Brazos Authors at the Festival of Faith & Writing 2012

This Thursday through Saturday is the beinnial Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Begun in 1990, this conference “brings together writers, editors, publishers, musicians, artists, and readers for three days of discussing and celebrating insightful writing that explores, in some significant way, issues of faith.”

You can find more info about the FF&W (including a schedule of events) here.

Brazos Press, alongside the other divisions of Baker Publishing Group, will be in the exhibition hall highlighting many of our new and relevant titles. Also, several lectures and workshops during the conference include Brazos authors. Here are a few highlights:

Thursday, 1:45-2:45 pm: Brian Walsh will be speaking on “Kicking at the Darkness: Methodological Reflections.”

In this session, Brian Walsh reflects on the nature, assumptions, and goals of “theological criticism” of contemporary music, using his work on Bruce Cockburn as an example. What happens when art is taken as a source, in dialogue with Scripture, for theological reflection? How is the art respected as art and not just “used” to make a theological point? How does this kind of work help to engender and shape a Christian imagination?

Thursday, 3:15-4:15 pm: Brazos acquisitions editor, Robert Hosack, will take part in a panel on “What’s a Platform, Anyway? Selling Yourself Without Selling Your
Soul.”

One of the big buzzwords in publishing these days is platform. Simply put, it’s the author’s public profile that helps sell the book. Without a platform, often there is no publishing contract. Yet many aspiring authors don’t know what a platform is, why it’s so important, or how to build one for themselves and their work. Why do they need a platform to sell the book—isn’t that the publisher’s job? And how do Christian writers reconcile self-promotion and platform-building with a faith that values humility? In this session, three publishing veterans—an acquisitions editor and two publicists—will show non-fiction authors why growing a platform is vital to success, how to connect with existing and potential reading audiences, and how to not hate themselves in the process.

Thursday, 4:30-5:30 pm: Brian Walsh will be interviewing Bruce Cockburn.

Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks with Brian Walsh about social justice, the creative process, and “kicking at the darkness.”

Friday, 11:30-12:30 am: Daniel Taylor will be speaking on “Lies, Whitewashes, and Cover-ups: Dealing in Memoir with Pain and Painful People.”

A recurring question in writing memoir is how to deal—both psychologically and in terms of craft—with personal pain and hurtful people, especially when those people may still be in one’s life or known to people who are. The session explores the issues and offers guidelines for writing effectively about things one may be hesitant to write about at all.

Saturday, 2-3 pm: Daniel Taylor will be speaking on “Creating a Spiritual Will: Passing on Wisdom, Values, and Stories.”

A spiritual legacy is the passing of wisdom from one generation or person to another. One form this can take is the spiritual will, an ancient practice of passing on values, insights, and life stories through a brief statement drawing on a lifetime of experience. This workshop guides participants in the creation of a spiritual will for those they care about.

We are excited to be a part of this year’s festival and that Brazos Press will be so well represented! If you’re around for the festival, be sure to stop by our booth and say Hi!