Congrats to 2016 Page Turner Finalists!

Entries for the Page Turner Contest have been in for about a month – and we have about the same amount of time until winners are announced. So what do we do in the meantime? Why, congratulate the finalists, of course!

If you entered the Fiction and Nonfiction Page Turner Contest this year, you should be congratulated. You didn’t sit back and let it slip by. You rose to the challenge, and that is commendable. Whether you made it into the top contenders list or not, you all deserve a big WELL DONE! If you are not on the list below, don’t give up. Every entrant requested feedback, so you will receive that after the winners are announced. Keep honing your skills, seek manuscript assessment and structural editing, or talk to Deb Porter about her one on one writing coach/mentoring service. Most important, keep aiming for excellence because we serve an excellent God.

But for now, here are the finalists in both categories for the 2016 Page Turner Contest

Please note, both lists are in alphabetical order only.

2016 PAGE TURNER TOP CONTENDERS – FICTION

Convenience Story by Lori Othouse
Such a Time as This by Meghan Andersch
The Angel’s Pen by Jackie Wilson
The Girl Under the Porch by Leola Ogle
The Long Lost Son by Sylvia Young
The Trap of the Game by Renee Gingery
To Rise Up by Tisha Martin

2016 PAGE TURNER TOP CONTENDERS – NONFICTION

10 Things I Hate About God by Susan Barnes
Aging Graced-fully: Women Who Honor Their by Sherri Stone
Call to Courage by Beverley Birks
Embracing Average by Belinda Peoples
Encouraging Mums: 31 Days of Hope by Nicki Jeffery
izmir lazer epilasyon

Winners in each category will be announced on December 1.

Congratulations to the finalists!

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The Ministry of Silence (Devotional)

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. Job 2:11 NIV

The book of Job for many people, is a tough one. It frustrated me for a long time – but as I begin to understand it a bit better, it has grown less confusing and aggravating.

One thing I’ve noticed, especially in my most recent time reading, is how many windbags there are in this book. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have plenty to say – and so does Job. Even “friend #4″ Elihu gets his words in edgewise. There is a lot of talking in this book – and very little of it accomplishes its purpose.

And it’s like that in our own lives sometimes, too. We argue with folks, and they don’t change their opinion. We defend ourselves, and the others don’t trust our words. We seek comfort and get criticism. We ask for confession and get insults.

We often talk about what poor comforters and sympathizers Job’s three friends were (and if you look at the verse quoted at the top of this post, you’ll see that WAS their initial purpose). But they didn’t start out that way. Not only were their intentions good, but one of the first things they did when they arrived, reported in a single verse in this book of forty-two chapters, is something many need in struggle, and so few provide.

Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:13

Sometimes, when someone is suffering, we don’t know what to say. Have you ever considered that it is because we aren’t supposed to say anything? That our presence is the greatest comfort we can provide? That our silent prayers are more helpful than our spoken suggestions? That silence is a ministry – one even the Holy Spirit practices.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

Sometimes, God gives us the words to say (Mark 13:11) to comfort, and other times, He wants us to use the gift – the ministry – of silence.

Heavenly Father, help me to know the best way to comfort my struggling friends, whether it be with words, admonitions, or silence. I want to listen to your guidance so I can bring Your comfort to those who struggle. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) In the name of Your precious Son I pray. Amen.

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FaithWriters Moving to New Server – Don’t Post Friday 9/23

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SUBMIT ARTICLES, MAKE COMMENTS OR DO ANY WORK ON FAITHWRITERS ON 9-23-16 FROM 10AM (EST) NEW YORK TIME UNTIL 2PM (EST) NEW YORK.

  1. FaithWriters is moving to a new server, and any submissions during this time period will be lost.

  2. If you can avoid doing any work on the site on 9-23 that would be even better.

  3. While we have tried to make this a perfect move, after the move we will be reviewing the site for additional errors that may need to be corrected in the php code. We appreciate your patience.

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Page Turner Deadline Soon – Get Busy on Your Book!

FaithWriters and Breath of Fresh Air Press are pleased to announce the Tenth Annual Page Turner Contest  – and this year we are celebrating in a very big way.

For the first time, the door is open for both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts – with a winner and runner-up in BOTH categories!

If you are a member of the FaithWriters Platinum 500, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this is the perfect reason to upgrade your membership.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written 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 manuscript, this contest is just the spur you need to get writing and polishing-and we will give you until the end of September to get your entry ready.

That’s only TWO WEEKS from today!

The thing is, in order to guarantee that the contest winner is up to par, a minimum of 15 entries is required for a winner to be announced in a particular category. So entries are NEEDED – do you have something to contribute – or even an idea for something?

Continue Reading…

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First Draft to Polished Gem

~First Draft to Polished Gem~
By Jannette Fuller

God has placed a call on our lives. Some are called to be apostles, pastors, prophets, teachers, and some are destined to write. That someone could be you! Don’t let fear and doubt hold you back from fulfilling your purpose. It’s impossible to reap a harvest if no seeds have been sown. Spiritual gifts and talents are given in order to bless others, not to throw away or to hoard. Matthew 25:13-30 (the parable of the talents).

We are blessed to be a blessing, but we’re also blessed because God is good and He loves us. However, we can lose sight of this if we’re not careful. For example, if a publishing contract, abundant royalties, a faithful readership, and divine opportunities come along with our literary calling, it can cause us to become prideful. We must remain humble and grateful, remembering that it is He who gives us the power to produce wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).

We should always keep our motives pure, writing for the right reasons, and not for selfish gain.

It doesn’t matter what writing level you’re at–seasoned, debut, or aspiring–you must sharpen your writing skills as much as you can. Here are some tips that can help nourish the gift you’ve been given.

Continue Reading…

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Writing a Page Turner? Enter FaithWriters’ Contest!

FaithWriters and Breath of Fresh Air Press are pleased to announce the Tenth Annual Page Turner Contest  – and this year we are celebrating in a very big way.

For the first time, the door is open for both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts – with a winner and runner-up in BOTH categories!

If you are a member of the FaithWriters Platinum 500, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this is the perfect reason to upgrade your membership.

Maybe you’ve got a half-written 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 manuscript, this contest is just the spur you need to get writing and polishing-and we will give you until the end of September (note this change from previous years) to get your entry ready.

That’s only a month and a half away!

Sound good? Well, here’s what you need to do:

1. Write, edit and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. You may seek professional editing input to polish your chapter.
2. Prepare a book proposal.
3. Combine the  chapter and book proposal as one Word or RTF document (book overview first, followed by the chapter), and you’re all set to enter the 2016 Page Turner Contest.

See further details here (if you are a platinum member) or here (if you are not yet a platinum member).

This year, there will be TWO Page Turner winners: one from the fiction submissions, and one from the nonfiction submissions. These two champions will each receive:

1. A fabulous cash prize of $250 (US);
2. The offer of traditional publication of their winning manuscript by Breath of Fresh Air Press;
3. Free publicity and marketing of their book on all FaithWriters’ sites for twelve months following  publication; and
4. A special Page Turner Champion award plaque.

A Page Turner runner up will be chosen from each of the two categories (fiction and nonfiction). Each runner up will receive a special Page Turner award plaque.

Brief feedback on your entry by Deb Porter (Breath of Fresh Air Press) will be available after the contest is concluded. However, this feedback will only be provided at the entrant’s request (which should be indicated by checking the appropriate box on the entry form). Many people enter the Page Turner purely for this very helpful feedback.

Is your interest piqued? If you are a Platinum member already, here’s where you can find out all the details, and also where you will go to submit your entry:

If you are not yet a Platinum member, you can find out all about the Page Turner contest here.

So get working on your manuscript – and get it submitted by September 30!

Are you in?

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Meet Donna Powers: Best of the Best 3rd Place Winner

See Jan Ackerson’s Best of the Best Winner interview here, and Francy Judge’s 2nd place interview here.

Donna Powers (formerly Franklin) has been around FaithWriters for a full decade, and has entered the FaithWriters Writing Challenge two hundred times. And this year, for the first time, one of her entries has been recognized as one of the Best of the Best. Join interviewer Joanne Sher as she chats with Donna about her love of FaithWriters, where her story ideas come from, and the love of her life – and their amazing story.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your third place win! What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen as third place in Best of the Best?

DONNA POWERS: I was both excited and amazed.  I couldn’t believe my “silly little story” had been chosen.

JOANNE: Your winning piece, Mortimer’s Plight, gave us a new and fresh perspective on a familiar tale (or tail?). How did you come up with the idea? Do you remember how it came together?

DONNA: The first thing that came to my mind when I read the word, “stir” was: “Not a creature was stirring…” and no matter which other way I tried to write that week’s topic, that take on the topic kept coming back to my mind.  I began writing that piece in an effort to make the idea “go away” (so I could get back to choosing what I was sure would be a “better” way to approach the topic).  When I finally finished it, I was as surprised as anyone.

donnapowerspicJOANNE:  Sometimes God gets those ideas stuck in our head for a reason, eh? You started entering the FaithWriters Challenge ten years ago (almost exactly! – your first entry was on August 9, 2006 – about a month after MY first entry, by the way). Other than a four-year hiatus, you have been a very regular contributor to it. What keeps you entering? (and, if you wanna share, what caused you to leave? Come back?)

DONNA: I love to write! I can’t properly describe how I feel when the words start to flow, but it’s one of the best feelings I know.  I especially enjoy doing it at FaithWriters, because I get to bless my brothers and sisters in Christ. I got hooked as soon as I began writing for the challenge, and entered every week.

When I left in 2011, I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life.  That crisis took all my mental and spiritual resources, and I had nothing left to give as a writer.  Last year, as God began to heal me and my situation, I realized I needed some sort of creative means of expression, and thought of FaithWriters.  Once I wrote my first entry, I was hooked again!

Continue Reading…

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Meet Francy Judge, 2016 Best of the Best Runner-Up

See the interview with Best of the Best winner Jan Ackerson here.

Francy Judge has been entering the FaithWriters Writing Challenge for more than half a dozen years, and now (for the SECOND time!), one of her pieces has made it in the FaithWriters Best of the Best. Join interviewer Joanne Sher and learn about Francy herself, her winning piece, and an amazing math skill she has.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on your second place win! What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen as second place in Best of the Best?

FRANCY JUDGE: Thanks, Joanne. When I saw my name listed with the winners–it was definitely a Wow moment. My thoughts: “That’s my name! How did that happen?” I know there are so many talented writers who I expected to see there in my place. I think I let out a little scream.

JOANNE: I totally get the scream thing. :) Your winning piece, Who Kissed the Teacup? was a clever and fun take on a familiar tale. How did you come up with the idea? Do you remember how it came together?

FRANCY: For every Faithwriters weekly contest, I start a new file named “Ideas for (whatever theme.)” I type anything I think of related to the theme no matter how silly the idea sounds. Sometimes I fill a whole page with terrible ideas until I like one. On my Ideas for Smear Theme page I wrote about my mom and mother-in-law comparing their lipstick smudges on wine glasses to identify who drank from which glass. I also wrote the words Cinderella story—not sure why. After I thought of narrating from the Prince’s brother’s point of view, the story came together. I enjoyed writing this one.

JOANNE: It dme picefinitely showed – such a fun piece! This is  the second time you’ve had a piece recognized this way. Three years ago, Where’s My Kitchen? took third place in Best of the Best. That piece was very different than this one. How do you think your writing has changed since then? Grown?

FRANCY: I hope my writing has improved. I’m more willing to experiment with writing in different genres and styles, but I still lack confidence. I could win one week, but if my story flops the next week, I’m sure I’ll never write another good story again. I’m working on that, remembering why I write—not just to win, but to inspire others, touch hearts, or give readers a reason to smile. Continue Reading…

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Meet 2016 Best of the Best Winner Jan Ackerson

Jan Ackerson is perhaps one of the best-known names at FaithWriters. Not only has she placed numerous times in the Writing Challenge editor’s choice, but she is a FaithWriters- approved editor, mentor to many, and provider of free weekly writing lessons for all FaithWriters members. And now, her fable for the “Candy” topic of the FaithWriter Writing Challenge, Salvo, has been recognized as Best of the Best for 2016 (her second time with this honor – not counting times she placed second or third in the competition). Join interviewer (and Jan friend/fan) Joanne Sher as she talks to her about her winning piece, her wishes for her writing lessons, and a bit about her life away from FaithWriters.

JOANNE SHER: Congratulations on your Best of the Best win. What was your reaction when you found out your piece was at the top?

JAN ACKERSON: I was incredibly excited!

JOANNE: I wish I could have seen your face. You were a regular challenge contributor for quite a while, but until recently, you hadn’t submitted a piece to the writing challenge in several years. What brought you back?

JAN: Well, I missed writing. I’d stopped for several reasons—busyness, family issues demanding my time and my energy, and a crisis of confidence, among others. But several months ago, I contributed to the KickStarter campaign of a writer whose work I admire, and the premium for my contribution was a few hours of one-on-one time with him, to critique my work and give me some direction for the future. He was very encouraging, and the spark to write again was ignited. But I’m still kind of shy about my writing, and I wanted to go back to a place where I felt comfortable before I branched out to other writing venues.

Continue Reading…

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FaithWriters Gathering THIS WEEKEND – not too late

Are you ready to ignite your passion – your writing passion, that is? If you are within driving distance from McDonough, Georgia (or already have plans to show up), you won’t want to miss the FaithWriters Gathering – coming up this Friday, July 15 at 5pm through Saturday, July 16 at 9pm at First Baptist Church McDonough. It’s not too late to register.

What is the FaithWriters Gathering? It’s not another writers’ conference. You won’t be sitting listening to people speak all day. Instead, we want you to escape to Georgia for a weekend of fellowship, fun, encouragement, inspiration, and hands on workshops and word games. Come prepared to write. (Bring notepads, pens, tablets, laptops, and anything else you need to ignite your writing passion.)

Registration cost includes hands on workshops, Saturday meals and snacks. Facilitators include FaithWriters Challenge Coordinator (and more) Deb Porter, editor and FaithWriters writing lesson provider Jan Ackerson, Page Turner champion and published author Theresa Santy,  and writing coach and editor Hanne Moon.

Check out more detail at the FaithWriters Gathering page. If you can make it, don’t miss it!

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