Called to Write Conference

Called to Write conference 2017

Cru writers, please join us on March 8th for this one-day event to connect with other writers, grow in your craft, and learn about Cru writing opportunities. This conference is for Cru staff who are blogging, authoring, or writing for a ministry. If you’re a writer of any kind, this conference is designed for you.

We’ll meet in Orlando at Lake Hart in east Main from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. We’re capping at 48 people. Register here to get your name in.

Cost is $25 per person and includes lunch. If you can hang around, we’re encouraging writers to meet in smaller groups afterwards for dinner in some of the local restaurants.

I put up a Facebook event page so you can see who is coming and connect with each other before or after Called to Write. This may also be the best place to find the links for audio or video if you can’t come on March 8th. (I haven’t worked on this part of the planning yet.)

Judy Douglass will open the conference with a message to set the tone for our day together. Rick and Katie James will also be with us. We’re planning times for you to network, to write and receive feedback, and to learn. Representatives within Cru who are looking for writers will join us. We’ll provide time in the schedule if you’d like to talk with any of these folks.

Current Schedule

We’ll have plenary sessions as well as breakouts with workshops. We’re planning times for you to network, to write and receive feedback, and to learn. The conference is carefully put together with Cru writers in mind. More specifics on this schedule coming soon.


Judy Douglass: Writing is a legitimate part of our ministry as staff members.

Katie James: Defining terms, fiction and narrative non-fiction. What’s similar, what’s different, what do we need to know before we start to write.

Rick James: Audience.

Practical Workshops

Anne Marie Winz: Focus, have one main idea. And a second workshop on a three-step editing process you can apply to your own work or to give helpful feedback to anyone else about their work.

Gordana: Explore your creative side through Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way.

Katie James: Elements of fiction, plot, character, setting plus an assignment for the second half of the workshop.

Mark Winz: Story structure. 5-part model. Writing the changed-life ministry story. Recommended for ministry writers.

Rick James: The first three things to do if you want to write a book, regardless of how you publish it.

Sus Schmitt: Part 1: Blog critiquing. Layout, navigation, links, et cetera. Part 2: Easy photo-editting. How to use Canva and



Judy Douglass

Judy’s passion is to encourage God’s children—especially His daughters—to become all they were created to be and to accomplish all they were created to do. In more than 40 years on staff with Cru, she has done that through writing, editing and speaking. As she partners with her husband, Steve, to lead Cru, she focuses on Women’s Resources. Judy travels all over the world to speak and is known for her realness. A native of Dallas, Texas, Judy Douglass is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in journalism. She has served as Editor of a magazine targeting college students and another for young adults and has authored four books: Letters to My Children: Secrets of SuccessWhat Can a Mother Do? Finding Significance at Home and Beyond, He Loves Me, and Single and Complete.

Judy and Steve live in Orlando, Florida. They have three children, Debbie, Michelle, and Joshua and nine grandchildren. Follow her blog, Kindling, at or follow her on Twitter or on Facebook.

Katie James

Katie James has an MFA from Columbia University where she received the Felipe P. De Alba fellowship and taught undergraduate fiction. Her debut novel, Can You See Anything Now? (2017, Paraclete) won Christianity Today’s award for best fiction of 2018, and her as yet to be titled memoir that recounts her son’s overdose on heroin will be published this year. Her essays and poetry have been published in various journals and anthologies, including In the Arms of WordsSt. Katherine Review, The Other Journal, Between Midnight and Dawn, and Everbloom, and one of her short stories was a finalist for a spring Narrative Prize. She is the acquisitions editor for Crupress. Follow Katie on Twitter or on her blog.

Rick James

Rick James serves as publisher of Crupress, the publishing arm of Cru, spending the last 30 years in campus ministry. He speaks on university campuses and at conferences and is the author of numerous ministry resources and several books, including A Million Ways to Die, Jesus Without Religion, and Watch. Rick’s M.Div is from Trinity Seminary and he’s presently working on his dissertation for his Ph.D in Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Baptist Seminary.

Rick and Katie live in West Chester, Pennsylvania. They have three wonderful, grown children.