Winter 2018


FEBRUARY 24, 2018 ~ 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m

Registration Opens January 20th,2018

Keynoter Ronie Kendig is the best-selling and Christy-Award (Wolfsbane), HOLT Medallion (Trinity: Military War Dog), and Reader’s Choice Award (Firethorn) winning author of 15 romantic suspense and fast-paced thrillers. Ronie is a self-proclaimed “army brat” with a heart for helping hurting people. A degree in psychology provides her with added insight into her characters who find themselves in extreme situations. Ronie’s latest release is Accelerant (October 2016).  Find out more about Ronie and her books at

Chemeketa Community College

Chemeketa Community College (Bldg 6), 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305



“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)

8:30–9:00     Registration, Continental Breakfast, Bookstore

                        Piano Prelude: Bob Williams


9:00–9:20     Welcome and Introductions: President Marilyn Rhoads

                        Devotions: Don White


9:20–10:10     General Session I: Ronie Kendig, “Champion It Forward: Be a Champion”


10:10–10:35    Reflections: Discuss keynote ideas with those seated near you.


10:35–10:55    Morning Break: Refreshments and time to visit the bookstore


10:55–11:45    General Session II: Ronie Kendig, “Ecstatic Beauty: Using Our Trials and Pain to Reach Others”


11:45–12:35    OCW Business Meeting: Recognition of new members and writing accomplishments; introduction of workshop teachers


12:35–1:35      Lunch: Bring your own (drinks will be available) or visit a nearby restaurant.


 Afternoon Workshops

(for descriptions, scroll down)

1:40–2:40        Workshops: Session 1 (Choose one)

  1. Ronie Kendig—Mind Magic: Tips & Tricks to Capture Your Reading Audience
  2. Pat Rushford—DIY Publishing
  3. Heidi Gaul—Broken Dreams and Detours
  4. Christina Suzann Nelson—Submitting Your Best: Contest Prep


2:40–3:00        Break: Bookstore is open


3:00–4:00        Workshops: Session 2

  1. Ronie Kendig—Digging Deep with Heroes
  2. Rachel Lulich—Editing for Writers
  3. Tawny Johnson—Creating Your Book Proposal from a Marketing Perspective
  4. Dawn Shipman—Exercises in Critique: How to Make the Best Better


4:00–4:30        Dessert Autograph Party and Photo Session—all authors available to sign their books.


All workshops suitable for all writers—beginner to advanced.


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  • The Prayer Room will be open all day.
  • Please fill out an evaluation form to enter a drawing for free tuition to a future one-day conference.



Afternoon Workshop Descriptions

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 class looks at visual construction as well as psychological impressions found in a novel. It’s almost like cheating, using the right techniques, words, sentence structure, and other aspects of writing that have psychological value.


Pat Rushford: “DIY Publishing” (all genres)

Many writers today are looking into publishing their work on their own. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. You don’t have to be a computer tech or even speak the language. Just follow some simple rules and, ta-da, you have a book available to the entire world. From formatting to cover design, we’ll maneuver through the steps and get it done.

Pat Rushford

Patricia H. Rushford is an award-winning author and speaker who has written more than 50 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She was nominated for an Edgar by Mystery Writers of America for Silent Witness. Patricia’s most recent works include Deadly Deception and The Quiltmaker’s Daughter, romantic suspense novels. She has published with Revell, Bethany House, and many other traditional publishers and in recent years has turned to Do It Yourself publishing. Patricia conducts writers’ workshops for adults and children and has been the director of the Oregon Christian Writers’ Summer Conference and co-director of Writer’s Weekend at the Beach.


Heidi Gaul: “Broken Dreams and Detours” (all genres)

Have you written something, only to find your dream of publication smashed? I have. And I was surprised and relieved when God pointed my writing onto a new path. Paul and Abraham, among others, also experienced God’s detours from their life choices. Some needed deeper soul-refinement before receiving their hearts’ desire. Others needed to create different dreams altogether. This workshop will help you discover—and understand—God’s desired direction for your gift.

Heidi Gaul

Heidi Gaul is a contributor for two Guideposts devotional books, Every Day with Jesus (release date spring 2018) and Mornings with Jesus—2019 (release scheduled in fall 2018). Winner of the 2015 Cascade Award for devotionals, she’s written several for The Upper Room. Her stories are included in 10 Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, and she’s a staff writer for The Great Commission Project. Her agent, Jim Hart, is currently shopping her devotional/craft book, Redeemed and Restored, to publishers.


Christina Suzann Nelson: “Submitting Your Best: Contest Prep” (all genres)

With contest season upon us, it’s time to polish those submissions. Join me 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. We will discuss details about some of the major contests available to unpublished submissions as well as introducing a few that may be new to you.

Christina Nelson

Christina Suzann Nelson has been a member of OCW for more than 10 years. At the 2017 summer conference she was blessed with the OCW 2017 Writer of Promise Award. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, recently released from Kregel Publications and received the honor of one of the top five Christian books of 2017 by Library Journal. Her second novel, Torn Edges, is scheduled to come out this fall. She lives on a small farm with her husband, children, and a crazy variety of farm animals.


Ronie Kendig: “Digging Deep with Heroes”

“You don’t write like a girl!” Ronie has been told this many times about her Rapid-Fire Fiction heroes, and, now, she brings her expertise to your heroes!

Crafting engaging characters takes a deft hand, and it can be especially challenging for a woman to write a compelling male protagonist. Cardboard heroes can flat-line a story. This workshop looks at how to deepen characterization and amp up your hero using elements steeped in science, stereotypes, and generalizations. But this isn’t a sit-and-look-pretty class. Be prepared to dig into your hero to design a compelling, irresistible male protagonist! (Bonus: many elements can apply to female protagonists/heroines, but the primary focus of this workshop is crafting compelling male protagonists/heroes.)


Rachel Lulich: “Editing for Writers”

In this workshop, you will learn some tips and tricks for self-editing at the developmental and line levels, as well as advice for working with editors. The class is especially useful for new or self-published writers, but is also applicable for traditionally published authors looking to improve their manuscript polishing abilities prior to submitting to agents and editors. Bring your questions, and be ready to have a surprisingly good time.

Rachel Lulich

Rachel Lulich has been a freelance developmental and line editor since 2014, specializing in inspirational romance and middle-grade fiction. Books Rachel has edited have won or been finalists for the Cascade Awards, the Carol Awards, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and others. As a writer, Rachel blogs at “The Fifth Sola,” writes for Clarinet News magazine, and has a stage play entering production this spring. Rachel holds a master’s degree in Book Publishing from Portland State University and is an Air Force veteran. Visit her website,, for more information.


Tawny Johnson: “Creating Your Book Proposal from a Marketing Perspective”

This workshop will explore the varied components of a strong book proposal along with tips on how to market that information to catch the eye of an agent and/or a publisher. Attendees will discover a critical marketing exercise that will take their proposal from blah to brilliant and will walk away more informed and more confident as they start the process of crafting this critical document.

Tawny Johnson

Tawny Johnson’s long career in Christian bookstore retailing and publishing gives her the unique ability to recognize relevance and marketability. She states, “All my past experience in the industry, coupled with my passion for exceptional writing, depth of content, and theological integrity has led me to a career as a literary agent.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology with a minor in English Literature from Multnomah University and a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Multnomah Biblical Seminary. (Tawny acquires only nonfiction.)


Dawn Shipman: “Exercises in Critique: How to Make the Best Better”

For this workshop, bring two or three double-spaced pages of your current work-in-progress to share with your fellow writers. We’ll go over the basics of the critiquing process then split into groups to review each participant’s pages. Bring four copies of your document, a brightly-colored pen to note corrections and changes, and a smile to this helpful, interactive workshop.

Dawn Shipman

Dawn Shipman has been attending OCW conferences on and off since the 1980s. She’s published essays, informative articles, interviews, short stories, poetry, plays, and games in both the inspirational and secular market. She was OCW critique group coordinator for six years and is currently a member of two groups, as well as facilitating a neighborhood group at Cascade Park Community Library, where she works her day job.


Conference Fees:

·         $45 for members

·         $75 for nonmembers

·         $20 for those 20 & under

·        $20 for college & post-graduate students

To learn more about OCW membership click here