1 Thessalonians 5:11
My agent, Rachelle Gardner, closed in January to queries except from authors published with royalty-paying publishers, personal referrals, or longtime blog commenters and others she knew.
After reading about her query status, I again realized how vital it is for writers to build relationships. Attending conferences and retreats, as well as joining organizations, helps you meet potential mentors, critique partners, editors and agents face to face.
I signed with Rachelle last March after establishing a relationship by meeting with her for two consecutive years at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference, reading and commenting on her blog and following her on Twitter and Facebook. She was not a nameless agent to me, and I was not a nameless writer to her.
The same goes for the publishing house I targeted with my novel. I met with the same Love Inspired editor twice, and at our last meeting, she remembered me from the previous year. I read the Love Inspired guidelines and forums at eharlequin. I know many of the Love Inspired authors and read more Love Inspired novels than those from any other house. When Rachelle called me in January to say Love Inspired wanted to buy my debut novel, I was thrilled. And now, Lakeside Reunion will be available in November.
I met Susie Warren at ACFW in 2005. I’d read her books for two years. She became both a friend and mentor, which led to my role in helping My Book Therapy (MBT) expand and to my growth as a writer. Brainstorming with both Susie and Rachel Hauck redefined my writing.
The MBT Ponderers — a group of both published and unpublished writers — formed after bonding through MBT retreats. I knew several of the writers through MBT and ACFW, but without those life-changing weekends, we wouldn’t have developed the intimate friendships we now share.
I have terrific friendships, a daily prayer partner and a priceless critique partner who blesses me daily with her willingness to listen, brainstorm and be honest with me.
Developing relationships in the writing world isn’t about using someone to get published. It’s about growing as a writer. And you never know where those friendships could lead.
The June issue’s theme is about building relationships — writer-to-writer relationships, writer-to-industry-professional relationships and writer-to-reader relationships. Building each type of relationship is vital to a writer’s career.
Several new columns have been added to the e-zine: Social Networking, Genre Java, Writing & Wellness. This terrific e-zine would not have happened without the help of the exceptional staff and supplemental writers. So allow me to close by thanking those involved in putting this e-zine together:
- Book Therapists, Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck.
- Voices Staff:
- Reba J. Hoffman, Member Care coach, prayer coordinator.
- Beth K. Vogt, copy editor.
- Amy Lindberg, assistant copy editor, Flash Fiction coordinator.
- Edie Melson, assistant copy editor, Social Networking columnist.
- Roxanne Sherwood, assistant copy editor.
- Vicki McCollumn, assistant copy editor.
- Jennie Atkins, Let’s Shout it Out coordinator.
- Carrie Fancett Pagels, Journey With the Voices coordinator, Upcoming Releases coordinator.
- Patricia Woodside, Ask the Therapist coordinator, Meet the Voices coordinator.
- Melissa Tagg, Finding the Funny columnist, What’s Your Story? coordinator.
- Teri Dawn Smith, Consulting with the Specialists coordinator.
- Michelle Lim, Genre Java coordinator.
- Alena Taurianen, Writing & Wellness columnist.
- Amanda Stevens, “Soul Slivers“
- Andrea Nell, Genre Java: A Recipe for Contemporary Romance
- Delores Topliff, “Writers—Prisoners of the Lord“
My Book Therapy (MBT) has over 900 members and grows daily. Members receive an abundance of resources to help them further their craft. Here’s a glimpse:
- My Book Therapy Blog –Topics covered include On the Edge — Suspense and Special Teams Blogs: editing, marketing and social networking.
- Club Voices – Forums where you can ask questions and learn from other Voices.
- Monday Night Chats – Free workshops! Suz and Rachel share their wisdom of story crafting. Chat transcripts are added to the forum for those who missed the chats.
- Voices E-zine – For the Voices by the Voices. Your place to share your writing and to build your platform.
- Storycrafting Retreats – An incredible experience where you will learn to take your writing to the next level.
- The Frasier Writing Contest – Personalized feedback and fantastic prizes to continue to help writers hone their story crafting skills.
- Annual MBT Pizza Party — A not-to-be-missed annual event at the ACFW conference.
- Personalize your own Club Voices page with a blog, comment wall and photos.
Whether you’re a new writer learning the basics or an established, published author, get involved and meet others who are finding their way in the writing world too. At MBT, you are not alone in your journey. Be part of the writing community where Every Voice Counts!
Your Voices Editor-in-Chief,