This week I had the privilege of attending the Oregon Christian Writers conference at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion in Portland, Oregon. Featured speakers included Brian Bird who writes screenplays for the popular Hallmark Sunday night movie, When Calls the Heart and Francine Rivers, who is a best-selling, multi-published author of titles including Redeeming Love and Mark of the Lion. Francine joined Brian for an interview session on Tuesday evening. Quite informative!
The conference features morning coaching classes—information delivered from hand-picked instructors, editors, or knowledgeable writers—that help conferees improve their writing. Topics can be as basic as plot and structure techniques to marketing strategies from a professional in the field. Afternoons are spent in workshops with a multitude of choices.
The big draw for me is connecting with writers I’ve met over the years and catching up on their careers. I breakfasted with a dear writing friend at the restaurant overlooking the Columbia River and spent time alongside other authors in classes designed to help us improve our craft. I also joined other authors from my publishing house, Mountain Brook Ink, which is celebrating its fifth year in publication, at a table where our books were offered for sale.
The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Though the conference only lasts two and a half days, I drove home heartened by what I’d learned and exhausted from an overload of information filling my brain. Now I’ll spend the next several days cataloging what I learned and applying it to my current work in progress. The conference was fun, but it is good to be home.
Next week I’ll continue my book picks for August.