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Art By Bella Raine >

Hi, friends!

Hello!! Welcome to my blog! My name is Bella Raine, and I am a Christ following, creative, outgoing teenager. This blog is about all things art, books, and writing!

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Bella Raine

I Went To A Writer’s Conference | My Takeaways

Hello friends!!

Just over a week ago I attended my first writing conference— the C.S. Lewis Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs, CO.

This is the castle where it was hosted! 😱

You guys… it was amazing! 🤩 I’ve heard so many awesome things about writer’s conferences but none of that quite did justice to what it feels like to be surrounded by other writers. Everywhere I went, everyone was so kind, so welcoming, and so friendly! God showed up for me and spoke to me in ways I never would’ve imagined. I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately so I went into this expecting for God to rejuvenate me, and He most certainly did! The people I got to meet, the conversations I got to have, the things I learned, the whole conference was simply remarkable. I wanted to share some of my biggest takeaways from the weekend with you!

View from the castle!

The overall biggest takeaways that I’ll always remember when I think back on this conference are these…

  • My most favorite part of the whole conference were the connections and relationships I made. I had the privilege of having meals with people like Kathy Tyers, Steve Laube, Nadine Brandes, and more. Getting to sit across a table from these people who have oodles of wisdom to share is just a treasure. I was honored that I got to spend time listening to everything they had to say. Not to mention I found a beautiful community of young writer friends, new and old, that took the conference to a whole new level. Like I said above, there is something special about being in a room (or castle 😉) full of writers. 

 

  • I really threw myself out there which is definitely my personality (I’m one of those rare, extroverted writers 😉) but was amazing, nonetheless. I made myself to go big, take risks, and be bold and it paid off! I talked to the keynote speakers, I asked questions in the sessions, I handed out business cards, and I loved it. And what’s even cooler is how God used my small acts of boldness to benefit me in even bigger ways.

  • One of the things God taught me the most was how He is in control. I planned a whole lot for this conference. (and when I mean a lot, I mean I spent hours and hours researching and had a 34 page binder full of organization… so yes, a lot) But guess what? When I got to the conference, God took my folder from me and with as much grace and love threw it out a window. 😜 My planning was important, yes! I was prepared for things others weren’t prepared for and so I’m glad I researched so much. But I was also reminded by the Lord that I shouldn’t use planning as a means to control the outcome. God was (and is) in control and His plan was way better then anything in my binder.

Now onto more writing specific takeaways!

  • My favorite session for craft was Steve Laube’s 10 K’s Of A Good Book (which you can actually purchase online here). This session was amazing! (boy, am I saying amazing a lot or what? 👀) I’m a huge fan of craft-based learning and this session was just chock-full of valuable information.

View of the castle from one of the trails.
  • My favorite session for heart was Jonathon Rodger’s The Writer And The Infrastructure Of Hospitality. Ooh man this session was good! It wasn’t originally on my list of ones I was particularly excited about (apologies to Mr. Rodgers should you be reading this 😉) but it ended up being one of my favorite sessions that spoke to the heart + why + theology behind writing. The Lord really spoke to me here. 🥰

Inside the castle courtyard- doesn’t it look like Europe?!

Two of the biggest writing related points that I heard over and over were these…

  • Publishing is not the end goal.
    Being a writer is not just about a rat race until you get a book contract and then boom that’s it you’re done. It’s so much more than that. I’d heard this before, but I think I needed a better reminder. ❤️
  • Be great, not just good.
    There are a whole lot of good writers out there but to catch the eye of an agent, publisher, even reader, you have to be a great writer, have a great book, a great hook, a great platform, a great concept. Be great!

This conference definitely filled a void in the writing conference market. We need more conferences that are addressing the heart and theology behind this career called writing. The C.S. Lewis Writer’s Conference did just that. I was so immensely blessed by every minute I spent that weekend. If Lancia E. Smith or Steven Elmore ever read this, please know that I am so grateful for all of the work you put into this event. I would go again in a heartbeat— this was a weekend I’ll never forget.

Phew you made it! 😜 I know that was a lot but hey it’s hard to condense an entire weekend of awesomeness into one blog post! But above all, more than anything else, when I think of my conference there is one verse that comes to mind…

“Now unto him who is able to do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine according to His power at work with in.”

– Ephesians 3:20

What did you think of this post? Have you been to a writing conference? If so, what were biggest takeaways?

Until next time,

Bella 👋

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12 Responses

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for this Bella! It makes me so excited to go to a writers conference myself!!

  2. Yayyyyy Bella!! I’ve always wanted to go to a writer’s conference so I’m SO glad you had the opportunity to go to one!! It sounds like it was a great adventure and a huge blessing! Praise God that he helped fill your creativity well and that He showed up in so many amazing ways. 🥰 This was a great post and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your takeaways!

  3. Wow that is so cool! Did you stay inside the castle, or was that just the place that you all met up? Just curious 🙂 That must have been an amazing experience!
    -Roxy

    1. There were people who stayed in the castle, people who stayed on lodges on the grounds, and people who stayed in the city! We stayed in a lodge on the grounds! ☺️ Yes it was amazing! Thanks for your comment Roxy! <3

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