Posts Tagged: Fiction

Morning Mentoring Clinics and More

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

sunrise over the mountains

Unlike other writers’ conferences, the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference offers many options for attendees to choose from. One option is the Morning Mentoring Clinics.

The clinics are designed for writers who have some writing and publishing experience. The goal is to give fiction and nonfiction writers concentrated time for having their works-in-progress critiqued in a knowledgeable, supportive, and realistic manner. Skilled professionals in each genre are committed to coming alongside the attendees.

Sarah Sundin says this about the fiction mentoring clinics:

Imagine spending three mornings with half a dozen other serious novelists, learning from one anther and from a published author. In the Fiction Morning Mentoring Clinics at Mount Hermon, authors James Scott Bell (mystery, suspense, and thrillers), Ben Wolf (fantasy and speculative), and Sarah Sundin (historical, contemporary, women’s fiction, and romance) will lead groups of no more than six writers.

In these groups, writers will have a chapter or two critiqued by the other participants and the published author. By analyzing one another’s writing, we learn techniques that sing and pitfalls to avoid. Each published author will tailor the time to the needs of the group, offering writing exercises, teaching, or discussion time. For example, in my clinic last year, we had mini-workshops on dialogue and point-of-view, topics the participants had requested.

If this appeals to you, and if you have some writing experience and wish to take your fiction skills to the next level, apply for a clinic today!

Jan Kern, one of the nonfiction mentors, says:

Our nonfiction mentoring clinics offer a dynamic small-group setting that is perfect for writers desiring focused direction for their works-in-progress. This year we have three mentors, each ready to come alongside you in your specialized area of interest: general, men’s or women’s nonfiction, spiritual formation, devotional, Bible study, or personal-experience stories.

Participants will interact with their mentor, a skilled professional in their genre, along with five other participants in their group. Come and make connections, layer in new learning and perspective into your writing, experience the synergy of creative interaction, and discover momentum for your work in progress.

The Mentoring Clinics meet each morning opposite the Major Morning Tracks and are by application only. Fiction and Nonfiction Clinics are limited to six students each. Applications are processed and the writers placed in groups in the order the applications are received. Application deadline has been extended to March 27.

Other morning options include Major Morning Tracks. There are seven comprehensive courses to choose from, each one designed with three parts packed with benefits. All included in the main conference fee.

  • Receive instruction from top-notch industry professionals.
  • Apply some of the principles in your own writing.
  • In an afternoon critique group Saturday and Monday, share your writing for constructive response and/or brainstorming.

If neither of those options is right for you, why not make the Mount Hermon writers’ conference a writing retreat? Start your day in a Prayer & Praise session with Kim Bangs, or take a prayer walk along one of the beautiful redwood trails, or seek divine guidance in the Mount Hermon chapel. Join us for a delicious, healthy breakfast. Then spend the rest of the morning writing whatever God lays on your heart to work on.

After lunch, do more writing or take some workshops, meet with the Critique Team, have appointments with faculty members, or enjoy some of the recreational opportunities available to conferees. If you get stuck, spend some time with our Prayer Partners in the chapel. After dinner, be inspired by our evening worship and keynote speaker … or do more writing. You’ll be amazed at how much quality work you’ll get done in this inspiring atmosphere!

Register today for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference!

 

 

 

Four Ways Money Can Add Depth to Your World

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized, Writers Conference.

british coins

by Chris Morris

Many novels hardly even mention currency in the story. And most characters never run out of money or supplies … unless it’s a convenient plot point.

But a creative author can use money as a way to introduce the intricacies of the world that is created. Currency can shine light on the motives of a character. In fantasy, the currency is often based on one or more types of metal. Classic science fiction fare typically has paperless credits or universal currency. So long as authors stick to the mantra of “show, don’t tell,” economies can serve as much more than background.

  1. Political unrest

Imagine a world where a usurper just commandeered control of the kingdom where your story takes place. As an indication of his newly established dominion, he mints new currency with his face on the coins and issues an edict that all commerce must be conducted with his coins only.

Those who support the usurper will gladly comply, while those merchants with less-than-loving feelings toward him will be inclined to continue to accept the “old money.”

Placing your protagonist in the midst of this political intrigue opens a variety of options that will enhance your story.

  1. Bartering with a twist

Picture a universe where a horse with a lame leg has more value to a merchant than a healthy horse. There are  myriad reasons this could be the case, each giving you the chance to expand your world.

Perhaps the sacred texts of your world include this proverb: “The favor of the gods will shine upon the man who cares for a lame animal, for his heart is pure and worthy of reward.”

This uncommon bartering system would create some particularly memorable scenes in a time-travel plot line like Outlander, where the protagonist is not familiar with the world. Your readers would then be able to experience confusion with your main character, which creates further connection with your story.

  1. Black market

It would be easy to “play the religion card” in this scenario. To use an example that could potentially occur in our actual world, consider what the market for hamburgers in India might look like if India were a militant Hindu nation.

But religion is not the only reason a black market might exist. There are many creative concepts that could be applied here. The monarch of a kingdom could be deathly allergic to nuts, so they are banished. But there are certain indigenous tribesmen who still rely upon the sale of Brazil nuts. Welcome to the Brazil nut black market.

Your protagonist can enter this black market for a variety of reasons, ranging from an insatiable desire for Brazil nuts to a need for extra income.

  1. Money exchangers can provide insight into the prejudices among the races.

Consider for a moment what it would be like for a Romulan in the twenty-fourth century to work at a currency exchange for a Klingon world? Try as he might, his strong prejudice against Klingons would come out. This can be brought into the narrative using a short dialogue scene like this:

“We don’t want to exchange our money until Sbardi is working. Like all Romulans, he hates Klingons and gives a better exchange rate.”

In two sentences, the readers are clued into racial tension and see how it impacts the protagonist. The possibilities are endless when you introduce money exchange as a component of your universe.

I am a CPA, but I realize that most people would not want to read a treatise on the economic conditions of Diagon Alley. I’m not suggesting the focus of your stories be on the intricacies of how goods are bought and sold. Instead, I’m pointing out the opportunities that exist in the context of money exchanging hands. Rather than quickly moving over these exchanges, and treating money as a non-entity in the stories you craft, you can add depth and vibrancy to your world.

What other ways could you see currency being used to open up your world to your readers?

Chris is presenting financial workshops for creative people at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference April 7-11, 2017.

photo of chris morrisChris Morris is the founder and managing partner for Chris Morris CPA, LLC, an accounting firm focused on meeting the tax and accounting needs of creative entrepreneurs. He has the privilege of counting editors, digital designers, magazine publishers, authors, photographers, online marketing firms, and book illustrators among his clients. He is the author of the book I’m Making Money, Now What? A Creative Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Taxes & Accounting for a Growing Business.

 

Make the Most of the Pre-Conference Manuscript Submission Opportunity

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John VonhofBLOGGER: JOHN VONHOF

John coordinates the Manuscript Retrieval Process during the Main Conference.

 

MAKE THE MOST OF THE PRE-CONFERENCE MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITY

One of the benefits of attending the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference is the opportunity to submit manuscripts for review by faculty. You may submit two manuscripts, pre-conference, by following the guidelines on the conference website. In this blog post, I’ll summarize the process.

Pre-Conference Manuscript Submission Guidelines

You have several options. You can request an editorial review (not a critique) by an editor or agent as a possible match for their needs or you can request a critique by a professional writer. You may submit one or two manuscripts – one for a review and one for a critique, or both for one or the other.  Not sure which to do? Here’s help.

  • Critique – A manuscript for pre-submission consists of:
  • One article or short story (1800 word maximum)
  • One article query, with outline (3 pages maximum)
  • One book proposal. Please do not send complete books.
  • Up to three devotionals or fillers (250–400 words each, maximum)
  • No more than three poems (24-line maximum each)
  • Editorial Review – If you want to discover if a publishing house or magazine would be interested in publishing your manuscript or if an agent might like to represent you, request an editorial review. The same rules as above apply.

Complete details are on the conference website. Click here to see the submission guidelines. It’s important to read the instructions for submitting manuscripts.

  • Manuscripts should be typed, with your name on each page.
  • Your manuscript should be double-spaced. Other parts of your of your submission package may be single-spaced.
  • Manuscripts must be original (your work) and unpublished.
  • The manuscript is limited to 10 pages plus the other components (a cover or query letter, a book proposal, a 1 or 2-page outline for nonfiction or synopses for fiction, etc.).

Choosing Whom to Review or Critique Your Manuscripts

The Resources page  has tabs for Editorial Needs by Genre and Editorial Needs Alphabetical. Use these lists to learn what the editors and agents are looking for. For critiques, use the Critique Team Listing.  Once the conference has started, the Manuscript Retrieval Team can help you think about faculty to approach about your manuscript.

What to Submit

The Query Letter & Book Proposal Guidelines webpage has information to help you prepare your submission. If you are unsure how to write a query letter or book proposal, you are encouraged to check out any of the books available about proposals. My favorite book is Ryan G. Van Cleave’s The Weekend Book Proposal: How to Write a Winning Proposal in 48 Hours and Sell Your Book. It includes fiction and nonfiction proposal examples, a chapter on query letters, and lots of tips on the different components of a successful proposal. You can also Google query letters and book proposals to see examples.

Make sure whatever you submit is your best work. Double-check everything for spelling and grammatical errors. If you are part of a critique group, have them review your manuscript.

Packaging and Sending Your Manuscripts

The Resource section on the conference website has a Letters, Forms & Guidelines webpage that has the Pre-Conference Manuscript Submission Form that you need to print and fill out. It needs to be sent with your manuscripts. For each manuscript submitted, you need to fill in your: name, title of manuscript, email, cell number, circle the type of manuscript, check either critique or editorial review and by whom, and add any comments. Make sure you read and follow the instructions on how to package and send your manuscripts. Be sure to check the appropriate box on the manuscript submission form—Critique by a Published Author or an Editorial Review.

Each manuscript must be in a 9×12 manila envelope with the submission form taped to the top front side. Do not seal the envelope. If the envelope has a metal clasp, please tape over it and do not use it. Manuscript pages should not be stapled, clipped, or bound.

Make sure you do not send your only copies of your manuscript. Either print an extra copy and bring it in a folder or save your files to a USB thumb drive. The Hospitality Center can make copies from either source as needed for a nominal fee.

If you hope to submit manuscripts to additional faculty at the conference, please bring a few extra 9×12 manila envelopes.

All the above information and more can be found on the Free Manuscript Review webpage.

Deadline for Pre-Conference Submissions

All pre-conference submissions must be received at the conference center by Monday, March 14. Make sure your manuscripts are mailed early enough to make the deadline.

When You’ll Get Your Manuscripts Back

Saturday after lunch is the first opportunity to get any manuscripts the faculty has returned. Some are returned after that, depending on faculty’s timing.

Submissions After the Conference has Started

Once the conference has started, you may talk to a faculty member who asks to see your manuscript. Request a signed form from the faculty member and process your manuscript through the manuscript retrieval system in the Hospitality Center. The Manuscript Retrieval Team will get the manuscript to the faculty member. The faculty’s first obligation is to those who submitted pre-conference submissions.

All manuscripts must go through the Manuscript Retrieval System for tracking. Please do not hand your manuscript to an editor for review. Likewise, do not allow an editor to hand you your manuscript if it has not been checked back in through the system.

The Manuscript Retrieval Team

The Manuscript Retrieval Team, located in the Hospitality Center, is eager to help you with your manuscript questions. The team can look over your manuscript, query letter and book proposal; and help with ideas on faculty that you might talk to about your manuscript. We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the manuscript process. Feel free to email me at: john@johnvonhof.com.

John Vonhof and Dan Kline

Manuscript Retrieval Team

~~~~~~~~~~

Come meet John Vonhof at the 47th Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, March 18-22!

Click here to Register now!

How I (Finally) Made Peace with Social Media

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Nancy Rue cropped (677x800)BLOGGER: NANCY RUE

In March, Nancy Rue will teach a Major Morning TrackThe Art and Wonder of Writing for Tweens and Teens–at the 2016 Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference.

 

HOW I (FINALLY) MADE PEACE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

I started my authorial career (doesn’t that just sound so professional?) in 1981, a blissful time in publishing when all we writers had to do was pen great books and keep ‘em comin’. The publisher did the rest, including the marketing.

It was literary nirvana.

The first time I heard about Facebook was at a writers’ retreat. When some of my younger colleagues raved about how many “friends” they had and I realized they were talking about people they didn’t even know, I rolled my eyes practically onto the floor. I wasn’t going to sit around doing that. I had books to write. Authors of my era joined me in disdain for all this self-promotion that seemed to be happening a generation behind us. Yeah, we were pretty snobby about it.

Fast forward a couple of years when I won a Christy for The Reluctant Prophet. Unlike my previous books, this one wasn’t going off the charts in sales. The numbers were embarrassing, but now, with the award, surely the novel would make it to the best seller list.

It didn’t.

The marketing director at the publishing house gave me a list of all the things I needed to be doing to boost those sales. What I had to do. Me. The author. Was she serious? Set up a Facebook page? Make videos and post them on YouTube? Blog? I wailed that if I did all that stuff, I wouldn’t have time to write. Without batting a proverbial eye she said, “You can do this, Nancy.”

I couldn’t agree. For the first time since my career began 25 years before, I felt incompetent and unconfident and downright klutzy. This was not in my skill set.

I wanted to throw up.

Before somebody had to call for clean-up on aisle three, the publisher offered to use part of my marketing budget to hire me a virtual assistant. Best thing ever. She taught me how to set up my Facebook page, and how to tweet, pin, like and throw an online party.

So, yeah, I was out there in the social media stream, but I was still floating on my resentment. Why should writers have to market their own stuff? What the Sam Hill were the publicists and the PR people doing? Jane Austen didn’t have to connect daily with her audience. She just wrote books.

I was waking up every morning with a sense of dread over how I was going to sell my work. I dropped out of Brownies at age 8 because I couldn’t bring myself to go door to door with boxes of Thin Mints. Clearly I had to get over it, or all that I’d worked for, all the ways I’d tried to serve, were going to be for naught.

That’s when I got it. What if I thought of marketing on line not as social media but soul media? What if I stopped trying to sell books and focused on connecting with people? What if I saw the Internet as an additional means for spreading the message of authenticity God gave me way back in 1981? What if I used every possible resource and venue to help?

What if I got over myself?

I have. I’m not Jane Austen. The Golden Era of Christian Publishing is fading in the mist.  What God has given me to say is still important. I can’t think of it as marketing. It’s ministry.

I have to admit: I’m actually enjoying it. Even the shyest, most private, least internet savvy author can too. A book that helped me tremendously was Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World. Mostly, though, it was God saying, “Use every means possible. Just get it done.”

So here’s what I’m doing. And if I can, trust me, anybody can.

 

Blessings,

Nancy Rue

Here’s where you can connect with Nancy:

www.nancyrue.com

https://www.facebook.com/nnrue

NancyRue@NancyRue3 (twitter)

https://www.pinterest.com/nnrue/

______________________

Come meet Nancy Rue at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference, March 18-22, 2016.

REGISTER NOW!

Creating the Perfect Opening for a Novel

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Blogger: Joseph Bentz

Creating the Perfect Opening for a Novel

Joseph Bentz Book Pages

If you come to Mount Hermon to learn how to be a better fiction writer, one concept you will no doubt hear repeatedly is how important the first few pages of your novel are. If done well, they can invite the reader into your book, but if handled poorly, they can slam the door shut and prevent the reader from proceeding to any good material that follows.

How can you write a compelling opening for your novel?

In a California literature course I teach at Azusa Pacific University, we study Raymond Chandler’s novel, The Big Sleep, a classic of hardboiled detective fiction that features private investigator Philip Marlowe solving mysteries in a noir-ish and unforgettable Los Angeles setting.

After the students read the book, one of the first ways we study it is simply to read out loud and analyze the first few pages. Chandler wastes no time. His opening establishes the novel’s tone and atmosphere, captures the personality of the narrator Marlowe, and propels the plot into motion. It isn’t easy to do all those things at once. If you don’t believe me, try it.

Joseph Bentz The Big Sleep Cover

Take a look at The Big Sleep’s first two paragraphs:

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. he didn’t seem to be really trying.

What information do we learn from these two paragraphs? A private detective has dressed up in a nice suit in order to call on a wealthy client who lives in a mansion.

Those are the facts, but Chandler’s words tell us much more. Why describe the outfit in such detail, even down to the socks? If you pick up a hint of sarcasm in that little bit of over-description, it is confirmed in the next sentence: “I was neat, clean shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it.” That declaration conveys more than the surface meaning of the words. As one of my students put it, “Someone who is usually sober doesn’t need to point out that he is sober.” The same is true for being clean and shaved. Marlowe may be revealing a few weaknesses in that sentence, but also a few strengths: he’s frank, down-to-earth, and he has a self-deprecating sense of humor. I like him already.

Almost every sentence in these two paragraphs has something to commend it. For example, take at “I was calling on four million dollars.” A lesser writer might have settled for something like, “I was calling on a wealthy client.” Chandler’s sentence is better than that in both tone and content. We now know how wealthy General Sternwood is (his four million is in late 1930s dollars), and more importantly, the tone indicates Marlowe is not over-awed by money.

His sarcasm toward ostentatious displays of wealth is extended in the second paragraph, when he describes the Sternwood mansion. He doesn’t need any direct comment about how gaudy he thinks the place is. The fact that the entrance doors “would have let in a troop of Indian elephants” tells the reader plenty about Marlowe’s attitude toward the house. His commentary on the stained-glass artwork tells us as much about the unpretentious detective as it does about the questionable artistic taste of the Sternwoods.

The opening paragraphs of The Big Sleep let us know we are starting a journey with a narrator who knows what he’s doing, both as a detective and as a storyteller. We like him from the start, and we can’t wait to see what he’ll do next. He doesn’t disappoint.

Joseph Bentz, a freelance author and an English Professor at Azusa Pacific University, is part of the faculty for the 2015 conference. Click here to read the full bio for Joseph Bentz.

Joe Bentz casual

Joe will join us at the conference, March 27-31, 2015, to serve as a Morning Mentoring Track Nonfiction Mentor and teach an afternoon workshop. Click here to view the workshop summary for Strategies for Writers with No Time to Write.

 

Does the opening to your novel need strengthening? Do you want to make your fiction more compelling? Think about taking your fiction to the next level in our Head Start Pre-Conference Mentoring Track. 

Writers Meeting Editors and Agents ~ Oh my!

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

If you have an interest in writing or in the publishing industry, we’d love to see you at Mount Hermon, March 25-31.

How do you know the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference is right for you?

computer keyboard image

 

You’re going to want to join us at Mount Hermon, if . . .

1.  You have to write. You can’t help yourself, you’re a writer.

2.  You care about meeting and mingling with folks of like-mind, who share your interest in writing and publishing.

3.  You desire to build relationships with folks in the publishing industry–published authors, editors, and agents.

4.  Social media and the concept of blogging baffles you and you could use some help with it all.

5.  You have the desire to explore a new genres or type of writing.

6.  You’re interested in studying the craft of writing with a multi-published mentor.

7.  You need encouragement from writers who have been where you are and taken have the next steps.

8.  You don’t know all there is to know about writing for publication, publishing, marketing, and promotions.

9.  You’re wondering what to do next in your writing career and could use some direction.

10. You crave Christian fellowship with other publishing industry professionals.

11.  You have been in the desert and could use some spiritual nourishment.

12. You see value in a contemplative stroll through a stand of awe-inspiring redwood trees.

Which one or ones in the above listing best fit you in this season of your writing life?

 

Here’s how to REGISTER

Click here to find Mount Hermon Writers on Facebook

 

What’s New. What Isn’t.

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Mona from Arizona, here!

If you’ve ever been to Arizona, and especially if you haven’t, you know the expectation. Arizona is always hot and dry. Right?

Wrong!

Last Wednesday, Central AZ became a Winter Wonderland. (Yep, the song is playing in my head, too. You’re welcome.)

2015 Arizona Snow Collage

Expectations can disappoint us. Lull us into complacency. Expectations might even cause us to miss out on a glorious surprise because we think we know what to expect and don’t anticipate anything more. Or we snub the surprise because it means things are different.

You may have heard the rumors . . . change is in the air for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I’m not sure what you’ve heard, if anything, but it’s true that change is coming to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. We’ve hit the refresh button for 2015!

So far, I have run in to two different camps.

  • Those who initially respond with “oh.” Picture sagging shoulders.
  • Those who initially respond with “Oh!” Picture eyes wide with anticipation.

The good news is that the “oh” easily becomes “Oh!”

So . . . I’m here to break it all down for you ~ What’s New and What Isn’t.

ONE

If you’re already a fan of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference, you know that the fabulous Rachel Williams is the Conference Director. Following the “passing through” of her husband, Roger, Rachel has taken a leave of absence from her job at Mount Hermon. That’s why you’re hearing from me. I’m serving as Coordinator for the 2015 Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference.

Who am I? A Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference veteran (okay, old-timer works too). It was my first writers’ conference. When? (I was afraid you’d ask that.) In 1988. I’ve been in the publishing industry awhile and Mount Hermon and the relationships I’ve made at the conference over the years have played a key role in my writing journey. Click here to learn more about the progression of that journey.

TWO

Break out the chocolate ~ it’s a New Website!

Don’t miss out. Go ahead . . .  take the new website for a spin. While you’re cruising, check out what’s new in the program.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit the familiar and new faculty faces.

Looking for the guidelines and forms for the various conference features? Resources has it all!

THREE

The Writers’ Conference Blog. It’s integrated into the new website and easy to access there. Yes, but that’s not all. There’s a plan.

You don’t have to wait until you’re breathing the Mount Hermon redwoods in March to get to know the faculty and start gleaning from their years of experience in the publishing industry. (Yep. I heard that “Oh!”) Not only will you find helpful tidbits about the conference and ways to prepare to get the most out of it, we’ll feature Faculty Guest Posts too.

Make sure you subscribe to receive the blog posts by email so you don’t miss out on any updates.

HEY, EXPECTATIONS HAVE MERIT!

I hear you. And it’s true. Expectations have their perks. Indeed, there can be comfort and even joy found in knowing what to expect. Especially if your expectations are grounded in the What’s Not New about the conference features. So . . . for 2015, we’re giving everyone a bit of both. The familiar. AND the surprising.

Signature Features that have given the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference its stellar reputation in the publishing industry . . .

Mount Hermon, the bridge between writers and agents, writers and editors, agents and editors.

Added-Value Features new to the 2015 conference . . .

Come see for yourself. REGISTER ME NOW!

Mount Hermon offers a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for writers at every skill level, from unpublished to professional, and offers help to writers in a wide span of genres and in every phase of a writer’s career. We continually research the latest trends in writing and publishing, seeking out the foremost experts.

Whether you desire to publish the traditional way with a royalty publisher or you intend to go the indie publishing route, you’ll find industry professionals who can instruct, direct, and encourage you.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTION POINTS

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YOUR TURN: We’d love to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to at the 2015 Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference, March 25-31?