Canada’s largest Christian writer’s conference motivates national writers to ‘live and breathe the written word.’

GUELPH – The Word Guild successfully completed its 29th annual three-day writer’s conference – Write! Canada – on June 15, 2013. Located at Guelph Bible Conference Center, beginners and professionals alike came together to explore the theme, “Live and Breathe the Written Word.”

The momentum began with Jane Friedman, web editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, sharing trends on the future of traditional publishing and the potential fate of print. “Is print going to die?” was the leading question, which pulled in publishers’ and writers’ attention as Jane shared her predictions.

Once the conference kicked off, writers, publishers, agents, editors, and readers from across Canada and the United States, busied themselves with continuing classes, workshops, networking, one-on-one meetings with faculty, critiques, and book shopping. Conference attendees also had an opportunity to “speed date with an editor.” Editors from The Christian Herald, testimony, Faith Today, and Reimer Reason Communications pitched their best to eager writers hoping for a match made in heaven. “I didn’t expect such a huge turnout, this is great,” said Write! Canada’s director, Jayne E. Self.

The intensity of the conference grew as relationships developed, stories unfolded, and the buzz of inspiration swelled. “Inspiration is synonymous with breathing,” exclaimed award-winning singer/songwriter and keynote speaker Ali Matthews. “To be welcomed into a community of faith writers is such a gift and such a great honour,” said keynote speaker Carolyn Weber, as she signed multiple copies of her book Surprised by Oxford. “The first time I ever came,” reflected Jayne Self, “I felt I wasn’t alone. I found it inspiring to be in a place where I found people who were just like me.”

Author and first-time attendee Darlene Butts remarked on the value of Write! Canada, saying, “People often wonder if it is worth the cost to attend a conference like this, when they can spend that money on important things like editing and marketing. I can truly say that, within the first twenty-four hours of the conference, it had exceeded its value.”

Producer, writer, director, and actor Dennis Hassell entertained and enlightened Write! Canada’s crowd with the final keynote. “A writer, like every other disciple of Christ, is not called to successfulness, but faithfulness, being faith-FULL in your writing.” Acting upon Hassell’s instructions, the individuals in the crowd turned to one another and said, “I am a writer,” which was followed by the unified declaration to God, “Here am I, send me!”

Denise Rumble, managing director of The Word Guild, said “until next year!” to the newly commissioned writers, closing the week with the heartfelt words, “I am inspired. I have felt the breath of God. I will write. What about you?”

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