Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Publisher Considering Novel from Writer of the Year

The first twenty pages of Johnnie Alexander Donley's novel, tentatively titled Twirl, won two awards at the 2009 Florida Christian Writers Conference: Novel of the Year (tie) and Writer of the Year. Winning the awards gave her the courage to include the first two pages with her thank you note to an editor who wasn't that impressed with a different fiction project that he had critiqued.

"I didn't expect a reply so when an email from him popped up in my inbox, I momentarily forgot how to breathe," says Johnnie.

He requested a proposal and additional chapters. A few weeks later, he asked for the completed manuscript.

"I spent the summer writing, rewriting, and revising to meet the September 30th deadline. Now the novel is in his hands and I'm trying not to think about it too much. This opportunity only came about because of the Florida Christian Writers Conference and I'm so grateful for it."

Through the writing process, Johnnie learned significant lessons about creativity, expressing her chosen theme, trusting her characters, and resolving what she calls sticky-wicket plot knots. She shares her Novice Novelist Novel Notes at www.johnniedonley.com.

Johnnie will be attending her fourth FCWC in 2010. She says that the conference isn't just a great opportunity to meet editors and agents, it's a chance to network with other writers.

Johnnie is a Kindred Heart Writer, one of five women who met at the 2007 FCWC and joined together to form an online writing group. The FCWC is their reunion time. They post about writing and their experiences at www.kindredheartwriters.com.


  1. WOW - I am impressed that 20 pages of a novel won two awards. FCWC is an amazing convention. Congratulations!

  2. Have been proofreading a bit of this novel and can say it surely will get published. Couldn't wait for the next installment. I sold a book from the FCWC on my first conference visit a few years ago. A great place to meet editors and make friends.

  3. Yes, Clella... for those readers who haven't attended a writers' conference, they are great places to pitch ideas for book projects and magazine articles to editors and agents.

    After attending conferences for three years running and learning the ropes about what to do/not to do during a pitch, I was offered a contract for my first book.

    Those early connections made with editor Nick Harrison from Harvest House helped pave the way for my dream book to become a reality. Not only that, but I had the opportunity to work with a fantastic publishing house!


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