By Del Duduit
More than two years ago, my entire life changed when I attended the Florida Christian Writers Conference.
I met my agent, Cyle Young, there in 2017 and signed a book contract the following year that has developed into an exciting series with New Hope Publishers and Iron Stream Media.
Through the writer conferences I have attended since then, I have developed valuable friendships with some wonderful people, and I have joined forces with some of them to write and publish a number of books.
I could take about 35,000 words to go into detail about how blessed I have been from attending and teaching at conferences, but you don’t have the time, and I don’t have the space for that.
My friend, Mark Prasek, has now discovered what I found, and I’m thrilled to share it with him.
We met on Twitter, and I am now his guest every Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. on #PJNET at patriotjournalists.com.
He is searching, as I was a few years ago, for unique ways he can be used as a tool of God to minister to others. I believe he has found it.
It’s amazing and uplifting and my eyes have been opened to an entirely new vista.
Mark and his daughter, Shelby, drove to Liberty, North Carolina, this past weekend to work at Serious Writer’s North Carolina Christian Writers Conference, where I was on faculty and my wife, Angie, served as conference manager. My agent, Cyle Young, and his partner, Bethany Jett, allow us to be a part of this wonderful organization.
“I didn’t know this world existed,” Mark told me after the conference wrapped up Saturday. “It’s amazing and uplifting and my eyes have been opened to an entirely new vista.”
This is how I felt three years ago.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” he added. “But I knew it would be good because you and Michelle (Medlock Adams) are involved. But I was speechless and overwhelmed with the pouring out of encouragement and love and the way you all invested in people.”
Mark volunteered to film footage of the conference and to help prospecting writers to market themselves better. He sat up shop in a classroom and filmed attendees as they discussed their experiences.
He did not charge a dime and will send the edited footage to each person who stopped by to visit, including me (lots of editing.)
Another aspect Mark discovered is that everyone who poured into the conference had one thing in common – service to others.
“You guys want the people who came here to be successful and you want to help them,” he said. “Everyone here is so hungry and receptive. I was blown away.”
I taught a class on how to go from conference to contract and met with aspiring authors throughout the weekend. Others provided encouragement and advice to me when I first started in this business, and I want to pay it forward.
Then on Friday night, everyone gathered after the sessions to celebrate recent book launches.
“This is a family,” Mark observed. “You all encourage each other and help each other and cheer for each other.”
Four cakes were brought out displaying the covers of each new work, compliments of the conference hosts, Rev. Andy Clapp and his wonderful congregation at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Victoria Duerstock was honored for her new book, Home & Heart for Christmas, while Tina Yeager unveiled her new project, Beautiful Warrior. Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany tag teamed on Platinum Faith, and my latest book, First Down Devotions: Inspirations From NFL’s Best had the best cake in town.
The attendees asked for pictures and autographs. What a night. What a conference.
“I never thought I’d ever go to a writer’s conference,” Mark said. “Why would I? Why would I drive 13 hours to be here? I now know why. I needed this more than you know.”
Mark has been exposed to a whole new world, similar to what I experienced at my first conference.
If he’s anything like me, his life has been changed and impacted for the better.
“A whole new ministry and a whole new way to share the gospel has opened for me,” Mark said.
Funny. That’s how I felt nearly three years ago.
Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
(Proverbs 24: 32 KJV)
What have you experienced that has changed your life for the better? Will you consider going to a Christian Writers Conference?
Serious Writer will host the Ohio Christian Writers Conference in November. Make your reservations now because the slots will fill up fast. Visit the website here. If you’re closer to North Carolina, make plans to attend next year’s conference on March 5-7, 2020. Watch the conference website for details over the coming months.
You can order First Down Devotions here.
Be sure to join me live on #PJNET every Tuesday at http://PatriotJournalist.com/?meta=2
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.