Rachel Ann writes:
I wanted to extend my appreciation and admiration of your work. I have read The Book of Hours, The Black Madonna, and The Damascus Way. All three, distinct and fresh, spoke to my heart and I thank you for writing!
I am embarking on a novel of my own; I have been writing since childhood and I also wrote a play three years ago in college. My newest work is set in the French Revolution.
Thanks again for writing and for being a godly example of what a Christian writer should be!
Dear Rachel Ann,
I wish you every success in your own creative efforts. If you would allow me to give you some advice, here is something that I feel has proven to be of benefit to a number of other aspiring authors.
The most important advice I can possibly offer a Christian author is this:
Attend one of the major Christian writers’ conferences.
Eight are listed below. I have selected these because they are large enough, and so well-established, that every major publisher and agent will attend at least one of these each year, and perhaps more.
This is a crucial component of a successful conference. Do not be swayed by one that is quicker, closer, or cheaper. You need to have the connection to the commercial world, and see your work through the eyes of those people who have the power to offer you a contract.
Christian vs. General Market Conferences
There are a number of significant differences between one of these Christian conferences and the mainstream counterparts. Most of these began as church-based ministries, and ALL of them see their work as a service to our Lord. The same is true for the teachers. We come in order to serve God and further the Kingdom’s work.
Structure of a Writers’ Conference
The days are basically split in two. In the mornings are ‘major tracks’, ongoing classes designed to cover the basic nuts and bolts of your chosen direction—fiction, non-fiction, song and poetry, magazine articles and greeting cards, and screenwriting. The afternoons are focused upon the commercial side of the writing world—meetings with agents and publishers, classes on pitching and presentations and marketing, and so forth.
Advantages to Attending
Two other advantages come from attending such a conference. The first is, you have the opportunity to discuss your work with other authors, and know what it means to translate a private dream into a commercial reality.
The second is, you are granted a set of realistic expectations and tools for change. Both of these are vital components to growth and success.
The main Christian writers’ conferences are held annually (Click the conference name to visit its website):
Writing for the Soul Conference
February 16-19, 2012
Florida Christian Writers Conference
Near Leesburg, Florida
March 1-4, 2012
Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference
Near Santa Cruz, California
March 30-April 3, 2012
Northwest Christian Writers Renewal Conference
Seattle, Washington area
May 18-19, 2012
Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference
Near Asheville, North Carolina
May 20-24, 2012
Write to Publish Conference
Wheaton College, Illinois
May 30-June 2, 2012
Oregon Christian Writers Summer Coaching Conference
Willamette Valley, Oregon
August 13-16, 2012
American Christian Fiction Writers Conference
Sept 20-23, 2012