Choose from these continuing morning sessions. You’ll get the most out of these sessions if you attend all three days. But you’ll learn a lot even if you can just come for one or two days. (Come back to this page for more details to be posted soon!)
with Frank Ball
Beginning Fiction: Areas covered will include Point of View, Characterization, Plotting, Setting, Building Great Sentences, Professional Blunders, and What Makes a Story Captivating
with Tosca Lee
“One of the most gifted novelists writing today.” —Steven James, bestselling author
Join Tosca for a three-day, pens-out, interactive fiction session on:
- writing sympathetic, unforgettable characters
- grabbing readers by the heart
- killer research
- leveraging your personal and writing strengths
- creating gut-wrenching stories that keep readers coming back for more
- the habits of a sane and long career
with Jill Williamson
From Middle Earth to Hogwarts. From Arrakis to the Starship Enterprise. Science fiction, fantasy, and all of their wonderful sub-genres transport readers to incredible worlds. Writing this genre is no easy task as these stories must not only weave together a unique premise, compelling characters, and gripping plots, they also need to be set in an imaginary world that feels so real it sweeps readers away.
How do you go about creating such a world with its own history, politics, religion, magic system, and culture? How much time should you spend on world-building? How do you know if your world is the right location for your plot and characters? Is magic a must? And what about your idea? Is your plot big enough to support an entire novel? Are your characters engaging? How many points of view should you have? How many books in the series?
In this class we will cover six major topics—premise, world-building, map-making, characters, plot, and theme—with time in-between for questions, hands-on exercises, and as much mentoring as we can fit in. No matter what speculative fiction subgenre you write, you’ll learn how to craft tales that suck readers into a world of wonder.
with Kathy Collard Miller
So you want to be a writer. In these practical and inspirational sessions, you’ll learn the basics of starting your writing ministry along with being empowered to follow God’s call. The sessions taught by Kathy Collard Miller will include writing a non-fiction book, informational article, personal experience story, and devotional. You’ll also learn writing skills, marketing, and how to manage your time as a writer. This class will not only enlighten your understanding but build your confidence.
with Joseph Bentz
This Intermediate/Advanced Nonfiction continuing session will be most useful for experienced writers whose manuscript is already in progress. The track will combine specific critique with helpful instruction on key aspects of the writing and marketing of non-fiction books. Writers 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.
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 or revising a first chapter that propels the reader into the rest of the book.
• Mastering techniques for writing more persuasively.
• Understanding the particular demands and nuances of various non-fiction genres.
• Building or extending the platform for your writing.
By June 8, 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 email@example.com. Writers in this workshop will also receive submissions of some other participants, which they will be asked to critique ahead of the conference.
with Sarah Thebarge
The Healing Power of Your Story: An Interactive Writing Workshop
When it comes to writing first-person stories, writers often face many questions at the start. How do I find my story? What’s the most compelling way to tell it? How do I organize the narrative? What’s at stake when I tell my story — and when others read it? In this engaging, interactive workshop, Sarah Thebarge, author of the memoir The InvisibleGirls, will lead you through writing prompts, creative exercises and group conversations that will help you find clarity about what your story is, and how you can tell it well. In the process, Sarah will also help you see how writing can turn wounds into scars, healing both the author who tells the story, and the people who read it.”
Writing for Hollywood/Screenwriting
with Claire Hutchinson
Award-winning screenwriter and script analyst Claire Hutchinson, M.A., will use examples from noted screenwriters and filmmakers as well as from her own scripts in order to discuss the elements that go into creating unforgettable characters, great dialogue and story structure, and inspiring themes. She will also discuss the many ways to market your screenplay and succeed as a screenwriter in Hollywood or elsewhere.
with Sally Klein O’Connor
We are going to examine what makes a song memorable over time. We will look at subject matter, style, timeliness, and especially the basics. For instance, what makes a good marriage of words and music? What literary tools enhance a lyric? And what are some of the basic musical structures that provide a good foundation for a solid message? If time permits we may open it up to those who want to share their best lyric/song with the class and are willing to receive some feedback. We will also select a psalm as a class project, to create a lyric from and possibly set to music. Bring your notebooks and rhyming dictionaries and we will explore what it means to write a meaningful song.
Writing for Children
with Valerie Coulman
Writing for children is both exceptionally rewarding and uniquely challenging. In this 3-day, 6-hour continuing session, we will spend time on both the craft and the business of writing for children from birth to middle grade (with a nod or two to Young Adult as well). Topics will cover language tools, rhyme vs. prose, resources for writers, traditional vs. indie publication, the role of illustrators, and much more. Bring your imagination and your favorite writing tools as we dive into writing for children!
Writing as a Career
with Erin Taylor Young
So you’re ready to dive into this thing called a writing career. Great! But did you know that a writing career is about much more than just putting words on a page? This continuing session focuses on how the three aspects of Craft, Commerce, and Christ work together to build a solid foundation for your career, and you’ll learn the key steps to take to move forward with confidence and success.
with Lynn Donovan
In the last twelve months alone, social media has revolutionized how people receive and read news and information. Consumers carefully discern and determine the truths and the voices they allow to influence their daily life. It’s become mandatory as an author to understand the role of social media and its power to help you as an author to reach people with the truth and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In this workshop, you can expect to receive cutting edge information and real-life examples on how to communicate effectively within various social media platforms. Below are highlights of the content covered:
- Social Media is your partner to publication
- Build a powerful and effective platform that sells books
- Dos and don’ts of social media
- Find “your people” through social media
- Make your novel come alive through social media
- Capture audience participation in your book and through Social Media
- Branding: How to create a brand for your writing career
- Websites, innovation, relevance, design and other industry professionals
- Publicity: How to promote your book on a budget, professional publicity
- How others can/will promote your book
- The Professional Author: Meeting deadlines, handling contracts, radio and television interviews.
- Balancing your time, energy and talents in the demanding industry of a professional writer
- The joys of being a writer in a complex and social world
- Open Q & A after each session
The rapid changes in the publishing world makes it easier, now more than ever, to tell your story and get it published. Your voice can be heard by thousands. Your life and testimony can bring healing, hope and the love of Jesus to the world.
You can learn how to author a professional and powerful book and then bring it to market. I share my years of experience to help you to write well, write effectively and how to create connection and community. I also share my expertise so you can market and launch your book into the publishing world.
with Rich Bullock
An in-depth dive into Indie/Subsidy/Self-publishing, answering the tough question: Should I hold out for a publishing contract, or do it myself? We’ll explore every question we can think of regarding the pros and cons, your writing career and goals, how-to options, resources, and <groan> marketing. We’ll help you define realistic expectations, and show you how to be successful. Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences, and let’s explore the exciting world of Indie.
Teen Writers’ Track
with Shannon Dittemore
Teen writers, this one’s for you! In six sessions we’ll work together to get you thinking and writing like an author. We’ll cover plotting techniques, basic story structure, try/fail cycles, the art of giving and receiving edits, the author’s journey, and an introduction to the publishing industry. Using writing exercises we’ll practice what we learn and examine various tools that will help you create a sustainable writing process.