Posted on 1 Comment

Wallowing or Ministering?

The party was in full swing. I had arrived early and was determined to be the last to leave. That wouldn’t be difficult, since I was the only person there.

I can party with the best of them. And I’m especially adept at hosting and attending my own pity parties. It’s easy to feel sorry for myself, especially when I’ve been wronged or falsely accused. My natural inclination is to be defensive or sulk at the injustice of my circumstances, all the while wallowing in self-pity. Either way, the party’s on.

The writing life is also not exempt from pity parties. Disappointment over not meeting with the editor we requested at a conference. Discouragement over not getting an agent or a book contract. Doubting opportunities will arise since they haven’t yet.

Then I think of Joseph. If anyone had a right to a pity-party, it was Joseph. First, his brothers sold him as a slave. Then his new master falsely accused him of sexual misconduct and threw him into a foreign prison. Joseph had no clue as to how long he’d be there—perhaps until his death. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, he worked as a trustworthy representative of the prison keeper.

Even more surprising, Joseph looked past the injustice of his own situation to help someone else (Genesis 40:6-7). He noticed the dejection of his fellow prisoners and inquired about their situation. Joseph didn’t realize it at the time, but in assisting his fellow prisoners he was preparing the way for the fulfillment of God’s plan for his own release.

Joseph is a powerful example to me—a reminder to look beyond my own disappointments so God can use me to minister to others.

So as you prepare for conference season, are you willing to see beyond your own disappointments? Will you look for someone else who needs encouragement? Will you trust God’s timing in the face of doubt and discouragement? Consider asking fellow conferees about their writing journey. You might even find a new accountability or critique partner!

When we put others’ needs ahead of our own, God works miraculously in our life…and then through our life to touch the lives of others. And who knows? Perhaps someday God will use the person you encouraged to encourage you!

Are you wallowing or ministering?

Posted on Leave a comment

Overcoming a Writer’s Fears by Attending Conferences


As a writer, I often find myself bogged down in fear.  Fear that my writing may not be good enough. Fear that I am too old. Fear that I don’t know how to write. Attending conferences gives me the insight to overcome those fears through encouragement, instruction, resources and reminding me that my writing needs to be covered in prayer.  Continue reading Overcoming a Writer’s Fears by Attending Conferences

Posted on 1 Comment

What Can I Expect to Gain at Write2Ignite?

A beginning writer’s wish list before attending a writer’s conference:

  • An editor will fall in love with my manuscript and give me a contract on the spot.
  • Lots of other writers will read my manuscripts and polish them so they shine.
  • Many editors will recognize my genius as a writer and beg me for more stories.

If only it were that simple, right? Every writer would love those results! It’s wise to have realistic expectations when attending a writing conference. Although occasionally an author is blessed with a contract on the spot at a writing conference, more realistically an author may go home with some valuable insights for improving her manuscripts and knowledge about a few appropriate places to submit them.

So what are some realistic expectations for authors—or illustrators—attending a Write2Ignite conference?

Publisher and author Cheri Cowell

Encouragement

Beginning and experienced Christian authors and illustrators (as well as editors and agents) want to see you succeed. As you attend workshops and listen to keynote speakers, you’ll hear many share the experiences they had as they found their way into the publishing world. You’ll have opportunities to sign up for interviews with editors and agents, where you can discuss your manuscripts. And even if an editor or agent doesn’t fall in love with one of your manuscripts, that person may share some nuggets of wisdom that can get you a contract down the road—if you listen and apply what you hear.

Networking

You’ll be sitting elbow to elbow with other serious writers who may be interested in joining a critique group with you. You may learn of a new publishing house through an author who was recently published. You might learn from another author’s mishaps as you chat across the lunch table, and you can avoid making the same mistakes. You’ll certainly find a team of encouragers whom you can keep up with throughout the year. And you may also discover that rejection slips are not the end of the world—in fact, successful authors have received piles of them on their way to success.

Learning

There will be workshops on a great many topics. Some will help you understand the thought processes of an editor. Others will challenge you to create better story ideas, while others are there to help you break into writing for magazines. Learning how to get a manuscript ready for submission is also addressed, along with getting publicity for your work, once it’s published.

Writing for Children, Teens, and Young Adults

Write2Ignite Conference is unique in that it’s primarily focused on writing for youth—from infants to young adults. Contrary to what’s commonly thought by many readers, writing for children is the most difficult kind of writing there is. At Write2Ignite, we focus on what it takes to reach young readers with God’s message without becoming preachy or boring them with dull writing.

The Teen Track

Not only do we focus on writing for children and teens but we also have a special Teen Track, where tweens and teens (middle school and high school students) can come to learn. The Teen Track has been a very popular feature of Write2Ignite Conference for several years. Teens have their own lively speakers and workshops as well as other workshop choices. In addition to special teen-only sessions, they join adults for keynote addresses.