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 a dozen workshops.  I met with more than 150 writers in appointments. And I renewed fellowship with many of my best friends and most valued associates. Here’s a quick rundown of the varied experiences:

West Coast Christian Writers Conference (Livermore, CA): My first time at this conference delighted me, and more so because they feature a “donut wall” at the conference. What’s not to love?

Asheville Christian Writers Conference (Asheville, NC): I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been blessed by this conference, held at the Billy Graham Training Center east of Asheville. It’s a short one, but packed with great people and presentations, and the best food available at any writers conference.

Florida Christian Writers Conference (Leesburg, FL): FCWC always presents a high-quality array of presentations for writers at all levels. It’s not the easiest to get to, but the directors are shifting formats and venues for 2020 with this conference and the North Georgia conference.

Mid-South Christian Writers Conference (Collierville, TN): This one-day conference (with preconference options) convenient to Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Missouri packed a lot into a single day. Wonderful people and excellent BBQ.

Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat (Andalusia, AL): I always love the personal connections and the sensitive worship in this four-day conference in a beautiful lakeside setting in the Conecuh National Forest.

Writer’s Digest Writing Workshop (Cincinnati, OH): This was a whirlwind day of appointments with writers at Cincinnati’s beautiful Netherland Hilton Hotel, hosted by Writer’s Digest’s Chuck Sambuchino.

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (Asheville, NC): Always a bounty of profound inspiration and personal connections, this annual conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville never disappoints.

SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference (Fullerton, CA): This year was my first at this conference, which started in 2017 and has more screenwriting instruction than any other opportunity. It took half a day to learn my way around; but once I did, I had a great time and renewed many relationships and began numerous new ones.

Eight conferences in six months (actually, four-and-a-half months). I mostly survived, though I still haven’t lost the weight I gained from the donuts at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. But I gained much more: friends, clients, knowledge, and blessing upon blessing.

When—and where—is your next writers conference?


9 Responses to Reflections on a Busy Writers Conference Season

  1. Tuvia Pollack July 3, 2019 at 4:45 am #

    I live in Israel, so I don’t have the possibility to attend writer’s conferences in the US. I know it puts me at a disadvantage vrs those who do, but I am hoping that my unusual name and location will be enough to grab your attention once my proposal arrives.

    There really should be a Christian writer’s conference in Jerusalem some time… would you attend it if there was one?

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 3, 2019 at 6:39 am #

    Love to go to a conference, but there’s no money for that…or for some other things, so behold the weirdest sonnet you’ll ever read.

    And DO NOT try this at home.

    I’d love to attend a writer’s event,
    but today I face the banal;
    something not so Heaven-sent,
    a homemade root canal.
    No money for the dentistry,
    and a tooth broke last night,
    so now some ‘gentle’ artistry
    to try and put things right.
    Probe and open up the nerve
    don’t rush it, take your time.
    release the pus with joy and verve,
    then apply some hot red wine.
    Repeat (pain drives one out of one’s head),
    until offending nerve is dead.

  3. Nancy July 3, 2019 at 7:29 am #

    I’ll see you at Oregon CWC in August. I came home from the last conference with a doozy of a case of vertigo. Sigh. Don’t say anything about the aging process, else I’ll steal your next donut.

  4. Maco Stewart July 3, 2019 at 8:26 am #

    It was a joy meeting you at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. On an utterly unrelated note, I feel the need to call out a course of yours at the Christian Writers Institute,
    the link to which I found sometime yesterday through this blog site and to which I’ve been listening today.

    I found this short course to contain some of the most useful advice I’ve encountered in this writing adventure, and your advice applies to both agents and editors. Imagine my horror at hearing about an editor tossing the FedEx-sent package across the room! I sent off my proposal to y’all last week FedEx-cheap, so that I could track it, and because the sending envelope was the right size. Little did I realize that this may have been an error betokening pushiness and self-importance! Yikes!

    Your advice in that course is invaluable.

    Long post, but anyone reading this should seriously consider taking that course.

  5. Gary Ivey July 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

    Bob, I look forward to sitting at your feet at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference. It will be my first conference. I live in Hawaii and there’s not a lot of Christian writers activity here.

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