Sunday, February 3, 2013

Writing in the Christian Children's Market

This week I thought I would change it up a bit and have Christian Author Elizabeth Kail Arnita share why she writers Christian picture books. This is a huge market many children's writers don't think about breaking into. It doesn't matter what church you go to, the fact is, if you are a Christian this is a market you might want to consider breaking into if you're frustrated with the main stream children's market.

Why do I Write Religious/Christian Based Books for Kids
By Elizabeth Kail Arnita

In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible states, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  I believe when parents enlighten their children to the truths of Scripture, they are not only giving them “good rules” to live by, but enabling them to become people who make a positive difference by leading lives that go beyond themselves.   

More than ever, it is easy for people to lose their way in this big world.  For me, the Bible is the GPS system for living.  It not only offers directions on where to go, but also gives excellent counsel on how to get back on track when you take wrong turns.  As any good GPS system does, the Word of God alerts the navigator to danger ahead and gives them alternate routes.  It pilots the reader through difficult circumstances and even displays “Points of Interest” that intrigue the most experienced traveler.  We can choose to utilize the life lessons of those who did and didn’t follow God’s instruction to help us reach our own destination.  No matter how lost I am God’s Word always offers a way home and everyone can relate to the trails we find in the Bible no matter our religious background.

What is amazing about the stories in the Bible is they are no different when you look at their structure from any other fictional or historical storyline we might read today. First, each story as a beginning, middle and end. There is a main character, a problem/conflict, antagonist, failures and the stratify ending once the conflict is resolved. You can also see a mentor in each story. Jesus told many stories to his followers in this same way. 

In navigating through life, today’s children face more obstacles than any other generations.  By taking the teachings from the Bible and turning them into a modern day story, children can learn many of life lessons. On the road of life, there are so many bumps, detours, road blocks and wrongly labeled signs; if guidance is not given, getting lost is inevitable.  I have chosen to write stories based on Biblical foundations that offer parents another way to address wise council into their children’s life.   It is my prayer that the lessons open discussions, giving opportunities to delve deeper into some of life’s twists and turns.  By God’s grace, the stories can be used to help people strengthen their relationship with Him or others in their life.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Arnita is the youngest of 12 children. She learned early in life about family dynamics and the concept of sharing. After graduating in 1983, with a degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, Elizabeth married Shadi and they have been blessed with four fabulous children. Her love for the Lord has opened her eyes to a world in need and ignited her compassion for those who are less fortunate. She and her husband founded and continue to manage Welcome The Children; a non-profit organization that funds and supports children who are experiencing the reality of poverty. Elizabeth Arnita has designated all of the proceeds from her book sales to support WTC.

You can find out more about Elizabeth Arnita, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

As you can see, writing children's lit based off your religious background can help inspire story ideas and give you another avenue to break into print. You don't have to quote scripture, just use a favorite story from the Bible (or whatever book your religion uses). 

If you don't want people to know your religious background...use a pen name. 

My reason for having Elizabeth Kail Arntia share her thoughts today is to show how inspiration can come from all over. In books we read, religion, family history, etc. Don't limit yourself as a writer because you're afraid what others might say.

Jack Remick (poet, short story writer and novelist) once said to me, "A serious writer has a bookself." What he means is to write more than you will even see published. Write more than one book, short story, poem, etc. You must keep writing and building your bookself even if you haven't published a manuscript yet. So open those wings and start flying.


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