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The New Year: What Will You Do with It?

Happy New Year to all. With a new year comes the call to evaluate the previous year and set new goals. What do you want to do with this brand new year? Maybe you want to find new markets for your writing. Conference attendance is always a worthy goal. And, we should continually be motivated to improve our writing. So, here are some resources to help you plan your writing year.


I regularly attend two conferences that are not too far from me. I encourage you to find a conference to attend this year. Some offer scholarships, so don’t let your budget discourage you.

Online Courses:

  • Christian Writers Institute offers many courses for writers. See the Courses page for details.
  • The PEN Institute offers courses for aspiring editors. Consider one of these courses even if you do no plan to be an editor. I’ve taken editing courses that have helped me in my writing.
  • Writer’s Digest has multiple offerings.

Writing Groups:

  • Local writer’s groups. Ask around about a group that meets in your area. Don’t limit yourself to your town. Perhaps there’s a regional group that meets monthly or quarterly. The Christian Writer’s Market Guide 2015-16 has a listing of Christian writers’ groups and critique groups. The new online Christian Writer’s Market Guide lists writers’ groups at You must have a paid membership to access this list.
  • Online writers groups are another option, although Yahoo and Google writer groups are not as prevalent as they once were. This page has a list of Facebook groups for writers.
  • Critique groups: Finding a critique group that works for you will be more difficult than finding a writers’ group. Be sure that most of the people in the group write the same genre that you write. I’ve been in groups where there were article writers, poets, and fiction writers. While it’s true that all writers are readers and can offer valid feedback, I prefer critiques to come from people who are knowledgeable about my genre.

Readers, what will you do with the new year? Can you recommend a conference, online course, or writing group that I have not mentioned? If so, comment on this post and tell us about it. I will post your comment on my Facebook page (with your permission). If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

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3 Responses to The New Year: What Will You Do with It?

  1. Tracy Crump January 8, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    Thanks for the info, Emily. Looking forward to seeing you at MSCWC in March.

  2. Donna Clark Goodrich January 8, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

    Emily, in a roundabout way this has to do with writing, but this year I am putting ME in my schedule. I was a caregiver for so long for my stepdad, uncle and husband (and now am helping my 85-year-old widowed, legally blind sister), I haven’t taken care of my own health (have COPD) or taken time for writing. This year it’s already changed. I’m learning how to say “no” when I’m not up to doing for someone else and I’m not feeling guilty if I want to take time for crossword puzzles or other leisure activities. All this will give me more time for the writing I want to do (i.e., work on my caregiver book that I feel is greatly needed).

  3. Emily Akin January 9, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    You’re on the right track, Donna. You need to take care of yourself if you’re going to have energy to help others. And it starts with saying “no” sometimes. We need you to write that caregiver book.

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