Sunday, September 29, 2013


Reflections is the title and theme of our first collection of poems, devotions and stories (fiction and nonfiction) written by Sunrise Christian Writers in Fair Oaks, California.

We are calling for contributions from our members to compile a book to celebrate our first year in operation. Reprints or manuscripts which have gone through our critique process will be accepted. If you submit reprints, please tell when and where published. You may submit as many manuscripts as you like.

Please submit your stories with a short author bio (no more than 50 words) to me at before December 19, 2013. These books will make great gifts for friends and family. When you submit, please let me know how many you want to order. We are charging $5/each to cover the cost of printing and binding.

The books will be released the fifth Thursday in January. Thank you in advance for your contributions to our first compilation and congratulations!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Six Ingredients of a Book Review

It's good in our craft to write book reviews for our successful author friends and other authors whose books we read. When I read reviews on Amazon and other online book sellers, I read a lot of book reports instead. What's the difference? I did some research and one of the most informative blogs I read was Book, Line and Sinker.

Think of the letters in "review" as your reminder how to write a review.

R    Relay basic book and author information.
        Title, genre, something about author.  
E    Explore the content. Write an overview. Don't give away too much of the story.
V    Voice your opinion. Credible characters?  Authentic dialogue? Problems?
I      Issues. What issues does the book discuss? Is the book issues driven?
E     Elements. Discuss exposition, characterization, symbolism, etc.
W    Windup your evaluation. Make your point.

Write enough to inspire readers to read the book without killing the story. How do you write a review? a little review and a little report? Which helps you determine whether you will read the book someone else reviewed?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ten Steps How to Write a Compelling Story

Learn how to write stories that capture and keep your readers interest, and you'll submit one story after another for publication. Here are ten proven steps to use for your storytelling success:

  • Pick a creative title. This will catch the reader's eye with enough curiosity to begin reading your story.
  • Use a powerful hook in the first sentence or paragraph. Start with the most exciting part of your story, the conflict or problem.
  • Continue to use conflict and resolution in several scenes to develop your story.
  • Use sensory details in your descriptions. Let your reader hear, see, smell, touch, and taste what is happening.
  • Show, don't tell. Write active verb sentences and resist the temptation to use adverbs and adjectives (ly and ing words). Avoid using passive language, forms of the verb "to be"(is, was, were, has, had, would, could, should, etc.).
  • Use believable dialogue in fiction and nonfiction. Read your story out loud to check your conversations.
  • Include a turning point, the place where your main character changes direction in thought or action. 
  • Your turning point will reveal the takeaway value of your story. Make it clear without spelling it out. 
  • Write a conclusion that will keep your reader thinking about your story a long time after finishing it.
Who accepts personal experience stories? Here are a few publishers:
Angels on Earth
Inspire Press

Be on the watch for other magazines and anthologies that use inspiring stories. This is a growing market to grow your writer platform. Don't miss the opportunities.