FCWC BLOG

A Sneak Peek into a New Class at FCWC 2016
10/2/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Shellie Arnold

By, Shellie Arnold, Co-president of Northeast Ohio Word Weavers

I’ve attended many writers conferences over the last twenty-two years.

I’ve learned from expert writers in the publishing industry like Jerry Jenkins, Dan Walsh, Deb Raney, and even Word Weavers International president Eva Marie Everson.

Yet nothing, nothing has helped me improve writing craft as much as group critique. That’s why I asked conference directors Mark Hancock and Eva Marie Everson if they’d consider offering group critique as a Continuing Class option at FCWC.

I know what you might be thinking “Group critique with strangers at a writers’ conference?”

Well, yes. My very first critique experience was at a writers conference. My heart rate went sky high. I was so scared, I was nauseous. And I kept deferring to other writers to “go ahead” to give me time to get my breathing under control. I thought I was going to pass out!

Then, there was no one else left to read except me. I thought I paid to come here to learn, I’ll make myself do this and if I throw up…

Well, I didn’t throw up. I discovered I’d made many craft errors, but I also heard what I’d done right—provoking emotion in my readers, conveying setting, and painting a vivid picture of the scene.

And, an award-winning author of dozens of novels took me aside afterward and spoke directly into my life about writing. For her, it was probably a simple forgotten moment. For me, her encouragement helped me continue working, trying, and studying to make my writing better and better.

If I hadn’t participated in that critique group, I would not have had that encouragement to hold onto when I wanted to give up. When agents offered encouragement, but not representation. When publishers told me I couldn’t do what I knew I felt called to do. 

So…that’s what I want to offer you at Florida Christian Writers Conference 2016! The opportunity to experience critique and glean from it constructive criticism and helpful ideas for correcting issues, as well as positive reinforcement of what you’re doing right. After all, if we know what we’re doing right, we can use those strengths to eliminate our weaknesses. (Or, we can at least try.)

The Continuous Critique Track will work like this:

  1. 1. FCWC attendees will have the opportunity to register for the Continuous Critique Track. 
  2. 2. Guidelines for formatting and critique procedure will be sent out via e-mail pre-conference
  3. 3. Participants will bring six pre-printed copies of 4 – 5 submissions of 1500 words each. (That’s a potential 6000-7500 words critiqued. Awesome, right?)
  4. 4. Attendees will be placed in groups of no more than 6, according to genre.
  5. 5. We critique and help each other. Woohoo!

Sound like something you’re interested in? Sign up! Come to FCWC 2016 and make some serious progress on your current project. If you register before October 10, you save $100! Don’t wait.

Leave a comment to encourage others: If you are a Word Weaver, how has your writing improved with critique, or what is your favorite part about our method?

Shellie Arnold is a writer and speaker on marriage and family. She truly believes—despite baggage, neglect, or mistakes—if a husband and wife listen to God, they can live happily even after. Her passion is sharing how God has helped her do exactly that. She maintains a blog atwww.shelliearnold.com, is the founder of YOUR MARRIAGE resources and the YOUR MARRIAGE resources YouTube channel. Shellie is a mother of three and has home schooled for over twenty years. She lives in Ohio with her husband of twenty-nine years. Shellie’s first novel, The Spindle Chair, releases October 2015. 

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Comments

nora l.mcclendon From plant city florida At 10/15/2015 8:48:23 AM

So excited about Shellie's book.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..... We are so proud of her and all she has accomplished...... And so excited for the things to come God given talent which she is using in a great way.... We are proud to be her parents,,,,,,

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