2019 Writers Conference

On Friday, March 29, 2019, Writing Day Workshops is hosting a one-day conference in downtown St. Louis, in conjunction with Saturday Writers, a chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild. It’s a full day of workshops and optional add-on opportunities to get critiques on your work, pitch to an agent, and network. For anyone interested in testing the waters for a larger conference, like Gateway Con, this is a great way to get your feet wet and see how helpful a conference can be to growing your career and skills as a writer.

Having volunteered at a couple of writing conferences myself over the years, let me tell you, it is becoming increasingly common for agents to do remote pitching over the costs of travel to cons in person, which is what makes the one-on-one opportunity here to be a shame to miss. Some of the workshops are even being taught by agents — it’d be a shame to miss this!

The conference is featuring the following agents and representatives:

  • Eric Smith, of P.S. Literary Agency
  • Eliza Rothstein, of Inkwell Literary
  • Victoria Selvaggio, of Storm Literary
  • Patty Carothers, of Metamorphosis Literary
  • Kortney Price, of Corvisiero Literary

Additionally, I will also be attending the conference to hear pitches, working officially as a “literary agent assistant” for Metamorphosis Literary. What that means is that I’m not a literary agent yet, so, I can’t take pitches on behalf of myself, but what I can do, is listen to pitches on behalf of the agents at Metamorphosis Literary who won’t be attending, and hopefully find some great new work that they may be interested in learning more about in the future.

As of the time of this post, there are still some tickets available but if you’re interested in attending, I definitely wouldn’t wait until the day-of. You can learn more about the conference and reserve your tickets at StLouisWritersConference.com. I hope to see you there!

Encountering Soul-Changing Beauty

What is it about art that draws us, compels us to a state of contemplation, humbles our souls before the light of the beauty of God’s creation, or moves us to tears?

Over the past few months, many changes have occurred in my life but one of the best ones was an opportunity to travel, where I was able to encounter, what I’d like to call, “soul-changing beauty”, unexpectedly found at an exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.

This is the piece of art in question, a work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, of Tiffany and Co. fame:

And here is a small gallery of close-up shots (at least, as close as my camera phone would allow!):

In the foreground, there appears to be a garden of wild grapes, pink hollyhocks, and purple climbing clematis, with a field dipping down to a lake and a rolling hillside in the background.

I am in awe of the level of detail and exquisite colors employed in these stained glass panels and the serenity of the surrounding countryside. I admit there is a certain amount of awe, in seeing Tiffany glass in person, for the first time.

More than that, there is something about beauty that touches our souls. I can’t speak for everyone but speaking for myself, I yearn for beauty and sometimes, a piece of music or a painting or in this case, a stained glass, touches my soul and moves me past my humanity and I feel closer to God. It was such a privilege of being able to see this exquisite work in person, so far from home, and yet its depiction reminds me of the heartland that I love and its people.

My hope is to encourage you today to make time to visit a museum near you soon. Just take a half-day if you can spare it, even a lunch hour, and wander and witness and wait. Wait to meet God in that one painting that moves you beyond your humanity until, like Adam, you are close to touching God. And then, embrace the gift He has placed within you to seek and admire the beauty of His creation and give thanks for it. I know that I am.