Monday, December 31, 2007


I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and is looking forward to a productive New Year. I would like to challenge you to set at least a few new goals that will make you stretch and grow as a writer. It's easy to fall into a rut--writing only those things that have a ready or easy market. When I first started writing I wrote exclusively for all the publications put out by my denomination--they would buy almost everything I sent them. It is a good place to start your career--becoming a big fish in a small pond--but at some point we need to launch out and start submitting to bigger and more challenging markets. That's the only way we can ever grow as a writer. You may have to endure more rejection slips in the beginning, but eventually the pay checks and sense of satisfaction will grow as well. Onward!

Monday, December 24, 2007


As Christmas Eve closes in, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope you are all thinking about those writing goals you have for the new year. I am encouraging you to write them down, post them where you can see them often, and follow through at the end of the year to record how many you actually accomplished. Thank you for checking out this new blog. I'm enjoying doing it for you and trust you are finding it helpful. I'm always open to your comments and suggestions. One suggestion I will follow through on after the first of the year is to make it possible to have the updates sent to your e-mail automatically--if you should choose to sign up for that. I'm learning as I go along here, so hope to keep making this better and more helpful. I'm taking a short break for the holiday, but will be back soon.

Christmas Blessings--Sally

Friday, December 21, 2007


Act One Seminar: Screenwriting and the Business of Hollywood is coming to Phoenix, Arizona!$20 Early Bird Registration Discount before March 1, 2008!
What: Act One, Inc. presents Act One Seminars - intensive, practical workshops for aspiring and professional writers and entrepreneurs who are serious about their Christian faith and who dream of creating culture that respects and enriches a global audience. These two-day seminars offer a fun, fast-paced overview of our renowned Writing and Executive Programs, taught by Hollywood professionals.
Dates: Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, 2008
Location: Scottsdale Christian Church 7934 E Oak St Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Registration: $195 - (includes study materials, Saturday lunch and Hollywood Insider Event) $175 - Early Birds (before March 1st), Students (with ID), and Groups (10 or more) $10. SPACE IS LIMITED - Visit to register online NOW!


Baker Publishing Group announces the promotion of Jack Kuhatschek to Executive Vice President and Publisher, effective immediately.In his new role, Kuhatschek will be responsible for overseeing the editorial team for five of Baker’s six publishing divisions, including Revell, Baker Books, Baker Academic, Brazos Press, and Chosen, as well as the rights department.


Here's another promotion idea. Western writer Stephen Bly is offering a western adventure delivered to your e-mail weekly. For a price he will send you a 2,000 word original chapter from his current unpublished western novel. You can sign up for 3 months, 6 months, or a full year. This will also be helpful for writers interested in writing western novels. For details, visit his Website at


"Living Waters Publishing Company is currently having a dispensation for our traditional publishing contracts. Each year, we have 3 dispensations. From December 12-31, we are relaxing our standards a bit to attract certain kinds of books.If you've written a children's book and already have the illustrations, providing the content matches our standards, you may be given a traditional publishing contract with all the benefits therein allotted. We may also consider certain children's books without illustrations.Specifically, we are attempting to attract the following types of children's books:Educational for ages 6-10 – may be in any educational subject or Christian in nature Holiday oriented – more specifically, we are seeking books with Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas themes Poetry – material written for or by children Crafts for childrenIf you are interested in attempting traditional publishing with us, please forward your manuscript or synopsis to Henry Carlyle, Acquisitions Manager, at We are also looking for Christian fiction and romance, biographies, study material and poetry. Learn more about us at" Lacresha N. Hayes, President Living Waters Publishing Co17 Gannt Street, Marion, AR 72364Phone: (870) 739-4100 Web:

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I don't think there is a publisher I get more questions/concerns about than Tate Publishing. In the past they have been listed as a royalty publisher that does 4% of their books on subsidy deals. However, for the 2008 edition I have moved them to the subsidy section, because it appears they do the majority of their book asking the author to pay $3,985.50 on signing. They are what I call a co-op publisher. They indicate that they pay the cost of production and the author's payment covers the cost of promotion. But I also get complaints that they do not do the promotion they promise. My biggest concern came up recently when an author I had reviewed their contract for came back to tell me that they refuse to negotiate any of the terms of the contract. That alone would keep me from dealing with this company.


Miracles, Healings & the Unexplained, Solid Gold Publications, P.O. Box 30418, Portland OR 97294; fax 503-256-0418; Sue Wade, publisher. Submit by mail, e-mail, fax, or via the Website: Pays $5-25, on publication. Looking for true miracle stories, unexplained occurrences, and healing as a result of prayer.


NEW lISTING: Exodus: A Journey From Death 2 Life, 1108 SW Tennessee Ave., Lawton OK 73501;; Magazine for an urban youth/young adult audience (15-25). Must reflect a Christian viewpoint. No payment for online rights. Guidelines on Website ( Articles 1,000-1,200 words. Submit by e-mail or mail. Rochelle Moyd, publisher.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


In an effort to let writers' groups know about this blog and remind them of the group special I offer on the market guide, I've been sending out e-mails to the group leaders as listed in the 2008 market guide, but a number of those have been returned as undeliverable. If you are listed as the contact for your writers group, and your e-mail has changed since you gave me that information, please e-mail me with your new e-mail address.


Assoc. of Writers and Writing programs, Carty House, Mail Stop 1E3, George mason University, Fairfax VA 22030. (703)993-4301. E-mail: Website: For authors of book-length manuscripts; submit only 150-300 pgs. Deadline: between January 1 and February 28. Entry fee: $20. Prize: $2,000. Send SASE for guidelines.


I often hear from poets who are looking for a royalty publisher to publish their book of poetry. I always wish I had better news for them, but the reality is that it is nearly impossible to find a publisher who will even consider poetry. Unfortunately poetry books are very difficult to sell unless the author is well-known. (Even poets don't buy books of poetry, as a rule.) The exception, of course, is subsidy publishers who are happy to publish your poetry book if you pay for it. That is the route most poets end up taking if they want to get their poetry book published. However, the good news is that the market guide lists about 200 periodical markets for poetry--some paying--some not. I always encourage poets to start submitting to those publications and building their reputation and recognition as a poet. One of the keys to selling poetry to periodicals is to match the subject of the poetry to the focus of the magazine. For example, if it is a family-oriented magazine, then the poetry needs to deal with family issues.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


A call to present spiritual truth reinforced with biblical references in general, nonreligious publications. First prize is $10,000 with a total of $34,000 given annually. To be eligible, submitted articles must be published in a general, nonreligious publication and must be reinforced with at least one passage of Scripture. Deadline is January 31 of following year. For details and a copy of last year’s winning entries, contact: The Amy Foundation, PO Box 16091, Lansing MI 48901-6091. (517)323-6233. E-mail: Website:


Address: PO Box 4456, Louisville KY 40204. (502)458-4028. E-mail: Website: Prize: $2,000 and publication of a collection of short stories, novellas, or a short novel (150-250 pgs.), plus a standard royalty contract. Deadline: between January 1 and February 15. Entry fee: $25.


Literary Contest/Fiction, University of Tulsa, 600 S. College Ave., Tulsa OK 74104. (618)631-3080. E-mail: Website: Quality prose and fiction by emerging writers of contemporary literature, unpublished. Deadline: between January 1 and April 30. Entry fee: $20. Prizes: $2,000 and publication; $1,000 and publication.

Monday, December 17, 2007


* January 31-Feb 3: Writing for the Soul Conference; Colorado Springs, Colorado. Contact: Paul Finch, Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, 5525 N. Union Blvd., Ste. 200, Colorado Springs CO 80918; 866-495-5177; 719-495-5177; fax (719)495-5181;; Speakers include: Lee Stroebel, Robin Jones Gunn, Richard Lederer, Sally Stuart. Editors and agents in attendance.
* February: Word Weavers Retreat; Lake Yale Retreat & Conference Center; Leesburg, Florida. Contact: Eva Marie Everson, 122 Fairway Ten Dr., Casselberry FL 32707-4823; 407-695-9366; Speaker: Don Aycock.
* February 6-8: Writer’s Symposium by the Sea; San Diego, California. Contact: Dean Nelson, Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr., San Diego CA 92106;; Speaker: Philip Yancey. Sometimes editors in attendance.
* February 15-16: American Christian Writers Dallas Conference; Dallas, Texas. Contact: Reg Forder, PO Box 110390, Nashville TN 37222; 1-800-21-WRITE;;
* February 22-23: American Christian Writers Oklahoma City Conference; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Contact: Reg Forder, PO Box 110390, Nashville TN 37222; 1-800-21-WRITE;;
* February 22-23: Castro Valley Christian Writers Conference; Castro Valley, California. Contact: Pastor John Drury, 19300 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley CA 94546; 510-886-6300; Speaker: Karen O’Connor.
* February 22-24: Writers Weekend at the Beach; Ocean Park, Washington. Contact: Birdie Etchison, PO Box 877, Ocean Park WA 98640-0877; 360-665-6576;; Sometimes has editors/agents in attendance.
* February 25-28: Catholic Screenwriters Workshop; Tucson, Arizona. Contact: Rev. Thomas Santa, CssR, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Rd., Tucson AZ 85743-9645 ; 866-737-5751;; Offers advanced track. Speaker: Virginia McCarthy.
* February 28-March 2: Florida Christian Writers Conference; Bradenton, Florida. Contact: Billie Wilson, director, 2344 Armour Ct., Titusville FL 32780; 321-269-5831; fax 321-264-0037;; Editors and agents in attendance. Offers partial scholarships.


JOHN GARDNER MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR FICTION, Harpur Palate, English Dept., Binghamton University, Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13920. Website: Unpublished short story of 8,000 words or less. Deadline: between January 1 and March 31. Entry fee: $15. Prize: $500, plus publication in the summer issue of Harpur Palate. Details on Website.


HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN FICTION CONTEST, 803 Church St., Honesdale PA 18431. (570)253-1080. Website: Offers 3 prizes of $1,000 each for stories up to 800 words for children; for beginning readers to 500 words. See Website for guidelines and current topic. No crime, violence, or derogatory humor. No entry fee or form required. Entries must be postmarked between January 1 and February 28.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


This publisher is the fiction imprint of Harrison House, Box 35035, Tulsa OK 74153; 800-888-4126; 918-523-5400;; Submit to Fiction Editor. No manuscripts through agents; no reprints. Pays royalty on net or retail; no advance. Responds in 6 months. No guidelines or catalog available. Query for adult contemporary or historical fiction.


The Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference no longer sends out a print brochure. All information about the faculty, schedule, and application are available on their Website. Mount Hermon has one of the largest (if not the largest) group of editors and publishers at their conference. In addition to several major morning tracks and dozens of afternoon workshops, they offer a free critique or submission to editor of your choice (2 manuscripts initially). There're tracks specifically for teen writers, and a Career Track for authors of 2 or more books from royalty publishers (at least one in the last 5 years). This track runs all day--not just in the morning like the other major morning tracks. I'll be sharing more about the Career Track a little later, but for now you will find details and an application for this track on the Website:


As I prepare the new market guide each year, it concerns me that Christian periodicals seem to be struggling for survival. Each year the circulation drops on all but a handful of publications. In today's busy society, we all subscribe to fewer magazines because we don't have time to read them or because we get our information online or elsewhere. The struggle is also evident as we see them drop to fewer pages per issue, then less frequesnt publication (monthly to bimonthly, bimonthly to quarterly, etc.), and then from a print publication to an online one. This problem is not unique to Christian publications--all magazines face the same struggle. It's just that it is often more evident in Christian magazines since many don't accept advertising. Even those that take advertising seem to be depending more on paid advertising than on their subscriptions. I was just reading the January copy of Good Housekeeping and noticed that it seemed to have more ads than usual. Just out of curiosity I counted up how many pages were devoted entirely to ads. Out of 196 total pages in that issue, 94 were devoted to ads. That's roughly 49% of the magazine. Obviously we all can't subscribe to every magazine we like, but I've always suggested to writers that they subscribe to one or two they would like to write for every year--subscribing to new ones the next year. That way you not only help the publications stay in business, but best of all, you get an up-close look at what that magazine is all about.

Friday, December 14, 2007


BELIEVE BOOKS, Washington DC; (703)318-0773;; Elizabeth Stalcup, ed. Publishes inspirational life stories of people from around the world. E-query. See Website.


AVON INSPIRE, HarperCollins, 10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022; 212-207-7000; Published in partnership with HarperOne. Cynthia DiTiberio, editor. Publishes inspirational women’s fiction; 6-10 titles/yr. Agented submissions only. Royalty and advance negotiable. Publishes historical & contemporary fiction for now; also planning suspense and children’s novels.


New listing: Worship Submissions or Music Submissions, PO Box 1209, Minneapolis MN 55440-1209; or; Submit to Worship Editor or Music Editor. Committed to the publication and distribution of worship and music resources representing high music and liturgical quality in a variety of styles and genres, sound theological substance, pastoral sensitivity, Lutheran heritages, and ecumenical usefulness. "For music we have two publication dates, March 1 and October 1. Submissions need to arrive at least 9-12 months prior to those dates." Guidelines on Website.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


From time-to-time authors find themselves in a situation where they need legal advice--usually over a copyright issue or conflict with a publisher over provisions in their book contract. In such instances, it is important to consult with an attorney that specializes in publishing law, rather than a regular attorney. One such attorney I can personally recommend is Sallie G. Randolph, 520 Franklin St., Buffalo NY 14202; 716-885-1847;; Sallie is available to consult with you or your regular attorney about publishing law issues. She is also available to speak or teach at conferences. Earlier I highlighted her book, Author Law A to Z, which is available on my Website.


If you write for publications, you can also now order the 2008 Top 50 Periodical Publishers' Packet. Since there are about 675 periodicals listed in the market guide, I realized a few years ago that I needed some way to identify those that are most open to freelance and that treat writers well--what I call the "writer-friendly" publications. For that reason I came up with a scoring system that pinpointed those. The packet actually includes a list of the top 70 (just over the top 10%), but the packet itself includes a copy of the writer's guidelines from each of the top 50, plus an analysis sheet of the top 50. The publications identified fall into a wide range of categories--adult, children, pastors, teens, women, etc. Please realize that all the publications included on this list are great markets for your work--only a few points separate #50 from #1. This packet is updated every year as some of the publications go out of business, no longer accept freelance, change their guidelines, etc. You can order the packet from my Website bookstore, or order it from me directly if you prefer not to use PayPal.


Good News! You can finally order the 2008 market guide on my Website. The home page of the Website has been updated, the bookstore purged of out-of-print titles, and when you get your guide, you can pay for it on the Website as well. Now that the 2008 guide is almost here, you can also get the 2007 edition at less than half price.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The next “Write Unto the Glory” workshop is January 28-30 at Bethel Church in Redding. Julia C. Loren, author & speaker, will be speaking on Revelatory Writing (among other things) and offering individual manuscript critique session. For more info & to register see
On the Saturday prior to the workshop, January 26, she will be hosting a special, one-day intensive workshop called “Breaking into Print!” This workshop is limited to 12 participants. For more detail and to register go to
What does "Breaking into Print" include?
Guided brainstorming & writing instruction
Guided implementation of techniques
Guided instruction on market research – deciding where you are going to publish before you write the piece & how to turn one article into three.
At the conclusion of the workshop, each student could have started as many as three pieces ready for submission (depending on how fast they work): an original article which could be included in one of Julia’s upcoming books, a piece for, a devotion for the Upper Room, ezines, or other publications.
If you cannot afford to travel and be there in person, she does have CDs of the last Write unto the Glory workshop available on her website as well as a course on writing for the Charismatic market that includes individual mentoring sessions.

Monday, December 10, 2007


One of the most helpful sections in the market guide--aside from the market info--is the Resources for Writers section. It is filled with hundreds of resources to help writers with almost any need or interest they might have associated with writing. One such section is the listing of publicists under "Promotion: Publicists." It lists a growing number of companies and individuals that provide publicity services for book authors. Some of you may be asking, "Why do I need a publicist--I thought the publisher provided someone to fill that need." While it is true that the larger companies have an in-house publicist, many of the smaller publishers do not. Even if they have a publicist, that person will have to handle the publicity needs for all that publisher's authors. More and more authors are hiring their own publicist who will focus more directly on the unique publicity needs of that author. The important thing to remember if you hire an outside publicist is that that person needs to coordinate their plans with the plans of the in-house person. For information on these publicity specialists, see that section in the front of the market gude.


The Traveler Family Vacation Guide, 106 Fletcher Dr., Logansport LA 71049; 318-697-5649; Marcella Simmons, editor/publisher. Looking for travel writers from anywhere in the world—with a focus on family travel. Although this is a general publication they indicate they would be open to Christian family travel stories. Pays $25 for articles 500-2,500 words. Accepts simultaneous submissions and reprints. Also open to fillers: travel-related how-to for family travelers; pays $10 for fillers. Needs feature articles with photos.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Wordserve Literary, a Colorado-based agency that specializes in representing "authors of faith", has added a cool new agent: Rachelle Gardner. Rachelle has her own blog (, which you should check out if you're planning to query her. Her blog page has links that will assist writers who want to submit to her. Her interests: "In all genres, I'm looking for books that express a Christian worldview, whether the message is subtle or overt. Fiction: Women's, Mystery, Suspense, Police/Crime, Family Saga, Historical, Legal, Literary, Mainstream, Supernatural, Romance, Fantasy. (In fiction, the Christian message should be subtly woven through, not in-your-face.) Kids' Fiction: Chapter books, middle grade, tweens, teens and YA. Nonfiction: Biblical, Christian living, Church, Devotionals, Home Life, Marriage, Parenting, Family, Apologetics, Pastoral, Current Affairs, Health, How-to, Humor, Memoirs, Money, Popular Culture, Psychology, Science, Self-Help, True Crime, Women's Issues. Not looking for: Children's picture books, poetry, short stories, screenplays, science fiction; or anything that contradicts a Christian worldview."Rachelle Gardner


Tax time will be here before we know it, so I wanted to pass along a tip about claiming a home-office deduction. In the past many have recommended that you not claim a home office because it tended to send up a red flag at the tax office--and you would be more likely to be audited. Fortunately that is no longer true. Since it has become so common to have a home office, even the IRS sees it as an accepted part of business. You can take a home office deduction if you use a room--or portion of a room--as your principal place of business. The space qualifies if it is where you do substantial work, and it is used exclusively and regularly for business. For a writer that means where you do the bulk of your writing. Another change lets you claim additional space if you store books for resale, research materials, or the like somewhere else in your house or garage--even if the space is not used exclusively for business. You can also claim mileage from your home office to other places relevant to your writing, such as to the library, office supply store, post office, etc. The calulation for the deduction can get complicated, so check with your accountant about what and how much you can deduct on your next tax return.


I talk a lot about the importance of downloading or sending for writers' guidelines before submitting to any publisher, but I also want to emphasize how important it is to be aware of theme lists. The market guide will tell you which publishers provide a theme list. Such a list tells you what topics the publication plans to highlight in each upcoming issue. Usually these lists are available a year to two years ahead of time. (Some give a specific deadline for each issue, but others do not.) Many of those publications maintain a list of writers who are sent the list each time a new one comes out. You can write and ask to be put on that list. If they make the list available on their Website, they might just inform you when a new list is posted. Keep in mind that a theme list can be handled in two distinct ways, so it is important that you understand its use for each publication you are interested in. Some publications only accept freelance submissions that fit into one of their upcoming themes. Other will indicate that all their theme-related articles are assigned and they are open to freelance submission only for their non-theme-related articles.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Author Gail Welborn is looking for authors whose books she can review. Since these reviews go into a publication called Christian News Northwest, the authors need to live in Washington state or Oregon or their books need to have a Washington or Oregon setting. She reviews 3 books per month. If you meet the above criteria, feel free to e-mail her at for further information. Gail also does reviews for other publications--one general reviews (any topic), one mysteries, and one for audio reviews. E-mail her for information on those as well.


South Florida Parenting, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale FL 33301;; This is a general, regional publication that’s given away free at local grocery stores, but the pay is good. Uses travel pieces, but they must begin or end in South Florida. Also open to how-to, parenting issues, humor, interviews/profiles, family issues, and children’s issues. Pays up to $300 on publication for articles 750-2,000 words. Query by mail or e-mail with published clips. Considers reprints. Guidelines on Website.


Rancho de la Paz provides a place for those in Christian ministry to get away from the normal distractions and interruptions to write. They provide a desk in your private bedroom. You can prepare your meals in their kitchen or take meals with the family. Guests are welcome to stay up to two weeks per visit. Closed during July, August and December. Rancho de la Paz is in rural Riverside County, Southern California: 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles; 65 miles northeast of San Diego, and 35 miles south of Ontario Airport. Email or phone (951) 245-4082 to make reservations. They'll email you a map with clear directions. Also offers hands-on writing seminars. Details on Website: For more information, contact Bev Caruso at:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


If you're interested in writing for children, this Website has a lot to offer. Since 1990, people from all walks of life and from every part of the globe have come to them seeking to begin a career as a children's writer. They give them advice, insider tips, instruction, insight and inspiration. is packed with articles, interactive tools and cool freebies...all about the art of writing children's books and submitting them to children's book publishers. You'll find page after page of advice found nowhere else online or off. Sign up for their free monthly e-zine. Go to: Http://


Maureen "Moe" Girkins has been appointed President & CEO of Zondervan, as of January 2, 2008. She will be responsible for overseeing and directing Zondervan's growth strategy in addition to managing day-to-day operations as president. Bruce Ryskamp has served as interim CEO.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Ever wish you could test drive a new book? "You've Got Books" is a free online service provided by the Christian Authors Network (CAN) to allow readers to sample the latest releases by popular Christian authors. It's free. To subscribe, go to:


Every new writer I know would love to have their own writing mentor--someone who could answer questions, give advice, and offer encouragement. Although it's hard to find such a mentor, "My Writing Mentor"--an e-mail newsletter--could be the next best thing. Professional, published writer, Tricia Goyer, will answer your questions or find someone who can. Just leave your question in the comment field of any post and then watch for the answer in upcoming isses of the newsletter. Newsletters are sent out the 1st and 15th of each month. The newsletter includes articles, tips, publishing advice, interviews, samples, and more. To sign up for the newsletter, go to


Since so many Christian families homeschool, they have much to offer to the homeschooling publications--even those like this one that are general in nature. Homeschooling Horizons is located in Canada: 42 Prevost RR7, Vaudreuil-Dorion QC, J7V 8P5, Canada;; Articles 900-1,500 words. Guidelines on Website. Pays $17 Cdn. if you request payment. Note: If you have not had first-hand experience with homeschooling, don't submit to this or other homeschooling publications.


The Chicken Soup for the Soul Book series is always open to stories for one of their upcoming titles. On their Website you will find a list of possible upcoming titles they are working on, as well as complete guidelines for submissions. Below are a few of the many topics they're looking for (indicate which one you are submitting to), but even if your story doesn't seem to fit one of the topics listed, you can actually submit it under "No specific title." Some titles they have listed have a specific deadline while others don't have a set deadline yet.

** Baking with Kids, December 31, 2008
** Baseball Lover's Soul, March 31, 2008
** Cat Lover's Soul, December 31, 2008
** Catholic Soul, May 30, 2008
** Christmas Pet Book, March 31, 2008
** Dog Lover's Soul, December 31, 2008
** Extraordinary Teen's Soul, December 31, 2008
** Football Lover's Soul, December 31, 2008
** High School Graduates, December 31, 2008
** Life Lessons for Leaders, June 30, 2008
** Twins Soul, December 31, 2008
More titles listed on Website:


Power Publishing, 5641 W. 73rd St., Indianapolis IN 46278; 317-347-1051; fax 317-347-1068;; A Midwest Christian publisher of books that make a positive difference in the lives of their readers. Currently soliciting manuscripts for their traditional publishing program. Looking for inspiring/motivating and instructional/reference books across a variety of genres, including nonfiction, fiction, children’s books, and textbooks. Guidelines and more information on the company on their Website.

Monday, December 3, 2007


The Maryland Women of Worship Website is open to devotionals, 300-400 words. They pay $5-12 for each devotional they use. Check their Website for current needs. Word length and payment varies depending on proposed use. Wilhelmina E. Street ( is editor. Website:


I announced in an earlier post that Cook was going back to the David C. Cook name. Well, Thomas Nelson has also dropped its imprint names to take advantage of the recognition power of the Thomas Nelson name. They have reorganized their 21 imprints around categories, such as lifestyle, fiction, Bibles, etc. For example, in the 2008 edition of the market guide, you will find a new listing for "Thomas Nelson, Fiction." By the 2009 edition they should have their divisions named and I'll add additional categories. In the meantime I'll keep you posted here.


The Christian Writers' Market Guide also includes Christian newspapers. You will find that some of them are more like Christian magazines--just in a tabloid or newspaper format. Others are actually in a traditional newspaper format. For that reason you will want to be sure to get sample copies of any of them before making submissions. If they are more like magazines, then you may be able to either sell them reprints of articles you have had published in other magazines, or recast some of those articles to fit their needs.
If they are in a newspaper format, then here are some tips that might help you to write or rewrite for their specialized needs:

** Start with letters to the editor. Editors need well-written, creative letters, and if you can supply them they may look to you for other writing needs.

** Study the newspaper to determine if there is a section or page where your material would fit. Then identify the editor that handles that section.

** Unless their listing indicates otherwise, it's best to e-mail your piece as an attachment. Introduce yourself briefly in the body of the e-mail.

** If you haven't heard after a week, call the editor.

** Writing for newspapers calls for both patience and persistence.

** Don't expect to make much money. The going rate is about a dollar per 1,000 in circulation--if they pay at all. May just be a place to get some writing credits.

AMAZON'S PORTABLE READER CALLED KINDLE has introduced Amazon Kindle, a revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. More than 90,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including 101 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases, which are $9.99, unless marked otherwise. Kindle is available starting today for $399 at

Friday, November 30, 2007


I heard from a writer recently who had a book manuscript ready to submit, but was asking if he should send it now, or wait until after the holidays. He was right to be concerned about the timing of his submission. Things tend to be a little hectic in publishing offices as people prepare for the holiday break. Many do not work up until Christmas eve, but leave earlier for holiday trips or whatever. Likewise, the first of January can also be a hectic/busy time as editors come back to the work that piled up while they were away. I would suggest waiting to send a new proposal until about the middle of January, when things start getting back to normal.


I have to chuckle to myself when I hear from writers in the summer or fall who have a Christmas book or article that they are determined to see published for that Christmas. What they fail to realize is that a book will take 18 months to 2 years to get published, and even a magazine could be working a year or more ahead. Actually now is a good time to submit a holiday piece--but for publication next year. The market guide will tell you how far ahead each publication wants their holiday or seasonal pieces--for Christmas or any holiday.


This time of year you may be thinking about sending holiday gifts to your editors. If so, there are a few things to keep in mind. The tax deduction for business-related gifts is limited to $25 per person. Such gifts should never be personal in nature--such as clothing or jewelry. Appropriate gifts are things like pens, books, or food items. I send tins of homemade fudge. You will likely want to limit such gifts to book editors, agents, or related people, or magazine editors you write for on a regular basis--such as those you write a column for or sell to regularly. I send to my agent, book editor (who negotiated the contract), editor who oversees the editing process on the guide, editor who does the line editing, and the person who handles my book orders during the year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Xyzzy Press (pronounced zi-zee), Nashville TN,; New publisher launched by former Ingram executive, Jim Stewart. Publishing nonfiction titles on such topics as spiritual growth, health, lifestyle, religion, cooking, nutrition, family, hobbies and interests, leadership, social issues, politics, poetry, and community involvement. Prefers electronic submissions to the above e-mail. Include cover letter, outline of book, and several sample chapters. Guidelines on Website.


The purpose of Bread for God's Children magazine is to help Christian families learn to apply God's Word in their everyday living. Looking for writers who have a solid knowledge of biblical principles and are concerned about today's youth keeping those principles. Stories must be from a child's viewpoint, well-written, with the story itself getting the message across--no preaching, moralizing, or tag endings. Realistic plot and characters. No talking animals, or other forms of fantasy. Uses two stories each issue--one for older children and teens, to 1,800 words; and one for young children, to 800 words. Also uses articles for both age groups, to 800 words. Pays $50 for teen story, $40 for child story, $25 for articles, and $10 for short fillers. Buys 1st rts. Will consider reprints depending on where they were published. Judith M. Gibbs, editor. Mail submissions to: Bread Ministries, Inc., PO Box 1017, Arcadia FL 34265-1017.


If you are planning a book tour to promote your latest title, can help. This is a free, online service that connects authors on tour to potential audiences of all sorts, from book lovers to professional groups. You create your own page (biography, books, tour dates, and availability) and any group looking for a speaker can find you and contact you directly to set up an appearance. Just visit their Website to set up your author page. If you have general questions, contact Kevin Smokler at; or for technical questions contact Adam Goldstein at


If you are needed business cards that reflect your writing pursuits, here are a couple of companies where you can order them easily and free or fairly inexpensively:

** - $25 for 1,ooo cards; four-color.

** - Free; thousands of designs; design them the way you want.

You can also print up your own by using Microsoft Publisher, or buy blank cards at an office supply store and use their template to design your own card.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


In case you missed the announcements, this has been a year of expansion for Janet Kobobel Grant's Books & Such Literary Agency. In July, Kathleen Y'Barbo became their in-house publicist. In September, Etta Wilson, came onboard as an agent specializing in representing young adult and children's books. An established agent with nearly two decades of experience, Wilson works with publishers in both the general and Christian markets. And then, in October, Rachel Zurakowski was added as an associate agent, representing writers who are in their twenties and thirties.


When checking out a potential book publisher for your next project, one of the big projects is checking out what other books, and competing books the publisher might have already published. Crossway Books has made that job a lot easier with their moblie browsing site. You can use your computer or iPhone to access and browse 130 Crossway titles, plus view up to 30 pages of text and do searches. Go to:


When I started in this industry, David C. Cook was a well-established name for a children's curriculum house. However, as the company expanded and bought up other companies, they went to a number of different imprint names and an over-all company name of Cook Communications Ministries. However, recently the company made a major switch back to the David C. Cook name, and added a new positioning statement: "Transforming Lives Together." The change came after an intensive year-long study that indicated people like the David C. Cook name. As a result, all of their products, with the exception of Honor Books, will carry the new David C. Cook brand. Victor, RiverOak, Life Journey, FaithKidz, and NexGen brands will gradually be phased out. Cook Communications Canada is now David C. Cook Distribution Canada.


HarperSanFrancisco (religious imprint of HarperCollins) recently announced a name change to HarperOne. The change was primarily to avoid the impression that they published regional titles only. HarperOne publishes a wide range of religious titles, including Christian books by authors such as Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, and Billy Graham. However, they publish across a wide spectrum of religious books and prefer Christian books of interest to Christians across all Christian denominations--not just evangelical.
HarperOne is also working with Avon Books to provide editorial and marketing support for Avon Inspire, a line of inspirational romances in trade paperback. The new fiction line will include 8-10 titles per year, with 2 or 3 titles--at least one historical and one contemporary romance--releasing each season. Future releases could include suspense romance, chick-lit romance, and other subgenres, including children's novels. Agented submissions only.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've noticed a trend toward more creative forms of book promotion--especially using the Web. One such promotion is for Robin Parrish's "Dominion Trilogy." Bethany House and Parrish have placed installments of a 4-part web-only comic story, called Guardian, at The comic is based on characters from the trilogy, filling the gap between the first two books, and introduces the story to come in the third book. A new chapter appeared every two weeks.


In an effort to get the word out and help promote fellow Christian fiction authors, Jill Eileen Smith compiles a monthly, alphabetical list of new Christian fiction releases. The list includes links to the various author's Websites and goes to a number of other places the first of each month. Jill does this in connection with the American Christian Fiction Writers. In an ongoing effort to get more exposure for Christian fiction, Jill is also open to providing a copy of the list to include on your Website or blog. If you have a new novel coming out soon, or are interested in posting the list, e-mail Jill at jewordsmith at gmail dot com. Here's what you need to send her:
* Name of book Number of book in the series and name of the series, if applicable
* Name of publisher
* Your name and url
* Release month
* A ONE sentence summary of the story (maximum 30 words - preferably 15-20 words) - please NO lengthy back cover blurbs.
* For novella collections - please include the following:
*Name of Collection
*Name of Publisher
*Names and URLs for each author
*Release month
*A ONE sentence summary (maximum 30 words, preferably 15-20 words) of the entire collection, not the individual stories.
*Please, do NOT put titles or anything else in all caps or special fonts or colors.
*Please take care to follow these directions. If information is missing or summaries are longer than one sentence, it creates too much work to track it down, and details will be left unfinished.


Each year when I update the market guide, I begin to notice some trends as far as what changes editors seem to be asking for as far as their dealings with authors. This year was no exception. We have reached the point where the majority of the editors prefer e-mail submissions--although they still have their preferences. Some want the material sent as an attachment, while others prefer the material be included in the body of the e-mail. The market guide will tell you which--and they expect you to do as asked.
One new trend I've noticed this year, is that many more publishers are asking that electronic submissions be made only through a form provided on their Website. They all seem to be working against the onslaught of spam by taking more control of the submissions that come to them. Using the form also separates your submission from all the other e-mails that arrive in their box.
One overarching trend seems to be that publishers, more than ever, expect writers to abide by their guidelines. The consensus seems to be that if an author can't follow the rules they will dismiss you and your ideas out of hand. Never try to submit to a publisher without carefully studying those guidelines--and seeing a sample copy or their catalog.
I've also been watching what's happening with e-books. I've expected that the number of publishers producing e-books would grow each year, but at least for now, that growth seems stagnant.


Tyndale House has launced a new imprint called Picket Fence Press. They have signed Kathy Peel, best-selling author and family-management expert, as editor-at-large and author for this line of books. Peel will help acquire other authors and titles for the imprint, which was developed to provide resources to serve the needs of women juggling their priorities inside and outside the home.

Monday, November 26, 2007


If you are interested in researching or writing about the controversial issues surrounding this topic, you will want to check out a new Website: . This site was launched in response to a new movie scheduled for a 2008 release called, Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed, starring Ben Stein. The site is designed to help students, teachers, pastors, youth leaders, and organizations--as well as writers--who want to learn more. You'll also find free resource downloads and information on related events.


Barbour Publishing has announced that George Kourkounakis has been promoted to president and COO--as of January 1, 2008. Kourkounakis has been with the company for the last ten years. Mary Burns has also be promoted to publishing VP.


I'm always on the lookout for new agents. Here's one not listed even in the 2008 market guide: Kelly L. Mortimer, agent; Mortimer Literary Agency, 52645 Paui Road, Aguanga, CA 92536; 951-332-8206;; Mortimer Literary Agency was Nominated for the American Christian Fiction Writers "Agent of the Year" Award. So--add her to your list.


One of the most challenging tasks in submitting material is being sure you get the editor's name right--which is not always easy. Below are a few changes you'll want to make note of:

** Harvest House Publishers - Rod Morris, senior editor; LaRae Weikert, VP of Editorial.
** Moody Publishers - Lisa Major, head of Spiritual Growth product line.
** WaterBrook Multnomah - Dudley Delffs has left to become VP-Publisher Trade Books for Zondervan.
** ZonderKids - Annette Bourland, VP-Publisher for its children's product group.
** William Carey Library - Naomi Breadley, editorial manager.
** Pauline Books & Media - Sr. Maria Grace Dateno, FSP, editor.
** Episcopal Life Magazine - Robert Williams, print edition editor.
** The Way of St. Francis - Sharon Melberg, editor
** Kid’s Ministry Ideas - Candy DeVore, editor.
** InSite - Alison Phillips, editor;;
** Let’s Worship - Craig Adams, editor-in-chief;
** Sharing the Practice - Rev. Dr. Robert Cornwall, editor-in-chief.
** J.A.M.: Jesus and Me - C. Kathy Steward, editor;
** Spirit - drop Constance Fourre, editor.
** Student Life Publishing - Andy Blanks, executive editor;
** ChurchWoman - Julie Drews, editor.
** The Handmaiden - Katherine Grace Bond, poetry editor.
** Journey - Susan Nelson, devotions editor.
** P31 Woman - Submissions to Janet Burke, assistant editor;
** Today’s Christian Woman - Camerin Courtney, managing editor.
** Women Alive! - Pam Enderby, managing editor;
** Adam W. Smith, editorial director (; Winona Rasheed, managing editor (
** Byline - Robbi Hess, editor, PO Box 111, Albion NY 14411-0111; Donna Marbach, poetry editor.
** Northwest Christian Author - Mike Owens, acquisitions editor; PO Box 825, Enumclaw WA 98022.
** B & H Publishing - Leonard Goss, no longer senior acquisitions editor.
** GuidepostsBooks and Ideals Publications - Marty Flanagan, group publisher for the children’s product line in the Nashville office; Beth Adams, editor in the New York office.
** Thomas Nelson - David Dunham resigned as senior VP and group publisher.
** Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) - Andrea Doering, senior acquisitions editor for fiction and nonfiction.
** Tyndale Espanol - Rafael Serrano, senior editor, Bibles and reference.
** St. Anthony Messenger Press - Fr. Dan Kroger, O.F.M., new publisher.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Unfortunately, Jordan Books--which was the Christian imprint for Meredith Books--is no longer accepting submissions or publishing Christian/inspirational books. Meredith is refocusing on their core home and garden subjects. Hated to lose this one. Drop them from your guide.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is an organization of 150+ members who do weekly blog tours for the latest in mainstream published Christian fiction. They usually prefer to do blog tours as soon as there is a publication date, preferably 8-10 months ahead of time. Contact: BonnieCalhoun@christianfictionblogalliance or stop by their Website at .


The Copyright Office has made available on its website an updated version of “Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code.” This edition contains the text of title 17 U.S.C., including all amendments enacted through the end of the second session of the 109th Congress in 2006. It includes the Copyright Act of 1976 and all subsequent amendments to copyright law; the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, as amended; and the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, as amended. In addition, the appendix includes transitional and supplementary copyright provisions that do not amend title 17. (Go to pdf or html format).
To purchase a bound volume from the Superintendent of Documents, go to the U.S. Government Bookstore or call 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area: 202-512-1800). The stock number is 030-002-00198-5.

Friday, November 23, 2007


December 20, 2007 is the deadline for the Writer's Digest Poetry Awards! Regardless of style—rhyming, free verse, haiku and more—if your poems are 32 lines or fewer, they want them all. Your words could be worth cold hard cash! First Place: $500 Second Place: $250 Third Place: $100 Fourth Through Tenth Place: $25 Eleventh Through Twenty-Fifth Place: $50 gift certificate to Writer's Digest Books Plus, the names and poem titles of all First- through Tenth-Place winners will be printed in an upcoming issue of Writer's Digest, and all winners will receive a copy of the 2008 Poet's Market. Details on Website:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


December 12, 2007 is the deadline for entries in the annual Christy Awards. These awards, given in 9 different categories, honor books of Christian fiction. The award was established in 1999 and named after the well-known book written by Catherine Marshall and honoring her contribution to Christian fiction. Winners are announced prior to the International Christian Retail Show (this year July 12, 2008 in Orlando FL). Nominations are made by the publishers. For details, visit their Website:, or e-mail Donna Kehoe at:


I hear from writers all the time who have legal concerns associated with their writing. Sometimes it's a copyright question, something to do with permissions to quote from other's materials or even more serious issues. Every writer needs a volume nearby to help answer all those sticky legal questions. The best book I've found on the subject is Author Law A - Z: A Desktop Guide to Writers' Rights and Responsibilities, by Sallie Randolph. It covers such subjects as kill fees, negotiating an advance, finding an agent, agent's and publisher's contracts, copyright infringement, tips for smart negotiating--and so much more. You can order this must-have resource in my online bookstore. Go to, click on "Bookstore." then "Legal Issues," and scroll down to the title.
If you are having more serious legal problems and need a lawyer versed in publishing law, I can also recommend Sallie Randolph who will advise you or your lawyer on this specialized area of law. Contact her at;


God Allows U-Turns is putting out a new series called the "Boomer Babes Rock Book Series." These are compilation books, so they are looking for true stories by, for, and about baby-boomer women. They pay $25-50 for 500-1,500 words. Submit to Editor. You will find full guidelines and sample stories on their Website. Contact information: Boomer Babes Rock Book Series, c/o God Allows U-Turns, PO Box 717, Faribault MN 55021;;


Jim Watkins is new editor at Vista, and is looking for submissions of nonfiction and fiction (500-550 words), and humor pieces (250-300 words). Submissions can be on any subject related to Christian growth. This publication hasn't been open to freelance submissions for awhile, so does not have a listing in the market guide. Their address is PO Box 50434, Indianapolis IN 46250. Jim's e-mail is


The following publications have changed names:

* Good News in RI to The Good News Today

* Pointing the World to Jesus Christ to Mustard Seed Ministries Devotionals

* Regent Business Review to Regent Global Business Review

* to Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox

* YouthCulture@Today to ENGAGE: The Journal of Youth Culture

* CoLaborer to Together With God

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


*February 16, 2008 is the date of a new event called National Christian Writers Conference and Book Expo, to be held in Virginia. It will be held at the Mount Gilead Baptist Church, 1057 Kennedy St., Norfolk VA 23513; Director is Antonio L. Crawford, Contact information: PO Box 415, Highland Springs VA 23075; 804-998-8014. Details on Website.
* Another new event scheduled for April 16-18, 2008, is called Journalism Through the Eyes of Faith: Advocacy, Ethics, and Faith in an Election Year, and will be held at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Featured speakers are Ray Suarez, Jerry Mitchell, Jennifer Arul, and Ted Olsen. To register contact: Phyllis Alsdurf, Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication at Bethel University;; 651-638-6149; or visit:


The following periodicals have gone out of business:
* Christian Library Journal
* Church Educator
* Home-Based Mom: Audiozine
* Hope for Women
* Horizons (Canada)
* Wesleyan World (asked to be deleted)
* Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine

The following book publishers are out of business or not open to freelance:
* Opine Publishing (currently on hold)
* Scarecrow Press (no freelance)
* Treble Heart Books (no freelance)


My big news today is that the 2008 Christian Writers' Market Guide has gone to press and will be available the first week of January. If you aren't already signed up to get it automatically every year (see below), then you can order your copy anytime now. The automatic and paid orders go out first, so you might want to consider paying for your copy when you order it. You can either order it on my Website ( - click on Bookstore) with a credit card through PayPal, or if you'd rather pay by check, just send a check for $39 to the address on my Website.
If you want to get the guide automatically every year as soon as it is available, you will freeze your price at the current level ($34.99, plus postage) for all future editions--no matter how much the price goes up in the future. You may cancel your automatic order at any time, but will lose your frozen price if it has gone up since you signed up.
The 2008 edition includes 406 book publishers (43 new) and 677 periodicals (53 new), plus hundreds of new resources to make you job easier.


Welcome to the brand new blog for those wanting to keep up with what is happening in the Christian writing industry. These days changes happen so quickly that this seems the best way to keep you up to date on the news and views that will keep you selling. Because I have put together the annual Christian Writers' Market Guide for the last 23 years, I have my thumb on the pulse of much that happens in this industry--and I like nothing more than to share that information with you. I am just getting started with this blog, so may be playing around with the format in the next few weeks to come up with an arrangement that makes it most helpful for you. I'm certainly open to any suggestions or input you'd like to send my way.
It is not my intention to report all the news here, but will focus on those things that need to get out to you earlier than you will get them in my usual marketing column in the Christian Communicator ( )--items with a short deadline or that you'll want to know about right away. For all the news, you'll want to subscribe to that publication.
Now--let's get started.