April 20, 2010 | Written by admin



My son (aka Abe Lincoln) and his 3-4-5 grade classmates wowed a crowd of 300+ guests last week with their orations and period dances during the performance of a Civil War Peace Cotillion. 



Until the day of  dress rehearsal, my son wouldn't let me hear his oration of The Gettysburg Address nor watch him and his classmates rehearse the complicated dances he and his fellow classmates practiced (often on their own time) for months before the two hour live performance.

P4110262 I find it simply amazing what kids P4110253can do when we raise the bar! He knows more about the Civil War now than I'll ever pretend to know!


Dan Penwell, the longtime publisher at AMG Publishers and a wonderfully
gentle man, passed away yesterday after a long bout with cancer. Dan
was a fixture at many Christian writing conferences, offering wisdom to
anyone looking to talk with a longtime publisher professional. He'll be


Christian Fiction Library
says this of a few recent releases by authors we represent:

Janice Thompson's romantic comedy, Weddings
by Bella
is "full of laugh-out-loud moments … and
sure to appeal to fans of Adriana Trigiani's more secular Lucia,

In their review
RITA® Award winner Irene
Hannon's In Harms Way, LJ said
Hannon is a "master at
character development" and said new readers will want to go back and
read the first two titles in the series (Against All Odds; An Eye
for an Eye

Called Riva Riva's Heading Home
"essential for parents and teens who want a YA story with elements of
romance that aligns better than many popular YA novels with their moral

here's what they said about debut author Carla Stewart's
Chasing Lilacs: "
nostalgic debut is perfect for readers who enjoy Christian
coming-of-age stories."


Here's what Susan Meissner says about the upcoming Master Seminars workshops she's teaching:

"I want each successive book to plunge deeper, to snag more
acutely the reader in the most tender and savage of ways, so that my
books are to them memorable, unique and evocative. The best books I've
read are the ones whose prose is so lovely and sharp you don't even
know you're bleeding.

Writing of that caliber reads easy and fluid but churning it out can be
like mining for gems in solid granite. But it can be done. It should be
done. But it takes a concerted effort. At least for me, it does. And
there's no better place to hone your mining skills than in the company
of other miners.

The wildly talented Lisa Samson and I are teaming up to teach a two-day intensive and intimate fiction
workshop called Adding Depth to Your Fiction 
that will be offered twice this year in two different spots in the nation.
The first one is coming up May 7-8 in Orlando and a second one is set
for Detroit in July, as part of the Masters Seminar series sponsored by
Command Performance and MacGregor Literary. Lisa and I have been working
on our class materials for this first workshop, and I must say I am
getting more excited every day to share with writers what I have learned
about adding depth and dimension to a story. And I love the idea that
ours will be an intimate group which means there will be lots of
indepth, one-on-one feedback, insights and mentoring.

If you're a novelist or you know a novelist, pass on the above link to
them. We're going to have an amazing time together spelunking in the
prose cave with our axes, picks and little yellow hats with the lights
on top.


Keep an eye out for Sandra at the following conferences, and be
sure to let her know if you're going so she can save room on her dance card for you …

Writers Federation 42nd Annual Conference
29-May 1st,

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal
7-8, 2010

Bothell, Washington (Seattle area)

Colorado Christian Writers Conference
May 12-15, 2010

Estes Park, Colorado

Write to Publish
June 9-12, 2010
Wheaton, Illinois

St. Louis, Missouri
June 27-30

Oregon Christian Writers Conference
August 2–5, 2010
Canby Grove, Oregon (South of Portland)

ACFW in St. Louis
September 17 – 20, 2010
Indianapolis, Indiana

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  • Karen Robbins

    As a former teacher, I love seeing kids learning by using their gifts, talents, and imagination rather than staring at a computer. It stays with them longer and enriches their lives more. What great memories for you and him!

  • Daniel Mount

    I’m sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. He was my editor back in 2007 when I released Faith of America’s Presidents with AMG, and it was a delight to work with him.

  • terri tiffany

    I’m headed to the conference in WA and have already put Sandra’s name down as a choice to meet with:) Hope it happens!

  • emily wierenga

    What a beautiful boy you have, Sandra…

  • Nicole

    Your son: very cool.

  • Carla Stewart

    So proud for Eli . . . and you.

  • Jodie

    Very cool pictures! That had to be such a fun and proud day. Looking forward to seeing you in September!

  • Liz Babbs

    Lovely photos, Sandra.

  • Jenny B. Jones

    Love their school performance. It’s so cool to see kids in that capacity. Cute son, girl!

  • Deb Wueethrich

    Thank you for sharing news of Dan Penwell’s passing. I never met him, but received the nicest and most encouraging rejections from him. He knew how to treat writers, even when he had to turn them down. Cool pics of the kids.

  • Jennifer AlLee

    Love the Cotillion pics. What a great way to experience history, not to mention a cool photo op!