Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An Opportunity to Grow in Your Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

A special opportunity for writers
Have you ever wished you could sit at the feet of the writing masters and then apply what you learned with them looking over your shoulder? Well, CLASS Christian Writers Contreat can give you that opportunity.

You may have never heard of a contreat. A contreat is a combination writers conference and retreat. You have the opportunity to attend workshops and intensive classes on both fiction and nonfiction as well as marketing and the craft of writing. Time is also provided for you to work on your current work-in-progress or begin a new project. As you work, professional writers will be nearby to answer questions or cheer you on. This is the best of both worlds—conference and retreat.

The 2017 CLASS Christian Writers Contreat will be held in Albuquerque, NM, at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel November 8-11 and the theme is CALLED. The faculty is already preparing to assist you and help you move ahead with your writing. Dennis Hensley and DiAnn Mills lead the way as our keynote speakers. They will be joined by Karen and George Porter, Gloria Penwell-Holtzlander, Audra Grace Shelby, Beth Patch, John Thurman, Karissa Culbreath, Gerry Wakeland, Dan and Laura Rosencrans, Aaron Zook, and me. Workshops will include fiction, nonfiction, personal experience writing, mastering research, writing devotions, becoming an expert, and more. DiAnn Mills will lead an optional early-bird workshop on Wednesday about Social Media for the Writer (I can’t believe how much she knows about that!).

Several things make the contreat different from other conferences.
  • We will publish a book! Each attendee will bring a devotion to the conference. We will break into daily critique groups with one faculty member. These groups will be small so that every person can have ample attention to their work. The critique groups will help polish and perfect the devotions to get them ready for the book. The finished book will be a combination devotional book, journal, coloring book (yes, we have already enlisted artists to help with that!) that you will be able to have on your book table or to give to friends. The critique process is a learning experience and for those who would like to start a group this provides a firsthand look at how groups work.
  • We will be hosting the Southwest Christian Bookfair. As part of the contreat we host this new-to-the-area event at the same venue. Authors from the area will be there to sell books. Contreat attendees are also welcome to have a table where they can sell their books. For those who have books this will be an opportunity to reach readers in this part of the country. For those who don’t have books yet, it will give them a firsthand look at how bookfairs and book signings work. We are excited about this edition to the contreat.
  • Attendees will have their own workspace for the entire conference. Last year folks decorated their spots and made each spot unique and homey. Of course, decorating is not a requirement but a touch of home makes each attendee feel like their space is just for them and they can settle in to do some serious writing.

Obviously, we will enjoy the direction of the faculty and the fellowship of others writers for this special event. I would like to invite you to join us and be part of the CLASS Christian Writers Contreat 2017. All information is on our website at Just look under the writing tab. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. I have no doubt you would enjoy your time in Albuquerque and return home inspired and having made great progress on your current project.

So, what is a contreat? An exciting place to be with other writers who want to take the next step into the publishing world while networking and building relationships with other writers!

An opportunity to grow in your #writing - @LindaGilden on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Linda Gilden is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She loves to take one subject and create multiple articles from that information. Linda finds great joy (and lots of writing material) in time spend with her family. Her favorite activity is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing children.

To find out more about Linda, her writing, and her ministry, visit You can also connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Wow. I like the sound of that. We need one somewhere in the South ☺

  2. I love the idea of learning how to do this for others I really want to somehow get a writing class into the prison I work at.