Endorsements

What are others saying about Boot Camp?

Mary Edwards – 2012 Boot Camp Graduate says – ” I am looking forward to what my second year of Boot Camp will bring. In one year many changes have occurred in my style of writing. I appreciate in every lesson learned while writing children’s books. This year I am returning with a new goal as I go now to learn not only to write for others to read, but to write and learn to speak on those words that God has blessed me with. The rejections of submissions were positive redirection. Studying and gaining knowledge and wisdom, with my own personal experiences. will help others heal from childhood sexual abuse. as I share. I am anxious to learn even more of how to put His healing words out to those who need it. God bless you all for giving me this opportunity.”

2012 Boot Camp Graduate Sally Matheny – Now a published devotionalist

I wanted to thank you all for my Boot Camp experience last year. It was my first ever writers’ conference. What an awesome way to jump start my writing journey. The pre-conference assignments taught me a great deal. Learning how to construct a One Sheet (as a pre-conference assignment) has benefited me throughout the past year. Learning how to write a bio was essential and I’ve used it numerous times since.

Connections made at the conference resulted in lasting friendships and opened up more learning opportunities for me.

Each workshop I took has proved to be a springboard for other things in my writing career. Some workshops I took away practical how-to advice such as in Edie Melson’s Social Networking class. What I have learned from Edie in the past year has doubled the growth of my platform.

Other workshops I not only gained educational tips of the trade but I also gleaned wise advice. I’ll never forget the message Yvonne Leahman conveyed about our calling as writers is no more important than the person whose ministry is to prepare a meal for a benevolent family. Her humble servant attitude will stick with me longer than anything else she said. Everything she taught was helpful but those words about keeping pride in check is what God firmly stamped on my heart that day.

God also used Cindy’s transparency and encouraging words to propel me to keep going. Boot Camp was the first time I was forced to say, “I am a writer.” At the time, the words sounded awkward to me. After it was “drilled” into my head for a week, I left with a little more confidence, a lot more training in my craft, and a big affirmation from God to keep writing.

Christian Devotions Boot Camp poured out a wonderful foundation for my writing journey. While I will not be able to attend this year, I hope to build further upon your knowledge in the future.

Thanks again. May the Lord continue to bless you both and the work of your hands.

2012 Boot Camp Graduate – Kimberly Rae – Now Published

Though I’ve been published over 150 times in Christian magazines, church curriculum and such, the publishing world is changing so much, my attempts at getting a book published were like climbing a mountain–barefoot! In the current publishing climate, with such a focus on social media marketing, I knew I was way behind the times when it came to what today’s publishers are looking for. This conference was a huge help. Very practical advice–so much in fact that I still haven’t managed to implement it all! I was able to get a critique on a book proposal from a real agent, which not only was a real help (she gave me information I had not been able to find in my own research), but also as I looked around at other new and advanced writers meeting with other agents, writers and publishers, I noticed all of us were feeling less and less intimidated. That in itself–the approachability of the experts–was an unexpected gift.

And it was at The Cove in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which definitely added to the appeal!

I would definitely recommend Writer’s Boot Camp to both new and seasoned writers. You’ll be encouraged by meeting others with the same heart for ministry through writing, come away with a book full of information, and perhaps get the very nudge you need in the right direction to make those writing dreams come true!

 From Boot Camp 2012 Trainee -  Katie Newingham

…You know it’s funny, as I write this blog, I’m realizing I lost momentum when I lost focus. I traded one goal for another, one I have not mentioned to any of you. What I mean to say is, my major hurdle wasn’t my children getting sick. Instead, it was a decision to pursue a long-time goal of mine to be a published author. At the beginning of this year, a friend sent me a link for a writer’s conference in Asheville, NC. I disregarded the event, thinking I’d be unable to go. My son was still nursing. I had no desire to be away from my family for a weekend and I really had not thought of attending a conference. Having read my book, my husband encouraged me to sign up and said we would all go up to the mountains and stay in a cabin. I’m always up for an adventure, so I paid the fee and booked a cabin at Willow Winds.

What I didn’t realize was there were assignments each week, and because I signed up late, I was already behind. I realized this at the tail end of week 7 and spent the seven days leading up to the conference doing homework: Three bio’s, a 2-page synopsis, and a proposal. There was no way I could finish it all before the conference, but I had to try so I could prove to myself that I’m not just a dreamer, I’m a doer, gosh darn it.

I brought my running gear to Asheville. I actually thought I’d get a chance to run trails in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Needless to say that didn’t happen. But where I feel like I failed my faithful followers, I have peace that I accomplished something this past weekend. I walked away with clarity. I received a formal edit from an author whose written more than 50 novels: Her latest, Hearts that Survive, a novel of the Titanic, just came out.

I also walked away having met 77 like-minded souls. I didn’t stay at the conference the entire time, but I stayed long enough to reinstate my passion for writing and my reason for pursuing the craft.

Even more important to me – my husband actually had a great time with the kids. They visited a nature park where my daughter saw otters and donkeys, but not bears, she said, “because they’re hibernating.” And my son got to see the world from a whole new perspective too, since he was attached to the back of his daddy.

From Boot Camp 2011 – Trainee Lori Hatcher  - 

NOW PUBLISHED
 
I attended the Christian Devotions Writers’ Conference in February of 2010 because I wanted to learn how to write better devotionals. Prior to attending, I had written monthly columns of encouragement for our homeschool support group and several devotional pieces and features for a local Christian magazine. I knew I had a lot to learn and arrived with an eager, hungry heart. At the end of the weekend, I did indeed leave with some new writing skills, but I also came away with much more.
 
I came away with Eddie’s voice resounding in my heart. “Don’t try to be something that you are not. Write from who you are and what you love.” These wise words helped me establish the focal point of my writing career. The direction I received has helped me know what to say yes to and what to say no to as I strive to be a good steward of my time, energy, and talent.
 
I came away with a professional’s opinion that there was merit in my book idea. By the time the next conference rolls around, my book should be in 35 stores in the southwest and available online.I came away with the desire to start a blog and as a result I have been invited to be a featured blogger for a new website designed to encourage homeschooling moms.
 
I came away with the confidence and knowledge to submit my writing for publication outside my little safe circle. Since then I’ve had work published in three print and several online magazines. Because I was able to add these credentials to my writing resume, I was invited to apply for the editorship of the local magazine for which I had been writing. Believe it or not, they hired me!
 
Best of all, I came away with a network of writer friends who have challenged me, encouraged me, and mentored me long after the two-day conference ended. We share ideas, critiques, tips, and laughs. As iron sharpens iron, these co-laborers share my vision to glorify God with my writing and cheer me on when I lose sight of the ultimate prize. What amazed me most was the atmosphere at the CD Bootcamp—everyone was willing to share what they knew to help each one of us become the very best writer we could be.
I never dreamed what God had in store for me when He allowed me to attend the Christian Devotions BootCamp!
 
Lori Hatcher
Editor, Reach Out, Columbia magazine
and the author of
Joy in the Journey—Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms
 

                                From 2011 Boot Camp Trainee- Jeff Fisher,  NOW PUBLISHED

 
I thought I’d share a great step up for me in getting material published.  I just got my first article posted on Pastors.com.  It’s a big site and a big deal to me.
  
Not a paid gig, but the blog is read by something like 55,000 people.  The numbers to me only mean that God will be able to use my writing to help more ministers and laity with sexual addiction. 
 
 
I’m also a regular writer now for XXXChurch.com and Covenant Eyes.  I’d think the writer’s conference had something to do with it. 
 
Thanks to you both.
Jeff Fisher
 
 

From 2011 Boot Camp Trainee - 

Greg Watson 
NOW PUBLISHED
 
 
Just past theTennesseeline the traffic ground to a halt—for the second time. The snow and ice from the night before was making my trip toRidgecrest,North Carolinadifficult at best. I had no idea where the drivers whose abandoned cars littered both sides of I-24 were going, but I was pretty sure their trip was done. If I continued to roll the dice would mine end the same way? More than once I pondered turning back.
 
“Maybe it’s just not in the cards,” I thought. But from somewhere deep inside, somewhere foreign to all my other thoughts, came one more. “Your fee is paid, your bags are packed, and you’re on your way—keep going.”
 
Sure enough the farther I went the easier my journey became. Finally, on the other side of Nashville the roads cleared. I was on my way to Writers Advance Boot Camp 2011.
 
And what a blessing it was! Once there, I received one of the warmest welcomes I’ve ever experienced and met people who have encouraged me in my writing ever since. I learned how to craft meaningful devotions, develop deeper characters, weave colorful stories and expand my horizons as a writer. Since attending last year’s conference, my devotions have been published not only by Christian Devotions but also by CBN.com. My blog postings have seen marked improvement bringing increased traffic and more subscribers. And while up to now I have only written non-fiction, attending last year’s conference has enlarged my confidence to test the waters in the fiction pool as well.
 
Thank God he prodded me to keep going that snowy day. The message He’d given the Christian Devotions staff was exactly what I needed. You know–I bet He knew that all along.
 
I don’t know where you are in developing the talent God has entrusted with you, but I do know Boot Camp 2012 is the event He will use to nurture that talent. So what is standing in your way? Do you think it’s an impossible journey? Are you being tempted to abandon your opportunity on the side of the road? If so, let my words be that foreign thought in your head. Keep going. Don’t turn back. Roll the dice. God wants you there and can help you clear every hurdle in your path.
 
 

2012 Boot Camp Trainee – Jenny Smith

I LOVE all the practical help I’m getting! Not just encouragement but real nuts and bolts for someone who so struggles with the mechanics of writing!
 
 

Agented – 2012 Boot Camp Trainee – Sarah Thomas

I attended the 2012 Boot Camp and received feedback on a manuscript from Ann Tatlock who identified a couple of issues that needed fixing. Her assistance was invaluable. The manuscript went on to become a Genesis Contest semi-finalist, won second place for best complete, unpublished novel at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Novelist Retreat and ultimately garnered the interest of an agent. I’m delighted to say that I’m now represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.  www.SarahAnneLoudinThomas.wordpress.com