Monday, March 21, 2011

KCWC: The Right Fit for Me (and You)

Are you considering attending a Christian writers’ conference this year? If your answer is “yes,” please look at what KCWC has to offer. If you are not sure you’re ready to attend a conference, consider this. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference offers something for everyone, published authors as well as rank beginners. Let me tell you about my KCWC experience

I attended my first Christian writing conferences in the summer of 1999. Through a series of God-incidences,” I was invited by friends to a conference in Alabama and another one in Nashville (Lifeway). For three years, I attended these conferences. Soon, Lifeway discontinued their conference, so, in 2002, I decided to take a giant step. I went to Write to Publish at Wheaton College, Chicago. I found out that I was out of my league. I gained good information in the classes, but I wasn’t ready to pitch a book or do all the things it takes to sell a book.

Nevertheless, I planned to go back to WTP in 2003. I also attended Florida Christian Writers Conference in early 2003. I got a couple of magazine assignments but not as much as I wanted. I wondered if I should spend the money for WTP after my experience in Florida. The week before WTP, my father had emergency surgery, and I had to cancel. He recovered quickly, so I looked around for another conference to attend. It was too late for the Alabama conference already. Friends from the Lifeway conference had told me about a conference in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I found the details on (God-incidence?) and managed to register just in time. I was particularly interested in KCWC because it claimed to be non-denominational.

KCWC 2003 was held at Rough River state park. Sally Stuart (editor of the Christian Writers Market Guide) was the featured speaker. I had doubts whether I would get anything out of it other than a chance to sit at the feet of Sally Stuart. I was wrong. I sold an article for one of Focus on the Family newsletters. I also made contact with a representative of another publishing company from which I soon got a work-for-hire project. These projects gave me just the encouragement I needed at that point in my writing journey. I decided to make KCWC the one conference I would not miss. It was affordable, and it was close to home.

In 2004, I missed KCWC for family reasons, but I was back in 2005. The “smallness” that is a put-off for some people was what I really liked about KCWC. At the 2006 conference, KCWC celebrated its tenth anniversary. And, I did something I never expected to do. I volunteered to serve on the steering committee. Another series of God-incidences had put this opportunity in my path, and I felt impelled to get involved (for the next four years).

It’s been eight years since my first attendance at KCWC. This year is the 15th anniversary celebration. Hearing the featured speaker, Cecil Murphey, will be a real treat. Donna Goodrich, who helped Kate Thomas organize the first KCWC, will be there, along with a number of other top-notch faculty members.

If you’ve read this far, maybe this is a God-incidence for you. Will you consider attending KCWC this year? It could be the first step on a rewarding journey toward publication. Check out the website for details.

Emily Akin offers free tips for writers seeking publication on her Blog4Writers . See a partial list of her published work here.

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