Monday, October 6, 2008

Ministering through Christian Writing

This past weekend, I had the fortune (once again) of being a featured author at the 5th Annual Pen to Paper Symposium in Dayton, OH. This literary function is the brainchild of author and publisher, Valerie Coleman (of Pen Of the WritER) and I've been blessed to be a part of it each year since it's inception, with the exception of last year when a schedule conflict prevented my participation. Valerie is never going to let me live down that one absentee, so I'll be apologizing from now until when Christ makes His return. (So, once again....sorry, Val!)

As in previous years, Pen to Paper was a delightful experience. Valerie (along with her husband, Craig, and their team of assistants) always manages to pull together an organized conference that is well attended and with workshops that are capably anchored. The facilitators this year (among others) included myself (I not only facilitated a writing workshop, but was honored to be keynote speaker for an empowerment session as well), Pam Perry (who I was so very delighted to finally meet after years of only knowing her through web interaction), Avalon Betts-Gaston (an amazing legal mind, to say the least), and Christopher McNeal (lead vocalist of the gospel group, CHRISTOPHER) who facilitated a very insightful music artist workshop.

Okay....let's take a moment and just talk about CHRISTOPHER (whose members names are Christopher McNeal, Christopher Reid, and Christopher Surratt.....seriously, all their names are Christopher!) This trio is a blend of harmony and energy that is almost beyond description! They've been around for about 16 years, but I only heard of them last year. I'd purchased their newest CD in 2007 from a member of their management team, so I knew that they could sing. But seeing them perform live as they headlined the Friday night concert, was an entirely different experience. Oh, my! These fellas know how to fire up a mic and rock a stage. And their personalities are as endearing as their voices. After the concert, I lingered around until the "fan line" died down and met them personally. I was also able to talk to their management and get them booked for Cruisin' For Christ III. I know the onboard guests are going to love these guys. (You may see a live performance by clicking HERE).

As an author, I travel quite a bit to promote the works that God has chosen me to pen. In doing so, I attend many, many conferences. Those who know me well, know that I don't promote a conference unless it is planned and carried out with professionalism. The Pen to Paper Literary Symposium is one that I would highly recommend for any writer, poet or artist who has a desire to learn more about the craft and the industry as a whole.

Hats off to Valerie Coleman and Pen Of the WritER (POWER) for another job well done!

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