Nick Harrison: A Friendly Face Returns to the Renewal

by Elizabeth Griffin

Nick Harrison is a familiar face at the annual Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, and we are thrilled to have him return again this year. His friendly demeanor makes him approachable and invites questions that he is highly capable of answering after many years in the book business.

Nick started out as a bookseller and then moved on to a successful 15-year stint as an editor at Harvest House. When he retired from there, he chose to begin working as an agent for WordServe Literary. Nick says, “I love this industry and hope to stay in it as long as I can.”

WordServe Literary was formed by Greg Johnson. Nick has found Greg to be a helpful mentor in his transition from editor to agent.

“The great thing about being an agent is that if I love a certain proposal and it finds rejection at one publisher, I can keep championing it to other publishers. As an editor, if I loved a proposal and it turned out not to be a good fit and had to be rejected, that was the end of my relationship with that proposal,” Nick says.

As an agent, Nick expected to represent several fiction authors, but so far he only represents one and has another under serious consideration. He also represents an author of children’s books. He has found himself taking on projects he never thought would exist, and he likes the surprises he’s encountered so far on this journey.

In addition to representing authors, Nick has authored 10 books of his own. Several of these are devotionals and prayer books that can be seen on his website and Amazon.com.

Nick’s next release is called One-Minute Prayers for Those with Cancer. It’s the book he wishes didn’t have a market.

Nick loves what he does and especially enjoys meeting new writers and helping guide them in their writing career. Be sure to say hello to him at the Renewal. He is looking for adult fiction in all genres except speculative fiction. For nonfiction, he will look at self-help, spiritual growth, social issues, women’s books, men’s books, and personal experience books if the lessons from the experience are applicable to a large segment of the population. He is not looking for children’s books, prophecy, poetry, or gift books.

Nick will teach these workshops at the Renewal:

Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Correct Them by Nick Harrison – In addition to having been an editor at Harvest House Publishers, Nick is also a writer. He understands the frustrations every writer faces. To the beginner, he can offer to show his pile of rejection slips.  To the advanced, he can offer to show his pile of rejection slips. Becoming a published writer takes time, talent, and persistence. The mistakes Nick will talk about are indeed common—and he says he has made them all.

What to Do When You Don’t Have a Platform by Nick Harrison – Writers hate the word platform, but increasingly it can make the difference between a book sale to a publisher…or rejection. While slowly building your platform, there are some things you can do to compensate for not having a platform. We’ll look at some of those ideas. (For fiction and nonfiction authors.)

Check out the rest of the workshops being offered at this year’s Renewal. To request an appointment with Nick, register soon.

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In addition to writing and editing a monthly lifestyle newspaper for 10 years, Elizabeth Griffin elizabeth_griffin2has published more than 500 articles in newspapers, anthologies, and magazines, along with the books Fragile X, Fragile Hope: Finding Joy in Parenting a Child with Special Needs and Margot’s Story. Elizabeth’s favorite subject matter is true stories of redemption. She loves to speak truth into the lives of others and has been a Bible teacher for 16 years. Her recent adventures include directing communications for an international missions group and public relations for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, and blogging at Follow the Dots.

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Disney and Prayer Gave Alex Marestaing His Break

By Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference

Alex Marestaing was an unknown writer when he learned of a new line of products the Walt Disney Company planned to publish. Although Alex didn’t have an agent at the time, he did believe in the power of prayer, so he wrote Disney a letter and introduced himself.

A few weeks later, Disney hired Alex for the project. That response changed the trajectory of his writing career forever. “I’ll always be thankful to Disney for giving me a shot,” he says. “Having that name on my writing credits really helped me move forward in the industry.”

AlexMarestaingPinable copyAlex has also worked on creative projects for Lego and for media outlets such as Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins and the Los Angeles Times.

His latest novel, I’m Nobody, is a suspense-driven YA/Middle-Grade story about an agoraphobic teen who begins receiving strange, poetic notes from someone claiming to be reclusive, long-dead poet Emily Dickinson. It received an honorable mention at the London Book Festival and was nominated as a finalist for the 2014 Epic Awards.

At the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, Alex will teach two workshops:

Writing Through the Silence1) Writing Through the Silence (Friday, May 15) – Have you ever felt like tossing your manuscript in the trash and giving up on writing altogether? Let’s face it—the writing business can be tough on the ego and even heartbreaking at times. In a field where rejection e-mails, poor sales, and dashed hopes can be par for the course, it takes a steadfast spirit to keep writing through the pain. This workshop is for writers who are discouraged, lack vision, or simply feel uninspired. Through contemplative activities, lessons from famous authors, and discussion, writers will learn how to write through the “silent” seasons of life when inspiration seems distant.

Finding Success in the and Middle Grade2) Finding Success in the YA and Middle Grade Markets (Saturday, May 16) – In the age of iPhones and the Internet, writers face some tough competition when trying to catch the attention of young-adult and middle-grade audiences. Alex will discuss trends in the youth market and help you better understand why books such as Wonder, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter have captivated new generation readers. You will leave the class with a better understanding of how to use creative points of view, pacing, and unique setting and character elements to draw readers into your tales. We will also discuss enhancing book proposals and projects with 3D elements such as music, video, and web components. Engage this hurting generation with your talent, and shine the light of Christ in a literary landscape that has become very dark in the last decade.

In addition to writing for the youth market, Alex has also written for faith-based publications and has covered soccer, his favorite sport, in Europe and the US for Sports Spectrum magazine and Yanks Abroad.

When Alex isn’t writing or speaking at conferences, he usually hangs out in California with his wife, three kids, and the family dog, Milou.

To learn Alex’s insights, sign up today for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!

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DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she is also director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.