As writers, it’s vital that we deepen our knowledge of the craft. What better way to do so than to attend a writers’ conference and learn from well-established authors. There are so many great conferences out there.
Those who’ve been to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in Felton, CA will agree it’s a great place to start. Someone recommended it to me, and now I’m paying it forward. It is more than a conference. It’s in investment no writer can afford to miss.
Mt Hermon has something for everyone: fiction, non-fiction, historical, speculative, mystery/suspense, Bible studies, devotionals, children’s literature, short stories/magazine articles. There also offer workshops on marketing, social media, blogging, web pages, technology.
- Accommodations: The cabins are clean, comfortable, and roomy. Not to mention they set you up with wonderful roommates. (below, Frieda Yang, April James, myself).
- Meals: Buffet style. Every morning, noon and night, they offer a wide variety of healthy foods, fresh fruit and salad, meat and vegetables, pasta, and so much more.
- Prayer time: Every morning at 7:15.
- Worship time: Around 7:30 each evening there’s a general session in the auditorium (some like to sit outside, thanks to the screen and sound) where we sing praise/worship. Then the MC makes a few announcements, and introduces the keynote speaker who, this year, was Glenna Salsbury. What a treat!
- Walking trails: This place is open year round and hosts several events from kids’ camps, to teens and young adult groups. For more information visit their website at: www.mounthermon.org/writers
- Gift shop: The Mount Hermon Book Shop has a wide variety of books, CDs and DVDs for the whole family, Bibles, and souvenirs ranging from tees and sweat shirts, to mugs, pens, and more.
- Teaching: I saved the best for last: Mount Hermon has two days of mentoring clinic before the conference begins for those who need help with a manuscript in progress. I learned a great deal in the classes and workshops I attended. They had so much to offer, I had a hard time deciding which class to attend. Most classes and workshops are available on audio at a very low price if we miss them. (sorry it’s a tad blurry! Janet Collins, Lisa Bogart, Marci Seither, Sue Peppers, Cheryl Ricker. Lisa and Marci taught this morning class).
FRIENDS! Yes, you will meet many wonderful people from everywhere. Aside from learning, the best part of this conference is the people you meet. You will connect and developed a deep bond of friendship with amazing people who, just like you, have a passion for writing. I met Iola Reneau on my first day and we ‘clicked’ right away, with so many things in common, it was almost scary.
We heard from the pros in the field, such as authors, editors, agents, publicists, and awesome speakers. And of course, everyone had a chance to book 15-minutes interview with editors and/or agents. In a nutshell, it was an amazing conference and I can’t wait for God to re-open the door.
I have to admit, this trip didn’t go without “glitches.” Going to CA, I nearly missed my flight connection in Toronto (no fault of my own). On the way back, again in Toronto, they bumped me at 9:10 a.m. I waited until 3:05 pm to catch the next flight. I arrived home at 6 pm instead of 12 noon, totally exhausted, but that’s okay. I received $400 in compensation from Air Canada and these glitches gave me something to write about. I’m not going to bore you with the details but I will say this:
Mount Hermon was an incredible experience. The staff was welcoming, the wonderful kitchen crew made sure your tea/coffee cup/water pitcher/belly) were always full. The atmosphere was relaxing, the food was delicious, and everyone so friendly. I felt a strong connection with several people who I now follow on Facebook and/or Twitter.
The setting couldn’t have been any better. I went to sleep looking at the sky and trees through the skylight in the cabin I shared with April and Frieda, two other writers. I awoke to the sound of the dove, singing merrily as the sun came up. What a quiet, peaceful place.
It’s my turn to recommend this conference to you. Whether you’re already published, soon to be, or simply have an idea you want to pitch to an agent or editor, this conference is for you. If you ever considered this conference, stop wondering and go for it. If this is the first time you hear about it, take my word. You’ll want to go back the next year.
I’ve been home for over a week now, and I’m still on a high. I’ve learned so much more than I anticipated, and met wonderful people whose friendship I will cherish forever. And I’ll always be thankful to God for opening this door. Now you don’t have to take my word for this, but if the pictures and description didn’t entice you to attend this or other writers conferences, Kathy Ide‘s blog, talks about 7 major reasons to attend a conference.