Q: Where is Mount Hermon?
A: The Mount Hermon Camp & Conference Center is located in Felton, California, in the gorgeous California redwoods, between Santa Cruz and San Jose.
Q: Is this the same conference held by Mount Hermon for fifty years?
A: No. Though it will include many, many elements (including several historic faculty) of that beloved legacy conference. Mount Hermon made the difficult decision to end their conference at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The Vision Christian Writers Conference has stepped into that space with its own version … bringing all the best bits of the historical conference into a new endeavor. So, though VCWC is not run by or directed by Mount Hermon, it IS held with the full support and blessing of Mount Hermon.
Q: What will be the same as the Mt. Hermon version?
A: Major morning tracks, many familiar faculty, including agents, editors, and publishers, craft and career workshops galore, worship and evening keynote sessions, faculty tables at meals, appointments with faculty, your wonderful friends (new and old!), and, of course, the beautiful Mt. Hermon campus!
Q: What will be different?
A: New teaching and mentoring options, sharing the campus with other groups, a limited number of registration slots (at least this year!), having to make our own beds, and the conference being more affordable than in previous years (yes, you read that right!).
Q: What does the Mentoring Track consist of?
If you are looking for hands-on, one-on-one mentoring for your project, platform, and career, this add-on option is for you. In the mentoring track, you will meet with your mentor for a one-on-one consult during the Major Morning Track sessions on each of the four days of the conference. Each day will focus on a separate aspect of your journey: your writing, platform, marketing, and next steps (with flexibility based on your individual circumstances). The remaining morning track time will be spent working on action steps, any homework your mentor assigns, or in a Major Morning Track of your choice. The length of the session with the mentor will vary from day to day but ranges from around 30 minutes to around 45 minutes.
You will also be asked to complete an in-depth questionnaire prior to the conference, which gets passed on to your mentor, so they are fully briefed before the conference begins. You can also submit a writing sample (or book proposal, etc.) in advance, up to a maximum of 10,000 words.
Note: We will assign the mentor to each mentee and will do our best to assign the most appropriate mentor but cannot guarantee a particular mentor. Each mentor has a maximum of four mentees.
Q: Will it be possible to make appointments with editors, agents, or other faculty, to get feedback, pitch a book proposal, etc.?
YES! One of the hallmarks of the Vision Christian Writers Conference is the flexibility we offer regarding appointments. You are able to make 15-minute appointments with editors, agents, etc. for any purpose at all. On the first evening of the conference, you are able to set 3 appointments (to ensure late arrivals still have an opportunity). After the first evening, it’s basically a free-for-all, but the general rule is you may only make one appointment per faculty member. However, that doesn’t mean they are not allowed to meet with you, if they want to.
How this works in practice, on the first evening, all the faculty members are in a room with sign-up sheets, so you just find the people you want appointments with and add your name to their sheet for your preferred timeslot. After that first evening, you can just approach someone to make an appointment when you see them around.
In addition, faculty members will also be available (on a rotating basis) at assigned tables during lunch and dinner (though not all faculty at every meal, and they have breakfast to themselves). This allows you also to chat with faculty in a group setting, make a mini-pitch, etc.
Q: Will there be a virtual attendance (online/Zoom) option?
A: Unfortunately, it just isn’t feasible to run the conference both in-person and virtually, so, no, there is no online-only option.
Q: Will the sessions be recorded?
A: We recorded the vast majority of workshops in 2023 but interest was very low, so we probably will not be recording workshops moving forward.
Q: What special teaching options are there?
A: As well as the Mentor Track (see above), we’re also adding double-length workshops (“Intensives”) that will be interactive. They will be fun, hands-on, and a way to learn something by doing, rather than just listening.
Q: How will the conference be structured?
A: Very similar to conferences in the past. We will have evening worship and keynotes, major morning tracks (based around one topic/genre and continuing through the four days), afternoon workshops, and a Sunday morning service. Meals will be at scheduled times in the dining hall, and at both lunch and dinner, you will have the opportunity to sit with faculty at mealtimes to pitch to or ask questions.
Q: Is this conference for beginning, intermediate, or career writers?
A: All of the above! There will be teaching across several genres and all writing levels.
Q: Tell me about Inspire Christian Writers and the Inspire Member discount … do I get it when I register?
A: Inspire Christian Writers is a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to encourage and equip writers. They do this through critique groups, an award-winning blog, an annual anthology, free quarterly workshops, discounts to teaching opportunities and services serving writers, writing contests, writing opportunities, notification of Christian writing opportunities and resources, and sponsoring events like the Vision Christian Writers Conference at Mount Hermon. Annual membership is only $50.
If you are a current member at the time of the conference, you will be refunded $70 across all room types and $30 if you choose the Mentor Track add-on. The discount amount will be refunded within one month of the conference end to the card used at time of payment.
Please note: if you are receiving a conference or director’s scholarship, you will not be eligible for this discount.
Q: Crucial things we should know?
A: The only big difference to this conference is that the registration number is capped. Past conferences were the only group on campus, so all accommodation was available, but that’s no longer the case. So, if you are hoping to go, you will need to register early to ensure both the type of accommodation you prefer AND that you get a spot at all. Once the slots are taken, registration will be closed.
Our 2022 conference SOLD OUT!
Also, the weather changes quickly, so pack a little of everything. Even if days are sunny and warm, nights can be very chilly. And rain in the coastal redwoods is always a possibility.
Oh … don’t forget good walking shoes! They are a really, really good idea.
Q: Is there a Dress Code?
A: Not really. We want you to be comfortable, so we have attendees who are in jeans and a sweatshirt all the way up to business casual. Most are on the very informal end of that spectrum, however.
Q: Can I have my friend/spouse/relative sleep in my room with me without registering?
A: No. Everyone on campus must be a registered guest, including in all lodging. This is partially because we are sharing the campus with other groups and Mt. Hermon has legal limits on how many people can be on campus. If we have “extras,” we are jeopardizing their compliance, and thus jeopardizing our ability to hold conferences in the future. Also, your conference badge is required to get into meals, so no food, or other option to get food, would be available.
We want to be good, honorable guests, so please do not allow any person not registered for the conference to stay in your room. Please ask us if you have any questions.
Q: Explain the faculty selection process, please.
A: To craft the best conference experience possible, several anchor faculty slots will be filled by invitation. However, unlike other conferences, there will also be a portion of faculty positions available by application.
Details about those opportunities, and how to apply (for the 2024 conference) will be available in April 2023. We intend to open the application process on May 1, 2023, closing on May 31, 2023, BUT THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Q: Are there any scholarships available?
A: There are a very limited number of partial scholarships available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to apply.
Q: What happens if the pandemic is still affecting things?
A: Because of Mount Hermon’s strict refund and cancelation policies, should the conference be canceled due to pandemic conditions, it will be rescheduled and all monies received will be applied to that event.
If the event is allowed to take place, we will follow all applicable guidelines.
If it is a hardship for you to roll your registration fee to the next conference, we will work with you to find an amenable solution.
However, travel insurance is always a good idea.
Q: I don’t have a roommate, but I want shared accommodation. What do I do?
A: We will assign you a roommate if you do not have one. Many past attendees’ best friendships happened because they were placed with someone who would become a wonderful part of their lives and writing journeys. Unless registrants are married, housing is not co-ed.
Q: I love the Mentor Track option, but I’m a beginner / career writer / somewhere in the middle. Is this for me?
A: Absolutely. No matter where you are on your writing journey, our rock star mentors can help you with next steps and marketable insight.
Q: I want to fly in, is there a conference shuttle available from the nearest airport?
A: Unfortunately, we will not be running a shuttle for attendees. But there are car rentals at and near the airport should you need them, as well as local shuttles, Uber & Lyft. We generally create a group on Facebook where you can arrange carpooling and ridesharing options from your hometown or from the airport.
Our nearest major airport is in San Jose (SJC).
Q: Will there be pre-conference clinics or early-arrival options?
A: Unfortunately, not this year. We are hopeful for the future, however!
Q: I have significant dietary issues. What are my options?
A: In the past, Mount Hermon has worked to provide enough variety at mealtimes to accommodate many food restrictions (such as a deconstructed salad bar and build your own sandwiches, as well as limited gluten-free options, etc.). The food is served buffet-style, usually with a couple of entrees and several side options. For updated information about what potential modifications will be available due to the reduced staff and services, you will need to contact Mount Hermon directly closer to the event. There are no refrigerators in any accommodation type.
Because of the vast numbers of people they are catering for, and the leaner-than-in-the-past staff, they cannot accommodate preferences. However, if you have a serious issue, like gluten intolerance or a grave allergy, you can let Mt. Hermon know of your issue at tinyurl.com/mhspecialdiet and they will try to accommodate you. Please do not make special requests that are not needs/medically based.
Q: Will my room have a fridge?
No, none of the lodge rooms at Mount Hermon have fridges, whether deluxe, standard, or economy.
Q: What is the refund/cancelation policy?
A: Mount Hermon has a very strict refund policy we must follow, which is:
- From time of registration to 121 days prior to conference, 75% of registration fee will be refunded
- From 120 to 91 days prior to conference, 50% will be refunded
- From 90 to 61 days, 25% will be refunded
- Less than 61 days prior to conference, no refunds are made
NOTE: Like we said above, TRAVEL INSURANCE is a GREAT idea!
Q: Can I come early to the conference, either the day before or on the day of? Or stay an extra night?
A: Unfortunately, no. Mt. Hermon cannot offer accommodations or meals the night before the conference starts (or the night the conference ends). And, on the day of, with the exception of a small number of conference staff, we are not allowed to have attendees on campus until just before registration opens, at 4:30 pm. No food is available at Mt. Hermon until dinner on Friday night.
Q: I’m new to this whole conference thing. Will you have any kind of guidance for me?
A: YES! We learned a thing or two from last year, and this is an area we are going to change. If you are a new writer, a new-to-Mt. Hermon attendee, or new to writing conferences, period, we want you to feel at home AND in the know!
So, we’re adding a virtual pre-conference orientation session (via Zoom) that will be held about a month before the conference. (We’ll send out emails, have information on our website, and get the word out through social media).
At that orientation, we’ll go over everything from what to pack to conference lingo to how to navigate the beautiful Mt. Hermon grounds. We’ll answer all your burning questions, too. It’ll be like a little pre-taste of the awesomeness coming.
Q: Do we need to sign up for major morning tracks or workshops?
A: No, for the 2024 conference, no sign ups will be required, you just show up.
(Note: The Mentoring Track is also only available to those who purchased this optional add-on.)