Thinking of attending the Southwest Retreat next month? Want to find out more about it? Here’s Curlonda Simm’s article about her experience at the Writers Workshop portion last year. We hope you can join us ! Click here for more information and to register.
The C.S. Lewis Writers Workshop at Camp Allen was all that I hoped it would be and more. I drove seven hours from the Southern Midwest to reach this retreat with a purpose. I was immediately greeted by Stan and the welcome that he gave me made the journey well worth it. The first session that I attended was by Steve Laube, the agent. I learned what someone of his caliber is looking for in a book and project. I enjoyed his stories of authors who persevered to see their projects finally reach the public domain. Without any doubt he inspired me to continue to pursue my dream and gave me good and meaningful feedback on my project.
I began to write because in my undergraduate studies I had professors who said that I had deep thoughts and something to contribute to others. They suggested that I speak up and let my voice be heard. Time passed and I reached a point in my life where I felt like my experiences and lessons learned through them could help and entertain the world. Then the voices of my educators rang clear and I decided to take their advice. I decided to express my voice as a writer. That is when I became a superb fan of C.S. Lewis. He is my writing hero. He reached the masses, secular and religious with Christian values while writing fiction and nonfiction. In my estimation he did want few writers do; he did it all.
This conference strengthened my beliefs in the legacy of C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed the question and answer sessions with Randy Alcorn. To see a fellow writer achieve success and and by incorporating C.S. Lewis was bliss. I also enjoyed the lectures of David Lindstedt from Tyndale publishers. To have the access from someone like him was life changing and career boosting.
I enjoyed the kindred spirit of the conference. Although we came from different areas of the country and different backgrounds we became as one for the conference. As an African American supporter and writer I was treated without respect of person. I made new friends and connections. The Agape love of God and the friendliness and compassion of the staff were ever present in the conference. A speaker spoke of Mr. Lewis’ notes and study on Othello and the concept of “blackness” for that work. Obviously he was a man before his time. This is the reason he was so successful and his works and legacy are still alive today. This was evident throughout the whole conference.
On hope C.S. Lewis said, “Hope means a continual looking forward to the eternal world but it does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought the most of the next. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
Curlonda Simms / C.M. Simms
I have and Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Oral Roberts University and a Masters of Arts in Communications from the University of Oklahoma. I enjoyed a corporate sales career and now have a real estate business. I co hosted a radio program in Oklahoma City for about a year. I have just written my first book and am an author, speaker and active in community service.
This blog post is part of a series of posts available on our Southwest Regional Writers Workshop Blog.