Monday, 30 September 2013

The CALEB Conference for Christian Writers

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.

Why?

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.

24 comments:

  1. I'm sure it will be a great time for all who are able to attend. enjoy the experience, Iola.

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  2. I'll be there at the dinner and on the Saturday, Iola! It will be great to see everyone again and to meet new NZ and Aussie authors. I'm presenting a seminar on 'Creating Characters from Real Life'--looking forward to it.

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne
      Looking forward to seeing you there!

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  3. May it be a fabulous conference for everyone. I'll sure be praying for you all. Would have loved to attend but have my son's engagement & mum's 80th celebrations that weekend.

    Praying protection for everyone travelling.

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  4. Hi Iola

    Thanks for letting people know about the conference... the best place to go is straight to http://wordswithwings.net

    A real coup - at least as far as we are concerned - is that we have three publishers available to take Publisher's Pitches on both days. As more and more people are saying that it's so important to make personal contact with a publisher or an agent or an editor, this is a fantastic opportunity - which will not be available again for at least several years.

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  5. Looking forward to meeting many kindred spirits, face to face :) Can't believe it's almost time for this conference!

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    1. Dorothy - and we're looking forward to hearing all your US conference news.

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    2. I can't wait to share all the good stuff!!
      (Not that there was any bad stuff) :)

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  6. I'm looking forward to attending the dinner and Saturday session. Its always fun to meet our online friends in person :)

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    1. Narelle, you are right. Meeting people I knew online was one of the highlights for me last year.

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  7. I hope you all have a great time at the conference. Will be thinking of you all.

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  8. Is Caleb ever held further south?

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    1. Annie can jump in and correct me if I'm wrong, but the latest information provided to Omega Writers members is that there are no plans to hold another CALEB Conference until at least 2016.

      Australian Christian Writers Fellowship (ACWF) meet in Eastwood, Sydney. In April and September they usually hold a one day writing seminar. Jo-Anne Berthelsen was their guest speaker last month.

      Amanda Deed, Mary Hawkins and Meredith Resce held a writing event in Melbourne last August. I'm not sure if they have any plans to hold another event in Melbourne next year?

      James Scott Bell is coming to Sydney in early August 2014. He will present the Friday writing workshop at the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. I met Jim at ACFW in Indianapolis last month and I'm really looking forward to attending his workshop.

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    2. Hi Narelle
      No, you're not wrong. We're not planning another conference for a while. We have a very small committee and, between the CALEB Prize, and Omega Writers itself, we've found a conference is just a little too much to take on board. What tends to give is our own writing time - and we've decided to take bit a little of that! Hence our decision not to do another for quite a while.

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  9. Thanks for the website info, Anne. I had actually linked it in my post, but for some reason it's not highlighted as a link (although you can see it when you hover over it with the mouse).

    For those who have just joined us, you can still sign up for the conference, but tomorrow (2 October) is the last day to register, as Omega have to confirm final numbers with the venue.

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    1. Thanks again - Iola. Much appreciated. We're looking forward to a great conference. Headed over to Riverglenn today to finalise the last minute details and found a lovely God-appointment lined up with an indigenous artist. It was a delightful surprise that gave me a real boost.

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    3. I've noticed the link issue too, Iola - link colour is set to the same at text colour (unless visited) it seems. One way around that would be to make bold the linked text to make it stand out. I'll be doing that myself ;-)

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  10. Thanks Ellie, I have changed the link colours so it should fix it. I hadn't realised the issue. now it will stand out better.

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    1. Yay, thanks Jenny, that's looks great!!

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