Wanda Dyson

Wanda Dyson's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take them on a journey they'll never forget. Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza. With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers conferences. Visit her Website at www.WandaDyson.com.

April Conference Corner

Spring is teasing us with warmer days, less snow, and more daylight. Any day now, the forsythias will bloom, the tulips will sprout through the mulch, and pollen will dust our cars and annoy our allergies. Currently, most of my days are spent sorting through appointment requests for the Colorado Christian Writers Conference coming up in May. This will be the first year I won’t be able to attend and I’ll miss the mountains, the fellowship, and the long days of classes, worship, and laughter.

Have you picked your conferences for the year? I’ll take that as a yes. Which means now you have to prepare a few pages of your manuscript and a short proposal to show a few editors /agents. Maybe whip something up for one of the writing contests. Not ready to show your work? That’s okay. There will be plenty of classes to attend to help get you ready for the next time.

But let’s say you have something you’d like to show. Let’s make sure you have the best possible chance at getting an editor or agent’s attention.

1. Using your Find feature, go through your work and delete the word suddenly every time you used it.
2. Look at your opening line with a critical eye. Is it strong enough to hook a reader into wanting to read more?
3. Did you open with the weather? Change it.
4. Did you start your story in the middle of the action?
5. Is there conflict on the first page?
6. In those first few pages did you show your main character with some strength and inner wounds? Did you make us care about him/her?
7. Did you make sure you didn’t drop a word here or there? You’d be surprised to find that one or more of those pesky little do, to, any, or words may be missing. I know, I know . . . you could have sworn you typed that word in there.
8. Run Spellcheck again!
9. How many times does your character tell herself/himself in those pages to “get a grip”? Delete them.
10. And here’s one of my favorite pet peeves. Does your main character let the reader know in those opening pages that they really don’t need/want a love interest in their lives? Don’t tell us, show us through conflict, disinterest, etc.

And here’s one more tip that might save you some angst at a conference. Make sure you have a copy of that proposal on your laptop. Or if you’re not taking your laptop, put it on a flash drive and take it with you. Just in case (and I’ve seen it happen) you lose, ruin, or forget your proposal, there is always a place at the conference where you can print it out.

Happy conferencing!



April 1–2: Called to Write Pittsburg, KS Featured speakers: Terry Burns and Jeanette Littleton http://www.christianwritersfellowship.blogspot.com

April 1–2: American Christian Writers’ Conference Ft. Wayne, IN, Marriott Hotel 20 workshops/sessions; night owl sessions www.acwriters.com

April 8–-9: ACW Mentoring Retreat Nashville, TN Only 4–6 students per instructor; writing intensive weekend www.acwriter.com

April 8–9: Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference Eldridge, IA Speakers include Mike Brewer and Gail Hayes www.qccwc.com

April 13–14: Mt. Hermon Head-Start Mentoring Clinic http://mounthermon.org

April 15–19: MT. HERMON CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE 37 Conference Drive, Mount Hermon, CA 95041 450 expected to attend rachel.williams@mounthermon.org http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference

April 16: MERCER COUNTY ANNUAL ONE-DAY WRITERS WORKSHOP; Stoneboro PA; http://www.gloriaclover.com



May 9-13: BLUE RIDGE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; near Ashville, NC; www.brmcwc.com

May 11–14, 2011: COLORADO CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE YMCA Estes Park Center, Estes Park, Co, 250 expected to attend www.WriteHisAnswer.com; MBagnull@aol.com

May 20-21: ANTELOPE VALLEY CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Lancaster, CA; info@avwriters.com; 661-722-4896

June 12-15: WRITE THAT BOOK! Writer’s Workshop at Glen Eyrie; Colorado Springs CO – 100 expected to attend; 800-944-4536; www.gleneyriegroup.org www.gleneyrie.org/us/ministries/gleneyrie/

June 21-25: ST DAVIDS CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Grove City College, Grove City, PA; http://stdavidswriters.com

June 24-25: KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; featuring Cecil Murphey; College Heights United Methodist Church, Elizabethtown, KY;

June 24–25: American Christian Writers Conference Grand Rapids, MI; Howard Johnson Hotel w/Bob Hostetler and Jim Watkins 20 workshops and sessions www.acwriters.com

August 6-11, 2011: GIDEON MEDIA ARTS CONFERENCE, Ridgecrest NC, www.gideonfilmfestival.com

August 6-11, 2011: BLUE RIDGE “SUMMER IN THE MOUNTAINS” NOVELIST RETREAT, held along with Gideon Conference, Ridgecrest NC, www.novelretreat.com, ylehman@bellsouth.net

August 10-13, 2011: GREATER PHILADELPHIA CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE; Langhorne, PA, 250 expected to attend, mbagnull@aol.com, www.writehisanswer.com/Philadelphia

October 16-20, 2011: BLUE RIDGE “AUTUMN IN THE MOUNTAINS" Novelist Retreat, Ridgecrest NC, www.novelretreat.com, ylehman@bellsouth.net


Judgement Day