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Allan and I have been working hard on the Codebearers website and marketing material. Very soon we will have some exciting things to show you - but first we have a work in progress to review with you. We need your feedback on this poster design we've been working on. Tell us what you think and we'll take it into consideration as we finish up the design. Make sure you post your response in our poll as well!



Just a bit of fun...

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A Renewal of Passion

A couple of years ago I attended my first ever Northwest Christian Writer's Association (NCWA) Writers Renewal. Back then, the conference was held at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) and the keynote speaker, Stephen Bly, reminded us to "seek first the kingdom of God". His teachings were never dull, always biblically sound and very encouraging. I am sure it was the combination of his teaching and God's hand that weekend that ultimately influenced a lunch conversation between Allan and I that inspired our first book (The Legend of Gid the Kid and the Black Bean Bandits)

The rest, as they say, is history!

This past weekend I returned to the Writer's Renewal conference (now held at Northshore Baptist in Bothell, WA) and was not disappointed. I must say - any budding or seasoned writers in the Northwest (or for that matter the country) should make this event a top priority on their schedules EVERY YEAR!

Friday kicked off the event with scheduled editor/agent meetings from several top organizations (Focus on the Family, Cook Communications, Broadman & Holman, and many, many, more). This was everyone's opporutnity to schedule face time directly with the agents/authors and pitch your ideas for books first hand. Many publishers do not consider unsolicited manuscripts - but they WILL consider your work following the show with the contact info they provide in these meetings. Very valuable.

Saturday was a day of workshops. The speakers in attendance this year were fantstic and credible teachers who were full of advice and techniques designed to hone your skills. My only complaint is that there were so many great sessions happening at once I needed to clone myself to attend all of them. In the end I settled for swapping and copying notes with others who had attended the sessions I missed. It worked out great this year, but hopefully next year they will have recordings available.

My favorite sessions were the two "Speculative Fiction" classes taught by Kathy Tyers (author of The Firebird Trilogy and several Star Wars books for Lucasfilm). This lady knows her fantasy fiction inside and out and provided enough information for me to scribble over 7 pages of notes in one of her workshops alone. Another Hot session was given by Jeffrey Overstreet entitled "God's Magic - the uses and abuses of Supernatural Storytelling". He tackled the concept that Fairy Tales are though of as dangerous by many Christians and unfolded for us a compelling argument that there is more to fairy tales (and storytelling) than meets the eye.

Cec Murphey commanded respect as the keynote speaker for this years conference. He is the author of 90 Minutes in Heaven (among many others) and a very charismatic personality. Cec encouraged us in one of the sessions to "show don't tell" and ran us through a rigorous gauntlet of excersises to help rid our minds of passive words.

In the end, I came away full. The weekend will be forever etched in my mind as wonderfully as the first time I went. There's just something about surrounding yourself with exquisite writers and industry professionals that awakens the story inside of you. The spark of creativity is re-ignited and the ideas start to fly. Thank God for events like this one.