With InScribe’s Fall Conference just past, our contributors this month share significant highlights from this or another conference, course, or coaching.
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I wasn't sure if I could attend conference this year, so prepared a blog post on my first InScribe Fall Conference, in 2011.
That year our conference was situated in a beautiful church on the edge of Wetaskiwin--which felt wonderfully expansive for me out in God's creation.
The theme from Deuteronomy 32:2 was very significant for me.
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew
That conference was like the fragrance of fresh flowers after rain as I breathed in the softness of the Holy Spirit's presence.
Grace Fox, our keynote speaker, compared our written words to dew that would
revive people whose lives are like
scorched, dry plants.
As she began pursuing her writing goals, she asked God specifically what she should write and how she should use her time and energy wisely. (See more on her website)
God assured her: "I will accomplish what concerns you." He controls our destinies as writers, she told us. Can we rest, believing He's behind the scenes when negatives, rejections, and distractions come?
That conference became the standard of excellence for me.
That said, I did make it to the conference this year. I came, asking God for moments of the Spirit's refreshing rain. And He did not fail me.
One important refreshment came as I connected with other writers. I met Melinda Poidevin, a first-timer from Ontario, who is writing young adult novels. While introducing her to others, I received warm greetings from friends, and felt their love and welcome after a year of Facebook and email contact. I realized I hadn't seen most people since last conference. (Unfortunately I couldn't get to speak with everyone at the conference.)
There was so much to absorb—I can write only a sampling of raindrops in this blog.
Linda Hall, our keynote speaker, spoke of writing authentically through the ups and downs of life. Her Sage Points of Wisdom included: Write where you're grounded, where you're most comfortable. Read writers better than you--you'll learn from them. Find joy in what you do.
The editor's panel was filled with many significant points, including these: Ask God to give you a passion for excellence. Work through several levels of drafts; you can't polish a dirty stone.
Dayna Mazzuca spoke on connecting our writing with our readers. We won't reach everyone; our style of writing matches the way certain people view the world.
Susan King, editor for The Upper Room Devotional, discussed styles, images and application of effective devotionals. She also advised us: When in doubt about how to work your application, write to your readers as if they are non-believers.
Colour, design and lettering on our Indie book cover: Ellen Hooge's topic gave me lots to absorb on details I hadn't analyzed before.
Sally Meadows challenged me on goal setting: Is God whispering to you, casting you in a new direction? Pray into that vision. Wait on God's timing to open doors.
And a big thanks to all the conference organizers. They put in a lot of time and effort to bring us the best.
As I reflect on this Fall Conference, I think of how nourishing rains soak deep into the roots of a plant, stimulating new growth. So the Holy Spirit is soaking inspiration and encouragement into all of us as we grow in the direction God has planned for us.
Photo of Linda Hall thanks to Marcia Laycock