Cec Murphey will Speak on Six Ways to Make Money as a Book Writer at 2014 OC Christian Writers Conference


At the 2014 OC Christian Writers Conference taking place on April 24-25, Cecil Murphey will speak on what it takes to make a living as a Christian writer before you’re famous. If there’s any writer qualified to speak on that topic, it’s Cecil Murphey. The veteran author has written or co-written more than 135 books, including the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world.

He wasn’t always famous with a long list of bona fides as an author. He knows what it’s like to be a struggling writer, and during an afternoon lecture at the 2014 writers conference held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, he will spill the beans. He will detail six practical ways to make money as a Christian writer before your books hit the New York Times bestseller list.

“You could write a book that lands on the New York Times best-seller list but you may not be not at that point right now,” Cec recently told the conference director, Antonio Crawford. “In my lecture, writers will learn what they can do now to make a lot of money as a writer.”

Cec, as he’s known at conferences all over America, teaches the nuts and bolts of building a writing business. Who better to learn from than someone who has written over 135 books? 

His lecture will take place Saturday afternoon is aptly titled: How to Make a Lot of Money as a Writer. It’s not easy to make a full-time income by writing. Only about 2 percent live off their income as writers. In this lecture Cec Murphey will shows you six ways to make a lot of money as a book writer.

Cec Murphey will also give a keynote lecture early Saturday morning, and he will be available throughout the day to meet with conferees by appointment. Appointments for all conference speakers are given on a priority basis according to the date of conference registration.

Cec Murphey certainly is worth the price of admission, but he’s not the only Christian writing professional who will be available for conferees to meet with. For times and titles of lectures visit. www.occwf.org 

Also among the faculty will be

  • Literary agents Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary
  • Steve Hutson, Word Wise Media Services
  • Sharon Norris Elliot from Gospel Roads Magazine
  • B.J. Taylor representing Guideposts, Mysterious Ways & Angels on Earth
  • Marilyn White, publisher of Precious Times Magazine
  • Kim Bangs, author relations manager, Regal Books
  • Eddie Jones, acquisitions editor, Lighthouse Publishing
  • Susan Titus Osborn, representing New Hope Publishers
  • Kathy Ide, Founder of the Christian Pen, author & freelance editor
  • Nancy Sanders, bestselling children’s author

For the full faculty list, available consults, and list of lectures and registration visit www.occwf.org

The conference is filling up. These agents and editors consulting schedule will fill up fast. Register early to assure you can meet with the editor and agent of your choice.  The OC Christian Writers Conference has been in operation serving the needs of Christian writers in the greater Orange County area for over 29 years. Many of our conferees have gone onto great publishing success. Get on board early and get published in 2014.







Did you like this? Share it:

2014 OC Christian Writers Conference speaker Kathy Macias Gives Ideas for Successful Writing

I will be speaking at the 2014 OC Christian Writers Conference in Santa Ana this coming April. As always, it’s exciting to address other writers, regardless of what stage they are in along the way. I remember so well the first writers conference I attended some thirty years ago. Though I’d done some writing before that, I really hadn’t launched into a professional career yet. That first conference, approached with uneasiness and even a bit of fear, cemented my decision to move forward.

Having said that, let me also say that the journey since that time hasn’t been easy. Despite having published more than forty books during that time, I’ve had many more rejections than acceptances. But one of the pieces of advice I took away from that conference rang in my ears and kept me going. Here it is:

Good manuscripts aren’t written, they’re rewritten.

If I learned nothing else at that conference, that was enough. It kept me polishing and rewriting, even when something was rejected. I asked myself, could I rewrite it yet again, tweak it with a different slant perhaps, and possibly find a publisher?

That sort of thinking served me well, for writing is an endeavor that requires more than talent; it requires determination to fulfill God’s calling on our lives. And that brings me to the most important thing of all when it comes to successful writing: We must know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has called us to do this. Without that assurance, the many discouragements that are bound to come will send us packing.

I don’t want to see that happen to any of you. If you truly believe God has called you to write, then don’t let anything stop you from doing so. Remember, when God calls us to something, He requires only one thing in response: obedience. God doesn’t hold us accountable for how many articles or stories or books we sell; He does hold us accountable to obey His call on our lives. And if that call for you is writing, then the minute you step out and begin to write, you are already successful.

Looking forward to seeing you in April at the Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference, my fellow scribes!

Kathi Macias

Did you like this? Share it:

OC Christian Writers Conference Interview with Kathy Ide, Editor and Writer

I attended my first Christian writers’ conference in 1988, and it changed my life.

I had no idea that would happen when I went, however. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know anything about writing for publication at the time. A friend of mine from church, Susan Titus (now Osborn), was putting together a conference of some kind and asked if I could help her stuff envelopes and fill three-ring binders. I was happy to lend a hand. After a while, she asked if I’d like to attend the conference. Since I’d helped so much, she offered to let me come for free.

“I don’t know,” I said. “What’s it about?” I’d been shuffling papers without really reading them.

“It’s a writers’ conference,” she explained (probably surprised that I didn’t know that).

“Why would I go to a writers’ conference?” I asked. “I’m not a writer.”

“Maybe you are and you just don’t know it yet.”

I gave her a skeptical look.

“I know you read a lot. You’ll probably meet some people there who’ve written some of the books you’ve read.”

That appealed to me. And since I had the time, I decided to go.

Susan was right-I did meet people whose names were on the covers of books I had at home. I even got one of them to autograph some of her books for me. I felt like I was meeting celebrities. And yet, they were acting like “normal” folks. Authors of deep theological books that had helped me form my doctrinal beliefs and grow in my Christian walk were sitting on the grass, eating hot dogs and wiping mustard off their mouths. Could it be? Were authors really just everyday people … like me?

I attended the workshops and keynote presentations, and the instructors opened my eyes to the world of Christian publishing. I began to think that maybe, just maybe, this was something I could do.

After the conference, I looked over all the freebies I’d picked up, wrote an article, sent it to a magazine I’d never heard of before … and they sent me a check for $100. I was hooked!

I returned to the conference the following year. And I found out that the file cabinet drawer full of play scripts I’d written for church drama teams over the years was a veritable gold mine. I learned how to format and market those scripts, and I ended up selling almost every play I’d ever written … and almost every play my favorite drama team director had ever written.

Since then I’ve attended numerous Christian writers’ conferences (and a couple of secular ones). I now serve on the faculty at six to eight conferences a year. I’ve written books (fiction and nonfiction), articles, short stories, devotionals, curriculum, even a movie script. I have a new book coming out in January. I’m also a professional freelance editor, which means I get paid to read (and offer advice on) Christian manuscripts. I love my job, and I love my life!

All this happened because I attended a Christian writers’ conference years ago, not knowing all the blessings God had in store for me as a result.

Is God drawing you to consider attending the Orange County Christian Writers Conference in April? I hope you’ll answer that call. You never know what amazing blessings He might have in store for you!

Kathy Ide

Did you like this? Share it:

OC Christian Writers Conference 2012 Memoir Contest Winners

Dani Nichols, Suzanne Makshanoff, Jey Samuel

The OC Christian Writers Conference sponsored its second Memoir Contest at the 2012 conference.  Writers attending the conference had an opportunity to submit 15 pages of their memoir to compete for cash prizes of $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $75 for third.  Winners were recognized at the conference during Saturday evening’s award ceremony.  The winners for this year’s memoir contest were:

1st place: Jey Samuel for Feel Awesome

Feel Awesome is an account of my journey starting as a young boy growing up in India, and how God’s faithfulness guided me through challenges as He took me to London, Calgary, Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles.

2nd place: Suzanne Makshanoff for Walking With God During Infertility

Walking With God During Infertility addresses the hopelessness, resentment, confusion, guilt, frustration, depression, inadequacy, and anger that accompanies a failure to conceive and tests marriages to their limits. Walking With God During Infertility addresses these topics and others, using biblical Scripture to heal the soul of the reader. Read more about Suzanne’s writing at www.mybutterflytestimony.com.

3rd place: Dani Nichols for Grace, Courage and Horsehair

To learn more about Dani and her writing projects, visit www.wranglerdani.com/blog.

Congratulations to ALL of this year’s Memoir Contest winners!

If you would like to learn more about the OC Christian Writers Conference, visit www.occwf.org.

Did you like this? Share it:

Beverly Bush Smith Contest Award Winners


The Beverly Bush Smith Contest

Since 2011, attendees of the OC Christian Writers Conference have had the opportunity to enter a very special contest that honors a very special lady – Beverly Bush Smith.

As a way to memorialize her spirit and her willingness to help new writers, The Beverly Bush Smith Aspiring Writer Award was inaugarated. This award will consist of an annual scholarship, or scholarships as funds allow, in Beverly’s name acknowledging a new writer that Bev would have singled out to help and encourage.

The contest was open to all attendees who had never been published in their genre.  All genres were considered and judging was based on five pages of the writer’s work.  The first place winner won a prize of  $200, second place, $100 and third place $50.  It was a difficult contest to judge – the submissions were top notch – and so we have also included the honorary mentions to the winners list below.  Congratulations one and all for taking a step of faith and submitting your work – what a talented group of writers! Bev would be proud!

And the winners were:

1st Place–Susan McFarland for Mended Hearts

2nd Place—Diana Mae Kightlinger for Little Girl Lost

3rd Place—Michelle Arch for Time of Death

Honorary Mentions:

Natalie Sharpston for The Rocks Cry Out

Rita Turner for Wings of Joy

Karen Ellison for Diary of a Cowry Shell

Heather Zuber-Harshman for Deceived by a Name

About Beverly Bush Smith

In 2009, our beloved Co-Director Emeritus, Beverly Bush Smith, went home to be with the Lord. To everyone who knew her, Beverly exuded class, spirituality, and passion in all of her efforts–as a Christian woman, a mother, a friend, a writer, and a board member of OCCWF. We all miss her.

Beverly was a noted journalist with the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Orange County Register. A resident of Lake Forest, CA, Beverly was celebrated for her cooking and restaurant reviews. In addition, she was a beloved Bible teacher and women’s speaker, avid skier, hiker, and swimmer–plus an award-winning sailor. Her family cherished her as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

In addition to newspaper writing, Beverly was an author of books. Her titles include Uniquely You, Change for the Better, Caught in the Middle, Wings of a Dove (from her Zoe Journal series), and Evidence of Things Unseen.

No matter how successful she was in her own writing career, Bev never lost her great compassion for other writers, especially new, aspiring ones, and her desire to help them find their own voice, market, and ministry. That’s why she spent years actively helping Orange County writers and leading our organization. Indeed, until her death, she continued to help OCCWF as an official adviser, encouraging and inspiring us with her passion for the Lord, for people, and for writing.


Did you like this? Share it:

Congratulations to the 2012 Fiction Writers Contest Winners

It was an exciting time at the OC Christian Writers Conference this year.  There were thought-provoking key note speeches from all of our speakers and rogue critiques that benefited not only the writers of the pieces being critiqued but everyone who had the chance to sit in on the evaluations.  And, of course, there were writing contests.  This year’s fiction writing contest was sponsored by The Editorial Department, an industry leader in book editing and manuscript development services including editing, coaching, manuscript consultation, and author services.  Each winner won an editing package from The Editorial Department, details follow the winners below.  Want to see your name in the winner’s list at next year’s conference?  Start writing now!  Get connected here and get connected to a writer’s critique group.  We want to see you at the OC Christian Writers Conference with your work in hand in 2013 – no excuses!

Now for the winners:

Grand Prize: Free Self-Editing Memo

Andrea Louise Jones for The Peace Child

First Place: Free Query and Submission Package:

Michelle Arch for Time of Death

Second place winners: 10-page critique

Natalie Sharpston for The Rocks Cry Out

Veola Vazquez for Convinced

Chris Vezina for Conceivable Graces

Laurel Basbas for Broken to Golden Hinges

Did you like this? Share it:

Christian Manuscript Submission Award Winners

The 2012 OC Christian Writers Conference featured a writing contest sponsored by the Evalengical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).  A Christian Manuscript Submission award valued at $98 each was awarded to two winners.

And the winners are…drum roll please…

Nicole Blean, The Single Mom Opportunity: Allowing God to Turn Your Life Around. This book offers h to hope to single moms, who face dramatic issues such as divorce, death of their spouse, and/or raising a child with no support. It encourages single moms to view single parenthood as an opportunity to be completely dependent upon the Lord as He transforms their lives.

Karen Ellison, Diary of a Cowry Shell: This one-month devotional book is filled with inspiration, art, poetry, and fun facts about cowry shells. It is geared towards the 7 million Hawaii tourists, searching for a special souvenir, and hopefully finding God through His creation in this beautiful coffee table book.

Congratulations to Nicole Blean and Karen Ellison and many blessings as you continue on your writing journey!

To learn more about the OC Christian Writers Conference go to www.occwf.org.

To learn more about Christian Manuscript Submission Services go to www.christianmanuscriptsubmissions.com.


Did you like this? Share it:

2012 OC Christian Conference Westbow Press Contest Winners

This year’s conference offered several exciting writing contests for attendees.  Westbow Press is not only a conference sponsor but also sponsors a writing contest as well.  And now, drum roll please…

The 2012 OC Christian Writers Conference Westbow Press Contest Winners are:

First place: Dr. Laurel A. Basbas for Broken to Golden Hinges:

“Broken to Golden Hinges describes a vital spiritual awakening to the terrible yet wonderful truth that all humanity is broken beyond human repair, enslaved by addictive human nature…until the Truth Himself appears with a glorious, Golden cure.”

Second place: Michelle Arch for Time of Death:

“This fiction narrative tells the story of Fawn Evans from her youth through womanhood and the sometimes subtle but often overt spiritual battle for her soul.”

Third place: Shirley Gilbert for Sanctuary:

“As Rachel and Vince learn to trust again, an entire village finds that love comes with a cost.”

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to Westbow for making the contest possible!

For more information on the OC Christian Writers Conference go to www.occwf.org .

For more information on Westbow Press go to www.WestbowPress.com.

Did you like this? Share it:

How to Become a Magazine Columnist with Publisher Marilyn White

Marilyn White, Publisher of Precious Times Magazine

Have you dreamed of being a columnist, like the beloved Erma Bombeck, but have no idea how to start?  Marilyn White, publisher of Precious Times Magazine, will be presenting a session at the OC Christian Writers Conference this Saturday teaching writers how to do just that – become a magazine columnist.  In another session, Marilyn shares tips with writers on how to get their articles published, and as a magazine publisher, she would know what it takes!

Marilyn White is publisher of Precious Times Magazine, a periodical whose audience reaches women and families living a modern lifestyle in faith. The magazine offers a contemporary spiritual perspective that empowers readers in marriage, single living, work, health, parenting, friendship, and self-improvement.  Marilyn is also available to conference attendees for a free 15 minute consultation, so this is a great opportunity to meet face to face with a magazine publisher and learn what it takes to get your articles or columns published.

Marilyn is one of the many talented faculty serving at this year’s OC Christian Writers Conference.  The conference starts this Friday night, so if you are at all interested in taking your writing to the next level, then take some time to attend.  You will have an opportunity to hone your writing craft, whether you write fiction or non-fiction, and network with other writers, agents, and publishers.

To learn more about Marilyn White and Precious Times Magazine, go to www.PreciousTimesMag.com.

To learn more about the OC Christian Writers Conference held in Newport Beach, CA May 18-20th go to www.occwf.org.


Did you like this? Share it:

Last Chance To Register for the 2012 OC Christian Writers Conference

Are You On Track With Your Writing Goals?

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau

If you are like me, you set some writing goals at the beginning of the year. You have a dream that involves writing, storytelling, inspiring.  You have imagined your life as a writer – maybe you have even realized some of those dreams and are ready for some new ones.

As we approach the halfway point in 2012, are you where you want to be in your writing life?  Are you on track or do you need to make some adjustments?

Do you need…

  • Inspiration?
  • Correction?
  • Publication?

What better time than now to jump start your enthusiasm for your writing goals?  Join other writers at all skill levels, from beginner to published author, at the OC Christian Writers Conference – but don’t wait! Registration closes Tuesday, May 15 at 5pm.

This year’s conference includes over 20 different sessions addressing many areas of the writing life – from the basics to publication, from finding your voice to writing and the spirit.  There is bound to be a session designed to get you back on track to achieving your writing goals for 2012.

Be sure to read over some prior posts to learn more about the conference faculty.

To get more details about individual sessions and to ensure your spot at the conference, go to www.occwf.org.

So, writer, go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Prepare yourself to meet success – join us at this year’s conference. And remember, registration will close tomorrow, Tuesday, May 15th.


Did you like this? Share it: