Bonnie S. Calhoun
the Founder and Publisher of Christian Fiction Online
Magazine . She is also the Owner and Director of the Christian
Fiction Blog Alliance which is the parent organization for
No fooling! April 1 marks the beginning of the second quarter of 2012. So . . . are you one quarter of the way there to meeting the goals you set for your writing on January 1? Are you enthusiastically pursuing those goals or are you stuck?
It’s not easy to keep the momentum going in the midst of all the demands on our time and energy that life brings. Yes, there are seasons in our lives that are busier than others. And yes, we cannot sacrifice our families on our writing altar. But the fact is there are enough hours in the day to do what God is calling us to do if we choose to allow Him to be Lord of our daily “to-do” list.
A Time Away – The Colorado Christian Writers Conference (CCWC) provides time away from your daily routine to hear from the Lord in the magnificent setting of the Rocky Mountains. From CCWC’s opening session, “Write His Answer to the Hurting,” to the closing keynote, “Finding His Answer,” you’ll be challenged to focus on the Lord and what He is calling you to write.
A Time to Learn – Continuing Sessions provide six hours of in-depth training for fiction writers at all levels. In Tim Shoemaker’s “Take Your Fiction to the Gym” you’ll get the tools, tips, and techniques you need to compete in the real world of publishing. Tim will look at Plot, Characterization, Point-of-View, Show-Don’t Tell, Scenes, Beginnings, Middles Ends, Conflict, Dialogue and more. “Lace up your gym shoes,” Tim says. “This is one workout you’ll enjoy.”
Best-selling author Robert Liparulo will teach the structure and tenets of “Writing Suspense & Thrillers” that will attract Hollywood producers. Nine of Robert’s books have been optioned for feature motion pictures.
Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and chairman of The Christian Film & Television CommissionTM, will teach how to write a script that is structurally sound, entertaining, morally responsible, and very marketable in “Breakthrough Scriptwriting.”
In addition to Continuing Sessions, CCWC offers 17 earlybird workshops on Wednesday and 42 workshops Thursday through Saturday. “Fiction Book Proposal Essentials,” “Writing a Compelling Synopsis,” and “Framing a Solid Structure” are just a few of the workshops for fiction writers or you may choose to apply for the “Not Yet Published Novelists” clinic with Joyce Magnin that meets during the six hour-long workshops. “Sometimes fun, always encouraging, and always truthful, this clinic will provide the tools to help you rise above the run-of-the-mill slush.”
A Time to Connect with Editors and Agents – CCWC offers full-time conferees the opportunity to meet with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR editors, agents, or authors for 15-minute one-on-one appointments. The sooner you register, the better opportunity you have to get your top picks from our Appointment Coordinator, Bonnie Calhoun.
A Time to Fellowship – My closest friends are writers. You can reduce the cost of your lodging and make a new writing friend by asking the YMCA of the Rockies to match you with one or two roommates.
A Time to Grow Your Marketability – Today, fiction writers also need a strong platform to land a publisher and to sell their books. Robert Eagar, author of the soon-to-be-released Writer’s Digest book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, will teach a continuing session on “Marketing for the Promotionally Challenged Author.” CCWC also offers about a dozen workshops on everything from “Social Media Secrets for Writers” to “Branding.”
A Time to Go Deeper through the Lightbox Method Retreat – I’ve asked Sandy Cathcart, the co-leader of the Lightbox Method to tell you more. She writes:
I was slow to coming around to John Wiuff’s (pronounced View) Lightbox Method. John says we writers are shapers, not creators. He insists that there is only One Creator and that stories are presented to us.
It makes sense when we think of physical things, but it took me a bit longer to concede that God presents us stories. He creates out of nothing. We shape what He presents.
Make sense? Probably not. But that’s the point. The Lightbox Method is unlike anything I’ve seen in the writing world, and I’ve been around a long time.
Let me give you an example. I worked on a nonfiction book for twelve long years. It was good, and many editors liked it, but something was missing. When I prayed and took my manuscript through the Lightbox Method, I found the missing glue that needed to pull the story together. I now have a published book that I’m proud to present.
I also finished a fiction book and even placed in the top ten on a Operation First Novel contest, but I didn’t like the ending; it just didn’t feel right, plus it seemed way too much work to try to fix it, so I set it aside for a while. Now, I’m taking it through the Lightbox Method and am discovering the true meaning of my story. Little changes along the way are completely rewriting the last third of the book.
The good news is twofold: 1) I KNOW the story is coming into its true shape; and 2) the process is a lot simpler than I first thought.
That’s why I work with John in presenting the Lightbox Method. At the CCWC, we began two years ago with just a few students. After the first session our students went out and told others and our class doubled, then tripled. Students returned the following year, discovering new facets and ways to apply the method. It not only works for story, but also for character analysis.
This year, Marlene is allowing us to present a full-on Lightbox retreat during regular conference hours. This means we will be presenting classes to a select group (the first 15 to signup) as well as giving one-on-one critique and group brainstorming at other times. All this came about at the request of last year’s students.
So, if you want to shape a story with meaning that your readers will return to again and again, plan on joining us for the Lightbox Method Retreat where tortured stories are set free.
And so much more – If you want to keep on track or get back on track to reaching your 2012 writing goals, CCWC is the place to be. Visit www.writehisanswer.com/Colorado for more information as well as bios of the 65 agents, editors, authors, and publicists on faculty. I know God is going to meet us on the mountain. I hope to meet you there, too.