Creative writing as vocation
Many of our staff here at Ridley Hall have talents beyond those which they use in their day-to-day work. Andrew Chamberlain, our Director of Development has been a published author and writing coach for the past 20 years.
He hosts a podcast, “The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt”, and is organising and speaking at the 2022 British Christian Writer’s Conference, to be hosted at Ridley Hall on Saturday 3rd September. We talked to Andy about his vocation as a writer.
Do you see creative writing as a vocation?
Definitely — to write is to express a God-given creativity; in this sense it’s like a musician or a painter expressing the vocational talents that God has given them.
What kind of books do you write?
I write both fiction and non-fiction books. My favourite fiction genre is Science Fiction, but I also enjoy writing about the art of creative writing. I’ve published a reference book which brings together the best advice from my podcast for creative writers.
In your fiction writing, does your faith impact your choice of subject-matter?
My faith impacts the way I deal with the subject matter I want to write about. So, for example, in my science fiction I will address the same themes and issues that other writers like to tackle, but I’ll do it from a Christian worldview. This doesn’t have to be overt, but the influence is there; so for example I don’t write from a hopeless, dystopian perspective as some writers do, rather my stories have a background of purpose and hope for the characters.
Are there any authors that you have drawn particular inspiration from?
I’ve learnt a lot from the writer Stephen King and the editor Sol Stein. I also enjoy the science fiction writing of Iain M Banks.
Tell us more about the British Christian Writer’s Conference.
BCWC is a day conference for Christian writers, for which we have three objectives: to provide information, insights and useful tips on the craft of writing; to create a forum for networking and fellowship, and to provide a source of encouragement and spiritual support to Christian writers.
“Insights and encouragement for your calling as a writer”, the 2022 British Christian Writer’s Conference, runs from 9.15am to 4.30pm on 3rd September at Ridley Hall. For more information, visit: www.ridley.cam.ac.uk/bcwc. Download The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt podcast and handbook at www.andrewjchamberlain.com.