Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference
In a few short weeks I'll be heading out to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference where I will be on staff, representing WhiteFire Publishing as an acquisitions editor. This conference holds a special place in my heart, and so I wanted to take a few moments to share with you about it.
We pause for a commercial break....just kidding.
Blue Ridge is special to me for a number of reasons. Two years ago at this time I had never been to a writers conference. The idea scared the heck out of me, but I had been told repeatedly it was something I had to do if I wanted a writing career. Of all the conferences advertised online, Blue Ridge looked the most appealing with its relaxed mountain setting. In March of 2009, I had met a random Christian writer from Roanoke at a book festival, and so Allison and I decided we would bite the bullet together and attend Blue Ridge. Surely even for a die-hard introvert such as myself the conference couldn't be a complete nightmare with a roommate in tow.
Along the drive I followed the tips I had been given about attending conferences. I listened to worship music and prayed that God would direct my paths during the week. When I arrived hours before my security blanket Allison, the mountain scenery was every bit as gorgeous and relaxing as I had hoped. I braved a tour all on my own with business cards in hand, and within the first hour had already made a handful of friends. Allison joined me. We attended dinner and the opening meeting, and by bed time I realized--I had come home.
This conference was my mother ship!!!
After 38 years of walking the planet as a virtual alien, I had found my people. I wasn't shy in this setting. I could talk to anyone. I had more in common with that strange 65-year-old guy at the dinner table than with most of the women at my church. What fun! And the week just got better from there. I found my first agent. I figured out what was still wrong with my novel--enabling me to fix it before sending to said agent and therefore wow her. I was inspired by the speakers. I spent amazing time hiking and chilling in the prayer gardens next to the cool, gurgling mountain stream (okay, I admit it, sometimes in the cool, gurgling mountain stream ;) God even opened unexpected doors for me to minister to others.
By the time I came home I was brimming with energy and my career was at a whole new place. My husband said it was the best $500 he ever spent (oh, did I forget to mention this is one of the most affordable conferences around?)
So if you are a writer in any genre in need of encouragement, instruction, networking opportunities, spiritual refreshment, or even just a lot of fun, I recommend that you check out Blue Ridge this year.
What are you waiting for? I mean now...http://www.brmcwc.com/