Writers Track

Centered on you — the writer — the writers track will build your relationships with other writers and professionals in the writing community while you learn practical tips and techniques to improve your writing and its reception. This will be an experience to stimulate your intellect, enlighten your spirit, and delight and refresh your imagination.

Come join us for our lectures, workshops, and group sessions for the jump-start, dusting off, or home-stretch encouragement you’ve needed to move forward with your writing. We all know that writing well is, in part, a talent. But moving from God-given gift to a finished — and perhaps published — product requires self-discipline and dogged perseverance, as well the encouragement and feedback of others.

We offer an affirming atmosphere for learning from respected authors, reading and commenting on one another’s work, and discussing specifics for creating a writing life that is more than a rainy-day hobby. Writers of all expertise levels are welcome to come celebrate the creative life — and the privilege of working in community.

Writers Track Program

(additional details will be forthcoming as we get closer to the event)

The Writers Track consists of three parts of The C.S. Lewis Retreat, optional early arrival sessions on Friday (for those who choose to add this on), breakout sessions during the main retreat on Saturday, and optional late night evening sessions on Friday and Saturday. 

More information about the topics covered in each session will be available in late September.

Early Arrival Writing Sessions

Our early arrival writing sessions will feature presentations by 

  • Holly Ordway – Deep Roots and Good Fruit: How to Grow as a Writer
    In our modern culture, which so desperately needs an encounter with God who is perfect Goodness, Truth, and Beauty, we need writers who can present a richly meaningful, compelling vision of the Christian faith. But writing isn’t a matter of just waiting to be ‘inspired’: it’s a learned and practiced skill, and it’s hard work. That’s good news, because it means that each and every writer (no matter their experience or skill level) can always become an even better writer. In this talk, I’ll discuss these ideas, offer encouragment and guidance for writers seeking to find their niche, and provide a practical framework for writers to grow, with a particular emphasis on the value of being part of a community of writers.
  • Jason Smith – Help! I’ve Written a Book!
    Finishing a book is a big deal. It’s immersive, it’s consuming, and it doesn’t leave us much time to consider the best next step. But somewhere at the back of our minds, a few pesky questions nag. What does it really mean to “succeed” as an author? There are so many paths to publication now; which is right? What can I do to ensure my writing will minister most effectively to the greatest number of people? When will I be able to support myself financially with my writing? If you’ve ever finished a book draft and thought, “Now what?” – If you’ve ever spent more on publishing than you’ve made back in sales – If you’ve ever lain awake at night praying over your writing career – This session is for you.

Saturday Breakout Sessions

Our Saturday breakout sessions will give you the choice of writing related sessions or general nonwriting focused sessions. The writing sessions offered are the following:

  • Session One:
    • Melanie Stiles – Let’s Get Practical!
      There is nothing like understanding you’ve been gifted with a calling or purpose to write. The mere idea can set the imagination on fire. It’s why you’re able to build mental sandcastles that tower in the sky! Yet, as with every daydream, its physical manifestation requires far more than floating in the clouds. There are certain truths on a very practical side of the writing/publishing life we must all confront if we want to succeed.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Good thoughts are no better than good dreams if you don’t follow through.” Join Melanie to discuss how to proactively orchestrate your writing dreams and put them into practical play.
  • Session Two – choose either, offered by:
    • Brad Davis – “From Psalm to Poem: a path for making new works”
    • Lancia E. Smith Overcoming the enemy every writer faces – Dragon slaying 101 (In-Person & Live Stream)
      Hosted by The Cultivating Project, https://thecultivatingproject.com 
      Every writer knows the experience. We don’t need others to tell us about it, we know it intimately. We have faced it since the first time we felt the call to write with intention. As writers and sub-creators, we face a foe that stands between us and the incarnation of words that give meaning and substance to the unseen. This experience of opposition is real, and it is common to every writer. It is also a force that can be resisted and successfully overcome. Dragons can be slain. We need to know how to name them and how to resist them. In this Writer’s Track breakout session, Lancia E. Smith, founder of The Cultivating Project, gives a look at the calling of writers to their vocation, the origin and forms that opposition can take, and effective methods for overcoming that opposing force. This breakout session will include a filmed presentation talk from Lancia, followed by a live-streamed interview session between Steven Elmore, President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, and Lancia. NOTE: Please watch the video prior to attending the interview session.

Optional Evening Sessions (Friday & Saturday)

  • Sprinklings Groups – Facilitated by Melanie Stiles, these small groups are for sharing and feedback for prose writers and poets.
  • Bag End Café – Facilitated by Andrew Lazo (Friday) and Matthew Clark (Saturday), this is an open mic style evening of publicly sharing poetry, songs, stories, or other short pieces and talents.

* Note: schedule is subject to change

Thank you to our sponsors!