Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Help With Writing a Book Proposal

It's less than a month till the February 1st deadline for submitting a book proposal for the Bridge Book Awards.

To help people with their book proposals, back in December there was a webinar in which Rev. Grant Schnarr, author of a number of books, talked people through writing a good book proposal.

You can download the audio from the webinar here. The webinar is about an hour and 10 minutes long. The file is 52.3 MB so it takes a little while to download. It's in WMV format so, if you have a Mac (like I do), you'll need something to convert it so that you can play it. I used a free program that makes it so that you can play it in QuickTime called Flip4Mac WMV. This particular copy of the file expires on January 11th but I'm guessing that, if you ask nicely, I could probably get another one put up or you could just contact Kristine Medley directly (, 267-502-4901).

I hope that there are lots of people working on book proposals. I wish that I had the time to submit something myself.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Church Perspective is 1 Year Old

A year ago, on January 1st, an online magazine called New Church Perspective ( launched. The goal was to publish a new essay every Friday and now, 52 Fridays later, 52 essays have been published, by 36 different authors.

If you want to get a sense for the range of topics covered, I'd recommend looking at the digest posts that take 10 essays at a time and provide short blurbs about each of them. Here are the digests for essays 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, and 41-52.

Towards the end of the year New Church Perspective expanded beyond just publishing weekly essays. On October 15th the editors announced the launch of a podcast called ChapmanCast and a column called Meditate. Here are the blurbs about each of these:
ChapmanCast – A New Church podcast about religion and life, featuring discussions and interviews. New episodes publish weekly on Wednesdays and last for about 15-20 minutes. The ChapmanCast is hosted by Pearse Frazier and guests. (Subscribe in iTunes)
Meditate – Meditating on the Word is a powerful way to expand your spiritual life and deepen your awareness of the Lord in your daily living. This column is updated weekly with passages I have chosen to meditate on and the insights that have resulted. I invite you also to meditate on the Word and share your insights with the readers of New Church Perspective.... What is here is shared with humility and I hope it may be a blessing to you. Chelsea Odhner, Editor
You can subscribe to any or all of these features for free by email or using a feed reader.

As Brian Smith, the Editor-in-Chief, puts it, New Church Perspective is intended to be “A Collaborative Adventure for the Sharing and Spreading of the Lord's Wisdom and Love” and there are lots of ways to get involved. One of the best ways is to submit an essay. The requirements are not too demanding (even very short articles are welcome) and the process can be pretty rewarding. Here's an excerpt from an invitation to write from Brian:
I'm writing to you now to invite you to commit to writing one (or more essays) in 2011. Writing is not always easy, but I believe it is always a valuable process. There is a value to the type of thought-leadership which trained priests can offer to spiritual communities. But there is also tremendous value in the musings, questions, conclusions, research and reflections which people from all walks of life come to in their efforts to understand God and live a heavenly life.


We only have three guidelines: be respectful of sacred scripture and the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, address spirituality/religion in some way and avoid commenting on individuals and current, specific decisions in the denominational organizations of the New Church.

Even if writing is not for you at this point, please share this invitation with anyone who you think may be interested by the opportunity. We are not looking for orthodoxy so much as we are looking for the heartfelt.
I hope that that whets your appetite to write, read, listen or otherwise participate in some form.

P.S. If you check back on Friday, you'll be able to read an essay that I wrote.