by Golden Key-Parsons
What is POV? Is my manuscript ready to present to an editor? What is an “em dash,” and how does one use it? Will my manuscript be rejected if I don’t have the correct format? Do I need business cards, and/or one-sheets? May I speak to editors in the restroom, or must I have a formal appointment? And where are the restrooms?!
I attended my first writer’s conference like most of you with questions from form to format, from content to practical. I walked around the beautiful setting in the Rocky Mountains with my eyes wide, not really knowing what to do or whom to approach. I gained some valuable information, but in hindsight, I believe I could have made better use of my time there.
By the time I attended my second conference, I had calmed down a bit (found the restrooms first thing!), and decided to offer my schedule to God and allow him to guide me to the editors/publishing houses/agents with whom I needed to visit. That required time in prayer, and moment by moment walking with him. I found my days filled with God’s serendipities, whether it was a “chance” meeting with an editor or the forming of a new friendship.
One prime example: I really wanted an agent. I love to write, but I’m no good at the business side of being an author. I had been signed by an agent previously, but shortly after signing me, and without garnering a publishing contract for me, he closed his agency. In seeking someone else to represent me, I had come up empty handed. Having approached a couple of agents and having been rejected, I was discouraged. In prayer about finding an agent, I felt like the Lord leading me to take hands off the situation. I felt impressed that he was telling me that he would send someone when the time was right. So I let it go and concentrated on my writing.
That fall at a writers conference, I sat down next to a young woman whom I thought was an editor. We began to chat, and I pitched my historical fiction to her. She had been looking for just such a manuscript. She asked me to send it to her. When she handed me her card, I’m sure I must have gasped. She was a literary agent with an agency out of New York. The agency signed me the next spring and within six months she had negotiated a four-book contract with Thomas Nelson Publishing for my historical fiction series.
So, as you prepare to attend the ACFW Conference in Denver this fall, trust our God, who is for you and is working all things together for your good because you love him and are called according to his purpose. All we have to do is listen to his voice, and then obey. I promise he will take care of the rest.
Blessings on you as you walk the halls of the ACFW Conference in September. May God direct your every encounter, and I hope he causes our paths to cross!
Golden Keyes Parsons
A writer who issues the challenge: dare to take God seriously!
In The Shadow Of The Sun King Fall 2008
Finalist American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Author Category
A Prisoner Of Versailles September 2009
A Darkness To Light Novel