By Lorene Masters
After my first writer’s conference two years ago, I learned that the world of writing is full of intelligent, cutting-edge agents and publishers who are not afraid to tell you how they really feel. And how I sincerely wished that they would not be so bold when it came to me and the critiquing of my proposal letters and manuscripts. Their critique was all over the board from, “you are a gifted writer with a great story that needs to be told,” to “you need to start all over and write this as fiction,” and “who told you that you could write memoirs because you clearly cannot and you must not have read very many of them or you would know how to write one.”
By Ron Sandison
When Ron Sandison set out to write a helpful book for parents and their families struggling with an autism spectrum child, he decided to tell his own story. He discovered that personal stories were of no interest to publishers. In discussion with his agent, Les Stobbe, he agreed that a how-to book for parents might more easily find a publisher. He interviewed parents from all over the country, interviewed 40 experts on autism and wrote three chapters of a practical guide for parents with autistic children. Through ministry contacts, and working with his agent, he was able to interest staff at Charisma Media, where editors worked with him as he developed the rest of the book.
I’m constantly amazed by the fixation of fiction writers on novels, as if that is the noblest expression of the art of fiction writing. Yet there are a variety of other opportunities to employ fiction to present the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Let me illustrate with my experiences.
The apostle Paul is known for many things, but what really stands out for me is his ministry of encouragement. I was in my early 20s and wondering what God might have for me when I decided to read the apostle Paul’s letters to highlight only his promises. It became a life-changing experience and the promises I read then still resonate in my soul well over 60 years later.