Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Friday, May 31, 2013

Enjoy the personal touch at St. Davids Christian Writers Conference

Grove City College quad
St. Davids Christian Writers Conference will be held at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., June 18-22

           You might expect a director of a Christian writing conference to sing its praises and encourage everyone to attend.  So let’s get that out of the way. 
The St. Davids Christian Writers’Conference is where you want to be the third week of June.  The reasons are many:  stellar faculty, informative workshops, networking and fun.
 But why are conferences important in this day of online learning?  Much is made of how you can access online courses on your own time, even in your jammies.  (An overrated selling point.)  I have benefitted from them.  They’re almost as good as face-to-face classroom interaction.
Online learning doesn’t fill our hunger for contact and connection.  I took notes as a voice from the computer speakers reviewed the Powerpoint and answered my typed questions.   Or I posted on a forum for the teacher and fellow students.  I never knew who “Dan” and “Holly” were.  My goal was to gain knowledge.  I did.
At St. Davids, we not only know your name, we remember your face, ask questions about your family, and encourage you to pursue the calling God has on your life.  We might even hold your hand, refill your coffee, or share a laugh. 
At St. Davids you are among like-minded people who understand the joys and frustrations of the art and business of writing.  Some have become my closest friends.   Everyone participates in a strong, family-like unit of sharing that undergirds the rest of our lives.    
Is that what you need?  Check out our website  I’ll see you in June!

Lora Zill
Director, St. Davids Christian Writers Conference  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Add on

to today's post: Check out the insightful interview with one of my favorite authors:

Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber on Faith and Writing

This should give you not-yet published authors out there some HOPE! It does me!

June Webinars

Christian Writers Guild will present two webinars in June:

June 4:
The Business Aspects of Being a Professional Writer, presented by Gary Hensley

June 13:
10 Research Tips for Authentic Fiction, presented by Janet Bly

AND . . . You have a chance to attend one of them for free! Click on the title of the webinar to take you to the webinar page on the Guild website and post a comment. In 40 words or less, say which one you would like to attend and why. Winners will be chosen at random by June 2. 

Webinars are a great way to learn the craft. They are convenient (you take the one-hour class in your own home via computer, either live or as a download), inexpensive (free if you're a Guild member and $25 if not--compare that to the cost of a conference, which includes travel, room, and meals), and interactive (you can post questions which are answered at the end).

Even better, if you're not a Guild member, why not become one? The benefits far outweigh the $99/year:
  • Free upcoming webinars
  • One free 1,500 word critique
  • Eligibility for the Operation First Novel contest
  • $225 discount on the 2013 Writing for the Soul conference
  • 20% discount on CWG merchandise from our online store
  • 10% discount on the CWG Critique Service and Elite Critiques
  • Access to Members Only section of website, including the membership directory, articles by mentors, writing opportunities, and more
Check it out at Christian Writers Guild Membership Information.

Or perhaps you're looking for a writing course to learn more about the publishing industry and to take your writing to the next level. Or maybe you're a beginner who needs guidance taking those first steps. The Guild offers a course for whatever level you're on, and with that course comes one-on-one mentoring with a writing professional and a membership for the duration of the course. For more information, visit the Courses section.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A writer's dream

Vickie Price Taylor
Vickie Price Taylor shares the time her writing dream came alive in her blog post for today, "That First Spark."

Click here to read it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What now? from guest blogger Brittany Valentine

Brittany Valentine
What now?
This was the question I asked myself as I neared the completion of the Christian Writers Guild’s Journeyman course. After three years of taking writing classes, I’d come to a crossroads.
Should I continue on to the Craftsman level? The intensive course would require a substantial amount of time and money and, honestly, did I really need one more class?
It was around this time that I received an e-mail from the Guild saying that the next Craftsman class was forming and if I wanted to be included, I would need to send off my application materials within the next month!
This was when I really started praying. Though I didn’t know what to do, I knew God did.
One by one, despite my hesitancy, things began to fall into place. The money, the time—I felt like God was literally giving me a push.
When I arrived for the Residency at the elegant Cliff House in Manitou Springs, Colorado, I had no idea how much those four short days would change my writing and me.
The first night of the Residency we were surprised by having to give our elevator pitch in front of the class and our teachers, an intimidating situation but one that stretched me and helped me to conquer my fears of talking about my novel.
From there we split into three groups for sessions with authors Dr. Dennis Hensley, Sandra Byrd also our mentor), and Jerry Jenkins. The sessions were personalized and interactive. What I learned was priceless.
Craftsman X Class

Not only were our teachers and the sessions simply amazing, but I found such a kindred spirit amongst my classmates. The unique setting and challenges knit us together in a special way. We sympathized with, rooted for, and encouraged one another. I have come away from the Residency with many dear, sweet friends.
And with the Lord’s help I made it through the Thick-Skinned Critique given by Jerry Jenkins himself. Wow, was that an experience! I will forever remember that clich├ęs are bad!
Looking back I am so glad that the Lord gave me that push and I am so glad that I could be a part of Craftsman class X.

Brittany Valentine
Visit Brittany's blog, "The Dash of a Pen"       



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Struggling with blah phrasing?

If you, like me, struggle with finding fresh phrasing for your prose, here's some advice from Andy Sheer on today's Christian Writers Guild blog.

Click here for "Well-turned Phrases."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Upcoming webinars

"It's not an editor's job to tell you what you're doing right or wrong. 
So let us provide that valuable service."
--Jerry Jenkins 

The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild will present two manuscript critique webinars this month:

Tuesday, May 7 (8-9 p.m. EDT): "Manuscript Makeover," presented by Dr. Dennis E. Hensley

To take your writing beyond your mom's fluffy compliments and your friends' pats on the head, join Doc Hensley for this incisive webinar.

Doc will critique anonymously submitted first pages of novels, short stories, articles, and nonfiction books. He pulls no punches, but his criticism is always constructive and kind. You will learn a lot from his evaluations.

Webinars are FREE for Guild members!

To sign up for this webinar, log in to your account at Add the webinar to your cart and go through the checkout process. Download the zipped file located in the 'My Webinars' section of your account, and follow the registration link.

$25 for nonmembers. Click here to register.

Weds., May 22 (8-9 p.m. EDT): "Thick-Skinned Fiction Critique," presented by Jerry B. Jenkins

This webinar is one of the Christian Writers Guild's most popular presentations. In it, Jerry evaluates the first page of each of six randomly selected fiction samples and shows you:

* the details editors always notice  
* how he would edit each sample  
* what works and what doesn't

While Jerry feels he owes each writer an honest and constructive critique, he is never unkind. All submissions remain anonymous.  

You can learn a lot from his observations and apply them directly to your writing, whether you send in a sample or not.  

To submit a fiction sample, follow these steps: 
  • Register for the webinar. 
  • Send your one-page fiction sample to by May 15. (Your submission will remain anonymous.)   
Submission Formatting Guidelines:  
  • Use Times New Roman font, 12 pt
  • Double space your copy (no extra space between paragraphs)
  • One space between sentences
  • Align left justification, not full
  • 1" top and bottom margins; 1.25" side margins
Jerry Jenkins is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 180 books, including the Left Behind series. His latest release is The Breakthrough (Tyndale), the third title in the Chicago-based Precinct 11 cop novel
This webinar will also be recorded and be made available through our website within two business days after the live event.

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 editing tips

Hop on over to Brittany Valentine's blog, The Dash of a Pen, for 5 great editing tips--sound advice, simply put! Click here.

I met Brittany, a talented young lady, at the Christian Writers Guild Craftsman class residency in Manitou Springs, Colorado, in March.