To go or not to go…I say GO!

Every Christian writer, new or established,
must attend writers conferences.

In the summer of 2009, bestselling author Davis Bunn gave me the following advice: “My one fervent bit of advice would be for you to attend one of the six major Christian writers conferences. Attending one of these big events is crucial. They attract major agents and publishers, people who represent the largest houses, and who can offer you a contract on the spot. This means that any input and criticism they offer carries the weight of the current publishing world. Also, these events have morning tracks taught by bestsellers in each direction–fiction, nonfiction, gift, poetry, and song etc. You will leave these five days with a much clearer sense of what is required to bring your book concept up to commercial standards, and how to proceed from there.”

He went on to recommend some of the best conferences in the USA. Wow! I listened. Why? God had given me the desire to write. I wanted to learn the craft, and learn it well.

2012. Write to Publish, Wheaton College, Chicago. This first conference gave me a chance to test the waters, grow, and work on my new skills as a writer. I made long-lasting friendships, and learned a lot attending continuing classes and workshops. Worth. Every. Penny.

2014 / 2015: Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. What a beautiful setting. My ‘home’ for five days was a spacious cabin, shared with two other writers. When I walked in, I found a welcome note and a snack from one of my roommates who I hadn’t met yet. How sweet! Thanks, April.


Note from a roommate

At the end, someone who was driving back to San Francisco drove me across the GOlden Gate Bridge, and to an area where I could see Alcatraz. What  Treat. Until 2014, I’d never been to CA. I returned the following year and had the wonderful opportunity to take a continuing class from Davis, the author who’d spoken those very wise words to me, encouraging me to attend Christian writers conferences.

2015: Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville NC. Another oasis. That one holds a special spot in my heart. Thanks to Ane Mulligan, I saw many different sites because we drove from Sugar Hill, GA all the way to Ashville NC. I had many God moments at Blue Ridge. It was there I pitched a novel for the first time. Again, totally awesome experience.

2014, St Louis, MO / 2016, Nashville, TN: The second time I attended Mt Hermon, Karen Barnett, historical romance author strongly recommended that I, a fiction writer, attend ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). I did.  It was the largest I’d attended so far. Friday evening, many go sightseeing, shop around, and grab a bite to eat downtown. ACFW was also special. I flew to Chicago where another wonderful writer and good friend, Pam Meyers, picked me up at the airport, and we drove to the conference together. Great conference. Trips of a lifetime.

All the above conferences have phenomenal speakers, teachers, worship teams, and of course, writers, people who will leave footprints on your heart! If you asked me which was my favourite, I wouldn’t be able to answer. I loved them all. Though they all offer many similar things, the learning experiences are different and totally indescribable. The friendships that ensue from sharing a room with writers who have so much in common with you are out of this world. Seeing them again when you both attend your next conference is even better and so much fun.

There are many more great conferences throughout the USA. I pray God will open the door to two other ones for me, not necessarily this year but it would be awesome if He did. Hey, I’ve seen Him do much greater things. I’ve had my heart set on Colorado Christian Writers Conference, which is in May, and Oregon Christian Writers Conference in August. Both highly recommended.

Whatever you endeavour to do in 2018, may I encourage you to pray God will open the door to the best learning experience you’ll ever have as a writer. I pray 2018 is the year for you! If you attended a conference, will you please share your experience?

For a more comprehensive list of Christian Writers Conferences, check out this link: BookLaunchMentor.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Until then, be blessed.

Happy Writing.


Dream. Seek. Ask. But Never Ever Ever Give Up ~

How often, when wanting something real bad, have you asked, “Why bother? It’ll never happen!”


Some time ago, best-selling author Davis Bunn impressed on me the importance of attending Christian Writers Conferences, and suggested a few. I did a Google search and what I read amazed me so much, I wanted to attend each one at least once. Yeah right! That’ll never happen! so I thought.

I never imagined I’d ever go to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC). Why? I collect “flyer points.” They entitle me to free flights. It helps a lot since I’d want to attend two conferences a year. But there are two problems flying with these points:

1. Destinations are limited;
2. Only 8% of the seats on any given flight are “free points flights,” regardless how many ‘regular’ seats are left on the plane!

When I looked into BRMCWC, I wasn’t surprised that Asheville wasn’t one of the destinations. My consolation, though disappointed, was that there are other great conferences out there. I attended Write to Publish (2012), Mt Hermon (2014), ACFW (2014), and returned to Mt Hermon this Spring. I can’t say enough about these amazing conferences, nor can I thank Davis enough for mentioning them. I enjoyed every moment, learned a great deal, and would do it all over again. And God knows my heart. Inside and Out.

Recently, a picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a magazine rekindled my desire. I mentioned it to Ane Mulligan, a dear friend and writer. She said she wished I could come. Then out of the blue (no pun intended), knowing I couldn’t fly to Asheville, she  asked if I could fly to Atlanta. I felt a nudge. So strong, I knew it was God’s. I heeded, and checked the flights. I could get there but couldn’t get back. Huh? What was He trying to say? I searched all weekend, nothing. Monday came, still nothing.

Refusing to give up on what I knew was God’s voice, I sought His guidance, and checked 3 other airports. Nothing. Then a 4th. P.T.L. One seat. 2 1/2 hours away from home but still… one seat. Scheduled two days later than I’m supposed to report back to work, but still, there was one single available seat. And I couldn’t even book it! I had to clear it with work first.

I asked. She said no. Disappointed, I nodded my reply in understanding…sort of. Until… moments later, she gave me the go-ahead. I booked my flights, many thoughts going through my mind. Thoughts of God’s Greatness; His provisions when I thought there was no way. He’d provided by putting the right people in my path at the right time:

– Davis Bunn who told me about Christian writers conferences;

– Ane Mulligan who offered a drive, a place to stay before/during/after the conference;

– A husband who supports my writing 200 percent.

But best of all, God showed me His unending love for me. He knows the desire of my heart–Psalms 37:4–and even though I had pretty well given up on Blue Ridge Mountains, thinking it simply wasn’t possible, God hadn’t given up on ME. He made a way.

God has big plans for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has: “…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is not to say He’s going to say YES to everything we ask, nor is He going to open every door. Yes, it may hurt when He says no. Keep in mind, though, He knows what’s behind that door better than we do.

So when you feel His nudge, heed his calling. Even when things seem impossible. Keep dreaming. Keep seeking Him. And keep asking.

In closing, here’s an amazing video. FLAWLESS by Mercy Me

Until next time,


Renee-Ann <><