The Conflict Web

The Conflict Web

By Gail Gaymer Martin

While skimming an article on a variety of writing fiction topics, a new thought came to me—the complexity of conflict. Though I’ve shared many posts on conflict, one element that comes to mind hasn’t been covered, and that is the spider element of conflict. By this I mean, as a spider weaves a tangled web—and has numerous legs—so can conflict.

One basic conflict can be multifaceted with outreaching legs that add to the conflict. Let me provide a couple of examples.

The family man who wants the best for his family strives at his career to gain promotions that will offer him more money and prestige. Naturally he has competition, other men who are also working toward this goal. This is conflict one, but conflict two is not far away. While he struggles to work extra hours and goes the longer distance at work with responsibilities that take time and thought, he also finds that he must neglect his family time. This creates guilt and a contradiction to his purpose for working hard. His goal is to provide a better life for his family.

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Xulon Press Publishing Packages to be Awarded!

Have you heard the big news? FaithWriters is working with Xulon Press to award three comprehensive publishing packages – plus discounts on Xulon publishing packages and more – during 2014.
 
Xulon Press has been around for years and is one of the largest Christian self-publishers. FaithWriters has negotiated an arrangement with them that offers definite financial savings at the time you contract with them, as well as providing the added protection of dealing with a publisher that not only wants you satisfied but wants FaithWriters satisfied too. 
 
Additionally, Xulon has agreed to bless FaithWriters by awarding three publishing packages as contest prizes for our upgraded members this year. Two of these packages will be awarded to individual Platinum members. (click here to upgrade to Platinum membership) These will be Xulon’s Best Seller packages,with a retail value of over $4,000 each. The third package will be used to publish our second testimony book, with entries from 50 Gold and Platinum members who will not be published in the first book. Two of these contests are running now: http://faithwriters.com/win_a_publishing_package.php
 
The one of the individua packages will be offered in a contest or manner that you, the members, decide upon. So, if the contest in which you hoped to win a publishing package is not in the mix, make sure to click on this link  to take a short survey and tell us your ideas on how you would like the third Xulon Best Seller Package to be awarded.
To learn more about our arrangement with Xulon and your different publishing options as a Christian author, go to: http://faithwriters.com/how to publish my book.php
Watch the blog for spotlights on the different aspects of this partnership – but if you want information now, use the links above or below.

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Chicago FaithWriters Conference: Can You Make It?

FaithWriters’ Writing Conferences are always fun, educational, and spiritually fulfilling – and there’s the potential for one coming up this summer – but we need to hear from you!

photo by Lynda Schab

photo by Lynda Schab

The next conference is tentatively scheduled for August 1- 2, 2014 at the Chicago O’Hare Airport Hilton. Because O’Hare is a hub, flights should be relatively inexpensive, and because the hotel is at the airport, there’s no need to rent a car.

The registration fee would be $129.00 and includes lunch Saturday and three snacks during the two days. This is a very nice hotel with plenty of amenities. And a wonderful bonus… the normal $199 room rate will be $99 for the conference!

We cannot provide in-depth details yet but based on previous conferences, we know it will be a great experience filled with learning, great workshops, and warm fellowship. Deb Porter will be there from Australia and Mike and Bea Edwards, Faithwriters’ owners, will  also attend. There is nothing quite like meeting other Christian writers in person, especially those you have connected with already online. It’s like a family reunion (without the arguments!).

We have had only a few dozen people so far tell us they might come and we need more interest to make a commitment to the Hilton and move forward. If you think there is a good chance you could come, please let us know by sending an email to fwconference@faithwriters.com on or before Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Just tell us in the subject line you are interested or something similar. We will not be responding to these until we have more information.

Are You Able to Come? Have You Sent Your Email?

 

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FaithWriters: Coming Soon!

Right now, it seems, there is a lot of anticipation at the FaithWriters site. While several things (the Writing Challenge and the Page Turner Contest, for example) are up and running, there are quite a few things that many FW faithful are waiting for (maybe patiently, maybe not ;) ).

One is the Testimony Book – which should be coming out  VERY soon. A few editing and scheduling issues have put the date this powerful book of FW member testimonies is released off a bit later than we had hoped, but Trials and TriumphsWILL be available as soon as it possibly can be.

And have you heard the buzz about the publishing packages to be awarded this year? All the details haven’t been announced yet, but three publishing packages from one of the largest Christian publishers will be awarded to upgraded members. These prizes are worth over $4,000 total retail! I know I’m watching for those details – which should be available within the next week or so.

And, did you also hear that the Mixed Blessings books, anthologies of FaithWriters Writing Challenge winners, will soon be coming to press? There’s been a bit of a delay in getting them out, but we are pleased to say that the first  is expected to be released at the end of March, with more following fairly soon thereafter. There are many (me included) who are excited to get these books in our hot little hands!

So, are you as anxious as I am to see these things come to fruition? Watch the blog for the announcements!

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Ideas Are In the Air

Ideas Are In the Air

By Megan DiMaria

As a writer where do you come up with ideas? If you ask a seasoned writer, they’ll tell you that ideas are in the air.

Ideas are all around you. All you have to do is be observant. If you write fiction, look at the people around you, what quirks make you think, “What if that girl with the blue hair and nose ring was a closet Young Republican . . .?” What about the man in the grocery store, racing with his clunky cart down the aisle as if he’s playing chicken with oncoming shoppers? Why is he in such a hurry? All it takes is a germ of an idea to settle into a writer’s brain before they’re off and dreaming.

Don’t despair if you see someone else chasing the same idea. No two writers will create the same story, and ideas are not copyrightable. Your execution of an idea is what makes it unique.

And what about non-fiction writers? From where does their inspiration come? The answer is the same, from life.

Be attentive to the people you come into contact with. Ask questions. For example, I once visited a library that had a display of Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia. I contacted the man who owned the display and requested an interview. By focusing on different aspects of his collection and his passion for Hopalong Cassidy lunch boxes and paperback books, I was able to tweak the material and sell the article to two different markets.

What thrills you lately? What annoys you lately? Both of those topics are fodder for an article, short story, or novel. Open your eyes, remove your earphones, breath in the fragrance of the season, and write what you sense.

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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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Give AND Get Feedback: The Critique Circle

Did you know that FaithWriters has an area especially for folks who need an extra eye for their writing? The Critique Circle is a place where you can help others improve their writing, and have them help you too!

If you want your writing to be the best it can be, having “fresh eyes” look at it, and give feedback, is important, and almost always beneficial. People of many writing levels (from newbies to FW-approved editors to everything in between) provide critiques in the critique circle in exchange for critiques of their own work.

The system works best, of course, when critiques are detailed and thoughtful – but you don’t have to be an expert to be helpful. Did you get confused at a certain point in the reading? Did you notice missing punctuation? Would the story be more compelling with more detail? Anyone can help, and the critique circle is a great place for that.

Everyone starts out with a free critique – and after that, you get a credit for each critique you give to others, allowing you the opportunity to submit another piece for critique. This peer critique area is a great place for you to get some extra polish and suggestions on your poem, article, story, script, or anything else you might want extra opinions on.

It’s always best to have an “extra set of eyes” on your writing, and what better place to do it than at the Critique Circle?

The critique circle is open to FaithWriters Gold and Platinum members. To become a Gold or Platinum member, click here

Have you used the critique circle? What value do you see from giving and getting critiques on your work?

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Created for Fellowship

Created for Fellowship

by Lynda Lee Schab

Everyone knows that writing is a solitary profession. Which is good and bad. Good, because we are left alone to get our work done. But the bad side of our solitary confinement is that there’s no one to hold us accountable. How nice it would be if the laundry pile would cry out “don’t touch me until that chapter is done!” instead of “wash me…wash me…wash me…”

Most writers enjoy being alone. Let’s face it: it’s pretty easy to get along with ourselves! But God created each one of us for fellowship. And, yes, that includes writers. The internet, of course, provides plenty of ways for writers to connect. With email, Facebook, Twitter, and innumerable writers’ forums, communicating with other writers is, for most of us, a daily occurrence. But those things can also tempt us to hide behind a computer screen all day typing statuses and comments. Although there’s certainly nothing wrong (and everything fun) about connecting online, it’s just not the same as that human connection we were created for.

There are several ways you can break out of Laptop Land long enough to physically connect with other writers. You can even utilize the internet to do it.

* Put out a call on Facebook, Twitter, or a writers forum for other writers in your area so you can start a local writing group.

* Surf the web for established writing groups. One site to try is www.meetup.com, which provides links to all sorts of local groups, writing included.

* Attend a book signing, poetry reading, or book club, where you can meet fellow readers and creative people with the same interests as you.

* Attend a writers conference and connect that way, while at the same time improving your skill.

* Don’t be shy about telling people you’re a writer. You never know when new friendships will emerge.

* Ask God to bring writers into your life. Or, at least, people who will encourage and motivate you – in person. Who can give you a real hug when you get that rejection or land that contract.

So while it’s nice to be alone sometimes, remember that we were all created for fellowship, not isolation. And all means…all. Writers included.

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lyndaschab

LYNDA 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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Free Reads for Reviews – Prizes for Readers!

Did you know that there are several books in the FaithWriters bookstore that you can read for free? All you need to do is promise to write an honest review of it when you are done reading, and it’s yours! There are some quality books over there. And now, FaithWriters has added an additional incentive to get you reading, and reviewing, the books of your fellow FWers!

Later this year, $250 in prizes will be awarded to readers in the Free Reads for Reviews program

All members are eligible to participate. You read books, right? Make your next read a newly released Christian book that you can read for FREE! If you haven’t yet checked out our “Free Reads for Reviews” program, you don’t know what you’re missing! There are over thirty great books currently in this program. View the list and information on the program by clicking here.

The contest started January 1st and will end at midnight June 30th. All you need to do is request, read, and review books in the program. Each review you complete will enter your name into the drawing one time. Reading and reviewing more books in the Free Reads for Reviews program increases your chances. There is no limit to the number of times your name can be entered.

IMPORTANT: With each book you read and review, simply send an email with the book title, copy of the review, and location of the review (url of the page) to freereadscontest@faithwriters.com. You will receive an auto-reply of receipt. Reviews do not need to be lengthy but should be a reasonable review, not one or two lines. A positive review is not required, but an honest one is. If the book is on Amazon, the preferred place for the review is on Amazon. You do not need to purchase the book on Amazon to review it there. If you have purchased anything on Amazon before and have an account they will allow you to write a review.

And the prizes? First Place: The member who reads and reviews the most books in the six month period will win $150.00. Second Place: There will be a drawing of names from the balance of members who submitted reviews. The selected name will win $100.

Make a commitment like Mike and Bea have done to read books in this program occasionally. You will not be disappointed. Plus, you are sowing good seeds for when your book need reviews while you help and encourage fellow writers.

And if you would like to have your book involved in the Free Reads for Reviews Program, learn more details here.

What’s the first book you’ll read and review?

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The 2014 Page Turner Contest is Open!

Do you havet a half-written manuscript gathering dust in the bottom of your dresser? Have you had an idea for a desperately needed non-fiction book brewing in the back of your mind for years? This year just might be the year to do something with it – and FaithWriters has the motivator for you!

Yes, the eighth annual Page Turner writing contest (sponsored by FaithWriters.com, Finesse Writing and Editing Service, and Breath of Fresh Air Press) is now open, and this year, it’s for non-fiction. All you need to do is write the first chapter, together with a basic book proposal/overview of the planned book, and then submit it. And you have until the end of October to do it.

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 (click here to upgrade), this is the perfect reason to upgrade your membership.

The deadline to enter is October 31, 2014, so you have plenty of time – but don’t delay too long!

Why enter, you ask? Not only is this FaithWriters’ premiere contest, but the prizes are quite impressive.

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

1. A fabulous cash prize of $800;

2. Free editing of their manuscript (up to 300 double spaced pages);

3. Free publicity and marketing of their book on all FaithWriters’ sites for twelve months following publication;

4. A special Page Turner Champion award plaque.

5. Consideration for publication of winning manuscript by new Christian publisher, Breath of Fresh Air Press (publisher of the new line of Mixed Blessings books).

6. Free conference registration for the 2015 US FaithWriters Conference (see terms and conditions).

Two runners-up will also receive FaithWriters Page Turner Highly Commended award plaques and the offer of half price editing for their manuscript. They will also receive free registration for the 2015 US FaithWriters Conference (see terms and conditions).

Check out this link for more details if you are already a platinum member. (General details can be found here)

Are you planning to enter this year?

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Meet the Member: Robert Bernecker (Part 2 of 2)

Check out the first part of this interview here, where bestselling author Robert Bernecker discuses his life before writing, his role as a lay minister, and his book, Who’s Your Father?

JOANNE: What kind of marketing have you been doing for Who’s Your Father? How is it going?

ROBERT: For a new author faced with the question of how to get his or her first work successfully launched, marketing a book is a daunting taskWYF_HC1 indeed. Fortunately, it is easier than ever before to accomplish. The advent of the eBook and internet book stores have created the opportunity for a new book by a previously unknown author to be easily discovered by thousands of people, something that was virtually impossible twenty years ago.

Once the book is available (or even before), the task of gathering reviews is paramount. This is a key area where FaithWriters was invaluable in the initial marketing of Who’s Your Father? Five of the earliest, best, and most influential reviews for Who’s Your Father? were a direct result of my becoming a member of FaithWriters. It would be impossible to overestimate the value of these reviews.

Additionally, I have been doing some ongoing advertising on various Christian internet sites. Such advertising doesn’t have to be expensive, but unless an author puts his or her work before readers, the likelihood of the potential reader just happening to be searching on Amazon and coming upon their new book is, of course, quite low. Once a number of readers begin to read the book and post favorable reviews, momentum can build.

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