Back on Track

TrainAs I write this post, I can hear a train whistle echoing in the distance and it seems an appropriate analogy of the resurgence of the Northwest Christian Writers Association Blog.  After lying dormant for a time, it’s getting back on track and making its presence known.

I’m honored to be the new coordinator for the blog and I’m excited to be part of this important resource.

The main goal for the blog is to be a go-to source for the writing world at large and extend the NWCA’s reputation for excellence.

It will be a place to find extended information on events, meetings, and learn more about NCWA members.  It will also contain articles about various writing journeys, tools we can all use to improve our writing, tips on getting our stories published from all the sides involved, and other topics related to our writing.

Where will this information and encouragement come from?   From authors, editors, publishers, and others in the writing profession who have knowledge and experience in their fields and lives.   This includes members of the Northwest Christian Writers Association.  Not only do we want to provide resources for our members in their writing journey, but we also want members to be a resource for others.  You need to do what you do best —  write.  Write about the tools you find most helpful, write about what you do to overcome writer’s block, write about what you’ve learned in your journey of publishing your work, write a review of a great workshop or conference you’ve attended.  There’s so much knowledge you have that can help others, so dig deep and write. The NCWA blog needs you to add your unique voice.

If you want to write, but can’t think of a good topic, I can provide you with a few from which to choose.  How about a bio of another NCWA member or reviewing an on-line video?  There are plenty of ideas.

Why should you personally consider being a guest writer?  There are benefits for you personally, here are just three:

  1. Publication
    Getting your work to the reading public and adding to your writing portfolio is always a good thing.
  2. Name Recognition
    Build your expertise, reputation, and your brand even before you publish your current work in progress.
  3. Get your own website more visitors
    If you have your own website and/or blog, writing for another blog can drive more visitors to your site.

There are certainly more benefits.  I’d love for you to share in the comments section other ones you think are important.

Even if you choose not to write any guest blog posts, you can still partner with us.  You can read the blog on a regular basis, make comments, and reshare posts on your social media.  It helps reach more readers and more contributors.

Drawing on the train analogy once more,  I’m asking you to add your experience and expertise to the long line of cars that are lining up and pulling out of the station towards our destination.

Ready to get started?  Click here for submission guidelines

Have a question?  Feel free to ask them in the comments section.

Want to be assigned a topic?  Send an e-mail with your request to:   blog@nwchristianwriters.org

WELCOME ABOARD! I look forward to working with you and sharing your story.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Pamburnbrightprofileela J. Dickey is the Coordinator for the Northwest Christian Writers Association Blog.  She is a speaker, writer, personal consultant, and training facilitator. Founder of Burn Bright Coaching, she draws on her background as a personal and career development coach, certified corporate trainer, and ordained minister to equip her clients and audiences to discover and pursue their life’s purpose — personal, professional, and spiritual — to help them Burn Bright.

 

2013 Workshops Revisited: “Character Dynamics: Bring ‘Em to Life” by Ocieana Fleiss

Missed a workshop at the conference? Lost your handouts? We’re here to help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ocienna fleissAt NCWA’s Renewal Conference, Ocieanna presented the workshop: “Character Dynamics: Bring ‘Em to Life.”

Click here for the “Character Dynamics” handout.

Click here to order CDs from the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ocieanna Fleiss co-wrote two historical novels, Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, and Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington. A freelance editor for more than 10 years, she also enjoys giving light-hearted advice to fiction writers in the Northwest Christian Author. Click here to visit her website.

2013 Workshops Revisited: Iron Sharpens Iron by Kat Albrecht & Sarah Moser

Missed a workshop at the conference? Lost your handouts? We’re here to help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Iron Sharpens IronAt NCWA’s recent Renewal Conference,  Kat Albrecht and Sarah Moser conducted the workshop: “Iron Sharpens Iron–Finding the Critique Partner With the Right Stuff.”

Click here for Handout 1 – “What I Want in a Critque Partner.”

Click here for Handout 2 – “What I Don’t Want in a Critique Partner.”

Click here to order CDs from the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kat Albrecht_ (1)Kat Albrecht is a police detective-turned-pet detective and founder of Missing Pet Partnership, a national nonprofit organization. In 2005, Kat launched the first-ever pet detective academy to train pet detectives from around the world. Kat is a professional speaker who uses her unique story to inspire teens and women to seek God’s presence.  The author of two books, The Lost Pet Chronicles, and Dog Detectives: Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets, she is currently crafting a YA mystery with the help of Sarah Moser, her critique partner. Click here for Kat’s website. She has been an NCWA member since 2010.

 

Sarah Gunning Moser Headshot # 2, March 2011Sarah Gunning Moser writes nonfiction articles, personal essays, and maintains a blog on the English language and teaching. Her current WIP include a cozy mystery set in Seattle and a high school English curriculum. An Endorsed Trainer for the internationally-known Spell to Write and Read program, Sarah specializes in reading instruction and remediation for grades K-12. Sarah trains adults to teach English in the historic, scientific way originally taught in the United States, and is a professional speaker and seminar leader whose dream is to see America’s former literacy level restored. Click here for Sarah’s website. She has been an NCWA member since 2010.

2013 Workshops Revisited: “Do’s and Don’ts of Writing for Children” and “Begin and End With a Bang” by Jesse Florea

Missed a workshop at the conference? Lost your handouts? We’re here to help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jesse FloreaAt NCWA’s recent Renewal Conference, Jesse Florea conducted two workshops.
Click here for the handout to “Do’s and Don’ts of Writing for Children.”
Click here for the handout to “Begin and End With a Bang.”

Click here to order CDs from the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jesse Florea has worked at Focus on the Family for more than 19 years. For the past 16, he’s been the editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse (for boys and girls ages 8 to 12) and is currently the editorial director for youth publications where he oversees Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. He co-hosts the biweekly “Official Adventures in Odyssey podcast” that often exceeds 1 million downloads and is regularly the No. 1 ranked podcast for children and families on iTunes.

2013 Workshops Revisited: “Editors Read Through Book Proposals, NOT Manuscripts“ and “Become a Prolific Writer & Write Less” by Terry Whalin

Missed a workshop at the conference? Lost your handouts? We’re here to help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Terry Whalin picAt NCWA’s recent Renewal Conference, Terry conducted two workshops.

Click here for the handout to “Editors Read Through Book Proposals, NOT Manuscripts.”

Click here for the handout to “Become a Prolific Writer & Write Less.”

Click here to order CDs from the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

W. Terry Whalin understands both sides of the editorial desk–as an editor and a writer. He worked as a magazine editor and his magazine work has appeared in more than 50 publications and he’s written more than 60 books for traditional publishers. A book acquisitions editor for several publishers and a former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. Whether you are unsure how to start on the path to publication or want to take your publishing career to the next level, Terry’s newest book, JUMPSTART YOUR PUBLISHING DREAMS, INSIDER SECRETS TO SKYROCKET YOUR SUCCESS is packed with insight. Also Terry is the author of the bestselling book, BOOK PROPOSALS THAT SELL, 21 SECRETS TO SPEED YOUR SUCCESS. Plus he’s recently launched a 12 lesson online course on proposal creation, Write A Book Proposal.  Visit Terry’s website, The Writing Life.

If They Asked Me, I Could Write a Song by Marty Nystrom

martyMarty Nystrom, song writer, author and artist, was guest speaker at NCWA’s June meeting. He also led worship at NCWA’s Renewal Conference! “As the Deer” is probably Marty’s most well known song.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click here to view the “Lyric Writing” power point.

Take a few minutes to watch this interview between NCWA’s Dennis Brooke and Marty Nystrom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marty is a married father of two sons and lives in the Seattle area. He has a degree in music education and has taught music in a wide variety of settings. He has written over 120 songs that have been released by publishers of Christian praise and worship music. His best known song is the worship chorus, “As the Deer.”

In 2006 Standard Publishing released his collection of humorous poems entitled “Don’t Mess With Moses!” It was illustrated by veteran artist Steve Bjorkman. He has just completed a sequel to the book and hopes it will soon be in print.

The purpose of his two books is to pique kids’ curiosity in the Bible and to see it as interesting, exciting and well worth reading!

Click here  to visit Marty’s blog.

2013 Workshops Revisited: “The Making of The Year We Were Famous” by Carole Estby Dagg

Missed a workshop at the conference? Lost your handouts? We’re here to help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carole Estby Dagg-114With news clippings, maps, period postcards, and other regalia that inspired scenes in her book, Carole Dagg demonstrated how broadening the scope of research and immersing yourself in character can fill gaps between known facts to create memorable stories.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click here to view “Workshop Outline” handout.

Click here to view “Historical Fiction” handout.

Click here to view Carole’s “Revise” handout.

Click here to view “Research Sources” handout.

Click here to view “Stick Man” handout.

Click here to order CDs from the conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carole Estby Dagg is a retired librarian writing in Everett and in a converted woodshed on San Juan Island.  Her book based on her great-aunt’s 4,000-mile walk earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Visit her at www.CaroleEstbyDagg.com.

“The Christian Writer’s Coach: How to Get the Most out of a Writers Conference” Book Review

Lesley Ann McDaniel, published author and member of NCWA, reviewed the book written by NCWA members.

 

CWC Buy Now

The title of the book says it all. It really does offer a full spectrum of encouragement and practical advice needed for a writer, whether newbie or seasoned, to get the most from a conference. This collection of articles by various members of the Northwest Christian Writers Association is an invaluable guide.

As a prelude, we’re treated to five mini-bios of people who are successful in Christian publishing, peppered with bits of practical conference-relevant tips. I had the privilege of interviewing my agent, Les Stobbe, for this book, and of writing his bio. Since he attends up to ten writers’ conferences a year, it was fun to get the perspective from the other side of the pitching process. I appreciate his reminder that “Preparing to be a writer is a marathon, not a sprint.”

The rest of the book is divided into three sections for easy reference: before, during, and after a conference. It’s a quick, enjoyable read, and easy to navigate.

My favorite take-aways are the reminders from bestselling author James L. Rubart and editor Marcus Yoars to put other people first; numerous cues from Melissa K. Norris, Robin Jones Gunn, Lydia E. Harris and others to let God lead you through prayer; and Marty Nystrom’s sage advice to trust God for the timing of each writing project.

I also learned some great tips from Janalyn Voigt on preparing a conference binder, something I had never thought to do before. Lynnette Bonner and Erica Vetsch offer practical instruction for creating a book proposal and a one-sheet, both essential tools for the writer who hopes to pitch a project to an editor or agent.

And speaking of pitching, Melissa K. Norris, Amy Letinsky, and Michelle Hollomon each offer helpful how-tos on that topic.

This book is rich with so much more. I recommend it for everyone who is planning to attend a writers’ conference, whether Christian or secular, but also for writers who can’t attend a conference but intend to submit their work to agents and publishers.

Enjoy your writers’ conference, and in the words of Lydia E. Harris, don’t forget to “Go have fun!”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have expressed my honest opinions.

lesley-blog-photo-2

 

LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, and theatre. While earning a degree in acting, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God’s guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of Women’s and Young Adult fiction. She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and of a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area.

 

Her books “Lights, Cowboy, Action”, “Big Sky Bachelor”, “Rocky Mountain Romance”, and “Saving Grace” are available at her website www.lesleyannmcdaniel.com or on Amazon http://amzn.to/1a2Rlnf.

NCWA Meeting Highlights: Round Tables

Round Table picSo many choices!  The May NCWA meeting had a great array of round table sessions and maybe you wanted to attend more than one.  Click on the links to view notes from some of the sessions.

(photo source here)

Your Blog is Your Business Card!

Presented by Kim Martinez

Your Blog is Your Business Card! (1).pptx Your Blog is Your Business Card! (1).pptx
361K   View   Download

A Video World

Presented by Michael Duncan

A Video World.pdf A Video World.pdf
417K   View   Download

Nonfiction Book Proposals: Your Ticket to Publication
Presented by Judy Bodmer

Nonfiction Book Proposal Your Ticket to Publication Speakers.pdf Nonfiction Book Proposal Your Ticket to Publication Speakers.pdf
88K   View   Download

Iron Sharpens Iron: How to Find Your ‘Write’ Critique Partner

 

Iron Sharpens IronProverbs 27:17:

 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To critique or not critique – that is the question! Many writers hear about critique partners, but often don’t know what that means. Not only is the term confusing, but so is the process.

Do you wonder if this applies to you? Are you seeking a critique partner?  Are you reluctant to look?  Does it seem too personal somehow?

This workshop will help you begin your journey to find your “write” critique partner.

Join us as we explore the following:

  • How is a critique partner beneficial to me?
  • Can a critique partner improve my writing?
  • Are critique partners and critique groups the same thing?
  • What should my partner be and not be?
  • How can I know when I find the right one?
  • Must I protect myself and my writing in a critique partnership?

No physical formula exists to do this, yet Scripture gives us instructions for such a relationship.  In this workshop, you will learn to lean on the Holy Spirit during your search, find who it is God has in mind for you, and discover how to please God in doing so. Take part in hands-on exercises to begin the journey of discovery for God’s will.

When searching for the right critique partner, it is natural to rely upon your own human thoughts and reasoning. It is also natural to be concerned about picking the wrong person. However, dying to your flesh and taking your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, as the Word encourages us to do, will lay a foundation for God to lead you to the right person.

A critique partner who can encourage you and help refine your work will be a blessing to your ministry. Not every Christian writer will have a supernatural experience in finding their critique partner like we had. There are many ways God can and will lead you to the right partner or lead that partner to you.

Have you asked God for a critique partner? If not, we encourage you to come to our workshop, hear our story, and let us show you how to seek and believe God for a critique partner who can be a blessing to your life and your ministry.

Finding your partner will probably happen when you least expect it as you apply the principles taught.  Handouts and in-class exercises included.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Giveaway ticket event:  Dessert at “An Evening with Jane Kirkpatrick.”  Kirkpatrick will speak on “Finding Home.” The event includes gourmet dessert and book signing. Friday, May 17 at 7-8 p.m. Part of the conference but available separately for $10 at the door. For more information: www.nwchristianwriters.org  . To enter giveaway:

1)Simply leave a comment

2) Send me your email address to blogservant@nwchristianwriters.org before midnight, May 5th. Winner will be chosen at random.

Kat Albrecht_ (1)Kat Albrecht is a police detective-turned-pet detective and founder of Missing Pet Partnership, a national nonprofit organization. In 2005, Kat launched the first-ever pet detective academy to train pet detectives from around the world. Kat is a professional speaker who uses her unique story to inspire teens and women to seek God’s presence.  The author of two books, The Lost Pet Chronicles, and Dog Detectives: Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets, she is currently crafting a YA mystery with the help of Sarah Moser, her critique partner. Click here for Kat’s website. She has been an NCWA member since 2010.

 

Sarah Gunning Moser Headshot # 2, March 2011Sarah Gunning Moser writes nonfiction articles, personal essays, and maintains a blog on the English language and teaching. Her current WIP include a cozy mystery set in Seattle and a high school English curriculum. An Endorsed Trainer for the internationally-known Spell to Write and Read program, Sarah specializes in reading instruction and remediation for grades K-12. Sarah trains adults to teach English in the historic, scientific way originally taught in the United States, and is a professional speaker and seminar leader whose dream is to see America’s former literacy level restored. Click here for Sarah’s website. She has been an NCWA member since 2010.