Changing Lives



Enroll in our Fiction that Sells course and learn to write personal experience stories, fiction, short stories, short dramas, and more.

Ever heard of Alan Cliburn? Carole Gift Page? Betty Steele Everett? They taught me most of the theology I hold today.

Are they Sunday school teachers? Pastors? Seminary professors? Nope, they’re teen fiction writers.

As a teenager, every week after Sunday school I’d grab my copy of our church’s take-home paper, Teens Today. I’d pore over the eight pages, reading and re-reading the stories about teens who faced challenges and overcame them using scriptural principles.

From these writers, I learned about reading my Bible, praying, taking a stand in faith, tithing, finding God’s will, and more. By the time I graduated from high school, I had a six-year, nearly perfect collection of dog-eared Teens Today. And as I went to Bible school, I discovered I already had a good working knowledge of theology, thanks to this weekly paper.

Years later, I became assistant editor for Teens Today. As I screened manuscripts, I was amazed to see some of the same names cross my desk. They were joined by others: Nancy Rue, Teresa Cleary, Colleen Reece, and more. People who knew how to use fiction to teach lessons. Working with Teens Today, I also caught the vision of writing teen fiction.

Teen fiction, along with childrens fiction, is a genre many writers hesitate to admit they write. After all, important people don’t read teen fiction. I’ve heard writers say, “Oh, I just write fiction,” as if it’s not a life-changing genre.

Fiction can be as effective as the most in-depth theology book; it can be as inspirational as the best devotional; it can be as spiritually illuminating as a Bible study; it can be as motivating as any successful living book; it can offer help as well as any how-to.

Often fiction may be more powerful because the genre is less threatening.

Do you have a message to share? Do you want someone to learn the power of serving God? Consider presenting your message through fiction. If you’re already a fiction writer, remind yourself of the importance of your work.

Oh, and thanks Alan, Carole, Betty, and all you other Teens Today writers. You changed my life.

Jeanette Gardner Littleton, a CWG mentor, and has written more than 5,000 pieces in the past three decades.

Photo credit: Witthaya Phonsawat

This entry was posted in Blog, Featured Content. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

One Response to Changing Lives

  1. Rebekah Weigner says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It was amazing and very encouraging!