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Six years of Fellowship

January 16 is our birthday. That was the day, back in 2010, that Keven Newsome launched this site with a simple goal: unite seven writers to drive traffic to one site, rather than to seven different sites. He knew we’d be stronger together than we would be separately. It has been and continues to be an amazing journey.


Illustration by krstevski • Fotolia

Like Realm Makers, New Authors Fellowship is the product of the camaraderie fostered by the Marcher Lord Select contest, which was held over at The Anomaly, a site run by Jeff Gerke after he founded a little publishing startup called Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing). The Anomaly forums have gotten pretty quiet these days, as most of the conversation has moved onto the Realm Makers Facebook page, but the entries from the contest are preserved for posterity.

In another place, I collected a list of other sites where Christian SpecFic types gather. A new site to consider is The Christian #SpecFic Reader, organized by the incredible Teddi Deppner and featuring stories about our genre from myriad sources, including NAF.

Here’s how Keven described the formation of New Authors Fellowship:

MLP SelectWhere did this come from? Well, it emerged in the aftermath of the infamous Marcher Lord Select Contest held in the fall of 2009. Several of our members are survivors of the contest. Personally, it was that contest that finally brought me out of my shell and into the world of unpublished writers. I began to make friends and see the importance of networking. I also began to see the importance of blogging regularly.—Keven Newsome

Keven wasn’t the only one drawn out by that contest. That was the first time I really engaged with other writers in critiquing manuscripts. It was where I discovered that in a lot of ways, I’m better at editing other people’s manuscripts than I am at writing my own, which led to me leaving the newspaper business to be a freelance editor.

Every year about this time, I start looking up the old MLS participants to see whether any of them have been published. The contest had two parts: the Main Contest for completed manuscripts, and the Premise Contest for proposals.

Carol Van Drie’s book The Watchers, a top ten finisher in the Premise Contest, was released in September. From the Amazon page:

A brutal hailstorm rains death and destruction on America as well as globally. But this is only the beginning. In the midst of the turmoil, extra-terrestrials proclaiming their desire to join humanity and await the return of the Messiah brings confusion and chaos to an already tumultuous world.

The Last Apostle by Dennis Brooke is due for release on February 1 and is now available for preorder. The Last Apostle was in the final three in the Main Contest, and frankly, it was my favorite. The subject matter is a little touchy, so I understand why many Christian publishers probably shied away from it. I’m glad to see it finally coming out. You can follow updates on Dennis’s release on The Last Apostle‘s Facebook page. Last Apostle CoverHere’s a snip from the book’s Amazon description:

What if John, the last living apostle of Jesus Christ, was still alive and well… and living in Seattle? … For two thousand years, John has wandered the earth while hiding his true identity. But now, both friends and foes are on the verge of discovering who he truly is―an event that will trigger the end times.

While I was discussing this with Dennis late last year, he gave me a word of encouragement that I want to pass on to all of you: “Prayer, persistence, and patience = published.”

I look forward to journeying further with all of you as we pursue this path toward publication.


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

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