Writers In Community

Posted on March 24, 2016 in Writing Life

Mount Hermon Conference Center

Mount Hermon Conference Center Grounds

People who write know it can be a lonely enterprise. Yet no one can successfully complete a novel or nonfiction book alone.

Writers conferences have been an essential part of my journey to publication. I’ve attended nine different conferences, three of them multiple times.  I’ll attend my tenth, ThrillerFest, in New York City this July.

Each conference has offered something different. I’ve received outstanding instruction. Formed a well-rounded view of the publishing industry and what readers want. And made many wonderful friendships.

I met the leader of my literary agency, Blythe Daniel, at a writers conference. I tested my ideas for Perilous Judgment at every conference that offered agent/editor appointments. They gave me pointed input on my manuscript and its market viability at various stages of development.

If you want to be a serious writer whose message reaches eager readers, writers conferences are a must.

Jessie and Dennis @ Mount Hermon March 2016

Me and my agent, Jessie Kirkland

If you want to be a serious writer whose message reaches eager readers, writers conferences are a must.

I returned home two days ago from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. It’s held in a camp-style conference center nestled in wooded hills about seven miles north of Santa Cruz, CA.  Mount Hermon is, hands down, my favorite conference. The Morning Fiction Mentoring Clinics are outstanding. I got insightful input on my work-in-progress and stretched my own understanding of story through critique partners who write in different genres.

Other workshops gave valuable insights on blogging, fiction technique, reader engagement, marketing, and writing through creative and life ups and downs.

Great writing flows from an author’s transparency—how willing we authors are to dig deep and put our own tragedies and triumphs on the page. This year’s keynote speaker, Carol Kent, gave four inspiring talks on overcoming setback after setback—including her only son’s conviction of murder and life imprisonment—and using the lessons learned in both her speaking and writing to help countless thousands live as overcomers.

Carol Kent at Mount Hermon

Carol Kent, Author/Speaker

My wife and I also had the privilege of praying for many people who were suffering from various physical ailments—and God healed them.

The Bible says in the book of Ephesians, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Everyone who attended that conference was there to live out that verse.