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.

After Conference Manna

Well, the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference is over and I’ve spent nearly every minute since then gearing up for the ACFW Christian Writer’s Conference. There are more than 600 people attending this year, so you can imagine the appointment requests piled up on my desk! Not to mention the changes, cancellations, and new requests that have been coming in while I was away.

Usually, I talk to you about what to expect at a conference. But I want to change tracks here for a minute and talk about something just as important as what to look forward to at a conference—what NOT to do after one.

Post Conference Etiquette- For some reason, this year after some of the various conferences, editors are being inundated with Facebook friend requests, multiple emails (and then follow up emails one day later wanting a response), multiple phone calls and multiple voice mail messages from attendees. One had over a dozen in one week.

Editors know that you want to talk to them while they still remember who you are, but when an editor gets back to work after a conference, they simple do not have time to respond to you. They have a ton of work sitting on their desk, co-workers lined up to talk to them, projects waiting for attention, and a stack of phone messages to deal with. If you call them, write them, email them, or hassle them in any way, shape, or form, you can kiss that opportunity good-bye. You will be seen as a pest and your project will go to the bottom of the slush pile.

Few conferences give out an editor’s phone number or email address, so the fact that you’ve gone to the trouble to track them down does not go unnoticed and it is not seen as “industrious” or “efficient.” Far from it. It ranks right up there with the conferees who follow editors into the bathroom and shove proposals under the door.

Book sales are down, publishing companies are laying off staff, editors aren’t acquiring as many books, and what they are looking for better be off the charts in terms of quality because there just isn’t the room for “good” anymore. To that end, many of the editors are taking far fewer appointments this year. That makes it hard for the overwhelming numbers who are standing in line, hoping to show their work to someone. You made it through all of that to have fifteen minutes to garner their interest and then you’re going to toss it away be being over-eager to the point of shooting yourself in the foot.

Don’t. If the editor was interested in your work, he told you to send it to him. Do it and wait quietly for him/her to get back to you. It may take months, but that’s the way it works in this industry. If he/she didn’t ask you to send it to him, he/she isn’t interested in your project, bothering him with it isn’t going to change that fact.

Submit and wait.

Don’t call, don’t email, don’t Facebook tag, don’t leave numerous voice mails. Don’t.

Now, I’m going to get back to scheduling appointments for ACFW. Time is flying by and it will be time to catch the plane to Indianapolis before I know it. I hope I’ll see you there. Stop by and say hi. I may only nod in acknowledgement if I’m running in crazy mode, but I’ll remember.

Until then, safe traveling, and happy conferencing…

Wanda Dyson
Best-selling Suspense Author of Shepherd’s Fall and the new release, Judgment Day.


September: UTAH CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Bluffdale UT; julie.compelled2tell@mac.com; www.utahchristianwriters.com

September: INSCRIBE FALL CONFERENCE; Edmonton, AB, Canada, 70+ expected to attend; query@inscribe.org; www.Inscribe.org

September: MARANATHA CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Muskegon, MI, 100 expected to attend; info@writewithpurpose.org; www.WriteWithPurpose.org

September: MCC CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ SEMINAR; Joppa, MD; Vcolclasure@clearviewcatv.net

September: AD LIB CHRISTIAN ARTS RETREAT; Franciscan Retreat Ctr, Colorado Springs, CO, 20 max expected to attend; richard.terrell@doane.edu; www.adlibchristianarts.org

September: SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN WRITERS GUILD SEMINAR; San Diego, CA, 180 expected to attend; info@sandiegocwg.org; www.sandiegocwg.org

September: CATCH THE WAVE WRITERS CONFERENCE; Woodstock, GA; www.christianauthorsguild.org

September: CHRISTIAN WRITERS SEMINAR; Okoboji, IA, 20 expected to attend; waterfalls42@hotmail.com; www.waterfallsretreats.com

September: CRUISIN’ FOR CHRIST; Caribbean Cruise; Cruisin_For_Christ@yahoo.com; blessed_to_write@yahoo.com; www.cruisinforchrist.org

September 16–18: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE; Indianapolis, IN; 500 expected to attend; cd@acfw.com; www.ACFW.com

September 17–18: RICHMOND CHRISTIANS WHO WRITE CONFERENCE; Richmond, VA; RichmondCWW@aol.com; http://rcww.blogspot.com

September 17–18: NORTH TEXAS CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Keller, TX, 250 expected to attend; info@ntchristianwriters.com; www.ntchristianwriters.com

September (18?): SILOAM SPRINGS WRITERS’ WORKSHOP; Siloam Springs, AR, 30 expected to attend; 479-524-6598

September 24–25: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS SPOKANE CONFERENCE; Spokane, WA; ACWriters@aol.com; www.ACWriters.com

September—October: SANDY COVE ARTS & COMMUNICATORS SPIRITUAL RETREAT; North East, MD, 150 expected to attend; info@sandycove.org; www.sandycove.org/writers

September or Oct: CHRISTIAN AUTHORS GUILD SEMINAR; Woodstock, GA; info@christianauthorsguild.org; www.christianauthorsguild.org


October: SANTA BARBARA CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE; Santa Barbara, CA, 50 expected to attend; www.christianauthorsguild.orgwww.christianauthorsguild.org; www.cwgsb.com

October: UPSTATE SC ACW FALL WORKSHOP; Anderson, SC, 75 expected to attend; Elvamartinministries@charter.net

October: SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY WRITERS WORKSHOP; Lewisburg, PA; ckwriter@evenlink.com; www.marshahubler.com

October 1–2: PEN TO PAPER LITERARY SYMPOSIUM; Dayton OH – 100 expected to attend; info@penofthewriter.com; www.penofthewriter.com/pentopaper

October 9: NORTHWEST OHIO CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE; Toledo, OH, 50 expected to attend; Mlka@toast.net

October 13–17: CLASS CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, 400 expected to attend; Kaeporter@gmail.com; www.classeminars.org

Oct 22–23: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS PHOENIX CONFERENCE; Phoenix, AZ; ACWriters@aol.com; www.ACWriters.com

October (late): EARLHAM SCHOOL OF RELIGION/MINISTRY OF WRITING COLLOQUIUM; Richmond, IN, 100–200 expected to attend; yanossu@earlham.edu


Please note that in last month’s issue, this was erroneously placed with the October conferences. My apology to all.

November 10-14: CLASS CHRISTIAN WRITERS’ CONFERENCE; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu NM – 400 expected to attend; Kaeporter@gmail.com; www.classeminars.org

November 11-13: HEART OF AMERICAN FALL CONFERENCE Kansas City MO – 125; hacwn@earthlink.net; www.hacwn.org

November 20: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS ORLANDO CONFERENCE, Orlando FL; ACWriters@aol.com; www.ACWriters.com

Nov 29-Dec. 5: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS CARIBBEAN CRUISE, Caribbean Cruise; ACWriters@aol.com; www.ACWriters.com


January: GLEN EYRIE FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE, Colorado Springs CO – 100; 800-944-4536; www.gleneyriegroup.org

January: MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY WRITERS’ RETREAT, Schuyler NE- 10; 402-727-6508

January 12-14: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WRITERS DIRECTORS’ FORUM, Nashville TN – 40-80; ACWriters@aol.com; www.ACWriters.com


Judgement Day