Meet FWer, award-winning script-writer Gerald Shuler

Gerald Shuler has been a FaithWriters member for 10+ years, entering the Writing Challenge close to 100 times, and posting several dozen time in regular articles. And now, he can add “award-winning” to his list of accomplishments, as a skit he posted on FaithWriters seven years ago was made into a short film, which won several awards at the 2018 Christian Film Festival, including Gerald himself for best writer! Read on to learn more about Gerald, the skit, the award, and the role FaithWriters played.

JOANNE SHER: Congratulations, Gerald! Can you tell me your reaction when you found out the film based on your skit won?

GERALD SHULER: I’m human… I was thrilled. My wife, though, was even more thrilled so I guess my most memorable reaction was asking myself “How am I going to get my wife unpeeled from the ceiling?”

JOANNE: Can you talk us through the whole process this went through? When did you write the skit? For what purpose? How did the eventual filmmakers find it? Were you involved in the filming process at all?

GERALD: The original skit was written about 30 years ago when I was a youth pastor in need of something for the teens to do. The girl that played the lead part in the very first performance broke down in tears when she realized that her life was just like the character’s life. She accepted the Lord at that moment and then went on with rehearsal. The script is on my profile page (https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=126208 ) just the way it was performed 30 years ago.

I had no input in the production so I don’t know the process. All I know is that the producer read my skit on FaithWriters and emailed me to see what it would take to use it for his next movie. He was willing to pay for it but, silly me, I told him all I wanted was full screen credit as the writer. That took me completely out of the production loop.

JOANNE: Still – SO cool! Is it possible to see the film? If so, how and where? What were your thoughts when you saw it? Continue Reading…

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Writing Challenge Change as of April 2018

In recent months, some of our members have expressed concern that the Writing Challenge may be losing the strength of its faith-based roots. The Challenge has always encouraged wholesome, clean writing from a Christian worldview, with the understanding that there is room for both Christian writers and writers who are Christian. We still believe that; however, we have listened, prayed, and agreed that it’s time to make a change.

For most of our members, the change to the Challenge will have little to no impact. However, for others, the change may be significant.

From April 5, (the start of the next quarter) the rule regarding Christian content will change to the following:

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Entries may be in any style or genre; however, they MUST communicate some form of Christian message or spiritual truth. This message may be directed to the Christian reader or may be evangelistic in nature. Either is acceptable. In the case of fiction, the message may be subtle or allegorical. In that case, a scripture should be included at the end of the entry in order to highlight the intended message for the reader. If an entry has no apparent Christian message or spiritual truth, it will remain in the list, but will be ineligible for judging.

Please note: Language deemed inappropriate for Christian readers will be removed, even if used in the portrayal of a non-Christian character.

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Continue Reading…

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March is Reading Month

Besides the Lord Himself, there is one thing that just about every reader needs desperately. No, I am not talking about inspiration, ideas, writing utensils, an editor, or anything else of that nature. No, just about every writer needs a READER – preferably more than one 🙂

Because of that, writers should certainly be aware that the month of March (only two days away!) is National Reading Month (here in the States, anyway). While it is geared mostly toward children and schools (the month was chosen because Dr Seuss’s birthday is March 2), everyone can benefit from jumping on the reading bandwagon. One of the best ways to improve your own writing is to read. Plus, the earlier we get people (kids!) hooked on reading, the better – right?

Many schools are looking for guest readers – in March, and throughout the year. Call one in your neighborhood and see if you can bring in a favorite book (even your own, if appropriate) to read to kids. Who knows – that kid hanging on your every word (or completely ignoring you) could be one of your future readers – or a fellow writer – in a dozen years.

And do your own reading as well – from writing books to books in your genre to books that interest you. It will only make you a stronger writer.

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Twelfth Annual Page Turner Open!

THE TWELFTH ANNUAL PAGE TURNER WRITING CONTEST

2018 – CHRISTIAN FICTION AND NON-FICTION

FaithWriters.com and Breath of Fresh Air Press are pleased to announce the twelfth annual Page Turner Writing Contest. If you are a FaithWriters Platinum member, you are invited to enter this very special contest created just for you. If you are not yet a Platinum member, this may be the perfect reason to upgrade. The feedback on your manuscript alone makes it an outstanding value.

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 the spur you need to write, polish, and submit it-and we will give you until the end of September to get your entry ready.

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

1. Upgrade to a Platinum member (if you haven’t already done so).

2. Write, edit, and polish at least one chapter of your manuscript. You may seek professional editing input to polish your chapter.

3. Prepare a book proposal (suggestions for the proposal are included on the Platinum member Page Turner information page).

4. When you have a book proposal and a polished first chapter, combine the two as one Word or RTF document (book proposal first, followed by the chapter), and you’re all set to enter the 2018 Page Turner Contest.

Continue Reading…

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The Luxury of Not Enough Time

The Luxury of Not Enough Time

By Randy Ingermanson

When you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do in life:

  • You have a good reason to cut out the less-important stuff in your life without feeling one bit guilty.
  • Which forces you to think about what actually matters to you and what actually doesn’t.
  • And leads you to make a conscious decision about how much time you’ll spend on each of the things that actually matter, even though none of them will get “enough.”
  • But that means when you finally get a chance to start working on each thing that actually matters, you’ll be desperately eager to get rolling because you know you can’t waste a second because you’ve only got so many minutes today that you can do this thing that you care about so much.
  • And it ensures that when each time slot is up for the day, you’ll be thinking “I wish I had ten more minutes because I didn’t have all the time I wanted today,” instead of “I sure hated that last ten minutes because I had too much time on my hands today.”
  • Which means you’ll be ending every single time slot in your day “wanting more,” rather than ending it “wanting less,” which is probably the best way to stay excited day after day after day about the things that really matter most in your life.
  • And it also means that every day when you wake up, you’ll be gung ho to get rolling on all the cool and amazing things you can do today in the limited time you have to do them.
  • Which is not a bad way to live your life.
  • And that means that not having enough time is a luxury that makes your life better, not worse.

You don’t have enough time for everything you want to do in life.

I don’t have enough time for everything I want to do in life.

Aren’t we lucky?

**

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
 
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, “the Snowflake Guy,” publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 17,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visitwww.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.
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Meet Non-Fiction Page Turner Runner-Up Phillip Cimei

To see the interview with 2017 Page Turner Winner Joe Moreland, click here. The interview with fiction runner up Nola Passmore is here.

Phillip Cimei is a regular writing challenge entrant and a man of many interests. And now, his nonfiction work in progress, The Perfect Religion – Where Have You Been Hiding, was selected as a Page Turner runner up. Read on to learn more about Phillip, his book in progress, some of the many jobs he has held in this life, and more.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the non-fiction runner up in the Page Turner contest! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

PHILLIP CIMEI: When FaithWriters sent out the notice of winners for the Page Turner contest, I was struck with two emotions. First, I was very extremely humbled, mostly because I know there are so many outstanding writers that have deserve to have their works recognized. Not in a boastful way, but to share their love for God through the written word. Secondly, I realize that God has a hand in this. There is a purpose for entering this contest. It reaffirmed what I felt God wanted me to do to bring Glory to Him and to give some Christians and those seeking THE WAY a compass.

JOANNE: When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

PHILLIP: When I was a principal and near retirement I had this urge to write a young adult novel. I had a lot of ideas for the book and played off the experiences I had as a father of seven and being a principal to develop the story. However, grammar and composition were not my best areas throughout my education. I was a math and science minor with a major in school administration. I struggled with the mechanics and still do today. But there was this yearning to express myself. Continue Reading…

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Meet 2017 Fiction Page Turner Runner-Up Nola Passmore

Check out the interview with Joe Moreland, the Page Turner Winner, here.

Nola Passmore is an Aussie writer and encourager who has had more than 150 things published – and now, her historical novel in progress, Shattered, was chosen as Page Turner Fiction Runner Up. Read on to learn more about Nola, her work in progress, and her passions.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the fiction runner up in the Page Turner contest! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

NOLA PASSMORE: Thank you, Joanne. It was a wonderful surprise. Due to the time difference in Australia, I somehow got the days confused and didn’t realize the announcement had been made. I logged on to my computer that afternoon, and saw that I had emails and Facebook messages congratulating me.  I was thrilled to find I was one of the runners-up. It’s still sinking in.

JOANNE: So cool :D. When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

NOLA: I’ve been a creative person ever since I was a preschooler, with my first love being music. I didn’t write my first short story until sixth grade, but it was a 700-word blockbuster. The Crook Caper ended with the classic line, ‘But what was in the package? I guess we’ll never know.’ Not exactly a satisfying conclusion for readers, but it was action-packed and had the word ‘suddenly’ in almost every paragraph. Now I think of it, maybe that should have been my Page Turner entry!

After leaving school I wrote a lot of songs and poetry, but didn’t return to fiction until I did some graduate work in creative writing in my 40s. I suddenly (that word again) discovered I had a lot of ideas in me just waiting to burst out. I’ve had ten short stories published, I’m currently working on two novels, and I have ideas for at least two more.

JOANNE: I love that you have so much you are working on writing-wise. Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else?

NOLA: I’d love it to be my career. I was a university academic for twenty-five years, but left that job at the end of 2013 so I could concentrate more on my creative pursuits. My husband and I are semi-retired and run a freelance writing and editing business from home, called The Write Flourish, but I would love the writing to take over.

JOANNE: Share a bit about Scattered. Where did you get the idea for it? What is the genre? What is the story about? How far along in it are you? Continue Reading…

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Meet 2017 Page Turner Winner Joe Moreland

Joe Moreland has been a member of FaithWriters for over a decade, entering the challenge off and on and gleaning other writing info from the site. And now, his novel in progress, The Reluctant Camper, has been chosen as the winner of the 2017 Page Turner. Read on to learn more about Joe, his book in progress, and more.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on winning the 2017 Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

JOE MORELAND: It was a cold and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out!

Seriously, though, I was sitting with my family watching Netflix when I decided to look to check Faithwriters to see if there was an announcement yet. Even though I had no expectation whatsoever of winning the Page Turner contest (the best I was hoping for was some useful feedback), I still found myself counting down to the announcement on Dec. 1st.

It was about 11:49pm (give or take a few seconds) when I saw the announcement that I won. I was in such shock that I just sat there staring at my phone for several moments. My wife finally asked me what I was looking at and I told her that the results were just announced and I won. Lots of jumping up and down ensued. Well, we’re kind of old, so there was no actual jumping. We were lying down on the couch, though, so that part is accurate.

JOANNE: Too fun (and funny!) When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

JOE: Believe it or not, I was about 8 years old. My mom was a widow trying to work three jobs just to bring us up to the poverty level. As a result I was pretty neglected and found myself home all the time. I had developed the ability to read well above my grade level and, when I was eight years old I read Jack London’s Call of the Wild. My dog was my best and only friend at the time. I started trying to write my own stories and turned one in for my school’s open house. Other kids drew pictures, colored things or made something out of Legos. I wrote a short story. My teacher gave me a lot of praise for the story (probably surprised I could spell half the words) and it was the first thing anyone ever told me I was good at. I remember being fascinated at how people could care about a character I created out of my imagination like it was a real person.

JOANNE: Wow – very cool. I hope you still have that story somewhere 🙂 Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else? Continue Reading…

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2017 Page Turner Contest Winners

After almost 12 months of excitement and nail-biting suspense, it is time to announce the winners of the eleventh annual FaithWriters.com//Breath of Fresh Air Press Page Turner Contest.

The 2017 Page Turner Writing Contest began on January 1, and entry was open to both Fiction and Nonfiction manuscripts. The competition was open to all members of the FaithWriters Platinum 500.

Entries comprised a book proposal, outlining the planned work overall, together with the first chapter of the manuscript. Judging was based on how well each entry worked in a number of key areas, including creativity, freshness, craftsmanship and, most important of all, page turning power and potential for publication.

One Page Turner Champion (the highest rated entry from either fiction or nonfiction categories) will receive:

  1. A cash prize of $400 (US);
  2. The offer of traditional publication of their winning manuscript by Breath of Fresh Air Press (which includes editing of the manuscript, if the winner accepts the publishing contract from 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.

Two Page Turner runners up (one from each of the two categories—fiction and nonfiction) will receive:

  1. A special Page Turner award plaque;
  2. Two x one-hour mentoring sessions with Deb Porter through Finesse Writing and Editing Service/Breath of Fresh Air Press;
  3. Consideration for possible publication by Breath of Fresh Air Press.

It is with great pleasure we announce our 2017 Page Turner winners:

2017 Page Turner Champion—Highest Rated Entry Overall

The Reluctant Camper

Joe Moreland

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2017 Page Turner Runner Up—Fiction Winner

Scattered

Nola Passmore

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2017 Page Turner Runner Up—Nonfiction Winner

The Perfect Religion – Where Have You Been Hiding?

Phillip Cimei

The 2018 Page Turner Contest will open during the first week of January. Watch for interviews with the winners and runners-up on the blog soon!

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Why I Choose Thankfulness by Stephanie Reck

You have to make a choice to be thankful.

We sometimes have to CHOOSE to be thankful. Being thankful does not come as easily when we are heart-broken, in despair, overwhelmed or rejected. We have to CHOOSE our attitudes: otherwise we can slip into complaining, discouragement, and eventually even depression. You might not feel like giving thanks, but remember it’s a CHOICE! Instead of giving thanks you may instead feel like calling your friends and talking about all what is wrong in your life. Let me encourage you not to complain about your circumstances. Firstt will overwhelm you, then exhaust you and then cause you to feel sorry for yourself (self-pity). I am not telling you anything I have not told myself countlesss times, and that I have to practice continually: CHOOSING to be thankful.

Being thankful is a choice. You can CHOOSE to be thankful or you can CHOOSE to be ungrateful. You may not have the spouse you desire, children, a prodigal child, or you may even be going through some sickness, but whatever season you are in you can be thankful for the many blessings that you do have. It is really a conscious decision to focus on what is a blessing verses focusing on what are your hardships and trials. There is always something to be thankful for. Don’t get bitter by your life’s challenges and struggles, but see the silver lining in each circumstance. Being thankful and grateful will cause you to live with passion and zest for life.

When we CHOOSE an attitude of gratitude our lives can be transformed and we can begin to have renewed purpose.

If you are grateful and thankful it is very likely you then will be content. When you are content, you are then at peace with yourself and with others. Having the ability to be thankful is life-changing.

I challenge you if you have struggled with being thankful to say out loud every day five things that you are thankful for. This task will increase your gratitude and then your attitude. Don’t look at what you don’t have, what you have not accomplished, your fears and failures, and all your unmet desires. That type of thinking will weigh you down and cause you to have an unthankful heart.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24

I will give thanks due His righteousness, and I will sing praises to the name of the Lord, the most high. Psalm 7:17

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. Psalm 103:2

Count your BLESSINGS, name them one by one,
Count your BLESSINGS, see what God has done!

BE THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL this holiday season and COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS, ONE BY ONE!

Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
Founder of Hope Ministry-Hopeandencouragement4women@gmail.com
Hope Ministry, @2017

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com

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