Workshops

Our Workshops

How to Pitch Your Book Idea

Kim Bangs

For many there is nothing more frightening on this publishing journey then “pitching a book” idea to an agent or an editor. A fifteen-minute appointment often begins with what has been called an “elevator pitch”: 30 to 120 seconds to present your idea to your audience and grab their interest. After that you have 13 to 14 ½ minutes to sell not only the book idea but also you as the author. In this interactive workshop we’ll discover how to get the pitch right from second one to done (with insights shared from someone who has heard thousands of pitches–some that worked and some well, not so much.)

How to Pitch Your Book Idea is an interactive workshop to discover how to get the pitch right from second one to done (with insights shared from someone who has heard thousands of pitches–some that worked and some well, not so much).

The Power of Your Premise

Kim Bangs

One of the most necessary, challenging, difficult and shortest items on your proposal is the premise statement (or the hook of the book). In this workshop, we’ll discuss why a premise statement is such a critical element and how you can write it so that those who read your proposal (agents, editors and pub boards) “get it” and give your proposal a deeper look.

The Power of Your Premise will help you develop a “hook” that makes a great first impression and leads interested parties to take a deeper look.


Social Media 101

Sandra Barela

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. With all the social media available, it can be overwhelming even know where to begin. In this session Sandra will be answering questions such as: Why is social media important for authors? How can I build a following? Where should an author choose to spend their time in social media? How does an author use social media effectively? When is the best time to be on social media? What tools are available to help authors with social media? How can authors utilize their street team with social media? The knowledge and insight you gain from attending this session will not only help you connect with readers, but will also help you expand your social platform to gain the most exposure for your work.

Keys to a Successful Book Proposal

Sandra Barela

In this workshop, Sandra will focus on the importance of having a successful book proposal to publish your book. She’ll touch on such topics as how to create an effective book proposal, why proposal is necessary, and how to use your book proposal to its maximum potential. With the tools Sandra provides, you can create the best book proposal to showcase your work.


I Swear

Parker J. Cole

A number of Christian authors struggle with the use of swear words and harsh language in their fiction. Some advocate no use of swear words while others are more liberal. Which is the right approach? Participants will be introduced to a number of topics that fall under this divisive issue and the best approach for utilizing various techniques to get their point across.

Those We Do Not Speak Of

Parker J. Cole

Taboo subjects in Christian fiction are myriad. Mainstream readers and publishers shy away from these topics but is this an appropriate approach to fiction? Participants will be introduced to several topics that are considered taboo in Christian fiction and how best to implement these subjects in their writing and why more authors should consider writing in these areas.


Caring for Your Writing Career

Karen Ball

There’s so much more to your career as a writer than just getting words on the page. In fact, the most important factor is one too many writers keep putting off: caring for YOU. Come share your best practices, and learn some new tips and tools, for making sure you care for all the different facets of your writing career, including when to pursue an agent, when to consider switching genres, how best to manage multiple contracts,and how to nurture your publishing relationships, spiritual foundation, and yourself!

Working with Agents and Editors

Karen Ball

We’ve all heard the tales of writers who have conflicts with their agents or editors. But that doesn’t have to happen. Whether you already have an agent and/or an editor, or you’re in the process of making those connections, join us as we discuss how to prepare your heart and mind for a writer’s most important working relationships. From knowing and sharing expectations, to understanding the best ways (and people) to contact, to resolving conflicts, we’ll help equip you to build a strong and effective team for your career.

The Current Picture Book Market

Adria Goetz

A 75-minute workshop examining current trends in the general trade picture book market, and where those trends might be heading. We will discuss dos and donts, which trends are over-saturated, and how to tap into trends in your own unique way.

The Future of the Christian Picture Book Market

Adria Goetz

A 75-minute workshop in which workshop attendees will time travel to the future and discuss the trends of Christian picture books. This workshop is a cheat sheet to help writers write the books that agents want to represent, editors want to acquire, and children want to read.

Blogging Basics

Stephanie Alton

Blogging Basics will talk about the differences between having a free WordPress site and having your own domain and when & why you should have one or the other, what type of info to have on blog and why, frequency of posting, how to boost traffic to your blog, and what’s trending in blogs.

Blogging to Book Deal

Stephanie Alton

Blog to Book Deal talks about if you really need a blog to get a book deal, what a successful blog looks like, who’s scouting blogs, what can the publishing industry tell by looking at your blog, and the need for your blog to have credibility and a community.

How to Publicize Your New Release

Miralee Ferrell

Writers often hate to share about their own books. It’s easier stay in your writing cave and crank out more words. Unfortunately, books don’t sell themselves, and publishers want proactive authors who will spread the word.Learn from multi-published, best-selling author Miralee Ferrell about setting up a Street Team, the do’s and don’ts of social media, what the single most important marketing tool is if you can only pick one, why talking about your book can be a ministry rather than bragging, and much more. Learn from someone who’s been there. Miralee helps authors learn how to set up a street team and keep members engaged, learn about Facebook groups vs Pages, how to set up a FB release party, what to do with a newsletter, how to host your own webinar, and other tools that will help writers succeed.

Creative Ways to Get the Story Flowing

Miralee Ferrell

What can you do when the screen in your head, and on your monitor, suddenly go blank? You’ve hit a roadblock in your story, and you’re not sure where to go next. Join Miralee Ferrell as she shares creative ideas that will help get the words flowing again. She will employ lecture as well as discussion, and as time permits, attendees will brainstorm to help break those log jams.

Make ‘Em Laugh!

Renae Brumbaugh Green

Studies have shown the best way to win an audience is to make them laugh. This is easier said than done, especially when you don’t have the benefit of tone of voice, facial expressions, or body language. Making people laugh, in writing, isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard work, and it’s serious business. But it is possible for anyone to insert humor into their writing in a way that will keep it fresh, and will hold the reader’s attention. In this fun, fast-paced workshop, award-winning humor columnist Renae Brumbaugh Green will share tried and true methods that will take your manuscript from dull to delightful, and keep your readers glued to the page.

Choosing a Small Press

Renae Brumbaugh Green

Tired of waiting for that phone call from Random House? Afraid your beard will grow to Rumplestiltskin lengths while you hope for that contract with HarperCollins? Or maybe you’re toying with the idea of self-publishing, but you’re not sure if that’s the route you want to take.

Perhaps there’s another option . . . an alternate path to publication that’s better suited for your current place in the publishing journey. Join Renae Brumbaugh Green, owner of Armonia Publishing, as she details the pros and cons of working with a small publisher.

Turning Personal Experience into a Devotional Message – Part 1

Susan King

Every Christian writer should be writing devotionals, either as a main focus or in addition to other writing projects. And this workshop is essential for anyone who wants to write devotionals. Typically, the shorter the piece, the harder it is to write. And publishers expect much from those 250 words. The practice of writing devotionals also provides great spiritual discipline. After all, connecting God’s Word to the experiences of our lives is what Christians should be doing every day. So why not write about this connection and publish for a large and eager audience?

Turning Personal Experience into a Devotional Message – Part 2

Susan King

Continuation of Part 1, focusing on the essential elements of a devotional message.

The Upper Room gives readers a model for reading Scripture and then listening for God’s voice to come to them through it. By publishing your devotional in this highly respected magazine, you will reach millions of readers in more than 100 countries worldwide. And learning to write for The Upper Room will equip you to write well for any publishing market.

Doing Ministry the Write Way

Tim Riter

For those with a speaking ministry, our impact can be greatly expanded by taking existing messages and turning them into blog posts, articles, and books. However, the radical differences between the two forms can derail effective communication. Tim Riter, with experience as a pastor and professor of Communication and Composition and author of nine books, will guide speakers into understanding how communication works in general and provide practical help to enable them to make the transition.

Doing Ministry the Write Way will help speakers understand the differences and similarities between speaking and writing, and will provide some practical insights on how to transform spoken words into written ones.

How Poetry Improves Prose

Tim Riter

Some writing lives for a season, some for decades. Some has a handful of readers, some has millions. Incorporating principles of poetry works can move your prose to a higher level. Many of us may not write poems, but the traits of poetry can add beauty and power and longevity to our writing. Tim Riter, poet and author of nine nonfiction books, will explore how word choices and their sounds, how rhythm and its pace, how implicit writing all entice the reader.

How Poetry Improves Prose will teach some basic principles of poetry that can be implemented by all writers of prose. That will increase both the beauty and impact of all forms of our writing.

Demolish Reader Stumbling Blocks Using the Secret of Clarity: Write Tight, Say What You Mean, and Be Specific

Lori Freeland

Our goal as writers is to put the scenes playing in our heads onto the page in a way that lets readers experience them the way we do. But there’s often a gap between what we imagine and what we write down. That gap can cause readers to stumble. But if we know what to watch for, we can demolish those stumbling blocks with clarity. Learn to use clarity to set the scene, center your characters, and manipulate sentence structure to toss unnecessary words, nix clichés and filter words, use active versus passive voice, and avoid vague words and ideas. Weaving the idea of clarity into every scene not only catches a reader, but keeps them.

Frame Your Scene, Build Your Story:
Use Layering to Paint a Word Picture

Lori Freeland

Like an essay has a beginning, middle, and end, using a three-part structure to lay the groundwork to frame your scene can set the scene, move the story, and hook the reader to turn the page. Knowing what you want the scene to accomplish—the information you want to share, character growth, the mood and tone, and the emotions you want to invoke in your characters and in your readers—can be a baseline for filling in that frame. Layering the scene with story-telling elements like setting, dialogue, internal thought, action, voice cues, expressions, and body language becomes the polish at the end.

Devotionals for All Ages

MacKenzie Howard

A well-written devotional can become a treasured book readers use again and again and pass along to others for encouragement and inspiration. We strive to implement key elements that connect with people and help them grow in their walks with the Lord.

Writing a Book Proposal

MacKenzie Howard

Book proposals are often the first introduction an editor gets with a prospective author. First impressions matter! We are looking for specific elements and information—and the inclusion or exclusion of these things are often the difference between getting a second look and being passed to the rejection pile.

Christian Storytelling in the Movies

Brian Godawa

Brian explains how to apply two techniques that result in powerful life-changing storytelling that avoids preachiness: Incarnation and Subversion. Incarnation teaches how to embody a worldview within a story’s characters, choices and actions. Subversion explains how to work within the cultural expectations to draw the audience in toward changing their hearts and minds.

Creating a Website

Paul Regnier

Want an author website but don’t know how to get started? This class will utilize one of the top web template and hosting services to go step by step through the creation of a professional looking website that even a non-technical person can build.

This class will also answer some of the technical questions about domain names, hosting services, SEO (search engine optimization), and more.

Writing Flash Fiction that Sells

Ben Wolf

Ben Wolf teaches on Splickety’s specialty: flash fiction, or short stories 1,000 words or less. Attendees will learn what makes a flash fiction story great (elements like plot, structure, conflict, character development, etc.) and how to condense everything into such a small amount of words. By the end of the presentation, attendees will know why they should write flash fiction and how it can help their career to do so, what it takes to write compelling flash fiction, and they will leave with ideas for several different approaches they can take for writing a standout flash fiction piece.

Acting Out – Fighting Basics for Writers

Ben Wolf

As a professional stage combat instructor and a mixed martial arts practitioner, Ben Wolf teaches and demonstrates the essential moves authors will need to ensure maximum believability for their fight scenes (such as punches, kicks, and even some jiu jitsu). Get ready to get off your keister and jump into some fighting movements and (safe) action. Screenwriters and visual media attendees will benefit from knowing how to write actual stage combat into their screenplays, and fiction authors will benefit from knowing what they can and can’t do in a fight scene in their novels.

Time Management for Writers

Lindsay Franklin

All writers have unlimited amounts of time to write, no procrastination problems, and organizational abilities for days…right? Yeah, right. The truth is most of us are trying to shoehorn writing time around busy work and family schedules. And when we do finally sit down to write, we end up spending half our writing time on Facebook (oh, the humanity!). Join Lindsay as she shares the time-management secrets that have enabled her to juggle two multi-book contracts, an editing business that experienced 270% growth last year, and a trio of hungry homeschoolers. You will leave equipped with tools and techniques to help you maximize your writing time and produce more than you thought possible.

Writing for Children in Today’s Market

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 for the General Market

Mike Duran

It’s one of the most common questions asked by Christian writers: “Should I write for the Christian market or the general market?” In this workshop, Mike Duran will help the Christian author think through both the philosophical and practical aspects of deciding between markets. Is it less “Christian” to write for a secular audience? What kinds of stories are better suited for a given market? Must an author compromise their message to write for the general market? How can we practically market our stories to those who don’t share our faith? Mike has published in both Christian and general markets and seeks to help other Christian authors wrestle through this potentially difficult issue.

Tax Strategies Most Creative Entrepreneurs Miss

Chris Morris

Most writers don’t exactly get excited about taxes. Actually, it probably stresses you out…but it doesn’t have to. This workshop will cover the following topics:

– What you can and cannot write off
– When it makes sense to hire a CPA
– When you have a business, not just a hobby
– Why you might be flagged for an audit, and how to avoid it

There will also be time for questions. When is the last time a CPA gave you an open forum to help you out, at no cost?

Bookkeeping Without Losing Your Sanity

Chris Morris

Keeping the financial records for a creative entrepreneur can be daunting, if you approach it with the wrong attitude, tools, or level of anxiety. This works will cover the following topics:

– The single best choice you can make to simplify your bookkeeping
– The power of attitude in financial matters
– The right (and wrong) tools for your bookkeeping
– An action plan to start today

Rewriting Lyrics to Well Known Melodies

Sally Klein O’Connor

During this workshop we will pick out a simple song melody and diagram the syllables and rhyme-scheme. Then we will write our own lyric adhering to the pattern of syllables and rhyme in the diagram. Afterward, we will review each lyric and discuss what worked and what didn’t work to make the lyric an effective partner to the music. Then, if time permits, we may either do the same with a second well-known melody or possibly take time to write a new melody to the lyric we crafted according to the diagram.

Writing a Series

Rachel A. Marks

My secrets to creating a satisfying and complex story arch that can span several books, and avoid the slump of the middle book curse.

Writing Through Adversity

Rachel A. Marks

An encouraging discussion on how we can avoid being distracted by the bumps in life’s road, and let God use them in our work, so that he will receive the glory.

Marketing, Promotion, and Platform

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.

Indie/Subsidy/Self-publishing

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 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.