Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Colorado Christian Writers Conference Update

Early registration for the upcoming Colorado Christian Writers Conference, May 12–15 is building. We now have about 105 conferees, two ahead of last year at this time. So we now have some preliminary counts for the various continuing sessions, workshops, and earlybird workshops. And clinic applications are coming in as well.

I’m really excited at the lineup we have for this year’s CCWC. It is one of the strongest all around writing conferences I’ve seen.

If you’re thinking about coming, please check out the Web site. However, I’d like to highlight a few clinics and continuing sessions and workshops that have piqued my interest.

Starting with the earlybird workshops on Wednesday, May 12, there’s something in that list for everyone. Already some of these workshops have a healthy count, but a couple need some extra promotion. So . . . If you write for kids, fiction or nonfiction, check out the two workshops Mona Hodgson is leading:

E5 - Story Building Blocks for Children's Writers: This class provides a hands-on exercise in creating characters and story problems that appeal to the intended audience.

E13 - Writing Books for Young Children: Come to this workshop for an overview of how to write and sell board books and picture books.

If you’ve ever struggled with Microsoft Office (and who hasn’t?), David Rhoades is doing a workshop to help us less computer savvy people learn to use these programs effectively with less frustration.

Or if you need help brainstorming possible article ideas, join Julie Dearyan to gain some help and walk away with more ideas you can work up into that next best-selling article.

As I look at the preliminary counts for the workshops, I’m noticing an interesting trend. Interest seems high in the A – F workshops, but when it comes to the specialty/niche workshops, there’s a drastic drop. I’ve found that these markets can be very lucrative and rewarding because few people want to commit time to something that may not be a high profile as fiction writing or the latest trend in article topics. Don’t ignore these special markets, and definitely pray about your choices as you make decisions. Remember that you are not locked into your preliminary choices. So even if you’ve made your choices, you can change your mind and explore what the Lord may have for you in these specialty markets.

The continuing sessions are always a highlight of CCWC for me. These sessions focus on specific areas of the writing experience. And they are always chock-full of great information. Do consider each session before making a decision. Again, if you get to the class and feel that it isn’t for you, you are not locked into that class. And you can change your mind beforehand, too.

Right now, the numbers for a couple of the continuing sessions has me a little surprised. Ted Baehr’s Breakthrough Scriptwriting class got rave reviews at Philly last year. For the fiction writer, studying the craft of scriptwriting is a must in learning story structure. And Ted is an excellent teacher, someone who knows his craft well and can communicate that knowledge to others.

Another continuing session that has caught my attention is new this year: The Lightbox Method. Have you ever struggled with including a spiritual thread in your fiction? How much does our spiritual walk with the Lord have to do with our writing? Well, lots, actually. If you have ever struggled with this, check out this continuing session. I’m hoping to have some time to slip into a couple of the sessions and glean what I can.

Finally, I would encourage you to consider applying for a clinic. We have a wonderful lineup of clinics again this year. I’d like to put in a plug for a couple of the clinics I’ve had the privilege of being a part of in previous years.

Last year I did The Joy of Unblocked Creativity with Liz Babbs and Sue Cameron. Going into the clinic I wasn’t sure what to expect, but since my writing was practically nonexistent mostly because I felt wrung out by life and work. God met me in some unexpected ways in that clinic. In exploring various avenues of writing that took me out of my rut, I discovered that I could write poetry! Not that I’ll write a lot of it. But it was an eye-opener for me. One other really cool thing that happened is God’s confirmation of His purpose for me. If you're feeling that you're not living up to the potential that you know you have in God's plan, I'd encourage you to take this clinic.

Jim and Tracie Peterson are not new to CCWC, and I’ve taken a couple of clinics over the last few years with. In fact, the very first clinic I took at CCWC was their clinic for the beginning novelist. Both Jim and Tracie have a heart for writers, especially in encouraging and building up new writers. I’ve gone away from those clinics totally excited about the projects I’m working on. Their combined knowledge of the Christian publishing world is wonderful, and they create an atmosphere that puts to rest the anxieties we all have when starting out in this “new world.”

I highly recommend both of these clinics. And the entire conference. Not enough can be said about the spiritual impact of the general sessions and the overall atmosphere of the conference. So if you’re still wavering on whether this is the year to attend, do check out the Web site for all the details and latest information on the conference.

I hope to see you there!

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