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.