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2022 Conference Workshops
Come learn from some of the best in the writing world! We’re offering over forty workshops presented live at our in-person conference. For those who purchase digital access, the workshops will be available by recorded video you can watch for a six-week period from February 21-April 3, 2022.
Author & Speaker Law 101
This workshop gives an overview of common legal issues faced by authors and speakers, such as copyright (including fair use), libel, trademark, and First Amendment. And yes, there will be time for questions.
The Power of a Testimony
The Power of a Testimony talks about how to move from Memoir style to Christian Living by blending interesting pieces of your story with teachings and scriptures to inspire readers with clear takeaway points. Touching on ways to overcome fears of writing, and an editing trick to keep your chapters consistent.
Developing and Fostering Community for Writers
Community is a vital part of our everyday lives, yet many of us are at a loss of how to develop and foster community with our peers. It is a lifeline for writers, especially new ones as they navigate their way. In this workshop, you’ll gain an understanding of the personal and spiritual significance of being in relationship with other writers. You will also learn practical ways to grow in community with other writers, as well as identify and challenge barriers that exist against doing so. Whether you’ve been a writer for decades or days, you’ll leave with insight and tools with which you can foster rich and lasting connections with fellow writers.
Story Threads: Seat-of-the-Pants Writing
How do seat-of-the-pants authors craft an entire novel with no outline? Get a glimpse inside a pantser’s magical spaghetti brain as we discuss the benefits and pitfalls of this creative writing style. I’ll share several tricks that can help keep you from getting lost along your journey to “The End.”
Establishing Your Writing Business
If you’re starting to make money off your own writing, offering editing services for pay, or launching your own self-publishing imprint, get ready to enter the world of self-employment. From fictitious business names to taxes and bookkeeping, this workshop will take you through the basics of setting up your writing business.
Making Your Book Proposal Shine
The basic elements of nonfiction and fiction book proposals are well known, but this workshop focuses on lifting your proposal to a level that will help it stand out from the rest. Having trouble with chapter summaries? The synopsis? The promotion section? Other elements? Get specific advice, with examples from actual proposals.
Writing Strategies for Writers with No Time to Write
You are a good writer who would love to spend more time practicing your craft. The problem is, your day job gets in the way—and so do your family, your church responsibilities, your household chores, etc. Don’t despair. Learn proven strategies for writing even in the midst of the busiest schedule.
Spa Day for the Writer
There won’t be mud baths but we’ll have a spa day. This workshop is designed to help the writer discover self care is not a luxury, it’s essential. From deep breaths to uplifting quotes, from encouraging practices to relaxing ideas. We will find an oasis in the conference where you can drop your burdens and find a little calm.
Anatomy of an E-Newsletter that Gets Opened
Do your e-newsletter subscribers eagerly open your messages and devour every word? If you answered, “I have no idea,” this workshop is for you. You’ll learn how to (1) craft a Subject line that piques curiosity, (2) write a story-based message that nurtures your readers, and (3) structure your content for speed-readers.
What Agents Do For Authors
An agent plays a key role in a writer’s publishing success. Not only do agents help open doors, but agents know current market standards and practices and guide writers not only to the right publisher but also help them navigate what’s needed before and after you sign with a publisher. In this workshop we’ll look at what to expect in the author-agent relationship, how agents work, and how you know what’s right for you.
Platforms that Publishers Are Looking For
What’s needed in a platform these days? Do all publishers look at platform similarly? In this workshop we’ll look at what’s considered a platform – what I define as audience engagement. We’ll look at how to build yours most effectively and what to show publishers that you have done and will continue to do for your book. Also we’ll go into detail on what is considered platform. For nonfiction and children’s writers.
Best Instagram Practices for Authors
Want to grow your instagram platform but don’t know how? DeMuth grew hers over the 10K mark in one year. She’ll share everything she learned about the platform, what works and what doesn’t, and how instagram can be a positive place to build your tribe and sell your books.
Stitching Together Time-Slip Fiction
Where do you begin to write a novel with two distinct storylines? And what are the key elements in a successful time-slip book? During this workshop, Melanie Dobson will provide both practical tips and essential techniques to help fellow novelists navigate and ultimately master the challenges of weaving two or more plotlines into one cohesive, compelling story.
Why Bad Things Must Happen to Good Characters
As fiction writers, we love our good characters, but in order for readers to like them too, we must create formidable opposition for our hero and heroine. This workshop will cover one of the most important elements in successful fiction writing—how to create relevant internal and external conflict so readers care deeply about the main characters and engross themselves completely in our novel as they cheer for these characters to overcome every obstacle in their path.
Making Audiobooks—Reaching Ears and Hearts
Audiobooks are one of the fastest growing ways for readers and listeners to connect with the message of your book. Don’t get left behind! Learn how to get your book made into an audiobook, either DIY or finding a narrator and studio. Increase your income stream.
Devotionals, A Great Place to Start
Short but life-changing. That’s daily devotionals, at 200 words some of the shortest pieces for publication. Though short, they can change lives and bring your reader to God. Share from your own journey. Devotionals are also a natural way to break into writing, learn your craft, and grow as a writer.
Just Say, “Tocsynop”
Sharon Norris Elliott
So you want to write a book. You have your idea and even your table of contents. So what’s the problem? You don’t know how to begin. You’ve found it’s a little more difficult than the Nike slogan which says, “Just do it.” Come to this seminar and leave with a new slogan and just say, “Tocsynop!” Bring your proposed table of contents and learn a sure-fire method of moving smoothly from it to your completed manuscript. The Tocsynop method will revolutionize your writing, keep your ideas on track, and make your editor happy too.
10 Rules For Memoir
So you want to write a memoir or personal story? Memoir isn’t easy, but it IS doable, and a wonderful way to leave a legacy! Get a kickstart with these 10 Rules for Memoir from a bestselling memoirist who has published a dozen memoirs, including two bestsellers, and two that have been made into movies. Learn the inside details of what works and what doesn’t in this popular genre. BONUS: FInd out what editors, agents and readers are looking for, and what publishing paths are available for memoirists.
Write Like Ruth: Lessons from the Bible’s most Beloved Book
Good writing always tells the truth in ways that touch the heart. You have to dig beneath your reader’s skin. You have to tickle them, scratch them, bug them… do something that fires up those synapses and makes them read that paragraph again. In this workshop, we’ll deconstruct Ruth to uncover lessons in writing a masterpiece.
Podcasting 101: Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Podcast
“You should start a podcast!” they say. And you’re intrigued. Possibly willing. Definitely full of questions. How do I know if podcasting is right for me? How will I figure out all the technology? How much will it cost? How much time will it take? Come get answers to all your podcasting questions — plus some you might not think to ask.
Newbie No More: How to Avoid Getting Stuck in the “Beginner” Stage
Every published author started as a beginner. How did they get to where they are? Why do some writers attend conferences year after year and remain unpublished? In this workshop, you’ll learn strategies to help you move forward as a writer, achieve your publishing goals, and build a career that lasts.
Using Poetic Devices to Enrich Your Prose
Often, the difference between prose that sounds flat and prose that sings is the use of poetic devices—techniques that create a lyrical quality and deepen readers’ emotional engagement. You don’t need to be a poet, and with some knowledge and practice you’ll be using them intuitively. This workshop describes effective poetic devices and give examples of their use.
Writing Chapter Books for Emerging Readers
Do you remember the thrill of reading real books on your own, getting lost in fun, fast-paced adventures, and rushing to read the next book in a series? Do you want to write these books for children? This workshop describes chapter books, how they differ from stories for other age groups, and how to plan a series that young readers will fall in love with.
Outline Your Bible Study in 10 Easy Steps
Irrespective of your target audience, writing a Bible study can be a daunting task—unless you have a plan. Together, we will walk through 10 steps to develop a clear, working outline of your Bible study, including help on crafting your chapter summaries (key if you plan to submit a formal book proposal).
BONUS: Sample Chapter Summaries
BONUS: DIY Super-Sized Whiteboards on a Budget
Screenwriting 101: Getting the Image on the Page
David M. Hyde
An introductory course to visual storytelling and how and why it is different. This course starts with the mechanics of formatting a screenplay and moves through the basics of story structure and on to what is expected of the writer in today’s film market.
Kid Lit These Days
Interested in writing for children? This presentation will provide an overview of the children’s marketplace—the different age categories, formats, common themes and topics, and general guidelines to help you better navigate the field. Will cover board books, picture books, middle grade, and YA, as well as discuss some current trends and data.
How to Get Editors (Or at Least This One!) to Say “Yes” to Your Work
While each editor and imprint is different, and the acquisitions decision can be very subjective, there are some things that writers can focus on to make sure they are submitting a manuscript that will excite an editor and make them want to buy your book! This presentation will take a look at some of winning elements of a good submission.
Keri Wyatt Kent
In this practical seminar, you will learn the basics of self-publishing, including:
- each step from manuscript to published book
- how to create the highest quality book possible
- how much you’ll need to invest, and what you could earn
- how to market your book effectively
What to Do with an Idea
As writers we live on ideas, but when you get one, how do you capture it, hold it, nurture it, or give it life? This workshop will inspire you and give you tools to gather and flame your ideas into writing that serves your audience well. Ideas and prompts to generate new ideas included.
Behind the Scenes: What to Expect Once You Submit a Proposal
What happens at a publishing house after you hit send on your book proposal or query letter? Acquisitions editor Kathleen Kerr gives an insider look at how proposals are evaluated, the process behind contract negotiations, and the ways editors support authors during the manuscript development process. You’ll leave with a better understanding of timelines, finances, and all the considerations that help turn your dream into a book.
Speaking: FAQs About Going Pro
Diane Dokko Kim
How can writers build a scalable and sustainable speaking ministry? Diane shares essential marketing assets, tools, and resources for author/speakers leveling up from free to fee: How to establish pricing tiers, increase bookings, craft content, and overcome the nagging question, “ Am I good enough?”
Writing Fun, Interactive Devotionals that Kids Want to Read
Today’s kids want to be challenged. They crave adventure. They love learning and imagine possibilities. Wrap all these elements into an interactive devotional and they’ll read it! I’ll cover the how-to details of writing devotionals for 6-12 year olds. Bring your kid mind and heart for this one.
10 Ks of a Good Book
Writing is a matter in inspiration, perspiration, organization, qualification, anticipation, accumulation, administration, capitalization, collation, declaration, enumeration, fertilization, and innovation. And yet, none of these are a part of the 10 K’s of a good book! We will explore the fundamental aspects of good non-fiction book writing. Using a clever mnemonic we will cover a broad range of topics. When these elements work together you can almost be guaranteed to earn the 10K promised in the title.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, editors are looking for something that is unique to you. In this interactive workshop we look at seven ways to discover your unique place to shine. As time allows, we will do some mini-brainstorms, demonstrating how to explore our own distinguishing style.
The Why and How of Growing Your Platform on TikTok and Instagram
Why should you take your message to TikTok and Instagram? How do these platforms even work? Are they really valuable marketing tools, worth taking the time to learn? Get answers to your questions and advice on how to make the most of TikTok and Instagram from Anna.
Supercharge Your Book Launch for Maximum Impact
Publishing traditionally means working hard and fast in the weeks preceding your release. Self-publishing entails a long game, focused primarily on the post-release weeks. Learn to increase pre-orders (traditional publishing), leverage your Amazon rankings (self-publishing), and maximize reviews and exposure of your book title and cover (self-publishing and traditional), plus tips for momentum after launch week adrenaline fades.
7 Steps to Selfless Platform Building
Know that you need to build your platform, but you’re uncomfortable with the idea of self-promotion? Join Kathi to learn how to:
- grow your audience by serving their needs
- create a workable plan to share your work daily
- never feel icky about promoting your self or your writing again
How to Have a Productive Day, Every Day, as a Content Creator
When you have so many different priorities competing for your time, how do you focus on what is important and make progress on your goals? Join Kathi as she helps you shape not just your day, but your goals so that you can get the important work done, every day.
All Aboard the Fiction Train! Keep Your Writing Project On Track!
Do you struggle to keep your writing project moving along? Fiction writer Dana Mentink will provide time management and organizational tips, as well as some hints to overcome writer’s block. With fun games, giveaways, and advice from industry professionals, this class will help you to the finish line!
Breaking the Rules
Breaking the Rules takes writing to a higher level by knowing when to break the rules of grammar and writing conventions. We will focus on the major rhetorical devices for intermediate to advanced writers. Some familiarity with grammar is helpful. These tools will help writers to intentionally break rules for more power.
CANVA Basics – 10 Steps to Getting Started
Do you break out in a cold sweat at the mention of pixels and gigabytes? You do not need a graphic arts degree or complicated software. Learn ten steps to get started on creating everything from custom bookmarks to Facebook headers. All you need to start with is your ideas.
Article Writing ~ Follow the Recipe for Creating Just the Right Bake
Ok, I might have watched too much Great British Baking Show, but writing for publication can be a lot like following a recipe. Every publisher and magazine has a recipe or format. It is imperative to study the ingredients and direction so your manuscript is not asked to leave the tent, or sent to the reject pile.
Discover These Essentials to Successful Novels
What do your characters want? Who or what is standing in their way? And why? These elements of motivation and conflict, are what give your book its juice. People remember characters but they read for plot. Learn how to create the three essentials that make your novel too good to put down.
Chapter one in your novel, no matter what size or genre or age level, carries a tremendous burden. Learn the ins and outs of writing, and rewriting a chapter one that grabs and holds a reader’s attention, introduces plot and characters and makes sure the reader can’t help but keep on reading.
Setting the Scene—Writing Scenes That Live
Scenes are where your story comes to life. We’ll explore how to start a scene that grabs readers and grounds them in your world, how to use each scene to drive the story forward, and how to end the scene in a way that leaves them wanting more.
Researching and Writing Your True Story
How do you write your true story—whether family history, memoir, or personal reflection? Blogger/author/genealogist Michelle Ule presents reflection, research, and interview tips, as well as insight on guarding your family and yourself in personal and professional writing.
Fictionalizing Your Personal Story
Ginny L. Yttrup
Have you considered writing a piece of your own story as fiction? Fictionalizing a personal story offers a wide range of possibilities including enhancing the plot, increasing tension, creating interesting characters, and more. In this workshop you’ll learn how to use your own story as inspiration for an engaging novel.
February 17-19, 2022
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”
Isaiah 9: 2 NLT