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"It Would Be Good"

- 10/21/09  

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Trainer Network | MAI


October-December 2009

In This Issue:
Albanian Magazine Empowers Children to Read and Write
Blog Encourages Indonesian Writers
A Novel Idea
It Would Be Good
Pray for LittWorld 2009 

Hi, !

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new  ideas as in escaping from old ones," wrote early 20th-century English economist and journalist John Maynard Keynes.    

In this issue, we hope you'll be inspired by the creativity of an Albanian children's magazine, an Indonesian writer, and a team of American fiction authors. Their vision will ultimately plant seeds in the minds and hearts of multiple budding writers around the globe.

-Dawn Herzog Jewell, editor

Albanian Magazine Empowers Children to Read and Write 

Mission Possible encourages Albanian children to read and write via publishing Mrekullia (Miracle) children's magazine and working with public schools. Editor Ledia Ikonomi explains this creative ministry to MAI intern Christine Kindberg.


In Miracle we try to encourage reading through games and questions about books or writers. We also encourage children to write and then we publish the best poems and stories in our magazine.


In addition, we hold activities with public schools in the capital, Tirana, partnering with the municipal office of education or city hall. In the city of Bathore, where children can't afford books, every other week we give the children free back issues of the magazine and other Christian literature.


Last year we also donated a library to the school in Bathore so the children can borrow books there. We organized an activity on International Children's Book Day, and the children recited poems and told stories that they had read in the library books.


These different initiatives are like links in a chain with each part having its own importance.


When we invited children to submit articles for publication in our magazine, we received more submissions than we could count! Even now, we have in front of us a box of letters that hasn't yet been opened. Children all over Albania are sending their writing to the magazine. Even from Bathore, children have begun sending us their first poems. (Read the first-prize poem in the right column.)


In their letters, children write about the seasons (especially spring), flowers, animals, their moms, teachers, friends, Jesus, the motherland, the flag, emigration and Miracle magazine, among other things. The children of Bathore write mostly about their moms and their dreams for a better life, but in general their writings are sad.


Sometimes we give children prompts for writing. In a recent magazine, we gave them the beginning of a story, "Once upon a time there was a lonely lake...", and asked the children to write the rest. We also publish the best stories and poems that relate to the theme of each issue.


We just received a letter from a reader, Paola B., from Elbasan, a city in central Albania. She reminded us that she was one of our competition winners two years ago. She wrote, "This has encouraged me to write more and to become a writer and publish books."

We never stop trying to encourage children to write. Albania is still in a time of transition and, given the many problems that families face daily, reading and writing certainly are not a priority. This makes us feel even more responsible to go on with our work.


We have found publishing and writing to be a great way of evangelizing as well. Teachers, parents and even children know that we are Christians and that we give love to others in every way possible.

Read more about 
Mission Possible Albania's ministry.


Blog Encourages Indonesian Writers


MAI friend Eva Kristiaman has created a way for Indonesian Christian writers to stay in touch, critique manuscripts and encourage one another--all through cyberspace. The writer club blog, Tulistulistulis--"write, write, write" in English--provides support and critique, and a venue for publication. 


Eva first heard the term 'blog' in Trainer Network after attending LittWorld 2004. When she moved to Sydney, Australia, from Indonesia, Eva remembered MAI trainer Miriam Adeney's words, "A writer needs an encourager." She sought a way to continue encouraging members of the writer club launched by Bina Kasih Publishing House in Jakarta.


Eva created a blog consisting of stories submitted by Indonesian Christian writers, including some from her writer club back home. The blog's team of senior editors offers advice on pieces submitted by other authors. "We encourage them to re-write work and send it back to us, and then I post it on our blog so that everyone can learn how to write better," she says. 


Learning to write well through encouragement is the main purpose. There are no assigned topics or deadlines to meet for submission, and she posts the best submissions on the homepage as examples of good writing. The blog also includes a tips page with writing ideas and a place to ask questions on specific topics.


The blog format allows readers to comment on each story. This can be helpful as writers revise and develop their ideas, especially when seeking publication. One writer who submitted articles was delighted with the editor's feedback. "He got a one-to-one tutorial and editing on the biography he was preparing for his mom's birthday," Eva says.


She also hopes to use the blog to reach nonChristians. One of her blog entries about giving--Dengan Gembira dan Tulus Hati ("With a Happy and Sincere Heart")--received a positive comment from a reader of another faith. Eva prays God continues to use the blog in unexpected ways to bless nonbelievers.


For more details or help setting up a writer blog, email Eva.




A Novel Idea


Best-selling Christian fiction writers in the U.S. have teamed to contribute articles on the craft of writing. A Novel Idea contains tips on brainstorming ideas and crafting and marketing a novel. It explains what makes a Christian novel "Christian" and offers ways to approach tough topics.


Contributors include Robin Jones Gunn, Angela Hunt, Jerry B. Jenkins, Francine Rivers, and many other well-known authors.


All proceeds will benefit MAI's global training ministry.


>>Order your copy now from MAI.


>>Read more about how "A Novel Idea" was birthed in John Maust's column.




It Would Be Good

This poem was written by 12-year-old Aurora Muça from Lushnjë, Albania. She won first prize for poetry in this year's Miracle magazine competition.

It Would Be Good

It would be good
To listen to a song,
It will relax you.
It would be good
To look at a painting
It will speak to you.
And if you can
You may say a wise word.
It would be good
You'd learn every day
So you won't live in darkness.
It would be good
If you'd say "thank you"
To your parents and your teachers
Your friends and even strangers...
It would be good
To enjoy this day
It was made for you
It would be so good...

Reprinted with permission from Mission Possible Albania.

Photo courtesy of Mission Possible Albania.



 Pray for

LittWorld 2009


Join us in praying for God to do a powerful work at LittWorld 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, November 1-6. More than 150 publishers, editors, writers and artists from 30-plus nations will be gathering for this unique international conference.


>>Use these simple prayer points.


>>Check the LittWorld blog for daily updates November 1-5.


>>Stay tuned for future publishing resources from LittWorld available on MAI's website.

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