Thursday, July 30, 2009

Writing Opportunity for the Incredible Power of Prayer

Dear Valued Writer,
We are now in phase two of the Incredible Power of Prayer series and I welcome you to join us. Guideposts is launching a series of 12 books on various aspects of prayer and how people from every walk of life have been transformed through God's response to their prayers. These books will be available by mail only, sent monthly as part of a book series promotion.

You may have contributed to the first three titles in this series (Praying from the Heart, The Healing Touch, and Expecting Miracles) or perhaps to my Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, or Love Is a Verb brands. Or perhaps I'm contacting you for the first time. Whatever the case, I eagerly seek your participation in this next phase of prayer volumes.

Book four, From Tragedy to Triumph, deals with the pervasive issues related to our trials, hardships, and suffering in life, whether physical, emotional, relational, financial, etc. The focus should not be so much on the trials or the stress they cause, but on how the power of prayer eliminated or helped you deal with these trials. What lessons did prayer teach you through these ordeals and how did God use them for good for your life or others?

Book five, Refreshed by the Spirit, focuses on prayers we send to God when we are spiritually dry; when situations might be okay but we don't feel His presence; or during a dark night of the soul when life is difficult. The fault may be our own because we're not walking with the Lord, or He may seem distant because of struggles in our lives. As we continually pray for His presence, suddenly things change and we are refreshed and filled with his reassurance, peace, and joy. How did God visit you in a new way that caused praise and thanksgiving and may have even changed your life?

Book six, Love and Forgiveness, deals with relationships that have been strained or broken due to offenses against us, or our own faults. When we pray for love for those who mistreat us and pray for the willingness to seek restitution and restoration we regain our families and friends and change the hearts of our enemies. How was prayer the determining factor in a renewed love, forgiveness, and eventual restoration of relationships?

We would be pleased to consider as many stories for these three volumes as you wish to submit. We'll look at stories of up to 2,000 words and prefer that they be at least 1,000 words. The stories should have a creative title, an attention-grabbing introduction, main body with a conflict or challenge, and a clear, satisfying resolution. They need to be descriptive, rooted in time and place, compelling personal experience stories with a realistic portrayal of the people involved. They need to be stories rather than testimonies, Christian living articles, and shouldn't focus on mere feelings or mental states.

Most important, they need to revolve around prayer itself and not the circumstances of the story. These are themed books but the purpose is to convince the reader of the power of prayer in these situations.
We prefer original stories but you may also submit previously published stories that you have full rights for and are not currently in print with a major publisher. We pay $25 fo stories under 1200 words, and $50 for stories over 1200 words. You may retain the right to publish the stories in magazines and in books with less than national distribution and not carried in nationwide bookstores.

We are accepting manuscripts for all three volumes until December 15, but the sooner you submit the better your chance of acceptance. We will notify you by February and send you a permission form if your story is a finalist for any of these volumes.

Please send your manuscript attached to the e-mail rather than pasting text in the email window. Feel free to send your manuscript in normal manuscript formatting, with your full contact information—name, address, phone number, email address—and whether you're offering First Rights or Reprint Rights at the top of each manuscript. Please include a biography of 30 words or less at the end of each manuscript.

Please direct all inquiries and manuscript submissions to my colleague, Jeanette Littleton, at If this email has been forwarded to you and you can't submit to this call, but would like to hear about other editorial needs as they arise, please send us your email address and we'll add you to our notification list. Also please pass this along to any writing or praying friends who might be interested.

Blessing to you and yours,


James Stuart Bell
Compiler, Guideposts Incredible Prayer series

Incredible Prayers
A Guideposts Series
with James Stuart Bell

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Writing Opportunity


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings
101 Stories of Gratitude, Fortitude, and Silver Linings

This follow-on book to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People continues Chicken Soup for the Soul's focus on inspiration and hope in these difficult times. These inspirational stories remind us that each day holds something to be thankful for -- whether it is having the sun shine or having food on the table. Power outages and storms, health scares and illnesses, job woes and financial insecurities, housing challenges and family worries test us all. But there is always a silver lining. The simple pleasures of family, home, health, and inexpensive good times are described.

We are looking for true stories and poems written in the first person of no more than 1,200 words. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. They should not have been previously published by Chicken Soup for the Soul or other major publications.

Here are a few suggested topics:

How you count your blessings or express your gratitude
What made you realize that your life is good and that you are grateful
Silver linings that you have discovered in the midst of challenging events
What is really valuable in your life
Major life changes or events for which you are grateful
How you spread the message of gratitude to your family and friends
The joy of simple pleasures
The unexpected benefits of health challenges or other life changes

This book is in the process of being completed and will go to the printer in September for publication in October! It is a featured Chicken Soup for the Soul title for Christmas 2009. The deadline for submissions is soon, so if you can submit quickly you have a better chance than normal of being chosen.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story.



Friday, July 10, 2009

Work by Joanna Demers

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23 - 24

I face a constant battle as a Christian writer. One part of me desperately wants to be published and recognized for my writing. The other part desperately wants to glorify and worship the Lord with what He has given me. Thankfully, these verses help quash my ego and everything is put into perspective.

These verses not only apply to my calling as a writer, but to my other roles as wife, mother, house manager, and so on. Whatever I do, I should see it as working and serving the Lord. That includes those days of folding underwear and scrubbing toilets.

What if I don't want to do the work? I have to admit, this has been an issue lately. Other than updating my blog and sending a few e-mails, I have not been writing (I'm in so much trouble now from my writer's group). I've been putting off my writing because "my heart just isn't in it." I've allowed distractions. I've taken my focus off of God and placed it on earthly concerns.

How do I remedy an unwilling heart? I'm reminded of Romans 12:1 "Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." Sacrificing what I want to do and focusing on what the Lord wants me to do is an act of worship. It may be difficult at first and will require discipline, but viewing my actions as worship prepares my heart for the work.

Also, it's considered an act of worship when I write for the Lord's glory and not for mine. It doesn't matter if zero people read my blog postings or if I ever become a published author, as long as I'm obedient to Him.

What is your motivation behind your work? Is it for you or for the Lord?

Joanna Demers blogs at: Write For a Purpose and is a valued member of Mile High Scribes.