One of my favorite writing quotes is by Martin Luther: “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” I think I have always appreciated the power of the pen, the strength of story and the wonder of Words

As we head into the weekend for Portland’s second  Faith & Culture Writers Conference at Multnomah University, Friday-Saturday April 5-6, WORDS logoI am excited to lead a breakout session on “Freelance Writing in the Digital World.”

I love sharing the story of how God opened the door for me to freelance for The Oregonian newspaper beginning in 1996. I have had the honor of penning stories of doctors going to Africa, of kids raising money for orphans, of entire youth groups traveling to Mississippi rather than go to a summer camp for fun. After people read my stories, I receive emails or phone calls from folks saying they read my story and they decided to donate funds, or help someone, or go on a mission trip. Wow, that feeling of lives being changed through story is amazing.

My daughter Rach had written a teen column for The Oregonian while she was in high school and one of the things she wrote about once was how she did not want gifts for Christmas but instead she wanted money so she could go on a mission trip to Mississippi. She received a check in the mail for $ 100 from a reader who was so moved by her story. My Rachie said to me, “Mom, I did not realize how much writing can impact people.”

While I have specialized in stories of faith and culture, family and community for The Oregonian, I had also  dreamed of writing for Christianity Today, and am grateful for the opportunity that has opened up for me to do just that.  I have been able to pen stories about (the late) Richard Twiss and Lopez Lomong, whose story is that running — and writing — saved  his life.

I look forward to penning more stories. But first, our upcoming writers conference. And, speaking of Christianity Today, I asked my editor Katelyn Beaty to donate magazines, and they did. We have a few gift subscriptions as door prizes, and a box full of magazines to give away. Christy Tenant Krispin will be here representing CT and its This is Our City Project, which collects stories of folks reaching out and impacting culture locally.

Buzz is building for this weekend’s conference as people who have never been before are learning about it. It’s fun to see all the connections being made with old friends and new friendships forming. Twitter hashtag #faithculture2013 is active on our @WritersUniteNW Twitter page and our  Faith & Culture Writers Connection Facebook page can be found at:  Facebook Faith & Culture Writers

Registration is $ 75 at the door and $ 25 for students, both Friday and Saturday, April 5-6. The event kicks off at 6:15 pm at Multnomah University on Friday, April 5.

Faith & Culture Writers Conference


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