Bad news…

Good morning! I’m currently writing with my son and his wife in self-isolation after returning home from China. These are strange times, aren’t they?

I picked them up from the airport, so I, too have been avoiding meeting up with people, just in case.

There is so much terrible news at the moment – it almost feels overwhelming. The heart-rending plight of the people in Wuhan and the spread of the coronavirus, the devastating bush fires in Australia, the destructive plague of locusts in eastern Africa, the continuing war in Syria and the plight of the refugees, the floods in Britain… each one of these disasters impacting millions of people. People dying, jobs lost, homes lost, livelihood lost, family lost. And I’ve just picked a few of the current top stories – in your head you may have been adding other terrible news reports of your own.

All these disasters affect children, too.

How lovely are the feet of him who brings good news.”

One of our Write for a Reason Academy students, Martin, has written the following poem which I asked his permission to share with you, because I think it sums up so much of what Write for a Reason is all about, and he kindly agreed.


By Martin F. Smith

As a writer may my words make a difference to the world

Of my target audience made up of boys and girls.

If I choose them carefully then they’ll surely want to read,

Keen to discover where the story’s going to lead.

Perhaps it will be funny, even crazy can be good,

When characters do what you thought they never would.

Excitement is important, like a roller-coaster ride,

Making the readers tense, feeling nervous inside.

Oh, and don’t forget the end needs to have a surprise,

So they exclaim, ‘I don’t believe my eyes!’

Yet all this won’t matter if the message isn’t heard,

Or if the story’s theme is just a little too absurd.

For I started writing my thoughts to convey,

Hoping some seeds will be spread along the way.

A difference might be made, either big or small,

Then I’ll have been faithful in obeying God’s call.

If you are nodding your head, or jumping up and yelling YES!, would you need/like to:

Whatever it is you need to do, don’t put it off. If it’s tuition you need, I plan to run a webinar on characters in the next few weeks (when I’ve worked out how to do it!), then I will open the Write for a Reason Academy again in April (this is a ten week online course for Christians who write for children) – more details about both of these in due course. Make sure you sign up for email updates, if you don’t already subscribe, so you won’t miss out. There’s a form below.

For now, keep writing, my friends. Take the next step. Persevere. If you have been called to write, a child who needs to hear good news is waiting for your story.

See you next week if not before,

Janet Wilson from Write for a Reason and Dernier Publishing


P.S. If you found Martin’s poem inspiring, please send me your comments, and I will pass them on to him. Thank you!

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