I started out my professional life as a parish pastor, but even then I knew that my vocation was writing. While earning two masters degrees, an MDiv and a Master of Sacred Theology in New Testament and Greek, I wrote and published academic articles. In my ten years of parish ministry, I published many articles and several books for the spiritual market. During that time, I did everything I could to get an education in writing. I read more than 100 books a year, I attended author events at our local independent bookstore, and I attended writing conferences and workshops. One of my first and best conference experiences came from the Write-to-Publish conference in Wheaton. One year a brief conversation with an editor in the hallway led to the book I wrote with my husband, Timeouts With God (Concordia). After attending for several years, I was asked back as a speaker—and connected with more wonderful writers. If you’re interested in writing for the Christian market, read Tammie Edington Shaw’s article below and consider attending this fine event!
By Tammie Edington Shaw
Write-to-Publish is a Christian writer’s conference that has been training writers for almost 40 years. The 2012 conference will be Wednesday, May 30 – Saturday, June 2, at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois.
There are offerings to interest fiction and nonfiction writers, whether you are a beginner or seasoned in your writing journey.
FIRST-TIME ORIENTATION Write-to-Publish always welcomes unpublished writers or those attending their first conference. A first-timers orientation is held early on the first day to provide encouragement and helpful information for a good conference experience.
FACULTY There are over thirty faculty members including editors, agents and freelance writers. This is more than most Christian conferences around the country.
CONTINUING CLASSES This year there will be six continuing classes held each morning of the conference. These are How to Get Published, Foundations of Fiction through Film, Writing Nonfiction Books, Manuscript Makeovers, Using the Internet to Share Your Message, and also a Freelance Career Track for those published book authors and article writers with numerous credits.
OVER 40 WORKSHOPS There are over 40 workshops held during the four days. Some of the workshops offered include Writing Children’s Picture Books, Why Editors and Agents Quit Reading Your Book, What You Need to Know About e-Books, and Working From Home Without Going Crazy.
PANELS A unique and popular feature of the conference is the daily panel of editors who share what they are interested in publishing. These panels include Magazine Editors, Specialty Markets/Self-publishing Editors, and Book Editors and on the last day a panel of freelance writers shares their Secrets of Success. Many new markets are discovered by attendees during these panels, which are held during general sessions.
APPOINTMENTS WITH EDITORS Fifteen minute appointments with editors from book and periodical publishers and agents, within the Christian Market, are also available to all attendees.
CRITIQUE GROUPS Informal critique groups meet Wednesday through Friday after the main evening session. These are led by faculty and include subjects such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and daily devotionals.
New to the late evening schedule this year is a session I will be facilitating for bloggers and future bloggers. We will talk about blogging in general, helpful links and resources and a time for sharing of ideas and challenges encountered. For further information and to register go to the conference website, www.writetopublish.com
Tammie Edington Shaw is a writer, Christian, wife of an engineer, sister and an aunt. She has published numerous articles, daily devotionals, a short story and is the co-compiler of the book, Writing So Heaven Will Be Different (WinePress). A former newspaper editor, pubishing house production coordinator and an artists’ rep, Shaw also spends part of my day as a technical associate for a public library. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is on the staff of the Write-to-Publish Conference. Visit her blog www.tamedingtonshaw.blogspot.com