Giving Thanks at the Guideposts Writers Workshop

Gratitude for all the blessings—and participants—at this year’s gathering.

Posted in , Oct 9, 2018

Guideposts writers workshop

More than 50 years ago, in 1967, Guideposts launched the first writers workshop with wonderful teachers (and writers) such as Catherine Marshall, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill and Van Varner.

The goal was to help people who wanted to write inspirational stories to tell them in the most compelling, believable and engaging ways. To bring faith and hope to the widest possible readership. In short, to change the world.

We’re still at it.

Thanks to a generous donation from best-selling author Debbie Macomber, we managed to select a dozen candidates from over 3000 entries in this year’s Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest (yes, it was unimaginably hard) and invite them to an all-expenses paid week of learning.

And fun. We are gathering this week at the same venue we’ve been at since 1967, Wainwright House in Rye, New York. Accommodations are tight but the views across the Long Island Sound are spectacular, the food is good and the company is superb.

At the heart of every gathering is prayer. Before each meal someone rings the gong, and we join hands together in the foyer and one of our workshoppers—as we call them—leads us in prayer.

Call it grace, call it a blessing, call it thanksgiving, call it fellowship. It’s our reminder three times a day that we are blessed to have these gifts, and we want to use them to the best of our ability in the service of others.

Yes, we talk about how to make a story better or what kind of stories we need for our various publications or how to reach the most readers in any of our platforms. We look in particular at how a story can help a reader because that’s most important. How will it give them the impetus to put faith in action?

But those prayers are reminders that even if we’ve been doing these workshops since 1967, we don’t have all the answers. But we know Who does.

Thank you to all of you who sent in stories to the contest. We feel your presence. And don’t give up your writing. As every workshopper will tell you, the writers who stick to it, despite the discouragements, are the ones who succeed.


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