Love and Time

By Elri Voigt

Gazing over her subjects, Time watches

Waiting for the next victim to be subject to her iron rule

None can escape it, like a goddess

She waits, immortal and cruel

To laugh as mankind tries to outrun her, and fails

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Two pairs of eyes meet

Two hearts skip a beat

Two souls believe

In a destiny

Two hands join together

[Read more…]

Three Things to Do When You Realize Your Plot Is Cliché

By Jamie Dougall

A brilliant new plot enters your mind. It charms you with sweeping intrigue, fascinating characters, and a premise that cannot be ignored. You immediately start writing, but eventually you realize the story is cliché. All your creative juices die, and you pound your head on your keyboard, wondering why you thought it was a clever idea. The characters are plastic Barbies and G.I. Joes who take three hundred pages to reenact your favorite movie. The ending is predictable. It’s an utter disaster.Three_Things_to_Do_When_You_Realize_Your_Plot_Is_Cliche

Maybe you are being a bit melodramatic. It’s not all that terrible, yet the cliché is present, blurring your scenes into predictable goop. How will you ever fix it?

Clichés are unacceptable because they are repetitive—similar characters playing out similar situations until the plot line becomes insipid. It’s like several people feeding you their own version of spaghetti. Every. Single. Day. You get sick of it, and the next time someone claims their recipe really is different, you’re unimpressed. It doesn’t matter if this sauce has a smidgen of brown sugar. Or the villain only looks like an evil hag. Or the protagonist’s name is not Rapunzel, but Genevieve d’Beauchene. Not only is that a mouthful, it doesn’t conceal the clichéd plot. And we are so done with that flavor.

So how do you spice up a story that tastes too much like bland spaghetti? Read on, and I’ll cover three techniques that may pull your plot out of yesterday’s clichés and to the forefront of originality. [Read more…]

How to Keep Yourself Organized While Writing

By LaToya Gay

As a writer, it’s possible (and maybe even likely) that you aren’t very organized when it comes to your craft. We’ve all experienced inspiration at the most inopportune moments. We can sit for hours staring at a blank screen or page with nary a clue how to proceed with our stories. Then, out of nowhere, inspiration strikes while we’re driving, taking a shower, or walking the dog. It seems to happen anywhere except in a convenient place to write.How_to_Keep_Yourself_Organized_While_Writing

When the muse strikes, we tend to scribble haphazardly on whatever is within reach, whether a dinner napkin, a random piece of mail, or the back of our hands. Although we don’t doubt the utter brilliance of our idea, it’s easy to put the note aside and forget about it, confident that it won’t get lost since we’ve written it down. [Read more…]

Why It’s Okay to Have Clichés in Your Fantasy Novel

By Gabrielle Massman

“Your story is a bit cliché, don’t you think?”

For a long time, I dreaded I would hear those words. They seemed like the ultimate insult, meaning that anyone could have written my story.

I was obsessed with avoiding clichés. I Googled “fantasy clichés,” and I even posted a list of ten common ones on my blog. I gave the characters in my fantasy world Hebrew-based names—no Norse or Celtic for me. My fantasy nation would not have a monarchy! And heaven help me if I even read a book with a damsel in distress, an evil dragon, and a brave prince.Why_It_s_Okay_to_Have_Cliches_in_Your_Fantasy_Novel

However, I’ve recently come to a new conclusion about clichés. I think we need them, and uniqueness is grossly overrated. Isn’t the Bible and the entire history of God and humans one big cliché? Kill the dragon; get the girl (Revelation 12:9 and Isaiah 62:4–5). [Read more…]

Jars of Clay

By Zelphia Peterson

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

All the lovely broken people

Knit together, now made whole

Shattered fragments shining brightly

Healed and clean, a living soul

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Scattered pieces, roughened edges

Blackened bits and climbing cracks

Seen as perfect, loved as holy

So follow Him; no turning back

[Read more…]

This Year’s Generation

By Jason Zimmerman

We carry our phones in our pockets

while our minds ponder other things.

We meet the world with hunger,

and treat ourselves like royalty.

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The world tells us to ripen

like juicy fruit to pluck,

and we respond by shouting back,

“Good grief! We’re only kids.” [Read more…]

Kingdom Pen is Hiring!

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a superhero? If so, then look no further, because Kingdom Pen is seeking additional writing team interns and a web developer to help with various site functions. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to apply. Don’t be intimidated by the application or those infamous “other people applying”!internshipfbshared

Descriptions of the positions and links to the application forms are listed below. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. That gives you just over a week to complete and submit your application. Skype interviews may be scheduled as needed. All positions are unpaid. You must complete your application to be eligible.

Writing Team Internship: 2-3 Openings

Would you like to work with a tight-knit team of Christian writers to create quality content and meet deadlines, improve your communication skills, expand and refine your writing abilities, and become a more active member of the Kingdom Pen community?

If so, the Writing Team Internship Program could be the perfect fit for you.

Monthly Responsibilities:
• Submit at least one written piece for publication (book review, short story, poem, article, etc.) by the deadline each month.
• Judge both monthly writing competitions: six-word-story contest and picture-prompt contest.
• Engage on social media, with the website, and in the forum (e.g. sharing Facebook posts, commenting on articles, and sharing writing advice).
• Complete one peer submission critique each month for another writing team member.
• Participate in the KP writing team Facebook group.

Minimum Job Requirements:
• Approximately 5-10 hours per month to dedicate to the writing team
• Some proficiency with writing (determined by writing samples enclosed in application)
• Good communication skills

Our Ideal Candidate:
• Flexibility on assignments and willing to lend a hand wherever needed
• Experience writing on a regular basis and/or for deadlines (e.g. newspaper staff, blogger, previously published by Kingdom Pen, etc.) and possessing time management skills in general
• Self-motivated (i.e. can meet deadlines independently)
• Passionate about Kingdom Pen and our mission
• Works well within a team

The writing team internship lasts for six months, from March to September, and has the potential to turn into a permanent position.

To apply for the writing team internship, click here.

Web Developer: 1 Opening

The Kingdom Pen team is looking to expand the ranks to include an official web developer. This individual will lead the charge on certain web-related initiatives, including converting the site to a responsive design, developing new functions on the site to accommodate new content, and more. We do not necessarily need a working professional, but we do need someone committed to excellence and learning new skills as needs arise. Check out the description below to see if you qualify!

Daily Responsibilities:
• Understand and modify current website layout (WordPress)
• Work with the KP staff to create mobile-friendly, responsive designs
• Develop new functions for the site and forum
• Continually update site to help build KP brand

Minimum Job Requirements:
• Basic knowledge of HTML and website design
• Working knowledge of WordPress CMS
• Can communicate ideas effectively
• Visually creative
• Knowledgeable about web development or willing to research potential solutions
• Commitment to spending an average of 5 hours a week on the website

Our Ideal Candidate:
• Proficient in Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Muse, Illustrator, Fireworks, etc.)
• Proficient in HTML, CSS, and Javascript
• Can take rough organizational goals and create working concepts to meet those goals
• Can create visual previews of new web designs and refine those visuals to accommodate feedback

To apply for the web developer position, click here.

A Wish Fulfilled

By Adora Istrate

She wandered through her life

With her nose in a book,

Every event, every game,

For those blessed pages forsook.

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She jumped in every puddle,

Felt for every wardrobe’s back,

Dreamed of her secret identity

And armies come to attack.

[Read more…]

Paradoxical

By Kate Flournoy

In losing lies the finding.

In sacrifice the gain.

Freedom is a binding rope,

And liberty a chain.

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Loving is releasing.

Releasing is relief.

Devotion is a letting go,

And knowledge is belief.

[Read more…]

How Do You Get Published as a Young Writer? Interview and Giveaway with Author Amanda Davis

amandadavisinterviewToday we have the privilege of interviewing Amanda Davis, author of the award-winning Cantral Chronicles. If you haven’t heard of her before, you may have heard of her father, Bryan Davis, author of the best-selling Dragons in our Midst series. I (Josiah) read Amanda’s first two books while in high school and loved their character depth and suspenseful plotting, so I was thrilled to get the chance to talk with her now about her experiences as a writer.

Amanda published her first book when she was only nineteen years old, so today we talk about her road to publication as a teenage writer and the challenges she’s had in editing her books. Keep reading onto the end of the interview to get the chance to enter a giveaway for Precisely Terminated, the first book in her Cantral Chronicles series.

Journey to Publication

KP: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Amanda: I believe I was fifteen when I decided I wanted to be a writer. When I was about twelve, I started touring with my dad, helping with the book tables and listening to him speak. After meeting people from so many places and seeing their reactions to his books, I wanted people to hear my stories as well.

KP: When you were still in your teens, what helped you the most as an aspiring author?

Amanda: My father’s writing lessons probably helped me the most in my writing journey. I took his classes a hundred times over, thanks to traveling with him. I often had to hear a new concept a dozen times before it would stick.

KP: What’s something you wish you knew as a younger writer? [Read more…]