Challenging Winter Workshops
by Marilyn Rhoads, OCW Program Coordinator
A. “Transforming the Outline from Drudgery to Joy” will be taught by Davis Bunn. Too often, novelists approach outlining with dread. We fear it will dampen our enthusiasm, sap our creative energy, and spoil our joy. Yet in most instances, the process is essential for good writing. Come and learn to stretch your wings before launching into flight. Transform the outlining process into an energizing, explosive, and genuinely fun experience. Share Davis’s latest insights and discoveries about novel writing.
B. Laura Christianson will teach “Marketing Your Writing Online: The Art of Thinking Backwards.” Many writers fall into the, “If we build it, they will come” trap built on the Field of Dreams mentality. We sometimes assume that the mere presence of a website, blog, or Facebook page will cause agents and editors to line up at our doorsteps. The truth is, “If we build it, they might come. Or they might not.” Learn to turn marketing on its head. Start by defining what makes your business plan successful, and work your way backward through a seven-step social media marketing strategy that applies to any product, service, or ministry.
A relationship marketer for more than 25 years, Laura specializes in transforming non-techies into savvy social-media marketers. She has an master’s degree in teaching from Lewis & Clark College in Portland and owns Blogging Bistro, a Seattle-area digital marketing company. Laura is the author of three books and hundreds of articles, including a monthly marketing column in the Everett Herald Business Journal. She lives in Snohomish, Washington, with her husband and their two sons.
C. “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Marking Time with Poetry” will be presented by Colette Tennant. Percy Bysshe Shelley defined “time” in his poem as “an unfathomable sea whose waves are years.” Since ancient times, the subject of time has been of major interest to poets. Think about Solomon, who wrote in Ecclesiastes about a “time to reap, a time to sow.” We will examine model poems and use them as thought-starters to write our own original works about yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Colette is an English professor at Corban University where she teaches creative writing and literature courses. Her poems have appeared in Rosebud, Dos Passos Review, Natural Bridge, Christianity and Literature, Southern Poetry Review, and other publications. She has poetry forthcoming in Encore, Orpheus II, God Man Review, and Elohi Gugadan. Her poetry book, Commotion of Wings, was a finalist in Main Street Rag’s 2009 contest and was published in January of 2010 as an editor’s choice.
D. Sue Miholer will present “Writing the Inspirational Shorts.” The word count for most devotionals is never more than 300 words and sometimes a little as 160. Writing them is a great way to “write tight”—a skill that will serve you well in all your writing. Very little research is required, just open your eyes and allow God to show you the spiritual lessons in everyday life. Examine the markets for devotionals and practice writing them. Bring your ideas and find the hidden spiritual dimensions. Learn Sue’s techniques, bless others, and earn some pocket change.
Sue is the business manager of OCW and also the owner of Picky, Picky Ink, her editing business. Although most of her “writing” time is spent editing for others, her own writing is usually short devotionals on assignment for three publishers. She enjoys having all four of her grandchildren nearby and is active in her local church.
E. “Blog Your Way to a Book Deal” is offered by Laura Christianson. If you blog three times a week for a year, you’ll have published the equivalent of a full-length book. During this hands-on workshop, you’ll construct a 30-day plan for blogging your own book. Learn how to choose a marketable topic, craft engaging content, create a publication schedule, and establish an avid fan base. Your “blog book” will increase your visibility and credibility—and may pique the interest of an agent or editor.
F. “Copyright Law” is presented by Jeff Miholer. Learn from a practicing attorney when and how copyrights are created, how they come to exist, who owns them when they’re created, and how formal and informal agreements can sell or license some or all of a copyright. Do you wish to protect your writing and related creative projects? Learn the legal process from a professional.
Jeff moved to Salem from Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was almost six. He has provided legal services to documentary filmmakers, advertising companies, writers, and other creative artists and businesses since finishing law school at the University of Oregon in 2001. He is currently winning a competition with his eight-year-old daughter to publish the most articles in the school newspaper. He serves as PTA president, and neither he nor his daughter uses an umbrella.
G. “Personal History and Memoir Writing” with Julie McDonald Zander will share workshop on the specific techniques used for writing memoir. Have you ever listened to an older person share stories and wish you could capture them forever? Do you want to preserve your own stories for your children and grandchildren? Julie will walk you through the steps of recording an interview, transcribing the material, editing it into a first-person narrative, adding photos and memorabilia, and creating a keepsake book for family members and friends.
Julie, a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades, started preserving family members’ stories in the early 1990s. Since launching Chapters of Life, her personal history business, in 1999, she has published three dozen books preserving the stories of individuals, families, businesses, organizations, schools, and communities. She lives in Toledo, Washington, with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Paul and Nora.
H. “Make Your Fiction Fly” is presented by Leslie Gould. Use mythical characters and classical plots to send your fiction soaring. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Character is plot, plot is character.” It’s difficult to separate the two. No matter your genre, this workshop will infuse your fiction with plots and characters inspired by classical archetypes, resulting in both satisfying storylines and fully developed characters.
Leslie is the award-winning author of 15 novels, including the bestselling and Christy Award winner, The Amish Midwife, co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. Her latest release is the bestselling Courting Cate, inspired by The Taming of the Shrew. Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing from Portland State University. She and her husband, Peter, live in Portland and have four children.