I got a phone call a few weeks ago from an old friend asking if I’d be willing to speak at a conference for writers and film makers in Visalia, CA on June 20 and 21. The Tellit Conference is a two-day conference where aspiring professionals who desire to use their media talents and passions to make a difference in the world can meet and learn from professionals with proven track records. It will convene in Visalia, CA June 20-21 and is hosted by Fresno Pacific University. It’s not really my deal to speak at conferences like this, but I felt nudged to do it mostly to help people who want to tell their stories learn from the experiences I’ve had in these ever-changing industries.
I thought I was going to be one of many speakers over the weekend, so imagine my surprise last week when I got the materials and found myself listed as the keynote speaker. I had no idea that’s what I was being asked to do and I’m not really sure if they have any idea what they are in for. I’ll be sharing from my own experiences in publishing as well as the challenge behind moving The Shack and So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore toward feature film adaptations. The conference is open to anyone wanting to find a way to tell their stories in contemporary media, though space is limited to the first 100 registrants to keep it a more intimiate dialog. You’re welcome to come and participate if you like. If you can’t make it, however, it will also be streamed live on their website during the conference and then remail online thereafter. You can get details at the conference link above. I’ll also be reminding people the week of the conference.
I’ll be making two presentations during the conference. The first one will be The Fun Side of Creativity: Getting the Story Right. How do you shape your story for the audience you wish to engage with an eye toward finding the audience that shares your passion and more importantly, how do you know your story is ready to share with others?
The second is The Ugly Side of Creativity: Cash, Credit, and Control. How do you interact with agents, publishers, and production companies whose only motive is to make as much money as they can? Navigating those waters will determine whether you and your story can stay true to your passion. We’ll also discuss the options of self-publication or indy productions, which can be great alternatives in this age of an increasingly de-centralized media.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over 40 years of writing and dealing with the industries that make story available in our culture. If you’re an aspiring storyteller, come join us.