September 29, 2013

My Takeaways from the 2013 ICWF Fall Conference - Ruth L. Snyder

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship Fall Conference in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. I especially appreciated our keynote speaker, Murray Pura.

"Don't let anything be greater than the fact that you are a child of God!" (Advice given to Murray when he signed his first book contract.)

In his opening session, Murray gave us two personal examples of why it's important to persevere as a writer.

Mizzly Fitch
-This was Murray's first novel
-He sent queries out and received 3 rejection letters
-He wanted to quit sending queries, but his wife wouldn't let him
-The manuscript was accepted for publication, but Murray didn't like the cover
-The publisher was sold
-After waiting, he was told the new company would not be republishing the book
-After many years, Regent College offered to republish the book
-When they sent the cover art to Murray, he was startled to see they chose his favourite painting as the cover picture
-The book is still in print today

-Murray's second novel, based on two of his aunts
-Submitted manuscript
-Publisher rejected the book because the writing was "too good"
-Agent gave manuscript to 4 large publishers who all rejected it
-Another publisher liked the manuscript, but two experts had a problem with the Christian content
-Became a finalist in the Paraclete Contest
-Publisher offered to publish, but declined after 2 weeks
-20 years later, the book was finally published! and was shortlisted for a $25,000 prize
-The sequel was published two years later and won The Word Guild Award for best historical novel

Sunrise near Wetaskiwin on Saturday, September 29, 2013

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the weekend:

"You have to go for 'the long bomb'."
"God embodies everything he wants to teach us in story."
 "Treat your stories with respect and honour - you don't know where your stories will end up."
 "Take any decent opportunity that comes your way."
"Say, 'Yes I can' and do it 'afraid'."
 "Remember the cloud the size of a fist, which became a storm and filled the land with water."
"Remember that whenever you write a story, you're always writing for Christ."


  1. Ruth, thanks for sharing a taste of what you heard at the conference. I love how Murray (with the help of his wife) persevered through all the disappointments and rejection. Some great advice there, especially: "Remember that whenever you write a story, you're always writing for Christ."

  2. Thank you Ruth for summing this up for us. Great conference! Thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning, a job well done.

  3. these were wonderful quotes, Ruth. I know we all came away feeling encouraged and inspired.

  4. Marcia, I hope you'll be able to join us for a conference soon :) Melanie, it was good to see you at conference. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Tracy, thanks for your part in making conference a success!

  5. Well done Ruth! I was going to gather my quotes from my notes, but now I don't have to... I think you have them all here.

    What an inspiring weekend. Loved listening to Murray Pura, and the interaction with fellow writers was priceless! Thanks, executive, for planning and pulling off such a stellar event!!

  6. Thanks for these great quotes and for giving me a taste of what I missed. Sounds like it was an encouraging time. Thanks for this peek, Ruth!

  7. Violet, it was great to have you at conference! Thanks for your part in making it a great event. Glynis, we hope you can join us next year :)


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