Tuesday Round Up

Hear are a few, brief, miscellaneous items of interest. (See the last piece regarding this string of adjectives.)

Click on the Headline

Some of you who subscribe to Andy Unedited have mentioned that the font size is small in the email alert you receive. If you just click on the headline of the blog found in the email, you will be sent to the blog website which is much more readable. (So, for example, if you get this in an email, put your cursor on “Tuesday Round Up” in the email and then click! Easy as eating pumpkin pie.)


My wife and I recently rented the DVD of this gripping story of two British soldiers in World War I who make an amazing 24-hour journey to deliver a message that could save hundreds of lives. The unusual use of only one camera during the entire film heightens not only the immersive immediacy of the movie but the dogged courage of this pair.

Write Better ebook and paperback sale

In honor of Cyber Monday coming up next week, the ebook edition of Write Better is now available for sale on Amazon.com and will soon be on ChristianBook.com for only $4.99 through December 2. Mark your calendar and take advantage.

You can also save 50% on the paperback edition (and a truckload of other IVP books) through Christmas just by clicking this link. Tell your friends. Happy Holidays!


I was recently interviewed by the good folks at Hope*Writers, a community helping people with the art of writing with the business of publishing. You can view it for free here as I discuss the importance of beginnings and endings, why determining your audience is so key (and how to do it), as well as ways to engage readers.

The Crazy Grammar Rule You Never Heard Of

Most click-bait headlines disappoint. The actual article ends up to be so lame compared to the come-on. But this one about the crazy “Grammar Rule You Know But Have Never Heard Of” is absolutely spot on. I never knew this complex rule as a rule, but I instinctively follow it all the time. So do you. Mind blown!

New Look, New Book

This fall I’m releasing my new book, Write Better. To help celebrate that, we’re giving Andy Unedited a big facelift. What’s the new book about then?

Writing is hard work. So in Write Better I want to make the job easier, especially for nonfiction writers, and help them do it better. I’ve loved words, reading, and writing almost my whole life, and want to share what I’ve learned with others.

Why Write Better when there are already many good books on writing? First, many books on writing are actually memoirs of the writing life without much help on how to write. Many other helpful books get into the details of grammar, punctuation, and very specific style issues without considering broader topics. Write Better instead considers the larger issues of craft and art in writing, offering practical strategies on a wide range of topics.

Second, few books consider so deeply the spirituality of writing—that is, how the act of writing and publishing affects our life with God. The very personal and very public nature of writing can make us vulnerable in many ways. So I explore how knowing who we are and who we are in God make an enormous difference, as one example, when facing success or failure.

What are some of the things you’ll learn from Write Better?

  • Coming up with strong openings and closings can be difficult. I not only show the wide variety that are possible but offer very practical strategies for developing the best ones.
  • Being creative is not the sole domain of people who seem to have especially creative personalities. It is for all of us. In the book I show how we can develop these skills by following some simple, concrete practices.
  • Using story and narrative is vital for nonfiction writing, not just for fiction. You’ll find how to use narrative to touch not just the mind but the whole person, moving readers not just emotionally but to live differently.
  • Persuasion is often a dirty word these days. In the book I suggest how this time-honored skill can and should be redeemed and rehabilitated.
  • Working to develop the right tone in our writing can set our writing apart and give it a power that lasts in the lives of readers. In Write Better you’ll find out how.
  • On the issue of spirituality, writers can often bounce between great insecurity and a sense of superiority. I consider how to nurture, for example, the spiritual disciplines of humility and thankfulness which are especially important in properly ordering our relationships with God, with others, and with ourselves.

Having spent my whole career as a writer and editor, I am happy to offer a book on craft and character for writers because who we are as writers is as important as how and what we write.

Not Last, Maybe Least

I began my first post at Andy Unedited with these words: “To write a blog, you need to have an interesting personality or provocative opinions. I have neither.”

Nine years and over four hundred blogs later, it’s still true. My kids nicknamed me Eeyore. I reckon I have the emotional range of a turnip. And I am at my most passionate when it comes to commas.

Although February 12, 2016,

i-8cf98d2de7fe02b06ca7513781f9cc43-Andy's full shelves.jpg

is my last day at IVP after over forty years as a full-time employee and thousands of IVP books published, by the good graces of folks here at IVP, I shall continue Andy Unedited. I will, however, now don the guise of a guest blogger.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to inflict such opinions as I have on an unsuspecting public. So if there are topics you think I should address, continue to let me know. Books, ideas, publishing, writing, history, editing, leadership, scholarship–all these and more continue to be important to me, and I think important to society.

But blogging needs one other element–fun. And as long as that lasts, so shall Andy Unedited.

Photo credit: Cindy Bunch. My IVP office before I packed up my library of 2,500 IVP books and shipped them off to Christian students and seminary libraries in the Majority World.


Reading history is a favorite hobby. And I have happily returned to David McCullough’s books time and again. His 1776 was not a disappointment. An informative, interesting read, as you would expect. One expectation I had that turned out not to be the case was that I thought it would have more on the Continental Congress and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Instead it followed the less worn path of the military history of that year. Not a bad choice, I would say.

Perhaps the most surprising thing in the whole book however was the following statement:
Continue reading “Entitlement”

Inflicting My Opinions

To write a blog, you need to have an interesting personality or provocative opinions. I have neither.

But as I wrote Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. (IVP, 2006), the history of InterVarsity Press over its first 60 years, I began to realize, I do have opinions, opinions about publishing. They may not be interesting, but they are strong.
Continue reading “Inflicting My Opinions”