On February 19 I have the privilege of teaching the teen track at the Write2Ignite! conference in Greenville, S.C. Jean Hall, one of the founders of the organization and a terrific blogger, agreed to be interviewed here.
Carol: How did you and your team get the idea for Write2Ignite?
Jean: The idea was birthed by three Christian writers who met through SCBWI. We agreed that we loved the SCBWI conferences, but we felt a need for a similar event for those who desired to write for children from a Christian world view. Samantha Bell, Dr. Gail Hayes and I chatted and prayed about it. Then we decided to meet and see where God would take us.
Carol: How do you work together?
Jean: Dr. Hayes is no longer affiliated with Write2Ignite. We have a planning team with six members who are all equally passionate about children’s literature and telling children about Christ. Most of our “meetings” are done via conference calls and emails. We haven’t tried Skype yet, but that might be next.
Carol: How has the Lord had prepared each of you for this?
Jean: We all love to teach and parent children.
We all love Jesus and want to proclaim Him to the next generation.
We are all passionate about the power of literature in children’s lives.
We all have the desire to mentor and encourage other writers and illustrators.
We are all crazy enough to step out in faith following God’s promptings—and enjoy doing it!
We each have our specializations:
Samantha Bell is a true artist. She came up with our name and our logo.
Donna Earnhardt is a spill-way of enthusiasm. Poetry, music and spontaneity are her specialties.
Jill Roman Lord keeps us down to earth. She reminds us of details and possible complications and has the most publishing experience.
Debbie S. De Ciantis is our liaison with North Greenville University. We couldn’t function without her.
Linda Andersen comes up with some of the coolest ideas. She’s enthusiastic, flexible and learning to enjoy the view from out on a limb.
Kristi Butler keeps us grounded on our Solid Rock. She reminds us of the eternal significance in what we do.
Cindy Jacobs is our PR person. She is thorough and lends her professionalism to what we do.
And I, Jean, am the organizer God plugged into this Team. I enjoy keeping all the plates spinning at once.
Carol: Briefly tell me about your own personal goals for writing.
Jean: My involvement with Write2Ignite! has forced me to re-examine and re-prioritize my writing. I haven’t accomplished last year’s goals yet, so they will carry over to 2011. Eventually I want to publish several picture books. My goal to complete the first draft of my first novel (an inspirational YA) is a carryover from last year. I’m also shooting towards the goals of mastering Rebus writing and transforming my Conversations blog posts into a devotional book.
My one overarching goal, however, is to write encouraging words. Regardless of the genre or age group, I want every manuscript to lift readers up, to encourage them, to reveal to them some truth about themselves and about God.
Carol: How does Write 2Ignite fit in with your sense of who you are as a writer and as a Christian?
Jean: I’m an encourager. That is God’s call to me as a relational being and as a writer. Write2Ignite! gives me the opportunities to build good things into other people’s lives and to encourage them.
Carol: Anything else you would like to share?
Jean: On Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 Samantha Bell and one of our presenters, agent Les Stobbe, will be interviewed by Rhonda Odom on WGGS TV-16 in Taylors, SC. Nite Line runs from 8:00 – 10:00 PM and streams live 24/7 at http://www.wggs16.com/. Our interview will
be during the first half.
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As part of the faculty for this event, I can attest to the fact that Jean had worked hard to make this a successful conference. Check out the packed conference schedule and register. Hope to see you, or your teens, there!
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