Preparing for the C.S. Lewis Writers Workshop

For those of you attending the Southwest Regional Writers Workshop, we would like to mention a few ways that you can maximize your experience at this unique event. We look forward to seeing you next week at Camp Allen!

The 6 P’s for the Workshop (well, there are actually 9 P’s, but you get the idea)

PREPARATION – You don’t have to plan to fail; all you have to do is fail to plan.

PLAN – What do you hope to accomplish?

PRESENTATION – Make a good impression.

PREPARING & PRACTICING your PITCH – Plan your time with our team of experts.

PARTICIPATION – Are you looking forward to networking with other writers?





  • Do your homework. Visit their websites and read their blogs. Learn about them. Study what the agency sells and what the publishing house publishes. What authors do they represent? Are you a fit for them?
  • Make the most of every opportunity. You’ll have a chance to visit with the presenters at meals, around camp, and at Bag End Café—our after hours get-togethers—and the Friday night reception. Those times are excellent chances to get to know our editor and agent before you pitch your book or idea in a consultation.
  • Learn about our presenters personally. Find out something you have in common to break the ice when you sit with them for a meal. Examples . .

Angela Hunt is a new grandmother.
Carolyn Curtis loves to travel. Ask her about her Oxbridge adventure this summer.
Bruce Edwards loves Africa. Ask about his safaris.
Terry Glaspey is a book lover and is co-presenting C.S. Lewis 101.
Steve Laube has been an editor and a bookstore owner.
Thomas Umstattd was homeschooled, travels on missions and is an entrepreneur.
Andrew Lazo teaches high school boys. Ask if he’s ever been kidnapped by the lords of the flies.
Kevin Belmonte wrote a book on William Wilberforce and served as the lead consultant on the move Amazing Grace.
Holly Ordway is a budding poet.
Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor.
Lancia Smith is our foundation photographer. Visit her website for the Oxbridge slideshow.

  • Find lists of their books.

Angela Hunt –
Carolyn Curtis –
Kevin Belmonte –
Terry Glaspey –
Steve Laube –
Thomas Umstattd – and
Bridgette Mongeon –
Bruce L. Edwards –
Andrew Lazo –
Holly Ordway –
Lancia E. Smith –



You may not have time to read all the way through these books, but start now. Reading books by speakers shows them you are interested in them and their work, and you bought their books. This will also help you in their sessions since you will already have a sense of what they are talking about.

First, two delightful books but very different in character . . .

Won’t it be fun to see these not-so-tame writers meet?


Not A Tame Lion by Bruce L. Edwards

“Lewis knew what it meant to be lost, and he knew what it meant to write stories that helped others to find hope.”


Not A Tame Lion by Terry Glaspey

“[Lewis] shaped the thoughts, and thereby the actions, of countless people in his own time and afterward, mostly though the quiet influence of his books.”


And a sampling by other presenters . . .


Unspoken by Angela Hunt

“Yet I’d done exactly what a mother sending her child off to kindergarten would do—prepare her youngster for a new and possibly frightening experience by painting it in the most attractive light possible. But I wasn’t sending Selma to an innocent place like kindergarten . . . .” Selma is a gorilla


A Man for all Nations by Carolyn Curtis

“And so it went in the life—and death—of Clyde Taylor. He served as the link between the Lord and people. Those who knew him were not surprised to learn that, even at his deathbed, the gospel was being shared.”


William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity by Kevin Belmonte

“There was, Wilberforce confessed, ‘much in the state of the world and church which I deplore, yet I am not among the croakers. I think real religion is spreading; and I am persuaded, with increasingly spread, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’”


Mere Christians by Andrew Lazo

“Lewis taught me how to think….Until I read Lewis, I had never know how to combine the best thinking and the deepest believing.



  • What is this writing life about? Are you just wandering into writing, flirting with the whole idea? To you we say: Relax. You’re coming to be a sponge. Soak it all up.
  • You want to become the best writer everand published! How do they do it?
  • You want to pitch a book or ideato an agent and editor.
  • You want to network with other writers.
  • You want to get connected with the techno-world out there—establishing a website and/or blog. You have lots of questions.
  • Do you have a platform? What is a platform?
  • Do you havet a tribe? What is a tribe?



  • You want to make a good impression on the editor and the agent.
  • You want them to want your book. You can bring a manuscript but do not bring it to your interview. They will not ask for it. If they are interested in your work they will ask you to send it. It is very rare they will ask to read it.
  • Bring a piece of your best writing and share it at the Bag End Café. Many attendees will be present, so be prepared to share a brief excerpt.



  • “What’s your book about?” they ask. Work diligently on your “elevator pitch.” (If you were in an elevator with an agent or editor and they asked you what your book is about, you need to tell them in the time it takes to go a few floors.) Condense your pitch to 25 words or less. Less is more. Come up with a nice juicy HOOK!
  • Your 15 minute consultations — Take a few minutes to explain your writing and to pitch your book or article idea. Leave the rest of the time for questions and their feedback.
  • Practice, practice, practice! This is hard work. But it will pay. Rehearse it. Record it. You don’t want to waste their time or yours.



  • The keyword is networking. Besides rubbing elbows with our presenters, a gathering of writers is an opportunity to confer and trade stories with your peers.
  • Do you have questions you are hesitant to ask a presenter? Try it out on another writer first. We’re all friends. No one understands a writer better than another writer.



Sign up for consultations . . .

Thursday morning at the registration desk. We have a limited number of appointments and consultations, so sign up early—first come first served.

Author: Carolyn Curtis

Editor: Terry Glaspey

Agent: Steve Laube

Tech consultant: Thomas Umstattd

Writing coach: Bridgette Mongeon

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You’ll also want to know . . .


Dress is casual. We don’t dress for dinner or Sunday services.