Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thursday Review, Writers Workshop with Cec Murphey

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to fellow writer, Lynn Blackburn. She's a writing buddy of mine and will be a regular contributor to the Thursday Review section of this blog. She has a wonderful, fresh voice and if you haven't yet, be sure to visit her blog, Out of the Boat.

Cecil Murphey, photo taken by Edie Melson
I have a confession to make. Before attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, I had never heard of Cecil Murphey. Don’t get me wrong, I knew his books — you’d have to have been living under a rock beside a hut on a deserted island to have missed 90 Minutes in Heaven. I just didn’t place his name with his books. (This should be a lesson to anyone who thinks writing books is a path to fame).

But I kept hearing people talk about Cec Murphey. How he’s a wonderful writer himself and a generous friend to writers of all levels of accomplishment. So when The Christian Writer’s Den and Write4Him announced that they were bringing Cecil Murphey to the Upstate of South Carolina for a writer’s workshop and book signing, I knew I had to be there. If for no other reason than to figure out what the big deal is about Cecil Murphey.

Believe me — I get it now!

I arrived at CrossWay Christian Supply in Greenville thinking we might hear a nice talk about his career and success, maybe a few nice anecdotes about publishing and some insight into the current market.

What I got was an advanced level dialogue course. Cec (if I may be so bold as to refer to him that way), provided several pages of notes with dialogue tips and techniques, but spent the majority of his time walking us through two separate dialogue critiques.

Few things are as helpful to a writer as watching a master deconstruct a scene, point out the flaws and then put it back together. And to top it off, he has a great sense of humor and a charming style. I brought a non-writer friend with me and she enjoyed the workshop as much as I did. We both found him funny, insightful and humble.

So thank you to the Christian Writer’s Den and Write4Him for bringing us this wonderful opportunity. If Cecil Murphey is speaking anywhere near you, be there! You won’t be sorry.

If you attended his workshop, let us know what you thought.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Lynn Blackburn
Guest Blogger


  1. Lynn, thanks for the good words about Cec. You were right on! When Cec began writing professionally, he made a double commitment to God: (1) that he would never stop learning, and (2) that he would do whatever he could to help other writers. In keeping with that commitment, he launched a blog to help writers: He offers great advice and practical tips. Best of all--it's free!

  2. Amen and amen! It was an encouraging, educational weekend for writers, regardless of their experience. What an honor to call Cec Murphey a mentor and a friend. We were blessed to have him with us!

  3. Lynn’s post might not be the best ever written about me, but it’s somewhere near the top.

    I like to teach about things I wanted to know when I began to write.

    In my early days of writing, I tried to get help from a few professionals but they didn’t seem to want to bother with me. When I started to write in 1869, I asked Louisa May Alcott for her secrets, but she refused to share them. She’s no longer alive, but I am. AND I’m willing to share.

  4. Great blog post . . .and even more fun comments! I've only heard good things about both the conference and Cec.