Having the likes of Edie Melson and Marcia Moston in our local writer’s group Cross N Pens is a tremendous boon for those of us striving to hone our skills.

Over the weekend, our group enjoyed a mini-workshop featuring both of these talented women. Below are just a few tidbits from their talks. 

Marcia Moston, author of Call of a Coward, spoke on Creative Non-fiction (the 4th genre!) In addition to creative writing prompts, Marcia shared wisdom from her own experience, as well as quotes, all of which will stick with me:

  • Every story has a human face. Draw it well and put it on display, for to readers it is a magnet. -Francis Flaherty, editor The New York Times
  • When writing memoirs, we need to remember it’s not about us. We’re like the Disney cart on a ride. We’re simply the vehicle to a bigger picture.
  • Marcia shared pages of information on crafting true stories. Let’s just say I’m a new fan of Rick Bragg’s.

Edie Melson, author of Fighting Fear and Co-Director of Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference spoke on what it means to support our writing through writing. It didn’t hurt that she handed out two pages of markets willing to pay for our work. (Thanks Edie!) Her advice, however, far surpassed the value found on any piece of paper. Below are a few of Edie’s takeaways:

  • Stay out of our comfort zones! Take chances. If we’re not willing to do so, we’re not seen as marketable. 
  • The key to a good query letter is a good story. 
  • What does the word deadline actually mean? Writing when you don’t feel like it. 

Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with so many gifted writers spurred me on to become even more serious about my craft. Wisdom and godly conviction crossed paths that morning and I was grateful to be smack dab in the middle of this intersection.
 
Let’s just say, the fragrance of Christ had a hint of metal to it as it rose upwards this past Saturday morning!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17