Tag Archives: article writing

Interview with Author and Speaker Brenda Nixon & a Chance to Win a Free Writing Workshop!

Brenda Nixon head shotHello friends! I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend, author and speaker, Brenda Nixon. Brenda and I have been friends for many years through Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and occasionally we’re on faculty together at writing conferences. Brenda has a varied background, including her roles as a parenting expert (Parenting Expert Brenda Nixon) and now as a writer/educator of real Amish life (Beyond Buggies & Bonnets).

Brenda has a heart for writers, parents, and the Amish, and I’m honored to welcome her and her wisdom to the Christian Writer’s Den today!

Welcome, Brenda. Let’s start with an easy question. How long have you been a writer?

Well, my first accidental writing experience was a letter to the editor. As a young mom, I’d replied to a magazine article. The editor phoned me to say he’d edited my letter and would publish it as an article – with pay. I was naive about writing – didn’t know I could get paid for my written thoughts. That was 30 years ago. Then 20 years ago, I wrote a passion project. I’d written a book on parenting to accompany my busy speaking schedule. That book was my springboard into professional writing – magazine articles, contributing to compilations like Chicken Soup for the Soul, co-authoring, selling reprints, and teaching at writers conferences.

It looks like we started seriously writing about the same time. So how many magazine articles have you written?

More than 400. For me, writing for publications gave me experience and confidence to write books. I wrote out of my heart – my passion to empower parents. Once in a while I’d receive an editor’s invite to write on assignment about a topic unfamiliar to me. Then I’d put on my research hat and go work.

So if people want to write books, are you suggesting they first write for publications?

I do. Think about it, you get a byline – name recognition – and experience while receiving income. Plus, if you don’t sell all rights, you can resell that same article. Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving.

What about your books? How many have you written now?Brenda Nixon Buggy Ride

I’m working on my 35th book. Combining the books I’ve solo authored, co-authored, and contributed a chapter or story to, the count is 34.

Brenda, what tips do you have for aspiring or new authors?

Join a critique group, attend writers conferences, and network with other authors. Don’t be a lone ranger in this industry. I know of one author who is trying to isolate herself in this industry isolated – she’s discouraged, competitive, and judgmental of other authors. Dah. Critique groups are how I improve my wordsmith skills, writers conferences are how I connect with others who “get it” about writing and the writer’s life, and networking is how I help others and make friends.

Amen to all your suggestions! A little birdie told me that you’ve recently won another award. Would you tell us about that?
My blog, Beyond Buggies & Bonnets: True Amish Stories won BLOG OF THE MONTH at Book Fun Magazine (with a 400K readership)! See page 193 of this quality magazine for an interview of me Brenda Nixon familyaccompanied by lots of fantastic photos. I’m grateful Beyond Buggies & Bonnets was reader-nominated, receiving 45.1% of the votes!

Now my blog will automatically be entered in BLOG OF THE YEAR voting this December. If you check out my blog and find reality and respect, learn a fact or two, or get a laugh, I hope you’ll go to Book Fun Magazine in December and vote for Beyond Buggies & Bonnets blog – because for many of my former-Amish friends and family I’m their “voice” to the world.

Congratulations, Brenda! Wow, that is quite an honor! Thank you for taking the time to share your writing words of wisdom with us today. I hope everybody will take your instruction seriously, because it’s all good stuff!Brenda Nixon's birth to five book

And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Brenda and you’ll be in the drawing for a free writing workshop from my Store! (Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you’re the winner.)

Brenda’s Bio: Got questions? Amish Sex Ed? Shunning? Rumpsringa? Ordnung? Gma? Lifestyle? Ex-Amish?

I got answers. And experiences. And they’re NOT what you see on TV or read in fiction books. Cultural Literacy is what you get when I bring my suitcase of Swartzentruber Amish clothing to speak, or post in my blog, answer media questions or serve as a resource on the Amish. Helping former Amish assimilate to the English world is teaching me volumes about their struggles and the life they left.

My son-in-law lived and left the Swartzentruber Order, I’m blessed to have two “sons” from the Swartzentruber Amish – Mosie and Monroe – and at the holidays our home welcomes ex-Amish who need family. Worldwide, more than 200K readers come to get real stories at my Beyond Buggies & Bonnets blog. I hope you’ll visit, too!

My contributions to the literary world include my award-winning: The Birth to Five Book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, and 32 other titles I’ve contributed to including Miracles & Moments of Grace and six Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Author or contributor, 34 books. Writing a reality (but respectful) book about Amish, and Beyond Buggies & Bonnets blog

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences and Book Winner

newspapersYes! It’s the 3rd Tuesday, and Time for New Writing Opportunities, Contests, Conferences, and the Announcement of Ane Mulligan’s Book Winner!


Let’s start with a bunch of new writing opportunities with links to their guidelines–selected just for you

Freelance writing is a great way to generate some income and beef up your resume!

1Reach Out Columbia Magazine Guidelines

2.  Elks’ Magazine

3.  Faith Today Magazine

4.  Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking

5.  Vibrant Life Magazine

Courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6.  Connecticut Magazine

7.  The Daily Tea

8.  Women’s Adventure Magazine

9.  Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine

10. Arizona Highways Magazine

11. Georgia Family Magazine

12. Orlando Family Magazine

13. Homeschooling Today

14. Adoptive Family Magazine

15. Wesleyan Church Guidelines for Books and Articles

16. Christian Media Magazine

17. Adventure Kayak Magazine


Here are THREE Writer’s Digest Writing Contests

Don’t miss your chance to enter these contests.

1.  Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Deadline September 19, 2014.

2.  Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. Deadline October 31, 2014.

3.  Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest. Deadline December 15, 2014.


Writers Conferences are a great way to learn your craft and make your connections

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Writing for the Soul: September 19-20, 2014 Murfreesboro, TN

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

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

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

5.  New England Christian Writers Retreat: October 17-19, 2014, Plainfield, NJ

6.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 19-22, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

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

8.  South Carolina Writers’ Workshop: October 24-26, 2014, Myrtle Beach, SC

9.  Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network Conference: November 6-8, 2014, Overland Park, KS

10. Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

11. Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 25-March 1, 2015, Leesburg, FL

12. Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll see you there!)

13. Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC

14. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NCAne Mulligan book cover


And who won Ane Mulligan’s book, Chapel Springs Revival?

The winner is Margie Houmes! Margie, simply contact me with your snail mail address and Ane will get your book right out to you!

I know you’re all excited about reading Ane’s new book, so here is a direct Amazon link to Chapel Springs Revival.


Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headlines Tuesday. It’s my prayer that these resources will help you on your writing journey!

Happy writing!


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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Book Winner

newspapersIt’s time for writing opportunities collected just for you!

Wish you could see your name in the monthly kudos? Wondering how you can take this love of words and build a career…or at least a little mad money? Well, here are 12 places who are looking for writers and contest entries!

Remember to follow the guidelines to the letter. That will raise your chances for finding favor with an editor. But just remember, nothing helps you get a “job” better than great writing!

1.  Operation First Novel: Do you have what it takes to be the new voice in Christian fiction? Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild contest is open. But you must hurry, membership deadline is August 29 and contest deadline is September 3.

2.  Call-out for submissions of true stories of Jesus and children. Jesus Talked to Me Today: Stories of Children’s Encounters with God, Angels, and MiraclesJesus and Children guidelinesJesus Stories sample. Deadline September 1, 2014.

3.  Call out for submissions: Please Tell Me I’m Not a Bad Mother Guidelines. Deadline August 26, 2014.

4. Saturday Evening Post guidelines

5.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is always looking for submissions! Currently looking for stories about moms, dreams, hopes & miracles, volunteering, Christmas, therapists/mental health, thriving.

6.  Humpty-Dumpty and Jack & Jill writer’s guidelines.

7. ACFW-SC Query Letter and First Pages Contest: Open to members and non-members. Deadline October 10.

8.  Ask Magazine for Kids guidelines

9.  Pockets Devotions for Kids guidelines 

10.  The Kids’ Ark writer’s guidelines

11.  More Magazine for Women ages 45-64. More Magazine writer’s guidelines here.

12.  Today’s Christian Woman magazine writing guidelines

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Non-fiction puzzle fdp Stuart Miles

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

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

2.  Writing for the Soul: September 19-20, 2014 Murfreesboro, TN

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

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

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

6.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 19-22, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

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

8.  Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network Conference: November 6-8, 2014, Overland Park, KS

9.  Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp: February 20-22, 2015, Asheville, NC

10. Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC

11. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

Field of Daisies cover Barbara Hattemer~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~9781602903746-Perfect.indd

And last, but not least, who won Barbara Hattemer’s book?

The winner is…drumroll, please…Judith Robl!!! Judith, simply contact me with your mailing address and Barbara will get your book right out to you! Congratulations!

And for those who didn’t win, here are direct Amazon links to Barbara’s books:

An Island Just for Us and Field of Daisies


Well, that does it for another Writer’s Headlines post. I hope to see lots of good things come out of these opportunities!

Happy writing!


(Puzzle image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.com)

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities for YOU!

newspapersYes, it’s the 3rd Tuesday, and time to share some writing opportunities to help you with your writing career. Don’t forget to let us celebrate with you if you succeed in getting a publishing credit!

Don’t forget to follow guidelines carefully. You could have a great submission that’s never considered because the guidelines weren’t followed.

1.  Established critique group has openings: Fellow writers: Our online writers’ critique group has four openings. We are Christian women writing for children and young adults. Whether you’re published or yearn to be, if you’re interested, email your short bio with your writing experience, preferred age-level and/or genre of children’s literature to: notavw@yahoo.com. We’ll review and get back to you by August 15 with our format and guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.  Alaska Magazine writing guidelines

4.  Christianity Today writing guidelines

5.  Relevant Magazine writing guidelines

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

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

8.  Redbook Magazine Writers’ Guidelines

9.  Toastmasters Magazine writing guidelines

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

11. Enrichment Journal Magazine writing guidelines

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

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

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


Gideon Interns 2011

Gideon Interns 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Who won Linda Gilden’s book?

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

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


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

Happy writing,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us something about the book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

4.  Adirondack Life: Writers’ guidelines for Adirondack Life

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

6.  Highlights MagazineThey’re always looking for submissions!

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

8.  Parents Magazine is always looking for writers

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

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

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

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

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


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

Happy writing!


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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities Selected for YOU & You Could Win $100!

newspapersIt’s the 3rd Thursday, and that means it’s time to share some writing opportunities with you!

I love gathering writing opportunities for you! Find the ones that are good fits for you and then be sure to follow the guidelines carefully. Don’t forget to let us know if something here leads to a publishing opportunity for you. We’ll want to join the celebration!

1.  Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference’ Co-Directors are looking for guest bloggers! If you’ve attended Blue Ridge, are registered for the 2014 conference, or have served as a faculty member, contact Al or Edie (addresses at the post). BRMCWC blog guest writing guidelines here.

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Making the Most of Writing Opportunities

un words FDP-sattvaEach month I post a list of writing opportunities here at The Christian Writer’s Den, and as a result, many of you have found success through the years by taking advantage of those opportunities.

But some have admitted that even with the prepared list delivered to your Inbox each month, you’ve never taken advantage of the posted leads.

Why not?

Some have said so many options are just too overwhelming. Others have said fear prevents them from trying. What’s stopping you?

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities Collected Just for YOU!

It’s the 3rd Thursday, and that means it’s time to share some writing opportunities with you!

Be sure to follow the guidelines carefully. And don’t forget to let us know if something here leads to a publishing opportunity for you.

1.  Highlights MagazineThey’re always looking for submissions!

2.  Design Design Greeting Card Company guidelines here.

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities

Yes, it’s that time again. Time for writing opportunities to help you on your writing journey!

And please don’t forget to let me know if you get a publication from anything I post. We’d love to celebrate it with you in the Kudos!

We’ll start with a couple of special opportunities.

1.  A Cover Story and a Contest: My friend, author Ellen Kennedy, is running a photo contest for her next book cover. If you like photography, you’ll want to check this out!

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