Farewell to the Christian Writers Guild

Mentoring with the Christian Writers Guild

Christian Writers GuildI began mentoring the Guild several years ago, starting with the Pages program for kids when it was first introduced. I was thrilled to be included, and as a former teacher I loved that it gave me the chance to teach again. Over the years the Guild asked me to include Squires (for teens), several of the short adult courses, and in the last year the adult courses referred to as Apprentice and Journeyman Fiction. I also did a couple of critiques, attended the Writing for the Soul conference to take appointments as a mentor, and judged the first round of The First Novel Contest for several years. Besides my students, which I enjoyed walking through these courses, I met other mentors and employees of the Guild that I count among my friends. Wonderful people.

Jerry JenkinsJerry Jenkins

I heard Jerry relate his reasons for buying the Guild in 2001 many times at conferences and meetings we had in Colorado. He believed (and I’m sure he still does) that Christian writers ought be just as good or better than mainstream writers. We should represent Christ by writing with excellence. And to this end he wanted to train Christian writers and the Guild was the way to do that, a means to give back. He gave of his time and his resources. If anyone thinks it was a money maker, they’re wrong.

Anyone who has witnessed his “thick-skinned critiques” understands how much he cared about teaching writers. He even chose carefully each mentor and employee of the Guild. But as time marched on, he wanted to focus on his family and his own novel writing. The time had come to close the doors. Some have reported that he did this “suddenly” but that’s not true. The man doesn’t make impulsive decisions. Not that I’ve witnessed anyway. It was a process.

One thing I learned over the years about the man is that he’s a perfectionist, but a kind one. Did you know he wears an atomic watch so that he’ll always know the exact time? When we had mentor meetings he used it to make sure we started each session on time. So it makes sense that he is now personally making sure the students and members currently enrolled in the Guild finish and receive all they’ve been promised. And the mentors still get paid for the work they have left to do. He is honorable. Make no mistake.

Endings and Beginnings

I hate saying good-bye to an organization that has done so much so well. But an ending creates the opportunity for something else to commence. I am open to that. I’ll be mentoring in other ways, including offering short critiques that interested writers can sign up for right here on my site. But I’m still just a wee bit sad.

What endings have you experienced that ended up opening new doors? Please share!

2 thoughts on “Farewell to the Christian Writers Guild

  1. ConiG

    I was nearly finished with the advanced studies through an online Christian writers course with an e-zine where the best writers were published, when it suddenly closed down. I had been doing some proofreading & editing for the instructor & was loving it. My articles were being published every week. The instructor/owner was a great motivator & encourager. I was devastated. I felt betrayed & lost.
    After 3 people told me to stop whining & start my own e-zine. I did… even though I had no idea how nor the computer skills to do so.
    God provided-a step at a time-and I brought onboard 12 writers that had also taken the same course. I had the honor of mentoring them, seeing our articles being read around the world & learning so much about writing, editing, & more.
    After 5 years, I also closed down (with notice) so I could focus on my own writing. It was a tough decision, but as Scripture tells us there is a season for everything.

    Other doors opened as well: I wrote a column for another website. I was one of the first to facilitate Bible Studies online. And I had a number of short stories published.

    The closing of that Christian Writer’s course made me leave the nest & my comfort zone. I had to stretch my wings a fly! God has blessed me & opened new opportunities of ministry. My mission statement-to encourage spiritual joy through the written and spoken word-is being fulfilled.

    Now at age 70, my “mission” is writing the book God placed upon my heart. I’m pretty much homebound but can still reach out through writing. And every so often, when I am discouraged & feeling old, I get an e-mail, in response to one of my postings, that touches my heart. I re-tune my heart & refocus on Christ knowing it was the lord that prompted that encouraging message.

    I opened several blogs including consheartstrings@blogspot.com. It was born because I’ve learned that the deepest heartaches can become heartstrings to God’s hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace, and love.

    Closed doors allow for preparation for opening new doors. And God lovingly provides the key for the next one(s) to be opened.

    1. cthomson

      What a lovely testimony! Thanks for sharing and for reminding us that there are always new beginnings if we’re open to them.


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