2015 Workshops

OCW Summer Conference 2015 Workshops

Karen Ball: “Self-Editing for Success”
We all have them, those bugaboos in our writing that keep cropping up to steal the impact of our words. In this interactive workshop, you will learn the best time and best ways to self-edit. And you will develop your own, personalized editing tool to help you strengthen your craft. Come ready to work on your current manuscript!

Alice Crider: “Magnificent Memoir”
This workshop will discuss what it takes to write compelling memoir, who reads it and why, and what publishers want to see. Some things we’ll cover:

  • What makes a book a memoir?
  • What are the differences between memoir, autobiography, and narrative nonfiction?
  • What makes memoir popular?
  • What sets memoir apart from other genres?
  • Three basic guidelines for writing memoir.
  • Tips and techniques to use while writing memoir.
  • Do you need a platform to support your memoir?

Bring your story, your work-in-progress, your ideas, and/or your questions.

Vicki Crumpton: “Cover to Cover: Ten Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book”
Despite what you may have overheard at the local Amish market, nonfiction continues to be a core category in Christian publishing. This workshop explores 10 key elements that contribute to the success of any nonfiction book.

Angella Foret Diehl: “A Writer’s Online Presence”
What is a writer’s “online presence”? What does it involve and how much time away from my writing will it take? This workshop will talk about the basics of a writer’s online presence and touch on social media, blogging, platform, and the many resources available to beginning writers who are starting out and established writers who are branching out.

Leslie Gould: “Empower Your Characters”
We’ll explore how to take your fictional characters from flat paper dolls to imaginary friends by developing backstory, emotions, and beliefs, and then adding dialogue, quirks, and the right descriptors.

Helen Haidle and Jeannie St. John Taylor: “Write to Touch the Hearts of Children”
Two award-winning, best-selling children’s book authors team up to teach you everything you ever wanted or needed to know about writing for children.

  • Yes! They will teach you how to craft an excellent book or article that impacts future generations of God’s precious children.
  • Yes! It is still possible to get published, and— if you keep an open mind about options—maybe easier than ever.
  • Yes! If you love children and writing for them, this is one workshop you dare not miss.

 Nick Harrison: “Inside a Publishing House: Proposals That Make It to Publishing Committee”
This workshop will take a look at what happens in major publishing houses behind closed doors, with an emphasis on how publishing decisions are made and who makes them. The writer will come away with a clearer understanding of how to make his or her book proposal appealing to the decision-makers.

Randy Ingermanson: “Four Smart Things Rich Authors Do”
We sometimes imagine that rich authors are rich because they work harder than the average author. But that can’t be right, because rich authors earn 1,000 times more than the average author, and they can’t possibly be working 1,000 times harder. So they must be working smarter. What are their secrets? What smart things are they doing that most authors aren’t? That’s easy. Rich authors typically do four smart things Xtremely well that most other authors don’t. Do you know what they are? If you already know, then don’t come to this workshop. Otherwise, do.

Greg Johnson: “Finding Readers: The Ultimate Key to Success”
Since anyone can be a publisher, printer, editor, and/or designer, what is the key to success in publishing? It’s understanding all of the puzzle pieces in finding readers. Then it’s forming a strategy to put all the pieces together in the most efficient and cost-effective way. This is what all authors need to do—whether publishing traditionally or independently—in order to make an impact (or a living) with their words. Some of the ways will surprise you.

Terri Kalfas: “When God Calls You to Write”
Do you have a burning desire to communicate with others through the written word, but you’re not sure how or where to begin? Have you begun writing, but you’re not sure you’re on the right track? Do you sometimes find yourself questioning whether you’re even pursuing the right dream? If so, this workshop is for you! Come discover the many ways you can step out and follow God’s call in your life. You will leave assured He does have a purpose for you and that He will use you to honor Him through your words and commitment to writing.

Mary Keeley:“Seeing Is Believing: What Agents and Editors See Between the Lines of Your Proposal and Between Your Words in a Pitch Meeting”
It’s exciting—and perhaps a little scary—to finally finish your proposal and prepare to send it to an agent or to sign up for a 15-minute pitch meeting at a writers’ conference. Before you hit Send or sit down in your next agent appointment, come to this workshop to learn important tips that will help you to present the best impression of you, the author. You will learn:

  • How to structure a professional-looking book proposal
  • How best to present yourself and your book in an appointment with an agent or editor
  • A working understanding of the publishing process and common industry terminology, which will help you communicate knowledgably with agents and editors

Sherri Langton: “From Personal Experience to the Printed Page”
We will review the effectiveness of story to communicate biblical truth, where ideas come from and which ones to use, how to build strong reader identification, and how to show the action instead of telling about it so the story will come alive to the reader.

Wendy Lawton: “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Working with a Literary Agent”
This session will answer many of the questions you may have about literary agents. Questions like: Why should I work with an agent? What should I look for in an agent? How do I tell a good agent from a bad agent? What will my agent expect of me? And if your question is not addressed during the session, there will be a Q & A at the end.

Mary McIntosh: “Main Street, Tokyo, or the Front Porch: Poetry of Place”
We all know certain places—at home, faraway, or where we grew up. Places that mark an inspiration or rite of passage. Places where we feel good or where the worst happened, where we feel whole, where we dream, where we feel in touch with God. Such places can compel us to write. When God touches us there, a place becomes imbued with His presence and is stored in our deepest memory. In this workshop we will look at some poems about places. Then we will tap our memories and recall some key places from our lives. We will leave the workshop with at least one poem and ideas for others, plus a technique for creating more poems from memory.

Rebecca LuElla Miller: “Blogging and Blog Tours—The Whys and Wherefores”
While sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest garner more and more attention, there are compelling reasons for writers to blog and to participate in blog tours. This workshop will help you decide what role blogs and blog tours should have in your writing, publishing, and marketing.

Tamela Hancock Murray and Gail Sattler: “To Market, to Market”
Do you want to write to the traditional CBA market? Award-winning authors Gail Sattler and Tamela Hancock Murray bring their skills to you as writers—and Tamela as an agent as well—to help you decide if your story is marketable. For instance, are you passionate about your story but unsure if the plot is romance or women’s fiction? Does your suspense novel need to include more romance? Writers who may be struggling to break into traditional publishing or hoping to increase their current success will enjoy and benefit from this workshop.

James L. Rubart: “To Speak or Not to Speak; There Is No Question”
People are more afraid of speaking than death, but you can’t avoid it! Think about editors, agents, readers . . . even if you’re only speaking one-on-one, you must learn this essential skill. During this workshop, author and professional speaker James L. Rubart will teach you the seven secrets to an effective speech, whether it’s for one person or one thousand.

Sheila Seifert: “Developing Your Voice”
Some writers have distinct voices; many don’t. In this workshop, you will learn more about this intrinsic part of becoming a successful author—what “voice” means and how you can continue to develop yours.

Paul Smith: “How to Start and End a Story Well”
If you don’t capture a reader’s attention at the start, your short story may go unread. And if you don’t know how to end a short story well, what feeling will you leave with the reader? This workshop will give conferees practical principles to ensure their stories capture readers’ attention and give them pause to think about the meaning of the story to them.

Ed Underwood: “Platform—To Build or Not to Build?”
“You gotta build your platform if you want to get published!” Discover hard lessons learned in light of what the Scriptures say about our work. The pressure to build an online and social media presence can cause an author to lose himself or herself. Learn how to keep platform in perspective and in its place.

Susan May Warren: “Plotting for the Heart, Soul, and Mind: Crafting a Story That Resonates”
Using the five areas of self-esteem: Security, Identity, Belonging, Purpose, and Competence, this class teaches intermediate writers how to construct a story that reaches beyond a fast-paced plot and surface emotions to the soul of their characters, and ideally, their readers. Participants will work on their characters as well as discuss models from current fiction.

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2016 Recordings

Welcome to the OCW Summer Conference 2016 Recordings page! Flash drive of all recorded sessions …