2020 Carolina Christian Writers Conference

 Friday, March 27 – Saturday, March 28, 2020.

The 2020 Carolina Christian Writers Conference will be held at First Baptist Spartanburg, March 27th and 28th, 2020. This two-day event will offer you the opportunity to learn from professionals in the publishing industry. Those who attend can learn about fiction, nonfiction, article writing, humor, children’s writing, book proposals, social networking and more. Discover how to take your story from idea to the printed page. Pitch your work to editors and publishers. Explore the mechanics of good writing and the importance of writing with excellence to change the world. Get encouragement and instruction from professionals.

Now is the time to realize your dream of being a published author. If you are a new writer who wants to learn how to break into the publishing world, this conference is for you. If you are an experienced writer looking for new markets and wanting to network with other writers, this conference is for you. All writers can benefit from two days of companionship, learning, worship, and encouragement.

Everyone has a story and it’s time to tell yours. Learn how to do that with excellence. Join us for two information and inspiration packed days as you spend time with editors, publishers, and professional writers. Let them help you explore ways to share your story with others.
Cost of the Conference is $125 (early bird) if registered by February 10, or $145 after that date.
Information for Writing Contest to come.


Registration for the 2020 Writers Conference is now open

For more information contact Linda Gilden
Director, Carolina Christian Writers Conference




March 27, 2020

9:30 a.m. –noon


(There is an extra charge for the above optional workshop. Register online or by calling 864-699-4314. $45 before the conference, $60 at the door). 

11-noon  FREE – Making the Most of the Conference

11-noon  Prearranged Appointments with Faculty

Noon – Faculty Meeting

1:00 – 1:25 – Registration – Pick up Packets and Badges

1:30 – 2:30 – Welcome and Instruction – Linda Gilden, Carolina Christian Writers Conference Director

Staff Introductions, Appointment Sign Up, and Networking

3:00 – 3:55 – Workshop 1

4:05 – 5:00 – Workshop 2

5:00 – 6:30 Dinner – On Your Own (restaurant list in your folder)

6:30 – 6:50 – Praise and Worship led by Courtney Johnson and Kelli Wolfe

6:50 – 7:15 Explanation of Genre Groups

Keynote Speaker

7:30 – 8:30 – Interactive Genre Groups


Nonfiction Books—

Magazine Articles—





Writing for the Web

Saturday, March 28, 2020

8:30 – 9:00 – Registration

9:00 – Opening 

9:15 – Praise and Worship—led by Courtney Johnson, Kelli Wolfe and Teresa Holliday

9:30 – 10:15 – Keynote Speaker

10:25 – 11:20 – Workshop 3

11:30-12:00  Book Signing

12:10-12:50—Lunch With Faculty

1:05 – 1:55 – Lightning Learning

2:05 – 3:00 – Workshop 4

3:10 – 4:00 Closing Session

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Information – To Come 



To learn more about Karissa and her ministry visit www.karissaculbreath.com.



2020 Faculty

View List

Michelle Medlock Adams


Candy Arrington

Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Focus on the Family, Clubhouse, Encounter, The Lookout, The Upper Room, CBN.com, Care.com, Healthgrades.com, CountryLiving.com, NextAvenue.org, The Writer, Writer’s Digest and the Chicken Soup and Cup of Comfort series. Her blog, Forward Motion, covers various topics related to moving beyond what holds you back. She is a member of  CAN (Christian Authors Network) and ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors). She often writes on tough topics (caregiving, grief, loss, difficult relationships, suicide) with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Her books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

Nonfiction Book Building Blocks

It’s not unusual for aspiring writers to have a beeline focus on publishing a book. But like assembling and implementing the necessary building materials to construct a house, writers need to gain skills and establish credibility before attempting a book. Writing and speaking on your topic lay a good foundation, but there are other skills to master. In this workshop, learn the essential building blocks to construct your book and boost your chances of getting a nonfiction contract.

Blogging 101

Are you thinking of starting a blog, but don’t know where to start? Or did you start a blog, but abandoned it because your posts are unfocused and you can’t garner an audience? Blogging is a crowded arena so your blog needs to be more than an online journal. In order to have a successful blog, you need to think through your purpose and focus for the blog and then lay a good foundation before beginning. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to select a blog topic you can sustain for the long haul, consistently produce engaging content, navigate the basic framework for blogging, discover how to attract an audience, and learn how to promote your blog.

First-Timers Preview: Making the Most of the Conference

Attending your first writers’ conference is exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating and overwhelming. This first-timers preview is designed to help you learn how to navigate the conference like a pro. We’ll discuss the importance of networking, taking notes, being teachable, following up on what you learn, and provide tips on choosing classes and making appointments. So plan to sign up for this free class to enhance your conference experience.

Evaluating Your Options

We’ll discuss traditional publishing, answer some forbidden questions, and take a look at the many options for self, independent, co-publishing, and partnership publishing. This class will help you decide which is best for you and your project.

Lynn Blackburn

Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, COVERT JUSTICE (Love Inspired Suspense), won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, HIDDEN LEGACY (Love Inspired Suspense), released in June 2017 and her new Dive Team Investigations series kicks off in March of 2018 with BENEATH THE SURFACE (Revell).

Let’s Start at the Beginning

You have a great idea for a book, but you have so many questions. The main one being, “How do you write a novel?” No one writes a novel exactly like anyone one else, but in this workshop we’ll start at the beginning and cover the basics:

  • Choosing a genre
  • Determining the best POV for your story
  • Developing the plot
  • Plotting vs. Pantsing
  • Creating a cast of characters readers will love (or love to hate)
  • Balancing narrative and dialogue
  • Building the story world
  • Avoiding fatal mistakes that will brand you a novice
  • Managing expectations (first books -do they sell?)

It’s time to get that story out of your head and onto the page! This workshop will give you the tools and confidence to begin!

Upping the Suspense to Create Un-put-downable Novels

“I couldn’t put it down!” This is what every author longs to hear. But how do you create stories that keep readers turning the page? You keep them in suspense! Suspense is the key, regardless of genre, to crafting stories that compel readers to stay in the story world you’ve created long after they should have returned to reality. In this workshop, we’ll dissect the definition of suspense and discover how to up the suspense in every scene. 

Michelle Cox

Michelle Cox is a speaker and the bestselling author of fourteen books. Her newest books are When God Calls the Heart: Devotions from Hope Valley (based on Hallmark’s mega-hit When Calls the Heart and co-authored with Executive Producer Brian Bird) and the When God Calls the Heart Journal.

Michelle’s “Life with a Southern Grandmother” posts run each Monday and Thursday at www.Guideposts.org. She has been the food blogger for Fox News Personality Todd Starnes and has written for FoxNews.com, Focus on the Family, Christian Cinema, Whoa Magazine for Women, Leading Hearts Magazine, and numerous other publications. Michelle is the creator of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting products and resources, which will include movies, a documentary, music, books (the Just 18 Summers novel released from Tyndale), and other products. The Just 18 Summers® parenting blog (featuring a staff of writers) has a new post each Monday-Friday. Michelle has been a guest on Home and Family, Hannity, The Harvest Show, Focus on the Family, Babbie’s House, Atlanta Live, and on numerous other radio and television stations.

Writing for the Gift and Devotional Book Markets

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. We’ll cover things like formatting and expanding your book project, finding a publisher, what to expect during the publishing process, and much more. 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!

Jimmie Davis

Jimmie Davis is the author of Virtual You, the Girls’ Ministry Handbook and the Girls’ Ministry Idea Book for Lifeway. Jimmie has led workshops for women, teenage girls, and girls’ ministry leaders all over the US.  She has contributed to several women’s ministry books for Lifeway and several books as a ghostwriter. Jimmie has written numerous articles and currently serves as a ministry assistant editing and working with printed materials for First Baptist Spartanburg.

Jimmie Davis served in Student Ministry alongside her husband, Sam, for over 25 years. She served on staff as the Girls’ Ministry Director at First Baptist Spartanburg in SC for 8 years and as Director of the Deaf Ministry at First Baptist Atlanta for 3 years. Jimmie attended Converse College and has an Advanced Certificate in Women’s Ministry from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Writing Articles and Books from Your Speaking and Teaching

What are you teaching others from your personal study and life? What is your expertise? You can write a book from mentoring one on one, leading a small group, or speaking to larger groups. Whether it is teaching from your own personal speaking or writing for others who speak, Jimmie will teach you how to take your writing from podium to print.

Vincent Davis

Vincent B. Davis II is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and soldier. His first novel “The Man with Two Names” was published in July 2017, and has since become an Amazon International Best Seller. He is passionate about helping authors improve their brand and platform. He created Warrior Book Marketing Group in 2018 and now works with publishing companies and individual clients to help them sell more books in the modern publishing environment.

Mastering Amazon 

Amazon is where books are sold. Nearly 80% of all eBooks are sold on Amazon, and upwards of 40% of paperbacks are sold there as well. But if other online stores feel like barren deserts, sometimes Amazon can feel like attempting to sell in shark-infested waters. But there are tools and tricks available to all authors to improve their visibility on Amazon, and in this course we’ll be discussing some of the very best. We’ll go over the basics of metadata (keywords and categories), price points and price promotions, and the benefits of Amazon exclusivity. Whether you’re a bestseller or a first-time author, this course will give you additional tools to help your book become more discoverable on the world’s largest bookstore.

Amazon Advertising Mastery

Is it possible for a first-time author to have their book listed alongside the perennial bestsellers? How about ranking first for a competitive search term? With Amazon Advertising it is. In this workshop, we’ll be discussing how to set up and optimize your first Amazon Advertising campaigns, to get your book in front of thousands of new readers. Both first-time and seasoned authors will learn new practices to help boost their sales, increase their readership, and gain lifelong fans.

Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason is the best-selling, award-winning author of over fifty books including the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, the Hidden Identity series, the Elite Guardians series and the Blue Justice series. She writes for Revell and for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the Carol Award, the IRCC award, the Selah, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She placed in the top ten in the James Patterson 2016 co-writer contest. The movie, Her Stolen Past, based on Lynette’s novel with the same title, aired February 2, 2018, on the Lifetime Movie Network. Lynette is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love (FHL) chapter of RWA as well as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. Lynette can be found online at www.lynetteeason.com and www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and @lynetteeason on Twitter.

First Page Punch

Your first page makes a statement. You want that statement to be one that is remembered because it’s amazing, not for what it lacks. Submit your first page and let Lynette use it in her workshop to demonstrate how to write it tighter and capture the reader’s—or an editor’s/agent’s—attention. **Author’s name will be removed before presenting to the class.** Participants must e-mail their first pages to Lynette at lynetteeason@gmail.com and put First Pages in the subject line. E-mail your pages by February 25.

Building Characters

Why do we fall in love with characters in stories when we know the person/people aren’t real? Why do we yearn for more books in the series after the last one is finished? Because the author made the characters feel real. We cared about those characters. We gasped in horror when they were in danger and cheered when they made it through safe to live happily ever after. So, how does the author do this? Come learn some tips and tricks to make your readers emotionally connect to the characters you create.

Edna Ellison 

Dr. Edna Ellison, a humorist, poet, and storyteller known as “the Christian mentoring guru,” lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Former editor of a national Christian women’s magazine, Royal Service, she later served as a denominational consultant, speaker, and writer in Alabama and California. Currently Edna is the national president of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Edna has been a keynote speaker in London, Frankfort, Panama City, and other world class cities. She has spoken and led writing conferences in almost every US state, including Alaska and Hawaii. An award-winning poetry and writing teacher on the high school, college, and post-graduate level, Edna is the author of 23 books and over 400 magazine articles. Her life has been featured in a Focus on the Family magazine, where she has also been published. A people-lover, she also loves teaching Bible studies, editing, and leading prayer retreats—and most of all, playing with her granddaughter, Blakely.

Five to Come Alive: 5 Ways to Increase Sales Booms

Ever wish you could sell multiple copies of every book you sell? This workshop will offer ways to sell more books and other product to share your message. Learn five sales avenues that have worked from experience in the Christian market. These techniques from a non-fiction writer can also apply to fiction sales. When the market is down, use these group, renewal, and denominational sales ideas to increase interest in your Bible studies, how-to books, and new marketing tools for targeted audiences.

Writing for Thinkers, Talkers, or Thrillers

What is the Spiritual Component that energizes writers and readers and brings them together in a united front to share the gospel? Learn what you have to offer that you didn’t know you had. Find out your own special talent, depending on whether you are a Thinker, a Talker, or a Thriller! Take a simple inventory and use your unique perspective to decide how to compel readers to love your work without boring them to death.

Beth Fortune

Beth Fortune is co-founder of Extreme Joy Ministries where she shares heart, humor, and hope through writing, teaching and speaking. Speaking is her true love (25 years now) but she has been published in magazines and anthologies, written for Chicken Soup for the Soul, blogged for websites like Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries and other devotional sites.

She is a graduate of CLASS Seminar and Christian Communicators. She is a pastor’s wife, active member of Word Weavers-Upstate SC and lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and their rescue Jack-A-Bee, Gracie. You can find her at www.bethfortune.net.

From Paper to Podium – Developing A Presentation

In the publishing world today agents and publishers are looking for writers with a platform. And how do we gain a platform? One way is by speaking. The challenge is that while some people are speakers who write others are writers who need to speak but lack confidence. Sharing a message while speaking in public is much different than sitting in front of a computer. As a new speaker how do you take your message from paper to podium and present it with poise? And what if you feel called to speak? How do you begin? Let me show you how.


Linda Gilden – Director, Carolina Christian Writers Conference

Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Called to Write, Why You Do What You Do, Words To Live By, and many ghostwritten books, and with hundreds of magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden loves to share a great story.

A national speaker on the training staff of CLASSEMINARS, Inc., Linda enjoys helping others discover and grow their communication skills. She teaches at national writers conferences and “Writing to Expand Your Ministry” in the Women’s Ministry Degree Program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  A wife, mother, and grandmother, Linda’s favorite times are those spent with her family. Linda finds tremendous joy in directing the Carolina Christian Writers Conference and the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in NM. Lindagilden.com

Articles, Articles, Articles!

Learn the basics of magazine article writing in this information-packed class. Topics addressed will include how to break in to the magazine market, where to find marketable ideas, how to study the markets to find a perfect fit for your manuscript, contemporary article format, 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.

Linda Goldfarb


Lori Hatcher 

Lori Hatcher is a women’s ministry speaker, author, magazine editor, blogger, minister’s wife, and healthcare professional. She shares an empty nest in Lexington, South Carolina with her husband, David, and her vast collection of books.

Lori’s the editor of South Carolina’s Reach Out, Columbiamagazine, a Christian magazine dedicated to celebrating the life and work of Jesus Christ. A homeschool mom for 17 years, she’s the author of three devotional books,Hungry for God … Starving for Time, The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year; and Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms.Her latest book, Uncommon Insights for an Unbounded Life,is due out in the spring of 2020. Lori’s also a freelance writer for Crosswalk.com. Her feature articles and devotions have been published by publications such as Proverbs 31 ministries, The Upper Room, War Cry, Today’s Christian Living, Christian Living in the Mature Years,Evangel, The Mother’s Heart, Inspired Women, The Old Schoolhouse, andColumbia Metropolitan Magazine.

A contest-winning Toastmasters International speaker (ACG, ALB), Lori loves to use stories to impart spiritual truths. Encouraging, inspiring, andentertainingare the words people use most to describe her. You’ll find Lori her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time(www.lorihatcher.com). You can reach her at LoriAHatcher@gmail.com.

(Practically) Painless Editing for the Grammatically-Challenged – A Practicum

Genius isn’t enough when you send your blog post, article, or book out into the publishing jungle. Not only does your work need panache, it also needs polish. And even the most seasoned writer has weak areas. In this nuts and bolts workshop, magazine editor Lori Hatcher will expose the most common errors writers make and teach you how to catch them. Then you’ll have the chance to practice your newfound knowledge in a group editing session.

Out of the Computer and into the World – 8 Steps to Launch your Writing

You’ve done it – you’ve finished your article, devotion, or poem. Now what? How do you get it out of the computer and into the hands of readers? This practical workshop, taught by someone who sits on both sides of the writer/editor desk, will give you suggestions, tips, and resources for finding places of publication for your literary darlings.

Katy Kauffman

Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies (not the same at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). Refresh seeks to be a Christian voice in an increasingly secular world, and its mission is to connect God’s word to life today. It’s a free, digital magazine published by Lighthouse Bible Studies.

Katy loves connecting with writers and hearing about their writing. Her own writing has won five awards, plus her first compilation, Breaking the Chains, won a 2018 Selah finalist award for Bible studies. Katy’s devotions, articles, or poetry have appeared on CBN.com, on Thoughts-about-God.com, on PursueMagazine.net, in online magazines, and on numerous blogs. She regularly contributes to The Write Conversation and the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference blog.

She loves to spend time with family and friends, make jewelry, and hunt for the best decaf coffee. Katy makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Seven Giants Every Writer Must Slay

The nagging voice of self-doubt and the bully of perfectionism. The taunts of comparison and the strength-draining power of fear. We’ve all encountered enemies along our writing journey, and they threaten to beat us down and hinder our work. But God has a message for us to share with the world. Discover ten resources every Christian writer possesses, and arm yourself with strategies for slaying the giants that hinder your writing’s creativity and purpose. This is our time to make a difference, and God wants to use us to share His hope, truth, and love with the world. Don’t let any giant stand in your way.

How to Make Scripture Come Alive in Your Writing

Since Scripture is alive with truths and promises, with hope and healing, how can we effectively present its message in our writing? We can “scrapbook” it—we can share it with personality, charm, fresh insights, and a unique approach. We can craft first lines to draw the reader into our message. We can write about the topic from the inside out, not from the outside looking in. Whether you write books, articles, or blog posts, this workshop will show you ten essentials for writing about the word of God with richness, vitality, and everyday relevance.

Larry J. Leech II

Larry J. Leech II  spent eighteen years writing, editing, and managing news and sports departments at daily newspapers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and Florida. He finished his journalism career with a five-year stint as editor of Christian Retailing magazine, the leading trade publication in the Christian industry. With more than 2,300 articles published, Larry moved into freelance writing and editing in 2004. He has ghostwritten more than twenty books, edited more than 200 manuscripts, and written back cover copy and press releases for numerous publishers. Larry teaches at numerous conferences nationwide and is the writing coach for award-winning authors. Find Larry at www.larryleech.com.

Pitching 101

The right pitch makes all the difference in the world—whether you are on the baseball mound or telling someone about your project. You don’t want to throw one in the dirt or hang a curveball. You want pinpoint accuracy.

That means a short, concise pitch for a query letter, book proposal, editor / agent meeting, or talking up your project to someone at the coffee shop. In 25 words or less.

Yes, in 25 words or less for that perfect pitch for every situation.

Getting the Most Out of the Coach-Author Relationships (with Aaron Zook)

Ever feel alone while writing? Not sure what to do next? Struggle to find your voice or fix a plot issue? You just might need a coach. Veteran coach Larry J. Leech II and Aaron Zook, one of Larry’s repeat clients, will discuss the benefits of hiring a coach. As an added bonus, Larry and Aaron will give a live demonstration of the interaction between a coach and client.

Nancy Lohr – JourneyForth Publishers

Nancy Lohr, Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books, acquires 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 for many years before moving to publishing, and she love teaching  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.

2-part Writing for Children: 

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.

Session 1: a focus on picture books

Session 2: a focus on middle grade books


Edie Melson

Edie Melson—author, editor and blogger—Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s writing for fiction readers, parents, military families, fiction readers or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.

She’s a leading professional within the publishing industry and travels to numerous conferences as a popular keynote, writing instructor and mentor. Her blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and is consistently chosen as a Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Mountainside Marketing Conference, as well as Vice President of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine. In addition, she’s a regular columnist for Guideposts.org, Just18Summers.com and PuttingOnTheNew.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Organization for Writers

We all struggle for balance between time to write and time to do the business of writing. Instead of fighting, learn how to lean into God and let Him lead the way. Edie is the queen of balancing a busy life. She’s an author, conference director, blogger, speaker, social media coach, business owner and wife. She’ll tell you that sometimes she does better than others, but having a plan brings peace, no matter what. The ultimate her secret to sanity and joy is letting God guide. In this workshop you’ll learn her tips and tricks to keeping track of multiple streams of income as well as projects. She’ll also share her bullet journal and show you how to keep up with everything in one place.

Social Media for Writers & Authors in 2019

Many writers mistakenly assume it’s either too late or too early to build a solid social media presence. Edie will walk you through the reason social media is non-negotiable for almost all writers, and how to find a way to make it work for your specific situation. Included will be information on

  • Why we need a social media presence before we get a contract
  • Which networks work best for which audience (and why you need to be active on more than one)
  • How to use scheduling programs to keep your social media time commitment manageable.
  • How to compose effective updates that increase shares
  • What you need to know to connect with your book’s potential audience


Dalene Parker – Contest Director

Dalene Parker, a newly “rewired” public high school teacher, loves to encourage and to give. Seeking to do “All but Only” as the Lord directs, she is enjoying this season of recalibration. With two published books, numerous articles and devotions, Dalene is happy to be a resource for other writers.

Gloria Penwell-Holtzlander – Bold Vision Books 

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 is an incredible encourager and understands what the writing life is about. Gloria works as an acquisition editor for Bold Vision Books.

Writing Bible Studies

Bible studies can be one of the most important writing you’ll ever do. Learn what it takes to shake up your writing of Bible studies, where the market is for them, and are you qualified to write them.


Rhonda Robinson 

Rhonda Robinson leads teams of writers, and teaches bloggers to create high traffic, viral internet content. Rhonda is an editor, marketing coach, and an award winning author.

With her unique blend of disarming sarcasm and investigative journalism, Rhonda pours her passion for the next generation into her speaking, commentary and analysis of the social, political, and parenting issues impacting the family.

Her work has been read on-air by Rush Limbaugh, and referenced in white papers of political think tanks. Hundreds of her articles and columns have been published in magazines, newspapers, and influential conservative sites.

Rhonda gained 574 pounds and lost 500 to win the grand prize of nine children (with the added bonus of 31grandchildren). As a recovering political junkie, Rhonda restores her barefoot soul in the peaceful hills of Tennessee.

How to Write for the Internet

The internet is a hungry beast. It must be fed high quality content on a constant basis. Writing online can be a lucrative income supplement or full time writing gig. Whether you are writing for your own blog, guest blogging, or submitting articles to paying websites, writing content that will be clicked not scrolled over is key. In this workshop you will learn the anatomy of a viral post, how to attract Google’s attention, build your creditably, and your presence on the web.

Finding Your Tribe

You poured your heart and soul into your book. This is your life’s work, your calling. Now its time to share your message with the world. Do you need an audience, community, fans, or a tribe? In this workshop you will learn the difference and understand how each one plays a role in building your platform and ministry.

Cindy Sproles

Cindy Sproles is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and the cowriter of the popular He Said, She Said Devotions written with her cofounder, Eddie Jones. Cindy’s devotions and articles are published in Christian newspapers across the eastern seaboard, including Common Ground Christian Newspaper, Tri-County News and Hometown Christian News. She is a speaker to women’s conferences addressing not only the heart of women but also their biblical responsibilities to their families. As a teacher and speaker for Christian Writers Conferences, Cindy teaches writing skills and how to write placing God in the forefront.  She is a contributing author to CBN.com and is the Executive Editor for www.christiandevotions.us and the Devotional Acquisitions Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  Cindy works along side Scott McCausey and Eddie Jones to cohost the syndicated Blog Talk Radio show, Christian Devotions SPEAK UP. Her newest book, Mercy Rains, transports readers to nineteenth-century Appalachia revealing the thorny path from bitterness to forgiveness. Cindy is also the coauthor of He Said, She Said – A  Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of  Passion. She is the mother of four sons and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her husband. Cindy can be contacted at www.cindysproles.com.


Making Diamonds Out of Coal 

In this class we discuss polishing a manuscript. We address where the story begins, the importance of the opening paragraph and page, what is your hook and what is your overall goal of the book. We look at how to develop characters who impact your readers so when the book is done, they want to know more about them. This class also addresses chapter lengths and overall word count, as well as the synopsis, and how to submit to an agent or publisher.

Stop Preaching to the Choir – Writing Christian World View into the General Market

As Christian writers we tend to preach to the choir, writing only to those in the Christian market. But what about those who do not read within the confines of the Christian Market? In this class we will discuss the importance of writing into the general market maintaining a Christian world view. Authors can write wholesome, enjoyable, and fulfilling fiction to the general market without letting the world lead them in the lie that the world won’t read. We’ll prove you can write good fiction and maintain the love of Christ, without thumping your reader on the head. It’s time to advance and put our toes in new water where the ripples can make amazing changes.

Les Stobbe

An active Literary Agent for 25 years, Les Stobbe now helps writers as writing coach on non-fiction books and as ghostwriter. He started his writing and editorial career as founding editor of the weekly Mennonite Observer in Winnipeg. He became selling floor manager of the Moody Bookstore in Chicago.  He then served as editor of Christian Bookseller Magazine, then editorial director of Cambridge Publishers in Winnipeg.  In 1970 he moved back to Chicago to become editorial director of Moody Press. Since then he has been book club vice-president, president of Here’s Life Publishers, curriculum managing editor at Scripture Press, vice president of marketing and communications at Evangelistic Association of New England, Journalist in Residence at Gordon College. Along the way he has written curriculum, journalism lessons, 14 books and hundreds of magazine articles. His website is at www.stobbeliterary.com

Expanding Your Role As a Writer

Many writers fixate on article writing, others on books. This workshop will explore the many opportunities to turn writing skills into evangelizing and discipling not only their world but that of the nation. Participants will work on the basic skills foundational to this expanded role as a writer—and then learn how to adapt these skills for a wide variety of publication opportunities. The goal will be to become a writer of influence well beyond one’s home community–as numerous participants testify.

Craig von Buseck

Dr. Craig von Buseck is a published author and Editor of Content for Inspiration.org, the website of Inspiration Ministries in Charlotte, North Carolina. Craig’s new book, “I Am Cyrus: Harry S. Truman and the Rebirth of Israel”, is being released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas on April 22. Learn more at vonbuseck.com.

Fiction Techniques in Nonfiction Writer:

Have you heard this quote? “Give me 26 lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.” Did you know that both Benjamin Franklin and Karl Marx said it – and they were both correct? In this class you will learn that writing is a transaction between the writer and the reader. Your job is to give them an entertaining read, full of hard-hitting facts and heart-tugging stories. In response they will read your book to the end – and hopefully will recommend it to others. The best way to achieve this goal in the nonfiction realm is by learning how to use the techniques of fiction writers to make your writing soar.

Gerry Wakeland

Gerry Wakeland has served in many positions in ministry for over forty years, all requiring significant writing and editing. She is a graduate of the Soul Shepherding Institute and currently serves as a commissioned spiritual director. Her greatest passion is teaching God’s Word as she mentors young women in their walk with the Lord. “Our spiritual life is meant to be a journey in which God uses spiritual companions to help guide our way closer to Him.”

Bust the Block! Spiritual Meditation for Writers

It’s happened to us all. A deadline looms and writer’s block hits. You’ve tried everything and nothing helps. Discover the process of meditative writing and how it clears your mind and helps you release your flow of creativity. This workshop will introduce you to some new spiritual techniques that will allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you and through you. You will recalibrate your thoughts and find yourself writing in a fresh and powerful way.

Aaron Zook

Aaron M. Zook, Jr.—an award-winning author and speaker—entertains with a purpose in his books and presentations. He’s thrilled thousands of readers through his YA Christian mystery/adventure Thunder and Lightning series about two inquisitive boys and their dogs who solve one crisis after another around the world. Aaron volunteers in church and in the community. Check out his info, fun facts, and books on his website—Zookbooks.org, BoldVisionBooks.com, or Amazon.com. Aaron is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Holly Lake Ranch, TX. They have two married sons and four wonderful grandchildren.

Research: A Love/Hate Relationship

Have you ever wrestled with research to make your book subject, emotions, and characters authentic to your readers? In this exciting workshop, you’ll be able to identify what kind of research works for you—and what doesn’t. Aaron will provide four typical reasons people hate research, then provide four reasons why some writers love research. After exploring these areas, Aaron will give you ten different ways to research and make the process fun! The result? Research will kindle the fire of creativity and fill the vacuum of knowledge you need to let your words cascade onto the pages in a torrent of passionate prose.  Check it out!

Writing for YA – One Author’s Perspective

Have you ever wondered how to write an award-winning YA novel? Take a short journey through the eyes of one such author as he discusses four essential keys to developing and creating a captivating novel series that has his followers begging for more. Learning how to write in a way that excites YA readers requires delving into their world and revealing the pain, hurt, and joys of being a teen. Don’t miss this special class. Wouldn’t it be great to have a YA reader ask you, “Haven’t you written the next novel yet? I need more.”

Getting the Most Out of the Coach-Author Relationships (with Larry Leech)

Ever feel alone while writing? Not sure what to do next? Struggle to find your voice or fix a plot issue? You just might need a coach. Veteran coach Larry J. Leech II and Aaron Zook, one of Larry’s repeat clients, will discuss the benefits of hiring a coach. As an added bonus, Larry and Aaron will give a live demonstration of the interaction between a coach and client.


Scholarship information

View Guideline Sample


Scholarship application for the 2020 Writers Conference.

Carolina Christian Writers Conference

Scholarship Application

First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC


Title ________ First Name _________________ MI ___ Last Name _____________________


Address ______________________________________________________________________________


City __________________________________________________ State ______ Zip ________


Phone ____________________________________ Website ___________________________


Email _________________________________________________ Date ________________


I am ____ published ___ unpublished.


My current project is



My writing goals are




What I am doing to reach these goals




I want to attend this conference because




I need a scholarship because




  • Submit your application via email to linda@lindagilden.com not later than Feb. 1, 2020. Recipients will be notified by Feb. 8, 2020.
  • Scholarship is for full tuition only. Does not cover lodging, meals (except lunch on Saturday), the optional Friday morning session, or transportation.


Friday morning 9:30-Noon  Cost $45 if preregistered, $60 at the door.


Mastering Amazon 




View Friday Morning Workshop Details


Friday morning 10:00-Noon  Cost $45 if preregistered, $60 at the door.

Mastering Amazon 

Is it possible for a first-time author to have their book listed alongside the perennial bestsellers? How about ranking first for a competitive search term? With Amazon Advertising it is. In this workshop, we’ll be discussing how to set up and optimize your first Amazon Advertising campaigns, to get your book in front of thousands of new readers. Both first-time and seasoned authors will learn new practices to help boost their sales, increase their readership, and gain lifelong fans.

Amazon is where books are sold. Nearly 80% of all eBooks are sold on Amazon, and upwards of 40% of paperbacks are sold there as well. But if other online stores feel like barren deserts, sometimes Amazon can feel like attempting to sell in shark-infested waters. But there are tools and tricks available to all authors to improve their visibility on Amazon, and in this course we’ll be discussing some of the very best. We’ll go over the basics of metadata (keywords and categories), price points and price promotions, and the benefits of Amazon exclusivity. Whether you’re a bestseller or a first-time author, this course will give you additional tools to help your book become more discoverable on the world’s largest bookstore.

You must be registered for the conference to take this class.

 Manuscript Critiques

Critique fee is $35.

Are you interested in taking your writing to the next level? A good way to determine if you are ready for publication is by submitting your manuscript for critique. Some shy away from having a manuscript evaluated, but if you are serious about improving your writing and achieving publication, a manuscript critique is an important step in the process. And it is a great way to learn from a professional what mistakes you are making in your writing. We look forward to helping you.


View Critique Guidelines


Critique fee is $35.

* Critiques are available for both pre-published and published writers.

* You must register and pay for the conference in order to submit a manuscript for critique.

* The critique fee is $35.00 per manuscript and includes comments on your manuscript and a 15-minute private appointment with your critiquer.

* Manuscript format: double spaced, (unless noted below), Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font, one side of the paper. Do not bold, italicize, or use all caps for emphasis.

* Please submit your manuscript prior to the conference via email to the critiquer of your choice. The list of critiquers will be added below by the first week of January. You will contact them and pay them directly. Please write “CCWC Manuscript Critique Submission” in the subject line. Please revisit this page for the complete list of names and availability and deadlines.

* Submissions must fit the following criteria. If submissions are longer than the specified guidelines, the critique will not extend beyond the amount listed below.

Devotions: (limit of three – no longer than two pages each)

Poetry: three poems or three pages

Articles: up to 1500 words

Nonfiction book: outline and first 10 pages

Nonfiction book proposal: single spaced complete proposal

Novel: single spaced synopsis (no more than two pages) and first 10 pages (a prologue is included in this page count)

Novel proposal: single spaced proposal and synopsis

Short stories (fiction): up to 2000 words

Personal experience story (nonfiction): up to 1500 words

Bible Studies: outline (single spaced) and up to 10 pages

Children’s picture book: entire book

Children’s chapter book: synopsis and up to 10 pages

Manuscripts that include sexually explicit material or profanity will not be accepted for critique.

Deadline for critique submissions is up to the critiquer and will be listed beside his or her name. Most critiquers have limited the number of manuscripts they will critique so you are urged to send your submissions ahead of the deadline.

Below is a list of critiquers (they will do a limited number of critiques).

Larry Leech             larry@larryleech.com  –  Preferred genres are memoir and fiction.  Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 15

Linda Gilden            Linda@LindaGilden.com   –    non-fiction   –  Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 20

Nancy Lohr              Nlohr@bjupress.com  –   Children

Lori Hatcher             loriahatcher@gmail.com   –   non-fiction books, articles, blog posts    –   Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 20

Katy Kauffman        adventurewriter@hotmail.com    –   non-fiction book proposals, Bible studies, devotions, articles   –   deadline – 2/13

Aaron Zook            ocf.fthstx@gmail.com   –   YA Novels, Novel Proposals, and Short Stories. YA Mystery, YA Adventure, YA Fantasy, YA    Science Fiction, YA Historical Fiction  –  deadline 2/21

Jimmie Davis  –  jdavis@fbs.org   –  non-fiction

Gloria Penwell-Holtzlander    gpenwell44@yahoo.com   –  Bible Studies, Devotionals

Edie Melson  –  ediegmelson@gmail.com   –  science fiction, fantasy, social media evaluation, blogging evaluation, nonfiction books, articles, devotions, proposals (fiction and nonfiction)  – Deadline for submitting manuscript is March 1

Candy Arrington  –  cnansptbg@aol.com  –  nonfiction book proposals, articles, devotionals, personal experience story  – Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 20

Teri Kelly  –  terri.davinci@gmail.com  –  Children’s Books  –  Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 17

Cindy Sproles  – cindyksproles@gmail.com   –  Fiction or Devotions –  Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 24

Edna Ellison  –  ednae9@aol.com  –  articles, Bible studies, or poetry  –  Feb 28

Rhonda Robinson  – mothering9@gmail.com  –  Non-fiction, essays and articles  –  Deadline for submitting manuscript is Feb 25

Additional Critiquers will be added

EABooks Writing Contest

Experience the excitement of publication from submission to publication

EA Books Publishing is excited to offer a publication contest this year. This publication is open to all registered attendees of the Carolina Christian Writers Conference 2019. This year one of the EA Books illustrators designed the cover and we love it. Here is the info for the contest:

Opportunity for Publication

Twenty to twenty-Five writers will be chosen for inclusion in a book titled, Blessings in Disguise, published by Living Parables, an imprint of EABooks Publishing, making them “published” authors. Authors will be able to purchase books at a reduced rate and keep the profit from their sales.

View Guidelines


  • For unpublished authors (can have articles, blogs, or online content published either paid or unpaid, but not a book for which royalties were paid or inclusion in another anthology for which the author was paid)
  • Must be registered for the full conference– opportunity not open to single day attendees
  • Only those who follow the full submission guidelines will be considered
    • Only one submission per person registered for the conference
    • Can submit a short story, article, devotion, or poem
    • 300-1000-word limit
    • Include a 50-word bio at the end of your submission, a title and your name with contact information (email, address, and phone number) at the top of the first page of the submission (none of this is included in submission word count total).
    • Standard manuscript format (Times New Roman, 12pt font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, Microsoft Word doc or docx)
    • Submissions must be submitted via email attachment to contests@eabookspublishing.com by midnight February 3, 2019 and include CCWC in the subject line.
  • Those that best reflect the theme, Blessings in Disguise, who meet submission guidelines, and represent the best writing of a new author, will be chosen for inclusion in the book. Winners will be announced during the conference.


Professional Headshots

Sharon Brisken Photography, will be on site Friday and Saturday as your headshot photographer

View Information

Say Cheese!!!

Sharon Brisken, of Sharon Brisken Photography, will be on site Friday and Saturday as your headshot photographer to capture your photo for your book, website, blog, printed material, posters, business cards and even your FB profile picture!  You will receive images using a variety of backdrops, professional editing, a fast turnaround time and guaranteed satisfaction at a very reasonable price, $45.00.  Sharon is prepared to photograph any special requests, including props and clothing changes.  Special sessions require prior knowledge of your specific needs to allow for time.  Additional rates may apply.

For more info on your photo session and to secure your session time, please contact Sharon either by email, sabrisken@mac.com