(Gleaning Gold is an ongoing series of interviews with editors, publishers, and workshop presenters who will be at the 2013 Write2Ignite! Conference)
There was a time, long, long ago when one could take children to the library and allow them to choose their own books. Now, even in the designated children’s section, parents find it necessary to preview books before children select them.
Some children’s book publishers have followed secular entertainment’s pyrite rule for “success.” The Ten Commandments are broken as often as possible and seemingly without consequences. Many children’s books distort the truth, deny God, and influence children to do the same. Occasionally they earn coveted book awards, which increase sales. Therefore the perpetuation of unwholesome literature continues.
Finding wholesome books to read is a common dilemma for many students. Public school students are required to read books designated on their reading level. Woe to the nine-year-old accelerated reader who must read books written for a thirteen-year-old. Even the nine year old who is reading on grade level finds it challenging to find a book that is not full of bad language, sexual references, and is explicitly offensive to the Christian.
Christian parents are diligently searching for good books that stimulate the minds and souls of their children.
We are tired of the “everything is permissible” attitude in books. My prayer is God will continue to mold writers who will write engaging literature that is not only pleasing to our children but to our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have a desire to nourish the younger generation with your writing, then you’ll enjoy the Write2Ignite! Writer’s Conference.
Returning to the conference this year is Joanna Echols. As the Senior Associate Editor of Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, she has taught writing workshops across America. Joanna will be teaching workshops for teens as well as adults.
Joanna Echols understands the value of wholesome literature.
Her response about choosing work in the Christian market:
“Ever since I learned to read, I eagerly devoured every book and magazine I could get my hands on. My parents stocked our study shelves with wonderful, wholesome reading content, and I “listened” to those stories even when I wouldn’t listen to my parents.
Because God-honoring books and magazines made such a positive impact on me, I want to publish those kinds of stories to influence the rising generation.”
What advice would you give to teens who want to pursue writing careers?
“First of all, read good books! I’d recommend reading the classics and asking yourself, ‘What made this story stand the test of time, so people today can still relate to it and be inspired by it?’
I’d also recommend reading biographies of great men and women, as well as quality books in the genres that interest you.
In addition to reading, make time to write a little every day or at least each week. Journaling or blogging can be a great way to practice writing.
Seek a writing mentor who can offer suggestions to make your writing stronger.
Finally, don’t let yourself get discouraged. If God has given you an interest in writing, He has a reason for it, and no one else can write quite like you can. Your job is to develop the talent; God’s job is to reveal (in time) how He wants to use it.”
What does a typical day (if there is one!) look like for you as the Senior Associate Editor of Clubhouse Jr. Magazine?
“Thankfully, my typical day includes variety. I might be planning an upcoming issue, reading manuscripts, corresponding with writers or editing content. I might even be reading kids’ jokes or looking through their colorful drawings and cute photos, choosing ones to publish. If it’s August, I’m working on the Christmas issue . . . and if it’s Christmas, I’m working on Easter. So I’m usually a little mixed up about which month it actually is!”
What are Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. looking for right now?
“One of our greatest needs is for true stories of ordinary kids doing extraordinary things.
We love to publish articles about kids serving in their communities or raising money for a special cause—doing something that will inspire other kids to make a difference, too.”
Thank you, Joanna. Your words are an inspiration for writers to make a difference! We look forward to seeing you again at W2I!
Give the Writer You Love A Write2Ignite! Registration for Christmas – $95 check/MO or $100 via PayPal.