Nov 11, 2008

Left Behind author hosts workshop

by Dominique McKay

Jerry Jenkins, co-author with Tim LaHaye of the Left Behind series, opened Liberty University’s eighth biannual Writers Conference on Friday night encouraging young authors to write with emotions.
“Regardless of where you are,” Jenkins said. “You’re going to need to be a feeling writer. You’re going to need to be in touch with your emotions.”

The night began with an open reception held in DeMoss Hall. The conference was attended by a range of inquiring minds from the local community including seasoned authors and young hopefuls. Liberty faculty and students also attended the conference.

“For those interested in writing their own books or articles, having people like Jerry Jenkins (available to) critique their work is something that many would-be authors never would get to do without this conference,” Professor of Communications Robert Lyster said.

Jenkins began his address to the crowd by expressing that his motivation for writing was his strong desire to reach the lost, saying there was nothing more thrilling than hearing from people that his writing brought them to Christ.

Jenkins used examples including how Winston Churchill wrote speeches that moved people and how the words of Truman Capote allowed him to forget he was reading, as he became caught up in the content rather than the technique to express his hope that writers be moved by literature.

Jenkins closed out the night with a story of his time with evangelist Billy Graham, telling the crowd of when Graham had broken his pelvis and he needed an injection, the doctor told him to think of somewhere else he’d rather be to get his mind of the pain.
Fighting back tears, Jenkins told the crowd, “Graham said to the doctor, ‘There is no other place I’d rather be than right here right now … because I am living in the center of God’s will and if this is where he wants me, this is where I want to be.’”

Jenkins encouraged the crowd to be in the center of God’s will as writers.

“Hearing Jerry Jenkins talk Friday was a rare treat,” Lyster said. “I have read much of his work and now when I read Jerry, I will remember the joy of hearing him (in person) and appreciate his writing even more.”

The conference, which continued on Saturday, included other notable writers, such as Carole Gift Page and Bill Meyers, who conducted workshops on topics ranging from creating great characters and overcoming writer’s block to creating great plots and poetry.

“I think the writer’s conference (was) a great way for us to be able to hear from some of our favorite authors in person,” Lyster said.
The conference concluded Saturday night with book signings from Jenkins, Page and Meyers.


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