Bluefield University will host HopeWords Writer’s Conference on March 8, 2019, from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. and March 9, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Harman Chapel. The HopeWords Writer’s Conference will be the first major conference in our area for Christian writers and is open to everyone who has ever felt the desire to write, from novice to expert. Join Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, a professor of English at Liberty University, and other experts as we endeavor to inspire and equip Christian writers who will tell stories of hope.
The HopeWords Writer’s Conference will kick off with a keynote address from Dr. Karen Swallow Prior entitled “Why the World Needs More Stories (and How to Begin Writing Yours)” on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Prior is a professor of English at Liberty University and has won multiple teaching awards. She writes on literature, culture, ethics, and ideas and has been featured in Christianity Today, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vox, Think Christian, and more. The address will teach how to effectively tell a story, using care, attention, and skill.
Lectures and workshops start Saturday, March 9 at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Jacinda Townsend will lead “Conflict Through Character,” looking at ways to build characters and plotlines within them. Townsend received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where she first started creative writing. She took more writing classes through Duke University while getting her juris doctorate degree. Prior earned multiple prizes and awards for her book “Saint Monkey.”
Greg Lucas, a police officer in Barboursville, W. Va., writer, and speaker, leads “Biography Born Out of Desperation” sharing tips of how to find hope through writing truthfully about struggles. Lucas is the author of “Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lessons of Grace” and has been the featured speaker for the Desiring God National Conference.
Dave Pedde, the Bluefield University Director of the Center for the Worship Arts, will be leading “Writing As Worship,” giving tips on how to write worship regardless of musical ability. Prior to coming to Bluefield University, he was the founding President of Sanctus School for Worshippers in Toronto and the Composer in Residence at North Central University in Minneapolis. He has produced 32 albums to date, with over 100 of them written by him.
D. Smith is the author of The Green Ember series, a middle-grade adventure saga and the number one best-selling audiobook on Audible. He is a speaker, creator, storyteller, husband, and father. His session, entitled “Make. Believe. (A Guide for Generous Writers),” will give insight into creation and connection in the vocation of writing.
Shane Simmons will lead “Growing an Engaged Audience.” As an author and social media manager, Simmons will share ways to effectively use social media to promote writing while building an engaged audience. He will offer advice on how to “Find Your Tribe” through social media and give tips on how to build a more interactive audience.
Space is limited for this conference. To register or for more information, contact Travis Lowe at 276-451-5878 or go to https://crossroadsbluefield.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/181817 online. The conference will be $50, with desserts on Friday and lunch on Saturday included. Those needing accommodations can call the Comfort Inn in Bluefield, Va. at (276) 326-3688 and mention HopeWords Writers’ Conference for a special rate.