One more week!
Next Sunday, May 17th, I’m going to have the pleasure of driving up to the Blue Ridge Mountains and attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Each year author, agents, editors and pre-pubbed authors gather to worship the Lord, pitch stories, and hopefully find this is the year their dreams start coming true.
This conference has a special place in my heart. It was the very first one I attended back in 2002. I have a lot of wonderful memories from that conference. I met several agents, made new friends and developed a love for being around other writers, the only people who understand how my crazy writing brain works! LOL.
One special memory I have is when I gathered up the courage to approach a well-known agent and hand over my work. This was so hard! I mean it’s one thing to let my mother read it, but quite another to let an actual, real live agent read it. I’d never queried anyone even though I’d done my homework on the process. I’d had only two rejections. One from Multnomah and one from Steeple Hill’s Krista Stroever. So, as I went into the conference I knew I needed to have a tough skin.
The agent looked over my writing, blew out a sigh and said, “Well, this is actually pretty good.” My hopes soared. He handed the manuscript back to me. “I’m probably going to regret this, but I don’t take on new authors.” My hopes crashed to the floor.
And yet, later, as I thought back on it, I realized I had been paid a pretty high compliment from that agent. I wasn’t ready to be published even thought I wanted to be. The time wasn’t right. I went back to that conference several times over the next five years and took classes, honed my craft, worked on every aspect of writing I could and in 2007 got the THE CALL.
This year I’m going back as a published author. I’m not teaching, but I’m taking a couple of classes. I get to mingle with fellow authors and praise the God I love in the praise and worship sessions. What about you? Do you go to conferences? Do you have a special memory from one that you’d like to share? Come on! Tell us!