Showing posts from April, 2016

ACW Writers Rock

ACW writers could fill pages full of news especially in April. This means two blogs this month have been given over to telling the world about recent announcements.
Claire Weiner
  Clare (in her identity as Mari Howard) and Lynne Pardoe (Davidson) have just been reading her work and participating in panel discussions on writing contemporary fiction and poetry at the second Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. The Festival venue, a small, Cotswold village in South Gloucestershire is the perfect place for a ‘inclusive, friendly’ Festival of books and reading, and takes place on the nearest weekend to Shakespeare’s birthday. This year’s was an all-day event with readings, panel discussions, children’s activities, storytelling, and the pop-up cafe ‘Alice’s Wonderland Cafe’ serving tea/coffee/cakes/jam tarts/soup and featuring a bookstall with work by participating authors. Most popular featured discussion was the one on ‘Writing from or about disability and differences’. The Festival cl…

News and Celebrations

Today's blog is given over to celebrating with the many ACW authors who have good news to share. ACW is an organisation which supports writers who are also Christians. Not all write for a Christian market but they all have a passion for writing books and articles which can be enjoyed by readers both nationally and internationally. So join with us today as we share our announcements, celebrations and good news. 
Philip S. Davies
Destiny's Rebel, by Philip S Davies, has been voted one of four U.K. Finalists for the Crystal Kite Award from the Los Angeles-based international Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Destiny's Rebel was also released as an e-book on 15th April.

Philip has now signed a contract with Books to Treasure publishers to release the sequels: Destiny's Revenge in September 2016, and Destiny's Usurper in the autumn of 2017.

Pamela Evans

Themes from Ephesians is released in BRF's Quiet Spaces’ May-Aug 2016. Pamela has contributed…

Psalm 24 - Reimagined for the twenty-first century

In common with many, many people, I love the Psalms and among my favourites is Psalm 24. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ It is a beautiful psalm that is, of course, framed in the cosmology of David’s time.

Recently, I feel to wondering whether it could be re-imagined in the light of all we now know about the Universe. The following is the result of that wondering. Trevor Thorn

The entire cosmos is the Lord's and everything in it; every particle of matter both observable and hidden; the earth’s resources and living creatures entrusted to humans, and living beings of planets far beyond our reach.

For it was founded to inhabit the deep realm of space and on earth given the window of night, that in time we might better comprehend it.

Who shall travel beyond, into the eternal presence of The Lord, or who shall dare to approach that holy place? Even those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who love righteousness and Godly justice and who abhor greed and iniquity: they will…

Using the Time You Have, by Lucy Mills

How well do you manage your time? 

This was something I had to address in my own life when I found that all my roles – as editor, as writer, as all the other things I am and do – were flying about in an exhausting cycle. It felt like a spider’s web unhooked and blowing messily in the wind. I had to start putting my life into sections. We often say - and hear - that we need to make appointments to write – to mark out times we are writing and nothing else. This doesn’t work for me unless I do it with other things, too. Thus, I have had to draw lines all over the place.

My editing role can spill into everything if I’m not careful, so I needed to tie that carefully down – to two specific mornings per week. Only then could I allocate my ‘writing morning’ – and yes, I can only manage one morning a week for writing as a regular slot, although when deadlines are pressing I manage to pop it into other patches. So I’m not a full time writer, and work ebbs and flows, usually manageable with …

Save the Cat!

by Fiona Veitch Smith

Recent discussions in the ACW FB group have revolved around how to make characters sympathetic or likeable. Lots of useful advice was offered from giving them relatable weaknesses to letting them have a pet. That last one got me thinking. As some of you may know, in addition to being an author, I lecture scriptwriting in a university Creative Writing department for a living – well, sort of a living (see what I did there? I made myself vulnerable and relatable; do you like me more now…?).
But, back to the cat. One of the most influential screenwriting ‘gurus’ of the last 15 years is the late Blake Snyder, whose book ‘Save the Cat’ catapulted to the top of bestsellers’ lists. Now, if you click through to his site – or that of most screenwriting teachers – you may well be put off by the tone of ‘this is the best / last / only book on screenwriting you will ever need’. I know I am.  So it may seem ironic that one of the areas on which scr…

The Comparison Game by Fiona Lloyd

If I’d been a fly on the wall at the Last Supper, I’d have got pretty irritated with the disciples. There was Jesus, reminding them about how he was going to suffer – having been betrayed by one of their number – and explaining that in future they should share bread and wine as a remembrance of him. And what were the disciples doing at this pivotal moment in human history? Arguing about who among them was the greatest.
It’s easy to tut-tut and shake our heads at their immature behaviour; but I suspect that most of us are guilty of playing the comparison game from time to time. The media bombards us with unrealistic images of how we should look, while advertisements are carefully crafted to make us dissatisfied with our lot. Before we realise it, we’re measuring ourselves against others, thinking that life would be perfect if only we had a size eight figure, a designer wardrobe and a fortnight’s holiday in the Bahamas every summer.
As Christians, we understand – at least in theory – tha…

The First of Three Blasts of the Trump

As I’ve been saying in previous blogs, C. S. Lewis in English Literature in the Sixteenth Century displays a wonderful balance of critical analysis and sympathetic insight. He brings out for us the strengths of the era, so that we may profit from them, while not hiding their dark side—a side that is unfortunately quite familiar today.

John Knox is one of the most important, and most colourful, figures of the Reformation in the British Isles (especially for Scots). Having been brought up a Northern Ireland Presbyterian, Lewis was well placed to understand Knox’s faith from the inside.
Soon after Mary’s accession in 1553, Knox fled from England, where he was already in exile, to the Continent. From there he wrote the Epistle to His Afflicted Brethren in England, ‘full’, Lewis tells us, ‘of his exulting certainty that the persecutors will be punished in this life and in the next’. Lewis comments ‘it is impossible to suppress the uneasy remembrance (even though we dare make no judgement)…

Trophies and photographs - by Helen Murray

Apologies if this is an odd sort of post. It's about something that happened earlier this week and it's not quite straight in my mind yet. It's a bit difficult to talk about, partly because it's deeply personal, but also because it's still a bit raw and unprocessed. I'm sort of processing as I write.

On Monday I sat down to pray with two very wise and perceptive ladies that don't know me at all. We were talking about God the Father, families, our Christian journey, that kind of thing. I found myself telling them of a memory I have from junior school. The memory for me is frozen into a photograph.

There's a little girl in a blue and white checked school uniform dress standing in a school hall. Actually, she's not so little - she's only about nine or ten but she's tall for her age and ... er... not thin. She has long golden hair over her shoulder and she's looking down and smiling. She has a trophy in her hands; a polished silver rose bowl…

The Comedy Genius of Victoria Wood

I read the following quote the other day:

“I like writing a lot more than I used to. I used to find it scary but now I’ve got used to it once it gets going. I used to find it hard to start. Fear of the blank page. The first thing you write down won’t bear any relation to what’s in your head, and that’s always disappointing.”
Wise words from the late, but hilariously great Victoria Wood - little did I know that only a few days later we would hear of her untimely death from cancer. I was going to share something else today, but I couldn’t let this blog go by without some sort of tribute. I’m sure I’m not the only one of us who was, and will remain, a huge fan of her work.
A lot of people remember a captivating performer, but, alongside the videos old and new, we will never be without some of the funniest, saddest, most captivating writing ever. From the infamous Ballad of Barry and Freda, via the side splitting drama of Acorn Antiques and Dinnerladies, to the profound Housewife 49 and tear…

Where is the good way.............? by Ruth Johnson

Stand at the crossroads 
and look, 
ask for the ancient paths. Ask where the good way is,  and walk in it and  you will find rest  for your souls….”                        Jeremiah 6:16

This blog, and my monthly contribution, began a year ago and coincided with Brian, my husband, retiring and feeling at a crossroads of life.Although not a new wife, this verse came to me. Deut.24:5 “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army, nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home for one year and shall bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.”This year that has been outworked in our lives.Now we stand again and await direction. 
Nine years ago we asked for a new church His answer was Jer.6.16.  We were clearly directed to a church where the sermon that morning was based on that verse confirming the ancient paths were God’s Word and Spirit.Our love and life together has been transformed by those paths.We have a new leader he's decided on a church motto “Seek fir…

From there to here by Sue Russell

When did you first know you wanted to write?

I thought I would tell you how I came to be the author of (to date) five self-published novels from an overt Christian worldview, and if any of it is helpful to any of you I will be pleased. It's not something that  can easily fit into a brief blog post, so I'll spread it over a number of months (unless, of course, I get the overwhelming response, 'Please don't!')
Everyone's background is different, I guess. But for me writing stories started very young, and by the time I was 11 or 12 I was busy and ambitious: I'd delivered a derivative script about tampering with oil-pipes to a television company (which replied very politely); penned a novel about the last Persian king, conquered by Alexander (for which the research was reading one out-of-date book in the school library, and 'penning' was just what I did, not being in possession of a typewriter); and other such laughable juvenile efforts. My naive ambiti…

On being a pen-sioner by Veronica Zundel

Since last November I have been, though it seems hard to believe, a pensioner. With my state pension alone (I've put off taking my private one as I can't face the paperwork!), I am richer in personal terms than I've been for a long time. In fact I haven't had such a regular income for over 25 years, since I quit my editing job some months after getting married.

Now I have never made a real living from writing, and since every book I've  written is now out of print, I'm certainly not making one now. Before my marriage I  lived on half a salary plus parental help, and since then I have lived off my husband. Pace whoever  said 'No one but a fool ever wrote except for money', my motive was not financial survival, but a possibly deluded idea that my wisdom (or foolishness?) was worth sharing with the world.

Nevertheless, this sudden increase in fortune has done dangerous things to my motivation. Why struggle to carve out time for writing when I am getting pa…

Why rest is essential to our creativity

I should yield with willing submission, but resisting rest seems to be my default mode most days as the drive to 'do' so often overtakes the desire to draw back and simply 'be'. 

Periods of extra busyness leave me flat-out with fatigue, yet some part of me still refuses to heed the signs. I ride the rush of adrenaline, feeling wired as a coiled up spring.

So I keep on keeping on, persuading myself that this time I will ride the waves without them crashing me to the ocean floor. Foolish? You bet. Those things we long to press on with can instead become a steamroller flattening us to ground. 

It makes me wonder: Are we so desirous of being busy, connected and 'out there' that fear of missing out persuades us to be unwise?

I know I am, more often than is helpful. When I do yield to rest, I sense God sighing with relief as I finally listen to Him.

God won't force us to slow down; He urges us to yield to His ways and picks us up when we fall. And He provides all the …

Finding inspiration in unexpected places by Claire Musters

My writing is focused on the everyday – the challenges of life and what it means to be a woman/wife/mother/daughter/worship leader/disciple for me today. I write out of experiences and the issues that are currently on my heart. But sometimes there are unexpected sources of inspiration that give me a jolt and make me go back to my writing with fresh vigour or a different perspective.
This Easter holiday, my ten-year-old daughter was working on a science project for school. She created a model of the solar system, researched facts about planets and then disappeared for a couple of hours – to write a poem. I had assumed she would write something about journeying through space and which planets she saw as she was doing so. However, when she shyly emailed through the poem to me I downed tools to read it, and was totally blown away. She had written from the perspective of a lowly star – although she didn’t make that immediately obvious – giving it real characterisation and emotion. And her…