My Visit to Writing School

I couldn’t tell how I got my book written and published in one article last month, so I am continuing to explain now and probably again next month.  I will now talk about a writer’s conference that played a pivotal role in the development of my latest book.

            The conference was a “writing intensive” hosted by Karen Kingsbury, a New York Times #1 bestselling author whose genres are romance, family drama and Christian fiction.   The event was in a large room in a beautiful hotel.  It took place in June 2022.  It was just a two-hour drive to Franklin, Tennessee and since Meredith, my lovely bride, co-wrote my last book with me and is working on another book, she went with me.   Meredith has read almost every Karen Kingsbury book in existence, and Kingsbury has written about 100 books.

            Meredith and I were assigned to a table with five other participants who have become dear friends of ours.  We still communicate almost daily via text.  The table we were all at was Table 6 and we continue to call ourselves Table 6.  I later named the publishing imprint of my latest book Table Six Books to honor them.

            This was not a typical writer’s conference in which there are multiple workshops taught by different people.  There were several sessions over the course of three days (although only the second day was a full day) taught by Karen Kingsbury herself on how to become a bestselling author.  Topics of the sessions included character development, dialogue, conflict, and much more.  Our little group also met with Karen in a conference room where she interviewed us one-on-one about our writing plans.

            We were also given the opportunity to submit a book proposal to Karen who would consider submitting it to her publisher which would in turn consider publishing it.  Her publisher is Simon & Schuster, one of the “Big Five” of the publishing world.  The deadline for submission was the end of February.  I decided to submit my latest book It Was a Magical Place since I was already pretty much finished writing it.

The documents we were required to submit with our proposals were many and were complex, more so than the requirements of any literary agent I would submit to later.  I sometimes had to fall back on my Table Six friends for help.  I made it a goal to get it submitted before the new year began.  Did I accomplish that goal?  Well, almost.  I submitted my proposal to Karen Kingsbury on January 14.

            I will consider advice on how to succeed as an author from anyone, but the Karen Kingsbury Writing Intensive afforded me the opportunity for input from someone who has been down that road.

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