Faith and Fiction:  Episode 5 (2011)

By: ellis j. still

Well, 2011 is well underway, and that means a new and exciting installment of the Faith and Fiction Retreat, this year being held in Ponte Vedra, Beach, Florida. Last year I attended the annual Faith and Fiction retreat for the first time  in Atlanta GA at the CNN Center / Omni Hotel. I had such a great time, before I came back home from Atlanta I resolved to do it again this year.

The Faith and Fiction Retreat is an annual literary event that is the brainchild of best-selling author Tiffany Warren. Early on, she sought to share with people in person the ministry behind author’s writing. It began in 2005 as a tour, and evolved into the retreat that we have today (to read the entire story, Click Here).  Every year readers (individuals and book clubs), well-established and up-and-coming writers, and other literary enthusiasts come together for a few days to share their craft as authors, to gain support as new authors, and to meet and discuss various topics with their favorite author.

One of the many things that become clear to me in my first year of attendance was that there was a genuine camaraderie among and by authors that set the tone in the atmosphere for the entire event. I have seen many instances in the book industry where authors operate in a pretense  of arrogance and superiority syndrome, and are therefore not willing to work with other authors (unless through contractual obligation), and barely tolerate interacting directly with their readers. At Faith and Fiction, the authors are not only friendly, but are about building genuine and lasting relationships with others, which is an impressive representation of Christ and of what being a Christian author is all about. The idea is that it’s a big world out there…. there is more than enough room to support each other as authors, which allows for everyone to flourish while upholding Christian values and integrity.

This year the retreat will be at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort and Spa. The organizers are cost-conscious when planning the retreats and are aware of the fact that people travel from across the country to attend the retreat. When choosing venues, the goal is to not only create a nice atmosphere for the retreat, but at a reasonable price. Since this venue is associated with golf courses, year my wife and I (this will be Tina’s first year of attendance) will be getting in town early such that I can get some golf in before the retreat begins.

Every year is a different experience, and 2011 is no exception. Every morning, the day will begin with beachfront prayer. For the first time, this year will include two separate tracks to participate in… one for up-and-coming authors (author bootcamp), and one for readers and enthusiasts. The reader track will include panel discussions on a variety of topics, and the author’s track will feature panel discussions relating to advancing your craft and your marketshare as an author. Likewise, there will also be male author panelists, with panel discussions geared towards men. The retreat will culminate with an all-white beach party (the full itinerary will be provided shortly).

This year’s featured authors include are ReShonda Tata Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, and Stacy Hawkins Adams

This year’s author panelists include Tiffany L. Warren (F&F Retreat Host), Angels Benson, Victor McGlothin, Vanessa Miller, Tia McCollors, Michelle Stimpson, Norma Jarrett, Rhonda McKnight, Kimberly Cash Tate, Patricia Haley-Glass, Booker Mattison, MaRita Teague, Sherryle Kiser-Jackson, Pat Simmons, Ellis Still (hey… that’s Me!!!  :- ), Miranda Parker, Leslie Sherrod, Patricia Bridewell, Shawneda Marks, Shana Johnson-Burton

So this year, wives, bring your husbands. Husbands bring your wives. If you are single, bring friends, or you can attend alone if you wish – like I did last year. This event is for anyone even remotely interested in reading, or interested in learning more about the world of fictional writing. For more information, Click Here to visit the official website.

Question:  Are you really willing to miss out on a great experience? If not, don’t procrastinate… register today!!!

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved. Photographs are courtesy of Tia McCollors and Tiffany Warren’s Facebook pages, respectively. Faith and Fiction graphic courtesy of http://www.faithandfictionretreat.com/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I am the CEO of The Burning Bush Christian Bookstore (TBB), the company that retails books written by these authors. Regardless, I only recommend books that I have personally read or reviewed and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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ellis

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