Rx for Writers


"The Growing and Changing Christian Magazine and Book Markets" with Terry Whalin

Thursday, May 6, 2004


Mel is Mel Boring, moderator of this chat with Terry Whalin and web editor of the ICL site.

Terry is W. Terry Whalin, who understands both sides of the editorial desk--as an editor and a writer. He worked as a magazine editor for Decision and In Other Words. His magazine articles have appeared in more than 50 publications including Writer's Digest and Christianity Today. Terry has written more than nonfiction 55 books and his latest is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Teaching the Bible (Alpha Books). See more about his writing at: www.right-writing.com/whalin.html. For more than 12 years Terry has been an ECPA Gold Medallion judge in the fiction category. He has written extensively about Christian fiction and reviewed numerous fiction books in publications such as CBA Marketplace and BookPage. He is now Fiction Acquisitions Editor for Howard Publishing in Louisiana.

Pink shows the user names of the people who are asking questions of Terry.


Mel: Terry Whalin is the Fiction Acquisitions Editor of Howard Publishing, an adult book publisher of gift books, nonfiction books, and most recently fiction books—all inspirational. Terry is also one of the most versatile chat guests I know, who has had much experience working on the Internet. He has a new Internet site that we'll get him to talk about tonight. Terry also has a new e-book out that we'll ask him about for sure. Terry Whalin is exceptionally able to answer your questions about the inspirational writing market and its needs, because of Terry's knowledge of and enthusiasm for it. I am GLAD to be able to be here with my good friend as well as our chat guest tonight! Terry, WELCOME back to our ICL chat room!

Terry: I'm glad to be here, Mel.

Mel: Terry, you were here to chat about "Prolific Writing in the Inspirational Field" on June 3, 1999. That was our FIRST Guest Chat, and YOU were there, FIVE YEARS ago now! How has the inspirational field CHANGED in these five years?

Terry: Mel, the inspirational field—like all of publishing—continues to change and grow and mature. Recent events like the bestselling Left Behind series, which has sold more than 60 million copies in the series, has garnered a lot of media and public attention for the inspirational field. It also translates into a huge amount of dollars and revenue for retailers and others. Left Behind is fiction, but also in the nonfiction area the The Prayer of Jabez was called by Publishers Weekly the fastest selling nonfiction hardcover book in history. I heard today the Jabez series is over twenty million copies; that catches a lot of attention. Plus you have The Purpose Driven Life, which remains on the bestseller list. These books are bestsellers but give the whole inspirational market a lot of attention.

Mel: How/why were THOSE particular books able to increase the market's visibility and sales so strongly? MILLIONS of copies is nothing short of sensational, isn't it?

Terry: They increase visibility especially when you understand that some inspirational books have sold millions of copies, but only in the small Mom and Pop stores that didn't report their sales numbers to places like the New York Times list. When you have these inspirational books showing up in the New York Times, you know that they are having huge volumes of sales in regular bookstores and other places. Like the book, Cracking the DaVinci Code, which I understand the publisher (Cook) put together start to finish in about 90 days, and through places like Wal-Mart, Books-A-Million, and Amazon.com, Cook has sold over 135,000 copies of this book, which is a Biblical look at the themes in the secular fiction book The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday). Anything with these sorts of numbers catches a lot of media attention, which only drives more sales.

Mel: So Cook Communications published Cracking the DaVinci Code—you've worked for Cook, haven't you?

Terry: Yes, I was the acquisitions editor at Cook for almost two years.

Mel: So these inspirational books have made an appearance on the general market, and has that then opened up the market for inspirational books in general?

Terry: Yes, there is a rumor that Tim LaHaye received some huge advance for his Bantam fiction series of novels—the number I heard floated is in the millions. So places like Bantam, Doubleday, Random House, and other companies are looking at inspirational/ Christian books and trying to capture a bit of that sales action.

Mel: Are there any CHILDREN's versions of these blockbusting books?

Terry: Absolutely. Left Behind for Kids is a huge hit with the 8-to 12-year-old crowd those books figure into that 60 million number that I gave earlier. The Prayer of Jabez has children's books, teen, young reader, even toddler board books for Jabez. There are sales and money to be made so the products are created. I read recently that Rick Warren's daughter has been contracted to write some Purpose Driven children's books.

Mel: That's GOOD NEWS for us children's writers!

t green: Terry, I'm going to be attending a "Writing for the Church Workshop" this summer at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis with 20 other writers. We will be meeting and working with editors from Concordia Publishing house and Lutheran Hour Ministries. My question is about wardrobe. I have a feeling this isn't a t-shirt and shorts event. Any suggestions on what I should pack for this week-long workshop?

Terry: In general when I go to these conferences I try to look professional, yet casual. I don't wear shorts or cut-offs or t-shirts. I'm going to be at the Blue Ridge conference starting on May 16th. (You can learn more at:
http://www.lifeway.com/christianwriters). I'm going to be wearing dress shirts—short-sleeved with collars and Dockers for example. Does that help?

tigger: If I wanted to query about a devotional book for Howard Publishing, what advice would you give me? Could you share the name of a specific editor on the manuscript review committee who handles devotional books? Thank you!

Terry: Thank you. I'm the fiction acquisitions editor at Howard but you can send nonfiction directly to the publishing house. They have guidelines on their website at
http://www.howardpublishing.com and the Executive Editor is Denny Boultinghouse. It's a small company.

Mel: Terry, with ALL your work in authoring AND editing, how did you land the job at Howard Publishing?

Terry: They needed help with their line of Christian fiction, which they launched last summer with six titles, and I've written and reviewed a great deal of Christian fiction over the years, plus I have a solid idea what is a commercial property in this area. I'm glad to work for them—part time—because they only want to publish six books a year—which means I have over 100 manuscripts in my office, 99.9% which will be read and rejected, something as a writer myself I hate to do but a reality of this situation. My commitment to Howard is to look for the best of the best.

sally apokedak: We're seeing a great interest in supernatural fiction now and in inspirational romance. Do you think other categories—I mean other genres—will also be in demand by publishing houses?

Terry: Yes. There is a great interest in historical fiction for example, and Howard has contracted four novels from Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, who passed away last year. And Dr. Bright was involved in the creation of these novels. They are written by an award-winning historical novelist, Jack Cavanaugh. The first book will be out next Spring 2005 and is about when they put the Holy Spirit on Trial in 1852. There will be three more books in this series. The historical is a great area of inspirational fiction. Also suspense is doing well in the Christian marketplace. Howard has a book called Shoo-Fly Pie by Tim Downs, sort of a bug investigator type of book which has garnered several awards in the last few weeks. Suspense is a good genre, as well as romance and others. The Inspirational market still struggles with what to do in the area of fantasy and science fiction; mostly sales for this genre are pretty dismal. And it always comes back to the sales in book publishing because of the large amounts of money invested.

Mel: I understand that your work as editor with Howard Publishing now you only accept and edit ADULT books, but how and where could I best market a CHILDREN'S inspirational book today?

Terry: The children's inspirational market has become much more competitive than even five years ago. There are fewer publishers and they are being much more selective. One of the things I never understood as a children's author until I worked inside a publisher is the huge amount of money required to produce a full-color children's book. I'd say anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 is involved in the pure printing and production costs of these books, depending on the number printed. It's because the artwork is generally purchased in full with all rights from the artist to the publisher, and that raises the expense but also the risk for the publisher who has to recover this type of investment. It's a high dollar business and not something to be done lightly.

Many writers look at the children's market as simple, and books are easy to write with only a few words. But the publisher looks at a lot of poorly crafted manuscripts to find the ones they eventually publish. Some of the inspirational publishers have given up in the children's area, like Harvest House has ended children's books because of the profitability question. Also Concordia has cut back in the children's book area. There are still publishers like Nelson, Tyndale, Zondervan, Bethany House, Standard, Cook and many others who continue to make strides in this area, but the competition is stiff—between publishers for space in the bookstores. There is also competition between their new books and their backlist books. Often it is the backlist books (older) which are selling the best and something that publishers keep around for many years. Writers do well to craft their manuscripts, study the market, and form relationships with editors at writer's conferences and simply persevere in their work.

Mel: Terry, here's a brain-scratching question from me.

Terry: Yes?

Mel: You mentioned that publishers buy ALL RIGHTS to an artist's work, and since we're going to have the Art Director of Highlights For Children, Cynthia Faber Smith, as our guest in two weeks, here at last is my question: Do publishers ALWAYS buy ALL RIGHTS from the artist, and if so, why?

Terry: There are no cookie cutter rules here, Mel—I'm sure you knew that already. In general, the publisher likes to buy all rights and in general the artists like to sell them that way, because then the artist assumes absolutely zero risk with the project. They don't gain, naturally, if it is a huge hit, but they also never lose out in terms of income. The publisher keeps the art in their archive and can do with it whatever they want. For example, one of the bestselling children's books at Cook Communications is The Picure Bible, and the artwork was purchased All Rights as Sunday School paper material. Did I answer that question for you, Mel?

Mel: Yes, and that makes smart business sense.

albertine: Welcome, Terry, are there many Christian magazines/book publishers that publish stuff from a Reformed perspective? If so, what do they usually look for?

Terry: Not many publish from a Reformed perspective, but there are a few of them. I know of one book publisher back in Pennsylvania or New Jersey—you have to look in your reform bookstores in the church and tap into the Sunday School papers and other materials to know more specifically about this denomination. I'm sure you would know more about your options than I do since I've not written in this particular area.

Mel: Here's a sensible clarifying question:

spotslover2: What does "Reformed" mean?

Terry: Reformed is a doctrine and denominational term. I could pull something from a reference book for you, but it's a certain type of Christian literature—often a smaller area of the overall body of work. I hope that clarifies some of it for you.

Mel: Does the term mean, generally, very CONSERVATIVE religiously, Terry?

Terry: Yes, conservative is a good term for it.

craig: Greetings, I wanted to know if you can give me some names of some magazines that might publish Christian adventure stories, please.

Terry: Christian adventure stories. I'm unsure I understand the question. Like Drama in Real Life, but Christian?

Mel: Yes.

Terry: I'd say a lot of different publications would be interested in that type of well-told story. If there is a parent connection, then Christian Parenting Today. If there is a woman involved, then Today's Christian Woman, or a couple, then Marriage Partnership. Even some of the magazines like Woman's Day and Ladies Home Journal would be interested provided the faith element isn't overdone. There are many publications out there and the key is to know the publication inside and out when you want to write for them.

writer020350: Jerry Jenkins has a new book out, called Soon. Is this a new series?

Terry: Yes, it’s a part of a new series and I understand the second book will be out shortly—I couldn't say just when. Notice it's Jerry B. Jenkins because there is another Jerry Jenkins in publishing, a Gerrald Jenkins who sells millions of books through special sales at
http://www.bookpublishing.com. I haven't read Soon but have a copy. It did make the New York Times list when published.

Mel: Terry, how did you get started in the Christian market? Wasn't your first book a children's book?

Terry: I began writing for various Christian magazines, which is what I recommend for every writer. It's a great way to learn about the business, and the magazine area has a much faster turnaround time for publishing than books, which are often a year or two out from the contract date. I wrote for a number of magazines, then I met a children's editor at a writer's conference (again something I always recommend) and she asked me for my ideas related to a missions book for children since I was a missionary at the time and an editor for a missions publication. My first book was called When I Grow Up, I Can Go Anywhere for Jesus and published by Cook. It combined real pictures with an imaginary character in cartoon form to show kids they can go anywhere for Jesus. Sadly, that book is out of print—something few writers think about but many of us have books which are out of print—another one of the realities of this business. That book was published in 1992 and I've written over 60 books since then.

Mel: GOOD confession time, Terry! Of my eight books, only three are in print! Of your 60, about how many would you say are in print now?

Terry: I thought maybe that was coming for a question, Mel. I'm unsure how many. My literary attorney says I've done more work-made-for-hire books than any writer that she knows, and when you write books WMFH (a one-time fee), you aren't as intimately involved in the out of print process, so you don't get your rights back or anything and it's hard to keep track.

Mel: How is the Christian children's book market? What have you learned being on the editor side of the desk—since your last ICL chat?

Terry: The Christian book market is strong—yet selective and like a lot of things in publishing, somewhat celebrity driven. So the customer comes into the store wanting the latest Max Lucado children's book or Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind for Kids or Bill Myers’ book. That's not to say that someone can't break into this market, but it's harder and harder to get into it. Also as an editor I was amazed at the actual costs (which I've mentioned) to put together one of these deals. I had one set of children's books with a music CD in the back of the book from the author that took me over a year from the go-ahead from the publishing commitee until I could get my financial numbers to work and I could contract it with the author. These three books on the parables of Jesus will come out this summer and I'm eager to see them.

I would encourage authors to roll up their sleeves when the propose a book and do more on the marketing than say they are willing to do interviews and TV and radio (of course). What "extra" can you bring to your project that will catch a publisher's attention? For example, can you bring a huge connection to a ministry that will buy 3,000 or 30,000 copies of the book from the beginning. It will make your project stand out from everything else on the editor's desk and show that you are an author who understands the publisher's pressures to sell. It's not just the publisher's responsibility to sell books; the author also has this responsibility. I recommend you get the book, Publicize Your Book by Jacqueline Deval, early on and read it and incorporate ideas into your proposal and manuscript. It will set your ideas apart. I met Jacqueline last month at the American Society of Journalists and Authors meetings in New York City. She is the publisher at Hearst Books and has been on the inside of publishing houses and understands the limitations on what a publisher can do. This book helps you be proactive without being "high maintenance." You don't want to fall into this high maintenance category as an author. They are the authors who call all the time and have giant expectations and generally are a pain. Check out Jacqueline's website at: http://www.publicizeyourbook.com. And make sure you check out the children's section of my new website: http://www.right-writing.com/child.html.

Mel: Terry, tell us more about this rather new web site of yours. Why and how did you start it, and how is it going?

Terry: I've always felt like my work stands on the shoulders of other writers and editors that I've learned so much from over the years. I wanted to have a writer site where I could continue to help folks so I built and have continued with my new site,
http://www.right-writing.com. It's been up about three months and, to my surprise, has much more traffic and interest than anything I've ever built. I worked for a dot com (Christianity.com) for about two years, so I've built some beautiful sites but no one has gone to them. This site is different because it is not my name but a theme-based website. I believe any writer can build a platform through building a site in the right place and with the right system. I've got information about this system on my website. I also launched a new e-book this week to help writers called Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success. The book includes an actual nonfiction book proposal I wrote that an agent sold for an advance over six figures. You can learn more or get the book at: http://www.right-writing.com/proposals.html.

Mel: What's on your WEB SITE for us writers?

Terry: The site has a lot of articles and information for writers, children's articles for children's writers, and I'm constantly adding new articles and information. Also I have a free newsletter which features writing tips and also articles about how writers practice their craft of writing. In a little over three months I have more than 800 people on this newsletter list and I've written seven issues (twice a month) and subscribers have access to the back issues—free. Also I have fiction writing articles for writers of fiction. I have nonfiction articles for magazine writers and book writing information and information about other things like how to start a newsletter or ways you can begin to write better for the net. I have information about writers conferences around the nation and writer's organizations. Many things on the site.

Mel: Terry, if I'm getting the right DIGEST of much of what you're saying tonight about publishing a book, it is that the PROPOSAL stage of a book is NOW more crucial than ever, because of the competition, and because of the way publishers have to work. Is this accurate, and if so, can you amplify any on your own PROPOSING of books to a publisher?

Terry: Yes, I can. You have to work hard at your book proposal these days to catch a publisher's attention. The book market has been hit with terrible sales over the last few years and it's made publishers think twice about which books they will publish. I read for example this week in Publisher's Weekly that publishers regularly write off a hundred million dollars each year in unearned advances. Now that is a large number. So as an author, you have to prove your case to me as an editor in your proposal. Why should I take your book as opposed to something else on my desk?

Many writers make the huge mistake of writing the manuscript—and not the proposal, and their proposals are incomplete. I learned quickly as an acquisitions editor that there are only so many hours in the physical day. I don't have time to critique or give reasons for a rejection. I barely have time to give a rejection. If your proposal isn't about 80 to 90% complete, then I can't fix it. I can't edit it or rework it or anything to meet my needs. There just isn't time for that work. So the writer has to be smart about the process and give me something so irresistable that I have to "carry the flag for it" inside my publishing house. If you want an answer about your book, I can give it to you tonight. You aren't going to like it: NO. I heard the senior editor at Simon and Schuster say the other day she is looking at every project for a reason to say NO.

So to combat that you have to give her such a wonderful amazing project in terms of the writing, your credentials, and the idea that she has to say YES. I feel the same way publishing is a consensus building process. I have to convince a lot of people inside the publishing house before I can call an author and offer a publishing contract. I contracted over 30 books my last full year as an acquisitions editor at Cook—children's and adult books, but I had to convince everyone from the president of the company to the VP of Marketing, Editorial, Sales, and others that the project merited such a commitment. It was not easy or fast and people wonder why it takes forever. I explain some of this tension in my new e-book. You can get it on my website: www.right-writing.com. Proposals are critical to giving the editor what he needs to convince others about your project.

Mel: Two closely related questions, Terry:

writer020350: As an acquisitions editor at Howard Publishing, what are you looking for in fiction?

2bornot2b: What do you look for in Christian fiction?

Terry: Great questions. I read a variety of genres and types of Christian fiction, and I've been doing it for many years. My commitment to Howard is to bring them fiction which will be commercially viable. If you are writing a six-book fantasy series which is already 150,000 words, please don't send it to me. But if you are writing something for which you think there is a huge market, and will show me this market and show me huge talent in your writing, something I have to read, then I will be interested in your project.

For example, I'm pulling for an author with a compelling political story with lots of twists and turns and a great story, but also a Christian theme woven into the fiber of the story. Not a bunch of Bible verses, but woven into the plot and characters. Some of the Howard fiction that was acquired before I came isn't very Christian, which is a problem with the Christian retailers—who are complaining.

Anyone who wants to query me about their fiction can do so via my email at Howard: twhalin@howardpublishing.com. These e-mails go into a different address for me, but for first-time fiction authors, they need to have written the entire novel first, and you will need to physically mail me a hard copy of your work. Again, as I've said in other things tonight, the responsibility of is on the shoulders of the author/ writer, and you need to have something compelling that I can't put down and send it to me so I don't have to print it out.

I'm one of these editors who loves the Internet--but I also believe writers have become lazy with it. If you send something, then send the return postage or a means to get back in touch with you such as e-mail. The publisher isn't going to be paying the postage for your returned manuscript. That's the writer's responsibility—you may be nodding in agreement, but you would be shocked how often it's neglected. And editor's have long memories of such things, so remember that as you send in your stuff. Oh, the writer stories I have for you?

Mel: THANKS, Terry--great answers, and a NICE editor-openness on your part!

mena: Do you accept poetry?

Terry: No, Howard does no poetry. Sorry about that. It's a specialized sort of field. I'd make sure you use the Poetry Writer's Market Guide fromWriter's Digest, which comes out each year—even if you use it at the library.

shemaiahjane: Will Howard Publishing ever consider venturing into children's books?

Terry: Maybe. They've talked about it from time to time, and sometimes they want to do it—but it's a huge capital outlay, as I mentioned earlier with huge risk for the publisher. Howard has really done well in the gift book category. Their books are in gift shops, airports and other venues outside of the regular bookstores. Their Hugs books have sold over four million copies. Maybe you've seen them in the airports and other places. I'm not saying no completely—I've learned to never say never in this business—but for now, Howard has no plans to get into children's books.

Mel: Terry, what EXACTLY constitutes a gift book? And is that a genre we could aim for with a book idea of ours?

Terry: A gift book is often a book used for a special occasion, a Mother's Day book, a Christmas book, a love book for Valentine's Day, that sort of thing. There will always be a need for these types of books; they are given to encourage a person out of depression, to lift up the ill, to inspire people in their work and daily living. It's much more of an inspirational category. Many of these books are done with "packagers". If you don't know about packaging, it's a whole new can of worms but I have an introduction to it over on
www.right-writing.com and I believe it's in the magazine area of the site. The gift books that I've written have been bestsellers—selling over 60,000 copies each. But I also wrote them as Work Made For Hire, which is another common aspect of the gift market—not totally but common.

2bornot2b: Is there a market for Bible stories? If so, what are the guidelines? How can a writer keep it true to the Word, but give it a fresh sound?

Terry: Yes, there will always be a market for Bible stories. Parents will always be buying Bible stories for their children and need them for all sorts of ages. It is tricky to tell them in a fresh way and yet also be true to the Scriptures. I'd point to a new series of books from Cook in this area called Rocket Readers. They are grade-controlled vocabulary Bible stories, ideal for the home school or home market. Cook has invested a lot of money and energy into these books and they are going well. Also look at the Learn to Read Bible by Heather Gemmen for some fresh insight into this area of Chrisitian literature. Heather has a new adult book which is also going very well called Startling Beauty. She's taped a show on Montel Williams which will air soon. Heather is the children's editor at Cook—Faith Kids.

Mel: SUPER suggestions, and specific—thanks, Terry!

spotslover2: How overtly religious do stories need to be?

Terry: This answer is an old saw, but true. It depends on the publisher and what they take. Publishing is subjective and I knew at Cook that it had to be very religious and Biblical for it to go through the process but other publishers are much more lax about such issues.

craig: I wrote a story called "Fight For Survival." It is about a little boy who saves his teacher in a flood and he believes that God will save them and He does. What magazine can I send this story to, because it is a children's story?

Terry: I'm unsure on this one since I've not written for these types of magazines in a few years. I always encourage writers to try the Sunday School take home papers. At the writer's conferences, these editors are the ones who buy the most stuff because they have to fill an issue of their magazine every single week of every year; 52 issues is a lot of space to fill so I would always try those folks. Now you will never get rich writing for the Sunday School take home market, but the exposure and audience is huge! The circulation at some of them numbers in the millions.

Mel: A person could visit every church in their town or neighborhood during the week, and ask for their take-home papers, couldn't they, Terry?

Terry: Absolutely, and some of the larger churches have libraries with magazines and books, like the Baptists have graded Sunday school material for every single age group. It's why Lifeway is a huge corporation in Nashville to produce all of that material for the churches each week—magazines like Home Life and others.

Mel: That's a LOT of material for LOTS of ages, week after week!

liza jane: Are you saying it is a good thing to combine talents, such as music and writing?

Terry: I'm unsure what you mean combine music and writing. The one project I told about acquring was from a musician/songwriter/writer—and combines a CD and a children's book, but that was fairly unusual. Most of the time it's hard to combine these two disciplines.

writer020350: Is the pioneer/prairie type romance novel still selling?

Terry: To a certain age group, yes. I do understand that Janette Oke is pretty much retired, but they keep repackaging and selling her books so yes, it continues to sell.

Mel: Two related questions from nana:

nana: Is there a market for rewritten Bible stories? I'm interested in writing short plays. I would also like to write fictionalized Old Testament Bible stories. Do any publishers that you know of buy such stories?

Terry: I'm unsure about the plays question. There are some specialized publishers who produce such things in the Christian market but I'm fogging on the exact name of the company. As far as retold Bible stories into fiction—yes, if it is excellent. There is an incredible amount of poorly written, poor character, poor plot stuff floating around out in the slush piles. I'd encourage you to read Walter Wangrin's book, Paul, for a good example (Zondervan). It won an award.

sally apokedak: What if I tell an editor I don't want an advance does that help me make a sale or make me look like a cheap date? =0)

Terry: Sally—it may make you look like a cheap date. While money may not be important to you, what the publisher offers does show their level of commitment to the project. If they offer me $100,000, that says a lot compared to $10,000 because the larger amount increases their risk and they will have to work even harder as a publisher to sell that book and recover it. You don't want to position yourself as a "no advance" writer in general.

liza jane: I visited your website today, Terry, lots of helpful articles. Thanks!

Terry: You are welcome. I want to help writers and help them be successful. It's why I've set up the site at
http://www.right-writing.com and why I've put it together and will be continuing to add articles and other resources to the site. So please add it to your Favorites and return often.

Mel: Tell us again about your new e-book, Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Where can people get this book?

Terry: I've just launched this new e-book and it's available on my site at
http://www.right-writing.com/proposals.html. You can get it immediately through Paypal and get it within an hour. Also, I've been working on a Print On Demand version of the e-book which I'm going to take to several conferences where I will be speaking later this year, such as Blue Ridge Mountains which begins on May 16th. You can learn more about this conference at http://www.lifeway.com/christianwriters. I will also be at the Oregon Christian Writers in August, the American Christian Romance Writers Conference in September and the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference in New Mexico in October.

Mel: Terry, you have swifted two hours right by our very eyes tonight, with your discussion of the inspirational writing market that has been truly inspirational for us. Thank you so much for squeezing us into what must be a very busy schedule you're pursuing. We still have questions left over, I know, so would you come back again someday?

Terry: I'd love to do it anytime, Mel. I appreciate the opportunity. I've been working hard recently on my material for Blue Ridge where I will be teaching five hours on the adult nonfiction book.

Mel: Thursday, May 20, our Chat Guest will be Cynthia Faber Smith, who has fairly recently become the Art Director at Highlights For Children Magazine. Cindy will share with us the illustration needs of Highlights, and explain about how she goes about planning, buying, and laying out the art for each issue. We've been making an effort to bring to our chat room help and inspiration for children's illustrators among us. Even if you're not an illustrator, however, you'll be intrigued, I know, to hear about how Cindy carries out her busy duties as Highlights For Children's Art Director, on Thursday, May 20 at the same times as this chat has been.

And THANKS AGAIN to you, Terry Whalin, for the inspiration you have given us all tonight about writing for the inspirational children's market! We wish you well at Howard Publishing, and in all your writing ventures in the months to come!

Terry: And I wish each of you well with your writing.

Mel: Good Night, Everywriter!

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