Friday, February 27, 2009

Faith Writing Offers Comfort and Hope

Writing for teens is a tough market especially when the genre is faith based. Also, young people by nature tend to be skeptical. After all, a teen’s life spans a mere five to six years and they are not interested in reading stories that try to “fix” them. The teen culture is something teens inherited, not invented, so faith-based writers need to “show” teens the relevance of the message and how to respond and apply to everyday life. In addition, when writing for the faith-based market, you need to “show” a young teen the significance of a particular reality in their life or nothing will change for them. Teens want to know about the “Do’s” not the “Don’t’s.”

Some top intense issues for teens are social justice, love, environment and poverty. The teen culture as a whole becomes more intelligent each generation and they want to impact the world in a tangible way. Faith based writers have an opportunity to “show” (there’s that word again) teens Christ and not just talk about Him.

If you do a search on “religious magazines” you will get over a million hits. The Christian Writing market is larger than you may think but no one has time to research all the viable publications. To get started searching, I have listed some links to a few publishers and magazine markets in addition to some religious curricula markets.


Augsburg Books Christian
Behrman House: Jewish
Bethany House: Evangelical Christian
Deseret Book co: Latter-day Saints
Moody Publishers: Conservative Christian
Paulist Press: Catholic


Connected:, Christian Record Services for the Blind
Focus on the Family: Evangelical Christian
Higher Things: Lutheran
InTeen: African American, Christian
Randall House: Baptist
Sharing the Victory: Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Religious Curricula

Congregational Ministries Publishing:
David C. Cook: Non denominational Christian
Gather ‘Round:
Group Publishing: Nondenominational
Review and Herald Publishing: Seventh-day Adventist
Urban Ministries: African American community

Write it down,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stimulate Your Writing Inspiration With These 5 Ideas

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." (Jack London)

Inspiration is all around us. A word, a song, or a picture can propel us forward to greatness.

Consider using one or all of these five approaches to find your inspiration.

1. Music is a major source of inspiration. Listen to your favorite music when relaxing and ideas will come like a waterfall. I find Celtic and classical to be especially inspiring.

2. Free writing creates moments of the muse. You may be stuck on a topic and your writing is reflecting boredom. Even if you have to write the same words over and over keep doing it and before you know it your creative power is unleashed and you have a novel, article or EBook.

3. Next to that is reading. Great minds do travel in the same dimension. Get out a favorite book that is close to your own niche such as children's fiction, picture books, non-fiction, etc. and read away.

4. Carry a small personal recorder in your purse or pocket. Now if you are in the shower that may be a little difficult. Dry off your writing hand and use the pen and paper that is laying on the bathroom vanity. Or run dripping wet to the computer and type it in.

5. Go to the park if you are feeling stuck. This is a wonderful chance to practice meditation and prepare your mind to receive great thoughts.

Bonus Idea: I like to take bike rides early mornings so I can "hear" the quite and "see" the Forrest with out the trees. Where are you when brilliant ideas pop in your head?

Write it down,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Learn How to Write Children's Books and Sell Them.

All of us have special stories inside of us that are just begging to be told. Children love stories. They live in a world controlled by adults and don’t have a whole lot of say so. The best we as adults can do for all children is to give them quality stories, truth or fiction. This is the best reason to join the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club.

OR - do you want to learn ways to make more of the writing and illustrating career you already have?

Then join the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club and receive two free ebooks to help get you started on your writing career. Click the links below.

Children's Writer's Checklist
Dealing With Writer's Stress

You’ll work with both published children’s writers and illustrators, and those who want to become children’s writers or illustrators, to create the children’s writing or illustrating career of your dreams.

And the best part is, you won’t ever have to leave your home - so you can enjoy your coaching club sessions in your pjs or bathrobe, if you like. What could be better than that?

Membership - only $27.00 per month

Just look at all you get for only $27.00 per month when you become a member of this fantastic club:

* LIVE teleclasses EVERY month. Each teleclass is taught by a successful children’s book author and/or illustrator who knows the “tricks of the trade” of children’s writing, illustrating, and publishing.
* A monthly writing assignment, designed to become a finished project ready for submission to a publisher, usually be the end of the month, although some projects take longer. Each month we focus on some area of publishing. For example, one month we study how to write short fiction for children’s magazines. Another month we focus on writing nonfiction for children’s magazines. Another month we target writing picture books, etc.
* The opportunity to have your monthly assignment professionally critiqued, so you know if further revisions are needed before it is ready for submission to a publisher.
* The opportunity to network daily via an online discussion list with other members of the CWCC, as well as the instructors.

Click the Logo below.

">Join the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club today and you’ll be on your way to creating your own part time or full time career as a published children’s book author and/or illustrator.

You can’t go wrong.

Write it down,

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life - Book Review

The Blue Stone A Journey Through Life
Author and Illustrator Jimmy Liao
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316113832
ISBN-13: 978-0316113830

The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life is an unusual story for ages 4 – 8. I find it more appropriate for ages 7 – 10. The Blue Stone’s illustrations are vibrant and clear. Many illustrations are full page spreads while some are displayed to show a sequence of scenes. Jimmy Liao’s artistic interpretations of his words meld together in a soothing voice.

A life long journey of change and renewal begin when the sapphire colored rock is taken from its natural habitat and separated from its other half. Don’t overlook the significance that this blue stone also represents a strong sense of family values. The blue stone’s objective is always to get back home.

Every transformation the blue stone experiences is special. It shows young children that no matter what size or color you are, you can become beautiful, helpful and important. The Blue Stone delivers a message that we all have something new inside us waiting to be created.

Additionally, The Blue Stone is enchanting and has a sense of spirituality and mysticism demonstrating in a simple way how circumstances in our lives are subject to change and can become positive experiences. In the beginning the stone is carved into an elephant statue delighting a town with happiness but eventually people leave and the stone elephant is all alone. The stone remembers home and its heart breaks a little. Next it becomes a garden bird for a lady but the lady abandons her garden. A new owner comes to create a stone fish for a seaside town. Each time something new is created from the blue stone, pieces break away and the stone becomes smaller and smaller.

Small pieces keep falling from the stone at each step of its life journey. At last it becomes a gift of first love between a boy and a girl. Since first love rarely lasts the stone’s heart breaks until it is nothing but grains of sand. Now it is light enough to float over the towns and oceans back to its home in the forest where it completes the circle of life resting in peace where it always belonged.

About the Author
Jimmy Liao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and received a degree in design from the Chinese Culture University. He is the author and illustrator of 18 hugely popular books that have been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. His first book for Little, Brown, The Sound of Colors, was published March 2006.

Write it down,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wounded Knee - A Story of Two Proud Cultures

Wounded Knee
Author Neil Waldman
Reading level: Young Adult 8 – 12 years
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Atheneum; 1st edition (April 3, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0689825595
ISBN-13: 978-0689825590

Neil Waldman writes the account of Wounded Knee for the young reader in a way they can understand historical chronological detail without being bored. Waldman expertly weaves a story of historical facts that reads like an action filled fiction novel. In addition, Waldman's distinctive illustrations add texture to this factual account. Many of the paintings are based on well-known early photographs from the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress collections.

The story of Wounded Knee sheds light on why two cultures and two warring nations battle to preserve their own way of life. Author, Neil Waldman handles the violent and heart wrenching events between the American government, white settlers and Indian tribes who lived around the Black Hills of South Dakota in a factual and balanced way. Waldman’s account cannot change the facts on either side but he does bring to light the cultural misunderstandings, journalistic rampages of the press and unintentional as well as intentional betrayals.

Waldman puts the reader in the shoes of Black Elk as he races to the top of a high ridge overlooking Wounded Knee Creek with a vivid description of the massacre on the morning of December 29, 1890.

Then suddenly, a volley of gunfire erupted in the distant hills to the east, and Black Elk froze.
“The sounds went right through my body,” he would say later, “and I felt that something terrible would happen.”

Waldman points out that potential for conflict had been brewing for centuries. For more than 400 years white settlers had been filling the east coast with cities, villages and farms. About a thousand miles away the seven warrior tribes of the Lakota had also been living for many generations in an area that stretched from Missouri to Wyoming. Both sides had a sense of possession for the land and both disagreed on what that meant.

Writing historical non-fiction is not easy just because “plot” and characters are already formed. In fact it is more difficult because with fiction you can make up anything (almost) to move the story along. It has been said that “truth is stranger than fiction” but maybe we should say that “truth is more difficult to write than fiction”.

There is also historical fiction. This means that the story has truthful facts but may have fictional characters. For more information on the difference between the two and advice on how to write historical fiction or non-fiction, visit the sites below.

Visit Lila Guzman who writes non-fiction and historical fiction
Suzanne Lieurance. A writing coach for fiction and non-fiction
Eleven tips for writing non-fiction for kids by Fiona Bayrock
Creative non fiction by Susan Taylor Brown
On Writing Non fiction for Children by Lindsay Mannell

Write it down,