Did you enjoy this year’s conference? (New features included modern, air-conditioned, handicap-accessible housing, the daily “St. Davids Live” show, new Saturday self-contained track, etc.) Mark your calendar for June 22-26, 2016! And bring your writer friends for another educational, encouraging and entertaining conference.
Here are a few of the amazing agents, editors and speakers we have already booked for 2016:
Thanks to Marcia Gunnett Woodard for her prayer at the closing session:
Prayer of Gratitude and Consecration
Father of Lights,
Giver of all good gifts,
I thank You for the gifts You’ve given me.
The unique blend
Of talents and abilities,
Interests and passions,
That combined, make me
My own unique self.
I have mixed feelings
About the role You’ve given me—
One moment overjoyed
At the challenge before me,
The next, petrified,
Certain that I will never accomplish
Help me always to remember
That just as the mission came from You,
So, too, will come
To run the course,
The race You have set for me.
Help me to recall
That in success or failure,
Fame or obscurity,
Praise or criticism,
It is not my aim to please those around me,
But to glorify You.
And to this purpose
I will exercise all the abilities I have,
With all the strength I have,
For all the days I have—
Walking through each door You open,
Until the moment You open the door
Into Your presence
And I hear You say,
The board has been praying and fasting for the faculty and conferees for a year now.
• For faculty members as their prepare keynote talks and seminars.
• For safe travel for board (traveling Tuesday), faculty and conferees.
• For every keynote and seminar that conferees will learn how to communicate God’s Word with their words.
• And most of all, for lives to be changed whether writers or those who read their words.
God has something great planned! So as you come by car, plane, train or other mode, use your travel time to pray that God’s Spirit is upon everything from the time we leave our homes until we arrive back home.
When I originally started reviewing manuscripts for Wesleyan Publishing House, I skipped the proposal and went straight to the sample chapter. I was most interested in good writing.
Now that I’m associate acquisitions editor, I go straight to the section in the proposal titled “Platform.” If you don’t have a well-trafficked website or blog, if you’re not out regularly speaking, if you don’t have a thousand or more “friends” on Facebook, I have to reject it.
As a editor, who is first and foremost a writer, I absolutely hate that. But I do understand that, with the current economic climate, your “brand,” “platform” and “social network” are also absolutely essential for your book to sell.
That’s why St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference is devoting an hour each afternoon for a panel of experts to answer your questions about these three essential elements of your writing career. You can do this and we’ll show you how.
It’s just one of the many ways that I believe that St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference is one of the most unique, cutting edge conferences in the United States. So, join us Wednesday June 24 through Sunday June 28. And if you can’t attend the entire conference, we have a one-day session Saturday, June 27, that will take you from concept to contract.
Harry Bohrs sent this prayer list to fellow board members:
In ten short weeks St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference will embark on a new chapter a new venture, a new approach. The time for hoping for success must now be put into prayer for success. This week pray:
• Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord’s leadership and guidance.
• Lift up the leaders who have, and continue, to work hard: Amy Mable and Jim Watkins.
• Pray for the board members, that is pray for each other, as we take to our assigned duties and tasks.
• Pray that God will sustain each and everyone who works, attends, or serves the conference.
Thanks, Harry! And thanks to each of you. Promote the conference by inviting your friends in person and on your social networks. Pray that God will use the conference for his glory. And prepare for God to use the conference to equip you to effectively and creatively share the good news!
Perusing the variety of notebooks and journals on display in the office supplies section of the drugstore, I wondered which type of blank paper would best meet my daughter Jessica’s needs.
Jessica had taken her three-week-old daughter to the emergency room in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. As the baby’s condition deteriorated and Gracie was hospitalized, we prayed for her healing and hoped for the best.
Anticipating that Jessica would want fresh clothing or toiletries, before leaving the hospital for the evening I asked, “What can I bring you when I come tomorrow?”
With unwashed hair and no make-up, wearing the same black yoga pants and T-shirt that she had thrown on 18 hours earlier, and holding her crying baby in her arms, she glanced around the room, then leaned her head onto the back of the chair and looked up at me. “I’d really like paper and a pen,” she said with a sigh.
I completely understood her request. As a concerned mother, she needed emotional relief more than she needed physical comforts. Jessica intended to use journaling to remember the facts, as well as to process the difficult experience and eventually make sense of it.
Whether she consciously chose to write because she had learned it from watching me write about tough times during her 23 years, or because she inherently gravitates to writing as one who loves words, the bottom line is that writing is therapeutic. I learned firsthand that journaling has benefits, eventually finding peace and healing after writing about my most challenging life experiences. My journals doubled as my confidante through the angst of youth, a divorce at the age of 28, the death of my parents, miscarriages, and other hurtful or traumatic events.
According to Maud Purcell, a licensed clinical social worker, writing utilizes the left brain, which allows the right brain to simultaneously create and feel. “Writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you.”
The following are the journaling steps that I’ve found most helpful:
Write. Even if for only a few minutes a day, let your thoughts flow freely. Avoid censorship and editing. Get what’s in your mind out through your fingers. Before you know it, you will fill blank books. If you prefer, create documents on your computer instead of writing with pen and paper. Just write.
Keep. At least for a while, keep what you’ve written. It’s valuable to be able to return to those thoughts – sometimes a short time after writing them, sometimes a long while later. Perhaps at some point, you’ll burn or delete what you’ve written, but reading the words again will allow you to begin to examine your past perceptions based on new information. Maybe you will see the answer to prayer and your faith will be increased.
Wait. Depending upon the situation, it might be most helpful to have a lengthy period of time elapse before trying to make sense of the words and thoughts. Looking back in a month, or a year or more, will help you to assess emotional and spiritual growth. Allowing enough time for some healing to occur will minimize the chance that reading the words will be like ripping a bandage off a fresh wound.
Rewrite. Now revisit the situation and write again with new thoughts and knowledge. Rewriting helps us to continue to process events and the ways we’ve changed. It’s similar to revising and editing to make a story better, except that, when journaling, the facts of the story don’t change—even though you do.
Pray. Ask God to show you if sharing your personal experience will help others. Is this a story that will exemplify a spiritual truth to readers in a memorable way? Could this become a memoir, creative nonfiction, devotional, or inspirational story?
Singer and songwriter Judy Collins said, “I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot… and memory is important.”
Crystal Hayduk currently teaches nursing part-time at a public university. During nearly thirty years in obstetrics and public health, she has assisted many families through difficult situations. Also a freelance writer, she has been published in local news sources and devotionals. Her real-life love story was published in the anthology “Falling in Love with You” (Oaktara Publishers). Crystal lives with her family in Southeast Michigan, where she enjoys reading and music.
I was stunned and more than a little insulted when one of my ‘readers’ (invaluable people who read and edit stories before they are submitted) told me this. After I’d spent months of writing my latest novel, she told me that readers would find it hard to relate to my leading lady—they wouldn’t feel any empathy for her difficulties or desires. Basically, this ‘reader’ found herself not caring if my heroine succeeded in the story or didn’t. She didn’t like her! Big sigh . . . I had to give my leading woman a ‘makeover’ from the inside out!
Julie glided across the crowded fairgrounds, her heart pounding so hard she couldn’t hear her own thoughts. It was the day the stunning brunette had prayed about for two years. Dan had called. The only man she’d ever wanted was waiting for her at the grandstands with a planned surprise. It could mean only one thing—a ring on her finger. Her face was flushed with anticipation. Julie knew she was breaking her promise to help her sister at the Kiwanis booth, but Angie would find someone else. She’d get over it—she always did. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Julie.
Dan turned; he’d seen her coming. She flashed him her biggest smile and ignored Janie’s wave from the bake sale tent. Julie could never let Dan know that Janie was her friend. His family was well-to-do and affluent. If she became his wife, she’d have to find new friends. Slowing her steps, Julie frowned. Dan had brought his dog with him again. She hated pet hair on her clothing. That animal would be the first thing she’d eliminate when they were married, but for now she’d pretend that she liked the beast. Running her tongue over her full lips, she fluffed her hair and hastened to Dan’s arms . . . and her perfect life. (music fade out)
______ Would you vote for Julie as a role model or even rush to make her your closest friend . . .? Maybe if Julie had stopped to speak with her sister at the Kiwanis booth or felt some remorse that she was ‘brushing her off’ . . . Perhaps Julie could have a moment of regret about her friend, Janie—struggling with keeping her old friends while shedding her former poverty and desperately wanting to fit in with her prospective husband’s affluent group . . . Then you, the reader, could struggle with her. Julie needs one redeeming quality! Maybe she could keep Dan’s dog and allow him to sleep in the hallway . . . ?
Many leading characters in movies and books these days are known for their flawed traits, but we have to give our readers hope for change—a reason to root for this character when life seemingly turns against them.
Although God can do surprising things in peoples’ lives, readers look for a way to relate to the main character in a story. When I recall Jonah of the Old Testament, I always smile. The Ninevites had acted so rotten that Jonah didn’t want to give them an opportunity to repent! He knew God would forgive them, and Jonah didn’t think they deserved it. That may not have been the right attitude, but unfortunately it’s human nature more often than not . . . Show a little tenderness and loyalty in your hero or leading lady—give readers hope for improvement in their future. Our leading characters have to have more going for them than strong shoulders or a pretty face . . . give them heart and a soul!
Patricia L. Stebelton: author of six Romantic Suspense Mysteries through Oaktara Publishing/Amazon.com/Barnesandnoble.com
Short stories in compiled books “Whispering in God’s Ear”, “Angeles, Miracles & Heavenly Encounters 1”, and “Falling in Love With You” as well as stories in Guidepost Book stories and a devotional in “Love is A Verb”, Gary Chapman & James Stuart Bell. Patricia and her husband live in a picturesque town in the heart of Michigan. Patricia enjoys family activities, her writing and commissioned art projects.
As writers, we get our ideas from everywhere—the supermarket, a conversation with a friend, from a headline we read. As writers who believe in Christ, we know that all our good ideas ultimately come from God. Have you ever had an idea that got you so excited you couldn’t sleep at night? Every waking minute you work on it, develop it, and polish it. You jot down every facet of the idea as it comes to you. You pray and give the whole project over to God.
Then you start the process of writing the drafts, the endless drafts! You work hard; you do your best. At the end of the day (or week or month) you are pleased. Then you send it off to the next step. Maybe it’s a blog post you are eager to share with your readers. Maybe it’s an article for a newsletter. Maybe it’s a project that needs to go to an illustrator or a managing editor for the next step. So you sit back and wait. You know you’ve given your best work to God to use as He sees fit.
But then, it happens. The blog post you knew would touch your readers generates nothing but silence. The article is rejected. The project goes through so many changes at the hands of others that you hardly recognize it when it comes back to you. And you think to yourself, “That’s not how I pictured the project working out. That’s not where I thought my idea would end.”
Has it happened to you? It has to me.
One time when it did, God reminded me of what I had just said. I had mixed up my pronouns. I had said, “My idea.” But hadn’t I given it to Him? Way back when the idea was a seed and the dream had been born, hadn’t I thanked Him for giving me the idea and turned it all over to Him to do with as He pleased?
So why was I complaining now?
Please don’t misunderstand. Sometimes, when someone changes our dream and our project in a way that doesn’t please or honor God, we need to push back. Sometimes we need to take the project back and wait for the divinely appointed time it was meant for.
But sometimes we have to accept that God knows more than we do and surrender the ideas, the projects, and the dreams to Him. No rights reserved.
Bonnie Rose Hudson works as the Executive Editor of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by her author’s blog WriteBonnieRose.com for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.
2015 brings with it new accommodations at Grove City! 2 - 4 bedroom furnished apartments with air conditioning and elevator access!
Our date is also a little different than in previous years. We'll open on Wednesday evening, finish on Saturday evening, and Sunday we'll worship together and then set off for home.
From Sue Fairchild: In order to contribute to St. Davids when buying items (any items) from Amazon: go to https://smile.amazon.com/ , sign in with your Amazon account, and choose "St. Davids Christian Writers Assn" from the charity list. We receive a portion of your purchase to help our conference continue!
At the faculty meeting last week, someone (probably Bob Hostetler) caused a commotion (it's Bob's style) by asking about our name... and who was St. David, and shouldn't there be an apostrophe in there. So, here's the long and short of it.
St. David was the Patron Saint of Wales. A church was named after him in eastern Pennsylvania - St. David's Episcopal Church. The community named after the church is St. Davids. They (officials in charge of answering the question about the apostrophe) claim it is correctly spelled without an apostrophe. To those of us with basic punctuation skills... unless the community was named after multiple churches or persons named St. David... well, you see the problem.
For many years our conference was held in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. Though our conference location changed, we held onto our name and fully expect the question about the apostrophe to come up with every new conferee.
Shared by: Amy Mable - Carrie Anne Noble shared this post on our Pinterest "St. Davids Bloggers" board. You should only read this if you EVER get discouraged, or if you EVER consider keeping your words to yourself, or if you EVER find yourself counting all the reasons you should just settle into what is reasonable rather than step up to... Well, read it - I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Ruby for Women is an online Christian women's magazine that features a wide variety of articles on family-friendly topics including recipes, patterns and tutorials, gardening and business advice, devotionals and poetry, stories, and crafts.