Manual Christian Playwriting & Self-Publishing

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Her book, Lighthouse Devotions was published in , and in March , The Gilded Curse, a historical suspense novel, will be released by Heritage Beacon, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. All my friends say I need to write a book. I know it would be an encouragement to everybody who reads it. They can touch hearts and make people think.

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They can even change lives. But they can still be a hard sell. It just means that even though Christian publishers want to point readers to Christ, they must make a profit in order to do so. The good news is, you have options. But before we look at these other options, please, please, please make sure your book is professionally edited and truly ready for publication. So if your book has been repeatedly rejected by publishers, first make sure the rejection is because of a financial decision by the publisher, not because the book is poorly written.

Self publish your book. If your primary goal is to document your story for your family and friends, self-publishing is definitely a viable option. Whether you choose print on demand POD or regular press technique, self publishing can create a lasting document of your story, allowing you to leave your message for those who come behind you.

Are you a speaker who frequently addresses large audiences? But if you decide to go the self-publishing route, you must choose your publisher carefully. There are great publishers out there who produce high quality books that look as good—and sometimes better—than many traditionally published books. But there are also publishers who create sloppy products that label your book unprofessional. And in general, self-published books have a harder time getting distribution in brick-and-mortar bookstores. So do your research! Instead, find the names of authors, visit their websites, and contact them directly, preferably long after publication.

There are many sites that report warnings about publishers. One is located here and has links to many more warnings. Create an eBook. This is the route many self-publishers are going these days. I do plan to use that route sometime in the future. Fictionalize your story. Did you know you could create a novel drawing from the emotion, lessons, and scenes you experienced in your struggle? You can use fiction writing techniques to create compelling characters who travel your journey. Readers often connect with well-written fictional characters as easily as—and sometimes better than—they connect with real people.

And a well-written novel that taps into your experiences and emotion has a much better chance of publication than the actual story of your life. Many of the scenes, conflicts, and emotions Bitsy and her friends and family go through are taken directly from my own life. Make it funnier, happier, and scarier. Take clips from your entire life and compact them into a short time span.

Whether traditionally or self-published, Ebook or hard copy, written as real life or fiction, our stories can make a difference in the lives of others. See info below. Hey there, writing friends. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? If so, we want to hear from you! To report your August results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in August. Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Sunday. Just starting out?

So what are you waiting for? They walked toward me, holding hands like high school sweethearts. Once I even walked into my classroom to discover Donn at the piano, Mildred listening intently in a chair, eyes closed. They were both enjoying the music and each other. It was beautiful. So far we are!

Would you first tell us something about your writing journey? Thanks for having me! My writing journey followed more twists and turns than a snake on a mountain railroad. In my college years I wrote some fairly good poems and considered a Western novel titled Lightning on a Quiet Night. The Korean War killed that project before it got past the precipitating incident. So the next two decades of Army brought only bare-facts tech writing, and after that came graduate school and the painful switch to bloviated academic writing—and in both situations no time for creative writing. Two decades after grad school I retired from college teaching English lit and decided to see if I could write the kind of poetry I enjoyed teaching.

That point proved, I returned to the old ambition of publishing a novel. It took longer than I expected to convert from literary thinking to commercial-fiction thinking. That first novel— The Lazarus File —took a couple of years to finish. Yes and no. After Lazarus, I learned there was a Christian market.

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So I resurrected the title Lightning on a Quiet Night and its precipitating incident. The focus changed to examine a small town too proud of its virtues having to come to grips with its first murder. In the process, though, the novel covers a fairly wide variety of Christian experience.

Thanks to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for accepting a novel that combines several genres. Describe some of the techniques that make your writing distinctive. How did you learn them? I learned capsulization the hard way. I wasted a whole day writing a painstaking description of an upper-class Colombian home. From Shakespeare I learned to take the reader quickly from comedy into pathos. From Robert Heinlein and classic movies I learned to lighten suspense with momentary comic elements.

Carson Oma. I love the combination of pathos and comedy. How do you do that? Mildred, my wife, taught me to set aside a time for prayer and reading scripture, usually before starting any serious work. But off and on during the day I do quick prayers, often for people with problems, and I always conclude with prayer at night. No contest on that. It was the day Mildred and I married August 21, We never wanted anything more on this earth than just to be together. You always speak of Mildred with such love and respect. A great tip for all of us. So what is the best tip you can give someone just beginning to write fiction?

Two important items. I was stubborn, but students sent me to the grammar books so often that I finally learned. Thank you, Donn! You could win a free book! Click to Tweet. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

You can find Donn on the Web: www. Cherrilyn Bisbano RI : Cheryl has two great things to share! How Do I Know? You can find out more about Tammy at her website, www. Congratulations, Cherrilynn, Tammy, and Chinonso! Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction try saying that three times fast. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups.

President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. No way did I ever think the stories I told as a kid back then they called it lying and played out for weeks with my dolls, would someday become books. As Creative Arts director for my church, I wrote my first script in , and after we performed it, I sent it to a publisher. They bought that one and everything I sent them afterwards.

How did you start writing novels? The hubs said I spent a lot on books, I ought to write one. But as a playwright myself, I know that plays are a far cry from novels. How did you go from play-writing to novel-writing? First, I found an online Christian critique group and a few mentors, who told me plainly I had a lot to learn.

What an understatement. Yet, with each critique, I absorbed a new concept. I bought every writing craft book they recommended, read them, and absorbed more. I would never have made it without my original critique partners, either! Who are your critique partners? In , four other writers and I formed a critique group, and being serious about publishing, we were tough on one another.

I love that! Okay, so with your awesome critique group, it must have been easy to get published, right? Not even. One editor took my manuscript to committee. While I waited for the answer, I got an agent. However … sigh …the editorial committee said no. Then, God called my agent into ministry. A few months later, I signed with my second agent. Soon, she called, saying my manuscript had passed editorial committee and was going to pub board!

This was it! Pub board loved it, but their slate was filled, so the editor was going to hold it for their next quarter. Only she retired before the next quarter, and her computer hard drive was wiped clean. I was lost in cyber oblivion. Then my agent retired. Do you see a pattern here? I did and it looked like a maze. Trust me. In , I signed with Sandra Bishop, and ten years after I began this journey, she called me to tell me we had an offer from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Through fiction, I can entertain readers. Then when they least expect it, the story can reach out, touch their hearts, and change them. With a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town.

No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is personal. With their marriages as much in need of restoration as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic. Ane, thank you for joining us today and sharing your delightful journey.

All three successes are from South Carolina writers! Way to go, sweet friends! Congrats, Tim and Susan! Check out the MoGo Challenge here. Thanks for stopping by and spending a few minutes with me. I look forward to seeing you Friday as we open to His Word to hear His voice. First of all, please tell us how you started writing. I have always had a vivid imagination, and wrote stories from childhood and all through college. When I broke my right foot and ended up in a wheelchair, I needed something to keep me occupied. Land of My Dreams is the result. I have always felt compelled to write: poetry, letters to the editor, devotionals to open the Bible study I lead, and stories for my kids about their adoptions.

I wanted to see my name on a book. Never give up on your dream. What was the greatest problem you faced in writing this book? I spent hours researching, read everything I could find, watched movies and documentaries, listened to music, and made a screen-saver with over photos, and a Scottish-Gaelic dictionary on-line, and also sites with slang and common terms. I found a wonderful writer and editor, through the ACFW romance loop.

Amy Drown lived in Scotland and was willing to read my book for accuracy. What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book? Of course I want to entertain. As a Bible study leader and devotional writer, I have seen a lot of people struggle with trusting God when hard times come, and I have struggled myself.

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It is helpful to use real-life situations to illustrate biblical principles. Good fiction can teach valuable spiritual lessons.

Cleveland O. McLeish

People who would never attend a Bible study will read a novel, and they can learn how to live the Christian life. A novel is a very non-threatening way to introduce someone to the gospel or get a spiritual message across. It might open someone open up to talk about things they might not otherwise discuss. I totally agree, Norma Gail. And I believe it applies to every area of creativity. So, how did you come up with the idea for Land of My Dreams?

Scotland has intrigued me since I discovered that one of my great grandmothers was from Scotland. My husband and I spend two weeks there for our 30 th anniversary and I felt at home from the moment our plane landed in Edinburgh. We met a woman from Phoenix who married a Scot while in the Peace Corps. It made me wonder what it would be like to transplant your life to another country. I loved the green fields with their sheep and dry-stone walls. One night I dreamed about a sheep farm, and the idea began to come together. Land of My Dream s is a sweet romance about two people who have been hurt by life and no longer trust in God.

Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated. Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. How will Bonny decide between her two rivals?

Can they set aside the past to make way for a future? Thank you for sharing your story with us, Norma Gail! But you must be sure to come back next week to find out. Happy reading! We have two adult children and a lovely daughter-in-law. My devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions. My website, www. To connect with Norma and find out more about her writings and ministry, you can email her at NormaGailwrites gmail. Thanks to Edie Melson for sharing many of these opportunities with us today.

Inspire a Fire is always looking for articles. Here are Inspire a Fire submission guidelines. Guidelines: 1 Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, form or style. Multiple entries are accepted. Postmark deadline: JULY 31, Parents Magazine is always looking for writers. They publish high-quality nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people.

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Go Galavanting, a magazine for women travelers. Read Submission guidelines for Go Galavanting here. InSite Magazine writers guidelines here. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the joy of writing with me! Eddie is a longtime friend of mine and author of eleven books and over articles. Your writing makes me want to get something down on paper.

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McLeish The production was a total success. As the cast and director put a lot of time into the production it was well received by the congregation. Even though there was some comedy in the play it did not take away what the real meaning of sacrifice. I am currently looking forward to purchasing something for the Christmas season.

Continue to bring your God given talent production so more people will come into the Kingdom of God through your play writing. Let me start by saying that I love this website you stay true to the word of God with a contemparary flare. My church performed Like a Thief in the Night and we got such rave revues and testimonials of how people were blessed that we are doing it again this year! Thank you and God Bless. A cast and crew of over 30 people worked together to bring life to this traditional story of Christmas from the days of the prophets Isaiah and Micah to the day Jesus was born.

I always recommend other groups to your website if they are looking for powerful plays. I purchased a Christmas play for our youth, it was awesome and well received by our members. God bless you. Keep it coming. Shellie Jay I love your plays. I have been purchasing plays for the past 3 years for my Sunday School and they have all been awesome. The young adults come alive as they navigate scripture while portraying the characters.

These play not only serve as a teaching platform for me but it helps to get out young adult more in the word of God. I would recommend this site as one of the best Christian play outlet there is. Ashaki Best christian plays outlet. Our Bestselling Published Books. We will self publish and market your play on our website. Contact US now for details. We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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