Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency
Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency.
She’s been studying, reviewing, and marketing children’s books, as well as giving writing instruction for a dozen years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour she was privileged to work with best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale.
She is most interested in middle grade and young adult novels for the general market.
Children’s Book Practicum (Act I/II/III)
For all children’s book writers, from picture books to young adult, and at all levels of skill. Send in your work early—a complete picture book or the first 2,500 words of your middle grade or young adult novel. Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org so Sally can match you with others who are working on similar projects. You will be expected to give and take critique to and from other participants. Sally will also read over your work and remark on it, as well as prepare talks on issues that arise from the manuscripts. Deadline for class sign-up is April 20.
Jonathan Clements has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years, calling Nashville home for the full term. Although he has an extensive background in the music business, including artist management, development and career consulting, he found his true calling in 2005, beginning working with authors as a literary agent.
Jonathan founded Wheelhouse Literary Group in January 2010, after running The Nashville Group’s literary and licensing division for five years. He loves coffee, music, and the ever elusive well-crafted sentence. Therefore, you may just find him at the nearest trendy coffee shop, multitasking on his laptop, conducting client meetings, reading manuscripts, and well … grooving to the latest tune. Of course, the end result is helping writers communicate their passion to the masses, to encourage creative types in spreading their words, messages, and souls via book, film, television, music, or whatever new form of medium is yet to come down the proverbial path.
Wheelhouse represents commercial and literary fiction in the general areas of inspirational, historical, contemporary, military, as well as biography/memoir, sports, political, current events and pop culture non-fiction -- all with a values-friendly approach. Wheelhouse clients reach audiences with works projecting values-driven, hopeful messages, and / or family-friendly projects.
Jonathan prefers not to "drop names," but has worked with some of the more influential types within the entertainment and publishing worlds through the years, many culminating in New York Times list best-selling books, feature films, documentaries, and television series under his guidance. Always willing to listen to a pitch, or read a manuscript, you won't meet a more approachable agent. Just don't forget the coffee and the tunes.
The Care and Feeding of Your Agent (Workshop, Act I/II)
So, I guess some people say literary agents are bears. I don’t happen to adhere to this philosophy, but in keeping with the title of my session …
Come join me as we discuss everything you ever wanted to know about the author / agent relationship. We’ll cover burning questions like these (and more):
- What does an agent do?
- When does an author need an agent?
- Does every author need an agent?
· Do agents really just sit at coffee shops and drink java all day?
The Blythe Daniel Agency
As president of The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc., Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and publicist. In addition to representing authors to publishers, she conducts publicity campaigns for authors. Daniel was the publicity director and then marketing director for Harper Collins Christian Publishing. She has been a news reporter, radio host, and freelance writer for magazines and newspapers. She was the product development manager for New York Times bestselling author John Eldredge before starting her agency. In addition to literary and marketing representation, the agency conducts The Blog Spot, a network of over 125 bloggers providing reviews for books and other products. www.theblythedanielagency.com (Update 11:23;15)
David Van Diest
Van Diest Literary Agency
David Van Diest is an agent who believes that the best books are yet to be published.
His path to becoming a literary agent was both surprising and inevitable. David describes himself as a late bloomer, languishing in the lower echelons of his literary courses through school, and not becoming much of a reader until he was nearly thirty. But publishing is in David’s blood, it seems: his father, John Van Diest was the original publisher at Multnomah Press and is now associate publisher of Tyndale; both sisters worked in publishing; Don Jacobson, his brother-in-law, was publisher/owner of Multnomah Publishers for nearly 20 years; David’s wife, Sarah, has been a literary agent for a number of authors; and even his wife’s brother, Jeff Gerke, is an author and publisher.
Since starting in publishing in 1988 David has worked directly with many leading Christian publishers, ministries, and bestselling authors Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, and Chuck Swindoll. He’s worn a variety of hats in the past 20+ years, including marketing director, vice president of sales and literary agent. While in marketing at Multnomah, David wrote the marketing plan for a little book called The Prayer of Jabez, which surprised everyone by selling over 10 million copies.
Today, David continues in the publishing industry because of his passion to help everyone understand the un-surpassing greatness of God’s love expressed through His Son Jesus’ free gift of grace, and to help Christians mature in Him through continued growth.
Crafting an Unforgettable Proposal (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
Literary agent David Van Diest knows what it takes to create an unforgettable proposal. In this class, he will share what it takes to make your proposal standout.
Hartline Literary Agency
Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for nine years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as contemporary women’s fiction, and formula romance.
When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains of North Carolina or kayaking the states many lakes. (Updated 12-1-15)
Idea to Proposal for the Nonfiction Writer (Continuing Class, Act I)
These three classes will take you step-by-step through the mechanics of writing a nonfiction book from your great idea. Fun class exercises and detailed handouts will furnish you with all you need. Bring your idea and walk out of the third class with a good start on your proposal and first chapter.
Create or Resurrect Your Writing Career (Workshop, Act I)
You’ve dreamed of becoming a writer a long time, and now you’re here, wondering what classes to take and where to begin. You might even be a little panicked, wondering if you made a mistake and if it’s too late to get a refund. Relax; you are in the perfect place. This fun, interactive class will provide a structured plan to launch you on your new adventure or even resurrect a lost vision. Using a beloved biblical passage and the process God used in creating us, you will build the needed steps into your life to launch your writing career.
RX for Stalled Book Sales (Workshop, Act II/III)
After a brief discussion of what has not worked to connect your book with its target reader, we will corporately brainstorm seriously cool, out-of-the-box ways to reach your audience. With hands-on tips and working examples, you will leave this inspiring workshop with new tools and zeal to get to work. There will be chocolate.
The Steve Laube Agency
Steve Laube, a literary agent and president of The Steve Laube Agency (stevelaube.com), has been in the book industry for over 35 years, first as a bookstore manager and book buyer for a national chain. In 1989 his store was awarded the National Store of the Year by the Christian Bookstore Association (CBA). He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of Editorial Director/Adult Nonfiction and was named the Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Since becoming an agent in 2003 he has negotiated contracts for nearly 1,000 new books and was named Agent of the Year by The American Christian Fiction Writers. He was inducted into the Grand Canyon University Hall-of-Fame by their College of Theology in 2013. In addition, Steve has taught at over 100 writer’s conferences in more than 50 cities. In addition, he is the president and owner of Enclave Publishing (enclavepublishing.com). His office is in Phoenix, Arizona.
Do I Need an Agent? (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Trendspotting: If It’s Hot, You’re Too Late! (Workshop, Act II/III)
The Maze of Contracts and Negotiations (Act II/III)
Steve Laube & Tamela Hancock Murray
Developing a Thick Skin (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Tamela Hancock Murray
The Steve Laube Agency
Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency is a full-time literary agent bringing to her clients her past experience as a bestselling novelist and author of nonfiction as well. Her fiction has been recognized with an RWA Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Tamela has been a literary agent since 2001, joining The Steve Laube Agency in 2011. A native Virginian, she holds a BA with honors in Journalism from Lynchburg College. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of over 30 years and their youngest daughter. An avid reader, Tamela feels blessed by the Lord to have a career in Christian publishing, where she enjoys long-term relationships with key publishing professionals in every top CBA publishing house.
Currently Seeking: Tamela continues to seek novels with strong romantic elements, whether aimed at CBA mass market or trade book publishers. She is also seeking strong nonfiction from authors with an established platform.
NOT SEEKING: Speculative, spiritual warfare, children's, horror.
Tamela prefers that debut authors have completed the manuscript they wish to discuss and can tell her their plans for their next novel or two. Established authors do not need a complete manuscript. Tamela is happy to meet with authors regardless of where they are in their careers. If you are not sure what to do about agency representation or what your next step should be, Tamela is happy to share her thoughts. Author appointments are one of her favorite parts of any conference. (Updated 11-23-15)
Steve Laube & Tamela Hancock Murray
Developing a Thick Skin (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency
An active Literary Agent for 23 years, Les Stobbe has been denominational weekly editor, book editor, book club vice-president, journal editor, curriculum managing editor, and president of a book publishing house. He has written curriculum, journalism lessons, 14 books and hundreds of magazine articles. His website is at www.stobbeliterary.com
Engaging Your Reader for Life Change (Workshop, Act II)
For too many years, much of communication by evangelical Christians has focused on the right information. Things have changed a lot, with the story now an important part of evangelical communication. But how can writers move the reader beyond information and an emotion-grabbing experience to vital life change? This workshop will introduce a writing approach that has the potential for effecting life change.
Integrating Scripture and Life Experience in Your Writing (Workshop, Act II)
Many writers either overload their book manuscript with Scripture or make their experience normative for what the reader ought to experience. How can the writer achieve a balance of life experience and biblical truth to achieve effective life change? Is there a formula that can be applied? What contemporary writers are effectively integrating Scripture and life experiences—and what can we learn from them?
Editor, Kregel Publications
Dawn Anderson is associate editor at Kregel Publications, whose stated mission is to develop and distribute—with integrity and excellence—trusted, biblically based resources that lead individuals to know and serve Jesus Christ. To that end, she acquires and edits both fiction and nonfiction. A graduate of Cornerstone University with an English major and a psychology minor, Dawn has enjoyed various aspects of book publishing, from typesetting to editing, in both religious and general markets, both on a freelance basis and in-house.
Founder and President, CrossRiver Media Group
Tamara Clymer is an award-winning television and newspaper journalist as well as a speaker and publisher. Born and raised in the Midwest, she earned a journalism degree from Kansas State University and soon after began working in television and newspaper newsrooms, covering everything from local school board meetings and barbeque competitions to the Oklahoma City Bombing and presidential elections. In 2010, she founded CrossRiver Media Group, a Christian publishing company. Two CrossRiver books have since won the coveted SELAH Award: Finding Beth in 2014 for Fiction: Suspense; and Bethany’s Calendar in 2015 for Nonfiction: Memoir. Tamara encourages her authors to use social media as an important tool in placing their books in front of a new audience. She teaches writers to do the same at Christian writers’ conferences all across the country. Tamara has been married to her high school sweetheart, Shad, for more than twenty-five years. Along with their four kids and two dogs, they live in western Kansas where they keep busy with their kids’ sports, church activities, and family camping trips to the mountains.
Self-publishing 101 (Workshop, Act II)
Have you decided to skip the whole submission and agent scene and dive into the publishing world on your own? While self-publishing is easier than ever, there are several things you should pay close attention to while preparing your book for publication. From cover design to ISBNs, we’ll talk about the possibilities and pitfalls of self-publishing.
Creative Marketing Plans (Workshop, Act II)
When publishers look at your proposal, they want to know what you plan to do to market your book. They aren’t so much interested in your 500 Facebook friends or the 800 members of your church. They need to know what you will do after you work through those lists to keep your book moving. Tamara will offer some specific ideas to move you outside of your marketing box and get your book noticed.
Editor, Just 18 Summers®, Writer, Editor WHOA Magazine
Editor Just 18 Summers®Parenting Blog, Writer/Editor WHOA Magazine,
Michelle Cox is a speaker, a member of the blog team for Guideposts (where she writes the “Life with a Southern Grandmother” column), and a contributing writer for Leading Hearts Magazine. She’s also written for WHOA Magazine for Women, Christian Cinema, FoxNews.com, and was the food blogger for Fox News Personality Todd Starnes. She is the author of nine books and has written for groups like Focus on the Family, Product Concept, Cracker Barrel, and The Buntin Group.
Michelle is the creator of the Just 18 Summers® brand which will feature books, films, documentaries, music, and other products. Her Just 18 Summers novel (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge), released from Tyndale. Visit the syndicated Just 18 Summers blog at www.just18summers.com for parenting and family content from a variety of top-notch experts and parents just like you.
Michelle is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including Hannity, The Harvest Show, and Focus on the Family. She is on faculty for numerous writing and media conferences, has taught webinars for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, and designed book trailers for Tentmakers Entertainment. Whew, she’ll figure out what she wants to do eventually! She’s been married to her favorite—and only—husband, Paul, for over 40 years. They have three grown sons and six perfect grandchildren Visit her at www.just18summers.comand on her Facebook pages at www.Facebook.com/MichelleCoxInspirations and www.Facebook.com/just18summers.
INTERESTS: I’m looking for articles for the “Voices” section for WHOA and accepting family-related articles for Just 18 Summers®. (Updated 12-7-15)
Maximize Your Conference Experience (Orientation – First-time Attendees)
You’ve registered for the conference and made your travel arrangements. Next, you’ll pack your clothes and your dreams as you head to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference—but are you really ready for the conference? Join me for “Maximizing Your Conference Experience” for tips on talking with editors, maximizing publisher appointments, information about the conference, and other suggestions that will make your conference experience fun and productive.
Writing for the Gift and Devotional Book Markets (Workshop, Act I/II)
Have you ever thought about writing a gift book or a devotional book? Then come to my class where we’ll talk about what you need to know from the time you come up with the idea until the day you see your masterpiece on bookstore shelves and bestseller lists. I learned everything the hard way, but after attending my session, you won’t have to do that. (Pausing to adjust my halo.) Please join me so I won’t be sitting in my classroom like a big wallflower
Executive Editor, Revell (Baker Publishing Group)
Vicki Crumpton, Executive Editor for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, has over twenty-five years of publishing experience. A recipient of ACFW’s Editor of the Year award, AWSA’s Editor of the Year award, and AWSA’s Fiction Editor of the Year award, she has acquired a number of award finalists and winners, as well as several New York Times bestsellers, including 90 Minutes in Heaven. She holds an M. Div. and Ph.D. from Southwestern Seminary, is a Mensa member, and works from her office in Western Kentucky. When she’s not taking care of the menagerie, you can often find her riding a road or mountain bike, paddling a kayak, or taking photos. www.revellbooks.com
10 Key Elements of a Successful Nonfiction Book (Workshop, Act I)
Covering the key elements of crafting and presenting a successful nonfiction book.
News of My Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
The value of traditional publishers.
Eva Marie Everson
Writer, Editor Firefly Southern Fiction
Eva Marie Everson is a multi-award-winning author and speaker of both nonfiction and fiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, the acquisitions editor of Firefly Southern Fiction, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie is a wife, mother, grandmother, and owner of one spoiled dog and one funny chicken. Or, rather, they own her.
Next.Level Fiction Practicum (Practicum, Act II/III)
The First Three Things to Consider. Internal and External Conflicts. Character Arcs. The Seven “Issues.” Time Lines & Dialogue. Title Pages, Hooks, & “The Four Questions.” (No, this is not an introduction to Passover.) In this 5-hour hands-on practicum, Eva Marie Everson will discuss elements of fiction for next-level conferees. Get your red pens ready because we’re going to work on your manuscript. Conferees must sign up in advance, and the class is limited to the first ten. Class participants should bring ten copies of their first 1,000 words, as well as one page that is heavy with dialogue. Participants should also be ready to discuss concept to completion ideas, titles, and possible avenues for publication. Hands on, loads of fun, and chocolate is involved.
Writer, Editor Brimstone Fiction
In addition to being a loving father and husband, Aaron Gansky is an author, novelist, editor, mentor, teacher, and podcast host. In 2009, he earned his M.F.A in Fiction at the prestigious Antioch University of Los Angeles, one of the top five low-residency writing schools in the nation. Prior to that, he attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing where he studied, in part, under Bret Anthony Johnston, now the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University. His first novel The Bargain (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was released in December of 2013. His first YA fantasy, Hand of Adonai: Book of Things to Come, released in August of 2015. He has written two books on the craft of fiction; Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and Write to Be Heard (with Diane Sherlock). His podcast, Firsts in Fiction, can be found on YouTube and Aarongansky.com.
Poetry (Practicum, Act I/II/III)
A class where we roll up our sleeves and write/workshop poetry.
How to run a poetry workshop.
Writing Short Fiction (Continuing Class, Act I)
Class One: Writing with Impact
Sometimes, we fall into the trap of thinking that more words means more emotion. This class examines the adage “less is more.” We learn to scale back, use fewer words, and allow our images to do the heavy emotional lifting.
Class Two: Making the Words Count
Sometimes powerful writing is only a noun or verb away. We’ll take a look at vocabulary in this class; the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ll find out how a well-placed noun or verb counts for a thousand adverbs or adjectives.
Class Three: Darlings Beware
It’s easy to fall in love with what we’ve written, and hard to cut what we love. We’ll examine why we love what we do, and why we need to cut it anyway. Sometimes our best writing is left off the page. Here, we’ll find out how to tell the difference.
Editor, Harvest House Publishers
Terry Glaspey is a writer, an editor with Harvest House Publishers, and a creative mentor. He has written over a dozen books, including 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: The Fascinating Stories Behind Great Art, Music, Literature, and Film, Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis, The Prayers of Jane Austen, 25 Keys to Life-Changing Prayer, Bible Basics for Everyone, and others. Terry enjoys writing and speaking about a variety of topics, including the art of writing, creativity and the spiritual life, the artistic heritage of the Christian faith, and creative approaches to apologetics. He has a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Oregon, and was the recipient of the Advanced Writers and Speakers “Editor of the Year” award. He lives in Eugene, Oregon.
A Cloud of Creative Witnesses: A Celebration of Our Creative Heritage (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Based on the research behind my book, 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: The Fascinating Stories Behind Great Art, Music, Literature, and Film (Baker, 2015). Using examples from the various arts, we’ll explore seven different ways that the various arts can enlighten our theological understanding, touch and heal our souls, and transform our lives. With a multi-media presentation we’ll celebrate the work of some of the great writers and artists who have gone before us, and embrace our place in the continuing cultural conversation about faith.
Telling It Slant: Finding New Ways to Reflect the Old, Old Story (Workshop, Act II/III)
Emily Dickinson spoke of telling the truth, but “telling it slant,” communicating in ways that are unexpected, and surprising. In this session we’ll explore ways to move beyond propaganda and cliché to create fiction and nonfiction that is startling, fresh, and effective. We’ll also consider the philosophy and practice behind powerful writing.
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Eddie Jones is Founder and CEO of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries. He is also an award-winning author with HarperCollins. Learn more about Eddie at EddieJones.org.
Crafting Your First Novel - Turning Personal Experiences into Parables (Workshop, Act I/II)
In this class, you will learn how to draw readers into your devotion, article, or story with the “Hook, Book, Look, Took” method of writing. Devotions are compact stories (think of the parables of Jesus) focused on a single topic that conveys a specific spiritual lesson. Class handouts include: Christian devotion markets, devotion samples, and tips for brainstorming ideas.
Crafting Your First Novel (Workshop, Act I/II)
Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, your character’s journey and destination should leave readers satisfied with its ending and longing for the beginning of your next novel. In this class we will identify the common “mile markers” found in every great story. From introduction and underlying character motivation to your lead’s moment of maxim angst, we’ll show how to keep your characters on the path of their story, not some rigid outline.
Crafting Your First Cozy Mystery (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Cozy readers expect a puzzle, an amateur sleuth, a gathering of suspects (3-5), and an unexpected climax where the killer is revealed. In this class we’ll examine the steps necessary to build cozy mystery that leaves your readers asking for more books in the series.
Crafting Your First Romance Novel (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
In this class we’ll dissect the classic romance “W” formula, examine the stock scenes found in most Hallmark romance movies, and learn when and how to add the breakup scenes to your story.
Editor, Candlelight Romance, Guiding Light Women's Fiction
Yvonne Lehman is author of more than 3,000,000 books in print, founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, and is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She has joined Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as Acquisitions and Managing Editor of Candlelight Romance and Guiding Light Women’s Fiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Recent releases are a novel, Name that Tune in A Gentleman’s Kiss (Barbour), and The Stranger’s Kiss in The Knight’s Bride (Barbour). Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC (Abingdon), which she signs periodically at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN. Her non-fiction compilations (Grace Publishing) are Divine Moments and Christmas Moments (2014), Spoken Moments, Precious Precocious Moments, and More Christmas Moments (2015). Writing Right to Success (LPC), authors’ journeys, along with craft
What’s the Big Idea? (Continuing Class, Act I/ II)
Where do you get ideas? After you have them, then what? There is a process to finding and developing your ideas. We will discuss ideas, genre, setting, characters, descriptions, conflict, theme, plot, faith, beginnings, and how a story board of pictures can be more valuable than an outline.
Creating the All-important Summary Paragraph (Practicum, Act I/II)
After developing the summary paragraph you can use that to prepare your QUERY LETTER, BACK COVER BLURB, ONE-SHEET, ELEVATOR SPEECH, and LOGLINE. In this class, you will PREPARE, PERFECT, and PRACTICE your PITCH so you can confidently approach an editor or agent in person or online. Then we will continue on to a proposal. You may, but are not required to, send your query letter and/or back-cover blurb to email@example.com to be discussed in class. Or bring yours to class, even if you’re not sure what goes into it.
Discover Your Genre and Brainstorm (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
This is a group discussion for those who have a story idea, or have even written the novel but not sure where it belongs. It’s a great story. Anybody would want it. Well, no… editors have their genres and know what the readers want. No matter how good your story might be, or how great the writing, if it doesn’t fit into their genres, they won’t accept it. Doubts about your genre? Let’s discuss it. Get input from the group on how to improve your story.
Editor, JourneyForth Books
Nancy Lohr is Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books, acquiring for both the youth and adult markets. Nancy has nearly twenty years of experience in book publishing and was an educator and children’s librarian before moving to publishing. On the editor’s side of her desk, her responsibilities range from acquiring manuscripts and illustrations to editing manuscripts and managing book production. As an author, her personal résumé includes two historical novels for children, curriculum stories and articles, and numerous book reviews and articles for parents and educators. She is an avid reader who reads widely in both the youth and adult markets, and she agrees with C.S. Lewis who said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
The Plot Thickens (Workshop, Act I/II)
An idea, an emotion, a hero or heroine (the protagonist) are all some of the necessary elements to include in a novel for children or adults, but none of these is a substitute for a strong and compelling plot. This workshop will look at a variety of ways to develop a plot that will hold your reader’s attention and deliver a satisfying, forward-moving story.
Ready, Aim, Submit (Workshop, Act III)
Writing for publication is a two-sided coin. The author must not only focus on the craft of writing but also must be aware of the differences among publishers. Sending a good piece to the wrong publisher will result in rejection just as surely as sending a bad piece to the right publisher. We will look at various ways to “read the market” to maximize the potential of your submission process.
Writing for Children (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
Children intuitively understand “story.” They love to hear stories, and they love to tell stories. As their literacy skills develop, they love to read stories. Writers for the youth market need to tap into that internal literary river. Learn about the history of children’s publishing, elements specific to youth novels and biographies, kid-friendly writing specifics, and the wide variety of types of writing found in the youth market.
A Bunny-Eat-Bunny World (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
A working knowledge of the business of children’s publishing is important for writers in this field. We’ll look at a variety of topics including the history of children’s publishing, the range of publishing opportunities, and the status of the current marketplace. We’ll also do a little bit of arithmetic looking at pertinent numbers.
Make or Break Qualities in Novels for Children (Workshop, Act I/II)
Writing for children isn’t as easy as it looks. We will take a broad look at the tween market including some myths and unique challenges. We will discuss some aspects of writing that can make or break a manuscript for young readers. Topics will include plots, the opening sentence, strong dialogue, cadence, and more.
Editor, Prism Books
Paula Mowery is an award-winning author, acquisitions editor, speaker, and pastor’s wife. Her published books include two women’s fiction titles, four Christian romances, and one Christian romantic suspense. Her devotions have been included in the published collections, Sweet Freedom A La Mode, Fear Not, and A Walk in the Valley. She writes for The Christian Online Magazine where she shares book reviews of her latest favorites in Christian fiction. She reverts to her days of teaching Language Arts by sharing writing lessons at conferences and public schools.
As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values and messages at their cores. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.
Extend Your Message (Workshop, Act II, III)
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the many possibilities of extending the message of your fiction story. The presenter will identify several possible venues for sharing your message from public speaking to Bible studies to devotionals to radio interviews and more. The participant will leave this workshop with a detailed outline for a speaking script as well as for a Bible study and the knowledge of using the outline to produce other written and spoken formats.
Proximate Point of View (Workshop, Act I/II)
This workshop was formerly entitled Deep POV Basics. Proximate more clearly defines the type of POV to be taught. Point of view will be defined, as well as what proximate POV is and why writers should strive to achieve this in their novels. The presenter will explore six different areas which can enhance or hone the writer’s POV into a deeper one, thus allowing the reader to connect even more with the POV character. Examples for hands-on practice will be utilized, some taken from the resource, Rivet Your Readers With Deep POV, by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (used by permission).
Christian Writer’s Devotional (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
This continuing class will teach a basic devotional writing format. The participants will then create devotional entries for a collection to encourage Christian writers.
We’ll learn about the basic format of devotions (the single piece) and devotionals (the collective book). The presenter will share examples. Participants will be encouraged to list possible submissions to the devotional to encourage Christian writers.
Class Two and Three:
We’ll focus on writing and critiquing three devotions per conferee for the collective devotional.
Editor, AMG Publishing
Gloria Penwell’s expertise and love of the writing world comes from years of traveling with her husband, Dan. Together they attended hundreds of writers conferences while Dan was Acquisitions Editor at AMG Publishing. Gloria is the CLASS Christian Writers Conference Assistant Director. She loves to encourage new writers and understands what the writing life is about. Gloria represents AMG Publishers.
Dynamite Bible Studies that Can Change the World (Workshop, Act I)
Focus on the essential of presentation, explication, elaboration, and application in writing Bible studies. Find the wide audience of denominations who need small group Bible studies. Other topics include: Writing the Easy Way, Using Subheads, Narrowing Your Focus, Topical Subjects, Online vs. Print Studies, Finding Background Resources, Organizing Material, Storytelling, Setting Priorities, and Using Your Passion.
Christian Devotions Ministries
Cindy Sproles is an author, speaker, and conference teacher. She is the cofounder of ChristianDevotions.us and serves as the managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, both imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy serves as a mentor, teacher, and the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference/Writers Boot Camp. Cindy's devotions are published in Christian papers across the eastern seaboard. Her debut fiction novel, Mercy's Rain (Kregel) is working its way to the best seller list. Cindy is married and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her husband and son. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.
Say What? Knowing the Lingo (Continuing Class, Act I)
Many times conferees walk into a conference and feel as though they entered a foreign country without a translator. This one-day class will focus on writing and publishing jargon familiarizing conferees with those initials they hear, such as POV, GWS, RUE. They’ll learn publishing terms such as first rights, queries, cover letters, lead time, pay on publication and even proposals etc. Once you understand the lingo things fall into place and you can roll through a conference confident and comfortable.
Class One: Say What? Knowing the Lingo
Many times conferees walk into a conference and feel as though they entered a foreign country without a translator. This class will focus on writing and publishing jargon, familiarizing conferees with those initials they hear, such as POV, GWS, and RUE. They’ll learn publishing terms such as first rights, queries, cover letters, lead time, pay on publication, proposals, etc. Once you understand the lingo, things fall into place and you can roll through a conference confident and comfortable.
Class Two: The Top Ten Blunders
Writers, whether new or experienced, all make mistakes. Sometimes even the most seasoned writers fall for the old regulars. This class is designed to help the new writer recognize and correct the then most common mistakes. Writers will learn quick, easy fixes and questions to ask that will help locate mistakes. This handy little class will give you a great start at turning out a manuscript with fewer errors. Learn how to make your edits a breeze.
Class Three: The Basics of Submitting Your Work
The third class in this series works on the basics of submitting work; from items as simple as putting your name on your work to developing a query, proposal, and how to submit them even to email and blog sites. Here we talk about developing a one sheet, business cards, networking, and time management as a writer.
I Can be Published Just Because I Can (Workshop, Class I/II/III)
In the current state of publishing, more and more writers are going the self-publication route. In this class we will discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing. We’ll talk about “what is the rush” and if “rushing into publication because you can” is best for your career. Conferees will get information on how to approach self-publication from a business standpoint (costs), and where NOT to cut corners. We’ll jump into the importance of financially investing into your work to make it best it can be before it publishes. And finally, we’ll delve into the real reason you want to be published – do you have a platform and an important message or do you just want to be published. All these things are important to examine before you sign on the self-publication dotted line.
Put the Diamond On – Writing to Engage (Workshop, Act I/II)
Learning to write is an ongoing form of refining. In this class we will talk about those first lines, first paragraphs, and first pages. How do you grab a reader and hold them? And better yet, how do you keep them turning the pages? It’s learning to insert a cliffhanger thought without hanging the reader out to dry. We’ll discuss dissecting what the writer’s story is about and then when we find it, how to write that first line that drives the hook in. We’ll look at forming the ending paragraph of each chapter so the reader hungers for the next page. Learn what it means to be engaged with your reader. Conferees are encouraged to bring their first chapter to class so we can become. . . ENGAGED.
Writer, Editor Wesleyan Publishing House
Jim Watkins has served as an editor/writer for the American Bible Society, adjunct professor at Taylor University teaching writing for fifteen years, a “visiting author” at Indiana Wesleyan University, guest lecturer at Liberty, Regent and other colleges and universities, full-time editorial director at Wesleyan Publishing House, and weekly columnist for three secular newspapers for fifteen years—but not all at the same time. His speaking travels have taken him to Australia, and countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Jim has won awards for his books (Campus Life “Book of the Year” and “Retailers Choice Award”) and writing and editing (four Evangelical Press Association awards) as well as an “Amy” award for writing in the general market. (Click here for a complete list of his published books.) His 2,000-plus articles have been published by Christianity Today, Decision, Focus on the Family, Guideposts, Leadership, Ministry Today, Today’s Christian Woman, The Upper Room, The Whittenberg Door, War Cry and many more. He’s a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University (1974) and took post graduate work at Ball State University’s School of Journalism and Purdue University’s School of Communications, and an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church. Jim has a PhD in paralinguistics—but only because a friend bought it as a Christmas gag gift from a diploma mill. Most important, he’s married to the Rev. Lois, has two gainfully-employed children and five adorable grandchildren.
From Reflecting to Retailing (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
The writer of Ecclesiastes outlines the steps to creating a successful book—he’s been on the best-sellers list for 3,000 years!—Reflect, Research, Reorganize, Reword, and Retail. We’ll look at practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
Crossing-over with the Cross (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Practical ways to take the message of the cross into the crossroads of the world, including cyber space.
Don’t Become a Digital Dinosaur! Adapting to the Changing Publishing World (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Not only is the form of writing changing from paper to pixels—books to ebooks, newspapers to news sites—but the actual style of writing is changing as well. Learn how keep up with the changes so you don’t become extinct.
Editor, Morgan James Publishing
Terry Whalin understands both sides of the editorial desk--as an editor and a writer. He worked as a magazine editor and his magazine work has appeared in more than 50 publications. A former literary agent, Terry is an Acquisitions Editor at Morgan James Publishing.
Details about what Terry is looking for: Morgan James Publishing, The Entrepreneurial Publisher™, provides entrepreneurs with the vital information, inspiration and guidance they need to be successful. Since its inception in 2003, Morgan James has grown from publishing six books per year to publishing over 150 front list titles each year. With a backlist of over 2,000 titles, Morgan James can support and advise entrepreneurs through any challenge their businesses face.
Morgan James has had over 20 listings on The New York Times bestseller list including Launch by Jeff Walker, Vision: Your Pathway to Victory by Gordon D’Angelo and The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard. The Millionaire Messenger was crashed to market in less than a month and spent six weeks on the NY Times list. About 30% of the books are Christian in a Faith line also sold inside the Christian “brick and mortar” bookstores. Also about 30% of Morgan James authors have literary agents.
Known for nonfiction books, Morgan James has a line of fiction in various genres (less than 100,000 words). In addition, Morgan James is actively looking for children’s books and has published about a dozen titles in various age categories.
Terry has written more than 60 books through traditional publishers in a wide range of topics from children’s books to biographies to co-authored books. Several of Terry’s books have sold over 100,000 copies.
Terry’s book, JUMPSTART YOUR PUBLISHING DREAMS, INSIDER SECRETS TO SKYROCKET YOUR SUCCESS (Morgan James Publishing) is packed with insight. Also Terry has an innovative online training course to help authors effectively connect with literary agents and editors called Write A Book Proposal. Terry is a popular speaker and teacher at numerous writers’ conferences and an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Connect with Terry on Twitter. He lives near Denver, Colorado.
Go Viral: Marketing on the Social Networks (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
You can waste huge amounts of time and energy on social media. How can you do it effectively and without spending a lot of time? Terry Whalin has over 160,000 twitter followers, over 4,800 Facebook friends and over 5,000 LinkedIn connections. He spends less than 30 minutes a day on his social media yet has an effective growing presence in the social media arena. In this workshop, Terry reveals his inside secrets and tips for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so you too can grow your platform and presence without wasting hours of time.
The Goodreads Author Difference (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Five ways every author can make a difference on Goodreads. Over 40 million readers are on Goodreads.com. Terry has over 5,000 Goodreads friends and has used a number of the tools to reach new readers. In this workshop, he will give you a series of practical ideas that you can immediately apply to your own books.
“Everyone” is Self-publishing—or so it seems. Should you? (Workshop, Act II/III)
This workshop will cover five terrible reasons to self-publish, ten reasons to self-publish plus seven keys to successful self-publishing. There are many pitfalls on the path to publishing and this workshop will explore the options and possibilities. The answers are different for each writer. Often the answer is not black and white but often shades of grey, and this workshop will help bring definition to what is going on in the publishing world and help you make a wise choice.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, The Selah Awards, and the Hoosier State Press Association. In fact, her board book, “God Knows You” won the Selah Award for Best Children’s Book in 2014 and went on to claim the “Book of the Year” honor. Author of over 70 books and a regular blogger for Guideposts, Michelle has written more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University. She is currently celebrating the release of her latest book for women, Love & Care for the One And Only You (Worthy).
When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers. In fact, she helped pen a New York Times Bestseller in 2008. And, she is also a much sought after teacher at writers conferences, universities, community and corporate events, and churches around the nation. Through her writing and speaking, Michelle loves encouraging others to follow their God-given dreams and walk in their individual callings.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a miniature dachshund and four cats. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys leading fitness classes at Priority Fitness, and cheering on the Indiana University Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies, and the LA Kings. www.michellemedlockadams.com (updated 11-23-15)
Launching Out Into the Freelance World (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
Class One: Become an Idea Machine! & Tips for Getting Quick Clips While Earning and Learning
Article ideas. Book ideas. Short story ideas. Where do they come from, and how can we find them? In the first part of this session, we’ll discuss where to find good ideas; what to do with those ideas once you’ve discovered them; how to turn those ideas into marketable projects; and how to find publications to buy them. In the second half of this session, we’ll talk about “querying with clips” and gaining writing credentials in a hurry.
Class Two: Finding Your Freelance Niche in the Marketplace
Michelle Medlock Adams has three words for you—Specialize, specialize, specialize! Are you an expert at something? Are you passionate about a particular hobby or interest? Then, you’re on your way to carving out a freelance niche in today’s competitive marketplace. And, if you’re not an expert but you need information from an expert in a particular field, we’ll talk about how to find stellar sources that will make your articles and books even better. Come to this session and get on the path to publication and compensation!
Class Three: Research: The Backbone of Any Article or Book
Michelle Medlock Adams graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism and began her writing career as a newspaper reporter, so research has been a big part of her life for more than twenty-five years. As the author of more than sixty books and a regular contributor to several magazines, she knows the tricks to gaining important interviews, getting reliable sources, and pulling important statistics and facts from the Internet. In this class, Michelle will cover six keys to good research and offer some red flags that will protect you from unreliable research.
Class Four: Turning Rejection into Publication
After being in this business for twenty-five years, Michelle Medlock Adams has enough rejection letters to wallpaper most of her home. But, that’s all a part of the process. In this session, she will help writers “read between the lines” of their rejection letters; use the letters to their advantage; and finally, turn that rejection slip into a contract. And, of course, she will have chocolate on hand to ease the pain of the dreaded rejection letter.
Write Nonfiction for Children: It’s Way Fun and Way Easier to Break into the Marketplace (Workshop, Act I/II)
In this session, Michelle will give tips for breaking into the world of children’s/youth magazines, and she’ll teach participants how to hook up with library publishers and write several books a year! She’ll show participants that you can earn consistent cash and gain essential experience writing for kiddos.
Writing for Children: The Nuts & Bolts (Workshop, Act I/II)
In this session, Michelle will discuss children’s books—from board books to YA, and everything in between. You’ll learn the proper word counts for various kinds of children’s books, layout, submission formatting, and useful tips that will answer questions such as: “Where does my book fit?” and “How do I break into the world of children’s books?” If you’ve got questions, she’s got answers! Aspiring children’s writers will love this session!
Dr. Joseph Bentz is published in both fiction and non-fiction, with four novels and five non-fiction books. His newest book, Nothing is Wasted, will be published by Beacon Hill Press in 2016. He is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he teaches courses in writing and American literature. Among the awards his books have received, his second novel, A Son Comes Home (Bethany House, 1999; republished by Randall House, 2007) won the Silver Angel Award and was chosen as one of the Top Ten Christian novels of the Year by Booklist magazine.
Bentz is a regular book reviewer for CBA Retailers + Resources magazine, which covers the Christian book industry, and he has published hundreds of other articles in magazines, journals and newspapers. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in American literature from Purdue University and a B.A. in English from Olivet Nazarene University. His blog, Life of the Mind and Soul, can be found at www.josephbentz.com.
Next.Level Nonfiction Book Practicum (Act II)
For writers with a nonfiction book in mind or one in progress, this 5-hour practicum combines specific critique with helpful instruction on key aspects of the writing and marketing of nonfiction books.
The class is limited to 10 writers, who will be asked to submit portions of their writing project to the instructor and the rest of the group for critique ahead of the conference. The works-in-progress may be in various stages, from fragments to a completed draft.
Using a time-tested format, the instructor will lead the group through a discussion of the critiques during some class sessions. Other sessions will feature instruction, handouts and discussions on issues such as:
- Writing a first chapter that propels the reader into the rest of the book.
- Effectively using certain techniques of fiction to bring concepts to life.
- Understanding the particular demands and nuances of various nonfiction genres.
- Building a platform for your writing.
- Learning from good examples of query letters and book proposals.
By May 1, writers interested in this workshop should email 10-12 double-spaced pages of their manuscript, along with a 1-2-page overview of their project, to the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writers in this workshop will also receive submissions of the other participants, which they will be expected to critique ahead of the conference. This practicum will accept new participants until it is full.
Writing Strategies for Writers with No Time to Write (Workshop, Act I/II)
You are a good writer who would love to spend more time practicing your craft. The problem is, your day job keeps getting in the way—oh, and so does your family, your church responsibilities, your household chores, and the rest of a list that is too long to mention. Tempted to give up? Don’t. Learn proven strategies for maintaining your writing even in the midst of the busiest schedule. Taught by an author-father-husband-professor-Sunday school teacher-shrub trimmer-laundryman-family taxi driver.
Writing the Book Review: An Open Door into Magazine Markets (Workshop, Act I/II)
As the author of dozens of book reviews for a variety of magazines and journals, I know that a number of editors use book reviews as proving grounds for writers who may be assigned to other articles. Many magazines also make arrangements for freelance writers to become regular reviewers of books that are assigned to them. This session answers many questions about book reviewing and covers the basics of how to establish yourself as a reviewer and how to write a good review.
Why do magazines publish book reviews? How do readers use them? What are editors looking for in a book reviewer? What are the key elements to a good book review? How can you market yourself as a book reviewer? What is the pay? These and other questions will be discussed along with examples and handouts.
Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and www.lynetteeason.com.
Keep It Moving (Workshop, Act II)
What’s the right pace for your story? Fast, slow, or somewhere in between? How do you know? Come learn how to recognize the kind of pace your story needs and how to write it.
First Pages – What They Should and Shouldn’t Have (Workshop, Act I/II)
Submit your first page anonymously and let Lynette use it to demonstrate how to write it tighter to strengthen it and capture your readers’—or an editor’s/agent’s—attention. Send your first pages to LynetteEason@gmail.com
Alton L. Gansky is the author of 24 novels and 9 nonfiction works, as well as principal writer of 9 novels and 2 nonfiction books. He has been a Christy Award finalist (A Ship Possessed) and an Angel Award winner (Terminal Justice) and recently received the ACFW award for best suspense/thriller for his work on Fallen Angel. He holds a BA and MA in biblical studies and was granted a Litt.D. He lives in central California with his wife.
In addition to his own writing, Alton Gansky has consulted and provided editing/ writing services to several CBA publishers and written copy, video scripts, and other works for the general business market. Through Gansky.Communications he has consulted with publishers and agents, as well as provided editing services. He is “the go to guy” for co-writing having been selected by Penguin, Waterbrook, Broadman Holman, and other publishers to work with their top tier authors.
He is the director of the premier writers conference: Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers.
The Alpha and Omega of Novel Writing (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
Drawing on his experience writing 35 novels, Alton Gansky takes the student from the Alpha to the Beta—the beginning to the end—of novel writing. The student will see the big picture by following the process from idea to publication.
Class One: Wrangling Ideas
Most new writers have many ideas, but which idea is most likely to catch the eye of an agent or publisher. In this class, the student learns to judge the merits of ideas and what to do with them.
Class Two: “Parts is Parts”
All novels share the same basic components: setting, character, plot, dialogue, chapters, and scenes. In this class, the conferee will learn how these fit together to form a cohesive story.
Class Three: The Writing
What makes for an unforgettable novel? It all centers on how the story is told. In this class, we will learn how to write powerful prose and craft a memorable plot.
Class Four: How to Polish Paper
The first draft is just the beginning of the novel. The real magic happens in the rewriting. Here we examine the art of rewriting.
The Alpha and Omega of Nonfiction Books (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
Alton Gansky is the author 11 nonfiction books. In his class, he leads the nonfiction writer on the path—from beginning to end—to creating a meaningful nonfiction book.
Class One: Managing Meaningful Ideas
There are many good ideas but only a few great ones. This class leads the student through the process of selecting and refining a nonfiction book.
Class Two: The Structure of Nonfiction
There are many ways to structure a book-length work of nonfiction, but which ones work the best? This class looks at book structure that gets and keeps the reader’s attention.
Class Three: Research, the Super Power of the Nonfiction Author
Almost all nonfiction requires research. In this class we will talk about how to research and how research varies from nonfiction book to nonfiction book.
Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, PERSONALity Perspectives, Called to Write, and several ghostwritten books. A Word A Week will be released next July. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a regular columnist for Just18summer.com, presidentialprayerteam.com, and thewriteconversation.com as well as a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals, she encourages others to make their writing the best it can be. As a member of the CLASS Seminar training staff, Linda enjoys helping others polish their speaking and writing skills on their journeys to clear, concise communication. As Director of both the CLASS Christian Writers Conference and the Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Linda helps many writers take the next step in reaching their writing goals.
Linda Gilden is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, American Association of Christian Counselors, and Christian Authors Network.
Linda Gilden is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She finds great joy in time spent with her family a great source of writing material.
To find out more about Linda, her writing, and her ministry, visit www.lindagilden.com.
From Planning to Publishing and Everything In Between (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
Do you have an idea for a book and feel now is the time to get started? What does it take to get your book in print? How do you take an idea and get it out of your head and onto the printed page? Then what do you do with it? Join us to learn the basics of writing a nonfiction book. Discover whether or not your idea is a great one or just a good one, what goes into planning, how to use outlines to your advantage, how to write a proposal, what type publisher is best for you, promoting your book, and much, much more.
The Writer’s Personality (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
The Writer’s Personality? What does my personality have to do with the way I write? Your personality affects the way you see the world. Therefore, everything you write is influenced by your point of view. What are the healthy habits of a sanguine writer? Why does a melancholy writer seem to get more projects done? How can a choleric writer organize his or her checklists for the most benefit? What can encourage a phlegmatic writer? Upon examination we will find that we all have characteristics of more than one personality. Our writing will be stronger if we understand our personalities, the personalities of our characters and our readers.
Writing Devotions to Reach the Heart (Workshop, Act I/II)
Seeing God in everyday occurrences reminds us that He is always with us. Taking a Bible verse and giving it life application in just a few words gives us a thought that remains through the day. Connecting a passage in the Bible to life in a practical way gives hope to your reader.
Join us to learn how to construct a devotion, eliminate wordiness, and write succinct applications for encouragement. Learn the different types of devotions and discuss the many markets for devotions available to writers.
Writing Articles That Sell (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Learn the basics of magazine article writing in this information-packed workshop. Topics addressed will be how to break into the magazine market, where to find marketable ideas, the importance of titles, leads and endings, how to study the markets to find a perfect fit for your manuscript, making the most of your interview time, using the Internet in writing and much more. Discover how to make the most of your research by repurposing it for other articles and books. Find out how to give editors what they want so that your work stands out from the slush pile. Network with other writers for research, as well as for encouragement and fellowship, and use article placement as a successful marketing tool.
Can I Really Be a Content Writer? (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
In today’s writing market you often hear the word “content,” but are you aware of the many opportunities writing content gives you? This workshop will not only talk about what content is but also point you to finding markets for your work. Businesses are not the only publications in the content market. If you want to ramp up your sales, content is a great way to do it.
Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding novels continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.
Suspense Magazine, who named James’ book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”
With a Master’s Degree in Storytelling, James has taught writing and storytelling around the world and is one of the few Master CraftFest instructors at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.
Respected by some of the top crime writers in the world, James deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As Christy Award-Winning novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”
Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules (Continuing Class, Act III)
When you focus on what lies at the heart of story—tension, desire, crisis, escalation, struggle, discovery—rather than plot templates and formulas, you’ll begin to break out of the box and write fiction that resonates with your readers. This workshop is filled with practical insights, dozens of ways to fix plot flaws, time-tested writing secrets and easy-to-implement ideas.
Class One: Pulling the Rug Out: How to Craft Twists Your Readers Will Never See Coming
A great twist will always be unexpected, inevitable, an escalation of what preceded it, and a revelation that adds meaning to what has already occurred. Readers want to predict how a story will end, but they want to be wrong—yet still satisfied. Everyone tells you to include a good twist, yet no one tells you how. Until now. In this seminar you’ll discover how to develop endings that leave your readers stunned, thrilled and panting for more.
Class Two: Status: How to Create Three-Dimensional Characters
Multi-dimensionality for all characters (including antagonists and protagonists) depends on varying their status. Characterization is brought out by showing how a character acts in relationship to other characters. Learn how to understand the dance of submission / dominance that every relationship has and how situational, positional and relational status define every character in your novel. This will be a hands-on seminar with practical ideas and activities you can use today.
Class Three: Storytelling Skills for Speakers
Learn how to make your talks and speeches more gripping, attention-getting and impactful. Gain confidence in your ability to tell stories effectively. Develop storytelling skills (such as voice, gesture, and pacing) and sharpen the storytelling and listening skills you already have. Your instructor, Steven James, has a Master’s Degree in Storytelling and speaks hundreds of times each year around the country. A handout will be provided.
Bethany Jett's life changed dramatically when she attended her first writers conference. Not only did she receive a book deal for The Cinderella Rule, she signed with the MacGregor Literary Agency where she is now a collaborative writer and ghostwriter. She speaks at churches and conferences nationwide, and her work has been published in multiple publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul and ChristianityToday.com, with an upcoming story in Focus on the Family's Clubhouse Jr. An entrepreneur at heart, Bethany founded the Serious Writer Academy and created a system of planners for writers and business owners. Bethany is a military spouse and "mom of boys" who loves cute shoes and all things girly.
Zero to Book Deal in Three Months (Practicum, Act I/II)
This class teaches how to turn a few resources into publishing opportunities with magazines, radios, guest posts, and speaking engagements. We will navigate the components of fiction and nonfiction proposals, building a speaking list, and leveraging every opportunity.
Practicum includes creating your own nonfiction proposal and pitching spreadsheets. Laptops encouraged.
Live-streaming: Grow Your Reader Base for Free (Workshop, Act II)
The era of live-streaming is upon us. Periscope, Blab, Facebook Live, Meerkat, and
MeVee (to name a few) have taken social media, marketing, and the world of television by storm. This is not a fad, but a phenomenon. We’ve all heard to “find your audience and stand in front of them.” With the push of a button, you can stream in real-time to people who care about your message. For free. You’ve been given a gift. Don’t waste it.
Bethany Jett attributes over 60% of her business as a direct result of live-streaming, as well as a natural way to reach her readers and grow her customer base. Live-streaming is more than merely sharing your life to the world…it can be the key to growing your audience.
This course will go over the basics of the major live-streaming applications, focus on the key strategies to increase your followers and grow your business, and provide up-to-date tips so you can broadcast like the experts.
Put P.E.P. in your Step: Professional • Excellence • Presentation (Workshop, Act II) (co-lead with Michelle Medlock Adams)
Did you know that you naturally point your knees and feet toward the person you’re
most interested in? Only seven percent of communication is verbal, so writers must pack more in their arsenal than a long list of publication credits and a thirty-second elevator pitch. The tone of voice, posture, clothing choice, firmness of handshake, and body language more than communicate who we are, even at the subconscious level. Together, Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett will offer tips and tricks for what could possibly be a life-changing 15-minute appointment with agents and editors, as well as prepare them for upcoming media appearances and speaking engagements.
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is the author of 12 books, contributing author to 25 books, and has published in more than 50 magazines. Her books and studies include: Dwelling Places (June 2016 Abingdon Press), Live These Words, Amazed by Grace, Quilts from Heaven, Role of a Lifetime, God’s Purpose for You, Better Together and 30 Ways to Embrace Life.
A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she also studied at the Wheaton Graduate School of Communication. A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), Lucinda received “Writer of the Year” awards from both Mt. Hermon and Blue Ridge Writers Conferences. Cindy speaks internationally through her ministry “Encouraging Words” and co-directs the New England Christian Writers Retreat
Lucinda is a storyteller who delights in weaving grace and mercy into ordinary life situations. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England. Having grown up in nearby Montreat NC, she attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in the mid-1980s and is thrilled to be returning as faculty! Visit her online home and blog at www.EncouragingWords.net
From Book to Podium – Becoming a Writer Who Speaks (Continuing Class, Act I/II)
If you are ready to launch your writing themes (both fiction and non-fiction) into speaking engagements, then this continuing class will offer all the tools you need. We will begin with how to make contacts, offer product, cover important details, and target a message that truly makes a difference for the Kingdom. We will then help you focus your story and learn how to develop and deliver a professional presentation for a variety of events. Come with your materials and topics, and be prepared to interact and brainstorm your speaking ministry.
Class One: How to Get (and Keep) Speaking Engagements
Are you ready to launch your writing themes into speaking engagements? Discover how to make contacts, offer product, cover important details, and deliver a message (and messenger) that truly make a difference for the Kingdom. Interactive, so bring speaker materials and ideas and we will help you plan.
Class Two: Key Strategies for Telling Your Story
Both nonfiction and fiction authors can offer transformational truth by engaging our audiences through well-planned storytelling. Discover how to develop and deliver a professional presentation for a variety of events. Interactive, so bring your topics and we will brainstorm together.
5 Secrets of Creative Communicators (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
We’ve all read or heard messages that make us say ‘So what?’ If you’re a communicator who doesn’t want to settle for mediocrity, then why not pursue magnificence? Whether we are speaking or writing, these 5 secrets will guarantee our story and style are long remembered and even life-changing.
Word Power in Your Everyday Life (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Words can crush a spirit or launch a dream. They can convey supportive encouragement or rude dismissal. As Frederick Buechner says, “…not only do words have the power to make things clear, they make things happen.” Words can be a great tool for us as we seek to understand them and use them in life-giving ways, guided by God’s Word. Join us for some practical ideas on living out the words we believe.
The Writer’s Dwelling Place (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Dwell means both “to live” and “to focus,” so perhaps now is a good time to examine how your dwelling place affects your writing and speaking. Do you live in the midst of chaos and hurry, going from deadline to deadline, rarely taking time for soul care? Do you feel pressured to focus more on the logistics of a writer’s life rather than the inner source of creativity? Is there really a balance between being with God and doing for God? Through one-word-a-day, I am discovering great joy and release in embracing God’s presence and power in all I do. Come to this class for refuge, sanctuary and encouragement.
Edie Melson—author, editor and blogger—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. Her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers across the country.
She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a prolific writer, with numerous books and thousands of articles. Her popular writing blog, The Write Conversation, is a well known resource. Edie is the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, senior editor for Novel Rocket, and the social media mentor for My Book Therapy websites. She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts.org. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Edie Melson & DiAnn Mills
The Author Roadmap (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
As writers we need to connect with our readers—but we also need time to write. DiAnn and I have discovered when she and I combine our expertise, we can accomplish our goals without sacrificing valuable writing time.
We teach more than just the basics of social media and branding. We also explain the whys and the whens. By filtering these techniques through the viewpoint of the author and the social media expert, we leverage the power of when as well as the power of how.
Making Marvelous Memes (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Meme’s are a hot commodity throughout social media. These images with text are an attention-getting and shareable way to grow your online community. Edie will lead you through the steps to create these, from where to find images to how to add the text to what size is best for which network.
Bring your computer and get ready to generate some memes!
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. She’s been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
Pre-Writing the Bestselling Novel (Workshop, Act I/II)
Many writers believe backstory and a characterization sketch are the only preparations needed to create a bestselling novel. This hands-on workshop will take pre-writing deeper to detail the unique idea, genre, mood, passion, readers, the psychology of heroes and heroines, and setting. Learn how you can write your novel with confidence and expertise.
When the Boo Birds Sing the Blues (Workshop, Act I/II)
What does a writer do when her best work fails to hit the target? When rejection slips have her ready to quit? When a bad review leaves her wondering why she stays in the game? When she stays awake at night and questions her ability as a writer? When she fears God loves her because of performance and not as His beloved child? In short, what does a writer do when the Boo Birds Sing the Blues? This workshop covers 16 tips to shoot buckshot into those Boo Birds. Includes handouts.
Creating the Antagonistic Setting (Workshop, Act III)
A trait of a bestselling writer is the ability to raise the stakes for the protagonist. A writer often turns to the obvious means of adding tension, stress, and conflict to a scene: characterization, dialogue, plot twists, and emotive conflict. But an antagonistic setting means shaky ground for the point of view character. Survival extends beyond fighting a villain, either physical, mental, spiritual, or natural. By using an antagonistic setting, every breath is met with potential disaster.
Marcia Moston, winner of the 2010 Women of Faith writing contest and honorable mention recipient in the annual Writer’s Digest competition, has been a columnist for the Greenville Journal and The Journey Christian Newspaper. She’s the author of Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-class Housewife. Marcia currently teaches memoir with OLLI—a life-long learning program on the Furman University campus in South Carolina.
She holds degrees from the University of Vermont and Trinity Theological Seminary, but admits much of what she’s learned and loves to write about comes from the school of life. She’s taught English in a Christian high school, worked with orphans in a Mayan village in Guatemala, hung Yellowbooks on doorknobs, stuffed vending machines, and lived in everything from tepees to parsonages.
Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Crafting True Stories (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
What is creative nonfiction? What makes it so popular, and how can we use its many faces and form whether we are writing about God’s grace, the benefits of artichokes, or a personal survival story? In each interactive session we will examine excerpts from writers who do it well and mine ideas from our own experiences.
- The public and personal faces of creative nonfiction
- The use of storytelling and literary techniques when writing about other people and subjects
- Memoir-How to make your own story transcend the personal and touch the universal
- The problem with memory, truth, composite characters, dialogue, and writing about the relatives
More on Memoir and Personal Narrative (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
In this hands-on, prompt-driven workshop, we will write and share responses to suggested topics. This is an expansion of the exercises from the creative nonfiction continuing class, but not a duplication of examples.
Alycia W. Morales is the freelance editor of several award-winning books, both fiction and non-fiction. When she isn’t busy perfecting others’ pages, she enjoys writing her own stories. She has been published in several devotionals and non-fiction compilations and is currently working on a YA novel. She’s also been published in Thriving Family magazine and Splickety Love. She blogs at www.alyciawmorales.com and co-blogs at www.thewriteediting.com.
Alycia lives in South Carolina with her husband, four kids, and a small-animal zoo. When she isn’t writing and editing, she can be found immersed in a variety of craft supplies or putting together a puzzle at her kitchen table. She loves decaf coffee and chocolate, the mountains and the beach.
How to Develop Your Own Freelance Editing Business (Continuing Class, 3 Days, Act II/III)
Class One: The Cost of Being a Freelance Editor
Are you contemplating adding “freelance editor” to the list of things you do? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to be one? Although a love of reading and a desire to help other writers clean up their manuscripts are great qualities to have, they aren’t the only ones necessary to become a freelance editor.
In this workshop/class, we’ll take a look at ten qualities of a great freelance editor. Due to the nature of our job, these are qualities we’ll need in order to enjoy the job and encourage our clients to hire us for all their editing needs. Join us to find out what these qualities are, why freelance editors need these qualities, and how they apply to the work we do.
As Christians, we’re encouraged to count the cost of anything we’re going to apply ourselves to. Is it worth it to begin your journey to a freelance editing career?
This workshop/class will also help answer that question. We’ll discuss the resources you’ll need and education opportunities for editors.
Class Two: 90 Days in the Life of a Freelance Editor
What does the life of a freelance editor look like? How long does it take to edit a manuscript? How do I relate to my client? What do I need to know before I begin a career in editing?
By taking a look at 90 days in the life of a freelance editor, these and many more questions will be answered. We’ll take an in-depth look at the process of editing, from the initial client contact to editing the manuscript to following up with a client.
Class Three: 20 Tips to Providing Quality Customer Care
Your freelance editing business is all about communication. It’s about the author’s communication with their readers, your communication with your customer, and your customer’s communication with you. Sometimes you communicate with the publisher.
How do you provide excellent communication and keep your customers coming back for more? In 20 Tips to Providing Quality Customer Care, we’ll discuss ways to handle ourselves professionally while encouraging our clients to develop the best manuscript for their readers to enjoy.
Microsoft Word for Writers (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
In this class, writers will learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Word and Track Changes. As a freelance editor, I have often found that writers of varying levels don’t always know how to properly format a manuscript for submission and/or publication. I have also found that many don’t understand how Track Changes works.
Since we live in a digital age where manuscripts are passed back and forth via e-mail, rather than on paper, and editors tend to use Track Changes and require submissions in Word format, it is becoming more and more necessary for writers to know how to use these tools.
This class will cover the basics of formatting in Microsoft Word, how to save documents with various extensions (including PDF), and how to use Track Changes in the editing process.
Writing for the YA Market (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Have you got a novel for young adults wandering around in your mind? A desire to minister to teenagers through the written word? In this workshop we’ll take a look at some of the basics of writing for young adults, as well as what makes writing for teens (who want to read like adults) different from writing for adults.
Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus), winner of the 2015 Director’s Choice Award at BRMCWC. She also penned the novella, Red Pen Redemption, and a new non-fiction book, Jesus and the Beanstalk, releasing September 2016 from Abingdon. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most important things from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. Lori’s written one blog post that was read by almost 2 million readers and another that went viral on Facebook. Lori’s passionate about God’s plan for authors with small platforms. God loves working small and Lori’s excited to help you see the power both in being small and in embracing the times we’ve been given. You’ll find her at her website www.loriroeleveld.com. If not, know she’s off somewhere slaying dragons. Not available for children’s parties.
Soul Keeping for the Creative Christian (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
Nurturing a creative soul in the context of a relationship with Jesus is an art. It takes time, discipline, and a heavy dollop of quirkiness. In this class, we’ll use the Psalms of Ascent as a launch pad for exploring issues of faith and creativity. Topics include Making Peace with Creative Tension, Transforming Suffering into Art, Accepting Strange Travel Companions, Nurturing and Protecting Your Creative Mind, Reverent or Risky – decisions every Christian creative must make, and more. Participants will participate on a soul-baring level (or be called out) and there will be time for everyone to play in the sandbox. (This workshop is based on the 2013 First Place Winning Bible study Creative Hearts Ascend).
10 Disturbing Ways God May Use Your Writing (Workshop, Act I)
You have a plan for your writing. You have goals and dreams. God does, too. What happens when they don’t line up the way you thought they would? In this workshop, you’ll learn ten disturbing ways God may use your writing gift, how to survive the disconnect between your plans and His, and why how you handle the disconnect matters. Warning: This is a disturbing workshop. Be prepared to leave unsettled. You’ve been warned.
Creative Hearts Ascend: Using Your Creative Gifts to Free Others (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
Imagine tapping into the creative potential of every member of your congregation or small group. Imagine appropriating this potential to empower individuals to understand God's Word. And what if this creative power could help build Christian community and reach the unsaved?
Writers who teach or who create Bible studies and curriculum will benefit from this class on creative methods to help people connect with God and with one another while studying His word. Your creative perspective is exactly the tool needed to engage introverts, hands-on learners, and other creatives in a deeper understanding of Jesus. This class will provide a nuts and bolts understanding of engaging with God’s word through creativity, reaching all types of learners, understanding group dynamics, and building community through non-threatening creative exercises.
Tell the Story Only You Can Tell (Workshop, Act I/II)
God’s story has intersected with your story, and that intersection is the place of your testimony. You’re bursting to tell others about the work of God in your life but you’re not sure how. In this workshop, you’ll learn tools for telling, writing, and sharing your story in the way that works for you and to the people God’s meant for you to tell.
James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He thinks he's still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons. He loves to send readers on journeys they'll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He's the best-selling, Christy, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of seven novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at www.jameslrubart.com
Without Branding Between the Bread, the Sandwich Will Taste Like Dirt (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
You can know all the tricks and tech for websites, blogs, and social media, but if you don’t know the core principles of how to first, figure out what your brand is, and second, convey it in a powerful way to agents, editors, and readers, you’ll be cooking up meals no one wants to eat. During this powerful class, marketing pro James L. Rubart will help you discover your brand, then show you how to use it to make yourself unforgettable.
Does Your Website Brand You In The Right Way? (Practicum, Act II/III)
This practicum is for people who would like a free evaluation and coaching on their website from marketing pro James L. Rubart. It is based on the Without Branding Between the Bread, the Sandwich Will Taste Like Dirt continuing class, which is a requirement for those attending.
Live Free, Write Free (Continuing Class, Act I/II/III)
Before you can tell a powerful story—whether it’s fiction or nonfiction—you have to be living a powerful story. Often our greatest stories and ideas stay stuck inside us because we can’t seem to crack that invisible cage that surrounds us—that cage that keeps us from believing in ourselves enough to reach for the full writing destiny we know God has for us. During this workshop, bestselling, Christy Award-winning author James L. Rubart will teach you the methods that he uses to step into greater freedom every day, and how those methods can set you free as well, and help you write (and keep writing) the best pieces you’ve ever crafted.
Vonda Skelton is an entertaining speaker who loves teaching about writing and speaking and the magic that happens when you marry the two! She is the author of four books, including Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries for kids. Her third novel, Bitsy and the Mystery at Hilton Head Island, was nominated for a SIBA Book Award. Her articles have appeared in Christian and general market magazines. She is founder and co-director of Christian Communicators, a conference and organization dedicated to educating, validating, and launching women in their speaking ministries. Vonda is also owner of The Christian Writer’s Den writing blog and is a frequent instructor at writers conferences around the country. She’s currently working on a novel and screenplay. Vonda and Gary have been married all their lives—and they’re still happy about it! Visit Vonda at www.VondaSkelton.com.
One-Sheets for Christian Speakers: Your Virtual First Impression (Act II & III 2-day practicum)
One sheets are not dead, they're simply reinvented! Bring your speaking one-sheet for a detailed review and critique. For best value, please send one-sheet to Vonda at least a week in advance, if possible. (email@example.com) Limited to 10 participants.
Share Your Books and Increase Your Income with School Programs (Workshop, Act II /III)
Developing and delivering powerful school programs is a great way to sell your books and increase your speaking opportunities at the same time. Vonda has spoken to over 24,000 students across the country, primarily in the public school system, but also through homeschool associations, private schools, libraries, and bookstores. She looks forward to sharing her tips and secrets with you!
Laughter is Serious Business: Using Humor in Your Writing (Workshop, Act I/II/III)
In his blog post, The Secret to Writing Humor, Brent Diggs states, “Nearly every tool of comedy is denied to the writer.” In this workshop, you’ll learn how to find humor in daily life, as well as humor-writing techniques to help you bring laughter through your written words.
Bigger, Badder, Meaner, Sadder: Real Life & the Novel (Act I & II WS)
Writers often think that if they’re writing fiction, they have to make it all up. But the truth is that many published characters and scenes are taken from the real life experiences of their authors. The key is to take real life and make it bigger, badder, meaner, sadder, and then plop it right into your novel.
Jane Jenkins Herlong, CSP is motivational humorist, professional singer, and parody writer. Jane is an Amazon best-selling author and her latest book, “Bury Me with My Pearls” won a 2015 Gold IPPY and 2015 Christian Book of the Year for Small Publishers (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). Jane also holds the designation of CSP, Certified Speaking Professional, which is the highest earned designation from the National Speakers Association. In addition, Jane’s comedy and singing is heard on Sirius XM 97 Radio. Jane recently had the opportunity to speak before a live audience of 20,000 seen on Direct TV and heard on Sirius XM Radio.
The author of three books, Jane has a unique opportunity to pre-sell her books customized before speaking engagements that has proven to be very successful. If you are interested in learning how to sell books and build a speaking career plus other tricks Jane has learned, you will benefit from her sessions.
With a sense of humor and smart work, Jane traveled from the rows of her family farm to the runway of the Miss America Pageant all the way to performing at Radio City Music Hall. She graduated from college with the two highest honors voted by her peers and then attended graduate school. Her successes continued to pile up from there. Today, Jane travels around the world. She has been featured at speaking events in New Zealand and Germany as well as countless venues in the United States. Jane has also shared the stage with several noteworthy people such as General Colin Powell, Rudolph Giuliani, and the late Charlton Heston.
How To Sell Lots of Books and Build a Speaking Platform (Workshop, Act I,II, III)
Are you weary of your book sales being driven through: asking friends for help, Askdavid.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, etc? Blah, blah, blah... Me, too. Is there another way to create book sales? YES.
Jane will share a comprehensive look at building a speaking venue to sell books. Learn how to use Lead Pages to capture names, sending out a newsletter, and marketing tricks. In addition, you will learn how to build your speaking presence at churches, associations, and corporate events, too.
The Art of Story-Telling (Workshop, Act II)
Audiences love stories. How you can craft stories to connect with you audiences. Whether you are a fiction or non-fiction writer, story-telling is a valuable art.
In this session Jane takes you step by step on how to craft stories that will add pizazz to both the written and spoken word.
Over his 40-year career in broadcasting, Daniel F. Case has worked in every facet of radio. In fact, at one point he was simultaneously the Chief Engineer, Local Sales Manager, Afternoon Drive Host, Production Director, Assistant Janitor and 50% of the sales force at a small-town radio station in Pennsylvania. He would have been the receptionist too, but he didn’t have the legs for it (and couldn’t type fast enough, either).
Dan stumbled into the writing world while doing daily radio commentaries on a station in St. Louis. After a couple of stunning embarrassments, he decided to write his commentaries in advance, and when he left that station two years later he found he couldn’t stop writing. He still can’t quit, even though he’s tried. His publishing credits include Christian Single, Marriage Partnership, Spirit Magazine and several regional magazines and newspapers.
For the past few years, Dan has focused exclusively on learning the art and craft of fiction. In 2008, Dan won First Place in the ACFW Genesis contest (Contemporary Fiction) and is now focused on Upper Middle Grade/Lower YA Fiction.
Dan lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife Sharon and the three cats who employ them. He continues to support his writing habit by working as Director of Engineering/IT for the Little Rock market of Cumulus Media, Inc. When not writing, wrangling electrons or playing with techie toys, he enjoys torturing fine hardwood with power tools in his woodworking shop.
A proud alumni of BRMCWC, Dan first attended in 2006. The staff has tried to get rid of him but he keeps coming back, so this year they made him a faculty member.
Mary Denman is a writer who also loves photography. Or a photographer who loves writing. As a freelance writer, Mary has had articles published in various forms ranging from Focus on the Family publications to magazines to devotions to op-ed pieces. She has also completed her first novel and started her second. She's a member of several professional writing organizations including ACFW, My Book Therapy, and Word Weavers.
As a professional photographer, Mary has had photos published in both print literature and online. Her shots have been used by businesses and by fellow authors alike. Her philosophy is to catch a moment that reflects God’s beauty and creativity, whether in nature, in life or in the face of her subjects. And as a writer herself, she understands what authors need in a headshot. Mary blends the two mediums of writing and photography on her blog. www.marydenman.blogspot.com.