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Archive for the ‘Colorado Christian Writers Conference’ Category

Today is my birthday! Turning 75 is one of those sobering birthdays like my 40th. Hard to believe I’ve lived 3/4’s of a century!

A friend sent me a link to this hilarious video. What a wonderful example of creativity.

Happy Birthday, by Beethoven? Bach? Mozart? – Nicole Pesce on piano
https://bit.ly/2QJYBPX

I can only play simple melodies (sometimes in two-parts) with my right hand. But He’s given me – and YOU – other gifts. In fact, His Word promises in Ephesians 4:7 (TLB):

Christ has given each of us special abilities—
whatever he wants us to have
out of his rich storehouse of gifts.

Do you believe it? And if you do, are you using the gift(s) He has given you to further His Kingdom?

One day all those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior will stand before Him. I have no doubt one of the questions He will ask us is, “What did you do with the gift I entrusted to you?”

I have invested 37 of my 75 years in directing the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference (24 years directing the sister “Write His Answer” conference in Colorado). Each year there are more challenges – not, I believe, because I’m “over the hill” but because the evil one knows his time is short. My purpose continues to be

to encourage and equip writers
in all stages of their journey to write about
a God who is real, who is reachable,
and who changes lives
.

Father has given me the special birthday gift of enabling me to have the faculty in place for the May 13-16 Colorado conference. Last year at this time because of my husband’s fall and long recovery I had just begun planning. Our faculty includes 3 agents, 20 editors, 17 authors, 9 other professionals, and 10 staff. Nineteen are new to CCWC; 6 were not with us last year. You can see who is coming at https://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

About half of the faculty is in place for the July 22-25 Philly conference. See https://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com. Wednesday evening Liz Curtis Higgs will launch the conference by keynoting. Then, new this year, will be a full day of workshops on Thursday as well as Friday and Saturday.

If you’re not able to come to Colorado or Philly, I encourage you to check out the other Christian writers conferences around the nation. I believe attending a conference is the best investment you can make in your writing ministry.

You’ll find a list in the 2020 Christian Writers Market Guide. I have copies available at a discount (click here) or you can subscribe to the online edition. It really is a must-have resource as is a subscription to The Christian Communicator.

But the most important thing you can do to grow your gift is to grow closer to the Giver. In this new year I urge you to dig into His Word more deeply than ever. How else can you “write His answer”?

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It was one of those mornings! Multi-tasking (as always) I cracked two eggs into a pre-heated pan. I don’t waste time watching eggs fry or pots of water boil. Instead, I reached for my tray of pills, removed the lid, and somehow knocked it (the very full tray, not the lid) on the floor.

Knowing that our two-year-old Labradoodle (she has yet to grow up) eats everything but her monthly heartworm pill, my husband and I tried to get her to go outside. She thought it would be more fun to play catch-me-if-you-can. As usual, I had to give her a treat to get her to do what I want. (Yes, I know I’m rewarding her for bad behavior.)

Paul got two garden kneelers from the garage. I grabbed a flashlight and managed to get down on the kitchen floor. (My arthritic knees are bone-on-bone and one has been swollen for a week.)

The pills, of course, had rolled everywhere. I remembered the pick-up stix game I played as a kid, but this wasn’t a game and it wasn’t fun!

Paul is now vacumning the floor and then will give it a much needed scrubbing. (It was scary to see at eye level just how dirty my floor is.)

So . . . “give thanks in everything”?
Yes, “for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thess. 5:18 KJV

Now, I don’t think it is His will that bad things happen. And I don’t think He expects me to thank Him for my carelessness or the dumb and often sinful things I or others do. But in the midst of frustrating, annoying, and even awful circumstances I can choose to thank Him for being with me and for His promise to work all things together for my good.

Even when we are too weak to have any faith left,
he remains faithful to us and will help us.

2 Tim. 2:13 TLB

Now dumping a bunch of pills on the floor isn’t a biggee when it comes to my faith. But Father did use it to teach me, yet again, to give thanks.

  • Thank You, Father, for the availability of medicine and the wise new primary care doctor You have led us to.

  • Thank You that this new doctor discontinued three medications that were obviously causing my husband to be confused. (After almost a year of health issues since Paul fell and broke three bones September 30, 2019, I am so thankful He is much better.)

  • Thank You for my wonderful husband and our 56th wedding anniversary we celebrated November 9.

  • Thank You for calling and enabling me to direct the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and for the progress I’m making planning next year’s conferences. (Colorado is May 13-16; I don’t yet have a date for Philly. I’ve asked for July 22-25 or August 5-8.)

  • YES, thank You for every thing!
And yes, I’m grateful for our strong-willed puppy!

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Thank You, Father, for holding back the clouds so that the faculty and conferees at this year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference didn’t miss viewing Your magnificent handiwork. Thank You for the elk and mule deer that roamed the YMCA’s grounds and Rocky Mountain National Park. And thank You that the folks in one of the cars that went up to the park on Sunday saw moose. You know I’m disappointed. I’ve been looking for them for 30 years! Instead, I saw a turkey. 🙁

But now, Father, we’ve arrived home from the mountaintop we’ve been on, no doubt, to mountains of work. Problems we faced before we left for CCWC likely have not disappeared as the mountain peaks did on Sunday morning. Yet, as Beatrice Bruno would say, “But God . . . “

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. . . . Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow,  or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by
our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 TLB

But thank You, Father, that even when we don’t see or feel You near, we can KNOW that you are still with us just as the mountains, although hidden from my view, were still there.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father . . .

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Procrastination is a sin;
it brings me endless sorrow.
I know I should stop doing it.
I think I’ll start tomorrow.

Have you been procrastinating about registering for the May 13-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference?

While we welcome walk-ins throughout the conference, the price increases May 9. I call it the “procrastinator’s fee.” It’s not a lot – only $15. But really, wouldn’t you rather spend $15 on a book from our huge book table.

Today (well yesterday) I spent over 10 hours packing books from the too-large inventory I have on hand. They must ship today to arrive in time. FedEx is scheduled to pick them up between 9 and 3 (they are too heavy for my husband to lug to a FedEx location), but I’m getting an error message at the FedEx site that is preventing me from printing the labels. Seriously? It’s not like I haven’t been doing this for years. Father, please save me and my laptop from glitches.

In faith I’m also placing a large order with Ingram/Spring Arbor. Faith? Yes! Some of the titles are not returnable, but I’m so excited about the wealth of new books I found – books we need to read if we are to become the best possible writers and marketers of the message God has entrusted to us.

And I’m excited about this year’s conference – and the one in Philly August 8-10. Online registration opened April 15 for Philly, and yesterday morning I uploaded our 16-page brochure to the printer. Thank You, Father!

But to be honest, I’m also battling the “deadly D’s” of disappointment and discouragement. I’m reminded of the parable Jesus told of the man who prepared a feast and sent out many invitations. “When everything was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to arrive. But they all began making excuses” (Luke 14:17-18 TLB).

I have no doubt that the evil one is throwing huge obstacles in the way of many who need to come. I also do not doubt that our God can enable you to push through what seems to be impossible. He can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Thanks to the generosity of my dear friend, Cec Murphey, there are still partial scholarships available in addition to time payments. And from personal experience I can assure you that it is not too difficult for God to work out the logistics of time off work, child care, and whatever else is needed.

“For such a time as this” God is raising up an army to “write His answer.”

Now you have every grace and blessing;

every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours

during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB

He is coming! And that day may be sooner than we expect. It is likely to be preceded by intense persecution. Will you be ready, and will you allow Him to use your pen to help prepare other Christians to stand in His strength?

Please pray earnestly about joining us on the mountain May 15-18, or for just a day or two if that is how He leads you. Lodging is still available. And if you need financial help, you just need to ask.

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Don’t miss out! If you’re still undecided about attending this year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference, here’s one more reason to join us:

*Special Bonus! Everyone attending either of Dick Bruso’s workshops (descriptions shown below) will be given a complimentary 30-minute, post-conference, one-on-one phone consultation with Dick to help further their writing and speaking endeavors.

“Create a Best-Seller Brand” (May 17th, 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.)

Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity and life to both your work and your brand.

 “Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach” (May, 17th, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.)

Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

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Guest blog
Angela Ruth Strong

I attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for the first time ten years ago. I’d just sold my debut novel, and not only did I think I was going to become the next Susan May Warren, but Susan even told me at the conference, “I can see you being where I’m at in five years.”

Obviously, that didn’t happen, but God had other reasons for wanting me at the conference. He wanted to meet with me personally and prepare me for my own character arc.

It started with interest from Waterbrook. An editor requested my manuscript, and I went back to my room after meeting with her, planning to simply lie on my bunk and smile at the ceiling. But my Bible was on the bunk. And I hadn’t read my Bible yet that day.

I opened it up to the passage where David says, “God, you are my all.” In my prayer journal I wrote, “God, you are my all.” Then I wondered if that was really true. I thought about how David also said, “Test me.” I cried and wrote, “Test me.”

When I told my husband about that experience over the phone, he later said he knew what my test was going to be. See, he’d started an affair while I was gone. I came home to complete insanity, and he eventually left.

I don’t believe God was like, “You want a test, Angela? I’ll give you a test.” He was saying, “You know I’m your all. You know it.” When I lost everything, God was still there. And He was enough.

Though I quit writing romance at that time, God romanced me. He provided in miraculous ways. He loved me through strangers. He restored my soul.

Last year, I received a scholarship to attend again on the basis of using my personal story in my writing. I pitched Prayers of an Abandoned Wife to an editor, and she responded with, “There are five women I want to give your book to right now.” I didn’t go lie on my bed this time. I found a seat in the sunshine, overlooking the mountains, and I reveled in the beauty of God’s love.

My joy wasn’t about wanting to be Susan May Warren anymore. It was about an opportunity to share God’s love with a very hurting world.

I’m excited to return and see what else God has for me, and I’m also excited to be there for you. Ten years after I first attended Write His Answer, I’m going to be teaching. We’ll be talking about “The Power of Story” and what we can learn from having God as the author of our own lives.

Whether this year will be your first time attending the conference or your tenth, there’s a mountaintop experience waiting. I hope to see you there.


Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. She also writes nonfiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK.

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April 15 really is an important date, and not just to file our taxes or, reminder to self, to request an extension. (Waiting until the last minute makes life so much more exciting!)


ID 119582019 © Marcos Calvo Mesa | Dreamstime.com

April 15 is also the last day to register for the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference before the price increases. It’s not a huge increase, but it is enough to purchase a writing how-to book from the huge selection that will be available at the conference. (If you’ve already registered, just pass this email on to a friend since I’m not able to separate out names that are on multiple lists.)

April 15 was the last day to register for the May 18 Teens Write before that price increases by $10. I have, however, extended the early price through April 30 because I’m still working on getting the info to homeschool groups.

The deadline for our first-ever Teens Write writing contest was also April 15 but has been extended to April 30. If Jesus tarries and we continue to have the freedom to print and distribute Christian literature, teens will be the future of Christian publishing. Ask Father if there is a teen He wants you to encourage to come. Seehttp://colorado.writehisanswer.com/TeensWrite for info.

Clinic applications are also due April 15 (oops, April 16). I need to keep that date for Cindy Lambert’s Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic, but I’ve extended the date for our other three clinics to April 20.


IMPORTANT: If you’re writing a novel, I want to encourage you to take a close look at Dave Lambert’s Fiction Intensive. If you’ve not read my blog post, “God can use you to write fiction that changes lives,” please do.


If you’ve published or are working on a nonfiction book, you will need a strong platform which includes speaking. Please read my blog post “Writer, you CAN overcome your fear of public speaking!” Roy anschke’s Speakers’ Clinic is an option you need to seriously consider.


Scoti Domeij’s Build a Book Promotional Power Pack Clinic will provide hands-on help with the more than two-dozen marketing pieces you need to successfully launch your book, and Scoti will show you how to do this while you’re still writing your book.


You’ll find more info about all the clinics along with the needed applications athttp://colorado.writehisanswer.com/clinics2019.


If you need financial help to be able to come, it’s not too late to request a partial scholarship and/or time payments. Go tohttp://colorado.writehisanswer.com/scholarships. God can make a way when there seems to be no way. Trust Him!


Please be praying for the faculty and staff as we prepare for what I know will be a life-changing conference.


Serving Christ – Marlene

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Stories made a huge impact on me when I was growing up.

I remember the 12 volumes of My Book House, trips to the library and the armful of books I’d lug home, my promises to do the dishes just as soon as I got to the end of a chapter . . .

Stories were my escape from a painful childhood. The friends I made in the pages of the books I read helped take the place of the real-life friends I lacked.

When I became a teenager, I discovered Taylor Caldwell’s Tender Victory and Lloyd C. Douglas’ The Robe. I devoured The Silver Chalice, The Big Fisherman, and all the biblical fiction I could find.

I’m so grateful that God led me to fiction that drew me into a relationship with Him.

The power of fiction, of story, continues to impact lives either drawing readers to, or away from, the One who loves us so much that He willingly endured the agony of the Cross.

What about you and the stories He is calling you to write?

Dave Lambert, leader of the Fiction Intensive Clinic at the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference, says:

Learning to write fiction is like learning to play the piano. You don’t just get up one morning and decide you are ready to give a classical piano concert, any more than you suddenly decide you’re ready to write a novel. You have to master an extensive list of skills, and you have to be able to make it all seem effortless.


“This clinic can put you in position to become a better novelist with each book. We’ll examine some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more.”

Dave Lambert is a fiction writer, editor, and teacher with more than 40 years of experience including more than 20 years as the former senior fiction editor at Howard Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster, and former executive editor for fiction at Zondervan. As the owner of Lambert Editorial, he has been serving publishers and authors since 2003.

This clinic will be an intensive, hands-on workshop for SIX serious novelists that will help you with your work-in-progress as well as your fiction technique in general. If you’re selected to participate, you will receive a full hour’s worth of critique of the 25-page sample you will submit—a half-hour from the group, and a half-hour from Dave in a one-on-one. He will identify your strengths as a novelist, as well as the areas in which you need to grow, and provide the guidance you need to improve your writing significantly.

To be considered for this clinic you must have previous publication of some type, either traditionally or independently. Local, regional, or online publication okay. Your application (click here) and no more than 25 pages of your work-in-progress, either novel or short stories, must be submitted by April 20.

Thank You, Father, for how I KNOW You will use Dave’s Fiction Intensive to equip the six participants to write fiction that will change lives!

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I’ve often said if anyone had told me when I was a teen that God was calling me to a writing and speaking ministry, I would have said, “A loving God would never do that to me!”

The truth is I hated English in high school, and I died a slow death the entire semester I sat in the required public speaking class dreading the day that would come when I would have to stand up and give a speech. I didn’t know how I would survive. Obviously, I did, and I think I even got a decent grade.

Still, I determined that would be my one and only time to risk making a fool of myself. Fear was my friend, and I would allow it to keep me safely in my seat!

Years passed and, amazingly, I found myself wanting to speak–well not up front behind a microphone. I was part of a small Sunday school class that was focused on discussing the difference it makes to be a Christian. I really wanted to participate, but by the time I mentally rehearsed what I would say the conversation had moved way beyond where I was at.

Everyone in the class was college educated and incredibly articulate. We had two lawyers (who loved to debate), a medical doctor, and a seminary professor. I felt ashamed that I was only a high school graduate.

But God didn’t allow me to remain silent. Despite my pounding heart and nervous tummy I did begin to add my “two cents” even though I doubted they were worth much.

What happened about a year later is still hard to believe. Before I could run, I was voted president of the class and was coerced into teaching Sunday school. Seriously? What on earth were they thinking?

By then I had begun writing for publication believing the sales I made to Christian periodicals could take the place of a college degree and qualify me to serve God full time as I had longed to do since I was a teen.

But what happened one night almost silenced me forever. As class president, I had been encouraging the formation of small groups. That evening about fifteen people met. Following my instructions, each one created a montage of what they believed God was calling them to do with their life.

When my turn came to share my montage, I said, “I believe God is calling me to a nationwide speaking and writing ministry.”

No one said anything! I felt my cheeks getting hot and wished I could saw a hole in the floor and vanish out of sight.

That mortifying evening was about 40 years ago. Since then I’ve served on the faculty of over 70 Christian writers conferences and given my one and two-day writing seminars over 50 times around the nation. The joy I feel as I speak at these events and at the 58 conferences I have directed is so much greater than my fear ever was. Best of all, I feel His pleasure knowing I am doing what He created me to do.

If God is calling you to write, more than likely that call (whether it’s part of your plan or not) is also to speak, especially if you write nonfiction. If that fills you with fear, know that God does not want you to live in the land of fear. Because He loves you, He will give you opportunities to face your fear and with His help to overcome it.

The May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference not only offers a six-hour continuing session on “Speaking and Writing” but also a six-hour Speaker’s Clinic. Led by KPOF Christian radio personality, Roy Hanschke, who has coached beginning and seasoned speakers for over 18 years.

If you’ve been avoiding the challenge to begin the speaking part of your ministry or need to improve what you’re already doing, this clinic (limited to 8 participants) is for you! Roy will help you 1) discover your ministry focus and how to talk about it (power statements), 2) organize one of your talks to maximize time and effectiveness (message development), 3) present your talk with power and pizzazz (voice personality), and 4) market your message through radio (media mania). You’ll have an opportunity to test what you learn and receive helpful evaluation from Roy and your peers.

For more info and the needed application
due by April 15 http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/clinics2019

It’s often said that writing and speaking go hand in hand. That’s why I’m grateful that CCWC offered Roy’s Speakers’ Clinic. Roy is a dynamic example of “show don’t tell” as he actually demonstrates different methods of effective communication. Each participant had the opportunity to try out Roy’s suggestions in a safe and encouraging atmosphere. We learned from each other and went home with a notebook full of useful instructions on how to become a more skillful communicator.
Sue Cameron – Augusta, GA

Father, thank You that You did not let my fear of speaking and lack of a college education stop me from serving You. Thank You that I am no longer ashamed that I am just a high school graduate and for giving me so much joy in doing what I thought I could never do.

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Guest post
Sherri Langton
Associate Editor
Bible Advocate,
Now What? e-zine
Churchright

I consider myself the fossil of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, having attended since January 1987. Back then, it was a one-day conference at my local church, Denver First Church of the Nazarene. Betty Robertson, a writer and Nazarene pastor’s wife, was the director.

In 1987, I wasn’t thinking about writing. I worked in the purchasing department of a large downtown bank — and hated it. I begged God to get me out of that stress-filled office, but He remained silent. I now think He was waiting for me to attend my first CCWC to discover what He would do.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Ruth Vaughn, a prolific writer. One thing she said that January day set the course of my writing: “God can make creative use out of your misery.” Ruth sparked an idea to write my own greeting cards. I called the line Godsend, and for several years sent cards to friends and church members who were hurting.

God didn’t stop at greeting cards. When I was laid off at the bank (mercifully), I wrote about my frustrations of job hunting, and my stories were accepted by Standard. Over the years, I’ve seen God make creative use out of depression, death, grief, cancer, and many other miseries. The stories and articles I wrote on these subjects were published in major and smaller Christian publications. I met many of those editors at CCWC.

Now as a magazine editor and faculty member, I “count it all joy” to give back to a conference that has given so much to me. What message will God give you at this year’s CCWC? He can set you on a new path, too!

~ *~ *~*~*~*~

Sherri is teaching two workshops at the May 15-18 CCWC:

The Literature of Personal Disaster Wednesday, 4:45 – 5:45
Is a story good just because it relates a horrific event? Why we write about tragedy and how to make it real to the reader as well as redemptive.

Not-So-Extreme Makeover – Saturday, 2:45 – 3:45
Have you written an article that can’t seem to get published? Bring it and we’ll review a checklist of what it needs. come away with specifics on how to improve it.

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