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.

 

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.

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. 

gildan__black_mockup-4

 

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.