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All stories should be true — we do not publish fiction — and should be no longer than 1,200 words.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.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

June's Focus Point

An Eternal Perspective

Eternity is that which never dies, disappoints, disappears, or disillusions. The word eternity describes the longing of our hearts.
We yearn for that which is perfect—lovely, unaffected by sin—eternal. We have never seen perfection, experienced flawless love or tasted eternity, and yet we long for it. Why? How can we long for something we have not seen? Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us—God has “set eternity in the hearts of men.”
As Christian writers, we can address that human longing because the mystery of eternity has been revealed to us. Psalm 17:15 reads, “And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”
As we write from the perspective of truth—truth that will stand for all eternity—we reveal the eternal God and bring satisfaction to our readers' souls. This is a bold statement but if we don't believe it, why are we writing?
This does not mean our work will be exegetical or theological, though it may be. It does mean that our work will reveal something of the nature and person of Christ, God the Father, and the Spirit of power. Our writing will be based on truth and offer hope. Our words will carry life and the answer to longing hearts.

Take away thought: I will reveal God’s likeness in my writing in a desire to satisfy the soul-hunger of my readers.
See you September 9. This link is to an article you may find inspiringI hope your summer is filled with many words - read and written!
Write for Him,

Monday, May 29, 2017

Last Meeting Before Summer

Saturday, June 3

10 am - noon

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

Be prepared to share your summer writing goals 
be inspired by Susan to refresh your blogging.

Last month's focus point is featured below.
Hope to see you Saturday,

May's Focus Point

Endless Inspiration

I spent time at the Jersey shore this week. Once again I was struck by the same thought that inspires me every time I return to the beach. I walk through the scrub pines, up the sandy path and crest the dunes to be astounded again—it’s still there! The waves didn’t stop in my absence; they didn’t cease to roll without an audience; they didn’t complete their cycle and rest. Any time of day, any time of year, they relentlessly crest and crash, demonstrating their Creator’s faithfulness, reminding me there is never a time when God’s grace, goodness, kindness, and love is not present. His faithfulness does not depend on my attentiveness or awareness. 

Lamentations 3 reminds us God’s “compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (v.22-23).

Since I had been thinking about this meeting, it wasn’t a stretch to see how this truth affects creative writing. Excusessuch as lack of inspiration, writer’s block, finding a market, feeling we have nothing to say worth reading or that hasn’t been written beforedissolve before God’s relentless faithfulness. There is no end to His wisdom, inspiration and opportunities. It’s there and available. We just have to show up. 

As I walked the beach, I resisted the urge to pick up shells. I reasoned, they’ll be here next time—there are always more shells, which is the point of this meditation. God’s supply never diminishes. The constant, fresh supply shells speaks to me of God’s limitless inspiration and vast purposes for us today, and tomorrow, and all our tomorrows.

Take away thought: Be still and wait. Expect inspiration and direction—Creator God has an endless supply.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Meeting this Saturday

Where do You Find Inspiration?

 That's the topic for this Saturday's meeting.

 May 6, 10 a.m. - noon

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

Whether you're an experienced writer or want to get started on a writing journey, you will find encouragement and camaraderie at our meetings. You are welcome to visit and see if NJCWG is a fit for you.Last months' Focus Point is featured below. 
Hope to see you Saturday,

April's Focus Point
Direction or Distraction?
In March we talked  about maintaining the passion God gives us for His call on our lives. This month let's consider if interruptions are His direction or a distraction that veers us from the path our passion had set us on.
Susan and I attended a writing workshop and on our way home we talked about a writing opportunity that came her way. Aware of the two projects that already fight for her time and attention, the words fell out of my mouth without forethought, “Do think this is God’s direction or a distraction?”
As writers we are creative people. When a writing challenge comes our way, given time, we can generate imaginative ideas, create possible themes and run in directions we’ve not yet explored. This has been demonstrated in the writing exercises at our meetingsnonfiction writers write fiction, fiction writers identify their passion, poets write prose, we try genres and styles we had not considered as we draw from the creative wellspring within us, our God-given gift.
Writing is serious business because it’s our businessthe work we’ve been given to do. Ephesians 5:15-16 reads, “Be very careful, then, how you livenot as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Wise people have discernment; they are focused and determined. They are not distracted but make the most of every opportunity God presents to them, which brings us back to our original question—Is the potential opportunity, challenge, invitation before you God’s direction? Or a distraction?
Take away thought:  Be carefulwatch for direction, resist distraction.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meeting this Saturday

April 1
10 am to noon

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

Our Focus Point this week is

direction or Distraction?
Graphic compliments of

Saturday's discussion:
Memoir - what is it and what makes it worth reading?

Get the encouragement you need, whether you're an accomplished writer, beginner or somewhere in between.

Hope to see you Saturday,

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Practical Side of Passion

The following is the devotional from our meeting on March 4.

Outside of those who write instruction manuals or how-to assembly instructions, I would think that every writer is motivated by passion. I can’t imagine writers giving themselves to the task if there is no passion in it. Passion is greater than enthusiasm. By definition, it is an “intense, driving, or over-mastering feeling or conviction; a strong liking for some activity, object, or concept.” (Mirriam-Webster Dictionary)
Writers may have a passion for justice or encouragement or health or for weaving a good story. My friend's blog was born from her passion for fashion. Maude’s poetry is birthed from a passion for God, family and Israel. Revealing passion in our work, makes it contagious and engages our readers.
Passion is what inspires us and compels us to sit in a chair for hours, putting words to paper. The problem with passion, however, is that it’s heavy with emotion and emotions vacillate. Which brings us to today’s focus, The Practical Side of Passion. How do we maintain passion? I make three suggestions:

  • Passion takes up space, so make room for itin your mind and in your moments. 
This means we will be intentional with what we put in our minds and allow to take up our moments. Isaiah asks, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare" (Isa. 55:2).
  • Passion fades, so fan it.
Talk to yourself; talk to God; talk to others. Learn; practice; blog. Paul wrote to Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (2 Tim. 1:6-7).
  • Passion subsists on truth, so feed it. 
What we feed grows, so we must feed our passion, not with vacillating feelings, but with sustaining truth. It’s not a matter of getting emotionally pumped, but being deeply balanced. How many times have you run off at the mouth with something that you deeply felt, only to find out you were mistaken. Let’s feed our passion with truth, “…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 NIV). Read this verse in the NLT: “…For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”

Take away thought:  Make room for your passion; fan your passion; feed your passion.

Article developed more fully on my website 
Graphic compliments of