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While some people may think today s teenagers are irresponsible or shallow, Kelly Carr finds plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the junior and high school-age youths who read and write for her magazine.
Mrs. Carr, editor of Encounter magazine, will be sharing her expertise as a writer and editor in the Christian marketplace in a daylong seminar Sept. 20 sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Christian Writers.
I definitely feel positive about today s teenagers because the depth is there, Mrs. Carr said in a recent phone interview from her home in suburban Cincinnati. I think every generation has some people who are seeking God, but I think this generation now is encouraged to live out their faith and to find opportunities where they can live out their faith.
Encounter is published quarterly by Standard Publishing, Inc., a Christian firm based in Cincinnati, and is distributed through churches of different denominations.
The magazine focuses on topics that are important to teens and then strives to tie in biblical principles with practical, real-world advice.
A recent series of issues, for example, looked at dating and love, with an editor s note from Mrs. Carr saying that she wanted the articles to provide a godly perspective on dating.
You don t want the world s false definitions of love to be your only examples. Commit now to seek God s best for your life, she told readers, signing her name as your friendly editor, Kelly.
In addition to publishing articles by veteran writers, Encounter also runs stories submitted by teens. Mrs. Carr said it has been rewarding to work with young writers and to encourage them to polish their writing and editing skills.
Some of them have submitted their work as teens and then gone on to college and they still send in articles, she said.
Or they ll say, I m going to be a journalism major now because you encouraged me.
The underlying focus of Encounter is to promote Christian principles, but it is important for writers and editors to keep up with the trends that affect teenagers lives, Mrs. Carr said.
Look around, turn on the TV, see what they re seeing, she said. See what the pop culture is like. That changes so often. If you re writing a fictional story and in the story a character is picking up a phone, they d better be using a cell phone and not a land line. And teens tend to text more than they talk on their phones now. If you re referencing videos, make sure the reference is to DVDs.
Mrs. Carr, a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, helped co-found Echo Church near downtown Cincinnati three years ago. The church belongs to the Churches of Christ brotherhood, or denomination.
She and her husband, Steve Carr, who is the teaching pastor at Echo Church, are parents of a 2 -year-old girl, Kaelyn.
At the upcoming seminar, Mrs. Carr will lead workshops on writing for teens, for Christian markets, and for general circulation magazines. More information about Encounter is available online at www.encounterface2face.com.
The 20th Annual Northwest Ohio Christian Writers Seminar starts at 9 a.m. Sept. 20 at Holland Free Methodist Church, 6605 Angola Rd., Holland, Ohio. Registration is $55 for the general public through today, and $65 at the door, including lunch. Information is available by calling Linda Tippett, 419-822-3705, or Mary Jo Bosch, 419-836-5598.