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Archive for the ‘Colorado Christian Writers Conference’ Category

Commit everything you do
to the Lord.
Trust him to help you do it,
and he will.
Psalm 37:5 (TLB)

You did, You do, and You will! Thank You, Father.

 

When I began planning the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference just four weeks ago,  the to-do list seemed insurmountable. Even though it’s my 23rd year directing, it doesn’t get any easier. Because my files got scrambled in the transition to a new laptop last spring and emails in my conference folders disappeared, the task of rebuilding the spreadsheet of prospective faculty was daunting. It now has over 470 names and is still growing!

Bill MyersIt would be so much easier just to invite last year’s faculty to return. Some do because they also serve in needed staff positions and they have become like family. But I know I need to add new faces and I have. This year 25 of our 50 faculty members are new to CCWC or were not with us last year or for a number of years like keynoter Bill Myers who is also teaching the continuing session, “Fiction Writing: Keys for Unforgettable Storytelling.” Beatrice Bruno, the Drill Sergeant for Life, is a new face. She made a huge beatrice brunoimpact at the Writers on the Rock Conference. Beatrice is also giving a keynote plus teaching an exciting 3-hour learning lab on Wednesday, “Writer, Thou Art Loosed!”

My to-do list is still overwhelming. I haven’t started on our 16-page brochure, and there’s tons of work to be done on the website. You will find descriptions of 7 of our 8 continuing sessions, 3 of our 4 clinics, and the names of the 50 agents, editors, authors, and other professionals on faculty. Still to come are their photos and bios plus descriptions of  our 5 keynotes, 42 workshops, Saturday’s Teens Write, and Wednesday’s learning labs and early bird workshops. Whew! I’m grateful I type well over 100 wpm.

Online registration opens at 9:00 pm tonight, February 1. The first 50 to register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will receive an additional free 15-minute appointment – a total of SIX!

Please pray about joining us on the mountain May 15-18 for what I know will be a life-changing conference.

2019 CO 7 web banner

P.S. Be among the first ten to register and I’ll send you a free copy of my latest book, #MyFamilyToo! – How Our Family Coped with Childhood Sexual Abuse. It’s the story of  God’s faithfulness during the five years we sought to help my half sister overcome her father’s sexual abuse. (She came to live with us when she was not quite fourteen and thought she was pregnant with her father’s child.) #MyFamilyToo! is also our testimony of how God helped us to Live His Answer in the midst of other challenges that could have destroyed our faith. (Available on Amazon or through my website.)

MyFamilyToo final cover.jpg

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Question Mark Key Shows Doubt And Help

Years ago, I sold a packet of “Ministry and Marketing” resources for Christian writers. One side of the twin pocket folder had Bible studies as well as articles from my column in The Christian Writer that later were compiled into my book, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers(It’s now in its third edition and has been in print for 28 years!) The other side had how-to articles on writing and, yes, on selling our writing. My “Market Analysis Charts” helped many get their work in print.

I’m certain my kids and husband were happy when I stopped selling the packet and they no longer had the job of collating the 50-plus pages and pasting on the front and back cover.

Much has changed since I started writing for publication in 1972 after our second child was born. Wannabe writers and those already published now are able to access a huge amount of how-to information on the Internet. Writers’ conferences, seminars, podcasts, webinars, and coaches provide exciting opportunities to become better wordsmiths and marketers. And, of course, there are more how-to books than any of us will ever have time to read.

But sadly, the tension between ministry and marketing still exists. In fact, I think it’s grown more intense. Yes, we want to get the message we believe God has entrusted to us into print and into the hands of readers, but all too easily we can get caught up in doing things the world’s way.  We can spend lots of dollars and hours on building our “platform” and push God into a corner of our busy lives. In the process, it can become all about us and not about Him.

For the past 35 years as the director of the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and 22 years as the director of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I have sought to find the balance God wants us to have between ministry and marketing. Of course, I offer workshops to help writers find a publisher for their manuscripts and readers for their books. But hopefully our “Write His Answer” theme keeps the focus clearly on the Lord and on writing as a ministry to point readers to Him and not to ourselves.

Father, please help me and Your people, Your scribes, to seek You and Your plans for our writing. Give us wisdom to know what learning and platform-building opportunities You want us to invest in. Help us to be realistic and not to focus on what we hope to gain but rather on what You would have us give.

How do you deal with the tension between ministry and marketing?

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I confess! I hate research. As a result, almost all of my 1,000 plus sales to Christian periodicals are based on personal experience. You’ll rarely find me including statistics or quoting a bunch of “experts.”

Well, I hate most kinds of research, but I love digging deep into God’s Word to “write His answer.”

Study GOD and his strength, seek his presence day and night.

1 Chronicles 16:11 MSG

Early on in the 45 years I’ve written for publication I discovered the importance of studying (researching) the markets. I took seriously what an editor said at one of the first writers’ conferences I attended. I don’t remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten what she said: “An incorrectly targeted article is nothing but a source of irritation to a busy editor.”

Each edition of the Christian Writers Market Guide that Sally Stuart compiled for 24  years was well worn and much appreciated. From it, and the guidelines for writers that I always requested from publishers, I developed Market Analysis Charts. As part of my Ministry/Marketing Packet that I sold for many years they were used by well over 1,000 writers.

Barb Haley apr 2016 croppedToday I’m so grateful for my dear friend, Barb Haley, who serves as the registrar and appointment coordinator for the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conferences. The charts of agent interests, editorial needs, and areas of expertise that she prepares for both conferences are an incredibly valuable research tool.

Here’s the chart of fiction genres the six agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference are interested in representing. Two additional charts detail nonfiction, children and youth, and other interests. Click here.

Agent p2 WEBSITE CHARTS 6.7.18

In addition, with the bio for each of our faculty members you’ll find the chart they completed along with their photo and bio. So far, only the page for our six agents is finished. I hope to have the bios and charts for our 34 other faculty online in the next several days.

HART Agent

Father, thank You for Barb and for Steve Laube who is continuing the work Sally Stuart began with the Christian Writers Market Guide. Thank You for the Internet that puts information at our fingertips. Help us not to be lazy when it comes to obtaining info we need. And especially, Father, remind us daily to be students of Your Word.

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to register for the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

The price automatically increases tomorrow (May 10), BUT if you register online instead of just walking in (although we’d still welcome you), we’ll give you a bookstore credit for the $10 – $15 price increase. (I call it the “procrastinator’s fee.”)

I know some of you are not procrastinators. You’re just now hearing about the conference, and I want to do everything possible so you do not miss what I know will be a life-changing and ministry-enabling conference.

Time payments can be arranged if needed. And partial scholarships are even a possibility if there is no other way. Our Father is always able to make a way.

Lodging is still available although we’re filling up quickly. Click here for info and call Brenda at the YMCA (970-586-3341 ext 1349). I think we’re about out of single rooms, but I know she’s still got some conferees looking for a roommate. Not only will that reduce your cost, you’ll make a new writing friend or friends. Alpen Lodge has two queen beds and a sofabed to house 3 people comfortably. The cost, including dinner from the day of your arrival through lunch the day of your departure, is only $68 a night, and you’ll save the $15 YMCA daily fee.

Please pray about joining the 60 faculty and 200 plus beginning and professional writers on the mountain next week.

God bless you and your writing ministry!

Lodge at nt

YMCA Lodges at Night

 

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“Do you believe, do you really believe God can use you?”

When Michael Gantt spoke those words about ten years ago in a keynote at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, the presence of the Lord was so powerful. I know lives were changed in that moment. Mine certainly was.

Even though I’d been directing the Colorado conference for about 12 years and the Philly conference (that I founded) for about 25 years (it’s now 35 years), the “deadly Ds” were a frequent companion.

If God has called you to “write His answer,” then if you’ve not yet encountered the deadly Ds of Disappointments, Doubts, Discouragement, and even Despair, the good news is that you will.

This is good news? Yes! First, it’s evidence that you are a threat to the evil one. And second, it will cause you to draw more and more close to the Lord and to depend on Him.

The journey to publication is not easy. Sadly, many give up.

For 22 years the Colorado Christian Writers Conferences has “encouraged and equipped Christians to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.”

Every year He meets us on the mountain. He gives hope, courage, direction . . . He draws us into CCWC’s family of writers where deep, forever friendships are formed.

He may open the door to publication if you and your writing are ready. If not, you can be certain you’ll receive the instruction you need to keep growing your writing skills. In addition, you’ll receive valuable feedback in one-on-one appointments (more than at any other conference) with our faculty of 59 agents, editors, and authors.

Do you believe God can use you?

It’s not too late to register for the May 16-19 CCWC. Time payments can be arranged if needed. God will make a way. Trust Him!

 

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Debbie Hardy for GP

Debbie Hardy

How would you like a chance to get 50% off the cost of registration for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference  Believe it or not, it’s simple.
Copy of Learn more!I learned this the hard way. I had heard that there was a contest I could enter and possibly win half off the next year’s conference. So, my first time at the CCWC, I entered. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow the contest rules and I wrote on the wrong topic. Needless to say, I didn’t win.

 

The next time, I did exactly as the rules said and was shocked when I heard my name called as the winner for previously unpublished prose! That meant that I had not been published before – ever – but my writing was now award-winning.

You can do the same.

There are 4 contest categories: 2 for prose and 2 for poetry. Each genre has a separate contest for writers and poets who have been published and for those who have not. So you’re on even ground with others of the same experience level.

Be sure to follow the rules:

*       Write 500-800 words or a 12-30 line poem.

*       Consider the conference theme, “Write His Answer,” and share about the writing life or how you’re writing His answer.

*       Put your name and address in the body of your email, not on the manuscript.

*       Indicate on your MS which contest you are entering and if you’re a published or not-yet-published writer.

*       Include your MS as an attachment. (It’s easier to print up for the judges.)

*       There is a $10 fee for each entry.

*       Contest is for registered conferees only. And there’s still time to register, although after May 9 the $15 “procrastinator’s fee” will kick in unless you give us a really good excuse for being late. 🙂 Click here to register.

In submitting your entry you are offering the conference one-time rights to possibly publish your entry in a future (no date yet determined) devotional book. If your work is accepted for publication, you will receive one free copy and a discount on purchasing additional copies. Profits will go to the scholarship fund. Please note: You may submit your manuscript elsewhere before or after the conference. You own the rights!

The deadline for this year’s conference is May 14, the Monday before the conference starts. That will give me time to get your entry and print it to give to the appropriate judge on the first night.

You too could sit in the auditorium and hear your name called, giving you a 50% discount off next year’s conference. (BTW, you can enter more than once, to increase your chances!)

Please send your entry (or entries) to me at bdhardy@msn.com by May 14.

Debbie Hardy
CCWC Contest Coordinator

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Sherri Langton Jan 2017Guest post
Sherri LangtonAction price incr
Associate Editor
Bible Advocate and Now What?

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!

 

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beth-patch-900x750 2018

Guest post
Beth Patch
Senior Producer
Internet Acquisitions Editor
CBN.com

In my daily content production for CBN.com, I am grateful for writers who take their craft seriously enough to go to a writers conference. Usually, their approach to getting published and the submissions I receive from them have an edge of professionalism. They get plugged in to good writing practices and with other writers whose shared experiences help them. It’s a win-win situation and worth every penny.

I particularly enjoy it when a writer brings an example or two of their writing for me to read while we meet in a 15-minute editor appointment. I love being able to give feedback and encouragement. I’m only allowed to choose “accept” or “reject” when I receive submissions at the office, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to elaborate.

No academic track will expose a person to the heart of the writing industry like a writer’s conference. Not only do you get educational workshops to help you become a better writer, you get a chance to meet editors, agents, and publishers who you’d only meet through an impersonal email exchange at best. These professionals come to the conference with the same goal as the conferees: publish quality writing.


Beth is on faculty at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and available for one-on-one appointments.

She is teaching a Wednesday early bird workshop, “Devoted to You.” In this entry-level devotion-writing workshop you’ll learn the four basic elements needed for writing an inspirational devotion and tips on self-editing, story development, focus, and following guidelines.

On Saturday afternoon Beth is teaching a workshop on “Writing for CBN.com.” Each week over 2 million pages are opened on the site. Learn what types of content CBN.com accepts for each section of the online magazine and your rights regarding content shared with CBN. For info on their editorial needs, visit Beth’s bio by clicking here. You’ll need to scroll down to the “Periodicals and Online Markets.”

Whether you’re going to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference May 16-19, the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference July 26-28 (I’m beginning to update the website in preparation for opening online registration May 1), or another conference, if you’re nervous about meeting with an editor you’re in good company. Most writers find that their hands get sweaty and their hearts begin to pound at the thought of meeting an editor face to face. But as with anything else, it gets easier through the doing—and through going into the experience prepared to “put your best foot forward.” How?

The Colorado website offers encouragement and practical help under the Appointments tab in the menu. You’ll find info on:

Appointment Procedures
Making the Best Appointment Choices
Preparing for Your Appointments

Trust in the LORD with all your heart.
Never rely on what you think you know.
Remember the LORD in everything you do,
and he will show you the right way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (TEV)

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I’m in the conference crunch zone! I MUST get the 16-page brochure for the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference to the printer by the end of this week. Yes, I know it’s Thursday.

I’m also behind on must-do tasks for the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

Although I’ve been directing the Colorado conference for 22 years and the Philly conference (that I founded) for 35 years, it does NOT get any easier. In fact, each year it gets harder.

I could blame the challenges of ongoing computer issues and the never-ending learning curve. At 73, I’m not getting any younger. Perhaps it’s true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, correction! I’m not a dog. (I certainly don’t have the energy of our eight-month-old Labradoodle!) But I am a child of God engaged in a mighty spiritual battle.

Why do I direct TWO Christian writers conferences when I’m old enough to retire?

Because it’s what Father has called and I trust equipped me to do in HIS strength.

ostrich 2

 

It’s all too easy to bury our head in the sand, to ignore the “signs of the time,” and believe the lie that one person cannot make a difference.

 

But God is calling and equipping us – me and you – to

 

Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear,
so that anyone can read it at a glance
and rush to tell the others.
Habakkuk 2:2 TLB

And friends, there is no time to waste. Souls are perishing as the tide is quickly turning against our freedom to proclaim the life-giving message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

April 24 CBN.com reported:

Google Rejects Christian Publisher Ads
that Mention Jesus

For years I have said that we cannot assume that the doors to print and distribute Christian literature will always be open. We also cannot assume that the incredible doors the Internet has opened will always remain open.

And so I direct TWO Christian writers conferences that will challenge you to “Write His Answer” to the critical issues facing our nation. At the May 16-19 Colorado conference keynoters will address

Redemptive Writing in a Hostile Culture
Embracing the Spirit of the Martyr
“Christians Are Hateful” – the Cultural Challenge

Our 58 workshops, 8 continuing sessions, 4 clinics (there’s still time to apply for the Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic) and more will “encourage and equip you to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.”

I’ve added a new “Issues” track to the July 26-28 Philly conference. Keynotes will address:

Declaring God’s Truth in a Digital Age of Half Truths
The Arm of Flesh Will Fail

Undaunted

Of course, the Philly conference, the same as the Colorado conference, will give you the practical help you need to sharpen your writing and marketing skills in addition to the opportunity to meet one-on-one with agents, editors, and authors.

Please pray about coming. Partial scholarships are available if needed. Remember, Father is able to make a way when there seems to be no way.

I’ve been to many “Christian” Writers Conferences
around the country.
None have helped build my faith,
provided clear direction,
strengthened my convictions,
and encouraged me to write Jesus’ messages
more than the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.
For the record, I’ve attended CCWC 12 years in a row.
I would not miss it.
Charles Patricoff

 

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berry-strawberry-hands-leaves-65271 pexelsSpring is finally here on the east coast, at least I hope it is. I’ve got loads of daffodils blooming. (I love how they naturalize and spread each year.) Waiting in the garage (and hopefully surviving) are 100 strawberry plants that arrived when there was 14″ of snow on the ground. My peach, pear, and apple trees (well, one of the apple trees) are in bloom.

As I think about the fruit I hope to harvest this summer and fall, I know far more important fruit will result from the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. I’ve added a new faculty member to the Colorado conference (info coming soon), and tomorrow morning I trust I’ll finally get started on the 16-page brochure for the Philly conference.

But I know the “fruit” Father wants our lives to bear is not what we do for Him but how we grow closer to Him so that our lives reflect Him. I hope you’ll click here for a Bible study on “Bearing Fruit.”

Marketers on a Mission logo

A dear friend whose life and ministry is bearing much fruit is Patricia Durgin. Tomorrow, April 25, at 3:00 pm I’m delighted to be her guest on “Marketers on a Mission.” I’ve known Patricia for many years and am so impressed by the work she is doing to equip Christians to effectively market their business or ministry. The link for tomorrow’s interview is below. I hope you’ll join us.

https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaADurgin/videos/1686232451459763/

MK book
Missions Moments at the Write His Answer Conferences

Both the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference have always had a strong emphasis on raising awareness to needs at home and around the world. M.K. Henderson has frequently been with us and has a new book I encourage you to order. Click here. Ebook copies are available to purchase as a pre-release sale for $1.99 through April 30. (After April 30 the ebook will be $4.99.) Your purchase will automatically appear on your device May 1st. Print copies also will be available May 1st on Amazon.

Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can’t produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing.

John 15:4-5 TLB

 

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