Fall 2016

In the interest of safety, we are canceling this event due to dangerous weather conditions.

We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Join us for a day of inspiration. Workshops to develop your writing craft and fellowship with other writers.

Fall Conference October 15 ~ 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Warner Pacific College, Portland

Registration opens after September 1

Lifelines: Writers as Champions for a Hurting World

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”(1 Peter 4:10 niv)

General Session 1 – “Champion It Forward: Be A Champion”

 General Session 2 – “Ecstatic Beauty: Using Our Trials and Pain to Reach Others”


Ronie Kendig
Ronie Kendig

Keynote Speaker Ronie Kendig is a self-proclaimed “Army brat.” Since launching into the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit best-seller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim, including her Christy Award-winning Wolfbane (romantic suspense), Trinity: Military Dog and Firsthorn (fiction suspense). Ronie knows how to spin tales of military intrigue that get your heart pounding and keep your eyes glued to the page. The plots and characters in her long string of successful novels have been built piece by piece from the countless people and places she has experienced in all her travels growing up in a military family. And this fall she will travel from her Virginia home to join us and share her heart, her literary passion, and some of her best techniques to help us write the stories we’ve always dreamed of writing. Learn more about Ronie and her books at roniekendig.com.



Afternoon Schedule

Join our keynoter and six other workshop presenters to learn techniques to enrich your writing and your career as an author whether you write fiction or nonfiction. The workshops provide something for everyone.

Session 1 (choose one)

A.  Ronie Kendig – “Mind Magic: Tips & Tricks to Capture Your Reading Audience.” (Fiction and nonfiction)

Learn some “sleight of hand” maneuvers to psychologically capture your readers’ minds—without them realizing it! This workshop is not limited by genre. There are elements in writing that will either spur your reader to maintain the journey, or make them detour at the nearest exit. This workshop looks at visual construction as well as psychological impressions found in novels. It’s almost like cheating, using the right techniques, words, sentence structure, and other aspects of writing that have psychological value.

Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit best-seller lists and garnered awards, fans, and critical acclaim. Her sincere passion for people contributes to the strong, vivid characters in her “rapid-fire fiction” novels. Ronie speaks nationally at writers’ conferences, mentoring those who long to take their stories further to success. She and her family make their home in Northern Virginia.


B.  Mary McIntosh – “Tell It Like It Is: Writing Poetry about Family” (Poetry)

Family experiences, celebrations, trauma, drama, and history can be captured in poetic form. Whether they are episodes of triumph or devastation, God works either way. Tell it through your eyes or through God’s eyes. We will talk about some family poems by other poets and write some of our own in the workshop. Bring your journal, paper, and pen.

Mary is a poet, freelance writer and editor, former college professor, and teacher of creative writing who specializes in teaching seminars and poetry workshops for writers and community groups. She has published articles and poems in VoiceCatcher, Oregon Humanities Magazine, and Spectrum Magazine, and has won Honorable Mention for a poem from the Oregon State Poetry Association (OPA). An inspired teacher of writing, she especially likes conducting poetry workshops for OCW.


C.  Prof. Dick Bohrer – “24 Ways to Write Stories for Christian Kids” (Writing for children)

What makes a successful Christian book for children? Would you like to know the strategies and “tricks of the trade” to publish children’s books? This workshop will present recipes that professional writers have used for their picture books and ABC books, and then move on to all sorts of chronological narratives and stories in rhyme. Prof. Bohrer has used extensive research to compile the data for this study.

Dick has taught elementary, high school, college, and graduate school classes over a 40-year span. He has edited a national magazine, two newspapers, and many books. He has written eight novels, five textbooks, three biographies. He is currently editing a book of poems and a commentary on the Holy Spirit. He and his wife Betty live in West Linn, Oregon.

Session 2 (choose one)

D.  Tracie Heskett – “Writing for the Education Market” (Curriculum)

Come explore this interesting way to write for children. We’ll discuss what it means to work for hire, tips that are appropriate for any genre, and the particulars of this specific market. Tracie develops and writes curriculum and teacher resource books for national educational publishers, with more than 40 teacher resource books, a textbook, and other educational materials in print. With experience in writing for the educational market as well as Bible study materials, Tracie can help you understand and navigate this genre and its markets.

Tracie has one novel completed that is hoping to find a publishing home. She presents workshops for OCW, her local chapter of ACFW, Writers Weekend at the Beach (which she has co-directed more than five years), and she speaks and works with women’s Bible study groups in a large multi-campus church. She is treasurer of the Portland/Vancouver ACFW chapter. Research plays an important role in her contracted work, and she has a passion to share her resources to encourage and equip others in their lives and careers. Tracie lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys quilting, hiking, and playing in the kitchen and with her grown twin sons whenever possible.


E.  Wendy Gorski – “The Business Side of Writing” (Writer finances)

With more than 30 years as a managerial accountant, Wendy has helped businesses organize and understand their finances. She will answer such questions as “What is a Schedule C?” “What are legitimate business expenses?” “What is a 1099?” “How do you handle royalty income?” In this workshop, Wendy will provide guidance on how to organize your financial records, prepare for tax time, and review requirements for small businesses. In addition, she will cover the legalities of starting a small business. How do you file for a DBA? What are the different business structures? How to avoid using your social security number.

Wendy is an independent author and owner of Beacon Rock Publishing. As a business consultant, Wendy has assisted companies from startups to acquisitions. Wendy is OCW’s Treasurer. When she’s not crunching numbers, she works on writing contemporary inspirational fiction.


F.  David Sanford – “Your Book Will Be Published Within the Year” (Publishing)

Imagine hearing these wonderful words. You can! Learn how during this fun, interactive workshop. Explore the five viable avenues for publishing your book. Learn which counter-intuitive approach is the very best for you to pursue. More importantly, learn “no fear” strategies for crafting and pitching your new book proposal to key prospective publishers (or literary agents). Today could be the turning point in your publishing career. Make it count!

David is an award-winning author, editor, and literary agent with Credo Communications, www.credocommunications.net. David has helped promising new Christian authors publish nearly 200 books with Zondervan, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, Strang, Regal, New Hope, NavPress, Multnomah, Moody, Kregel, InterVarsity, Howard, Harvest House, Focus on the Family, Cook, Crossway, B&H, Baker, Authentic, AMG, Amazon, and others. Bottom line: If you want to see your book published, don’t miss David’s workshop!


G.  Karen Barnett – “Building Platform with MailChimp” (Platform/marketing)

The book editors attending the 2016 OCW summer conference were asked the number one thing they were seeking in an effective platform. Their answer? “A strong email list.” Karen will walk you through the basics on how to set up a list, invite readers to join, manage the information, and design a basic email newsletter using MailChimp.

Karen is the author of Mistaken, Out of the Ruins, Beyond the Ashes, and her newest, Through the Shadows. OCW honored Karen with the Writer of Promise award in 2013 and a Cascade Award for published historical fiction in 2014. This past March she received the 2016 Mount Hermon Christian Conference Writer of the Year award. Karen and her husband, Steve, make their home in Albany with their two children and three crazy dachshunds.


Our goal is that when you leave this conference, you will equipped to enhance your writing and the business side of your career as an author.