Friday, September 4, 2009

The Writer's Porch--Shortbread--How To Write a Great Devotion Part 6

Shortbread: How to Write Great Devotionals, Part 6—The Extras

Today is the final day for our Shortbread: How to Write Great Devotionals. We have covered the primary sections of a devotional writing and what editors are looking for in a devotion. There is one last section that I want to touch on and that is the little extras that a publisher may want included.

In the Proverbs 31 Ministries "Encouragement for Today" devotions we add several additional sections. We request the author add the following:

Application Steps: This is a short concrete action that the reader would be able to accomplish in a short period of time. For example, read a Scripture, write a prayer, memorize a verse, etc.

Reflections: These are questions that the reader would ask themselves. Do I worry? Why do I allow anger to influence my relationships? Etc.

Additional Resources: Books, blogs, etc. that we feel tie into the day’s devotional.

Power Verses: We have 3-5 additional Scriptures for the reader to read that relate back to the main point of the devo.

These additional sections enhance the devotion and add a touch of variety from other devotionals.

One time I was writing devotionals for Standard Publications and they requested that I give three titles to hymns that would refer back to the point of the devo. YIKES! My church hasn’t had a hymnal in twenty years. However, I eventually found a hymnal and was able to search through it for the required songs. Then the editor needed the composers’ names and copyright information. This was not an optional part of the assignment. If I wanted the five devos to be published and wanted to receive payment, I needed to include this information in my submissions.

In my devotional book, Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents: What to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Say, I selected Scripture, wrote the devotional and then used the same Scripture for the parents to be able to pray by inserting their child’s name in a blank. Tomorrow, I will post one of the devotions for you to be able to see how that looks.

Okey dokey, that’s it for this series on The Writer’s Porch. Send me some suggestions on what you would like to see on upcoming posts of The Writer's Porch.

Keep Writing,

3 comments:

Mary said...

Susanne,

Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom over the last 6 weeks. God directed me to your blog just as you were beginning this series. Over the summer, I have felt God calling me to Women's Ministry and writing. Your series has helped give me a place to start. In just a few short weeks I will begin leading a discussion group in Discipler's Bible study. God is doing amazing things. He is faithful!

Thank you,

Mary

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Susanne,
Thanks so much for this series. It was so timely! I just requested a template from Rachel to submit a devo to P31.
Now to get to writing! Oh, why is it so easy to do so many other things before my writing?

Anonymous said...

Susanne,
Thank you for this series and for the guidance you have given all of us would-be devotion authors! I was fortunate enough to be in one of your sessions at She Speaks and I was so impressed with your vitality and your willingness to share what you've learned. Know, too, that since the death of your dear friend, you have been especially in my prayers. I lost my best friend to cancer a few years ago and I realized that a friend can grieve the death of a loved one just as a family member can.
Looking forward to more of your blogs. Take care and God bless!

Cathy R., Pilot Mtn, NC