Thursday, January 13, 2022

12 New Things for Writers to Try This Year!

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to announce Julie's latest book, Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime. I endorsed this book, I own this book, and I've already given away copies to friends. There's more info at the end of this post, but I highly recommend it!

12 New Things for Writers to Try This Year!
by Julie Lavender @JLavender Writes

What’s new, writing friends? 

We’re two weeks into a brand new year, and I always love to ponder Isaiah 43:19 with the changing of the calendar.

“Behold, I will do a new thing,” God proclaims in the first part of that verse. In the next part of the verse, God promises to make pathways in the wilderness and produce streams in barren land. 

If you’re like me, you sometimes feel like the writing journey vacillates between wild and impenetrable jungles and parched deserts on most days, with mountaintop experiences sprinkled in frequently for good measure. I’m thankful that I can count on God’s presence along the way, wherever that roller coaster ride to publication (or not) takes me. 

While I anxiously await God’s “new thing” when the calendar flips, I like to spruce up my writing path with fresh ideas and attempts. I want to work with my whole being for the Lord, heartily and with passion, to sing to the Lord a new song through my written words. 

What “new thing” can you do this year on your path to publication? 
Let’s brainstorm a few ideas and schedule them into some of the blank spaces on the new calendar. 

  • Write for a newspaper. Do you have newspaper credits on your writing resume? Most newspapers accept freelance stringer articles, and it’s a great way to share God-stories with the community. Plan to write a profile article on a godly member of the community or a feature article on a recent local happening. Those “little” stories often go untold because of short-staffing in the newsroom, but those inspirational stories are typically the most well-received ones by readers. 
  • Write for a local magazine. In my hometown, MOMents Magazine shares feature stories about local women monthly and Discovering Bulloch Magazine spotlights various members and events of Bulloch County. (For the last couple of months, our Discovering Bulloch Magazine has posted an advertisement seeking writers!) 
  • Write for a national magazine. With the plethora of magazines published each month in a gargantuan gamut of genres, surely you can find numerous ones of interest to contribute to! Check out the guidelines online for your favorites, come up with an idea, and shoot off a query letter! Why not query a different magazine each month this year? Wouldn’t that be a fun goal for 2022?
  • Write for a denominational publication. Seek out a contact for the newsletter or magazine that’s sponsored by your church affiliation. Query that person about becoming a guest or regular contributor. 
  • Contribute to your alumni magazine or newsletter. Universities and colleges love to “boast” about the accomplishments of their former students. Find out if your alumni magazine accepts freelance submissions or offer to be interviewed by a staff member about your post-college opportunities and successes. 
  • Contribute to a new blog or podcast. Bloggers and podcasters need fresh, new content on a regular basis. Query some of your favorites and offer new topics for their sites. 
  • Join new pages or groups on social media. Find groups that relate to your writing genres and engage with the members. Not in a self-serving way, of course, but in genuine conversation. You’ll learn a great deal from the participants and may even gain additional friends and followers, too.
  • Commit to supporting fellow authors. Writing may be “lonely” at times, when sitting at a computer plucking away at the keys, but writers need each other’s support during the journey. Find ways to share fellow writers’ successes, blog posts, book releases, articles, and related links. Encourage them with kind words through emails or social media messages. Write book reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble,, and any other place that accepts reviews. (It’s easy to write one review, and then copy and paste the same review to other sites.)
  • Seek out a radio or television interview. What’s your expertise? Offer to share your wisdom on a radio or television interview. Look online to find sources and send out query letters accordingly. Again, shoot for a new station or two every month this year. 
  • Plan to meet new friends at the next writers’ conference. Let’s face it—one of the best parts about attending writing conferences is catching up with our best buddies that we might only see once or twice a year. Plan time for that fellowship at the next conference, but make a concerted effort to meet several new people each day, too. You’ll be so glad you did! 
  • Find a new genre to read. You just might decide to try your hand at writing in that genre, too!
  • Enter a new writing contest. Try your hand at something you’ve never written or submit to a contest you’ve never entered. You just might add another award or recognition to your collection! 
Well, if you’re a numbers guy like one of my kiddos, you’ll notice that we brainstormed twelve ideas. That’s one new opportunity for each month this year. 

What “new thing” will you try this month or sometime this year? What “new thing” do you hope God will do in your writing journey? 


Childrens Bible Stories for Bedtime: To Grow in Faith & Love

by Julie Lavender

Kids can wind down with inspiring childrens Bible stories and connect with God at bedtime. With this collection of childrens first Bible stories, parents and kids can calmly end the day together in the comfort of God’s presence and peace. These favorites of key biblical figures and their ancient adventures inspire young curious minds to build a relationship with God and ponder about His never-ending love. 
Whether your child reads kids Bible storybooks aloud or simply listens, the practice of reading at bedtime will remind your child that God is always with them—from morning until night, and even while they sleep.

Julie Lavender is excited that her NEW book launched just a couple of days ago. Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime,published by Zeitgeist/Penguin Random House, shares 52 Bible stories for kids, ages 4-8. Julie is also the author of 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, published by Revell.

Featured Image: Photo by 2H Media on Unsplash


  1. Awesome ideas,Julie, and congratulations on the new book!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!! I enjoyed making the list of suggestions as a reminder for me to do those "new" things this year, too!

  2. What a great list, Julie. I added a new magazine last year. This year a group of us who write poetry are going to each seek out a middle and high schooler to mentor. They will have access to our weekly prompts & bi-weekly virtual poetry sharing meetings. Many of us are concerned about all that is NOT being taught in our schools and the impact COVID has had on learning. Every writer I know sensed an urge to write at a young age. We want to fan those embers before the fire goes out. And our plan is to publish an anthology of their best work just as we do of our own. It's a start.
    Jay Wright; Upstate, SC

    1. This is SUCH an incredible idea, Jay!! Wow, that is such a great way to pay it forward and to bless the younger generation! I just really love this idea, and I think this is a great way to encourager the next generation to follow their dreams of writing!

  3. I love your ideas, Julie, thanks for sharing them. And thank you, Edie, for mentioning Julie's new book, Children's Bible Stories for Bedtime. Julie is a cheerleader for other authors and goes the extra mile to promote their books. Let's do the same for her.

  4. Crystal, thank you so very much for your sweet comments! Oh, that means so much to me! I truly am passionate about supporting other authors, and I enjoy it so much! I hope others will decide to support author friends, just because it's so much fun, and I believe it's the right thing to do to help each other this way! Blessings for sharing that, my dear friend!!!

  5. Thank you for this important information. Congratulations on your new book! My copy arrived today. I love this book! :-)

    1. Thank you so very much, my sweet friend, for ordering a book! I appreciate you so much! Hope the list helps you - I wrote it with ME in mind, because I want to make sure I do some "new" things this year to add to my resume!

  6. Thanks for the great suggestions, Julie. I need to add a couple of these to my list for the year. :-) And congratulations on your new book! What a sweet addition to little ones' shelves.

    1. Thank you so much, Leigh! I enjoyed brainstorming the list, because I want to add more new bullet points to my resume this year, so it was fun thinking of things to try out! And, thanks for the kind words about the book! It's such a blessing from God, and I'm thrilled He gave me the opportunity!

  7. Excellent suggestions, Julie! Magazines are continually looking for material, plus most are paying markets. I started out in my writing career by writing for magazines. I learned a lot while working with wonderful editors.