Workshops

 
Friday Workshops

 

Workshop #1

Twenty Questions for Speakers - Bob Hostetler

 A one-hour session for writers who speak or aspire to speak...which should be all of us. 

Attention Getting One Sheets - Kathy Bruins

The one-sheet is a condensed version of your book proposal … only a lot more creative visually. Agents and acquisition editors desire to see your one-sheet at the conference. This is a huge selling tool for your manuscript. This session will show you what needs to be on the one-sheet and what doesn’t. To get your creative juices going, we will review several other one-sheets and discuss what works and what doesn’t. A color printer will be made available for you to print out your one-sheet before your one-on-one meetings at the conference.

Pitching to the Pros -  Linda Glaz

Not only will materials needed be covered, but half of the class will be devoted to practicing pitches with agents and editors. A practicum on how to pitch all the while looking like a pro!

Marketing You? - Jeanette Taylor

In this workshop participants will create a one-page marketing plan for their book.

 

Workshop #2

Writing in Rhythm & Rhyme - Crystal Bowman

The fastest way to the slush pile is to write a story in rhyme, and the hardest genre to get published is poetry. Then why are many bestselling books written in rhyme? If writing in rhythm and rhyme is your “thing” it can open doors for you in publishing, but first you need to master the art of writing in rhythm and rhyme to make it past the slush pile. From board books and picture books, to rhyming poetry and prayers, this session will give you the tools you need to make your words sing. We will cover simple to complex rhyming patterns, as well as basic rhythm patterns and when to use them.  

Ten Reasons Why Your Novel isn't Published - Karin Beery

Lack of platform is NOT the main reason most manuscripts are rejected. Writers everywhere speculate about their rejections, and most of the things they post on social media are wrong. Publishers DO want fresh voices and new twists on classic tropes. The truth, however, is that people aren’t submitting them. What, then, is really going on? We’re not trying to keep it a secret; we WANT authors to know so they can submit the types of manuscripts publishers are looking for. In this class, I’ll tell you the top 10 reasons why I’ve rejected manuscripts this past year.

How to Successfully Balance Writing, Your Job, and Life - Brenda Yoder

In this workshop, author and counselor Brenda Yoder shares the art of authentic writing without dishonoring yourself, others, or your story. You’ll learn how authentic writing enhances your content and connects your audience with your material. Brenda will teach how to share a personal story, narrative, or vignette with honor and respect without oversharing. You’ll learn practical tools to tell your story that makes both you and the reader feel comfortable. She’ll give tools to help writers discern what to share, why they’re sharing it, when to share, and how to share personal narratives that may involve other people.

Liftoff- Beginning that Story Draft

It can be either great fun to begin a new storytelling project (say a novel or a short story), or it can be terrifying, depending on whether you’re the nervous type. Either way, those early stages resemble in our clumsy, human way the actions of God Almighty in creation. We, too, are creating a little world of our own. It starts usually with a sketchy idea or even an image, but then we have to develop it, and organize it, and be fair to it—by which I mean we have to devote to developing that story world, that set of characters, the time and energy and commitment that they deserve. Yes, you have to choose an approach that works for you, but if you want a quality story, it requires a serious effort right from the start. Join a writer and editor of fiction with a few decades of experience in a discussion of not just how to start writing a story, but how to start it best.

Workshop #3 

Ten Platform Secrets - George Porter

Social media numbers aren’t all a publisher considers when looking at your platform. You will discover the sometimes-surprising ways a publisher evaluates your marketing potential. Learn the unexpected secrets with publisher, George Porter.

Landing a Literary Agent - Pete Ford

Get insider information on how to open the door to traditional publishing with the right representation. This Q&A-style session with Literary Agent Pete Ford will answer all your questions about literary agents. (Target Audience: Intermediate authors ready to pursue a traditional publisher)

From Reflecting to Retailing - James Watkins

(Multi-session seminar can be presented as stand-alone talks) The writer of Ecclesiastes outlines the steps to creating a successful book (and he’s been on the best-sellers list for 3,000 years!): Reflect, Research, Reorganize, Reword and Retail. We’ll look at practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.

To Tell or Not To Tell - Cindy Lambert

How much do I tell? How honest should I be? How do I balance authenticity with the need for privacy and sensitivity to others involved in my story? Cindy will explore the questions and reveal principles, practices, and techniques to guide you in writing with transparency while honoring the others in your life. 

 

Workshop #4

Marketing With By-Products - Karen Porter

 How to write a study guide, journal, and other accessory products that will enhance your book’s appeal. How to use these products in marketing.

Talking Heads - Linda Glaz

Learning that your character is a whole body and not simply a nod, a blink, or a shrug.  Using more than a shrug and a wink, body language, and whole body experience

How to Launch Your Writing Dream with Practical - Abby McDonald

Steps: Where do I start? What do I do first? These are a couple of the daunting questions that writers have when they first pursue their dream to write. In this workshop, we will identify three crucial steps writers must take to make progress in their writing, and then discuss how to set achievable goals guaranteed to produce results. We will also talk about the things that can hinder our forward momentum, as well as some resources we all need to keep us moving toward our goals.

Ten Creative Commandments - James Watkins

Christian authors and speakers are filled with the Spirit of the creative God of creation, so we should be the most creative people! Jim shares practically and humorously ten ways to develop your God-given creativity.

Saturday Workshops​​

 

Workshop #5

Connect Direct Workshop: Putting the Power of Bookselling Back into the Hands of Authors - Eddie Jones

Today, more than ever, it's important for authors to connect directly with your core audience. In this workshop we'll explore ways to build your reader list through Blue Ridge Reader Connections, BookDeals, Ryan Zee Marketer, and other reader-focused marketing channels. The concept of ConnectDirect puts the power of bookselling back into the hands of authors. Learn how you can build relationships with readers that will generate sales for years to come. 

 Research Counts - Jeanette Taylor

Using secondary research and surveys (with specific training on how to use SurveyMonkey) to gather information either during the development of a book or about potential readers.

Characters First - Karin Beery

Somewhere between plotters (those who outline their stories) and pansters (those who sit and type with no plan), there’s a middle ground for people like me—you want to start with an idea and/or structure, but you’ve never successfully followed an outline in your writing life. This class is for you. Instead of plotting out the story, I’ll show you how to jump inside your characters’ heads to create a solid foundation you can build your novel on. This class is perfect for writers of character-driven fiction (romance, women’s fiction, young adult), but will also help plot-driven novelists strengthen their characters for a deeper reader/character connection. 

Self Publishing: Realities, Options, & Expectations - Bob Hostetler

What self-publishing means today, Wrong/Right reasons to self-publish, What to know and how to do it. 

 

Workshop #6

Writing for the Children's Market - Crystal Bowman

Writing for children is fun, but fun does not mean easy. It’s challenging to write a compelling story with limited word count and vocabulary. Many writers also struggle with finding the right voice for their audience. This session will address the basics in writing for children as well as dig into the many different sub-genres within children’s literature. Do you have a good idea? That’s great! But now you need to know how to turn that idea into a manuscript and where it will fit in the children’s market.  

Straight Talk Manuscript Rescue - Karen Porter

Karen Porter will review the first 3 pages of your manuscript. Pre-submitted pages will be edited and critiqued in class. Learn the importance of these first pages and how to grab your readers early. Set your book up for success. Non-fiction and Fiction.

Ekphrasis: Writing the Details, Telling the Story - Linda Taylor

Ekphrasis is defined as one medium of art trying to relate to another medium—for example, a poem inspired by a piece of classic artwork. In our case, ekphrasis will take the form of writing a personal essay from a photograph. In this session, we’ll look closely at some examples of ekphrastic writing, and then write a short creative essay to go with a meaningful personal photograph. For this session, attendees should bring a photograph that means something to them—such as of family, an event, a location, etc.

Finding Your Unique Voice - Abby McDonald

Sharing our writing with the world can feel like entering a sea of noise. We may question our abilities and ask questions like, “Do I have anything unique to say?” Is there anything new under the sun?” The good news is that publishers and literary agents are always looking for new voices but finding ours can be a challenge. In this workshop, I will share ways to not only find your voice but pitch it in ways that will attract the publishing industry.

Workshop #7

The Myth of Networking - Sarah Rexford

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s all about who you know.” But that’s a myth. It’s not just about who you know. You could know all the right people and still never reach the goals you’re working so hard to attain. In this workshop I take you through the Myth of Networking, the key networking factor that will make or break you, and how to go from a lone writer with no contacts, to an author surrounded by those working toward a similar goal.

Does My Writing Offend You - Edwina Perkins

The number of books about ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. From 10 percent in 2013, to more than a quarter of young adult and children’s books featured characters of color in 2016. Sensitivity readers are not police of free speech or intend to be censors. They’re readers who review manuscripts for issues of bias, issues of representation, cultural inaccuracies, insensitive language, and will make suggestions to authors. This workshop addresses the role of sensitivity readers and when a writer should consider acquiring one.

Writing Your Story Without Telling it All - Brenda Yoder

In this workshop, author and counselor Brenda Yoder shares the art of authentic writing without dishonoring yourself, others, or your story. You’ll learn how authentic writing enhances your content and connects your audience with your material. Brenda will teach how to share a personal story, narrative, or vignette with honor and respect without oversharing. You’ll learn practical tools to tell your story that makes both you and the reader feel comfortable. She’ll give tools to help writers discern what to share, why they’re sharing it, when to share, and how to share personal narratives that may involve other people.

Writing Real - Linda Taylor

Flannery O’Connor wrote, “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” And, by extension, plenty to write about for the rest of our days as well! In this session, we’ll learn some techniques for mining our lives for material to write about, and discuss how to tell those bits of our story in the most compelling ways possible.