Project Author workshops equip writers for evangelism

Author Ardy Roberto used to get frequent calls for advice on how to get published. Five years ago the Filipino entrepreneur conceived the idea for Project Author, a workshop to equip aspiring writers. Today the workshop encourages Christians to evangelise via their writing. Ardy has so far led seven Project Author workshops that have helped dozens of writers in the Philippines.

Q: What does Project Author look like now? 

Project Author advertThe model of Project Author is John 20:31. Those called to write are to write to help prepare the way. We need to remember the Great Commission and that Jesus is coming back...soon. The workshops in March were called: “Project Author - The Ministry edition: Writing to evangelise, equip and inspire.” 

In March we held it in two half-day sessions, and in May a whole day with talks on: “Why write for Evangelism?”  “What to write?” and “How God uses writing to transform people.” I also presented insights on writing with a Christian perspective gleaned from an MAI webinar by Dr. Miriam Adeney.

I invited other mentor-authors, including Nelson Dy and Grace Chong, Yna Reyes, editorial director of OMF Literature, gave advice on “what readers are looking for” and how to get published.

Q: Who are your ideal participants?

Any follower of Jesus Christ who has a burden to evangelise, equip or encourage through writing (books, primarily). In March we had a good mix of pastors, church workers and volunteers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, artists, college students, retirees and others. I target a minimum of 12 students, and we have anywhere between 12 to 50.

Q: Beyond the workshop, does any follow-up take place?

Yes, I form accountability groups. We also form chat groups on Viber or WhatsApp. I send them assignments and others send me updates on their work. Some communicate with me directly to ask advice. Sometimes, I'll meet with them one on one.Q: Do you charge a fee? I don't charge pastors or church workers any fees for Project Author – The Ministry Edition. However, I limit the free seats to 12 to 20 people at most. I invite other participants via registration on Eventbrite to be a “sponsor” ($100+) or pay their own costs to cover food, space and materials ($25-50).

Q: What results have you seen?

From this latest batch, a couple have already submitted or are about to submit book proposals to a publisher. A few have made public commitments to their writing.

Multiple students from past workshops have since been published. Randell Tiongson said he’s not a writer, but Project Author helped him become author of five books and a leading speaker on financial stewardship. Then there’s Pastor Dennis Sy and Pastor Jayson Lo who have each written multiple books. My wife Miriam’s book, He Can Catch You When You Fall, was a Project Author product and has become CSM’s number one bestseller as well as a top 10 National Bookstore chain bestseller. But more than that, a number of readers have been reached for the Gospel and become closer to the Lord.   

Q: What advice would you offer to others interested in equipping writers elsewhere in the world?

Pray and ask God for guidance and a go-ahead signal.
Understand that not everyone who attends will take the workshop seriously enough to go forth and write a book. That’s okay. Focus on encouraging and mentoring the serious ones.
Book it. Schedule a workshop and trust God with the results. I just used my Viber and Facebook groups/pages to promote. I used apps and everything was online.
Learn from the experience and the speakers. The sessions ministered and inspired me as well to practice what we preached.
Finally, may everything be:
I-S-H -- In Sync (with) the Holy Spirit. You can’t do this alone. You need the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit with you. Everyone whom I invited to speak were all moved by the Holy Spirit to help. That makes the acrostic, “Publish.”

Ardy Roberto will lead a workshop on “Writing to Evangelize” at LittWorld 2018, 28 October to 2 November, in Singapore. Learn more from MAI Trainer Ardy Roberto in this free webinar, “Write to Evangelize,” on Tuesday, December 12. Register online

This article was used by permission of Media Associates International (MAI) and was first published on its blog in July  2017.

Last modified: Saturday, 7 October 2017, 12:05 PM