Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hope Tour 2012: Magnificent Hope Encounters Dianne E. Butts at CCWC

L-R: Elsi Dodge, Dianne E. Butts,
Magnificent Hope, and Paula Freeman
Last week Hope rode with Elsi Dodge to the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference, and Dianne E. Butts ran into her there. Hope said she so wanted to attend the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, last Wednesday through Saturday because Estes Park is at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park and she just had to see the magnificent mountain peaks visible from the conference center.

Hope got to meet four writers who contributed to Dianne’s upcoming book co-authored with Renee Gray-Wilburn, Grandparenting through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Obstacles to Reach Your Grandkids for Christ.

Grandparenting through Obstacles is a compilation of twenty true stories from real grandparents about the challenges they have faced in leaving an eternal spiritual legacy on their grandchildren. With the stories in the book, Dianne and Renee have included “Points to Ponder,” “Steps to Take,” Scripture to Study,” “One Way to Pray,” “Grandparents in the Bible,” tips, resources, ideas, and more. 
L-R: Elsi Dodge, Dianne E. Butts, Magnificent Hope,
Loritta Slayton, and Paula Freeman

The book is due out from Pix-N-Pens Publishing in early September, just in time for Grandparent’s Day.

Hope talked some of the contributors into a photo op with her. Here she is with Grandparenting through Obstacles contributors Loritta Slayton, Paula Freeman, and Elsi Dodge. Story contributor Abigail Paul* was at the conference but was so busy helping out she couldn’t jump into the photo.

Dianne and Hope experienced other fantastic opportunities at the CCWC. Here’s a run-down of their activities: 

  • Dianne and Hope had several one-on-one meetings with editors and found open doors to send work in after the conference. Dianne is hopeful you’ll be seeing her name around the internet and on more books in the future. (And speaking of more books in the future, Dianne and Hope had extensive conversations to brainstorm three-book series ideas for the Books of Hope Contest. Did you see that on the May 10th post on this blog?!)
  • Dianne sat in on screenwriting classes with Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of MovieGuide magazine, which was a tremendous opportunity. Furthermore, Dianne got to go to dinner with Ted Baehr, Linda Evans Shepherd, and Joy Schneider at a local restaurant! Where in the world was Hope to remind Dianne to get a photo?!
  • Dianne also was invited to a special class on non-fiction book proposals with Cindy Lambert, author of unPlanned with Abby Johnson. Dianne got some great feedback on her next book proposal, and learned some valuable tips to make her future book proposals better.
  • Dianne talked with Rick Marschall, former editor at Marvel Comics among other things, and Craig von Buseck of CBN.com.
  • Dianne also received some great advice from Kim Bangs, editor at Regal Books. As Dianne works to define who she is as a writer and what her ministry is in God’s kingdom, Kim suggested two things that really stuck with Dianne: 1.) Brand yourself, not your writing. In other words, don’t try to create a brand that describes all the books you want to write. Instead, create a brand that describes you (your passions, your ministry, your unique place in God’s plan to reach the world), and then all your books/products will naturally fall under that umbrella.  2.) To help you nail down that elusive (at least for Dianne!) description/brand, ask your family and friends to tell you what you’re about. How would they describe your passion? Your ministry? Your unique contribution to God’s kingdom? They will probably say something different from what you expect!
  • And finally an extra-super special moment in the conference for Dianne was when the conference director, Marlene Bagnull, showed Dianne’s short film, The Choice. The 10-minute film screened right after Ted Baehr spoke about Christians making a difference in Hollywood. With such an audience, Dianne was a little heart-poundy, but Hope was there to hold her hand. Later, Dianne received several compliments from conferees. Even Ted Baehr said the film was good, and also gave some pointers to make her next film better. And that’s the tremendous value of a Christian writer’s conference.

Dianne and Hope said their good-byes late Saturday. Magnificent Hope didn’t say where she was off to next, but Dianne is now back home with plenty of work to keep her busy for a long time thanks to the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference.


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