It’s the time of year for writers’ conferences and the contests that often go with them. And finally–after two years of a worldwide pandemic–these conferences are once again being held in person. I’m so excited!

For those not “in the know,” writing conferences provide opportunity for many things to those of us who spend much time alone, staring at (an often) blank computer screen. We get to go out and mingle with like-minded wordcrafters, people, who, like us, spend a lot of time in their own minds, in worlds no one else can see…yet! There are classes to attend, important people in “high places,”–literary agents, editors, and publishers–who are willing to sit down and listen as we desperately attempt to convince them that we are the next John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, or … well, you get my drift. And there’s those regular folks, like us, that we met last year and totally clicked with, and can’t wait to see again. And finally–there’s great food that we don’t have to cook or clean up after eating. All in all, it’s an absolutely awesome experience!

This summer I get to attend two multi-day conferences. One is in the quaint little town of Canby, Oregon, along the lovely Molalla River. The Cascade Conference is sponsored by Oregon Christian Writers, a group I’ve been actively involved in for two decades. Don’t know what I’d have done without OCW over the years!

The other conference is at the opposite end of the peaceful spectrum. This is Realm Makers, situated in the not-so-quaint metropolis of Atlantic City, NJ! But I’ve never been to NJ and I’m excited to see that boardwalk (and take a few days afterward to visit that place all Americans should go at least once–New York City!) But that’s another story. 🙂

I’m also pleased and proud to have been announced a finalist in both conference’s contests with my debut novel–Kingdom Lost. The competition looks pretty tough in both contests but at least my name will be announced along with the other finalists, and who knows? I COULD win! Keeping fingers crossed…