Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Life-Changing Experience - If You Want to Change Your Life

By Rick MarschallSpecial to ASSIST News Service

SWARTZ CREEK MI (ANS) -- Back in 2004, I was already the author of a few dozen books, and some experience as a writer of articles and interviews and columns. Now that I start thinking about it, I had done a lot of political cartoons and columns too; essays for journals and liner notes for albums. In between those things, I had been an editor, a publisher, and art director too. And I taught creative writing and ran workshops. Yes, I can keep jobs. But I just love all aspects of writing -- communicating. God had blessed me richly.

I received an invitation from a Christian Writer's Conference to speak and hold workshops. I had just been canned from a job at a Christian publishing house, and I wondered whether I would be appearing under false colors. Well, I thought, maybe I can share with aspiring writers how to cope with being let go. Frankly, I was uncomfortable.

But I opened morning devotions -- an assignment tossed to me by Director Marlene Bagnull, who always knows what she is doing, even when you feel put on the spot -- and I told the audience that I should let them know I was no longer an editor at that publishing house. that I left on account of sickness... (pause) you see, the boss finally got sick of me.

I don't know about the audience, but it broke the ice for me. To tell the truth, I was quite all right with my situation, but that didn't stop dozens and dozens (and dozens) of people that week, coming to me, encouraging me, praying with me -- strangers, aspiring amateurs, and idols in my field. It was like family. Christian conferences should be like that... Heaven will be like that... and Marlene Bagnull's Christian Writer's Conferences are ALWAYS like that.

That is a personal story. I will now tell you some "business" details that can have a very personal impact on your life.

The next of Marlene's conferences is the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference, on the campus of Philadelphia Biblical University outside Philly, Aug 10-13. Short notice, but not too late, worth the effort to attend!

"Write His Answer" is the evergreen theme, and for anyone with creative urges, a struggling career, a passion to communicate; eager to meet famous and accomplished writers, industry professionals including editors, agents, and publishers; or to network with other aspiring writers -- this conference will be pure gold. Much of the work I have done in recent years has flowed from these conferences, the contacts -- and friends -- made there.

The guest list includes (among a faculty of almost 60) Cecil Murphey, amazing author or collaborator on more than 100 books including 90 Minutes in Heaven; Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Commission and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE Magazine; Dan Wooding of the essential ASSIST News Service; Steve Lawson of Regal Publishing, who will hold a seminar on Christian persecution and social justice; and professionals including Craig Bubeck (editor, Wesleyan); Dave Fessenden (editor, CLC Publishing); Hope Flinchbaugh (author and publisher, History Maker press); Jeanette Windle (missionary and author); Tim Shoemaker (author, youth minister); and Becky Spencer (singer, songwriter, author). I will speak on creative peoples' response and responsibility to a culture in decline. There will also be a day's program for young writers, a Teens Write track.

Worship... workshops... seminars... classes... devotions... critiques of writing samples... all types of holy synergy. Get thee to the Conference if at all possible! You will profit in uncountable ways... and you don't even have to show a pink slip to show up and be blessed!

Details are here:

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him "perhaps America's foremost authority on popular culture") to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children's books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. For 10 years he has been active in the Christian field, writing devotionals; co-author of The Secret Revealed with Dr Jim Garlow. His biography of Johann Sebastian Bach for the "Christian Encounters" series (Thomas Nelson) was released in April, 2011. His history of cartoon Advertising, Drawing Power, will be published in July 2011 by the Marschall Books imprint of fantagraphics Books. In October his major biography of Theodore Roosevelt, BULLY!, will be publ;ished by Regnery History of Washington DC. He is currently working on a One-Year CDevotional for Tyndale House; and edits the the reissue of Harper's Weekly -- the Civil War Ye ars for NOVOink e-books. Rick is a former Director of Product Development for Youth Specialties. He is recipient of the 2008 "Christian Writer of the Year" award from the Greater Philadelphia Writer's Conference, and produces a weekly e-mail devotional, "Monday Morning Music Ministry." His e-mail address is:

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