When it comes to the task of dreaming a book into print or learning the skill set to speak and teach, the gold standard for Christian communicators is the Speak Up Conference with Carol Kent.
The Speak Up Conference is an annually held equipping event which meets in Grand Rapids, Michigan in July. Christian publishing houses, like Moody Publishers, Baker/ Revell, Kregel, Iron Stream Media, and many more send acquisition editors and mentor authors. Literary agents and other industry experts attend as faculty as well. Not to mention, some of the most successful Christian writers and speakers share their expertise and insight as event faculty members. Carol Kent, the event’s founder and Executive Director, is passionate about leading the next generation of Christian communicators through education and encouragement.
Upon my first trip to Speak Up with Carol Kent back in 2017, I knew this conference was special. After returning for a second year in 2018, I was determined to find a way to pipeline our military community into the mix- creating an avenue for military community members to use their God-given gifts for ministry, evangelism, and discipleship. After the financial support of Shawn and Suzanne Kuhn with Brookstone Creative Group- a publishing group in the Iron Stream Media family, and the enthusiasm of Carol Kent, I was able to become the Military Spouse Liaison for the Speak Up Conference and we established a presence at the event in 2019.
Nearly 20 members from the military spouse community attended- several of whom have pursued book contracts and hold very successful speaking careers. After COVID-19, like many events, Speak Up went virtual and over 100 military spouses attended in 2020 and 2021.
For the first in-person conference since the pandemic, this year when hundreds of men and women were flocking to the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, they would find a new addition added to the already phenomenal programing- Military One-Day!
That’s right! Before the Speak Up Conference kicked off on Thursday, July 7th, Armed Forces Insurance’s Military Spouse of the Year Program served as the title sponsor for the first (and now annual) Military One-Day auxiliary event at Speak Up Conference. For one whole day, all of the content, programming, and breakout workshops is specifically designed for a military community audience.
Laura Early of Wise Advise + Assist Team, Moni Jefferson of AMSE, Lindsey Litton of Lindsey Litton Co., and Kennita Williams of Model for the King Coaching served alongside me as faculty leaders. Military One-Day is a free add-on experience for all of the recipients of the Speak Up Norsworthy Military Global Missions Scholarship and military community attendees.
The Speak Up Norsworthy Global Missions Scholarship provides active-duty military community members, both service members and their spouses, with a significant reduction in the cost of attending the Speak Up Conference. Scholarship recipients pay only $100 towards the cost of the ticket to this Christian writer’s and speakers conference.
Nearly 40 military community members attended as conferees or event faculty at this year’s Military One-Day experience. This all-inclusive one-day event began with “Coffee and Coaching.” The morning centered around creating authentic and deeply rooted connections between community members while a faculty member shared encouragement and insight into growing and scaling a speaking or writing career in a casual, round table group setting. Before we entered into our afternoon workshops, we shared a fellowship meal with a taco bar. After lunch, we implemented four back-to-back workshops focused on branding, pitch perfection, publishing basics, and goal setting. In our evening segment, we hosted our Speak Up-Norsworthy Scholarship dinner and invited authors Jill Savage, Lee Nienhuis, Sandi Banks, Shari Braendel, and many more to join us in the celebration.
You can check out the Facebook Album for this year’s Military One-Day and Speak Up Conference photos here!
Participants walked away with a full heart and a tool kit full of the essential information they needed to move forward in their careers as leaders, speakers, free-thinkers, and entrepreneurs. You might even see some of the scholarship recipients in this publication, as a pitch opportunity for Military Spouse Magazine was also offered to military community attendees!
Here’s how to get involved:
- Get your scholarship application in ASAP. I’m excited to announce that the scholarship applications for the 2023 Speak Up Conference with Carole Kent is now open! Apply here.
- Move fast. You won’t want to miss out on the fun, so make sure you get in early because we will most certainly reach capacity this year. Only 50 In-Person scholarships will be awarded, so move fast! Can’t make it in person? No worries. Apply for a Virtual ticket and join us from the comfort of your own home.
- Keep in touch. And, if you want access to this year’s Military One-Day content, make sure to follow MilSpo Co. on Facebook and Instagram @MilSpoCo and my official author channels @MegBrownWrites to keep up on the release of the online summit!