My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words. (Psalm 45:1)

Welcome to our new blog!

Note that this blog is primarily for members of CWOSA. Only those members who have signed up as authors to the blog are able to post on this site, although all may leave comments.

You may not pass on any posts from this blog without permission of the author, but you may pass on a link if you wish to share something written.

To join CWOSA, you are required to either be a Christian writer or aspiring writer who lives in Southern Africa, or a Southern African Christian writer living overseas. If you qualify and wish to learn more, click on this link.


1. Read the topmost post, then click on "comments".
2. Read the last comment to see the most recent addition to the story.
3. Copy/past the entire story to date into a new comment box.
4. Add a further three words.
5. Click on Comment as. If you are signed in, your name will appear. Click on Publish.
6. If you're not signed in, click the small dropdown arrow, and select Name/URL. Give us the name we know you as, and click on Publish.

Remember! This is meant to be a story!
Have fun!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Vanity Publishers

Excerpts from an email concerning Raider Publishers:

I hadn't heard of Raider Publishers, so did a check on "Preditors and
Editors" ( a well-known site where you can check out
possible dodgy sites or organisations in the writing world. They list Raider
as a "Vanity Publisher".

I then Googled Vanity Publishers to find something I could send you on the
subject. Here's one that is straight-forward and tells it like it is:

Basically Vanity Publishers are not well regarded. They are similar in some
ways to self-publishing BUT you have to figure out a way to check up that
they produce the goods - and it costs you a LOT of money. If you're going to
go that way, you would be safer with straight self-publishing or even e-book
publishing. And Val's your lady to talk to in that area.

However I would urge you not to give up on traditional publishing. You're
young and have a long time ahead of you. Now is the time to build up your
platform so that when you get to the point that you ARE ready to publish,
you have a marketable proposal and a presence on the Internet. Start working
on short articles: devotions, anthologies, blogs, etc, so that when you get
to sending out a query letter/proposal for your book, you have a list of
published articles you can give to impress potential editors.

Re traditional Christian markets (and non-Christian) - You're right that
most only want solicited manuscripts, but not all of them. There are some
that are open to new writers.

Re. agents - you should NEVER pay an agent to market your work. This is a
problem here in S.Africa in that the few agents I have heard of DO charge -
so any others of you with a different experience are welcome to shout me
down on this. Overseas agents do not accept money up front. (Some will
charge you for postage, but I imagine with emails today that is no longer
likely.) They get their money out of commission from the sale of your book -
a payment that goes on as long as the book is in print.

Problem is again - many of them don't take on unsolicited writers. Sigh.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Here's how to publish to the blog without going online. If it appears on the
blog, it worked!

Log into the CWOSA blog dashboard and click on settings

Choose Email & Mobile

Under Posting Address put a unique name where it shows.

Check "Publish emails immediately" and save settings.

Anything you email to this address will be published on the blog "as is".
The subject line of the email becomes the heading and the content goes in
the body.

This can save time - but again I emphasise it's just for those of you who
know what you're doing with blogger.

Thanks Val!

How To Sell Lots of Books

John Locke is a self-published novelist who has sold over a million copies of his e-books so far this year. He's had as many as 8 of his novels on the Kindle Top 100 list at one time, all priced at $.99.
How did he do that? In his Kindle book "How I Sold A Million Books In 5 Months" he shares some of his methods and I thought this group might find it interesting. Here's
a short link to the description page on Amazon:
Briefly, this is what he advises:
* Define your General Target Audience - the people who love the kind of books you write and would buy them if they knew about them.
* Create your book - write specifically for your General Target Audience. He very consciously writes a novel that he believes will delight his General Target Audience -- and nobody else. He really doesn't care if he offends everybody else.
* Create your platform - when you create your platform (including a web site, blog, Facebook page, etc., you should do everything in your power to make it as appealing as possible to your General Target Audience.
* Launch your book - when you launch your book, you should do everything in your power to reach those people in your General Target Audience. If you accidentally reach other people too who somewhat like your book, that's fine, but your General Target Audience will be the ones who love your book and spread the word.
* Grow your platform - continue to focus on building an online presence that makes your General Target Audience happy. You'll focus on adding them to your e-mail database, and they'll be delighted to be there, because there's nothing they want more than to hear when your next book comes out.
* Market your book - focus on crafting a message designed to appeal to people in your General Target Audience. You reach them; they'll reach everybody else. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
I think he really makes a good point. He's not just "going fishing" and hoping for the best, but specifically going after a particular niche of people within a targeted group.
Something to mull over...
Val Waldeck
Author of "Kindle Publishing Made Easy"

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sample Devotions for Winners

Here are three sample devotions I wrote for previous Winners. We await details on the wordcount for the next version - but this will give you an idea of what is wanted. 


John 3:16  (CEV) God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.

To travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe, or any other African country for that matter, you have to go via an official border post and produce the correct documentation. The Kingdom of Heaven is no different. To cross from Earth to Heaven we have to go through the border post. Jesus Christ purchased our passport on the cross. But without Him, we will not be able to cross into the Kingdom of Heaven.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for my passport to Heaven. I accept it from you now.

(90 words)


Matthew 23:25-26 (CEV)  You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you're in for trouble! You wash the  outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.

Poverty in Africa is a huge problem. Years ago, the Barbers' Union of Chicago picked out a filthy hobo and gave him a complete makeover. They cleaned him, dressed him in new clothes, and called him a “new man”. A short time later a journalist following up the story found the man. He had reverted to his old self. It wasn't enough to clean him on the outside. He had to want to be different. We need to motivate people to change from the inside. 

PRAYER: Lord, show me habits I need to alter. Help me change from the inside.

(99 words)


Rom 8:39  (KJV)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A baboon family scampered across the road. Babies clung to their mothers' underbellies. Youngsters stopped to play. One curious little guy plonked down in the middle of the road and studied our car. A loud bark sounded from the top of the tree, and the animals scurried for the trees. The senior member of the troupe, perched atop the highest tree, was warning them of danger. I thought of God, our Father, watching over us at all times. Am I always as quick to obey?

PRAYER: Lord, help me to listen for your warning call, and to obey immediately

(98 words)