Are You Ready?


It’s almost here.

The best of the best Christian writing conferences will educate and encourage writers in only two weeks; and it’s practically in my backyard!

There’s still time to register for Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference, but you have to act now.

Watch the video and you’ll see what writers are saying about this amazing conference. (And you can see two seconds – 1:13-1:14 of me attentively listening to a panel of agents.)

I can’t say enough about the wonderful people I’ve met at the conference. I’ve made friends and acquaintances and received some of the best writing advice in the industry.  Authors such as Sherry Kyle, Cheryl Ricker, Karen O’Connor, Kay Strom, Mary DeMuth, Lauraine Snelling, Karen Ball, James Scott Bell, just to name a few! (You don’t mind if I drop a few names…)

New writers, such as my friend and roommate from last year, Miriam Sarzotti, as well a seasoned authors, like Brandilyn Collins, who will be my writing mentor this year, mingle together in class, in worship and over delicious meals.

One of the best values of the conference is the opportunity to submit TWO manuscripts for critique or editor/agent review without additional cost. I’ve gained such valuable input from having my writing critiqued by well-known authors. And even if you don’t get your manuscript in before the conference (which I highly recommend), there are authors/editors available for critiques and questions during the afternoons.

In the evenings, a key-note speaker (this year: McNair Wilson) delivers an inspirational message that encourages you not only in your writing, but also in your every-day life. It amazes me each year how God speaks to every area of my life and ties it all together.

Everyone at the conference believes in you and considers it their privilege to encourage and uplift you. They will tell you the truth about your ability and help you find the right avenue for your particular writing goals.

Whether you consider yourself an amateur writer or a professional, there’s a place for you at Mt. Hermon. I’m thrilled to be able to attend again this year. I hope to see you there!

What’s your experience? Have you attended Mt. Hermon or any other conferences you’ve found particularly helpful?

Chop, Chop, Chop


On Tuesday I finally finished my second full book. Hooray! Now the real work begins. Wednesday and Thursday my goal was to define the themes so I could begin editing and restructuring. When I started writing, the main idea revolved around online dating, and while that certainly remains a big part, the major theme speaks more about starting over in love and marriage after a messy, hurtful past. I discovered that I want to give readers hope that God can do the impossible things we only dream about.

In order to make the message clear, today I chopped up my precious “baby,” discarded parts, pieced some together and added bits to make it flow. It’s painful to read a section and like my writing, but know that I have to cut it out for the sake of the whole. I think I’ve become better at letting go. The wonderful folks at Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference taught me how to chop out words and use better ones to say more. I’m grateful for all the instructors and my Head Start critique group with leader Karen O’Conner. Their suggestions gave me constructive ways to improve my book. I also appreciate the advice from Susanne Lakin’s posts at Live Write Thrive!

Today was only the beginning. Out of 354 pages, I made it through nine (well, I cut out three so technically twelve). I worked hard and long. Wow! Can’t imagine how long it will take to polish. Just as in writing it, one step at a time will get the job done.

I love to write. I can’t change the way words fight for a place on the page some days and hide from my probing mind on others; or sometimes during the same writing session. I’m also learning what hard work writing is if you take it seriously. Like any job, you get better at it as you work at it. It’s great to love what you do. Waking up excited to get to work thrills me. I pray you feel the same about your work whether it’s writing or some other profession. Here’s looking forward to Monday and growth as an amateur writer…chop, chop, chop.