|Twila Belk, The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal|
Elizabethtown, KY, June 21, 2012. Imagine you are Barbara Wells, coordinator of Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. The keynote speaker, a popular Christian comedienne and author Chonda Pierce, has a family crisis and is forced to cancel. Her mother is hospitalized and not doing well. Chonda's husband, David, was scheduled to lead workshops. He couldn't come, either, because he was in the hospital, too. A conference director's worst nightmare is upon you. What will you do?
Barbara didn't panic. She called Twila Belk, nationally known speaker-writer, who was on the conference faculty and in town already. Barbara asked her to fill in for all three keynote addresses. Twila wanted to pray about it. Barbara asked, “Well, how long do you think that will take?” She didn’t have to wait long because Twila rose to the occasion. The conference director's nightmare became a successful conference in spite of everything. Jesse Florea, of Focus on the Family, helped out with the closing keynote, too. Barbara said she didn't need a backup plan because God had one already.
KCWC 2012 spanned two-days and included a diverse faculty with opportunity for workshops, private appointments, and plenty of networking. Meeting people is as important as any other activity at conference because you can learn a lot from the other attendees. Informal discussions with faculty at meals and breaks give you insights about them and their approach to publishing. Visiting with other writers helps you realize that we all face the same challenges.
As for me, I found a critique partner, Harriet Michael. I've been writing for 12 years, and she's been at it for three. We both write devotionals and short pieces, so we have planned to start out with just the two of us and add others once we get organized. I met Ann Knowles, a member of a couple of my online groups, “in the flesh.” I had an appointment with Jim Stafford of The Upper Room where he critiqued some of my devotionals. I also met with Twila Belk about my humor piece and sought her opinion on Blog4Writers.
The conference that might have been a nightmare for the coordinator was a dream come true for many attendees. Indeed, the Lord’s purpose prevailed in spite of all the difficulties.
This article first appeared on Emily Akin's Blog4Writers (information and inspiration on writing, blogging, marketing). Link to Blog4Writers and sign up to get weekly updates by e-mail.