Summer Conference

Summer Conference Revisited – “Being Salt and Light” by Lindy Jacobs, OCW Summer Conference Director

Our many prayers of the last year were answered as more than 225 writers, staff, and faculty gathered to worship, study, and fellowship at the 26th OCW Summer Conference in Portland August 10–13. Fifty-seven attended our first-ever early bird session, “Book Promotions Boot Camp.” Our numbers grew to 250 during the Wednesday evening Cascade Awards ceremony. Keynoter Ed Underwood shared how when his first book, When God Breaks Your Heart, was published, it brought accolades and comfort to those who were suffering and asking the same “Why God?” questions he asked during his battle with chronic leukemia. But the longtime pastor noticed negative signs in his heart (like constantly checking his Amazon review status). Using himself as an example, he said it is easy to forget the source of our strength. Ed encouraged the audience not to write for money or for fame, but as a form of worship. “Write as a cherished child. Write in response to all that Jesus Christ has done for you.” That’s what the world needs, he said. “Fresh books written from a redeemed heart.”

“Good works have already been prepared for you to do.” – Pastor Ed Underwood
In the closing keynote, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick encouraged the audience to not listen to negative voices (the harpies) “who will tell you ‘you can’t write.’” She quoted from “The Way It Is,” a poem by William Stafford: “There is a thread you follow. It goes among the things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder what you are pursuing. It’s hard for others to see. While you hold it you can never get lost. Tragedies happen. People get sick and die. You suffer and grow old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You never let go of the thread.” As long as we hold onto Jesus Christ, we can never get lost, Jane said.

This was my first summer conference and first time coaching or mentoring. What a support group to writers!” – Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick

As always, the conference emphasis was on teaching, and many commented on the great choices from coaching classes to afternoon workshops and editor/agent panels to late-evening nite owls. The writing center was the usual hive of activity as editors, agents, and mentors met with conferees while enjoying a sweeping view of the beautiful Columbia River. We heard many compliments from editors, agents, and pro writers about the quality of writing they reviewed. By the end of the conference, a number of conferees were invited to submit proposals and full manuscripts. In 2016 we will return to the beautiful Red Lion on the River August 15–18. Please mark your calendars now. Keynoters will be best-selling and award-winning author James Scott Bell and New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Angela Hunt. Our theme Scripture will be, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14 niv).   Watch our website for details on next year’s faculty, registration, and the 2016 Cascade Writing Contest. The 2015 Summer Conference audio recordings are now available. Check our website for details.

Check Also

2016 Recordings

Welcome to the OCW Summer Conference 2016 Recordings page! Flash drive of all recorded sessions …