Friday, September 30, 2005

WD Popular Fiction Awards Call for Entries

WD Popular Fiction Awards Call for Entries

The WD Popular Fiction AwardsIt's a new short story competition from Writer's Digest! We want your best writing in five categories: Romance, Mystery/Crime, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense and Horror. You can compete and win in every category--just make sure your entries are 4,000 words or fewer and we receive them by the November 1, 2005 deadline.

Visit for more information!

Enter the contest and your fantastic fiction could bring home these big prizes:
GRAND PRIZE: $2,500 cash, $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books, plus a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer's Digest editor or advisory board member.
FIRST PRIZE: The First-Place Winner in each category receives $500 cash, $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books, plus a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer's Digest editor or advisory board member.
HONORABLE MENTION: All Honorable Mentions will receive promotion in Writer's Digest and the 2006 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market.Don't wait--visit for guidelines and to enter today!

Trends in Christian Writing

UP Trends in the CBA Marketplace
"Creative" Nonfiction
How-To Articles
List Articles
Shorter Articles & Manuscripts
Easy to Read Language
Christian Living Articles
Inspirational Stories
New Terminology -- Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Etc. is now "Speculative Fiction"
More open to new authors in Speculative Fiction
Romance with an "edge"
Brown Bag Books (difficult subject matter, approached via fiction)
Darwinism / Creationism
Old Testament
Children's Lit
Nonfiction Anything
Biographies of lesser known individuals
Ethnically Diverse Books

DOWN Trends in the CBA Marketplace
Abuse Books
Anthologies (Chicken Soup types)
Abortion, Rape, Drugs
End Times (unless your name is LaHay or Jenkins)
Books of Short Stories
Formula books (unless you are a big draw author)
Children's Lit
Talking Animals
Talking Inanimate Objects
Personification of anything that isn't actually a person

The Road to Publication - Handout NJCWG 9/6/05

The Road to Publication
Presented by Louise Bergmann DuMont
At the NJCWG – 09/26/05

Are you an author who is just bursting to publish a book? What do you need to do before you earn the right to submit your manuscript to an agent or a publishing house? What creates the smoothest path and avoids unnecessary pitfalls and detours? The answer is found in your clips (clips: published articles which show evidence that other editors found your writing worthy of publication). You need to start small. Take-home papers and small press (often for no pay) publications offer the greatest opportunity to new writers.

Getting published (whether it's a book or an article) is as much the result of following the correct procedure as it is skill and talent. Both the Christian (CBA) and US (ABA) publishing industry, just like any other business, works on trends, contacts and sound business principles.

Chose a market. New authors often work backwards. They write a story or an article and then try to find a publisher who wants to publish their work. This wastes a great deal of time. Every publication has specific needs, wants, slants, formats and quirks. When you do find a suitable market for a piece you've already written, it is likely that you'll have to do a serious rewrite to accommodate the publication. A better way to go about your writing is to choose a market that is open to new writers and uses freelancers for least 80% or more of their publication.

Research your market. Know your target. This means understanding their audience, their editor and their advertising. Read at least five past issues. You can get these at the library or by writing to the publication and supplying the appropriate self-addressed stamped envelope for them to mail the publications to you. The world as a whole doesn't much what kind of scarf you wear this winter -- but if you are teenage girl you will want to know that short, "fuzzy" scarves made from "eyelash" yarn are all the rave. If you are targeting a publication with a large female, teenage audience, this information could be important.

Follow the Writers Guidelines. The second greatest reason that writers are rejected is because they don't follow the publisher's "instructions." If you don't have a copy of their writers' guidelines, you can usually find them online. If you can't find them there, you can always write and request a copy of their guidelines. Follow them to the letter!

Know what the current market and industry needs. What is hot - not just in regard to general trends, but for the genre you write and the industry as a whole. If there is a current glut on the market of "end of the world" scenario literature, a publisher is less likely to take a chance on a new author in this venue. Make your first piece something in the same genre but with a different slant. You also need to know the current writing trends. Learn what publishers want and fill their needs. That is the quickest way to publication.

Know how to approach editors and publishers. Does the editor you are targeting want a complete manuscript, a proposal or query letter? Do they accept email queries or only postal mail ones? Will they accept phone queries? Do they prefer a formal or informal approach? How can you know the answers to these questions? Study Sally Stuart's Market Guide. Talk with other authors. Join writing groups both local and online ones. Ask. If in doubt, make a phone call and ask the receptionist or editors administrative support person. They are often happy to tell you what you need to know. Do NOT ask to be treated special or for "inside" information. That will most certainly turn them off. DO act professional and treat every person you talk to with respect.

FREE Business Cards - Vista Print

Well, here they go again. Vista Print is again offering FREE business cards (you do need to pay shipping & handling). They are now offering 42 photo and graphic designs and you design your own text. Honestly, you can't beat this deal anywhere. To see your design choices go to:
Every serious author should have a business card. Why does Vista Print offer cards for free? Advertising. There is one small "catch" to their offer in that they print their website address in small letters on the back of your cards. This is such a small detail and it is worth its weight in business cards - literally. So what are you waiting for? Go get your cards!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Show Vs Tell Handout #3

Worthy Show/Tell Quotes

Sol Stein in Stein on Writing says:

"There are three areas in which the writer is particularly vulnerable to telling rather than showing: When he tells what happened before the story began; When he tells what a character looks like; And when he tells what a character senses, that is, what he sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes.

Those are all places where the author's voice can intrude on the reader’s experience."

In Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King says:

"But telling your readers about your characters' emotions is not the best way to get your readers involved. Far better to show why your characters feel the way they do.”

It's easier to simply say, 'Erma was depressed' than to come up with some original bit of action that shows she's depressed. But if you have her take one bite of her favorite cake and push the rest away (or have her polish off the whole cake), you will have given your readers a far better feel for her depression than you could by simply describing it.

It is nearly always best to RESIST the URGE to EXPLAIN (or, as we so often write it in manuscript margins R.U.E.)."

Sol Stein in Stein on Writing says:

"He took a walk. Tells. He walked four blocks. Begins to show. He walked the four blocks slowly. Shows more clearly. He walked the four blocks as if it were the last mile. Shows more by giving the reader a sense of the character’s feelings, which the previous version did not. He walked as if against an unseen wind, hoping someone would stop him. Shows most of all because it gives the reader a sense of what the character desperately wants."

Show Vs Tell Handout #2

The Do’s and Don’ts of Show and Tell

Do not lead with exposition. New writers often start their manuscript by setting a scene or by giving background information which explains why the action will take place. Don’t. Start with action or important events. Then work the necessary information in using appropriate dialog between characters, or fill narrative section in later.

Simply naming the feelings that you experienced (telling your reader what you felt) is not enough to create interest in the reader. You must generate (in your reader) the same feelings that you experienced. You can't do this by changing the word "alone" to "very alone" or by changing "miserable" to "so miserable that I thought I would die."

Describing how you felt about a person, thing or situation in more detail is still telling. (Example: He looked at me in a way that wasn't exactly threatening, but still made me uncomfortable.) To show you must give the reader a vision of what happened. What did the man say and/or do that made you feel threatened. Describe those things and your reader will experience the event along with you.

If something is obvious, clear or without doubt, you will not need to use those words. When you say, "Clearly the facts indicate…" you are really saying, "I know I haven't shown you enough evidence to make my point but…" When you use the 'showing' technique, you will not need these words.

Match exposition to pace. The faster paced your story, the shorter your expository sections should be. Action must be shown not told. Take your reader on a journey, carry them into the scene -- don’t just tell them what happened. How many times have you heard someone tell a story that fell flat? When no one laughs, they respond with "I guess you had to be there." Your job as a writer is to take them there. Don’t let your writing fall flat.

Try to alternate shown scenes with told exposition. Too much of anything is not a good thing. Too much showing is like running consecutive marathons. Your reader may faint from the pace you are setting. If you give a rousing opening, your reader will be able to sit still for at least some exposition. The breather will make them eager for your next action filled section. Always follow narrative with one or more dramatic 'show' scenes.

Always *show* your climax. The climax is the place where the opposing forces in your story finally clash (there may be a number of small climaxes before the big finale at the end of your piece). This is true whether those opposing forces are two armies or two values inside a character's soul. The climax needs to be as vivid as you can make it, and that means – Tada (drum roll please) – DRAMA! Use every tool at your command: dialogue, action, description, thoughts and feelings. Put the reader right in the middle of the action.

Show Vs Tell Handout #1


The following paragraph is not poorly written… but it could be better.
Joe entered the diner nervous about meeting Clara. This is it, he thought. I’ve got to do everything right this time or she’ll leave me for sure. He could see Clara sitting at a booth with her back to him. He knew it was her because she was wearing the hat he’d given her for her birthday. She’d been so happy when he gave her that hat! Was it a good sign that she was wearing it today? He thought it was.

Notice that following paragraph gives more details. It never actually says that Joe is nervous. Instead it shows us what Joe does when he is nervous. It also invites us into Joe's world and opens his heart to the reader. We "see" who Joe is by his actions and reactions.
The luncheon crowd packed the little diner like cows in a cattle run and Joe's fingers anxiously twisted the brim of the Stetson in his hands. This is it, he thought. I’ve got to do everything right this time or she’ll leave me for sure. He forced himself to ignore the over zealous and incredibly buxom, waitresses who vied for his attention. Finally he spied the back of Clara’s hat peaking over a booth seat. The sight of it forced his heart into a little dance that beat hard and fast against his ribs. Her laugh fill the room and memories flooded his brain. She laughed like that when I bought her that hat for her birthday, he thought. Its dainty blue flowers and the merry little bird sitting on its crown now fairly shouted to him. "You can do it", the small bird sang to his heart. Courage blossomed and Joe took his first conscious step toward fidelity.

Writing, particularly longer works, need both showing and telling. "Telling" allows the reader some down-time and lets them breathe between more intense "showing" scenes. The following middle-ground paragraph both shows and tells. It is acceptable under many circumstances. I've indicated the show areas with an (S) and the tell areas with a (T).
(T) Brian stared at the wreckage that two hours before had been his home. The tornado hurled debris for some two hundred yards and most of his possessions were now unrecognizable. (S) He bent to retrieve chunk of wood that was once a part of his dining room table. Farm worked fingers ever so gently ran across its still smooth surface, pausing only when they arrived at piece of straw now bizarrely embedded in its surface by the force of the storm. (T) The table had been carefully preserved by his family for over a hundred years -- and now it was gone. Brian could hold it no more. (S) The wood slipped from his fingers, and clattered to the ground, resting in the rubble scattered at his feet.


Although using direct narrative is more acceptable in nonfiction editors are still impressed with a writer’s ability to 'show' wherever possible. Do not discard this technique simply because you can get away with it when writing nonfiction.

Richmond Writers' Group

On Sunday, September 18 I was privileged to speak at the monthly meeting of the Richmond Association of Christians Who Write. Tom Lacy, their facilitator, was - as always - an extremely gracious host. The group was a mix of both accomplished and novice writers, each bringing something unique to the discussion. The topic was Showing, Rather Than Telling, a Story and the interest was high. I was able to renew acquaintance with a few friends who I met when I taught in Richmond a few years ago, and I was fortunate to get to know a number of new writers as well.
For the benefit of others, I will (in separate posts) provide some of the meeting's handouts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Slogan Contest

Suite101's pro-life forum is running a contest seeking pro-life slogans, product ideas, bumper stickers, etc. The winning entry may be turned into an actual product. Winner receives Choose Life car ribbon magnets and static clings valued at about $25. The contest also offers 2nd and 3rd place prizes.
Have fun!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quotable Quote - Frank Peretti, author of Monster

Frank Peretti, Author of Monster says, “Part of the creative process,” he explained, “is how you basically ‘chalk-up’ the characters that you want. But then there is that point where you cross a line of some kind. You go past a certain point and they do take on a life of their own. That’s part of ‘finding it.’ That’s a term I just came up with. You know, there’s writing, and then there’s really writing. It’s like the difference between sketching and painting. You can recount an incident that happened, or you can ‘be there’ -- and you can take your reader there.”

Polishing the PUGS: Puncuation, Usage, Grammar & Spelling

Chicago Manual of Style
For anyone who hates balancing the zillion pound Chicago Manual of Style on their knees, Kathy Ide has written Polishing the PUGS: Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling. In it she shares some of the most common mechanical errors that she sees in the manuscripts she edits. Don't let "PUGS" errors decrease your chances of being accepted by a publisher!

Kathy's "PUGS" is a very condensed version of the most used rules of punctuation, usage and grammar. Quite handy to own and only $12.00 at I noticed that she is also selling a CD version for $12.00, a combo of the book and CD for $20.00, an EXPANDED version of PUGS for $18.00, the EXPANDED CD for $18.00 and a combo of the expanded versions for $30.00.

PUGS is a very helpful little book and she seems to have something to fit everyone's budget.

About Kathy Ide
Kathy is a professional freelance author, editor, and speaker. She is a published author of books, magazine articles, play scripts, short stories, devotionals, and Sunday school curriculum since 1988.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

NJCWG - Meeting

Next meeting of the NJCWG
Monday, September 26, 2005
6:15-7:00 - Chat Time
7:00-8:00 - Lesson
8:00-9:00 - Critiques

Lesson: Getting Started... How do you get your first 'clip'? Do you approach editors via email the same way you approach them via postal mail? How do you know who gets a query letter and who wants a complete manuscript? How do I know if I'm ready to submit to a "real" publication? And MORE...

Hope to see you Monday night!


Friday, September 23, 2005

Book Publisher - Zondervan

Division of HarperCollins Publishers
5300 Patterson Ave. SE
Grand Rapids MI 49530-0002
Phone: (616)698-6900
Fax: (616)698-3454
Executive VP: Scott Bolinder
"Our mission is to be the leading Christian communications company meeting the needs of people with resources that glorify Jesus Christ and promote Biblical principles."

Editor's Note: No longer accepts mailed submissions unless they are addressed to a specific individual. Instead, submissions may be faxed or submitted electronically to First Edition via the ECPA website (

Established: 1931; Publishes hardcover and trade paperback originals and reprints. Publishes 120 titles/year; 10% of books from first time authors; 60% of books from unagented writers. Pays 14% royalty on net amount received on sales of cloth and softcover trade editions; 12% royalty on net amount received on sales of mass market paperbacks. Offers variable advance.

Responds in 2 months to queries.
Responds in 3 months to proposals.
Responds in 4 months to manuscripts.
Manuscript guidelines available at website.

Autobiography, Biography, Children's/Juvenile,Reference, Self-Help, and Textbook

Subjects include: History; Memoirs; Religion; Christian living, devotional, Bible study resources,preaching, counseling, college and seminary textbooks, discipleship, worship, and church renewal for pastors, professionals and lay leaders in ministry,
theological, and Biblical reference books.

Submission method: TOC, chapter outline, intended audience, cv (curriculum vitae/resume)

"Inklings-style" fiction of high literary quality. Christian relevance in all cases.
Will not consider collections of short stories. Needs some adult fiction (mainstream, Biblical).

Writing Op - Fitness Magazine

Gruner & Jahr USA
Editor-in-Chief: Emily Listfield
Monthly magazine for women in their twenties and thirties who are interested in fitness and living a healthy life.
"Do not call."
First North American serial rights
Responds in 2 months to queries.
Writer's guidelines for #10 SASE.

"We need timely, well-written nonfiction articles on exercise and fitness, beauty, health, diet/nutrition, and psychology. We always include boxes and sidebars in our stories. Our pieces must get inside the mind of the reader and address her needs, hopes, fears and desires. Fitness acknowledges that getting and staying fit is difficult in an era when we are all time-pressured."

Buys 60-80 manuscripts/year.
Submission method: Query
Length: 1,500–2,500 words.
Pays $1,500-2,500 & expenses of writers on assignment.
Accepts previously published submissions.
Columns & Departments:
Length:600-1,200 words
Buys 30 columns/year.
Submission method: Query
Pays: $800–1,500 for columns.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oct 8 Conference - A Reason to Write

It is right around the corner!
The writer's bargin of the century.
A full day of Christian writer's instruction, fellowship and networking
for ONLY $30.00!!!

October 8, 2005
NJCWG - A Reason To Write Conference
30 Carletondale Road
Ringwood, NJ 07456
Time's Running Out
Register TODAY!

For a brochure and registration form send your postal address to the conference director - Louise Bergmann DuMont,
For more information about the conference online, go to:

Monday, September 19, 2005

Writing Op - Technologies for Worship Mag


Inspiration Technology Companies, Inc.
3891 Holborn Rd.
Queensville ON L0G 1R0, Canada
Phone: (905)473-9822
Fax: (905)473-9928
Managing Editor: Kevin Rogers Cobus.

About TECHNOLOGIES FOR WORSHIP MAGAZINE: "A leading educational resource for advancing technology for churches and ministries."

Freelance Facts: 100% freelance
Established: 1992
Circulation: 25,000
Editorial lead time 40 days.

Accepts queries by: Mail, email, fax, phone
Accepts simultaneous submissions
Accepts previously published submissions
Sample copy free
Writer's guidelines available at website.

Needs: How-To, Inspirational, New Product, Religious

Does Not Want: Does not want any religious article that does not relate to implementing technology into the church.

Submission method: Send complete manuscript
Length: 250–1,500 words.
No payment. Does not pay the expenses of writers on assignment.
Columns open to freelancers: Nostalgia (older equipment promos); Church Network News (newspaper clippings, etc.); ReFridgerator (tips to clip).
Tips: "Just send relevant industry material. All submissions are considered. No payments are ever made."

The dabblingmum is offering a free ebook on query letters! Excellent!!!

How do you get it? Sign up to get her writing newsletter -- then you can receive a free e-book on query letters. It has both the actual query letter that landed her a choice assignment and the article that followed, along with some editor "pet peeves" and "query letter tips."

There's also a section on query letters on her website at:

Writing Op - For TEEN Writers

TEENLIGHT - The Teen 2 Teen Christian Magazine is gearing up for it's next quarterly, print magazine. Their all-teen writing team is distirubed across the world so... they are changing their submission process just a bit.


If you'd like to submit a story, please send it to these two addresses, SIMULTANEOUSLY:

One of their editing team will contact individuals who submit within a few weeks.

Payment for publication is two free magazines and a year's subscription.

Also available through Teenlight are a free writers support group and teen writer's classes.

There are only two writer requirement
1. Keep it short (under 500 words or so)
2. The writer/artist must not be older than 22 years old. We are TRULY teen 2 teen.

Looking for: poems, devotionals, songs, short "life lessons" (NONfiction only), etc...

Humor Writing

Here is a great website for any writer. It is filled with general writing information (writing tips, markets, etc.), but because Erma Bombeck was a great writer of humor, the focus of this site is on humor. Great for those who want to tickle the funny bone.

Bookmark it and visit often.

Agents - Great new booklet!

Sally Stuart

Sally Stuart's website lists a number of great, inexpensive booklets, books and pamphlets that you can purchase. One of the new ones was written by Cecil Murphey. If you are looking for an agent, this little booklet is a great resource.

Agents: What You Need to Know, by Cecil Murphey

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Sorry, no picutures available right now so you'll have to settle for text on the blog for a few messages.

I'm have a wonderful time in Virginia visiting my son & daughter-in-law. My mom flys back to Michigan tomorrow. We had a great visit with her for the last two weeks. Tomorrow I will be speaking at the Richmond Christian Writers Who Write group and teaching how to Show rather than Tell a story. Keep my in your prayers if you think of me. I will be back in no time.

Please continue to pray for our upcoming Oct 8th A Reason To Write conference. and continue to invite your friends and family to attend.

Hope to see you all there!

Louise Bergmann DuMont

Theme List - The Kids Ark

Kids Ark Theme List

Below is an updated list of themes and deadlines.

Temptation - Due ASAP (deadline passed, but if you have a good story, they would still love to read it.)
Fear - Due 9/26
Patience - Due 10/24
Lies - Due 11/21
Perseverance - Due 12/19
Praise and Worship - Due 1/30

If you have any questions. please contact me. Joy Mygrants, Senior Editor, The Kids' Ark (


POETRY NEWS from Maude:
Saturday, September 24:
Mark your calendar...the third annual Walt Whitman Poetry Festival will be held Saturday, September 24, 10am to 5pm, in Auditorium Square Park, adjacent to the Great Auditorium, and it's FREE! This year's festival will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Whitman's, "Leaves of Grass."

There's a great line-up of activities...Heritage poems; readings from "Poetic Reflections," an anthology of Monmouth County poems; Spiritual Poetry (I'll be one of the featured readers); War & Peace Poetry; Humorous Poetry; Whitman Poetry; "Voices Rising From the Grove," readings from this hot off the press anthology; open mic readings throughout the day. There will be a host of fine poets as well as workshops, tutorials, a panel discussion, a walking tour and a Walt Whitman display all day in the museum. Soooo, whether you write poetry, enjoy listening to it or if you would just like to visit a lovely Victorian beach town and are open to receiving a little culture, to boot...come join us!

Kevin Chambers, president of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove, and Gloria Rovder Healy, poet and author of, "Out of My Mind," and editor of two volumes of Monmouth County poetry, are co-chairmen. For additional information, go to:

Sunday, September 11, 2005

NJCWG - Meeting

North Jersey Christian Writers' Group
Next Meeting
Monday, September 12, 2005

Usual Meetings Run Like This
6:15-7:00 Chat Time
7:00-8:00 Lesson
8:00-9:00 Critiques

This Monday's Meeting... will be a bit different...

I will be "traveling" and might arrive just a few minutes late. I will certainly try to be there at 6:15, but please be patient if traffic hold me up a few minutes.

Our Lesson
will be talking about author's who find their writing "voice" and I would like each person attending the meeting to bring a paragraph that they wrote. If you don't have time, don't fret. You can write it when you get there.

God Bless

Louise Bergmann DuMont
Facilitator, NJCWG

Writing Ops - MANY


Viacom International Inc.
1633 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 654-7707
Fax: (212) 654-4840


Contact: Vanessa Johnson, Managing Editor

Contact's e-mail:

Writers’ guidelines online: No

Pays: $1-2 per word

Rights: All rights

Description: This is a magazine for kids 6 to 14 years old.
Its mission is to "stimulate our readers' creativity and
curiosity, to answer their questions about the world, and
to make them think and laugh. Each month we invite readers
to immerse themselves in a single topic, which we integrate
into every element of an issue, from page borders to folio
to actual content. Nickelodeon magazine translates the
sensibility and energy of the network into print, so kids
can take Nickelodeon wherever they go."

Circulation: 1,050,00


Werner Publishing Corporation
12121 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90025-1175
Phone: (310) 820-1500
Fax: (310) 826-5008


E-queries: No

Contact: Christopher Robinson, Managing Editor

Contact's e-mail:

Pays: 10-15 cents per word

Photos: Yes

Rights: One-time rights

Description: This magazine is published for enthusiasts
with a special passion for nature, travel and outdoor
sports. It "is written and presented to accomplish two
ends: to stimulate outdoor, sporting and nature enthusiasts
to enhance their recreational and travel enjoyment through
photography, and to satisfy the needs of amateur and
professional photographers with special interest in the

Circulation: 216,000


Meredith Corporation
1716 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
(515) 284-3000


E-queries: Contact the editor for assignments

Contact: LuAnn Brandsen, Editor

Description: This is a magazine about remodeling. It is
one of the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest
Publications and has a before-and-after approach that helps
the reader to visualize the possibilities.

Circulation: 325,000


Herb Companion Press
1503 SW 42nd Street
Topeka, KS 66609-1265
(785) 274-4300


E-queries: No

Contact: Amy Mayfield, Editor

Pays: 5-10 cents per word

Rights: All rights

Description: This is a natural remedy and healthy lifestyle
magazine. It publishes "scientifically sound, up-to-date
information about using plant-based medicines, natural
foods and alternative therapies." It "covers topics
ranging from recent scientific research to consumer guides,
medicinal recipes to legislative updates. We strive for a
balance between accessible language, a visually appealing
format, and a careful and accurate presentation of
well-researched information."

Circulation: 160,000


9-1-1 Magazine

5280 Magazine

Metropolis Magazine


We’re always looking for new interviews, articles, essays,
and humor for this newsletter. We pay $5 or a 1-year
subscription to the Absolute Markets Premium Edition
( – a $15 value). We’re happy to
check out reprints, and we take non-exclusive electronic
rights. Got some advice for your fellow writers? Check
out our guidelines here:

* Travel Writers Wanted!

There's great demand for an elite corps of highly skilled,
professional travel writers...a pool of travel writing
specialists that can be relied on to write vivid, lively
and interesting articles.

If you ever dreamed about the romantic life of a travel
writer, here's a very unusual opportunity to actually live

Writing Op - Praire Times

Writer's Guidelines
PO Box 880
Byers, CO 80103

1,500 plus words - $50
850 - 1,450 wrds - $30
600 - 800 wrds - $20
300 - 550 wrds - $10

Click here to download a PDF of our writer's guidelines.

One story per author per issue.
Do NOT want: Hunting stories, Poetry

DO Want: Funny, heartwarming, family stories.

Stories accepted six months in advance.

Christian Parenting Today
#writers (Copy and paste both link lines into your browser)

465 Gundersen Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188-2489


Published quarterly this magazine "provides parents information
that spans birth to 14 years of age in the following areas of
growth: spiritual, social, emotional, physical, academic."

Pays 12-20¢/word for pieces between 750-2,000 words. Buys FNASR and
reprint rights.

Does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Query via postal mail
only. Response time is 6-8 weeks. Does not accept simultaneous

(When querying, make sure to remember this is a Christian
publication for parents--not a mainstream parenting mag.)

Writing Op - Atlantic Publishers & Distributors

7/22 Ansari Rd.
Draya Ganj New Delhi 110002
Phone: (91)(11)3327-3880
Fax: (91)(11)2328-5873

Freelance Facts:
Established: 1977

General Nonfiction

Subjects include:
mass media/journalism, math, film/theatre, political
science, tourism, textile

Friday, September 09, 2005

Chocolate Speaking Engagement

My mom is visiting me for the next two weeks. I will not be posting quite as often until after she leaves. Also note that I will be out visiting my son in VA next weekend so the posts will be less during that time as well. Thanks for your understanding as I take small sebbaticals to refresh before our October 8 conference. I appreciate your continued prayers and encouragement.

Also note that I will be speaking at the Upper Montclair Country Club tonight for Bromilows Chocolate Company. Please keep this engagement in your prayers. The topic? One of my favorites - CHOCOLATE of course!

Louise Bergmann DuMont

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Writing Op - Gallant Greetings Corp.

GALLANT GREETINGS CORP. (formerly Gallant Greetings)
P.O. Box 308
Franklin Park IL 60131

Contact: Joan Lackouitz, vice president product development.

About GALLANT GREETINGS CORP.: Gallant is a publisher of traditional, religious, and humorous greeting cards for all occasions and seasons. All card ideas are purchased from freelance writers. Payment is $45/card idea purchased.

Writing Op - Montgomery's Journey

Sharing Hope, Buidling Community
Keep Sharing
555 Farmington Rd.
Montgomery AL 36109
Contact: DeAnne Watson, editor

About MONTGOMERY'S JOURNEY: Magazine covering Christian living
Frequency: Monthly
Includes Protestant Christian writing, topical articles on Christian living, and Christian living articles with helpful information for walking with Christ daily.

Freelance Facts: 50% freelance written
Established: 1999
Circulation: 8,000
Pays on publication
Publishes manuscript 6-12 months after acceptance.
Byline given.
Offers 25% kill fee.
Rights purchased: One-time rights, Second serial (reprint) rights
Editorial lead time 1 year.
Submit seasonal material 1 year in advance.
Accepts queries by: E-mail
Accepts simultaneous submissions
Accepts previously published submissions
Sample copy for $1.75 and self-addressed magazine-size envelope.
Writer's guidelines available via e-mail.

Needs: Inspirational, Religious
Does Not Want: No fiction, poetry, or autobiography.
Submission method: Submit query or complete ms.
Length: 1,300–2,200 words.

Pays $25-50 for assigned articles; $25 for unsolicited articles.

Writing Op - Highway News


Transport For Christ
1525 River Rd.
Marietta PA 17547

Phone: (717)426-9977
Fax: (717)426-9980
Contact: Jennifer Landis, editor

About HIGHWAY NEWS: "We publish human interest stories, testimonials, and teachings that have a foundation in Biblical/Christian values. Since truck drivers and their families are our primary readers, we publish works that they will find edifying and helpful."

No Payment - 50% freelance written
Established: 1950
Circulation: 35,000
Publishes manuscript 1 year after acceptance.
Byline sometimes given.
Rights purchased: First rights
Submit seasonal material 9 months in advance
Accepts queries by: Mail, E-mail, Fax
Accepts simultaneous submissions
Accepts previously published submissions
Responds in 2 weeks to queries.
Responds in 2 months to manuscripts.
Sample copy free.
Writer's guidelines by e-mail (

Needs: Essays, General Interest, Humor, Inspirational, Interview/Profile, Personal Experience, Photo Feature, Religious, trucking
Does Not Want: No sermons full of personal opinions.
Buys 20-25 manuscripts/year.
Submission method: Send complete manuscript
Length: 600–1,200 words.
Pays in contributor copies.
Does not pay the expenses of writers on assignment.

Send photos with submission.
Reviews: Prints, GIF/JPEG files
Photos Require: Captions, Identification of subjects, Model Releases
Buys one-time rights
Does not pay for photos.

Columns & Departments:
Columns open to freelancers: From the Road (stories by truckers on the road); Ladies' Corner (stories for truckers' wives), both 600 words.
Submission method: Send complete manuscript

Needs: Humorous, Religious, /Slice-of-life Vignettes
Does Not Want: No romance or fantasy. "We use very little fiction."
Buys 1 or fewer manuscripts/year.
Submission method: Send complete manuscript
Length: 600–1,200 words.

Needs: Traditional
Does Not Want: Don't send anything unrelated to the trucking industry.
Buys 2 poems/year.
Submit maximum 10 poems.
Length: 4–20 lines.

Needs: Anecdotes, Facts, Short Humor
Length: 20–200 words.
Tips: "We are especially interested in human interest stories about truck drivers. Find a trucker doing something unusual or good and write a story about him or her. Be sure to send pictures."

Writing Op - Hopekeepers

Joyfully Serving the Chronically Ill
Rest Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 502928
San Diego CA 92150
Phone: (888)751-7378
Contact: Lisa Copen, editor
Publishes manuscript 3-6 months after acceptance.
80% freelance written
Established: 2004
Circulation: 10,000
Pays on publication
Byline given.

Christian publication for those with chronic illness or pain. Christian authors are preferred. "We are open to health articles as long as they don't promote New Age practices. We are open to any topic with an illness slant and a Christian tone. See guidelines for specific details."

Rights purchased: First rights, Second serial (reprint) rights, Electronic rights, Makes work-for-hire assignments
Editorial lead time 4-6 months.
Submit seasonal material 6 months in advance.
Accepts queries by: Mail, E-mail
Accepts simultaneous submissions
Accepts previously published submissions
Responds in 3-6 weeks to queries.
Responds in 2 months to manuscripts.
Sample copy for $2.50 or condensed version is online.
Writer's guidelines for #10 SASE or online.

Needs: Book excerpts, Essays, How-To, Inspirational, Interview/Profile, New Product, Opinion, Personal Experience, Religious, Technical
Does Not Want: "No 'God healed me and can heal you too' articles. Your story cannot be the main content of the piece. The article should be a on a specific topic with your story as an example. We prefer to have other stories as examples, too."
Submission method: Query with or without published clips
Length: 350–1,200 words.
Pays maximum $100.
Pays in contributor copies for article with little research.
Does not pay the expenses of writers on assignment.
Columns & Departments:
Columns open to freelancers: Refreshments (devotional/journal style).
Buys 6 columns/year.
Submission method: Send complete manuscript
Pays maximum $50.
Column Needs: Facts, Newsbreaks, Short Humor

Buys 20 fillers/year.
Length: 25–200 words.
"We want fillers that are original, uplifting, and informative, and are interested in how-to articles: how to find contentment, how to know when to change doctors, etc. A large percentage of our publication is open to secular articles with faith-based sidebars."

Friday, September 02, 2005

NJCWG - Tapes On Loan

Would those people who borrowed tapes from the NJCWG library please let me know which ones you have. I will need them before I go down to teach in Richmond VA in Mid-Sept.

Louise Bergmann DuMont

NJCWG - Jars of Clay Review

Would the person who offered to do a music review for my church's parent's newsletter (for our youth groups) please contact me ASAP. I need the review of a Jars of Clay CD by Monday!

Louise Bergmann DuMont

Writing Op - Amazon Shorts


Looking for Something New to Read?
Amazon Shorts are never-before-seen short works from a wide variety of well-known authors, available only on Try a new genre or a new author--there's something for everyone. Amazon Shorts are:
  • New short-form literature from top authors for only 49 cents
  • Delivered electronically; there are no printed editions
  • Yours forever after purchase; save or print and read at your convenience

How to Submit:
Amazon Shorts

Program Information

Amazon Shorts features previously unpublished short-form literature for sale exclusively at Fiction and nonfiction pieces on a wide variety of topics are available in a digital format only for just $0.49. This is a great way for authors to maintain a more direct and frequent communication with their readers as well as promote their backlist.

Benefits of participation in Amazon Shorts:

  • Access a powerful marketing tool to promote an author's backlist in a new and meaningful way
  • Create an author profile page with biography, photo, and complete backlist
  • Maintain author's visibility between published projects
  • Establish a more direct and frequent communication with readers
  • Introduce readers to unfamiliar writers
  • Provide a new outlet to sell short fiction and nonfiction

Amazon Shorts on the site:

  • Customers get instant reading gratification from favorite authors.
  • Readers can easily sample new writers without investing much time or money.
  • Shorts are available to customers via PDF, HTML, plain-text e-mail, and they are stored in customers' Digital Lockers forever. Shorts can be read immediately on-screen or printed out to be read later.
  • Amazon Shorts will be promoted on the Books home page, presented as part of book search results, and recommended to book buyers.
  • Full personalization features--customer ratings, reviews, recommendations--will be included.

Attention publishers, agents, editors, and authors: If you would like to participate in Amazon Shorts, please contact

Author FAQ

What types of material can I list as an Amazon Short?

Any previously unpublished short-form work (2,000 - 10,000 words, fiction or nonfiction) you've created that your readers would find interesting. An Amazon Short could be a single short story, an update on a well-loved character, a compelling speech, additional material that enriches your published works, or even your commentary on your work or other subjects. Some authors have chosen to treat this as a "laboratory" for experimentation with new genres, themes, etc. We are open to creative ideas for new work.

What if I want to contribute more than one piece?

Once you are accepted into the Amazon Shorts program, you are free to contribute as many pieces as you wish. We are especially interested in getting new material from you on a regular basis. Please allow a turnaround time of approximately three weeks from the time you deliver the material to the time you can expect it to appear on the site.

Can I sell my material elsewhere? Can I publish it later? Will I continue to own the rights to it?

Authors retain the rights to their material. However, we do require that all Shorts be exclusive to for a minimum of six months.

Can anyone submit an Amazon Short?

We are accepting work from a diverse group of authors. In order to be eligible for participation you must be a published author with at least one book currently for sale on If you are an agent, author, publisher, or editor, and you would like to be considered for inclusion in this program, please contact us at

Does this material get reviewed by customers just as books do?

Absolutely. The digital content listed in Amazon Shorts is just like other media products that sells to customers and is subject to the same privileges and conditions that are afforded to books, CDs, and other media products.

Can authors promote their Shorts on their own Web sites?

Yes. Authors who have their own Web sites are encouraged to join the Associates Program. Through this program, you can use your own Web site to drive traffic to your Amazon Shorts as well as any books you have for sale on This is especially worthwhile for writers who have active or well-frequented Web sites.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

One of the advantages of having your own blog is that you can put on that blog anything you choose. I'm taking a moment here to address the needs of those who experienced Hurricane Katrina first hand.

Floodwaters pour through a levee along the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal near downtown New Orleans. (AP/Pool/New York Times)

Avis Ellis (foreground) walks through the rubble of her apartment building in Gulfport, Mississippi, one of the cities that suffered the worst damage from Hurricane Katrina. (AP/Dallas Morning News)

John Allen sits at his makeshift guardpost in front of the A. J. Produce Company in New Orleans, as police elsewhere tried to crack down on looters. (AP/Dallas Morning News)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Houston area is full of refugees from New Orleans, who only brought enough clothing for a couple of days (and officials are now saying it may be four MONTHS before anyone will be allowed back into New Orleans. The area is under martial law). More refuges continue to arrive. It is being said that this is probably the worst natural disaster in the history of the U.S.

The first thing they need is PRAYER but we can't neglect the physical assistance that they need. There are many relief organizations to help these people but each is strapped for funds. Except for Houston shelters and food banks, the various organizations do NOT want clothes or food. What they need is money or and gift cards.


Here is a list of some organizations that could use monitory donations:

Operation Blessing: 800-436-6348
America's Second Harvest: 800-344-8070
Adventist Community Services: 800-381-7171
Catholic Charities, USA: 703-549-1390
Christian Disaster Response: 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: 800-848-5818
Church World Service: 800-297-1516
Convoy of Hope: 417-823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response: 800-638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service: 717-859-2210
Nazarene Disaster Response: 888-256-5886
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: 800-872-3283
Salvation Army: 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
Southern Baptist Convention - Disaster Relief: 800-462-8657, ext. 6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief: 800-554-8583


Here are a few organizations that will accept monetary donations and/or gift cards. Some of the have Spanish speaking donation alternatives, internet donation options or other special ways to contribute.:

KSBJ, a local Houston radio station, is accepting gift cards for the refugees.

Red Cross - If you would like to make a donation to the Red Cross, please call 1-800-HELP-NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. Internet users can make a secure online credit card contribution by visiting or

West Houston Church of Christ is collecting gift cards (phone, gas, food, Wal-Mart, etc) in any denomination to be distributed to Hurricane Katrina victims in Red Cross shelters in Texas. The collection will extend through the month of September and cards may be brought (or mailed) to West Houston Church of Christ, 17100 West Road, Houston, TX 77095. For additional information, see our website or call 281-856-0001.

Project Noah -
Starting as a lifeboat for the many homeschoolers and other families hurt by Tropical Storm Allison in June of 2001, Project Noah soon became a loving facet of the homeschool community with the mission to help homeschool families in crisis. They are now helping families whose children will be staying home from public school for the next two months due to Hurricane Katrina.

Writing Op - Christian Parenting Today

Christianity Today International
465 Gundersen Dr.
Carol Stream IL 60188-2489
Phone: (630)260-6200
Fax: (630)260-0114
Managing Editor: Caryn Rivadoneira
Assistant Editor: Dawn Zemker
Contact: Raelynn Eickhoff, editorial coordintor
Issues: Quarterly

"Strives to be a positive, practical magazine that targets real needs of today's family with authoritative articles based on real experience, fresh research, and the timeless truths of the Bible. CPT provides parents information that spans birth to 14 years of age in the following areas of growth: spiritual, social, emotional, physical, academic."

Pays on acceptance
Byline given
Accepts previously published submissions
Responds in 2 months to manuscripts
Sample copy for 9 x 12 SAE with $3 postage
Writer's guidelines for #10 SASE
Paying Market

"Tell it like it is. Readers have a `get real' attitude that demands a down-to-earth, pragmatic take on topics. Don't sugar-coat things. Give direction without waffling. If you've `been there,' tell us. The first-person, used appropriately, is OK. Don't distance yourself from readers. They trust people who have walked in their shoes. Get reader friendly. Fill your article with nuts and bolts: developmental information, age-specific angles, multiple resources, sound-bite sidebars, real-life people and anecdotes and realistic, vividly explained suggestions."