2017 Writer Development Conference

YOU Writer Conference Promo 2017

Just sharing a conference announcement for all of my Christian writer friends… I first attended the Writer Development Track at the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference in 2014. I’ve been contracted to write for LifeWay’s YOU curriculum several times since then. Folks who are serious about investing in themselves and their writing careers should consider this amazing opportunity.

The Writer’s Conference: A Wise Investment

ACWC Program BookletEven with freshly inked documents to declare their legitimacy as LLCs or S-Corps, new businesses can still fail to deliver on their promises. Although well-meaning, they sometimes experience one pitfall after another: overcommitting, growing too quickly, insufficient cash flow, a hastily designed product or botched service, and other tell-tale signs that scream, “Newbie!” Obviously, good intentions don’t guarantee success; we must hone our craft.

That’s why about two weeks ago, I was happy to see several writers alongside me at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference (ACWC).  Attendees at all experience levels were present, especially since the faculty taught classes on everything from identifying the elements of a good story and writing for magazines to building a platform and writing a book proposal. There were even sessions on making podcasts and finding markets for children’s non-fiction. The personal appointments with agents and editors were invaluable, to boot. Surely, the conferees understood how their personal growth and success required such a wise investment—in this case, nearly three days of their time and a couple hundred dollars out-of-pocket.

Whether we’ve started a grassroots organization, mom and pop eatery, home daycare, or web design company, we thrive when we see training as an investment and not merely a time-sucker or an unnecessary expense.  When writers have this perception, everyone wins. The result: More folks will write devotionals that teach without being preachy. Authors will create novels with well-crafted, relatable characters. And, freelancers will pen articles that grab—and keep—readers’ attention. After all, what good is a published piece (whether it’s an indie book, blog post, or content on a professional web site) if it’s constructed so poorly no one wants to read it?

How do you invest in yourself? What rewards have you (or others) reaped as a result?

Christian Writers: Apply for LifeWay’s Writer Development Conference

BCLFC YOU Writer Development Conference 2016If you’re a lover of God’s Word and want to know what it takes to write curriculum for LifeWay, check out this opportunity. Back in 2014, I completed the first ever YOU Writer Development Conference. Then, in 2015, I was invited back as a faculty member for the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference (BCLFC). Since then, I’ve been contracted to write three feature articles and four units of Bible study for LifeWay’s YOU curriculum. What a wonderful experience! I absolutely love what I do.

Click here to learn more about the YOU curriculum. Serious inquiries may be directed to the LifeWay contact shown above. Don’t delay; apply now.

Can I Get That In Writing?

Thank You Letter to Event SpeakerHandwritten expressions of appreciation tug at our heartstrings stronger than the grasp of a two year old with separation anxiety.  I received one of these emotional tugs after I fetched a note from my mailbox a few weeks ago.

The missive contained three sentences.  Inside, words like invaluable, anointed, and thanks scattered the paper and enveloped my heart.

What had I done?  A couple of weeks prior, I simply shared a few personal stories at the Catch the Wave Writers Conference.  I was the keynote speaker on the first night of the event.  My task was to explain how to get the most out of a conference and, of course, offer inspiration.  Consequently, the conference directors followed up with me to show their gratitude.

A month later, their card remains a prominent fixture on my desk—along with a framed certificate and two trophies from other events.  Now, when business is slow, my calls are not returned, or when my proposals are rejected, this quartet offers encouragement to me.  Cheap therapy, huh?

The next time we’re at an event and we hear accolades from a trusted friend, client, or business partner, let’s consider asking, “Can I get that in writing?”   Written affirmations can serve as hope boosters—whether we place them on our desk, in our wallet, or next to that favorite perfume bottle on our dresser.

Until our mailboxes overflow with letters of encouragement, let’s allow the following message to tug at our hearts, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, NLT).

Do you remember the last compliment you received?  How did it make you feel?  Do you have it in writing?