by Jeanette Hanscome
This week I am tackling one of my favorite parts of the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference—matching first-time registrants with their pre-conference buddies.
Maybe you’ve heard of this program, known as the Buddy System. You might be wondering . . .
What is the Buddy System?
Think of the Buddy System as a pre-conference mentoring program. If you ask to be part of it, you will have someone to answer your pre-conference questions, help you set realistic goals and understand what to expect, pray for you, and offer pointers on pitching ideas to editors, choosing workshops and getting the most out of the conference. You will also have someone to check in with during the conference.
I want a buddy. How can I get one?
If you are attending the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference for the first time and want a buddy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me to add you to the list.
How does one qualify to be a buddy?
If you want to serve as a buddy, the only requirement is that you have attended the conference at least once. If you don’t feel ready to offer tips on approaching editors and submitting book proposals, don’t let that stop you. There are ways for you to help. I need a lot of buddies!
Is serving as a buddy time consuming?
Serving as a buddy mostly involves answering questions via e-mail, offering guidance as needed, and helping your first-timer feel welcome. Newbies are encouraged to step out and enjoy the conference once they arrive, so other than attending the Friday night Meet & Greet and checking in with your first-timer(s) partway through the weekend, serving will not interfere with your personal conference goals. Those who serve as buddies say that it is extremely rewarding and fun. Think of it as a way of giving back and offering someone else the encouragement and guidance that you needed as a newbie. To sign up as a buddy or find out more, e-mail me at email@example.com.
“Have I missed the deadline?”
I am matching first-timers with buddies this week, but you can still contact me after that. Even if you sign up for the conference at the last minute, feel free to e-mail me. While you might not have time to benefit from pre-conference mentoring, I have some helpful resources for you.
With all that the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference has to offer, how could coordinating a buddy program be one of your favorite parts?
A friend and I started the Buddy System several years ago as a way of giving back to the conference that had given us so much. It has been fun to watch the program grow and see God use it to form friendship and help writers gain confidence. It is especially exciting when former first-timers start serving as buddies.
So if you were a newbie last year, I would love to hear from you!