She Speaks Contest

It’s that time of year again! The She Speaks Conference is coming up in July and Proverbs 31 Ministries is very generously (through Cecil Murphy) offering a number of scholarships to attend. I really, really, really would love to go, but I can’t afford it, so I’m entering contests.

This particular contest is to tell a story that touches the heart. In only 6 words. I’m not Hemingway, but I did manage okay, my word-smith daughter thought up this:

Time travel paradox leaves broken heart.

Want to enter? Want to know more about the She Speaks Conference and this contest? Check it out: http://www.shereads.org/2011/04/she-speaks-scholarship-contest/

Q4U: Do you have a 6-word story? Leave it for me in my comments!


And the Winner Is . . .

Drum roll please! The winner of the FREE ticket to the online homeschool conference put on by Heart of the Matter Online from Feb. 21-23 is TN Quiltbug!!! Congrats, Susan! I’ll pass your email address along to the HOTM conference people, so look for your log-in information to come from them!

Thank you all for entering and participating. If you didn’t win, I encourage you to purchase a ticket; it’s only $14.95 for 3 days of encouraging chats with some wonderful homeschoolers. Plus, if you miss a session, Mp3s will be available after the conference for you to download.


I’m Going to the Fair!

And I want you to join me! As a homeschooling mom, I look forward to homeschool conventions with the same fervor I looked forward to the county fair as a kid. The huge stuffed animals, the impossible ring toss game, school friends I hadn’t seen in a while, dirt up to my ankles, overpriced hotdogs, the scent of greasy food, and yes, the Zipper and the Gravitron, preferably after a funnel cake and a snow cone! Can’t you just hear the vendors offering you a free dart if you buy three? Remember the thrill of winning the first blue ribbon for a craft project or a 4-H display?

Let’s shift that excitement to homeschool fairs (conventions). Imagine the crisp smell of new books, the sound of vendors explaining exactly how to maximize their curricula, and the sight of all those goodies in the freebie bag. Imagine hearing and meeting some well-known homeschool speakers and authors. I’m getting energized just thinking about it already! Imagine being able to preview all of the writing curricula you’re trying to decide between and having the authors right there to explain the differences.

Now, stop imaging and start making it a reality! Homeschool events happen in just about every state. Some of them are extremely affordable, although some of them are a bit pricier. If you can, I strongly encourage you to make the effort to attend an in-person homeschool convention. The personal inspiration is incomparable, plus you’ll have the touch-feely benefits.

I’ll be at the HINTS Bookfair in Matthews, NC (July 16–17). Look for me to speak on “The Organized Way to be Your Child’s Tutor” and “Organize Your Homeschool.” The best part about this fair is that the entrance fee is only $5!! So, if you live in North or South Carolina (or want to travel here), we want to meet you in July. Stop by our booth and introduce yourself.

If you can’t make it to a physical event because of financial, time, or family constraints, how ‘bout booking yourself for a virtual homeschool conference? The only thing you’ll be missing is the smell of new books (only delayed until your boxes start arriving in the mail) and being jostled by other eager homeschool moms. What could be better than attending a fair in your jammies without having to travel anywhere? No need to worry about a babysitter or the laundry. No packing, no gas to buy, and no lumpy hotel bed. The best thing is that the sessions are usually recorded and available to download, so you can listen at your convenience, and listen to a particular session multiple times if you wish.

The Ultimate Homeschool Expo is coming up May 3–7.

Other upcoming online homeschool conventions include The Old Schoolhouse’s The Schoolhouse Expo May 12–14 and Heart of the Matter’s Online Homeschool Conference August 9–13.

Are you ready to eat some cotton candy and enjoy the fair?


Why I Want to Attend She Speaks

Proverbs 31 Ministries has long been a favorite of mine. And I’m not just saying that because I want to win their contest! Seriously, these ladies embody the ideals they espouse. They’re real women; they don’t sugarcoat their daily lives and struggles. The stories they tell on their daily radio show sound just like what goes on in my life. When they write an encouraging blog post and I comment, they often comment back—personally. Their books inspire me.

So, how did they get from housewives to writers, speakers, and leaders? The She Speaks Conference holds the key. Rather than try to paraphrase the benefits of attending She Speaks, I’m going to borrow Lysa TerKeurst’s motivational endorsement (not that I needed to be persuaded myself).

For Speakers:

Whether you are ready to take the main stage and start speaking at conferences and retreats or whether you want to learn how to more effectively teach a ladies’ Bible Study, this track is for you. After attending this conference you will be equipped to:

* Know how to develop a great message from start to finish.

* Understand what keeps an audience engaged and how to make your message memorable.

* Deliver your message in such a way that not only inspires your audience but also motivates them to make life changes.

* Increase your number of booked speaking engagements by using proven marketing strategies.

For Writers:

You have had a passion for writing and have even had people encourage you to write a book, but have never known how to get started on the pathway to publication. You will have the chance to attend sessions taught by some of the top Christian publishers: Zondervan, Harvest House, Cook, and several others. You will also be able to make appointments to pitch your book proposal.

Or maybe you are a blogger and want to learn how to more effectively connect with your readers, increase the impact of your blog, and hear from someone who successfully got a book contract by maximizing her blog platform.

Whatever the case may be, if you are a writer in the making, after attending this conference you will:

* Discover your unique writing voice and the mechanics of effective writing.

* Understand what publishers are looking for and how to write proposals that get their attention.

* Better understand how to build your writing portfolio by getting published in magazines.

* Know how to write a book that will impact your reader from start to finish.

For Women’s Ministry Leaders:

You know firsthand the unique opportunities and challenges that present themselves when you lead a ministry in your church for women. You give and serve all year long—now is your chance to get filled back up with encouragement and training. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a Pre-Conference Intensive session as well as the women’s ministry leadership track where you’ll learn how to:

* Build a dream team of ministry partners.

* Cast your vision for ministry in a way others will catch it.

* Distinguish God’s direction for your ministry with confidence.

* Celebrate milestones of your ministry’s effectiveness and keep your team inspired.

I will only add that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to attend She Speaks this year! I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and I want to inspire other women to be Proverbs 31 women as well. My faithful blog readers will remember that among the goals I posted for myself this year were improving my writing skills, publishing more magazine articles, exploring the possibilities of writing a book, and speaking in more venues. The best way to achieve my goals is to attend the She Speaks Conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Sounds easy enough, right? Just visit the She Speaks Web site and sign up. Oh, and pay the registration fee. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very reasonable fee for everything offered. Unless you’re a freelance writer who writes for free and a freelance editor who keeps reading, “We don’t need any editors right now, but we’ll keep your resume on file.”

Solution: Lysa TerKeurst is sponsoring a She Speaks Scholarship Contest here. Woohoo! The three winners will receive a fully paid scholarship to the 2010 She Speaks Conference. Did I mention that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to win this contest? Just checking! The best part is that I don’t have any travel costs (I live in a Charlotte suburb). So, if I win this contest, I can get the training I need to take my writing and my speaking to the next level.

Even though I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to win, I’m also aspiring to be a Proverbs 31 woman, so here is the link to Lysa’s blog so that you can enter the contest, too. If you don’t win, visit the She Speaks Web site to register for the conference.