Pray for the Bahamas, Florida, and coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas

Like many of you, we at W2I are carefully watching reports of the current location, force, and projected path of Hurricane Dorian.

We join with Christians everywhere in praying for the people of the Bahamas, where great damage has been occurring. We pray also for God’s mercy in diverting the storm from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. His sovereign purpose is not always clear to us, but we can trust that God, who loved the world enough to send Jesus Christ as Redeemer, will raise up comfort and aid, both spiritual and material, to meet needs caused by Dorian.

We invite you to send information, links, or comments related to this storm on our website and Write2Ignite social media.

Answers to Teen Track History Writing Contest Questions

stone.tif Courtesy of the National Archives  

Answers to the “10 Questions” in the July 4 post announcing our Teen Track historical fiction writing contest can be found below. Though no qualifying entries have been received, we’re posting answers and the sources used to find them. Teens: If you do not write historical fiction, what genres do you write? Short or long fiction? Poetry? Nonfiction?

Have you registered for the W2I Teen Track September 20-21? Do you know about our Bring-A-Friend discount ($5.00 off additional per person for two teens registering together?). Take a look at our Teen Track and general (open to teens) options [Go to 2019 Conference, scroll down to “Teen Track”/”General track” section]  in addition to keynotes, consult with parents/teachers/guardians, and save your spot today!

Questions & Answers:

  1. In what year was the Declaration of Independence written and signed? A: 1776
  2. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? A: Thomas Jefferson, with edits by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, then submitted to the Continental Congress July 1 for final changes before publication.
  3. Was the original version of the Declaration the one that was signed? Not the famous copy we’ve often seen with John Hancock’s signature in the largest handwriting at the top. An “engrossed” copy made later by Timothy Matlack was the one signed, beginning on August 2, 1776. Not all signers were present to sign on that day. The version first approved by the Continental Congress and sent for printing and immediate distribution was signed only by John Hancock, the President of the Congress, and witnessed by the Secretary, Charles Thomson. “The Engrossed Declaration.”
  4. How many men signed the Declaration? A: 56
  5. What was the name of the group/meeting where the Declaration was discussed and signed? In what city did the meeting take place? A: The Second Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, PA
  6. Was this a publicly announced meeting? Why or why not? The colonies had very early established their own laws and representative counsels or other local governing bodies. By the time of the 1770s, it was customary for such groups to convene to discuss issues and laws, and to communicate with the English government when Parliament passed and enforced laws the colonists opposed. The colonists acting as a united group could meet to discuss such issues, but such meetings quickly became illegal once the Declaration of Independence was known by British authorities. Frothingham, Richard (1872). The Rise of the Republic of the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, and Company. pp. 375–376.
  7. How many colonies were represented? 12 colonies. New York did not vote until later.
  8. What were their main reasons for wanting independence? What country had authority over the colonies at this time? What was the name of the king? England had imposed many taxes to increase revenue from the colonies, in addition to unpopular regulations and the presence of the British army, which took over colonial buildings and property for its officers and troops. Colonists complained about the fact that Parliament passed many laws regulating their business and other daily life, “without representation” or input by colonial citizens in the legislative process. England was the ruling country; King George III was the monarch.
  9. Name the first battle which preceded the Declaration and the war which resulted from the decision to declare independence. On April 19, 1775, the battle of Lexington and Concord between colonial Patriots and the British army was the first armed conflict of the Revolutionary War. “The Declaration of Independence: A History.”
  10. Was the Constitution of the United States, which was not completed and signed until September 17, 1787, the original document governing the newly established country? The Articles of Confederation, written in 1777 and ratified in 1781, was the first document to govern the U.S. However, problems with its provisions resulted in the later writing of a more effective system of governing, which we know at the present Constitution. “Continental Congress.”

Teen Track July 4 Writing Contest Entry/Submission Form

Submit your original poem, short story, or fictional journey entry by July 25, 2019:

  1. Copy and paste to a Word document, fill in, save, and send to
  2. OR – Request a document attachment sent to your email
  3. OR – Request an entry form sent to you via mail to your post office address (allow extra time for mail delivery to ensure your entry arrives on time to Mrs. Cathy Biggerstaff, 410 Aydlotte Rd., Rutherfordton, NC 28139)

Student’s name __________________________________________________

School grade completed as of June, 2019 ____ (5th gr. or higher) Age _____

School name, city, and state: _______________________________________


 Contact information (may be parent’s contact information for younger students)

Email ________________________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________________

Phone ________________________

Parent’s or guardian’s name (and contact information if different from above):

Email ______________________________________________________________

Address ____________________________________________________________

Phone ____________________________

Complete contest information, “10 Questions,” and rules can be found at

Student: Write an original short story, poem, or journal entry/ies (75- 250 words total) with the following elements. Add your creative writing on the next page. Save the file as Your Name + W2I Teen Contest [.doc, .docx, or pdf]

  • You are (or your character is) a young (age 10-17) colonist in _____________________ (city/colony name) in June of 1776. Your (or your character’s) father/uncle/grandfather is away from home because of recent conflicts between British soldiers and American colonists. [Or he took part in events which led to or followed the Declaration of Independence).
  • Describe events, people, experiences, and feelings which you have or your character has or hears of before, during, and/or after the Declaration/Revolutionary War.
  • Your story, poem, or journal entry must include specific information (answers) to at least four of the “10 Questions” in the July 4 blog post on

Title of original entry: _____________________________________________

Genre: (check one) __ Poem    __ short story  __ fictional journal entry(ies)

*Sources used to find specific historical facts (answering 4 of the “10 Questions”) 1. 




List sources (author and book, or webpage and website) where you find specific facts about this time in history, including answers to the four questions used in your creative writing entry. [You must use one or more factual historical source. Entries without sources will not be accepted.]

*Sample source listing: “American War Deaths Throughout History.” [This is the webpage.] [This is the website where that webpage was found.] 2019 (website copyright) [url = web address for the page used]

Write2Ignite Staff: # words ____ Sources provided Y/N   Complete entry  Y/N  Date received ________ 
Received via  email/  U.S. mail /  in-person         Typed/Handwritten

Your creative writing piece goes here. 75 to 250 words   You may add extra pages/sheets if needed. Type or hand write.

Name ________________  Title ____________________________________________

PB Contest Part II: Submission Guidelines and Payment of Entry Fee

Last month we announced our new Write2Ignite Conference contest to find the best unpublished picture book manuscript, and there are two categories!





The prize package for the 2 winners includes a free detailed critique from Write2Ignite, a plaque, free admission into our September conference, bragging rights, and a boost of confidence! Prize valued at $200. We will announce the winners’ names and story titles on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. All entrants will receive free access to a live instructional writing webinar hosted by Write2Ignite planned for July.
Deadline for entering is May 31, 2019. See HERE for Part 1, contest rules.


Include your first and last name in the upper left corner of every page. Use Times New Roman or Courier, 12-point font, black ink. Word count only goes on first page. Number all pages. Double space your manuscript. Margins should be one inch all around.
Save your entry as a PDF or a Word doc named: YourFirstName_YourLastName_W2i_PictureBookContest.doc (or .docx or .pdf) Please replace “YourFirstName_YourLastName” with your actual first and last name. If you are entering the contest more than once, please add a 1, 2, or 3, etc. to the end of your document name. (i.e. YourFirstName_YourLastName_AS_Short_Story_Contest1.doc and YourFirstName_YourLastName_AS_Short_Story_Contest2.doc) In the upper left hand corner on every page, include your name. Entries that do not follow this format are subject to disqualification.


First you pay your $20 entry fee, sending a check with “PB Contest” written on the memo line to Mrs. Cathy Biggerstaff, 410 Aydlotte Rd, Rutherfordton NC 28139. We also hope to have an online link for contest payment ready soon, so if you want to pledge your intent to pay online, email Mrs. Biggerstaff at, and she’ll let you know when the payment link is ready.
Once your entry fee is received, we will send you the email address to which you will submit your picture book manuscript. Please check your email! You will receive confirmation that your entry has been received.


The winners will be announced in the webinar, in our Facebook group, and on our website. We do not own your work. We will discuss the winners’ work in the webinar but will not publish it so that first rights to publication may be sold elsewhere.
That’s it! Please review the contest rules HERE, and get those submissions in!

Adults-Only Workshops round out W2I 2019 program September 20-21

Workshops in the adult track will be presented by the following faculty (see Faculty bios in “Faculty” section under “2019”: ).

Samantha Bell will present criteria for *** Polishing Your Picture Book.  Is your picture book the best it can be? Fearless attendees may submit a picture book manuscript for possible review during the workshop. Consider length, plot, dialogue, word choice, pacing, and more!

Daniel Blackaby offers ***Tolkien, Lewis, and the Christian Imagination for adults. Examine Tolkien’s and Lewis’s vastly different approaches and ideas of Christian Art as a way to explore more generally what it means to be a Christian Artist today.

Jean Matthew Hall  (whose debut picture book should be appearing this September) presents***What Is a Picture Book?  “Isn’t it curious that a picture book illustrator needs to tell the story with pictures, and the picture book author needs to show the story with words?” This workshop helps writers decide what they need to say, and NOT to say in picture book manuscripts.

Tony Snipes returns to W2I with two marketing-focused workshops.

***5 ‘MORE’ THINGS I LEARNED IN CORP. AMERICA That Help Your Writing Business Pay for Itself: A sequel to last year’s SRO “5 Things,” this workshop unpacks what 20 years in the Newspaper, Television and Radio industries have taught Tony about leveraging resources to produce creative content.
***How I Turned a Facebook Page into a Weekly Storytelling Medium: 5,000 weekly viewers. 2,000 dedicated subscribers…and a line of products that help pay for it all. This workshop details how (and why) Tony uniquely launched “The Portsmouth Aeroshipbuilding Co.,” the story it tells about American history and the history of his hometown.

Terri Kelly (representing DevoKids) returns as a W2I presenter with ***How to Write Devotions for Children. Learn how to grab kids’ attention in concise, creative, and clear devotions. This workshop presents secrets to communicate on a child’s level. Learn how to brainstorm ideas and prepare for the writing path God has planned for you.

Kim Peterson, a perennial favorite at W2I, brings three craft-based workshops to this year’s conference. The first, Develop a Strong Supporting Cast of Secondary Characters (for adults and teens), was described in Part II. Two additional workshops include one for fiction writers and one designed for nonfiction/magazine writers.

 ***Deepen Your Middle Grade & Young Adult Novels Construct a novel tweens and teens want to read. From motivation to characterization to plot to POV to setting, tell a story that readers — and editors — can’t ignore.

***Selling Snappy Sidebars – Earn good money supplying magazine markets with these high-demand mini-articles. Tips apply to children’s, young adult and adult markets.

Lori Hatcher returns to W2I with two workshops focused on editing.

***(Practically) Painless Editing for the Grammatically-Challenged  To impress an editor, not only does your work need panache: it also needs polish. Yet even seasoned writers have weak areas. In this nuts and bolts workshop, Lori Hatcher reveals the most common writing errors, shows how to catch them, and helps writers practice their newfound knowledge in a group editing session.

***Ten Ways to Charm an Editor This workshop climbs inside magazine editors’ heads to discover why they say yes to some submissions and no to others. As a magazine editor and a freelance writer, Lori knows that simple things charm editors and increase a writer’s chance of success. She shares ten suggestions with real-life examples in this fun, interactive workshop.

Vanessa Fortenberry offers a workshop for beginning or intermediate writers:

Writing 101: The Importance of the 3 R’s (WRiting, Research, and Revision) Explore the basic elements of story development, purpose, audience, and genre from beginning research to honing manuscripts.

Todd Williams, Editor-in-Chief, Union Gospel Press, in his first appearance at W2I, presents two communication-focused workshops.

***Engaging Pages asks “What does it take to truly communicate with your readers?” This workshop highlights practical ways to understand the logic of communication guided by Scriptural concepts. The word Logos (translated “Word” in John 1:1) is an important Greek term relating to multiple subjects like commandments, accounting, stories, science, doctrine, and especially Creation. Two primary concepts embodied in logos, collecting and organizing, are basic to creativity and essential for good writing.

***Connecting with Kids We were all kids once, but for writers, childhood often seems far away. This workshop explores the struggles and joys of being a kid, presenting creative strategies for targeting childhood traits to excite and energize young minds. Three sheets created by Union Gospel Press, identifying essential characteristics of beginners, primaries, and juniors, provide information about children’s development at different stages. A fourth sheet illustrates hooks and creative appeals for connecting with children through the written word.

Two presenters will offer workshops focused on writing for YA (Young Adult) audiences.

Vijaya Bodach returns as a presenter after several years’ absence with three workshops.

*** Writing Memoir for Kids (Part I): Techniques is a hands-on workshop to help writers harness the power of writing memoir by recapturing the awe and sensuality of childhood—how grass tickles the feet, the warmth of holding hands with your best friend, the utter emptiness of betrayal. Mine your memories, shape your stories, and create gems that become pure gifts for children.

***Writing Memoir (Part II): Witness—Writing the Most Important Story Sharing her own conversion story, Vijaya applies techniques learned in Part I to writing personal testimony. The world values a witness’s knowledge from personal experience. You make the difference between hearsay and fact, between opinion and reality. Learn to share your past, the moment(s) of conversion, and your life with Christ as a new creation

***Writing a Book that’s Controversial Today, the world celebrates sin in the name of choice, diversity, and tolerance. Fight the good fight! Write the better story, make it beautiful. But prepare for pitfalls of taking an unpopular position. Persevere. Trust in the Lord’s protection and power. BOUND (YA novel) allows readers to examine their views on life and love, liberty and responsibility, through a character who is questioning these very things. Participants will discuss difficulties and solutions in writing and publishing controversial books. [Disclaimer: includes some references to mature subject matter and offensive language]

Linda Vigen Phillips combines fiction and nonfiction elements in her discussion of free-verse YA novels. ***”Using Verse to Get to the Heart of Your Story” shows how free-verse can help writers teach compassion and empathy towards those who deal with mental or physical issues. 

  • A therapeutic way to deal with one’s own life challenges (mining your past).
  • An effective warm-up exercise or tool to unlock writer’s block.
  • A method to bypass the rules and encourage free association.
  • A path to probing deeper into all story elements, particularly character and setting.
  • Resources include a handout of selected books in verse and exercises. Brainstorm five random words (example: verb, season, time, place, color) and add one emotionally charged word or idea to generate a verse poem in five minutes. Use familiar shapes to write a shape poem depicting a current state of mind.

Third of three faculty and program announcements! Part I discussed teen and general track Keynote presenters and additional workshops they’re presenting. Part II detailed Teen Track (teens only) program plus general track workshops open to both teens and adults. The full program schedule, including panel/Q & A sessions, Book Signing, and information about Friday night’s reception with presenters, will appear in “2019 Conference Updates” next week.


Write2Ignite Conference 2019 Faculty is now complete! Teen Track workshop options


In addition to Keynotes and workshops by Nancy Lohr, Edie Melson, and Daniel Blackaby, [“Keynotes” announcement April 15], faculty authors, editors, and literary agents will present the following workshops. [See Author bios in “Faculty” section ]

** = Teens Only     *** Adults Only – All other workshops open to adults or teens

Teen Track faculty:

Carol Federlin Baldwin will offer three Teen Track workshops:

**Let Your Characters Do the Heavy Work What good is a story without a memorable character? Includes hands-on writing activities to help teens create unforgettable protagonists and antagonists.

**Creating a Sensory Setting A descriptive setting sets the tone for a scene. Basics of creating mood-inducing settings, using precise adjectives and figurative language.

**Stories that are Out of This World: Write a Science Fiction or Fantasy Story. For teens who love alien adventures, whether anti-gravity tournaments, fairies that camouflage themselves in flowers, or wizards who hijack British schooners. Discuss the process of creating a story with believable science fiction or fantasy characters and placing them in settings consistent with their unique physical, mental, and social characteristics!

Brenda Covert Following Brenda’s popular 2018 metered poetry writing workshop, she offers **Poetry Writing: Playing with Words  [teens only]  In this interactive poetry workshop, teens will practice refining their creative voice and will have the chance to share their work in class. The workshop will introduce African Praise Poetry, Erasure Poetry, and Paint Chip Poetry, with an eye toward sharing personal faith while having fun playing with words.

See additional workshop and Keynote by Daniel Blackaby in “Keynotes”

General Track Workshops open to Teens 

 Tessa Emily Hall returns to W2I with two publishing/marketing-focused workshops.

Create Book Buzz by Coordinating a Blog Tour Blog tours are a powerful online marketing strategy vital in generating buzz surrounding a book release. This workshop walks participants through the process of finding bloggers, preparing creative material that features their book, and using tools to keep it organized. Result? A blog tour to bring readers flocking to your release.

How to Sell Your Book to an Agent: What to Do and What to Avoid It’s no easy feat to attract  a literary agent’s attention, especially when it seems they’re searching for a reason to reject your manuscript. Learn to make your submission stand out in an agent’s slush pile and what you can you do to avoid having your submission deleted as soon as the agent opens your email.

 Steve Hutson, Literary Agent, WordWise Media Services, presents two workshops with advice on approaching editors or agents. In Rejection-proof Submissions: Why You’re Not Getting Published, he explains why writers who have “sent off [a] manuscript to dozens of agents and editors, [may] be rejected again and again.” Sharing things most pros don’t disclose, he’ll help writers discover the most common problems and how to avoid them. Hint:  It may have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or your story.

In What NOT to Say to an Agent or Editor, Steve explains that No matter how good your story, or how awesome your execution, it might not be enough. You still have to sell this thing. Learn what to say — and, very importantly — what NOT to say, when pitching your book.

Kim Peterson‘s workshop on secondary characters will appeal to all fiction writers:

Develop a Strong Supporting Cast – From Fern Arable to Willy Wonka to Ron and Hermione, secondary characters enrich the stories readers love. Secondary characters allow the reader to see the main character in new, exciting ways. Learn how to create compelling secondary characters that enhance your plot and make your protagonist unforgettable, without stealing the show.

Kenzi Nevins, Illustrator and Agent – Cyle Young Agency), offers a workshop for artists!

An Illustrator’s Market: Portfolios, Platform, and Proposals outlines the following elements:

  • Social media and online portfolios: how many people have them, how many people think they need them, how many people have literally no idea what to do
  • Instagram: pros and cons, and its power for an illustrator
  • Online portfolios: what they should include and how to get a good one, with examples
  • The growing popularity of the illustrated book market
  • Children’s Trends: Nonfiction and Science (with examples)
  • Children’s Trends: Fiction and Diversity (with examples)
  • Parts of an illustrated book proposal (both children’s and graphic novels)
  • Various methods of illustration, and popular mediums