Sally Stuart, a prolific writer in her own right, has been helping other poets and writers for over 30 years with writing workshops, keynote speaking, and information-gathering for the annual Christian Writers’ Market Guide – the primary resource for Christians who want to get their work published. For ongoing info and updates, visit her Christian Writers’ Marketplace blog.
Sally, what do you most want to say to Christians who write?
If you believe God has called you to be a writer, you need to determine what that means for you. It may simply mean you need to write for your own healing or write for your church newsletter or write an inspirational column for your local newspaper. But if He has called you to write for publication, then you need to commit to being the best writer you can be -- and BE PERSISTENT in finding a publisher for that writing.
What recent changes have you noticed in Christian publishing?
Because the periodical market continues to shrink, it is harder for writers to get a start there. Book publishers take longer to commit to publishing a book. And publishers are more insistent that writers follow their guidelines exactly.
Do writing conferences and workshops actually help Christian poets and writers? If so, how?
Conferences give the writer a broader understanding of the publishing industry and their particular genre and a chance to meet with agents and editors, as well as building a network of writing colleagues and friends.
How can poets and writers continue to improve their writing?
Read and write! Read A LOT of the poetry or genre you want to write. Read the current Christian bestsellers and the general market bestsellers. And write--write--write! In today's competitive market, ultimately it is excellent writing that gets published.
Excellent advice, Sally. Thanks! God bless you and your work.
If you would like Sally's evaluation of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript, visit her website for her current fees. For feedback on your poems, devotionals, or children’s picture book, contact me through my website.
(c) 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler