Author, Collaborative Writer, Editor - Learn More

WRITE: YA Friday: Dear Teen Writer

Dear Teen Writer,   I get it. I do. I was there, right where you are. I survived middle school (“junior high,” we called it) by connecting more with books, words, and stories than with the real people around me. I locked my poetry in a journal. Stories hung in the air like ripe fruit on a tree, waiting for me to stretch enough to pluck them. But I never told anyone. Who would understand? The hidden way—that was easy. Engagement is hard. What if you share your words and people hate them? Or—worse—laugh at you? It’s simpler to talk about other things or to remain, as I did, in your own silent world. What if you could go somewhere that offered a community of word-artists led by a mentor willing to pour himself out on your behalf? Someone who’s been there, done that, and is still learning? What if you could ponder and plot, crush and create amidst a group of others working the same way for the same purpose? What if you could have guidance for the weaknesses and encouragement for the strengths? What if you could exist for a few days as a small army amidst a larger one? What if you caught a glimpse of the great plans God has for you and your words? I challenge you to reach out. There’s a place where others gather who value language and story the way you do. There are mentors who have walked your road, faced your challenges, and conquered your obstacles. You already know their language because it resounds through your life. And when you spend time with them, you’ll realize you’ve come home. I know a place like that. And it’s not too late. The Florida Christian Writer’s Conference March 1- 4 offers a Teen Track taught by author, father, and teacher par excellence Bryan Davis. Come. Spend time with his tribe. They’ll welcome you, challenge you, and surround you with grace. Teens 13-19 get a bargain rate for the Thursday-Sunday noon conference of $450 (more than $300 off the cost for adults). Scholarships may still be available. Check it all out at Write me with questions and I’ll do my best to help. If this conference doesn’t work for you, I have others to suggest. But come. Don’t hide. Come. With hope,...

Read More

WRITE: Florida Christian Writers Conference

Dear Writer WannaBe, I know you’re out there. And today, I’m thinking of you. You’ve slogged it out alone for so long. You sit at your computer and dream of creating a masterpiece (okay, several). And you know God wants to use your words. Maybe you’ve written a novel or a chunk of a nonfiction book. Perhaps poetry bubbles from your pen like foam off an overfilled glass of Coke. Are you working on a screenplay? Or do you prefer to tackle shorter pieces like devotionals, greeting cards, or Bible studies instead? But, yes, my friend, you have a problem. You don’t know how to get your work out there, do you? These days, you hear so much about self-publishing. What’s up with that? And then there’s the whole “agent” thing. Who needs one, and why?  I understand. You’d love to meet some editors in person, to find out firsthand what they need and want. You know you should keep improving your craft, but when will you find the time, and where will you find a teacher? Could you take the chance to have a professional evaluate your writing and give you some tips to make it shine?  Of course it sounds scary—but imagine the possibilities. After all, Mom’s opinion can only take you so far.  You’re right. Those are some deep needs and extreme expectations. But did you know, my WannaBe friend, that you can find hope, help, and encouragement at a writers’ conference? Please take time to consider attending the 25th annual Florida Christian Writers Conference (FCWC), March 1-4, 2012. Allow me to share some reasons this conference could meet your needs (and a few of your wants as well): Superb Speakers: Best-selling author and collaborator Cec Murphey (Gifted Hands, 90 Minutes in Heaven) will keynote this year’s conference.  Terrific Teachers: The FCWC offers continuing seminars (including fiction and nonfiction mentoring clinics) as well as individual workshops, all taught by industry professionals. These people know their stuff and share it, too.  Amazing Appointments: Dedicated time with your favorite author, editor, or agent to discuss you, your work, or the sad state of the economy (Okay, I was kidding about the last part—but it’s your fifteen minutes). Fantastic Friendships: You’ll love spending time with other WannaBes. You speak the same language, so make sure you stop talking long enough to improve your writing. Stellar Setting: Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg provides a tranquil, beautiful setting. And the meals rival Rachael Ray’s (or your mom’s). Don’t have the money? Let’s talk about that. If you or your child wanted to play the piano, wouldn’t you do your best to find the funds for lessons? And then there’s your pet. When Scruffy needs something, you make sure she has it. Right? You invest...

Read More