Friday, October 02, 2009

Writing Devotions for Encouragement and Publication

If you are an author in search of speaking and networking venues, you need to check out your local libraries. They have been supportive of my writing ministry since way back in the day when I first got started and no one else wanted to listen to me. The best thing about participating in these events is meeting some wonderful, inspiring individuals who truly love the printed word. One such person is Penny McGinnis. Today I am pleased and thrilled to have Penny here at Joy in the Journey to talk about her own writing.

Since she possesses such an encouraging and gentle spirit, I suppose it's only natural that she began writing and emailing devotions for family and friends three years ago. Since then she has written and published poetry in magazines, articles for newspapers and websites and many book reviews. She's here to tell us about getting started and what she's learned along the way.

Penny, can you tell us why you began the email devotion ministry?

For years I have known that God gifted me to be an encourager. When my children started leaving home, I wanted a way to encourage them through God’s word, and I hoped by sending the devotions to friends and family, they would also find encouragement in the midst of the sadness and negativity of the world. The devotions also proved to be a great avenue for me to keep writing.

So you write to encourage?

Yes, with so much sad news in the world, I feel led by God to bring light and positive words to each reader. It seems like each day when I wake up, I think the day holds great promise full of positive ideas and thoughts, and then little by little the positive gets chipped away by sad news, negative attitudes, and general frustration with life. I know I’m not alone in this, so I want to remind my readers of Jesus and his glorious grace and the promise of hope.

How have you grown from writing the devotions?

Writing one every week, helps me stay in God’s word. I can’t write the devotions without seeking God’s guidance and knowing what he has to say. I find myself digging deeper into the Bible to discover what truth I can share with others. I also enjoy the responses and confirmations I receive back. Together I grow with my readers as we discover how God works in our lives.

You still send devotions each week and you’ve added a blog where you post your devotions; tell me about that.

Yes, I post my devotions, book reviews that mostly focus on Christian fiction and non-fiction, and my other inspirational writings. You can find my blog at I chose to create a blog with the hope that I could send encouraging thoughts to more people. As a reader, I also wanted a place to post book reviews and other random thoughts. From working in an academic library, I’ve learned that embracing newer technologies like blogging and Facebook creates another avenue for spreading God’s word.

Do you have any plans for pursuing publication of your writings in print form?

I would love to write devotions for either magazines or in book form. I currently have one idea I am thinking about for a devotional book and I’ve submitted articles to a few magazines. As you know, finding a publisher is tough. I’m praying about where God wants me to go with this.

What motivates you to continue writing devotions every week?

My appreciation to God for his grace and forgiveness and my desire to tell more people about Jesus’ sacrifice, keeps me writing. It’s not about me; it’s about my Savior. Only by God’s grace do I rise each morning and face the day knowing that I am free.
Penny McGinnis

To learn more about Penny's writing and her devotion ministry, visit her blog where you can sign up to receive her weekly devotions.

To read her book reviews, visit Penny's Picks


  1. Thank you, Teresa, for the opportunity to share my work on your blog. I'm so happy we met at your book signing in the library that day--you've certainly blessed me through your writing and friendship.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Penny. Lot of fun and I learned a lot. Have you ever pub'd in The Upper Room. Competitive market, but you can do it.