10 Survival Tips When Going to a Writer’s Conference

This is a great article by Kathy Ide if you are considering going to a writer’s conference. They can be really helpful or overwhelming, depending on your reason for going and your level of preparedness.

I’ve only been to one and it was amazing – The Christian Writer’s Conference at Mt. Hermon changed my life. Highly recommend it, but you’ll have to wait until 2015. Always held the weekend before Easter.




For anyone who is interested in doing audiobooks of their novels, a friend recommended http://www.acx.com/ Her friends have used them and have been very pleased with the results. Many of the voice actors will work for a percentage of sales (like 50%) so the author doesn’t have to put in any money up front.

The Christian PEN

The Christian PEN is open to any Christian* who:

  • is a freelance proofreader, editor, or other writer-supporting occupation (at any level)
  • is seriously planning to become a freelance proofreader/editor, or
  • is investigating the freelance proofreader/editor field.


Track Changes Help

Sometimes it’s easier just to watch a short video about how to run the Track Changes feature on Word than it is to try and explain it on the phone. I highly recommend these two resources, one a short video and the other a blog-style resource to get you started on the basics.  Anything that can help the work flow more smoothly between writer and editor is worth it.


Style Book Resources

Different publishing houses prefer different style guides, which is a very handy piece of information to know if you’re a writer or editor.  If you are an author who self-publishes, the key is to pick a style you like best and move forward with that, making sure to stay consistent with one style. I tend to prefer CMOS.

Some of these resources require memberships to access their on-line style books, or you can buy a hard copy as a reference tool. AP and MLA you can access on the Purdue OWL website (see links below). Here are the typical ones I use:

  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is widely used.       http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
  • Associated Press (AP) is used more for journalistic pubs like newspapers, articles, magazines, PR materials. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/735/02/
  • Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (CWMS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) is more for academic papers and writings. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
  • Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by Kathy Ide. I like this book because it takes all of the most common writing rules from a wide variety of sources and put them into one easy-to-access resource. Her other book, Polishing the PUGS (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) is also a mainstay in my library.


Part-Time Author podcast

Great podcast hosted by Genny Heikka and Aaron Robbins for new and upcoming authors.

Features conversations about writing, publishing and how to pursue both while balancing the unexpected twists and turns of work and family.

The podcast is dedicated to helping others pursue their passion for writing even if they’re balancing parenting, other jobs, and life in general.