Today Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach who loves to share a great story. However, like most published authors she can still look back and remember the first story she sold. The article, a story about her young son, Jeff, was sold to Home Life, a publication of the Southern Baptist Convention. A career was launched.
That first publication has led to hundreds of articles and blog posts, as well as numerous books and ghostwriting assignments. Her first book, Love Notes in Lunchboxes, was published in 2004 by New Hope Publishers. Her most recent publication is Called to Speak. She currently has at least two new books in process and ideas for many more.
Linda joined the CLASS staff as a Small Group Leader in 2007. When CLASS went through a significant organizational change in 2009, Linda was appointed the Director of CLASS Writing Programs. In that role, she oversees all CLASS writing projects and events including the CLASS Christian Writers Contreat. In fact, it was Linda’s idea to modify the writers conference to make it more like a retreat. It was then she came up with the concept of contreat(conference/retreat.)
When Linda was asked to be the director of the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in 2009, she said it was a “fulfilment of the one of the secret desires of my heart.” In 2011, she took over leadership of the Carolina Christian Writers Conference held in Spartanburg, SC, every spring. www.fbs.org/writers
Linda has been a member of First Baptist Spartanburg for over 60 years. She is actively involved in women’s ministry, youth, and media. She is known throughout FBS as the “Head Mountain Mama,” where she leads the support team on the church’s annual mission trip to the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Mountain Mamas do everything from crafts, to snacks, to laundering hundreds of t-shirts during this one-week trip.
When Linda’s not busy writing, editing, or washing t-shirts, she enjoys reading, swimming in the family pool and other family times, or attending the grandchildren’s many events.
Linda has a heart for beginning writers. She loves to teach, coach, and encourage other writers, sharing from the wellspring of wisdom God has given to her. She is a living example of the words found in Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord and He will provide the desires of your heart.”
When asked to share a message of encouragement with our readers, Linda responded, “When God calls you to be a writer, you are in for an amazing journey. Once you answer that call, your job is to prepare yourself to be the best writer you can be and to write every project with excellence. There is a lot of work involved but the blessing far outweighs the work.
“As writers who are believers, our assignment is clear—we must write everything in a way that brings honor to God. That doesn’t mean everything we write has to be a sermon. However, it does mean that all our writing should be done through our Christian worldview filter. We are missionaries in print and our mission is to use our words to touch lives and point others all over the world to God. We need to put action to Martin Luther’s words, “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen.”
If you are feeling God’s nudge to write, now would be a perfect time to explore that area of ministry at the CLASS Christian Writers Contreat, November 8-11. And, this weekend, there is an unbelievable special price for this event. It is only $400 which includes the full conference, First Pages ($15 value), Manuscript Critique ($50 value), Social Media Clinic ($125 value). This offer expires on August 8th at midnight so check it out now at www.classeminars.org. Scroll down on the home page and you won’t miss it! Questions? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.