Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Write 2 Ignite: A True Witness Conference Recap

"Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it." My Gospel Reflection for today is up on CatholicMom

I've missed going to Write2Ignite, but with school and sports, it was a busy time in our lives. But this weekend Michael accompanied me and it was so lovely to be amongst faithful Christian writers. The conference team put together a great conference with a useful booklet containing all the conference information along with room to write, a notebook, pen, and chocolate! All in this pretty bag. I enjoyed all the keynotes so very much and delighted that the topics on my mind: writing memoir, the conversion story, and writing a controversial book all tied into the theme of being a true witness. I know I'll be back next year. Save the dates: Sept. 18-19th, 2020.

Even though I was busy most of Saturday, I had the chance to listen to a couple of workshops. The first was by Todd Williams, Editor-in-Chief of Union Gospel Press. He spoke about how God's Word gives us helpful insights about writing that's engaging. We have doctrine, commands, poems, letters, appeals, stories, mysteries, and so much more. He explained the five parts of effective communication--collecting ideas, organizing them, expressing them, must be understood by others, and finally the reader is changed. I will not forget that writing *is* Logos. He is looking to assign good children's writers for Sunday school materials. He emphasized how difficult it is to find people who can write for children. So, if this interests you, contact him. I like how precise he is--the qualities necessary in a good editor.

I also enjoyed Daniel Blackaby's lecture on Tolkein, Lewis, and the Christian Imagination. I've read much about the Inklings but it's always a delight to listen to people who've studied their works in far greater depth than I have. I'd forgotten how much Tolkein disliked Lewis' Narnia, saying they were "almost worthless--carelessly written jumble of unrelated mythologies." Talk about a scathing critique. Now that I understand my faith better, I might actually agree. Michael O'Brien gives a good account in his book: A Landscape with Dragons. I no longer read much fantasy, but if that's what you like check out Blackaby's books

Nancy Lohr, Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books, gave such an inspiring keynote on Truth-FULL Writing. She spoke about the culture of relativism, how truth is a moving target. She quoted George Orwell: "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary." We live in such times now and should look at this as an opportunity to share the truth. She reminded us that we cannot give what we do not possess already; we can only write what's within our gifts; write the felt needs; write to be light and salt. It was an excellent primer for my workshop later in the afternoon on writing controversial books. I would love to work with her on a book, except I've not written anything that meets their guidelines

https://ediemelson.com/The closing keynote was from Edie Melson on the New Paradigm of Social Media. I was sitting near a group of youngsters and they were chuckling over us old folks getting instructions on using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they scrolled over their feeds. Edie mentioned that the majority of social media is conducted over a mobile device. She's not just an expert on this and other internetty things (she has a top notch blog called The Write Conversation) but a writer of inspirational books for creatives as well as novels. Her latest, Unruffled, is out today! Edie is wonderful, reminding us that perhaps the world of social media might be the darkest, that we need to be light and salt. I couldn't agree more... if that is your gift.

Here are some fun pictures of old friends and new, and the beautiful campus of Northern Greenville University. Glory, Glory to God!!! 


Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks for this wonderful recap of the conference!

Faith E. Hough said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I'd love to go someday!

Vijaya said...

Carol, just looking back at the pictures brings back all the happy memories.

Faith, you would love it and I'm sure when your little ones are not so little, you'll be able to steal away for a weekend. By the way, this weekend at the Carolinas SCBWI conference, a young mom brought her baby boy in the stroller. He was such a chubby fellow and he enjoyed all the attention.

Jean said...

Thanks for this wonderful recap! I'll be back to visit your blog again.

It was a joy to see you again at Write2Ignite, Vijaya.