Memorial Day Sale!!

Freedom; who doesn’t love that? Especially the freedom to write and publish. That didn’t come easy. It never has. Freedom is costly and the required price is a life. It always has been. memorialdaysalepinterest

Lives have been lost; and we celebrate and honor those lives by remembering them.

We thought we’d do something special and offer some lovely discounts to you awesome folks!

mug_11oz_handle on left_mockup

EVERYTHING is 10% off!!! AND if you have an order of over $50 we’ll throw in some free shipping! Just swing by the shop, snag your swag, and enter this code: memday16
This swell offer ends May 30th at midnight EST. 

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Decked out in your new swag, go thank a soldier for fighting for your freedom!

The Portrait Gift

Hello Kingdom Pen Community!!

This is Rachel Ramm, the very behind-the-scenes, the so-far-behind-the-scenes-it’s-like-I’m-not-even-there web designer.

portrait project pinThe reason for that extended title, is that I’m not actually a full-time web designer. In fact, I’m not even 25% web designer. It’s more like 5-10%. Most of me is actually a fine artist, specializing in oil painting.

However, I’m writing to you now to let you know about a watercolor portrait project that I’ve been working on over the past year, and which is now nearing it’s end. I also created a video about it and entered it into a Korean Beauty contest, but more about that later.

For now, let me start the story from the beginning:

In the Spring of 2015, having recently returned from a trip to South Korea, I searched for a way to synthesize what I was learning about this new culture, with my concern for children and my vocation as an artist. At that time, a documentary called The Drop Box was released, telling the story of that same country, whose misplaced values do not allow for the flourishing of “the least of these.” This society, while outwardly succeeding, is seriously wounded at it’s core, as evidenced by the lowest birthrate, highest rates of abortion, and one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Processing this information led me to the idea for a series of portraits, where I could reveal both to the children themselves, and to all people viewing the art how beautiful children are, making visible how intrinsically valuable they are. The concept of human dignity and the value of children is centrally tied to our understanding of who God is, and what it means to be adopted as his sons and daughters, members of His eternal family, and younger siblings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who can possibly understand this without first experiencing loving a child with a pure love, not based on ability or connections or education or wealth? Who can behold the beauty of God’s grace without first seeing the dignity of an individual, and wonder at the First Artist’s best creation?

By God’s grace, I am walking a path that will lead back to Korea to work on portraits of children in the orphanages of Seoul, and for now I am doing and learning what I can closer to home.

table portrait spread

As a way to test this idea, I searched for a children’s home close to where I live now, and my search lead me to Edgewood Children’s Ranch in Orlando. Here, kids with behavioral and academic issues could get help 24/7. Each child that came to the Ranch had a heartbreaking story, and was on their way to continuing the cycle of brokenness unless they could get intervention.

I went and took a tour of their small campus, and got to walk around the small village of “cottages” where the kids lived, learning to keep their things clean and organized. I got to see their classrooms, where they took a more self-directed method of learning, similar to home schooling. I also saw the fields where they grew their own vegetables, and then ate lunch with the kids and enjoyed hearing about how God had provided for their needs in George Muller-like miraculous ways.

More than all this, I saw the love and care of the staff, from the “cottage parents” to the administration, everyone was dedicated to helping these at-risk kids get back on track.

I really didn’t know what I had gotten myself into, but I knew I was on the right path.

In October of last year, I went back with all my photography gear, and took photos of all 42 students. I took the photos back home and ended up painting watercolors of every face.

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Each portrait took 4-5 hours, not including the time it took to edit the photos, photograph the art, mount and mat the final pieces. I also created a printed book that would serve as a yearbook for the Ranch, since they hadn’t had the budget for one in 6 years.

It was so fascinating to paint so many different faces! What impressed me most was not what made each face different and unique (although there was plenty of that!) but the realization of how many similarities there were!

Fast forward to this Spring, and as I neared the end of this project, I found out about a contest whose theme was “How do you make people smile?” The prize was a trip to California, and coincidently, a certain graphic designer and I had been planning our own trip there and had been saving up the money. It was an eerily perfect match!

So I submitted my first video, which introduced the Portrait Project and included some speed painting, which was really fun! Apparently everyone else thought it was fun too, since I was selected as a semi-finalist!!

painting

For the second round, I had to create another video, with the same theme, except this time making it a commercial by including this company’s skin-care products in some way.

Well, KP Community, you know better than anyone that the best way to deliver any message is through story! Even commercials. So I packed up my paintings, and made the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Orlando. I wouldn’t just give the kids’ their art, I would get their surprised first-reactions on film!!

And this is where I need your help! The story is currently to be continued, because this final video is still up for public vote!! And the winner won’t be decided until this Thursday night 🙂

If you’d like to be a part of this story and help decide how it ends, please go vote for my video here!!

There’s not much else I can write that would be any better than seeing the looks on the kids’ faces yourself. I guarantee that watching it will bring a smile to your face as well 😀

With all my heart,

Rachel

Here’s a little teaser trailer:

If you have a project you’d like to share with the KP Community, we want to hear about it! Email us at kingdompenmag@gmail.com

*UPDATE 6/8/16*

Well, I didn’t win the contest, but I got a much better prize! Sometimes rewards are much different than you think, so don’t stop sharing what you create and pursuing the dreams that God puts on your heart. You never know how what you do may impact others for the Kingdom, so don’t grow weary while you wait for all your hard work to bear fruit! Be patient and give thanks along the journey.

May Theme – Coming of Age

Hello Kingdom Pen!

May Theme Blank

This month’s theme is “Coming of Age”.

It’s the time of the year when many are closing in on graduation, and by the standards of many, “coming of age.”

The “Coming of age” trope is a common one in fiction. For example, Luke Sykwalker, the lowly farmer boy, is thrown into the middle of a galactic struggle and forced to mature to be able to defeat the enemy.

In every Coming of Age story, a character starts out young and immature, and then grows into adulthood.

How does one write an effect “Coming of Age” story? How do we write effect character arcs showing a character growing in maturity over time? What advice or experiences do you have with with writing these kinds of stories? Send in your submissions post-haste so that we have time to approve and publish them this month!

Next month’s theme is COURAGE! Start writing your submissions for next month’s theme and submit them this month so that we can publish them next month.

We look forward to reading your submissions!

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

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…]

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.

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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.

A Farewell From Kingdom Pen

Dearest community members,

 

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Kingdom Pen has reached the end of its life. As of tomorrow, we will be shutting down the website and disbanding the team. We, as the staff, simply cannot continue on. Not only is time scarce due to many of being enrolled in college, but, we also have no money; many of us are working two or three jobs to make ends meet. pitfallsandstrengthspost-200x300 (2)

I’m sure you’ve noticed that the graphic for this post is somewhat lacking. Laurel went on strike earlier this morning after demanding payment for her services. The cookies just weren’t cutting it anymore. We also apologize for any errors in this article. Both our editors left a few minutes ago to go beg for food in exchange for publically correcting peoples’ grammar mistakes.

I hope my pirated internet connection will hold long enough for me to get this message through. I’m pretty sure the Jittery Joes people are going to notice the new cardboard box soon. It’s not a lot, of course, but its home. A little wet when it’s rainy, but not that bad after you get used to it.

We have really enjoyed our time together these last few years and wish you all the best.

 

Sincerely,

Your Now-Cardboard-Box-Indwelling Secretary Sarah

 

PS—Happy April Fool’s! But seriously, we really do depend on y’all to help us keep KP running. *cough* Swag yourself. *cough* Sorry, this weather is really getting to me. Cardboard boxes really breathe a lot, y’know?

Win a FREE Book Cover Design!

Hello Kingdom Pen!ElisabethPerryGiveawayPinterest

 

We’re so excited to bring you this wonderful opportunity, courtesy of Perry Elizabeth Design! They have agreed to give away their Basic eBook cover design package! Find out below how to enter the giveaway.

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Perry Elizabeth Design is made-up of a young husband and wife team, Tyler and Perry, who began their business in 2012. If you haven’t checked out their website, you need to right now. They make incredible and affordable designs for writers and novelists just like you!

Not only do they offer book cover designs, but they also offer to format your book for you, while also offering a host of other design services, from web-design to T-shirts. This is the place to go if you want affordable designs.

When it comes to self-publishing, you have to do everything. You have to be your own editor, proof-reader, and designer while also handling promotion and sales on your own as well. Make things a little easier on yourself and have your design and formatting needs taken care of by Tyler and Perry, who are also both Indie authors themselves.

 

To enter the give away to potentially win the Basic ebook cover design from Perry Elizabeth Design, do at least one of the several entry options listed in the below giveaway. The more you do, the better your odds of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2016 Writing Themes Released!

Hello Kingdom Pen!

February Theme Blank

The KP staff is so excited for this new year! Last week, we all got together (many of us meeting in person for the very first time!) and cooked up some pretty cool new treats that we hope to reveal to you soon!

In the meantime, here are the new writing themes for the year, which can also be found under the publishing schedule tab.

 

February:

Romance/love

 

As the month of February holds Valentines Day, we thought it appropriate to make the theme for this month romance and love.

Valentines Day today epitomizes the sad state of love and romance in our Western culture. What was supposed to be a holiday dedicated to a man who was executed for defending marriage during a time when it was banned, it has turned into a time of cheap romance and consumer “love”, or a “SAD” (Singles Awareness Day) day where we bemoan our lack of a romantic partner.

In the same way, so many stories today have taken on this same low idea of romance and love. These ideas are so casually thrown around, misused, and twisted to be used in inappropriate contexts, or to mean something less than what they should.

How can we restore these ideas in our stories to what God intended them to be? How should Christians approach these two elements in their writing? Should teen writers even be writing about romance? How can we write stories that display the immense love of God?

Send in you articles, poems, and short stories that touch on this theme. That’s right! You don’t just have to submit articles that address the monthly theme. Stories and poems are also encouraged! We can’t wait to read what you have to say!

Also, if you want to make sure your submission has enough time to be reviewed and published during the theme month, please send in your submissions one month AHEAD of schedule. So for the month of February, start sending in your submissions now. For the month of March, send in your submissions in February, and so on.

 

Thank you so much! We hope you are looking forward to 2016 as much as we are!

 

March:

Historical fiction

 

April:

Poetry

 

May:

Coming of Age

 

June:

Courage

 

July:

Freedom

 

August:

Politics

 

September:

Foreshadowing

 

October:

Death

 

November:

National Novel Writing Month

 

December:

God/Spirituality

Book Giveaway Winner Announced!

With the Christmas spirit sparkling everywhere we have a little gift for one of our privileged subscribers!  One of you won Mr. Schwabauer’s amazing book The Curse of the Seer!

We would like to again thank Mr. Schwabauer for giving us this amazing opportunity. His generosity made all of this possible. [Read more…]