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Guest Blogger: Kay Marshall Strom
The Family of God Reaching Out
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer.
My first book met with great success—Tommy the Tuna, written in fourth-grade cursive and stapled inside a green construction paper cover decorated with a lopsided pieced-together fish. My classmates voted it best class book. Like Tommy, I was hooked!
My writing was waylaid by college. And marriage. And teaching. And motherhood. Yet my desire never faded. When my friend Sharon told me about the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, I knew it was meant for me!
I made myself a writers conference bank. Whenever I got a substitute teaching job, I put part of my pay in that bank. When my friends asked me to go to lunch, I ordered a snack and the money I saved went into that bank. My excitement grew with each coin or dollar bill I dropped in. Five months until the conference! I could save enough by then.
Except that my husband suddenly lost his job. One month passed, then two months, then three and still no job. Our savings were fast dwindling. With tears in my eyes, I told Sharon I wouldn’t be going.
“Why don’t you apply for a campership?” she suggested.
Now, I practically grew up at Mount Hermon. Friends owned a cabin, so my family went for two weeks every summer, and periodically throughout the year. I met my first boyfriend there. Got my first kiss under a redwood tree I can still point out. I celebrated my birthday there every year from the time I was four until I was eighteen. The only banana splits of my life came from the fountain there. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Mount Hermon. But I had never heard of camperships.
“Like a scholarship,” Sharon explained, “only it goes toward the cost of the writers conference. Anyone who needs help can apply.”
Hmmm. A tempting idea. But I felt bad about accepting people’s hard earned money. Surely there were others who needed it more than I did.
“People give to the fund because they want to make it possible for others to attend the conference,” Sharon said. “It’s the family of God reaching out a helping hand to one another.”
With Sharon’s encouragement, I hesitantly applied. The campership I received, added to the money in my conference bank, totaled $6 more than I needed. More than enough to buy a banana split at the Snack Shack!
My first book sale came out of that conference.
Have you always wanted to write? Are you eager to learn the craft in a Christian context? To meet editors and agents who are there to meet you? To share with others who have a passion for writing? To be encouraged, and be encouraging?
Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference 2015 just may be the conference that will change your life. And if money is standing in your way, take my friend Sharon’s advice: Let the family of God reach out a helping hand. Maybe next year, you can reach out to another writer in the making!
A NOTE FROM MONA: Might receiving a campership/scholarship for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference make it possible for you to join us at Mount Hermon in March? If so, please email email@example.com to ask for an application.
YOUR TURN: Have you ever received a Mount Hermon campership/scholarship? Did it make a difference in your life?