Thursday, March 22, 2018

My Journey to a Book Contract - Part 8 Importance of Conferences, Writing Groups and Writers' Blogs

by  Elva Cobb Martin  @ElvaCobbMartin

Today I want to share the next step to my first book contract. 

Writing conferences, writing groups, critique partners and following good writing blogs have all been part of helping me finally gain a book contract.

As a writer you may feel like or wish to be a loner, but this is not going to fly well today. Networking is important. Many people helped me along the way to a contract. I appreciate them all and hope I have helped others.

Writing Conferences

Some great coming conferences I can recommend along with their links are: 

  • February also,  Florida Christian Writers’ Conference, Lake Yale Conference Center,  Leesburg, Florida
  • Mid-March, Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Spartanburg First Baptist
I consider money spent for conferences, which I have to carefully plan and budget for, is an investment in my writing success. And I keep detailed records for tax deductions for all my writing expenses, including conferences.

My first book contract offer for my inspirational romantic suspense novel, Summer of Deception, actually came after I attended and pitched it to an editor at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I had 26 rejections of query letters and partial submissions by email before that. Of course, I kept improving my craft after each rejection...and kept writing my second novel. I think the face-to-face contact with an editor at a conference helped slide me over into a book contract offer. Summer of Deception was released May, 2017. Amazon link

Writing Groups
Along with conferences, I have been blessed by my participation in several writing groups: our ACFW-SC chapter of which I am vice president; Cross N Pens, which meets in Simpsonville, SC, and Yvonne Lehman's writing group which I attend when I can in Black Mountain, NC. The critique times in these groups helped me plow through quite a few craft items I needed to improve.

Great Writers' Blogs to Follow: 

I skim these blogs and print out the ones I need to study further. 

Which conferences, writing groups, or blogs have helped you along the way?

All the above things have helped me gain a book contract. But I will never discount the fact that finding time to daily study the Bible and pray over my writing have been the key to any success I've enjoyed and much smoother sailing.

My second novel is from the pirate era! In a Pirate's Debt has been released by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. 

Amazon link

So glad you stopped by. Do leave a comment and share this on your social media if you think it helpful to others. 

Be blessed today,

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on  her blog
Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:

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