If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.
Jeremiah 20: 9
The Faith & Culture Writers Connection is a faith-based creative community of writers, bloggers, journalists, professors, activists, theologians, literary agents, editors, and everyday people who love WORDS and the Word and feel led to share the message God has given them through the literary arts. Many of the people who resonate with the Faith & Culture Writers Connection write because they have to write.
The connection exists to network, engage, inspire and validate fellow writers of faith as we seek to celebrate the very gift of creativity bestowed on us by the Great Creator Himself. 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.
Every year we gather together for the Faith & Culture Writers Conference with about 20 speakers who engage in topics around faith and the arts and our creative calling. Our inaugural Faith & Culture Writers Conference was in 2011 at Western Seminary and the 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference was at Multnomah University. For 2014 we are thrilled to bring the conference to George Fox University in Newberg.
Cornelia Becker Seigneur, who founded the Faith & Culture Writers Connection and Conference, shares her favorite writing quote, which is also her Twitter tagline “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” (Martin Luther)
Connecting and validating people of faith who love WORD and WORDS.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
~ Isaiah 43:19
Cornelia Becker Seigneur, freelance journalist and Multnomah University adjunct professor and MUSE student publication advisor, is the visionary behind the Faith & Culture Writers Connection and Conference, which debuted in 2011 at Western Seminary with about 200 people in attendance. Cornelia loves connecting and networking fellow people of faith to encourage them to embrace their creative calling.
“We serve a creative God who has given us the gift of art and story and WORDS,” said Becker Seigneur. 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 creativity and the Word.”
Dreaming of a larger event, they thought, what would it be like to gather hundreds of creative people of faith together for a day 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. Bev Hislop of Western Seminary loved the vision and Western sponsored the conference on their campus in 2011, for a day of inspiration, camaraderie, and community. Multnomah and Corban Universities collaborated on the event.
Keynote speaker Paul Louis Metzger challenged attendees to write out of a calling and a burning in their soul (our theme verse from Jeremiah 20:9) and Gina Ochsner spoke about Word and the creative call mandated by Scripture from the beginning. Breakout sessions were presented by Dan Merchant, Richard Twiss, Melanie Dobson, Matt Mikalatos, Cornelia Becker Seigneur, Jenni Burke, Bill Jensen, David Sanford, Heather Thomas, Kay Marshall Strom, Brad Harper, Dennis Marcellino, Angela Foret Diehl, and Mike Thaler. Local Portland worship leader Wilson Smith led worship and illustrator/art professor Martin French designed our WORDS logo for 2011 and 2013.
The overwhelming response to the first Faith & Culture Writers Conference was so enthusiastic. People said they loved the positive environment we created for a day 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.
Yes, our culture is changing and yes it’s hard to get published and yes bookstores are closing and yes newspapers are shrinking, but we are here to say that if you feel called to write, then find the courage to write. Let’s think outside the box and embrace the change in culture and medium. And, ask God to pave the way with the rest.
Cornelia Becker Seigneur
Our second event was held April of 2013, this time at Multnomah University, with another fantastic lineup of speakers, authors, theologians, activists, bloggers, literary agents, filmmakers, journalists, editors, and everyday writers.
The Faith & Culture Writers Conference is different than any other Christian writing conference experience. Some will 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
We are back again for 2014 at George Fox University March 7th & 8th.
Founder & Conference Director
Cornelia Becker Seigneur is the founding director for the Faith & Culture Writers Conference and Connection. She has a passion to connect people of faith in their desire to make a difference in culture via the arts. As a freelance journalist for The Oregonian, Christianity Today and the Huffington Post, Cornelia has penned hundreds of stories, profiles, columns, features and community briefs on faith, culture, family and neighborhood interests. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University, George Fox and PSU, and has served as the faculty adviser for a college publication. In addition, Cornelia has worked as an editor, substitute teacher, and youth director. In her spare time, the mom of five mentors aspiring writers, disciples high school youth, hobbles through marathons, and goes on adventures with her kids.
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.
Melanie Springer Mock
George Fox University Advisor 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.
CLICK on a SPEAKER Photo to READ their BIO
BREAKOUT SESSION INFORMATION COMING SOON!
2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference
Hosted by George Fox University
Friday-Saturday, March 7th & 8th, 2013
You’ll have a chance to here presenters in fiction and non-fiction authors, lit agents, bloggers, theologians, activists, movement starters, professors, journalists, writers, editors, social media experts, worship leaders, and a spoken word poet – all coming together to encourage, equip, inspire, connect and validate people of faith in their creative calling.
*Location: George Fox University, Newberg, OR
Conference Schedule Coming Soon
Quotes from attendees of our 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference
“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.”
Blog Posts with references to 2013 Faith & Culture Writers Conference
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
Radio Show About Faith & Culture Writers Conference 4/1
Faith touching culture through multiple genre is what we’ll be talking about on 4/1. Writers and everyday people who love words and the Word, and feel led to share their message with others, will hear Cornelia Becker Seigneur, founding director of the Faith and Culture Writers Conference, and Adjunct Professor at Multnomah University, share what’s happening at the upcoming Faith and Culture Writers Conference in Portland, [...]Read More
What is your story?
By Christal M.N. Jenkins Life is so interesting. It is full of twists, turns, challenges, mountain tops, etc. Everyone’s life tells a story. Even though the situations may have unique elements, the circumstances by which a person may find themselves in may not be a unique as one would think. It is easy to [...]Read More
Why do you write?
By Keith Turley “Talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of human life.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe It was two years ago that nothing less than a miracle occurred that allowed me to be a participant at the first Faith & Culture Writers Connection in 2011. While it may be cliche [...]Read More
From Behind the Pages to In Front of a Crowd
By Leanne Sype As an editor, I spend the majority of my time buried in the pages of unpublished books, blogs, and other beautifully blunder-filled prose. I am energized by what I do, and I enjoy (prefer) being behind the scenes helping my writers polish their message so it shines for the world. I [...]Read More
“See, I am doing a new thing!”
By Ashley Larkin Doubt and insecurity can cling heavily to those who experience the stirring to create. Even for those who confidently call themselves writers, the process of bringing forth words can at times breed feelings of discouragement and loneliness. Writers of faith, like other writers, may ask, “Who cares about what I have [...]Read More
From Timid Writer to Marketing Speaker
By Nicole Miller Had you tried to convince me two years ago that I’d be approached to speak at the Faith and Culture Writer’s Conference, you would have failed. Trust me. In 2011, I was a quiet, timid writer with a few year’s experience under my belt of attending writer’s conferences. I’d even rubbed [...]Read More
How the Scary Guy Changed My Life
By Kari Patterson “You should go to this.” My husband pulled a flyer out of his bag and slid it across the counter to me. “Writer’s Conference? No way.” He tilted his head, gave me a stop-being-ridiculous look, and waited. “#1, I’m not a writer. I’m a wannabe. I’m a blogger with a pathetically [...]Read More