Tag Archives: writers conferences

Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Conferences, Contests, & Who Won Sheri Levy’s Book?

newspapersWriting opportunities and contests collected just for you, Christian Writer’s Den friends!

Yep, it’s time to share some writing opportunities I found just for you. Hope this makes a difference in your journey!

1.  Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference blog is always looking for posts. Click the link for info.

2.  Escapees Magazine is looking for articles of interest to RVers who live the RV lifestyle. Escapees Magazine writing guidelines here.

3.  Writers Weekly.com wants articles on how to make money writing. Do not send “how to write” articles. Writers Weekend guidelines here.

4.  Small Farm Today magazine is dedicated to preserving and promoting small farming, rural living, community and agripreneurship. Writing guidelines here.

5. Nan Jones is currently accepting guest bloggers for her blog Morning Glory at http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. Morning Glory is a devotional site that helps people find the Lord in the midst of their darkest hours. She is presently receiving over 5,000 visitors per month. Guest bloggers share testimony through a devotion of how God revealed Himself to them during a difficult time. For submission guidelines please contact Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com. Write “guest blogger” in the subject line.

6.  Chicken Soup is looking for stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas!
101 Joyous Holiday Stories
. Guidelines here.

7.  Country Woman Country Lifestyle Magazine: Guidelines here.

8.  Photo Life submission guidelines.

9.  Stages of Life Writing Contests for teens to retirement agers!

10. I Love Cats Magazine writer’s and photographers guidelines.

11. Write Integrity Press has call-out for writers for upcoming eBook! 

There you are! Don’t forget to let us know when you have a writing success to share. We want to celebrate with YOU!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Conference Room fdp Pixomar

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

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

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in March: Various locations and dates

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll be there and would love to see you there!)

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-14, 2015, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Weekend with the Writers: March 20-21, 2015, Greenville, SC

7.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

8.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll be there would love to see you there!)

9.  Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

10. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO (watch for details coming soon)

11. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll be there and would love to see you there!)

13. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

14. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

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

16. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. 2015 registration details will be up by March 1. (I would love to see you there!)

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

18. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MISheri Levy book cover

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And who won Sheri Levy’s book, Seven Days to Goodbye?

The winner is…Lori Hatcher! Congrats, Lori! All you need to do is contact me with your mailing address and your copy of Sheri’s book will be on its way!

And for those who didn’t win, I know you want your own copy, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Seven Days to Goodbye.

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Thanks for Tweeting!

Writing opps-conferences-contests – all for #writers – at Christian Writer’s Den @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtips http://bit.ly/1AL5DWh (Click to Tweet)

 

Well, that does it for another 3rd Tuesday. I hope you’ve found lots of help here today. After all, that’s my goal!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away, Kudos and MoGo7000 Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~celebration - Morguefile

Who do we get to celebrate with today?

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

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mogo7000 logo

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Vonda

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Writing Opportunities & Conferences and Who Won Linda Goldfarb’s Book?

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s our 3rd Tuesday and time to help you find writing opportunities!

1.  Chicken Soup is ALWAYS looking for stories! Currently looking for stories about dreams, nurses, luck, Christmas, and volunteering.

2.  Celebrate Life Magazine

3.  Horse-lovers, this one’s for you! Appaloosa Journal writing guidelines. 

4. American Falconry

5. Writer’s Digest Magazine writing guidelines

6. Bee Culture 

7. Anyone from Bloomington, IN? Writing guidelines from Bloom Magazine.  

8. Catholic Digest

9. WOW: Women on Writing (scroll down for guidelines)

10. Cat Fancy guidelines

11. Faith Today Magazine  

12. Kaleidoscope Magazine focuses on disabilities 

13. Northern Breezes sailing magazine for Great Lakes and Midwest sailing

14. The Secret Place writing guidelines for devotions   

15. Now What? Magazine is looking for stories

16. Reach Out, Columbia is looking for articles Spring/Summer/Easter articles. Contact editor Lori Hatcher at lori@reachoutcolumbia.com.

Okay, writers! I can’t wait to see what comes of your efforts this month!

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

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

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in March: Various locations and dates

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 7, 2015, Memphis, TN (I’ll be there and would love to see you!)

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-14, 2015, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Weekend with the Writers: March 20-21, 2015, Greenville, SC

7.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

8.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll be there would love to see you!)

9.  Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

10. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO (watch for details coming soon)

11. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll be there and would love to see you!)

13. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

14. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

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

16. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Loving the Me God Sees cover Linda Goldfarb

Who won Linda Goldfarb’s book?

The winner is…Pat W! Congratulations, Pat! Contact me with your mailing address and Linda will get the book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s a direct Amazon link to Linda’s book, Loving the ME God Sees.

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Well, that does it for another 3rd Tuesday. I’ll look forward to being with you again on Friday for Parting Words From The WORD!

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

Vonda

 

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps & Conferences for You & Who Won Cheryl Ricker’s Book?

newspapersIt’s our 3rd Tuesday, so it’s time to look at writing opportunities. This could be your door to publication!

 

1.  Better Homes and Gardens writers guidelines

2.  ADDitude Magazine writers guidelines

3.  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine writers guidelines

4.  Alive Now writers guidelines and theme list – Scroll down on right side for theme list and due dates

5.  American Girl writers guidelines

6.  Chicken Soup for the Soul possible book titles – Check out the latest story needs

7.  Asimov’s Science Fiction writers guidelines

8.  CampSite writers guidelines

9.  The Christian Century writers guidelines

10. Enrichment Journal writers guidelines

11. Parents Magazine writer’s guidelines

12. The Lutheran writers guidelines

13. Short Stories for a Fiction-Lover’s Devotional by Kathy Ide – Fiction-Lover’s Devotional Guidelines here

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

15. Shine Brightly Magazine for Girls writers guidelines

Okay, writing friends, what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to hear of your successes!

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Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of Dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you serious about writing and speaking? If so, you’ll be serious about attending conferences. 

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

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

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in March: Various locations and dates

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

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-14, 2015, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 25-31, 2015, Felton, CA

7.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll see you there!)

8.  Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 24-25, 2015, Santa Ana, CA

9.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 13-16, 2015, Estes Park, CO (watch for details coming soon)

10. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 15-16, 2015, Redmond, WA

11. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

12. Write To Publish: June 3-6, 2015, Wheaton, IL

13. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 12-14, 2015, Ripley, WV

14. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cheryl Ricker cover Rush of Heaven

And who won Cheryl Ricker’s book, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus?

According to Random.org, this week’s winner is Lynn A. Davidson! Congratulations, Lynn. To receive your free copy of Rush of Heaven, simply contact me with your mailing address and we’ll get it right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Rush of Heaven. You know you don’t want to miss this one!

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Thank you, dear friends, for another great Opps Tuesday at the Christian Writer’s Den. Be sure to come back next week for a learning experience from another great author!

Write on!

Vonda

 

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Christian Communicators’ Save the Date!

newspapersHappy 3rd Tuesday to you, dear friends! Let’s start with a list of writing opportunities and contests selected just for you!

1.  CBH Ministries Keys for Kids teaches children about God’s love and His Word. Keys for Kids Writer’s Guidelines here.

2.  Catholic Sentinel looking for Oregon-focused articles of interest to local Catholics.

3.  Creation Illustrated is the “leading Bible-based nature journal” and is looking for writers and photographers. Creation Illustrated Submission Guidelines here.

4.  Escapees Magazine is looking for articles of interest to RVers who live the RV lifestyle. Escapees Magazine writing guidelines here.

5.  Eldridge Plays and Musicals submission guidelines 

6.  Writers Weekly.com wants articles on how to make money writing. Do not send “how to write” articles. Writers Weekend guidelines here.

7.  Bead&Button Magazine is a bimonthly magazine devoted to techniques, projects, and designs of beaded jewelry and accessories. Bead&Button Submission Guidelines here.

8.  Woman’s Day magazine accepts articles from very experienced writers. Woman’s Day writer’s guidelines here.

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

10. Shotgun Sports magazine writers must have first hand knowledge of hunting, trapshooting, or collecting or repairing guns

11. The Kids’ Ark is always looking for great stories for kids. The Kids’ Ark is a quarterly children’s Christian magazine full of the truth about God’s love. There are many questions kids have growing up: Who am I? Am I loved? Am I worthy? Am I valuable? Think of all the pain that could be avoided in a lifetime if a child knew the answers to these questions at an early age. The Kids’ Ark Writer’s Guidelines here.

12. Small Farm Today magazine is dedicated to preserving and promoting small farming, rural living, community and agripreneurship. Writing guidelines here.

13. Highlights for Children is a general-interest, advertising-free magazine for children up to age twelve. It was founded in 1946 by Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, and is still owned and run by their family. The magazine has no religious or organizational affiliation. Highlights has a circulation of about two million and is published monthly. Highlights Writer’s Guidelines here.

14. Lerner Publishing Group works with many talented authors and illustrators to create its books for children and young adults. Lerner Books Submission Guidelines here.

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

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

And these two opportunities were submitted by our friend and CCC grad, artist and speaker Cyn Rogalski. Thanks, Cyn!

17. Christian Media Magazine guidelines

18. Moms Magazine submission guidelines

Well, that should keep you busy for a while. Don’t forget to share this with your writing friends!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vonda teaching at Writers Boot Camp

 And here are some conferences for writers and speakers. I hope to see you at some of them!

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  Write2Ignite Conference for Writers of Children’s Literature: March 27-28, 2015, Tigerville, SC (I’ll see you there!)

8. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 17-21, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

9. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 26-30, 2015, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open late February. (I’ll see you there!)

Okay, friends, I can’t wait to see the successes that come from your responses to these lists!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Sarah Meece and Who Won the Free Writing Workshop?

Sarah Meece headshotI’m excited to introduce my friend, Sarah Meece, to all my Christian Writer’s Den friends! I met Sarah several years ago at a writers conference and was amazed at her story. But when Sarah attended the Christian Communicators Conference, I was privileged to see what an incredible and talented lady she is. Then, when I read her manuscript for A Dose of Hope, I knew I wanted to bring her to you!

Readers, be sure to leave a comment for Sarah and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Don’t forget to come back next week and see if you’re the winner!

Welcome, Sarah. I’m so glad you’re here! Let’s start with an easy question. Was being an author a life-long dream?  

Absolutely not! For 29 years, I had been an educator at the secondary level. I loved high school students, and I was one of those teachers who was the first to pull in the parking lot each morning and the last to leave. I know according to The New York Times, 80% of the population has a desire to write a book, but honestly, I was too busy with school. I laughed and told a reporter once, “I didn’t have time to write the first paragraph much less a whole book!”

So what changed your heart and mind?

Having gone through several devastating events in my life, I felt a strong calling to speak to women. With my hectic teacher schedule, I would speak periodically, but I simply did not have time to speak on a Sarah Meece A Dose of Hope book coverregular basis. However, in 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After several weeks of chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy, my life changed. For the first time, I slowed down long enough to devote some valuable time to Bible study and prayer. It was during this period that I realized my life could be short, and I needed to be obedient to God. At the end of that school year, I retired from education and created Sarah Meece Inspires—a ministry encouraging others to deepen their relationship with God.

I think I know the answer to this question, but which came first—speaking or writing?

Speaking definitely was the catalyst which led to writing. As I began booking speaking engagements, I would often get the question, “Do you have a book?” I quickly realized that in order to be perceived as a credible speaker, I needed the word author after my name. Having always enjoyed devotional books, I decided to write, A Dose of Hope, a devotional book containing real-life, everyday situations which people could easily relate.

Since writing was not a long-life goal, was it difficult for you?

I have to tell you, God was so gracious to me during the writing process. Almost every morning when I opened my eyes, God had planted a topic in my heart. I would run to the office, type as fast as I could to capture the message which He was encouraging me to share. Of course, my first draft definitely needed Sarah Meece headshot 2work, so I spent hours and hours on the final document. Plus, I was extremely blessed with a wonderful team of people who served as my editor and proofreaders. Interestingly enough, the members on my team were all retired educators (even from different states). By the way, those former English and business teachers can be hard core! (*wink) I am forever grateful to this awesome team!

Tell us about your publishing process.

My goal wasn’t necessarily to be included on the best seller list; therefore, I decided to self publish through CreateSpace. I wanted to create a document to help people build a deeper relationship with God. When I speak, I always have the book available on my product table. In addition, A Dose of Hope is available on Amazon.com. Thus far, I have been extremely pleased with the success of the book.

I know you had a great book launch for A Dose of Hope. Please tell us how you did that.

The book launch was fabulous! And I truly believe the secret to a great book launch is forming a book launch committee. I asked six friends—all from different walks of life and from different social circles—to assist with the book launch. We meet once a week for about six weeks prior to the launch where we decided everything from decorations and food to publicity and giveaways. Committee members Sarah Meece Book Launch--Celebration Teamdistributed invitations via social media, and the invitation was included in the local newspaper. The launch was held on December 3rd, at a local country club, and approximately 300 people attended the launch.  [Note to self:  Next time, sign some books in advance!] I simply cannot say enough; it was the perfect evening! Early December ended up being a great time for a book launch because many people purchased multiple copies of A Dose of Hope to give as Christmas presents to friends and family.

Do you have any new adventures in the near future?

Yes, I have all kinds of new and exciting things happening in the ministry! On the speaking front, I am joining two other speakers and forming The Hope Tour. We just did our soft launch this past weekend in Middletown, Ohio. Our mission is to spread hope to women across the country. Plus, I already have several events scheduled for 2015, including speaking at two major breast cancer events. And, on the writing front, I am in the process of writing my second book, A Dose of Peace.  I would sincerely appreciate your prayers in all of these endeavors.

Sarah, thank you for being with us and sharing your heart today. I hope readers will learn more about you and your powerful, amazing story! Readers, I know you’re going to want to have a copy of Sarah’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to the Kindle version of A Dose of Hope and the paperback version of A Dose of Hope.

Sarah Meece headshot 3Bio: Sarah Meece is not only a former educator and successful business woman, she is also a motivator, a leader, and most importantly, a survivor with an incredible story. For over 30 years, she has been reaching out to both students and adults as a strong witness and Christian role model. Traveling extensively, she has addressed a variety of audiences with her inspirational messages.

During her career in education, she received numerous awards including being named the recipient of the Milken Family Foundation National Teacher of the Year Award, Outstanding Young Women in America Award, and the Ashland Oil Golden Apple Achievement Award. Since retiring from secondary education, her heart for God has led her to devote her time and energy to speaking about persevering through life’s most difficult storms.

Today, her main love and focus is on her family — her wonderful husband, Curry, their four children, and two grandchildren. You can visit Sarah and find out more about her speaking and writing ministry at her website: SarahMeece.com.

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vonda teaching

And Who Won a Free Writing Workshop from My Store?

The winner is Jeanne Doyon! Congratulations, Jeanne! Please go to my online store, click on Downloadable Writer’s Workshops, and decide which one you want. Then contact me with your choice and I’ll send it right out to you. Hope you enjoy it!

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Thank you for joining me again today. I hope you’ll be back on Friday as we look at His Word!

Blessings,

Vonda

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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!

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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!

1.  Reach 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

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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.

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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 Retreat: October 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

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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.

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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!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Verna Bowman

Verna Bowman headshotReaders, I’m excited to introduce my friend, author, speaker, and Christian Communicators grad, Verna Bowman, to you. Be sure to read her bio below, but for now, let me just say that Verna and I met at CCC in 2011 and it didn’t take me long to realize what powerful stories she had to tell!

As I told Verna, when I started reading her book, I had planned to read one story per night before I went to sleep–but I couldn’t do it! Instead, it was “Just one more, just one more.” I couldn’t stop! You’re gonna love her interview and her book!

And don’t forget to leave a comment for Verna and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book!

So, let’s get started! Welcome to The Christian Writer’s Den, Verna. Even though I know much of your story, I don’t know how your writing began. When did you begin to write?

About forty-five journals ago! I love to record life in remembrance of what God has done. Scripture tells us to write it down on stones of remembrance so those that follow will know the goodness of God. My first intention was to compile the stories for my children and grandchildren as a legacy of faith because I feel it’s important to hand down to the next generation the reason we believe, to encourage them in their own journey.

However, for the past twenty-six years (really!) I’ve been attending the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. The director, Marlene Bagnull has been instrumental in developing and encouraging my writing. I’ve written for many publications and devotionals throughout the years, but finally came to the realization that I needed to write it in a book, not a journal.

I love Marlene Bagnull! As the first person to help me see that writing was my calling from God, she has been a powerful influence in my writing life as well. So what finally inspired you to write Crumbs Along the Broken Path?

Many years in Women’s Ministry brought me close to the heart of a number of wounded women experiencing some of the things I had. I wanted to encourage those who needed hope in seemingly hopeless situations. I created a blog, Encouraging Women One Story at a Time and the book came about soon after.

The book traces a personal path of rebellion, repentance, and restoration. In the middle of the road somewhere I began to take inventory of my life and saw that the good and especially the not-so-good were the very things God used to bring me to a deeper place with Him. I wanted to share it with others.

God’s most powerful blessing can be the brokenness we experience because of where it leads – to wholeness. It reminds us that we’re not the main character of our story.

“We’re not the main character of our story.” So true! What can you tell us about the book – what are some of the stories about?

This is a collection of short stories that tells of a faith struggle in the midst of a life interrupted by countless crises. It’s the difficult and the dark things that touch all of our lives in some way, although not usually condensed into one lifetime, as it has been for me. I once had someone tell me my life sounded like fiction. The stories are as real as God’s intervention in each one.

A few stories are special to me. . . . certainly the one about our youngest son’s unending journey with Crumbs Along Broken Path Verna Coverkidney failure, Journey of a Lifetime.

Also, If I Should Wake Before I Die, the story of when my husband suffered multiple strokes and cardiac arrest developing into a coma. He was pronounced brain dead and we were asked to remove the life support. After much prayer that helped me in a difficult decision, I told them I knew what God could do in seven days, and I would wait. The seventh morning he woke up! This also has seemed like an unending journey, but today he is a master woodcarver to fill in his forced-to-retire hours!

Another story has to do with our Bible study that helped us build another home similar to the near-by Amish barn raising, when we lost ours due to extreme medical bills. You won’t believe who God supplied in that labor crew!

What do you hope the reader will take away after reading your book?

Hope. Deep hope. We all face challenges but the hard things that touch our lives that seem unending, don’t have to last forever. We can see beyond the circumstances that shout in our faces when we learn to listen for the merciful whisper of a sovereign Father.

My book is simply journaled pieces of life. I end each one with a question in the hope the reader will discover a piece of his or her own story, because . . .

Everybody has a story!

You’re absolutely right, Verna! And it’s often through our stories that we’re able to connect with those who need to connect with Jesus. Thank you for your willingness to share the good and the bad with us, and pointing to the Savior who can heal it all.

BIO: Verna has over twenty-five years in ministry leadership inspiring women to a deeper relationship with God. Her passion is encouraging women through writing and speaking messages of hope. Her experience in leading Bible studies, teaching, mentoring, and coordinating retreats have provided opportunities to share God’s Word with women of all ages. Verna’s book, Crumbs Along the Broken Path, walks readers through her rebellion, redemption, and restoration by following scattered crumbs on her path that led to a deep relationship with the Lord.  Her stories can bring each one of us to a deeper understanding of how God uses tragic circumstances in our lives. Verna is a graduate of Christian Communicators Conference and a long time participant of the Greater Philadelphia and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences. She posts a weekly blog on her website Encouraging Women One Story at a Time. Her articles and personal experience stories have been featured in various periodicals and devotionals. She and her husband Jeff have four adult children and five grandchildren – all wonderful. In her free time she works as a medical secretary. Be sure to visit her website at www.vernabowman.com

So that’s it for today, friends. Be sure to leave a comment for Verna and you could win a free book! Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you’re the winner. :-)

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

Vonda

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

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

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

Yea, I was feeling kinda left behind.

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

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

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

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

By Lori Hatcher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, Lori! I feel better already!

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Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We Need To Hear About Your Successes!

Hey there, writing friends. We want to know what you’ve been up to. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!

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mogo7000 logoAnd Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in May?

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

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

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2014 challenge is ongoing! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 12 months and you’ll have 12 entries!

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

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

And Who Won Patty Mason’s Book?

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

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

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

Blessings,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…I’m His Favorite, by Judith Robl

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

(Thank you to writer and speaker Judith Robl for responding to my call-out for guest bloggers. With all the recent writing conferences, I thought her devotion is perfect for today. Thank you, Judith!)

I’m His Favorite, by Judith Robl

Focus verses: Genesis 37:3-11

Joseph is a boy – a teenager really. Can’t you just imagine his youthful cockiness as he tells his dreams to his brothers?

And the fact that he is his father’s favorite just adds fuel to the fire.

At a writers’ conference several years ago, I sat at the supper table with a young woman who’d had a great day. She concluded her recitation of God’s blessings to her with “I’m His favorite.” As we all took turns sharing our triumph for the day, she’d interject to each “how wonderful! You’re God’s favorite.” It became a running by-word for the remainder of the conference. And it was a reminder to us that God cared about each of us in every detail.

In fact, we’re each God’s favorite. He loves us each as if we were His only child. But this does not give us reason to be cocky and self-assured.

Rather it should make us more sensitive to the feelings of others, more ready to encourage and support their efforts to know God better.

We can best reflect His love by speaking gently and humbly, by loving unconditionally, and by admonishing softly with God’s truth.

Father, God,
Wrap us in the security of Your love. Help us reflect it to all we meet who are starving for knowledge of You.
In Jesus most precious name,
AmenJudith Robl headshot

Bio: Judith Robl is the author of As Grandma Says (Harvest House) and founder of Reflected Light Ministries and speaks to women’s groups about prayer, forgiveness, and drawing closer to God. Trained as a secondary level English teacher, Judith has a heart for mentoring. She and her husband, Martin, have been married almost 50 years and enjoy time with their grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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