Wednesday, January 20, 2021

accidental poet Mike Bonikowksy

Canadian "accidental poet" Mike Bonikowsky discusses art & faith amid chaos in this interview conducted by Ilana Reimer:

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Prussian Mennonite leader Peter Epp 1725-1789

Peter Epp was born in 1725 in Petershagen in the Danzig area of Polish Prussia. [The city of Danzig is now Gdansk.] He later moved to Neunhuben and then into Danzig. At age 32 he was elected deacon by the Flemish Mennonite congregation of Danzig. A year later, he was elected minister.

In 1770 the Danzig City Council ordered all churches to hold a day of prayer in the hope that God would spare them hard times, war, and disease. Peter Epp preached a particularly good sermon that day, calling the congregation to repentance.

Polish Prussia had two main groups of Mennonites—Flemish and Friesian. For both groups, Low German was the language of everyday life. However, both groups had brought the Dutch language with them from Belgium and the Netherlands. Dutch was their language for preaching, Bible reading, and hymn-singing. As time went on, the government put pressure on them to switch to German. Peter Epp led this switch in the early 1770s. German became the language of church.

By the 1780s, the government was restricting Mennonites' right to buy land. As a result, some welcomed news that came in 1786. Russia was looking for immigrants to farm the grasslands of South Russia [now Ukraine]. By 1788, more than 200 Mennonite families had left for Russia. However, they had no official church leadership. They needed an elder to guide them. Peter Epp agreed to be that elder. He preached his farewell sermon August 2, 1789. Sadly, he became ill almost immediately and died in November.

Peter Epp didn't get to go to Russia, but several of his children did. They were devout and able individuals who helped provide leadership to newly arrived Mennonite settlers in South Russia's "sea of grass."

[The above is based on a paper presented by Adolf Ens at an Epp genealogical workshop in Winnipeg, June 1998.]

Monday, January 11, 2021

Dr. Robert and Elma Schemenauer Awards open for submissions

Good news in kind of a bleak time.

The Dr. Robert and Elma Schemenauer Awards are open for submissions. There are TWO CATEGORIES OF AWARDS

1. Writing with a Kamloops Theme

2. Writing Showing an Appreciation of Nature


Each award is issued annually to a member in good standing of the Interior Authors Group (IAG) based in Kamloops, BC. There is no fee to enter. If there's more than one author and/or contributor to a piece of writing, all must be IAG members. To join the IAG, please visit . 


- sent before midnight 21 March

- a short story, poem, article, essay, or other form of writing where an understanding and appreciation of the category's topic is clearly incorporated and expressed (either Kamloops-Themed or Nature-Themed).


fogquest [at symbol] shaw [dot] ca


Friday, January 8, 2021

writerly news for January 8, 2021

Polar Borealis Magazine is a free online magazine devoted to Canadian speculative fiction. They recently announced they'll be open to submissions of short stories and poems during February 2021. Here are detailed submission guidelines.

Port Yonder Press / Eastern Iowa Review is open to submissions of manuscripts composed of lyric essays or prose poetry, 25-40 pages long. Info at

New Christian literary agency:

How can you be a happy writer? John Matthew Fox's advice here.

From John Matthew Fox, lists of publishers for various kinds of writing, not only science fiction and fantasy, but also poetry, children's, literary, and more:

LIVE is a Christian story paper for adults. They're open to submissions of various kinds of stories, non-fiction & fiction. For details go to the following website & scroll down to the heading WRITING FOR LIVE (TAKE-HOME QUARTERLY FOR ADULTS). cat=twritguid

"Kaleidoscope magazine creatively focuses on the experiences of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, caregivers, educators and healthcare professionals, among others." They invite submissions of fiction, personal essays and poetry that explore the experience of disability. They're also open to artwork created by persons with disabilities. Details at

Monday, December 21, 2020

possible home for non-fiction manuscripts

MacIntyre Purcell Publishing is based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and also has western Canadian connections. They're accepting proposals in the following genres: biography, history, folklore, non-fiction, sports, guidebooks, cookbooks, and photographic books. More info at

Friday, December 18, 2020

Christian publisher with wide-ranging interests

WhiteFire Publishing is a Maryland [USA]-based Christian publisher with four imprints: Chrism Press, stories informed by Catholic and Orthodox Christianity but not preachy; Ashbury Lane, heartfelt stories of faith with a focus on romance; WhiteFire, fiction and nonfiction meant to make you laugh, cry, and grow your faith; and WhiteSpark, stories for young readers. More info on Ontario [Canada]-based writing guru Brian Henry's blog:

Monday, December 14, 2020

writerly news for December 14, 2020

-Children's picture book THE CHRISTMAS PRINCESS is now available! Teacher and author Jeff Bloom wrote it with his granddaughter, who was four years old at the time. Jeff is a member of the Kamloops [BC]-based Interior Authors Group, and has for several years served as the group's secretary. Details at


-Poetry Ireland Review's mission is to connect people and poetry. They invite submissions of poetry, also proposals for articles and reviews. Here are their guidelines:


-Author Meg LaTorre giving LOTS of info on using YouTube to promote your writing. It's a bit overwhelming, but you can choose what may work for you and slide over the rest.


-How can writers catch readers' attention? Ideas in this series of 5 short YouTube videos:


-Nature Friend is a "creation-based monthly magazine for children." It invites submissions of stories and articles, paying for those published. The guidelines give lots of helpful advice on how to write well. They also explain the magazine's position regarding God, creation, and nature. They don't require every submission to reflect these beliefs in a specific way. Here are the guidelines:;class=gen


-Muse Magazine is a discovery magazine for children and teens. It takes intellectual curiosity seriously, while never taking itself too seriously. The editors seek fresh and entertaining articles from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Each issue has a theme. For Sept 2021 issue: Layers of Meaning; deadline January 15, 2021. For Oct 2021 issue: Science of fear; deadline Feb 15, 2021. For Nov/Dec 2021 issue: Colors and Art Therapy. Deadline March 15, 2021. Detailed guidelines here.


-Chicken Soup for the Soul has an ongoing need for poems and true stories under 1,200 words. Chicken Soup stories are written in the first person and often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. As usual, Chicken Soup is calling for submissions for numerous anthologies. Here are a few:


I'm Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope: Deadline: Jan 15, 2021.


Eldercare: We are looking for true stories that show our readers how lives and relationships change when eldercare becomes necessary. They will provide practical advice, encouragement, insight and support.


Preteens: Callout for writers under age 35. Twenty new stories required for a 20th anniversary edition of Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. "We're looking for everything, from serious to silly. What was your experience like as a preteen? Did you fit in with the popular crowd, or were you left behind to eat your peanut butter and jelly in the library? What kind of humorous or embarrassing things happened to you when you were that age?" Deadline Jan 15, 2021."


Other upcoming anthologies, include Angels, Cats, Christmas Stories, Counting Your Blessings, and Tough Times.

See details here: