Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Please Nominate The Write Conversation for the Writer's Digest 24th Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It's that time of year again. Writer's Digest is accepting nominations for the top writing blogs. We'd be so honored if you'd nominate us again this year. 

Here's the link to nominate us:

You can nominate as many websites as you'd like, but you will have to fill out the form for each website. 

The last day to nominate websites is Monday, December 13, 2021.

Nominations submitted to the Writer's Digest email address, social media, or in the comments below the post on their website will not be considered. Please only nominate via the form listed above. 

No matter whether we make the list or not, I KNOW we have the best community of any blog on the internet! 

Thanks & Blessings,
Edie & The Write Conversation Team


Monday, November 29, 2021

10 Ways a Writer can Give This Christmas

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We all treasure giving Christmas gifts that are meaningful and personal. In the season’s busyness, writers too often become overwhelmed. We love every moment from November through December . . . parties, shopping, cookie swaps, family time, church programs, decorating inside and out, and the list goes on. But sometimes our ideas hit zero in the gift department. On Christmas Eve, we have nothing to wrap because we lost sight of our richest gift—the art of writing. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Different Way of Looking at Christmas

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve always celebrated Christmas as the time of Jesus’ birth. It’s a joyful time—after all, when is the birth of a baby not a reason to celebrate? It’s marked with angel choruses, gifts of the magi, and celebration to end all celebrations.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Writer's Self Worth - How Writers Can Overcome Performance Based Value

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

One of the things I’ve noticed about artists is that most of us experience intermittent bouts of “Existential Funk.” Call them crises if you like, but the gist of it is that we regularly enter into times of intense emotional turmoil where we basically question everything about our lives. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Five Reasons to Be Thankful for a Writing Critique

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I’ve been a Word Weavers International member for almost seven years, but I still hold my breath when my turn comes around to be critiqued. Will they like it or hate it? Have I made a grave theological error that could cause someone to be spiritually confused or did I explain the Bible clearly? Will they get my humor, or will it fall flat?

Because I want to produce writing that engages the heart, mind, and spirit, I continue to subject myself to the exquisite torture of critique. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

How One Author Creates Through the Birth of a Character - Part 1

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

People have asked where my characters come from. My response frequently is, “I don’t know. He just showed up one day and said he had a story to tell.”

That’s how Michael Archer, the protagonist of my Riverbend series, came to be. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Are You at a Writing Crossroads?

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to share a guest post from an author I've admired for many years - Dr. MaryAnn Diorio! Be sure to check out her latest books and give her a warm TWC Welcome!

Are You at a Writing Crossroads?
by MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. You may remember its closing lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Often in our writing career, we come to a fork in the road, as described by Frost in his magnificent poem. One fork I call the High Road and the other fork I call the Low Road. The High Road is the road of integrity and virtue, the road marked by obedience to God’s way of conducting our writing career. The Low Road is the road of compromise and rebellion, the road marked by disobedience to God’s way of conducting our writing career.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Light (and Victory) in the Darkness

by Eva Marie Everson

When I was a child, I had an acute fear of the dark. So did my brother, younger by three years. When we were about seven and ten, we wrote a contract together that stated if one of us ever woke in the middle of the night afraid, we had the right to get into bed with the other, no questions asked. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Memories—and Books—Are Made of This

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Cloudy Fall days call to me with a nostalgic song of … what? I hadn't stopped to examine why I love them so much. But this morning, as I set out to run an errand, that feeling of well-being and happiness overtook me. Today I realized why. 

It takes me back to my childhood.

I was, as most writers are in their youth, an avid reader. My mother had been a teacher, so at a very early age, she taught me to read long before most children. By first grade, I read at a fifth grade level, and I read every book I could get my hands on.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

5 Tips for A New You for a New Writing Year

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

We have been taught as writers to always have an online presence in some way. Most of us aren’t particularly fond of having to do so, but it’s something that comes with the writing gig. We press on and do the best we can. 

As we prepare for 2022, which is just around the corner, we should take the time before the year ends to make sure we are putting our best and most up-to-date selves out there. After all, you’ve spent the time writing quality pieces—whether that’s articles, blog posts or books—shouldn’t your writer information be quality as well? That's where social media for writers comes in to play.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Writer’s Time Out for Thanksgiving

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In the south, we always have meat and two vegetables for supper, one green and one yellow. Potatoes don’t count. Of course, no meal would be complete without something sour. Pickled beets, peaches, or watermelon rind will do nicely. On Thanksgiving, however, our repertoire expands like our bellies. On that grand day diets are ignored along with my brother’s corny jokes and Uncle Ferd’s unpopular political views.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Tips to Judge Whether a Writing Contest is a Scam or Legit

by Crystal Bowman

Many decades ago, when I first started writing in hopes of getting published, I entered one of my children’s poems in a contest. I was beyond excited when I received a letter congratulating me for placing fourth in the children’s category. I was invited to attend a weekend conference in New York so I could receive my trophy at the awards ceremony on the final day.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Schedule Your Bookstore Holiday Author Event

Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Most bookstores enjoy hosting author events. If the author has a following, they can bring more customers to the store, and the author becomes exposed to a new set of readers already in the store. These events are a win-win for both the author and bookstore. It is wise for writers to take advantage of this superb opportunity. Getting to know bookstore owners and managers is beneficial for an author’s long-term marketing goals. Here are some tips to get your author event scheduled during the busiest time of the year. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Why I’m Thankful To Be a Writer—My Top Twenty List

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

With Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie just around the corner, are you thankful to be a writer? Even though so much hard work goes into writing and promoting, I would like to share twenty reasons why we can be thankful to be writers. (I was going to share just twelve, but the list kept growing.) 

See if your reasons are the same as mine. (These are not in any particular order.) Even if we write in different genres, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Would a Book Giveaway Help?

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I wanted more interaction on my social media accounts and was especially hoping to build up my followers on Instagram. I had seen some Book Giveaways and decided to try one. Let me just say here, that I would much prefer to actually be writing than talking about it on the socials. But interacting online is simply a necessity, so I’m game.

Monday, November 15, 2021

More Christmas Book Marketing Ideas

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Twenty-five percent of print books are sold during the holiday season, so it’s an important time to promote books. Consider who might want each of your books and what ones can be bundled. Create a gift catalogue if you have lots of titles plus special bundles.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Working like a Well-Oiled Machine

Edie here. I want to congratulate Martin on his newest book, Don't Just Live...Really Live! All the info is at the end of the post, so be sure and give him a shout out!

Working Like a Well-Oiled Machine
by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 NLT

Their schedule worked like a well-oiled machine. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Counting on Numbers for Your Writing Success

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

Writing success seems to be driven by the numbers, doesn’t it?

Author life 
  • How many books have you written? 
  • How many awards have you won? 
Sales numbers
  • How many books have you sold? 
  • How much money have you earned?
Social media numbers 
  • How many followers do you have? 
  • How many likes do you have? 
  • How many shares do you have? 
  • How many subscribers do you have?
I’ve always had an aversion to numbers, going all the way back to elementary school math. As an adult, I realized there’s no dodging numbers in my daily author life.

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Fruit of the Spirit in a Writing Career (Part 2)

by Joshua J. Master @JoshuaJMasters

“If God has called me to write—if His purpose in creating me is crafting words to glorify His name, then should I not experience the Fruit of the Spirit in my writing career?”

That’s the question we asked in last month’s column.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Royal Treatment & An Audience of One

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

My beauty treatment didn’t entail twelve months. In fact, the studio make-up and hair touchup activity probably lasted less than half an hour. Yet, while sitting in a chair tucked in a back room, I couldn’t help but feel a bit like Esther from the seventeenth book of the Old Testament, preparing to go before an audience of one. Her one? King Xerxes, ruler of 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Collaboration: Tips for Writing with Someone Else—Publishing as a Second Language, Part 3

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

While working with a co-author is usually a rewarding experience, there may also be some difficult situations. Troubleshooting may not be a word you have associated with collaborative writing. But if you are aware of possible problems, you can keep your eyes open so you do not see them looming on the horizon. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

You are a Word Artisan

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

It was 2004. Eva Marie Everson stood on the stage at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She lifted her hands for everyone to stand. We complied. Then she said, “Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I. Am. A. Writer.”

Monday, November 8, 2021

3 Questions Speakers Should Ask Before Signing a Contract

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Ask the right questions before you say yes to a live event. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in acceptance or rejection of the opportunity after you've asked enough questions.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Learn to be a Writer with a Hammer

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

For my teacher, Jerry Jenkins, who is showing me to how write with a hammer without destroying grace in the process. (I’m sure he can take a hammer to this post and make it more succinct.)

There was a time when names carried destiny. I believe they still do in the hands of Providence.

According to the custom among Jews in his era, Gospel author John Mark had both a Hebrew name (John, meaning ‘God is gracious’) and a Roman name (Mark, meaning ‘large hammer’). It is commonly believed that he wrote the book of Mark to a Roman audience, hence the use of his Roman name. The Hammer had much to say about God’s grace.

What an amazing combination! Maybe that is why Mark was the shortest, most succinct of the four Gospel accounts—half the length of Luke. The Hammer knew how to kill his darlings to make his point with precision and force without shattering grace.

What can we writers learn from the Hammer?

Dive right in to the deep end.

From verse one, Mark seizes our attention. We know what this story is about, and we want to know what happens.

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—

“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness…
(Mark 1:1-4)

Mark teases the reader from the start by making a flash reference to Jesus, then making us wait to meet Him.

Condense context so we can get right to the story.

It’s pretty astonishing to me that Mark, who never attended Jerry’s Guild or Malcolm Gladwell’s Masterclass, knew how to incorporate over seven centuries of context in two sentences. What a relief! Let’s get on with the story! I see. Jesus was the Promise-Fulfiller, the Messiah, the Good News we have been waiting for all this time. I can’t wait to learn more.

(See how many sentences it took me to say all that. Anyone got a hammer?)

Don’t shrink from failure.

Failure is a theme through Mark’s gospel. Failure of the disciples to understand Jesus’ teaching and purpose (Mark 4:13; 7:18). Failure of the scribes and Pharisees to understand who Jesus really was (Mark 8:11; 10:12). Failure of Jesus’ followers to endure to the end (Mark 14:50). Failure of the women at the tomb on Resurrection morning to push past their fears and declare the good news that He is Risen, Indeed (Mark 16:8)! 

Was Mark acquainted with failure in his own life? What made him so sensitive, so observant of the failures in those around Jesus? Many scholars agree the young man who ran after Jesus on the night of His arrest, only to flee from authorities naked in the end, was in fact a cameo the author included of his own greatest failure (Mark 14:51-52).

Perhaps the Hammer might also rightly be called the Writer Whose Words were Remembered Despite his Failures.

Hmmm…. Our Hammer is living up to his other name, God is Gracious.

Mark inspires us to push past our failures with hammer force, grabbing hold of Grace Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, the protagonist in Mark’s great work of non-fiction.

God’s Grace Hammer brings hope to the failed writer, help to the procrastinator (go ahead and write that first sentence with power!), and perspective to our POV. 

Out of our failures, Jesus gives us words that change lives.

Jesus is our Power and our Perspective, and with Him, we can write words that will be remembered long after we are gone.

Lord, teach me to be a better writer. Use my failures to tell the true story of Your great grace. Amen.

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: BARNES & NOBLE , BOOKS A MILLION, AMAZON.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

4 Tips to Help Writers Write More Clearly

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Writers need to make sure their readers can get their message. It seems so easy. We have a picture or video in our head that is so vivid it makes us excited. But when we try to tell it to someone else, they seem to miss the point. And the more you say, “Wait, there’s more,” the more they edge toward the door.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Sensitivity Readers for Writing Cultures You Already Know?

Edie here. Today I want to give a shout out to A.C. Williams and make sure you don't miss her newest book — A Cowboy for Christmas!!! It's a wonderful read and I know you'll want to support her. It's available now for preorder on Amazon, but the best way to get it is through her website. (All the links for the book in this post lead to her site). 

by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

Do you need a sensitivity reader for that manuscript you’re writing? It’s a good question to ask yourself. Do you have a character who is from another culture? Do you write in the perspective of a character who is different from you or who came from different circumstances?

If the answer is yes (and maybe even if it isn’t), you need a sensitivity reader. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Writing Acknowledgments: Some Authors WISH They Could Include

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I recently wrote the acknowledgments section for my March 2022 release. 

It’s a process fraught with emotion for me because I’m terrified that I’ll forget someone who provided crucial assistance and it will be a faux pas from which I can never recover. 

I typically take it very seriously, but I’ve read some acknowledgments that were lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, and in some cases, downright hilarious. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Motivation—the WHY of the Story You're Writing

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Why does a human tell a story? Why do any of us bare our soul to another person? There are as many reasons as there are people with reasons, but by translating how humans do it into how characters do it, we can create believable, non-cardboard characters that readers love.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

What Does Your Character Want?

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Three essentials are common to every compelling story.
  1. An interesting character the audience cares about 
  2. The character’s great need
  3. An insurmountable obstacle between the character and the great need the character must achieve
Having created a winsome character, what is the character’s great need?

Monday, November 1, 2021

How Studying Scripture Makes Us Better Writers

by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

Spending time in God’s Word helps us develop a relationship with God and grow in obedience to His will. But did you know a study of Scripture can also make us better writers?

This truth dawned on me the other day. One of my practices is to read through the Bible each year. Recently, I spent a morning in the gospel of Matthew and the book of Psalms. Matthew was a tax-collector-turned-disciple who experienced God’s power to transform his life. David, who authored many of the Psalms, had a life full of change, victories, and defeats. God used these human authors, and thirty-eight others, to present Scripture’s unified message.