Category Archives: Christian Communicators

Parting Words From The WORD…Waiting Before Working

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Okay, I admit it. I’m hardheaded, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Like when I first began my writing journey.

I was hardheaded enough to believe that editors were wrong and that I did have something worthwhile to say, even though I’d been writing for years and had nothing to show for it. After seven years and 63 rejections, I finally received an acceptance–I was a published writer! Since most writers receive 5-10 rejections and quit, I determined that hardheadedness was a real blessing for me as a writer.

But then there are the other times.

I want you to know that most I mornings I do start the day with the Lord. After all, I know that’s the best way to set the day’s course by His course.

But sometimes I’m too hardheaded to do what I know I should. On those days, I tell myself I just don’t have time.

Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to spend time with Jesus. There is nothing like starting my day with my Bible, my coffee, and my Lord. But with book deadlines, caregiving responsibilities, and a demanding speaking and ministry schedule, my hardheadedness sometimes convinces me that I just can’t stop and wait on Him.

I had such a day last week at the Christian Communicators Conference, where I was investing in the lives of women who are called to a speaking ministry. It was Friday morning, one of the most jam-packed days, and I’d had a short night of sleep. After getting a late start, I mentally rescheduled my quiet time to the evening and concentrated on my early morning to-do list.

The day went well, but it was late that night when I finally turned to the day’s devotion. My heart was broken by what I read. It was as if Sarah Young had watched me that morning as I put my time with Christ on hold. She called “waiting before working” an act of faith and ended with the promise that when we turn to Jesus for guidance, He enables us to do less, but accomplish more. I confessed the mismanagement of my priorities and belatedly waited on the Lord.

In order to be best prepared for whatever lies ahead, I need to commit each day to waiting before working. Looking at my to-do list through human eyes it’s easy to become hardheaded, thinking that I know more than my Father.

But by putting my waiting before my working, I give Him the honor He deserves and open myself up to His power. I may do less than I thought it required, but accomplish more that He has planned for me.

And even I’m not too hardheaded to see the blessing in that.

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 NIV

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Patty Mason

Patty Mason headshot 2012Patty Mason is Hearing the Cry to Know God and Make Him Known

My guest today is Patty Mason. Patty is a wife and mother of three who is madly and passionately in love with Jesus. Besides being a writer–and one of our Christian Communicator graduates!–she is the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries and the host of the radio program Joyful Living: Finding God’s Joy in a Turbulent World. Her testimony of God’s grace and deliverance from depression has been featured on numerous TV and radio programs, such as The 700 Club; and in many blogs, books, and magazine articles, including LifeWay Magazine. Her second book, Finally Free, won book of the year, and she was voted one of 50 Great Writers you Should be Reading.

Welcome Patty…

Hey Vonda, thank you for having me on the Writer’s Den. I’m excited to be here to share with your readers and fellow writers.

You have a brand new Bible study out, Know That I AM God. What inspired you to write this study?  

I believe there is a cry rising up among believers today that begs for the revelation: “I want to know God!” I am convinced there are people today who yearn to embrace a relational knowledge of God that goes far beyond bible facts and the basic concepts of Christianity—a people who want to take knowing and experiencing God to the extreme.

Wow! Know That I AM God sounds like a passionate Bible study. How did you get started writingPatty Mason Know That book cover Bible studies?

Out of sheer need! Several years ago, I started teaching bible study for junior high girls. I went to the Christian bookstore to find a study I could lead them through, but at that time I couldn’t find any studies to fit that age group. There were studies for youth, but I found those studies to be too focused on older teen struggles and not for younger girls, so I began writing the weekly lessons that later evolved into writing bible studies for women.

How did God inspire you to take this quest to know Him and make Him known?

In Isaiah 43:10 God said, “You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.” This verse spoke to me about the relentless desire of God’s heart for us to know Him intimately, believe Him unconditionally, and understand who He is and that He alone is God. So when I put the two together, the cry of the people who truly desire to know God, and God’s desire to truly be known, it was powerful—it became a passionate love story that begged to be told.

How do you approach knowing God through this study?

The Bible is filled with those who knew God. Isaiah, Moses, David, John and Matthew, Paul and Peter all recorded the experiences of the One they came to know as their Father; their Bridegroom; their Shepherd; their Healer; their Redeemer; their Friend; their King, and their God, and they told the world.

For example, the Apostle John, in 1 John 1:1-3, talks about seeing, hearing and touching the living, breathing Word of Life, and then he talks about proclaiming what he and the other disciples witnessed.  The Word appeared—they saw Him—they experienced Him—and then based on what they experienced, they gave testimony.

What do you hope people will take away from this study?

It is my hope and prayer that this study, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will challenge people to take the road less traveled, daring them to radically expand their view of God; and that it will whet the appetite of anyone who is in hot-pursuit of God.

What do you think is going to be the hardest or most challenging part of this study for people?

God is like a multi-faceted diamond, but many of us can become comfortable witnessing God through one or two specific areas. For example some people are not comfortable with Jesus as the Bridegroom, yet they can approach God as Father. Still others are not comfortable with God as Father because they didn’t have a good relationship with their earthly dad. Maybe they grew up abused and feeling unloved by their dad, and this spills over into their relationship with God as Father. It is my hope that, as people open their hearts to God, they will begin to experience Him and know Him in new aspects of relationship and just settle on one or two.

Patty Mason Know That DVD coverThis sounds like a study that would inspire all of us to dig deep and go straight for the heart of God. How can we get a copy of Know That I AM God?

The Know That I AM God workbook is on Amazon. But to get the complete study, including the workbook and Leader’s Guide combo, along with the 10-week video series (taken from the book of Ezekiel) check out my Bible Studies section on my website at http://www.libertyinchristministries.com/bible-studies.

This sounds like an amazing study, Patty. I can’t wait to read it! Thank you for giving us a sneak peek!

And friends, did you see that Patty is offering multiple products of Know That I AM God? Workbook, leader’s Guide, and a 10-week video series!

Readers, if you would like to be in the drawing for a free copy of the Know That I AM God workbook, please leave a comment and then check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

If you would like to contact Patty, email her at patty@libertyinchristministries.com. To learn more about Patty Mason, her ministry, radio program, or about any of her books, visit her website at www.libertyinchristministries.com.

Grace and peace,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Today, as I think on God and His word, His promises to us as speakers and writers, I’m reminded of Philippians 2:13:

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 NIV

This says God is working in you and me, giving us the desire and the power to do what He wants us to do. Did you see that He not only gives us the POWER to do it, but the DESIRE as well?

So, are we doing it? Are we seeking his will for our lives? Are our efforts achieving what He has for us to achieve?

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Conferences, & Who Won the Contest?

newspapersCan You Believe It’s Already the 3rd Tuesday in March?

Today I’m thrilled to bring you a new list of writing opportunities and conferences to help you in your writing quest. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many words have been published because of an opportunity or a conference listed here at the Christian Writer’s Den?

Let’s Start with Writing Opportunities

Here’s this month’s list of writing opportunities gathered just for you! As always, be sure study the publisher and read and follow the submission guidelines carefully.

1.  Chicken Soup is ALWAYS looking for stories! Currently look for stories about moms, forgiveness, angels, Christmas, facing challenges, and more. Find the Chicken Soup Call-Out for Stories here.

2.  ADDitude Magazine is looking for articles from health care professionals and journalists, and first person accounts from those living with ADHD, learning disabilities, and related conditions. Find the ADDitude Magazine writers guidelines here.

3.  Outdoor Photographer: Okay, I know we have a lot of photographers among the CWD readers, so here’s your chance to submit your photographs, too!

4.  Good Old Days Magazine“The magazine that remembers the best.” I know there are quite a few of us oldies but goodies out there. This is your opportunity to share your good ol’ days. And the good news is, their instructions ASK you to submit often! Good Old Days Magazine guidelines here.

5.  Last month we featured a dog magazine, but we don’t play favorites. Here’s I Love Cats Magazine writers guidelines.

6.  Jack and Jill Children’s Magazine

7.  Over My Dead Body is looking for fiction, book reviews, and interviews.

8.  In Touch Magazine. In Touch Ministries is the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley.

9.  LifeWay Publications. LifeWay is a great way to connect with the editors of many magazines. Do a good job for one of their publications and you may have an opportunity to write for several others. I know that first hand!

10. Ask Magazine for Kids (Cricket – parent company)

Okay, so that does it for this month’s opportunities. Be sure to read on for upcoming writing conferences. After all, that’s the BEST way to connect with a magazine or book publisher!

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With Al Gansky

With Al Gansky at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference

Upcoming Conferences

1.  Coffee & Quill Mini Conference: March 22, 2014, Woodstock, GA

2.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

3.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

4.  Festival of Faith and Writing: April 10-12, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

5.  Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop: April 10-12, 2014, Dayton, OH

6.  Cross ‘N Pens Creative Nonfiction Workshop: April 12, 2014, Simpsonville, SC (This is my local writers group!)

7.  Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 25-26, 2014, Santa Ana, CA

8.  Writing Success XXIII: April 26, 2014, Stoneboro, PA

9.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 14-17, Estes Park, CO

10. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

11. Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival: June 14, 2014, York, SC

12. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 17-21, Grove City, PA

13. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL (I’ll be there co-directing the Teen Intern Program again and would love to see you there!)

14. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 30-August 2, 2014, Langhorne, PA

15. Christian Authors Guild Catch the Wave Conference: August 14-16, 2014, Marietta, GA

16. Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (Although the financial need scholarship slots are open and accepting applications until April 1, the waiting list is open to everyone!)

17. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 10-11, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

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PrintI’m Looking for Teens 16yo-18yo Who are Interested in the Media Arts!

I’m honored to again be a co-director of The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival Teen Intern Program at this year’s conference, July 11-15, 2014 in Orlando.

If you know a teen interested in acting, directing, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, or anything else related to the media arts, please send them to the Gideon Intern Page for details and application. But they must hurry–Deadline for applications is April 15. Please note I incorrectly posted the deadline last month. The correct deadline is April 15.

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Who Won Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks?

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Wow, what fun to read your additions to Jolene Philo’s Top 10 Things About Being a Writer! We writers certainly have lots of things to love when it comes to writing. I must say some of my personal favorites about being a writer are 1)working in my PJs; 2) living in a world where I can make anything happen; and 3)doing and saying things to people I would NEVER do or say in real life! I know you have no idea what I’m talking about!

All the entries were excellent, but since my sweet hubby, Gary, doesn’t know any of you, I asked him to choose a winner. And he proclaims that the winner is…Judith Robl!

Congratulations, Judith! Please contact me with your mailing address and Cyn will get your blocks right out to you!

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Well, I think that does it for another Writer’s Headlines week. Please be sure to let us know when you find success!

And, as always, thank you for joining me, dear friends. It’s a joy and an honor to share the writing life with you.

Write on!

Vonda

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Who Won Sharon Lavy’s Book? Call-Outs for Kudos, MoGo7000 Totals, & CCC Scholarship Applications

Sharon Lavy Deadly Secrets coverWho Won Sharon Lavy’s Book?

And the winner of Deadly Secret: A Tale from The Ohio Valley is…Julie Garmon! Congratulations, Julie! Just contact me with your snail mail address and your preference of a paperback or digital format and your book will be on its way! But I need to let you know Sharon may still be in Israel, so it may take a few extra days to hear from her.

Israel. Can you imagine? I sure hope to be there one of these days. I would love to walk where Jesus walked! :-)

And friends, you don’t have to miss out. Here’s the Amazon link to Deadly Secret: A Tale from the Ohio ValleyAvailable in both digital and paperback. Enjoy!

Thanks for joining us and sharing your book with us, Sharon.

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Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on You!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!

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mogo7000 logoCall for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in February, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2014 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your February results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in February. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2014 challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 12 months and you’ll have 12 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. :-)

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Still Accepting Scholarship Applications for the 2014 Christian Communicatorsccclogosmall Conference!

Thank you for your quick responses to the Christian Communicators Conference open registration announcement. The response was overwhelming and open registration is now closed; however, we’re still accepting applications for FIVE scholarships.

If you have a financial need, please feel free to visit the CCC Scholarship Information page and submit the completed application. But you must hurry, deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is April 1, 2014.

And if you don’t have a financial need, but would like to attend CCC, please contact our Conference Coordinator, Cynthia Owens at ccc [@] gowithvision.com to be placed on the waiting list (at no charge).

Okay, that does it for this Tuesday call-out! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to this month! Thank you for letting us celebrate your successes with you!

Blessings,

Vonda

(Celebration image courtesy of m_bartosch/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opps, Conferences, Announcements, & Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

newspapersYep, it’s that time again…Time to help you get published, find a conference and maybe even win Jo Ann’s book!

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Here are this month’s writing opportunities, compiled just for you!

1.  Vista, Light for the World, and Book submission guidelines from the Wesleyan Church

2.  Jeanne Doyon is looking for Guest Bloggers. Deadline May 1. Click here for guidelines: WANTED Guest Bloggers from Jeanne Doyon

3.  Weekly Christian Flash Fiction Writing Contest by Pastor and writer Charles W. Short

4.  Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is accepting submissions February 16 to March 2, 2014. $50,000 Grand Prize!

5.  Castle Gate Press, a new publisher, is looking for submissions with a Christian worldview

6.  Appleseeds Magazine for Kids (Cricket – parent company) is looking for submissions appropriate for kids 6-9

7.  Free Spirit Publishing accepts non-fiction book and resources on character building, self-esteem, service-building, civics education, and more for children and teens

8.  Dog Fancy Magazine writers guidelines. One of our Christian Writer’s Den friends just had an article published in this magazine!

9.  Dollar Stretcher Publications writers guidelines

10. Just 4 Kids Magazine writers guidelines

11. Writer’s Digest Magazine submission guidelines. This is the magazine I insulted Steven James and embarrassed myself about. (And Steven James still likes me, I think!)

12. The Writer Magazine submission guidelines. As far as I know, I haven’t insulted anyone with this magazine. :-)

Well, friends, that should keep you busy for a while. Be sure to let us know if you find success through the writing opps. I sure encourages me to keep working at finding them for you!

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Upcoming Conferences Black and White ladies at BRMCWC2010

We know conferences are THE BEST way to get your training and possibly meet editors and agents, too! So here are the conferences I know about. Feel free to Contact Me with any you’d like for me to add!

1. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: February 21-23, New York

2.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 21-23, 2014, Asheville, NC

3.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 26-March 2, 2014, Leesburg, FL (I’m teaching there and would love to see you!)

4.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 8, 2014, Memphis, TN

5.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-15, 2014, Spartanburg, SC

6.  Idahope Writers: March 14-15, 2014, Meridian, ID

7.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

8.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

9.  Festival of Faith and Writing: April 10-12, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

10. Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop: April 10-12, 2014, Dayton, OH

11. Orange County Christian Writers Conference: April 25-26, 2014, Santa Ana, CA

12. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 14-17, Estes Park, CO

13. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

14. Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival: June 14, 2014, York, SC

15. St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 17-21, Grove City, PA

16. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL (I’ll be there co-directing the Teen Intern Program again and would love to see you there!)

17. Christian Communicators Conference: August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC (Registration now open! Hope to see you there!)

18. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 10-11, 2014, Grand Rapids, MI

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christian-communicators-promo-cove-2014Registration is Now Open for The Christian Communicators Conference for Speakers

Ladies, if you feel called to speak, you don’t want to miss the Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Carolyn Knefely and I would love to see you there!

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more…

By limiting the conference to about 30 ladies, you receive more!

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women . . . but you’ll be embraced by thirty who will become lifelong friends
  • You won’t experience long lines for dinner . . . but you’ll have long conversations over dessert
  • You won’t need change for vending machines . . . but shared stories at afternoon tea can change your life

Come and learn in a small, intimate setting . . .
then go out and change a great big world

Check out the Christian Communicators Conference registration details here. But don’t delay, with only 30 spots, we fill up quickly!Print

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I’m Looking for Teens 16yo-18yo Who are Interested in the Media Arts!

I’m honored to again be a co-director of The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival Teen Intern Program at this year’s conference, July 11-15, 2014 in Orlando.

If you know a teen interested in acting, directing, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, or anything else related to the media arts, please send them to the Gideon Intern Page for details and application. But they must hurry–Deadline for applications is April 1.

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Jo Ann Fore book coverAnd Finally…Who Won Jo Ann Fore’s Book?

My goodness, I can tell you loved Jo Ann, her book, and her interview! That was one of the highest number of responses ever received. Thank you for your support and encouragement. And now, the winner is…drumroll please…

…Kimberly Ruedger-Wheatfill!

Congratulations, Kimberly! Just Contact Me with your snail mail address and Jo Ann will have your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Jo Ann’s amazing book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference.

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Okay, friends, that does it for today’s post. Yes, I know it was longer than usual, but that’s because I had so much good stuff to share with you!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities & Conferences

newspapersHere are writing opportunities collected just for you!

Yes, it’s time for our monthly list of writing opps. I hope you’ll read the following opps, study the guidelines and submit. And don’t forget to let us celebrate with you when you have good news!

1.  Melissa Williams has a call-out for women who found love and marriage after age 30. She says: I’m currently writing an inspirational book for single Christian women (aged 30+) who are hoping to be married. I’m looking for Christian women who did indeed find love and marriage after 30 and are willing to share their stories throughout the book. I’m incredibly honoured by all the women God is

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing and Speaking Conferences & MoGo7000

It’s the 4th Thursday and time to look at upcoming conferences!

If you’re serious about writing, speaking, filmmaking, or creative arts, you need to be serious about learning your craft. Conferences are a great place to learn, regardless of your experience. Be sure to check them all out and find the ones that best fit your needs.

1.  Blue Ridge Writing Retreat with Agent Sally Apokedak: October 24-27, 2013, Blue Ridge, GA.

2.  Mini Fiction Workshop: November 16, 2013, Anderson, SC (Contact Elva Martin for details: elvacmartin@gmail.com)

3.  Writing for the Soul: February 13-15, 2014, Colorado Springs, CO

4.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 21-23, 2014, Asheville, NC

5.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 26-March 2, 2014, Leesburg, FL (Hope to see you there!)

6.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 8, 2014, Memphis, TN

7.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 13-15, 2014, Spartanburg, SC (Registration opens soon!)

8.  Write2Ignite: March 28-29, 2014, Tigerville, SC

9.  FAM Fest Film Festival: March 29, 2014, York, SC

10. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2014, Ridgecrest, NC

11. Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival: July 11-15, 2014, Orlando, FL

12. Christian Communicators Conference: Hold the date! August 27-31, 2014, The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC

 

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Only 8 more days to MoGo in October!

Have you been working on your MoGo7000 this month? If so, you have 8 more days to count toward this month’s total, so keep working!

Don’t know what in the world I’m talking about? Head on over to the MoGo7000 Challenge page and check it out. You could finish a book this year AND win $100 in cold, hard cash!

So what are you waiting for?

Write on!

Vonda

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7th Annual Bad Poetry Contest with Chip MacGregor–You Could Win Here AND There!

Okay, friends, as we continue the theme of conferences, I thought it’d be a good time to join in the fun going on over at Chip MacGregor’s Bad Poetry Contest to celebrate his birthday.

For those who’ve been around writing conferences for a while, you’ll recognize the name, Chip MacGregor. For those who don’t know him, Chip is owner of MacGregor Literary, one of the most recognized agencies in the business. He’s spoken at writing conferences in over 100 locations. And I can promise you, once you’ve been around Chip, you won’t forget him. He helps writers around the world with his snarky voice and big heart. (Don’t tell I said the big heart part. He likes to protect his image.)

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing, Speaking, and Media Conferences

It’s the 4th Thursday–Time to look at upcoming conferences!

 

1.  Southeastern Christian Writers ConferenceApril 26-2, 2013, Cleveland, TN

2.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 15-18, 2013, Estes Park, CO

3.  Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 19-23, 2013, Ridgecrest, NC–I can’t wait to see you there!

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