“The Christian Writer’s Coach: How to Get the Most out of a Writers Conference” Book Review

Lesley Ann McDaniel, published author and member of NCWA, reviewed the book written by NCWA members.


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The title of the book says it all. It really does offer a full spectrum of encouragement and practical advice needed for a writer, whether newbie or seasoned, to get the most from a conference. This collection of articles by various members of the Northwest Christian Writers Association is an invaluable guide.

As a prelude, we’re treated to five mini-bios of people who are successful in Christian publishing, peppered with bits of practical conference-relevant tips. I had the privilege of interviewing my agent, Les Stobbe, for this book, and of writing his bio. Since he attends up to ten writers’ conferences a year, it was fun to get the perspective from the other side of the pitching process. I appreciate his reminder that “Preparing to be a writer is a marathon, not a sprint.”

The rest of the book is divided into three sections for easy reference: before, during, and after a conference. It’s a quick, enjoyable read, and easy to navigate.

My favorite take-aways are the reminders from bestselling author James L. Rubart and editor Marcus Yoars to put other people first; numerous cues from Melissa K. Norris, Robin Jones Gunn, Lydia E. Harris and others to let God lead you through prayer; and Marty Nystrom’s sage advice to trust God for the timing of each writing project.

I also learned some great tips from Janalyn Voigt on preparing a conference binder, something I had never thought to do before. Lynnette Bonner and Erica Vetsch offer practical instruction for creating a book proposal and a one-sheet, both essential tools for the writer who hopes to pitch a project to an editor or agent.

And speaking of pitching, Melissa K. Norris, Amy Letinsky, and Michelle Hollomon each offer helpful how-tos on that topic.

This book is rich with so much more. I recommend it for everyone who is planning to attend a writers’ conference, whether Christian or secular, but also for writers who can’t attend a conference but intend to submit their work to agents and publishers.

Enjoy your writers’ conference, and in the words of Lydia E. Harris, don’t forget to “Go have fun!”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have expressed my honest opinions.



LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, and theatre. While earning a degree in acting, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God’s guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of Women’s and Young Adult fiction. She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and of a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area.


Her books “Lights, Cowboy, Action”, “Big Sky Bachelor”, “Rocky Mountain Romance”, and “Saving Grace” are available at her website www.lesleyannmcdaniel.com or on Amazon http://amzn.to/1a2Rlnf.


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