“God has filled us with the Spirit, and with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills. . . to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.” - Exodus 35:31-33
The 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference was held Friday March 7, 2014 through Saturday March 8, 2014 in Newberg, Oregon. GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY was our hosting sponsor.
Stay connected by subscribing to our website newsletter. We’d love to hear from you regarding your experience.
Engaging, connecting and validating diverse voices in their creative calling.
Faith & Culture Writers are a faith-based creative community of writers, bloggers, lovers of literature, journalists, professors, activists, theologians, literary agents, editors, publishers, screenwriters, musicians, artists, word poets, and everyday people who love WORDS, the Word, story, and feel led to share the message God has given them through the literary arts. God has given us the arts as a way to communicate truth to others in a culture starving for beauty and relevance and story that matters. The connection exists to network, engage, inspire, challenge, and validate fellow writers of faith as we seek to celebrate the very gift of creativity bestowed on us by the Great Creator Himself.
Every year we host the Faith & Culture Writers Conference with dozens of speakers who engage in conversations around faith, the arts, risk, questioning, the muse, and our creative calling.
The Faith & Culture Writers Conference is a gathering place where we are able to ask questions, listen to differing views, and dialogue with diverse people and still be friends.
The conference is both inspirational and practical.Breakout sessions cover topics such as getting publishing, freelance writing, fiction, non-fiction, blogging, social media, finding an agent, working with editors, and many more. Our 2011 inaugural Faith & Culture Writers Conference at Western Seminary featured Gina Ochsner, Paul Louis Metzger, Richard Twiss, Heather Thomas, Jenni Burke, and Bill Jensen; at the 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference at Multnomah University, William Paul Young, Ken Wytsma, Brian Doyle, Dan Merchant, Don Jacobson, David Jacobsen, and Pam Lau were among featured speakers. The 2014 event took place March 7-8, 2014 in Newberg, Oregon. Featured speakers included: Sarah Bessey, Deidra Riggs, Tony ‘the Beat Poet’ Kriz, Sarah Thebarge, Paul Louis Metzger, Randy Woodley, Micah J. Murray, Emily Maynard, Paul Pastor, Mick Silva, Karen Spears Zacharias, Kurt Bubna, and Derek Chinn.
“The Faith & Culture Writers Conference is a gathering place where we are able to ask questions, listen to differing views, and dialogue with diverse people and still be friends. Both inspirational and practical, the Faith & Culture Writers Conference is a place of diverse community, camaraderie, and connection. You will be encouraged, enriched, and challenged to live the creative life that God has called you to. Join us and take your art to the next level while discovering your unique voice and place to house your story.”
Cornelia Becker Seigneur, Founding Conference Director
Jeremiah 20: 9
Connecting and validating people of faith who love WORDS, story, and The Word.
The Faith & Culture Writers Conference is a unique gathering for conversation around creativity, the arts, and making a difference in culture with words and story. Writers need fellowship! Both inspirational and practical, the annual event engages, encourages, networks, and challenges people in their calling to write the stories, blogs, articles, and books that God has led them to write. The vision is to bring in both established authors as well as to introduce new voices to the conversation around voice and story.
Speakers, authors, theologians, activists, bloggers, literary agents, filmmakers, journalists, editors, and everyday writers are among the speakers and workshop leaders each year. Past speakers include William Paul Young, author of The Shack, Ken Wytsma, The Justice Conference founder and author of Pursuing Justice, Paul Louis Metzger, theologian, professor and author of Connecting Christ, Richard Twiss, author of One Church, Many Tribes, Gina Ochsner, author of Necessary Grace to Fall, Brian Doyle, author of Grace Notes, Tony Kriz, author of Neighbors and Wisemen, and Dan Merchant, film-maker of Lord Save Us from Your Followers. Literary agents, including Don Jacobson, Bill Jensen, and Jenni Burke, have been on hand to take book pitches.
The first Faith & Culture Writers Conference debuted in 2011 at Western Seminary, with many people who attended noting the depth of the speakers, topics, and conversations.
“We serve a creative God who has given us the gift of art and story and WORDS,” said Cornelia Becker Seigneur, the visionary behind the conference. She had started a writing group at her church years ago, and found fellow believers were looking for a place to bond around their mutual love for, and calling toward, creativity, WORDS, and story.
Dreaming of a larger event, they wondered what it might be like to gather hundreds of creative people of faith together to engage, encourage, challenge, and inspire one another in this mutual creative calling on their lives. The Pacific Northwest is packed with creative people of faith who see that God can use words to impact culture. Becker Seigneur met with her friend Bev Hislop of Western Seminary who loved the vision and Western sponsored what became the first Faith & Culture Writers Conference in 2011. Corban and Multnomah collaborated on the event. The 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference was held at Multnomah University and the the 2014 event was set at Newberg Friends Church and George Fox University.
People who have attended the Faith & Culture Writers Conference have said they love the positive environment created, and that it was the best writing conference they had ever attended. Many said “it was intellectual, challenging, deep, literary and encouraging.” It became a community of fellow creatives who were challenged to move forward with their call to write. And, for many, it was the first writing conference they have ever attended.
“The Faith & Culture Writers Conference is a unique Christian writing conference experience. Some who attend say they are not writers at all, but they write out of necessity and calling and conviction, as it is through the written word that they are able to communicate their message in a changing world starving for truth and beauty. I love that about our conference, as we are honored to introduce fresh new voices to the conversation around word and story and faith and culture and the arts, people who write because they have to write.”
Cornelia Becker Seigneur
Our 2014 FCWC was held Friday March 7 at Newberg Friends Church (307 S College St., Newberg, OR) and on Saturday, March 8 at George Fox University (414 N. Meridian St., Newberg, OR). Registration for 2014 was SOLD OUT.
2014 FCWC Planning Team
Cornelia Becker Seigneur
Founder & Conference Director
Cornelia’s passion is to pour her heart and soul into life, people, and to loving her five amazing children who are between the ages of 10 and 23, including identical twin boys. Cornelia’s been a lifelong writer who has two 55 gallon Rubbermaid containers storing her hand-written journals from the age of 10 onward. This lifelong passion grew naturally into writing as a career. She’s been a freelance journalist for The Oregonian since 1996, and she’s also been published in Christianity Today, the Huffington Post, and Cultural Encounters. In addition, she’s written two books, and has several other books she needs to pen. Cornelia has also taught courses at Multnomah University, Portland State and George Fox; she served as the faculty adviser for Multnomah’s new student publication, MUSE. Cornelia has also worked as a freelance editor, substitute teacher, and youth director. In her spare time, the mom of five mentors aspiring writers, teaches fifth grade Sunday School, hobbles through marathons, and goes on adventures with her kids. She loves networking and connecting writers, and is honored to serve as director of the FCWC.
It is her soul’s desire, to live life with abandon, creativity and purpose through words and worship. Velynn is a God-following, restored Church Girl who wakes up every morning in desperate need of a touch by the One who keeps her filled and thirsting for more. Quenched her weekly blog is where she along with her 750 followers “jump-in” to the story God is writing. In 2013, her soon to be published memoir, Gospel Song In the Rain, won her the Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade Award, in the unpublished memoir category. Velynn dips deep into the well of love, family and community. Over the span of 20 years she has served as advocate, mentor, teacher and spokesperson for local and national ministries and non-profits. Velynn is the proud mother of three children, and is still madly in love with husband of 15 years.
Over the past 12 years Ana’s focus has been in the area of marketing and advertising. This led her to open her own creative agency focusing in the area of Digital Strategy and marketing. Her work includes building successful marketing campaigns and fundraising efforts for non-profits, artists and businesses alike. In addition to her work she is passionate about: helping the under privileged, hungry, homeless and hurting; advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves; music and writing.
A love of stories – that’s what started Taylor Smith on her path to study journalism at Indiana University. At the beginning of 2013, she began her writing career as a features reporter at The Oregonian, the newspaper she grew up reading on Sunday mornings with her dad. On a daily basis, Taylor gets to see firsthand the beautiful and unique story our Father has given to each one of His children. To share these stories with the community at large is a blessing. Whether the medium is the written or spoken word, her role a listener or advocate, she is excited for what He has in store for her, shining His message through each conversation, interview and article.
In addition to writing for The Oregonian, Taylor writes on her blog, taylorstaste.org, where she shares her thoughts of faith and the family table, and the stories of strong young women as role models for her generation.
Brooke Nicole Perry
My name is Brooke and I love to write. God gave me a vision a while ago where He personalized a gift for me by making it pink. This is when I started to realize that not only does He have huge plans for me, but that He really sees me. He personalized something to fit me specifically, and this is when I realized that He cares for me on a whole different level than I had ever given Him credit for. Since then I’ve had a new inspiration to serve Him and seek Him out in everyday things.
So far I’ve just considered writing to be an outlet and a hobby but recently have felt the desire and calling to pursue it in a new way. I have the most amazing friends and family who have supported me up until this point and I find it an honor that they would find inspiration in anything I write about. I simply hope to be able to inspire others if that is where God is leading this!
Melanie Springer Mock
George Fox University Liaison to Faith & Culture Writers
Melanie is a Professor of English at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Nation, Christian Feminism Today, Adoptive Families, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Mennonite World Review, among other places. Her most recent book is Just Moms: Conveying Justice in an Unjust World, published in 2011. She blogs about (and deconstructs) images of women embedded in evangelical popular culture at Ain’t I a Woman? and writes along with her feature writing class at Writing From the Middle of Things. She lives in Dundee, Ore., with her husband and two eleven-year-old sons.
Co-Executive Admin/Prayer Coordinator / Scribe
Lynn Hare’s passion is releasing Holy Spirit joy and grace in prayer. She has the privilege of serving Christ through prayer teams with Radiant Church in Gresham, the Northwest Christian Chamber of Commerce, Co-Labor Marketplace Ministries, and Graham Cooke’s The Warrior Class. Author, speaker, certified teacher and tutor, Lynn blogs and writes about how the Holy Spirit empowers us to encourage, forgive, and overcome. Her blog includes The 49th Parallel, featuring photos and spiritual parallels sent in by readers.
Lynn has been published in numerous Christian periodicals and she lives with her husband, Tim, of thirty-three years in Portland, Oregon. They have three adult children and one grandson.
She attended both the 2011 and 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conferences, and we are grateful she volunteered to help this year.
Writing Competition Coordinator
Matt comes to us after attending the 2013 conference and having what he refers to as a “life changing experience” during a meeting with an agent. Urged to write his memoir – he felt his writing career had begun. His passion for writing is born out of the tragedy of losing his father as he began to write to process his own feelings, his own story.
A barista at Starbucks providing the caffeine needs for many a writer, Matt also volunteers with hospice and is a group facilitator for The Dougy Center.
Matt believes writing is not something that happens over night. Great authors aren’t created over night. In fact, it is one of the few professions that our life experience in old age, makes us better authors. He look s forward to growing in his writing, surrounding himself by a supportive community, as God continues to hold his hand through life.
“He (the writer) cares; therefore, if he tinkers enough with his words, we do too.” -Edward Hoagland
Faith & Culture Writers is a faith-based diverse creative community of writers, bloggers, lovers of literature, journalists, professors, activists, theologians, literary agents, editors, publishers, screenwriters, musicians, artists, word poets, and everyday people who love WORDS, the Word, story, and feel led to share the message God has given them through the literary arts. God allows us to create as a way to communicate truth to others in a culture starving for beauty and relevance and story that matters. The connection exists to network, engage, inspire, challenge, and validate fellow writers of faith as we seek to celebrate the very gift of creativity bestowed on us by the Great Creator Himself.
We hold monthly-ish Writers Connection Meetings to continue to encourage each other and grow in our writing. We have a special guest for each month and we post date and time on our Facebook page so join us there to stay connected! And, email Writers Connection leader Cornelia@corneliaseigneur.com to join the email reminder list.
Thank you to the almost 300 people who attended the 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference held March 7-8, 2014 in Newberg, Oregon. We were grateful to George Fox University for being our hosting sponsor and to Newberg Friends Church and George Fox University for allowing us to use their facilities. This page highlights the 2014 FCWC speakers, literary agents, acquisition editors, musicians and other special guests. **To order recordings of sessions, download form: Sound X Recordings. Email Recording Questions to Brad Ediger: firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 SPEAKERS, AGENTS, ACQUISITION EDITORS, PANELISTS, MUSICIANS & MENTORS
CLICK on a PHOTO to READ Bios & Breakout Session Info
Thank you to those who joined us for the 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference! We will be holding the 2015 Faith & Culture Writers Conference in March 2015 and additional details will be provided as soon as we have them!
Interested in helping or speaking at next year’s conference?
As our conference grows, so does the need for those who would like to help and for those who are interested in speaking/presenting. We are also looking for long-term partners/sponsors for our conference.
If you would like to connect with us on how to be involved/serve at future events, please email the conference founder/director at email@example.com
For those who are interested in speaking, and to streamline the process and ensure a wide diversity of speakers and topics, we will be accepting applications and these will be reviewed and considered for 2015. Thank you so much for your interest in the Faith & Culture Writers!
Blog Posts reflecting on the 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference
“Attending the Faith & Culture Writers Conference turned out to prove as one of the most authentic and life-giving conferences.”
Kamille, 2014 FCWC attendee
Karrilee Aggett @KarrileeA Counting Gifts, Giving up Self Doubt, and how that’s goin’
Jody Lee Collins @ How I became a twitter convert and kept my salvation
Matthew O’Connell Preparing for Conference-Being Qualified through Faith
Want to have your conference testimonial or blog post featured here? Tweet it to us or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am still processing the weekend and have just started to listen to the content on the mp3′s and again just feel so encouraged and invigorated. I am in awe of the creativity of the God who takes our tiny shards of glass offerings and turns them into stained glass windows. You have created a God-breathed conference.”
Helen Washington, 2013 FCWC attendee
Blog Posts reflecting on the 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference
It’s ok. We are art. | Writing Contest Winner
by Kelly McGuffie www.rainbootsandbeef.com “God has filled us with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all the craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…for work in every skilled craft.” Exodus 35:31-33 ~~~~~ My mom made it her personal mission to culturally educate her children during summer breaks from school. […]Read More
Building Temples | Writing Contest Finalist
by Tresta Payne www.sharppaynes.com This life is for building temples. There’s a voice that blows like the wind at the back of your mind though, and it tells you that words are wasted, imaginary things and that temples are built with greater offerings – the ones that go on lists and require only […]Read More
Wandering in Wonder | Writing Contest Finalist
by Hanna Maxwell “God has filled us with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all the craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…for work in every skilled craft.” Exodus 35:31-33 There is a dentist’s office near my house that I pass every now and then. I’ve been in there twice, and […]Read More
by Brooke Perry One of the sights I dislike the most is that of a blank page of paper. For some writers I’ve heard that this is an exciting sight, an invigorating and inspiring view of possibility; stories to be told and words to be written. For me it makes my throat close up and […]Read More
Encounters With Polar Bears, Macaws, and Other Writing Adventures
By Lynn Hare I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. Ezekiel 36:24, ESV I threw off the cold rainfall of Portland, Oregon last fall on a plane that touched down on a tarmac lined with palm trees in ninety-two degree Anaheim […]Read More
What Leadership Means to Me
By Matthew O’Connell I once thought events like Faith and Culture stem from one person. That one person alone makes all the plans and other people help execute it. My first meeting with the Faith & Culture Writers Conference leadership team quickly changed the view that I was inculcated with. I attended the Faith & […]Read More
The Invitation: My Faith and Culture Story
by Velynn Brown I know faith. I accepted Jesus into my little heart at the tender age of eight. Grew up on turquoise pews, and church potlucks. I even bore the title “PK” (pastor’s kid). I know culture. I’m African-American through and through. This is the wrapping God chose for housing my spirit. But sometimes, […]Read More
In the Beginning was the Word
By Phil Long As a poet, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to say common things creatively. I also think about saying creative things commonly. I love the struggle to capture the universal in a tiny particular or manufacturer fresh insight through surprising combinations of language that trigger fresh synaptic connections. I […]Read More
Widening our View is the Essence of Faith & Culture Writers Conference
Cornelia Becker Seigneur “Most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth.”-Rilke About a month before the start of the 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference at Multnomah University, I received an email from a pastor at […]Read More
We Cannot Do This Alone
By Cornelia Becker Seigneur When the leadership team for the 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference had our celebration dinner last June, we reminisced over wine and salmon and salad, discussing the big event. I am so grateful for the service these wonderful ladies gave: Bethany, our executive administrative assistant, Kari Patterson, our communications director, […]Read More