As Paul and I drove to the Florida Christian Writers Conference in Leesburg, Florida, I felt excited and blessed. I had found out only ten days before that this premier conference for writers was taking place less than four hours away. I prayed about attending and a peace dropped in my spirit, along with an inner urging. As if to confirm God's leading, when I called, there was still room in Christine Harder Tangvald’s mentoring track for children’s writers, which was my main reason for wanting to attend. In case you are not familiar with Christine, she is one of the foremost children’s writers in the country, with more than 100 children’s books to her credit.
My anticipation increased as we drew closer to Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida, not far from Disney World. Along with the anticipation came some butterflies. This would be the largest writer’s conference I had attended thus far. Previous conferences had been only one or two days and I wondered if I would feel overwhelmed. I would find out soon!
We checked in at the Raintree building, where our workshops were to be held. Then we took our bags to Willow building, one of several large two-story complexes that lodged conferees in motel units. We had arrived the day before the conference officially began, and we hurried to get ready for an early-bird session geared to getting the most from the conference.
Christine Tangvald led that first session. After welcoming us, she spoke about preparing for appointments with visiting editors, agents, and authors. She included what I think is one of the most valuable pieces of information of the whole conference, a handout that guides the writer through the process of “pitching” manuscripts for publication. By using those guidelines, I was able to pitch two of my manuscripts successfully.
~ Laura Allen Nonemaker
TO BE CONTINUED…