The Writer’s Edge, a manuscript evaluation service for the Christian publishing scene, is changing management and ownership as of January 1, 2013. The program, active since 1993, has been a go-to solution for thousands of writers with book proposals they hope editors will at least hear about in an industry increasingly dominated by agents and media celebrities.
Writer’s Edge is unique in that the service uses professional editors to carefully screen submitted manuscripts, and only a handful of those submitted actually “make the cut” that are then referred to nearly 75 acquisition editors who work for the full-service traditional Christian publishers in our industry. Over the years several dozen books have been accepted and published by standard royalty- paying publishers using Writer’s Edge book summaries.
The new owners, Bill and Nancie Carmichael (the former publishers of Good Family Magazines) plan to keep Writer’s Edge as a separate entity from their other publishing ventures and operate it as it is currently being done, including maintaining the current staff of editors, a web site, and the current mailing address in Wheaton, Illinois. The immediate plans call for a fresh facelift of the website, plus an improved and streamlined system for communicating with acquisition editors.
Their long range plans are to enhance Writer’s Edge services by providing more in-depth teaching and learning resources and opportunities for aspiring writers. The goal will be to continue to raise the quality of writing and the quality of manuscripts that are presented to Christian publishers for consideration.
“The program has served both frustrated unknown writers and curious editors seeking a fresh voice for their lists,” says Steve Board, who saw the service launched under Harold Shaw Publishers in the early nineties and has managed it ever since. “Bill and Nancie Carmichael are 35 year veterans in publishing and in mentoring new writers. Their innovative variety of writer services fits well with the Writer’s Edge.”
Editors typically have little confidence in the “slush pile” of unsolicited manuscripts, much of it not read or only scanned by an entry level editorial employee. The Writer’s Edge seeks to sift these creations and report only the most promising ones to a publisher list that numbers about 75. The writers pay a fee for the evaluation and the publishers receive the reports at no charge.
Publishers who now direct unsolicited manuscripts to The Writer’s Edge Service can continue to do so, using the same email and web site link as in the past.
“Vast changes are taking place in the publishing world with new challenges, but also new opportunities,” Bill Carmichael said. “Publishing is still a content driven industry. Even though the
methodology and delivery systems change and the markets are fluid, readers will continue to resonate with quality content. Writer’s Edge will continue to be dedicated to both aspiring authors who can produce quality content and Christian publishers looking for new voices.”
The Carmichaels are the former publishers of Good Family Magazines which published Virtue, a Christian magazine for women, Christian Parenting Today magazine, Parents of Teenagers magazine, and Zoomer for Kids. They currently own Carmichael Publishing along with a division called Deep River Books, as well as an online editorial service called HonestEditing.com. Combined, the Carmichaels have written fifteen books, published by a variety of publishers including Tyndale House, Moody, Thomas Nelson, Howard Books, Crossway, and Harvest House Publishers. Also, Bill has served on the Board of Directors of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
To contact the Carmichaels direct, email NewManagement@writersedgeservice.com or write to PO Box 310, Sisters, OR 97730
For further information, see http://www.WritersEdgeService.com, write email@example.com, or PO Box 1266, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Sally Stuart has been writing for the last 40+ years, and put out the annual Christian Writers Market Guide for 26 years. She has retired from that task starting with the 2012 edition. Her other writing includes several Christian education resources books, a children's picture book, a basic writing text, writing resources, and a western novel--plus hundreds of articles and marketing columns. She writes a Q & A column for the "Christian Communicator,and the Oregon Christian Writers' Newsletter. She speaks and teaches at Christian Writers' Conferences nationwide. Sally is the mother of 3 and grandmother of 8. She and her husband, Norm, spend their free time vacationing on the Oregon coast.