Winter 2017


FEBRUARY 25, 2017

8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Chemeketa Community College, Salem

Keynote speaker: James L. Rubart

Unfettered: Freeing Ourselves to Write


“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”(Luke 15:20 niv)

Morning Keynote 1: “How to Write from the Deepest, Most Powerful Place Inside You”

Morning Keynote 2: “The Darkness and the Light of the Writing Dream Coming True”


James L. Rubart
James L. Rubart

Keynote Speaker James L. Rubart (Rooms, The Five Times I Met Myself, and The Long Journey to Jake Palmer) is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and he loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s the best-selling, Christy BOOK of the YEAR, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award-winning author of eight novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day, he runs his branding and marketing company that helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at


Afternoon Workshops

(for detailed class descriptions, scroll down)

Session 1

  1. “How to Be More Creative Than You Ever Thought Possible” ~ James L. Rubart (creativity)
  2. “24 Ways to Write Stories for Christian Kids” ~ Dick Bohrer (writing for children)
  3. “Writing for the Education Market” ~ Tracie Heskett (curriculum)
  4. “Author Website Essentials” ~ Wendy Gorski (marketing

Session 2

  1. “Using Real Life Characters to Make Your Characters Really Come to Life” ~ James L. Rubart
  2. “Your Book Will Be Published Within the Year” ~ David Sanford (publishing
  3. “Tell It Like It Is: Writing Poetry about Family” ~ Mary McIntosh (poetry
  4. “Submitting Your Best: Contest Prep” ~ Christina Suzann Nelson (writer enrichment

All workshops are suitable for all writers—beginner to advanced.

4:00–4:30 p.m.

Dessert, Autograph Party, and Photo Session with keynoter and workshop teachers. All authors are available to sign their books.


Detailed Class Descriptions 


James L. Rubart – “How to Be More Creative Than You Ever Thought Possible” (Creativity)

“I’m just not creative enough to become a best-selling author.” Really? James L. Rubart says it’s possible you’re wrong. During this workshop he’ll take you through practical exercises that will teach you how to infuse your writing and your life with a creativity and innovation that will change your life—well, at least change half of it.


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.

Prof. Dick Bohrer 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, and 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.


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 Heskett 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 for 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 life and career. 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.


Wendy Gorski – “Author Website Essentials” (Marketing)

This workshop looks at the essential tools for creating successful author websites. Wendy will explore hosting the options, free versus paid services and available programs. She will review several essential apps, plug-ins, and widgets for authors. Lastly, she’ll discuss the necessary content every author website needs. This workshop is for authors who wish to create a website and for those who want to super-charge their existing website.

Wendy is an indie author of fast-paced contemporary inspirational fiction. She is published under the pen name, Wendy Holley. Utilizing her background as a business consultant and independent author, Wendy started an online service equipping authors for success. She can be found online at and her author website



James L. Rubart – “Using Real Life Characters to Make Your Characters Really Come to Life” (Fiction)

Plot is an essential component of craft, but without characters who become real, your stories will always remain okay. Readers don’t want okay. They want riveting. During this workshop, best-selling, award-winning author James L. Rubart will teach you the techniques he uses to create characters his readers say stay with them for months and years after they finish one of his novels.


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 Sanford is an award-winning author, editor, and literary agent with Credo Communications ( 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!


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 McIntosh is a poet, freelance writer and editor, former college professor, and teacher of creative writing specializing 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.


Christina Suzann Nelson – “Submitting Your Best: Contest Prep” (Writer Enrichment)

With contest season upon us, it’s time to get your submission in the best shape possible. Join Christina to discuss what the judges are looking for, how to present your best work, and what can and can’t be gleaned from contest results.

Christina Suzann Nelson is a three-time ACFW Genesis finalist and the overall winner of the 2014 Phoenix Rattler contest. She also placed third in the Idahope Contest. She has been a member of OCW for more than ten years and has published short stories. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, releases later this year.