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To Get Paid Or Not

- 03/18/10  

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March-April 2010
 
C O N T E N T S : 
< African Publisher's First Fiction Title Shortlisted for Prestigious Award
< Mexican Mag Builds Up the Church
< Writing for Money
< New Magazine Changes Lives in Closed Asian Country

   
Hi, ! 
 
Does money matter? Read on! And join us in congratulating an African publisher on its first fiction book and a Mexican magazine on four decades of encouraging the Church.
 
Special announcement: To give you more timely updates in a greater variety of formats, we're revamping how we connect with you. Inside MAI will soon become a blog of my thoughts on global publishing. So, this is our last issue of Inside MAI in newsletter format as you know it. Stay tuned for the blog's imminent launch on our website.
 
We're also increasing the frequency of issues in Words for the World e-newsletter. So, instead of seeing Inside MAI in your inbox, you'll get the same bi-monthly blurbs on quality books and global publishing via Words for the World. You can always opt out at any time, but we hope you like what you find.
 
-John D. Maust, president

African Publisher’s First Fiction Title Shortlisted for Prestigious Award  
 
In her new novel Eyo, Nigerian author Abidemi Sanusi follows the journey of an illiterate 10-year-old girl as she is trafficked from the slums of Lagos, Nigeria, to the UK, first as a domestic servant, then as a sex slave. Before sending her abroad, Eyo’s mother says, "You must endure because you are a woman." Eyo does endure and survive, but at horrific cost.
 
The first piece of adult fiction published by Word Alive Publishers in Kenya, Eyo was shortlisted in the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Africa region, an international award for outstanding fiction.
 
The book confronts readers with the deception in human trafficking, the helplessness of its victims, and the complications for those who escape. Nigeria is reputed to be Africa’s largest source of trafficking victims. The character Eyo gives a face to the thousands of girls and women trafficked to Europe and beyond.
 
"I wanted to write a book about African children," says Sanusi. Eyo focuses particularly on "the status of the African girl[s] and the sacrifices they're called to make on behalf of their male siblings."
 
Eyo is fictitious, but the story is rooted in Sanusi’s experiences growing up in Nigeria, her human rights work, and her relationships with activists who campaign against child trafficking.
 
Because many African Christians are taught to believe that reading fiction is not "spiritual," local publishers are cautious about publishing stories and novels. WordAlive’s CEO David Waweru, a speaker at the LittWorld 2009 conference in Kenya, chose Eyo to launch the fiction line because the book is both well-crafted and culturally relevant.
 
Eyo "shocks the reader out of apathy," he says. One reader writes, "I cried and repented on behalf of mankind."
 
Eyo is available at WordAlive Publishers and will soon be available on Amazon.
 
--Alyssa Keysor, MAI intern
 
Mexican Mag Builds up the Church
 
Missionary journalist Elisabeth “Liz” Isáis launched Prisma magazine with her late husband Juan Isáis 40 years ago in the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City. Prisma, a project of Latin America Mission of Mexico (MILAMEX), has outlasted many other Christian magazines thanks to Liz’s strong vision and editorial team. She told MAI how this bi-monthly family magazine continues to encourage Mexico's multiplying evangelicals, an estimated 15 percent of the people.
 
What's the aim of Prisma 
We try to build up the faith of our readers and encourage them as young people, singles, husbands/wives, mothers/fathers, and older people. We include testimonies, articles on health, spiritual growth and tourist destinations, controversial subjects, a story for children, another story for everyone, a game or test, material by young people, a comic book story of 4 to 8 pages and always a final meditation. We strictly avoid doctrinal issues.
 
What recent articles have you featured?
"I Was Married to a Sorcerer," "If You Are Lactose Intolerant," "How to Handle Stress," "Facing the Empty Nest," "The Kind of Leaders We Need" (studies in Proverbs), "The Importance of Disciplining Children" and "Cancer and I."
 
How do you see Prisma changing readers' lives?
One reader, a new convert, really liked the magazine and left each issue on her coffee table. Her mother-in-law was violently opposed to the Gospel and had succeeded in drawing her husband away from the Lord. Out of curiosity, one day the mother-in-law began reading Prisma and was totally converted, transforming the entire family.
 
Tell us about your annual outreach galas. 
My daughter Sally directs Milamex and the magazine. She organizes these galas each year, an all-day event for men and another for women. Most recently, our women’s beauty gala attracted over 300 women for a day of inspiring speakers, small group sharing, praying and counseling. Women received free hairdos, facials and medical exams, plus a one-year subscription to Prisma (built into the event cost).

Do you have a hard time finding writers?
We try to hold writer’s workshops each summer, now usually six days of intensive classes. Many of the students' articles, testimonies or stories are published in the magazine. But the courses are not specifically designed to help Prisma alone. One participant, Keila Ochoa Harris, eventually became a successful fiction author and MAI trainer. Now she helps teach the writer workshops.
 
For a sample copy of Prisma, mail your request to Apdo. 21-200, 04000 Mexico, DF.
 
Check Noticiero Milamex for online Christian news in Spanish. 
 
 
 
 


Writing for Money 
 
Chua Hong Koon of Armour Publishing in Singapore recently told a group of aspiring authors, a bit tongue in cheek, "Writing is the one job where you do the work once but keep getting paid for it." 
 
Now, just how much the average author will keep getting paid in royalties is another matter! (I just received an annual royalty check for $22 that at least covered pizza with my family.) But Hong Koon’s statement certainly got everyone’s attention.  People who’d been doodling or dozing suddenly sat up and began taking notes.
 
Writing for money:  We don’t talk about that much in Christian circles. In fact, I recently emailed a person who felt strongly that Christian writers should not be paid for their work. (It was okay to pay the printer and graphic designer, though.)
 
Christian writers do deserve to be paid, but very few earn their living solely from writing. If, however, God should honor a Christian author with generous income through sales and royalties, that is a good thing. The extra cash gives the writer the luxury of devoting more, if not full, time to the ministry of writing. Also, the writer will be able to invest extra income in Christian ministry at home and abroad.
 
I have seen this firsthand, because MAI training ministry has grown through the generous financial support of Christian authors desiring to help their writing colleagues in hard places of the world.  (Thank you, writers!) We once held a workshop in a new seminary building in Colombia funded entirely by sales proceeds from the classic devotional Streams in the Desert.
 
So, getting paid handsomely for one’s words can be a very good thing. But until the average author reaches that point, writing is more like a job in which you keep working and working and hope to get paid at least once for it!
 
The Christian writer’s best reward, in any case, is seeing God take that book or article and make a positive spiritual impact on the reader’s life.
 

 
 

J O H N   M A U S T

M A I   P R E S I D E N T 
 
 


Photo courtesy bigfoto.com
 
New Magazine Changes Lives in Closed Asian Country  
 
The editor of a new Christian magazine that sprang out of an MAI training wrote, "We know of five people receiving Christ after reading [the latest issue of] the magazine. One woman bought 100 copies and asked us to give them to patients in the Cancer Hospital in the capital. Then another businesswoman bought 200 more to give to female patients there because the 100 were not enough."
 
In April, MAI leads a writing workshop hosted by the magazine, and a publishing workshop in this closed Asian country. Read more.
 
 

 

 

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