Inkwell: Story Warren’s Family Conference

Inkwell Logo Cutout


(But do write to us if you have interested teenagers, because we may be able to squeeze them in:

Inkwell: Story Warren’s Family Conference

An event for children aged 7 to 17 and their parents

Saturday, June 21

Charlotte, NC

8:30am — 4pm 


Story Warren is all about an alliance. We’re on your side. Our heartbeat is serving your family as you foster holy imagination at home and in your church/community. Incarnation hints at magic. We wanted to bring the ideas and energy that make Story Warren special to a real space, to real flesh and blood.

We thought it would be fun if we asked God to give us a broadside of blessings in a one-day family conference. What if God gave us a day where our children could be inspired, mentored, and taught by some of the most amazing writers, artists, poets, and musicians on the planet? What are we planning?

A day of Kingdom Anticipation.

A day of Unbottling Imagination.


What to Expect

The kids will be divided into age-based teams and make their way through sessions led by author Andrew Peterson, illustrator Zach Franzen, poet Rebecca Reynolds, and songwriter Randall Goodgame (and more). In case this sounds the least bit dry for kids, do not be deceived. These folks are funny, wise, and gentle. They are all-around excellent with children of all ages.

What do we expect for the kids? They will be…

Immersed in Incarnational Art

Connected to Winsome Mentors

Engaged in Practical Learning

Shaped through an Inspiring Experience


In This Together: About the Kids, For the Family

We are focusing on the kids for (and with) the families. We aren’t just aiming to serve your kids,  but to serve your family through your kids. We are NOT taking your kids for you and giving them a positive babysitting experience. We are interested in engaging, inspiring, and serving your family.

The bulk of the energy will be aimed kid-ward, but we believe parents will enjoy and benefit from what is happening in the sessions.

We plan to have sessions for parents going on at the same time, sessions one parent can perhaps catch while the other is with the kids. If you’d rather stay together with your kids, that’s okay too. There will be plenty happening.

We would love to accommodate the littlest ones here, but Inkwell will be aimed at kids aged 7 & up, like the drink.


 The Four Rotating Sessions Will Be

Andrew Peterson — Writing/Storytelling

Zach Franzen — Drawing/Illustration

Rebecca Reynolds — Poetry/Lyrics

Randall Goodgame — Songwriting/Music


Kids will be placed into age-appropriate groups* (lower elementary, upper elementary, middle-school/high-school) and each will rotate through all the featured sessions.
*Parents may request for siblings to be included in the same group.


Featured Session Leaders

Andrew Peterson

AndrewPeterson_11Andrew has earned a place as one of Christian music’s most respected singer/songwriters. But music is only part of Peterson’s artistry: he’s published three books, most recently launching a Christy Award-winning series of young adult fantasy novels called The Wingfeather Saga. He is the proprietor of The Rabbit Room, a community of artists, authors, songwriters, and erstwhile hooligans. He is married to Jamie and has three children, one of whom is Aedan, a fine illustrator and Story Warren contributor. Andrew and his family live at the Warren, just south of Nashville.





Zach Franzen

ZaZachCroppedch is an illustrator from Greenville, South Carolina. He has illustrated numerous books, album covers, and editorials. He has done work for an impressive range of clients, including Slugs & Bugs, Marvel, Crossway, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, and Desiring God. His picture book in the works is what Story Warren captain S.D. Smith calls, “…simultaneously hilarious and deep, a charming lullaby for would-be adventurer kids.” Zach lives with his wife and daughter, for whom he paints pictures.





Randall Goodgame

RandySINGRandall is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, and the driving force behind the Slugs & Bugs music phenomenon. He has released six solo recordings, and has written many songs for other artists, including seventeen songs for the award winning band Caedmon’s Call. Randall has written several songs for Veggie Tales, and he spent four years as the worship pastor of Midtown Fellowship in downtown Nashville. Randall enjoys peanut butter and chocolate anything, and being home with his family of five in Nashville, TN.




Rebecca Reynolds

BeccaCropped-150x150Rebecca teaches rhetoric, literature, and philosophy at a classical school in eastern Tennessee. She is a poet, a writer, and a lyricist. She most recently teamed with multi-Grammy award-winning artist Ron Block on his album, Walking Song, writing all the lyrics. She is well-known for her insight and incredible facility with a pen in a wide variety of fields. She lives with her husband Bobby and their three children, in a house.





Books Bloom! 

We’re delighted to add the news that Books Bloom and their 4,000 books for sale will be joining us at Inkwell. The Blooms will bring their 4,000+ beautiful books for sale and will be on hand to help you find titles that fit your children’s interests and reading levels. The Blooms will also hold sessions for parents that run concurrent with the sessions for children. (See Julie Silander’s post announcing and introducing the Blooms here.)

Books Bloom


Where Is Inkwell Happening?

The Church at Charlotte
2500 Carmel Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

Note: Please do not contact the Church with questions. If you have questions (after reading the FAQ below), please email or call 304-237-9768. 


What is the cost?

We want to make the conference as economical as possible, so you get one discounted ticket with every full-priced ticket purchased.

First child registration is $65.

Second child registration is discounted to $35.

With a third child, the cost is back to the full $65, then back down to $35 for the fourth. (And so on.)

Parents come along for free.


Ready to Register?

(and don’t forget to continue on this page and read the FAQ!)

Things to Do in Charlotte

If you’re coming from out of town, consider spending Friday in Charlotte, staying over, then being close by when things get started Saturday morning. There’s so much to do in Charlotte. Here are some of the options.

Discovery Place
U.S. Whitewater Center
Billy Graham Library
Lazy 5 Ranch (Animal Park)
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Great Wolf Lodge



Will lunch be provided?
There is an option to add a $10 box lunch, as many as you need.

Will the Story Warren contributors not listed as Featured Speakers be there?
We hope most will be. So far, we’re counting on S.D. Smith, Andrew Mackay, Julie Silander, Paul Boekell, Aedan Peterson, and James Witmer along with Rebecca, Randall, Zach and our guest, Andrew Peterson.

How old is Andrew Peterson’s dog?
No one knows. Moondog just showed up one day.

What ages of children are invited to the conference?
7 and above.

Can I drop off my kids and peel out in the parking lot to escape them?
No. This is designed for families to experience together.

Where is the Inkwell conference located?
The Church at Charlotte
2500 Carmel Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

Should I eat dirt?
No. But it’s rumored some plants (vegetables) are OK. But we aren’t scientists.

Will my kids get to experience each of the featured sessions?
Yes, if you are on time.

Will the opening and closing sessions where everyone is together be worth attending?
You do not want to miss them.

Will I get a chance to meet Andrew Peterson, Zach Franzen, Rebecca Reynolds, or Randall Goodgame?
Probably so. But they only know English. So, sorry, Klingons.

May I sit in on the kids’ sessions with my children?
We want you to. (You are responsible for your children at all times.)

Can I act as a guardian for kids who are not mine?
That’s between you and their parents. Sounds good to us. We just need to know which adults are responsible for each child.

Will anything cool be for sale?

Do you have a tentative schedule?

This is a rough schedule. Things will be added, but this is the basic plan.

8:30am    Opening Session

9am    Session 1

10am     Session 2

11am     Session 3

12pm     Lunch (Box lunch option available.)

1pm     Open Session/Meet Speakers/Book signings, etc. (Gives a little more room to get back from lunch.)

2pm    Session 4

3pm     Closing Session/All Together  (Possibly some fun surprises in store here.)

4pm     It’s All Over

My friend suggested this for our family, but I don’t even know what Story Warren is. What is up with you people?
This might help…

SW Inkwell cutout