Awards

Included in “Top 101 Websites for Writers”

We are honored to be chosen by Writers Digest as one of the top websites for writers in their 2015 list. (The actual list is only available to subscribers or if you buy the May/June 2015 issue here.)

I have long admired their annual listing and have endeavored to keep our content unique and provide a service to our community of writers.

Kudos to Dan, Karen, and Tamela who faithfully work on exploring new ideas with a fresh perspective.

And even more, we appreciate you, our readers. Those who read daily as subscribers, those who visit regularly, and to the occasional visitor. We hope each one of you come away with something worthwhile with every visit.

By the way, if you don’t already subscribe to Writer’s Digest consider doing so.
At the very least sign up for their free weekly newsletter (click here to sign up).

 

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The Morals of the Story

As promised, here are the morals—and names—of the story of our young writer from last week. If you missed the post, please go back and read it. The young writer? None other than the gifted Lori Benton. Her second novel, The Pursuit of Tameson Littlejohn, released in April 2014. The first …

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A Brave Heart

The 2014 Christy Awards were held last night in Atlanta, Georgia. Check the Christy Award’s website for the winners and other information. Three years ago in 2011, when the International Christian Retail Show was last held in Atlanta, the keynote speaker for the Christy Awards was Randall Wallace, who had a …

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But I Won a Contest

Contests cost both time and money to enter. Not to mention effort. Are they worth it? Yes, they are. Becoming a finalist is one way to get noticed. Sometimes the first prize awarded the winner is publication with a certain publisher. But will a contest win always lead to publication? …

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Is Christian Fiction Dying?

Last year, a couple Christian publishers stopped publishing fiction.  Some publishers are nervous about it and in a wait-and-see mode. Others are excited about growth potential.  The answer to the title question is no, but it is certainly interesting to explore the reason behind such widely diverse opinions on the subject.

NOTE #1: For full disclosure, I am a member of the advisory board for the Christy Awards, had a substantial period of my time in publishing during growth years of Christian fiction and our literary agency is committed to Christian fiction and its authors (as well as non-fiction projects).  Therefore I have an interest in seeing Christian fiction grow both personally and professionally.

NOTE #2:  I am limiting my comments to traditional publishing only, not self-published novels.  

Here is why I think Christian Fiction is causing some publisher-confusion right now:

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How Entering a Writing Contest Just Might Change Your Life

Guest Post by Susan May Warren

Far East Russia in the middle of January has all the charm of a mausoleum. Our missionary family lived in a three-room flat on the ninth floor of a cookie-cutter apartment building that, to the untrained eye, resembled a recently shelled building in Chechnya. We had no running water during the day, no telephone line and the Siberian wind froze the windows shut, sheeting them with curlicues of frost.

Four children terrorized our 900 square foot flat, drag racing their tricycles down the hall, scattering their land-mine Legos and scribbling their names upon the walls like gulag prisoners. My husband too eagerly escaped to plant a church an hour from our city while I stayed to patrol the borders. Honestly, I felt like one of the captives.

At night, the wind howled against the panes and, locked in the now quiet house with the slumbering rabble-rousers…I wrote. I penned story after story of romance, adventure and suspense. My first was an epic tale of survival against a backdrop of war in 1940s Russia. The second, a story of a missionary fleeing a serial killer. Again, set in Russia.

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ICRS 2013 – Observations

by Steve Laube

This year was my 32nd consecutive annual bookseller’s convention now known as ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) held this year in St. Louis. As always it is a time of conversations, meetings, and business opportunities.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, despite every attempt by the transportation industry to delay me…with 15 minutes to spare before giving an hour long “state of the industry” speech to AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association).

Sunday was filled with meetings, both casual and scheduled and two formal dinners. One was the Golden Scroll awards banquet and the other was the Baker Publishing Group dinner. Early Monday morning was a delightful SpeakUp breakfast with many inspirational stories shared by amazing speakers and writers.

Then came the convention itself. Back to back meetings for both Tamela and I as we flitted from one publisher’s booth to another, back across the street for meetings at the hotel and back again to the convention sales floor for other meetings. This ping-pong movement lasted for three straight days. But we had a lot of highly valuable conversations and presentations. Tamela was amazing as few knew she was not feeling well but she never complained (not once). It is a privilege to think of all the incredible people we talked to during those days. The creativity and the vision of each publisher and editor is quite inspiring. If you had heard what we did you’d feel a lot better about where this industry is headed.

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Questions About Editors, Countries, and Awards


This blog is a continuation of my question-and-answer session in response to queries posted on a recent post.

1) Would you be able to get access to briefs from editors on what they are looking for and suggest to the author if there are any mutually interesting topics or genres?

Yes. Between the three of us, our agency has 81 years in publishing experience. During this time, we have forged individual relationships and true friendships with editors, publishers, marketing people, and of course, authors. We are first on many editors’ lists when news strikes. Because of our reputation for working with top authors and our knowledge of the publishing industry, many times we have been informed exclusively of opportunities for our clients.

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ICRS Report 2012

 This was my second ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) as an agent with The Steve Laube Agency. Once again, the show proved to be a marathon of information, entertainment, new connections, and strengthened friendships.

On a personal note, this year marked my younger daughter’s eighteenth birthday so our family devoted Sunday to her celebration. Armed with a new camera, she took many photographs at the Harry P. Leu gardens in Orlando.  These gardens are gorgeous!

The bulk of the show is condensed into Monday and Tuesday since the floor closes in mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Our schedule was packed on both days, and once again I enjoyed attending meetings with Steve Laube. To combat hot and humid weather, our hosts plied us with soda, tea, and water. I told Steve that Christians have added new meaning to the term “social drinking!”

The people we spoke with agreed that the floor seemed more sparse than usual, and some publishers occupied smaller booths than in the past. However, most of the best and brightest publishers were represented, often by their executives and owners. Amid hugs and laughter, Steve and I gleaned information we will use as we strategize how to present properties that best fit their current needs and interests. We were glad to have our first face-to-face time with Daisy Hutton, the recently-appointed Vice President and Publisher of Fiction at Thomas Nelson Publishers. She had already signed one of my clients before the show, so it was great to meet her in person. She will be the ideal successor to Allen Arnold’s excellent work.

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