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The Young Dream

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. – Willa Cather My understanding of this quote by Ms. Cather is that “basic material” is the natural talent that we are born with—that skill that is inherent to us—as well as our childhood experiences. I remember sitting in the back of my parents car with a notebook and pen when I was around eight.  I remember the feeling... read more

Keep the Light On

I was hesitant to write this, but I wanted to help and encourage other writers, so I decided to admit this and make myself vulnerable: I cried this week. But, not only did I cry, I sobbed—big, gulping sobs filled with heartache. I recently completed my first novel.  I’ve had a couple of my articles published in a multicultural magazine, and one on a children’s e-zine, but this was the first book I’d ever... read more

Help From Above: The Christian Mystery

I swallowed my fear and walked right up to Ralph McInerny, author of the Father Brown mysteries. He was shorter than I had imagined. I picture all successful authors to be skyscrapers. He was delivering a speech on writing the Catholic mystery at the first conference for Catholic writers at Franciscan University at Steubenville. Being stuck manning the a table for the conference, I would not be able to... read more

“Heaven Help the Christian Writer”

by Kathryn Lively During the formative stages of judging for the 2003 EPPIE Awards, members were called to construct succinct definitions of fiction and non-fiction categories. Most categories, of course, are quite self-explanatory – how much more does one need to say about science fiction or historical fiction in order for an author to choose his/her respective category for entry? If only it had... read more

Writing Powerful Endings

by Laura Backes The first few lines of any story are the most important — and often most difficult — words you’ll write. The next most challenging piece of writing is the ending. Once you draw your readers in and take them through your story, you need to leave them with a satisfying conclusion. Here, then, are some tips for writing powerful endings: Fiction picture books: The story in a... read more
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