Many churches are unwelcoming. It’s a myth to perceive that all churches are friendly when indeed they are not. By unwelcoming, I don’t mean that a church keeps their doors shut, or that people are mean and unfriendly. The members of a church may be friendly—but to each other, not to outsiders.
How saying my name over and over has become a routine
When I was in fifth grade, my teacher decided to give me a new name because it was easier to pronounce. I recall feeling flustered by the whole ordeal—like I had been causing an inconvenience for being who I was. This alone made it hard for me to reconcile one of her comments to me during reading group. She sat in the center of our half donut shaped table and said in a clear and frank tone that I was a scholar. I didn’t know what the word meant at the time but I asked around. I felt embarrassed to ask her myself—I was intimidated by her towering presence and her weekly assessments of our oral readings of poetry and prose, among other public speaking exercises.
A discussion about hope, faithfulness, and writing
Back in winter of 2017, I came across an announcement of Emily Conrad’s debut novel, Justice. Here, we talk about what inspired her novel, how she handles doubt, hardship, and the pitfall of perfection. This novel captures Emily’s growth as a writer just a few years after her ACFW First Impressions win (2015) and her position as an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist (2012, 2015).
“Practical, well researched and full of poignant stories, this book will empower you to live in light of God’s wisdom,” writer Mary DeMuth wrote of Liz Curtis Higgs who she defined as having a “contagious passion for the Word of God.”
A positive new book, A Pocketful of Seeds, gathers 12 months’ worth of seed-sowing actions for each day of the year. Some seek answers; some are creative; some ask reflective questions; almost all of them calls to action. They are short opportunities to make an impact and draw out a better world by fostering an attentiveness to connect with others through love, kindness, and service.
Why does Christian fiction continue to underrepresent writers of color?
There is an observable gap in Christian fiction. Currently, Christian fiction limits its boundaries to the traditional tropes: historical, romance, speculative, Amish. Long overdue are the contributions of a well of writers who are overlooked under the Christian fiction umbrella.
Why excising quotes in our fiction is nothing to fear
While I was in the MFA at Mills College in the 90s, I omitted quotation marks in my fiction. Wherever characters spoke on the page, it was without inverted commas. This was a stylistic preference for me, however, I wasn’t a pioneer in the approach.