I’m Teaching About Fantasy Magic and Pop Culture at SoCal Christian Writers Conference

Should Christian fantasy include magic? How do fantasy writers put popular culture in its place? E. Stephen Burnett teaches on these topics at this week’s SoCal Christian Writers Conference.
on Jul 7, 2020 · No comments

Realm Makers rolls quickly upon us! That event for Christian and faith-based fantasy creators begins, virtually of course, next week.

For Realm Makers, I’m mentoring aspiring authors, and hosting a panel discussion about “cancel culture” and Christian creators. Check for updates here at SpecFaith and on my Facebook page. You don’t want to miss this awesomeness. (Even virtually.)

First, though, I’m actually teaching two sessions—via the ol’ Crowdcast—exclusively for attenders of SoCal Christian Writers Conference.

Here’s what I’ll explore for SoCal attenders.

Popular culture doesn’t have to be a burden. The Pop Culture Parent by Ted Turnau, E. Stephen Burnett, and Jared Moore, equips mothers, fathers, and guardians to build relationships with their children by entering into their popular culture–informed worlds, understanding them biblically, and passing on wisdom. Download a chapter now, before you can buy it!

Should Christian Fantasy Include Magic?

Explore fictional magic and its pros and cons for Christian fantasy authors.

Christian fantasy writers are often asked about biblical texts that warn against the occult, or readers who feel tempted. Come explore with grace and truth the nature of evil versus Christ’s power. We’ll discuss a Christian author’s responsibilities, and consider how best to love Christian family members who believe differently.

Putting Pop Culture in its Place

When TV and internet disrupt your writing, start redeeming these gifts.

You’re trying to hit your writing goals. But that smartphone won’t hush and your favorite TV drama just dropped new episodes. What’s a Christian author to do? Come learn the biblical purpose of popular culture. Seek its beauties. Smash its idols. And start redeeming this corrupted gift for God’s glory.

Mike Duran will teach about general markets and postmodernism.

Writing for the General Market

Should a Christian author aim for the ABA or the CBA? What are the potential pitfalls of both approaches? Must a Christian author sacrifice their “message” in order to write for a secular audience? This workshop will address these common questions and discuss reasons why Christian writers should consider writing for secular audiences, some ideas for crossing over from Christian to the general market, as well as the practical and theological issues they will face doing so.

Specialty: How to Write to a Postmodern Culture

As Western culture has drifted away from a Judeo-Christian worldview, storytelling itself has changed. As those who believe in Eternal, Transcendent Truth, Christian authors now face the difficult task of engaging readers whose very concept of Reality is skewed. This workshop will discuss the obstacles postmodernism has created and how Christian authors can leverage that for their advantage.

Janeen Ippolito will teach about sci-fi and fantasy writing.

Scifi & Fantasy: Do It Well (and Have Fun Doing It)

Ready to tackle speculative fiction? Scifi & Fantasy: Do It Well (and Have Fun Doing It) offers an education on and celebration of this dynamic genre. Go beyond the basic “but should we?” and dive right into “how can we do this excellently?” Divided into areas on serving God (everyone has an agenda), serving the story (yes, your world building matters), and serving the reader (know thy subgenre), this course invites you to take your speculative fiction seriously—have fun geeking out. Great for speculative fiction newbies as well as seasoned writers who want a refresher to make sure their fundamentals are on point.

SoCal will return … ?

I believe event registration is now closed. But if you didn’t register, now you know what you missed. Recordings, however, may be available. See the continuing sessions (including Janeen’s) here and the workshops (including Mike’s and mine) here.

Lord willing, next year the conference will return to reality in southern California.

E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of Lorehaven.com and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.

What do you think?