Today I want to tell you a story.
It all began when I was 14, horribly lonely after the families of several girls my age had left my church. I was a Christian by that point, but an angsty one who had found little satisfaction in the friendships I did have.
Chitchat wasn’t enough for me. With my mind on much more serious things, I felt left out. What I was looking for was a kindred spirit, as Anne of Green Gables would put it. Someone I could have deeper conversations with—about the Bible, the gospel, and having a relationship with God and someone who could understand the unique way I think.
On a whim, I decided to join American Heritage Girls, a Christian Girl Scouts kind of thing that already had a few of my friends in it. I was on the older side to be joining for the first time, but as I attended, I quickly felt a sense of community there among the other Patriots (the high school level).
The Patriot Bible study was something special. It didn’t shy away from deep, personal conversations, and the other Patriots were so open and honest.
A family invited us all to their cabin at Lake Tahoe, and I felt drawn to another quiet girl who liked cats. She shared a prayer request about a big public school she was joining, and I decided to write a note to encourage her. Her name was Emily.
After going to her birthday party later that fall, she emailed me to say thank you for coming and for the cat necklace I gave her. Then she asked me whether I was a cat or dog person, and that is when things really started to kick off.
I sent her a long explanation of why I liked both, and soon we found out that we were both writers. We also had the same Myers-Briggs personality type (INFJ), but most of all, we had the same love for God.
Emily brought out a confident, ambitious side of me. In the fall of 2019, I pitched the idea of going to Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference to her, hoping she’d join me. It was a few hours away, and seemed pricey at the time, but I had heard good things about it—from someone who traveled out of state to go to it.
A writer’s conference in the mountains “sounds like a dream come true,” Emily said—but she had a big family trip planned for around that time.
I was so happy that she wanted to go with me that I didn’t mind pushing it forward a year. “Plus, four days away from home on a self-planned trip talking to strangers at a conference sounds a lot less scary to do as a 16-year-old,” I wrote. (I laugh reading that now, though it’s probably true.)
And thus we began our big, bold plans to go to a writing conference in 2021. When the you-know-what rolled around in 2020, we were glad that we were planning on waiting anyway. “It’s almost ironic,” Emily replied.
But that summer, the news came out.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Mount Hermon will not hold the Christian Writers Conference in 2021 or beyond.“
The Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference was closed… forever?
DUN DUN DUN.
Afterward, we saw a Kickstarter campaign unfold to revive the conference. Sadly, it didn’t meet its goal. The conference was dead.
So we make our plans even bigger.
Rather than traveling a few hours out, we’re planning to fly all the way across the country to a conference for Christian fantasy writers in New Jersey.
This conference, which we’ve also heard many good things about, is called Realm Makers—and we’re hoping to go this July.
We’re calling it our senior trip. =)
And we’ve calculated that the total cost for us both to go will be about $4,000, so we’re going to need some help!
Emily and I have started a fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/f/send-eliana-and-emily-to-a-writers-conference
And to thank you for your generosity, we’ve pulled together a few fun treats.
– If you donate $25, we’ll send you our Organization Tips for Any Kind of Schooling.
– If you donate $50, we’ll send you two sci-fi short stories: “Loop” by Eliana and “Pickers and Techbrains” by Emily, in addition to the organization tips PDF.
– If you donate $75 or more, we’ll send you all of the gifts above PLUS a video mini-course we created called “Conquer Your Creative Side.”
We still have a long road ahead of us before our books are published. When we do get a book published, we want it to be our best work. We want it to be descriptive and captivating and polished. And we want it to reach and help as many people as possible, and to touch them on a deep level with its message.
To do this, it is critical for us to learn everything we can, be diligent with our work, and form connections with agents, editors, publishers, and other writers.
For these reasons, a writer’s conference would be the perfect opportunity. It would jumpstart our writing careers and help us find out what our next steps are to achieve our goals.
Your support for our summer 2022 plans would mean the world to us. Whether you’re financially investing in us or spreading the word, it will take a huge weight off our backs and allow us to have an experience that will help us shape our future.
Thank you so much for your consideration!