Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gearing up for the 2013 Conference!

February 27-March 3, 2013 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.

Friend us on facebook (Florida Christian Writers Conference) and get ready for the launch of the new website at a brand new address.

Keynoters include: Steven James, Sally Stuart, Dan Walsh, Alton Gansky.

Many speakers, editors, and agents coming to FCWC for the first time!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


All of the conferees for the past twenty-five years extend sympathy to our director, Billie Wilson at the death of her dear husband, Doug, on June 12,2012. Please pray for Billie and her loving family at this sad time.

Monday, February 27, 2012



Are you excited? I am and here’s why:

  1. This week is the 25th Florida Christian Writers Conference near Orlando. Twenty-five years! Wow.
  2. Six continuing classes, mentoring tracks, 56 elective workshops, and 12 After Hours workshops.
  3. Cecil Murphy is the keynote speaker. He alone is worth the price of admission.
  4. An amazing faculty of excited 46 authors, agents, editors, and publishers.
  5. One-on-one meeting with the above 46 encouragers.
  6. Opportunities to have your submissions read and critiqued by the faculty.
  7. Opportunities to meet with exciting faculty for manuscript CPR.
  8. Worship in song and word.
  9. Great food.
  10. Opportunities to sit with your any of the 46 faculty during meals.
  11. Getting to experience Billie’s southern humor.
  12. Opportunities to connect with the conferees throughout the conference.
  13. The chance to learn what type of writing excites the conferees.
  14. Hearing the great ideas in the conferee’s queries and proposals.
  15. And finally, I am truly excited to share my workshops with the conferees. I have been fine-tuning my four workshops and two After Hours sessions. It’s fun.
  16. One more. I have been building my Wednesday night pre-conference session, called, “Reasons.” We’ll have fun.

I’ve been using my iPad to build my presentations. Capturing images, adding text and photos, managing transitions, making changes on the fly, adding newly found content – I love my iPad.

I look forward to seeing you  Wednesday night or Thursday for sure.

John Vonhof


MOST ANSWERS ABOUT SCHEDULE FOR THE CONFERENCE CAN BE ANSWERED BY CHECKING THE WEB SITE AND CLICKING THE SCHEDULE TAB.  Looking forward to a great conference. Registrsation will start at 9:00 on Thursday, but I know we will see some of you much earlier.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


by Elaine Creasman 
It's hard to believe 25 years have passed since I first entered through the doors of the Florida Christian Writers Conference as a mom of young children and a new writer. I battled many unresolved emotional issues in my life, but felt God had called me to write personal experience articles about how He was intervening in each of these.
For the first few conferences, editors terrified me. It seemed they had the power to mend or break my heart with one word--"yes" or "no" when it came to my meager offerings. Often I would ask myself, "What am I doing here?" But along the way, God helped me find favor with editors and improve my writing. Much of the writing which I've had published--including numerous articles, poems, gift book contributions--is a result of connections I made at FCWC.
Even though I came to the conferences to learn about writing and later on to also help writers move on in their writing journeys (as I joined the staff,) the Florida Christian Writers Conference has also been more. It became a place for a spiritual retreat--an oasis away from the sometimes chaotic happenings in my life--to hear from God.
At the early conferences Peter Lord, who wrote the book Hearing God, helped to open the door to believing  God wanted to speak truth to me about Himself, about me, and about my writing. And at each conference (I've attended 23 out of 24 conferences) He has spoken truth. I have found myself coming home at times much more excited about how God was changing my thinking and healing my emotions than how many pieces editors said "yes" to. Over time I discovered these changes helped my writing.   
God convinced me at early conferences that He didn't want me merely to focus on my writing at the conference, but He desired I embrace how He wanted to heal me and help me as a Christian. He reminded me that If I wanted to be an excellent Christian writer, it was essential to also work on the "Christian" part of that title.
Along the way God has spoken life-changing truths to me at FCWC through the wisdom of Billie Wilson, through speakers, through faculty and fellow writers, and through times alone as I have sought Him in prayer. Times alone have become one of the most important parts of the conference, which I encourage all conferees to pursue.
One experience I had at a conference where Peter Lord spoke was a turning point in my relationship with God, the Father. I wrote about it, and it was published as part of a piece in a women's magazine and more recently on      
Excitement is mounting about the conference again. Yes, I'm preparing as far as the writing end of things goes, but I'm also getting my heart ready to hear from God.
Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening. 
How about you? Is your heart and mind open to hear what God has to say about Himself, about you, and about your writing? Are you eager to draw closer to Him as you take time away from your everyday life?
I pray God will bless you at FCWC 2012 as you seek to hear all He has to say to you. I'm confident it will be life-changing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Florida conference connected me to the world of publishing.  Now I help with it behind the scenes and teach at it. I’ll be teaching the continuing class on marketing again but it is never the same twice.

Each conference has a flavor one might say-that makes it unique. Florida has always been full of hope, graciousness, and friendliness. For me, returning each year is also a reunion of friends, including the editors and a place where I meet new friends.

No matter where you are in the process of writing this is a conference that will help you move forward. I have seen the people who persist and apply what they learn succeed, although the timing is always in God’s hands.

I bring in guests to speak and add some of their experience on various aspects of marketing covered. We start each session sharing information about marketing. And then the participants divide into two groups where we brainstorm how to apply the marketing principles to their own books. Making it individual helps each one start his, or her, own marketing plan.

Behind the scenes I try to help spread the word about the conference and work with ReachFM on interviewing some of the faculty and sharing about the conference throughout the year.

When you come, pray for God to set up the right meetings with people.

Come ready to listen and accept advise. The faculty members want to help you improve and get published. They are experienced, so listen.

Come eager, but pace each day as it can be overwhelming. Take breaks and don’t try to do everything.

Come and make friends. Gather emails and make connections and plans to stay I touch with at least a few people.

Let God plan the agenda.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Hey, everyone! Can't wait to see you at the FCWC this year. I've attended for the past 8 years (can it be 8? I think so.)
When you get there, find the sheets explaining the "After Hours" conferences. (They're really not too late, but after the evening sessions.)
I'm teaching some of the same confrences I taught last year, since many people emailed asking us to provide them again.
*  On Thursday, You'll find out how to get started on a poetry-writing career or just writing poetry for family and friends. We'll cover poetry basics and then more in-depth information on creating and publishing your poetry. Go to room 343 for "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Poetry," by Edna Ellison. Bring poetry to read, if you like.
*  On Friday, we'll have fun discussing "How to Write a Bible Study that Can Change the World." You won't believe how God has blessed me: of the 23 books I've written, 13 of them are Bible studies. I've got a new one coming out this fall, and I'll tell you how it came to be born. I know God is about to bless you in more exciting ways! I hope you change the world with your future Bible studies of all kinds.
*  On Saturday, let's have our final After Hour session on "Writing for Women." We'll cover how to appeal to women who read articles, books, poetry, and Bible studies you can sell to publishers to satisfy the longing in today's women for God's heartbeat in their lives and the lives of their families. Women of influence, come on over to the After Hours sessions every night.
   Oh, yes!  As you come into any of these sessions, win a prize by telling me you saw this online.      
I can't wait to see you at Lake Yale!
 In Christ,
Dr. Edna M. Ellison
170 Buckstone Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307 

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Cost or Investment?     by Ava Pennington

February – the month between paying off your Christmas bills and collecting the documents you’ll need to file your taxes. Money is tight, and can you really afford a writers conference right now?

The answer to that question is…it depends. It depends on whether you want to:

1. develop your writing skills. 
(Think your writing can’t be improved? Think again!)

2. learn how to prepare for the day when that book contract arrives. 
(Hint: marketing yourself and your writing begins long before you sign on the dotted line.)

3. network with other writers. 
(Let’s face it: no one understands a writer better than another writer!)

4. meet agents and editors.
(Where else will you be able to meet with agents and editors who are there to meet with you?)

5. listen to editors and agents speak about what they’re looking for and what they’re not looking for. 
(The publishing industry is changing faster than Apple’s schedule for new iPhone releases. Don’t be left behind with outdated information.)

6. hear from giants in the Christian publishing industry such as Cec Murphey.
(Unless you’re not interested in learning from an author of more than 120 books, including New York Times bestsellers?)

7. develop new friendships
(Yes, this is a business conference…but we have fun, too!)

8. discover publishing opportunities.
(I met the editors of my books at a Florida Christian Writers Conference!)

9. be blessed by the generosity of others.
(Scholarships are available. See the FCWC website for more information.

Don’t view attendance at the Florida Christian Writers Conference as a cost, view it as an investment. Are you ready to invest in your writing future?

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Writing for Anthologies                 

How do you develop credibility when you’re an unpublished writer? Artists have their portfolios. Managers have their resumes. Unpublished writers have…? And that’s the problem. How does an unpublished writer prove to agents and publishers that he or she is serious about writing and publication?

One way is to build a history of published work by writing for magazines and anthologies. An anthology is a collection of short works. It can be poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, or songs. An example of a well-known anthology is the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Series such as this one are continuously seeking excellent content.

The first submission for which I was paid was a short story for Chicken Soup for the Soul. Since then, I’ve written for a variety of magazines, including The Lookout, Evangel, Light and Life, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. These publishing credits helped prepare me for the publication of my first book, One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God (Revell), as well as the two children’s books I co-authored with Crystal Bowman in the Faith Basics for Kids series (Standard Publishing).

Having been published in more than twenty different anthologies, including sixteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, I’ve learned some things about what makes one creative non-fiction submission stand out from the rest of the competition.

I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned in two workshops at the Florida Christian Writers Conference on Saturday, March 3, at 1:30 and 2:45. In the first session, we’ll discuss the components of a winning story. We’ll spend the second session in a hands-on exercise as we transform a mediocre story into a winner, using the principles learned in the first workshop.

I’ll also be facilitating an After Hours session Saturday evening for participants who want their anthology stories critiqued, so bring something you’re working on.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012