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Write2Ignite Conference Publishes “Too Big for a Band-Aid”

  a service project of Write2Ignite Conference  devotional book with covers

In September 2017, the Write2Ignite Team was meeting to plan the 2018 Conference and explore other possible programs. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, shortly followed by Maria, were fresh on everyone’s minds. The subject of a service project came up, and we wondered, what can we do?

Because other, much larger organizations were in place to deliver money and supplies to affected areas, we focused on what writers have to work with – writing and books. The idea of a devotional focusing on kids going through hard times like storms, fires, injury, school shootings, and other traumatic events began to take shape, and the W2I kids’ devotional was born.

The project proved a lot more complex than we expected. First, it turns out that writing a devotional (which most of us hadn’t been doing) is a lot harder than we expected! We chose a format similar to that used on the Keys for Kids website [ https://www.keysforkids.org/ ] and set our first deadline.

Nothing.

We tried another deadline.

Nothing.

We prayed and recommitted to the project, and gradually, met later deadlines for turning in the stories. Two of our Team members, Brenda Covert and Grace Geide, edited these.

Then, we complicated the project further by deciding it would be a good idea to (1) add a plan of salvation and (2) make this collection bilingual. Fortunately, several Team members knew people who are fluent in Spanish. They agreed to donate their time and expertise to translate different portions of the devotional. Translations are the work of retired North Greenville University Instructor Rebecca Deal, former missionary Ellen Garcia, and artist Annel Lilly, all busy women involved in multiple ministries.

Team member Robyn Grage, who was already up to her elbows in work on the #Write2Ignite2018 Resource Manual, graciously accepted the challenge of working up a layout and cover for the devotional book. Over time, this project had morphed from what we thought would be a stapled booklet of 10 to 12 pages to a book of over 50 pages, with a heavy stock cover and perfect binding. Did we mention that adding (and obtaining translations of) credits, translator bios, and Bible copyright statements added still more time and pages?

Down to the wire, as the September 21-22, 2018 Conference approached, we aimed for devotional completion so that we could give the finished books to presenters and participants.

Thanks to the diligent efforts of Gary Southern and Timm Artus of the Print Hub at North Greenville University, we received not only completed Resource Manuals on September 20, but also completed devotional books September 21!

Here it is! Too Big for a Band-Aid has a first printing of 500 copies. They are currently being given to churches, mission groups, and individuals.

Our plan has always been to distribute it free, primarily as a pdf file to be shared and downloaded as widely as possible to individuals and groups. The book’s purpose is to benefit kids who need encouragement and reminders of God’s love as they navigate the tough events that they, their families, and communities, encounter.

Please enjoy this collection, share the file widely, and watch for additional links where the pdf may be displayed in coming months. To God Be the Glory! His inspiration led us to the idea and helped us plan and carry out the book’s content, to produce a digital and print book that we pray will bless many young people around the world.

Sincerely,

The #Write2Ignite2018 Conference Team

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Photo Sessions for the 2018 Conference

Do you have a professional headshot? If so, how long has it been since it was taken? Good headshots can be extremely valuable at helping you promote your work. They can be used on business cards, in articles, on book jackets, on blogs, and elsewhere.

At the 2018 Write2Ignite conference, you’ll have an opportunity for an inexpensive photo session with a professional photographer!

Derek Eckenroth—an “award-winning university photographer, experienced wedding photographer, and aspiring real-estate and automotive photographer”—will conduct photo sessions during the conference. You can find many beautiful examples of his photography work on his website, EckenrothPhoto.com.

At the conference, photo sessions will be held in the Craft-Hemphill Center, room 207. The fee for each photo session is $35, and you’ll receive four to six usable headshots. The photographer will email digital files to you within two weeks of the conference.

If you’d like to have a photo session, please make an appointment ahead of time by contacting Write2Ignite registrar and financial director Cathy Biggerstaff at hiskid410@gmail.com.

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Faith and Freedom Writing Contest

Time’s running out! Deadline: September 10!

According to author and founder Cheri Cowell, EA Books Publishing will offer a writing contest and publication opportunity open only to those who register for and attend the September 21–22, 2018, Write2Ignite Conference. Participants who attend the conference both Friday and Saturday may submit one entry on the theme of “Faith and Freedom”—fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—for a writing contest to be judged by editors of EA Books Publishing.

Contest award: Twenty to twenty-five authors will be chosen to have their work published by EA Books Publishing in a print anthology entitled Faith and Freedom. Authors will be able to purchase books at a reduced rate and keep the profit from their sales.

In keeping with Write2Ignite Conference’s primary mission of producing Christian worldview materials for children and young adults, the anthology will include stories by, about, and/or for children and youth of various ages as well as content for more general or adult readers.

Contest Guidelines

  • Open only to unpublished authors (“Unpublished” is defined as follows: the writer can have articles, blogs, or online content published, either paid or unpaid, but cannot have a traditionally published book or inclusion in another published anthology.)
  • Each contestant must be registered for the full 2018 Write2Ignite Conference. The contest is not open to single-day attendees. Both adult and Teen Track participants are eligible to enter.
  • Only those who follow the full submission guidelines will be considered.
  • Only one submission per person registered for the conference
  • Genres accepted: short story, article, devotional, or poem
  • 300–1000 word limit
  • Include a 50-word bio at the end of your submission. At the top of the first page of the submission, place a title and your name with contact information (email, address, and phone number). (This page heading is not included in submission word count total.)
  • Standard manuscript format (Times New Roman, 12-pt font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, Microsoft Word doc or docx)
  • Submissions must be submitted via email attachment to contests@eabookspublishing.com by midnight on September 10, 2018.
  • Include W2I in the subject line.
  • Criteria: Those that best reflect the theme (Faith and Freedom), who meet submission guidelines, and represent the best writing of a new author, will be chosen for inclusion in the book. Winners will be announced during the conference.

What will you enter?

  • Set your plans now for registration.
  • Write your entry on the Faith and Freedom theme.
  • Submit by the deadline on September 10, 2018!
  • Attendance will be verified before winners are announced.

Author and Founder of EA Books   

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Sneak Peek: Carol Baldwin’s Presentations for W2I 2018

Ready for Write2Ignite 2018? I’ll be leading three workshops at the conference: “Strangers in a Strange Land,” “Fiction Writing” (Teen Track), and “Writing Historical Fiction.” Let me describe them for you!

“Strangers in a Strange Land”

In Exodus 2:22, Moses names his son Gershom because Moses was a stranger in a strange land.

Christian writers, in some ways, are also “strangers”—in the secular publishing world.

How can we, if we’re Christians, honor Christ as writers in a largely non-Christian domain? What’s our calling as Christian writers? What’s our privilege? How do we fit—or fail to fit—in the secular publishing world? There are no easy answers. Nevertheless, in my interactive workshop “Strangers in a Strange Land,” we’ll examine ourselves, this “strange land,” ways to integrate our faith into our writing, and our presence in the secular world.

“Fiction Writing” (Teen Track)

I love teaching teens; they have out-of-this-world ideas for their characters and plots. True, sometimes their lack of inhibition must be tempered by plausibility, but their enthusiasm is contagious and inspirational!

In my Teen Track workshop, “Fiction Writing,” I’ll teach teens the following:

  • how to exercise their muscle words (All groans aside, this skill does involve actual exercise!)
  • how and why writers should use mentor texts
  • how a red pencil is their best friend
  • how to jazz up their writing by showing rather than telling
  • how details make a difference in crafting genre fiction

“Writing Historical Fiction”

I love historical fiction almost as much as I love teaching teens!

My hands-on workshop “Writing Historical Fiction” will involve the following topics:

  • R—Research. Should you read newspapers? Magazines? Books? Should you read fiction or nonfiction? Microfilm? How do you know when your research is done?
  • E—Experts. How can you find experts to consult about your story? What should you ask them? How should you use an expert’s story to inform your story?
  • A—Arrange. How can you create a system to keep track of notes, interviews, and photos?
  • D—Details and drafts. What details do you need to create an authentic story? How do you move from writing rough drafts to homing in on your story?

If you plan to attend this workshop, please bring your favorite historical novel. If you’re working on a project, bring one or two pages of your work.

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference in September!

***

Carol Baldwin

Carol Baldwin loves teaching writing and has presented at many educational, library, and writing conferences. She taught in the continuing education department at Central Piedmont Community College, coordinated the Charlotte SCBWI group for over twenty years, and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists.

Carol’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8 (Maupin House, 2008). Currently, she’s working on her first young adult novel, which is set in North Carolina in 1952.

Find Carol’s book reviews, writing tips, and classes at CarolBaldwinBlog.blogspot.com, and follow her on her Facebook page or Twitter (@CBaldwinAuthor). You can also contact her at cbaldwin6@me.com.

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Sneak Peek: Samantha Bell’s Presentation for W2I 2018

You’ve finished your picture book manuscript. You’ve read it over and over again, and you’ve revised it several times. The children in your life love it. You’ve even had a writing friend or two critique it for you. Finally, it’s ready to submit . . . or is it?

In my workshop “Polishing Your Picture Book,” we’ll read manuscripts and discuss how they can be polished even more. At the start of the class, brave attendees may submit their manuscripts; we’ll go over as many as time allows. We’ll examine things like word count, word choice, dialogue, pacing, story arc, illustration possibilities, and more. We’ll also discuss possible markets for the stories. If you’re not quite feeling up to the challenge, don’t worry—you don’t have to submit anything! Come to this informative discussion, and learn what makes a good picture book manuscript even better.

***

Author and illustrator Samantha Bell signed her first contract to illustrate a picture book in 2007. Since then, she has illustrated twenty more, including four of her own. She’s also the author of numerous nonfiction books for children and a regular contributor for Clubhouse Jr. and Kid’s Ark. You can find her online at SamanthaSBell.com

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Sneak Peek: Jean Matthew Hall’s Presentations for W2I 2018

Hello, everyone! This year’s Write2Ignite conference is coming up fast. As one of the presenters at the conference, I’ll be leading two workshops: “Children’s Book Categories” and “Writing from Childhood Memories.” Let me tell you about them.

“Children’s Book Categories”

Foundational to writing successfully for children is a clear knowledge of children’s literature, including knowledge about the distinctions among book genres and the different categories of books for children.

You might have many questions about book genres and categories. For example, maybe you’re thinking, “How is a picture book different from an early-reader book? After all, both are written for similar audience ages and include plenty of illustrations.”

My workshop “Children’s Book Categories”—which includes Q&A time—will help you gain a fuller understanding of how book genres and categories work. I’ll explain the difference between book genres and book categories and then define the commonly accepted categories of books for children and young adults. After attending this workshop, you’ll be better equipped to create stories, describe them, and pitch them to agents or publishers.

“Writing from Childhood Memories”

Remember the time you jumped off a dock and almost drowned? So embarrassing!

Or that time you tried to rescue your cat from a tree and got stuck while the cat jumped down to freedom? Really scary, huh?

How about that awful, terrible, messy divorce your parents went through when you were eight years old? Remember how you just wanted to curl up and die?

Remember the year your family moved to Texas? Remember how you had absolutely no friends all summer, and boredom, anger, and resentment filled your heart?

Inspiration often comes from our memories of childhood or from events in our children’s lives. But times change, cultures change, toys change, and technologies change. As a result, stories that we base on our childhoods, which might have happened twenty or thirty years ago, must also change.

Here are some tips to help you shape stories that are based on events from your childhood:

  • Don’t try to capture details of a remembered event in your story. Rather, capture the emotions you felt before, during, and after the event. Show your characters experiencing those same emotions. Change the details but keep the feelings.
  • Don’t try to accurately portray real people from a remembered event (unless you’re writing a biography). Rather, seize one or two traits of each person, and make those traits bigger, better, uglier, smarter, faster, slower, and more beautiful than they were in real life. Doing so will enable you to create memorable characters your readers can relate to.

That’s how to translate your own childhood experiences into stories that today’s kids will love.

Attend my workshop to learn more! I can’t wait to see you there.

***

Jean Matthew Hall, who served as founding director of Write2Ignite Conference from 2008 to 2016, is a retired educator and administrator. Her experiences listening to “the hearts of teachers, children, and parents” have led to her goal of crafting “stories that encourage and edify both children and the caring adults in their lives.” This passion has fueled both her writing career and her past service in leading Write2Ignite Conference, which is designed to inform and equip Christian writers to create and publish quality reading materials for younger audiences.

To read more by and about Jean, check out her blogs and book reviews at her website, JeanMatthewHall.com. You can also read an interview about her pending book series with Little Lamb Publishing at LittleLambBooks.com.