Winter Workshop Blessings

Winter 2015 One-Day Conference Workshops

by Marilyn Rhoads, OCW Program Coordinator

A. Bill Giovannetti will teach “The Thing in the Bushes.” It’s there staring at you. Just out of sight. You catch it in your peripheral vision, but its beady eyes disappear when you look head-on. This scary beast makes you blank out, freak out, and stare at the screen while gorging on bonbons, organizing your pens, and pulling your hair out over what to write next. This workshop will acquaint you with the “beast,” and you’ll see the beautiful, grace-filled secret of rising above its pull. Bring your laptop. Tread where few have gone before.

B. Lynn Hare will present “Managing Success with Periodicals.” How do you get your articles into the hands of your readers and keep track of your submissions? Learn how to map out a process for generating and tracking your devotionals, articles, activities, and stories that appear in numerous publications. Track reprint rights and earn more income from your writing. Explore Lynn’s original system for writing clear, targeted pieces so you can submit, resubmit, and reach readers with your Christ-centered message.

Lynn has been a member of OCW for four years and has published more than 45 devotionals. She is a freelance writer and certified teacher from Portland who has been married to her husband for 32 years. She is the mother of two sons and a daughter, and enjoys writing poems and songs, doing amateur photography, and hiking. She has published in The Upper Room, The Secret Place, LIVE, Pathways to God, Vista, Word Aglow, Evangel, Now What?, Purpose, and The Christian Journal.

C. “Self-Publishing—Pros and Cons” will be taught by John Avery. Explore the various aspects that comprise the world of self-publishing and save yourself headaches and time on your journey. Find out which questions to ask early in the self-publishing process. Learn some important truths from an author who has thoroughly explored several publishing models. Be able to make an informed decision about your own work by weighing the pros and cons.

John Avery
John Avery

John is a trained teacher with more than 30 years of experience as a Bible-teaching pastor, small-group leader, and missionary. He has lived in England, Africa, and the Caribbean, ministering with Youth with a Mission and local churches. He and his wife, Janet, now make their home in Keizer. John likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. His self-published book, The Name Quest—Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better, was published in October. John also writes a Bible devotional at

D. Colette Tennant will present “Poetry as Prayer.” Writing prayer poems is a challenge for the 21st-century Christian writer. We will read contemporary prayer poetry in class then practice writing our own. In her article on poetry and prayer, Katherine Towler writes, “Despite being a lifelong Episcopalian, when I am most in need of spiritual solace I am more likely to reach for poetry than the Bible or Book of Common Prayer. In its revelatory nature, the greatest poetry can give voice to deeply held feelings and beliefs we may not know we possess until the poem names them for us.” Come see what God inspires you to write, to pray, to dream.

Colette is an English professor at Corban University, where she teaches poetry writing, creative writing, and various literature courses. Her second book of poetry, Eden and After, will be published in June 2015. Her first poetry book, Commotion of Wings, was published in 2010. Colette has a doctorate in English from Ohio State University. She is widely published in journals and anthologies, including Southern Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, and Natural Bridge.

E. “Firing Cupid’s Arrow” by Bill Giovannetti. Even if it isn’t romance, you need to touch your readers’ hearts. Unless you’re writing a textbook or a lecture for a government panel, you can’t write informational nonfiction. You have to peek beneath your facts. How does your topic affect your reader’s core being? Brew some coffee, curl up in a chair, and figure it out. It’s the difference between a dull recitation of facts and a thrilling transformation of life. This workshop will show you how to cook up a heart-healthy recipe to satisfy your readers’ deepest needs.

F. “How to Present a Dynamic Workshop” will be taught by Tracie Heskett. Keynote speakers inspire, but conference workshops provide valuable insight into the nuts and bolts of the writing craft. Learn how to engage your audience and help them remember and apply your great content. This workshop will cover interactive ways to present information and how to get people thinking about what they are learning.

Tracie develops, writes, and edits teacher-resource books and curricula for educational publishers. She has also written two Bible studies and is currently researching and writing historical fiction. Her poetry has been published in Purpose and a Guideposts anthology. Tracie has taught in public and private schools and has presented workshops at writing and education conferences and faculty in-service sessions. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob and twin sons.

G. “Creating Your Spiritual Legacy” will be taught by Julie Zander. Ethical wills, a 3,000-year-old Jewish tradition, enable the older generation to share values, blessings, and life lessons with children and grandchildren. As recorded in the Old Testament, Jewish patriarchs often bestowed verbal blessings on their children, particularly from their deathbeds. But you don’t have to wait until then to share your spiritual values with loved ones. Attend this workshop and leave with your ethical will in hand. Provide your family with the gift of a legacy.

Julie McDonald Zander
Julie McDonald Zander

Julie, a personal historian from Toledo, Washington, worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades before launching her publishing business, Chapters of Life, in 1999. Since then, she has produced more than 50 books. In May 2007, she began writing a weekly column for The Chronicle in Centralia, Washington. She and her husband, Larry, who grows Christmas trees, have two children, Paul and Nora. She is a Cascade Writing Contest co-coordinator and the new OCW photographer, and previously served as OCW newsletter editor.

H. Nicole Miller will present “Facebook Intensive for Authors.” Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms and an effective way to build your readership and reach a targeted advertising audience. Start at the basic level and explore how Facebook works and how to stretch your dollar with Facebook advertising. Learn about tools to save you time and money.

Nicole Miller
Nicole Miller

Nicole is the Community Champion at Buffer, a simple yet powerful social media scheduling application. She writes historical fiction and blogs about her urban homesteading adventures at She is OCW’s past media coordinator and a graphic designer who is also a board member of Ashberry Lane. She has been an online media manager for a local university and has maintained a marketing and consulting business. She lives in the Portland area, is married, and has one horse, four ducks, 15 chickens, and two dogs. l

Check Also

2015 Winter Keynote Speaker

With more than 75 novels and novellas—more than 5 million in print—translated into numerous languages and published around the globe, one can safely say that Robin Lee Hatcher has found an audience. Or, rather, they have found her.