Become a Steward of the Pen (and Earn Rewards!)

Stewards_of_the_PenFor many moons, the Kingdom of Pen has occupied a small corner of the land called Internet. We have enjoyed relative prosperity and comfort amidst the forum’s castle grounds and the rolling countryside of social media surrounding our kingdom. But now we stand at the dawn of a new era.

Introducing the Stewards of the Pen! This branch of our kingdom will become stronger than the rest, subduing all those who dare oppose us as we infect every last region of Internet with our brand until we reign supreme!

Did I just write that aloud? Well, uh … awkward.

At this point I would like to turn the podium over to my assistant, Stewie, to explain what the Stewards of the Pen are all about.

Thanks, Master. Guys, I’m gonna shoot straight with you. This whole idea is completely insane, but heaps of fun. Basically, Dark Overlord Michael sends us all over the Internet realm to post and share about Kingdom Pen in exchange for certain KP products and discounts on KP merchandise. “Dark Overlord” is mostly an honorary title.

Sure, the organization is technically villainous, and we’re made serfs of the kingdom and paid with wooden currency, but all that aside, involvement is a lark. Master lets us chat in the forum castle, we get to scheme new ways to spread the word about KP, and we’re granted early access to KP content and news. We even play volleyball on Tuesdays! Plus, there are opportunities for advancement. I recently earned my freedom from indefinite indentureship, and a buddy of mine has become a Dark Underlord or something! 

I admit that being a villain is a little jarring at first, but of all the organizations that have “dark” in the boss’s title, Stewards of the Pen is probably the best. We’re just acknowledging that we’re all sinners in need of a savior. In that sense, everyone is evil anyway. We just happen to be more candid about it.

At any rate, if you’re interested in checking out Stewards of the Pen or touring the volleyball court, you can apply below!

Thank you, Stewie. That was … honest. For those less disposed to propositions from dark overlords and optimistic underlings, here is what’s happening. Kingdom Pen is starting the Stewards of the Pen, a contingent of KeePers committed to growing the Kingdom Pen community. You already got a taste of the lightheartedness we hope to promote in the group, but let me give you a sample of the other benefits (aside from volleyball Tuesdays).

Stewards of the Pen will be rewarded for things they’re likely already doing: sharing KP social media posts, enrolling in KP courses, referring friends to KP courses, etc. As a bonus, the top performing Stewards in each quarter will gain treasures like one-on-one story coaching with Josiah (or yours truly, Dark Overlord Michael, if you wish), free e-books, and more!

If Stewie was unable to entice you to join with his promises of volleyball and promotions, perhaps this dragon hoard of rewards will persuade you to apply now!

You’d better hurry, because enlistments close on May 2nd!


Profile photo of Michael Stanton
Michael Stanton has had what he describes as a scatterbrained adventure of a life that has recently led him to working at Kingdom Pen. When he wasn’t teaching underprivileged children in Uganda and rafting on the White Nile, he was either in Canada’s capital city studying the history of Christianity or in Michigan learning how to make films. Originally from Banner Elk, North Carolina, Michael grew up homeschooled and surrounded by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Those mountains inspired Michael’s love of writing (and, let’s face it, the Lord of the Ringsmovies also helped). Many years and adventures later, Michael found himself getting a marketing degree, and low and behold, Kingdom Pen was in need of a Marketing Director. What are the odds that God didn’t see that coming? All divine providence allusions aside, Michael is super excited to get to work in an organization that so closely matches his desires to see more quality content streaming from the minds and hearts of his fellow Christians.

Announcing KP’s First Free Writing Course!

FREE_Writing_CourseDo you aspire to write a novel but have no idea where to start?

Do you wish to learn the basic techniques of storytelling?

If so, you’re in luck, because today we’re excited to announce the release of our first writing course.

And we’re letting you all take it for FREE.

In Jumpstart Your Novel: The New Writer’s Guide to Storycraft, author and forum moderator Daeus Lamb outlines the fundamental principles of storytelling and explains what beginning writers need to know to super-boost their writing. He’ll be covering:

  • The seven main points of story structure
  • How to create awesome characters
  • The building blocks of theme
  • How to choose the best POV for your story
  • How to accelerate your growth as a writer
  • …and more

If you’re a beginning writer who needs to drill down the basic techniques of writing, this course will help you jumpstart your growth—and you don’t have to pay a dime! And if you’re already an experienced author, but you have friends who are newbies, this is the perfect resource to introduce them to fiction writing.

Do you want to propel your novel from concept to reality?

Watch the video below to learn more about the course, then click this link to sign up!

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 New Focus for 2017

As we beckon in 2017, we prepare ourselves for tragic misadventures that all start with last-minute New Year’s resolutions:

“I’m going to write ten novels in 2017!”a_new_focus_for_2017

“I’m going to write the next [insert favorite work of literature here]!”

“I’m going to stop overusing parentheses (because it gets annoying when you basically could have started a new sentence)!”

It is hard to fulfill New Year’s resolutions (I am my own case in point). Perhaps the main reason we have so many tragic misadventures each year is because we have not yet developed the skills and habits needed to accomplish our resolutions. The good news is that all of us at Kingdom Pen are gearing up to give you the skills and habits you need to achieve your writing-related goals (except maybe the one about parentheses—you’re on your own there, unless you wish to plead for help on the forum).

Where to Get the Skills

Each month we try to center our articles, short stories, and poetry around a Monthly Topic (formally known as Monthly Themes). Since many of you will be interested in writing something to fit those topics, we are making the list for 2017 available for your viewing and planning pleasure here. Challenging yourself by focusing your writing on a certain topic can help you become a better writer. Just ask Josiah DeGraaf, author of “Why Everything in Your Story Must Tie into Your Theme.”

In addition to our Monthly Topics, we are going to concentrate heavily on understanding theme, which is an important topic or idea that the moral aspect of a story addresses. Are you confused? Let’s unpack this a bit.

An Important Topic or Idea

I believe a story should revolve around a single topic or idea (and I think a few notable authors would back me up). Even Charles Dickens’s 135,420-word masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities, has a core theme: resurrection and transformation. Even with all of the wonderful characters and plot twists, ideas and sub-themes, Dickens ties everything together through a central theme and creates a powerful story that leaves an impression on readers.

Notice that the theme is simple. It is not even a full sentence. It is meant to be abstract because everything in the story flows into or out from it. Theme is a subject on which you have an opinion, and your story is your opinion playing out in someone else’s life.

The Moral Aspect

According to John Truby, author of The Anatomy of Story, “Theme may be the most misunderstood of all major aspects of storytelling… Theme is the author’s view of how to act in the world. It is your moral vision.” Say your theme is love. We all know there are right and wrong ways to love and even an opposite of love (hate). But what is the “right” way to love someone? Hopefully that is what your story will dive into. Your characters will likely face moral choices that all pivot on the central theme of love. You will give different characters opposing views on how to love and that will put them at odds with one another, causing tension. Meanwhile, you, the writer, will be displaying a number of ways to love, and in the end it will be clear which one is “right.”

As Christians, the Scriptures inform our moral vision. The only way you will see the world correctly is through the lens of the gospel and God’s Word made flesh (Jesus alive in you). Thus, it is imperative that we ground ourselves in THE Word before we attempt to tell others how to live.


If you are like me, you long to share what you know and care about with others. For writers, this often takes the form of a story. We write to express who we are and what we believe, but we don’t want to shove our views down people’s throats. So we decide to compose a story. Unsure where to start, we look to the great allegories of our childhood like The Chronicles of Narnia. But soon we realize that storytelling is more than making up fanciful creatures and recreating our own version Narnia.

Everything we write should have a heavy focus on theme because it is the heart of storytelling. Without it, a story can feel disjointed, preachy, or even meaningless. It is impossible to sum up the importance and complexities of using theme in storytelling in one article. Thus, we are going to concentrate our efforts on increasing your Mastery of Theme throughout 2017. Watch out for more articles on theme to be published here in the upcoming year.

Teaser News: A Writing Course is Coming!

In closing, I have the pleasure of heralding the following news: we will be releasing our first ever Kingdom Pen writing course this summer. It will be a chance for you to advance your writing to a new level as we guide you deeper into Theme Mastery. That’s all I can reveal for now, but I will also give you this hot tip (because no one said I couldn’t): a limited beta release of the course will probably be announced on the forum, so be sure to check there often in the coming weeks.

Remember, your best hope for completing your New Year’s resolutions is acquiring more writing skills and habits. So be sure to habitually visit us at Kingdom Pen so we can help you become more resolute!

Profile photo of Michael Stanton
Michael Stanton has had what he describes as a scatterbrained adventure of a life that has recently led him to working at Kingdom Pen. When he wasn’t teaching underprivileged children in Uganda and rafting on the White Nile, he was either in Canada’s capital city studying the history of Christianity or in Michigan learning how to make films. Originally from Banner Elk, North Carolina, Michael grew up homeschooled and surrounded by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Those mountains inspired Michael’s love of writing (and, let’s face it, the Lord of the Ringsmovies also helped). Many years and adventures later, Michael found himself getting a marketing degree, and low and behold, Kingdom Pen was in need of a Marketing Director. What are the odds that God didn’t see that coming? All divine providence allusions aside, Michael is super excited to get to work in an organization that so closely matches his desires to see more quality content streaming from the minds and hearts of his fellow Christians.

Staff Changes at Kingdom Pen

Welcome, KeePers! When we posted about our new writing interns and director of marketing several weeks back, we thought that would be all the changes to the Kingdom Pen team for a while, but apparently God had different plans.

staffannouncementAs most of you probably know from our previous posts, our illustrious editor-in-chief Reagan Ramm and amazing editor Haley Long are currently engaged to be married! With marriage, however, comes many new responsibilities, which have pulled our two core members away from their work at Kingdom Pen.

In their absence, editor Josiah DeGraaf has stepped up to be the next editor-in-chief of Kingdom Pen. Reagan and Haley will still be involved as part of the newly formed “Kingdom Pen Board,” and they hope to be able to return in a more active role sometime in the future. In the meantime, though, Josiah will be assuming Reagan’s position of leading the team as we continue to put out great content for you all. We have a lot of cool plans laid out already for the upcoming year, and we’re excited to begin showing them to you.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce two new team members to the staff.

Brianna Storm Hilvety is our new copy editor and assistant graphics designer! Brianna has actually been working with the team for a couple months now, but somewhere along the way we forgot to announce her position. *Cough, cough* She copyedits all the posts that appear on the website (which is why you may have noticed an improvement on that front lately) and she also helps to create some of the beautiful graphics that accompany our articles and the quote images we post on Facebook.

Hannah Carmichael is our new editor-in-training! Hannah has been Haley’s apprentice for the past few months and will be transitioning into taking over the editor role from Haley by the end of this year. She will be reviewing all poetry submissions with Mackenzie and uploading the majority of the content (articles, poems, short stories, etc.) to the website.

You can read Brianna’s and Hannah’s bios below.

Brianna Storm Hilvety

Processed with RookieBrianna Storm Hilvety was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable.

By the age of twelve, she had devoured several books about the writing industry, could wield a thesaurus with deadly skill, and knew how to format a manuscript for submission to a publisher. During high school, she authored columns in two small Christian periodicals and won an assortment of short story and essay contests. In 2011, she composed a three-part treatise for Homeschool Enrichment Magazine that described the lessons she’d learned while tinkering with two fantasy novels (which still have not been developed or refined to her satisfaction).

After suffering a debilitating case of writer’s block, she struggled with guilt that her own perfectionism was hindering her from fulfilling her calling. But then God placed people in her life who needed her aid in polishing their manuscripts for the cause of Christ, and she realized that her weakness could become a strength if it were channeled differently. Now proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being on the staff of Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen magazine.

As a homeschool graduate and an introvert, she is an independent thinker who is not afraid to express her opinions—provided it’s on paper. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it. To explore Brianna’s realm, visit:

Hannah Carmichael

Hannah Carmichael dreams of a world where she can be fully paid to work from home with her three cats and a jar of Nutella, all while wearing her pajama pants.

Hannah is delusional; don’t be like Hannah.

All joking aside and the Lord willing, she hopes to someday be a published author and kick off a fabulous career as a freelance illustrator to glorify God and bless those around her.

Most of her days are spent helping to homeschool her siblings, reading, and editing her two novels in the making.

Although born in Florida, Hannah far prefers her home in Indiana where she lives with her large family and amazing OTP parents. (That she ships very strongly.)

Because of all the awesome support her family and friends provide, someday she may even be famous! Or, at the very least, you might pass her on the street while exiting McDonald’s, but that’s close enough, isn’t it?

If you like, you can follow Hannah on Instagram where she frequently posts her art under the code name watersnail1.

Finally, we want to thank all of you for following us the past several years and for participating in the Kingdom Pen community! We love the work we do and are excited to be taking these next steps!

Writing Team Update

After much ado from engagements to interviews, ladies and gentlemen, we present your Fall Writing Team Interns and Kingdom Pen’s newest permanent staff member, the Director of Marketing. Prepare to unleash your best barbaric yawp in greeting these fine folks who will serve on the front lines of wordsmithing and kingdom expansion.writingteamupdate

’Twas a noble contest of great proportions. Many lances were splintered, and many inkwells emptied. In the end (and after significant deliberation), we crowned four victors, but for those knights and ladies not selected, we would like to remind you that there will be another opportunity to join the Kingdom Pen Writing Team in the spring! We are so proud of each of you who applied; it is truly overwhelming how much talent and passion the KP community has to offer!

So, today we invite you to lay down your battle axes and swords in favor of some appropriately nerdy confetti and goblets full of sparkling grape juice and welcome those who have been elected to serve the KeePer’s Kingdom. [Read more…]

A Long Love Story With Major Rammifications

At last, the final piece in this mysterious puzzle!bigrevealpost

But first. Let us honor the fallen who gave their lives in the comments section, waiting for this to be revealed.



[Insert moment]



[Insert silence]






[Read more…]

Writing Team UPDATE

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…

The writing team results are…not in. Long story short (and we will be posting that long story later), we’ve had to delay announcing the selected tributes—we mean, interns—for the writing team and marketing director until further notice. First off, it’s really hard to choose when we’ve received a ton of awesome applications. Seriously, y’all killed it. But that, among a few other things, has led our selection committee to request extra time. Yeah, we have to take you up on that little word “tentative” in our writingteamupdateoriginal post and bump back the announcements for other announcements. Besides, this is America, and we do what we want. Let freedom ring and all that. That’s right; we’re rebels with a cause.

Now, before you go on a manhunt for the staff members with all those medieval weapons we know you own (Seriously, y’all, calm down with the long swords and revolvers, m’kay? It’s like you’re prepping for a revolt or something… Remember, Sarah and Laurel live in a doublewide cardboard box that is very mobile, so you shouldn’t even bother trying to track them down.), we will be announcing something very special around this time on Wednesday. No, not the results, but we promise it’ll be something almost as exciting. Well, for some of you, it may be more exciting than the results, but to avoid spoiling anything, we’ll just leave it at that (although you’re free to make your best guesses in the comments below). We also promise that the results will be announced as soon as we have them!

Until then, hang tight, hold your horses, and whatnot. We hate to KeeP(er) you waiting (Ba-Dum-Tsss), but again we assure you it’ll be well worth the wait when you do hear exactly what’s been going on around Kingdom Pen the past couple of weeks.


The Kingdom Pen Staff

Now Accepting Applications

Well, KeePers, it’s (finally) official: we’re hiring! It’s time to dust off your family sword and shield and get ready for a powerhouse tournament to determine the lucky few who will join the staff. The location is to be decided, but we’re thinking an abandoned castle in rural Italy. With wi-fi, of course. Transportation cost is not included in your application fees, and all participants must be insured…. internshipfbshared

Just kidding. As much as we’d like to, there won’t be any tournaments (this time). Not saying it won’t happen one day, though. On a positive note, applying for a position is free, and all you need is a solid internet connection to do it. Anyone is welcome (and encouraged) to apply. Don’t be intimidated by the application or those infamous “other people applying”!

If you’re interested in one of the positions below, get ready to sell yourself on the application linked at the end of this post. Then, have at it. Answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability. Make sure you review your responses carefully before pressing submit to beat back any grammar mistakes lurking within and ensure you’ve got your answers just the way you want them. All applications are due at 11:59 ESTon Monday, August 22, 2016. That gives you just over two weeks (An extra “grace weekend”is already included to account for any procrastination: accidental and intentional.) to complete your applications and submit them. Skype interviews will be scheduled as needed.You must complete your application in order to be considered for any positions. [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.