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.

Robin Lee Hatcher: A Northwest Literary Treasure

by Don White, OCW Program Coordinator

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.

It is difficult to find a Christian novelist with more awards than Robin. Her success and experience have even earned her a place in the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Fiction (2009, Greenwood). With Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America (she is a former president), as well as being a recipient of the Christy Award, Carol Award, RITA Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others, Robin certainly knows a thing or two about writing well-loved, compelling stories. Her Where the Heart Lives series is a particular favorite with readers.

Fortunately for us, Robin is not content merely to receive; she also has a heart for giving. Her passion for the cause of literacy has earned her recognition from Laubach Literacy International. She frequently shares her faith in women’s groups and her literary wisdom and skills at writers’ conferences. Look around for her on the Internet, and you will find Robin actively and graciously engaging with her many readers.

As a novelist who spent 15 years in the mainstream romance market before focusing on Christian fiction, Robin knows the industry inside and out, and she knows about the difference that Christian faith makes in writing novels.

After years of horse riding and competitions, she now enjoys watching her daughters and granddaughter carry on her equestrian legacy. When she is not outdoors, Robin enjoys reading the kind of heart-grabbing stories she likes to write. Sharing a home just outside of Boise, Idaho, with her husband and pets, she can often be found knitting prayer shawls.

Her prolific writing habits, along with passion and determination, have brought well-earned success. Robin is one of the best examples of the kind of literary talent God has fostered in the Northwest. 


Terrific Winter Workshops

Terrific Winter Workshops – 2016 Winter One-Day Conference

by Don White, OCW Program Coordinator

A.  “Staying Organized amidst the Chaos” with Robin Lee Hatcher. Writers don’t live in a bubble. Life happens outside the pages of the book. But we need to keep our fictional worlds in order as much as possible. Robin Lee Hatcher will share some of the tools she has put into practice through the years in order to stay on top of things. 

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

Lynn Hare is an award-winning freelance writer, certified teacher, poet, and member of OCW’s prayer team. A member of OCW for five years, she has published numerous devotionals and articles. An amateur songwriter and photographer, Lynn lives in Portland and has been married for 35 years. She has two sons, a daughter, and one grandson. She has been published in The Upper Room, The Secret PlaceChristian Communicator, LIVE, Pathways to God, Now What?, Purpose, and The Christian Journal. Visit her website at www.lynnhare.com.

C.  “Staying Spiritually Focused amid the Emotional Distractions of the Writing World” Does your writing journey seem like riding an emotional roller coaster? Do you feel vulnerable to exploitation by sweet-talking salespeople? Have you ever felt as though hijackers are trying to take your writing somewhere God never planned for it? And what does it mean for a Christian piece to be a “success” anyway? John Avery will examine the distractions that Christian writers face and help you reach the writing objectives that God has for you.

John Avery is a trained teacher with more than 30 years of experience as a Bible-teaching pastor, small-group leader, and missionary. He likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. John writes Bible devotionals at www.BibleMaturity.com, one of which won the Oregon Christian Writers’ Cascade Award for published devotionals. He is the author of The Name Quest: Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better and maintains a comprehensive resource for all the names of God at www.NamesForGod.net.

D. “Writing Real: Creating Characters Who Walk Off the Page and into Your Hearts” What does it take to develop a compelling protagonist—not just one who will carry the story, but one that encourages a life-change in your reader? How can you go from a one-dimensional character on the page to making a personal connection? This workshop will draw ideas from your own experiences or headlines in the news. You will learn to be honest with your characters, revealing their strengths as well as vulnerabilities. Go deeper with your protagonist and create a more intimate experience for your readers—and yourself!

April McGowan loves to write healing fiction—books that don’t just entertain but connect on a deeper level. She and her husband, two children, and her mews, Spookers, live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. April is a member of Oregon Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and The Christian Authors Network. Her novel Jasmine was a Carol Award finalist. When she’s not writing, reading down her book list, homeschooling her two children, or playing board games, you might find her at her drum kit, imagining she’s on a world tour. Hey, it could happen. For more, see http://aprilmcgowan.com

E. “Serving Your Readers Through Social Media” We live in an exciting time, when social media enable us to reach new readers across the globe, and a platform allows us to sell our work to readers who feel they know us. Danika Cooley will share how to serve your readers through social media. By providing valuable content that will enrich and edify your readers, you will also win the right to share your own work with them, and they will come to see you as their ally and friend.

Danika Cooley is an author, curriculum developer, magazine writer, and blogger. She marketed her first book, When Lightning Struck: The Story of Martin Luther, in November and is preparing the campaign for her newest book, Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth. Danika’s Bible Road Trip is used in homes, schools, and churches around the globe.

F. “Self-Editing 101” Editing your own work is a lot like wrestling with an octopus. Just when you think you have all eight tentacles corralled, one slips out and smacks you upside the head. Should I use “which” or “that”? (They are not interchangeable.) Where does the word “only” fit in a sentence? (Where you put it can shade the meaning of your sentence.) Does your sentence really need to include the word “that”? (An important issue if you’re writing to word count.)

 Come learn some editing basics from freelance editor Sue Miholer, the OCW business manager, who owns Picky, Picky Ink. Sue estimates she has edited more than 50 book-length manuscripts in the last 17 years for publishers and individual clients. She also writes devotional pieces.

G. “Beyond Impossible: A Tale of Perseverance” Do you need encouragement or inspiration on your publishing journey? John C. Maxwell put this spin on an old proverb: “It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.” Hear about Camille Eide’s publishing dream, the journey it became, and the amount of perspiration, prayer, and a few other critical “P” words it took to realize that dream.

Camille Eide is the author of Like There’s No TomorrowLike a Love Song, and The Memoir of Johnny Devine (December 2015), all published by Ashberry Lane. The Memoir of Johnny Devine received a rare five-gold star rating from Romantic Times Book Reviews and a 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award nomination in Inspirational Romance. Camille is a wife, mom, grammy, church office manager, and bass guitarist. She also co-created and leads a 30,000 member Facebook group for fans of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart original TV series based on the work of Janette Oke.

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.

Keeping Up with OCW

Spring Conference Review
by Susan Maas, OCW Secretary

“When God calls you to be a writer, you go places you never thought you would,” according to Bob Welch, award-winning columnist and book author, who keynoted at the May OCW one-day conference in Eugene. And, he added, we go places we may not want to go.

Bob reminded attendees that success as a Christian writer is “making a difference for the Kingdom” and that God can work through us. “We underestimate His power to use people with all sorts of flaws to bring beauty to the world.” Our writing may refresh someone’s faith or be an encouragement in a reader’s darkest hour. Writing also changes us. “Who we are at the start of the trail isn’t who we will be at the end.”

In Bob’s second keynote, he told writers to “Stop it!” Stop believing we are unworthy to be called writers, stop saying we can’t think of ideas, stop concentrating on failures instead of successes, and stop being afraid to leap.

In the business meeting, Business Manager Sue Miholer reported on the financial status of OCW. Thanks to $7,170 brought in by the Cascade Contest, OCW was able to pay off the credit card balance. Sue encouraged attendees to preregister for summer conference. President Maxine Marsolini welcomed about 10 new members and read six publishing accomplishments. The revised bylaws were approved. Maxine also introduced the nominating committee: Heidi Gaul, Karen Barnett, and Dan Campbell. They are looking for someone willing to fill the Program Coordinator’s position since Marilyn Rhoads has served her maximum three terms and will be stepping down. Marilyn Rhoads introduced workshop presenters and held prize drawings before attendees went to lunch and then to their chosen workshops.

For any attendees who left feeling they couldn’t measure up to the writers around them, Bob Welch gave a simple answer: “Stop it! Hike your own hike.”

2015 Winter Schedule

Join us Saturday, February 28, 2015 for our Winter One-Day Conference! 

“Faith Is the Victory”

Oregon Christian Writers Winter One-Day Conference

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem OR 97305

(Directions at bottom of page)

Saturday, February 28, 2015 ~ 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water’.” Matthew 14:28 (NLT)

8:30–9:00 Registration, Continental Breakfast, Bookstore
Musical Prelude: Bob Williams
9:00–9:40 Welcome and Introductions: President Maxine Marsolini
Devotions: Maxine Marsolini
9:40–10:30 General Session I: Bill Giovannetti, “You Can Walk on Water”
10:30–10:50 Morning Break: Refreshments and time to visit the bookstore
10:50–11:40 General Session II: Bill Giovannetti, “Faith Is the Victory”
11:40–12:30 OCW Business Meeting: Recognition of new members, writing accomplishments, and introduction of workshop teachers
12:35–1:35 Lunch ($12): Boxed lunch (made-to-order sandwich, chips, water, cookie, and fruit) – must be reserved by February 21
1:45–2:45 Workshops—Session 1 (Choose One)
A. “The Thing in the Bushes” – Bill Giovannetti (nonfiction)
B. “Managing Success with Periodicals” – Lynn Hare (articles, etc.)
C. “Self-Publishing – Pros and Cons” – John Avery (self-publishing)
D. “Poetry as Prayer” – Colette Tennant (poetry)
2:45–3:00 Break—Bookstore will be open.
3:00–4:00 Workshops—Session 2 (Choose One)
E. “Firing Cupid’s Arrows” – Bill Giovannetti (nonfiction)
F. “How to Present a Dynamic Workshop” – Tracie Heskett (all genres)
G. “Creating Your Spiritual Legacy” – Julie Zander (memoir)
H. “Facebook Intensive for Authors” —Nichole Miller (social media)
4:00-4:30 Dessert Autograph Party and Photo Session with keynoter and workshop teachers; authors will be available to sign their books.
All workshops are suitable for all writers—beginner to advanced.

Register Now!

Major changes to the schedule will be posted on the OCW website.

Follow live tweets at @OregonWriters and use #OCWoneday to share.

See OCW at facebook.com/OregonChristianWriters.

The Prayer Room will be open all day.

See OCW at facebook.com/OregonChristianWriters


Directions can be found HERE