Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Completely Biased Review of Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference 2011, part 1.

Guesting today for Edie, who is making a difference for Christ in Ethiopia, is Mary Denman, who is not in Ethiopia.

Do you remember your first love? The excitement you felt whenever you thought of that special someone? Well, that’s what Blue Ridge is like for me.  And I don’t think I’m alone.

I have been attending BRMCWC for a few years now and I do have to say the conference this past May was outstanding.  Why? Oh, let me count the ways.

1.     The number of faculty. With over 50 faculty members, you are sure to find someone that can help you with where you are as a writer.

2.     The quality of the faculty.  Where can you go for a week to learn your craft from so many authors, agents and editors who are experts in their respective fields? Blue Ridge. Al Gansky makes sure he brings in people who are respected and have the credentials to help guide and direct you wherever you want your career to go.

3.     The variety of the faculty. Blue Ridge is not specific to one genre of writing or even just to writing. While conferences that focus on one category are needed, Blue Ridge is more inclusive of your entire writing needs. Al covers the gambit of genres – from sci-fi to women’s fiction, from magazine articles to non-fiction books, from a speaking ministry to script writing.

4.     The availability of the faculty. Not only can you take classes from these respected authors, editors and agents, but you can eat with them and have appointments with them. You have the opportunity for one-on-one time with people you would have trouble meeting outside of Blue Ridge.

5.     Being with like-minded people.  We writers are an odd lot. We hear voices in our heads, know and love characters we’ve never met and spend time figuring out how to make our characters’ lives miserable.  We spend hours alone in front of computer screens and love to be creative.  It’s such a sanity check to be with others who have conversations in their heads with imaginary people. (Although we really don’t think they’re imaginary because we know them so well.)

This is only the start of the list.  Next week, I’ll cover more reasons why Blue Ridge is so special.  But let me assure you it is.  Looking back over pictures from the conference makes me smile and want to go back, to be back with the special people who make up Blue Ridge.  You can go to Facebook and check out the photos on the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference page.

Until next week, grace and peace. Mary


  1. Mary, rest are not alone. :) This was my first writer's conference and my only regret was that it didn't last longer. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The faculty, new friendships, laughter, workshops, and of course, the Cloud Cafe all made for a memorable week. I'm already beginning to save for next year's conference!

  2. I love your title! That sounds like a wonderful conference, I'll keep that on my future list. Thanks

  3. Mary, I feel the very same way about Blue Ridge. I can't imagine my writing life without it! You did a great job on the photos, by the way. Thank you for your awesome contribution to the Blue Ridge experience!