Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference Experience - Year 3

So, a couple weeks ago - the day after my high school graduation, to be exact - I packed my bags and left with my mom for the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. For my third year in a row. And just so everyone knows, it gets better pretty much every year. Even though the first year was pretty exciting since that's when I met my future publisher, I learn so much from this place each year. And each year, I meet incredible people and end up coming home very inspired to continue my writing journey.

It's the best in the world. Seriously. That place makes me not want to go to another writing conference. Of course, I'm sure they're all great. But there's something about Ridgecrest... maybe the mountains... or the people... or the campus in general... that makes me feel as if I'm on vacation. Seriously.

Unfortunately I always forget to take pictures until the last day of the conference, but here's a few:

Me with Eddie Jones (my publisher at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and co-founder of Christian Devotions) and Cindy Sproles (co-founder of Christian Devotions).

Me with children book author and freelance writer, Michelle Medlock Adams.

My mom and I with best-selling author Jim Rubart. Read his books. Seriously. You won't be able to put them down.

This is my friend Katy and I at the banquet. I am very, very thankful for her and her family. They helped me my first year at this conference when I was pretty much clueless. Not to mention, if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have known to sign up for more than one appointment my first year. And one of those appointments just happened to be with my publisher. =) Click here for Katy's amazing blog.

Me with comedian, actor, and Adventures in Odyssey writer, Torry Martin. Oh my goodness, I've never laughed that hard listening to a speaker. Not only was he hilarious, but his classes were amazing. He's an extremely talented guy.

Here's a list of some of my favorite quotes from
the conference classes I attended:

"We're in spiritual warfare.
We're going to enemy's camp
and snatching souls.
Speak their message so clearly
that they see how attractive Jesus is
and they run to him."
~Rusty Wright

"God can use us,
however it's not our responsibility to save them
but to love them and plant seeds...
Focus on that and it'll be easier."
~Rusty Wright

"The first key to writing is to listen,
because you want to simply to listen to your imagination.
Stop thinking so hard that you can't think
what your imagination is telling you."
~Ann Tatlock

"In the world but not of the world
does not mean we should stay away from culture.
Not being in the midst of culture
means that we have given up the battle."
~Zena Dell Lowe

"Our goal should be to cause people
to seek greater truth when reading our story.
The story will cause people to look inward at themselves,
which will look at their sin,
which will lead them to God...
It will cause them to look for something higher.
Realization of sin always leads to God."
~Zena Dell Lowe

"Humility is where everything starts as Christian.
To be like Christ. He hates pride
and wants humility for his children.
Jesus came to earth as s helpless baby
who has to be taken care of by his own creation."
~Caleb Breakey

"Did God go to a Bible school to find his disciples?
No. He looked for humble fisherman."
~Caleb Breakey

"The closer you get to your breakthrough in writing,
the more Satan will try to attack."
~Jim Rubart


  1. Hi Tessa, Nice meeting you at the Blue Ridge Conference. It was my first year and really enjoyed meeting all the people. Since it is over I have found there are several I wished I had taken the time to talk to more. It is definitely my goal to go again next year. Lord Willing. It is neat that you have such a heart for God at your age. Had breakfast with your publisher one morning. It was interesting listening to him and John Van Diest discuss the merits of ebooks and self publishing. Was shocked to hear Van Diest say there are some times that self publishing is justified, especially if you are trying to reach a niche audience. I did it on my blog, but just cause I want to get what the Lord opened my eyes to see out there for others. Hopefully it will help someone see we are near the end time. Many say the end time does not matter. If that is so, why, did Jesus knowing he was going to die the next day. Spend his last night alive sharing so much about what was to come. It was evidently important to him...Take care and God Bless, hopefully will see you again next year.

    1. It was great meeting you too! I'm so glad that you were able to attend the conference and have a good time there also. That's awesome that you were able to meet with my publisher. He has really been an encouragement for me and I feel really blessed that I was able to meet him. I also believe that we are in the end times and it is more important than ever to share God's message to as many people as we can. That's why it's so important for me to continue writing and learning how to communicate effectively to my audience, like this conference teaches so well.

      Thanks for your comments! Hope to see you next year as well. =)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your experience Tessa, seriously encouraging. Looks like you had loads of fun. I've actually never been to a writer's conference before. Missed on at the beginnig of this year (wasn't informed) and the writer's group I attend only has one once every two years. I would especially love to go to a christian one but there are none close to where I live (europe). So seeing your pictures and sharing your quotes is a big encouragement! Thanks.

    Tell the World

    1. You evidently speak English so it would be a good deal if you could arrange a vacation to come the the Blue Ridge Conference. The price includes room, meals and the conference and is cheaper than a lot of conferences charge just for the conference. All you need to do is get close and I am sure someone will give you a ride to the conference the last little bit with a little research. It was a life changing experience for me. Totally awesome people and environment.

    2. I agree. It would be very worth it if you could somehow arrange to attend a Christian writer's conference sometime, preferably this one. =)

      Also, have you heard of the Christian Writer's Guild? You should look them up. They offer Christian writing courses and have a conference each year in Colorado. I've never attended their conference but I did take the squire course a few years ago and it was very helpful for me, especially since I was new to Christian writing. That could maybe hold you over until you're able to attend a Christian writer's conference.

      Anyway, keep me updated!

  3. Definitely sounds like an awesome writing conference! And sounds really beautiful too with the mountains. :) And the fact that you forgot to take pictures just shows how much fun it must have been! Nice quotes!

    1. That's a good way to look at it, Shelley! I also forgot to take pictures last year too, so that must be the reason. =)

      Thanks for your comment! God bless.

  4. Wow it looks like you had a great time! The conference sounds so great. This is definitely one I'm hoping to go to one day! =]

  5. Thanks for collating some of the highlights, the quotes certainly make me want to be more creative!


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