Virtual Conference

March 12-13, 2021

Cost of Conference is $145 which includes everything but the Friday Morning Workshop. The cost of the conference includes two private appointments with industry professionals, extra groups, worship, and we are adding things all the time.

PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTION & ENCOURAGEMENT FOR:

Fiction • Nonfiction • Article writing • Humor • Children’s writing • Mechanics of good writing

TIPS & GUIDANCE FOR:

Book Proposals • Social Networking • Pitching to Editors and Publishers

 

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, or 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 learning, worship, and encouragement at the 2021 Virtual Writers Conference.

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.

REGISTRATION is now OPEN!

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

FACULTY BIOS AND WORKSHOPS

2021 Virtual Faculty

OPTIONAL FRIDAY MORNING WORKSHOP

by Larry Leech on Friday morning 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.  Cost $45 if registered by February 22, 2021,     $60 if registered by March 8th, 2021.

 

Article, Book, or Blog

Ideas flow in and out of our minds all the time. Some are worth keeping. Others we let flow in one ear and out the other. Those that we keep, we can tussle with ourselves about whether it should be an article, book or blog. While all three are nonfiction endeavors, not every idea can be written as each one. In this morning class, learn how to take an idea and shape it into the most effective vehicle to get out your message.

 

Friday Morning – 11-noon

Free Welcome to the Conference Workshop:

Tips for Navigating a Zoom Conference

Attending your first virtual writers conference is exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating and overwhelming. The “Welcome to the Conference Workshop” is designed to help you learn how to navigate a virtual conference like a pro. We’ll discuss the importance of taking notes, being teachable, following up on what you learn, moving into breakout rooms, and provide tips on choosing classes and making appointments. So plan to sign up for this free pre-conference class to enhance your experience.

Please Note: The Friday Morning Workshop will be completed before the “Welcome to the Conference Workshop” begins. 

 

 

Friday Morning Workshop

Ideas flow in and out of our minds all the time. Some are worth keeping. Others we let flow in one ear and out the other. Those that we keep, we can tussle with ourselves about whether it should be an article, book or blog. While all three are nonfiction endeavors, not every idea can be written as each one. In this morning class, learn how to take an idea and shape it into the most effective vehicle to get out your message.

Welcome to the Conference Workshop

Attending your first virtual writers conference is exciting, but it can also be a little intimidating and overwhelming. The “Welcome to the Conference Workshop” is designed to help you learn how to navigate a virtual conference like a pro. We’ll discuss the importance of taking notes, being teachable, following up on what you learn, moving into breakout rooms, and provide tips on choosing classes and making appointments. So plan to sign up for this free pre-conference class to enhance your experience.

 

 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 what mistakes you are making in your writing. We look forward to helping you.

 

 Appointments With Professional Faculty

How can you pass up the opportunity to get 15 minutes of a Professional Writer’s undivided attention focused on you and your dreams. This is a highlight of the conference and could be a life-changing opportunity for you.

Once you have registered, you make an appointment with a member of the faculty by emailing Wendy Leech at:

wendyeleech@gmail.com

with your top three choices for appointments (put in the subject line “CCWC Appointment”). Wendy will then email you with your appointment times for two appointments. Appointments will be scheduled the week before and the week after the conference.

 

Appointment Information

APPOINTMENTS

* Appointments can be requested by anyone registered for the conference.

*Appointments are usually 15 minutes

*You make an appointment with a member of the faculty by emailing Wendy Leech at: wendyeleech@gmail.com with your top three choices for appointments (put in the subject line “CCWC Appointment”).

* Wendy will email you with your appointment times for two appointments.

* Most appointments will be scheduled two weeks before and the week after the conference.

  

 

 

 

 

Meet Your

2021 CCWC Virtual Faculty

Sally Apokedak

Agent

Sally Apokedak owns the Apokedak Literary Agency, a boutique agency specializing in Christian-worldview children’s books aimed at the general market. She currently has two agents onboard, a few hardworking interns, and a select group of wonderful clients.

She’s been working in children’s publishing for 20-plus years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour she was privileged to work with best-selling authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale. Now she represents her own list of bestselling and award-winning authors and she teaches online courses to thousands of students in over 90 countries.

Workshops:

Becky Antkowiak

Networking Facilitator

Becky Antkowiak is a writer, speaker, editor, adoptive homeschooling mom, Compassion sponsor and enthusiastic Grammar Floozy. A lifelong serial extrovert, Becky believes every stranger is a friend she hasn’t met. She founded the 540 Club, a free group for writers focused on sharpening writing skills, studying writing craft, and encouraging each other in the writing journey. Becky earned an English Bible MA from Capital Bible Seminary in 2000. When she’s not writing or finding ways to connect people, you can find her demolishing, rebuilding, and creating alongside Patrick, her best friend and husband of 20 years. You can find her at 540Club.org or via @beckyantkowiak on social media.

Candy Arrington

Author, Blogger

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).

Workshops:

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.

Tackling Tough Topics

 Do you feel compelled to write about a difficult life circumstance? If so, you have the opportunity to reach those who are hurting, feel alienated and alone, and are searching for ways to heal their pain. But if you are writing from personal experience, it’s important to make sure you are ready to write and not still processing your experience. Also crucial is how to structure your content, what to include and what to omit. In this workshop, learn methods to craft your tough topic and write with a level of transparency that touches hearts and inspires hope.

Misty M. Beller

Author, Editor

Misty M. Beller is the managing editor of Wild Heart Books, a traditional publisher focusing on Christian Historical Romance novels. She’s also a USA Today bestselling author with over 20 novels published, as well as a non-fiction book for authors, How to Market a Book Release.

After thirteen years working in professional project management and marketing, Misty uses her experience in the corporate world to develop best practices in her writing and book marketing efforts. It is her passion to help other authors on this same journey.

Misty teaches courses and workshops at writers’ conferences around the U.S., educating authors on effective book marketing approaches and helping them apply that knowledge to their own books.

Workshops:

Bring Your Backlist To Life

With a few new tools, your backlist can spring to life and find a whole new readership.

A career of writing means you likely have a solid “book inventory.” Whether you’re a traditionally published author getting your rights back, or an indie author seeking to increase monthly income, your older published works don’t need to languish any longer. With the variety of tools available to authors today, it’s never been easier to reinvigorate your backlist with a whole new readership. In this course, we’ll unpack some of those options:

New covers (And how not to confuse readers)

Kindle Unlimited – a great discoverability tool

Box sets – the advertiser’s friend

Email automation – the selling engine behind the scenes

Can your standalones become a series?

Writing As A Career

With the right strategies and a healthy dose of hard work, your dream of becoming a career author can turn into reality.

In this class, we’ll talk through many of the considerations and best practices of career authors—whether traditionally published, indie, or a combination of the two.

Thinking like a businessman (or businesswoman)

  • Covering every part with prayer
  • Mission statement
  • Annual goals (book production, platform, skills/knowledge)
  • Production schedule
  • Bookkeeping
  • Quarterly review

Multiple streams of income: Even if your books are in KU or with a single publisher, there are other smaller income sources you can and should utilize.

  • Affiliate income
  • Audiobooks
  • Large print books
  • Foreign translations
  • Signed books or book gifts from your website
  • Patreon

Release schedules

  • Best practices for planning
  • Consistent income
  • Top promotion for each book

Michelle Cox

Author, Speaker

 

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.

Lessons Learned from the World's Best Selling Author

Hidden between the pages of the Bible are writing lessons from the world’s bestselling author—lessons that will equip, inspire, and teach us as we seek to reach hearts and lives through the words we write. Join me as we use the example of what Jesus wrote to make our writing better.

Managing the Writer’s Life

You’ll soon discover that juggling your writing life with the rest of your life can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming. Join me for tips and skills that will help you cope and thrive despite the physical, spiritual, and emotional challenges of the writing journey. We’ll talk about ways to manage your time and become more disciplined, how to deal with rejections and stay motivated, about the rejuvenating power of cupcakes, and a bunch of other stuff.

    Jimmie Davis

    Author

    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, 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.

    Workshops:

    Self Editing

    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.

    Dr. Edna Ellison

    Author, Poet

    Dr. Edna Ellison, a humorist, poet, and storyteller known as “the Christian mentoring guru,” lives in Spartanburg, SC. 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 a past 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.

    Workshops:

    The Art of Laughter: Introducing Humor in Your Masterpieces

    Learn about Forest Showers, Past-Meditation, and Storytelling with a comic twist. This workshop includes instructions on inserting humor into an otherwise serious or boring passage, when needed. Participants will enjoy telling their humorous anecdotes, discover how to raise their IQ, and share samples others can take with them for later use.

    Linda Gilden – Director, Carolina Christian Writers Conference

    Author, Coach

    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

    Workshops:

    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 

    Author, Podcaster, Editor

    Linda Goldfarb

    Linda Goldfarb is an award-winning author of the LINKED ® Quick Guide to Personalities series, international speaker, professional actress, podcaster, and audiobook narrator. She is a traditionally and independently published author who holds a board-certified advanced diploma in Christian life coaching.

    As the podcast host of Your Best Writing Life, Linda interviews industry experts weekly, keeping her current with all things writing related. Linda works with EABooks Publishing as the Audiobook Division Director, Acquisitions Editor, and Voice Professional. She loves helping writers and speakers take God’s next best step to reaching their publishing goals and beyond. In her personal ministry, Linda helps her coaching clients recognize God’s next best step for their personal and professional lives. She and her hubby, Sam, have four adult children and many, many, grandbabies. They live in the Texas hill country and enjoy hiking, playing golf, and relaxing with family and friends as often as possible.

     

     

    Evaluating Your Publishing Options

    Evaluating Your Publishing Options

    Choosing which publishing path to take can be overwhelming and confusing. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of traditional, independent and hybrid publishing and the differences between them so you can decide which option is best for you and your project.

    How to get Started Listening and Creating Podcasts for Beginners

    How to Get Started Listening and Creating Podcasts for Beginners

    You keep hearing all about podcasts but what are they? How do you start listening and finding them? This workshop will cover how to get started listening to podcasts and the first steps to creating your own show.

     Linda is a 10 year talk-radio veteran who is now the host of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers conference Podcast, Your Best Writing Life on iTunes and numerous podcasting platforms.

    Visit www.BlueRidgeConference.com/podcast.

      Lori Hatcher – Chaplain

      Author, Editor

      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, SC with her husband, David, and her vast collection of books.

      Lori served as the editor of South Carolina’s Reach Out, Columbia magazine for more than a decade A homeschool mom for 17 years, she’s authored three (soon to be five) devotional books, Refresh Your Faith, Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible (Our Daily Bread Publishing); Hungry for God … Starving for Time, The Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year; and Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. Lori’s also a freelance writer for Crosswalk.com, Our Daily Bread, and Guideposts. Her feature articles and devotions have been published by Proverbs 31 ministries, The Upper Room, War Cry, Today’s Christian Living, Christian Living in the Mature Years, The Mother’s Heart, The Old Schoolhouse, and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine.

       A contest-winning Toastmasters International speaker (ACG, ALB), Lori loves to use stories to impart spiritual truth. Encouraging, inspiring, and entertaining are the words people use most to describe her. You’ll find Lori 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.

      Workshops:

      Advanced Editing for Serious Writers

      If you’ve mastered the basics of editing your work and are ready to move on to advanced tips to set your work high above the rest, this workshop is for you. A magazine editor for 10 years, Lori Hatcher will walk you through a 25-point check list to help you spot and correct “little” errors that can add up to big mistakes in your literary masterpieces.

      How to Write a Book—From Concept to Contract to Completion, It’s Not as Hard (or as Easy) as You Think

      Whether we admit it or not, most writers dream of seeing our name on the cover of a book someday. But becoming a published writer requires more than a dream, it requires concrete steps over a period of time. These steps can be quite mysterious if you’ve never done it. This workshop will take you on a journey from concept to contract to completion, cracking the curtain on what has to happen to bring a book into existence. Lori will draw from her experience with self-publishing, small press publishing, and large press publishing to break down the process so you know just what to expect, at whatever stage of publishing you’re in.

        Melissa Henderson – Contest Director 

        Contest Director

        Award winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. Melissa is the author of “Licky the Lizard” and “Grumpy the Gator.” Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

        Tammy Karasek

        Author, Blogger

        You’ll find Tammy using humor and wit to bring joy and hope to every aspect in life. A lifetime of bullying and criticism from family became the driving force of her passion to always encourage others. She’s gone from down and defeated to living a Tickled Pink life as she believes there is always a giggle wanting to come out! All because of HIM.

        She’s the Social Media Coordinator for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. The Blog Editor for Word Weavers International, Past-President and current member of Word Weavers Upstate SC. Past-President of Cross N Pens Writers Group, and President of ACFW Upstate SC. She’s a member of My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. A writing team member for The Write Conversation, contributor for the Learn How to Write a Novel Blog and others. Published in the Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments.

        She’s married to her college sweetheart, Larry, a mom to their daughter, Kristen and excited to add a son-in-law in 2021. Born and raised in Ohio, she now lives in South Carolina. Connect with Tammy at https://tammykarasek.com.

        Workshops:

        Beta Reader, Street Teams and Launch Teams - Oh My!

        I have been a participant on more than 100 Launch Teams as well as lead teams for authors over the last couple of years.

        This presentation will draw on my experience beginning with the explanation of the difference between them and when do you need any of them. I have been on some that were very successful and I will give hints and ideas on how to choose what fits for you to make your team as successful as possible. 

        Beginning Bookkeeping Basics for the Writer

        As self-employed writers, it’s up to us to keep appropriate and detailed records. Whether you will prepare your own taxes or hire a Tax Specialist, you will need your expense receipts and income to have those figures for our tax forms.

         In this class I will give you easy ways to keep your financial records organized and ready to use before that April 15th deadline. This class will not cover tax particulars as each state has specifics, but it will touch on the Schedule C form categories. Once I started this system, my accountant said, “Thanks, you make my job of preparing your tax forms quick and easy.” 

          Katy Kauffman

          Author, Editor

          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 as Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). She graduated from Luther Rice Seminary with a BA in Religion (2004), and she has taught the Bible to women and teens. Katy loves working with writers on Refresh and compilations such as Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, a 2020 Selah Awards finalist.

          At the conference, she represents Refresh, and will gather names of potential contributors, provide information about the magazine, and collect articles for the 2021 issues. She contributes regularly to three blogs on writing, and her Scripture-based writing can be found on CBN.com, on thoughts-about-God.com, and in online magazines. To subscribers, Katy sends a monthly writers’ newsletter called The Lighthouse Connection, filled with inspiration, writing tips, opportunities to submit, and a freebie or giveaway.

          Katy enjoys spending time with family and friends, hanging out with My Artsy Tribe on Facebook and Zoom, and planting flowers all year long. She makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

          Workshops:

          Take a Tour of Canva

          Take a Tour of Canva

          In this tour of the free online world of Canva (canva.com), Katy will show you how to use the site to generate messages of encouragement to send to your audience, or to generate marketing tools such as announcements and promotional fliers. Canva’s features include a choice of colors, fonts, backgrounds, and photographs. It also has templates in which everything is already put together, ready for you to customize to your taste. Join Katy for this class and add a skill to your writer’s arsenal that is colorful, fun, and appealing.

          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.

            Terri Kelly

            Author, Teacher

            Terri Kelly is the author of Mary Slessor: Missionary Mother. As a writer she has contributed to several books, including Divine Moments, Stupid Moments, Faith and Family and Spirit and Heart.  Terri has published articles in Kids’ Ark Magazine, Clubhouse, WHOA Magazine, Asheville Lifestyles, and numerous online publications. She is a teacher at writing conferences and assistant director of Asheville Christian Writers Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Terri helps teachers survive and thrive the classroom at terribkelly.com.

            Workshops:

            Finding Time to Write the Lines

            How do you fit writing into a full-time working schedule, a houseful of kids, their sports events, and the inevitable struggles of life? In this class, we’ll target specific ways to juggle a writing career, maintain relationships, and yes – get a good night’s sleep. You’ll leave with concrete ways to squeeze extra minutes out of your days, plus a plan to manage the pitfalls.

            How to Write Devotions for Children

            Do you want to know how to write to grab kids’ attention? We’ll learn how to write concise, creative, and clear devotions for kids. This workshop teaches the secrets to communicate on a child’s level, how to brainstorm ideas, and prepare yourself for the writing path God has planned for you.

            Writing devotions provides the discipline and practice writers need to keep readers’ interest. Come and learn the formula you’ll need to write devotions right.

              Larry J. Leech II

              Author, Coach

              Writing coach of award-winning novelists, Larry J. Leech II has spent nearly 40 years working with words. After a 23-year journalism career that began in 1981, Larry moved into freelance writing and editing in 2004. He has ghostwritten nearly 30 books, edited more than 250 manuscripts, and written back cover copy and press releases for numerous publishers. Larry teaches at numerous conferences nationwide and can be found online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his website, www.larryleech.com.

              Workshops:

              Say What?

              How to write snappy dialogue can be a tad tricky. In fiction, dialogue is not two people talking with each other. Dialogue is about demonstrating character through conflict. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to write believable dialogue, evoke senses, and, most important, how to create tension, even between allies.

              Strong Foundation, Strong Fiction

              Every builder will tell you that a strong foundation is needed to build. In fiction, that means correct use of POV, character arc, story arc, emotion, setting and description. Knowing when and how to use each will lay the perfect foundation on which to build your story. Even if you feel you have a grasp on these, come see if you have the right mixture in your foundation so your story won’t crumble.

                Wendy Leech

                Appointment Coordinator

                Wendy Leech has served in the magazine publishing industry for over thirty years. Specializing in managing production and design teams, Wendy is creatively organized. Volunteering at writers conferences is a passion as she delights in helping writers connect and flourish. Wendy has been married to Larry J. Leech II for 20+ years. They recently move to Upstate South Carolina to be close to their son, daughter-in-law and new granddaughter.

                Edie Melson

                Author, Blogger

                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.

                Workshops:

                Social Media for Writers and Authors in 2021:

                Social media platforms and interfaces are changing at almost a daily rate. And yet, this medium is still critical for writers wanting to stay connected with their audience. Instead of always running to catch up, learn how to organize your time, find your focus and refine your method to stay on track no matter what happens.

                Soul Care for Writers

                Those who write have opened themselves to specific stresses. We pull from what’s inside us to create a gift. Our ultimate goals and dreams are as varied at the words we use. No matter why we write, I believe we each fight this battle to bring forth words to make the world a better place. We are hope givers, joy bringers, and light shiners.

                To do this though, we must have something to pull from. Writing is an exhausting endeavor, and we cannot do it effectively when the well is dry. So in this workshop will share how to connect with the One who understands us—and our craft—best.

                  Beth Patch

                  CBN.Com

                  Beth Patch manages CBN.com’s Spiritual Life channel, one of five magazine-style sections of the award-winning Christian website. She holds a Journalism Master’s from Regent University and a Communication Bachelor’s from the University of Virginia. She acquires, reviews, and approves all devotions, Spiritual Life-themed articles, and online Bible courses on CBN.com. She publishes the approved content on the site, as well as, promotes each post via subscription emails and social media. Beth also manages Christian Courses, Bible in a Year, and Daily Devotion reading plans. On occasion, she interviews best-selling Christian authors and writes movie reviews for CBN.com’s Entertainment section.

                  Workshops:

                  How to Write Devotions People Love to Share

                  Each day, God gives you stories worth sharing. Learn how to recognize them and craft them into devotions using the basic elements of good inspirational writing.

                  Karen Porter

                  Publisher, Bold Vision Books

                  Karen Porter is an international retreat and seminar speaker and a successful businesswoman. She is the author of seven books, including If You Give a Girl a Giant…Fighting for Your Life; I’ll Bring the Chocolate: Satisfying a Woman’s Cravings for Friendship and Faith; and Amplify!

                  Karen is a frequent guest on regional and national radio and TV programs. She writes a regular leadership column for Leading Hearts Magazine and has contributed to national magazines such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, and American Taste. She has also written curriculum for Lifeway Resources.

                  Business/Professional

                  Karen and her husband, George, own Bold Vision Books, a traditional Christian publishing company. The two also own Stone Oak Publishing, a hybrid publishing company, and Kae Creative Solutions, a communications consulting firm.

                  Karen served as Vice President of International Marketing of a major food company in Texas for more than 30 years. She traveled around the world and her varied experiences (including dinners with Fidel Castro and other heads of state) contribute to the richness and depth of her writing and speaking.

                  Trainer/Mentoring Ministry/Certified Coaching

                  As a certified coach of speakers and writers, Karen helps aspiring writers learn the craft of writing, as well as editing and developmental book doctoring. Karen coaches speakers in her Amplify! program, helping speakers refine content development, stage presence, and storytelling.

                  Karen served on the board of CLASSEMINARS, INC, as well as lead trainer on the national staff. She also serves on the board of First Place 4 Health, one of the nation’s top health and nutrition programs, and she is president of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

                  Personal

                  Karen is a people person, plain and simple and you will love to laugh with her and maybe even cry a little as she shares her joys and struggles. Karen says her marriage to George is her greatest achievement, but she’d love to talk to you about her five grandchildren! In her spare time, Karen continues her life-long quest to find the perfect purse.

                  Workshops:

                  Excellence in the Craft of Writing

                  Take your writing style and voice to the next level by understanding how to improve your language and writing skills. You will be inspired to write with elegance and flair and clarity. Catch the attention of an editor with excellence.

                  George Porter

                  George Porter

                  Publisher, Bold Vision Books

                  George Porter is a brother, husband, father, and grandfather who loves God. As a science teacher for more than 23 years, George bring the scientific world to life in his presentations, Bible teaching, and writing as he helps his audiences embrace the God who made us all.

                  George is co-owner of Bold Vision Books, an independent, Christian publishing company. George serves as general manager, acquisitions editor, and publisher.

                  As a teacher in both public and private schools, George served as curriculum team leader and on campus site-based committees. He judged Science Olympiads, implemented pilot curriculum on drug awareness in cooperation with Baylor College of Medicine, and coached tennis teams.

                  George is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has done graduate work in physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, and cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine. He served as a combat medic and paratrooper in Vietnam and as a bacteriologist in the Surgical Research Unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in projects involving the treatment of burn patients.

                  George is married to Karen and has two children. He makes his home in Texas.

                  Workshops:

                  How to Wow a Publisher

                  As a publisher, George sees all kinds of queries, proposals, and writing. In this workshop, he will give you the tips you need to make a publisher choose your manuscript over the others that come across the acquisitions desk. You will discover the secrets of formatting, presentation, focusing your materials, and hooking the editor’s interest.

                  Molly Jo Realy

                  Author, Podcaster

                  A Southern Belle from Southern California, Molly Jo is a writer, editor, social media ninja, and producer of Aaron Gansky’s Firsts in Fiction podcast. She has been featured in children’s magazines, on blogs and devotional websites, and her short stories have earned her awards and scholarships from nationally acclaimed writing programs. She is the founder of New Inklings Press and author of The Unemployment Cookbook: Ideas for Feeding Families One Meal at a Time and other books available through her website and on Amazon. She offers seminars and personal coaching on self publication and building social media/marketing platforms. Frankly, My Dear . . . is her blog where she shares her thoughts on Faith, Family, Food, and Fun, and her corner of the world affectionately known as Bedford Manor (the lesser known one, of course), named after Bedford Falls because, after all, it is a wonderful life. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and as a regular contributor to several blogs.

                  Workshops:

                  Come Alive and Stay Wild

                  Writing is about grabbing the reader’s attention, and telling the story only you can tell. Embrace your personality and experiences, and let them flow into the characters you write. This course will cover different ways to write (organic v. outline), better self-talk, and how to recognize triggers to writer’s block and other distractions, to turn you into the writer you are supposed to be.

                  Rhonda Robinson

                  Author, Marketer

                  Rhonda Robinson is an author, speaker, and marketing coach with EA Books Publishing. She began her writing career as a mommy blogger, back in the day, when they were called newspaper columnists. As the managing editor for a large content marketing company Rhonda taught and led teams to create high traffic, viral content, and engagement rich social media management.

                  Hundreds of her articles and columns have been published in magazines, newspapers, and influential conservative sites. Her new book, FreeFall: Holding on to Faith When the Unthinkable Strikes,released in January, 2020.

                  Rhonda’s greatest accomplishment was gaining 574 pounds and losing 500 to win the grand prize of nine children with an unexpected bonus of 32 grandchildren. As a recovering political junkie, she restores her barefoot soul in the peaceful hills of Tennessee with her high school sweetheart.

                  Workshops:

                  Get Noticed on Amazon

                  Amazon currently has 32.8 million books listed for sale—how will your readers find you? Like Google, Amazon is a search engine. This workshop will show you how to stand out in the Amazon algorithms, create an author page that gets noticed, and get your book discovered in searches.

                  Cindy Sproles

                  Author, Speaker

                  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.

                  Workshops:

                  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

                    Agent

                    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

                     

                    W. Terry Whalin

                    Editor, Author

                    Terry Whalin understands both sides of the editorial desk–as an editor and a writer. He worked as a magazine editor and his magazine work has appeared in more than 50 publications. A former literary agent, Terry is an Acquisitions Editor at Morgan James Publishing.

                    He has written more than 60 books through traditional publishers in a wide range of topics from children’s books to biographies to co-authored books. Several of Terry’s books have sold over 100,000 copies.

                    Terry’s book, 10 PUBLISHING MYTHS, INSIGHTS EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS TO SUCCEED (Morgan James Publishing) is his latest book. His one of his most recent books is BILLY GRAHAM, A BIOGRAPHY OF AMERICA’S GREATEST EVANGELIST (Morgan James Publishing). Also Terry has an innovative online training course to help authors effectively connect with literary agents and editors called Write A Book Proposal. Terry is a popular speaker and teacher at numerous writers’ conferences and an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.  He lives near Denver, Colorado and has an active following on twitter.

                    Workshops:

                    Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams

                    Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams Many people have dreams and desires about getting into print but they have no idea where to begin or how to create a plan. In this workshop, Terry provides a list of key steps along with seasoned advice for any writer. Whether the writer is a beginner or a seasoned pro, this workshop is certain to stir their imagination and plans in a fresh way long after the conference.

                    The Unknown Road Ahead

                    The Unknown Road Ahead In this workshop, I emphasize what the great author Paul Little said years ago, “God can’t steer a parked car.” You have to be on the move in the publishing world for the right door to open for your writing. It will be different for you than from me. I challenge writers to not grow discouraged in the process but to continue in spite of any setbacks and obstacles—and there will be setbacks, roadblocks and much more. I tell about some of the unusual setbacks in my own life—ones that I could not imagine years ago—like the death of a child, the loss of a job and my own divorce—yet in each case these experiences have been used in a powerful way in my life. In this keynote, I inspire writers to return home and dig into the opportunities.

                    Craig von Buseck

                    Author, Editor

                    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.

                    Workshops:

                    Fiction Techniques in Non-Fiction Writing

                    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.

                    Narrative Non-Fiction

                    With blockbusters like “Grant”, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and “Leonardo Da Vinci” dominating the best-seller lists, the narrative non-fiction and biography genres are burgeoning markets for writers who want to tell true stories with powerful messages. Learn the difference between narrative non-fiction, biography, and historical fiction. Discover how true stories can unlock the hearts of your readers to the ways God can move supernaturally in the lives of people who seek Him – and the tragedies of those who go their own way.

                      Aaron Zook

                      Author, Speaker

                      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.

                      Workshops:

                      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.”

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