Posts Tagged ‘Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference’

I had the opportunity to meet so many amazing, friendly people at the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference! For any of you who are interested in going to a writers’ conference, I wanted to give you a few different perspectives on the Maranatha conference to help you decide if it might be something you’d like to try. Below are responses from three women I met at the conference–you should definitely check out their websites!

Traneisha Jones

Bio: As a proud magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Traneisha has worked as a professional freelance writer and editor for the past seven years. When she’s not assisting others with the writing or editing of their books, bios, or websites, she can be found “Transforming the Lives of Women One Page at a Time” as the Editor and Publisher of Ashes For Beauty Magazine.

1. How did you hear about the Maranatha conference?

I heard about the Maranatha conference through a Facebook posting on a friend’s page.

2. What was your favorite part of the conference?

There were so many wonderful things going on, so it’s really hard to pinpoint my absolutely favorite part. If I had to pick anything, I would probably pick Dennis Hensley’s presentation on Thursday night, it was so motivating and Eva Marie Preston’s Book Proposal workshop because it really armed me with the things I needed to expand my base as a writer and approach book publishers. Outside of this, connecting with other people who shared my same passion and gift of writing was refreshing. It was awesome to see how God was using all of our different experiences and personalities to shape thought and change cultures with a pen and paper.

3. What are one or two things you learned at the conference?

Before I attended the conference, I never thought about writing devotionals so this is something I definitely plan to add to my repertoire. In addition to this, the workshops on Online Branding were really great. They definitely offered some innovative and effective ways to establish and expand your brand as a writer.

4. Do you have any other comments?

Anyone who is a writer or is considering becoming a writer should attend Maranatha Christian Writers Conference. The wealth of knowledge and the people you encounter, including other writers, editors and publishers, is more than worth it. Should you decide to attend, you’ll definitely leave refreshed, empowered and motivated to use your gift to glorify God and draw others to Him. Psalm 68:11, “The Lord gave the word and great was the company that published it.”

Traneisha’s website:

My website is currently being revamped, but feel free to friend me on Facebook or like AFB’s fan page at Ashes For Beauty Magazine (

Darlene Lund

Bio: Darlene Lund is an Abuse Coach, Grief-Loss Coach, and a Life Purpose Coach® for Women, plus instructs other women that have the coach call on their life. She is passionate to help women turn heartaches, hurts, hurriedness, hopelessness, or a hunger for more into purpose-filled hope. The message of hope in her coaching and speaking is a flame that is being fanned by God’s passion and purpose in her life. She passionately desires to challenge women to take inventory regarding where they are on their personal journeys in life. Teaching and coaching through the written word is a big part of her forward steps.

1. How did you hear about the Maranatha conference?

Through friends.

2. What was your favorite part of the conference?


3. What are one or two things you learned at the conference?

Endurance is a key to getting published. There are many ways to getting published.

4. Do you have any other comments?

Superb conference to learn, connect, hand off, and be encouraged.

Darlene’s website:

Jenny Smith

Bio: Jenny teaches at her local church, conferences, retreats, banquets or wherever women gather to hear hope from God’s Word for their lives. She loves the country life in Adairsville, Georgia, with her husband Chad and three daughters.

1. How did you hear about the Maranatha conference?

I heard about it on Facebook last year and loved the idea of a weeklong conference. I couldn’t attend the year I heard about it but was ready to sign up the first day registration opened for this year!

2. What was your favorite part of the conference?

Hearing the speakers is always a highlight, as well as having the opportunity to talk with all kinds of people who are pursuing the same vision of sharing through the written word.

3. What are one or two things you learned at the conference?

The biggest thing I learned at the conference was to structure my time more effectively. I’m very hit or miss, and I need to develop some discipline in my writing time.

4. Do you have any other comments?

Attending a writer’s conference can seem like a big investment, but you will reap from that investment for months and even years afterwards.

Jenny’s website:
Some other pictures of fantastic people I met at the conference:

The Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference wrapped up on Friday, and I have pages and pages of notes from all of the different lectures. There was so much great information that it’s hard to pick what to share, but here are a few more writing tips from last week.

Are you looking for resources to improve your writing? Here are a few books for you to check out (I have not read any of these books yet, but they were recommended at the conference):

 English Grammar Demystified by Phyllis Dutwin

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

3. Platform by Michael S. Hyatt

A couple of other interesting thoughts from the conference:

If you notice a trend in the topics of books that are currently being published and are considering writing a book on one of the same topics, it’s probably too late. By the time your book actually gets published, the popularity of that trend most likely will have died down.

Literary agent Linda Glaz mentioned that AAR (Association of Authors’ Representatives) is a great way to find an agent who will stick to a specific code of ethics. Otherwise, many times agents charge fees for things that they should be doing for free.


This morning I listened to a panel of fiction writers at the Maranatha Conference. One of the questions they answered was “What resources have made the biggest difference in your writing?” Here is what some of them said:

The Internet is helpful for writing details on topics you are unfamiliar with, but after your first draft, you should have face-to-face encounters with people who have had experience with those topics so that your writing will be more authentic.

Learn to say no to other things that take up your time so that you have enough time to write (the example that Ann Byle provided was to give up cleaning your house, haha).

Get some critique partners.

Broaden your own personal experiences.

Be open to trying programs, such as Scrivener, that help you organize your writing.

Today is my first day at the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference in Muskegon, Michigan. You can check out the conference here. My mom and I are both attending it (this is her second year at the conference), and so far it’s been fantastic! I am planning to write a few blog posts in connection with this conference, and I’m still hoping to get a bit of editing done tonight before going to bed (I’m meeting with an editor tomorrow morning to get some feedback on the first chapter of the sequel to Illegally Innocent), so I’m going to keep this one short with an interesting insight from one of the speakers tonight on how books make it to the New York Times bestseller list. I apologize to the speaker, Eddie Jones, if I completely butcher this information:

Books selected for the NY Times bestseller list are not based on sales averages from all bookstores everywhere. Instead, multiple bookstores are selected on a particular day (say, a Tuesday in November) and the book sales from those specific stores on that day are used to determine the bestsellers. How some authors drive up book sales is by finding out which stores are going to be used for the next bestseller list and then specifically visiting those stores on their book tours to drive up sales on that particular day that the averages will be turned in for the list. So sneaky and fascinating.