Friday, January 15, 2016

Story Callout - Miraculous Answers to Prayer

Hello writing friends,
Here is an opportunity to submit a story to a James Stuart Bell compilation: 

Miraculous Answers to Prayer
Send submissions to email address below. Do not reply to this email.

From James Stuart Bell:
You may recall my role as editor for story collections such as: A Cup of Comfort, Extraordinary Answers to Prayer, Love is a Verb, and a number of books related toAngels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters.  I am now compiling a story volume for Bethany House Publishers with a working title of Miraculous Answers to Prayer.  Jesus said in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith.”  I’m sure you’ve had numerous wonderful answers to prayer in your Christian life.  What I’m seeking is the story of perhaps your most amazing answer to prayer that would show unmistakable evidence of God supernatural power and presence in an overwhelming, if not impossible, situation.

You need to demonstrate the link between the given prayer or prayers and the miraculous consequences to follow.  As with the other three volumes in this series if there are heavenly encounters or supernatural presences, so much the better.  The main test is that if prayer hadn’t been part of the equation there would be no human or natural possibility of the incredible outcome.

We’ll consider original, unpublished stories of up to 2,000 words and they must be at least 1,000 words.  The stories should have a creative title, an attention-grabbing introduction, main body with a conflict or challenge, and a clear, satisfying resolution.  They need to be descriptive, rooted in time and place, with a realistic portrayal of the characters involved.

They also need to be substantive stories rather than mere testimonies or teachings, and the focus should not be just on the supernatural realm alone, but rather the spiritual lesson learned.  Please include a personal biography of 30 words or less at the end of each manuscript.

Due date for the manuscript is 
January 31, 2016Please send your manuscript attached to the e-mail rather than pasting text in the email window.  Send your manuscript in normal manuscript formatting in Times New Roman, 12-point, with your full contact information--name, address, phone number, and e-mail address at the top of the first page.  We are offering a one-time fee of $50 for stories 1,500 words and over, and $25 for stories under that word count.                          

We will send you contracts upon the publisher’s acceptance and would need them back promptly.  Payment will be made after all contracts have been received.  Please direct all inquiries and manuscript submissions to my colleague, Jeanette Littleton, If this e-mail has been forwarded to you, and you can’t submit to this call, but would like to hear about other editorial needs as they arise, please send us your e-mail address and we’ll add you to our notification list.

Blessings to you and yours,

James Stuart Bell

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

2016 = 365 Opportunities

Calendar from
As writers, I trust we’ve set writing goals for 2016. Even though we have 365 days to accomplish them, I find that goals are tricky things. It seems that we either set them too low or too high, depending on our mood. It’s hard to find a balance between underachieving and being unrealistically aggressive. Low goals allow us to meander through our days without stress, but also without satisfaction. High goals can be equally dissatisfying when they are unattainable and thereby frustrate us.
A helpful goal-setting acronym is S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This is a useful guide to follow, but I want to suggest another component of goal-setting - one that is critical, but often ignored. It is simply to move our focus away from what we want to accomplish and ask God what He wants to do through us. 
While it's good to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, let’s hold those goals loosely. If God points us down another path or asks us to redirect our energies, let’s do so willingly. Psalm 37:5-6 offers us His wisdom for goal-setting:
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
As we work toward our goals for 2016, let’s commit our way to the Lord and trust in Him. He will do what the verses say and make our righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of our cause like the noonday sun. He will use us for the benefit of His kingdom in ways we could not anticipate.
Take home thought: I will set my goals prayerfully, committing my way to God, trusting that He will cause me to shine in righteousness.
This is the meditation from the January 2, 2016, meeting. 
Reminding you to write for Him, Barbara