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A First-Timer’s Point of View

A First-Timer’s Point of View

So many great things came out of my first visit to Mount Hermon last year.

I met other authors who were at various stages of the writing process—some at my level, many beyond. These friends were and have continued to be great sources of advice, feedback, and encouragement.

I was exposed to Twitter (not sure whether I should be thankful, sorrowful, or ashamed…). For me, the site has been a great source for articles and blog posts on writing and the publishing business, allowing me to learn from industry experts I had never heard of previously.

Since the conference I have had serious discussions of representation with an agent I met. I’m still unrepresented at this point, but it has been an encouraging and instructive experience.

Best of all, I got a jolt of motivation after realizing I needed to finish my novel, Penumbra. When summer rolled around I made and committed to a writing schedule. Two months and almost 65,000 words later I finished my rough draft. Everything about the conference exceeded my expectations, and that’s why I’ve already bought my plane ticket and registered for this year. Hope to see you there!

Ben Whiting is a full-time English student at the University of Texas at Arlington who plans to graduate in May. He writes fiction because he loves stories and believes they are powerful tools for communicating truth. Visit him at

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