The Faithful Writer was a really good day – tiring, a bit of information overload I think.
The main speaker was an Australian writer, Mark Tredinnick, and he gave a good talk about writing; how to get started, how to keep plugging away and how to edit your work. I bought his book A Little Red Writing Book, which I've only dipped into so far, but it looks very useful.
It did bother me a little that the main speaker at Christian Writers conference wasn’t a Christian. Is that a bit snobbish of me? What he had to say was great and really useful, but I did come to a Christian writer’s conference and I hoped to get a Christians perspective on writing. Would have liked another person to give a more Christian view of writing at the beginning and then have Mark give a talk later in the day. He did try to incorporate the Bible and faith in his talk, but the effect was different than what I am use to :).
We were given a task and then had an hour to write a 200 word piece in response to it. It was cool to have the challenge to do that, then you could submit this piece and they would pick a few to run through and say “This is good” , “This line here would work better if you cut out this” etc.
I submitted a piece but I think I was glad that it wasn't picked because I don't cope well with public criticism - though it would have been nice to have someone read my writing and let me know if it's worth anything.
The bit I was waiting most for, the seminar on Writing for Children was good – but because we had run late in everything the speaker had to speed through everything so I felt like we only just grazed the surface of what we could have discussed. Which was a little disappointing but I was reminded again of the need for good quality children's book in the secular world from a Christians world view. So I will continue writing that way (it's where my writing is geared towards mostly anyway) - also got [possibly stole] the idea of writing the biographies of Christian missionaries as picture books for preschoolers. Hmm, so many ideas!, now to actually follow through : )
Most of all I was reminded of how great it is to be in a Christian community. The feel of the conference was totally different to any other conference I have been to. Maybe because not only was it a Christian conference but also we were united by a common interest – so people generally came on their own and not in a group. As soon as I sat down I was joined by a girl my own age I didn’t know who also didn’t know anyone and we spent the rest of the day together. At morning tea and lunch, people would just sit down at a table and we could chat like we always knew each other. I had to catch a bus to the station and while I was waiting a lady who had been to the same seminar as me came up and we chatted all the way home. It was just so . . . nice.