Friday, September 30, 2011

What Would You Recommend?

I could spend all day browsing the aisles of a book store. If I could have my way, I would have a library in my home like the ones I've seen in the castles of Europe with floor to ceiling shelves on all four walls! For now, I have to settle for two bookcases, with the makings to fill a third beginning to pile up on the living room and office floors.

When it comes to choosing a book about writing, I study the offerings carefully. I have a budget to meet like everyone else and want to make sure I get the best one. Two books I continually pull off the shelf are The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. and An Introduction to Christian Writing by Ethel Herr. Each has tools you'll use the rest of your writing career.

Do you have a favorite or two? Please share with us the books that have made the greatest impact on your skills as a writer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Writers' Conference and the Elevator Pitch

A writer's major goal is to get published, and writers' conferences open that door. This year, I am excited to be part of the faculty of the Heart of America Christian Writers Conference where I will be teaching two workshops. As a webzine editor, I will also be meeting with writers to hear what they have to offer for publication in Glory and Strength.

But you can't simply show up and expect publishers and editors to snatch up your writing like hungry wolves. You've got to be prepared with specific information they want to hear. One of those pieces of information is your elevator pitch.

Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, has been in the book publishing industry for his entire career. His blog post today, The 4 Components of a Compelling Elevator Pitch, is must-have advice for your next conference. And though I am part of the faculty for this year's HACWN conference, I plan on doing some pitching of my own. This advice couldn't have come at a better time! The wonderful part about elevator pitches is they aren't just for conferences. The very nature of this quick speech means you can give it whenever an opportunity presents itself. Read it, save it, and be better prepared for publishing success.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cec Murphey's Writer to Writer

One of the most outstanding blogs available for learning the craft of writing is Cecil Murphey's Writer to Writer. He has written or co-written over 100 books and hundreds of articles. His book 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper has been on the New York Times' best seller list since October 2006.

Murphey is also a panelist for The Writers View 2, an online Christian writers group for beginning  and intermediate writers serious about learning their craft. I joined the group in 2006 and have made new friends in the writing business as well as learned a great deal about great writing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Call for Submissions

Writers, Chicken Soup for the Soul presently has several books in the works. Visit Chicken Soup possible books for all the titles and to submit your story. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Welcome to the blog page of author and speaker Debra L. Butterfield.

Try as I might to put out a newsletter once a month, I wasn't always successful. In addition, I often found myself with tidbits of news I wanted to put out, but didn't want to inundate my subscribers with emails. So I have moved my news to a blog. This will allow me to post often and you to read when you want without clogging your inbox.

If you are a current subscriber to my newsletter, please "follow" the blog so you will always be up to date on when I post. I will no longer be sending Jots and Dots via email. If you have just discovered my blog, welcome. I hope you will follow along with others.

What You Can Expect to Find Here:

  • writing advice
  • publishing advice
  • submission callouts
  • writer resources
  • and more...