Monday, December 28, 2015

Write for Your Reader and a Happy 2016

As this year draws to a close, an incident with my health insurance company reminded me to always keep my reader in mind.

A few months ago, I received a letter from my health insurance company stating that my plan was being terminated and I would need to look elsewhere for coverage. The letter was full of insurance verbiage and dates. Then a few weeks later my husband received a similar letter and he would also need to look for a new plan.  So, we set up new coverage through our accountant, also an insurance broker. Thank goodness for people who understand all of the health language and guides others through.

About a month later I was looking over our bank account online, and to my surprise I see the monthly payment has been deducted to my former health insurance company. What had happened? I then grabbed all the correspondence from my former provider, announcing the cancellation, and as I read I realized my insurance was not terminating November 2015, but November 2016!!! The letter had the dates of 2015, 2016, 2017 written all over it and also instructing me that the open enrollment was until January 2016, but nowhere did it state that I had ONE more year.

Well, I felt quite foolish, and had to scramble to make sure we would have enough balance in the bank to cover two premiums. Well, all is fine. I terminated my former insurance policy and the reimbursement is on the way.

But, what this whole episode showed me, was how important it is to write with clarity (and also read closely, in a note to myself). Have I written this article, letter or devotional so my reader understands? As I am finishing up a writing assignment, I'm keeping this in mind.



Have a Very Happy 2016.   


Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Past as Inspiration for Story


For a long time, I have wanted to write some short stories about the time I was ten years old and my family temporarily moved to West Virginia, where my Dad trained for a new job. We knew it would only be a few months and then we would move back to our home in Indiana.

We moved from a ranch house in the country, with a front and back yard, to a three-room apartment, where all five of us lived. I only stayed about two months, because I had to return to live with my grandparents to attend school. But that change of environment had a great impact on me. Once home, starting school without my parents was also an unsettling time.

Our lives consisted of my Dad going to work, taking our only car, and Mom home with three children. In addition to me, there was my four-year-old and one-year-old sisters. Since my Mom was claustrophobic, we took lots of walks in the downtown of this very small hamlet. We had no laundry facilities at the apartment, so we would load a red wagon with the dirty laundry and walk to the laundry mat. So we made our trek with someone pulling the wagon and someone else navigating my sister's stroller. I will never forget the little boy whose mother ran the laundry mat, who had been in a fire and his face and arms were full of skin graphs. It was difficult for me not to stare.  

Except for our daily outings, most of my days were filled with playing with my Barbie dolls on our living room floor. I would spend hours engrossed in walking them through various scenarios.


So, on and on the experiences go. It is a neat experiment on how I begin to write about a true incident, and then those stories branch off and become fiction.

It has been an interesting time of delving into the past and seeing where it takes me.


Have you been doing anything new with your writing?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Remember VBS (Vacation Bible School)?



I read an article this week on Christianity Today's website, about VBS (Vacation Bible School). The discussion centered around whether to charge attendees or not. Read it here.

I attended VBS as a child at my home church, which many of you probably did as well. I played the various musical instruments that the visiting teachers brought, heard the Bible stories and created various crafts.  

When I worked for a Christian publisher, one of my yearly projects was to help produce the VBS curriculum. It was exciting to realize I was now on the other side of the desk producing lessons and artwork that would hopefully make an impact on children.

When I married and moved to another city, I read in the daily newspaper the descriptions of each local VBS program. I was shocked to see some of the churches charging an enormous amount for each child to attend. I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor, something I had never done.

In that letter I talked about the importance for churches to provide a program that draws families who don’t attend your church, but also make it feasible for those who have large families or have a lower income, attend. The paper ran the letter, and that day I received a phone call from a local woman. Her purpose in calling was to thank me for writing the letter, for she too felt strongly about not charging for this vital program.  

As the Summer winds down, I know many of these programs are now over. But, I hope for those who are thinking of next year to consider the options of not charging or charging a minimal fee. What a child hears and sees at an early age, can stay with them for years to come.



How about you? 
Did you attend a VBS as a child? 
If you have children, did or do you send your children?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PDF to Kindle: I Can Do It!



If you are a Kindle owner, did you know you have a Kindle email address and you can send documents, not in Kindle format to your device from your computer? Maybe you know that, but I didn’t, until recently. 

After I bought my Kindle, I purchased most of my e-books on Amazon. But, occasionally I bought them on other sites and they were in another format, usually a PDF. They would end up on my laptop and I was clueless as to how to get them to my Kindle and most of them ended up unread.

A few months ago, I was offered a free e-book if I sent this company my Kindle e-mail. My what? I didn’t know I had a Kindle e-mail address. How would I find that? I couldn’t find it on Amazon so I did a search on the internet and found out how to find it. I went to Amazon and looked under “Manage your content and devices” then under “Devices” and it came up. I sent that party my e-mail and that e-book appeared on my Kindle. Now, I never went beyond that to figure out how else I could use that e-mail address, so I still struggled with how to get those e-books as a PDF, on my computer, to my Kindle.

I saw a post by a fellow writer, and I was instructed to use your Kindle e-mail address and attach the PDF to the email. I did that and no luck. So I searched again and came up with the page on Amazon that explained how to send a PDF. I found out that a PDF needs to be “converted” to be read on the Kindle. So, I sent an email to my Kindle and used the word “convert” in the subject line and attached the PDF. I did that and it worked!

The conversion of a PDF isn’t always perfect. The graphics don't always come with it and sometimes a few lines are off, but it is conveniently on your Kindle.


Have you done this? Any advice on sending other document types to your Kindle?


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Interruptions, Interruptions




Last week I discussed how to be consistent in your writing by working at it one step at a time. As I have tried to do that I have become frustrated. The more I think about simply stepping through to do the next thing I have come up against many interruptions and have become angry at myself, situations and at others.

But, when I stopped and thought about it, there was no reason for anger. I forgot that life will always have interruptions and I won’t ever have an open window of time, totally free of disruptions and changes in plans because we live in a world with other people and events which are unpredictable.

Okay, I accept this as truth. How do we, because I know we all deal with this, put this frustration at bay?


Daily remind yourself that you can’t control all aspects of your life. Do set up priorities and evaluate when you should say no. Then realize there will be times you may have to put your writing plans on hold.

Work diligently when the opportunity is there; even the small amounts of time. Don’t waste the time or you will have regrets.


Take a deep breath and don’t let your frustration be directed at someone who doesn’t deserve it.






How about you? How do you keep your frustration at bay when you do not feel you are accomplishing your writing goals?



Saturday, June 13, 2015

One Step Forward

I have just returned from the writers conference I attend each year. I met people who love to write, those who want to write and some who make a living writing. Those who have books and articles published were searching for their next project.

It is good to talk with other writers and be encouraged and inspired by them. But, now I am home and I have to be diligent and continue to write. 

Sometimes I don’t know where to start, I have so many notes and possibilities from last week. When I'm not sure what to do first, I journal and pray and take that first step. 

Sometimes after you take that first step, the next step becomes plain to you. Don’t stop stepping forward toward your goals.


How about you? 
How do keep on track to complete a project?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Andie Roeder Moody with The Behemoth, A Christianity Today Magazine


Briefly describe your publication.

I'm representing The Behemoth, a new magazine from Christianity Today. Though we're often dubbed CT's science magazine, we're actually much more than that: our aim as a publication is to make people wonder--to pause, behold God's world, and be in a state of awe towards him. We publish about fields that are awe-invoking: science, theology, sociology, history, and narrative. Each issue, published bi-weekly, has three feature stories, a poem, and a round up of links. We're subscriber-only and ad-free, because we're trying to create a pleasant, distraction-free reading experience. And the magazine is available on our site (responsive across devices), on our iPad app, or as a PDF.


How can a writer break into your magazine?

Email me with a story idea in one of those fields, and include links to your previous work. Usually a thousand words or less. We're not looking for arguments; we're not trying to convince readers that science and faith are compatible. Rather, we're seeking delight. If your piece is well-written and causes wonder towards God, we'll likely take it! We love original poetry, and we'll also consider manuscripts.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

If you're interested in writing for us, I'd suggest reading through one of our issues (here's a free one) to get an idea for our tone. I'd love to see writers bring along a pitch as well as samples of their work. Better yet, follow up with those materials in an email.

I also do content marketing for CT's brands through social media and e-newsletters, so I'd be glad to talk marketing as well.

(For the record, I also work with Christianity Today, but I do not do acquisitions for them. I'm happy to try to answer questions about CT and give pointers, but your best bet for pitching the magazine or CT.com would be through the normal process.)


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter. Looking forward to meeting and learning from everyone.


Write-to-Publish Conference is held June 3-6 
in the Chicago area.












Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pioneer Girl: For All the Laura Ingalls Wilder Fans



Last week I picked up a gem of a book, at my local library. It is called Pioneer Girl, The
Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder






I had heard about this book published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press, and wanted to read it. It is a hefty one, nearly 10" x 11" and 400 pages long. I cannot renew it because it is on hold for another patron due to its' popularity. My plan is to read the introduction and other miscellaneous sections, which are fascinating, about the writing life of Wilder. I think in a few months I will check it out again and read the major work of the book.

The bulk of the book is the manuscript of Pioneer Girl the memoir Laura wrote, geared for adults, before she wrote any of the Little House juvenile books. Wilder never thought about writing juvenile fiction when she wrote her memoir. Her goal was to preserve and pass on the stories of her father. 

The manuscript is broken down into the various years and places her family lived when she was a child. I have read that there are parts of the memoir that made it into the book series, but many did not. There are also many black-and-white photos which will delight Laura's readers.

The introduction is an interesting read for any writer. It details through the diaries, mainly of Rose Wilder Lane, Laura's daughter, their relationship through the process of Rose mentoring her mother in writing the Little House books. 

For those of you who do not know, Rose was a very successful writer before any of Laura’s books were published. With Rose’s contacts in New York City she was able to assist her mother to find a publisher and also suggested that the memoir be written as juvenile fiction. It is interesting to read about the interaction, not always pleasant, between mother and daughter. These accounts are based mainly on Rose's diaries. Also, the backdrop, while trying to get the books published, was the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

A few years ago I was able to visit the last homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Mansfield, Missouri, where she wrote this memoir and also the Little House juvenile fiction series. This was a plus for me as they referenced many of the places around the home, which I remember.


I think this is a must read and will be an enjoyable one for Wilder fans.





  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Miranda Gardner, Discovery House




Briefly describe your publishing house.

Discovery House publishes books that "feed the soul with the Word of God." We're best known for our devotionals, since we publish the library of Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) and are affiliated with Our Daily Bread Ministries. We also publish Christian living, inspirational, spiritual and personal growth books, and books for women. Visit dhp.org to see our books and products.


Do you publish first-time authors?

Typically we publish four to six first-time authors per year.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

Plan to relax and be yourself during the appointment. Take the opportunity to ask questions but do some research before the conference too. Search online for articles on how to write a proposal and compile a one-sheet, and visit publishers' websites. Be prepared to answer questions about what makes your book unique: Of the many books published in a year in any given genre, why would a person choose yours? This question stumps some writers, but I've also heard great answers.


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

Apart from adult nonfiction, we're also looking for Bible-based, nonfiction resources for teens, including a teen devotional.

Write to Publish will be held June 3 – 6 in
the Chicago area.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Helen Lee, InterVarsity Press






Briefly describe your publishing house.

InterVarsityPress has been publishing thoughtful Christian books for nearly 70 years. Our current publishing program is focused on three imprints:
  • IVP Books offers general-interest books in categories like Christian living, discipleship, evangelism, missions, apologetics and cultural critique. Within this imprint, we have several lines: Formatio (focused on spiritual formation), Praxis (church ministry and resources) and Crescendo (written by women). 
  • IVP Academic offers books designed for research and classroom use in areas such as biblical studies, theology, philosophy, science and psychology.
  • IVP Connect offers study guides, multimedia curriculum and foundational resources for churches and small groups.
InterVarsity Press is a division of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.


Do you publish first-time authors?

Yes, we do. However, the proposal and platform have to be compelling for us to work with first-time authors.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

Take the time to understand IVP as a publisher. Spend time perusing our books and our lines. We often receive proposals from people who have not done this, which can be frustrating when their book idea clearly does not match our profile as a publisher. Also, be able to articulate your book idea succinctly and explain what makes your idea distinct in the marketplace. 


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

I would prefer not to answer questions on "how do I grow my platform?" There are many other places you can find good resources to address that question, as this is not my area of expertise.


 Write to Publish will be held June 3 – 6 in the
Chicago area. 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Linda Weddle of Awana



Please describe your organization.
Awana is a global, nonprofit ministry committed to the belief that the greatest impact for Christ starts with kids who know, love and serve Him. Currently 2.8 million children/youth in more than 100 countries attend Awana each week.

How can a writer use his skills?
We are looking for a variety of writing. Currently we have a big need for strong marketing copy. This means taking facts and key phrases from the marketing department and fitting it into the pieces needed. In other words, taking a rough draft and making it shine.
We also freelance some curriculum writing.
Another step in the door is through the blog. I can assign blog topics at the conference. We don't pay for blog entries, though we will give you a byline and a brief bio. See our blog here - http://blog.awana.org


How can a writer prepare for appointment with you?

Some samples of what you've done. Clearly written contact information (although I go back to Headquarters with recommendations, I am not always the one to hire the writers - the person opening your file needs to know how to get in contact with you.)

Knowledge of Awana isn't necessary, but some understanding is good. Check out our website at awana.org


Write to Publish will be held June 3 – 6
in the Chicago area.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Cindy Sproles, Christian Devotions, LPC Nonfiction



Briefly describe your company and the 
imprints you represent.





For Christian Devotions - we are looking for devotions using the hook, book, look and took method of writing. There is an example on our guidelines at www.christiandevotions.us. Scroll the bottom of the page and click Write for Us for the guidelines. We want devotions that are not preachy but have a nice story, and an application that draws the reader to a greater understanding of Christ.

For Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC) - SonRise Devotionals - We are seeking devotionals 60-90 days with a deeper content. Still not preachy but that take the reader into a deeper daily walk. We are not necessarily looking for niche books, rather a solid daily devotional that is both short and filled with "ah moments."


For LPC's Straight Street Books (non-fiction) - We are looking for good non-fiction however, we have little market for memoirs. We would like to see solid non-fiction inspirational books, books that both help and lead the reader in their personal lives that may include overcoming adversities with a strong Christian worldview. Our books do not necessarily have to be geared to the Christian market but we like to see the strength and hope of a relationship with Christ gently threaded through. Books with a strong moral value do not have to scream Christianity but teach Him through our thoughts and actions that reflect Him. 


How can a conferee best prepare for an appointment with you?

When you meet with me, I prefer a one-sheet and a business card. I will not carry home proposals on the plane, rather I will ask for you to send them to me via email should I find one that meets our needs. I look forward to talking with you about your ideas and even brainstorming with you a bit. 

Write to Publish will be held June 3 – 6
in the Chicago area.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Dan Brownell of Today's Christian Living


Briefly describe your publication.

Today’s Christian Living is a bimonthly magazine that encourages, equips, and engages Christians of all ages. It features inspirational stories about how the Lord has touched the lives of both ordinary and well-known Christians in remarkable ways. Regular columns include humor, health, finance, book reviews, and more. The goal of each issue is to challenge Christians in their faith so they may be strengthened to fulfill the call of God in their lives.



How can a writer break into your publication?

• We ask new writers to submit fully written articles on spec. We only commission articles with writers that we have developed a working relationship with over time.  We would like to expand our pool of established writers, however, so we warmly invite new writers to submit articles on spec.  Writers who can produce excellent inspirational articles (testimonies) from interviews are especially valuable.

 We are looking for feature articles that focus on people’s testimonies of salvation, how the Lord has helped them overcome obstacles in their lives, how He has used them, etc.  In other words, we are looking for inspirational articles rather than news, teaching, preaching, exhortational, or devotional articles. We also don’t publish fiction or poetry. While we do include informational columns, we have regular columnists who supply those articles.


• Carefully review the feature articles in our past issues. Those are the types of articles we want to publish. If you don’t have access to any print copies, you can access two digital issues here: tinyurl.com/TCLKenDavis and tinyURL.com/StormO



How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you? 

•Please review previous print issues or the sample digital editions of TCL to get a good idea of the kinds of articles we are looking for.

•Bring writing samples or articles you would like to submit. If you are bringing writing samples, please bring unedited ones.  I would like to see your unrevised work; that is, your work before it has been reworked by an editor.


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

We always need original anecdotes for our two humor columns:  “Laugh Lines” and “Kids of the Kingdom.”  We are looking for material that is genuinely funny, that makes the reader chuckle. We realize it’s difficult to write humor on demand, which is why we are on the lookout for good material.  




Saturday, April 11, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Sarah Grimm of Pelican Book Group and Splickety Publishing Group




Briefly describe the publication and publishing house you represent.

PelicanBook Group: We are a smaller traditional press and have three imprints, White Rose, which publishes romance only, Watershed, which publishes young adult novels (not Middle Grade or Children's), and Harbourlight, which publishes all other genres. I will look at novels for all three imprints. All novels and short stories should be Christian fiction, though the message can be subtle or a theme. 

SplicketyPublishing Group: We have three different magazine imprints for flash fiction: Havok, which is all things speculative fiction, Splickety Love, which is our romance imprint, and Splickety Prime, which is for all other genres. I am the editor for Splickety Prime. Being flash fiction, we will only take stories under 1000 words, but we have limited space for stories that long and acquire more stories in the under 700 word range. Our stories do not have to be Christian fiction in nature. 


Do you publish first-time authors?

Yes (for both).


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

If you're pitching, I'd like to see the first chapter (or 10 pages), a one sheet, and having an elevator pitch and synopsis prepared is always a good idea. 

If you're just asking questions or for feedback, have an idea of what you want to talk about. 

For flash fiction, just the piece is fine. 






Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Athena Dean Holtz of Redemption Press




Briefly describe your publishing house.

RedemptionPress is what we term a hybrid publisher, in that we offer the best of both worlds, independent and traditional publishing. We put the author in charge, and at the same time offer all our services a la carte so the author only pays for what they need. All along the way we offer professional advice so the author maintains credibility and avoids “looking and reading self-published.” We equip our authors through our team of experienced coaches to make their manuscript the best it can be and then develop a strategy to reach those who need to read it, all the while being realistic about what to expect and what it will take.


Do you publish first-time authors?

Yes, at least 40% of our current titles are written by first-time authors.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

·        Pray and ask God for His wisdom in our meeting so I am able to encourage you and give you helpful advice.
·        Think about who you want to reach with your message. I want to help you narrow your target audience (in other words, it can’t be “all Christians”) and then brainstorm with you to determine some of the best strategies for reaching them.
·        Bring a written list of 3 benefits your reader will experience as they read what you have to say, (i.e. answer the question: “What’s in it for the reader?” or “Why should a potential reader spend their money to buy your book?”).


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

If we are going to meet, it might be helpful to view a 2 part webinar I developed called The Publishing Jungle. In the Christian market, there are so many options and so many terms used that have a completely different meaning when utilized by a traditional publisher. When used by a publisher who requires the author to buy large amounts of inventory or pay for publishing packages or marketing fees, those same words mean something altogether different. Worth taking the time to do your due diligence by educating yourself! Click here to view.


Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Rowena Kuo, Fiction for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas



Briefly describe your publishing house and the areas you oversee.

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas launched its general book publishing division in 2007. Our authors include Christy Award winners, debut novelists, and nonfiction writers. LPC has several imprints, ranging from romance to speculative fiction.  I am the managing editor for Brimstone Fiction, LPC’s speculative imprint, acquisitions editor for general fiction, and development executive producer for LPC Media Group, LPC’s production division. 


Do you publish first-time authors?

Yes. We also publish authors who do not have an agent. We do recommend having an agent, though.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

Have at least the first chapter or a sample of your writing with you during the appointment.


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

I am currently looking for speculative fiction in Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Horror that is not preachy and has a compelling story.


Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Jeremiah Zeiset, Life Sentence Publishing



Briefly describe your publishing house.

We get excited about partnering with the Lord’s people to publish their books – books that share the gospel, strengthen Christians, and give glory to God. Everything we do is designed to be easy and efficient, with ministry authors in mind. The moment your contract is signed, which happens after we’ve reviewed your manuscript and had a phone conversation (or two), we’ll send you a checklist. This checklist is streamlined and self-explanatory. It includes items such as: (1) A book cover design questionnaire, to help us design a cover that will be best for your book’s market, (2) An editing cover sheet, which helps our editing team preserve your message, while refining it for enjoyable reading, and (3) Marketing plans, in order to begin telling people about your book before it’s even in print.


Do you publish first-time authors? 

Yes, we do. The purpose of the book and its potential audience matters more than having published previously.
How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you? Bring your manuscript and your marketing plan. If you don’t have a marketing plan, be prepared to say why you wrote your book and how you are planning on getting it into the hands of readers.


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs? 

Don’t hesitate to request an appointment with me while I’m at the Write-to-Publish conference. Even if your manuscript doesn’t fit what we do, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have, as well as offer critique. In the end, we all have the same goal of seeing the Lord glorified.

On the web: Life Sentence

Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Chris Tiegreen, Editor of Indeed


Briefly describe the publications you represent.

Indeed is a devotional magazine for a general adult audience, though targeted mainly at Christians who already have a good knowledge of the Bible.

Tapestry is a devotional magazine for women.

Pathways is the magazine we send to donors and other friends of Walk Thru the Bible that includes feature articles on international ministry, news updates, and brief personality profiles.


How can a writer break into your magazine?

The best way to be considered for our magazines is to send a sample of your writing to me at ctiegreen@walkthru.org. We have an occasional need for new writers and keep the best writing samples on file for when those needs arise, at which time we contact the writer with details. For Indeed and Tapestry, we look for samples of devotional articles around 600-650 words. For Pathways, previously published samples of any news or feature articles would be appropriate.


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

Have some samples prepared — devotional or news-oriented. They don't need to fit the magazine exactly. I'm looking for engaging, insightful writers, not a specific piece of writing. If I can see some samples of your best work and hear you describe the kind of writing you love to do, it will help me determine whether your work and our magazines might be a good fit for each other.


Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Kelli Gilmore, Editor of SHINE brightly & Sparkle Magazine




Briefly describe your publication.

I am the managing editor of two publications: SHINE brightly and Sparkle Magazine. Both are Christian, monthly publications for girls ranging from 7 years to 14 years. 

The mission of SHINE brightly is to bring girls into a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe when young girls are equipped, motivated, and passionately engaged in living out their faith in Jesus Christ they have the potential to be world changers. SHINE brightly is a monthly publication from September-May and we accept fiction stories, non-fiction articles, poems, quizzes, interviews, and other realistic pieces that will help girls see how Christian beliefs apply to everyday life. 

The mission of Sparkle is to help girls discover who God is and how He works in His world and their lives. We want to show girls how to sparkle Jesus' light into the world. Sparkle is a monthly publication from October-March and we accept fiction stories, non-fiction articles, poems, interviews, quizzes, and other articles that present the Christian life realistically and help young girls see how God's Word applies to their daily lives. 


How can a writer break into your publication? 

While both publications are small, we love to publish new writers! The best way to break into our publication would be to follow the extensive writers' guidelines and create a unique, captivating, non-cliche piece for our readers. 


How can a writer best prepare for an appointment with you?

Bring your questions and ideas! I will try to answer your questions the best I can and direct you in a helpful manner! If you have any questions specifically regarding writing for girls or a younger audience, that is where most of my experience lies. 


Anything else you would like to add or any specific current needs?

I am excited to meet new writers! A few of our current needs are quality fiction pieces, articles on vocation and what it means to be called by God to do something, and articles or stories about some of the tough issues girls deal with each day. Writers can find more detailed descriptions of these needs on our website (gemsgc.org)!


Write-to-Publish will be held June 3 – 6

in the Chicago area.