Monday, July 28
Workshop A – 3:30–4:30
1. Partnering with God in Your Writing Process (Inspirational)
Barbara Milligan, associate editor, STEPS
Would you like to see more clearly how God is involved in your writing process—and in your life? This workshop will give you some helpful guidelines that can make you more aware of God’s presence, whether you’re staring at a blank computer screen or the ideas are coming faster than you can type. You’ll also be given time to privately take some of your personal questions to God, while practicing ways of becoming more open to God’s good gifts.
2. Too Shy to Pitch and Promote? (Marketing)
Terry Burns, author, agent, Hartline Literary Agency
Believe it or not, Terry is very shy and introverted, but he has learned how to overcome it. Lots of writers are drawn to writing because they have trouble expressing themselves using spoken words. Many consciously or unconsciously sabotage their own publishing efforts because they fear the self-promotion they will have to do if they are successful. Terry shows how to develop a public persona and hide behind it.
3. Releasing Your Creativity (Inspirational)
Sandy Cathcart, writer, columnist, photographer
This interactive workshop is for all writers who want a fresh approach to overcoming writer’s block. Come with pen and paper, prepared to write and share. If you need inspiration, this is the workshop for you.
4. Writing for Discipleship Journal (Nonfiction/Techniques)
Connie Willems, editor, Discipleship Journal
We’ll talk about the best ways to begin writing for Discipleship Journal and consider how to select topics. Then we’ll go beyond the writer’s guidelines to delve into the characteristics the editors look for when evaluating an article or query. Come learn what earns a Discipleship Journal article a thumbs-up!
5. The Ten Most Common Reasons a Novel Is Rejected (Fiction/Techniques)
Nick Harrison, editor, Harvest House Publishers
In this workshop, Nick Harrison will discuss the most common faults he finds in the fiction manuscripts he reviews. Additionally, he’ll offer suggestions on how to make your novel more editor-friendly. There will be time at the end for a question-and-answer period.
6. Begin and End with a Bang (Children’s)
Suzanne Hadley, associate editor, Clubhouse and Clubhouse, Jr.
“Rodney was a carrot, an unhappy carrot.” Find out why this lead became infamous as one of the worst submissions of all time, and learn how you can avoid a similar fate. Leads and endings can make the difference between whether an editor selects your piece or rejects it. Learn tricks for writing leads that sparkle and for conclusions that leave the reader wanting more.
7. Winning the Fiction Genre Game (Fiction/Techniques)
Janet Benrey, novelist, coauthor, agent, Benrey Literary
Writing in a recognized (and popular) genre is essential if writers want their first Christian novel published. This workshop will examine the various Christian fiction genres, describe their specific characteristics, compare their popularity, and help you decide which genre is the right one for your work-in-progress.
8. Abolish Bad Writing (Nonfiction/Techniques)
Kathy Davis, managing editor, Focus on the Family Book Publishing
Bad writing is characterized by flabby prose, hackneyed topics and presentation, lifeless tone, passive constructions, poor sentence structure, and other problems. We’ll look at examples from the editor’s desk and discuss solutions.