Kingdom Pen Interviews – Philip Yancey

His books had been in our house for years. But it was only a couple of months ago when I really took a closer look at them. After reading What’s So Amazing About Grace?, I was thoroughly convicted, challenged, and more determined to live a grace-filled life. And was also thoroughly captivated with Philip Yancey’s work.  phillipyanceypinterest

I had to read more. But first I wanted to tell him thank you. After contacting him through his website I wrote him a note in the comments section and then had the marvelous idea to get an interview with him!

After gracious months of emailing back and forth here is the wonderful result of the interview!

There is much wisdom to be gained from this seasoned, non-fiction author as his answers are chock full of writing advice!

Kingdom Pen: What is your personal testimony?

Philip Yancey: I’m in the process of writing a memoir, so you’ll get the full story one of these days (or years).  Unlike many testimonies, mine tells of a conversion from the church—from an angry, uptight, racist, legalistic church in the South.  As a Christian and as a writer, I’ve spent my life and career picking over the words and concepts I learned from that church, understanding them anew in the light of grace, and discovering the hidden treasures that were layered over.  I’ve found, sadly, that the church is as likely to turn someone away from God as toward God.  It’s amazing that God would turn over the mission of spreading the Good News to ordinary people like us, as we so often get it wrong. [Read more…]

KP Interviews – Tosca Lee

Last year at a writer’s conference I had the pleasure of hearing this creative woman give a few talks on the subject of writing. Given that she is a New York Time’s best-selling author I had to get an interview with her. I introduced myself after one of the sessions and through times of procrastination and several emails later here is the fruit of said interview. I found her answers quite interesting, very informative, and humorous. toscaleepinterest

I think I’m going to try her crazy stunt she pulled. 😀

Kingdom Pen: If you could only give one piece of advice on how to go about writing a book, what would it be?

Tosca Lee: Read a lot of good books that YOU like, and take notice of what works in it. And then start writing your own. Don’t go back and redo the beginning over and over—that is death. Write through to the end, even if it’s a shorter novel.

KP: Many authors have at least one embarrassing story to share about their first novels, short stories, or attempts at either. What was your first “big” writing adventure? Do you look back on it as something to be proud of, or is it something you tuck away into dusty corners and try not to talk about very often? [Read more…]

Poetry Contest – Announcing the 1st Place Winner!

Here it is! The announcement you’ve all been waiting for…

This poem…just wow. It touched MacKenzie and I both on a deeper level. Which is why we picked it. As I was reading it a sense of wonderment and a worshipful spirit awakened and I felt drawn to my knees. Not only that, but the specific words used and double meanings laced throughout caused us to ponder as we read.

When you can provoke that kind of reaction in a poem, you know you have written a great one! I am most certain that you will have a similar reaction as you read this poem.   poetrycontestwinnerpost

Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly pronounce that Aberdeen Livingstone’s poem, Weight of Glory won first place! 

Weight of Glory


cool wind like an old friend, new adventure, purls over me, sifts through my hair

stars spear light aeons old, falling like a kiss, newborn to me

leaves like paint chips dance downward to find a new belonging place

(because this is not the end)

trees, bereft, bare, but blooming with hidden life for yet another spring

(because there is always a new beginning

my little corner of the universe illuminated with so much glory—

shoes off, knees down, bow in awe

(because this burning bush is blinding)

somewhere the sea roars its celestial praises, uncontainable joy in the fury

somewhere the mountains murmur in the twilight of a King far loftier

somewhere the desert stretches, speechless, smeared with glory

but here too—even here—the majesty makes mute

(because sometimes words are not enough

glory like a shroud over all the land, woven into its very fabric, seething with lava at its core

(because Immanuel is God with us

sparkling with every grain of dirt, singing with every cricket chirp

(with us)

and I am unmade, remade by this weight of glory


IMG_1950According to her brothers, the sound that characterizes Aberdeen Livingstone is clicking computer keys as she creates poems, novels, and short stories. A logophile and quote collector, Aberdeen loves reading an eclectic array of genres. She also enjoys traveling the world as a military kid, hanging out with her four younger siblings, listening to a variety of music from Handel to Hamilton, and pondering everything. A home-schooled junior, Aberdeen is full of dreams for her future, including plans to study graphic design or technical writing in college and schemes for world domination. Above all, Aberdeen is a redeemed daughter of the King. You can read more of her writing at A Glimpse of Starlight.


Poetry Contest – Announcing the 2nd Place Winner!

Who’s ready to find out who the second place winner is???
Sorry for delaying this and dragging out the suspense; I’ll drag it out no longer!!!  poetrycontest2ndplacepinterest

MacKenzie and I were absolutely delighted with this poem. (I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t drag it out any longer, but this is fun! Keep reading!) The poem itself actually looks like a piece of art. The shape of it reminds you of a falling raindrop. As the poem progresses you can almost feel the rain falling. The creativity and style was fabulous! I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it just as much as we did!

Congratulations Katrina V. on your poem, Rain

[Read more…]

Poetry Contest – Announcing 3rd Place!

We are so excited to finally be revealing to all of you the third place winner! MacKenzie and I had a difficult time narrowing it down as there were thirty entries, but we made the choice and here is the poem that snatched our creative writer’s side.poetrycontest3rdplacepinterest

This poem is perfect for writers as we can all relate to the big bad, evil writer’s block! 

We hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we did!

Congratulations Lauryn Trimmer!! 

The Death of Imagination

A Poem Illustrating Writer’s Block

It was a terrible fate,

My imagination was left out at the gate

And, in the mad criticism of late,

Was swiftly murdered by the hate.

This is still a terrified shore

As we roam the streets he’d roam the more,

All of us shall miss him sore,

And forgetting him will be a chore.

This was wickedly preordained

By the critics whose displeasure rained.

His blood they spilled, his tunic they stained.

Poor Imagination will never be regained.

This is a horrid time,

The melancholy church bells chime

For the master of all sorts of mime,

Of writing, acting, and of rhyme.

This is indeed a ghastly scene,

His grave is blanketed in green,

His tombstone the bleakest I have ever seen,

The sadness of its words is keen.

This is a depressing view,

A group of my characters, although few,

Cried rivers of tears as if on cue

For the imagination we all once knew.

Lauryn_TrimmerLauryn Trimmer lives in California with her parents and two brothers. When Lauryn was three, she began writing her own stories, most of them starring Snow White and Larry the cucumber. Now she enjoys writing poetry and working on her two novels. Her favorite genre is fantasy, but she writes contemporary Christian stories too. When she isn’t writing, Lauryn enjoys singing, playing basketball, and archery. In the future, Lauryn hopes to become a published novelist and an actress.

KP Critiques – 32

With overwhelming delight we are proud to be presenting you with the 32nd installment of KP Critiques!! We enjoy all of the effort and willingness from each and every one of you who has participated. We know the great courage it took for you to submit your work to scrutiny and we thank you abundantly! Keep ’em coming! We love your critique submissions. Even if you’ve already sent one in, don’t hesitate to submit another one!  edwinbrookcritique

Thank you Daeus for this awesome submission! 

An hour past noon, Matthew and Valmond found themselves with Rameaux mounted on horses overlooking a long dusty road many miles from the bandit hideaway. They were on top of a semi-large hill hairy with trees which descended directly upon the road before them in a series of steep slopes and shallow ones which resembled a terrace with steep ramps connecting each level.

“Hairy with trees.” Nice. XD

At its end, past the road, there extended broad fields of pasture land.

“When will the carriage arrive?” asked Valmond. [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…]

KP Critiques – 27

We give you our twenty-seventh installment of KP Critiques! We greatly appreciate the willingness of our subscribers to subject their work underneath our editor’s scrutiny. While critiques are necessary and greatly beneficial, it’s never easy to put your work out there for all to see, and for it to be publicly critiqued. Thank you for having the courage to partake of this daring endeavor! journeymaldroc
(Our editors really aren’t that scary.)


Journey to Maldroc

Levi Pierpont


Gavryn awoke to his sister, Autumn, shaking his arm. “Gavryn, it’s time to go to school!” She cried. “We could be late!”

“Sorry, Autumn… just… really… tired.” He replied, his voice groggy and shaky. He got out of bed and found his school things, put them in his backpack, and walked down the hall to eat breakfast. He was always quick at getting ready.

“Gavryn, can you take the trash out to the incinerator? Josyia already left for school.”

Incinerator. Interesting.

“Sure thing, Mom.” Gavryn replied. He needed a minute away from others to think.

“Thank you, Gav.” She replied. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 26

We are so delighted to be presenting you with our twenty-sixth installment of KP Critiques!! All of you amazing subscribers who have submitted your work for us to critique, THANK YOU!!! Through your courage you have provided us with substantial material, as well as aided in sharing wisdom to fellow writers. Receiving constructive criticism is never easy, but it’s necessary to grow as a writer!  digitallyblind

So please continue flooding us with your wonderful critiques!

Today’s submission is an excerpt from Sarah Lim’s short story, Digitally Blind

The incredible submission!

The package was addressed to a Miss Lunaeira Evans who lived somewhere on the outskirts of the city. Job Holt, thirty-seven years old and still of no considerable mark in life, fingered absently at the wrapping twine and set the package down on the seat next to him.

“fingered absently at the wrapping twine” A little awkward to read.

Postman. Archaic term for a now highly advanced technological role in society. Every day Job filtered through the endless influx of mind-messages. Instant intrigue here! Statistically speaking, one in every thousand mind-messages was reportable. But reporting the treason never gave him any extra income—it was all part of the job. What earned extra revenue would be those once-in-a-blue-moon physical packages, such as the one addressed to Miss Lunaeira Evans. Even then, not every physical delivery was as lucrative as what could be dug out of the trip. [Read more…]

KP Critiques – 25

With overwhelming delight we are proud to be presenting you with the 25th installment of KP Critiques!! We enjoy all of the effort and willingness from each and every one of you who has participated. We know the great courage it took for you to submit your work to scrutiny and we thank you abundantly! Keep ’em coming! We love your critique submissions. Even if you’ve already sent one in, don’t hesitate to submit another one!  chosen

Thank you Kate for providing us with this awesome submission!

‘Edsel glanced sideways at the king and studied him searchingly from beneath half lowered eyelids. “You are afraid,” he remarked after a moment, the tiniest smile touching his lips. But it was not a warm smile— rather the touch of some new chill upon a frostbitten face of stone.

What if you cut out the “but it was not a warm smile, rather” (for one it breaks up the flow of the story) and just said, “touching his lips. Like the touch of some new chill…” ?

“What is it you fear? Is it me? Or is it something having to do with the war?

This sounds immature for a man to say.

Or perhaps you doubt your own fitness to lead so great a venture.”

This fits better.
[Read more…]