What St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference Means To Me – Sierra Shipton

I found out about St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference from another local writers’ conference in the area. I am a Western Pennsylvania native and have wanted to be a writer and an editor since my junior year of college. Any guesses where I got my bachelor’s degree? If you said Grove City College, you’re right.

I majored in biblical and religious studies at GCC but starting my junior year, I took communication studies courses to get a minor in that area. That’s when I fell in love with the idea of being a writer and an editor.

So, when I found out that St. Davids was held at my alma mater, which is only half an hour from my home, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend. Attending St. Davids was most definitely a full circle moment for me, given that I started my freshman year at GCC in August 2007 and the conference was in June 2017—almost exactly 10 years later.

My current job was due to end at the beginning of August 2017, and I felt this was God calling me to step out and move toward my “dream job.” I took the step, in faith, and I’m so glad I did.

I must admit, I was extremely nervous at first. Although I have an MA in communication focused on professional writing, I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in with people who have already published books or multiple magazine articles.

But I needn’t have worried. Everyone at St. Davids was extremely welcoming. Rather than feeling like an outsider, I immediately felt welcomed and encouraged. I never felt looked down on because I didn’t have a book published and I hadn’t written anything in a while. Instead, I was inspired and excited to write again.

We are all at different points on our writing journey, but the St. Davids community is about supporting and encouraging one another, not competing. That’s what makes it special. While we all have professional goals, we can all come together and learn from each other. When we build each other up, we all succeed.

Attending St. Davids has given me the confidence to make writing a priority. I’ve begun work on my first novel, and I have an idea for an e-book written for writers who are new to writing fiction. It also gave me a network of fellow writers that I can reach out to when I have questions or worries or a project I need help with, and they can also reach out to me.

I am excited to attend the conference again and continue learning and building these relationships. I can’t wait to see what the year holds for all of us. Won’t you join us on the adventure of “Writing into the Wild” and find out?

Sierra is a freelance editor, writer, and blogger. Her personal writing tends to be informed by her Christian faith and living life with cerebral palsy. She has a BA in biblical and religious studies and an MA in communication, concentrating in professional writing. When she’s not editing, writing, or blogging, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Pittsburgh Steelers football, and reading. You can find her at www.sierrashipton.com and on Facebook.