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an Affiliate of American Christian Fiction Writers

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Hey, fellow CWOWers - have you checked out the ACFW Blog yet?

I just read a great article by Rachael Hauck on Back Story VS Character History and learned a whole new way of dropping a bit of history into the scene without slowing down the forward momentum of your story.

Back Story vs Character History, Part One

Back Story vs Character History, Part Two


While you're there poke around a bit. There are 7 years worth of news, articles and writing tips to help sharpen your writing skills. Just one of the perks of being a member of ACFW!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Writing Contests - Getting your feet wet.

One way to get noticed in the publishing world is to enter writing contests...and hopefully win or place.  Contests offer valuable feedback to improve your writing to say nothing of the fabulous prizes - cash, paid registration to writing conferences, reviews by publishers, critiques by qualified editors...and tons of exposure.

Want to get your feet wet? Here are a few current writing contests.

Worship Write Witness Everyone's A Reader Novella Contest - Sponsored by the ACFW Colorado Springs Chapter. Opens for submissions on August 5, 2013

Mile High Scribes One-Sheet Contest - Sponsored by the South Denver Chapter of ACFW (Hurry on this one. All entries must be received (not postmarked) by April 30, 2013.

OCW Christian Writers Contest -  Sponsored by Oregon Cascade Christian Writers. Deadline is April 30, 2013.

And for those Dads and Grandpas out there, we just received news of a writing contest just for you! It's the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy's Devotedly, Dad contest. Deadline for this one is May 30th, 3013

Remember - read the guidelines carefully before submitting.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Emotion Thesaurus

Remember that old commercial...She told two people and she told two people and she told two people....

Well, Dana told Leola and Leola told me and now I'm telling you about this terrific writer resource -

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character's emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. Using its easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them. This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.


While checking out the book, I visited the authors' blog and was amazed to see that they had tons of samples from the book online. Then I checked out the sidebar!

There's a..
  • Physical Attributes Thesaurus
  • Character Traits Thesaurus
  • Weather & Earthly Phenomen Thesaurus
  • Colors, Textures & Shapes Thesaurus
  • Settings Thesaurus
  • Symbolism Thesaurus
For instance...want to describe someone who is embarrassed?  Here's the entry...
• coughing
• stuttering, stammering
• speechlessness
• looking down, unable to meet another's eyes
• shoulders slumping, slouching, sagging, hunching
• a desire to run away
• glancing about as if for an exit or escape
• angry or knee-jerk reactions (lashing out, taking a cheap shot, name calling)
• gritting one's teeth, pressing the lips tight
• keeping a death grip on backpack straps, gripping school books against the chest
• rapidly walking away, keeping the head down
• excessive swallowing
• muddied or panicked thoughts
• lightheadedness, tingling in the chest or stomach
• pretending to not have heard or seen
• using long hair to hide the face
  Check out Angela & Becca's Emotion Thesaurus blog post at .

Happy Writing!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Welcome to the new CWOW blog!

We're so glad you dropped by the Christian Writers of the West's brand new blog.  This will be the hub of information for our members as well as Christian fiction writers who are interested in finding a writer's group in the greater Phoenix area.

We have big plans for the blog including...

  • Regular Posts by our CWOW Members
  • Writing Tips
  • Writing Contest Information
  • CWOW Member News
  • Local Events of Interest to Writers
  • Meeting Information
  • Writing Prompts to Kick Start your Writing
  • Recommended Writer Resources

...and much more.

Drop by often and feel free to leave comments. We would love to hear from you.

Happy Writing!