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Josiah DeGraaf

Story Embers Editor-in-Chief

Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.

He co-founded Story Embers in April 2018 and leads the site as editor-in-chief, where he sets visions and goals, reviews submissions, handles web design & marketing, and oversees site initiatives.

Someday Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him teaching writers at Ink Slinger Academy or writing short stories on his website as he works toward achieving these goals.

Time Management Isn’t Enough to Build a Powerful Writing Habit

Time Management Isn’t Enough to Build a Powerful Writing Habit

Finding time to build up a word count is a widespread need in the writing community. That’s why so many articles offer advice on balancing life and writing (including the ones we’ve published on this site). But even if you manage to squeeze writing into your days, you may worry that you’re being unproductive. Your ideas trickle out, so you only type a few sentences, or social media distracts you. That’s happened to all of us, including me.

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Life Isn’t a Hallmark Film, and Christian Authors Shouldn’t Pretend It Is

Life Isn’t a Hallmark Film, and Christian Authors Shouldn’t Pretend It Is

Stories that focus on the rosy sides of reality are rarely compelling or memorable. They’re predictable—and indistinguishable from other patented plot lines. Just like Hallmark films. Although lighter fiction has a place in today’s market, I’d argue that we need more stories tackling the gritty sides of reality from a Christian perspective. We explored this two years ago with our Tricky Subjects series. And this year we’re addressing it again from a new angle based on the eleventh resolution of our Christian Storytellers Manifesto.

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Three New Directions for Story Embers

Three New Directions for Story Embers

Two and a half years ago, we founded Story Embers with the goal to train Christian writers to not only be strong in their faith but also in their craft. Over time, God gave us better clarity about who we are as a team, what kind of projects we should be pouring our energy into, and where we need to go to equip as many writers as possible. Here’s how we’re changing our strategies.

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How to Write Stories That Christian Readers Actually Need

How to Write Stories That Christian Readers Actually Need

Why does Christian fiction as a genre have to exist? Why can’t we ditch the special label and simply write good fiction? In the first installment of our article series exploring The Promise of Jesse Woods, Josiah answers these objections and explains what the book teaches about crafting explicitly Christian themes that resonate with readers.

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Why Do Readers Enjoy Objectively Bad Books?

Why Do Readers Enjoy Objectively Bad Books?

We all have books we hate where we can’t fathom how anyone else could enjoy them. And yet scrolling through the reviews of even your least-favorite book on Amazon or Goodreads will inevitably reveal a number of five-star write-ups. Why do readers like these books? And why does this matter to authors?

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Announcing Our Free New Video Course

Announcing Our Free New Video Course

Last summer at our annual staff retreat, we ran into a dilemma. Many people want to become published authors. But that dream gets buried under rejections, discouragement, and life’s responsibilities. So they give up. Since we desire to help Christian storytellers excel, this presented a challenge: Why do writers quit? And how can we empower them to continue pursuing their goals?

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