Friday, June 20, 2008

Write! Canada Conference and Vocabulary Enhancement

(First, let me apologize for how these pics end up in this post. I'm not very good at html and placement. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at them, though!)

Where do I begin with writing about my three intensive days of learning the craft of fiction writing in the beautiful, peaceful haven of Guelph Bible Conference Center? I'm still processing it all, so what ends up in this post will surely not be inclusive.

This was The Word Guild's twenty-forth writer's conference, my second to attend, and it did not disappoint. With approximately two-hundred attendees including faculty, there was ample opportunity to mingle, network, worship, and lots of great learning to be had, too. For me, this year's line-up of workshops and continuing classes seemed most fitting. I was especially excited about the Romance Writing Intensive continuing five-hour class lead by one of Steeple Hill Love Inspired's best authors, Carolyne Aarsen. Carolyne is an amazing author and a wonderful, personable teacher. You couldn't help but feel at ease in her presence and that makes for the absolute best learning experience possible. If you ever get an opportunity to hear Carolyne Aarsen speak or participate in a class she is leading, don't hesitate, get thee to the front of the room. You won't be disappointed. Her humor and sincerity blend into a spell-bounding talk and her shared knowledge offers great learning for all writers.

Our small class of eight for the continuing class on Romance Writing ended up being a mix of genre writers, not all of us were romance writers, but we all learned from each other. I believe we all went out from those classes with more direction for our own individual stories, as well as gaining valuable writing skills and concepts to enrich our craft.

Attending writing conferences is most definitely "the" way to move forward with respect to writing. No matter what genre you write or whether you write fiction or non-fiction, it's at writer's conferences that you get to connect with others struggling just as you are and learn from those who have defeated the hurdles you may be stumbling to concur yourself right now. The interaction, learning, and networking that happens at writer's conferences is invaluable and very much a stepping stone to reaching your dream as a writer.

If you are blessed enough to partake in a Christian Writer's Conference like Write! Canada, then you gain the added advantage of the most amazing worship time as well. The peace and security you feel when you wake up early in a mini resort-type place such as the Guelph Bible Conference Center, and stroll across the well-manicured grounds into a Fireside room, complete with a stone fireplace, to hear praise lifted for Him in the form of devotionals and wonderful music, is like none other. It's the perfect way to start the day and focus on writing for Him. Boy, I wish Write! Canada's worship team could be a part of every morning for the rest of my life! It's such a wonderful experience to be a part of!

I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to The Word Guild team who organized and prayed this wonderful Write! Canada conference into being! Your amazing effort and attention to detail is greatly appreciated, and although you'll never know how many lives your efforts have touched, please know that your work is truly a ministry and I'm praising God for all you've done! I'm looking forward to next year! See, I already have the countdown on my side bar. I'm not too anxious, am I?

Also, I was just reminded that Bonnie Grove, a member of The Word Guild, will be continuing in the spirit of learning at Write! Canada, with a great line-up of blog postings to help writer's fine-tune their manuscripts with some great guest bloggers participating as well. So bop on over to her blog, Fiction Matters, to continue the learning.

Considering the topic of this Friday musing, my vocabulary enhancement word of the week I've chosen is: Erudite.


er·u·dite [érry dt, érr dt]adj

very knowledgeable through study: having or showing great knowledge gained from study and reading scholars erudite in Sanskrit

[15th century. From Latin eruditus , past participle of erudire “to instruct,” from rudis “untrained” (source of English rude).]
-er·u·dite·ly, adv -er·u·dite·ness, n Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


er·u·dite [er-yoo-dahyt, er-oo-] –adjective

characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly: an erudite professor; an erudite commentary.

er·u·dite·ly, adverb
er·u·dite·ness, noun

—Synonyms educated, knowledgeable; wise, sapient. Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

My sentence for erudite:

The erudite writer attends conferences and shares their expertise and knowledge for budding writers to gain from. (And we budding writers thank you oh so much for sharing!)

I'd love to see what sentences you can come up with using erudite. And for your effort you'll be entered into my CATY drawing for a Starbucks gift card. May we all have a wonderful weekend ahead.




Georgiana said...

What a beautiful setting!

emma eldon said...


I'm wondering if you have any advice for how teenagers can fit the message of God and Jesus into their writing?

How can I teach other teenagers about His word through my writing? I'd just like to know if you had any input on that subject.

I'm not sure how to fit the Message into my stories.

thanx, emma eldon
p.s. i am a teenager

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Georgiana: You wouldn't believe how peaceful and tranquil the Guelph Bible Conference Centre is. It lends itself so perfectly to learning and sharing, worshiping, and socializing. I really hope that Write! Canada will always be able to fit in this facility, as it just radiates all that the people of The Word Guild seem to represent!

Emma, thanks for leaving your question! I'd suggest you do it the same as adults attempt to in their writing. Write what you know and experience, stumbles and all, and reveal God's teachings through scenes that entertain as well as guide souls gently to His ways. In other words, SHOW how God can work through your characters, as He does in real life with us humans, rather then tell!

If you write a story with characters that teenagers can relate to and route for, you have achieved a powerful ministry to show God's unfailing love for us all. Pray, and write, write, write, then revise, revise, and revise, and then let me know when it's out there for the masses to read. I'll be searching for it to share with my girls.

Does that help? I pray so!



emma eldon said...

Thank you so much Eileen for your valuable feedback. After reading your blog, my stories seemed a little thin. I guess I just have to let God shine through my characters!

thanx again,
emma eldon
p.s. i don't think any of my work is going to be out there too quickly. Maybe you'll see little snippets around, though.

Eileen Astels Watson said...


Have you taken a look at They offer a contest every year that has a category for 14 to 19-year-olds.

You've got lots of time before next year's contest is up for entries, so if you are really interested in learning this craft, I highly suggest you work on your story and get it ready for entering into this contest.

I'd be more than happy to take a read through your manuscript, at some point, if you'd like a critique done before submitting.

Deepen your characters, make them layered, three-dimensional, by showing their reactions, emotions, and resolve, and don't forget to let us know their motivation for their goals, and your characters will soon begin walking and talking off the page.



Bonnie Grove said...

Eileen! Great to see your post about Write!Canada.

I'll be sure to include your blog in the list of links I'm compiling for The Word Guild.

Anyone who is interested in continuing the momentum of the conferece (or jumping in for the first time) needs to jump over to my blog
I'm lining up authors, editors, and agents to guest blog on topics such as titling your work, getting to the point, POV and other great topics!

Subscribe so you don't miss a single installment!
See you there!
Bonnie Grove