator?

I’d be happy to. First of, it was a huge answer to prayer that God even chose me. I asked him to put it on Ema’s heart and that’s exactly what he did. He spoke to Ema in the middle of the night and told her, “Pick Cheryl Ricker to write your book.” And I’ll never stop thanking him for that.Cheryl Ricker cover Rush of Heaven

A collaborator is a lot like being an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer all rolled up into one. As the producer, you need to pull together all your resources, your research, and all the different people you need to interview. As the director, you need to figure out all the people you’d like to have in the story. Then you need to plan how you’d like to include them. As a screenwriter, you need to map out the all the scenes, conversations, and dialogue. And finally, as the actor, you need to become your main character. You need to need to think like her, feel like her, and act like her—so you can pull it off to write like her.

Great analogy. Speaking of scenes, can you tell me your favorite scene in Rush of Heaven?

I love all the scenes, I really do. But I think my favorite scene, besides the big miracle scene itself, is when Ema surprises her sons and grandsons after her miracle healing on Christmas Eve. For some reason, that one makes my husband cry a little more than the other scenes, and I love making my husband cry—about good things.

Cheryl and Ema with their book, Rush of Heaven

Cheryl and Ema with their book, Rush of Heaven

But think of it: You have this crooked woman who has been confined to a wheelchair for more than sixteen years. She has never been able to really give her grandchildren a decent hug. All of sudden, she’s standing in front of them with her arms wide open. Okay, go grab me some more tissues.

Me, too, Cheryl! I’m curious, are you anything like Ema McKinley? And was it difficult to get inside her head and write her story?

We have our similarities, but when it comes right down to it, Ema and I are quite different in the way we think, act, and speak.

Because of this, I just needed to “learn” how to get into her mind. And that came from listening to her voice in my ears umpteen hours a day. As I listened to the MP3s of my interviews, it didn’t take long before I found myself catching her phrases in everyday speech. I said “oh my goodness” more, and “absolutely.”  And “I just thank my Jesus.”

I became a little Ema impersonator.

By the time I finished writing Rush of Heaven, Ema told me, “It’s like we’re one voice.” And I couldn’t agree with her more.

What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

I want readers to know that our loving Creator is right there, smack in the middle of their ashes, ready to piece them back together and give them a smokin’ wild story for his glory.

And I want people to know that you can’t put God in a box.  If he truly never changes, he can truly heal people today.

Amen, Cheryl, amen! Friends, here’s Ema McKinley’s interview with CBN.com. A great way to end this interview. You won’t believe what you see!

YouTube Preview Image

 

Thank you for joining us here today, Cheryl. And readers, if you’d like to win a copy of Rush of Cheryl Ricker in whiteHeaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, simply leave a comment for Cheryl or Ema, and you’ll be in the drawing. Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

You can get your own copy of Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus here!

Bio: Cheryl Ricker has an honors degree in creative writing from York University in Toronto, Ontario. She studied theology at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, where she participated in drama outreach, street evangelism, and prison ministry. She is the author of three books, including Rush of Heaven, A Friend in the Storm, and Kernels of Hope. She’s also published news stories, poetry, articles, and devotionals, and speaks to audiences of all ages on trusting God’s love, expecting the impossible, and growing in intimacy with Jesus. To learn more about Cheryl, feel free to sign up for her Fresh Air Blog at http://www.CherylRicker.com

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mogo7000 logoSusan Baganz has another new MoGo7000 entry!

That’s right–Susan has earned another entry for the $100 in cold, hard cash! (Well, it’ll actually be a check, but hey, she can take it to the bank and have it turn into cold, hard cash, right?)

So, #22 is Susan Baganz with 15,719 words

Friends, don’t forget–NaNoWriMo totals also work for MoGo7000 totals, so you could have a double blessing just by working on your book this month!

Don’t know what we’re talking about? Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge page and you could be in the drawing for November and December…and maybe you’ll be $100 richer in January!

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Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headline Tuesday. Be sure to return next week to see who won Cheryl’s book and to see a new list of writing opportunities compiled just for you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Call-Outs for Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals and Who Won Emily Chase’s Book?

newspapersFirst of all, it’s time to hear about your Kudos and MoGo7000 Totals!

Okay, friends, now it’s time to hear from you! 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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mogo

Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in October?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in October, 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 October results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in October. (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 2 months and you’ll have 2 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. :-)

Collage~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Who Won Emily Chase’s Book?

The winner is…Cathy Baker–again! Wow, Random.org must like you, Cathy! I know I have your snail mail address, but if you’d contact me, it’d be so much easier. You know me and my organizational skills.

And for those who didn’t win, here are direct Amazon links to Emily’s books. They would be great books for ministry or Christmas gifts.

You, Me, and Who?
What Do I Say to a Friend Who’s Gay? Help, My Family’s Messed Up!
Why Say No When My Hormones Say Go?
Why Say No When My Hormones Say Go? (Spanish Edition)
Standing Tall After Falling Short

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Don’t forget to send in your results! And be sure to return next week to celebrate with each other and to have another chance to win a free book, this time from Cheryl Ricker!

Blessings, my friends…

Vonda

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