Conference Alumni Testimonies

Linda Burklin's Testimony

I first attended the conference in 2010.  Up until that point the only conference I had attended was a very large conference that lasted three days and was more than a little overwhelming.  The Christian Writers Conference at East Texas Baptist University was a lot ore accessible and less intimidating to me.  The classes were excellent, the presenters knowledgeable and engaging.  I knew I would want to return but due to lack of transportation I didn't have a chance till 2013 and 2014.  I was delighted to find that the conference, while still being very welcoming and accessible, had expanded its offerings and in fact it was challenging to have to choose between so many excellent workshops.  I also entered the writing contest because I felt it was great motivation to write something with a deadline.

I tell everyone that this conference is an ideal "first" writers conference--but that after that first time, you will want to return!  It is also one of the best values hands-down.  For a very reasonable price you get access to top-notch instruction, appointments with industry professionals, and a dinner with enjoyable entertainment and an inspiring keynote speaker.  I know I'll be back!

Bill Dareing's Testimony

I am glad I was invited to attend the Eleventh Annual Christian Writers Conference this past October 2013.  I'm certainly glad I did!

I did not know what to expect so I was overwhelmed with what I found.  This was also my first visit to ETBU, but it will by no means be my last visit.  I intend on returning to the conference this year and bringing as many folks with me as I can.

One of the first things I noticed and felt was the relaxed atmosphere.  No one was too busy to help answer a question or give me directions.  Everyone I met was like this--students, faculty, staff, presenters and other attendees.  This made a first and lasting impression on me.

I learned so much from the workshops.  I just wish I could have been in more than one place at a time.  I am currently rewriting some of my work to incorporate some of the techniques presented in these sessions.  I will be a better writer for having attended the conference.

I attended a workshop on publishing and had a personal visit with Publisher Shari Parker.  We revised several volumes of my unpublished writings.  You will be glad to learn that as a result of this conference and my personal one-on-one with Publisher Parker, Volume 1 of my work has been published.

The dinner and Friday evening program was a delightful and inspirational evening.  I enjoyed visiting with Dr. Oliver, president of ETBU, and others.  The keynote address by Don Piper was especially inspiring.  His book 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is also great.  I have been buying 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN and giving them away to people who have problems and can learn from Don's experience.

Also, as a result of attending the conference, I met Ken Camp, managing editor of the Baptist Standard and he visited in our home, interviewing Dorothy and me for a forthcoming article in the February issue of COMMON CALL magazine published by the Baptist Standard.

While waiting in the food line at the Banquet I met Tony Evans and Bro. Vee, a missionary from India.  Bro. Vee and Tony Evans will be with our church this spring for a mission emphasis at First Baptist Church of Valley View, Texas.

I plan on attending the 2014 conference, October 24-25, 2014.


Jody Day's Testimony

The East Texas Christian Writers Conference boosted my writing ministry to fast forward. The beautiful ETBU setting melted away distractions and heightened my focus as I sought God's direction. The workshop presenters were professional and generous, teaching on all aspects of writing that are pertinent and immediately applicable. The connections and relationships that I made at the conference were invaluable and continued long after the conference was over. All these benefits added up to the success I'd prayed for. I signed with Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency in January of 2012, and the following April was offered a contract with Harbourlite Books. I thank God for the conference and can't wait to get there again.

Cindy Anne Duncan's Testimony

I was simply thrilled when asked to present at last year's 2013 Christian Writers Conference. I cannot tell you how much knowledge I learned in this arena of presenting. I found it to be a blessing from God to have given me this opportunity. I write to enrich and inspire. I feel that those who attended my workshop truly walked away with a deeper writing experience. On a personal level, I met many, many people who I have stayed in contact with that have helped me grow deeper in my faith and writing. Their encouragement, support and knowledge have certainly been a blessing to me. I was so very thankful to be a presenter for this year's 2013 Christian Writers Conference at ETBU. This retreat I attended back in 2008, along with the writers conferences I have attended have made me a better writer and teacher. I am now a published author as well as a columnist. Hope to see you in my class!

Reita Hawthorne - Facilitator for the Waco Christian Writer's Workshop

What a wonderful conference.  And what a wonderful host you were to all of us.

The offerings for classes were astonishing.  We gleaned so much information.  In addition, the entire atmosphere lent itself, not only to becoming better writers, but better listeners for His prompts.

Thank you all!


Morgan Tarpley's Testimony

I always knew I was meant to be a writer, but in today's world of writing and publishing there are many obstacles to overcome. When I began a serious pursuit to become published, I was overwhelmed. I didn't really know where to start until I read a few blog posts about attending writer's conferences around the country and many of them cost a lot.

So I set out to find the perfect first writer's conference that was not too far from home, for a reasonable cost and held promise that it would steer me in the right direction. I stumbled across the ETBU Christian Writer's Conference and knew it was exactly what I was looking for in my first conference. The instructor roster was impressive as were the variety of classes. The price was very reasonable and the conference did not seem as large as some of the other major Christian conferences out there.

It took that one time attending to know that it's a conference I do not want to miss. And I haven't thus far. I've been every year since. The instructors are knowledgeable and friendly. The class sizes are not too large, so everyone has ample time to ask questions and make comments. The staff members are accommodating and the camaraderie of the fellow attendees is encouraging and inspiring. I would most definitely recommend this conference to the overwhelmed aspiring author as well as the seasoned writer. It's a great opportunity to not only learn and network with other writers but also to fellowship with fellow believers.

Morgan Tarpley is an award winning journalist, an historical novelist and blogger. You can learn about her at and

Bill Keith's Testimony

The East Texas Christian Writers Conference is one of the premiere conferences in the South. It has been my pleasure and privilege to participate in the conference since its inception.

It is a gateway for all authors--beginners and those already published--to learn how tow rite and to be encouraged to do so.

The conference leaders bring in some of the best-known writers in the land along with literary agents--to evaluate your work and review your manuscript--and publishers--who are available to share with you their publishing needs and the manuscript submission guidelines.

There is something for everyone at the conference. Are you interested in writing for newspapers? Come and learn how. What about fiction or creative non-fiction? Presenters can help you. What about poetry, essays and keeping journals? There's something for you, too.

But there's more to the conference. You will have a good time visiting with authors face-to-face and making friends with the other participants. It's a great conference in a great atmosphere and can start you on your way to becoming a successful authors.

See you there!

Jeanie Pinkston's Testimony

Until participating in the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, my writing was personally rewarding, but that was as far as I dared venture. The inspiration and encouragement I found in this conference helped me spread my wings! Through the conference, I was introduced to successful authors who helped me hone my skills and other professionals who opened up the world of e-publication opportunities. I recently published my first book of Christian fiction on Kindle and am now getting the book into print form--all with a minimum investment on my part. I feel certain God is using the writers conference to help develop our talents and use the gifts He has given us. I look forward to seeing you there!

You can check out Jeanie's new book by going to this website.

Jeanie Pinkston, Author

Christian Fiction/ Adventure / Romance

Paul Tapp's Testimony

 The Christian Writers Conference held annually at East Texas Baptist University is a premier event on our campus and one of the finest conferences of its kind. From its inception in 2002 I have watched it grow each year and have been blessed and enriched by the variety of topics presented. Each year Dr. Hopkins and his committee assembles an array of distinguished leaders, writers and publishers to enable and encourage both beginning writers and experienced authors in their craft. I highly recommend this conference.