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Donna L.H. Smith

Donna Smith

I'm a prairie girl from Kansas transplanted to Amish country, Pennsylvania. I'm married to a wonderful man since 1987, a member of a great church, where I serve as a greeter and on ministry team. On Sunday afternoons, I stand a two-hour prayer watch at our local 24/7 House of Prayer. I also enjoy reading, occasionally reviewing books, and of course, writing. A graduate of Christian Writer's Guild's Craftsman program, and holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in communication. I seek to encourage beginning writers in learning the craft. I am currently the Mid-Atlantic Zone Director of American Christian Fiction Writers and serve as Assistant Managing Editor for A3. My debut novel, Meghan's Choice, publishes in late 2017.

Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Enlightened. I struggled to stay awake on the drive home from the Ohio Christian Writers Conference, my conference companion and …

November 16, 2017

You saw a listing for a writing conference. It looks amazing. You’re excited, then doubts creep in. Am I ready? Will they …

November 14, 2017

Normally in these articles about magazine writing, I focus on positive ways to make a difference. From my years in the publishing …

November 13, 2017

“Oh, you’re a fantasy writer? I love ‘The Lord of the Rings.’” “I don’t write that kind of fantasy.” “What other kind …

November 7, 2017

Career success as a freelance copywriter depends on your ability to secure the right clients. If your clients cost you time, wear …

October 30, 2017

by Tina Hunt Two of my “go to” counseling statements are: so how’s that working for you?; and if your best friend …

October 26, 2017
Love writing

Girl Meets Boy. Lots of problems. Finally, Girl Gets Boy. That’s my new formula for romance writing. Most readers of romance in …

October 23, 2017

Technical writing is a different kind of writing. As a matter of fact, it is a very different kind of writing. It …

October 16, 2017

As a long-time writer for magazines and a former magazine editor, there are some basic truths about publishing in magazines. Through writing …

October 13, 2017

A poet must choose his words for sound as well as meaning. You could call it verbal music. When you compose music, …

October 12, 2017

Do your characters fight right? Action is often a big part of the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Your story may not have …

October 7, 2017

In our first article, we looked at how research was vital to prepare any director to present a script onto the stage …

October 4, 2017

Until the last century, men dominated the realms of literature, letters, and learning. We read nothing of women exchanging rhetoric and positing …

October 2, 2017

It’s been a L-O-N-G series, but I wanted to especially focus in on different tools you can use to identify your characters’ …

September 30, 2017

In this series, we’re looking at personalities, how to develop them, and where to look for more information about personality types. As …

September 23, 2017

So, you think you want to write a romance? It’s a great genre. We all love fairy tales where the prince and …

September 2, 2017

If you’re writing about corporate culture or your main characters are partners or close colleagues in their jobs, the DISC personality profiles …

August 23, 2017
Publishing Perspectives column

Welcome to Publishing Perspectives! I’ll be talking about all things publishing. Let’s start with an overview of the publishing world. It may …

July 21, 2017

Where do you get your inspiration? For me, it can something as simple as a “what if” question to change a story …

July 16, 2017

Characters with personality make your readers identify and care about them. There are several ways to determine what your character will be …

June 22, 2017

In the beginning…in creating characters, we must begin at the beginning. We’ve talked about a three-word description, and basic information. How do …

May 22, 2017

Why is it that some characters stick in our minds? What is it about them that causes us identify with them and …

April 22, 2017

Why is it that some characters stick in our minds? What is it about them that causes us identify with them and …

March 22, 2017

As this series draws to a close, here are a couple practical exercises you can do at home to learn and practice …

February 21, 2017

This time, we’re continuing our look at self-editing with tips from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Browne and King. We’re going to …

January 22, 2017

We all want our manuscripts to be the best they can be. In the past, we’ve relied on unskilled critique partners, groups, …

December 22, 2016

Writers write because we love to use words, but let’s face it––even though we say we write for ourselves, we all want …

November 22, 2016

Getting published traditionally is difficult. Small publishers are more likely to accept a manuscript from a previously unpublished author, yet they are …

October 28, 2016

Let’s get our manuscript “publish-ready.” Refer to last month’s post for my definition. This time, we’ll look at basic proofreading. Spell check …

September 22, 2016

Last month, we talked about what “publish-ready” means.  This time, we’ll look at basic proofreading. Spell check in Microsoft Word or whatever word processing program …

August 26, 2016

You hear it more and more these days. What does “publish-ready” mean? How can self-editing help? #amwriting #publish-ready #self-editing For the next …

July 8, 2016

We’ve been looking at crafting plot twists. #amwriting #plottwists .

June 10, 2016

Continuing our look at crafting a spectacular plot twist, this time we’ll look in detail at a couple of the “tips” mentioned …

May 19, 2016
5 Key Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

Beginning bloggers face a steep learning curve that can seem overwhelming. Because there’s so much to learn, it’s easy to begin blogging …

April 25, 2016

Last time we talked about all the elements needed to create a stunning plot twist. This time, we’ll talk about reader reactions …

April 23, 2016
Publishing Perspectives column

Have you ever looked at the category words on the back of a book, above (or below) the bar code? Have you …

March 20, 2016

Plot Twists Four elements to plot twists: 1) unexpected, 2) inevitable, 3) an escalation of what preceded it, and 4) a… Click …

March 11, 2016

Nearly two years ago, when I finished my Craftsman class with DiAnn Mills, she recommended I get a book entitled Story Trumps Structure, …

February 25, 2016

Particularly for new writers beginning the blogging journey, comparison can kill confidence and create problems. New bloggers often struggle with comparison, much like …

February 16, 2016
Publishing Perspectives column

In last month’s column, I mentioned that an item of an Author’s Questionnaire from a publisher is the request to describe the …

February 3, 2016
Publishing Perspectives column

The first part of this series examined the Query Letter. The second part looked at the synopsis. In this column, we’ll look …

January 23, 2016

Most fiction starts out hot, then bogs down. How can you keep the fire in your fiction so that readers will continually …

January 16, 2016

   It’s time again for lessons from the editor’s desk. In addition to being a published author with Bethany House, Zondervan, and …

December 30, 2015

This time, we’ll look at Character Struggles, and how they help make unforgettable fiction. Here’s a great way to start it out: …

December 15, 2015
Keep Calm and Write A Synopsis

The first part of this series examined the Query Letter. In this column, we’ll look at the synopsis. Most publishers will be …

December 14, 2015

Blogging requires a balanced combination of vision, passion, craft, and energy. Comparison can quickly squelch your energy and derail your passion for …

November 30, 2015
Publishing Perspectives column

You’ve finally got your novel all polished up and ready to submit to a publisher. How is this done? These days, most …

November 22, 2015

We’re looking at Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction. @DonaldMaass #FireinFiction I’m on a quest to learn more about writing and …

November 10, 2015

The tagline to Donald Maas’ The Fire in Fiction is “passion, purpose, and techniques TO MAKE YOUR NOVEL GREAT.” The book covers …

October 30, 2015
Publishing Perspectives column

I hope that you, as a writer, do a LOT of reading! I think there are three types of reading you should …

October 29, 2015

When drafting your novel, then self-editing, go back and determine whether or not any given scene moves the story along and how …

October 15, 2015

  You sit down at your computer to write a new blog post. A blank screen is all you can see. Drumming …

October 6, 2015

Hi new friends. My name is Dina Sleiman. In addition to being a published author myself, I’m an acquisitions editor with WhiteFire …

September 28, 2015
Publishing Perspectives column

Printing Press The world of book publishing has been changing rapidly for a few years, and lots of vocabulary is changing too. …

September 23, 2015

How do you know your story is worth telling? How do you evaluate whether or not your idea is a good one? …

September 9, 2015
Develop a consistent blogging personality

Remember the insecure days of adolescence? We changed looks, styles, and personalities as we tried to figure out this important question: Who am …

September 1, 2015
Publishing Perspectives column

Writing a book can be hard work. Then you polish it: more hard work. Then there’s the hard work of finding a …

August 29, 2015

What is it about a story that makes it compelling? Is it the characters? Is it the plot? Is it the element …

August 17, 2015

Very few people take a trip without a destination in mind. When we travel, good planning makes for a good trip. When it …

July 31, 2015
Publishing Perspectives column

The number of smaller publishers will continue to grow as technology enables more people to complete the tasks involved in producing a …

July 20, 2015

Earlier, I posted about what fuels your ideas, and I used “Early Edition” as one of my ideas. Someday I’d like …

July 17, 2015

Plot Summary: FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation in to a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence …

July 10, 2015

We’ve all heard the cliche, “Content is King.” The power of blogging depends on meaningful content. With the increasing numbers of blogs on …

June 25, 2015
Donna L.H. Smith, Author at Almost An Author