Spring Workshops: Searching for the Gold
by Marilyn Rhoads, OCW Program Coordinator
Sally Stuart will teach, “Query Letters: A Winning Sales Tool.” More and more publishers are requiring a query letter before they will look at a finished manuscript. Unless you know how to write this important sales letter, you will not be successful in the marketplace. This workshop will cover all the elements that should be included in a query letter and how to structure a winning sales tool that will mark you as a professional. (Nonfiction)
“Book Proposals That Sell” is Sally Stuart’s workshop that explains today’s fast-paced market. It’s no longer acceptable to write a book and send the manuscript off to a publisher. Most publishers prefer to get a book proposal before the manuscript is completed. This class will tell you how to organize your material for a book and how to write a proposal that will sell the book idea for you. (Nonfiction)
“Write from Life” will be presented by Melody Carlson. Novel premises are all around us. Whether stripped from the headlines or extracted from a writer’s life, contemporary issues and challenges make good fodder for fiction. But sometimes it’s tricky to separate story from reality. And although writing autobiographically can be therapeutic, creating a marketable novel requires some focus and direction. Melody has written dozens of contemporary novels—”True-to-Life Fiction”—and will share some tips for taking your life-inspired ideas to the next level. (Fiction)
Melody Carlson will also teach “Connecting with Teen Readers.” Writing fiction for adolescents is easy, right? After all the word count is less . . . how hard can it be? Come and hear what it requires to connect with young adults. Find out whether or not you have what it takes to really minister to today’s youth. Teens are voracious readers and, despite what some publishers say, the YA market is alive and well. Melody has published more than 70 books for teens, including her bestselling Diary of a Teenage Girl series. (Young Adult Fiction)
Jennifer Anne Messing will present, “Publish Consistently in Magazines Midst a Busy Life.” Learn tips on how to organize your scattered ideas, thoughts, notes, and journal entries and turn them into salable magazine articles. She will talk about how to market your articles, stories, and poems in print and online publications. Jennifer Anne will also offer suggestions on time management to help you create time to write—no matter your circumstances. (Articles)
Jennifer Anne is an OCW past president, author, poet, columnist, speaker, and vocalist as well as a wife and mother of three children. She has had more than 180 poems, articles, short stories, and movie reviews published in 60 different magazines and books, including Bible Advocate, The Christian Journal, The Proverbs 31 Woman, The Secret Place, Evangel, LIVE, Standard, Seek, The Gem, Christian Fiction Online, Examiner. com, and Nudges from God. She has authored two poetry gift books. Her latest book, Morning’s Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence, released from Ellechor Publishing in 2012.
“The Art of Interviewing” will be taught by Mary Hake. She has interviewed dozens of people from various backgrounds and ages— including a state senator, college president, county judge, teen anime artist, best-selling authors, foreign students, and an Olympic gold medalist. Mary will cover the interview process, from planning to conducting the interview to writing the story from your notes, in her five steps for producing a successful interview piece. Interviews are helpful for articles and for background research for books (including novels), so all types of writers can benefit from this training. (Nonfiction)
Mary has been a freelance writer and editor for several decades, including stints as a feature writer for a small-town weekly paper and a monthly area newspaper. She won awards for her journalism when she earned her associate’s degree in her 40s. She joined OCW in 1986 and served seven years as program coordinator and five years as president, in addition to many years helping with the summer conference. She has published hundreds of articles and other pieces in periodicals and books, and has a heart for encouraging others.
* Critique Group—Kristen Ingram will direct a critique group for writers of all genres. Please bring 10 copies of the first three pages of your work. Kris will assist you in techniques and methods of successfully critiquing your pieces in a group setting.
Kristen is the author of 20 books and more than 2,000 magazine articles on health, how-to, religion, folklore, medical advances, art, and music. She has written 25 booklets on a variety of topics and also writes short fiction articles. She is known for her computer magazine fiction. Kristen is a past president of OCW and has been a vital part of Writer’s Digest School for many years.
Birdie Etchison will teach “The Innermost Parts of a Devotional” and demonstrate that while writing a 200-word devotional might appear easy, every word must count. Your first sentence must hook and draw the reader into your story. This workshop will dissect devotionals and discover why they work—and why they sometimes don’t. Birdie will equip you with skills to gather an appropriate idea and have you begin your next devotional in class. Jumpstart your publishing career. (Devotionals)
Birdie celebrates her 50th year as a writer this month. She started the year Oregon Christian Writers began. She served as president of OCW in the early 1980s. Birdie has taught writing classes all over the United States and was an instructor for Writer’s Digest Schools for 22 years. She has 21 books, numerous articles, fillers, and newspaper features published.
Gail Denham will teach “A Fresh Approach: Shapes and Forms.” This workshop will examine styles and interesting avenues poetry can and probably should take. Come experiment, dream up new ideas, and discover ways to use your poetry. Discuss ways to market your work, and look outside your usual box of ideas. A previously overlooked method such as humor, drama, storytelling, fantasy, and revisiting the old “greats” can help your poetry come alive. Bring paper and pen to write a poem in class. Come with a few made-up words or unusual combinations of words. And whatever you do, read a book of poetry. (Poetry)
Gail believes in the practical— which is why persistence has allowed her short stories, articles, essays, news stories, and photos to be used in a wide variety of publications for the past 35 years. As a past president of OCW, Gail says that OCW has played a big part in her networking, encouragement, and learning experiences. Mississippi Milestones Anthology featured five of Gail’s poems; several of her poems placed in state poetry contests; one poem appeared in a Florida anthology; and another placed second in an Arizona coffee poem contest recently. Some of Gail’s photos have appeared online, and one won a contest at Writers’ Weekend at the Beach.