Inspiration for Writers

How (NOT) to pick an editor

Diana Flegal, Jeanette Levellie, and Cindy Sproles

“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here with a crazy story of how God saved me from my ditzy method of picking an editor to pitch my book idea to…

At my first writers conference since deciding to author a book, I was thrilled for the opportunity to meet with real live editors. I had already worn out the brochure detailing each one’s credentials and what they needed. Not a researcher by nature, I patted myself on the back for all the time I’d taken to pick the editors I knew would fall in love with my book idea.

Arriving at the conference early, I registered, and then rushed to the meeting room lined with eight-foot tables.  Each table held papers with names of editors and time slots for appointments.   Glory to God, there was nothing posted about a limit of how many editors each conferee could meet with. I felt like a centipede at a half off shoe sale. Grabbing my favorite purple pen, I put my name on every paper!


Attending Writers’ Conferences in 2016

Marketing Ideas From Cheri Cowell

Cheri CowellWriters go where writers gather. Let me be bold and say, if you are calling yourself a writer, you will be at a writers’ conference this year. I know, you don’t have the money; I don’t know your family situation. You are right. I had those same obstacles my first years in this business, but I wrote articles that paid $10 and $20 to pay for my first conference–a lot of articles. I found solutions to my family issues because I was determined to be where writers are.


Waiting in the Gap

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This week I signed two contracts with Harvest House. The first is for a women’s devotional, and the second is for a little book for parents with kids ages 3-8. Did you hear my wahoooo from Canada?

Six years have passed since I signed my last contract with a traditional publisher, and it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve wrestled with disappointment and discouragement in the gap. I’ve questioned my call to write there. And I’ve seen God meet me in this place, using unmistakable ways to encourage me to persevere.

I’ll always remember the stranger who phoned and said, “Please don’t think I’m a whacko or a groupie. This is the first time I’ve phoned an author. I just want to tell you that I read your book, Moving from Fear to Freedom and it changed my life. Today I feel compelled to tell you, ‘Please keep writing.’”

Tears spilled. “I know why you feel compelled to deliver that message,” I said. “For several months I’ve doubted the worth of my writing efforts and wondered whether God was changing my direction. Six hours ago, I asked Him to send confirmation today if He wanted me to continue. Your call is that confirmation.’”

The woman listened quietly, and then she cried. “I heard His voice correctly!” she said. The experience bolstered her faith, and it cemented my passion and calling.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar gap. If so, consider this place—painful as it is—as precious. Here are a few suggestions to implement as you linger there:

  • Make quiet time with God your priority. Read the Word daily, and journal what He says.
  • Practice praise, and become an expert at giving thanks no matter what.
  • Rejoice with writers who avoid the gap.
  • Keep writing unless God makes it clear you’re to stop. Attend writers’ conferences. Maintain contacts within the industry. Continue to hone your skill.
  • Be patient. Be diligent. Be faithful. Rest assured that God is sovereign over your circumstances. When His time is right, He’ll move you from the gap.

My time in the six-year gap has given me a new personal favorite Scripture—“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted ” (Job 42:2). Meditating on it brings peace. Pondering it daily brings confidence. God knows what He’s doing. He knows what He wants to accomplish in us and through us. Let’s let Him do His job, even if it means waiting in the gap.






Connecting at Conferences

Aloha from Karen Karen2009, treasurer of CAN,

There’s synergy when people come together and connect, especially when they share ideas or brainstorm. CAN is all about sharing ideas and connecting authors to authors and readers. I love networking and making lots of connections as well as building on connections I’ve already made. For me, writing conferences are the perfect place for connecting with writers. And things happen at conferences–that’s where many of my books originated.

Writing Business

Tips from the Pros: Susan Titus Osborn

Sundin #D70 ©2008 Linda Johnson Photography web (2)

Hello from Sarah Sundin on a blustery day in northern California. Today I have the honor of interviewing a veteran writing professional, Susan Titus Osborn, author of over thirty books, Susan Titus Osborn including several on the craft and business of writing. Susan is also director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service, and offers many on-line writing courses on her website.

Susan, how did you get into writing?

In 1978 while I was teaching Sunday school, I decided to write some stories for the kids. They loved my stories, so I thought I would sell them to church school take-home paper markets. A friend introduced me to a published writer, Karen Wojahn, who offered to mentor me if I promised to go on and mentor others, which I have done.

Osborn Book Cover How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

Today, by the grace of God, I have published 30 books and am the director of the largest Christian critique service in the country, The Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. My latest book is Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Hope and Healing for Victims and Survivors of Suicide, published in 2010 by New Hope Publishers. It is co-authored with Karen Kosman and Jeenie Gordon. Wounded by Words was published in 2008, by the same publisher and with the same co-authors. A Special Kind of Love: For Those Who Love Children with Special Needs was published by B&H Publishing Group and co-published by Focus on the Family. Focus has done an excellent job of promoting this book. I’ve also written and/or compiled three books on Christian writing and seven pamphlets.

Writing Business

10 Things I Love about Writers Conferences

Hello from Jeanette! I’m in the process of last-minute preparations for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (March 26-30). This conference is always a highlight of my year. I attended for the first time in 1995 and now have the honor of serving on the Support Staff as the coordinator of the first-timers’ Buddy System.

If you have never attended a conference like Mount Hermon, I highly recommend it. Here are just a few of the things I love about writers’ conferences:

Inspiration for Writers

Blowing it


He was back . . . again—the annoying guy with the bad comb-over and pastel 3-piece suit. Who wore a suit like that to a writer’s conference? And what was he doing here anyway? Was he even a writer? According to our last conversation he was in town for a convention but stopped by the writer’s conference with some of his buddies to kill time. When did the conference coordinators start allowing that?