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Archive for the ‘Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference’ Category

It was a solemn moment over 30 years ago when I made a commitment at the close of Lee Roddy’s continuing session at the St. David’s Christian Writers Conference to complete my book in a year.

There was no question in my mind that this is what God was calling me to do. There were, however, lots of questions of whether or not I could do it – questions (and doubts) that intensified as the year wore on.

I found myself (yes I was “lost”) avoiding work on the book and instead writing short devotionals and Christian education teaching articles that I’d always been able to sell. But not now! Rejection slips landed in my mailbox seemingly before the editors even had time to read my submissions.

God bless my writing papa, Lee Roddy. “Has it occurred to you that you’re getting rejected because you’re not doing what you promised to do,” he wrote back in response to one of my “poor me” letters. Ouch!

Lee is now home with the Lord. I miss him and his stern yet necessary admonishment that kept me on track when I wanted to give up. I’m grateful he didn’t allow me to use the excuse that “a year in the Lord’s sight . . .”

About two months before the one year was up I was still a long way from finishing and still battling self-doubts. One spring day I grabbed my Bible and headed to Ridley Creek State Park. I sat down by a stream and opened my Bible. A sudden breeze tickled the pages of my Bible and then just as suddenly stopped. I felt my eyes drawn to

I want to suggest that you finish what you started to do a year ago . . . Having started the ball rolling so enthusiastically, you should carry this project through to completion just as gladly . . . Let your enthusiastic idea at the start be equalled by your realistic action now.  (2 Corinthians 8:10-11 TLB)

A year to the day I placed my completed manuscript in an envelope and mailed it to an editor who had requested to see it when it was finished.

I’d love to be able to tell you that the Lord “rewarded” me for keeping my commitment with a contact by return mail. Instead, I waited a year only to have the manuscript returned with a rejection slip. Many of you know it was 41 publishers and 6 years later when finally I met an editor at the St. David’s conference who offered me a contract two months later.

What if I had not finished the manuscript? What if I had not persevered for 6 long and discouraging years?

What if you, dear reader, are among the many writers who attend a conference where an editor requests a manuscript that you never finish or submit? (Sadly, those stats are amazingly high.)

And that brings me to the point of this blog – to what I’ve finally finished despite a ridiculous amount of obstacles. Drum roll, please.

The bios for all 40 editors, agents, authors, and other professionals at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference are finally online! It’s always a huge job but especially so this conference because of the thousands of emails that somehow got deleted  when Outlook crashed a week before I left for the Colorado conference.

Needed emails that I had filed in folders no longer exist! In fact, emails from the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Philly and Colorado conference all disappeared while thousands of non-conference emails in other folders are still there.

It’s been exasperating, frustrating, overwhelming, discouraging . . .

But then I’m reminded that Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. Instead, I believe He allows us to experience all the above in order to build our faith muscles.

What about you? Have your faith muscles grow weak and flabby? Are you willing to allow Him to strengthen them by your deliberate choice to “finish what you start”?

And will you prayerfully consider coming to the Philly conference? It’s a day shorter (now Thursday afternoon/evening, all day Friday, and ending at 5:30 Saturday) making it less costly in time and money. We’ve moved to a new location (Dock Mennonite Academy) just off the Lansdale exit of the North/South PA Turnpike (I-476). Lodging at the Holiday Inn five minutes away can cost as little as $40-60 a night if you request one or two roommates. And meals at the conference are going to be outstanding.

Our 16-page brochure is also finally finished and off press. I’ll be glad to mail you one if you’ll send me (mbagnull@aol.com) your USPS address.

Page 16 cover

page 1 markets

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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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“If you had faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed
you could say to this mountain, ‘Move!’
and it would go far away.
Nothing would be impossible.”
Matthew 17:20 (TLB)

The 16-page brochure for the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is a long way from being finished. And the website still needs a lot of work, BUT I’m praising the Lord that the faculty and program are in place and enough info is available online to make it possible to open registration tomorrow, May 1. It may not be until late evening, but what seemed impossible is going to happen. Thank You, Father!

Meanwhile, to hopefully get you as excited as I am, here’s a page from the brochure with four of our seven continuing sessions. You’ll find the other three online at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/continuingsessions2018. There’s a link on the website to view it as a PDF as this is too small even for young eyes. 🙂

Page 4 continuing sessions

Also online you’ll find a list of our 40 faculty members, the schedule for the two and a half days of the conference, titles and descriptions of 35 workshops, the cost, and info about scholarship help.

There’s lots more to come – faculty bios, photos, editorial needs, appointment info, and our new Thursday afternoon learning labs and early bird workshops. Oh, and I must not forget our keynotes.

Father, thank You for how Your hand has been on the GPCWC for the past 34 years – for all You have done, are doing, and will do.

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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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Let’s be real. Have the pressures of life ever made you feel like running away?

Maybe non-stop problems have worn you to a frazzle. And the thing with problems is that they are groupies. Seriously, have you ever had to cope with just one problem at a time?

My writing mentor used to tell me that problems were great grist for my writing  mill. Right! Maybe if I’d get a break long enough to see the Lord in them so I could write about them and give hope to my readers; it certainly won’t help them or me to whine!

I confess this has been one of those weeks when I would have liked to run away. It’s hard enough to be on deadlines for both the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference when my laptop is working. But when I’m forced to spend hours on the phone with technicians who don’t speak clear English and who end up making things worse rather than better, running away is a tempting option. But . . .

He who believes need never run away again.
Isaiah 28:16 TLB

Father knows I do believe and that I desperately need him to help my unbelief.

Despite seemingly impossible obstacles, I am making progress on the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

Lest I get knocked off the Internet again, here’s the link for the 35 workshops I’ve packed into Friday and Saturday – http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/workshops2018. The page has not yet been proofread and is, therefore, not accessible from the menu. Trusting that somehow I’ll be able to open online registration May 1, I’m eager for you to see some of what we’re offering.

We also have an exciting line-up of 3 Learning Labs on Thursday afternoon along with early bird workshops, 7 continuing sessions, keynotes, panels, and an outstanding faculty of 38 agents, editors, and authors.

So . . . the bottom line is I’m NOT going to run away. Instead, will you commit along with me to:

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.
That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:2-3 MSG

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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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Yes, the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is happening!  We will celebrate our 35th year of ministry July 26-28 — one day shorter to make it more time and cost affordable for you.

Our format will be similar to what we’ve offered in the past. Our theme, “Write His Answer” from Habakkuk 2:2, has not changed. The GPCWC continues to be committed to encouraging and equipping Christians from diverse backgrounds to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.

Almost all of the faculty is in place. I’ll be introducing them to you over the next couple of weeks while I work on updating the website and getting the brochure to the printer. I’m excited and trust you will be, too.

KataranPattonMeet our newest
faculty member
Katara Washington Patton

Katara is the author of a series of books on successful living based on Biblical characters. Successful Moms of the Bible, Successful Women of the Bible and Successful Leaders of the Bible (Hatchette/FaithWords, 2016-2017) have received many outstanding reviews and testimonies of how Patton’s down-to-earth and sometimes humorous style has piqued even more interest in the Bible and the lessons within. Patton is also the author of a devotional coloring book for all ages, The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book (Hatchette/FaithWords 2017).

Katara has also created supplemental material for best-selling authors, such as T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer. She was general editor of Aspire: The New Women of Color Study Bible (Zondervan), the writer for the teacher’s workbook for Bishop Vashti MacKenzie’s Journey to the Well (UMI), and writer and acquisitions lead for Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity Teen Edition (Tyndale).

Katara graduated summa cum laude from Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and English. She then earned a Master of Journalism in magazine publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She also received a Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, IL), where she received the outstanding preaching award.

She has worked in the editorial and acquisitions departments at Weekly Reader Corporation, Jet Magazine, Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), McGraw-Hill and Tyndale House Publishers. In 2013 she established Esteem Publishing, which allows her to help others bring their book and media ideas to fruition. In 2014, she was named Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Katara is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana. She and her husband, Derrick, reside on the South Side of Chicago. They have one daughter, Kayla. She is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. As much as possible, she tries to enjoy a Zumba class and a competitive game of Scrabble to keep her life balanced.

~*~*~*~

More News

If you heard the conference is moving, we are! I’m delighted to announce that we’ll be at Dock Mennonite Academy just off the Lansdale exit of the North/South PA Turnpike (476). It’s a beautiful campus.

Lodging is at the Holiday Inn in Kulpsville, just one minute from the turnpike exit and five minutes from Dock. We used the Holiday Inn for our February conference and were impressed.  They’ve offered us a special rate of only $109 a night (plus tax). If you choose to share a room with one, two, or three other conferees (we’ll assist with roommate matching) you will substantially cut the already low cost.

Breakfast and Thursday dinner is on your own at the Holiday Inn or a local restaurant. You’ll have the option of purchasing box lunches Friday and Saturday and a catered Italian Feast Friday night.

Please pray for me as I work to open online registration by May 1 and put July 26-28 on your calendar now.

And the Lord said to me,
“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)

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Tug of war

As you prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, do you feel like you’re playing tug-of-war with conflicting priorities and all you need to get done?

Sadly, it’s all too easy to be so focused on our to-do lists (yes, I have more than one!) that we miss what’s most important.

Emmy, our four-month-old Labradoodle, is so full of energy and spunk. She is not intimidated by the fact that Lady, our 90-pound Golden, is three times her size. Emmy is focused on getting that toy, and when she does, on playing keep-away.

Of course, our lives are far more complicated. We don’t live to play, but we do need to pray to live – to really live in the center of God’s will.

Father, I pray for myself and my friends. Help us not to be intimidated by our to-do lists. Clearly show us what You want us to do and give us Your strength to do it. Keep us focused on what really matters  and determined not to squeeze You out of our busy lives. Give us Your peace and joy!


My Christmas gift to you . . .

I have just opened registration for the new Write to Impact Lives Conference February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA (just off the Lansdale exit of the east/west PA Turnpike). For published and not-yet-published authors this 1.5 day conference will give you the jumpstart you need to complete the book Father is calling you to write.

Feb banner

For more info go to
http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/writetoimpactlivesconference.

If you register by the end of the year, I’ll be glad to gift you with my book, Write His Answser – A Bible Study for Christian Writers, or James Watkins’ book, Communicate to Change Lives in Person and Print. Jim is one of our keynoters. He will also teach the continuing session,  “The Five Rs of Nonfiction.”

New WHA cover

Communicate Change Lives


And your gift to yourself . . .

I want to encourage you to save any monetary gifts you receive this Christmas to invest in the Colorado or Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.  Or ask your family to gift you with the conference.

There are presently 42 editors, agents, and authors on faculty for the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference with more to be added. Held at the YMCA of the Rockies on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, why not rent a cabin and bring your family? By the end of the year I hope to begin updating the website. Registration will open February 1.

I’ve not yet begun planning the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. YES, the conference is continuing! I am praising God for the new location of Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale. Lodging at the Holiday Inn, just five minutes away, is $109 a night (plus tax). Share your room with one, two, or three writing friends and bring the cost down to $27, $36, or $55 a night. (We can help with roommate matching.) The new format of a 2.5 day conference (instead of 3.5 days) will also lower the cost both in time and money!

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Have a blessed Christmas because He came and is coming again!

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