Category Archives: MoGo7000

Sustainable Writing: Research, Redo & Reuse, by Edie Melson – Call Out for Kudos & MoGo7000 – And Book Winner!

Recycle 3R PixabayVonda here: I admit, I’m not a great recycler. We don’t have recycle capability with our garbage pick up, so it’s not easy to make the best use of this worthwhile endeavor.

But garbage recycling isn’t the only thing I miss the mark on. I could do a much better job of recycling my words. Edie Melson is here today to show us the benefit of Sustainable Writing. Welcome, Edie!

Sustainable Writing: Research, Redo and Reuse

Sustainable Writing is the way I describe writing for a living. Having a regular income as a freelance writer requires multiple streams of income. Managing those streams and keeping them afloat is where the sustainable part happens. Just like the environment, we have to be good stewards of our time and resources as writers and business owners.

As a matter of fact, there is a lot we, as writers, can learn from the environmental awareness movement. If you don’t believe me, just substitute the word TIME for the word ENVIRONMENT and you’ll be surprised what becomes applicable.

When we think about sustainable writing, we need to have a recycling mindset. We should never waste anything. Say you’re doing research for an article titled, Remodel Your Kitchen. If you pay attention, you’ll find material to write several dozen articles. How about one called New Trends in Lighting Your Kitchen or Using Kitchen Cabinets in the Bathroom. Once you know where to look, the possibilities are endless.

This works with more than just research, you can repurpose articles–change them by 50 percent–and sell them as a new article to another source. Or, don’t change them at all and sell the reprint rights.

Here are some ways to apply this attitude to your writing.

  • Research – When you research a topic or person for an article or book, keep all your notes. I keep all mine in a single computer file. Within that file it’s important to have a document that lists all the websites you’ve visited to get your information. I’ve gotten in the habit of copying and pasting the web address into this document the first time I determine the importance of the webpage I visit. I also keep a transcript and/or notes from any interviews I conduct on the subject.
  • Rough Drafts – Many times when I’m writing an article it will start off way over the word count I need. I keep a copy of that first draft in my file before I start cutting it and revising it. Often I’ve come back to it and pulled parts out for a brand new article.
  • Related Subjects – I’ve also learned to make a list of possible related subjects while I’m working on an article. Frequently, when I’m writing an article, ideas for other articles will come to mind. When that happens I’ve learned to immediately make a note of my thought. If I wait, the idea often disappears.

So don’t waste your time starting from scratch with every article, and then using it only once. Research, redo, and reuse and you’ll be able to get much more mileage our of your words. Edie Melson, crop, high res

Edie Melson—author, editor and blogger—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. Her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers across the country.

She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a prolific writer, with numerous books and thousands of articles. Her popular writing blog, The Write Conversation, is a well known resource. Edie is the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, senior editor for Novel Rocket, and the social media mentor for My Book Therapy websites. She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts.org. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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It’s Time to Share Kudos of 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)

PLEASE let me hear from you. We want to celebrate your successes!

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

Who MoGo’d in April?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in April, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2016 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 on a book project 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 Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2016 challenge has lots of opportunities left for you. 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.

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Stranger On My Land cover Sandra Hart

And who won Sandra Hart’s book?

The winner is…

Ruth Allender!

Congrats, Ruth! Simply contact me with your email and snail mail addresses and Sandra will get your book right out to you!

And readers, since I know you want you own copy of Sandra Merville Hart’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award Finalist, here’s your direct Amazon link to A Stranger on My Land Kindle. And as I write this, it’s only $1.99!

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ccclogosmallOnly one more opening for Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in August!

Ladies, do you feel God is calling you to be a speaker? Or perhaps you already have a speaking ministry, but want to take it to the next level. If either of those are true, you’ll want to check out Christian Communicators Conference!

Could this last spot be for YOU?

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Another happy Tuesday to you! Be sure to come back next week to enjoy another teaching post and celebrate you and your friends’ successes!

Never give up!

Vonda

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Scriptwriting: Biblical Truth From the Stage and Let’s Celebrate Kudos & MoGo7000 Successes

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I love drama. I love how it visually projects truth in a non-confrontational way. I love how it can have us laughing one moment and contemplating the complex issues of life the next.

Jesus loved drama, too. His parables are truth presented in a visual, non-confrontational way. They have us laughing one moment (I mean, a camel going through the eye of a needle? Someone carrying around a log in his eye?) and contemplating the weight of sin the next.

Here are some things to consider if you feel called to write drama, whether for your church or for publication:

  1. What message do you want to get across? Just as with other kinds of writing, there must be a take-away. Do you want your audience to consider their choices? See Christ in a different way? See themselves as others see them?
  2. Use common events, actions, thoughts the audience can identify with. Jesus used equipment, people, careers, and needs common to the time and place.
  3. Create believable dialog. One of the biggest mistakes I see is addressing characters by name too often. Think about your own conversations. Do you repeat the other person’s name over and over in real conversation? No. And you shouldn’t in a script, either.
  4. Consider stage limitations. Consider stage space, mics, props, costumes, and casting. The more complex the needs, the less opportunity for others to use your script.
  5. Be sure to include a “Wow factor.” I often read scripts that are simply a retelling of events: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. That’s fine if you’re simply demonstrating a Bible story, but it’s not going to be enough if you’re creating a new story. There needs to be something that takes the common situation and creates an uncommon turn of events. Humor, absurdity, or shock; an unusual character or story development; and a surprise twist are all compelling “Wow factors” that can take your script from interesting to memorable.

Do you desire to write compelling drama that will draw others to Him? If so, I hope these guidelines will help you take the first steps to writing biblical truth that can be shared from the stage.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s celebrate with our friends!

Congratulations to the following Christian Writer’s Den friends who’ve been doing the work and finding success!

1. Kristi Woods (OK): Chicken Soup for the Soul highlighted my story, Tested, Not Arrested, on a recent Motivational Monday. To God be all the glory

2. Bonita Bandaries (LA): I have a feature article, Refresh Your Heart, Wellness Self-care Tips for Family Caregivers in The Minute Magazine, March-April edition

3. Susan M. Baganz (WI): Released my second novel at the end of January, Salsa & Speed Bumps, a romantic suspense. I have a novella due out in August and another novel (book #3 in this series) due out in September. Praying I might squeak a third in by the end of the year!

4. Gail Cartee (SC): I had a devo poem and two ideas for kids published last month. The poem was published by Refresh Bible Study Magazine. The kids ideas were published by DevoKids.

Congrats, writers!

And friends, if you didn’t have anything to share in our Kudos this month, be sure to check out the writing opportunities next week!

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

Who MoGo’d in March?

#8: Diana Leagh Matthews – 8,504 words
#9: Amanda Everett – 8,496 words

Way to go, Diana and Amanda! And readers, if you want to join in the fun and have a bunch of chances to win $100 at the end of the year, check out the MoGo7000 Challenge. It’s free!

 

Well, that does it for the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Be sure to return next week for another list of writing opportunities and conferences!

Happy writing,

Vonda

 

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Call for Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals and Who Won Ramona Richards’ Book?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the 1st Tuesday of April & time to gather your good news for Kudos & MoGo7000, and to announce the reader who won Ramona’s book!

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Call for Kudos!

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

Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in March?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in March, you’ll receive an entry in the drawing for the 2016 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 on a book project 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 Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2016 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. (Actually, Random.org selects the winner.) Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Just starting out? Don’t worry! Meet it the next 9 months and you’ll have 9 entries!

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

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Ramona Richards My Mother's Quilts coverAnd who won Ramona Richards’ book, My Mother’s Quilts: Devotions From a Legacy of Needlework

And the winner is…

Judy Taylor!

Congratulations, Judy! To receive your free copy of Ramona’s book, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Ramona will get the book right out to you!And for those who didn’t win, here’s a direct Amazon link to My Mother’s Quilts. It would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift! Don’t tell my moms, but they’re both getting a copy!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,Vonda

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We’re Celebrating YOU Today! And Christian Communicators Registration is Opening Soon!

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

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

Congratulations to the following Christian Writer’s Den friends who’ve been doing the work and finding success!

1. Cathy Baker (SC): I’ve been asked to be regular contributor to the Piedmont Women’s Center site. (Vonda here: I LOVE Piedmont Women’s Center, our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Thank you for reaching out to these precious mamas and babies!)

2. Cheryl Barker (KS): A poem of mine that’s been previously used by Blue Mountain Arts has been included in their new gift book compilation I Love You, Mom. It released February 1st.

3. Andrea Merrell (SC): I am very excited about being part of the faculty at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference (ACWC) in Marietta, GA in August. I will be teaching a workshop, meeting with conferees, and doing a short keynote. If you live in that area, I would love to see you there.

4. Beth Fortune (SC): I was asked to speak at a Mother-Daughter Banquet at a church in Monck’s Corner, SC in May.

5. Marilyn Nutter (SC): Had a dialog– The Owl Song– with her granddaughter, published in Wit
and Wisdom for the Wee Ones: A Whimsical Collection of Endearing Quips and Quotes compiled by Eileen Rife.

Friends, if you didn’t have anything to share in our Kudos this month, be sure to check out the writing opportunities I’m collecting for you!

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

Who MoGo’d in February?

These friends wrote at least 7000 words on a book project in January and earned an entry in the 2016 drawing for $100 at the end of the year!

#5: Diana Leagh – 54,643 words
#6: Amanda Everett – 8,411 words
#7: Susan Baganz – 8,567 words

Way to go, writers! And readers, if you want to join in the fun and have a bunch of chances to win $100 at the end of the year, check out the MoGo7000 Challenge. It’s free!

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christian-communicators-promo-cove-2016Drumroll please…We’re pleased to announce that your wait is ALMOST over!

Christian Communicators Conference registration will open one week from today! This is the 6th conference and will be held August 24-28 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

The dates are set, the faculty is lined up, The Cove is anticipating our return, and Carolyn and I are excited to watch as God brings another amazing group of sisters into the community!

Join us this year as we welcome our expanded, experienced Christian Communicators leadership team!

With registration limited to only 30 ladies and membership lasting long past the conference, your experience is like no other.

As many have said and you may have heard:
Christian Communicators is more than a conference…it’s a community.

Your Christian Communicators relationship doesn’t end at the close of Sunday. Instead, you’ll discover it’s just the beginning! After attending CCC, you’ll be part of a vibrant, exciting group of ladies who experience continued promotional and educational opportunities to learn and grow as speakers, writers, and sisters in the Lord.

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more… ccc girls on couch Oct '11

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women…but you’ll be embraced by a few 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
  • You won’t find big stages…but you’ll find lots of big hearts

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

Your all-inclusive package includes everything you need to start or expand your speaking ministry!

  • How to create and deliver a message? It’s in there!
  • How to dress? It’s in there!
  • How to promote your ministry and gain new speaking opportunities? They’re in there!
  • Headshots? Yes!
  • Video footage? Yes!
  • Business forms…determining your fees…generating additional income…
  • Social media training…fine dining etiquette…a lovely afternoon tea…
  • The list goes on and on.

As a participant in this unique conference, you’ll learn how to:

  • Discover your ministry focus and mission
  • Create compelling messages by including Biblical Truth and your own experiences and stories of life
  • Incorporate drama, music, props, and humor into your presentations
  • Use the stage to your best advantage
  • Dress for the occasion
  • Develop the forms, manage the paperwork, and set up an organized system
  • Use social networking to share your ministry with others
  • Get your information into the hands of event planners
  • Interact professionally with church and business leaders, including protocol and etiquette
  • Face your fears and move forward in the call God has placed on your life

WC&T-Tony Fraga

 

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
the reason for the hope that you have.  I Peter 3:15

 

The Christian Communicators Conference Package is ALL-INCLUSIVE!

Yes, CCC’s program package is all-inclusive. You won’t find a more complete program anywhere!

  • Lodging for 5 days and 4 nights
  • Meals from Wednesday dinner through Sunday lunch
  • Snacks, access to the free yogurt bar and cappuccino machines, and continuous coffee and soft drinks
  • A lovely afternoon tea, appropriate for tea attire, if desired
  • Classes, breakout sessions, and training
  • Handouts, notebook, and bag
  • Reproducible ministry forms
  • Professionally recorded video of your presentation
  • Headshot session with professional photographer
  • Fine dining etiquette class
  • Two additional classes on video for continued home study
  • Limited registration
  • Critiques
  • Give-aways
  • Free airport pick up and return
  • Friendship and support from ministry-focused women
  • Personal one-hour phone appointment with Carolyn or Vonda after conference

There are no surprise expenses!

 

CCC 2013 fancy stageThis is an exciting week of learning, growing, and hearing from the Lord. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out last year’s Christian Communicators Testimonial Page to hear from some of our graduates. Then we hope you’ll head on over and check out the Registration Details, Schedule, Leadership Team, and Scholarships.

Don’t let another year go by without taking the next step in your speaking journey.

 

Our prayer is that this week will change your life and equip you to fulfill the plan God has for you!

Please feel free to check out last year’s details at www.ChristianCommunicators.com. The new details and registration will go live next Tuesday!

We’d love to hear from you. :-)

Blessings,

Vonda

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Publishing: Me & My Big Mouth,Call-Outs for Kudos & MoGo7000, & Book Winner

Ape with big mouth Pixabay

Today’s the 1st Tuesday, so it’s the day for writing instruction, call-outs, and a book give-away!

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Let’s start with some encouragement and instruction for writers with Me & My Big Mouth!

I’ve always had a big mouth. Even as a little girl, I realized that speaking up when others wouldn’t, talking louder than the crowd, and trying to persuade others to my side often resulted in getting what I wanted.

At least it did until I decided to be a writer.

During my first several years of writing, the critiques of my work–whether delivered by my unpublished critique group members, published authors, or professional agents and editors–were often met with my own push-backs. After all, pushing back had worked for most other things in my life.

But it didn’t work with writing.

The truth is, I wasted years on the road to publication by defending my work. I was determined to convince others of their inability to grasp the brilliance of my great American novel, now bleeding on every page. Couldn’t they recognize a good book when they saw one? That hardheaded, self-centered, know-it-all attitude cost me years in reaching my writing goals.

Now, as I teach at writing conferences around the country, my heart aches when I sit face-to-face with the headstrong version of my younger writing self. With only 15 minutes to glean the wisdom of those who’ve already traveled this road, the younger me–whether male or female, blonde or brunette, regardless of race or age or experience–wastes our time together by arguing every point.

“Don’t be like me!” I want to shout. “Don’t follow in my footsteps. The journey doesn’t have to be this long!” But in an effort to defend their work–often believed given word-for-word by God–the minutes have soon passed and very little, if any, words of wisdom have been transferred from teacher to student.

If you’ve been working at this writing goal for a while and have been to conferences to learn the craft, but still haven’t made progress, consider this:

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

*Could you and your big mouth be in the way? Mine certainly was for me.

*Friends, please know this is stated with all love and respect. :-)

Thanks for Sharing!

Me & my big mouth stood in the way of my writing goals. What about you? (Click to Tweet)

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It’s Time to Share Kudos of 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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mogoWho MoGo’d in February?

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 on a book project 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 Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2016 challenge has just begun. 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.

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

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Marilyn Turks Lighthouse Devotions cover

Who Won Marilyn Turk’s Book?

Drumroll, please. The winner is…

Nan Jones!

Congratulations, Nan! Please contact me with your snail mail address and Marilyn will get the book right out to you!

And friends, I know you want to get your own copy, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Lighthouse Devotions, by Marilyn Turk. Enjoy!

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Thank you for joining me today on our 1st Tuesday edition of Christian Writer’s Den. I hope you are encouraged by your visit. Love and blessings to each of you!

Vonda

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The Fastest Route to Publication–It’s as Easy as 1-2-3! Plus Let’s Celebrate These Writers!

Photo courtesy of BillLongshaw/FreeDigitalPhoto

Photo courtesy of BillLongshaw/FreeDigitalPhoto

Well, it’s the 2nd Tuesday, so that means we’ll start with some tips for writers!

Some of you have heard my story of writing a poem in first grade. You know that in high school I worked on the newspaper staff and was editor of the literary journal. Some have heard me say that by the time I was in college I knew that one day I would write a book…and the next thing I knew, I was forty.

At that point, I figured my life was half over. If I was going to write a book, I’d better get started!

But do you know the rest of the story?

I sat down and wrote a book. It only took me about three months to dash from start to finish, but I was confident it would be the next great American novel for kids. I remember the day I dropped the first batch of ten envelopes in the mailbox. “Oh my. What am I going to do when five publishers want my book at the same time? Oh, my!” (I’m dead serious. That’s exactly what I thought.)

But instead of a bidding war, the submissions received 10 rejections before the stamps were dry. (Yes, those were the days when you had to actually lick the stamps, too!)

The years came and went and I continued to recycle that book over and over and over, confident that I’d eventually find an editor who had sense enough to see what a gold mine my book would be for his or her publishing house. I did this for at least 5 years, never considering that perhaps, just maybe, I needed to learn something about writing.

In my rush to see my name in print, it took me 7 years, lots of conferences, and lots of rejections to dash across the publication finish line. And it took 10 years to have a published book!

I had a simple 1-2-3- plan for publication: 1)feel the urge, 2)write the book, and 3)collect a big fat advance.

Oh, if only it were that easy! For most of us, successful writing is a tortoise event, not a hare one. A cross-country event, not a sprint.

If you want to write a book and then spend 10 years trying to get it published, that’s fine. After all, it’s your book, you can do whatever you want. But if you really want to cross the finish line as a writer, here are the 1-2-3′s to help you get there faster.

1.  Take the time to learn the craft. If you don’t get anything from this post, I hope you get this: There are no shortcuts. I once heard bestselling author, T. Davis Bunn, say something like, “Would someone decide he wants to be a concert pianist, learn to bang out Chopsticks, and then expect to play Carnegie Hall? Would someone decide to be an artist, slap a little paint on a canvas, and then expect a buyer to pay her for it? Of course not! But that’s exactly what we do when we simply sit down, write a book, and think it’s going to be sold.”

So, instead of jumping straight into a book, start at the beginning. Find a local writer’s group, take a class at the community college, and attend writing conferences. Read instructional books and follow instructional writing blogs like this one. (You could sit and read the archives and have your own writer’s conference right in the comfort of your own home!) Learn the techniques of good writing, apply them to your work, and get valid feedback from others who know what to look for. This doesn’t mean you can’t be working on your book from the beginning, but you need to be learning the craft in the process.

2.  Start with short pieces. Many of us start out with a big dream to write and sell a book. And it could happen. Possibly. But your chances for publication may actually increase if you start out small by submitting articles and stories. And for some editors, agents, and publishing houses, the chances of publishing a book are greater if you’ve already proven you can write publishable short pieces. And the good news is, I post writing opportunities right here on The Christian Writer’s Den every third Tuesday of the month, listing places that are looking for writers.

3.  Write a blog. Yes, writing a blog can help you in your race to the writing finish line. Good blogging requires discipline, writing skills, and promotion. All this will help you build a platform while building your writing paper trail. A blog rarely leads to a book contract, although it could happen. But the better goal is to use that time to make connections while learning to write well. Visit Edie Melson’s blog, The Write Conversation, for great posts about blogging and social media.

So there you have it, the 1-2-3 of writing for publication. The steps are simple, but they certainly aren’t easy. The dash to the finish line not be a sprint, but follow these steps and you’re more likely to win your cross-country goal of publication.

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s celebrate your kudos!

Congratulations to these Christian Writer’s Den friends who are working hard and reaching their goals!

1. Nancy Foss (NC): My first book, Lord, Change Him; He’s Such a Jerk: Finding Hope for an Unhappy Marriage, was just published. I’m looking forward to seeing where God will take me this year.

2. Ellen Andersen (SC): I had a devotion, Forgive Them? Why Should I?, published at the end of January by Christian Devotions.

3. Barbara Parentini (NC): It’s been a while since I’ve shared with you about my inspirational greeting cards, Soaring Hearts. In the last six months there have been wonderful developments. First: The desire of my heart was to see the cards perch in a hospital gift shop. There is now a large selection in my hometown, Springfield, Ohio, at The Gardenview Gift Shop in Springfield Regional Medical Center. My nursing school is rooted in the new hospital, so God answered my prayer in such a lovely way! Second: Soaring Hearts and the entire “Sea Glass Collection” is in Yoder’s Gift Shop. Yoder’s is the most well-known Amish restaurant in Sarasota, Florida. My family and I have been frequent customers for decades! They are known for their amazing pies, delicious food, and beautiful gift shop. Yoder’s now stocks a wide assortment of Soaring Hearts. Third: I was approached over a year ago about this, and I’ve been chosen as the card vendor for The Garden Club of North Carolina’s 91st Annual Event. Several vendors and I will have our booths set up at the Sheraton Imperial (Emperor Blvd by RDU Airport) in Durham, NC, for the statewide event, April 17-19, 2016. The ladies of the garden club have been welcoming and enthusiastic about the cards. I will feature my Garden Grace Collection which I intend to grow this year. And to note, I’m in the process of editing my long-awaited book, SEA GLASS, a journal/devotional for those who love the sea, filled with Scripture, devotions, poetry, and inspiring prose. I plan to paint pages with sea glass colors and design. I’ve been compiling this over several years, and am excited this will be finished in 2016. Thank you, Vonda, for always being so supportive about my writing and creative endeavors. Blessings!

4. Tracy Crump (MS): I am honored to announce that Chicken Soup for the Soul chose my story “A Glorious Ride,” previously published in their Inspiration for the Young at Heart, to be included in the upcoming For Mom, with Love, which will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Way to go, writers! And friends, if you didn’t see your name on this list, be sure to check back next week where I’ll have a new list of writing opportunities just for you!

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

Who MoGo’d in January?

These friends wrote at least 7000 words on a book project in January and earned an entry in the 2016 drawing for $100 at the end of the year!

#1: Diana Leagh Matthews – 32,765 words
#2: Susan Baganz – 14,703 words
#3: Tim Suddeth – 20,248 words
#4: Amanda Everett – 7,466 words

Woo-hoo! We’re off to a great start, gang! And readers, if you want to join in the fun and have a bunch of chances to win $100 at the end of the year, check out the MoGo7000 Challenge. It’s free!

Well that does it for the 2nd Tuesday of February. Be sure to check back next week when we’ll take a look at writing opportunities and conferences.

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

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Call-Outs for Kudos & MoGo7000 and Who Won Cheri Cowell’s Book?

newspapersIt’s the 1st Tuesday, so it’s time to hear from you: Calling All Kudos!

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 the success may seem to you, 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

Who Worked on Their Book 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 2016 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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Cheri Cowell cover PeaceAnd Who Won Cheri Cowell’s Book, 365 Devotions for Peace?

According to Random.org, the winner is…

Bonita Bandaries!

Congratulations, Bonita! All you need to do is contact me with your snail mail address and Cheri will get your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win…You KNOW you want this book! So here’s a direct Amazon link to 365 Devotions for Peace, by Cheri Cowell. Enjoy!

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Well, friends, that does it for our Writer’s Headlines this week. Be sure to check back next week when you can learn The Fastest Route to Publication–It’s as Easy as 1-2-3! We’ll also be celebrating you, so be sure to send me your good news!

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

Vonda

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Celebration Day: Kudos, MoGo7000 Qualifiers, and Who Won $100?

fireworks PixabayIt’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.  Shellie Arnold (OH): My first novel THE SPINDLE CHAIR released in October 2015.

2.  Beth Fortune (SC): I had a Devo published for Christian Devotions in December.

3.  Marilyn Nutter (SC): Thanks to the opportunity posted on Vonda Skelton’s site, Marilyn was a guest blogger in November and December on Jeanne Doyon’s site, Pausing to See God Clearly
Here are the links: http://jeannedoyon.com/grief-isnt-on-the-calendar/
http://jeannedoyon.com/tis-the-season-to-be-overloaded/

4.  Ellen Andersen (SC): I’m going to post monthly on Jennifer Hallmark’s blog Small Acts of Kindness. I’m thrilled she asked me!

5.  Cyn Rogalski (PA): I got to speak at the local Chinese Christian Church in nearby Whitehall, PA on Saturday, Jan 9. A woman I met at church on Wednesday invited me to come with her (she was scheduled to speak) and I also got to speak to the group of young people. A great group!

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Who were the December MoGo7000 qualifers?

These two high-energy writers earned another MoGo7000 entry for the month of December:

#17: Susan Baganz – 23,983 words
#18: Tim Suddeth – 19,749 wordsmogo

Congratulations! You both have had an amazing year of writing by completing (or almost completing) at least one book in 2015. Thanks for letting us follow your journey.

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2016 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 2016 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 2016 and you receive one entry. Reach it all 12 months and you receive 12 entries! At the beginning of 2017, 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?

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Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Who won $100?

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

  1. Would you believe 401,762 new words were written on book projects and reported by Christian Writer’s Den friends in 2015?
  2. Six writers participated in the 2015 challenge.
  3. I know at least two books came out of these months of writing, but I don’t know for sure 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 2015 MoGo7000 Challenge is…

Susan Baganz!


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

And friends, if you didn’t win, don’t worry. The 2016 MoGo7000 Challenge is now underway! Write at least 7000 new words on a book project in a month and you’ll receive an entry. Get started now and you could have 12 chances to win at the end of the year!

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Thanks for Tweeting!

Who won $100 in the #MoGo7000 #writing challenge? You could win in 2016! @VondaSkelton #amwriting (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for another Tuesday at the Christian Writer’s Den. I hope you’ll join us next week as I share a list of writing opportunities, contests, and conferences collected just for you!

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

Vonda

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Wise Words, Kudos & MoGo7000 Call-Outs, and Who Won Delores Liesner’s Book?

Owl pixabay

Let’s start 2016 with a few wise words from the wisest and richest man in who ever lived.

Dreaming instead of doing is foolishness, and there is ruin in a flood of empty words . . . .
Ecclesiastes 5:7a (TLB)

Ouch.

Am I–are you–dreaming instead of doing? Would you join me in making 2016 the Year of Doing?

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It’s Time to Share Kudos of 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

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

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 logoWho MoGo’d in December?

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

To report your December results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in 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). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2016 challenge has begun! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. But remember, this week’s reporting is for the month of December 2015.

Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Delores Liesner Miracle book cover

Who won a copy of Delores Liesner’s book, Be the Miracle?

And the winner is…

Julie Garmon!

Congratulations, Julie. Simply contact me with your mailing address and Delores will get the book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s an Amazon direct link to Be the Miracle.

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Daddy Skelton at 94 with Max & AveryThank you for your prayers for our family.

 

Wow, what a whirlwind few months it’s been. Thanks to each of you who sent your prayers and sympathies in the death of my precious father-in-love on December 22. He would have been 98yo if he had made it to January 30. This is a picture from 3 years ago when he was 94. He’s dancing with two of his GREAT-grandchildren!

It’s been a difficult experience, especially at the holidays, but you comforted us as only God’s people can do. Thank you!

Although I hope to get back in the swing of things very soon, I still ask for patience as I try to catch up. If you have an urgent need that you’re waiting for, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll get to it as soon as possible.

 

Thanks for sharing!

Start the writing year off w/a chance to win $100 w/MoGo7000! Celebrate your successes! @VondaSkelton

I pray God’s richest blessings in 2016 as you continue to shine His light into this needy world.

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Kudos, MoGo7000 Qualifiers, & Who Won Mary Scro’s Book?

newspapersLet’s start with this month’s kudos!

Congratulations to these Christian Writer’s Den friends who’ve been working hard and making things happen!

1.  Eddie Snipes (GA): It’s been a big month – and year. I was invited to be the keynote speaker in a conference in Washington, and just hit the 20,000 book sales mark this month. I also released my 19th book.

2.  Bonita Bandaries (LA): I recently self-published my newest book, A Promise Kept Inspirational
Guide for Family Caregivers, with CreateSpace and launched it at an event I hosted in November in honor of family caregivers during November, National Family Caregivers Month. 

3.  Cheryl Barker (KS): Blue Mountain Arts purchased my piece “To My Amazing Daughter on Valentine’s Day” for use on an upcoming greeting card. So thankful they are using more of my work.

4.  Tracy Crump (MS): My fifteenth Chicken Soup for the Soul story has just been accepted for My Very Good Very Bad Dog. My friend Andi Lehman has been keeping me busy doing book signings for my last Chicken Soup story in Volunteering and Giving Back. This was Andi’s first CS story about a snake she rehabbed, and we’ve sold books to benefit MS Wildlife Rehabilitation. I also recently co-presented a webinar called “Stirring the Pot: Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul.” Sounds like a chicken soup kind of month!

5.  Lori Hatcher (SC): I’m so excited to be premiering my latest women’s ministry event, “Stepping Out, How Our Footwear Affects our Faith” in two events in early 2016. Spring boarding off of every woman’s love of shoes, I hope to challenge ladies to strap on the footwear that allows them to run the race of faith with confidence.

6.  Andrea Merrell (SC): I am very excited to announce that my book, Praying for the Prodigal, was a 2015 USA Best Book Awards finalist in the Religion: Christian Inspirational category

Congrats to this month’s kudos-worthy writers! And if you didn’t see your name on the list, be sure to check out next week’s Writing Opportunities and you could be well on your way to a publishing success!

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

Now let’s see who earned entries into the 2015 MoGo7000 Challenge…

#15: Eddie Snipes – 28,670 words
#16: Susan Baganz – 81,131 words

Congratulations, Eddie and Susan! You’re in the running for the $100 cash prize, to be given away in January! And readers, it’s not too late to earn an entry this month. Simply write 7000 new words on a book project in December and you can be in the 2015 drawing in January!

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Mary Scro Intentional Fitness cover

Mary Scro Intentional Warfare coverAnd who won Mary Scro’s book, Intentional Warfare?

I’m so embarrassed that I forgot to announce the winner last week. But all I can say is my brain can only hold so much and these days it’s trying to hold too much. :-(

But today we do have a winner, and that winner is…

Paul Elliott!

Congratulations, Paul. To receive your free copy of Mary’s book, Intentional Warfare, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Mary will get you book right out to you.

And for you who didn’t win the book, here is the direct Amazon links to Intentional Fitness and Intentional Warfare.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’ll be back next week for our monthly writing opportunities collected just for you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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