Christy Award Celebration - Interview with Carrie Schmidt

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Today I am honored to have the delightful Carrie Schmidt (of Reading is My Superpower) visiting with us! Carrie is here to talk about the upcoming Art of Writing conference and Christy Awards. She and author Cynthia Ruchti are co-teaching a session for authors called “The Artful Dodger: Defense Against Discouragement” and she’s sharing with us the inside scoop on what she’s noticed while putting in (more than) many hours as a reader of Christian fiction.

Carrie is one of my very dearest friends. I am SO very glad (and beyond blessed) that the Lord brought us together when He did. Many tears, laughs, hugs (yes, in person), and books later...And I am honored to call her not only my bookish friend, but family! 💜

Picture the writer who most needs to hear what you have to say in your session…then describe that person to me.
CARRIE: After talking to authors daily for the last two years, I’ve heard so many of the same refrains of woe on repeat. The author who needs to be in our session is anyone who has ever stared at a blank page or a page full of words and questioned his/her talent, purpose, or self-worth. Discouragement is par for the course in any creative pursuit (including blogging, for that matter). As creators who are plugged in to THE Creator, we don’t have to allow our discouragement to linger or, worse, to paralyze us. Anyone who has ever Christian-appropriately cursed that cursor (I mean, let’s be real) or wondered what in the world gives them the right to write, needs to be in our session!

Any reminders that you think writers should keep taped to their desks/laptops?
CARRIE: When my husband and I first started out on our journey of teaching the Bible to local Internationals, we were trained in the art of “storying.” One phrase from that training planted a flag in my heart that I believe applies just as much to authors as it does to oral storytellers: “Trust the Story.” If I could say one thing to any Christian author, it would be exactly that. Trust the story. The one that God has put on your heart to write. The one that won’t let go of you, no matter how often you try to hush it. Trust the story and keep THE Story in mind as you write yours. Someone out there needs to read it.

What’s your favorite part about joining in a gathering of a group of Christian writers? 
CARRIE: A group of Christian writers? Yes please. These are “my people.” These are the writers who have inspired me, encouraged me, stepped on my toes, made me laugh, made me cry, made me swoon (ahem). Serving alongside them in any capacity feels like home.

We’d love to see you at the upcoming Art of Writing Conference and Christy Awards! You can find out more about the event below, or if you’re already convinced, you can register here.

About the Art of Writing Conference
The Art of Writing is designed to bring Christian creatives and publishing curators together for a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking.

The speakers represent a wide range of roles and areas of expertise. Andrew Peterson, young adult writer and founder of the Rabbit Room, will give advice on how to create and benefit from a vibrant creative community, while Wheaton College professor Theon Hill, Ph.D. will present a survey of the obstacles and opportunities of diversity in Christian fiction. Authors will receive encouragement for the ups and downs of the writing life from blogger Carrie Schmidt and author, agent, and ACFW public relations liaison Cynthia Ruchti. Finally, a panel of representatives from major ECPA publishers will share insider information on where the genre has been, where it’s going, and the exciting changes they see in today’s market for writers. Learn more about the speakers and sessions here.

About the Christy Awards
The Christy Award™ is designed to nurture and encourage creativity and quality in the writing and publishing of fiction written from a Christian worldview and showcase the diversity of genres. The award is named for Catherine Marshall’s enduring bestselling novel, Christy, published in 1967 and inspiring a continuing book series and a CBS television series starring Kellie Martin. The novel will be re-released in 2017 in a 50th anniversary legacy edition by Gilead Publishing in partnership with Kregel Publications.

Hosted by award-winning author and radio host Chris Fabry, this year’s celebration gala dinner will feature New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury as well as musician and writer Andrew Peterson. You can view the finalist list here.

Tour Schedule

Monday, October 9: Top Ten Writing Industry Issues at Seekerville
Tuesday, October 10: Give Us Your Best Questions at By the Book
Wednesday, October 11: Interview with Dr. Theon Hill at Reading is My Superpower
Thursday, October 12: Celebrating the Christy Awards…With a Giveaway! at Bethany House Fiction
Friday, October 13: Quiz: Pick Your Gala Dress at Dani Pettrey’s blog
Saturday, October 14: Eight Reasons to Come to The Art of Writing at The Power of Words
Sunday, October 15: Interview with Carrie Schmidt at Bookworm Mama
Monday, October 16: Interview with Cynthia Ruchti at Just Commonly
Tuesday, October 17: Christy Nominee Bingo and Giveaway at Faithfully Bookish
Wednesday, October 18: The Unofficial Readers’ Choice Cover Awards at Singing Librarian Books
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