Friday, March 21, 2014

Attention Writers: St Davids Christian Writers Conference Scholarships Available. APPLY NOW!

Have you been thinking about taking your writing to a new level? Do you yearn for relationships with others that share your same interest - writing?

At St. Davids Christian Writers' Conference, you'll find like minded people and so much more.

If you've never been to a writers' conference and have always wanted to go and learn to hone your craft and discover new opportunities to share your writing, then consider St. Davids this year.

Don't keep telling yourself you'll attend someday when you have the money, or maybe you've been saving and waiting for the right time.

Each year, Saint Davids offers a variety of part-time and full-time scholarships for interested in attending that may be facing some financial difficulties.

St. Davids, unlike many of the writers' conferences around the globe, offers a relaxed setting filled with learning, fellowship, and laughs. It's a great place to get to know other writers, exchange experiences, brainstorm, and have a more one on one classroom environment with the staff.

Just check out what others have had to say from their testimonials on our page, or better yet, come check us out for yourself.

Scholarship applications are due April 30th.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Discovering Your Purpose as a Writer

One of the popular topics in today’s Christian circles is about "call." God’s call on your life. It starts with seeking God and knowing His heart and purposes, being still, listening, and embracing what God brings into your experiences. Then we persevere through the downs of life and stay humble during the ups of life.

Vocation is one of those huge life choices that reflective Christians want to get right. If a nudge has been after you (that internal NUDGE is one of the Holy Spirit’s first forms of communication), to write, to testify to God’s greatness in written words, to share your story which is, of course, Jesus’ story through articles, novels, poetry, comics, cards, blogs, or any other forms of writing — have I got a day for you.

The 23rd Annual To Writing Success writers conference will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014 with keynote speaker Mike Dellosso talking about "Discovering your purpose as a writer." This one day writing conference offers workshops in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. This year we have a focus on writing Children’s books. There is also a general offering of workshops dealing with the craft, business, and life of writers.

This teaching conference is a great place to test the waters if you are considering becoming a writer — or if you know you want to write, but don’t know where to begin. Informal, relaxed, and reasonably priced, the conference also offers various contests in poetry, non-fiction, and fiction, and the opportunity to have 6 pages of manuscript critiqued by a professional.

Early bird registration of $55.00 ends March 31 so sign up today.

Visit our web site at for information about the speakers, workshops, and registration details.

We meet at Emmanuel Christian Church, one mile off exit 130 on Interstate 79 in western Pennsylvania. This conference is supported by a core group of writers who will gladly share their expertise, even if they aren’t leading a workshop. And if you are confident of your call to write, it’s a great celebration for surviving another PA winter and recharging your batteries to write for God’s glory one more year. There’s nothing quite like a group of writers loving and supporting one another. Don’t miss out; join the fun!

Gloria Clover
Director of the Writing Success Writers' Conference

Friday, March 7, 2014

Weaving and Writing

I'm in the process of learning how to weave. As I've worked my way through the learning curve, the phrase "weaving a story" has taken on a whole new meaning. If you've never tried weaving, here are some of the highlights.

  • The longest and most intense part of the process is in the preparation.
  • No matter how careful you are, threads will get tangled, sometimes hopelessly, forcing you to cut them out.
  • Threads will twist when you least expect it.
  • If you don’t press hard enough on the beater to keep the rows close together, you’ll end up with holes in your work.
  • It’s easy to get confused as to which way you’re working, especially when you have to stop and pick up your work later.
  • When using a variegated thread (as I am), you don’t know what the finished product will look like until you’re finished.

Starting a new project fills me with excitement and anticipation. Sometimes I get to a point where I’m tired of the pre-process and just want to get to the writing. If I skimp on my research, character development, or plot line, it’s not long before I get stuck. Having to stop and do more research, brainstorm new ideas, or sit down and have a heart-to-heart with my main character ultimately takes longer than if I’d taken the time I needed in the preparation stage.

I love my words and stories—as all of us do. I can go off on tangents or fill my manuscripts with words and scenes I think are beautiful and marvelous. But when I objectively look back, I discover a tangled mess. The only solution, painful as it is, is to cut out the sections that do not contribute to the story.

Even with all the planning in the world, my story occasionally takes an unexpected twist. At times, this can add dimension and design. Or, I may find myself trapped in a dead end. Then I must retrace my steps to where the twist happened and fix it.

I need to work consistently on a project. When I continuously pick it up and put it down, I lose that momentum that causes a story to flow. That leads to holes in the plot, disappearing characters, and forgetting where I was headed in the first place.

At times, like during NaNoWriMo, it can be fun, invigorating, and refreshing to just write, not knowing how it will turn out until the end. While this approach does contain some risk, the story may end up being worthwhile, or a piece whose value is contained in the practice and the process. Either way, the joy is in the journey.

I’m convinced that whoever coined the phrase, “weaving a story” must have been both a weaver and a writer. The parallels are inspiring. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my weaving . . .

Susan Reith Swan is a freelance writer and editor who has loved St. Davids since 1991. In addition to writing, she can frequently be found crafting, knitting, or snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel while she reads. Check out her blog, Li-tea-ra-ture at