Archive for the ‘Writing Opportunities’ Category

Shields Up

“So use every piece of God’s armor
to resist the enemy whenever he attacks . . .
In every battle
you will need
faith as your shield.”

Eph. 6:13, 16 TLB


This morning I was more than overwhelmed by everything I need to get done for the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference that is only 12 days away. Unlike the exciting countdown to Christmas that had me breathless with anticipation as a child, the conference crunch zone leaves me out of breath from racing to complete a to-do list that keeps getting longer no matter how hard or long I work.

Yes, this morning I was more than overwhelmed – I was panicking. I allowed my focus on the only One who can enable me to do what I clearly cannot do in my own strength to slip as I focused instead on the piles of paper on my desk and floor and open filing cabinets. A tension headache grabbed hold of me, and my neck felt like it was in a vice.

“I can’t do this, Father. I can’t. Please, Father. Please help me!”

As always, when I cry out for help He answers. This time His very visual answer came through my good friend Cindy Watkins who has been here serving as the Registration and Housing Coordinator since July 7. She prayed as she massaged my stiff neck and shoulders. And she gave me a much-needed reminder that an army of angels is surrounding me and the conference. To make it visual, she grabbed my bright red garden kneeling pad and set it before me.

“Shields up!” she told me. “And stop speaking negative things. Praise God instead.”

I suspect many of you reading this can identify.  But rejoice! The “defeated one” works extra hard when we’re seeking to do the Lord’s work. Discouragement, doubt, anxiety, fear . . . he has an arsenal of weapons he unleashes. It’s at times like these we have a choice. We can embrace his lies that typically contain enough truth that they seem believable, or we can put our “shields up” and affirm aloud that “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us” (Rom. 8:37 TLB).

Updates – July 30 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

New faculty memberKaren Whiting
Karen is an international speaker and award-winning author of 17 books, including God’s Girls, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front, and My Mini Dream Room. Her newest book is Nature Girl: a guide to caring for God’s creation. Her book The One Year My Princess Devotions won the 2014 Christian Retailing Best Award in children’s nonfiction. Her book Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front won the Golden Scroll nonfiction book of the year in June and gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America nonfiction category. Her writing experience includes more than 600 magazine articles in more than sixty periodicals. She writes for Book Fun Magazine and Molly Green magazines and will be representing them at the conference. Editorial needs are posted at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/editors. If you’ve already registered for the conference and requested your appointments, the same as with Rick Marschall, another faculty member who just recently joined us, you may request an additional “bonus” appointment. Just email mvawter@writehisanswer.com.

Editorial Needs – Kregal Publications, represented by Jeanette Windle
I just realized I never posted this info to the website. All genres of fiction, but they are getting picky and taking fewer titles; no children’s picture books, non-fiction Christian living, theology, pastoral and church resources, inspirational, some missions, niche genres if the perfect topic was offered.

There’s still time to register before the $15 “procrastinator’s fee” kicks in July 22. Go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/register. If you need scholarship help or time payments, I’ll do everything possible to work with you to make it happen. Click on Scholarships.

News You Can Use

Gone or Dawn? The Golden Age of Publishing – An encouraging blog from literary agent, Steve Laube.

Fantastical and Endless Opportunities  – Interview with GPCWC faculty member, Pam Halter.

Keep writing His answer!



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Possible And Impossible Keys Show Optimism And Positivity“With God everything is possible.” Mark 10:27 TLB

I’ve been part of Christian publishing for about thirty-five years. In the early days I used a Selectric typewriter and submitted (and resubmitted) my manuscripts via the USPS. It took six to eighteen months for accepted manuscripts to get in print. (I’ve sold over 1,0o0 articles, stories, poems, and devotionals and have had nine books published.)

Today it sometimes still takes many long months and even years to get our work in print, but computers and the Internet have definitely speeded up the rest of  the process – God’s provision, I believe, because of the critical need to write and publish His answer while there is still time. Now we literally can reach the world from our desktop through blogs and websites and the publication of our work in online magazines or as eBooks or POD books.

It’s an awesome time to be a writer, but one thing has not changed. In order to impact the lives of our readers, we need to write with excellence.

I have given my Write His Answer Seminar over 50 times, coast to coast. God has used it to launch hundreds of writing ministries and to grow the ministries of those who are already writing for publication.

Friday evening, June 6, and Saturday, June 7 from 8:30 – 5:00 I will present this seminar at Faith Discovery Church, 33 Brass castle Road, Washington, NJ. If you’re planning to come to the July 29 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, the Write His Answer Seminar is great preparation for meeting with agents and editors. If distance or your schedule prohibits you from coming, the seminar is available on CD. You can order the entire seminar or portions from my online bookstore for writers at http://writehisanswer.com/bookstore.

Here are some of the topics I cover:

  • How to get started in the ministry of writing. Personal and spiritual preparation.
  • An overview of the Christian market and the best opportunities.
  • The ministry potential of self-publishing and writing for the secular market.
  • How to turn your personal experiences into print. Seven essential elements of a personal experience story and pitfalls to avoid.
  • How to find, capture, organize, evaluate, and sharpen your ideas.
  • Using a Writer’s Check-off List.
  • Making a good impression on an editor.
  • Writing effective query and cover letters.
  • Knowing your rights and the editor’s rights.
  • An overview of the needs of the Christian market and best opportunities.
  • How to write devotionals, articles, fiction, profiles, fillers, humor, and poetry that will sell and touch lives.
  • How to pass the “So what?” test.
  • How to effectively market your work and use a market analysis chart.
  • How to overcome procrastination.
  • How to deal with the D’s (disappointment, doubt, and discouragement) and rise above rejection.
  • The importance of prayerfully setting specific and measurable goals.

Each session has a biblical focus and is hemmed in by prayer. Friday evening includes a critique session where portions of as many manuscripts as possible will be read. Even if you do not have a manuscript to be critiqued, you will learn principles you can apply to your own writing.

It’s not too late to register. Go to www.jewellutt.com and click on “Events: Calling All Writers” for more information.

Father, for such a time as this I know You are calling and equipping an army of writers to “write Your answer.” I praise You that you are able to do “far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Eph. 3:20 TLB).

Thank you for your outstanding seminar!
The feedback has been tremendous in terms of your expertise,
your helpfulness, and your love for our Lord.
People especially enjoyed the frequent times of prayer.
You are a blessing wherever you go.

Dr. Mary Ann L. Diorio, Founder
The New Jersey Society of Christian Writers


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reflections on Christ - crucifixion


I have a new understanding of what Jesus felt when the crown of thorns was shoved on his head. Saturday I fell into a rose bush! Leaning over too far and stretching awkwardly as I tried to pound in a fertilizer stick, I lost my balance and fell head first into one of the thorniest rose bushes in my garden. It’s really amazing that I wasn’t seriously hurt. Thank You, Father! And thank You, Jesus, for enduring the thorns and the lashing and the cross.  The strength of Your will, Your commitment to do what Your Father asked, and especially Your love for mankind even as they mocked You amazes me. “What wondrous love is this . . .”


Updates – May 14-17 Colorado Christian Writers Conference

John Sloan

New faculty member
John Sloan
Senior Executive Editor
HarperCollins Christian Publisher

John has worked for thirty-four years in religious publishing.  He specializes in non-fiction essay and narrative nonfiction, including memoir and autobiography, and he has worked on books with authors Philip Yancey, Ben Carson, Chuck Swindoll, Chuck Colson, Joni Eareckson Tada, Lee Strobel, James Houston, Ravi Zacharias, Howard Hendricks, Bill Hybels, Patrick Morley, Gary Thomas, John Ortberg, and now Gary Wilkerson as he pens the authorized David Wilkerson biography. John uses editorial experience and creativity to advocate nonfiction narrative with authors and agents, focusing on book organization for final writings. Structure, unity, and arrangement of material are keys John looks for in his evaluations. He has edited 22 Gold Medallion Award-winning books, two Book of the Year winners, and written one book, The Barnabas Way.

Thursday evening Night Owl – Narrative Non-Fiction, from Hillenbrand to Tuchman
In nonfiction, how do we write clearly, without qualification or uncertainty, with authority and conviction?  One way, is to learn to tell stories, as in fiction, and to tell them well. And, what are some of the tools that can be used in third person, story-driven narrative? Many can be found in your own writing.  This seminar includes a few of the techniques that illustrate how nonfiction storytelling can  drive the narrative in a way that is similar to fiction and different than essay, using some of the best writers, like Lauren Hillenbrand (Unbroken).

What kind of manuscripts do I want to see – Narrative nonfiction. Can be any of a number of forms demonstrating good non-fiction writing, such as essay, autobiography, biography, investigation, exploration, memoir, and collaboration, as seen in Larson, Lamott,  Didion, Yancey, Lewis, and Buechner. Such writing has a narrative rather than anecdotal quality, an arc from beginning to end, a strong voice, 3-dimensional scenes, and the narrative tools of writing, as demonstrated in the night owl on narrative nonfiction.  A bonus appointment with John (in addition to the appointments you are entitled to) is available on a first-come basis. If you have already submitted an appointment request form, just email our Appointment Coordinator, Margie Vawter, at mvawter@writehisanswer.com. In the subject line please put “Request for Bonus Appointment with John Sloan.”


Shawn Kuhn

New faculty member
Shawn Kuhn

In December of 2011 Shawn Kuhn joined the SuzyQ team. With his love for reading and his background in teaching and youth ministry, he finally settled in the book industry, combining his love for business, reading, and people. Shawn was the vice president of a bargain book chain for more than 25 years. His years of hand selling books and in store promotion bring a fresh approach to an author’s digital presence. Shawn offers SuzyQ’s clients guidance and support in all aspects of their book careers with the ultimate goal of reaching their target audience. www.SuzyQ4U.com
A bonus appointment with Shawn (in addition to the appointments you are entitled to) is available on a first-come basis. If you have already submitted an appointment request form, just email our Appointment Coordinator, Margie Vawter, at mvawter@writehisanswer.com. In the subject line please put “Request for Bonus Appointment with Shawn Kuhn.”

Updates – July 30-August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

The race is on right now to prepare for the Colorado conference so I’ve not been able to do more updating to the Philly site. Soon, I hope. Meanwhile, if you have not received our 16-page brochure, please email your USPS address to me at mbagnull@aol.com.

News You Can Use

Writing Opportunities – Jeanette Littleton just sent me the following three opportunities:

* One is a brand new manuscript call for the book, “Please Tell Me I’m Not a Bad Mother…,” an idea that’s been on my heart for a long time. This book is designed to inspire, encourage, and support moms. Due date is June 27. For guidelines contact Jeanette at JGLProjects@earthlink.net.

* We’re still looking for manuscripts for Jim Bell’s project with Bethany House, “Jesus Stories.” This book is about encounters with Christ–supernatural or otherwise. For guidelines contact Jeanette at JesusStories@earthlink.net.

* If you live in the Midwest (or like to take trips), join us April 26 in Kansas City for our Heart of America Christian Writers’ Network (www.HACWN.org) Super Writers Saturday with best-selling author Angela Hunt presenting a whole day of teaching for writers who want to learn and grow.

Keep writing and living His answer!

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