Fall Workshops

Color Your Writing with Fall Workshops
by Marilyn Rhoads, OCW Program Coordinator

A. “Designed to Sell” will be taught by Cynthia Ruchti. What can you learn about writing from real-estate staging experts? How can you design your writing so prospective buyers are eager to make an offer? You may need to remove an old refrigerator and accumulated trash from your front porch or clear your story’s entryway of unnecessary clutter. It might mean you’ll need to rip out the shag carpet like outdated wording, up the curb appeal, and pay attention to details real estate agents count on. Come learn to stage your work to move it from “For Sale” to “Sold!”

B. “A Poet’s Journey: From Passion to Publication” will be presented by Jennifer Anne Messing. Come discuss the journey poets take to discover what poems are and where they originate. Discover ideas about how poets find their unique voice, enhance their creativity, and write meaningful, heart-stirring poems. Learn the fundamentals of writing, editing, and marketing your poetry, including tips on finding lesser-known, but equally important, markets for publishing.

Jennifer Anne is an OCW past president, author, and poet, plus a wife and the mother of three children. Her book Morning’s Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence was honored as a top finalist in the “Poetry: Inspiration” category of the 2013 International Book Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian education and journalism and has more than 200 poems and articles published in 60 magazines, including Aglow, LIVE, and Standard. She also writes a monthly column reviewing classic movies for Examiner.com.

C. “Five Traits of Memorable Characters” will be taught by Hillary Manton Lodge. Do you know the five traits shared by the most memorable fictional characters? Go beyond surface character description to discover what makes Anne Shirley, Bilbo Baggins, Katniss Everdeen, and Elizabeth Bennet special. Learn how to apply those traits to your own protagonist.

Hillary is the author of Plain Jayne, Simply Sara, A Table by the Window,and Reservations for Two,which released in April. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary attended her first OCW conference at the age of 13. She and her husband make their home in Portland with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shiloh.

D. “Sign Up! Sign In! Sign Out!” will be presented by Nora Peacock. Sign Up! to reach your writing goals and dreams. Then Sign In! as you identify ways to make your writing declare: “This is who I am!” Finally, Sign Out! and discover untapped resources to get your work out there. Explore how you may incorporate your unique life experience and personality into your writing, no matter your chosen genre.

Nora says winning the 2014 Cascade Writing Contest for her novel, Promises Embraced, in the Unpublished Fiction category and winning for her published article, A Treasure Hidden No Longer, ranks as the highlight of her writing career. She also placed as a finalist in Published Nonfiction for her devotional book, Steps of an Everyday Christian. Nora and her husband, Arlen, are the parents of seven children and eight grandchildren. They keep her smiling.

E. “Deepening the Emotional Connection” will be taught by Cynthia Ruchti. Your stories, articles, and devotions remain like stick figures on a piece of paper—mere scratches—until you find a way to engage the emotions as well as the intellect of the reader. All you have to work with are those ink scratches and the patterns in which they’re arranged. If storytelling—fiction or nonfiction—communicates, it will be because the author found a way to deepen the emotional connection with his or her reader. Sometimes the process involves moving one step closer.

F. “The Successful Christian Authorpreneur” will be presented by Rochelle Carter. The publishing industry has changed significantly over the decades, and being a successful traditional author in the 21st century requires a different skill set than in the past. Discover the formula to launch a successful publishing career in today’s ever-evolving industry and why traditional Christian authors must become authorpreneurs to create their competitive edge.

Rochelle is the publisher at Ellechor Publishing House, a Christian company that produces quality inspirational fiction and nonfiction. She is also an award-winning and bestselling author of The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship, Becoming an Author: Your Quick Start Guide to a Successful Book Launch, Write Success: Inspirational Quotes for the Authorpreneur,and Christian Authorpreneurship: Mastering the Business of Publishing. Rochelle is dedicated to creating independent, innovative, and iconic 21st-century authors. Her passion lies in educating authors and helping them avoid as many publishing regrets as possible.

G. “Self-Publishing Without Big Bucks” will be taught by Geni White. Don’t have buckets of money to spend on self-publishing your Pulitzer-prize-quality book? Don’t worry. Come learn the practical steps you may take to realize your publishing dream, find ways to discover the necessary resources, including the all-important money aspect, and avoid pitfalls that will destroy your dream before you even start.

Geni has self-published three books, all of which are receiving five-star ratings on Amazon. Geni writes full time, edits, and teaches writing classes. She is a retired nurse and licensed counselor. She and her husband, Bob, lived in the Middle East for eight years. She has traveled extensively there and around the world. A mother of three children, she and her husband retired to the Northwest in 2000.

H. “Social Media for Writers” will be presented by Angella Foret Diehl. Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Which do I choose? This hands-on workshop will discuss different facets of how writers can use social media to promote their works and their ministry. Discuss the different forms of social-media interaction, including platforms, newsletters, and subscription models. Keep your career updated, and your published work selling.

Angella is an award-winning freelance writer, editor, and web designer whose credits include The Oregonian and Christian News Northwest, as well as several national and international magazines and websites. In addition to serving as the OCW webmaster for the last 14 years, Angella spends her spare time teaching art and cooking classes.

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