Monday, December 29, 2008


Was sorry to hear that Focus on the family has decided to drop their three teen publications: Brio, Brio & Beyond, and Breakaway. At this point they are hoping they can find another organization/publisher to pick up these publications and continue their ministry to young people. They would appreciate your prayers to that end.


If you'd like to keep up with what is happening with some of your favorite authors, you can receive a monthly newsletter from the Christian Authors Network with all the news about your favorite authors, new books coming out, etc. You can also sign up for their fiction and nonfiction book clubs, allowing you to receive the first chapter of their new books via email so you can read that much before deciding if you want to buy. If you think you might be interested, be sure to sign up online at

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I would like to wish all fo you a very Merry Christmas. We have a foot of snow here in Oregon with 3-8 inches more coming tomorrow. Biggest snow event here in 40 years. We aren't used to this kind of weather. My hubby cleaned a foot of snow off the car today and tried to put on the chains--only to find that they didn't fit this car. Has been years since we have needed chains. Not sure how we're going to get out to get food for Christmas and an open house on Saturday. No chains in the right size to be found anywhere at this point. Looks like it will be an interesting Christmas for us.

The reason our car was in the driveway is because the garage is full of the new market guides. Can't start sending them out until after Christmas, but if you haven't ordered your copy, now's the time to do it so your order will go out with the initial mailing. Just go to my Website to order it: Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. God bless.

Monday, December 22, 2008


CandyCane Press and Ideals Children’s Books imprints of Ideals Publications will not be accepting manuscript submissions until further notice.


Patsy L. Jay, Administrator of Contracts
Ideals Publications, a Guideposts company
2636 Elm Hill Pike, Suite 120
Nashville, TN 37214


Novel Teen Book Reviews is a blog that reviews books for teens of all ages. Our site works as a database allowing the viewer to search for books by age range and genre. We are constantly adding new books to our ranks. Contact Jill Williamson at for more information or check out the site at

Jill Williamson

Friday, December 19, 2008


If you are attending the Mount Hermon writers conference in April please consider participating in the Buddy System for first timers. The Buddy System is a program designed to help first-timer registrants arrive at the conference better prepared and ready to make the most of the Mount Hermon experience. There are 2 ways to get involved:

1) As a First-timer - If you are attending Mount Hermon for the first time you probably have a lot of questions about what to expect, pack, wear, etc. The Buddy System matches you with a conference "veteran" (meaning the individual has attended this conference at least once) who can answer your pre-conference questions via e-mail.

2) As an experienced Buddy - If you have attended the conference before (even one time) you have a lot to offer a person who has never been. Please consider being available to a first-timer to answer the questions and concerns that so often come up before a big conference like Mount Hermon. All correspondence is done over e-mail (unless you decide to incorporate phone calls). You are NOT expected to critique, room with your first-timer, hold his/her hand throughout the conference, or promise introductions to editors and agents. This is simple a pre-conference preparation help. Many have told us that serving as a buddy has been a huge blessing.

Buddy pairs will be matched a month before the conference. Women are matched with women and men with men. We can¢t promise this but we also try to keep writing interests and conference goals in mind.
To sign up or get more information please e-mail me privately at

Jeanette Hanscome


Q - Can you speak to Christian writers using pen names? Although much of Christian writing should be done with the "real" name, what if a writer chooses a pen name for fiction or uses one in the general market? How does this influence publication?

A - It is perfectly acceptable to use a pen name in most cases, but is generally not advisable unless you have a specific reason to do so. As a writer you want to build name recognition for your own name. There are a number of legitimate reasons for using a pen name, such as:

* To protect your identity and that of other people involved if you are writing on a sensitive subject.

* If you write in two widely different topic areas and you don't want to confuse your readers, such as Romance fiction and Bible studies.

* If you write in both the Christian market and the general market, you may want to use a pen name for one of those to avoid confusion.

* If you write a lot in one topic area for only a few different publications, the editors may want to use a pen name on some of the articles so it doesn't look like the same person is writing everything.

Those are some possibilites. If you want to use a pen name, be sure to include a cover letter to the editor that explains why. Most will be willing to honor that. On the manuscript you submit, put your own name in the upper, left-hand corner (your check will be made out to that name), and use the pen name in the byline.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Unfazed by the global economic meltdown, publishers launched 335 new magazines in 2008, according to, which tracks new launches in its online database. The categories seeing the most action are health, with 31 new titles; regional, with 25 new titles; and cooking and epicurean, with 17 new titles.

The number is somewhat less than the roughly 600 launches tallied between October 2007 and September 2008 by Samir Husni, a journalism professor at the University of Mississippi also known as "Mr. Magazine."

MediaFinder said the surge in the health category reflects the increasing interest in health-related matters among aging baby boomers, whose leading cohort (born 1946) entered its 60s earlier this decade. One of the biggest new launches in this category was Spry, a newspaper-distributed magazine from the Publishing Group of America, which debuted with a circulation of 9 million in September. HealthyStyle, a competing newspaper-distributed title from Hearst, launched around the same time. Other big health category launches were Autism Research, Therapy Times and Living Well.

Regional magazines launched this year included Michigan Avenue, Orange Appeal and Mountain Time Magazine. This category, like others, has had its setbacks, including the closing in June of BusinessWeek's experimental Chicago edition, and the shuttering of Atlanta Peach, a luxe title for well-heeled citizens of Atlanta, earlier this month.

Finally, the food category has seen some high-profile launches, including the Food Network Magazine, published by Hearst in conjunction with the popular cable network. It is the latest in a series of magazines developed by Hearst around popular TV brands, including ESPN The Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, and the less successful Lifetime, which closed in September 2004.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just wanted to let you know that I'll be doing a free teleseminar with Terry Whalin on Wednesday, January 28. You can ask any question you want on writing or marketing and we'll get to as many of them as we can. To sign up and ask your question, go to:

Monday, December 15, 2008


If video killed the radio star, then software killed, or at least maimed, the print industry. However, one software company doesn't think print is ready for the morgue just yet.

"Paper isn't dead," said Bob Pritchett, President of Logos Bible Software, "and while more and more people are discovering that it's an awkward format for a ten volume Greek lexicon, it still remains a very attractive, portable, friendly, accessible, and bathroom-compatible format for browsing."

In November, Logos Bible Software, a 17-year-old software company, launched its first print publication, Bible Study Magazine.

Logos Bible Software, which develops industry leading software for Bible study, realized that there are many people who know very little about how to study the Bible. Logos is hoping that Bible Study Magazine will change that by introducing readers to resources and approaches to studying the Bible.

"For searching the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, there's no better tool than Logos Bible Software," said Pritchett. "To introduce someone who's never thought of them to the Fathers and explain how their writings can illuminate our Bible study and encourage us in our faith? That's a job for Bible Study Magazine."

The customer response to Bible Study Magazine has been impressive. Bible Study Magazine's inaugural issue (Nov-Dec 2008) had a controlled circulation of 10,000 and since the initial distribution over 6,000 more people have subscribed.

Bible Study Magazine, which ships six times a year, will deliver tools and methods for Bible study, as well as insights into the Bible from respected voices in the church and biblical scholarship.

Subscriptions are available at

About the Company
Logos Bible Software, a privately held corporation located in Bellingham, Wash., is the leading publisher of high-end, award-winning, multilingual Bible software. The company serves church, academic and lay markets, striving to bring the best in software innovation to Christians worldwide. Logos can be found on the web at:

Contact: Ryan Burns (360) 685-2320

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Mark Tavani, the Senior Editor from Random House shares his perspective on what is happening in the book industry. Go to:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


"Start Your New Year Off WRITE!"

The Writer's Cocoon is a highly applauded, exhaustive and comprehensive workshop for writers that is effective regardless of which stage of the craft that you are in.

Aspiring writers: If you wish to know more about the craft and the industry as a whole, THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU!

Novice writers: If you have written a book or are looking to go through the process of self-publishing, THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU!

Self-published authors: If you want to sharpen your craft and/or find out more information on how to better your chances of being noticed by mainstream publishers, THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU!

Mainstream published authors: If you've been trying, without success, to reach national bestseller status, THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU!

The Writer's Cocoon is facilitated by its founder, 7-time national bestselling author, Kendra Norman- Bellamy, and is geared toward writers of all genres. During this four-hour class, students are provided with priceless information to help them get through the writing, publishing and marketing process.

ONLY 20 SPACES AVAILABLE and registration is accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

To register, go to:, browse the workshop's web page and fill out the provided online form. **IMPORTANT: Everyone who registers MUST fill out the online registration form. Registration payment can be made conveniently online through PayPal. Cost includes delicious hot brunch and all workshop materials.

Students who are currently working on projects are encouraged to bring a sample of your work for free individual critique!

Advance Price: $50.00
At The Door: $60.00 (cash only)

January 31, 2009
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The Sycamore Grill
5329 Mimosa Drive
(Stone Mountain Village)
Stone Mountain, GA 30083


We are pleased to announce that the fourth annual Antelope Valley Christian Writers' Conference has been scheduled for May 15- 16, 2009 . Whether you're an absolute beginner - a seasoned professional - or somewhere in-between, this may be for you. If you enjoy writing, and you'd like to learn how the publishing business works, you are welcome to attend.

As we know, God gives different gifts to different people. For us, the Lord has given us the special gift of putting pen to paper to share a message. We have a passion to take a simple story and build it into a finished product that will inspire others. For some it may be a lucrative full-time career. For others, it's a rewarding pastime. But wherever you come from - and wherever you want to go - we are all motivated by the simple joy of telling a story.

We can help you get there.

We have assembled a blue-ribbon panel of distinguished speakers, who have dozens of books and decades of experience between them. They include:

--Susan Titus Osborn, one of the leading writing coaches in America today.

--Tim Riter, a prolific writer, college professor, and inspirational speaker.

--Kathy Ide, our expert in manuscript editing and proofreading.

You can attend workshops in a wide array of creative categories. You'll meet fellow writers who share your calling - your zeal - and perhaps your frustrations as well. Together, we can help you take your writing to the next level, the best it can be.

Enter a contest with cash prizes. Receive a personalized professional critique on your latest writing project. Bring your laptop computer to take advantage of our wireless Internet connection. Even present your work directly to editors from leading Christian publishers!

We will meet in the facilities of The Antelope Valley Church, a non-denominational congregation in Lancaster, in the northern reaches of Los Angeles County. Complimentary refreshments, a continental breakfast, and a buffet lunch will be provided. Several budget-priced hotels are in the local area for your convenience.

Please have a look at our website, at Or write to us at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


American Teens Lie, Steal, Cheat at an 'Alarming Rate' New Study Shows: Awana and David C. Cook Partner on New Project for Parents, Teachers, and Youth Workers--How to Grow Great Kids

In the recent AFP news article, "American teens lie, steal, cheat at 'alarming rates'", experts revealed the sobering statistics from an independent survey of over 30,000 high school students from across the United States. An overwhelming majority, 83 percent, of public school and private religious school students admitted to lying to their parents about something significant. When asked about cheating on exams, students from non- religious independent schools had the lowest cheating rate, 47 percent, compared to 63 percent of students attending religious schools. Of greater concern, 93 percent of students surveyed indicated they were satisfied with their own character and ethics saying that when it comes to doing what is right, they thought themselves to be better than most people they knew.

"In today's world Christian children and teens are in serious crisis," says Larry Fowler, Executive Director of Global Training for Awana and author of the new book Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids, (David C. Cook, January, 2009.) "What we see happening in the world is merely a reflection of what is happening in the church. Most Christian teens succumb to the world and fall away from the Lord by the time they leave home." According to Josh McDowell Ministries, denominations are seeing anywhere from 69 to 94 percent of teens leave the church after high school.

"The Spiritual goals we have for our youth are failing," continues Fowler. "Churches and families need a clear target and a definite plan of action; a collaborated strategy to build a scripturally sound foundation for their children's faith." Statistics show that even children who grow up in Christian homes, go to church on a regular basis, and participate in youth group activities are abandoning their faith at an alarming rate. With so much opposition, how can we forge sons and daughters of faith and fortitude? How do we raise children whose character and values are built upon an unshakeable faith that endures for a life time?

"The Old Testament Joseph embodies what Awana strives to produce," notes Fowler. "He maintained his faith in spite of challenging circumstances." In the new book, Raising a Modern-Day Joseph, Larry Fowler utilizes the biography of Joseph as recorded in the book of Genesis as a model desperately needed by 21st Century parents and youth workers to help grow their children into faithful, Godly adults. "Our partnership with David C. Cook has made the Modern- Day Joseph project and Awana even stronger as we work together to achieve this goal."

"Awana has always been the benchmark for how to effectively reach and disciple children with the Gospel," says Don Pape, Publisher for David C. Cook Trade Books & Study Resources. "When they approached us with the Modern-Day Joseph project, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. We talked with Larry Fowler about publishing his new book, Raising a Modern-Day Joseph, and discussed ways we could work together to get this outstanding and effective evangelistic tool into more churches. We are thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic ministry, working together to have a positive impact on the next generation of believers."

Based in the Chicago area, Awana is the only organization with fully integrated evangelism and discipleship programs for ages 2 to 18 that actively involves parents, church leaders and mentors. The founders of Awana derived the Awana name from the first letters of Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15 of the Bible. Each week, more than a million children and youth, 250,000 volunteers and 300-plus field staff take part in Awana in over 17,000 churches in the U.S. and internationally.

For more information visit David C. Cook on the Internet at

Monday, December 8, 2008


Book publishers suffered an awful week last week--and more pain is coming. On what is being called "Black Wednesday,"scores of workers were let go at Simon & Schuster; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Random House and Houghton Mifflin. Harcourt announced consolidations; and wages were frozen at Pearson--parent company of Penguin Group (USA)--and HarperCollins. "This is the most challenging economic environment that any of us has ever experienced," Penguin Group Chairman John Makinson wrote in a memo to staffers.


Do you have an established personal blog? If you do, you may be eligible to join the blog tour for Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide. As an approved blog reviewer, you'll receive a free copy of Christian Writers’ Market Guide for your review! To submit your blog for consideration, email by December 16, 2008. Include your name, street address, a link to your blog and any questions you might have. A limited number of books are available, so email now! The blog tour will take place the week of January 26th-30th.


Digital Publishing Corp. has announced the launch of, a new and unique online destination for Christian humor, inspiration and opinion. The non-denominational Christian humor and lifestyle Web site offers insightful and amusing commentary on a variety of topics from some of today's most well-know Christian comedians, as well as some of publishing's best up-and-coming writers.

The new site features weekly columns that cross the entire spectrum of Christian perspectives, from staunchly conservative comedian Brad Stine to liberal comic Teresa Roberts Logan, plus Emmy-winning humorist and "Last Comic Standing" contestant Taylor Mason, Emmy- and Dove-nominated author Martha Bolton, and up-and-coming humor writer and confessed "Bad Mom" Caron Guillo.

New Christian Voices is dedicated to taking a lighter, joyous, humorous look at life and spirituality, reaching beyond the typical conservative fare to offer material that lets readers both laugh and stretch outside their comfort zones as they consider their Christian faith in everyday life. Largely written by Christians for Christians, the site is also intended to be amusing and thought-provoking to readers of all faiths and perspectives.

"We want our readers to know that Christians can be both fun and funny," said Digital Publishing's editor-in- chief, Rob Garretson. "We hope Christians will find the site a safe and entertaining place to visit daily, but we also want those outside of the faith to visit and be amused, inspired and potentially gain new understanding of who Christians are and what we're all about."

In addition to the weekly columns, visitors will also find a continually refreshed assortment of humorous essays and articles on Faith, Relationships, Society and Humor, as well as reviews of current movies, books and other Entertainment from a Christian perspective. Among them, Taylor Mason's weekly "Jokes for the Folks" offers a non-stop gag fest, poking fun at the week's news stories, from sports and politics to pop culture.

To learn more, visit Because when life and faith meet, funny things can happen!

Regular New Christian Voices columns and features include:

Bad Mom
Author and confessed Bad Mom Caron Guillo shares humor and encouragement for parents, assuring them that both vegetables and home schooling are overrated, and that love conquers a multitude of parenting sins.

The Truth Hurts
Comedian Brad Stine, dubbed "God's comic" by The New Yorker magazine, brings his irreverent, edgy, and politically incorrect message to readers, sharing humorous, direct and often controversial thoughts on everything from evolution and prayer to politics and political correctness.

Here's a Thought
Emmy-Award winning comedian, musician, ventriloquist and "Last Comic Standing" contestant Taylor Mason offers his amusing and often poignant thoughts on life, marriage and current events.

The Raving Redhead
Self-proclaimed liberal Christian, comedian and artist Teresa Roberts Logan, spouts off weekly about everything from her love of both Obama and zombie movies to living outside the Christian bubble.

Martha's Laugh Lines
Emmy- and Dove-nominated author and former comedy writer for Bob Hope, Martha Bolton looks at current events, including the financial bailout and current economic crisis, with a practiced eye for the humorous and offbeat.

Jokes for the Folks
Taylor Mason switches gears and offers readers a non-stop joke fest, poking fun at the week's news stories, from sports and politics to pop culture and entertainment.

Faces of Funny
Martha Bolton brings readers profiles of well-known comedians and comedy writers working both in Christian and mainstream entertainment, drawing on her years of work with comedians like Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Jeff Allen and Mark Lowry.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The 2009 New England Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award. A *provisional contest for published authors to award excellence in published romance fiction. The contest is judged exclusively by readers, librarians and booksellers. The first place winners in each category are awarded $50.00 and a certificate. The second and third place winners in each category are awarded a certificate.

- Open to any member in good standing of the Romance Writers of America (membership verified).
- Books must have a 2008 copyright date and must be received by January 7, 2009.
- Entry fee is $25 for each title submitted. An author may submit more than one 2008 released book with separate entry form and fee for each title. Entry form at .
- Author must submit three autographed copies of the entered book. Books will not be returned.
- E-books accepted in printed form-loose. No short stories, novellas or anthologies, please.
- Finalists will be notified by February 27, 2009.
- Winners announced at our 2009 Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference, March 27-28, 2009.

Categories for entry:
Short Contemporary (50,000 to 70,000 words)
Long Contemporary (over 70,000 words)
Romantic Suspense
Erotic Romance
Futuristic; Fantasy; Paranormal or Time Travel
- Any category with less than ten entries will be incorporated into another category if possible. Entrants should suggest an alternate category.

- All entries will be judged by readers, librarians or booksellers.
- Judges give each entry a score of 3-10 (10 being the highest).
- The books are given to the judges as thank you gifts for judging. They are not returned to the author.
- The judges’ decisions are final.

*Provided this contest is successful it will become an annual event.

Send entries (three autographed copies of book + $25 entry fee + entry form) to:
Valerie Harris, 13 Poole Street, Medford, MA 02155 – by January 7, 2009.
Make checks payable to “NEC”

Any questions, please call the contest coordinator, Valerie Harris, 781-874-0771 or email: .


Many of you know that I’d been talking about semi-retirement from AMG Publishers at the first of the year. It now appears to be a reality—it begins this coming Friday, December 12. But with Christmas coming up, it’ll be more of a actuality on January 1.

I’ll be working with AMG Publishers on a retainer basis—I’m guessing about 20 hours a week. The end result is—I will become an Independent Contractor—completely separated from AMG as an employee and totally independent (as required by the IRS).

Any current projects that I am presently working, I will continue to work on. Be assured that only my status has changed, my workload will remain the same.

Even though I am on a retainer fee with AMG, I will be offering my services to others as an editor, consultant, etc. And yes, I’ll still be attending four or so writer’s conferences a year. Rick Steele will be the new acquisition person at AMG, taking my place. But both Rick and I will be working on acquisitions—that will not change.

My new office will be at my home, though I’ll definitely be seen at the AMG offices every now and then.

Please be sure assured that everything about my semi-retirement has been amicable.

I will no longer be receiving email through AMG Publishers. See the new contact information below.

I thank God for allowing me to work with AMG Publishers for seven years. The relationship has been wonderful. I know tens of thousands of lives have been touched. He continues to give me strength and hope after eight years with prostate cancer. I can only say, “Praise the Lord.”

Blessings and hugs,


Dan Penwell
Dan Penwell’s Editorial Services
2008 Paris Metz Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Cell Ph: 423-313-0950


Athanatos Christian Ministries is hosting a contest designed to encourage writers to represent their Christian beliefs through the arts, in particular through fiction.

The Athanatos Christian Writing Contest represents the perspective of founder Anthony Horvath that Christians need to make use of the arts and literature to communicate the Gospel. The contest homepage is:

Readers let down their defenses when reading stories or watching movies and this provides an opportunity for the author to present ideas and themes that readers might otherwise have dismissed. This is true for both Christians and nonChristians, but the secular community is more deliberate in exploiting this reality.

Horvath says, "Our media is dominated by people immersed in the secular humanist mindset. The evidence of this is present in books, movies, TV shows, music, as well as in newspapers and cable television. The resulting culture perpetuates itself and creates a climate of cynicism- to say the least- regarding the claims of Christianity."

Horvath warns Christians not to pull out of the culture, "Instead, we need more Christians effectively living out their Christian world view our culture. Imagine if more Christians were writing movies, books, and the news! This alone might not save a single soul, but it would help create a climate where the Christian message is better received."

The ACM Christian Writing Contest aims to identify writers who can write quality fiction that represents the Christian worldview either explicitly or implicitly. Horvath explains, "CS Lewis, Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, and GK Chesterton are examples of Christian authors whose stories reflected their Christian outlook. The remarkable thing is that secular audiences enjoy their work as much as Christian audiences do. That is exactly what we need more of."

The writing contest begins December 1st, 2008 and is taking submissions through May 15th, 2009. Winning entries will be compiled into an anthology and published. The anthology will be distributed to every single author who entered a story, at no additional cost. "We want every contributor to see what a winning story looks like so they can learn from it and improve their own writing ability," Horvath explains.

There are discounts for multiple submissions available for teachers, educators, youth directors, and pastors.

Details about the contest are available at Anthony Horvath will answer questions about the contest or field interviews. Contact him at or 202-280- 7971.