Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Reasons I Attend the Write-to-Publish Conference

I have attended the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL for more than ten years. AND I will attend the conference again this year.

Why would I attend the same writer's conference again - and again?
  1. Location - The Write-to-Publish Conference is on the campus of Wheaton College. It is a venue that is saturated in prayer. You sense that as you walk and pray. It is obvious that God's Holy Spirit is there filling, guiding, and encouraging attendees.
  2. Fellowship - I have made life-long writer friends at the conference. I look forward to hearing about their writing successes and prayer needs, as well as their personal news. Someone got married. Another had a baby. A third is moving. 
  3. Networking - Through WTP, I have made connections with established, published authors. They have become my mentors.
  4. Appointments - Each conferee has the opportunity to meet with editors and/or agents. The number of one-to-one appointments depends on the number of days that you attend the conference. The appointments are wonderful opportunities to share your work with an industry professional, as well as to get feedback and perhaps that nod to send your proposal to the publisher.
  5. Continuing classes - The conference offers ongoing classes for writers at every level of the writing journey. These classes meet daily during the conference. 
  6. Breakout sessions - In addition to the continuing classes, there are many breakout sessions. Just about every imaginable topic is covered. When I first attended the conference, every topic was new to me. Even now, I find many sessions to attend. There is something for every writer, at every level.
  7. CDs - Conferees can purchase CDs of sessions they miss as well as those they just want to hear again.
  8. Panels - Editors, agents, and freelance writers make up the panels sprinkled throughout the conference. Those listening should have pen and paper ready for an incredible amount of information.
  9. Accountability - I appreciate the accountability of attending the same conference annually. I am called to evaluate where I am in my own writing journey. Have I been true to the convictions I experienced the year before? What is God calling me to do in the upcoming year?
  10. Worship - Conferees gather every morning and evening for worship with author Cynthia Ruchti. In the evenings, a speaker (this year, Jesse Florea from Focus on the Family) addresses the spiritual side of writing. I tell people it is like a sermon for writers.
Will I see you at the Write-to-Publish Conference?

I now volunteer at the conference registration. Be sure to introduce yourself to me when you check in. Let's plan to share a meal and talk about the wonderful things God is doing with your calling as a writer.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Interview with Diane Stortz

I am very excited to share this interview with Diane Stortz. Diane is an author and former editorial director whose heart's desire is to "tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord" (Psalm 78:4). Her most recent release is I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

What is unique about this Bible storybook?
The focus of the book is on the names and descriptive titles of God in the Bible. So every story shows how either an Old Testament or New Testament name tells us more about who God is. For example, the story of Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, shows us that God is The LORD Who Heals. Each story also contains a short devotion about the name and what it means for a child's daily life. There's also a prayer, a "Learn More" section, and a "What Happened Next?" section that links all the stories together from Genesis through Revelation.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? 
"I'm not sure! Some time back, I was introduced to the idea of reading the Bible to get to know God -- as opposed to studying it for information or as rules to be followed. Since this book is designed to help children get to know God better, I suppose the idea actually began forming then.

You've written the Bible storybooks besides this one. Why is this type of book important to you?
I love creating engaging books based on the Bible that children want to return to again and again! An age-appropriate Bible storybook makes such a good entry point for children to engage with God's Word. When the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, he noted that Timothy's faith began with this mother and grandmother and with the Scripture they taught him: "From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Sometimes parents get introduced to God and the Word through a good Bible storybook too!

I hope you will take a few minutes to check out this lovely new book from Diane. It would make a perfect gift for a baby shower, birthday, or Easter!

I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God
ISBN-13: 9780529120663

I'd like to thank Diane for this interview and pray many blessings on her writing and the lives it will touch.