A Look at a Writer’s Conference

FCWC2016 stands for Florida Christian Writer’s Conference 2016. We meet at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg Florida. On Wednesday February 24, it all began with registration at 1:30 pm. Two workshops were offered in the afternoon. Then it was on to dinner, and a meet and greet with a Sock Hop as our theme.

The rest of our days begin at breakfast with a guest speaker at 7:30 am, if we bought that package for the conference. Then we have worship, a speaker, workshops, and meetings with publishers, editors, and agents. There are several workshops to choose from. I chose as my continuing, or daily workshop, “The Continuing Critique Track.” We each were allowed to bring up to 7,500 words to be critiqued over the course of the conference. In these classes we receive good comments, and suggestions as to what might be a better way to say something, or this is confusing. It is very helpful to get feedback from others. It all helps to make our manuscripts better before we try to get them published.

These are some of the other workshops that I chose to attend. “Writing for the Guideposts Contest” with B. J. Taylor. “What Do You Meme? Working With Images to Enhance & Grow Your Social Presence” with Edie Melson. Friday late night I went to a fun workshop called “Bring on the Bling: Discovering Your Inner and Outer Beauty” with Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett. We had a fun time talking about how makeup can enhance your looks and make you feel better on the inside. I had another workshop “Beginner Blogging: Do’s and Don’ts” with Kristen Hogrefe and Ashley Kirby Jones. This class gave me some good pointers on easier ways to do a blog.

The first three years I went to the conference I took material to show and talk to agents, publisher, and editors. When meeting with them you give them a “pitch,” or quickly tell them about what you wrote. It has to be short, but exciting. I would take my manuscript to as many as six of the professionals. This is fun, yet exhausting. It felt like being on stage all of the time, continually trying to improve how you pitch your writing.

This year wasn’t as stressful as in the past. I already had my contract, as well as the next three manuscripts almost ready to send with a proposal to my acquisition editor, Deb Haggerty. She was at the conference and we finally were able to meet each other. While speaking at lunch one day I told her about a picture book manuscript that I have. It tells the Easter story through the eyes of a child.  I told her I was advised to write for older children, that it is hard to get a publisher to take on picture books because of the expense.  Deb asked me to send her my manuscript, that she would like to read it. After some more editing, I will send it off. It has been a dream of mine to get this published. It is the follow-up book to “This Babe So Small,” the nativity told through the eyes of the inn keepers daughter.

What types of conferences or workshops to you attend? Answer me back on the blog to share with us.