Last Day to Enter Poetry Contest!

Well it’s been fun,poetrycontestpinterest
this contest of ours.
Like all good things,
The end has now come.

Ten days have flown by like a powered eagle with lightweight wings!

We’re so excited to see all the entries flooding in! Keep ’em coming!

At 12:00 AM on May 1st the contest will be closing. So share with all your friends, if you haven’t already, and place the finishing touches on your poem and send it in quick!

Don’t get tripped up on your rhyming scheme! ;P

The Great Gatsby

By Christine Eaton

If you are like most high school students, the Great Gatsby is on your reading list: why?  Is it to experience a masterpiece of literary genius or is there something more to this novel?  In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote this story, which is a staunch example of the frivolity of life without Christ as the foundation. Wealth, power, vanity, and adulterous relationships are the four core elements that drive the characters and plot of The Great Gatsby.  GreatGatsbyThroughout the story, it is shown how the characters felt secure in their way of life, how they let their own desires and impulses lead them, and how they twisted the morals they did have to fit in with their sinful lifestyle. In the end, they found that their world had collapsed because they did not have a proper foundation. Matthew 7:26-27 says “and everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell. And great was the fall of it.” [ESV] this verse is the perfect description of the life of Fitzgerald’s main character, Jay Gatsby. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Christi Eaton
Christine Eaton is a student at Providence Christian College who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

Foil Characters: What They Are and How to Use Them

So, if you’ve been following my articles for a while, you may have noticed that I talk a lot about the purpose of literature being to teach and to delight.  However, the instructional part of literature can be easily misunderstood.  After all, what does it practically mean to teach with literature?  Does it mean to include random sermons midway through the novel?  To end your book with a detailed explanation of what the book was supposed to do?  Hopefully not, but then what does it mean? foilcharacters

Many things go into a successful theme in order to make a novel instructive as well as entertaining.  However, one of the most important ways that a theme is brought across is by using the various characters in your book as positive and negative character examples.  Today, I’d like to talk about one specific way that characters can be used as character examples: and that’s through the use of foil characters.

Foil characters are one of my favorite writing tropes to utilize for several reasons.  One reason I enjoy utilizing foil characters is that you can use them to develop your theme very well while still being subtle, thus avoiding the preaching that too often happens in Christian fiction.  Another reason is that they add a good bit of beauty to the literary text through the use of parallel.

Of course, talking about how much I like foil characters doesn’t help much if you don’t know what they are.  So, without further ado, let’s dive in. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.

Racing Time (Self-Publishing Experience)

I wanted to write a novella in one week. The math was simple enough; my novellas ended up around 25,000 words long so if I wrote 5,000 words a day for five days, I’d finish it Friday, leaving Saturday for rounding up any extra words which spilled over. racingtimepinterest

The actual thought of 5,000 words in one day was intimidating to consider, but I knew of another writer who had recently written 10,000 words in one day. If he could do that much, surely I could do half that amount and keep up the pace for a whole week.

The Course

The first order of the day was to map out the number of words to write along with when they needed to be written. In my case, I was writing a novella in one week, but this same structure would work for any wordathon, be it a novel in one month or a chapter in one day.

But that was just the beginning. Before I typed a word, I spent a week in preparation, going over the course my fingers were to cover in the next week. I looked up names, planned out characters, and outlined the story. It wasn’t perfect; in writing there are always some things which just happen. One character unexpectedly appeared halfway through my novella, and I didn’t work out the details of the climax until the day before writing it, (not something I’d recommend). But having an outline to work from, and knowing what was supposed to happen next, was a great help later on when I just had to focus on writing, not smoothing out numerous bumps and potholes in the plot. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Hope Ann
Hope Ann is a speculative fiction writer who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She has self-published three Legends of Light novellas and is the Kingdom Pen Writing Team Captain. Reading since the age of five, and introducing herself to writing at age eight, she never had a question that the author’s life was the life for her. Her goal is to write thrilling Christian fantasy and futuristic fiction — stories she longed for while growing up. After graduating from homeschool, Hope now teaches writing to several of her eight younger siblings. She loves climbing trees, archery, photography, Lord of the Rings, chocolate, and collecting shiny things she claims are useful for story inspiration. You can claim one of her stories for free at: https://authorhopeann.com/rose-of-the-night/

The KP Team Answers: What Is Your Favorite Part of Kingdom Pen?

What do our staff members love the most about Kingdom Pen?  Check out their thoughts in this video, and let us know in the comments what your answer would be to this question!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsY5rVRWFrE

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.

A Blade of Grass

It was his very first spring; he was a young sprout and that day started out perfectly…

Blade looked up at the breathtaking sky. Beautiful, hardly a cloud covering its perfect canvas. “Isn’t it a nice day?” he asked his brother, Root who stood tall by his side.

“Yeah, sure,” Root replied in his usual disinterested drawl.bladeofgrasspinterest

A ladybug passed Blade’s line of sight, and he watched it land on a lovely, tall stalked dandelion.

His roots tingled with excitement. It was Dandy. She had sprouted the same day as him, and he had loved her ever since she was a bud.

As the fat bug tickled the golden flower’s face, she laughed, and as that joyful melody rang out, Blade couldn’t help but smile.

Then it happened. She glanced his way. “Hi!” she said looking down at him.

 What do I do? She’s talking to me! Blade thought in a panic.

“You’re Bean, right?” she asked.

He glanced around then looked back at her. Maybe she’s talking to someone else. Bean? There aren’t any Bean’s around here. “Are you talking to m-me?” He stuttered.

abog4

She giggled as the lady bug crawled down her stalk. “Yes, silly. I don’t think anyone else around here has got a name like that.”

“No, I guess not.” Blade wanted to tell her that his name wasn’t Bean, it was Blade, but the way she said it made him wish that it was.

“Not that I don’t like that name,” she continued, “It’s cute.”

Some of the other weeds and grass in between them snorted in amusement and Blade blushed slightly.

“Thanks, I guess. Uh… your name is Dandy, right?” Blade asked, trying to pretend like he wasn’t sure.

Dandy nodded happily, making her short petals bounce up and down. “It’s not the most original name for a dandelion, but I think it’s pretty.” She said.  [Read more…]

Profile photo of Hannah Carmichael
Hannah Carmichael has been writing short stories since she was seven and has been drawing ever since she first discovered that pencils aren’t food. She hopes to become a published author and illustrator. She is currently working on editing the sequel to her first work in progress along with planning her next.
Hannah was fully homeschooled from square one and currently floats in that odd void between graduation and college.
Her main goal is to write for the Lord and bring hope into the darkness that is our world through her words and artistic creations.

Poetry Contest

Who’s ready for another contest?! We are. In fact, we’re pretty jazzed about announcing this one!

Do you write poetry? Then this contest is just for you! As it is National Poetry Month we thought it befitting to host a poetry writing contest.  poetrycontestpinterest

What’ll You Win? 

1st place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem, as well as this amazing book, A Poet’s Glossary
2nd place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem, along with a beautiful complete collection of Emily Dickinson’s poems.
3rd place – a critique and comments from the judges of their poem.

Contest Guidelines

The contest will run from April 20-30.

That’s ten days to whip up a poem, trim off an old one, or showcase a brand new one you’ve been waiting to present. Take advantage of those two weekends!

Our contest is limited to those of you who happen to be in that special age category lovingly known as teenagers: 13-19

One poem per contestant. 

This limitation is your best friend. You can focus all of your attention on that one little winner and shock the words right out of us.

Poem length: 15-50 lines.  [Read more…]

The Goose and the Golden Egg

By BlueJay

gooseandthegoldeneggpinterest

Once upon a time,

There lived a man and wife,

Who both were very poor,

And had been all their life.

Until they found a goose,

With feathers white and grey,

It lived on grass and corn,

And laid an egg each day.

They didn’t eat the eggs,

Instead each one was sold,

And do you know the reason why?

Those eggs were solid gold!

[Read more…]

10 Steps to Writing a Successful Poem

Staring at blank paper can be daunting. It’s just a piece of paper, but there’s so much it can hold! It is light now, but it has the potential to be a paperweight if the right words are written upon it. successfulpoempinterest

The same could be said about a poem. It could be a waste of space, or a Pulitzer Prize Winner. How does one write a successful poem? I have created this easy and simple step-by-step guide for you to use as often as you like!

Step 1. Select your foundation

A stack of clean white paper is required. Ivory or parchment is recommended, even a soft clay tablet and an authentic stylus works just as well if that’s your cup of Joe. Lined paper is heavily frowned upon because the lines interfere with the creative free spirit.

Step 2. Locate your weapon of mass construction

Pencils are the preferred writing tools for a poet. Pens are not commonly used due to the amount of erasing a poet performs when crafting. Unless you favor the strike-through look in your poem, repeat step one until you have selected enough paper to keep rewriting, or just simply stick with a few boxes of nicely sharpened pencils. And save yourself the trouble and purchase a package of erasers. I hear Sam’s Club has a great value pack. [Read more…]

Lyric Writing Contest Results!

The lyrics have been written, the contest has been won, and now we are proud to present you with the final results of your efforts!! Tom and Jo recorded all three songs and they are right here for your pleasure! Let us know what you think.

Processed with VSCOcam with b4 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b4 preset

 

Also, don’t forget that KP Radio is open for submissions. As always any submission you have should be sent to the Kingdom Pen email: kingdompenmag@gmail.com If you have any questions feel free to ask! We always love hearing from you.