Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference
July 30 – August 2, 2014
1. To learn the craft of writing. Okay, maybe you’ve been writing for many years, but there is always more to learn. Master craftsmen will teach workshops and continuing sessions that, as one conferee said, are the equivalent of a semester college course in writing. You’ll learn from authors like Cec Murphey, Linda Evans Shepherd, Tim Shoemaker, and Jeanette Windle. And they are just four of the 56 authors, editors, agents, and publicists serving on this year’s faculty.
2. To learn the craft of marketing your work to potential publishers or explore the how-to of indie publishing. If you’ve gotten more than your share of rejection slips or have yet to get your first rejection (I’m sorry, it goes with the territory of being a writer), GPCWC offers a “Get Published” track of six hour-long workshops that will provide practical help. In addition, literary agent, editor, and author Dave Fessenden is teaching a two-hour Wednesday early bird workshop, on “Book Proposals: The Front-End Method.” You also can choose Tim Shoemaker’s continuing session, “How to Get Published.” For those considering indie publishing. we have a two-hour “You Can Publish Your eBook” early bird workshop on Wednesday and a continuing session on how to professionally format a book interior for CreateSpace.
3. Face-to-face opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents. At GPCWC full-time conferees get FOUR 15-minute one-on-one appointments with the faculty of your choice. Because we have such a large faculty, there’s a good possibility that even late registrants will get their top choices. On Thursday afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for additional appointments with faculty who still have openings. In today’s publishing world, the only way to connect with many agents and editors is through meeting them at a conference. Check out our helpful spreadsheets of their editorial needs. You’ll find links on the pages for our editors and agents. Anxious about meeting a real live editor or agent face-to-face? Jeanette Windle’s two “Practice Your Pitch” early bird workshops (one for nonfiction and the other for fiction) will help build your confidence. Our authors are also available for appointments. They can point out the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, answer questions, and provide helpful guidance.
4. To learn the craft of marketing/promoting your published work. And yes, it’s a craft, and not one that comes naturally to most writers. I’ve often said that the reason I quit Girl Scouts is because of the stress of trying to sell cookies. Whether or not you like marketing, the fact is that you hold the key to the sales of your book. But the good news is that it’s a craft that can be learned. We’ve also got a track of six hour-long marketing workshops.
5. Friendships with other writers. My closest friends are writers I’ve met at writers’ conferences. In amazing ways writers connect deeply with one another more quickly than I ever have in the chit-chat before and after Sunday morning worship services. And we need each other. A key verse for me that I’ve experienced and sought to follow is 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage each other to build each other up” (TLB). It happens at GPCWC!
6. Inspiration and encouragement to keep on keeping on. Our keynoters will challenge you to “Write His Answer.”
7. Direction from the Lord. Each year, and this is my 31st year directing GPCWC, I see God at work in Ephesians 3:20 ways. He has a plan for you and for your writing. He is the One who makes the impossible possible. Indeed, GPCWC is “More than a Writers Conference.”
There’s still time to register and to request appointments. Housing is still available in Cairn University’s Heritage Hall. None of the workshops or continuing sessions are filled because of the university’s large classrooms. If you need time payments or scholarship help, please ask. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 484-991-8581.
God bless you and your writing – Marlene