Mick Silva offers great support for NCWA. See end of post for links to the conference and to Mick’s terrific blog.
I first got myself invited to the NCWA conference several years ago by calling up Clint Kelly and begging him to let me come. It’s never all that difficult for acquisitions editors to get invited to writers conferences, so I figured I’d get a yes. He seemed agreeable, so I brought a recycled class to teach and figured I’d let people show up when I got there. I was pretty proud of myself, and new to the whole editing and publishing game, and I didn’t realize this was a different kind of conference.
When I caught Clint’s silent look at the back of the room as I yammered away about “show-don’t-tell” or whatever hackneyed editor diatribe I was using, I quickly discovered I was unprepared. You know that feeling? I expected to look down and realize I forgot my pants. He graciously said nothing and the class ended, but the next year, I didn’t get a call to come back. I let it pass. Then another year came and went and I thought, Boy, I’d like to get reinvited to that conference. Maybe I’ll get some new material and try again.
How I got invited back, I still don’t know, but I suspect someone’s deeper understanding of grace and charity is probably to thank for it. Clint and Judy would probably even deny this version of the story, but it’s my point to make, so I’m making it.
It was at that conference I met Ann Voskamp who wrote the breakout bestseller, One Thousand Gifts. Even as a rapidly-calcifying ACQ editor (pronounced “ACK editor,” and possibly for good reason), the NCWA’s vital focus on craft and community allowed me to connect with an author who literally changed the way I think about the power of story. For developing writers, there’s no better place than in a group like that. And the annual Renewal conference is truly unique–and renewing–as authors find out what a huge support the people of NCWA are to the broader vision for Christian writers.
I left big publishing and set out on my own last year as a book consultant for progressive authors, and I’ve had nothing but positive support from my friends at NCWA. I think it’s true what they say–Seattle is a bookish kind of place. But the NCWA takes that book-love to new heights as one of the warmest, most knowledgeable and gracious groups of book-lovers you could find. I’m excited to see their influence grow through each of the uniquely gifted members. Maybe you’ll be one of the next ones to benefit from their expertise.
Keep being a light NCWA–it doesn’t go unnoticed! Or unappreciated.
Mick is a “former big-publishing book editor, now full-time book nerd. Sage father. Masterful husband. Blogger, novelist, and all around lucky dude.” On her post, Michelle Hollomon added, “Kindergarten-teacher-kind.”
Mick “began YourWritersGroup.com in 2005 with high hopes the industry was changing. Wonderfully, now it is, and a new “elite” of connector authors is emerging. I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned about how they connect.”