Thursday, November 12, 2015

Introducing Australasian Christian Writers


I recently attended the Christian Writer’s Conference in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, along with Christian Writers Downunder members. It was a great weekend, and it was great to meet so many people I “know” from Facebook, and to put full-sized faces (and bodies) to the Facebook thumbnails.

The best part about meeting face to face is the ability to have longer conversations than are possible in a Facebook group or blog comments, and to raise (and answer) questions. One of the questions I heard several times was regarding the relationship between Christian Writers Downunder and another Facebook group I’m a member of, Australasian Christian Writers. What the similarities between the two groups, and what are the differences?

Like Christian Writers Downunder, Australasian Christian Writers have both a Facebook page and a blog. Both groups target Christian writers from Australia and New Zealand, whether they are writing for the general market or specifically for the Christian market.

How is ACW Different?

But Australasian Christian Writers isn’t just a replica of Christian Writer’s Downunder. We have more of an emphasis on Christian fiction than CWD. It wasn’t necessarily planned that way, but most of our contributing writers do write fiction (or a combination of fiction and non-fiction), and we therefore attract Australasian and international Christian fiction readers—and a growing number of international authors.

This emphasis means our blog posts tend to be aimed at readers and writers of adult and young adult Christian fiction rather than other forms of literature: non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting or books for children.

The other main difference is that Australasian Christian Writers post to our blog five days a week, with a theme for each day:

Monday: Writing craft

Our craft posts often run in series, and have included contributions from Jeanette O’Hagen (preparing for and participating in NaNoWriMo), Anne Hamilton (the opening hook) and myself (online book reviewing). 

Tuesday: New Releases, ARCBA blog tours, or guest posts

Our guest posts include regular contributions from SimonKennedy, President of Omega Writers, and Rel Mollet, reviewer extraordinaire.

ARCBA is the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance, which hosts monthly blog tours aiming to raise exposure and awareness, with preference given to Australian and New Zealand authors. If you’d like to find out more about touring a book with ARCBA, or becoming an ARCBA reviewer, visit the ARCBA blog: http://acrba.blogspot.co.nz/

Wednesday and Friday: General post from a member

We have a team of around twenty published and to-be-published writers who regularly contribute blog posts on a range of topics, mostly relating to books, reading, writing, or Christianity—the topics we all have in common! That’s our only criteria for posts: that they be something that will be of interest to our audience.

Thursday: Book review

We have a group of readers who review new and recent releases they’ve read, including books from Australian and New Zealand authors. Let’s face it: all writers should also be readers. Each reviewer selects their own books for review, which means we get a wide range of genres and authors, and I find myself adding far too many books to my to-read pile.

We don’t (usually) review books written for the general market: those we have reviewed have either been books written by a Christian author, writing craft books, or reviews intended to provoke discussion about the nature of Christian writing.  We also don’t review books from vanity or subsidy publishers (we don’t want to accidentally encourage authors to use an expensive vanity press), although we’re happy to review self-published books.

Check us out and join our Facebook group. We usually arrange our schedule each quarter, and will put out a call on our Facebook page for people who’d like to contribute to the blog either as guest posts, or on a regular basis. 

Thank you all for inviting me to contribute today. If you have any questions, please leave a comment


About Iola Goulton


Iola Goulton lives with her husband, two teenagers and cat in the sunny Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, between Hobbiton and the Kiwifruit Capital of the World.  She holds a degree in marketing, has a background in human resource consulting and freelance editing, is active in her local church and plays in a brass band.

Iola is a reader, reviewer and freelance editor who is currently writing her first novel, contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist, and her first non-fiction book, which aims to help first-time authors navigate the changing world of Christian publishing. You can find her online at Iola's Christian Reads, Christian Editing Services, and soon at her author page.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for introducing Australasian Christian Writes, Iola. We have a lot of new members, so I thought it would be good to showcase various. It's great to see that although there are some differences in emphases among the different groups, we share some common goals (also thinking of Omega Writers and FaithWriters here). Thanks for sharing and may God continue to bless the ministry of all the Christian writing groups.

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    1. A pleasure, Nola. It's good for our groups to connect in this way.

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  2. Thanks sharing with us Iola. That was a comprehensive helpful post. May God continue to bless both groups (and others like Omega Writers) and use us all for His glory.

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  3. Iola, thanks for your helpful summary of ACW and outlining how the groups are both different and complementary. I think it's important that we have a number of Christian writing groups in our part of the world that cater for the diverse needs of our local writers. I hope and pray that everyone will find at least one group where they feel at home, encouraged, and inspired in their unique writing journey. We're all writing for His glory. Many blessings to CWD, and thanks again for the opportunity to share and connect with ACW :)

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  4. Thanks Iola - it's great to see the different groups working together with perhaps some differences in ethos but basically the same goal and vision under the same Lord.

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