Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Writing Op - Adams Media

Are you up to the challenge of sharing your testimony? Adams Media is scheduled to turn out a book for the Christmas season 2006 that focuses on Christian conversion stories (a.k.a testimonies). And we'd love to consider including yours! Study the tips below and then send in your story as soon as you can.

Because of the Christmas deadline, Adams needs our completed book manuscript very soon--so we need your stories by May 5 (after that date, please check to see if we're still accepting stories before sending any). Adams will pay $50 for the stories chosen for publication.

Send your manuscripts as an attached file (preferred) or pasted in an E-mail to: ForeverHisProject@earthlink.net. If you have questions, you may also contact me there. Please feel free to forward this along to your friends and writing groups.

Thank you for considering writing for Forever His. This book will be sold in secular outlets, and has the potential to forever change lives. So we hope to hear from you.

Jeanette Gardner Littleton
Editor, His Forever

Guidelines for His Forever
* Manuscript length is somewhat flexible; however, around 1500-1700 is the goal.
* Although this is a conversion story, you still need to have a focus. Use only details that pertain to that focus. Find the focus about your testimony that makes it different from others, and highlight that.
* Remember to show don't tell. Set up scenes, use dialogue, use your drama well without becoming melodramatic.
* Good stories have beginnings (leads), middles (body), and ends (conclusions). Even though you're telling your testimony, also take care to follow this normal first-person article structure.
* If a crisis led you to Christ, you need to fully explain it—don't allude to it or be vague about it.
* This book is designed to be sold mass market, i.e., Walmart, secular bookstores, etc. So watch using Christianese. Try to explain your testimony clearly enough that an unbeliever who doesn't know our "language" can understand what you're talking about.
* Give the readers materials to relate to—tell them your thoughts and feelings. Tell them specifics on how God drew you and worked in your life. Make spiritual concepts as concrete as possible.
* Be realistic. Don't make it sound like: Aha! You found God and suddenly life was perfect!
* Be positive. Don't bash other faiths or other people. Though you may need to mention sin you were involved in to bring around the positive point of what God saved you from, don't wallow in the sin.
* Do be specific, but don't give more details about the sin than about God drawing you.
* Watch dramatic language, especially when discussing spiritual warfare.
* Please know that those of us editing for Adams, as any magazine and book publisher, may give your manuscript a professional edit for length, clarity, and tightening.

Jeanette Gardner Littleton
Editor, His Forever
Adams Media

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