Congratulations to the Writing Challenge Quarterly Cash Winners!

The FaithWriters’ Writing Challenge is on a break right now, with the last winners of the past quarter  – with a theme of the seven deadly sins and the three “good guys” – announced just last week. And that means it’s time to announce the four winners of the quarterly level awards. The highest scoring entry in EACH LEVEL over each entire ten-week quarter receives a $50 cash prize.

LEVEL 1 My Nola by Melinda Melton (GLUTTONY challenge)

LEVEL 2 Popcorn Love by Timothy Lollis (LOVE challenge)

LEVEL 3 Right? by Theresa Crumpton (HOPE challenge)

LEVEL 4 The Seeker by Dave Walker (LOVE challenge)

The new challenge quarter starts up again in just a couple days. Watch for the first topic on Thursday, April 2. Be sure to enter – and your name could be here in three months!

Congratulations, Melinda, Timothy, Theresa, and Dave!

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Getting Your Book Published – Two Contests, Two Chances

FaithWriters has two different contests this year where the prize will get your book published – one is open now, and another opens in just a few days.

First, of course, is the 9th Annual Page Turner Contest, which is focused on fiction this year. Any Platinum member (click here to upgrade) is eligible to enter the first chapter and a synopsis of their fiction manuscript with a Christian worldview in this contest by the October 31, 2015 deadline. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, free editing of their manuscript, the offer of traditional publishing with Breath of Fresh Air Press, free publicity and marketing of their book on all FaithWriters’ sites for twelve months following publication, and a Page Turner Champion award plaque. Two runners up will each receive $50 cash, a Page Turner award plaque, and consideration for future publication by Breath of Fresh Air Press. You can find more details here.

The second contest – which is open to ALL members – opens next week. For our newest contest, we are holding an old-fashioned raffle with a hi-tech touch. The entry period starts Wednesday, April 1, 2015 and ends at 12:00 noon New York time August 1 2015. There is no purchase required, and you could win a Xulon Publishing Package (over a $4,000.00 retail value) to be used for any type of Christian book you desire. All FaithWriters members are eligible to enter and there are many things you can do on the site to increase your chances of winning. There is something for everyone. Be sure to check it out here for more details. The more you enter, the better your chance to win!

Give them a try!

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A Piece of Stained Glass

A Piece of Stained Glass
By Marlene Mesot

I don’t mind sharing myself with others, as in my writing, because this is how God can use me as a tool for His witness. Writing is a means of self expression, but when it is shared, it becomes universal. There is no greater example of how to write than the Holy Word of God. Even to those who do not believe its writings, the Bible is recognized as a great literary work. For Christian believers it is our window into eternity.

When we give of ourselves, we reflect Him. We do not have to worry about our own needs because He will supply them according to Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (NASB). The Bible is our guide through life, our reference point, focal point and the means to a glorious union. According to 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (NASB). The phrasing is similar in the traditional King James version. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The latter part of this verse may seem like a paradox, but it isn’t. God keeps only what we do according to His will and in His Spirit and dismisses the unwanted, carnal things. If we are reflections of His glory, we are showing the unbelieving world what He is like. Our walk is fragile, like glass. It is a balancing act between the spiritual and the carnal. Our personal experiences, personalities, beliefs, etc.–our essence–makes us effective witnessing tools because we can feel empathy, give advice, say, “I have been where you are. Let me help you cope.” This is why knowing and accepting Jesus must be a personal experience. It could not be effective or real otherwise.

We are all parts reflecting the whole. The body of Chrst is, figuratively, the parts, or pieces, made up by his people. According to 1 Corinthians 12:12-14: “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” (NASB). Each of us is but a piece of stained glass, one day to be whole. When all of the pieces fit together, the puzzle will be solved.

Christian mystery romance author, only child, legally blind & hearing aid user.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER

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Spring has Sprung!

spring_flower_purple_719705_hToday is the first day of Spring – in the Northern Hemisphere, anyhow. (Fall starts tomorrow for our Southern Hemisphere friends) It means new life, Easter, Passover, spring break, spring cleaning, spring training. Lots of things like that – all starting up. It means thawing out, opening the windows for some fresh air, putting away the winter clothes (though here in Michigan, there’s no guarantee it’s quite time for that LOL), exercising outdoors, and all the fun things that come as Spring does.

Maybe your writing has been in a winter of sorts. Been having trouble thawing out your ideas? Been hibernating?Avoiding exercising your writing muscles because they’ve been cramped up inside avoiding the blizzard of rejection, lack of time, or just plain laziness (I see you under that winter blanket, too cozy to get up or try anything new!)?

It’s time to stop hibernating – warm up those writing muscles, get out your favorite writing method (pen? pencil? computer? tablet?) and let your newly-defrosted river of inspiration flow. Ask God to help – He will never let you down.

Where do YOU go for inspiration?

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?

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Lots of Little Writing Tips

Many FaithWriters members are familiar with Jan Ackerson, one of the winningest Writing Challenge writers, an editor extraordinaire, and all-around excellent writer.

Have you checked out the lessons she teaches over on the FaithWriters forums? She covers everything from point of view to characterization to dealing with criticism, and much more. And this week’s lesson is not only full of wisdom for writers – but it is a lesson in brevity itself.

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Jan’s post shares bits of writing advice – whether from her, other FaithWriters members, or professional/ famous writers – and each bit of advice is 15 words or less. Talk about succinct! From Never use a long word where a short one will do. (George Orwell) to Learn the rules before you break the rules. (Jan herself) to Write, write, write. You can edit later. (FaithWriter Helen Paynter) there is something for everyone to learn. And she is inviting you to add your own succinct writing advice as well – just be sure to keep it to 15 words or less.

Also – is there something you want to know about writing that Jan hasn’t already covered? She is always looking for non-grammar related topics to cover. Share your ideas and needs in the comments, as well.

Feel free to peruse and comment on old lessons – and watch for a new one just about every Saturday. Take advantage of this free feature of FaithWriters!

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Don’t Make Their Lives Easy

Don’t Make Their Lives Easy

By Gail Gaymer Martin

Too often authors make situations too easy for characters. They like the people they create, and just as they want happiness and success for their real life friends, they want the same for their characters. But a novel with easy to resolved problems is really a “why bother” story.

Real life piles problems on people every day, some easily solved and some not, so characters need to have similar lives. They must make difficult decisions to change their lives, to lie or be honest, to give up or keep going.  But in fiction, which is bigger than life, authors can go even deeper with characters’ problems and struggles. Here are some strategies that will strengthen characters’ struggles and create a can’t-put-down novel for readers.

Happy Events Gone Sour

Have you ever had your characters go on a picnic? Go to a parade? Plan a weekend at the beach? Did you give them sunshine and fun? How about introducing bad weather: a downpour, an electrical storm, typhoon winds, scorching heat. Don’t make everything perfect. Is a holiday meal part of the plot? Burn the main entree, forget that Uncle Don can’t eat dairy, invite two relatives who aren’t speaking, bring in surprise guests and not enough seating or food. Make it difficult. You can add many events to a story that dampens a situation to add reality to your novel. It also allows your characters to show how they handle the situation. Are the inventive in their solutions? Do they fall apart? Not everything is great and perfect. Keep that in mind when developing plots.

What motivates the goal?
Continue Reading…

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Are You Working on a Page Turner?

Most writers feel like they have “a novel in them.” Some have even started writing it, while others just need a bit of a nudge to get those writing juices going. Well, FaithWriters just may have the nudge for you!

If you are a FaithWriters Platinum member, we have an amazing contest – with amazing prizes – that you can enter for free – and you have over seven months to prepare! Enter the Ninth Annual Page Turner Writing Contest, sponsored by FaithWriters and Breath of Fresh Air Press. And this year, the focus is Christian fiction.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written fiction manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your wardrobe. Perhaps it’s something you wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It could even be an idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind for years. Whatever the stage of your novel, this contest is just the spur you need to get writing and polishing – and we will even give you until the end of October to get your entry ready.

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do. First of all, if you are not already a Platinum member, upgrade your account. Next, write, edit and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. Once that’s done, prepare an overview of the planned book. Combine the book overview and first chapter in one Word or RTF document, and you’re all set to enter.

One entry will be chosen as the FaithWriters Page Turner Champion for the year, with the author receiving*:

1. A fabulous cash prize of $500 (US);

Continue Reading…

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Making Something Out of Nothing

Making Something Out of Nothing
By Delia Latham

Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God put His “Seal of Approval” on creativity from the start.

He brought forth the earth and seas and sky and everything above, below and in between – out of “thin air,” as the saying goes. But it wasn’t magic. It was creation (the act of producing or causing to exist, according to Dictionary.com).

And it wasn’t easy. God needed rest after he’d finished His work. The first verse in the Bible is most likely the ultimate understatement of all time. I’m convinced those six days of intense creation entailed far more thought and planning than scripture reveals. Is it possible there might even have been a “do-over” or two?

We’re allowed to see only the finished product of God’s original creative process. He kept specific details – the “making of” the making of the world – to Himself. Just handed us the complete, finished work to enjoy.

Isn’t that what we do as writers?

Our Father taught us by example, and we’d do well to follow the Leader:

Start with a blank canvas. Nothing there. Just an empty page and the desire to turn it into something magnificent.

Let there be light. Come up with a bright idea and shine it into some kind of outline, plan, synopsis, scribbled overview: whatever works best for each individual.

Bring in the atmosphere. God placed the sky between the heavens and the earth. We create a mood: a blue sky or a dark one. The atmosphere that will have a bearing on every page of our creation.

Fill the pages with life.

o God put plants and trees in the land He’d created. We insert situations that make readers want to know what happens next.

o He overhung all those growing things with the sun, moon and stars. (Aha! Our Father knew we would need a bit of spark in our lives.) Writers must also set off some fireworks that liven the atmosphere and make hearts pound a little harder.

o He then filled the land, sea and sky with life – sea creatures, birds, animals – and man. Yep, characters, human and otherwise.

Writers are a far cry from being God…but we are made in His image, and our writing should reflect that image as well. What better role model could we possibly have than our heavenly Father, the God who made something (read that “everything) out of nothing at all?

Reflection: As you “create” new worlds, people it with characters and plant it with gripping situations, do you make a conscious effort to follow the Leader’s example every step of the way, every word of the day?

Prayer: Father, You’ve called me to write, and I will. But please give me the anointing to turn the written word into an anointed creation, to make something out of nothing, just as You did. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above all names. Amen.

**

Delia Latham, 2012

Delia Latham lives in California with her husband and a spoiled Pomeranian. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction, and loves hearing from her readers.

http://www.delialatham.net  http://delialatham.blogspot.com

http://facebook.com/delialatham

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER

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FaithWriters Testimony Book II is Out!

Lookin9781498416016_medg for inspiration? A great read? The testimonies of 50 different FaithWriters members? Look no further!

Trials and Triumphs II, Rooted and Grounded in Love, is now available for purchase through Xulon Press. This book features fifty personal and inspiring testimonies from FaithWriters members around the world. Longtime members like CD Swanson, Sheldon Bass, and Lynn Gipson. Former Page Turner finalists like Dannie Hawley and Kevin Ingram. AND several dozen more members of FaithWriters. Check out this page to see if your favorite FWer is in the book!

Support your fellow FaithWriters members and purchase this book – you will be blessed, and so will they!

NOTE: If your story is in this book, you can obtain copies to hand out at a nice discount. You must contact Michael@faithwriters.com right away if interested.
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How are you Improving your Writing?

It’s important to not rest on your laurels in your writing. There are several things you can do to improve your craft, and FaithWriters can definitely help.

First, you can check out some excellent writing lessons at the FaithWriters forums, run by longtime FWer Jan Ackerson. With topics from point of view to characterization to gender-neutral language, her explanations and interaction will certainly help you polish up your own writing.

Then, of course, there’s the FaithWriters Writing Challenge, where you are challenged to write to a topic, word count, and deadline – and you will often get some decent feedback on your efforts. You could even win a cash prize!

But maybe what you want is some in-depth feedback. Maybe you should check out the critique circle. Just put up your writing (1,000) words or less, and you can get feedback from others, including FaithWriters member editors. You just need to provide a critique for one of the peices already there.

Perhaps you are ready for even more, personal help from a professional. You can send your writing to a FaithWriters-approved editor and, for a fee, get it edited and polished.

There are many ways to get better, but probably the most important one is to keep writing, and keep trying new things. And what better place to do that than here at FaithWriters!

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