I received more than 150 entries in the Promising Beginnings contest. It was very difficult choosing just one winner among all the wonderful submissions. But after a lot of prayerful consideration, I have finally selected one.

Lori Freeland

And the winner is … Lori Freeland, with her entry for “Awakenings.”

Lori is a YA novelist, inspirational writer and blogger for Crosswalk.Com, writing coach for the North Texas Christian Writers, editor and contributor for The Christian Pulse, and member of Romance Writers of America. Earlier this year Lori won the First Impressions Contest sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also a wife, mother, homeschooler, writing teacher, critique group leader, and writing coach.

As the contest winner, Lori will receive a FULL scholarship to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, including registration, meals, and lodging.

CONGRATULATIONS, Lori! I’m really looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

If you entered the contest and didn’t win (or didn’t even enter), I hope you’ll still consider attending the Mount Hermon conference this year (March 20-26). If you can’t afford the full price, I encourage you to apply for a partial scholarship. (Just register online and click the box that says you’d like a scholarship.)

If you’d be interested in a professional review of your writing, I recommend checking out the Christian Manuscript Critique Service (

If you’d prefer a more in-depth edit of your manuscript, or perhaps a writing mentor, check out the Christian Editor Network (

If the Lord provides, I hope to run this conference again next year. So I encourage you to continue developing your writing skills and consider entering again in 2014!