If you're going to Calvin's Festival of Faith & Writing, you probably recognize this banner (which was the best I could do in a hurry from their site). We at Relief look forward to this event as one of the best times to be had in the world of Christian literary culture. We always hear from great favorite authors, discover new authors, and meet many of our own authors. Authors authors authors!
We also enjoy meeting readers and introducing ourselves to new readers. In general, people at the Festival are pretty open to what we do, but it's interesting how quickly you find out if someone's a Relief person or not. Use words like "edgy" and "raw", reject what is safe, and say things like "We want Christian writing that doesn't suck," and most people will either light up or shut down. Well. We're not here to offend, but we're not afraid of doing it, either. As Wallace Stevens says of poetry (also mocking Christian uppity-ness),
This will make widows wince. But fictive things Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.
I am personally far too busy to even be going this year, but that's almost a good reason to go. Festival is soul-enriching and inspiring. I'll be looking forward to Marilynne Robinson, Scott Cairns, and Craig Thompson, among others. Relief authors Paul Willis, Amy Frykholm, Marjorie Maddox, Jeanne Murray Walker, and some others I'm not thinking of, will also be speaking.
We'll do some blogging, of course, as we go, but we're also interested in meeting you if you're around. Stop by our table in the exhibitor hall and say hello.
Brad Fruhauff is Editor-in-Chief of Relief.