Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Interview with Sally Stuart

Sally Stuart has influenced many writers with her Christian Writers' Market Guide. With this tool, she has devoted 27 years to informing writers of accurate, up-to-date information in the publishing world.

The Christian Writers' Market Guide provides a plethora of information! Any writer can discover which publisher might accept a devotional, fiction story, missions article, or Sunday School how-to. You name it- it's there. Writers/Authors can also find web sites, word count, editor's names, needs, addresses, etc. all in one handy dandy resource.

Sally has graciously agreed to spend time with us in a two-part interview. Part two will be posted Wednesday, April 13th.

Welcome Sally!  

#1 The Christian Writers' Market Guide is a vast resource. After all your work every single year, what did you take away from the project?

First of all, tons of great memories and special friendships. It's been great to have the ongoing relationships with both writers and editors for all these years. Probably most important is that God calls us to certain tasks we feel unprepared and unequipped for--but He knows what He's doing.  I would never have launched the market guide if I didn't believe it was exactly the right path for me. As writers we always have to be open to His leading--even when the path is scary.

Yes, the path can be scary. #2 How did the project start: your idea, marketing, etc.?

Actually, it wasn't even my idea. I was freelancing at the time and was always on the lookout for new markets for my own writing. As a result of that I started doing the marketing column in what was then The Christian Writer (now the Christian Communicator). It was published in Florida at that time, and I'd gone to visit the editors while I was in the area. At the time I was preparing to teach a marketing class at a writers' conference, so asked the editor if he would pay for a mailing if I sent a little questionnaire out to some of the editors asking for some current market needs I could put in a handout. He agreed, but later suggested that if I sent out a few more questionnaires and put the info together in a book, he would publish it. I agreed--and the rest--as they say--is history. Of course, I had no idea then that it would become my life's work for the next 27 years.

I have had articles published thanks to the market guide. I'm grateful for your ministry. #3 Will you share a success story from someone who used this book? 

I don't think of one specific success stories, but I have writers come up to me all the time and tell me of sales they have made--whether it was their first devotional--a series of novels--or anything in between. The reason the market guide has been so successful itself over the years is because it doesn't matter what you are writing or where you are in your writing career, it's always there to take you to the next step--whatever that step is.

#4 Who is taking over the Writer's Market Guide and what would you like to share with those who are curious about the next step?

This week we are signing final papers to transfer ownership of the guide to Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind series) with the Christian Writers' Guild. The former director of the Guild, Kerma Murray, will be doing the actual work on the guide. The guide will go on pretty much as it has in the past, although they will likely make some changes to improve it as the years go on. The publisher's plan is to put it online eventually. I know those who are on the list to get the guide automatically every year as soon as it comes out are asking if they will honor those orders--and the answer is: Yes. The questionnaires have already gone out for the 2012 edition, but if there are new groups, conferences, or editorial services you want added, just contact them at

If you are asking about my next step--I think it's a long nap. No, I hope to get back to my own writing. The responsibilities of the guide have kept me from doing much of that over all these years, so I'm excited about starting over. I will also continue doing book proposal and book contract evaluations, as well as teaching at conferences.

Let's have some fun, #5 what has been your dream?

I would love to write a novel, but because my nonfiction brain works inside little organized boxes, I'm not very good at the free thinking required for plotting. But who knows?

Thank you Sally!  I think we'd all like to encourage you to write a novel. We're your cheerleaders.

If you are interested in contacting Sally, you'll find her at:

What questions do you have for Sally? 


Today is the third day of our TWO-WEEK 300th-Follower CELEBRATION
I'm giving away Siri Mitchell's She Walks in Beauty
Please leave your spam-free email address in the comment section for a chance to win.

Winner will be announced in the weekend edition!

Part II of this interview will be posted  Wednesday, April 13th


Christine Long said...

I have utilized Sally's guide over the past few years. I am amazed at the time and research that goes into this compilation. No wonder she doesn't have time for her own writing!!

A question for Sally - What genre interests you most as a novel writer?

Please enter me in the drawing for Siri's book.
teaching by writing [at] yahoo [dot] com

Casey said...

GREAT to get to know you Sally! I have the Guide for 2008 and agree, that thing is chock full of info! It's a unique resource.

Best wishes with this new stage, it must be an exciting new "bend in the road". :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree, Christine, the Christian Market Guide reflects hours, weeks, years of research. Everything I wanted to find regarding publishers is in this book.

You are entered for the book give away.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Casey.
Good to see you.
I'm excited to see the fruit of her next project, too.She elaborates about this project and ideas in the second half of the interview, April 13th.

Keli Gwyn said...

The Christian Market Guide has helped so many of us. What a great service Sally has offered all these years.

I met her at a writing conference back when I was a total newbie writer and got so excited. I went up to her in the bookstore, practically squealed in her face, and bumbled my way through some goofy gushing. I stuck out my hand for her to shake it, which is so uncharacteristic of me that we both stared at it a moment before she realized what I wanted. She shook my hand and said some kind words, and then I skedaddled before she could read my name tag. I wonder how many of her friends she told about the crazed fan she'd met. =)

Tracy Krauss said...

Great interview. Sally is an icon

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Keli I think we've all done crazy things like that. You gave her laughter for that day. way to go:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Icon is definitely an appropriate word for Sally.
Thanks for stopping by today.

Diane said...

I hope she is able to find her fiction niche. It will have to be outside the box, but God can do it and give her that idea! :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think you're right, Diane. It would be nice to see a fiction work of Sally's. Thinking outside the box can make for a mighty fine story. Yes, indeed.

Thanks also for entering the drawing for the free book:)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

What a great interview! It is so good to have you here at The Alley! I've been so impressed with your work on the guide, and I know that God's plans for you are going to be big!

Pam said...

I'm just discovering Siri Mitchell's books. I'd love to win "She Walks in Beauty." Thank you for the giveaway.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by, you are entered.:)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Great interview and fun to learn more about Sally. Just like most, I've utilized The Christian Writers Market Guide more than once! It will be interesting to see the new direction it's going in. And Sally, all the best with your next step!

Patsy said...

I've seen the book She Walks in Beauty but have not read it. Would love a chance to win and read it. Enjoyed the interview.