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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Noel Wilson

The Adventure of Writing a Picture Book

Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit nudging you to do the impossible? Well, I thought it was impossible. The Spirit seemed to nudge me for a couple of years to write for children. I honestly thought I was misunderstanding Him. I’m not a good writer. I was always better at math and science in school. Writing is hard. But the Spirit continued to gently nudge me. After over 20 years in children’s ministry, I began to see writing as an extension of that ministry. Then, God brought a couple friends alongside me to encourage me to write. I finally decided to step out in faith.


Prayerfully, I took one step at a time as God began to open doors. I began to put pen to paper and started seriously writing in the fall of 2019. In 2020 a friend shared information about a virtual children’s writing conference. This was the next step. I continued to attend conferences virtually, and then in person. God continued to open one door at a time as He took me out of my comfort zone.


With God’s help, I began to show my writing to others. Yikes, scary! Buckle up because writers need to have thick skin! But oh, how a thorough critique can strengthen your writing! God brought encouraging mentors and gifted critique partners alongside me. Another huge answer to prayer.


Over the past few years, I have learned a plethora of information about writing for kids and publishing. Conferences tend to feel like you are drinking water from a fire hose! I cannot begin to describe just how blessed I have been by the Christian writing community. Opportunities to write for Christian children’s magazines opened and God has allowed me to publish with Clubhouse Jr., Cadet Quest, Starlight, and Keys for Kids! God also called me to start speaking! That’s a blog post for another day. 😉


Publishing a children’s book became a new dream I never knew I had, but would I ever publish? Rejection after rejection. Again, writer’s need to have thick skin and we need to trust God’s timing and His plan. I really didn’t want to self-publish, however, I found hybrid publishing very intriguing. When I met with Athena from Redemption Press at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference and learned about their Romans 8:28 bookstore, I wondered if this was where God wanted my book. Romans 8:28 is my life verse and my book reflected that verse. Then, I saw her at a second conference. God is this what you want? I decided to take the next step, submit my manuscript, and place the results in God’s hands.


In June of 2022, I learned Redemption Press was excited to publish my book! My debut picture book, The Best Trophy, is inspired by my own kids and the kids I taught in Bible clubs. I have loved watching their friendships over the years. My favorite part of teaching kids in Bible clubs was watching them encourage each other, invite their friends, and ask me to pray for their friends. Prayer is a vital part of clubs, and the kids seem to understand the importance. My favorite memory is when some girls put their arms around a friend that was scared and prayed. That memory inspired the prayer scene in The Best Trophy.


Can you imagine if I hadn’t taken this step in faith and followed God’s call? Over the past four years, I’ve had many confirm the call to write. God has been so faithful as I have followed Him in this adventure. I have made many new, wonderful friends that I cherish. God has grown me. My family has been amazing in supporting me. My kids joined me in prayer as we started Bible clubs in their schools when they were little and now as teens, they have seen me follow God in writing. What a blessing! I love seeing and hearing their reactions to God working in my life.


And as if it can’t get any better, God has allowed my book baby to win an award. This month of May, I was awarded the Christian Editor’s Choice Award for excellence! I’m still pinching myself. Is this for real? This award belongs to God as well as my amazing team. Publishing takes a team. I could never do this by myself. I’m super thankful for my beta readers, mentors, critique groups, my editor, and my publisher, for all believing in me and my children’s book.


God is still growing me. I still have lots to learn. Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me, for pushing me out of my comfort zone, for growing me in ways I could never imagine. All glory, honor, and praise to Him! 🙌🏼


If you would like to check out my award-winning picture book, The Best Trophy, click here.




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Angela Garvin
Angela Garvin
Jun 04

CONGRATULATIONS to you on this faith journey and the fruit of your award!!


Maryna Doughty
Maryna Doughty
Jun 03

What a wonderful story, Jennifer! And how cool that you run Bible clubs at your kids' schools!

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