2018 Summer Conference

Summer Conference 2018: “Opening Doors”

Monday August 20–Thursday August 23

Portland, Oregon

Top editors, agents, and authors dedicated to help you reach your writing goals

“The summer conference was absolutely wonderful. I came away totally inspired. My coaching class helped me find my niche and vision for writing. I enjoyed the fellowship, prayer, and Christian atmosphere so much. I received great tips on my submitted manuscripts, and my mentor gave me great direction.” Conferee

Start planning now for this rich time of fellowship, learning, and worship—a time to study the craft, meet editors and agents, get feedback, receive next-step advice from mentors, and refresh your writing goals. Daily worship and devotions are a highlight of our conference as we seek to encourage writers in their faith and writing careers.

Opening Doors (Colossians 4:2–6 niv)


Keynoter Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling author of nearly 100 titles with more than 5.5 million copies sold worldwide. Her popular Christy Miller series for teens continues in Christy & Todd: The Baby Years. Robin’s passion for storytelling has taken her around the world, where she’s been a keynote speaker in Africa, Brazil, Europe, and Australia as well as Canada and the US.

Robin’s nonfiction titles include Victim of Grace and Spoken For, which she co-authored with Alyssa Joy Bethke. Two of her novellas, Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas, have been made into Hallmark Christmas movies. The first released in 2016 and the second is slated for release Christmas 2017. Robin and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.


Keynoter Kim Meeder’s life was torn apart at the age of nine by her parents’ murder-suicide. She has chosen to rise above the pain and become a powerful influence in the lives of many disadvantaged youth through her ranch, Crystal Peaks. Through the love of a little mare and a merciful God, Kim’s life was restored.

Kim’s nonfiction books, Hope Rising (2003), Bridge Called Hope (2006), Blind Hope (2010), and Fierce Beauty (2011), have earned her awards and radio interviews, including several with Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio. Kim is an accomplished speaker and has addressed audiences across the country, including government leaders in Washington, DC. She also received the National Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting Local Communities.


Preconference Session with Donald Maass, “The Emotional Craft of Fiction” 
Donald Maass’s New York literary agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the US and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009), Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012), and The Emotional Craft of Fiction (2016). He served as past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc. This six-hour seminar requires separate registration and tuition.



Other highlights include:

  • Morning coaching classes (three days) for advanced, intermediate, and beginning writers. Fiction, nonfiction, memoir, articles, writing for YA and middle grades
  • Afternoon workshops and “Nite Owls”
  • One-on-one appointments with editors and agents
  • Manuscript reviews by editors and agents
  • Mentoring appointments with professional authors
  • The annual Cascade Awards for published and not-yet-published writers.


Registration will open March 6, 2018. Tuition for those who register by July 20 will be around $550 for OCW members, $595 for nonmembers, and $350 for conferees under 23. Prices will increase for all who register after July 20. Tuition includes all conference activities from 2 p.m. on Monday through 12:30 on Thursday, including meals (three dinners and two lunches), and the Cascade Awards.


Red Lion Janzten Beach, Portland, Oregon

Lodging: The Red Lion (Jantzen Beach) will offer conference rates for lodging through a special OCW registration website that will be made available in the spring of 2018. These special lower rates will not be available on the hotel’s website.


Keep watching this website for more details about our 2018 faculty, Early Bird session, coaching classes, workshops, manuscript submissions, mentoring program, and the 2018 Cascade Writing Contest as details become available. We recommend early registration since some morning classes accept as few as eight students for hands-on coaching.


“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray . . . that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ . . . . Pray that I may proclaim it clearly . . . . Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:2–6 niv).