Another Month to Submit Your Testimony!

In case you haven’t seen, the deadline to enter FaithWriters’ second Testimony contest has been extended another month. You now have until September 15, 2014 to submit your testimony for possible publication (and participation in royalties) in FaithWriters’ second testimony book.

All upgraded  members (click here to upgrade if necessary) who were not published in FaithWriters’ first book Trials and Triumphs are eligible to enter. Simply write your testimony (either of salvation or of keeping your faith during struggles) according to the contest guidelines n 1,200 words or less, and submit it before the contest deadline of September 15, 2014. The 50 entries selected will not only be published, but the authors will participate in royalties from the book’s sales.

Sound good? Check out the guidelines, and get working on your testimony!

 

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Conflict that LIfts the Bar

Conflict that Lifts the Bar

by Gail Gaymer Martin

Problems, crises and conflicts need solutions, but the conflict needs to be strong. It can’t be running out of wine at a party or disagreeing on what movie to see. You all know that arguments and disagreements aren’t worthy of being considered a conflict in fiction.

A conflict needs to involve a vital situation or issue needed for the main character to reach his goal. He needs enough money to pay the taxes and buy back the family ranch. He must find the killer to prove the accused is not the criminal. The more desperate the need the more exciting the solution is to readers. So what can you do to raise the stakes in your novel?

Near Home
Stakes are raised when the conflict or threat is close to home. Someone was murdered on the next street. The neighbor’s child was seriously injured by a hit and run driver. The situation could have happened on your street. The child could have been your own. Still the situation creates a problem and desire to resolve the character’s fear. He wants slower speed limits on the highway. He wants a neighbor watch or better police patrols. These types of issues can happen in novels as they do in real life, but they cannot be the major conflict in the story until the problem is on the character’s doorstep. Then it becomes more personal.

Raising the Stakes
Take a scenario such as this: A coworker has a seriously ill child whose life can only be saved with medication not approved by the FDA, yet successfully used in Europe. This situation would sadden a family man, but if the situation happened to his brother’s son, it’s his nephew who will die without the medication. The grief and concern deepens the closer the issue. Now it becomes personal. The situation involves his brother and nephew. He is more than sad. He fills with anger and writes to his congressman and the FDA. He writes an article to the local newspaper asking citizens to start a petition to force the government to act on the approval of this medication that is affect in other countries.

Continue Reading…

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Five Facts About Writing Contests

Five Facts About Writing Contests

By Lynda Lee Schab

Thinking about entering a writing contest? Here are a few things you may want to keep in mind:

The best things in writing aren’t always free. People often complain about writing contests that aren’t free. Hey, free contests are great, but they also tend to be sponsored by huge publications that have huge prize budgets or wealthy donors. And that equals huge competition for you. Yes, someone has to win and it could be you. You have nothing to lose, so definitely go for it!

More often, however, you’ll find paying contests. Sometimes the fees go towards the prize kitty. But more often, the the money goes towards the organization’s administrative costs. Many people do not realize the time, expenses, and manpower required to run a website. Not to mention to organize and manage a writing contest.

Writing contests keep the creative juices flowing. Particularly contests based around a topic, phrase, or word. Let’s face it. Sometimes writers could use a little help in the inspiration department. And contests are a great way to give us that nudge we need.

Growth Guaranteed. IF you take constructive criticism well, of course. Entering contests allows us to get our work read and often critiqued by industry pros or published writers. In other words, people who know what they’re talking about. The feedback alone is well worth any conference fee (see #1). And if you take that feedback and actually apply it to your writing, you will emerge a better writer. Guaranteed.

You could get noticed. As mentioned above, many contests consist of a judging panel of agents and editors, which means there is the possibility that they will like your work enough to request seeing more of it. Which puts you one step closer to that contract.

Beware of BHS (Big Head Syndrome). Okay, so you’ve been entering contests for a while now and you’ve been finaling, or even winning. This may cause your ego to make a grand appearance. But remember that verse in Proverbs about pride coming before a fall? Don’t get to the point where wearing a padded suit is required. Try to maintain a humble spirit. Yes, it’s fun to win but keep in mind the reasons you write. If you’re a Christian, hopefully it’s to glorify God – not yourself.

 WRITING CONTESTS

CONTEST CHART FOR WRITERS

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lyndaschabLYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards and has many articles and stories published in magazines and online publications. She works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com, is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com, 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, www.LyndaSchab.com.

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Private Messenger now available to ALL members!

All members can now receive direct private messages from anyone interested in their writing through private messenger. If you had previously listed your email address in your profile, it should be removed now to reduce potential spam to your email address. Private messenger provides you with a level of privacy and security you did not have when posting your actual email address.
 
If you are a Silver member and have never been able to check your private messages, there may be some there now. Log into the site and look on the right hand side of the My Account page. It will tell you if there are any new messages waiting for you. Click on the link to read your messages. Please erase the ones you do not want to keep.
 
As new messages come in for you,  FaithWriters’ system will email you about the message that is waiting for you. Make sure your current email address in registered in your profile HERE. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to do so before being taken to your profile page to update your email address.
 
Note: Private messages with job opportunities will still only be sent to upgraded members. If you want to benefit from those opportunities you will need to upgrade HERE.
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Win A Xulon Best Seller Package – Raffle

Have a book you have been considering self-publishing? FaithWriters has several ways you can be in the running to win a Xulon Bestseller Package (over $4,000 retail value!) – and the newest one just went live today!

For our newest contest we are holding an old fashioned raffle with a hi-tech touch. There is no purchase required and you could win a Xulon Publishing Package ($4,383.00 Retail Value) to be used for any type of Christian book you desire. All FaithWriters members are eligible to enter and there are over thirty five ways (things you can do on the site) to increase your chances of winning – everything from putting the FaithWriters’ daily devotional on your website or blog to liking FaithWriters on Facebook to entering one of FaithWriters’ many contests. The only required entry is being a member of FaithWriters (silver, gold, or platinum) – once you do that, you can enter in any of the other ways.

Scroll down on this page for more details, and to start entering. You’ve got until November 30 at midnight ET to get your entries in, and there is no limit to the number of points you can accumulate.

What are you waiting for?

 

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Just Over Two Weeks To Enter Testimony Contest!

Do you have a salvation or perseverance through trials testimony that wasn’t published in FaithWriters’ first testimony book Trials and Triumphs? Are you a Gold or Platinum Member (or willing to become one)? Are you interested in getting your testimony published, and participating in royalties for sales? FaithWriters has an opportunity for you – but don’t wait too long. Time is running out!

Simply write your testimony (either of salvation or of keeping your faith during struggles) according to the contest guidelines (scroll down a bit on the page linked to here to read them) in 1,200 words or less, and submit it before the contest deadline of August 15, 2014 (that’s only 17 days away, folks!). The 50 entries selected will not only be published, but the authors will participate in royalties from the book’s sales.

Sound good? Check out the guidelines, and get working on your testimony!

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Defining Moments

Defining Moments

by Megan DiMaria

I’ve been thinking about defining moments lately. As an author, they populate my books. As a human being, they have shaped my character and my choices.

I’ve often heard good fiction characterized as real life without the boring parts. That’s very true, and both fiction and real life have defining moments.

Defining moments can be good as well as bad. The good — the day you know you’ve found “the one,” or the birth of a child. Some defining moments are obvious, like the death of a parent or when a loved one gets in a car accident. But there are some defining moments that come to you quietly in a crystallized realization while you’re simply taking a walk, or else they can seep into your bones when you overhear a conversation not intended for your ears.

The funny thing about defining moments is that they may not be honest interpretations. What if someone perceives a situation differently than it is? What if a misunderstanding causes someone to have a defining moment? It’s easy to see that happening in a child’s life: I didn’t pick up my room, so mommy and daddy are divorcing. That kind of thing.

A friend told me of a defining moment that occurred at the birth of her first child: “Oh, my goodness. I can’t die for at least 20 years.” The realization that flooded her brain shocked her, but then she knew it was because her dad died while she was a very young woman.

Libby, my character in my current WIP (work in progress), is experiencing a defining moment. I’m having fun playing with the way she reacts to it. After all, fiction is real life without the boring parts.

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megan dimariaMegan DiMaria has been a freelance writer for 20 years and is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands, both of which are set in the Denver area. She is a member of several writers’ groups and enjoys encouraging other writers in their pursuits. Visit Megan online at http://www.megandimaria.com/index.html or at her blog at http://www.megandimaria.blogspot.com/

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Spoonerism Day

There’s a holiday for everything these days. But what writer would want to pass up one that honors accidental turns of phrase? Yes, July 22 is Spoonerism Day.

For those of you unsure, Spoonerisms are words or phrases in which letters or syllables get swapped. They are named after Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844-1930), who was Dean and Warden of New College in Oxford, England, and is reputed to have made these verbal slips frequently. Some classics of his reportedly include calling Queen Victoria “our queer old dean,” telling those in chapel that “Our Lord is a shoving leopard,” and accusing one of his students of “hissing my mystery lecture.”

Of course, there are hundreds of others (you can see some here). We often speak in MY house of “shaking a tower.” And who hasn’t called a butterfly a flutter-by?

And so today, on the 170th birthday of Rev. Spooner, let’s celebrate – by working a Spoonerism into our conversation, creating a character that uses one, or creating one of your own. Trust me – it’s lots of fun!

What’s your Spavorite Foonerism? ;)

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Will You Still Be Fruitful in Your Success?

Will You Still Be Fruitful in Your Success?

By Marie Grossett

I’m not talking about material success, rather your attitude. When God opens the door to your ‘big break,’ will you still maintain or strive for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in your life?

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.’ Galatians 5:22

When we first start something – it could be a business, book, or a church – we tend to make promises such as ‘Lord, if you bless me I will never forget you,’ or ‘I promise I will remain kind humble and loving.’

Then the big break comes and guest what? All those promises seem long forgotten. We tend to become more money oriented , thinking we can treat people any way we want.

In the industry I am in, this unfruitful attitude is extremely common. It has become so economically oriented that showing the fruit of the Spirit is non-existent. Though God’s name is mentioned in books or mission statements, people’s actions are speaking louder than words.

I have witnessed authors slandering authors, authors against agents and vice versa. Some publishers focus more on the selling aspects of a book than the author’s potential.

If you want to be in this industry then you would need to pray for your forgiveness levels to increase. There have been many times I had to forgive. I refuse to stoop down to the fleshy level but rather be led by the Spirit. ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ Romans 8:6

Continue Reading…

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Help, I’ve Been Hacked. Now What?

Help, I’ve Been Hacked. Now What?

By Edie Melson

Many of us have experienced the sinking feeling that comes with the realization that one (or more) of our social media profiles have been hacked. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it can sure wreck an otherwise blissful day.

The easiest way to get hacked is to click on a link that contains a virus allowing hackers access to your accounts. When you click on the link, you may see a message telling you the link is broken. That doesn’t mean you’ve dodged the bullet. If your firewall or virus software doesn’t catch it, you’ll still be infected.

Some of the most common messages that spread viruses and allow hackers access are:

Did you know your friends are spreading nasty rumors about you?” 

This is a hilarious video of you.”

So what’s a social media professional to do, cancel all accounts and slink away in shame?

Never.

In this post I’ll give you the steps to repair the damage.

First,

change your password for the social media profile that’s been compromised.

Twitter:

  • *Go to your home page and click on VIEW MY PROFILE PAGE under your name in the top left of the screen.
  • *Click on EDIT YOUR PROFILE.
  • *Then click on PASSWORD and follow the directions to change your password.

Facebook:

  • *Go to your home page and click on the arrow to the right of your profile name in the solid blue header.
  • *Click on ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
  • *You should land on General Account Settings. From here click PASSWORD and change your password.

Next

you need to check and make certain the damage hasn’t spread. Changing your password is just the first step. For this, you’ll need to visit the app section for Twitter and Facebook. Here’s how:

Twitter:

  • *Go to your home page and click on VIEW MY PROFILE PAGE under your name in the top left of the screen.
  • *Click on EDIT YOUR PROFILE.
  • *Then click on APPS. Here you’ll see a list of apps that have access to your Twitter account. I recommend you revoke access to any you don’t recognize or haven’t used in a while.

Facebook:

  • *Go to your home page and click on the arrow to the right of your profile name in the solid blue header.
  • *Click on ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
  • *Click on APPS. Here, too, you’ll see a list of apps that have access to your Facebook account. Again, I recommend you revoke access to any you don’t recognize or haven’t used in a while.

The fear of getting hacked shouldn’t keep us from exploring social networking, anymore than the fear of identity theft should keep us from using a debit or credit card. But we all need to play smart.

How about you, have you ever been hacked?

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photo-1 copyEdie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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