2019 Carolina Christian Writers Conference

 Friday, March 1st – Saturday, March 2nd, 2019.

The 2019 Carolina Christian Writers Conference will be held at First Baptist Spartanburg, March 1st and 2nd, 2019. 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.


Registration for the 2019 Writers Conference will open soon

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




March 1, 2019

9:30 a.m. –noon

Workshop information coming soon.

(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 First-Timers Preview-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

Dr. Karissa Culbreath

7:30 – 8:30 – Interactive Genre Groups                  


Nonfiction Books—

Children’s Books—

Magazine Articles—


Saturday, March 2, 2019

8:30 – 9:00 – Registration

9:00 – Opening 

9:10 – Praise and Worship—led by Courtney Johnson and Kelli Wolfe

9:30 – 10:15 – Dr. Karissa Culbreath

10:25 – 11:20 – Workshop 3

11:25-12:10  Panel

Publishing Trends Panel to discuss current trends in publishing and how writers can best find their way to success.

12:15-12:50—Lunch With Faculty

1:05 – 1:55 – Lightning Learning

2:05 – 3:00 – Workshop 4

3:10 – 4:15 Closing Session

Dr. Karissa Culbreath

Keynote Speaker

Karissa Culbreath never planned to write a children’s book. In fact, she said, she is pretty sure there is a seventh-grade teacher out there somewhere, scratching her head in amazement over this accomplishment.Karissa’s first book, Daddy’s Little Girl, started as a spark of an idea. Like a votive candle in a dark room, the flame started to glow and the light started to grow. Soon the room was filled with the vision. Karissa immediately recognized this could only be from God.Growing up in Albuquerque, NM, the daughter of educators, Karissa describes herself as a “pew baby.” Her parents made certain that Karissa and her two siblings knew the importance of having the Lord in their lives. She attended Fisk University in Nashville, TN, where she studied microbiology and immunology. Not your typical field of study for a children’s author. But remember, that was not in the plans…yet. She moved on to Vanderbilt, also in Nashville, where she earned her PhD.While in grad school, Karissa met and married her husband Brian and the couple moved to Chapel Hill, NC, where Dr. Karissa Culbreath completed a two-year fellowship in clinical microbiology. Soon after, Karissa found herself on the other side of the world in Malawi, Africa, where she spent an incredible two months building laboratories to improve the diagnostics for treating TB and HIV, still a major threat to the people in that region. It was in Malawi that Karissa discovered her passion. It wasn’t writing. It was helping these people, helping them improve their health.Soon after her return, the couple moved to Albuquerque, where Karissa had grown up and Brian found employment as a graphic designer. Karissa soon found her place as the Director of Infectious Disease at TriCore Labs.Karissa is the proud mother of two of the most talented and adorable children God ever created. Mikaela is six and Ethan is four. Her face lights up when she shares their antics. You can see right away how much Karissa loves her family. Her parents are an important part of her life as well. She partners with her father, now a pastor, in ministry.Life was good. Almost perfect. So where did this writing idea come from?In 2013 Karissa and Brian left Mikaela with Karissa’s parents. They just wanted a brief respite, one night. That night in a hotel room, with a band playing in the distance, God revealed not only the idea for the book, but He revealed every single page in detail. Karissa’s little votive candle had suddenly become a floodlight. She couldn’t write fast enough.However, once she returned home, rough draft in hand, the enemy began his attack. She struggled with doubts. “Who am I? Am I good enough? Is this stupid? Will anyone read this?” If you are a new writer, a published author, you understand. You’ve had those very same thoughts.Then came the distractions. And the logistics. How was she going to get this book published? She took a risk. She submitted the manuscript to a contest. She thought if the book was chosen she would know it was God’s plan. She never heard a word. Maybe it wasn’t God. Then she attended the CLASS Christian Writers Conference in Albuquerque. “It was like drinking from a fountain.” She walked away from that conference with an “I can do this attitude.” Immediately things began to fall into place. God gave her a clear vision for who her audience was. She found an illustrator who agreed to work with her and give her complete ownership of the illustrations.In 2016, Daddy’s Little Girl went from a fragment of light in Karissa’s mind to a bright shining beacon for all to see. To God be the Glory.There’s a lot more to this story and you can hear it in person when Karissa shares with attendees at the 2019 Carolina Christian Writers Conference.




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



2019 Faculty

View List

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.

Wanda Barbella – Acquisitions Editor EABooks Publishing

Ms. Barbella followed her passion, after many years in the corporate world, and obtained her Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling in 2000. She continued her education and has since received several other credentials–thus all of those initials after her name. In her private practice she works with individuals and families with addictions and eating disorders, trauma and grief, and a variety of emotional and relationship issues. 

Wanda is proud of her Christian heritage–the granddaughter of two Methodist ministers. She resides in South Florida with her handicapped cat and enjoys all the beautiful things living in South Florida has to offer, including reading on her Kindle while enjoying her lakefront back deck. She is excited to help authors follow their passion and get their message out into the world that she sees first hand needing the touch of God.

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. 

Dr. Karissa Culbreath

Dr. Karissa Culbreath is active in academic and community realms. She serves the community in various capacities and has been recognized for her roles in leadership and community development. She was named one of Albuquerque Business First 40 Under 40. Karissa is a sought-after speaker and author. Her first children’s book, Daddy’s Little Girl which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Karissa has a passion to empower individuals to achieve spiritual, emotional and personal balance and seeks to provide people of all ages with the tools to achieve this challenging task. She seeks to connect to her generation through maintaining her authenticity and charm while delivering powerful messages on living a purposeful life.

Karissa serves as in her local church, New Covenant Worship Center. She holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. By far, her greatest achievement is in her personal life — she is blessed to share her life with her husband, daughter, and son.

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.

Making Yourself Marketable

So you want to become a writer, but you don’t know where to start? Jimmie will help you stop spinning your wheels with practical tips on how to get started and build a business earning a good income as a freelance writer. Writing for others can be fun, stimulating and interesting. It will not only help you build your portfolio as a professional writer but can spur you on to writing your very own book someday. Every author has to start somewhere!  Join Jimmie and get on the track of writing professionally today!


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.

Amazon Boot Camp 

73% of ebooks and 45.5% of paperbacks are sold on Amazon. Everyone knows that if you want to be successful as an author, you have to have a presence on Amazon. But with a growing rate of 800 new books every day, how do you differentiate yourself in such as crowded market? In this class, we’ll be going over the basics of how to succeed on Amazon. By learning about Amazon’s algorithms and simple techniques to get your book in front of readers, you’ll have the foundation you need to succeed in the world’s largest online bookseller.

Is it possible for a first-time author to have their book listed along the perennial bestsellers? With Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), it is. In this class, we’ll be discussing how to set up and optimize your Amazon Marketing Services campaigns, to get your book in front of thousands of new readers.

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.

The Art of Storytelling

Stories are the elements of your writing your readers remember forever. This workshop will help writers remember, create, or select stories for their online media, books, and magazine articles. For the beginner or experienced writer, these excellent storytelling elements will upgrade your writing style, whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

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.


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, Columbia magazine, a Christian magazine dedicated to celebrating the life and work of Jesus Christ. A homeschool mom for 17 years, she’s the author of two 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. 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, and Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. A contest-winning Toastmasters International speaker (ACG, ALB), Lori loves to use stories to impart spiritual truths. Encouraging, inspiring, and entertaining are 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.

Ten Mistakes That Make Magazine Editors Say No

This workshop climbs inside magazine editors’ heads to discover why they say no to some submissions and yes to others. A magazine editor herself, Lori will share ten common mistakes writers make that cause editors to reject submissions. She’ll share examples and offer practical suggestions to increase every writer’s chance of acceptance.

The Day I Wanted to Quit—tackling the mind games that discourage and defeat writers

Most writers leave a conference pumped up and empowered. Then they go home. The doubts, fears, and insecurities they left behind begin to whisper in their ears again. Head games—writers play them every day. Is winning the battle in our minds really just a matter of positive thinking, or does God have something to say about it?

This workshop offers a mix of biblical truth, humor, and common sense to empower the most insecure writer to answer God’s call to write boldly for Him, regardless of his or her ability, experience, or education. Addressing the areas of comparison, insecurity, and competitiveness, we’ll examine the biblical roots of each issue, walk through a three-step personal evaluation, and craft a unique

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.

Terri Kelly

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.

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

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.

Your Publishing Opportunities

Many writers spend hours working on manuscripts only to come to “The End” and begin hours of staring into space wondering what to do next. Well, here’s the good news. You can stop staring and wondering. Your Publishing Opportunities is a special class designed to introduce you to the publishing opportunities and help you discover a plan that will work for you.

Larry J. Leech II will give you a detailed overview of the many types of publishing available to writers and what to look for when choosing a publisher. If you have a manuscript or just a basic idea, bring them along and let Larry and his team help you decide the most successful path for your work. Finding the right publishing path for your work saves time, helps you plan your writing time, and brings you closer to publication much more quickly.

In this rapid-changing publishing world, this special session also will help those who have already published a book or write articles regularly. So join Larry for an intense time of instruction that ends with a personalized segment focusing on your work- or dream-in-progress.

High Concept, Query Letter, and Book Proposal

In this jam-packed workshop, veteran writer Larry J. Leech II will cover three important topics that will help you help “sell” your book. Come learn how to:

  • Write a High Concept to strengthen your elevator pitch
  • Write a tight and information-packed Query Letter to grab an editor’s attention
  • Load up your Book Proposal with “weapons” to help the editor or agent fight for your manuscript
  • Larry also will offer a bonus, but you must attend the workshop to receive this special offer.


Finish Strong

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, readers expect a great ending to each chapter, as well as a knockout ending to the book. Both entail knowing when to stop and not overdo it. Unsatisfactory endings frustrate and disappoint readers. Don’t disappoint them. Come learn how to leave your readers satisfied and, better yet, wanting more.


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.

Blogging for Writers: One Size Does NOT Fit All

Blogging is still relevant for writers—and a vital part of connecting to our audience—but it’s definitely something that we need to fit within our personality, our goals, and our time constraints. Edie will share the whys of blogging, how to do it effectively, and all the creative ways we can find to blog when time is a factor.

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 is the managing editor for MondayMonday Network, although her first love is writing. For over two decades Rhonda has provided commentary and analysis on the social, political and parenting issues affecting the family. From newspapers to new media, Rhonda has over a thousand articles published. Rhonda Robinson is a columnist at PJMedia where it is not uncommon to have 20K- 40K Facebook shares. Her work has been read on-air by Rush Limbaugh, referenced in white papers of political think tanks, and found on some of the most influential sites around the Web. In 2011, Rhonda led a team of writers creating high traffic content for one of the top 50 conservative blogs on the Internet. Rhonda lives with her husband Mike in the hills of Tennessee. After 40 years of marriage and nine children they are settling into an empty nest and enjoying their 28 grandchildren.

How to Build the Platform Publishers Want in Six Months

“What’s your platform?” is the dreaded question every publisher asks. This practicum class takes you through the process of creating a significant fan base in social media using the techniques of high traffic websites. From start to finish you will learn how to set up a professional Facebook page, read and understand Facebook Business Analytics and then turn your new knowledge into a clear picture of what your readers want, need and fear. We will create an avatar of your target audience, then create a plan to find and build your audience specifically for the readers looking for your book.


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.


Gerry Wakeland

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.


Scholarship information 

View Guideline Sample


Scholarship application for the 2019 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.
  • 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.


Amazon Boot Camp


View Friday Morning Workshop Details


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

Amazon Boot Camp 

73% of ebooks and 45.5% of paperbacks are sold on Amazon. Everyone knows that if you want to be successful as an author, you have to have a presence on Amazon. But with a growing rate of 800 new books every day, how do you differentiate yourself in such as crowded market? In this class, we’ll be going over the basics of how to succeed on Amazon. By learning about Amazon’s algorithms and simple techniques to get your book in front of readers, you’ll have the foundation you need to succeed in the world’s largest online bookseller.

Is it possible for a first-time author to have their book listed along the perennial bestsellers? With Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), it is. In this class, we’ll be discussing how to set up and optimize your Amazon Marketing Services campaigns, to get your book in front of thousands of new readers.

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 critique of your choice. The list of critiquers will added below by December 1. 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.

Remember, list of critiquers will be posted on or before December 1. This is a new system for us so please feel free to ask questions.

Carolina Christian Writers Conference



Welcome to the 1stannual writing contest of the CCWC! 

It is our prayer that through this contest, we encourage authors to confirm their calling. There are two parts to the contest. The first part of the contest is limited to attendees whose entries are unpublished and uncontracted for the category entered. The second part of the contest is open to authors whose works have been published between January 2018 and March 2019.

The fee attached to each entry contributes to our Scholarship Fund, enabling talented but financially challenged writers to attend the conference. Thus, when you enter the contest, you are investing not only in your own professional growth, but also in God’s plan of provision for others.

Deadline for this year’s contest is February 1. 2019

Rules, guidelines, and fees are listed below.  Please read and follow them carefully so as to ensure a valid entry.

Praying for you as you write for Him!

Dalene Parker
CCWC Contest Director

View Writing Contest Guidelines

Writing Contest #1

Entry fee is $20 per entry.

This part of the contest is limited to attendees whose entries are unpublished and uncontracted for the category entered.


ARTICLES – Submit your nonfiction article (up to 1000 words)

BIBLE STUDY – Submit an outline or Table of Contents plus first 1000 words.

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK – Submit entire manuscript without graphics or illustrations.

DEVOTIONS – Submit up to three devotions of no more than 300 words each, including the accompanying prayer and scripture/quote.

NONFICTION BOOKS – Submit a one-paragraph summary of the book, the Table of Contents, plus up to the first 1500 words.

NOVELS – Submit a one-paragraph summary of the book, plus up to the first 1500 words. Note: In your summary, specify which sub-category your novel fits best.  Submissions in the novel category are limited to one per sub category.

·               Contemporary

·               Historical/Biblical

·               Mystery/Suspense

·                Romance

·                Romantic Suspense

·               Speculative/Fantasy

·                Young Adult

POETRY – Submit up to five poems,single-spaced, limited to one page each.


All entries must adhere to the following specifications or risk being disqualified.

Formatting contest entry:

Cover page is crucial.

On the top line of your cover page, center the words CCWC Contest Entry/Genre (Name the specific category of your writing).

In the middle of the cover page, please include:

  • Title of Entry
  • Category with subgenre if applicable
  • Total number of entry pages (not counting cover page)

At the bottom of the page, please include the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone

Your entry pages should be numbered, double-spaced (except for poetry), Times New Roman 12-point font, and have a running title in the header, but no other identifying information.

E-mail contest entry no later than February 1, 2019, to: 

worddoctor13@gmail.com with CCWC Contest in the subject line.

ENTRY FEE: Make check payable to CCWC/FBS at a rate of $20 per entry.

REMEMBER:  Make certain you put CCWC Contest on Memo line of check.

Mail check to the following address:

Att:  Paula Nichols
First Baptist Church
250 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC  29306

You may write your check for the total number of entries.  However, please attach only one entry per e-mail. You may enter as many times as you wish as long as you enter only one manuscript per category, or for the novel, per subcategory.  Your entry will only be judged if the entry fee has been received on or before February 1, 2019.

Note:  If you prefer, contest entry payment may be made on the CCWC website at the same time as your registration for the conference.

 Contest winners will be announced at the closing session of the CCWC on March 2, 2019. 

Fine print:

  • Entries not formatted correctly may be disqualified.
  • Critiques will not be given on contest entries.
  • Contest entries will not be returned.
  • Categories may be combined.
  • Judges may decide not to declare a winning entry if level of entries does not meet publishing industry standards.



Writing Contest #2

Entry fee is $20 per entry.


Note:  This part of the contest is open published authors and not limited to registered conference attendees.

Authors whose works have been published between January 2018 and March 2019 may submit a hard copy of the work along with a $20 entry fee payable to CCWC/FBS (Please write KUDOS Conteston memo line).

Categories for KUDOS AWARDS:

  • Articles
  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction

These entries should be postmarked no later than February 1, 2019, and mailed to:

Linda Gilden, CCWC Director
PO Box 85
Moore, SC  29369


Contest winners will be announced at the closing session of the CCWC on March 2, 2019. 

Amazing Publishing Opportunity

Experience the excitement of publication from submission to publication

EA Books Publishingis 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.