Monday, November 24, 2008


We’re excited to announce a new contest for readers and writers alike. Here is the skinny:

Why the Novel Matters Essay Contest.

What you do: Write an essay on the topic Why the Novel Matters. Send it to us by the closing date of midnight, March 2, 2012.

Three winners will be chosen:
Third place wins a copy of Sally Stuart’s 2012 Christian Market Guide.
Second place wins a copy of Sally Stuart’s 2012 Christian Market Guide and a copy of Novel Matters Tips on Rice Cookbook.
First place wins: A NEW KINDLE TOUCH! Plus, the winning essay will appear on the Novel Matters blog. Winners will be announced April 2, 2012.

Here are the specifics about the essay:
Entry Guidelines: Maximum 750 words; Header: Name top left; Page # top right; 1” margins, double-spaced, 12 pt. font; submitted as a Word doc attachment

Essay Criteria: You can write about a specific novel, or about novels in general; Need good supporting evidence; Clarity; Good conclusion; Will be critiqued for punctuation, spelling, grammar etc.

Type in the subject line of your email: Why the Novel Matters Essay.

Send your entry to:

Remember to “like” Novel Matters on Facebook. It’s not a requirement of the contest, but when you connect on Facebook, you have access to lots of immediate conversations and ideas from the Novel Matters community. It’s like family that you don’t have to clean your house for!

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Teeth and Bones Editing Contest

This contest is for writers who are looking for a "real to life" editing experience with their manuscript. Keep in mind, this isn't a warm fuzzy contest (it is called Teeth and Bones, after all!). Entering means you're ready to have your work bit into, maybe even ripped into - with the goal of making the manuscript the best it can be. Sound like something you are up for? Here's how it will work:

How to enter: Comment on the Novel Matters blog anytime between Monday, September 6th, and Friday September 17th, 2010. At the bottom of your comment type TABEC (short for Teeth and Bones Editing Contest). Only comments with these letters at the bottom will be eligible to win (we understand that not all our readers are interested in this level of editing, but would still want to be free to comment and discuss editing - that's the reason we require interested people to please use the TABEC letters at the bottom of their comments)

You many enter as many times as you like over the two weeks. Each comment counts as an entry (but don't forget to type TABEC at the bottom of each comment).

Winner: One winner will be announced on Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 5:00 PM pacific time.

The prize: A teeth and bones edit of your first chapter and synopsis by Bonnie Grove. The edit will be on the substantive level (the overall concepts, characters, and themes, etc. of the novel). It will be Bonnie's teeth on the bones of your manuscript.

The winner will work one on one with Bonnie Grove via e-mail. The winner will consent to having the first paragraph of the work posted on Novel Matters in a before and after comparison. This means the winner will agree to have the first paragraph of your WIP appear on the blog, first as it was originally written, then in its edited form.

Audience with an Agent Contest

Our new Audience with an Agent Contest begins February 1, 2010. Submissions must be received at Novel Matters by April 15.
Finalists will be announced on May 15, and Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency will announce a winner from the finalists on June 15.

You won't want to miss this remarkable opportunity. We look forward to your submissions. Please follow carefully the Guidelines below.


  • Open to US and Canadian novelists

  • 1 submission per person, fiction only

  • 1 chapter, up to 20 pages, plus 1-2 page synopsis

  • 1" margins, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 (synopsis may be single spaced)

  • Books & Such Guidelines apply

Thursday, November 20, 2008


For regular mail you may contact:

Patti Hill
P.O. Box 60112
Grand Junction, CO

Sharon K. Souza
P.O. Box 1656
Woodbridge, CA

Debbie Fuller Thomas
P. O. Box 1703
Auburn, CA 95604


This is a work in progress. Visit often as we add to the list frequently and will not always post about a new addition to the resource section. We endeavour to seek out unique resources - not the same 'ol stuff you find everywhere.

So we six ladies are all huddled in a virtual back room sorting through the common resources to find the gems, the ones you may never find without our help.



The Writers Market by Robert Brewer

Elements of Style by Strunk and White. THE authoritative book on writing effectively. An older but free online version here.
Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
Write Away by Elizabeth George
The Marshall Plan For Novel Writing & The Marshall Plan Workbook by Evan Marshall. This is what Latayne used to “plot” her novel, Latter-day Cipher. (May we brag? Marshall said of Cipher: “An ingenious new take on the religious thriller. Well-written and highly suspenseful, it opens a door onto a world few of us know. I highly recommend it. Scott
is an author to watch.”)

The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. Innovative and effective method, mainly for fiction.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. Writing exercises and inspiration.

The Tao of Writing: Imagine. Create. Flow. By Ralph L. Wahlstrom. Theory and exercises for increasing creativity in your writing.


Bonnie Grove collects unique writer sites for Canadians - if you have a contribution to this list, e-mail her

Places for Writers Since 1997 Places for Writers has been posting writing contests and submission calls, occasional literary news, publishing information, and links to great Canadian writers and organizations.

ONLINE GEMS (by category)

Author Tools:

Writer Beware: Warnings About Literary Fraud and Other Schemes, Scams, and Pitfalls That Target Writers


Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Best feature about this is its pronunciaton feature - helps you to learn a new word by sound.


Video: Elizabeth Gilbert On The Creative Genius
Elizabeth Gilbert's Thoughts On Writing

Enquiring Minds:

Daily Routines - How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days.

Writers Rooms - Pictures of where they write - or, if they are dead - where they wrote.

Timelines: Fill in your character's birth date, and find out what went on in the world from the time he was born to the moment he swung from the gallows (or whatever). Lets you create a timeline of the major events in your character's story, with notes, pictures, and even video attached. Nice way to organize research.

Words: (confusing, usage, verbs, adjectives/adverbs, definitions etc.)

Confusing Words Is John an agnostic, or an atheist? Should you put capital into the capitol? To what affect? Or is that effect? Ever been confused? Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.

Redundancies A list of reduntant phrases and their alternatives.

Writing Prompts

Unphotographable. Photographer Michael David Murphy created this site as a salute to "Occasions when I wished I'd taken the picture, or not forgotten the camera, or had been brave enough to click the shutter." It's an ode to photos, but savvy writers can use it as an exercise in writing short, dense, complete stories with words. Espresso writing, if you will.

Writing Tips

Jeff Gerke's Fiction Writing Tips are an excellent resource, covering every aspect of writing your novel.

About Us

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.”

That’s collective wisdom. That’s what you’ll get from the six fiction authors of Novel Matters. Do we know what we’re talking about? Most of us sold to a publisher our first completed books; and others of us persevered for years.

Here we are, in alphabetical order (mainly because Latayne didn’t want to go in order of age, because she’s, ahem, the eldest….)

Bonnie Grove is our Canadian author. She is the author of Talking to the Dead (David C. Cook). She is also the author of the non-fiction; Your Best You: Discovering and developing the strengths God gave you, a strength based approach to living. She writes fiction for the general market. You can find her at her web site and at the popular blog Fiction Matters . You can follow her on Twitter and check out her daily updates on Face Book. Her keyword is: mouthy-do-gooder.

Patti Hill is the author of Christy-finalist Like A Watered Garden, and two other books in the Garden Gate series, Always Green and In Every Flower (all published by Bethany House), and The Queen of Sleepy Eye (B&H Fiction). Her newest is Seeing Things, as story in which Huckleberry Finn happens to show up as a character. Hmm. Her keyword is: winsome (is this a surprise?) You can visit Patti at or follow her twitterings at:

Kathleen Popa’s first book, To Dance in the Desert was followed by the just-released The Feast of St. Bertie (both published by David C. Cook). The novel she's working on now is titled Honey, Bea & Sky. Check in with her at her website or at her blog, Ever Mindful. You can also follow her on Twitter and on Facebook . Her keyword is: quirky.

Latayne C. Scott is a nonfiction writer of 13 books turned to fiction. Her first novel, Latter-day Cipher (Moody) was published in April. She’s working on another novel about the author of the book of Hebrews. Her keyword is: controversial. Her Web site is

Sharon K. Souza’s first book, A Heavenly Christmas in Hometown (which was also a adapted as a play) was followed by two novels published by NavPress in 2008: Every Good and Perfect Gift and Lying on Sunday. Her newest WIP is titled The Color of Sorrow Isn't Blue. Her keyword is: optimist. You can visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

Debbie Fuller Thomas is the author of Christy-finalist Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon, and her latest is Raising Rain, both with Moody Publishers. You can visit her website, and follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Her keyword is: tenacious.

Are you a kindred spirit? Would you like to offer readers of your blog or website a peek into the haps here at Novel Matters? Or perhaps you'd like to add us to your iGoogle page. We've created a Novel Matters widget just for you. It'll practically install itself. Just click the "Get Widget" button at the bottom of the box.

Get the Novel Matters widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!