Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Operation First Novel

For several weeks now, due to the Westbow Publishing award I received back in November, I’ve been working hours each day making proofreading corrections to my manuscript, “Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees.” I’m so thankful for several folks who were willing to give their time to find these mistakes so I could correct them. I put proofreading corrections in the same tedious category as other necessary but dreaded things like—scrubbing the grout in the bathroom floor, clipping coupons, or sorting a basket of socks. The Chicago Manual of Style has hardly been out of my sight.

Just as I completed the last edits for submission, I received a congratulatory email from a friend. I didn’t understand what she was talking about until I scrolled down my emails to find one from the Christian Writers Guild. Sure enough, last Thursday I learned that I placed in the top ten for the “2010 Jerry Jenkins, Christian Writers Guild, Operation First Novel Contest.”

This is a national competition, and I’m humbled to be included in this group. Finalists are announced on Friday, January 21. Whether or not I make it to the next tier, making it this far is so affirming. Just about every writer I know struggles with insecurity, and God has used landing in this group of semifinalists to strengthen me during a difficult time.

I’ve previously posted about a class I had with Jerry Jenkins (One Ringing Bell, 7-5-10). I’ve met very few people who’ve achieved his level of success who exhibit such humility. He truly reflects the character of Christ. Jenkins’s heart for helping beginning writers moved him to acquire the Christian Writer’s Guild, and through it, he’s helped countless numbers of writers achieve their dreams.

In the writing arena, many quit before they even get started. After hearing Jerry Jenkins speak, I think one of his spiritual gifts must be that of encouragement. Romans 12:6-8 says “If a man’s gift is… encouraging, let him encourage…” Without a doubt, Jerry Jenkins has exercised his gift by offering to budding writers a powerful means of encouragement and help to stay the course through the Christian Writer’s Guild.

Stay tuned for the results on Friday. I have plenty of work to keep me busy until then. No matter what happens, though, I am thankful, and I am blessed.


Julie Garmon said...

Beautiful post, Beverly. I'm cheering for you!!

Beverly Varnado said...

Thank you, Julie, for all your encouragement through the years. You're a blessing to so many!

Kim Arnold said...

This is exciting news!

You also have the gift of encouragement, Beverly!

Love, Kim

Beverly Varnado said...

Sweet Kim, it doesn't take someone with the gift of encouragement to see that very soon some quick witted editor is going to see the merit in your insightful words and place them on a larger stage. I can only hope to be one of the first in line to buy your first book. Blessings, Bev


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