How to Make the Best Appointment Choices

Writing, rewriting, editing . . .

It's not easy to refine an idea into a publishable manuscript. And that is just the beginning! Then you need to determine  where to submit your writing and to persist in submitting again and again. It may become evident through this process that independent publishing is your best option. But how can you be certain? Going to a writers’ conference will not only help you to gain critical knowledge about writing and publishing, it will also give you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with editors, agents, authors, and other professionals. With FIVE free 15-minute appointments (SIX for the first 50 who register for all three days), no conference provides more opportunities than the May 13-16 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 22-25 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. But with a faculty of more than 50 editors, agents, authors, and other professionals at each conference, how can you be certain you're making the best choices? 

1. PRAY!

If you want to know what God wants you to do,
ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready
to give a bountiful supply
of wisdom to all who ask him;
he will not resent it.

James 1: 5 TLB

2. Review the genres/topics on the charts our amazing Appointments Coordinator, Barb Haley, has painstakingly compiled based on responses from our faculty. See the sample below from a previous year. The charts include nonfiction, fiction, children/YA, and other areas of expertise for our editors, agents, other professionals, and authors. You’ll find links to PDFs of all the charts on the faculty pages.  

3. Study the bios of the editors and the agents who are interested in what you are writing and study any additional info about their editorial needs that accompanies their bio. Visit their website and carefully read their guidelines for writers.

4. Keep in mind that your best option may be to meet with an author. If you do not have a manuscript or concrete idea to discuss, we recommend that you request appointments with authors. An author can help you evaluate the readiness of your manuscript for publication. Barb has also prepared charts of "Areas of Expertise" for our authors. 

5. Because in today’s publishing world it takes more than great writing to get our work published and read, the charts include other aspects of growing our writing ministry with faculty that are available to help in areas such as blogging, public speaking, indie publishing, social media, and more. 

6. Consider the option of a 30-minute paid critique. You’ll need to scroll through the faculty bios to see who is available and for what genres.

My paid manuscript review gave me the most thorough
and helpful manuscript review I've had to date

Clement Hanson

7. Prepare for your appointments using the tips you'll find by clicking here.

Finally, pray some more – but not desperate “please, God” prayers. Instead surrender your work – your words – to the Lord and trust that He knows the plans He has for you and for your writing.

  Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.

Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG