By Iola Goulton
The CALEB Conference will be taking place on 11 and 12 October at Riverglenn, Indooroopilly, Brisbane. The conference is arranged by Omega Writers, a group of Australasian writers writing faith-inspired work. You can find out more about Omega Writers and the CALEB Conference at the Omega website. Bookings are still open, but you’ll need to get in quick.
The conference is now less than two weeks away. The airfares and accommodation are booked, the presentation is finished and I’m itching to pack my bags and leave.
Writing (and editing) are solitary pursuits. Most of the time that suits me, as I’m an introvert by nature. But it’s not good for man (or woman) to be alone. A writing conference, especially a Christian writing conference, provides an opportunity for us to step out of our comfort zones and connect with other Christian writers across Australia and New Zealand as we meet at Riverglenn, Indooroopilly, Queensland, for two days of fun, fellowship and learning.
I’m going for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason is that I’ve been asked to contribute: I’ll be leading one session on self-editing (A Fine Cut), co-leading another session on Techniques of Fiction with the amazing Anne Hamilton, and will be offering one-on-one Book Doctor sessions for authors who want a little more personal help with their manuscript (for anyone who is interested, I still have some availability on Friday. Details are on my website). And there’s the opportunity to meet some of the people who publish Christian books in Australia and New Zealand.
But that’s not my only reason for going.
I’m looking forward to the face-to-face connection with like-minded people. The internet connects us globally in ways we never would have dreamed of twenty years ago, with email, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. But the internet can be very impersonal.
Attending a conference is personal. It’s a way to cement existing relationships, and form new ones. It’s a way to encourage others, and to be encouraged. It’s a time to celebrate our individual and collective successes at the CALEB Award dinner.
And I’m looking forward to learning. Reading books on the craft of writing or reading blogs like Australasian Christian Writers is a good way of learning about the craft and the industry, but there’s nothing like having the opportunity to ask questions and learn from both the session leaders and your fellow attendees.
There are some excellent sessions on the programme, from Masterclasses in writing romance or fantasy/YA fiction, to research for writers, to speaking for writers (no, that’s not a contradiction in terms). There are sessions on poetry, drama, and marketing. And there are sessions on some of the emotional and spiritual challenges of writing.
It’s going to be a great conference. Will I see you there?
I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog.