Become a Platinum Member: Improve or Your Money Back!

Just FYI – the FaithWriters Forums have been reorganized and streamlined. All your favorite forums are still there – just in groups under parent forums. LOTS less scrolling to get to where you need to – and remember, the fastest way to see posts you have yet to read is to click on view new posts near the top. Stop by!

There are lots of reasons already to become a FaithWriters Platinum member.

  1. Only Platinum members are eligible to enter the Page Turner first chapter contest - whose prize is publication with Breath of Fresh Air Press, a cash prize, and more (hurry – the deadline for this year is the end of this month!).
  2. Platinum members can receive up to three judge feedback reports per quarter on their Writing Challenge entries
  3. Three free writing craft books
  4. Free writing courses
  5. and MORE!

And now, new Platinum members can get their money refunded if they feel upgrading doesn’t improve their writing. That’s right: if you don’t think being upgrading, and following our plan for writing improvement, doesn’t make you a better writer, you can get your money back!

So, what is this plan? In short (click on the link right above here for all the details), you need to

  1. Enter the Writing Challenge 20 times over eight months
  2. Request at least six ratings reports on your challenge entries
  3. Review in Jan’s writing lessons the specific classes where the rating reports indicate your writing needs help
  4. Read top challenge winners with the eight rating categories in hand
  5. Make a minimum of 20 comments on others’ challenge entries
  6. Provide 3 critiques in the Critique Circle
  7. Submit 3 non-Challenge pieces to the Critique Circle

So – what are you waiting for? Give Platinum membership a try.

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Spirit-Inspired Words

Spirit-Inspired Words
By Shari Weigerstorfer

I was bogged down trying to find the appropriate verbiage for an article I was writing. Agitation replaced enjoyment as I contemplated the merit of two equally good words. I decided to take a break and straighten up my office. As I gathered up the morning newspaper, an advertising slogan jumped out at me: Do you have too many choices? I thought, How appropriate! I have an entire dictionary to choose from!

I don’t believe I’m the only one who goes through this. I think most writers struggle to find the precise words that perfectly communicate what they wish to express. The more committed the writer, the more intense the search. Excellence is tolerated, but perfection is the goal. Far too seldom are the times when the right words just seem to flow effortlessly, as if being delivered by some unseen spiritual stream.

The most difficult of all, it seems, is writing about spiritual revelation and insight. It can be arduous work, requiring both time and patience. Translating spiritual concepts into words can be challenging. To share an insight effectively, the words must be exactly the ones that the Holy Spirit wants to be used in order for the significance of the revelation to be revealed — the more accurate the translation, the more effective the interpretation. Using a wrong or inferior word will dilute or obscure the meaning. If this happens, the truth will remain hidden. All effort on the part of the writer and the reader will have been in vain.

Revelation, translated by the Holy Spirit and transferred by the writer to the reader, is the process by which anointed spiritual writing is created. This touch of the Spirit is essential. The anointing, or enabling, of the Holy Spirit transforms words so that they can be received by the human spirit. Anointed writing is a communication from Spirit to spirit. Writings like these change the world. This is how the Bible was composed, and why it contains life.

Easier said than done though, isn’t it?

At a loss for which word to use for my article, I finally went to prayer: Dear God, I’m not up to this. My command of the English language is not sufficient to find the exact word needed to translate revelation into the written word. Scripture says that Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your power is perfected in weakness. I know Your ability more than makes up for my inability. Please help me to choose the words You would use.

As I contemplated the problem, my imagination began to stir: I saw myself walking into a magnificent, golden hall. It was an amazing Hall of Words, a virtual library filled with books from floor to ceiling. Each book had one word inscribed on the binding. When opened, each word would release extraordinary insight into the meaning or nature of something.

I saw a book with the word Joy on the binding. When I opened it, the vivid colors and emotions expressing joy leaped out, pouring forth the knowledge and understanding of what the word joy really meant. Each volume I opened after that contained its own comprehensive revelation.

Clearly, finding the right word is absolutely necessary when writing spiritually inspired works. What an intimidating responsibility! As I stood in that Hall of Words, I wondered: How would I ever know which words to choose?

Then, unexpectedly, a book moved slowly out from its place on the shelf and floated down to me. Then another came.

The right words were literally coming to me.

A sense of peace came over me, and I remembered the expression the inspired word of God.

The Bible says that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God. Sacred writings are not esteemed for being written by men of brilliance or vision, but because they are perceived to have been inspired by God. It is the established belief that these writers were guided by the Spirit to convey with precision exactly what God intended them to declare as the accurate revelation of His mind and will.

Personally, I don’t think the Spirit quit inspiring writers when the Scriptures were completed. I think He still helps writers today to find the words that are good and acceptable and perfect. I think it’s something that gives Him pleasureHe is our Holy Ghostwriter!

Shari Weigerstorfer is a free-lance Christian writer, native to the West Coast of America. When not indulging in her passion for travel, she writes from her home in Singapore. Other articles by Shari can be found on her site at

Article Source: WRITER

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You Think English is Easy? Our Crazy Language

You Think English is Easy?  Our Crazy Language

By Lynda Lee Schab

This was sent to me by a fellow author and I knew I had to share it. Let me know if you can think of any more.

You think English is easy??

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’

It’s easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed
UP about UP !
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP.
for now my time is UP,
so…….it is time to shut UP!
lyndaschabLYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards and has many articles and stories published in magazines and online publications. She is also a regular book reviewer for, but Lynda’s passion has always been fiction. Her novels, MIND OVER MADI and MADILY IN LOVE, are available in print and on Kindle. Lynda lives in Michigan with her two children. Learn more about Lynda on her website,
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Writing Challenge Ratings Reports for Platinum Members

We are about to offer the best new tool we have offered in years to greatly improve your writing. Can you imagine how much you could improve your writing skill by receiving a review on your submission from the Writing Challenge judges?

Starting this next Writing Challenge quarter, which begins October 1, Platinum members can receive up to three rating reports per member a quarter on their entries. These reports come directly from the judges. They will clearly let you know where your entry excelled and where it was lacking. This is an incredible increase in benefits for Platinum members only due to the additional work involved. You will not find a better way to improve your writing for so little per month. If you are not a Platinum, you might want to upgrade and pay the additional $5.00 per month over Gold membership (or $10 a month over silver) to take advantage for the upcoming Challenge quarter.

Click here to see a sample report.

If you believe you are ready to grow as a writer, here are all the details you need to know:

1. Ratings feedback will be made available (by member request only) to Platinum members, free of charge, during each quarter of the Writing Challenge on Challenges going forward from October 1st, 2015. Reports are to be ordered by a member only after their entry has been judged and they desire to learn why it placed where it did so they can improve the next time.
2. Each Platinum member will be able to request up to three reports during each quarter of the Challenge.
3. Reports for a specific quarter of the Challenge must be requested before the beginning of the next quarter. For example, a report for an entry during the July to September quarter of the Challenge must be requested before October 1. Any requests received for reports outside the current quarter will not be accepted.
4. The three credits per quarter are not cumulative. They will not rollover to the next quarter.
5. These reports are not sugar coated in any way, but as such, they are invaluable as a tool for growth.
6. Requests for reports on Editors’ Choice winning entries will not be accepted.
7. As is the case with the Challenge, the judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Platinums Order a Report Here on judged entries October 2015 going forward. If you are not logged into the site you will be taken to the log in page first and then to the page where you can order a report.

Check out this post on the FaithWriters forums for more details.

What a fabulous new benefit. Will you give it a try?

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Summer 2015 Writing Challenge Quarterly Cash Winners

A HUGE congratulations to EVERYONE who entered the FaithWriters Writing Challenge this past quarter.  Just by submitting an entry, you are a winner (at least in my book! I haven’t gotten a single piece in yet this year). But some pieces rise even higher than that to place – while others go even higher than that.

And that is what the quarterly cash awards are meant to recognize. The highest scoring entry in EACH LEVEL over each entire ten-week quarter receives a $50 cash prize. This past quarter was vacation-themed – and these four entries (one from each level) came out on top. Be sure to check them out!

LEVEL 1 A Holiday that Matters by Elijah Bluhm (Family Vacation)

LEVEL 2 Delphinidae by Bea Edwards (Overseas Vacation)

LEVEL 3 A Place in Mind by Amanda Septer (Overseas Vacation)

LEVEL 4 The Passing of Sorrows by Zacharia Fox (Overseas Vacation)

The Writing Challenge is on a break right now, but will be starting up again on October 1- in just a couple weeks. Hope to see you there – YOU could be honored here in a few months!

Congratulations, Elijah, Bea, Amanda, and Zacharia!

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How to Handle Flashbacks

How to Handle Flashbacks

by Dorothy Love

Should I use a flashback in my novel? If so where does it go? How do I get in and out of the flashback scene?

Good questions. Not every novel benefits from the addition of a flashback–a scene that takes a character back in time to  relive a previous event. But it can be  useful if your novel covers a period of years, or if your present story has its origins in a past event. For example, if your hero and heroine were once in love, but broke up, and are now reconnecting, you can use a flashback to show significant events from their past that have a bearing on the present.

A flashback shows events as they happened, so y0ur narrative should be straightforward to avoid confusing your reader. To take your reader into the flashback, signal the change by the use of the past perfect verb tense. Write your flashback in simple past tense, then return to past perfect to take your reader out of the flashback and back to the present.

Example: Jane watched as Tarzan jogged across the street and entered the bank. She fiddled with the radio dial, trying not to think about the last time she waited for him.  Flashback: Tarzan had promised (past perfect tense) to be back by ten. She waited (simple past) in the small apartment they shared off the Rue Chambon, peering out the window every few minutes as the street quieted and darkness fell. By midnight she realized he had no intention of coming back. She had promised ( past perfect again, to indicate the flashback is ending) herself never to believe a single word he said.  Return to the present: Yet here she was, waiting.  An old Elvis tune blared from the radio. She twirled the dial, one eye on the bank entrance and sighed. How stupid was she,  to trust Tarzan with her heart, much less with her money.

Flashbacks should be placed at a believable spot in the story, at a time when the character has time to remember past events. And a  flashback needs a trigger. In my example, Tarzan has placed Jane in the same situation as before, triggering her memory. But a certain locale, a song from the past that had special meaning for your characters, running into an old friend, can also serve as triggers.

Long flashbacks should be interspersed with chunks of the present story to keep the reader grounded in the present action. Don’t let your flashback go on for so long that it takes over your story.

Never start a story with a flashback. The beginning of your story should introduce your main character or characters, and hint at the conflict. Once your readers are invested in these characters and their story, then you can sprinkle in bits of backstory. Flashbacks are one way to deliver that back story. Donald Maas, in his book  The Fire in Fiction says that back story belongs at the back of the book. Delay information for as long as possible, giving  just enough hints to keep your readers’ curiosity going.


Dorothy LoveBefore moving to the inspirational market with her Hickory Ridge series of historical romances for adult readers, Dorothy Love published more than a dozen novels for preteens and young adults at major New York houses including Random House and Simon and Schuster. Beyond All Measure, her first Hickory Ridge title from Thomas Nelson debuted in June, 2011 to starred reviews from Library Journal and Romantic Times.  The second book, Beauty For Ashes, released  in early 2012. The third and final book, Every Perfect Gift, released at the end of 2012. CAROLINA GOLD, Dorothy’s next novel, a stand alone historical, was published in 2013. Her latest novel, THE BRACELET, released in December. A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS, releasing next month, was just named a 4.5 star Top Pick by Romantic Times. Dorothy shares a home in the Texas hill country with her husband and two golden retrievers. She loves chatting with readers through her website: or her author page on Facebook:

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Page Turner Deadline In a Month and a Half

Autumn (on this side of the world, anyway)  is nearly upon us. And for FaithWriters folks, that can mean only one thing – the deadline for the ninth annual Page Turner Contest is sneaking up on us. In a mere six and a half weeks, the opportunity to be considered for a publishing package for your fiction manuscript will be gone – for two years! (Next year’s contest will focus on nonfiction)

Maybe you’ve got a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your desk. 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 may be just the nudge you need to get writing and polishing – but you only have until the end of October to get your entry ready.

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 – and even more here if you are already a platinum member.

So, get busy on your manuscript – time is running out!

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151832There are some pictures I still can’t look at without choking up, without mourning. Without forgetting Who is in control. But no matter what I remember, it’s still true. He is sovereign of our days and nights. Of our blessings and curses. Of good and evil. And we rejoice in all he has done over the last fourteen years. May we NEVER forget the reason for Patriot Day.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails   and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18.


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What Are You Saying?

What Are You Saying?

By Annagail Lynes

“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10, NIV)

I hate talking on the phone.

I have to call people every day at work. I have to order their medication. I needed updated insurance information. Are they still on a certain medication? Do they need me to refill it?

I don’t mind doing podcasts, but I can’t talk in public without looking at someone, even if it is myself in the mirror.

The anxiety comes from not knowing what to say. Even with notes, detailed notes, I still find myself anxious when it comes to speaking in public or to speaking to people on the phone who I know might have a bad reaction.

Writing is easier for me because I pray, “Lord, as I start to write, let Your words flow instead of mine,” before I write.

I have prayed this prayer over my writing for almost twenty years.

According to the Scripture above, I am challenged to pray, “Lord, as I start to speak, let Your words flow instead of mine.”

He promises that if I open my mouth, He will fill it.

We have to remember that everything we say, everything we write, everything we communicate, needs to be Godly, needs to be true and kind and lovely and of a good report.

Our words are a representation of our Father God.

Let’s open our mouths and let Him fill our mouths with the words He has to say.

Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.

To learn more about her, go to

Article Source: WRITER

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How an Author Handles Doubt

How Authors Handle Doubt

by Megan DiMaria
Some days it’s difficult to feel confident about your writing. Fears pop up like dandelions after the first spring rain.
Those worries and questions play on a loop in your brain:
  • *Is this good enough to be published?
  • *Does it make sense?
  • *Will anyone want to read it?
  • *Do I sound ridiculous?
  • *Am I wasting my time?
  • *Will I ever be pleased with this project?

And on and on and on . . .

I’m not the first writer to have these doubts. And I won’t be the last.

Want to know how writers handle these doubts?

They keep writing!

They remember what got them started in the first place. Look inside yourself. Recall the dream that pushed tender sprouts out of the soil of your heart. Recall the delight you experienced in claiming that big dream. Dig Deep to reclaim your passion again. 

Believe again!

It’s not over until God says it’s over. Start dreaming again. Start pursuing what God put in your heart.

Listen, no one knows better than I how discouragement can creep up on you and squeeze the life out of your dreams. But if the Author of dreams has planted one in your heart, then don’t give up!


As for me, I shall remain~

A Prisoner of Hope!

Megan dimariaMegan DiMaria is an author and speaker who enjoys cheering on other writers. One of her speaking presentations is an in-depth study designed to encourage, refresh, and minister to writers as they pursue the journey of publication. She’d love to join to your next writer’s retreat and share the (hard-earned!) wisdom and encouragement she’s accumulated on her own writing journey.Megan is an active member of several writers groups and is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands. Visit Megan online at her blog at
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