Monday, April 25, 2016

Sheila Seifert: Editorial Director, Parenting, Focus on the Family & Elective Course Instructor

Tell us a about Thriving Families and FocusOnThefamily.com.

As of our June/July issue, Thriving Family magazine will be called Focus on the Family magazine. It will have a slightly new look, but will remain the same helpful and authentic marriage and parenting publication. As the names Thriving Family and ThrivingFamily.com are retired, the website that will eventually have the magazine's content and more is FocusOnTheFamily.com. On FocusOnTheFamily.com, there is marriage, parenting, faith, pro-life, mid-life and other topics that help people deal with various life challenges.


What type of a writer do you hope to meet with at WTP?

I am hoping to meet writers who are parents at various stages of the parenting journey. I am looking for stories about how parents have dealt with parenting challenges and have come up with an active way (not just explaining or talking) of solving that problem. These solutions should be hands-on and practical, but they can be on any topic and focus on how you have parented a child, not your parenting journey. I do not care if these stories are written down. They can be pitched to me verbally at the conference. I am hopeful that I will be able to take about 10 of these ideas from the conference and start them through the editorial process with the goal of publication. (I am happy to hear about longer marriage and parenting articles, too, but my main focus will be the short "here's what I did" parenting articles.)


Give us a snapshot of your classes:

Query Letters That Get an Editor's Attention (Thursday afternoon):

When I was a freelance writer, before becoming an editor, sometimes I'd spend eight hours on a query to get it just right. I learned a lot during those years about what editors wanted. Then I became an editor and realized that most of us are merely looking for a fresh slant on a topic of interest to our readers and for it to be presented with authenticity. Those who come to the query letter workshop will hear not only about the basics of setting up a query letter, but also get an insider's perspective on what a fresh slant and being authentic as a writer means.  


Writing Creative Nonfiction for Kids (Friday afternoon):

History, science, economics . . . and the Bible are nonfiction. But when writers don't use fiction techniques, what they write can read more like a textbook or be boring. In this workshop, I will give participants an idea of the fiction-writing tools available to them so they can write nonfiction that kids want to read and editors want to buy.  



Read more about Focus on the Family.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8 – 11
in the Chicago area. 



1 comment:

  1. Hi Sheila. I'm a writer with a passion for helping other parents get through the teen years. Would you be interested in how and when to effectively communicate with teens? Another possible topic is how the teenage brain works, with fresh science to help parents understand their teen's sometimes odd and unpredictable behavior. I am happy to submit something short (450 words) for your perusal. Whatever works for you. dianabrendab@yahoo.com, 973-489-3319.

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