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.