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Writing For the Soul Conference

I attended my first writer's conference, Writing for the Soul, in Tennessee. It was an amazing experience of networking, learning, and fellowship with like-minded writers, hosted by Jerry Jenkins.

After a delayed flight journey, lost luggage, a midnight trip to Wal-Mart for essentials, and back the next morning to retrieve my luggage, I redressed myself and prepared for the trek to Murfreesboro, TN. The conference began with a four-hour workshop called SuzyQ Author Boot camp. Since Susanne Kuhn was recovering from surgery her husband Shawn was the instructor.

Friday night Dennis Hensley spoke on Finding Your Voice with the take-away thought, "I am not a failure but a novice." Following that inspirational message Dave Sheets, President of the Christian Writers Guild, introduced the Shark Tank program. Three authors (which I was one!) were picked to share their proposals before an elite group of panelists; Jerry Jenkins, best-selling author of more than 180 books; Shaun Kahn, SuzyQ coaching for Christian Writers Guild; Andrew Mackay, publishing consultant for Believers Press.

I was first in the lineup. After a 5-minute introduction the panel questioned me about my story, writing, and goals for about 20 minutes. To be selected from all who submitted their proposal was an honor and to be encouraged by those who know the writing journey was overwhelming.

Saturday was filled with information overload that I am still processing. The cherry-on-the-top was the VIP viewing of Left Behind movie. After the movie we enjoyed a 20-minute question and answer time with Jerry Jenkins. He then gave each one of us a signed copy of his book, Left Behind. When it was my turn to receive my copy someone asked, "Phyllis how did you do at the Shark Tank program?" Before I could answer, Jerry Jenkins said, "She did very well!" Many expressed how they were touched by my presentation and encouraged me to continue to share my story. God always has a greater plan than we can imagine. I came away from this experience knowing I am right where God wants me to be.

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