Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fun with Punctuation

Do you find yourself running to style books to figure out whether you're supposed to use a comma, colon, or m-dash? Or when to use an apostrophe? Ruth Morse is teaching a refresher workshop on how to properly use punctuation using Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. It's a fun, even hilarious sometimes, way to learn how to punctuate properly. Join us the first and third Thursdays during November and December 2014 at Sunrise Community Church, Room B107, 8321 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA. Ruth has taught creative writing at the college level, and she leads an inspiring, hands on workshop. We look forward to seeing you.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Art of Writing

Inspire Christian Writers is sponsoring another knock out conference, "The Art of Writing," October 3-4, 2014. The featured speaker is Bill Meyers who will present The Artist's Call, Buckle in-What to Expect When Saying Yes to God, The Players: Creator & Creation, The Process-Five Steps, The Endgame: Our Responsibility. Others presenting are Lyn Lasneski, Steve Scott, Manuel Luz, and Kathy Ide.

"The Art of Writing" will be held at the First Baptist Church, 8939 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95623. Register now!

Grammar Brushup

Would you like to learn how to write better with active verb sentences? Would you like to learn handy grammar tips for your writing? Leota will lead Sunrise Christian Writers in two grammar brush up workshops, October 2, 2014 and October 16, beginning at 9:30 at Sunrise Community Church, 8321 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. Plan now to attend. We look forward to seeing you.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What Do You Do While You Wait?

Seven of our writers contributed fantastic personal experience stories to the Guidepost writers contest. Twelve winners will win all expense paid trips to New York to learn how to write for Guidepost. Waiting can be exasperating. What do you do while you wait?

Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Pray for the Guidepost editors that they would find stories that represent writers they want to work with.
  2. Pray that God would go with your story before and behind to leave the editor inspired.
  3. Pray that the editor would see your story as a fit for the Guidepost audience.
  4. Pray for peace. You wrote a good story. You edited, rewrote and polished it. You submitted it for God's glory. 
  5. Leave it in God's hands and trust Him with the results.
  6. Keep writing.
  7. Keep submitting to other publishers.
In a couple weeks the calls will go out to twelve winners. I am praying for the Guidepost editors and for each person who submitted wonderful stories. May God be glorified.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pam is With Jesus

A great friend and talented writer and poet, Pamela Pimental passed away this morning. We will miss her smiling face, her sense of humor, fabulous writing and skilled critiques. Pam's life was filled with suffering, but today she has no more pain or suffering. She is with Jesus and Paul, her late husband. What could be better?

I will update this post when I have more information. Til then, please pray for Pam's wonderful family.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Taste of Heaven

Sunrise Christian Writers will experience a Taste of Heaven on the fifth Thursday in May, which is May 29. Plan to join us at High Hand Nursery and Conservatory, 3750 Taylor Road, Loomis, CA. We will meet at Sunrise Community Church at 9:30 and carpool to the nursery. Please let me know by May 22, 2014 if you would like to join us so we can make reservations for lunch.

You will enjoy a pleasant walk through the gardens and hear heavenly music before we eat. The food is delicious and you won't want to leave!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Learn How to Write for Guidepost

Every two years Guidepost has a writing contest. They select twelve winners who receive an all expense paid week in New York to study under Guidepost editors. The deadline for this year is June 12, 2014. Sunrise Christian Writers will feature two workshops on writing for this contest.

Based on workshops led by B.J. Taylor at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and Marci Seither at Christian Writers Seminar at Redwood Chapel, Sue Tornai will review the Guidepost format and guidelines Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:30 a.m., at Sunrise Community Church, 8321 Greenback Lane, Room B107, Fair Oaks, CA. Each writer who attends will be invited back Thursday, May 15, 2014 when they will critique each other's stories. This gives each writer time to polish their stories before submission.

Even if you've submitted before, let's work together again. Never give up. We look forward to seeing you.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It's a God Thing

It's a God Thing is a book of forty-two stories, published by Worthy Publishing Company, that will help you experience the heart of God--stories of miracles and love and inspiration. Although I wanted to read it as a devotional, I could not put the book down. Every story is filled with hope and joy and love, the love of our Heavenly Father.

Sue Tornai's "Angel in Scrubs" is the second story, page 17. Read hers but don't miss all the others. They are wonderful. Real people, real life, real grace.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Writing to Change the World

Sarah, Jerri, Susy Flory and Sue
Jerri, Sarah and Sue attended the Christian Writers Seminar in Castro Valley this weekend. Susy Flory, the featured speaker, inspired us to tackle challenges that seem a little out of our reach. She is the author of Thunder Dog, a New York bestseller and story of Michael Hingson, a blind man and his guide dog who were on the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when the jet crashed through it. The page-turner tells how the two escaped with others through the stairwell to safety before the building collapsed.

Every workshop gave us tools to bring home and use in our writing. We rubbed shoulders with the greats and came home exhausted.

"The handout I received from Pat Sikora's "Turbo-Charged Internet Research--Work Faster and Smarter" was worth what I paid for the whole conference," says Sue. "She delivered great information with a sense of humor and took the intimidation out of research for me."

Jerri and Sarah raved about Ken Jones' class on storytelling and how to tell your story. Sue ordered the CD so you can all enjoy.

Jeanette Hanscome, author of Running with Roselle (Michael Hingson's story written for children), led a workshop on how to write for the next generation. "Great information for writing and working with teens," says Sue.

"I remember the first Christian Writer's Seminar I attended," says Sue. Jon Drury, founder and coordinator, said he started his career writing devotions. He said, "If you can write a devotion, you can write anything. You have to tell a personal story or anecdote, give Bible application and write a powerful takeaway in 300 words or less." The Upper Room was the first to publish Jon's writing and since Sue chose the same path, The Upper Room also started Sue's writing career. Thank you, Pastor Jon.

Although Jon Drury is retiring and moving away, the seminar will continue under new leadership. Mark your calendar for next February to attend. You will be glad you did.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Congratulations Darleen!

Congratulations Darleen Gossett. As one of the winners of Inspire Christian Writers poetry contest in 2013, nine of Darleen's poems were published in Inspired Glimpses of God's Presence." The beautiful book features fifty poems by local poets and is edited by our friend, Scotti Fritts. Follow the above link to get your copy and be blessed by glimpses of God's presence.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sunrise Writers Celebrates First Anniversary

Left to right: Sue, Eras, Jerri, Lily, Pamela, Leota
Six writers attended breakfast at Country Waffles on Sunrise in Citrus Heights Thursday, January 30, 2014.

Besides the fifth Thursday, this was a celebration of our first year as Sunrise Christian Writers. Each contributor to our first compilation, Reflections, received their complimentary copies. The writers loved seeing their names in print along with their poems and stories. They loved being together and found it hard to leave the great fellowship.

Congratulations to Sunrise Christian Writers for a fantastic first year.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christian Writers Seminar

A great opportunity for Christian writers is coming to Redwood Chapel in Castro Valley February 21-22, 2014. Guest speaker  is local writer, Suzy Flory, author of Thunder Dog and other books. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction or poetry, this seminar is for you. Great sessions and workshops. Register now for the Christian Writers Seminar. If you plan to attend and would like to coordinate travel, please contact Sue Tornai at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Poetry in Training

Several Sunrise Christian Writers write poetry and have inspired the rest of us to get our feet wet writing verse. Thursday, February 6, 2014 we will begin and new study using the book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Poetry. If you would like to join us, we will meet the first and third Thursdays at Sunrise Community Church, 8321 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. Purchase your book on Amazon and read the first two chapters. Since the first chapter is an introduction, we will discuss the second chapter. Try your hand at two of the exercises at the end of the chapter. We look forward to seeing you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I wish you a blessed and prosperous year in writing. The clock is already ticking. Time stops for no one. Do you have an idea what you want to do with approximately 6,000 hours available to you? I deleted the first 48 hours and 8 hours/day sleep time.

I'm sure you've heard the cliche, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will do." When I first started writing, my goals were quite general. "I want to reach more people than I could ever come face-to-face with." I went to a writers seminar and one instructor encouraged, "If you don't send out ten submissions every month, your career will take forever to get off the ground." So I set out to do my ten submissions in a month. By the next writers conference I was burned out. I talked to a mentor who encouraged me to write and market at my own speed. That gave me a lot of peace, so I set out on my new quest. Not ten submissions a month. The first instructor was right. My writing career was taking off at a turtle's pace. 

I have since learned that the more I write and submit, the better I get. My acceptance rate started out at 20%. It has increased to 44%, which is still considered beginner level. But unless I keep writing and submitting, I will never get above 50%. Let's consider that you start off better than I, and you submit ten things for publishing during the year and get five published pieces. Let's also consider that the average compensation is $100. Your gross is $500. What are your expenses? How much did you spend on training and supplies?

Study your markets every day. Consider how your writing will fit publisher needs and submit. Let me know in comments what your aspirations are. I am praying for you. Together we can make a difference.