Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Breakout Seminars A – 11:30 AM

  • Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas
    • “Dangerous Sermons and Dangerous Faith”
      • Frank A. Thomas author, scholar and renowned preacher will offer insights from his new book How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon. The “dangerous sermon,” is one that refuses to reflect idolatrous, diabolical imaginings of our human future. Rather, it challenges clergy and laypersons by activating the four qualities of moral imagination: the embodied presence of the preacher, empathy as a bridge between past injustice and future possibilities, wisdom found in ancient texts, and hope conveyed through artistic, poetic language. With reference to historical addresses and sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy and Prathia Hall, Dr. Thomas will demonstrate how contemporary preachers can incorporate the moral imagination into their own dangerous sermons and laypersons to have a dangerous faith!
  • Susan Salley – Associate Publisher, Abingdon Press
    • “Writing with Purpose”
      • Can you describe your message and audience in 60 seconds? Publishers need clarity and a razor sharp focus to understand and place your writing – who is the primary audience, why will they read your book, and what will change in their lives? If you are intentional and focused and you present, plan and write, the benefit for the reader will be in the spotlight in your writing as well as in the promotion from title to packaging to marketing.
  • Philip Gulley
    • “Writing Your Soul: Dissidence and Democracy”
      • The role of writing in serving as a culture’s conscience.
  • Jessica Mesman
    • “Writing about Ritual, and Rituals that Help Us Write”
      • “Some morning when the world is drained of wonder, someday when I’m only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do…on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be.” –Joan Didion
        Didion isn’t writing about religious ritual but about the writerly ritual of keeping a daily notebook. And yet this sentence encapsulates for me the value of both. Yes, sometimes rituals feel empty, rote, or monotonous. But rituals can also be containers for deeper knowledge and sensory memory, one that we can enter at various times and remember previous selves now otherwise lost to us. This workshop will consider approaches and complications to writing about religious rituals, while also exploring the daily routines that can help us as writers.

Breakout Seminars B – 2:15 PM

  • Sophfronia Scott
    • “The Miracle of Metaphor”
      • In spiritual writing we’re often seeking to grasp and describe the ineffable while at the same time bringing the reader closer to experiences that are extremely personal. How do we do that? By using one of the most important keys in a writer’s toolbox: metaphor. We’ll explore this craft element through text examples and writing exercises.
  • Tony Jones – Senior Acquisitions Editor, Fortress Press
    • “Two Things Your Book NEEDS (And a Few More Things It Should Have)”
      • Every non-fiction book needs two things. How does Tony Jones know that? Because he’s both an author and an acquisitions editor. He’s written books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. And he’s acquired and edited books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. This session will be a no-BS talk about how to write and sell books in today’s challenging publishing environment. Tony Jones has the rare experience of seeing the publishing world from both sides. He is the author of 14 books, with publishers including Zondervan, Paraclete, Jossey-Bass, and HarperOne; he’s also self-published a couple. He has edited series at NavPress and Abingdon. And he is senior acquisitions editor at Fortress Press, overseeing the Theology for the People imprint. So he’s been around, he knows the players in the publishing world, and he’s got some insights into what works and what doesn’t.
  • MiHee Kim-Kort
    • “Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity”
      • Anne Lamott writes those familiar words about “shitty first drafts” in Bird by Bird: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.” The angst and paralysis many writers feel at the beginning of writing – it is a good and healthy thing! This workshop will talk about how to frame the spiritual and emotional necessity of failure in the creative process. We will also look at practices and resources to help us work courageously through that first draft and on to the second, third, and more drafts whether for blogs, articles/essays, books, and do a couple of break-through writing exercises.
  • Brian Allain – Writing for Your Life
    • “Why You Should Consider Self Publishing”
      • In this presentation we will discuss how changes in the publishing industry mean that there has never been a better time to consider self publishing. We will review recent and current industry structure, the top 10 reasons to consider self publishing (all the way from tools to economics to platform to sources of assistance), and deal with the concern of legitimacy. We will also consider a couple of examples.

 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Breakout Seminars C – 9:30 AM

  • Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas
    • “Dangerous Sermons and Dangerous Faith”
      • Frank A. Thomas author, scholar and renowned preacher will offer insights from his new book How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon. The “dangerous sermon,” is one that refuses to reflect idolatrous, diabolical imaginings of our human future. Rather, it challenges clergy and laypersons by activating the four qualities of moral imagination: the embodied presence of the preacher, empathy as a bridge between past injustice and future possibilities, wisdom found in ancient texts, and hope conveyed through artistic, poetic language. With reference to historical addresses and sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy and Prathia Hall, Dr. Thomas will demonstrate how contemporary preachers can incorporate the moral imagination into their own dangerous sermons and laypersons to have a dangerous faith!
  • Tony Jones – Senior Acquisitions Editor, Fortress Press
    • “Two Things Your Book NEEDS (And a Few More Things It Should Have)”
      • Every non-fiction book needs two things. How does Tony Jones know that? Because he’s both an author and an acquisitions editor. He’s written books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. And he’s acquired and edited books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. This session will be a no-BS talk about how to write and sell books in today’s challenging publishing environment. Tony Jones has the rare experience of seeing the publishing world from both sides. He is the author of 14 books, with publishers including Zondervan, Paraclete, Jossey-Bass, and HarperOne; he’s also self-published a couple. He has edited series at NavPress and Abingdon. And he is senior acquisitions editor at Fortress Press, overseeing the Theology for the People imprint. So he’s been around, he knows the players in the publishing world, and he’s got some insights into what works and what doesn’t.
  • Erin Healy
    • “Your Novel in a Nutshell: How to Write Story Summaries”
      • Transforming your full-length novel into an effective summary less than 1 percent of its length is no small feat. Whether you sell your story depends in large part on how well you master this fundamental task. In this session you’ll learn how to write five types of fiction summaries, which can be adapted to suit agents’, publishers’, and even readers’ requirements: the tagline, the elevator pitch, the blurb, the synopsis, and the chapter summary.
  • MiHee Kim-Kort
    • “Terrible First Drafts: The Necessity of Failure for Creativity”
      • Anne Lamott writes those familiar words about “shitty first drafts” in Bird by Bird: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.” The angst and paralysis many writers feel at the beginning of writing – it is a good and healthy thing! This workshop will talk about how to frame the spiritual and emotional necessity of failure in the creative process. We will also look at practices and resources to help us work courageously through that first draft and on to the second, third, and more drafts whether for blogs, articles/essays, books, and do a couple of break-through writing exercises.

 

Breakout Seminars D – 10:45 AM

  • Sophfronia Scott
    • “The Miracle of Metaphor”
      • In spiritual writing we’re often seeking to grasp and describe the ineffable while at the same time bringing the reader closer to experiences that are extremely personal. How do we do that? By using one of the most important keys in a writer’s toolbox: metaphor. We’ll explore this craft element through text examples and writing exercises.
  • Susan Salley – Associate Publisher, Abingdon Press
    • “Writing with Purpose”
      • Can you describe your message and audience in 60 seconds? Publishers need clarity and a razor sharp focus to understand and place your writing – who is the primary audience, why will they read your book, and what will change in their lives? If you are intentional and focused and you present, plan and write, the benefit for the reader will be in the spotlight in your writing as well as in the promotion from title to packaging to marketing.
  • Jessica Mesman
    • “Everything is ordinary. Everything is extraordinary.”
      • In teaching the art of creative nonfiction we often talk about the importance of “significant detail,” of developing your ear to recognize that one quote that sings, that communicates everything you want a reader to know about your character, but in her own words, and of developing your eye to notice the one object in the room that might unlock the door to your narrative. As a writer, you must cultivate attention, to see the cosmic through the details of ordinary life. In this session we’ll explore the details of our everyday life with new eyes, to see how can enter them newly, to step through to the other shore.
  • Mary Benard – Editorial Director, Skinner House Books and UUA Publications
    • “Writing Your Spiritual Journey without Leaving Your Reader Behind”
      • Spiritual journeys are deeply individualistic and interior. Writers need to dig deep into own experiences, emotions and thought process to bring meaningful spiritual insight to life in words, but it’s a challenge to keep readers connected as we look so far inside ourselves. This workshop will share tips on how to keep your reader engaged and thinking about how your story connects with theirs.

Breakout Seminars E – 2:30 PM

  • Philip Gulley
    • “Writing Your Soul: Dissidence and Democracy”
      • The role of writing in serving as a culture’s conscience.
  • Erin Healy
    • “Writer’s Block and Other Enemies”
      • What obstacles stand between you and your finished manuscript? Whether you’re dealing with self-doubt, the demands of life, lack of skill, or self-sabotaging habits, it’s possible to see your efforts through to completion. In this interactive, guided discussion, we’ll cover issues that affect both novelists and non-fiction writers. Bring your biggest challenges and best ideas, and be prepared to gain and share solutions about how to overcome.
  • Brian Allain – Writing for Your Life
    • “Why You Should Consider Self Publishing”
      • In this presentation we will discuss how changes in the publishing industry mean that there has never been a better time to consider self publishing. We will review recent and current industry structure, the top 10 reasons to consider self publishing (all the way from tools to economics to platform to sources of assistance), and deal with the concern of legitimacy. We will also consider a couple of examples.
  • Mary Benard – Editorial Director, Skinner House Books and UUA Publications
    • “Writing Your Spiritual Journey without Leaving Your Reader Behind”
      • Spiritual journeys are deeply individualistic and interior. Writers need to dig deep into own experiences, emotions and thought process to bring meaningful spiritual insight to life in words, but it’s a challenge to keep readers connected as we look so far inside ourselves. This workshop will share tips on how to keep your reader engaged and thinking about how your story connects with theirs.

 

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