WCCW conference director, Susy Flory, recently announced a limited-time, special registration price in January for $179 ($149 for Inspire Members). This incredible two-day conference will be featuring keynote speakers Michelle Cushatt, Michael Hyatt’s cohost on This is Your Life podcast, and New York Times bestselling novelist Tosca Lee.
Susy Flory, the New York Times bestselling author of Thunder Dog, has authored or co-authored eleven books. She’s been a reporter, an educator, a wife, and a mom. Now a full time writer, she loves chasing big, true stories with themes of adventure, courage, hope, transformation, and redemption.
The WCCW board includes five talented authors. Collectively, they’ve published over 30 books and have served through ministries such as Focus on the Family and Proverbs 31. The team excels in teaching on the craft of writing, speaking, marketing and social media, platform building, as well as book, proposal, and article writing. But they’ve invited more industry professionals to join them in presenting Bay Area writers with this amazing learning opportunity.
Please help me welcome Susy as she shares why writers will not want to miss the 2017 WCCW conference.
Susy, thanks for joining us. Would you please share what makes the WCCW conference different from some of the other two-day conferences currently available?
Glad to be here, Friend! The WCCW Conference is a warm, friendly, encouraging conference dedicated to bringing Christian writers, of all ages and stages, the latest and most inspiring workshops and keynote speakers to help us all grow to the next level in our writing. And we try to keep it as cost-effective as possible!
You’ve secured over 30 workshops for the WCCW conference. How can beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers benefit from such a wide variety of learning opportunities?
This year we’ve added workshops for writers interested in children’s and Young Adult literature, as well as workshops on screenwriting, writing Christian romance, developing your platform, and traditional vs. self-publishing. We work hard to provide something for everyone.
And don’t be afraid to cross over genres or the fiction/nonfiction distinction to learn something from an expert who writes different kinds of books than you. Some of the best workshops I’ve taken have been geared towards fiction (and I write nonfiction!)
With so many great workshops to choose from, how can writers choose a schedule that best suits their needs?
Spend some time before the conference browsing our website and reading through the workshop descriptions and the faculty biographical info. You might even want to check out individual faculty websites to find out more about them. Once you register for the conference, you’ll be invited to join a private Facebook group where you can see short videos of the faculty members and get a sense of who they are and why they do what they do. And don’t forget—if you have to miss a workshop because there are two you want to go to at the same time, you can always purchase the recording.
What can conferees expect from the quality of faculty serving at this event?
All faculty members are professional writers with the best reputations in the business for integrity, excellence, and a heart to serve other writers. Most are multi-published, multi-talented, and many have bestselling credits on their resume. They are wonderful people who love the written word and are dedicated to helping writers be the best they can be. They could each be doing something else, but they choose to be at the conference and help writers like you and me!
How can writers benefit from the one-on-one appointments with the agents and editors serving at the 2017 WCCW conference?
We have a group of experienced, wise writing mentors who will be available to look at excerpts of your work and give you honest but kind advice and encouragement. Sometimes you need someone who is experienced and can give you just the right idea or insight to get unstuck, or go in a new direction that makes all the difference in the world. Publishing is a business with many paths to getting published, and so advice from a seasoned professional can help you find that path that’s best for you. More information on this program, called Coaching and Critique, is coming soon.
How can writers prepare for meetings with agents and editors?
I remember going to my very first writers conference hoping to meet an editor or agent and feeling like I was about to meet super humans. I was shocked to find out that they wear jeans, tennis shoes and T-shirts just like we do. In fact, they are exactly like us—people who God has called to study and master words, and use those words to make a difference in the world. Every published author or publishing professional was once unpublished. They know what it feels like to be bubbling over with a message God has given you to write, but you’re not quite sure how to do that.
Why should writers take advantage of the on-site critique coaches?
There’s no substitute for good critique—meaning honest and kind feedback from an experienced professional writer or editor. They are there to help you, not hurt you. Their comments might surprise you, but listen carefully and see what you can glean to help move you forward. Also, don’t worry about anyone stealing your ideas. You and I can have the exact same idea for a book or article and it will be unique because we have different ways of carrying out that idea. Your voice and your imagination is your own. Celebrate it and use it in the way that only you can.
First of all, it’s fun to win a prize! I think everyone enjoys the encouragement of an award certificate assuring us that we’ve worked hard and done something very well. Second, it’s a great way to spur yourself on to finish a story. Writers often perform better under the gentle pressure of a deadline. Last, the writing contest is free to enter this year, so what do you have to lose? Take a look at the rules here and give it a shot!
How can connecting with the prayer team help writers during the conference?
We have a dedicated prayer team already praying for each and every writer who will be attending. There will also be prayer team members available during the conference if you’d like someone to pray with about anything that’s bothering you—writing related or not. Every writer needs prayer, and having a writer pray for you is something special.
Why should writers plan to invest in some of the resources offered at the WCCW bookstore?
One special offering is the Christian Writers Market Guide, the definitive guide to the publishers, conference, and literary agencies in the Christian market. We’ll have a special conference price, so be sure to look for this. We’ll also have books from the faculty and attendees available for purchase, in just about every genre and specialty under the sun. I can’t wait to buy some books myself!
How can writers be praying for the WCCW team, the faculty, and the volunteers, as you prepare for the conference?
Please pray that God would strengthen and encourage each writer individually, and as a part of the writing community. We are stronger together, especially with God at the center.
How can writers make sure they don’t miss out on the upcoming Flash Sale, or any other important updates and announcements, as the conference approaches?
The January sale of $30 off goes for the whole month of January, ending at 11:59 pm on January 31. If you go to our website, you can register online for just $179 (and buy a box lunch for Friday, too, if you’d like.) Inspire Members get another $30 off for a total of $149 for the two-day conference.
What final word of encouragement would you like to share with writers who are considering registering for the WCCW conference?
Writers need each other. When I started attending this conference (back when it was led by Pastor Jon Drury) I felt like I was part of a family, or a group of close friends. That’s our dream—that you would feel a part of the writing family when you attend the West Coast Christian Writers Conference!
Thanks for investing in the training of Christian writers, Susy. And thanks for being willing to drop in to answer questions and encourage writers in the comment section below this post.
Thanks, Xochitl. It’s an honor.
To find out more about what God’s doing in and through Susy’s writing journey, you can visit her website.
You can also subscribe to the WCCW blog and newsletter to learn more about the board members and the 2017 conference keynotes, faculty, and workshops.
We’re praying for you and looking forward to seeing you at the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference, February 17-18 in Pleasanton, CA.
Susy Flory’s interview was originally published on the Inspire Christian Writers blog on January 21, 2017.
Xochitl (soh-cheel) E. Dixon encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ and others. Her devotions will be featured in Our Daily Bread, starting in 2017. Married to her best friend since 1994, she enjoys being a wife and mom, traveling, photography, and sharing God’s Word through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and her blog.