The Power of a Blue Ribbon - How to Win a Writers' Contest
June 27, 2015
Hosted by Athena Dean Holtz
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Annually, there are more than 550 significant writers’ contests in America, offering a variety of prizes that include such things as plaques and certificates, publication in national magazines, cash payments, college scholarships, tuition to writers’ conferences, and even book contracts. Our guest today will explain how to discover and enter writing contests, how to give yourself the best advantage for winning a contest, and also ways to benefit from contests even if you don’t take first prize.
Publishing Today: Clear Direction for a Changing Industry
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Our program is designed to educate and empower aspiring authors, thought leaders, business owners and others with a story to tell. Publishing is big business and with that comes a jungle of options rife with potential dangers. This show will be a resource to help you determine the best way to get your message into print, and uncover avenues to reach your audience, or potential audience. Each weekly show will also feature a special segment called “Ask Athena” that will directly answer your questions on any publishing, branding, or book marketing topic.
Athena Dean Holtz
Athena Dean Holtz is the Publisher at Redemption Press and a recognized pioneer and leader in Christian self-publishing with over twenty five years in the field. A former co-founder and owner of WinePress Publishing, she has served as a book coach, speaker, mentor and frequent presenter on self-publishing and marketing at writer’s conferences. As a radio personality she hosted a weekly live radio program for women on two different Salem affiliated stations (www.alwaysfaithfulradio.com). Athena is a frequent blogger at www.athenadeanholtz.com and the author of three books, including "Consumed by Success: Reaching the Top and Finding God Wasn't There.” She resides in the Seattle area with her pastor-husband, Ross Holtz, and enjoys her role of wife and grandmother.
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Authors who’ve worked with Credo literary agent Ann Byle know her as a trusted guide who helps them create the best manuscripts and book proposals possible. This doesn’t mean she helps write their books. Instead, Ann uses her nearly 30-years’ experience as a copy editor, newspaper and magazine writer, author and co-author and her inside track into the publishing world to help authors achieve their publishing goals. Her ability to shepherd authors’ manuscripts started early in Ann’s publishing career. Her first job entailed writing dust jacket copy for Moody Press. Her boss at Moody was bestselling author Jerry Jenkins of the Left Behind series he co-wrote with Tim LaHaye. Writing holds a transcendent quality in Ann’s view. “I think God gives everyone talents,” says Ann. “I think God has given me a talent for guiding others and authors a talent for writing. It works when those two things come together.” View Guest page
Julie Carobini is the award-winning author of the Chocolate Series, as well as the Otter Bay Novels: Sweet Waters, A Shore Thing, and Fade to Blue. She has won writing awards from The National League of American Pen Women and an editing award from ACFW. RT Book Reviews says, "Carobini has a talent for creating characters that come alive." Julie lives with her family in California and loves all things coastal (except sharks). Visit her at: juliecarobini.com View Guest page
Greg and Julie Gorman
Greg and Julie Gorman provide life-transforming content and coaching for your business and life. They write, produce, and host weekly broadcasts and hold certifications from the Patterson Center and Dr. John C. Maxwell. As executive coaches, trainers and speakers, Greg and Julie share together all around the world and have enjoyed sharing the stage with many well-known speakers. Together, Greg and Julie coach and inspire individuals, organizations, and couples to maximize their potential and embrace life to the fullest. Greg and Julie built Gorman Leadership on the core values of excellence, integrity, and authenticity, the same values they carry in life and marriage. Their relationship is an example of strength and a model for making marriage and business thrive. They, along with their three children, make their home in southern Florida. View Guest page
Dave and his wife, Carolyn lead a multi-faceted ministry devoted to the restoration of the spiritual foundations that empowered the first-century church. Dave has penned two books, "Father to the Fatherless" and "His Cruel Cross - My Mercy Tree". For more on Dave Hamer visit www.riverspring.org View Guest page
Joyce has been a literary agent since 1992. She was formerly the vice president of marketing at Whitaker House Publishing and as the president of Hartline Literary Agency has over thirty five years of successful experience marketing and promoting books. Joyce has been a pioneer in selling high quality fiction to the inspirational market and has built an excellent rapport with leading inspirational publishers. A member of ACFW, Joyce is a graduate of Open Bible College, Des Moines, IA now merged with New Hope College in Eugene, Oregon. Joyce is based at Hartline Literary's Pittsburgh headquarters. www.hartlineliterary.com View Guest page
Dr. Dennis E. Hensley
Dr. Dennis E. “Doc” Hensley has published 54 books – including six novels and eight textbooks – as well as more than 150 short stories and 3,500 newspaper and magazine articles. He’s also a recognized authority on the life and works of twentieth-century author Jack London. No wonder Dr. Hensley is called a master of professional writing. No one could have that kind of literary output without plenty of knowledge and skill – along with a strategic plan. The good news is, Doc’s mission in life is to share his secrets with others who desire to write. View Guest page
Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels and novellas for adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Prairie Song. Her children’s books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional. six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, six I Wonder books, and more. Mona’s writing credits also include several hundred articles, poems and short stories, which have appeared in 50 different publications. Mona is a speaker for women’s groups, book clubs and reading groups, schools, and conferences for writers and librarians. And director of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. http://writers.mounthermon.org/ View Guest page
LIN JOHNSON is Managing Editor of The Christian Communicator, Advanced Christian Writer and Church Libraries and is the author and co-author of more than 60 books, including Christian Education: Foundations for the Future, Extracting the Precious from 2nd Corinthians, Encouraging Others, and The Book of John from The Smart Guide to the Bible Series. Lin specializes in Bible curriculum and is a Gold Medallion Book Award recipient. She also directs the Write-to-Publish Conference in the Chicago area and teaches at writers' conferences across the country and internationally http://www.writetopublish.com View Guest page
#1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than 25 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller charts and many of her novels are under development with Hallmark Films and as major motion pictures. Kingsbury has been recognized by Time Magazine and The Today Show for her Life-Changing Fiction®. She is also host of a national music-format radio program, “The Karen Kingsbury Show” where she tells stories between the songs.
www.karenkingsbury.com View Guest page
Ginger Kolbaba is an accomplished, award-winning author, editor, and speaker. She has written or contributed to more than 20 books, including the Gold Medallion-nominated Refined by Fire, the Golden Scroll-nominated and Readers' Favorite Bronze award-winning We All Come Home, and her novel series Secrets from Lulu’s Café. She is a contributing writer for Thriving Family magazine, and has been a columnist for Let’s Worship. She has published more than 400 magazine and online articles. In the publishing industry for almost two decades (she started very young), Ginger is the former editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine, Marriage Partnership magazine, and the founding editor of Kyria.com, all award-winning resources of Christianity Today. View Guest page
Shawn Kuhn joined the SuzyQ team in 2011. As the co-owner and vice president of a bargain book chain for more than 25 years, he has bought and sold millions of books over the course of his career. Shawn offers SuzyQ clients, including authors who are pre-published, self-published and all the way up to New York Times bestselling authors, guidance and support in all aspects of their book careers with the ultimate goal of reaching their target audience. View Guest page
Suzanne Kuhn is a sought after national speaker, a retail columnist, and the founder of SuzyQ. After more than 25 years working in bookstore retail and event sales, Suzanne Kuhn launched SuzyQ in 2010. SuzyQ is a full-service author promotion firm that works with authors, publishers, and literary agents, providing coaching, training, and brand development as well as coordination of live events. Suzanne enjoys working with all authors at every level, including pre-published, self-published and New York Times Bestselling. View Guest page
President and founder of The Steve Laube Agency, Steve is a 33 year veteran of the bookselling industry. He began his career in the bookselling arena and his store in Phoenix was named the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) store of the year in 1989. He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of an editorial director. In 2002 he was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year. The next year he became a literary agent and in 2004 formed The Steve Laube Agency. In 2009 he was named the ACFW Agent of the Year. In 2013 he was inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology. Steve has very eclectic interests. He has represented everything from the sweet romance to systematic theology. His clients are equally divided between fiction and non-fiction writers. www.stevelaube.com View Guest page
Inger Logelin has worked as a freelance editor and writer on projects with Athena Dean for over twenty years, starting back in 1994 when she met her need for an editor/coach on her own first book. Co-author of Triumphant Faith, she was WinePress Publishing’s first editor, and is a former staff writer at The Sentinel Group, and Creative Resources Inc. She has years of experience in cross-cultural missions, all facets of editing, writing, and coaching including press releases, advertising copy and ghostwriting. She serves as Senior Editor with Redemption Press where she continues her long standing professional and personal relationship with Athena Dean Holtz. Inger lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband of fifty years, and two longhaired dachshunds, where she blogs at www.gracetogray.wordpress.com View Guest page
Chip has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. He has secured nearly 1,000 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers, has worked with bestselling authors such as Kay Arthur, Chuck Swindoll, and David Jeremiah. He has also written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category. As a longtime agent he has represented Brennan Manning, Jill and Stuart Briscoe, and the MOPS organization, just to name a few. After starting his own agency he has represented many books on all the national bestseller lists, and the authors he represents have won numerous national awards. A popular writer’s conference speaker, Chip has been written up in numerous publications and is frequently asked for his opinions on trends in publishing, and his blog is listed on Writers Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers.” www.macgregorliterary.com View Guest page
Author, actor and screenwriter, Torry Martin loves sharing the power of networking everywhere he goes. Martin has written for “Adventures in Odyssey”, a children’s radio series produced by Focus on the Family. For this self-proclaimed “hippie-for-the-Holy-One,” the melding of talent and faith have also resulted in the release of several books, including “Under the Circumstances,” and “What a Character,” both are collections of comedy sketches about Christian life, and his newest release “Shameless Self- Promotion for the Christian Creative.” View Guest page
Author, coach, and spiritual leader Rochelle Melander has helped thousands of people create rich lives, meaningful work, and great books. Rochelle brings to her work a solid education in coaching, therapy, writing, and theology; the practice of life-long learning; years of experience as a writer, speaker, and coach; and a passion for hearing and nurturing the dreams of others. View Guest page
Gary Mitchell, author of "Amos the Church Mouse" is the mind behind the mouse. He is a professor, journalist, and former Baptist pastor. He won numerous awards for writing and reporting while on staff at the Clovis News Journal from 1989-2003. Prior to his newspaper career, he was pastor of a small Baptist church in Clovis, NM, for ten years. Mitchell has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and both master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Now serving as campus dean and assistant professor of religion at Wayland Baptist University - Clovis, he also has taught part-time at Clovis Community College. For more on Gary visit www.amosthechurchmouse.com View Guest page
James L. Rubart
James L. Rubart is the best-selling and award winning author of six novels. His books have been nominated for three Carol Awards, three INSPY Awards and two Christy Awards. His novel ROOMS won the RT Book Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year as well as a USA Book of the Year Award. In 2013, his novel Soul’s Gate, won both a Christy Award and an INSPY Award. He’s also a professional speaker and owner of Barefoot Marketing, and has worked with clients such as AT&T, ABC, and RE/MAX as well as numerous bestselling authors on their branding and marketing. View Guest page
James L. Rubart
James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, and MEMORY’S DOOR. He’s also a professional speaker and owner of Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm.
In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn't sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he's young enough to water ski like a madman.
www.jameslrubart.com View Guest page
Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of recent releases ALL MY BELONGINGS (novel), WHEN THE MORNING GLORY BLOOMS (novel), and RAGGED HOPE: SURVIVING THE FALLOUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S CHOICES (nonfiction).
She retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, and is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers. She now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the eight already on the shelves.
www.cynthiaruchti.com View Guest page
Diana has written or contributed to 11 books, including two Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes, and has published hundreds of articles, devotions, blogs, and columns. As principal of Savage Creative Services, LLC, Diana provides professional writing, editing, and speaking services. Her work includes editing manuscripts for individuals and publishing houses, producing ad copy for small businesses, writing grant applications for nonprofits, ghostwriting for clients, and serving as webmaster for several authors. She speaks at a variety of venues in the US and abroad and serves annually as guest professor in the Professional Writing Program at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and directs the annual Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference near Seattle. http://nwchristianwriters.org/Renewal View Guest page
Award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, J eanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty on five continents. Those experiences have birthed 16 fiction titles, including bestselling Veiled Freedom (2010 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christy Award finalist), Freedom's Stand, (2012 ECPA Christian Book Award/Carol Award finalist), and Congo Dawn (2013 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year) as well as 2 non-fiction collaborative titles Hope Underground: The Chilean Mine Rescue and Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace. Jeanette mentors developing-nation writers in both English and Spanish on all five continents. View Guest page