Call for Submissions

Draw Near is currently accepting submissions for a new free ebook. This publication will consist of personal essays. All essay submissions should be under 1,000 words. The theme is childhood. The essay should capture a single day or event that happened during your childhood. The situation or event could be good or bad, but please close your essay with a positive message on how it helped you in life. Some possible themes for your essay could be living in the country/city, growing up with two parents or only one parent, being raised in a Christian/non-Christian household, living in a rich/poor family, being popular/unpopular in school, etc. Simply give the reader an idea of what it was like to be you as a child and a sliver of wisdom from your experience. Need help? Do not hesitate to request free assistance from Draw Near’s editor.

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting.

  1. Email your personal essay to songofsolomon8@outlook.com. Submit in the body of the email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf). Avoid using special fonts and formats (such as centering, italics, etc). Include the title and “by” line in the email. (A pen name is okay.)
  2. You may include a short biography (optional). If your work is selected, Draw Near will share your bio in a blog. The bio must be in third person and consist of no more than three sentences. One link to your personal website or social media is acceptable.
  3. Draw Near will accept work that you have published on the internet (on your website or a public forum). However, we are not interested in manuscripts that have already been accepted for publication by other publishers. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify us immediately if your writing is accepted elsewhere.
  4. Submit only one personal essay. Submissions with indecent words or subjects will be rejected without consideration.
  5. The deadline is when full. Please submit as soon as possible.
  6. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for your submission. Please submit only if you wish to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ. All submissions will be considered and acknowledged. However, Draw Near will only accept quality writing that adheres to these guidelines for publication.
  7. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS!!! By submitting a creative work:
  • you certify you are the author of the creative work.
  • you agree to give the publisher rights to publish your creative work in a single publication.
  • you authorize the publisher to make this publication available in print and electronic formats.
  • you agree to allow the publisher to post this publication on this website and other websites designed for hosting print and electronic formats.
  • you retain the copyright to your work.
  • you will be credited for your creative work (either as your real or pen name).

Still interested? Send your personal essay to songofsolomon8@outlook.com today!

On “Good” Writing (blog by me)

When I first began writing, I used http://www.duotrope.com to discover new publications. I submitted every piece of writing to the editors of the publications I found there. To stay organized, I created three folders in my email for their replies to my submissions: a) rejections, b) rejections that requested additional writing, and c) acceptances.  Of course, the rejections folder was filling up the fastest. Although the number of rejections was disappointing, it drove me to learn more about the publishing industry. In particular, I wanted to know: What do editors consider “good” writing? As a more experienced author and editor, I now understand the most important factors of good writing.

  1. Good writing is subjective. Even though my writing was rejected by one editor, eventually some other editor would love it and publish that same rejected piece of writing. This led me to conclude what we all know but (as writers) cannot hear often enough.  As individuals, we all have different opinions of what is good. If you have a piece of writing you love, keep submitting it. You just haven’t found the right editor yet—or maybe the right publication.
  2. Good writing should uphold the mission of the publishing company and fit the theme of the publication.  The mission statement of the publishing company is usually stated plainly on the website. Reading the mission and considering it can provide you with the necessary insight to submit the most fitting piece of writing to that particular publication. (Draw Near’s mission is clearly stated on the MISSION & CONTACT page, and the most recent theme appears on the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS page.)
  3. Good writing follows the rules of punctuation and contains no spelling errors. Although some writers might think breaking some punctuation rules or making a spelling error is no big deal, it actually is problematic to editors. I strongly recommend regularly reviewing guide books on punctuation and researching every questionable rule of punctuation that surfaces as you write. Additionally, read your writing several times for spelling errors prior to submitting. The competition in the writing industry is fierce. Do not let yourself lose an opportunity based on technical errors.

I hope these tips I learned during my writing journey will help you to get more of your writing published. Don’t let rejection letters steal your hope to become a successful writer. Instead, use those rejections to drive you to hone your skills and to become a more savvy writer. Have a great day and God bless!

 

On Writing Poetry (by me)

I have not written many poems lately because I am currently reviewing poetry submissions for a new project called Blessed Creation: A Christian Poetry Collection. This publication will provide writers the opportunity to spotlight an aspect of God’s creation with their poetry. If interested, please visit the Call for Submissions page. In today’s blog, I want to share my process for writing poetry.

I usually start my poetry writing process with a memory. If I am not inspired by a memory, it could be a dream, a beloved animal or flower, an art piece, a sermon, or someone I saw on the street… Really the possibilities for inspiration are endless! From this inspiring idea, I develop and jot down one or two lines for the poem.

Next, I try to decide if what form the poem should take. (See http://www.shadowpoetry.com to learn more about poetry forms.) If my primary purpose is to communicate a concrete message, I will often choose free verse. Mangling a message to fit into a rhyming or syllable form simply will not do. However, I love expressing flexible ideas through rhyming poetry forms like a sonnet or rhyme royal. Rhyming poems can be fun, beautiful, and complex. I personally prefer to use near rhymes instead of obvious rhymes to make it sound more sophisticated. (Visit http://www.rhymezone.com to access near rhyme suggestions for your own poetry.) Syllable poetry forms like haiku and sijo are useful to capture the short attention span of new readers. (Visit http://www.wordcalc.com if you don’t like counting syllables by hand.) When no poetry form seems suitable, I simply invent my own poetry form! Creative people create. We can’t help it. Once the form is selected, I can add more lines to the poem until it is complete.

Once the poem is finished, I reflect on the message of the poem. For me, there is always a balance to be struck. I review and ask myself questions like:

  • Does the poem honor God?
  • Is it original?
  • Was I transparent and “for real” about my true emotions?
  • Would it be considered offensive or judgmental?
  • Does it reveal God’s heart for His people?
  • Is it too syrupy sweet?
  • Does it glorify sinful practices in any way?
  • Does it speak truth according to the Word of God?

If I don’t like my answers, it is time to rewrite the poem to ensure the integrity of my work as a Christian writer. In obedience to what God has called me to do, one thing is certain—I keep writing. My readers here on this site really encourage me to fulfill my calling as a writer. I could not continue day in and day out with your supportive likes and comments (which I can read although they do not publicly post). (If you seek an encouraging poetry community, you can find one at http://www.poetrysoup.com.)

That’s it! I hope the review of my writing process helps you in some way. If you landed here because of your interest in writing but do not consider yourself a Christian, please visit Draw Near’s About God page. Additionally, I am happy to read and reply to emails if you simply have questions or concerns about the Christian faith. (See the Contact page.) Maybe there is a more significant reason you landed on this page. Thanks for reading and God bless!

Call for Submissions

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good….”—Genesis 1:31

Draw Near is currently accepting Christian poetry submissions for a new free ebook. The theme is CREATION so poems about anything created by God will be shown preference. The theme could include a variety of subjects such as a man or woman, an introspective view into yourself, a character profile of someone else, a relationship, an animal, a plant, a continent, a country, a landscape, etc. Write about something you love and how it relates to God. All forms (except shape poetry) will be accepted. Draw Near desires to showcase a variety of rhyming, syllable, non-rhyming free verse, and newly invented poetry.

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting.
1. Email your poem to k.bondofstl@yahoo.com. Poems can be submitted in the email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf). Avoid using special fonts and formats (such as centering, italics, etc). Include your poem’s title and “by” line in the email. (A pen name is okay.)
2. You may include a short biography (optional). If your poem is selected, Draw Near will share your bio in a blog. The bio should not exceed three sentences. One link to your personal website or social media is acceptable.
3. New or old poems will be accepted. Draw Near will gladly accept poems that you have published on the internet (on your website or a public forum). However, I am not interested in poems already accepted by other editors/publishers. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify Draw Near immediately if your poem is accepted elsewhere.
4. Submit a maximum of three poems. Only one poem submission will be accepted. Poems with indecent words or subjects will be rejected without consideration.
5. The deadline is November 20, 2016.
6. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for your submission. Please submit only if you wish to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ. All submissions will be read and acknowledged. However, Draw Near will only accept quality writing that adheres to these guidelines for publication.
7. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS!!! By submitting a creative work:
• you certify you are the author of the creative work.
• you agree to give the publisher rights to publish your creative work in a single publication.
• you authorize the publisher to make this publication available in print and electronic formats.
• you agree to allow the publisher to post this publication on this website and other websites designed for hosting print and electronic formats.
• you retain the copyright to your work.
• you will be credited for your creative work (either as your real or pen name).

Still interested? Send in your poem to k.bondofstl@yahoo.com today!