Posts Categorized: Writers Conference

Say No to Creativity

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Meet Nick Harrison, Senior Editor, Harvest House Publishers! To Read the full bio for Nick Harrison, click here.

Nick Harrison

Nick plans to join us at the conference, March 27-31, 2015, to review manuscripts, meet with writers, and teach an afternoon workshop. Click here to view the workshop summary for What to Do When You Don’t Have a Platform.

Blogger: Nick Harrison

Say No to Creativity

taking a testStop it with the creativity….for a while anyway. Being creative doesn’t get you published. Many very creative people never make a go of their writing career. Why?

Because they’re so busy being creative, they’re not taking the time to plan their career. And many mediocre writers succeed because they’ve stopped being creative long enough to plan to succeed.I’m going to put on my drill sergeant’s hat now (reluctantly of course) and have you take a little test.

How many of the following statements are true of you?

  1. You have more than half a dozen unfinished writing projects somewhere on your computer.
  2. You resent the intrusion of having to write a book proposal, rather than just work on the book itself.
  3. You write when you can with no specified writing time, often missing two or three (or more) days at a time.
  4. You are a self-confessed procrastinator about your writing.
  5. You’ve come up with acceptable reasons for not attending a writer’s conference this year.
  6. You have no idea how different your writing career will be one year from now.
  7. You do not impose deadlines on your projects.
  8. You’ll skip writing to watch a mediocre television program or spend more time on Facebook.
  9. Your writing future consists more of hopes than it does of plans.
  10. You’re still bummed about your most recent rejection. (Get over it! Blame it on the editor if it helps you get past it.)

If you answered yes to a few of the above, that’s okay. Welcome to the real world. None of us is perfect.

But if more than half are true of you, you need to turn off the right side of your brain—the creative side—and engage the left side of your brain to set up a plan to succeed. That plan can consist of several possible elements, not limited to these below.

  1. Compose a mission statement for your writing. What is your goal as a writer? Keep it brief. Just a couple of sentences should suffice. A mission statement will help you stay focused.
  2. Create a list of your writing projects prioritized by their importance. You can define importance in the way that works best for you. For me, the list is prioritized by my passion combined with what I perceive as the marketability of the idea. I’ve just winnowed my list down to 44 items. If I live long enough to complete 5-10 of them, I’ll be happy. We all know not all ideas are created equal. Some are true duds and can eventually be discarded. Some simply arrive before their time and must wait several notches down on the list until they “ripen.”
  3. Take your top three projects and assign deadlines for some aspect of their progress. For instance, set a deadline for when you will have a completed proposal on number one on your prioritized list. Set a deadline for a “one-sheet” description of book number two on your list. And a deadline for a paragraph summary of book three. Other possible deadlines: securing an agent, sending a query, conducting an interview for your project, etc. Most writing projects are unique enough to have several possible deadlines. Be sure and write your deadlines and goals on your calendar. Keep them in mind daily. Move toward the goal with anticipation of setting a new deadline when the present one is reached.
  4. Set aside a specific time each day to write. For those of us who are admitted procrastinators, the trick is to tell ourselves that this sacred time needs to be only five minutes. Anyone can sit down and write for five minutes. But hopefully you’ll discover, as I have, that those first five minutes are the hardest. One you commit your backside to the chair and begin to write, the five minutes will turn into fifteen, then into half an hour and beyond. Simply committing yourself to those five minutes is key. And even if you do only write for five minutes and move on to something else, you’ve started a habit. Now keep it up.
  5. This will be the hardest for some of you. Search out a good Christian writer’s conference near you and plan to attend. I know the reason this is hard is often due to economic reasons. If that’s the case, ask the conference director about scholarships. Or about working for your tuition. Back when I was just starting, I couldn’t afford to pay for a conference, so I volunteered driving conferees back and forth to the airport. Another option is to see if your church will pay your way. After all, for most of us, writing is a ministry. Pray the money in. Just do what you can to be there.

Okay, there are just five steps to take to begin planning to succeed as a writer. Add more as necessary. When you set these five in motion, go get creative again.

If all this makes writing sound like a job….bingo! A pleasurable job to be sure, but a job and a calling nonetheless.

Taking off my drill sergeant’s hat now.

YOUR TURN: Do you have more trouble turning on the right side of your brain (the creative side) or turning it off?

Conference Discounts

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Unbeatable Value and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference~One and the Same:

But wait, there’s still more . . . TWO DISCOUNTS!

dollar sign with Save

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ~ Register by February 1st and receive $75 OFF!

WRITERS’ GROUP DISCOUNT ~ Register with a group of 5 or more and save $50 each! Call 888.642.2677 for group registration.

Scholarships ~ The Family of God Reaching Out

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Meet Kay Strom, Author and Novelist! To Read the full bio for Kay Strom, click here.

Kay Strom

Part of the conference Resource Team, Kay plan to join us March 27-31, 2015 to lead the Returners’ Reunion, critique manuscripts, and meet with writers in the Hospitality Center.

 

Guest Blogger: Kay Marshall Strom

The Family of God Reaching Out

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer.

Pencils image

 

My first book met with great success—Tommy the Tuna, written in fourth-grade cursive and stapled inside a green construction paper cover decorated with a lopsided pieced-together fish. My classmates voted it best class book. Like Tommy, I was hooked!

My writing was waylaid by college. And marriage. And teaching. And motherhood. Yet my desire never faded. When my friend Sharon told me about the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, I knew it was meant for me!

I made myself a writers conference bank. Whenever I got a substitute teaching job, I put part of my pay in that bank. When my friends asked me to go to lunch, I ordered a snack and the money I saved went into that bank. My excitement grew with each coin or dollar bill I dropped in. Five months until the conference! I could save enough by then.

Except that my husband suddenly lost his job. One month passed, then two months, then three and still no job. Our savings were fast dwindling. With tears in my eyes, I told Sharon I wouldn’t be going.

“Why don’t you apply for a campership?” she suggested.

Now, I practically grew up at Mount Hermon. Friends owned a cabin, so my family went for two weeks every summer, and periodically throughout the year. I met my first boyfriend there. Got my first kiss under a redwood tree I can still point out. I celebrated my birthday there every year from the time I was four until I was eighteen. The only banana splits of my life came from the fountain there. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Mount Hermon. But I had never heard of camperships.

“Like a scholarship,” Sharon explained, “only it goes toward the cost of the writers conference. Anyone who needs help can apply.”

Hmmm. A tempting idea. But I felt bad about accepting people’s hard earned money. Surely there were others who needed it more than I did.

“People give to the fund because they want to make it possible for others to attend the conference,” Sharon said. “It’s the family of God reaching out a helping hand to one another.”

With Sharon’s encouragement, I hesitantly applied. The campership I received, added to the money in my conference bank, totaled $6 more than I needed. More than enough to buy a banana split at the Snack Shack!

My first book sale came out of that conference.

Have you always wanted to write? Are you eager to learn the craft in a Christian context? To meet editors and agents who are there to meet you? To share with others who have a passion for writing? To be encouraged, and be encouraging?

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference 2015 just may be the conference that will change your life. And if money is standing in your way, take my friend Sharon’s advice: Let the family of God reach out a helping hand.  Maybe next year, you can reach out to another writer in the making!

A NOTE FROM MONA: Might receiving a campership/scholarship for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference make it possible for you to join us at Mount Hermon in March? If so, please email chelsea.ching@mounthermon.org to ask for an application.

 

YOUR TURN: Have you ever received a Mount Hermon campership/scholarship? Did it make a difference in your life?

 

Bridges Can Burn

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Our Faculty Guest is a Literary Agent and President of Steve Laube Agency ~ Steve Laube. Click here to read the full bio for Steve Laube.

Steve Laube

 

Steve will join us at the conference, March 27-31, 2015, to review manuscripts, meet with writers, teach one afternoon workshop and co-teach another. Click here to view the workshop summaries for Landmines in Your Book Contract and Planning Your Book Launch.

Blogger: Steve Laube

The sale of Thomas Nelson to HarperCollins and the sale of Heartsong to Harlequin brought to mind a critical piece of advice:

Never Burn a Bridge!

 

Ours is a small industry and both editors and authors move around with regularity. If you are in a business relationship and let your frustration boil into anger and ignite into rage…and let that rage descend on someone in the publishing company, you may end up burning a bridge. And that person who you vented on might someday become the head of an entire publishing company.

True Story

A salesman got into a verbal altercation with the buyer for a major chain. The salesman stormed out and called his boss asking to be taken off the account so that he would never have to talk to that buyer again. A month later the salesman’s company hired that buyer as the salesman’s new boss. (Yikes!)

A, B, C, D, & E (and beyond)

Scenario based on a true story: An author was so frustrated with her editor she wrote a scathing letter to the publisher (A) dressing down the entire editorial staff. The next year that editor moved to a different publisher (B) and when that author’s proposal was presented at a meeting, the editor relayed to the publishing team (B) the volatility of that writer.

Soon the writer was with a new publisher (C) because she was so mad with her previous publisher. Everything was great…until something set the writer off. She again melted down and with a scorched earth method set every relationship on fire…and watched it burn. A year later the marketing at this publisher (C) moved to a new opportunity at another publisher (D). And shortly thereafter the editor (C) became an editorial director at yet another publisher (E).

You see the pattern? There are technically five publishers that were burned by this author, two by action, three by proxy. Each bridge fell into the river. And guess what, this writer is now mad at her publisher (C) but is having trouble finding a new home.

A Last Example

When working as an editor I had an agent call me on the phone and berated me and our company for about five minutes. Most of the monologue was done by shouting. The agent concluded their rant by demanding to talk to our Vice President. So I called the VP with a warning and transferred the call. I later asked how the call went. My VP said everything was all peaches and cream, so why did I need to issue a warning? It became obvious that this agent just wanted to get past me to talk to “someone important,” i.e. a real decision maker. Suffice it to say I knew something about that agent that stuck with me…especially after I was promoted and became a “real decision maker.”

(Don’t ask who I have been talking about, it is irrelevant. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and have seen a lot of things happen over a long period of time.)

What Do You Do When Things Go Wrong?

1. Talk to your agent.  Your agent’s inbox or phone line should be a safe place to vent. Do not vent to your critique group, to your writing friends, on Twitter, or Facebook, or your blog. Talk to someone you can trust. You might actually be wrong in your frustration and don’t know that what you are experiencing is supposed to happen that way. Every agent will concur that a big part of our job is helping our clients measure their frustration in a professional manner.

[[I’ve spoken to authors who did not have an agent and things had gone wrong with their publisher. Things that could have been easily prevented with a good contract or a solid relationship with the company. These authors now want an agent to come in and fix things. Often it is too late. So, at the risk of sounding self-serving, this is one really good reason to have an agent from the beginning.]]

2. Own the anger, but don’t let it control. It is foolish to deny that you are frustrated. But letting emotion control your actions is not a good idea.

3. Write out your thoughts and send it to your agent in an email but only if you can trust the agent not to forward it to anyone. Better yet, call your agent and read it over the phone. You are a writer! Use your gift to express your thoughts. Sometimes that is enough and you will never have to hit the “send” button. What I have done on occasion is ask that the client to write the “Angry Letter” but send it to me and only me. Many times I can edit the tone and the words and put the language in “publisher’s speak” so that everyone’s situation is respected and frustration expressed firmly but without anger.

4. Beware of bitterness or distrust. I read so many blogs from authors, both Christian and in the general market, who love to tell their tales of woe, and then conclude that all publishers and editors are evil.

Remember that people make mistakes. And sometimes businesses make business decisions that affect you negatively. I understand. I’ve been fired from a job with no warning before, I understand. But it can only become worse if you let that pain fester inside like an infection. Your craft will suffer and your calling as a writer will be stunted.

5. Remember Colossians 3:12-13 where Paul wrote: “Put on…compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

By the way…

I said never burn a bridge. But I didn’t say you can’t light them on fire. There are times where you need to make a stand for what is right or point out an error. It is how you make that information known that determines whether or not that bridge can still be used the next morning. But that may be a good post for another day.

http://www.stevelaube.com/never-burn-a-bridge/

You Will Have to Neglect Something

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Meet another one of our esteemed faculty members ~ Joseph Bentz, a freelance author and an English Professor at Azusa Pacific University. 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.

Blogger: Joseph Bentz

You Will Have to Neglect Something—Make Your Choice

How big a place in your life should writing be given?

That question frequently comes up at writers conferences like Mount Hermon. When you’re surrounded by writers who are constantly pitching this and that to agents and editors, it’s easy to think writing should be everything. As you look around at other writers, it’s easy to feel guilty that you haven’t written more or published more, but it’s important to put writing in perspective.

Writing is important, and most of us could do it better, but writing isn’t everything. It is one part of life that should take its proper place among other priorities. But how do you determine what that place is?

cat at keyboard

I used to think that if only I could get organized enough and follow the right disciplines, I could find a way to fulfill my goals and obligations in my personal and professional life without having to leave work undone or relationships unsatisfied.

I no longer believe that. I now believe that time and energy are so limited that I will have to neglect something important to me. I simply have to choose what that will be. Will I write less than I want to? Will I devote less time to my family than I want to? Less time to my church? Less time to my students?

The Limits of Our Attention

A writers group I am part of studied the book, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In one section, the author discusses the idea that attention is a limited resource but crucial to creativity. Since we have only so much of it, we must decide where we’re going to put it. Then he makes this memorable point:

“Another consequence of limited attention is that creative individuals are often considered odd—or even arrogant, selfish, and ruthless. It is important to keep in mind that these are not traits of creative people, but traits that the rest of us attribute to them on the basis of perceptions. When we meet a person who focuses all of his attention on physics or music and ignores us and forgets our names, we call that person ‘arrogant’ even though he may be extremely humble and friendly if he could only spare attention from his pursuit.” (10)

Creativity book Joe quoted

As we pursue our passions, few of us want to be perceived as selfish, arrogant people who care only about our writing or our music or our art or whatever other work we feel called to do. Better to be a generous, well-rounded person who cares about others but also makes a meaningful contribution to our field. However, with the truly creative person who brings about a groundbreaking change in a domain, Csikszentmihalyi writes that “it is practically impossible to learn a domain deeply enough to make a change in it without dedicating all of one’s attention to it and thereby appearing to be arrogant, selfish, and ruthless to those who believe they have a right to the creative person’s attention” (10).

During the 2012 Olympics, one TV commercial showed athletes training vigorously, and in voice-overs they told some of life’s pleasures they had given up for their sport: “I haven’t eaten a dessert in two years,” says one athlete, and others told of giving up television, burgers, etc. The list they gave focused mostly on trivial pleasures, but I’m sure many of them also sacrificed more important things also, such as spending time with family, hanging out with friends, and so on.

At certain points in life, I have practiced the kind of focused discipline those athletes are talking about. While I was still single and in graduate school trying to finish my dissertation, I gave up television for a couple years, dedicated one room of my apartment to nothing but a computer and dissertation materials, and set rigid hours for working on the project until it was finished. Even now, when I write a book, I commit to working on it at least a little every day until it is finished.

Deciding Where to Set the Limits

As a writer today, I am willing to sacrifice for my passion, but I will go only so far. I believe all of us make trade-offs, but we don’t always knowingly make them. Often we simply slide into letting things get out of balance in one direction or another.

The choice I knowingly make now is that I am not willing to sacrifice my family for my work. When my son says, “Let’s go play soccer in the backyard,” I go. I take him and his sister to their sports practices. I take long walks with my wife. I have more writing projects than I can ever complete. I want to get to them. I do the best I can with those projects, and I get some of them done. But I know that I will simply have to neglect some of them.

My teaching also holds me back. So does my church. So do my friends. So do my other interests. So be it. I care about those things and intend to give each of them some of my Attention. When I teach American literature, I sometimes teach authors who had writing as their only priority, even when it brought shipwreck to their personal lives. They were creative people. They made a contribution to literature. The cost was high.

For me, writing has an important place, but as much as I love it, it doesn’t get all of me.

 

YOUR TURN: What have you given up to write? And if you haven’t given up anything yet, what are you considering giving up for more time and attention to devote to writing?

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

 

Procrastination: Win the Battle

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Our Faculty Guest is an Author, Blogger, and Editor of indeed magazine and Pathways Magazine (Walk Thru the Bible) ~ Chris Tiegreen. Click here to read the full bio for Chris Tiegreen.

Chris Tiegreen

 

Chris will join us at the conference, March 27-31, 2015, to review manuscripts, meet with writers, and teach two afternoon workshops. Click here to view the workshop summaries for Breakfast with Your Readers and I Blog, Therefore I Am.

Blogger: Chris Tiegreen

Win the Battle Against Procrastination

Imagine your first dive off the diving board. Scary, wasn’t it? If you’re like most people, you stood there a while and tried to work up the nerve.

People were watching, so backing away wasn’t an option. And standing there longer wasn’t going to make the height any shorter, the water any more inviting, or your nerves any calmer. So why did you stand there? Because you felt emotionally unprepared. And there was a payoff for putting it off. You gained some comfort for the moment by postponing the discomfort of the future.

Procrasination Photo

 

Procrastinating as a writer can be like that. It’s delaying the inevitable, but somehow the inevitable seems safer later than now. Yes, the writing may be more difficult when the deadline gets tighter, but in the moment you’re not doing it, it isn’t difficult at all.

Every writer knows procrastination well. We all do it. We know we do it. It’s not complicated. No one needs to set up the concept for you. So diving right in, the question isn’t whether you procrastinate as a writer. The question is why you’re doing it and how to get over it. Actually, how you get over it is the only question between those two that really matters. But knowing why you do it can help you overcome it.

So why do you procrastinate in your writing? Very simply, you don’t want to be writing right now. Maybe you don’t have the energy, or perhaps you’re burned out. Maybe you really do need a break, and procrastinating is the only way to get it. Still, if a deadline nears and you don’t have words on a page, that’s a problem.

Here’s where you have to be really honest with yourself and tell yourself some basic truths. And you may have to be persistent with them:

1)  Putting this project off will not make it go away. You will have to do it sometime, and no matter how much better “later” looks, it isn’t. Looking back, you’ll be very glad you jumped in when you did.

2)  Projects look more overwhelming at the beginning than the do in the middle. And certainly more than they do at the end. The only way not to feel overwhelmed is to start and keep going. There’s no other way to get around it.

3)  You want the exhilaration of being done. You can imagine how great it will feel. There’s only one way to get that feeling, and you know what it is. Think of how you’ll feel when it’s over, and use that energy to get going.

4)  What you’re writing will help someone. No one would have hired you to do it—or you wouldn’t have come up with the idea for it—if it were pointless. Somewhere, somehow, it’s needed.

Telling yourself those truths—again and again—will help get you started. Why? Because procrastination is an emotional issue, and these truths help defuse negative emotions and put positive ones around your project.

So dive right in. If the beginning seems too difficult, begin with the middle and add an intro later if you need to. Just begin. Because starting is the hardest part, and finishing is the best part. Procrastination doesn’t get you there. Starting does. And that’s not nearly as scary as it seems.

 

YOUR TURN: Are you battling procrastination? Ever have a problem with it? Have any suggestions to add to Chris’s?

Branding: A Bad Word?

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Welcome to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Blog!

I’m glad you stopped by. And what good timing, too. Our first 2015 Faculty Guest Post!

Our guest is a Literary Agent and President of Books and Such Literary Management ~ Janet Kobobel Grant. Click here to read Janet Grant’s complete (and amazing) bio.

Janet Kobobel Grant Books and Such Literary Management

 

Janet Kobobel Grant will join us at the conference, March 27-31, 2015, to review manuscripts, meet with writers, and to co-teach a workshop with Davis Bunn and Laura Christianson. Click here to view the workshop summary for Planning Your Book Launch: Q & A.

And now . . . on we go to read Janet Kobobel Grant’s controversial (or at least thought-provoking) post.

Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant

Branding: A Bad Word?

Hello, Mount Hermon Writers!

I know, I know, some of you have heard about branding so often that your ears flap shut when the word is uttered. But this topic seems to keep popping up, even if it isn’t invited into the conversation.

colored pencils Branding Image

 

Is branding a “bad” word? One that you can’t bring yourself to care about? Or is it a word that can help you to breakout of your current status (be that mid-list or trying to break into publishing)? My answer is…it’s both a bad word and a good word.

Recently I was chatting with a woman at a recent Mount Hermon Writers Conference who is unpublished but makes her living as a marketer. She clearly was savvy about how to position her projects. But the problem was that she had written a romance and a nonfiction book that would appeal to a specific, broad, and easily-located readership. Her question to me was: “Am I shooting myself in the foot by presenting to editors two very different types of writing?”

My answer: “I don’t think so.”

Here’s my reasoning:

While some people are born “branded” and know who their audience is and how to reach it, most writers enter the world of publishing not sure of the direction they should go. I advise those people to knock on all doors to see which one will open. It’s a simple matter of The Open Door Policy. Once you land a contract, you can think about focusing on branding.

Receiving a contract offer means you have put together a project that the publisher believes will find a ready audience, is tightly focused, and that you have the means to help to publicize. It’s a thumb up on all fronts!

This particular conferee had presented her fiction and nonfiction projects to a variety of editors and 100% of the editors requested to see the project. Now, here’s the smart action point the writer took: She only presented one project to each editor rather than talking about both projects.

Why was that smart? Because, if she had presented both, she would have looked as if she were flailing around to grab publishing’s attention anyway she could. She would have looked unbranded.

This writer could, and I believe would, put all of her focus on whichever project ended up with a contract being offered. She had the know-how and the passion to pursue either. That’s the crux of branding; it’s a combo of walking through the door that opens and remaining true to your passion.

Two dangers exist in presenting more than one project at a time:

  1. You could find both projects are happily received by different publishing companies. While that sounds great, two giant, golden-egg-laying geese have just landed in your lap. Now you have to write and market two projects, with two different audiences, at two different publishing houses, and figure out how to brand yourself while you’re going in two directions. It’s like starting two businesses simultaneously.
  2. You could distract yourself from purposefully branding yourself and becoming known as a certain type of writer to editors. Editors and agents have awfully good memories about what you’ve pitched them in the past. So if you pitch a nonfiction book to an editor one year and a fiction title next year, that editor is likely to remember…and to wonder if you “get” the importance of branding.

I also would advise against having more than two genres you’re working in because it’s very difficult to write middle-grade fiction, adult fiction, and adult nonfiction. Well, it might not be hard to write in several genres, but it’s only the extraordinary person who can effectively market in all of them. Most authors struggle with how to write fast and well and to aggressively market their books and develop a significant platform–all of which are requirements in today’s competitive publishing world.

YOUR TURN! Do you write in one genre? Did Janet Grant’s “take” on Branding give you pause when it comes to switching genres? 

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

Follow us on Facebook

Tweet and Retweet us on Twitter #MHwriters2015

Follow us on Pinterest

 

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?

 

Two Writers Faculty with the Lord

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Ethel Herr and Barbara Curtis, friends, writers, and long-time members of the faculty at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, both died on October 30.  Ethel died in Sunnyvale, CA, after a lingering multi-year battle with cancer.  Barbara died of a hemorrhagic stroke in Loudoun, VA.

Ethel was one of two surviving faculty members who were at the first Mount Hermon Writers Conference, 44 years ago.  She was a busy writer, coach, and mentor.  Her surviving husband, Walter, also assisted at the Conference for many years.  Her memorial service is set for 1:30 pm on Sunday, November 11, at the Valley Church in Cupertino, CA.  A web site has details: ethel.herr.cc.

Barbara Curtis, 64, was the author of over 150 articles, author of nine books, and mother to 12 children, with five of them still at home.  Her family has posted a link to a picture tribute, which can be accessed through her web site at mommylife.net, then click on Tribute Video.  A fund to help with the support of her surviving children has been established  as The MommyLife Memorial Fund, P. O. Box 682, Lovettsville, VA 20180.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Mount Hermon Book of Remembrance at PO Box 413, Mount Hermon, CA 95041.  Family will be notified of gifts (dollar amounts are not revealed).

Ethel Herr . . . an Amazing Woman, Author, Friend.

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Over the weekend, I read on author Robin Gunn’s Facebook that Ethel Herr is now on hospice.  I asked Robin if I could use her comments here as so many of you know and love Ethel.  She has been a part of Mount Hermon Writers Conferences for years, longer than anyone else I know.  She has fought cancer for the past years, and her doctor has seen the hand of God in her life because she lived it before him.  Robin says it so well . . .

Yesterday I received a call from the daughter of my dearly loved writing mentor. “We’ve called in hospice,” she said. “The cancer has spread and now her liver is failing. It won’t be long.”

I closed my eyes and tried to imagine a world without the vibrant, constant presence of my unsung heroine and longtime friend, Ethel Herr. It could not be. It should not be.

Ethel was the one who initiated our relationship at a writer’s conference decades ago. She didn’t know that her warm greeting would spark an undying affection in my novice heart. I’m sure she never expected that I would politely track her down before the conference was over and nervously beg to be included in the critique group that met in her home. How gracious she was to let me come to visit the closed group and share what I’d been writing.

“It’s a novel for teens,” I explained to the five experienced writers who viewed me at that first gathering with what I interpreted to be masked scowls. “The girls in the youth group are helping me write it. But it’s not going well. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Ethel asked me to read the first three pages. I did. She gave a quick scan of the other faces in the circle and said to me, “You definitely have some work to do. Let’s do it together. Come the first Wednesday of every month. We work from nine to three. Be prompt and bring a sack lunch.”

For the next six years I arranged for a babysitter and drove an hour each way in order to “put my feet beneath the table” as Ethel called it. Her Parts of Speech Critique Group rejoiced with me when my daughter was born. They rejoiced even more when the first Christy Miller book was published. Then the work began in earnest as they lovingly helped me shape the rest of the series, carefully critiquing each chapter.

During those years I know that Ethel put aside her own writing many times so that I might receive the extra attention my current chapter needed that month. Much of her energy was spent as a full time caregiver for both her mother and her grandmother who lived with Ethel and her husband at that time. Her three children were grown and married. She spoke of them with such affection that I felt I knew her son and daughters without having met them. She loved all things Dutch and every spring the gathering table was adorned with a bouquet of tulips cut from her backyard.

When our family moved to Portland my visits with Ethel became scattered but always sacred. Her love of history was kept alive every spring when she came to Multnomah Bible College to present the Ethel Herr award to a history graduate for outstanding achievement. Her gift for mentoring writers was exercised heartily each year at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference.  She was always ready to stop, listen and linger.

I think Ethel viewed people as forests; magnificent forests with all kinds of fascinating things growing and running about. Conversations to her were the paths through those forests. Along every path lay eternal truth just waiting to be discovered. She was never timid to enter any forest no matter how overgrown, shadowed or foreboding it seemed. She believed in the nuggets of deep value hidden in every forest and her tenacious spirit would not stop until she found that treasure and held it up in the light. The sense of wonder at the discovery was always mutual.

When Ethel’s daughter gave me the update yesterday I suddenly felt lost. How could there be a world without Ethel?  But then I could see her Ethel’s face. I could easily imagine my forever friend lingering on this side of heaven with a childlike expression of anticipation for what awaits her when she enters the presence of our Glorious Redeemer. She will be the treasure that his nail-pierced hand plucks from the shadowy overgrowth of this fallen planet. He will bathe her in His radiant light. The wonder of it all will be revealed.  And at last she will fully be where her heart has always been; in the palm of His hand.

But oh, how she will be missed.

Right before Ethel’s daughter hung up yesterday she said to me, “I don’t know if my mom ever told you, but my daughter loves your books. Especially the Christy Miller series.”

I could barely swallow her closing words. What an exquisite elixir of joy and pain when a full circle is completed in such a way as this.

Ethel’s daughter, Martha, said the doctor told Ethel she could do anything she wanted from this point on.  She informed him she wanted to eat lots of cookies and ice cream.  Sounds just like her, doesn’t it?

Lissa Halls Johnson is collecting comments from writers who have been inspired by Ethel over the years. She’ll be sending the compilation on to the family.  So if you wanted to add those here, I’ll be sending this link to her so she can pull comments from it for that purpose.

I’m sure the family would appreciate prayer as they travel these next days together.

Rachel

WRITERS CONFERENCE ONLY SIX MONTHS AWAY

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Plans for our 2013 Writers Conference, March 22-26, are in progress with faculty being invited and copy being written for a November 1 “go live” date on the website.  So much happens at Writers Conference it’s hard to put into succinct words, so I’ve asked one of our faculty, B.J. Taylor, Guideposts magazines representative, to write a bit about what the conference means to her.

“From the fledgling beginning ten years ago when I was too shy to ask for an appointment with anyone, to an faculty appointment sheet now filled with snack shoppe meetings with writers, Mount Hermon is the single most important conference on my yearly schedule. It is where I refresh, revitalize, and review how far I have come.

As a faculty member I have the opportunity to teach what I have learned.  It is my goal to keep my students in mind as I develop each class and provide them information they can keep in their writer’s toolbox to further develop their skills. I delight in meeting with writers who need a little encouragement, support, or motivation.  Mount Hermon Writers Conference addresses the needs of the attendees in every possible way, from open critique sessions, numerous class options, panel discussions, general sessions and even night owl meetings for those who want even more.  It’s a full service conference at it’s best.”

Couldn’t say it better myself.

Do you know someone who should be here for Writers? Encourage them to register November 1. And don’t forget to start working on gathering a group of your writing friends so that you get the group discount (10 or more).  Teens, remember there’s a wonderful track just for you, this year taught by a awesome young couple, Caleb and Brittney Breakey.  You’re going to learn a lot and have a blast at the same time.  McNair Wilson will be our keynote speaker.  His background in writing, theater, creative thinking and public speaking will make your head swim, but he’s down to earth and very entertaining.  It’s what you’ll need at the end of days filled with information.  And of course, Dave Talbott’s MC’ing and piano playing will revive your souls at the same time.  You’ll be glad you came for all the write reasons!

Capture an Agent and/or Editor’s Attention AND Calm Your pre-conference Nerves

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

FaithLitChat on Twitter TONIGHT Thursday 3.15 6-7pm PST

Wordserve agent Barbara Scott, multi-published author (fiction and non) Mary DeMuth, and more will join us on Twitter TONIGHT with tips, techniques and how-tos to help showcase your manuscript in the best way possible. Learn how to present your pitch, plus—the one thing you must never EVER do.

And… thanks to Mary DeMuth, we have MORE PRIZES!

While you’re desperately awaiting tonight’s life-changing event, check out Mary DeMuth’s Queries Now: You Can Write One Today! and literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s: Secrets of a Great Pitch.

Utilize Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method and agent Steve Laube’s Say it in a Sentence to develop a solid one-sentence summary—then bring your tweetable pitch TONIGHT.

And please—help spread the word by sharing the link to this blog wherever writers gather!

If you’ve never joined a Twitter chat before, do not despair. It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4-5

1)                     Log into your Twitter account

2)                     Go to tweetchat.com

3)                     Click Sign In (the top right corner)

4)                     Click authorize app

5)                     At the top of the screen is a box labeled Enter Hashtag to Follow, type in FaithLitChat (# sign not necessary)

**To the right of each tweet are icons for Replying and Retweeting

So, what’s This Buddy System All About?

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

by Jeanette Hanscome

 

This week I am tackling one of my favorite parts of the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference—matching first-time registrants with their pre-conference buddies.

Maybe you’ve heard of this program, known as the Buddy System. You might be wondering . . .

What is the Buddy System?

Think of the Buddy System as a pre-conference mentoring program. If you ask to be part of it, you will have someone to answer your pre-conference questions, help you set realistic goals and understand what to expect, pray for you, and offer pointers on pitching ideas to editors, choosing workshops and getting the most out of the conference. You will also have someone to check in with during the conference.

I want a buddy. How can I get one?

If you are attending the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference for the first time and want a buddy, contact me at jeanettehanscome@sbcglobal.net and ask me to add you to the list.

How does one qualify to be a buddy?

If you want to serve as a buddy, the only requirement is that you have attended the conference at least once. If you don’t feel ready to offer tips on approaching editors and submitting book proposals, don’t let that stop you. There are ways for you to help. I need a lot of buddies!

Is serving as a buddy time consuming?

Serving as a buddy mostly involves answering questions via e-mail, offering guidance as needed, and helping your first-timer feel welcome. Newbies are encouraged to step out and enjoy the conference once they arrive, so other than attending the Friday night Meet & Greet and checking in with your first-timer(s) partway through the weekend, serving will not interfere with your personal conference goals. Those who serve as buddies say that it is extremely rewarding and fun. Think of it as a way of giving back and offering someone else the encouragement and guidance that you needed as a newbie. To sign up as a buddy or find out more, e-mail me at jeanettehanscome@sbcglobal.net.

“Have I missed the deadline?”

I am matching first-timers with buddies this week, but you can still contact me after that. Even if you sign up for the conference at the last minute, feel free to e-mail me. While you might not have time to benefit from pre-conference mentoring, I have some helpful resources for you.

With all that the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference has to offer, how could coordinating a buddy program be one of your favorite parts?

A friend and I started the Buddy System several years ago as a way of giving back to the conference that had given us so much. It has been fun to watch the program grow and see God use it to form friendship and help writers gain confidence. It is especially exciting when former first-timers start serving as buddies.

So if you were a newbie last year, I would love to hear from you!

Tulips and Daffodils and Writers Conferences, Oh My!

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

 

Writers Conferences are popping up everywhere—what’s a writer to do?

 

Join #FaithLitChat and get your questions answered!

 

Should you attend any of them?

Which one?

Why?

At what point in your writing career?

Which conference will best suit your individual needs?

And how, oh how, can you justify the expense?

 

#FaithLitChat, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference’s first-ever Twitter chat is on for Thursday, February 23rd from 6-7pm PST. Aka: TOMORROW NIGHT!

Authors James Scott Bell, Mary DeMuth and a host of Christian Publishing pros (agents and editors included) will be available to discuss conference etiquette, tips and how-tos and answer your specific publishing questions. Plus… there will be PRIZES.

 

Join #FaithLitChat for a chance to win!!


A 15-minute phone consultation with literary agent Barbara Scott of WordServe Literary. Pitch your project or pick her brains—the choice is yours!

A 5-10 page (double spaced) non-fiction critique by author Jan Kern of the Mount Hermon critique team.

A 20 page (double spaced) fiction critique—and a free 30 minute follow-up conversation—with novelist Ginny Yttrup.

Plus, books, books, books and more!!

 

If you’ve never joined a Twitter chat before, do not despair. It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4-5

1)                     Log into your Twitter account

2)                     Go to tweetchat.com

3)                     Click Sign In (the top right corner)

4)                     Click authorize app

5)                     At the top of the screen is a box labeled Enter Hashtag to Follow, type in FaithLitChat (# sign not necessary)

**To the right of each tweet are icons for Replying and Retweeting

 

It’s possible #FaithLitChat will become a regular event so be sure to tune in and give us your thoughts on future topics!

 

Sacred Ground or 7 Things I learned in my 17 Year Journey to Publication

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

by Ginny L. Yttrup

Author GInny Yttrup

When I step onto the grounds of Mount Hermon this spring for the annual Christian Writers Conference, I’ll do so knowing I’m treading on sacred ground. It isn’t just the rich history of Christian ministry that’s taken place there over the last 100+ years—nor is it the grandeur of creation—the redwoods standing as sentries declaring the glory of God. Those are simply the backdrops against which God fulfills dreams dreamt in accordance with His will. And that, in my mind, is sacred territory.

20 years ago, I was a shy, insecure 30 year old with a husband and two toddlers back at home. I’d barely graduated from high school and hadn’t attended college, instead choosing to marry at 19. All I brought with me to that first writers conference was a dream. Lord, I’d love to be a writer, I’d confessed earlier that year.

Year after year, I returned to the conference. And year after year, my knowledge increased. Everything I now know about writing, I learned through the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference—knowledge garnered through the many workshops I attended or through the relationships I built.

When I reached 47 years of age, I was still dreaming the same dream. But now, the husband was gone, the toddlers were grown, and for the first time in my adult life I was staring at the daunting task of having to provide for myself, and my future. I was dependent on God as never before—which is a frightening, and oh so glorious position. It’s also sacred ground.

Two weeks into my new adventure with God, I received an email from my agent, Steve Laube, who I’d met through the conference. The email simply said, Call me. I was in transition, with my life crashing around me, and I’d neglected to give Steve my new phone number. I picked up the phone that morning and heard the news that God was finally fulfilling my dream. But not only fulfilling it, He was exceeding it.

By the time I hung up the phone, I’d verbally accepted a three-book offer with B&H Publishing Group. Not one book, but three, with advances, actual money, attached to each book. And, I’d be working with my dream editor, Karen Ball.

Just remembering that morning leaves me speechless all over again.

Last December, I signed a second three-book contract with B&H Publishing Group. While we all know writers don’t make enough to live on, I’ve lived the last two years working as a full-time author. I’m not sure how that’s worked, but I choose not to look at the numbers too often and instead trust that God is again exceeding my expectations.

Speaking of numbers, yes, it was 17 years before God fulfilled my dream. But those were not wasted years.

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1)   If God has planted the seed of a dream in your heart, it will take root and flourish.

2)   God will equip and prepare you for the fulfillment of your dream.

3)   At some point, God will ask you to surrender your dream to Him. For the dream is never more important than the One who planted the dream.

4)   God acts in His time and His way, always with your best in mind.

5)   If you are chasing the will of God, you will encounter obstacles. Perseverance isn’t optional.

6)   God is in the business of doing exceedingly abundantly more than we expect.

7)   Exceedingly and Abundantly are ly adverbs and using ly adverbs breaks the rules of writing. It has something to do with telling versus showing.

 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory…

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

 

I hope to see you walking the sacred ground of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this spring.

Ginny L. Yttrup is the author of Words and Lost and Found, both of which released to rave reviews. She is working to complete her third novel with B&H Publishing Group, and is contracted for three more after that. She is a child of God, mother, friend, and obsessive pet-lover. She attended her first Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference 20 years ago, when she was just 5 years old. 🙂

 

42 Days

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

42 Days

Till you are bathed in Liz Curtis Higgs‘ encouragement and humor

 

42 Days

Till you are surrounded by God’s presence, His people, His creation

 

42 Days

Till you connect with major publishers and the industry’s most respected literary agents

 

42 Days

Till professional writers pour themselves into you and your manuscript

 

42 Days

Till you are fed, pampered and loved—dishes and laundry cease to exist

 

42 Days

Till you are one step closer to having your dreams come true

 

42 Days

Have you registered yet?

 

 

The Importance of Agents in Publishing

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Over the past years the importance of an agent representing the writer has increased geometrically.  Publishing houses depend more and more on agent recommendations and those who are successful have agents that work hard to get their names in front of acquisition teams.

This year at our  2012 Mount Hermon Writers Conference, EIGHT agents will be available to registrants, more than we’ve ever had.  Many have agented for multiple years and know the ropes well.  Janet Kobobel Grant, Steve Laube, Less Stobbe, Wendy Lawton, Diane Flegal have all been in the business for a long time and have well-known writers in their stables.  Karen Ball, Barbara Scott and Joel Kneedler have been in the publishing business for years and now have started agenting.  Their experience on both sides of the court is incredible.

Where else can you have access to so many agents in a limited space? Come get to know some of the best in the business and see what God will do with your writing through the connections available to you this year.  Check us out at www.mounthermon.org/writers.  Hope to see you in March.

Liz Curtis Higgs to Keynote Writers

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Have you heard who’s speaking at our 2012 Mount Hermon Writers Conference?  Well known speaker and author, Liz Curtis Higgs, has accepted our invitation to keynote, March 30-April 3, 2012.  Learn more about her at www.lizcurtishiggs.com.

Liz will make you hold your sides with laughter, motivate you in your writing, and make you think about spiritual things in light of your projects, all in the same breath.  If she was the only thing scheduled, it would be worth it, but there’s going to be much more . . .

Since the industry has recently been affected by e-books and self-publishing on the internet, we’re going to put more of an emphasis on finding out what’s involved in this area.  Learn from Advanced e-book authors, James Scott Bell and Randy Ingermanson, some intermediate e-book gurus, and some who have just tried it recently and been successful.  We hope to hit every level of writer in the process so you know what you’re getting into if you think this is what you’d like to do. 

But we aren’t forgetting the value of our book houses and editors of magazines, either.  Check out our faculty listing on the web www.mounthermon.org/writers to see who will be here to instruct you in the traditional art of publication.  There are some great ones coming.

And this year we have EIGHT agents as well.  In the past years agents have been the avenue for most successful writers being signed to contracts.   Have you even considered this?  Do you have a project that would warrant talking with an agent?  It’s worth a try, isn’t it?  This is a great spot to have that chance for networking with industry people.

Of course, there are the other intangibles that make this conference worth it’s price . . . connecting with other writers and finding encouragement and support, gaining instruction from our 8 Major Morning Tracks and the 40 afternoon workshops, enjoying some wonderful food around tables of eight, taking a break for a soul refreshing hike on our Sequoia Trail, or meeting an editor or a friend in the Snack Shop for a good talk and some awesome homemade ice cream. 

Spring is a spectacular time of year in California, so don’t forget a camera to capture the incredible beauty of the towering redwoods, the splashes of color from the Dogwood trees, or Azaleas and Rhodedendrun bushes.  It’s one of the best places on earth at the end of March!!  Particularly if you’re from the Midwest or further East–get out of the snow and join us!

The website goes live tomorrow morning, 8:00 PTS.  We look forward to having you here!

Start Making Plans for Writers Conference

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

There are only SEVEN more months before our 44th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference, March 30-April 3, 2012.  It’s going to be a doozey!  Is that a word?

Besides the normally wonderful parts of this conference–networking with other writers, getting to personally talk with book publishers, editors and agents–we’ll be pushing out a little, exploring alternative publishing with self-publishing, e-books etc.  Building on our past two years of instruction on marketing and doing publicity by social networking on the web, we’ll bring in experts to help you learn the how-to’s.

The need for great writing won’t be forgotten in the process, however.  You’ll have opportunity to learn from pros in the craft of writing, from Major Morning Tracks to optional hour long workshops in the afternoon.  Every level of  writer, be they beginning writer, intermediate or professional will have ample opportunity to learn a lot.

Liz Curtis Higgs

Liz Curtis Higgs

Our keynote speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, is well known for her motivational, humorous teaching, as well as a great fiction writer with many books published.  You’ll get that extra “push” each evening, along with great worship led by Mount Hermon’s own incomparable Dave Talbott, Host of the conference.  Many say the evening sessions feed their souls like no other place on earth.

Great food in the dining room along with the awesome glory of the Redwoods and flowering trees in March will be the backdrop of an incredible experience.  Come join several hundred other writers and see what God has to teach you this year!

We’ll leave the light on for ya . . .

Rachel Williams
Director, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference

Susanna Foth Aughtmon: My First Book Came Out of Mount Hermon

Posted by & filed under Writers Conference.

Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference is one of my favorite places on earth.  It is like Disneyland for the writer except with less rides and more editors.  You will find everything you need to know about the craft of writing here, along with insight into the writing market and the opportunity to make fantastic friends.

It is because of Mount Hermon’s unique ability to connect writer to agent and editor that after a ten year writing journey, my first book, All I Need Is Jesus and A Good Pair Of Jeans:The Tired Supergirl’s Search for Grace came out in 2009. Each time I attended the conference I came away feeling enriched, built up and excited to write.

Susanna Foth Aughtmon is a pastor’s wife and mother of three boys. She graduated from Bethany University with a BA in Social Science emphasizing psychology and early childhood education. After pursuing various careers, including starting her own organizing business, she decided to stay home as a full time mom. She assists her husband, Scott, in various ministries at Pathway Church, their church plant, in Palo Alto, California.

Writers Conference Web Binder Ready to Download

Posted by & filed under General, Writers Conference.

Writers conference is only a week and a half away!  Can it really be so close?  It takes all year to plan it, and 5 days to live it. Then it’s over for another year.  But don’t let me get ahead of myself. 

I just wanted to remind those of you who will be attending our conference this year that the binder is now on the website under “Forms”.  All the outlines for all the sessions are there, as well as the faculty photos and descriptions of their workshops.  Download everything you want in your own binder and bring it with you.  Or upload everything to your laptop and bring that with you to take notes on along side the outlines.  Unless you have the special pdf software that allows you to type on pdf’s, you’ll need to take notes on something other than the outlines if you bring the binder on your computer.  This is all in the hope of being good stewards of the beautiful trees in God’s gorgeous earth.  No more wasted paper and notebooks left after conference this way.

Can’t wait to have you here on campus, learning together and networking with each other.  We’ve got the lights on, and are looking for you!

Rachel