I've just returned from the SoCal Christian Writer's Conference. What a boost! It was a pleasure and a blessing to be among like-minded writers. Although we wrote in different genres -- fantasy, non-fiction, devotional, Biblical fiction, Middle-grade, children's picture books, etc., we had our faith in common. It's a comfort to be on the 'same page' from the start.
I found this conference via Mēsu Andrew's newsletter. She is the biblical fiction queen, who does a tremendous amount of research before she writes a word. Her latest novel is Of Fire and Lions, a story taken from the Old Testament book of Daniel. In her keynote, she talked about roots and fruit: growing deep roots in God's Word so we can bear fruit in our writing. Below is one of her presentation slides.
After the keynote, we could take advantage of a mentor group, which of course, I did! Here is our fiction mentoring group with the hilarious Janice Thompson, author of a host of romance, contemporary and historical novels, all with a big dose of humor. You must visit her website to believe it! I literally laughed my way through her class. It was amazing what we learned in three one hour sessions. Can you guess who she is in the photo below? Hint: she's the one with the biggest smile. We became so close as a group, and honestly, we were impressed with the quality of everyone's manuscripts.
Our other keynote was given by Pam Farrel, who between her hubby and herself, have written scores of books on marriage, relationships. productivity and spirituality. Below are three of her slides. . .
The attendees had numerous workshop choices: marketing, social media, craft, research and more! I had to make some hard choices when two or more intriguing classes fell within the same hour. Thankfully, most were being recorded.
One benefit of the conference was the opportunity to make three or more 15 minute appointments with editors, authors and agents. This being my sixth or so conference, it's not so intimidating any more. Even they will admit to being ordinary people with exciting and inspiring careers.
Another benefit was to purchase an attending author's latest books and have them personally signed. Of course, I wanted Mesu Andrew to sign her latest!
And lastly, was the sweet communion with my dorm mates, Shawna and Janell. Although we were all exhausted, and got very little sleep (not because we weren't well-behaved, it just wasn't our own bed), we managed to share our hearts on a few occasions, which was precious to me.
What if you are not a person of a particular faith? Or, you write in a different genre? No worries! There is a specialty conference just for you:
Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators: See my post on SCBWI's latest local conference.
Romance Writers of America
Historical Novel Society
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Kartos Worship & Arts Conference
Catholic Writer's Guild
Can you think of others? Leave a comment below if you have a favorite one not listed. I'd love to know if there are conferences reflecting a diverse population of writers.
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My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.