The OCC Writers’ Conference Has a New Director


The Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference in Southern California has a new director: me!

I’ve been part of this conference since it started almost thirty years ago. I’ve been on the faculty every year, and I’ve been on the board of directors since its inception a couple of years ago, when Antonio Crawford took over directing the conference. My job on the board has been to choose and invite faculty members, and make sure they’re well taken care of at the event.

A few weeks ago, Antonio told me that he and his wife, Gwendolyn, had been called into a ministry position that will take up a good portion of their time, and he asked if I would consider being the new director for the Orange County conference. To be honest, I was taken aback. The idea had never occurred to me. But Antonio told me he had observed my interaction with the faculty at the conference, and he had prayed about this decision, and he was confident that God was leading him to ask me.

He also assured me that he would be co-directing with me for the remaining months leading up to next year’s conference, gradually transferring responsibilities to me but not disappearing out of the picture altogether.

As I prayed about this, I sensed God leading me to accept. So I did.

It is certainly an honor, but it’s also a tremendous responsibility. I would greatly appreciate your prayers that God will work through me in this new position to accomplish His will for all those who come to the conference: faculty, attendees, volunteers, and special guests. I could not do this without faithful prayer support.

The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00), at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. We have a fantastic line-up of faculty, including:

  • Terry Burns from Hartline Literary Agency
  • Kim Bangs, senior acquisitions editor for the Bethany and Chosen divisions of Baker Publishing Group
  • Aaron Gansky, representing Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
  • Kathi Macias, representing Elk Lake Publishing
  • Dave Sheets, with Jerry B. Jenkins’s Christian Writers Guild/Believers Press
  • J. Taylor, representing Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and Mysterious Ways magazinesSharon Elliott with Gospel Roads
  • Tess Rutherford with Empowered magazine online

We’ll also have on faculty some terrific freelance authors and editors, including Mona Hodgson, Renae Brumbaugh Green, Donna Stanley, Kathy Bruins, Lane Ethridge, Nancy Sanders, Alex Marestaing, Eugene and Jewell Williams, Susan Osborn, Edie Glaser … and me.

All faculty members will be teaching workshops and will also be available for one-on-one consultations.

We’ll have five sets of workshops, and each session will offer something for beginning writers, intermediate/advanced writers, beginning fiction writers, intermediate/advanced fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Each session will also have workshops that would apply to any writer. In addition, we’ll offer workshops on writing for children or young adults, and workshops on publishing options (including self-publishing). We will have two keynote presentations, music, a drama skit, and even a comedy act.

I hope you will consider coming to sunny Southern California next April to join in on the fun! Details will be posted at as soon as we get them nailed down.

If you live in the area and would like to help out with the conference as a volunteer, please let me know.