2021 Schedule


*Schedule Subject to Change

Tuesday (KidzLit Conferees Only)

6:30 – 8:00p.m.      Registration Opens for KidzLit Conferees Only (No Dinner)   


Wednesday (KidzLit)

7:30 – 8:15a.m.   Breakfast (for those who spent Tuesday night only)

9:00a.m. – 10:00a.m.      Registration Opens and Bookstore opens for consignment                                                                      

10:00a.m. – 10:50a.m.  

 The Basics of Writing for Children, Michelle Medlock Adams: In this session (great for those just venturing into the land of kidslit), Michelle will  discuss children’s books—from board books to YA, and everything in between. You’ll learn the proper word counts for various kinds of children’s books, layout, submission formatting and useful tips that will answer questions such as: “Where does my book fit?” and “How do I break into the world of children’s books?” If you’ve got questions, she’s got answers! Aspiring children’s writers will love this session! Room 222

One Fish, Too Two Fish, Red Fish, Blew Blue Fish, Leslie SantamariaYou’ve captured a draft manuscript for kids that you think has potential. Now what? How do you make sure it’s the best it can be to sell well and inspire young readers? Is it the right length? Are the vocabulary and syntax on the appropriate reading level? Does the dialogue sound like real kids today? We’ll discuss the special considerations for revising and polishing your story or nonfiction piece for kids, including who should critique and beta read your work and how to find those people. Room 223

11:00a.m. – 11:50a.m.    

Picture Book Proposals, Jill Roman Lord: Just like children are not small adults, children’s book proposals are not the same as adult book proposals. We’ll go over every important nuance in proposals, from one sheets, to comparables, to discoverability and more. We’ll dig deep into the secrets of writing children’s book proposals that will knock the socks off an editor and get your project noticed. Room 222

YA Christian Fiction: What Teens Really Want to Hear, Tessa Emily HallThe YA fiction genre in the general market is more popular than ever. So why does YA Christian fiction seem to be suffering? Perhaps it’s because teens assume Christian fiction is cheesy or preachy. Although books can be powerful tools to reach lost youth, teens search for good stories that offer escapism—not a sermon. In this workshop, I will teach how to deliver a story that appeals to the heart of youth while avoiding major pitfalls that YA Christian fiction writers sometimes make. You will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of how to write an inspirational yet authentic story for teens, whether it’s geared toward the general market or the Christian market. Room 223

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.     Lunch, Private Dining Room with speaker: Jesse Florea

1:10p.m. – 2:00p.m.      

From Llama Llama to Twilight,  Leslie Santamaria: Board books, picture books, picture storybooks, easy readers, early readers, leveled readers, chapter books, middle grade, and more…what’s the difference? In this lively, hands-on session, we’ll examine all the types of books for kids at different ages and grade levels and discuss the unique aspects of each so that you can figure out the best formats for your great ideas. Room 225

2:10p.m. – 3:00p.m.       

When Rhyme is a CrimeMichelle Medlock AdamsYou might have heard that “Rhyme is a crime,” and that editors don’t like rhyming board books and picture books. That’s not exactly true. Editors just don’t like BAD rhyme. They like rhyming board books and picture books that are written well. It’s just that they have seen so much bad rhyme over the years, their hearts might be a bit hardened toward rhyme, generally speaking. But if you can write good rhyme—then go for it! In this workshop, bestselling children's author Michelle Medlock Adams shares how to write and sell well-done rhyming manuscripts so you don't become a rhyme criminal! Room 222

By Hook, or By Crook, Jesse Florea: Studies show you have less than 15 seconds to grab a young reader’s attention. A creative lead could also be the difference between publication and rejection. This workshop will discuss different ways to begin a story . . . and then how to keep a reader’s attention. We’ll also look at the editorial needs and different kinds of stories that appear in Focus on the Family Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. Room 223

3:10p.m. – 4:00p.m.      

Mastering the 5 Variations of Show vs. Tell, Tessa Emily HallEvery writer is advised to “show” their story rather than tell it, yet this seems to remain the most difficult technique for writers to master. Perhaps it’s because we are showing in some areas of our writing yet telling in others. In this workshop, I will discuss the five variations of showing vs. telling and how you can bring your story to life by mastering these techniques. Be sure to bring a 1000-word sample of your writing that you don’t mind revising and possibly sharing with the class (optional). Room 222

How to Make Picture Book Writing SING, Jill Roman LordSo you’ve got an idea for a story and want to pitch it to an editor or agent. That’s great. But does it SING? Does it grip the reader? Will it make the editor beg for more? And most importantly, will it make a child want to reach for it time and time again? What separates average picture books from Wow Picture books! Pop into this class to find out. Room 223

4:10p.m. – 5:00p.m.      

Jesus Wants You to Paddle, Navigating the Wild River of Children’s Publishing, Jesse Florea: We can’t sit back and enjoy the ride; we have to paddle! Anecdotes include how I got into writing books and various setbacks or embarrassing moments I’ve had in my career. Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy road, but it’s a blessed one if we trust and follow Him. I end with talking about obedience and include a video clip from Mr. Holland’s Opus that encourages writers to have fun with their writing and write what they know. Room 222

Writing Middle Grade Novels, Taryn SoudersMiddle Grade, is the “middle child” of stories. Writing books for kids ages 8 to 12 is a difficult challenge to take on. The age range is huge and the topics are very diverse, ranging from slapstick humor to death. Come and learn about developing characters, which traits to use and which to avoid, plot-driven stories vs. character-driven, dialogue, and more! Room 223

Wednesday (Regular FCWC Conferees)

1:00p.m. – 5p.m.      Registration Opens and Bookstore opens for consignment

2:00p.m. – 5p.m.     Book Proposal Studio, Kathy Bruins & Kim de BlecourtOur pre-conference track, BOOK PROPOSAL STUDIO, is facilitated by published authors, Kathy Bruins and Kim de Blecourt. The studio is for writers in the process of preparing a book-length manuscript to present to agents or editors. Participants will work side by side with Kathy and Kim in preparation of a professional book proposal. Auditorium 

A book proposal has a specific format and must answer the questions on an editor’s mind. As an author, you must be able to answer questions such as the topic and message of your book, the take-away value, your target market, and more.

An editor wants to get right to the point. A well-written book proposal helps you to clarify your project in your own mind, so that you can clearly communicate your idea for publishing consideration. This will give you the confidence you need to show any agency or publisher you are a professional.

Attendees for this session should come with their manuscript and all the information needed to write the proposal. Attendees who register for the session will receive materials (via email) before the conference to help you pull together the necessary information for your proposal.

If you are interested in being a part of the Book Proposal Studio, be sure to register for the BOOK PROPOSAL STUDIO and then please send an email to [email protected]. Put "BOOK PROPOSAL STUDIO/Your Name" in the subject line. 

3:00p.m. – 5p.m.      Pitch Studio, Edwina PerkinsIn this workshop, you’ll learn how to craft a perfect pitch. Whether you’re pitching a nonfiction or fiction, the mechanics of the pitch are the same, and so are the results. From the introduction of the main character to the hook to the promise of the premise, Edwina will walk you through what makes a powerful, memorable pitch. She’ll also share how to make the most of those 15-minute appointments with the editor you’ve been stalking. Room 234

5:30p.m.                Dinner                                                                                                                                                                          

6:45p.m.                Special Movie Preview and Coke Floats, Auditorium

After Hours Workshops:                                                         

8:00 – 9:00p.m.

One Sheet Studio, Kathy Bruins & Kim de Blecourt, Room 232

Making School Visits Work for You, Taryn Souders: If you thought authors can only make money selling books, you’re wrong. Supplement your income by doing school visits! Schools often look for writers to come talk to students about the writing/publishing process. But have you ever listened to a presentation you’d just as soon sleep through . . . or sneak out of? Don’t be that speaker! Learn some do’s and don’ts of public speaking as Taryn Souders shares what she’s learned from years and years of doing school visits and teaching at conferences. Room 237

Four Crucial Elements for Writing a BOLD Message in Turbulent Times, Jean Wilund: In the days of the judges, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6). Sadly, these days are descending into those days at an alarming rate. Our world celebrates evil and godlessness more each day. Increased attacks on the church are coming. In many places, they’re already here. As much as we may like to only write messages that couldn’t possibly get us targeted or canceled, the world desperately needs Christians to write the Truth with boldness. Come to my After-Hours class, where I’ll share four crucial elements to writing a B.O.L.D. message with gentleness and respect. Room 234


7:30 – 8:15a.m.      Breakfast                                                                                             

9:00 – 10:00a.m.    First Time Conferees Orientation, Edwina Perkins, Auditorium                             

10:15a.m. – 12:00p.m.Opening Session Faculty & Conferees, Auditorium                                                 

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.    Lunch                                                                                                 

1:30 – 3:45p.m.      Continuing Classes Begin:

Writing Nonfiction Track, Michelle Medlock Adams: Author of more than 100 books, including award-winning nonfiction titles: “They Call Me Mom”; “Love & Care for the One and Only You”; “Platinum Faith”; “Dinosaur Devotions”; “Encouraging Words for Mothers”; and “The Perfect Persimmon” to name a few, Michelle Medlock Adams is excited to share about the following topics in this continuing class that will have loads of handouts and yummy chocolate (unless Bob steals it!): 

*How to create compelling nonfiction book proposals

*Game-changing research strategies and the ping-pong method of creating copy worth reading

*The Do’s and Don’ts of Devotional writing

*Top Three Ways to Break Into Nonfiction Writing in markets you might not have considered

*Ghostwriting, coauthoring and more!

Come ready to learn, laugh and love this genre. Michelle is saving your seat! Room 224

Exploring the Art of Fiction, DiAnn Mills: This track will cover characterization, plot, dialogue, emotion, setting, tips for writing faith-based fiction, and self-editing. All sessions will have hands-on exercises and handouts. Room 233

Soul Care for Writers, Edie Melson: All writers must have a well to draw from. If we don’t do anything but pour ourselves out, our writing suffers, and we find ourselves in the midst of frustration and burnout. In this continuing class we’ll discuss ways to care for our souls and keep the creativity flowing. We’ll also spend class time in exercises designed to help you connect deeper with the Ultimate Author. Topics covered include: the rhythm of a healthy writing life, scheduling regular creativity boosters, and how regular time with God is foundational to a healthy writing life. Also covered are: organization tips, how to deal with writer’s block and the importance of an author mission statement. And we’ll have class time set aside to begin the process of writing a mission statement of your own. Room 223

Writing Books for Kids Today,  Leslie SantamariaBooks for kids come in many shapes, sizes, and reading levels. In this lively, interactive, continuing class, we’ll examine all types of book-shaped objects for kids at different ages and grade levels to help you determine the best formats for your great ideas. An overview of the industry today will help you sort out which markets might be good avenues for your work. Then we’ll talk about how to write, edit, and market your stories to get them into the hands and hearts of children. We’ll cover: getting started, developing kid-like characters, plotting a rewarding story, writing kid-friendly dialogue, current trends, crafting nonfiction books, getting quality feedback, submitting your work, and marketing. There will even be a mock school visit presentation, with Brain Teasers and prizes. You’ll leave with plenty of handouts and a boost of inspiration to write for kids for the glory of God. If you have a current project or idea, please bring a one-paragraph synopsis to share. Room 234

Speakers TrackLori HatcherFrom the agent interview, to the elevator pitch, to the invitation to speak at a book club, we can’t escape the fact that writers must also be speakers. God has given us a message, and He expects us to share it. Unfortunately for the introverted among us, we can’t always deliver it from behind our keyboard. Sometimes we must emerge from our cave and use our voice to deliver the words God has entrusted us with. 

This year’s Speakers Track will spotlight four different areas. On Day One, we’ll examine our calling and consider nine reasons writers must also be speakers. We’ll have fun with improv exercises and discover that the creative spark that fuels our writing can also inspire our speaking. On Day Two, we’ll talk about how to craft and deliver a stellar presentation. On Day Three, we’ll tackle issues like overcoming fear, promoting our books, working with event planners, and dealing with the business side of public speaking. On Day Four, each participant will deliver a 3-5 minute presentation to the class and receive (constructive and kind) feedback. Participants are asked to craft a 3-5 minute speech in advance of the conference that somehow relates to or supports their writing topic and/or ministry. We’ll fine tune the speeches as we learn together. 

Our hope is that we’ll never let fear or a lack of training limit how God wants to use our words to entertain, educate, and inspire others. Room 238

Manuscript Critique Track*, Shellie Arnold and Jan Powell: If you’ve ever attended a writers conference and thought I wish I could actually work on my current project, this track is for you. Using Word Weavers International critique group guidelines, attendees will have the opportunity to refine their current work-in-progress. Pre-conference emails will be sent explaining formatting requirements and critique procedure, for those who aren’t familiar with the WW critique method. Participants will bring six pre-printed copies each, of 4-5 submissions of 1500 words. (That’s a potential 6000-7500 words critiqued. Awesome, right?) Attendees will be placed in groups of no more than five, according to genre if possible. Space is limited and is on a first come, first served basis to those who register for the entire conference. Each participant must commit to attending every daytime session (only the evening session is optional), with the only exception being for agent/editor interviews. Come discover what you’re doing right, what needs improvement, and how to make those improvements.  * Only the first ten will be accepted and must pre-register: [email protected] Room 237

Writing Devotions, Karen Whiting: Learn the basics of writing devotions and then all the ways you can create and sell them. This includes reaching audiences of various ages and interests as well as crating hobby devotions, historic devotions, kid devos, and ones that take readers deeper into scripture. Karen Whiting has written devotions for preschoolers, school aged children, teens, families, women, and the military as well as topical ones. She wrote devotions for a radio network, several magazines, and more. Room 221

Book Proposal Studio*, Kathy Bruins and Kim de Blecourt: Continuing instruction on writing your book proposal. *Must have registered for the Book Proposal Studio ahead of time. Auditorium

4:00 – 5:00p.m.      Sign up for Editor/Agent/Publisher Appointments, Room 225                                                                                                                               

5:30 – 6:30p.m.      Dinner                                                                                                 

7:00 – 9:00p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Bill Myers, Auditorium

9:15 – 10:00p.m.   After Hours Workshops:

What Did They Say?, Cindy Sproles: If you are new to writing and to conferences, you’ll want to know the industry lingo. What is a critique group and what a good critique is? What is the difference in traditionally published, self-publishing, and custom publishing. POD, POV, RUE. . .what are all these initials? In this class you’ll be introduced to the lingo of the industry, an important step in learning the publishing process. Room 233

Coauthoring—The Art of Crafting Quality Copy With a Colleague, Michelle Medlock Adams & Del Duduit: In this session, award-winning journalists and coauthors Michelle Medlock Adams and Del Duduit discuss the beauty and challenges of coauthoring. Specifically, they will cover:  getting a plan, keeping track of progress and sources, giving each other grace and permission to be honest,  and aiming for the same heart yet distinctive voices, etc. It’ll be a casual time of questions, answers, and of course, chocolate. Room 224

Writing for Focus on the Family, Jesse FloreaJoin editor Jesse Florea for an in-depth look at the different publications at Focus on the Family, what each one is looking for, and how to get your foot in the door. Room 238

Make a Spark, Leslie DeVooght:
"But I can't show the romance in only 1000 words!" is a common excuse for writers we ask to submit to Spark Flash Fiction. However, we're not asking for the whole story. Rather, we're looking for those sweet, funny, and sexy moments that make a romance spark. We believe romance can be found in:
·       the linger
·       the look
·       the allusion
 For this workshop, we will teach writers how to craft a red-hot romance that has all the elements of story without needing more than 1000 words or a lot of exposition.
 We will address these topics:
·       How to write from a male POV character without sounding like a woman
·       How to write romance that’s sultry, not smutty
·       Writing deep POV without a complex character arc
·       How setting can heighten tension and conflict.
·       The importance of tension and conflict in romance
·       How to hook your reader with your first sentence, leave them wanting more with
·       your last, and making every single word count
·       Practical tips on structuring your flash fiction story
Attendees will receive handouts, notes, be engaged in question and answer, as well as receive a list of upcoming Spark themes. Room 221



7:30 – 8:15a.m.      Breakfast/VIP Breakfast with Linda Glaz                                                                                            

8:30 – 9:00a.m.      Music, Devotional, Announcements, Auditorium                                                  

9:15 – 11:15a.m.    Continuing Classes (See Thursday 1:30 for line-up)

11:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.  Keynote Address, Bill Myers, Auditorium

12:00 – 1:00p.m.    Lunch 

 1:30 – 2:30p.m.      Workshops:

How to NOT Get Your Book Published, Jill Roman Lord: While you may have a fabulous story, there are industry rules that must be followed in order to land a contract. If they are ignored, your wonderful story may never experience the joy of sitting in a bookstore, a reader’s hands turning the pages, or the oohs and ahhs of delight from the listeners. With decades of experience in the writing world and having been to dozens of writers’ conferences herself, Jill has learned how to not get published as well how to get published. Here she’ll share the secret no-no’s to avoid so you’ll have a better chance of signing that contract! Room 221

Writing a Thread of Romance in Every Genre, DiAnn Mills: No matter our genre, allowing readers to experience the growing relationship between a man and woman adds tension and conflict to our storylines and increases our marketability. Learn how and why to add a thread of romance to your stories through hands-on exercises. Handouts provided. Room 223


Does My Writing Offend You?, Edwina PerkinsFor non-ethnic writers to understand how to include diversity in their manuscripts, they also need to address some important issues: Can white author write characters of color? What does diversity in Publishing look like in the Age of Black Lives Matter? Should white authors be afraid to write about ethnic characters? Why are sensitivity readers necessary? Writers need to address the questions above because publishing houses are looking for more diversity in what authors are submitting. This workshop addresses the impact of writing about a culture outside of your own. Room 234

Title Spinning, Rhonda Rhea: Every piece you write needs a title that hooks. Let’s fish for those hooks in this interactive, hands-on titling brainstorm session. Bring your WIP titles (books, articles—whatever you need to label well) and let’s collab on how to sharpen them up and give them the punch they need to grab the attention of an agent, your house, your editor, your reader. Room 238

Building Platform 101, Victoria Duerstock: Victoria will share her top tips to begin building your online platform successfully to demonstrate understanding and success to an agent or editor. We will cover social media, websites, building email lists and the marketing section of your proposal. Room 233

2:45 – 3:45p.m.      Workshops:

Characters First, An Alternative to Outlining, Karin Beery: Somewhere between plotters (those who outline their stories) and pansters (those who sit and type with no plan), there’s a middle ground for people like me—you want to start with an idea and/or structure, but you’ve never successfully followed an outline in your writing life. This class is for you. Instead of plotting out the story, I’ll show you how to jump inside your characters’ heads to create a solid foundation you can build your novel on. This class is perfect for writers of character-driven fiction (romance, women’s fiction, young adult), but will also help plot-driven novelists strengthen their characters for a deeper reader/character connection. Room 221

How to Book a Podcast Tour, Susan Neal: After publication, you can’t simply hope your book will sell, you need to get out there and sell it. Whether you self-published or traditionally published, the author is responsible for marketing. However, advertising can be expensive. Yet your book’s success hinges upon finding new readers. A podcast tour increases your exposure through online influencers who have a large audience. As a show guest, you and your book are promoted without paying for advertising. This new audience acquires a taste of who you are during the interview. And the interview lingers in the podcast arena for as long as the show is listed on any platform (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, PodBean, etc.). Room 223

Devotions, Bible Studies, and Christian Living: Repurpose Your Scripture-Based Writing, Katy KauffmanDifferent publishers want particular kinds of Scripture-based writing. What is the difference between devotions, Bible studies, and Christian living? How do you start with one, and repurpose it into another? What needs to be added or deleted? In this workshop, we will answer these questions and share examples of each genre. We will also share a list of submission opportunities. Room 234

Create a Marketing Plan You’ll Actually Follow, Tessa Emily Hall: Marketing isn’t exactly every author’s best friend. But successful authors understand, if they wish to create a sustainable author career, they must invest time (and money) into introducing their books to readers. But how is that possible for those who have zero marketing experience? Furthermore, how can an aspiring author create an impressive marketing plan to include in their book proposal—all in an effort to land a book contract? In this workshop, I will share with you the marketing plan template my clients use for their releases. You will be given the opportunity to draw from your marketing passions and strengths and leave with the first draft of the marketing plan for your book (published or unpublished). The purpose of this is to help you create a targeted plan that you will actually follow. Besides, after investing so many hours into writing your book, don’t you think it deserves some attention? Room 238


Stop Preaching to the Choir—Writing Christian World View Into the General Market, Cindy Sproles: As Christian writers we tend to preach to the choir, writing only to those in the Christian market. But what about those who do not read within the confines of the Christian Market? In this class, we will discuss the importance of writing into the general market maintaining a Christian world view. Authors can write wholesome, enjoyable, and fulfilling fiction to the general market without letting the world lead them in the lie that the world won’t read. We’ll prove you can write good fiction and maintain the love of Christ, without thumping your reader on the head. It’s time to advance and put our toes in new water where the ripples can make amazing changes. Room 233


4:00 – 5:00p.m.      Workshops:

How to Draw Attention to Your Memoir, Robin Luftig: You’ve made it through a nightmarish ordeal. You are certain your journey’s story has the power to impact the lives of others, but why aren’t publishers interested? Learn how your memoir can have editors and publishers leaning in for more. Room 223

Topics discussed:

Deep, Deep, Deep, Deeper POV, Linda GlazAuthors stumble and stammer when trying to write solid deep POV. And that’s to be expected when there’s confusion about what deep POV even means. Let’s have some straight talk about ways to write deep POV correctly and understand when it is and when it isn’t necessary. Room 234

Articles that Grab and Hold Readers, Bob Hostetler: How to plan and write magazine articles that open with a bang, keep the reader engaged, and close with a flourish. Room 221

Pinterest Basics for Driving Traffic and Growth, Victoria DuerstockVictoria digs into the basics of setting up your optimized profile for greatest visibility and engagement, creating board and pin strategies, types of posts to create and where to send people once they click, and a growth master plan that results in not just re-pins but real connections that result in sales. Room 233


Taking Advantage of the Audiobook Trend, Cheri Cowell: Would your book make a good audiobook? How much does it cost? Can I narrate my own book? Come learn how you can take advantage of the hottest trend in publishing today. Learn how EABooks Publishing is making audiobooks accessible to more authors, and learn what you need to know if you want to do it yourself. Room 238

5:30 – 6:30p.m.      Dinner                                                                                                 

7:00 – 9:00p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Bill Myers, Auditorium                                   

9:15 – 10:00p.m.   After Hours Workshops:

Confirming Your Calling, Charting Your Course, Lori Hatcher: Has God called you to write? How do you know? If He has, how do you know what you’re supposed to write? How do you handle the mind games that threaten to discourage and defeat you? We’ll address Insecurity, Doubt, and Competitiveness. And we’ll walk through a five-step personal analysis and craft a personal mission statement that will focus and direct the course of your writing life. Room 233

From Conference to Contract, Del DuduitSound impossible? It’s not. But it can be done with some work. In this workshop, Del will give not only his personal experience from attending one conference, which has resulted in more than 10 book contracts in 12 months, but he also shares some helpful tips he has learned along the way. Room 221


Publish & Reach Your Readers, Athena Dean Holtz: So many ways to publish these days…it can be super confusing! Join industry pioneer and publisher Athena Dean Holtz and learn the difference between Self-Publishing, Hybrid Publishing, & Traditional Publishing – and then discover some of the best ways to reach your readers once you have a book in hand. Facebook Live, virtual events, 5-day challenges, private Facebook groups or communities, and more. Adding value wherever you can will set you apart from the crowd! Room 238

He’d Never Say That! Would She?, Linda Glaz: How can we see for ourselves the slip ups rookies and established authors, alike, make? Is there a simple way to see what we’re doing wrong? Learning to write the opposite gender point of view … well. Did he really call it chartreuse? Did she really say, “How’s it hangin’?” Room 234


7:30 – 8:15a.m.      Breakfast/VIP Breakfast with DiAnn Mills                                                                                           

8:30 – 9:00a.m.      Music, Devotional, Announcements, Auditorium                                                   

9:15 – 11:15a.m.    Continuing Classes (See Thursday 1:30 for line-up)

11:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.  Keynote Address, Bill Myers, Auditorium

12:00 – 1:00p.m.    Lunch

1:00 – 1:30p.m.      Special Book Signing with Bill Myers, FCWC Bookstore

1:30 – 5:00p.m.      Extended Classes:

Nonfiction Writing 101, 201, 301, and 401, Bob Hostetler: A crash course in writing all forms of nonfiction, from newspaper and magazine to book, from a much-published author and literary agent. Room 233

Psyched Characters: Craft Fiction with Vivid Emotion, Tina YeagerDo your protagonists and antagonists rise from their pages to captivate a reader’s imagination? Sculpting characters with psychological depth infuses your story with power. Join me for a workshop exploring realistic thoughts and behaviors from a therapist’s perspective. Discover personality types, trauma responses, and potential effects of mental health diagnoses. We’ll cover socio-cultural and background influences similar to those explored during counseling services. Learn solutions for the ethical dilemmas involved with portraying mental health disorders. How does your character respond to crisis? How does she cope with pain? Get into your character’s head and make her unforgettable. Participants receive a psychological profile tool for outlining each of their characters. I also provide a list of reliable resources to help authors obtain clinical and personal perspectives on specific circumstances. Believe it or not, some information on the internet isn’t true. Room 234

All About Going Indie, Dan WalshWhen Dan’s first novel was published by a major Christian house in 2009, self-publishing and “indie” publishing were frowned upon throughout the industry. Traditional publishers and Bookstore chains reigned supreme (ebooks were less than 3% of his sales in 2009). Within 5 years, EVERYTHING changed. Millions of readers now buy digital ebooks on Amazon. Hundreds of retail bookstores have closed (so have many publishing houses). So, after publishing 12 novels traditionally, Dan made the successful leap to indie publishing in 2015. He’s since released 12 new indie novels under his own imprint (over 1,000,000 copies of Dan’s books are in print or downloaded). In this session, Dan will talk about these trends and share what he’s learned about successfully publishing in the indie world. Room 237


Message Driven Fiction Instead of Memoir?, Shellie ArnoldDo you want to share from your personal journey with God, truths He’s shown you, and lessons you’ve learned—but you don’t want to write a memoir? Writing message driven fiction might be right for you. With the right approach, fiction writers can use stories to connect with, challenge, and even teach readers. This workshop will cover determining your message for a book or series, making your character’s journey believable, avoiding common storytelling pitfalls, and connecting your fiction to your platform. Time will be given to brainstorming, planning, and refining your novel ideas. Room 238


Writing Bible Studies that Change Lives, Stephanie PavlantosDo you want to write powerful Bible studies that not only teach the precepts of the Bible but also change peoples’ lives? Do you want to make scripture come alive to show people Jesus so they can know Him better and love Him more? This class may be what you need. Whether you want to write on a biblical theme or a book, using word studies, commentaries, personal stories, and the right kind of questions, you can literally change people’s lives by guiding them to look inward, outward, and upward. This three-hour workshop will cover such topics as research, audience, question depth, personal stories, and your passion. We will work on mini studies based on a few verses or a passage to engage each other. Room 221

1:30 – 2:30p.m.      Workshops:

How to Make Scripture Come Alive in Your Writing, Katy KauffmanSince Scripture is alive with truths and promises, with hope and healing, how can we effectively present its message in our writing? We can “scrapbook” it—we can share it with personality, charm, fresh insights, and a unique approach. We can craft first lines to draw the reader into our message. We can write about the topic from the inside out, not from the outside looking in. Whether you write books, articles, or blog posts, this workshop will show you ten essentials for writing about the Word of God with richness, vitality, and everyday relevance.  Room 224

Writing Romance, Karin BeeryMany writers think romance novels are the easiest to write, but nothing could be further from the truth! In other genres, anything is possible, but there’s a formula to romance that must be followed. How can you follow it and still create a unique, captivating story? That’s what makes romance writing so challenging! A good romance needs more than just a boy, a girl, and a kiss. By looking at story structure, characterization, endings, and more, you’ll gain the tools you need to write swoon-worthy romance novels that can help you tap in to a billion-dollar industry. Room 222

What to Expect When You Are Expecting, Lauren CrewsThis class will introduce the new author to the language and expectations of publishing and platform building. Although they might receive this information in bites during other classes, this class will answer many of their questions up-front. And give them what they need to face additional classes with a better understanding of the process. Room 223

2:45 – 3:45p.m.      Workshops:

Groundhog Day Editing, Jan Powell: Groundhog Day Editing teaches participants to apply principles of good writing to the entire manuscript, layer-by-layer. The end result is a polished piece, ready to submit. Room 223


What Do Editors and Agents Want?, Linda GlazIt’s all so confusing. We read on blogs and agency sites that first this is wanted and then that. But what can really make us stand out as seasoned authors when approaching agents and editors? Or will we “stand out” in negative ways? Some hints and tips that will push your letter to the top of the slush pile and help you to navigate the industry like a pro instead of a rookie. Room 224


Dual Careers, Jill Roman LordDo you have to quit your day job to achieve your dream of writing? Is it possible to do both successfully? Can you work two dream jobs at one time? How in the world is that possible? Jill has been a Nurse Anesthetist at a major medical center for 30 years. She has been an award-winning author of over 25 children’s books for over twenty years and raised three children in the process. She’ll discuss the mysteries of making this lifestyle succeed. Room 222

4:00 – 5:00p.m.      Workshops:

Did God Really Ask You to Write?, Erin Taylor Young: Most of us are writing because we believe God gave us this task. Why, then, do we struggle with doubt? Or struggle to sense God’s leading? Or maybe you’ve asked God about writing and heard…nothing. Is it still okay to write? This workshop will help put your doubts to rest! Room 223

Narrative Nonfiction, Craig von BuseckWith blockbusters like “The Accidental President,” “Educated,” and “Grant” dominating the best-seller lists, the narrative non-fiction and biography genres are burgeoning markets for writers who want to tell true stories with powerful messages. Learn the difference between narrative nonfiction, biography, memoir, and historical fiction. Discover how true stories can unlock the hearts of your readers to the ways God can move supernaturally in the lives of people who seek Him – and the tragedies of those who go their own way. Room 222


Writing for Periodicals and Newspapers: Learn how to gain valuable writing credits to boost the resume, Julie LavenderLooking for extra credit at the conference? Extra writing credits, that is? You’ve probably heard the saying, “Go big or don’t go at all,” but in the writing world, you might want to try this mantra: “Start small and then grow tall.” If you haven’t snagged that elusive book contract yet, consider writing for periodicals and newspapers to collect those much-needed writing credits to impress an editor. And, even if you’re the published author of a number of books, you’ll want to tap into magazine and newspaper writing opportunities to boost your platform and increase your audience! In this class, you’ll learn tips and techniques for getting acceptances to magazines and newspapers to earn a host of extra writing credits that will help you stand tall in the writing world! Room 224

5:30 – 6:30p.m.      Dinner

6:45 – 9:00p.m.      “Just Deserts” Desserts & Award Ceremony and Book Signing Opportunity, Auditorium


7:30 – 8:15a.m.      Breakfast/VIP Breakfast with John Herring                                                                                

8:30 – 9:00a.m.      Music, Devotional, Announcements, Auditorium                                                  

9:15 – 11:15a.m.    Continuing Classes (See Thursday 1:30 for line-up)

11:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.  Keynote Address, Bob Hostetler, Auditorium

12:00 noon – 1:00p.m. Lunch and Depart