May 2019 Quarterly Meeting

Using Figurative Language to Creatively Develop Narrative Themes

John Jenkins

May 4
9:00am – 12:00N

Centreville Presbyterian Church
Centreville, VA
Members: free
Non-members: Register Here

In the May 2019 Capital Christian Writers Fellowship meeting, we will explore use of figurative language to creatively develop narrative themes. We will look at Shane, by Jack Shaefer as we examine how to develop themes in narrative writing.

Shane is far more than an inspirational story, for writers it is a literary treasure house on how to communicate themes through extended metaphors and other carefully crafted figurative language. Sure, you’ll find some gems in Schaefer’s dialog and in the narrator Bob’s coming of age observations, but the tone and mood giving flight to Schaefer’s themes can be returned to year after year for fresh splash of inspiration.

Join us as we explore Shane. I hope you will purchase the book and read it prior to the workshop. A reading guide will be included at our workshop to illuminate the key extended metaphors and themes.

And after you read it, thought about it, and thought about it some more, think of sons or grandsons you want to grow up and be a man who has a “straight grain clean through.” Then buy them Shane. It’ll be the best $8.99 gift you will ever give.

Shane, Jack Shaefer
Maybe you’ve heard of American writer Jack Schaefer’s most widely read novel, an inspirational “coming of age” western. When his book was written in in 1946, Shane appealed to young boys and adults alike — to the tune of over 12 million copies in 70+ editions and printed in 30 foreign languages. This short read — the current edition I teach from is only 168 pages in a modestly larger type — has been shuffled off to the YA section of bookstores like Barnes and Nobles. Few of my friends, personal or professional, have never heard of this marvelous book.




John Jenkins has been published since 1980 when his first short story, “The Wizards are Dying,” won first place in Dragon Publishing’s fantasy anthology. Today, he is the co-publisher of’s “Young Heroes” series – stories to inspire children, teens, and moms and dads. Getting published by Focus on the Family’s Breakaway and Brio magazines transformed John’s understanding of inspirational storytelling. “If One Falls,” which can now be found in StoryShopUSA’s book “Thresholds of Courage,” took 1st place in the 2000 Evangelical Publishers Association’s “Higher Goals” category. All of John’s short stories and books are crafted from a rich tradition of quality storytelling, offering a timeless message: our young people can rise to make a difference in their world–however big or small that world may be. StoryShopUSA is an imprint of Reconciliation Press. Visit which links directly to John’s author page and all of his books on Amazon. John also teaches effective writing, fiction writing and American, British and World literature classes to homeschoolers in Manassas and Burke. Twenty years and over 8,000 graded papers later, John still enjoys the thrill of presenting and teaching. John attends Clear River Community Church and says that it is his faith and his calling that fuel his passion for writing and teaching.