Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Editing Tips to Improve Your Writing Immediately

In keeping with the idea of "Study to show thyself approved . . . ," I will be posting about the mistakes I see most frequently when I am editing. Be sure to visit every Thursday to get the newest tip. Your writing will start to improve with the first tip. Learning to self-edit will save you money when it is time to hire an editor to polish your manuscript for an agent or publisher.

Editing Tip #1

Passive voice vs Active voice: The voice of a verb indicates whether the subject of the sentence is acting or being acted upon. Active verbs are preferred because they show things in motion. The subject is performing the action. Your reader is there when it happens and feels like he or she is participating in the action.

Passive voice verbs are less desirable because they show that the action has already taken place. The reader isn’t there when it happens and therefore, it makes less of an impact on the reader’s mind. Passive verbs also “encourage wordiness.”


I was impressed by your class presentation. (passive, past tense)
Your class presentation impresses me. (active, present tense)
Your class presentation is impressive. (active, present tense)
Your class presentation impressed me. (active, past tense)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Writing Contemporary Psalms

                                by Ann Knowles

I was presenting at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. As an editor, it was my turn to meet with writers about their books and articles and to offer encouragement and suggestions for improvement. 

One author sat across the table from me as I read several pages of her manuscript. It was amazing! I felt like I was reading the book of Psalms; only it was not about David or the other writers of Psalms. It was about her life experiences. God had given her a special gift:  She had written contemporary psalms about her life and was completely unaware of what she had done. Truly, God had led her to do this for Him.

Has He given you this special creative genius? Would you like to find out?

Wait! Before you sit down to write psalms about your life, let me make a suggestion

Discover how to write psalms of joy, praise, worship, prayer, and woe. Enrich your life by doing what God has called you to do for Him. In doing so, you will also bless those who read your contemporary psalms.

Using the Bible as our textbook, I teach a course “Writing Contemporary Psalms.” The cost is $40. It’s taught in four classes and begins the first Monday of every month.  If you’d like to know more about the class or sign up to take the class, email me at and I’ll send you all the details. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Advice for Aspiring Writers

Study to Show Thyself Approved 

The best advice I can give an aspiring writer or editor is to begin immediately to prepare for the task God has called you to do. Regardless of your career choice, being an approved workman should be the goal of all of God’s children. Study to show thyself approved, a workman that need not be ashamed. . . (2 Timothy 2:15).

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers, welders, electricians, mechanics, graphic designers, technology gurus—every career choice requires extensive training in order to achieve success. Why should it be any different in the field of writing or editing? Yet many people attempt to write or edit without ever having any professional training. Without training, most of them will fail.

When my husband felt called by God to become a pastor, we had just moved into our new home. He had recently been promoted to supervisor at GE and I was teaching first grade. We had four children (ages 3-14).

His first reaction was: “I don’t know anything about being in the ministry. I have to go back to school and prepare for this task God has called me to do. This will change our lives dramatically. We’ll have to quit our jobs and move to the seminary.”

What was God thinking? It seemed impossible! Four months later we were at seminary, and the whole family was enrolled in school.

When I decided to become an author and editor, I had an MA Ed in education and had recently retired from teaching, but I realized I needed specialized training before I could move to a new career. I knew I had to invest time and money to make this dream come true. I took many online and community college courses and attended several writers’conferences to prepare for the ministry of writing and editing.

Do you dream of becoming a writer or editor? What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make? Do it now! Enroll in your first course today and begin the journey. Check out the "Classes Taught by Ann" on this blog. You can make that dream come true.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Write Pathway Welcomes Jo Huddleston back!

Ann: Hello Jo, and welcome to Write Pathway where writers and editors meet. We are thrilled to have you back with us today.

Let’s begin today with a little information about you; then we’ll merge into thoughts about your book. Tell us about Jo Huddleston.

Jo: I like to laugh with people but not at people. The beach is my favorite vacation spot. I don’t like to see or hear about people or animals being abused. I’m a spectator fan of several sports, my favorite being tennis. I don’t like being in the dark and am fearful of snakes!

I’m is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. My debut novels in the Caney Creek Series are sweet Southern historical romances. My forthcoming novel, Wait for Me, is another sweet Southern historical romance and is book 1 in the West Virginia Mountains Series. I’m a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and hold a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. I live in the U.S. Southeast with my husband and close to our two grown children and four grandchildren. Visit me at where you can sign up for my newsletter and read my blogs.

Ann: Jo, you are not the only one who is afraid of snakes. And I switch the channel when those ads come on about abused animals. Love my dog!

What would you do with your life if you didn't write?

Jo: I’d have more time to read!

Ann: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?

Jo: Soft instrumental jazz.

Ann: Who or what inspired in you a love for books? What are some of your favorites from the classics?

Jo: My seventh grade homeroom teacher. She arranged for me to work in the school library where my exposure to all those books took root as a love to read.

Ann: What was your favorite book as a child?

Jo: As a child, our house didn’t have books to read. The only books I had were coloring books. In college I minored in English. When I took the course, Children’s Literature, I first met Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

Ann: How many books have you published? Do you also write other things—articles? short stories? Etc.

Jo: I’ve traditionally published 3 nonfiction books and 3 novels. I’ve self-published 2 nonfiction books, one coauthored with Vickie Phelps. Yes, I write devotions, short stories, magazine articles, and wrote a regular inspirational newspaper column for seven years.

Ann: We all know that publishing is an arduous process and often takes many rejections before we get published. How many rejections did you get before you published a book?

Jo: Oh, my! I didn’t record a count of my rejections. I’ve had plenty.

Ann: Which character in your present release, Wait for Me, do you find most interesting?

Jo: The heroine, Julie. She’s spunky, determined, and won’t stop at anything to reach her goal.

Ann: Tell us a little about your book.

Jo: I’ll share the book’s back blurb here:

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

Ann: Wait for Me sounds like my kind of book. You know I loved you Caney Creek series. I look forward to reading this book.

Would you share a favorite Scripture verse or passage of Scripture that means a lot to you?

Jo: Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Ann: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Jo: Ann, thank you so much for having me visit with you and your readers. One of the commenters will win an eBook copy for Kindle of Wait for Me. Good luck to all in the book drawing.

Ann: Where can we find you online, Jo?

Jo: You can find me at:






You can purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at:

Ann: Thanks again, Jo, for sharing with us about yourself and your book. I look forward to the new series.

You're going to love Jo's Sweet Southern Historical Romance. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook of Wait for Me to read on your Kindle. Be sure to note if you are a follower of this blog and your name will be included three times in the drawing. Leave your email address written like this: ann (at) yahoo (dot) com . The contest will end June 14 at midnight EST. Good luck!