Saturday, February 11, 2012


Writing for Anthologies                 

How do you develop credibility when you’re an unpublished writer? Artists have their portfolios. Managers have their resumes. Unpublished writers have…? And that’s the problem. How does an unpublished writer prove to agents and publishers that he or she is serious about writing and publication?

One way is to build a history of published work by writing for magazines and anthologies. An anthology is a collection of short works. It can be poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, or songs. An example of a well-known anthology is the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Series such as this one are continuously seeking excellent content.

The first submission for which I was paid was a short story for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Since then, I’ve written for a variety of magazines, including The Lookout, Evangel, Light and Life, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. These publishing credits helped prepare me for the publication of my first book, One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God (Revell), as well as the two children’s books I co-authored with Crystal Bowman in the Faith Basics for Kids series (Standard Publishing).

Having been published in more than twenty different anthologies, including sixteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, I’ve learned some things about what makes one creative non-fiction submission stand out from the rest of the competition.

I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned in two workshops at the Florida Christian Writers Conference on Saturday, March 3, at 1:30 and 2:45. In the first session, we’ll discuss the components of a winning story. We’ll spend the second session in a hands-on exercise as we transform a mediocre story into a winner, using the principles learned in the first workshop.

I’ll also be facilitating an After Hours session Saturday evening for participants who want their anthology stories critiqued, so bring something you’re working on.

Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

  1. Ava's anthology workshop is filled with practical, personal advice that works. She delighted our Word Weavers group when she shared with us this spring. Big thumbs-up!


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