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Marshaling the Christian SpecFic forces

Over the years, I’ve encountered a variety of scattered bands of SpecFic writers in the Christian community, in addition to New Authors Fellowship:

More recently I’ve started to see some overlap. We’re starting to connect with one another. We haven’t been united before, because we didn’t know there were others like us.

When I met Marcia Ford at a writer’s conference in 2006, I didn’t know “Christian speculative fiction” was a genre. I just knew I had written a fantasy novel with such a strong Christian worldview it was likely to be shunned by the mainstream market. She was giving a workshop on writing for the inspirational market. I hadn’t even considered that there was an inspirational market. The only CBA I knew of was the Commercial Brokers Association.

I told her I had written an inspirational fantasy novel. Her face went blank, and she said, “Oh. That’s a challenge.” Then her countenance lightened, and she said, “You need to talk to Jeff Gerke.” This was back in the day, kids. Marcher Lord Press was still a schematic in Jeff’s hidden laboratory.

But now I knew there was a Christian market, and I discovered it even included some fantasy. Completely by Providence, I found Karen Hancock’s Light of Eidon—several years after it was first published—hidden in the Religion section in the back of Borders (RIP) between the Amish and historical novels.

Through MLP and ACFW and here on NAF, and in lots of other places with initialisms, I’ve discovered this whole new family. Yet still, at almost every writer’s conference I attend, I find someone like I was those years ago, someone writing science fiction or fantasy from a Christian worldview, not knowing that “Christian Speculative Fiction” is even a genre.

But we are making progress. We are finding one another and pulling together. It’s a delight to see. I’m especially looking forward to seeing who turns out for the Realm Makers: 2013 conference being put together by our own Becky Minor: see the Faith and Fantasy Alliance page for more about that awesome event.

It seems there’s still a lot of work to do, though. There must still be many of our kindred who don’t know we exist. How do we find them? How do we help them find us?

And I’m sure I left some Christian Spec Fic groups off my list. Please let me know who they are.

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About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

10 comments on “Marshaling the Christian SpecFic forces

  1. Yeah, you missed Holy Worlds. We’re three forums, one for science-fiction, one for fantasy, and one for historical fiction, plus a blog.

    http://www.holyworlds.org

  2. Awesome! I think the more we pool our resources and talents, the stronger we’ll be. We’re all trying new things–indie, selfpub, every marketing tactic known to man–and it’s great to share that knowledge.

  3. […] as we were preparing for Realm Makers, I wrote about how fractured the community seems, and gave a list of the various places we all hang out. More recently, some of us were chatting on Facebook about the need to centralize Christian SpecFic […]

  4. […] at the Anomaly, while we were talking about strengthening the linkages between the various sites where Christian SpecFic writers and fans hang out, Dave Withe, aka Newberry Dave, brought his usual insight to the discussion. I’m going to excerpt […]

  5. […] is what makes Realm Makers so perfect. As great as the Internet is in joining us together, there is nothing like looking someone in the eyes and discussing your mutual passion. Just as we […]

  6. […] more we draw together, the more we consolidate our efforts and support one another, the more this remarkable genre will flourish. At least one new publishing […]

  7. […] another place, I collected a list of other sites where Christian SpecFic types gather. A new site to consider is The Christian #SpecFic Reader, organized by the incredible Teddi Deppner […]

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