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Speak Up Conference Team 2012

Hey Friends –

In yesterday’s post I left off with my friend Jen Ferguson and I discussing Carol Kent’s Speak Up Conference over guacamole in Austin, Texas.

Jen had a dream of being published, and I encouraged her to prayerfully consider attending the Speak Up Conference. I knew at Speak Up she could meet 1:1 with editors, publishers, etc.. – and I had a sense God was up to something.speak up

Today I’m excited to have Jen share part of her experience….

Flashy Not Required

I spent hours.  I mean hours on my one sheet.


Jen & her husband Craig

First, I had to find out what a ‘one sheet’ was. Then I had to figure out my layout. Find the perfect profile picture. Fill in all the appropriate text boxes I had placed strategically. Choose graphics that would make me stand out and be descriptive of me and my book.

I had to be flashy. Make a good first impression. Be unique.

I took my one sheet and sat myself down in front of the acquisitions editor at Speak Up! I told her my story. I laid out my heart. I divulged pretty much the whole journey of my husband’s porn addiction.

And she found a typo.  And she strongly disliked my “unique” profile picture.  Oh, and the title of the book.

So much for a flashy first impression.

She actually had some great constructive criticism to help me improve my one sheet, but I still felt pretty dejected walking away from that first meeting.

All I wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and hide out in Cindy’s minivan.  But I didn’t have the keys.

And, in 25 minutes, I was supposed to meet with another editor.

I texted my husband, held back the tears, and started over on my one sheet.  There was only a black and white printer, with plain old stock paper in the tray, on which I could spit out my new one sheet.

There was no flash on this new creation.  Only heart.

And I took this heart and sat down with Miranda from Discovery House Publishing.  And I told the story all over again.  The heart that was already bleeding bled again.

She listened, barely even glanced at my one sheet, perhaps because we were so caught up in the story and dreaming and wondering if this was a good fit between the two of us.

I didn’t need flash.  I just needed the Holy Spirit.  I wasn’t going to pitch my book and get a contract based on my own merits alone.  You see, the whole time leading up to this moment was God teaching me that to do this, I needed Him.

And sometimes to remind us that He is the one in charge, we get a crash course in humility.

He doesn’t need us to be flashy because He is Light.

He doesn’t need us to be armed with a perfect pitch because He is the Word.

He doesn’t need us to manipulate circumstances because He is the Orchestrator of the world.

All we have to do is do the work that He has given us to do.  We have to listen carefully to His direction.  We have to be about His glory and not our own.

All we have to do is be brave, cloaked with humility.  Jen Ferguson

Did y’all catch the part about Jen meeting with Miranda from Discovery House? Well, I’m pleased to share (with Jen’s permission, of course) the rest of the story!

Jen was offered a contract with Discovery House, prayerfully said YES, and is currently in the midst of writing her first book to be released in 2014. Yay God! Yay Jen!

speak upSweet friend, if you dream of being published, I’d love for you to prayerfully consider attending the Speak Up Conference as well this summer.


Want to read more encouraging stories about the Speak Up Conference? Check out the amazing blog posts linked up below!

Thanks so much for stopping by *She Sparkles*! God’s richest blessings to you! 



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