JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

Book Release!

fullsizeoutput_8cI am so excited to announce the release of From the Lake to the River: Buckeye Christian Fiction Authors 2018 Anthology, which contains my country noir short story, “Debt to Pay”.

Below are the links where you can buy the anthology as well as the website for the publishing company and the Overdrive link for libraries. If you buy the book and like it, the one way to help all of us authors is to write a review for it. Another is to recommend it to friends. I think most people are more willing to try a book that a friend has recommended. If you want to tell me what you think of the anthology or my short story, please comment below.

Happy reading!

Mt. Zion Ridge Press


Barnes and Noble




Featured post

DSC_6334_smallWelcome to my writing pages. This is a new adventure for me as I delve into the realm of the World Wide Web!    The main focus of this page is to explore ways beginning writers can find inspiration.  You’ll also find information on the novels I am working on.  My schedule for posting is:

Monday Sparks: Writing ideas to fan your creative flame

Tuesdays and Thursdays – Writing Tips

Occasional Wednesdays – Facts about West Virginia, the setting of my books

Occasional Saturdays – My faith walk as a Christian

You may also find me on Facebook at JPC Allen Writes.

Featured post

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: In the City Under the Dome …

IMG_8967I just returned from the national conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers in Nashville. The conference was held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. Over 2,000 rooms and three giant conservatories filled with plants are covered with gigantic domes, which means the climate is regulated to perfection. The photo above shows a boat with tourists who are being told about the surrounding plants. A restaurant sits above it. I did not take this photo outside. This entire river scene is under the dome.

The man-made river encircles a man-made island with shops and walkways, as you can see in the photo below.IMG_8969

This artificial city got me to thinking about speculative fiction stories set in cities under  domes. Like in the scifi movie Logan’s RunOr more creepy, the home of Prince Prospero in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Read Death. In that story, the evil prince of a land ravaged by plague holes up in his abbey with a few hundred best friends, and they party it up while disease runs its course and wipes out the rest of the population.


If you wrote about life in the city under the dome, what would be the reason for sealing off the population? Who would be your main character?



Writing Tip — Should Teen Writers Attend Conferences?

coffeew-2354884_1280If you are a teen writer and are considering attending a conference, check out author/agent Tessa Emily Hall’s post. She speaks from experience as a teen writer herself.

Writing Tip — The One Reason for Attending a Writers’ Conference

paperw-3094008_1280I know a lot of people think the writers’ conference season is in the summer. But the ones I’ve recently attended have all been in the fall, so I am dedicating my blog for September to conferences.

If you love writing and have been working on your art for awhile, you may have been considering attending a writers’ conference. For me, there’s just one reason: you want to get published.

Although conferences offers classes on how to improve you art, they exist primarily to connect writers with people employed in the publishing industry. If you re focused on developing your writing skills, don’t go to a conference. Takes classes at a college or online or at an arts center. Read books on the subject. Join a writers’ group. Most conferences don’t offer enough classed on the art of writing to justify the expense if that is where your focus is.

Most writers attend a conference to pitch their work to  agents and editors. The fact that you have spent time and money to take part in a conference shows agents and editors that you take getting your writing published seriously.

Another benefit is networking with fellow writers. I had the unexpected pleasure of bumping into Jen Turano at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas last year. We connected because we attended the same high school, several years apart, and our dads both worked their. I’ve corresponded with during the past year.

What if you’re unsure about whether to pursue publishing? Find a small, local conference within your means. The first ones I attended were located in a large city that was only a two-hour drive from my home. The conference only lasted one day, so I didn’t have to spend money on a hotel room.

Research the conference. If this is its 15th annual meeting, then it is well-established. Check up on the faculty. What are their credentials for teaching? Make sure the conference offers the kind of classes you want. Does the conference offer appointments to meet agent and editors? Do they come from reputable firms? Do they represent the style of work you write?

The more research you do, the more you will benefit from a conference.

What conferences have you attended? What advice do you have for someone who is a first-time attendee?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Autumn Haiku

wallpaper2-1266600_1280I haven’t had a poetry spark since April, so to celebrate the beginning of fall this Saturday, write a haiku for autumn. The poem above is haiku. I split up the lines to get it to fit on the picture.

Write a haiku and share below.

Writing Tip — Favorite Stories: Fair! by Ted Lewin

713maf2b2mlLike I wrote in my post “September as Writing Inspiration”, September, in my neck of the woods, means the county fair, one of my favorite community events. And no book captures the spirit of the American county fair like Ted Lewin’s Fair!

With extraordinarily detailed water colors, Mr. Lewin depicts the life of a county fair from the arrival of the amusement rides to the moment they pull away to head to the next town. His descriptions of the sites, sounds, and tastes will be familiar to anyone who has attended a fair. I especially like that Mr. Lewin devotes so many pages to the 4-H kids and their animals since I now have experience with that competition through my kids.

Mr. Lewin has illustrated hundreds of books and written many himself. Some of my other favorites are Stablewhich relates the story of a stable that still gives lessons and provides horses and ponies for weddings and street fairs in New York City. Another wonderful book is Gorilla WalkMr. Lewin tells of his adventures with his wife, fellow illustrator Betsy Lewin, when they visit Uganda to see gorillas in the wild.

And if you want a unique reading experience, try Mr. Lewin’s autobiography I Was a Teenage Professional WrestlerI guarantee it is the only autobiography of a wrestler turned children’s illustrator.

By the way, I am always looking for good mysteries and would love to find one set at the county fair. Has anyone ever read one?

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