Category Archives: Writer’s Conferences

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities and Conferences

newspapersHello, Christian Writer’s Den friends. This is our monthly Opportunities issue, so let’s see if we can help you get published! Let’s start with writing opportunities compiled just for you.

1.  Bethany House Miraculous Answers to Prayer Call-out deadline has been extended to January 31, 2016!

2.  Donna Goodrich is working on a caregiver book. While it will include inspiration, devotionals, and humor, she also wants practical information to help caregivers find their way in the labyrinth. You can get guidelines for that project by emailing Donna at: msencourager [@] cox [dot] net

3.  Cat Fancy writer’s guidelines 

4.  Wisconsin Trails writing guidelines

5.  DollarStretcher.com writing guidelines

6.  Blue Ridge Country editorial guidelines

7.  AmericanCatholic.org writing guidelines

8.  Working Mother writers guidelines

9.  Astronomy Magazine article submission guidelines

10. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine writers’ guidelines

11.  Lots of writing opps and contests listed at Christian Writers Submission Information by Sally Clark

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re serious about writing and speaking, you’ll be serious about attending

conferences. 

When I first started this writing journey, I didn’t have money for conferences, so I asked my family and friends to contribute to my conference fund rather than giving me gifts for Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, anniversary, and Mother’s Day. That went a long way towards my conferences. You might want to try it, too.

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SC

2.  Writers Advance Boot Camp / Asheville Christian Writers Conference: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

3.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

4.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC

5.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

6.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

7.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in April: Various locations and dates

8.  Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

9.  Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference: April 15-16, 2016, Fullerton, CA

brmcwc 201610. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 11-14, 2016, Estes Park, CO

11. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 13-14, 2016, Redmond, WA

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

13. Write to Publish: June 8-11, 2016, Chicago area

14. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 10-12, 2016, Ripley, WV

15. New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

16. St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

17. Christian Communicators Conference: August 24-28, 2016 The Billy Graham Training Center at Theccclogosmall Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open in March. (I’ll see you there!) Please note: The 2016 conference isn’t uploaded quite yet, but it will be soon! Please don’t register yet. :-)

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Thanks for Sharing!

 #Writing & #speaking opportunities & conferences to help you get published & speak! @VondaSkelton (Click to Tweet!) 

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Delores Liesner

Photography by KHB photography

Photography by KHB photography

What a joy to close out 2015 with a visit from my friend, author Delores Liesner. We met years ago at the CLASS Christian Writers Conference and she’s been hard at work ever since. I love her publication story and her look at contemporary miracles. I hope you’ll be challenged to see the potential, too!

Be sure to leave a comment for Delores and you’ll be in the drawing for a copy of her new book, Be the Miracle.

Welcome, Delores. Let’s get started. I see you consider yourself a storyteller, yet most of your work is non-fiction. Please tell us how that came about.

Fiction was my lifeline growing up – especially if based on a true story. We moved to a new town when I was in high school and the English teacher, desperate to gain more oral reports, had made a rule the year prior that every A-graded book report would advance the student’s final score by one letter grade! Investigative conversations with older students provided a list of her favorites, and I learned how to write to the audience. The Scarlet Letter and short stories by O’Henry among others, quickly garnered 5 “A” book reports (one extra just to be safe) and I could mess around the rest of the year. I loved dramatizing the real stories of my teacher’s preferences, but, certain my life experiences would never be that exciting, I began creating fictional skits and stories for school, my own escape valve, and eventually for my children.

Then I met God, and my life-drama developed new depth. I learned how to study the Bible inductively with the Navigators. I noticed when I shared personal applications in story form, others were leaning forward, interested to hear what happened next, so I saw value to using story in lessons and articles and began getting help and advice toward publishing them.

Where or to whom did you go to learn about publishing, Delores?Delores Liesner Miracle book cover

First, I wrote to a fiction author I admired, and asked how one goes about getting a story or article published. She directed me to Allison Gappa Bottke, who was developing an anthology series God Allows U Turns. Allison accepted a couple of my stories, and encouraged me to attend a seminar led by Marita and Florence Littauer. That conference, including the editor, publisher and radio appointments were life changing, as was the assignment Allison gave me to find stories after nine-one-one. CBN.com accepted a guest blog from one of those interviews and the following day I was on the phone hearing a story from a general at the Pentagon! I knew I could never dream up stuff this exciting and I was hooked. More conferences led me to 2010 where I met more encouragers, including Bruce Wilkinson. He inspired me to combine 31 of my miracle stories into a book.  I left the conference on a high, thinking the book could be out within a year, but the journey had just begun.

Yes, it seems all authors have experienced that reality check.  So Be the Miracle was published this August – almost 5 years from that moment of commitment.  What happened?

Life happened. I was still the guardian for my mother who lived 4 hours away, and that took quite a bit of my time. In the off hours I wrote devotionals, stories for anthologies, magazines and internet to save for a conference where I hoped to gain publishing and marketing information, and prayed a lot. I prayed about which stories to choose, and prayed about meeting the right people to help me navigate the fearsome

Delores and author/speaker Bruce Wilkinson

Delores and author/speaker Bruce Wilkinson

book proposal, and prayed about a publisher. I wrote and rewrote stories in different ways for different markets. I was blessed during that time to receive a call from an editor saying, “We are thinking of adding a column to our magazine and your name came up – would you be interested?”  That experience taught me refining stories for space and attention span, preparing me for the short-story devotional style of my book.

I blogged about the dreaded book proposal and a young friend introduced me to her friend – an experienced published author. As I was preparing my one-sheet for a conference meeting with one publisher, another’s call congratulating me for a contest win led to my contract and contact for an agent.  More amazing God HUGS (Highly Unexpected God-Surprises).

Sounds like faith played an active role in your writing journey. Is that the message your stories carry to the readers?

Delores and husband Ken

Delores and husband Ken

Yes, to activate our faith – putting hands and feet to what we believe, and to live expectantly, knowing that where we go we bring Christ, so we can expect something exciting to happen.

And after reading your book, Be the Miracle, I’m reminded that God is always orchestrating miracles . . . if only we’re focused enough to see them. Thank you for sharing your writing journey and your life of miracles with us. I pray that–as your tagline says–we’ll all be challenged to put our hands and feet to our faith.

And friends, don’t forget to leave a message for Delores and you’ll be in the drawing for a free copy of her book, Be the Miracle. Don’t forget to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

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Thank you for your kind words of sympathy and encouragement in the loss of my dear father-in-love. They gave strength and peace when we needed them. Thank you, too, for your grace as I return to work again and begin the catch-up in January.

Blessings for the new year!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Conferences and Contests

newspapers

(Vonda here: I’m sorry for the delay in today’s post. My internet has been down since yesterday and I’m just now up and running again. Hope like all the opportunities I found for you!)

Hello, Christian Writer’s Den friends! This is our big opportunities issue, so let’s see if we can help you get published! Let’s start with writing opportunities compiled just for you!

1.  Miraculous Answers to Prayer anthology
This new anthology by James Stuart Bell is looking for your stories. Here are the Miraculous Answers to Prayer Guidelines. But you must hurry–Deadline is now December 1, 2015.

2.  Adoptive Families Magazine
Adoptive Families is the leading information resource for families before, during, and after adoption.

3.  Blue Mountain Arts Greeting Cards
Seeks contemporary prose or poetry written from personal experience that reflects the thoughts and feelings people today want to communicate to one another, but don’t always know how to put into words. Does not need rhymed poetry, religious verse, one-liners or humor. Pays $300 for all rights and $50 for one-time rights for a book use.

4.  Colorado Central Magazine
To put our guidelines in a nutshell: We publish material we like to read about the area we live in. We’re not interested in it if it’s routine and boring, or if it’s not about this area. We serve Central Colorado and the San Luis Valley. On a map, that’s a swath from Leadville and Fairplay south to the New Mexico line. It’s the counties of Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Lake, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache, along with the adjacent parts of Fremont, Gunnison, Huerfano and Park counties.

5.  Eating Well Magazine
EatingWell is the only national food magazine that focuses exclusively on eating healthfully (our motto: “Where Good Taste Meets Good Health”). We are the preeminent magazine resource for people who want to enjoy food that is delicious and good for them.

6.  Alaska Magazine Submission Guidelines for Freelance Writers

7.  The Cattleman Magazine – Guidelines for Writing for The Cattleman

8.  Better Homes and Gardens writers guidelines

9.  Backpacker Magazine guidelines

10. Southern Writers Magazine guidelines

Remember to follow the guidelines carefully and then let us celebrate with you when you have a publication!

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If you’re serious about writing and/or speaking, you’ll be serious about attending conferences. Here are some awesome conferences you don’t want to miss!WritersBootcamp2016 logo

1. Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SC

2. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC Scholarship deadline October 31, 2015 (I’ll see you there!)

3. Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

4. Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC

5. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

6. Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

7. American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in April: Various locations and dates

brmcwc 20168. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

9. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 11-14, 2016, Estes Park, CO

10. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 13-14, 2016, Redmond, WA

11. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there! Watch for details coming soon!)

12. Write to Publish: June 8-11, 2016, Chicago area

13. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 10-12, 2016, Ripley, WV

14. New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

15. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 24-28, 2016, The Billy Graham Trainingccclogosmall Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open in early spring. (I’ll see you there!)

16. St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

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And here are some writing contests you’ll want to look into…

1.  The Amy Awards for Christian-related pieces published in secular publications. Deadline January 15, 2016

2.  Fresh Voices Writing Contest is now open for submissions – Deadline December 31, 2015

3.  Writer’s Digest Short Short Story ContestDeadline December 14, 2015

4.  The Anagram Holiday Short Fiction ContestDeadline December 19, 2015

5.  NeoVerse Short Story Writing CompetitionDeadline December 20, 2015

Red Sale Bag pixabay~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Need some help with your Christmas list? I can help!

Yep, it’s time for my buy-one-get-one-half-price Christmas sale! That’s right, buy any product in my store and you’ll get the second item for half-price!

But here’s the catch: You’ll need to order it directly from me by email, or PayPal will charge you the full price! So, head on over to my store and decide what you’d like and who you’d like to have it personalize it to, and then contact me with your order. I’ll get in touch and you can either pay by check or by credit card. DO NOT ORDER THROUGH REGULAR PAYPAL or you won’t get the discount!

Whether you need downloadable writing workshops or books for kids or women, this sale is for you!

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So that should keep you busy for a while. Don’t forget to let us know when you get that publication. We’ll want to celebrate with you.

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests & Conferences

newspapersWelcome to Writer’s Headlines, where we help you see your work in print! Let’s start with writing opportunities collected just for you!

Be sure to follow the guidelines carefully in order to increase your chance of publication. Then please let us know if you find success with one of these opportunities. We want to celebrate with you!

1.  Sidelines Magazine: For Horse People, About Horse People: Vonda here: I’m at the Novelist Retreat at Ridgecrest this week and have had the joy of meeting Jan Westmark, Editor-in-Chief of Sidelines Magazine. I’m thrilled that she agreed to let me share her writing guidelines with you. I know we have some horse people out there. Please follow the guidelines carefully!Here are her instructions:

My magazine is geared toward the English riding market – the high end rider. We are not a how-to magazine, but a feature magazine – so all of our stories are profiles on riders, horses and horse rescue organizations. We cover hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing, polo and foxhunting. It is a very specialized market – but if you have writers that would like to write for me, they can email me. I can even assign stories!!

Sidelines is a print publication, but also available free digitally, just look at the info below my name for how to find it at the app store. They can also visit our website, www.sidelinesnews.com, and look under subscriptions for the tab that says flipbook and look through all of our issues for free.
2.  Jeanne Doyon is looking for guest bloggers! Jeanne is starting a series of blog posts to speak to how we need to treasure the quiet moments in the midst of the chaos and crazy days of December. This is a great opportunity for you to:

  • Write 400-500 words
  • Be a guest blogger with links to your website
  • Speak peace into lives during this busy time of year

For more information and to pitch your idea, email Jeanne at jeanne.doyon@gmail.com

3.  Warner Press submission guidelines here. Church of God Ministries is looking for writers for devotionals, children’s activity books, greeting cards, ministry resource books, and teaching resource books.

4.  Family Tree Magazine writer’s guidelines.

5.  Are you funny? Funny Times Cartoon & Humor Newspaper submission guidelines.

6.  Working Mother Magazine guidelines

7.  Boys’ Life Magazine

8.  Oklahoma Today Magazine

9.  Shotgun Sports Writers Guide

10. Eldridge Plays and Musicals. Writing guidelines here.

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Check out these writing contests. You could win!

1.  Stage of Life Writing Contests: Multiple contests for every stage of life. Deadlines October 30, 2015.

2.  Fresh Voices Writing Contest is now open for submissions.

3.  Writer’s Digest Short Short Story ContestDeadline November 16, 2015

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And don’t forget–If you’re serious about writing, you’ll be serious about attending conferences!

1.  Heart of America Christian Writers Network Conference: October 22-24, 2015, Greater Kansas City Area, KS

2.  WordGirls: October 22-24, 2015, Owensboro, KY

3.  Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference: October 22-25, 2015, Norton Shores, MI

4.  East Texas Christian Writers Conference: October 30-31, 2015, Marshall, TX

5.  Next Step Writers Contreat (Yes, the spelling is correct. :-) : November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM (Scholarships available, but today is the last day to apply, so hurry!)

6. Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SC

WritersBootcamp2016 logo7. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC Scholarship deadline October 31, 2015 (I’ll see you there!)

8.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

9. Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC. Details coming soon!

10. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

11. Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

12. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SCbrmcwc 2016

13. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there! Watch for details coming soon!)

14.  New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

15.  St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

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Well, that does it for another 3rd Tuesday and Writer’s Headlines. Can’t wait to see what successes come from your commitment to do what it takes to be a writer!

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

Vonda

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Writers Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences & a Special Writing Give-Away

newspapersHappy 3rd Tuesday, friends! Let’s start with writing opportunities selected just for you! (Be sure to check out the brand new giveaway at the end of this post!)

Struggling to find places to submit your writing? Here are some suggestions:

1.  WITH: Why Is This Happening? is a site designed to encourage and lift those who are struggling. Even though this is not specifically a writing opportunity, I just had to include it. After all, many writers and speakers are compelled to write and speak because of an experience in their lives. This could be your chance to help others! Here’s the link for instructions on how to submit a video or written message. As always, remember to follow instructions carefully.

2.  Elk’s Magazine buys 20-30 preciously unpublished articles a year. Here are the Elk’s Magazine writers guidelines.

3.  Clubhouse Magazine for Kids guidelines   

4.  Faith Today: Canada’s Christian Magazine guidelines

5.  Georgia Family Magazine guidelines

6.  Adventure Kayak Magazine contributor guidelines

7.  Bead & Button Magazine submission guidelines

8.  Guide is a Christian story magazine for young people ages 10-14. The 32-page, four-color publication is published weekly by the Pacific Press Publishing Association. Our mission is to show readers, through stories that illustrate Bible truth, how to walk with God now and forever. Writing Guidelines for Guide Magazine here.

9.  Lerner Publishing Group works with many talented authors and illustrators to create its books for children and young adults. Here are our current submission guidelines.

10. Chicken Soup is always looking for stories!

11. Pockets Devotionals for Kids

12. Saturday Evening Post guidelines

Okay, that does it for this month’s opportunities. Be sure to let me know if you get a publication through this list. I’d love to celebrate with and brag on you!

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here are some awesome contest opportunities for you:

1.  Kathy Ide’s 4th Annual Promising Beginnings Christian Writers Contest. Winner receives a full scholarship to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in March 2016 in CA. Deadline November 30, 2015.

2.  Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Deadline September 21, 2015.

3.  Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition. Deadline October 1, 2015.

4.  Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition . Deadline November 16, 2015.

5.  Almost An Author will open the Fresh Voices Writing Contest for submission beginning October 1, 2015. Deadline December 1, 2015.

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Which conference or conferences are you attending within the next year?

1.  American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

2.  Writer-to-Writer: September 18-20, 2015, Murfreesboro, TN

3.  Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

4.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

5. Heart of America Christian Writers Network Conference: October 22-24, 2015, Greater Kansas City Area, KS

6.  WordGirls: October 22-24, 2015, Owensboro, KY

7.  Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference: October 22-25, 2015, Norton Shores, MI

8.  East Texas Christian Writers Conference: October 30-31, 2015, Marshall, TX

9.  Next Step Writers Contreat (Yes, the spelling is correct. :-) : November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM (Scholarships available, but today is the last day to apply, so hurry!)

10. Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SCWritersBootcamp2016 logo

11. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC Scholarship deadline October 31, 2015 (I’ll see you there!)

12.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

13. Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC. Details coming soon!

14. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

15. Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

16. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

17. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there! Watch for details coming soon!)

18.  New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

19.  St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

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FREE PixabayWell, that does it for our regular announcements, but today we have a special give-away!

I’m thrilled to let you know that each person who Tweets or shares today’s post on Facebook or other social media will receive an entry into a drawing for a free copy of Edie Melson‘s best-selling book, Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers! Thanks, Edie, for sharing your book with my readers!

Simply Tweet or post and leave a comment that you’ve done it, and you’ll be in the drawing. The winner will be announced next week, so don’t forget to check back!

It’s easy to share with this Tweetable!

#Writing opps-contests-conferences & free socialmedia book by @EdieMelson via @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writers Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences Just for YOU!

newspapersIt’s the 3rd Tuesday, and time to look at lots of opportunities. Let’s start with writing opportunities compiled just for you!

1.  Chicken Soup is always looking for stories. Current topics: Dogs, Cats, Traumatic Brain Injury, Home Sweet Home, Guardian Angels, and more! Check out Chicken Soup topics and deadlines here.

2.  YouthWorker Journal is the leading resource for Youth Workers. Writing guidelines here.

3.  Just4Kids Magazine writer guidelines

4.  Kentucky Magazine guidelines

5.  Animal Wellness Magazine Guidelines

6.  Kaleidoscope Magazine for people with disabilities

7.  AARP Writer’s Guidelines

8.  Highlights MagazineThey’re always looking for submissions!

9.  Quilter’s World designer guidelines

10. Senior Living Magazine guidelines here

11. Our Little Friend and Primary Treasure Magazines guidelines

12. Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine guidelines

Okay, that should be enough to keep you busy for a while. And when you get a publication, don’t forget to report it for our monthly Kudos celebration!

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And here are some writing contests. Some of the deadlines are coming up soon…

1.  Cyle Young has started a new writing site, Almost An Author (A3), and he offers A3 writing contests! But you must hurry–Deadline is September 1, 2015!

2.  Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards for Short Stories But you must hurry! Deadline September 15, 2015!

3. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story ContestDeadline November 16, 2015

4. Writer’s Digest Poetry AwardsDeadline October 1, 2015

5.  WOWWomen on Writing Summer Flash Fiction Contest Hurry! Deadline August 31, 2015

6.  Ongoing Stage-of-Life Writing ContestsFrom teens to seniors!

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If you’re serious about writing, you’ll be serious about attending writing conferences!

 

1. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall2. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

3.  American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

4.  Writer-to-Writer: September 18-20, 2015, Murfreesboro, TN

5.  Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

6.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

7. Heart of America Christian Writers Network Conference: October 22-24, 2015, Greater Kansas City Area, KS

8.  Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference: October 22-25, 2015, Norton Shores, MI

9.  Next Step Writers Contreat (Yes, the spelling is correct. :-) : November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, WritersBootcamp2016 logoNM

10. Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SC

11.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

12. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

13. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

14. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there! Watch for details coming soon!)

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Thanks for Tweeting!

Writing opportunities, contests, & conferences from @VondaSkelton & Christian Writer’s Den! #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences; and Who Won Aleta You’s Book?

newspapersI LOVE the 3rd Tuesday of every month! Let’s start with writing opportunities I’ve collected just for you.

My goal on this day of each month is to make your writing life easier! Take advantage of these and we could soon be celebrating YOUR kudos, just like we did with Gail Cartee last week. :-) Don’t forget to study the magazine/publisher and follow guidelines carefully.

1.  Pelican Book Group is looking for book proposals for several imprints. Here are their guideline links:

2.  Adirondack Life Writers’ Guidelines

3.  Sasee Magazine Guidelines - It’s all about women

4.  Free Spirit Publishing GuidelinesMeeting kids’ social and emotional needs

5.  Toastmasters Magazine GuidelinesI know some of you are involved in Toastmasters. This could be your opportunity!

6.  Living a Better Life, Free Money-Saving Tips e-Zine Writer’s Guidelines

7.  Writer’s Guidelines for Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill Magazines

8.  Eating Well Magazine Writers’ Guidelines

9.  The Chronicle of the Horse Writers Guidelines

10. The Banner Writers’ Guidelines

11. Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a Christian magazine celebrating the life and work of Christ in ordinary people, is accepting Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year-themed articles and devotions as well as evergreen (all-season) Christian living articles and devotions. Articles are approximately 1,000 words, devotions are 600-700 words. Submission guidelines are at www.ReachOutColumbia.com or contact Lori Hatcher, editor, at Lori@ReachOutColumbia.com.

Pencil and trophy contest FDP digitalarts

Image courtesy of digitalarts/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, that should be enough to keep you busy for a while. Don’t forget to report your successes for our monthly Kudos celebration!

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And here are some writing contests I found. Who will take the plunge?

1.  Cyle Young has started a new writing site, Almost An Author (A3), and he offers A3 writing contests!

2.  Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards for Short Stories But you must hurry! Deadline September 15, 2015!

3. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story ContestDeadline November 16, 2015

4. Writer’s Digest Poetry AwardsDeadline October 1, 2015

5.  WOWWomen on Writing Summer Flash Fiction Contest Deadline August 31, 2015

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If you’re serious about writing or speaking, you need to be serious about conferences!

1.  Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

2.  Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall3. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

4.  American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

5.  Writer-to-Writer: September 18-20, 2015, Murfreesboro, TN

6.  Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

7.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

8.  Next Step Writers Contreat (Yes, the spelling is correct. :-) : November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

9.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

10. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

11. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

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Writing opportunities, contests, & conferences from @VondaSkelton & Christian Writer’s Den! #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

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And last, but not least, who won the free copy of Aleta You’s book?

The winner is…

Nan Jones!

Congratulations, Nan. Contact me with your snail mail address and Aleta will get your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here is a direct Amazon link to Biblical Solutions for Daily Living.

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Tammy Blackburn

Itammy_blackburn_headshott is a joy to introduce my friend, Tammy Blackburn, to you today. Tammy and I met at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference many years ago and she’s been working hard ever since! In addition to being an author, she is a counselor and children’s pastor. I hope you enjoy hearing about Tammy’s new book and her journey to publication. As an author of children’s middle grade books, I love insights from writers of children’s literature.

Be sure to leave a message for Tammy and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Now, let’s get started!

Welcome to The Writer’s Den, Tammy! I’m excited about your new book. Can you tell us what inspired you to write a children’s book?

Thank you, Vonda. I’d love to! Some of my favorite memories as a child were spent with a book in my hands. When I wasn’t reading books I was making up stories to write down with the dream of being an author someday. I grew up and had children of my own, but that love of children’s books never went away. A favorite time with my kids was curling up with a stack of books to read. Meanwhile, I continued to write stories of my own. Vonda, you were instrumental in inspiring me as well. In 2008, I attended my first writer’s conference at Blue Ridge. You were the very first person to ever give me an “official” critique. You were tough, but you gave me such encouragement about the story I had before you. That’s when I knew in my heart I would be published someday and I wanted my first books to be for children.

Wow, Tammy, I had no idea I would be part of your story! Thanks for letting me know. Yes, those first critiques are sometimes tough to swallow (mine certainly was), but what writers do with them often determine their progress as writers. So, where did the idea for How Do I Know? come from? Can you give us a sneak peek into the story?

Well, at the risk of giving my age away, let me start by saying I’ve been a Children’s Pastor/director for nearly 30 years and in that time have had some crazy questions thrown at me from left field. You know, the kind where you have to stare at the child for a minute in order to get yourself under control before telling them you’ll need to do a little research on that. But, I’ve had a few really good questions that seem to pop up regularly. One such question is, “How do I know God is real?” Our children live in a world full of evil and it can sometimes test even a childlike faith. In the first book of this series, I attempt to answer that particular question in a way that leads a child to think and discover God in a real way. My character, Michael is a little guy who is full of questions. When he finally gets the nerve to ask his mom about God’s existence, she answers him in a very beautiful way.

To what age group is this book targeted?

I’m glad you asked. It is written in a Dr. Seuss style rhyme and has beautiful illustrations. The book is in the 6-10 year old category, but my 3-year-old grandson loves for me to read it to him as well.

What is your heart’s desire for this book?Tammy Blackburn book cover

Oh, Vonda, if the words that God gave me to put in this book help to strengthen a child’s belief in God, then how could I ask for more? I have to share a powerful testimony that I have already received. A young lady was planning to abort an unwanted pregnancy. A friend of mine felt God prompt her to give this young lady a copy of How Do I Know? and even though it seemed a strange thing, she was obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. A few days later, this young woman came back to her and said the book had helped change her mind. She had decided to keep the baby! That makes every ounce of hard work and effort I put into this book worth it!

Wow! That’s a beautiful testimony to the power of our words. You mentioned this was the first book in the series. Can you tell us anything about future books?

Yes! How Do I Know? is the first book in a series of three. The next one is titled, What Do I Say?, and will help children know how to talk with their Heavenly Father.  It is already written and is in the hands of the illustrator.  

I’ll look forward to seeing that book in print as well! In parting, do you have any advice for other writers?

The best advice I can give is the same advice that has been given to me: attend writer’s conferences, join a critique group, network, and WRITE. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. It was an honor.

Great advice, Tammy. Thank you for joining us today at The Christian Writer’s Den. And friends, don’t forget to leave a comment for Tammy and you could win a free book! Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner.

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#Free kids’ book give-away w/TammyBlackburn via @VondaSkelton Christian Writer’s Den. #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Bio: Tammy Blackburn is an author, speaker, counselor and children’s pastor. She lives in Kannapolis, NC near her children, their spouses, and her young grandson. Tammy homeschooled her three children from kindergarten through high school and continues to tutor in reading and writing. She writes curriculum for the ministries at her church including a women’s Bible study called, “Through the Looking Glass”. Her greatest desire is to follow the command of Psalm 78:4 to pass the Light of Christ to the next generation. You can read more from Tammy on her blog, FromTheBriarPatch.com or email her at info@tammyblackburn.com.

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities and Conferences

newspapersWelcome to today’s bonus post of writing opps and conferences collected just for you!

First up, direct links to writing opportunities could be your ticket to publication! Be sure to follow guidelines carefully and send in your best work!

1.  Haiku Journal

2.  Naval History Magazine

3.  Adventist Review

4.  ADDitude Magazine for ADHD and LD

5.  Bible Advocate

6.  The Cattleman

7.  Insight magazine for teens

8.  Internet Genealogy

9.  North Carolina Literary Review

10. New Mobility

11. Outreach Magazine

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

12. Snowshoe Magazine

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And now let’s check out upcoming conferences!

1.  St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 24-28, 2015, Grove City, PA

2. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 25-27, 2015, Elizabethtown, KY

3. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

4. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall5. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

6. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

7. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

8. Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

9. Next Step Writers Contreat: November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

10. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

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List of #writing opportunities & conferences just for you! @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for this month’s writing opportunities and conferences. I hope they help you on your writing journey!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Lori Roeleveld and May Kudos!

Lori Roeleveld Headshot

(Vonda here: I’m currently in Michigan caring for my dear cousin who needs a miracle. Please join me in praying for his healing. Thank you, dear friends.)

Lori Roeleveld is my special guest today!

Friends, I’m excited to introduce my friend author Lori Roeleveld today. Lori and I met at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference several years ago and it has been a joy to watch her career skyrocket. She was the recipient of the 2015 Blue Ridge Director’s Choice Award for her new book, Running from a Crazy Man (and Other Adventures Traveling with Jesus).

Be sure to leave a comment for Lori and you’ll be in the running for a free book!

Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den, Lori. Let’s begin with the question everyone asks about your book, who IS the crazy man?

My title, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus), comes from the story of King David. David knew God had anointed him king and had every reason to believe his path would lead straight to the throne. It must have created incredible confusion for David to find himself spending part of his life running from King Saul but we know God was present and active in David’s life even then.

What is the message for modern believers that you explore in the book?

In the seventies, the message communicated about Jesus was that He would make our lives better. That’s true but it doesn’t always look or feel the way we expect. Many of us begin our life with Christ with expectant hope, but not all of those hopes are realistic. When our lives detour down roads called disaster, disease, depression, or personal devastation, we’re tempted to pull off to the side of the narrow road and wonder what happened. I wrote Running from a Crazy Man for those moments in every believer’s life when following Jesus doesn’t make sense, to encourage us all to remain in the adventure.

Alton Gansky, Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, called your book an “unconventional devotional.” Tell us how you’ve designed each chapter.

Each chapter is adapted from a popular post on my blog so they’re short – usually under 1000 words. The titles are quirky such as Elephant Repellent, Church Bullies, and I Hope that You’re Perturbed but I include headings to help you know what each is about such as Following Jesus when You’re Feeling Useless, or Following Jesus when Other People are Mean. I’ve concluded each chapter with scripture references, thought questions, and words to remember so readers can use this book as a daily devotional or with a Bible Study/small group.

One thing I love about both your blog and your book is the ability to pull me in through those quirky titles. I even noticed that rather than the usual Foreword, your book has a Forewarned written by bestselling author, James L. Rubart. What led you to create such a unique voice for your projects?Lori Roeleveld book cover

Readers tell me they enjoy the humor of my posts but always know that something in the post will unsettle or challenge them in their faith. When they forward my posts to others, I’ve noticed they often warn that the post may create discomfort that may lead to action. I decided to embrace reader reaction to my voice. Challenge is what I seek in my spiritual life. I’ve loved Jesus for over fifty years and I know the temptation of settling in, getting too comfortable, or expecting to drift through my later years on cruise control. I always want Jesus to spur me on to a deeper relationship with Him. God uses hard times in my life to unsettle me and like Frodo (from Lord of the Rings), I’ve learned that even though I resist it, I do like adventure with Jesus. I hope to invite and incite others to continue in the Jesus adventure.

“Invite and incite,” I must admit that doesn’t sound like the usual call to salvation. Is that where you came about with the tagline, Disturber of Hobbits?

Yes, exactly. I love the Lord and I love the church. As much as I’m aware of the shortcomings of the church of Jesus, I just love the family of God. I equate believers with hobbits because hobbits like comfy settings, we like our meals on time, and we resist adventures because they make us late for dinner. When I write, I use humor but also gentle exhortation to remind us all of the goals set forth in scripture. I’ve been making comfortable Christians “late for dinner” for many years now – I included.

As we close, what advice do you have for other bloggers?

Partner with God in your work and don’t underestimate the power of “small.” I hear bloggers complain, “Only 30 people read by last post.” If 30 people showed up on your doorstep asking your thoughts on God, you’d consider that a ministry. Respect the value of a small but faithful readership. Pray for them and give them your best work. We don’t write for numbers, we write for readers. Each one has value in God’s eyes. My blog is small but God uses it in big ways for His glory.

Al and Lori with Award

Photo courtesy of Mary Denman

And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Lori and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book. Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner!

Bio: Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most important things from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. You’ll find her at her website www.LoriRoeleveld.com. If not, know she’s off somewhere slaying dragons. Not available for children’s parties.

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Running From a Crazy Man-Be forewarned-this book will unsettle you, not make you comfortable! @LoriSRoeleveld @VondaSkelton #Christian (Click to Tweet)

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Free photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And now let’s celebrate with these Christian Writer’s Den friends!

Congratulations are in order for some of our writers and speakers.

1.  Nan Jones (NC): My first book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife, is releasing on June 30th. I’ll be having a Facebook launch party on July 2nd from 7-9pm with special giveaways (the big one is a prayer shawl crocheted by me at a value of $85) and girl chats and encouragement and fellowship and… and… Hope you’ll join me. It will be fun. Click here for the Amazon link to my author page and The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife.

2.  Tracy Crump (MS): My story, “The Circle of Volunteerism” will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back. My story “Fishes and Loaves” has been accepted for CrossRiver Media’s anthology, God’s Promises. My article “Chicken Soup with a Dash of Faith” appeared in the Christian
Communicator. And my devotion “Two Little Lights” appeared on ChristianDevotions.us

Congratulations, Nan and Tracy! So proud of you and all you continue to accomplish!

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Well, that does it for another second Tuesday. Be sure to return next week for a new list of writing opportunities, conferences, and contests. Oh, and don’t forget to check to see if you’re the winner of Lori’s book!

Blessings,

Vonda

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