Joyful Notes from Our W2I! 2016 Song Leader

by Janet RollerJanet Roller BW

“Worship is simply giving God back His breath.” – Louis Giglio

I’m thrilled to be a part of the Write 2 Ignite Conference where we’ll breathe out God’s breath together. Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up on the second row of a small family church, under the watchful eye of my mother from the organ bench. Barely into my teens, I was placed in a rotation to assist in leading music and ultimately took the position of church pianist. I was not a prodigy. However, I was surrounded by supportive adults with enough wisdom to allow a wrong-note-playing teenager to glorify God with all she had. No matter how small, He could multiply the offering.

I never wanted to be writer. In fact, all I ever wanted to be was a Mama. Once my babies were born, I began writing children’s books and then devotions…because they were short and I liked being finished before naptime was over. I soon realized the craft and skill involved made short projects more challenging than I thought. Craving to know more, I submitted a request for a scholarship to a writer’s conference and won. The first affirmation of this path in my life’s atlas.

Several years later, sitting on the front row of funeral home, waiting to sing for someone I had never met, a rush of details for a novel piled into my mind. Details and lots of other thoughts. A novel? I don’t wanna write a novel! That will take forever!

That day, I signed up for a novelist retreat and began writing The Funeral Singer. Although it hasn’t found a home with a publisher, God once again showed me He would multiply the offering.

The longer I walk with God, the more I realize it’s about the offering of the heart. When we write, sing, work, run, etc. with a heart to please Him, He alone can multiply that offering.

I’m thrilled to be with you at the Write 2 Ignite Conference leading in song so we can give our offering and watch God work.

Believing “I Can” with Lisa Albinus

12552659_1101643753180045_6760201956927515323_nMy name is Lisa Albinus, I get to live the dream of being an artist as I live my life with a Bible tucked under my arm and a paintbrush in my hand. My greatest desire is to breathe hope into the latent, creative dreams of your childhood and the crayons that have been abandoned. We trade in our crayons for deadlines and status, abandoning color for the more mundane daily living that permeates our being.

Remember the easier times when a fresh box of 96 crayons was heaven on earth? The smell as you opened the box and saw all of the little soldiers sharpened, pristine, ready to be called out of the ranks and used for great masterpieces? Let’s return to a time of wonder and unlimited potential. When we glorify the Lord through color, there is a sweet freedom of expression.

Join me at the Write2Ignite Conference, and let your fire of creativity be rediscovered. I will take you on a colorful, creative adventure where we will find beauty in the darkness and rescue her from your past. Friday night we will discover the freedom in mixed media journaling, awakening color within. Let’s clear away the cobwebs and make a stand against the lies that whisper, “You can’t”.

In addition, on Saturday, adults and youth can join me as we explore the sketching of faces and people, always within the context of mixed media. Don’t be afraid. Be bold, be fearless as you embrace new things and dormant dreams. Allow the child of yesterday, that squealed with delight at the new coloring book, to be your guide. You can -and I will help you.

Let’s change the world, together, through color.
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How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers Part Two

How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers Part Two

If you’ve been working on the assignment I gave you last month, you’ve thought of one or more good ideas that you want to write about. Now let’s get in to the meat of how to make this a course that kids can enjoy.

You’re going to need three main pieces to your course:

  • The basic text the students will read
  • The activities that will go along with the text
  • Assignments for further exploration

The first question to answer about your text is what age you are writing for. This can be a range, but it’s important to know your reader, just as it is when writing fiction. Not only will it make a difference in your word choice and sentence structure, it will play a huge part in exactly what specific topics you can cover. For example, if you are writing about plants for a child who is six, you are probably not going to spend a week discussing photosynthesis. You are going to discuss things like the types of common plants they see every day, what shape they are, how they grow from a seed, and things relevant to the world of the reader.

Once you know the age of your reader, you can start planning your main content. I’m an outliner, so I like to lay everything out ahead of time and then fill it in. If you prefer just sitting down and writing what comes out, please skip over this section and get busy writing. Let’s say I want to write about the geography of the United States. Two ways to outline this topic come to mind:

  • By region
  • By state

If I choose to outline it by region, I’ll have five divisions (depending on what map I consult): Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. If I choose to outline it by state, I’ll have fifty separate sections.

If this is your first time creating a course, I strongly suggest you start with the five divisions instead of the fifty. Otherwise, you may find yourself planning for the fifty, starting strong, and wondering what you were ever thinking right around number seventeen!

This month, I want you to outline how your main idea might break down into units and then write. Don’t worry right now about what form the course will take in the end, or what kind of activities you will create—though certainly make note of any ideas you have about those as you go. Write as much as you can, and include as much information as you can. Keep track of the sources you use to gather and verify your information. Your job this month is not to write a polished piece of content. Your job is to learn as much as you can about your idea, divide it into logical chunks, and write as much as you can about. Next month we’ll start turning it into a course.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comment box below. I look forward to seeing you in April!

Bonnie-Rose-Hudson-200x200Bonnie Rose Hudson lives in central Pennsylvania. Along with spending time with her family and writing, making kids smile is her favorite thing to do. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She loves creating curriculum and working for, the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, as the site’s executive editor. At TOS, she found a place where her love of God and history combine with her love of writing to bring encouraging, educational, and entertaining material to students and their families. She would love for you to visit to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.

The Tale of Three Authors

by Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell I am an author/publisher. I began writing in 2000 with magazine articles and seven years later published my first book. Recently, I had my fourth traditionally published book release with Zondervan; but it is helping my fellow authors extend their reach through my company, EABooks Publishing, that gives me the most satisfaction. So here is my opus, the Tale of Three Authors.

Amy* was considered a successful author with two books published by traditional publishing houses. However, there was one book she’d pitched and pitched and had been unable to sell. The book represented her heart’s cry and passion and she wouldn’t rest until it was published.

Chip* was a leader in his local critique group, winning several writing awards, and the admiration of many. Yet, when he sat before editors at writers’ conferences he performed poorly and never knew how to answer the platform question. He wasn’t good at selling himself or his work, but he was a good writer with a lot to say.

Bonnie* was a retired high school English teacher who’d married her high school sweetheart. Together they’d served as missionaries around the world. Now that her husband was gone and her years waning, she’s begun to look at the legacy she was leaving. Her grandchildren loved the story she always told about a young girl in Bangladesh, the true story about a girl and her life of faith in a foreign land. Bonnie knew she didn’t have the funds most self-publishers were charging, and yet she didn’t fit the profile of the up and coming author the traditional publishers were looking to sink their money into. Was there a place for her in this publishing world?

These three writers found a place with EABooks Publishing

The same year Amy released two traditionally published books, she released the book of her passion as an e-book. She timed it perfectly to piggyback on the publicity from her traditionally pubed books. Now she knows the message of her ‘passion book’ is reaching people and making a difference.

Chip has published five books with EABooks Publishing, some as e-books and others as print-on-demand. He’s found a new outlet for his creativity, and with marketing help from EABooks he’s developed a fan base. And he’s even making a little money. His fans can’t wait for the release of his latest project—an audiobook.

It took Bonnie a long time to make her decision, but when she finally decided to go with EABooks Publishing she found the whole process empowering. When her book began selling on Amazon she sent a link to a friend, who decided to purchase hundreds of copies for the children’s home he supported. Bonnie would have been happy to sell only to her family and friends, but sharing the gospel with hundreds of needy children makes her heart sing.

This tale is still being written and has room for the stories of more authors. Come share yours with Cheri Cowell, Owner and President of EABooks Publishing. She’d love to hear about your book.

* Names and genders have been changed but these stories are true.


Write Exciting Things for Kids

Some of you know that I am a teacher as well as an author. I learn from my students and fellow teachers every single day, even  – and sometimes especially – those who are brand new to the profession.

What does teaching have in common with writing?

So. Many. Things.

ButtonsI was sitting with a new teacher who had inherited some classroom materials from her peers. Although she was grateful for each item and the generosity of the givers, I heard her sigh as she examined one thing. It was a counting chart.

“Oh. I wish it was something a little more interesting to count.”

I looked around her classroom that was decked out with super heroes. I understood what she meant. Her job was to draw in and engage children, to get them excited.

Isn’t that our job as children’s authors?

Here are some ways to keep our writing perspective exciting for children and teens. After all, we are writing about the only true super hero, Jesus Christ. Our writing needs to reflect his power, glory, and amazing acts.

  • Surround yourself with His Word. Be true in your personal Bible study.
  • Immerse yourself in time with Him. Pray.
  • Spend lots of time with your young perspective readers. Interact with them in as many places as possible – home, church, school, and community activities.
  • Read what they are reading. Ask children and teens what they are reading. Ask why they like it.
  • Read new books. Look for the new releases from Christian publishers and books that have won awards.

So there it is – our task as Christian authors for children and teens in a few words.

Write exciting things for children.

What exciting things will you write today?


Carol McAdams Moore is the author of two devotionals for preteens.

Dare U 2 Open This Book Cover    Just Sayin' Cover