Wanda Dyson

Wanda Dyson is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked up for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW Writers conferences.

For more on Wanda and her books, visit her Website at www.WandaDyson.com.

Conference Corner

Paid Critiques

A great way to get honest feedback on your writing is to get a few paid critiques at conferences from experts in the field—whether it’s a successful author, editor, or agent. But one word of caution: Don’t request an editor or agent to critique your work with the idea that it will result in a contract.

A paid critique will cost you anywhere from $20 to $40. You send in the material a few weeks before the conference and should (although some conferences vary on this) spend anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes with the critic. Most of the time, you can expect to send in twelve to twenty-five pages of a manuscript or proposal. The person critiquing your work will spend about thirty minutes marking up your work and then will go over it with you in person.

Remember these rules:

1. Don’t change your work from double space to single space in hopes of getting more material critiqued. These people have been at this a long time and are familiar with this trick. And they don’t appreciate it. They won’t read more than the stated submission requirements.

2. Keep the font at 12 point. Changing it to 9 or 10 point in hopes of getting more material critiqued is, as stated above, an old trick and not appreciated.

3. Follow submission requirements closely and be considerate.

4. Don’t pay for a critique if you really don’t want to know what your weaknesses are and how to be a better writer. If you already believe you know all there is to know about writing, you’ll be wasting your money and their time.

5. Get your submission in on time.

But if you honestly want to know if your story is viable, if your writing is strong enough to submit to a publisher, or if you just want some direction in your writing, a paid critique can be a huge benefit to your career. Whether it’s an author, editor, or agent, be sure to submit to someone who appreciates the genre you write in. You don’t want to ask a sci-fi author to critique your romance, or a romance editor to critique your legal thriller.

So, study the submission requirements, study the critics, and get your writing in. You won’t regret it.

Happy Conferencing!

June Conferences:

June 2–5: Write-to-Publish Conference; Wheaton, IL (Chicago area): 250 expected to attend, www.WriteToPublish.com.

June 4–5: Annual Arkansas Writers Conference; Little Rock, AR: 150–175 expected to attend, www.geocities.com/penwomen.

June 5: American Christian Writers Columbus Conference; Columbus OH: www.ACWriters.com.

June 11–12: American Christian Writers Grand Rapids Conference; Grand Rapids MI: www.ACWriters.com.

June 11–12: Kentucky Christian Writers Conference; Elizabethtown, KY: 100 expected to attend, www.kychristianwriters.com.

June 21–26: Southeastern Writers Assn. Annual Conference; St. Simons Island, GA: 100 expected to attend, www.southeasternwriters.com.

June 23–26: Speak Up with Confidence Seminar; Grand Rapids, MI: 100 expected to attend, www.SpeakUpSpeakerServices.com.

JULY Conferences

OREGON CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE: Portland, OR, area, 250 expected to attend, www.oregonchristianwriters.org

EAST METRO ATLANTA CHRISTIAN WRITERS SEMINAR: Covington, GA, 50 expected to attend, cjac401992@aol.com, www.emacw.org

July 17–24: HIGHLIGHTS WRITERS WORKSHOP AT CHAUTAUQUA: New York, NY, 100 expected to attend, Contact@highlightsfoundation.org, www.highlightsfoundation.org

July 24: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS INDIANAPOLIS CONFERENCE: Indianapolis IN, ACWriters@aol.com, www.ACWriters.com

July 25–30: MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE: Montrose PA – 100 expected to attend; mbc@montrosebible.org, http://www.montrosebible.org/writers.htm

July 29–31: MIDWEST WRITERS WORKSHOP: Muncie, IN, 150 expected to attend, midwestwriters@yahoo.com, www.midwestwriters.org

July 30–August 1: SHE SPEAKS CONFERENCE: Concord, NC, 450 expected to attend, office@Proverbs31.org, www.SheSpeaksConference.com

July 30–August 3: THE WRITING ACADEMY SEMINAR: Minneapolis, MN, 30 expected to attend, nremm10335@aol.com, www.wams.org

AUGUST Conferences

KARITOS CHRISTIAN ARTS CONFERENCE: Bolingbrook, IL, 300–400 expected to attend, bob@karitos.com, www.karitos.com


August 1–7: THE GLEN WORKSHOP: Santa Fe, NM, 200 expected to attend, image@imagejournal.org, www.imagejournal.org/page/events/the-glen-workshop

August 5–7: GREATER PHILADELPHIA CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE: Langhorne, PA, 250 expected to attend, mbagnull@aol.com, www.writehisanswer.com/Philadelphia

August 6–7: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS MINNEAPOLIS CONFERENCE: Minneapolis, MN, ACWriters@aol.com, www.ACWriters.com

August 7: TEXAS CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE: Houston, TX, 80 expected to attend, marthalrogers@sbcglobal.net (editors and agents in attendance)

August 14: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS ST. LOUIS CONFERENCE: St. Louis, MO, ACWriters@aol.com, www.ACWriters.com

August 15–20: CAPE COD ANNUAL SUMMER WRITERS’ CONFERENCE: Cape Cod, MA, 200 expected to attend, writers@capecodwriterscenter.org, www.capecodwriterscenter.com

August 22–27: GREEN LAKE WRITERS CONFERENCE: Green Lake, WI, 40–80 expected to attend, janwhite@glcc.org, www.glcc.org

Aug. 31–Sept. 3: MOUNT HERMON CHRISTIAN SONGWRITERS CONFERENCE: Near Santa Cruz, CA, Rachel.williams@mounthermon.org, www.mounthermon.org/songwriters