It has been called one of the Christian songwriting world’s best kept secrets; but due to chart-topping singles and emerging success stories, that phrase is no longer accurate. What began simply as a community of Christian songwriters, “Write About Jesus” has morphed into a training ground for committed writers to hone their skills while learning from and being encouraged by industry professionals.
This year “Write About Jesus” celebrates 20 years of impacting an army of Christian songwriters. It began as the brain child and passion of five-time Dove Award winning songwriter, Sue C. Smith and her husband, John. Sue has to her credit 15 #1 songs, as well as the 2016 Singing News Song of the Year for Triumphant Quartet’s “Amazing God” and Absolutely Gospel’s Songwriter of the Year for 2017. The conference itself has been awarded the AGM “Pacesetter” award for its cutting-edge leadership in the realm of Christian songwriting.
The three-day seminar is a case study in opportunities for growth as a songwriter. There are a myriad of classes to take covering a wide range of interests from writing better lyrics and memorable melodies to understanding royalties and the writer/publisher relationship. There is no shortage of inspiring speakers who recount their own stories of struggle and success over the years. In addition, there are opportunities for song critiques by seasoned writers and publishers who will give fair and honest feedback on the song and offer suggestions that may move it closer marketability.
Dixie Phillips and her co-writer, Sharon Phillips, both “Write About Jesus” alumni, garnered the 2015 Dove Award for The Talley’s hit “Hidden Heroes”, and Dixie recently shared: “Write About Jesus is changing lives one songwriter at a time. The clinicians use their talents, gifts, and resources to serve us. I am grateful to be part of this weekend and encourage every aspiring songwriter I know to attend.”
“It changed everything”, said songwriter Janice Crow, co-writer on “Amazing God” with Sue Smith and Lee Black. She continued, “I don’t think I can ever leave ‘Write About Jesus’ behind. There is too much to learn, too much encouragement, too many songwriting tools to leave on the table to just walk away.” Janice experienced a “Write About Jesus” first in October of 2016 when she was signed to an exclusive publishing contract with Daywind during the three-day event.
“Write About Jesus” has been affectionately dubbed WAJ by its faithful attendees who seem to return each year in October as if it is the annual family reunion, for indeed it is. In recent years, the liner notes of artists’ projects have been filling up with names well known to WAJ staff and clinicians who have earned their way by years of deliberate and dedicated study of Christian music, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
This year’s conference will be held October 10-12 at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in St. Charles, Mo. Anyone wishing to obtain more information on this event can do so at www.writeaboutjesus.com. There you will find information on registration, the scheduled clinicians and deadlines for song competition submission.
Absolutely Gospel and its staff would like to congratulate “Write About Jesus” on 20 years of its positive impact on Christian music.