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Getting Grand Rapids Christian traditions on paper and into the marketplace

The best kept secret in West Michigan.
Panel of editors and publisher at the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference

Panel of editors and publisher at the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference /Timothy Burns

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Maranatha Christian Writers Conference Schedule.

This year, the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference kicks of on Monday, Sept 24th at 8:30 with a advanced session on book proposals. The main conference begins at 11:30. and continues daily until Friday, Sept 28th at 12:00.  If you are a Grand Rapids writer, and are looking for publishing venues, or want to learn about social media and how to build your writer's platform, visit http://www.writewithpurpose.org for details, and make plans to spend a few days on the beautiful Lake Michigan shore. Website visitors can sign up online, and view or print the full schedule.

In 2011, a Norton Shores newspaper wrote a short article on the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference, and called it one of the best-kept secrets in West Michigan. This conclusion isn't a suprize because writers tend to be a bit introverted. While a few ascend into headlines like Tom Clancy, Steven King or Jerry Jenkins, thousands of Christians who feel called to write labor quietly in front of their computer screens. So it’s not surprising that this wonderful conference is still a secret. Nonetheless, each year nationally known writers and speakers gather to teach up-and-coming writers about the writing craft and market place.

Grand Rapids is home to a healthy writing community, and Calvin College hosts it's Festival of Faith and Writing on even numbered years. Nevertheless, writers from around Grand Rapids have no better opportunity to learn about publishing, writing, and expressing their faith than by attending this annual conference. Held on the Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Muskegon, each year’s conference boasts a faculty that is unmatched even at conferences four times its size. Guest faculty includes editors, publisher and literary agents from around the country who teach about all aspects of writing, publishing and promotion. They also set aside time to meet face to face with aspiring authors, a feature that even Calvin's conference omits.

For Grand Rapids writers who want to publish a book, devotionals, magazine articles in virtually any genre, this conference provides experts who teach, inspire, and encourage. For published writers who want to learn more about building their promotional platform, this years conference has dedicated almost one-quarter of the sessions to online promotion, social media, and how Grand Rapids writers can reach an increasingly plugged-in digital generation.

Each year the conference hosts a few contests, and this year they have partnered with WestBow Press, to offer one attendee a free book-publishing contract worth $3000. Two other attendees with receive smaller packages, and anyone who enters the contest receives a discount off any purchased book printing package.

For details, check out their website:. Writers can correspond with the conference directors, read about this year’s faculty and sessions, and register for the conference online. They are also on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maranatha-Christian-Writers-Conference/89163268951

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