Susan and husband, Joe, have three grown children and two young grandchildren. While Joe and their children are whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, Susan can be found with her daughter-in-law and the grandchildren at a children’s museum or aquarium.
At the 2016 conference Susan will be leading two workshops:
- Turning Personal Experience into a Devotional Message (beginning through advanced writers) —A workshop focused on the three essential elements in an effective devotional. Included will be information about the devotional market in general as well as specialized writing for The Upper Room, the world’s largest daily devotional guide.
- Style: The Key to Excellence in Writing —Do you want to write with such sparkle and verve that you’ll knock the socks off editors? Do you want them to be falling all over themselves to publish your submission and clamor for your future submissions? A crash course in excellent writing for any genre.
Our recent interview with Susan.
KAT: How did you get into editing?
SUSAN: As an English major in college, of course I was always intending to write “The Great American Novel.” When a stay-at-home mom and pregnant with my third child, I started writing that novel as a catharsis while going through a major crisis with my parents’ marriage. When the crisis abated, my motivation to finish that novel ebbed as well. At the same time, I discovered magazine-feature writing as a way to help bring in money to support our family. A year later, due to rumors that the company my husband was working for was closing down, I sought and secured a position as a writer and editor for a Christian psychological institute and later began teaching English full-time at Biola University. Soon after my husband’s job took us to Nashville (and a teaching position at Lipscomb University), the sale of our house in California fell through and I had to seek a second full-time position—this time as an editorial assistant for The Upper Room. (When I answered the ad, all I knew was that it was a part-time secretarial position at The United Methodist Board of Discipleship.) Before long, I was Assistant Editor and then Associate Editor (all the while continuing to teach full time).
Minoring in magazine production in college, all I really wanted to be was an editor, but I didn’t know how to become one. I knew how to become a college professor (since both my parents were). Yet, for over 20 years now, I have worked as an editor. Long after I had put that dream aside, God gave me the desires of my heart. (See Psalm 37:4.)
KAT: What do you see as the greatest take away from your workshop and why?
SUSAN: The motivation and skills to write an excellent devotional and to improve a conferee’s writing in every genre.
KAT: Who will get the most out of your workshop?
SUSAN: Anyone who wants to write excellently and to reach an audience of millions all over the world.
KAT: What book are you currently reading?
SUSAN: The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King.
KAT: If you could share only one piece of information with a writer, what would it be?
SUSAN: While writing and publishing a book sounds very appealing, don’t forget the many advantages to writing for magazines before, during, and after the book writing.
In case you’re not registered for the conference yet secure your seat today!
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