A Great Time at Kentucky Christian Writers Conference

Since I've been writing for more years than I like to admit, I've attended a good number of writer's conferences. Of course, the conferences I attended at the beginning of my writing career were a bit different than the ones I frequent these days. At that time my goal was to break into publication with science fiction and fantasy. I’ll never forget my first sf/f conference. I stood in the hallway with my mouth hanging open as Darth Vader strolled by, talking animatedly with a lady wearing a long, green gown and elf ears. Klingons and Star Fleet captains were around every corner. And, of course, so were sf/f authors, and the editors who published them. Oh, those were exciting days!

Though my writing goals have changed, the exciting days continue. Last weekend I had the privilege of gathering with seventy other writers in Elizabethtown, Kentucky for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. There was not a single Klingon in sight. Instead, there were plenty of aspiring writers who have heard God whisper, “Write for Me. I’ll use your words to spread joy and cheer and good news, and together we’ll make a difference.” What an incredible honor to sit with new friends, to read the stories the Lord has placed in their hearts, and to listen as they share their passion for writing.

The weekend was full of encouragement and motivation. Each general session began with worship music, and we all lifted our voices together in praise. (That’s something you won’t see at a sf/f conference!) Keynote speaker Terry Whalin inspired us with his experiences from years in the Christian publishing industry. Editors like Jim Watkins and Jim Stafford taught us how to take steps toward achieving our publication goals. Writers like Tracy Crump, Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress, Michael Brewer, and others, who together have published hundreds of books and articles, shared their knowledge and skills to help us learn the craft. I was honored to be able to present a couple of workshops on the craft of fiction writing, and we shared a few laughs in my session on writing funny fiction. I returned home motivated and energized, and eager to dive in to my writing with renewed passion.

If you’re anywhere within driving distance of Elizabethtown, Kentucky (some drove from as far away as Arkansas!), mark your calendar for next year. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference will be held on June 11-12, 2010. And the keynote speaker will be… me! I hope to see you there.