“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.
It 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.
“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 will be 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 is closed – Event SOLD OUT.
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 24, 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
“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
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 those who joined us for the 2014 FCWC. 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 speaking at next year’s conference?
As our conference grows, so does the interest in speaking/presenting. To streamline the process and ensure a wide diversity of speakers and topics, we will be accepting applications to speak and these will be reviewed and considered for 2015.
The 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference was 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.
2014 SPEAKERS, AGENTS, ACQUISITION EDITORS, PANELISTS, MUSICIANS & MENTORS
CLICK on a PHOTO to READ Bios & Breakout Session Info
2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference was held March 7-8, 2014
THANK YOU to everyone involved in this year’s wonderful event! /Stay connected for information about our next event!
Hear from 30+ Diverse Speakers ~ Meet Agents, Editors & Mentors ~ Savor Conversation & Connection
“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
Sign up for our newsletter for the first news on the 2015 Faith & Culture Writers Conference!
You’ll have a chance to engage in conversations with 30 diverse voices –from fiction and non-fiction authors, lit agents, bloggers, theologians, activists, professors, journalists, editors, social media experts, worship leaders, “culture engagers,” and a spoken word poet — all coming together to equip, inspire, connect and validate people of faith in their creative calling. And, be sure to book your appointment with a literary agent!
Friday, March 7th Location: Newberg Friends Church, 307 S. College St., Newberg, OR 97132
Saturday, March 8th Location: George Fox University, 414 N. Meridian Street, Newberg, OR 97132
Friday, March 7th
** Due to record registrations, Friday evening’s check-in registration & Opening Session was moved from its original George Fox Location to Newberg Friends Church located at 307 S. College Street in Newberg – just 7 blocks from the George Fox University Campus.
5:45pm | Registration/Check-In OPEN – NEWBERG FRIENDS CHURCH – 303 S. College St., Newberg, OR
7:00pm – 9:30pm | Opening Session
Opening Session | Welcome | Cornelia Becker Seigneur
Saturday, March 8th
7:45am – 8:30am | Registration & Coffee FCWC Bookstore Open All Day – Klages Hall-Student Union Bldg.
8:30am – 9:50am | Large Group Session
9:50am – 10:05am – BREAK FCWC Bookstore Open All Day – Klages Hall-Student Union Bldg.
10:05am – 10:55am - Breakout Session #1 (Agent/ Editor / Mentor appointments scheduled)
Blogging/Voice | Emily Maynard | How to Speak Up: Sometimes we know what we need to say, but it’s hard to get our stories out.
Non-Fiction/Freelance | Cornelia Seigneur | Freelance Writing: Diversify by telling stories in a variety of ways, platforms and publications.
Fiction | Mesu Andrews | Writing Relevant Biblical Novels: Standing Firm While Digging Deep
Editing | Leanne Sype | You Only Get One Shot: Editing Your Manuscript for a Good First Impression
Publishing | David Sanford | “No Fear” Book Publishing Strategies That Work
Culture/Spoken Word | Phil Long | Spoken Word Poetry | The Gateway Drug to a Creative Writing Addiction
10:55am – 11:15am – BREAK FCWC Bookstore Open
11:15am – 12:05pm – Breakout Session #2 (Agent/ Editor / Mentor appointments scheduled)
Blogging | Micah J. Murray | Confessions of a Clumsy Blogger: What I’ve Learned Stumbling Around the Blogosphere
Fiction/Screen | Mary Andonian | Screenwriting to Improve Your Novel
Blogging/Income | Carissa Bonham | How to Get Paid for Blogging without Losing Your Soul
Social Media | Nicole Miller | Facebook, Websites and Google, oh my! Online Media 101
Culture/Diversity | Derek Chinn | 1+1 = 1: Bring a Different Perspective to the Public Square
12:05pm – 1:25pm – LUNCH-Klages Dining Hall Writing Contest Announced/- FCWC Bookstore Open All Day – Klages Hall
1:25pm – 2:15pm – Breakout Session #3 – (Agent/ Editor / Mentor appointments scheduled)
Blogging/Niche | Beth Woolsey | Blog On: Carve Out Your Niche in a Crowded Online World
Fiction/Non-Fiction | Karen Spears Zacharias | In Lieu of Flowers, Send Fried Chicken Writing Workshop- Exploring Character and Story Structure
Editing/Story | Mick Silva | This Beautiful Mess: Self-Editing for Successful Storytelling
Publishing/Audience | Christal Jenkins| You Can Do It! How to Self-Publish & Build Your Audience
General/Culture | Aaron Smith | Self-doubt is my map: Listening to the inner critic, and writing it anyway.
2:15pm – 2:30pm – BREAK FCWC Bookstore Open
2:30pm – 3:20pm – Breakout Session #4 (Agent/ Editor / Mentor appointments scheduled)
Non-Fiction | Elizabeth Chapin | Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Telling the Truth
Inspiration/Lessons | Kurt Bubna | Seven Things Every Writer Must Know to Survive & Thrive: Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned as a Rookie
Social Media | Ana Brors | Twitter Intensive: The Nuances of Tweeting & Maximizing Twitter to Grow & Engage Your Audience
Visual/Screen | Micah J. Murray | Visual Storytelling: How to Use Video to Capture and Communicate Stories
3:20pm – 3:30pm – BREAK FCWC Bookstore Open All Day – Klages Hall-Student Union Bldg.
3:30pm – 5:00pm – Large Group Session – Drawing (Turn in Survey/Nametag to win!)-Student Union Building
Worship | Jelani Greenidge
5:00pm – 6:00pm Meet & Greet with Speakers / Book signing with FCWC Bookstore Open
George Fox is Oregon’s nationally recognized Christian university, providing students with personal attention, global opportunities to learn and serve, and a supportive community that encourages academic rigor and spiritual growth. We offer bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, adult degree programs, five seminary degrees, and 12 master’s and doctoral degrees.
More than 3,700 students attend classes on the university’s residential campus in Newberg, at its Portland and Salem centers, and at other teaching sites in Oregon.
GSM is a faith-based, non-profit organization empowering people to live and love as Good Samaritans. Based here in Oregon this far reaching organization has satellites in over 28 countries. Locally, they provide counseling, training and Bible teaching all on donation basis only. Truly serving as Samaritans to our community.
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
Encouragement for Writers
By Pam Lau Many years ago, Madeleine L’Enlge wrote, “We’re never sure that what we write is true and honest. We try to make it true and honest. How much I succeed is really beyond my control. It happens if I am given the Spirit to write the work.” Her words are truer today […]Read More
Thank you for joining us at the 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference March 7-8, 2014
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