About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

May 2018 Meeting Reminder

JanHeadshotLR-Ever been curious about ghost writing? At our May BCW meeting, Jan Powell will give an interactive presentation about ghost writing, rewriting, and editing with and for others.

Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida, has two small businesses. Through Writing with You, she offers writing services: editing, rewriting, coaching, and ghost writing for fiction and non-fiction. She loves to help polish manuscripts for others. A former president of Word Weavers, she has been published in The Wordsmith Journal and Splickety.

This month’s meeting is May 24th.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We meet in Room 305 of the Family Center at:

St. Andrews Methodist Church
3315 Bryan Road
Brandon, FL 33511
CLICK HERE for full directions and a campus map.

Our prompt this month is “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” (Remember–you may bring work on any topic. Writing to the prompt is optional.)

Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font.

Advertisements

April 2018 Meeting Reminder

tina-small editJoin us Thursday, April 26th, 2018, when Tina Yeager will show writers how to use sensory images to transplant readers into a character’s skin and immerse them in the story’s setting. Through the power of sensory detail, wordsmiths will hone the art of showing instead of telling.

An award-winning author, inspirational speaker, and life coach, Tina also serves as a mentor with Word Weavers International. With her editorial team’s support, she publishes Inkspirations Online, a weekly devotional for writers. She’s a licensed counselor with over twenty years of experience teaching adults, teens, and children in academic, clinical, and faith-based settings. Yeager holds a BA in creative writing and an MA in counseling. As a character therapist, she offers psychological manuscript reviews to optimize depth, authenticity, and impact.

Come visit her for a virtual cup of java online. For life coaching tips or to book her as an event speaker, check out www.divineencouragement.com. Unloveable.us offers insights to equip women on their journey self-enmity to divine heroism. Speculative fiction readers may gobble up first-draft tidbits of ongoing stories and glimpses into a writer’s life at www.tyeagerwrites.com. Tina adores embracing new friends, so feel free to offer hugs to her avatars at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tina.yeager.9, Twitter https://twitter.com/tyeagerwrites, Instagram tina.yeager.9, LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/, Goodreads, and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/tyeagerwrites.

This month’s meeting is April 26th.

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We meet in Room 305 of the Family Center at:

St. Andrews Methodist Church
3315 Bryan Road
Brandon, FL 33511
CLICK HERE for full directions and a campus map.

Our prompt this month is “Rebirth.” (Remember–you may bring work on any topic. Writing to the prompt is optional.)

Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font.

March 2018 Meeting Reminder

deb cotyThe essence of fiction – and often nonfiction as well – is story-telling. Join us this month as Debora Coty presents the critical elements of story-telling.

Debora Coty is an inspirational speaker and author of the popular book series, Too Blessed To Be Stressed. Her passion is sharing an off-beat blend of biblical truth gift-wrapped in humor, encouragement, and unconventional wisdom with women of all ages.

Debora uses stories as a means of conveying the messages in her nonfiction books, and she is also the author of two novels, The Distant Shore and Billowing Sails.

This month’s meeting is March 22nd 

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We meet in Room 305 of the Family Center at:

St. Andrews Methodist Church
3315 Bryan Road
Brandon, FL 33511
CLICK HERE for full directions and a campus map.

Our prompt this month is “Lions and Lambs.” (Remember–you may bring work on any topic. Writing to the prompt is optional.)

Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font.

February 2018 Meeting Reminder

We fiction writers are always looking for ways to improve our characterization and plots, but we mustn’t forget the place our stories are set in. World-building is obviously important in genres like science fiction and fantasy, where the worlds are made up by the author. But world-building is just as important for real-life stories set in real-life places. Even in real-world settings, the characters’ environments need to come alive.

Image may contain: 1 personJoin us this month, on February 22nd at 7 pm to hear Ruth Ellinger share about real-world world-building. Ruth’s expertise comes from writing historical novels that include rich details of the time periods and settings.

Biography
RUTH CARMICHAEL ELLINGER was born and raised in the Ohio Valley, setting for her historical and inspirational trilogy, The Wild Rose of Lancaster, Wild Rose of Promise, and Sword of the Wild Rose.

Ruth is twice recipient of American Christian Writers, “Writer of the Year” and 2010 Brandon Arts Council Award, “Artist of the Year” for Excellence in the Arts. She has received numerous writing awards for both fiction and nonfiction.

The author’s unique ministry experiences have taken her and her family from deserts of Arizona to the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, to the tropical banana plantations of Central America. She writes about her experiences in her blog, The Shepherdess.

Ruth and her husband, a pastor, make their home in Florida. They have four grown children.

Image may contain: 2 people

This month’s meeting is February 22nd. 

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We meet in Room 305 of the Family Center at:

St. Andrews Methodist Church
3315 Bryan Road
Brandon, FL 33511
CLICK HERE for full directions and a campus map.

Our prompt this month is “Chasing a Shadow.” (Remember–you may bring work on any topic. Writing to the prompt is optional.)

Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font.

January 2018 Meeting Reminder — Entering Writing Contests with guest speaker Kerry Johnson

Our first meeting of 2018 is THIS THURSDAY, January 25th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Our guest speaker will be Kerry Johnson. This is what she has to say about her upcoming presentation:

27018168_10215588549726203_883228668_o

Kerry and her Genesis Award!

Since 2010, I’ve entered 23 writing contests. The first three years I received red marks, low scores, and few accolades. In September 2017, my middle grade story won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis Contest. I believe entering contests can be the bridge from novice to intermediate to advanced—and then published. In our next meeting, I’ll:

  1. Discuss my experiences—positive and negative—and share how I kept my head up when those scores were low enough to be Florida winter temps.
  2. Share the 3 P’s of putting on that thick skin and finding success with writing contests: Practice, Perseverance, and Prayer
  3. I’ll also offer what I believe is the key to success in the Christian writing world—published or not.

There will be a list of writing contests for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and I just might pass around chocolate. Hope to see you there!

Kerry Johnson writes middle grade speculative fiction and contemporary romance. A member of ACFW since 2011, she believes getting lost in a good book while nibbling Ghirardelli milk chocolate and sipping tea is a stone’s throw from Heaven’s gates. She has been published in Creation Illustrated and Granola Bar Devotionals, and was a regular contributor to Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine from 2011-2013. Her middle grade story finaled in ACFW’s Genesis Contest in 2015 and won the YA category in 2017, and her contemporary romance finaled in 2016 and 2017. Both stories won their categories (Middle Grade and Romance) at the Florida Christian Writers Conference in 2016. In addition, her women’s fiction novel finaled in ACFW’s First Impressions in 2015. She lives in Riverview with her engineer husband, two active boys, and a few unique pets you can’t really pet. You can find her online at candidkerry.wordpress.com or on Facebook and Twitter at @candidkerry.

After Kerry’s presentation, we will spend time critiquing work.

Our prompt this month is “Do You Have a Dream?” (Remember–you may bring work on any topic. Writing to the prompt is optional.)

Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font.

And, some final BCW business: Dues are due for the 2018 year! Our dues are a mere $20, which allows us to pay for our meeting space every month and other small essentials. Dues may be paid in cash, or by check made out to Brandon Christian Writers.

Looking forward to kicking off 2018 with BCW!

Welcome to 2018!

We here at Brandon Christian Writers (or BCW, as our members call it) want to welcome everyone to the new year. 2017 was a lot of fun, with some great presentations. We’re hoping to make this year even better! We’re still working on the schedule, but you can look forward to topics like World Building and Story Telling, and we’ll be kicking everything off with learning about Entering Writing Contests.

As usual, we will also spend the second hour of every meeting doing critique. One thing we use to help spark your muse is monthly writing prompts. You are by no means obligated to write from the prompts, but we provide them as an added resource.

This year’s prompts are as follows:
January 25th: “Do You Have a Dream?”
February 22nd: “Chasing a Shadow”
March 22nd: “Lions and Lambs”
April 26th: “Rebirth”
May 24th: “Bloom Where You’re Planted”
June 28th: “Funny Wedding Story”
July 26th: “Seeing Red (White and Blue)”
August 23rd: “Dream Vacation”
September 27th: “Tearing Down the Wall”
October 25th: “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night”
(No meetings in November or December)

Remember: Works brought for critique should be no more than two pages front only or one page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font. And you can find the prompts at any time by checking the “2018 Writing Prompts” tab at the top of this page.

And to finish things off, start the new year with some music by former BCW member Mark Goujon.

Visit his YouTube channel HERE for more videos.

October 2017 Meeting Reminder — Poetry with Meletha Everett

11800586_699534320177794_7152108794400920125_nOur October meeting is going to focus on poetry. BCW member Meletha Everett is going to share her journey as a poet, from poems that have inspired her, to what she has learned in poetry classes, to where she gets her inspiration, and how she has stepped out of the norm with some of her poetry.

So come join us!

We will meet on the fourth Thursday of the month.

This month’s meeting is October 26th. 

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We meet in Room 305 of the Family Center at:

St. Andrews Methodist Church
3315 Bryan Road
Brandon, FL 33511
CLICK HERE for full directions and a campus map.

Feel free to bring a piece of writing for critique. In honor of Halloween, this month’s prompt is “Facing My Fears.” (Pieces for critique do not have to follow the prompt.) We welcome fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Critique guidelines: 2 pages front only or 1 page front and back, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font