Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writers' Corner Launch

Welcome to Writers' Corner. If all goes according to plan, this feature will appear each Thursday, so please plan to return. Maybe even become a follower!

Join me as I share my journey to publication, rejection, and writing tips. Some weeks, I’ll hold a Q&A session where writers of all levels are welcomed to comment and ask questions. Occasionally, I’ll host a guest blogger who’s a colleague in the writing industry.

Whether you’re published, a newbie, or someone plugging along in the middle, everyone needs encouragement to stay the course. That’s the purpose of Writers’ Corner.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Encouragement flows both directions on this blog. I look forward to our journey together in becoming better writers and getting to know everyone.

I’m a published, agented writer who’s still growing and seeking God’s plan in the literary world.  I write fiction and non-fiction, basically whatever God lays on my heart. I encourage you to explore the pages above, my profile on the right, and the archives to learn more about me and my writing.

One of the many lessons I’ve learned since embarking on the journey to publication is—no matter where you are on the path, no one “arrives.” Well, unless you’re Stephen King, Jan Karon, or JK Rowling.

Even so, most published writers are part of a critique group or have a critique partner. If not, their agent or editor serves this function. I assure you the manuscript handed to the agent is not what ends up on a retailer’s shelf.

In order to become published (and I think it’s safe to say that’s the goal of every writer), you cannot write in a vacuum. The mythological hermit tucked away in his cabin churning out bestsellers is just that—a myth. Writers have to seek and accept feedback as crucial to growth.

This doesn’t mean you have to revise your WIP (work in progress) exactly the way someone else instructs you. As you become a seasoned writer, you’ll find your voice and learn what advice to discard and what is spot-on.

Feedback can be painful. But look at trees that are pruned in the fall. They come back even more beautifully shaped in the spring. Critiques are subjective, but good critiques offer constructive criticism that enables growth. I’ve been fortunate to have some fantastic writers and editors in my journey give me sound advice and feedback.

Last year, I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) large critique group. From there, I moved to a smaller group of published and/or agented writers. Both groups have been vital in crafting my fiction manuscript and pushing me to the next level.

So this leads me to the first giveaway of Writers’ Corner. You guessed it! A free critique.

I will randomly select one person to receive a free critique based on the following rules:
1.   Leave a comment on this post of a few sentences describing your WIP. Feel free to briefly introduce yourself, as well.
2.   Winning WIP submission must be 2,000 words or less.
3.   I feel certain most people reading this blog don’t have to be told this, but I’ll state it anyway. Entries cannot be erotic, vulgar, or blasphemous. For example, please do not give God a last name or slander Him and expect me to critique your work. I reserve the right to reject the entry and reselect based on these rules.
4.   You must agree to have rhino skin. Think “American Idol.” I promise not to be Simon Cowell. I’m more of a Paula. I will find the good and give you encouragement, but I will also point out your errors.
5.   The critique is not exhaustive. Most writers have to ascend the writing ladder one rung at the time. That’s hard to do if your writing has been ripped apart on all fronts. Better to tackle a few issues and learn. When doing so, you often discover other areas of your writing that need improvement.
6.   Understand that I’m not an expert. I’m not ashamed to say I’m still learning my craft. My feedback is designed to aid in your goal of becoming a published writer. However, there is no implication of publication hinted at or guaranteed, if you follow my advice.
Okay, now that we’re all on the same page, get to commenting! I will announce the winner next Thursday.


  1. Hi Laura,
    I'm Lori Hatcher, author of the soon-to-be-published book "Joy in the Journey--Words of Encouragment for Homeschooling Moms" and the blog "Be Not Weary" ( I'd love a critique on my WIP, an article about how to prepare for the empty nest.

    1. Hi Lori, I've read your blog before. Great stuff! Your WIP sounds intriguing.

  2. Hopping over from Bless a Blogger. I love how you are passionate about writing and sharing your talent with others. I am a newbie to blogging and I started so that maybe I could keep an online scrapbooking of sorts. I am a busy mom and sitting down to cut, paste, create, and keep up with a scrapbook and I tried, but I didn't get very far. So I thought I would try blogging. So far I have found it can be a bit hard for me to post everything everyday and post well. I had to stop beating myself up and do what I do for me. So far I have learned from others and I also have gained a lot of encouragement from other women.

    1. Thanks, Piper! Blogging every day is a challenge I haven't met either. Quality over quantity is my motto. Your blog is beautiful, and I enjoyed your post on being content.

  3. Oh! Oh! Oh!!!! I am so glad I found your blog!!!!! And I am a new follower!!! I am popping over from Bless a Blogger Friday (it's still Friday, right? Although on my side of the Great Pond it's already Saturday morning ). But I am also entering this giveaway. So, in short, what I'd have to submit is regarding modern missionary work - what aspiring missionaries need to know about being a missionary in the 21st century from the perspective of a missionary on the field for nearly a decade. I look forward to reading your posts about writing and honing my very rough skills! Blessings to you from Zagreb!

  4. I love your excitement, Rosilind! Thanks for becoming a follower. Your WIP sounds interesting and informative. God bless you!