Telling Our Stories

In our summer series on conference reflections, Lydia E. Harris reveals her experience from the NCWA Renewal Conference.

The conference is over, but the fruit of it is just beginning.

Although I prayed for God’s direction and prepared my writing ideas beforehand, I didn’t go with any specific expectations of the outcome. So God surprised me by working in exceeding abundant ways (Ephesians 3:20) to provide writing and networking opportunities. In other words, God does things that are over the top!

Here’s what I appreciated about the conference:

1. Warm welcome. When I checked in, the ladies at the registration table greeted me with big smiles and welcoming words. One of them even stepped from behind the table to give me a big hug. What a great start!

2. Encouraging and helpful tone. From the conference directors to the attendees, I saw smiles and heard many encouraging words. Everyone seemed eager to help.

3.  Exceptional teaching. With numerous excellent workshop choices, it was hard to choose. I’m glad I bought CDs to extend the conference at home. (If you didn’t buy any or couldn’t attend, you can order them. Email:

4. Approachable, knowledgeable editors and agents. Even though some were replacements, they were just the ones God had planned would be there. I so appreciated their time and genuine willingness to teach and answer questions. The editor and agent panel was exceptional.

5. Great networking. I saw familiar faces and made new friends. I also gained new writing opportunities.

6. Spiritual emphasis. I appreciated the focus on God and the humble hearts of the conference directors.

Although the conference was long enough to tire me, it was too short to soak up all the knowledge and meet all the wonderful writers. It will take time to digest everything that happened and follow through with the opportunities. But I’d like to say a big thanks to God and all who attended for a wonderful conference that inspired and equipped us to tell our stories.


Lydia E. Harris has been a NCWA member since 2004. She served on the NCWA board for five years and has taught at the Writers Renewal and other conferences. She writes devotionals, book reviews, articles, true stories, recipes, and the popular column, “A Cup of Tea with Lydia.” Lydia has contributed to fifteen books. She is the author of Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting, a six-week Bible study for grandparents at any stage of the journey.


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