Conferences

Down Under

By the time this blog is posted I should be nearing home after spending the weekend with a wonderful group of Australian and New Zealand writers at a retreat center in Mulgoa, Australia (approximately an hour’s drive west of Sydney) for The Omega Christian Writers Conference.

I had the privilege of giving six hours of presentations, taking a number of appointments, and just enjoying their hospitality. It was a marvelous time. (Did not see any kangaroos although they were apparently in the area.)

We absolutely must remember that publishing is a global business. The issues and challenges of the world and how to express one’s faith are universal.

It is rather unusual to be the one everyone accuses of having an accent!  But the “differences” are curiosities, not barriers. These writers wrestle with their words, tackle marketing frustrations, and balance work and life with the call to write.

While we may not be close in proximity (it is a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney and you gain 18 hours) to the rest of the world, we are close … because we are all part of the Body of Christ.

I came away impressed with an enthusiastic group hungry to learn how to change the world through the written word.

It was great to spend significant time with agency Aussie clients David Rawlings, Narelle Atkins, and Carolyn Miller. David, with his novel The Baggage Handler, is the first Australian to be a finalist for the Christy Awards.

For those of you in the U.S., take a moment today and pray for our fellow brothers and sisters around the globe who are striving to improve their craft of writing, just as you are. In fact, anywhere you may be, take a moment to lift up your international fellow writers.

We are on this journey together!

 

 

 

 

 

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Always Be Learning

During the Summer of 1978 the #1 hit on Christian radio was the classic “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco (click here to listen). That same Summer I attended a Christian music festival in Estes Park, Colorado and decided to take a class on songwriting being taught by Jimmy and Carol Owens. I settled into my chair near the back of the room with notepad ready.

Just as the class was about to start a bearded man slide in the chair next to mine….notepad at the ready. To my astonishment it was Don Francisco. (I recognized him from his album cover.)

Here was a singer/songwriter who had the number one hit in the nation…taking a class on songwriting! What did he think he needed to learn?

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Reflections on a Busy Writers Conference Season

The first six months of 2019 were an exciting whirlwind of writers-conference activity for this author and literary agent. I presented and met with writers at eight conferences from February through June—four I’d never attended before and four others I returned to. I delivered six keynote addresses and more than …

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That Conference Appointment

You snagged one of those valuable 15 minute appointments with an agent or an editor at the writers conference. Now what? What do you say? How do you say it? And what does that scowling person on the other side of the table want? What if you blow it?

Many excellent posts have been written on this topic (see Rachelle Gardner and Kate Schafer Testerman for example) but thought I would add my perspective as well.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer about attending a writers conference and meeting with an editor or an agent?

Go in with realistic expectations.

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Lessons Learned As a Literary Agent

Dan is leaving the agency at the end of this month to focus his attention on the work of Gilead Publishing, the company he started in 2016. Here are some parting thoughts. _____ I’ve been a literary agent for about 2,000 of the 13,000 total days spent working with and …

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Planning Ahead

Conference season is coming to a close as we approach the holidays. Our local Lowes store had Christmas trees up last weekend. Does this mean I’m already too late for fall cleaning? Because a budget of time and money is involved in considering whether to attend any conference, it’s not …

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What Does Your Reader Need?

I attend many writers’ conferences, as an author, speaker, and agent. As a result, I meet and become friends with many fine people and outstanding writers. At a recent gathering, I enjoyed a spirited and stimulating conversation with an aspiring author who has a passion for reaching readers with the …

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Five Ways Getting an Agent is Like Dating

At a recent writers’ conference, I enjoyed my first “speed dating” experience. Maybe I should clarify. “Yes, you should,” says my wife. These were “speed dating for writers” sessions, in which writers sat down for rapid-fire five-minute appointments with editors, agents, and authors (many conferences provide writers with the opportunity …

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Your Role in a Conference Workshop

Have you ever attended a conference workshop that really seemed like a snooze? It happens to the best of participants and the best of instructors. While the hope is every class will have chemistry, sometimes there just isn’t any. But you can help! I’ve talked at conferences and paused with, …

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