I’ve been told I’ve got a slow pulse, but almost two years between Heartbeats isn't just a little slow -- it's flat-lining! But the heart of FaithWriters is still very much alive and ticking, and the community is buzzing.
So what’s been happening at FaithWriters this week?
Did you hear a loud sigh of relief on Thursday morning? It came from a multitude of members when they checked the new Challenge topic and discovered it had nothing to do with geography. If you haven’t checked the topic this week, it’s The Kingdom of God – the perfect way to wrap up our Around the World quarter:
No doubt about it, this was a really hard lot of topics (deliberately so), but pats on the back to everyone who rose to the challenge. You’re all winners in my eyes.
What an incredible quarter this has been! I’ve learnt so much – mainly that I was probably sleeping through most of my geography classes at school. I also realized I probably should have checked some maps before selecting the topics. I’m too embarrassed to confess all of my ignorance, but I will admit I had no idea a lot of Middle-East countries are in Asia. It was only when I was clarifying the topic for the judges and on the message boards that the penny dropped.
If you’ve been planning to enter the Challenge this quarter, this week is your last chance to do it. Once entries close for The Kingdom of God there’ll be a break until the 2nd April, then we’ll start our second quarter with a brand new theme and some really fun topics (nothing geographical – I promise!).
Speaking of the Challenge, if you've ever been an Editor's Choice winner, have you ever considered volunteering to be a judge? We need your help. If you would be interested in finding out more, please send me a private message or leave a note in the comments box and I'll be in touch. Our volunteer judges are the backbone of the Challenge. We couldn't do it without them.
Did you know we post a list of the highest ranked entries on the message boards each week? That’s the highest ranked entries for each level and overall. At the moment, due to a lower number of entries, I’m only posting the top 30 overall, rather than the top 40. The same is true for Level 2, where entry numbers have been particularly low.
If you’d like to check the highest rankings for Asia, you can find them here:
The Asia Challenge gave us a fantastic range of winning entries, with two Level 1 entries making it into the Editor’s Choice. But it was a Level 3 entrant who made it to the very top – Kellie Henningsen, with Too Great a Shame. Congratulations Kellie, and all our winners. Kellie said she was waiting all day for FaithWriters to tell her they'd made a mistake. No mistakes, Kellie! You were a worthy winner.
Apart from being a fantastic tool for honing our writing skills, and the possibility of placing in one of the Levels or in the Editor’s Choice, most members think the greatest benefit is the feedback from other members. I don’t know about you, but we have quite a lot of members who love those little golden boxes on their articles and Challenge entries. Whether pure encouragement or as iron sharpening iron, the people who take time to leave messages are incredible blessings to the FaithWriters community. Some of the most encouraging of all come from a group of ladies know as The FaithWriters Jewelers. This group makes a point each week of reading the latest general articles, leaving comments, and then making a list of some of the very best articles. They post these “Jewels” each week in the Cheering Forum of the Message Boards. The list is definitely worth checking out:
These great ladies are always looking for new "jewels," but they're the real treasures. I know they've blessed so many members.
The FaithWriters’ Message Boards really are the hub of the community at FaithWriters. If you’ve been a member here for a while, but still feel a bit like an outsider looking in, then you need to skedaddle on over to the boards and get to know some great men and women who share your faith and your passion for writing. This is a group of people who genuinely care for one another, cheer for one another’s successes, and have hugs and prayers aplenty when times are tough. Best of all, their eyes don’t roll back in their heads when you start talking about writing.
So if you’re feeling a little lost and alone, head on over to the boards, where you’ll find a very warm welcome.
One of the most common questions we’re asked has to do with how to get formatting in Writing Challenge entries and General Articles. As you’ve probably discovered, any italics, bold, centering, underlining, etc. in Challenge entries disappears when you paste or upload a file. That’s because word processor formatting can’t be interpreted by the browser. So what do you do if you really want to make something stand out (especially when you’ve seen other people do it)? Well, it just needs a little bit of HTML code, and there’s a post on the message boards to show you how to do it:
Special note about using HTML, though – you can’t use it in the Free Reprints. (Sorry about that.)
If you have any questions about FaithWriters that have left you scratching your head, please don’t hesitate to send me a message and I’ll do my best to answer them in a future Heartbeat.
There’s a lot happening at FaithWriters in coming weeks, so make sure you keep an eye out for your monthly newsletters and for the Heartbeat. If you don’t want to risk missing the next Heartbeat, hit the “Track this Author” link at the top of this page. That way you’ll always get a notice whenever a new Heartbeat is posted. But if you have a Yahoo/Hotmail/AOL account, you may need to keep an eye on your bulk mail or junk mail boxes.
Until next time, keep writing, rising to the Challenge, and being a shining light for His glory!
Deb, You are so amazing. Thank you for all you do around here to keep the heart of FW beating.
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, sister, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.