A Big Thumbs Up to the 2019 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference

A Guest Post by April Carpenter, Conference Director

The 6th annual Mid-South Christian Writers conference is in the books. It’s finished. It’s over and done.

Now what?

Bob Hostetler did an excellent job! He brought the conference lots of humor as well as great advice. What did you take away from Bob’s keynote addresses? The main thing for me was,  “I can’t do everything.” I can try, but it is not humanly possible. Bob encouraged me “just to try” and “to keep showing up.” He also said that we need to “step in and be open to the new, be opened to be coached and to keep our eyes on the ball.” We have as many chances as it takes.

I was encouraged to see many in attendance who were first-timers to the conference. Whether you are a seasoned writer or just beginning, Bob’s words are true for us all.

We want to hear what you are doing and how this conference has helped you in your writing life. Please inform us of your successes.

My blog post to start our 2019 conference was full of emojis (you should go back and read it–A Day in the Life of a Writer). It only fits that I use an emoji to close out the conference.

I give our conference a BIG thumbs up. We hope you do as well.

May God continue to bless you in your writing career.


A Day in the Life of a Writer

A Welcome Message From

April Smith Carpenter, Conference Director

The MSCWC committee’s priority, as we plan the 2019 conference, is to connect with you—our attendees.

Personally, I enjoy hanging around with like-minded people. I attend my local Christian writers group monthly meeting for this very reason. I also love attending writers conferences so I can be with other writers.

To welcome you to our blog for the coming conference, I’m sharing six emotions I go through when I sit down to write. Perhaps you go through these emotions, too. Let’s see how much alike we are!

Here is my process.


Happy happens when my words flow freely from my fingers onto the computer keyboard. In my mind, I’m writing the perfect masterpiece that won’t need any editing.

However. . . after take a quick break, this happens.


I make the mistake of reading some of what I wrote. I stare at the screen.

I think, “Oh, no, what I wrote is junk!”

My face heats up!


I quickly scan everything I have written as my earlier enthusiasm crashes down on my psyche. I might give all my writing a thumbs down. I might even stick out my tongue at the screen.


“Are you kidding me?” I say to the cat. “How could this be happening?”

And then, just as my fingers highlight everything I’ve written, and I’m about to hit the delete key, I see that one excellently written sentence.


“Oh, yeah!!! There it is…. maybe this isn’t so bad after all,” the voice inside my head says.

This new confidence allows me to keep going. I don’t delete anything, at least not yet. The realization hits that my “perfect masterpiece” needs some editing. But that’s okay.


The feeling of relief runs through my body.

I might shed tears of joy—especially if I will meet my deadline.

“Thank you, God,” I whisper.


“Oh, No!” Did I pray before I started writing today? (if your memory is as bad as mine, you can’t remember!)

“Thank you, Lord,” I pray, “for the calling you have given to me to be a writer. Help me write today for your Glory, Amen.”

Though the process of writing may be complicated sometimes—okay, how about all the time?—the emotions you invoke, once you’ve finished, aren’t like any other.


So, how like-minded are we? While reading this post, were you thinking, “yep, that’s me!”?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The committee is praying for you, and we can’t wait to see you at the 2019 MSCWC.

Trust MSCWC With Your Writing Dreams

A Guest Post by

April Carpenter, Conference Director

On behalf of the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference (MSCWC) committee, I get the honor of welcoming you to our blog for the 2018 conference.

Our team is already hard at work dotting our “i’s” and crossing our “t’s” just for you.  We strive every year to carefully review the evaluations and we take your suggestions to heart.

If you are an alumnus to the conference, I know you will be pleased at the new things we have planned for you.

If you are new, I give you an extra WELCOME!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,

in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Regardless of where you are in your writing journey, we encourage you to put your TRUST in God.

If you’re feeling a tug at your heart to attend a writer’s conference, TRUST. God may be urging you to take this important step.

A conference like ours isn’t as overwhelming as larger, multi-day conferences. We’re a great place to make friends with other writers who share your dreams and–dare we say it?–also your fears. (Writers tend to be an insecure bunch!)

This is our fifth annual conference, and each year the number of participants have grown. Come see for yourself how God is blessing MSCWC!

TRUST that the Lord is calling you to be with us on March 16 & 17, 2018, and thank Him in advance for the blessings to come.

We are praying for you!

One more quick note: Be sure and check back every Thursday for updates regarding the conference. We have exciting news to share each week!

2017 MSCWC Wrap-Up

A Guest Post by

April Carpenter, Conference Director

While deciding what I should say in this blog post, I thought about James Watkins’ first keynote presentation, “Ten Creative Commandments.”

His third commandment is:

“Thou shalt hang around creative and funny people.”

There are two excellent ways to do this.

  1. Join a local writers group. The conference packet included information on Memphis writing groups for our local attendees. If you’re not from the Mid-South area, please check out the 2017 Christian Writers Market Guide’s list of writers groups for your state.
  2. Join our new Facebook page. Whether you attended this year, a previous year, or plan to attend in the future, we invite you to “like” our conference Facebook page once it’s created. Be sure you’re following this blog so you’ll know when the page goes live.

During the last keynote address,  “I Have a Dream,” Jim encouraged us to make our dreams specific and realistic.

So… how is your writing going since the conference?

I pray you have thought about and written down your specific, realistic dreams and that you are pursuing them every day.

I pray that this year’s theme, “Changing the World with Words,” inspires you to create stories, articles, devotions, poems, Bible studies–whatever God has called you to write–that will change lives in a powerful way.

On behalf of the committee, we thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to join us. This year’s conference included 96 participants, nine presenters, and one keynote speaker.

Thank you, too, for your kind words in the evaluations and for the thank you cards you wrote the day of the conference.

We read each evaluation and truly take what you suggest to heart.

It’s not too late to give us your opinion. Please feel free to send your comments to: registration@midsouthchristianwriters.com.

We are so glad you joined us this year, and hope to see you again in 2018.

MSCWC Director April Carpenter Welcomes You!


2017 Theme: Changing the World with Words

April CarpenterI’m so excited to be the first to welcome you to the 2017 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference blog.

March 17 & 18, 2017 will be here before you know it! Around 128 days to be exact.

The committee is hard at work preparing for another great conference. We have a superb lineup of faculty along with our key note speaker Jim Watkins.


Are you paying attention to God’s signs?

Sign, Signs, Everywhere a Sign,” has been playing in my head recently. You know the 1971 song from the 5 Man Electric Band?

Because of this song, I added a sign to my office door at home so the kids wouldn’t bother me while I’m writing. It says, “Taking time for me.”

Does the sign keep them from knocking on my door? NO. Does it keep my husband from yelling, “Honey, where’s my blue shirt?” NO.


Here’s your first sign to come to the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference on Saturday, March 18, 2017.


I hear you saying, “I don’t have the time,” or “I went to the conference last year; why should I go again?”

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Your family can function for one day without you. Trust me I know.   Everyone needs encouragement and to be with likeminded people.

I was honored to speak at my church during the summer regarding my personal prayer journey. I shared my writing on what the Bible says about verbal abuse. I also explained why I hadn’t completed this book yet: “This is a hard topic to write about. I can work on it for a while and then I have to put it aside.”

After the talk, two people stopped me. “Please finish your book,” they urged. “I would buy it and share it with women I know who are in abusive situations.”

HMMMM I thought. Was this a sign?


If God has given you sign after sign that says “Write for me,” or if every other day God blesses you with a great idea for an article or character, then heed His call. Serve Him 100%,by honing your craft. One way to do that is by attending a writers conference.

write-for-meWhen God speaks I make a plan so I can be obedient. One way to be obedient is to prepare. When I have taken the time to learn about the craft of writing then I see results. God gives me new characters and the ability to tweak old characters among other things. Attending conferences is my way of preparing and also a way to receive encouragement.


What signs in your life, regarding your writing, have you been avoiding or ignoring?

Please friends, I encourage you to come to the conference.

We are praying for you and your writing. We are praying that all signs point you to the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference.


Register Here!

Visit the MSCWC Website.


Wrapping up the 2016 MSCWC

April Carpenter 01The 2016 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference has come and gone.

With 95 in attendance for the actual conference and 63 at the Meet and Greet event, we feel it was a great success.

Thank you again for choosing the MSCWC. “God’s love is new every morning.”

The theme this year was “Connecting Through Words.”

For the conference committee this phrase led us to Habakkuk 2:2. “And the Lord said to me, ‘Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.’”

This is the third conference that God has blessed us with, and each year God enlarges our billboard.

We would love to hear from you about how this year’s conference helped your writing. We’re praying that God is allowing you to rush and tell the others, and we want to hear about it.

Please share with us at, midsouthchristianwriters@gmail.com

Until next year!

Praying God’s Blessings upon you.


April Carpenter, Conference Director