Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dec. 2nd meeting - Annual Christmas Brunch


Christmas Brunch
Sat. Dec. 2
10 am  - 12 noon

At our next NJCWG meeting, we will hold our annual brunch. 
As always, we look forward to breaking bread together 
as we continue along on our writing journeys. 

Please rsvp by Tues, Nov. 28.
To rsvp: click REPLY or email: njcwgroup@gmail.com. 
And please indicate in your reply if you are bringing a brunch item. 
If you can indicate what item, so much the better! 
If you are new to the group or just not able to bring something, 
please come anyway! 

Looking forward to seeing you on the 2nd! 










Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Meeting this Saturday

November 4, 10 a.m. - noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff,
in the Barn (red building on the right as you enter)

 Saturday's Focus:

How to be a Writer



There is only one way to become a writer and we'll talk about it this Saturday. Whether you're a novice or already published, 
we welcome you to join the discussion.

Hope to see you there!
Barbara

October's Focus Point

First of All, “Why?”
Let’s talk about why we write in general and then, in our workshop time, focus on the specific why of our current project. Understanding our why provides motivation for writing, but also gives us a connection with readers, agents and publishers.
Face Forward
Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). He was talking about following Him as a disciple, but He was also stating a life principle. One cannot move forward when looking back. We move in the direction we face. Lack of focus slows us down and the “plow” we’re pushing will veer or stall.
I confess that I can be found looking up, down and all around during my writing time. There is no lack of distractions, even writing distractionsother topics I want to write about, research that becomes a rabbit trail, sources that I get lost in.
When the day is over, I find it easy to fudge my writing progress. What did you do today, Barbara?
I worked on my book.
What exactly did you work on?
Well, I tried to flesh out an outline, considered title options, thought about anecdotes.
In other words, I played all around it, but never zeroed in. I didn’t plow one straight row because I forgot why I was writing.
I need to remind myself why I'm writing, be honest with myself and stop looking around, set a clear goal for the day, get my thoughts on paper, and plow forwardwhich is today’s take-away. 
Take home thought: Remember why you're writing. Stop looking around. Set a clear goal. Get your thoughts on paper. Plow forward.  

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Meeting this Saturday

October 7, 10 a.m. - noon

 Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff,
in the Barn (red building on the right when you enter)

 Saturday's Focus: Face Forward


Image courtesy of sqlmag.com
Whether an experienced writer or a novice, you will find encouragement and camaraderie at our meetings. Visit and see if NJCWG is a fit for you. 

Members, come prepared to pitch your book, article or blog, prioritizing your why. See the Simon Sinek video and read September's Focus Point below. If you bring pages for critique, please review the guidelines on our website. 

Hope to see you Saturday,
Barbara

September’s Focus Point

First of All, “Why?”

Why do we write? In general and, specifically, why this book, blog or article? Defining our why reveals our motivation but also becomes a connecting point with readers, agents and publishers.  
Jean Matthew Hall* tells the story of swinging in the back yard with her grandson. He wanted to go higher & higher—to touch the clouds. Of course, they didn’t touch the clouds, but in Jean’s words, “It sure was fun trying. It was exhilarating.”
She later realized that she does the same thing with writing—stretching herself, straining to become a better writer and to attain publication. Not satisfied with merely writing her thoughts in a private journal, her heart shouts, “Higher, God. I want to go higher—to touch the clouds with you, Lord!”
Then she wonders why—why does she want to touch the clouds? Why do we?
Jean asks, “Is it that seed of creativity God planted in my heart before I was born? Is it some innate unrest I have? Is it pride? Do I have a burning message to spread? Or, is it God’s Holy Spirit urging me upward?
“I suspect it is a mixture of all these things. But mostly, it’s because I want my life to have a wider circle of influence... I want to impact as many people as I can for Christ in my lifetime and beyond.
“Writing… is one way I can do that. It is one way I can reach for the clouds. And even if I don’t touch them it is fun trying. It is exhilarating to stretch myself and use the gifts that God has placed within me. It adds beauty and joy to my life and… that makes writing and rewriting worth the extra effort.”
In Job we read, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” and “…it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding” (33:4 and 32:8).
We write because God has breathed life and understanding into us. As Christian writers uniquely made and individually called, our personal why is the motivation for what we are writing. Our mouths speak and pens write out of the fullness of our hearts.
Take away thought: Remember your why. Let your Spirit-breathed calling, gifts and inspiration be the impetus for your writing.
Hear about identifying your why with Simon Sinek.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Writing Opportunity


Chicken Soup for the Soul:
The Best Advice I Ever Heard

Have you ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story that had a wonderful piece of advice in it that made a difference in your life? Have you ever watched a movie or read an article that really had an impact on you that you haven't been able to forget? Do you have a friend or family member who gave you some advice that you didn't necessarily want to hear but really needed to hear that stuck with you and directed you to make positive changes in your life?
We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a little thing that improved your everyday life, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely, we want to hear about them and how they made a difference.
Here are some topics we can suggest but there are many more that we know you can think of:
  • Career choices or changes
  • Personal relationships — family or friends
  • Parenting
  • School
  • Travel
  • Moving to a new place
  • Buying or selling your house
  • Setting priorities
  • Health and fitness
  • Finances
  • Taking chances
  • Co-dependence and tough love
  • Following your passion
  • Taking risks
  • Trying new things
  • Simplifying your life
  • Using gratitude
  • Forgiving someone... or yourself
Please remember we no longer publish "as told to" stories. Write your story in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the "Comments" section of the submission form.
All stories should be true — we do not publish fiction — and should be no longer than 1,200 words. If your story was already published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it. We will not publish it again. If you submitted your story for one of our previous books and we did not publish it, please feel free to submit it to this book if you think it will fit. That way we will be sure it is considered for this new edition.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 complimentary copies of your book. You retain the copyright for your story and you retain the rights to resell it or self-publish it.
You have a better chance of your story being accepted if you submit early. Later submissions often duplicate earlier ones that have already won high grades from our readers. So please remember, the early bird gets the worm!
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is FEBRUARY 28, 2018.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Meeting this Saturday

September's focus: 

Determining the why - of our current project and/or blog -
will motivate us and affect our pitches and proposals.

September 9, 10 a.m. - noon

 Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff,
in the Barn (red building on the right when you enter) 

NOTE: We will meet on the second floor this month - 
enter the door closest to the main parking lot.

Whether an experienced writer or a novice, you will find encouragement and camaraderie at our meetings. Visit us and see if NJCWG is a fit for you. 

Members, come prepared to share your summer progress (or discouragements) and fall goals. If you bring pages for critique, please review the guidelines on our website. 

Hope to see you Saturday,
Barbara

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wrting Opportunity - Chicken Soup For The Soul - Romance

Stories about Love — Finding It and Keeping the Romance Alive
We're looking for stories about how you found love. And how you kept it fresh over the years. New love, old love, please warm our hearts with your stories and poems.
PLEASE NOTE THIS BOOK IS FOR ADULTS, NOT FOR TEENS. We're happy to hear about your high school sweetheart if you ended up together, but we are not looking for stories from current teens about teen relationships.
Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:
  • The miracle of finding love
  • Amazing coincidences that led to you meeting your soul mate
  • Dreams that came true about finding your soul mate
  • Anything that makes us say "wow" about how you found love!
  • Dating adventures
  • From "friends" to "lovers"
  • Senior dating
  • Reconnecting with someone from your past
  • Rejoining the dating world after divorce or breakups
  • Proposals
  • Rekindling romance in a longer term relationship
  • Anything that entertains our readers or gives them hope that love is around the corner for them, too!
Please remember we no longer publish "as told to" stories. Write your story in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the "Comments" section of the submission form.
All stories should be true — we do not publish fiction — and should be no longer than 1,200 words. If your story was already published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it. We will not publish it again. If you submitted your story for one of our previous books and we did not publish it, please feel free to submit it to this book if you think it will fit. That way we will be sure it is considered for this new edition.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 complimentary copies of your book. You retain the copyright for your story and you retain the rights to resell it or self-publish it.
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is November 30, 2017.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Writing Opportunity for Two Chicken Soup for the Soul titles



Submission deadlines are looming for two Chicken Soup for the Soul titles!
The deadline date for story and poem submissions for two of our future titles is rapidly approaching. The deadline for these titles is Thursday, August 31st. Submissions will not be accepted after that date so if you have something you would like to submit please do it soon. We don't want to miss you.
The two titles are Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Redemption. Here is a brief description of what we are looking for:
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More
All of us have experienced events in our lives that are completely unexplainable: the strange premonition that made you take a different route home only, causing you to miss an accident; the eerie feeling that you should call home... now, saving someone's life; the mysterious communication from a loved one who has passed on. Angels, divine timing, miraculous coincidences, answered prayers, premonitions that come true. Good things do happen to good people. Please share your amazing stories that will make us say "wow."
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Redemption
Redemption stories can be amazing. What starts out as a negative force can be turned positive and can change the world of ordinary people. There are countless stories of redemption and we want to hear yours. How did you use the negative in your life to move onto a more positive path? What did you do to make up for the wrongs in your past? We are looking for true stories of redemption that will inspire us, restore us, heal us, and make a positive difference to lead a better, more rewarding life because of the example they set. Everyone can make a fresh start.
Important: If you have already submitted your story or poem for either of these titles please do not submit it again. We have it in our database and it will be read by our editors and considered for publication. If you have an additional story or poem then we'd love for you to submit it.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it or self-publish it.
Remember the deadline for these two titles is August 31st and will not be extended.