2023 Schedule & Class Descriptions


*Schedule Subject to Change

How to Read to This Schedule:

NF = Nonfiction

F = Fiction

C = Children’s

B = Business of Writing

Tuesday (Fiction Intensive Conferees Only)

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


Wednesday (Fiction Intensive)

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

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.   Registration Opens and Bookstore opens for consignment                                                                      

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.  

Why the Middle to The END is just as important as an Exciting Beginning, (Beginner – Intermediate Level) Lynette Eason: You've written your exciting beginning, you've created amazing characters, your setting is on point and now you're at the middle of the story going..."What now? How do I get to the end?" If you have trouble with stalling out in the middle of the story, come learn some tips and tricks to jump start your manuscript and give it new life to finish strong and leave your readers looking for the next book. Auditorium

Building Fantastical Worlds on the Foundation of God's Truth, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) James HannibalLearn how to work world-building into your story without resorting to constant description, and learn how to create unique social, physical, and spiritual constructs while remaining faithful to God's Word. Room 225

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.    

It Takes One to Know One! (Beginner – Intermediate Level), Michele ChynowethOver the past 20 years award-winning author Michele Chynoweth has developed a tried and true process for developing characters that's fun, flexible and really works - from coming up with names to creating profiles that portray your characters physically, emotionally and spiritually. She will help you develop believable, compelling characters that readers can really connect with, who make you laugh, cry and care. This entails writing dialog that isn't contrived but natural, isn’t boring but memorable. A former news reporter and screenplay writer as well, she'll even teach you how thinking like an investigative journalist and movie director can help! She will include tips on how to discover your voice, how to write with a consistent point of view, how to name your characters and how to do research to make them real.  Students will take a look at some of the most memorable characters of all time and through a hands-on guided practice, write a character profile that successfully blends their character(s) and dialog with setting and story (or plot). Room 225

Writing Tight, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) Cynthia RuchtiWhether you're trying to trim your epic analysis of leprosy from pre-history to present-day from its current 200,000 words to 100K so it won't break bookshelves, or working hard to fit your novel within the word count your publisher specifies, or looking to make your book leaner, with less clutter and more breathing room, this workshop will provide practical tips for writing with less waste. Auditorium

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Lunch, Private Dining Room with speaker: Lynn Austin

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.      

Writing Dynamic Dialogue, (Beginner – Intermediate Level) Cynthia Ruchti: A novel can live or die on the strength of dynamic dialogue. But it's an issue that many novelists struggle to conquer. They've been told their dialogue is stiff and stilted, or that it sounds too casual for the scene or seems cumbersome. In addition to those issues, we'll look at the wonder of subtext--the unsaid. Your dialogue will come alive and your novel will be stronger than ever in its ability to communicate. Room 225

Why the Middle to The END is just as important as an Exciting Beginning, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) Lynette Eason: You've written your exciting beginning, you've created amazing characters, your setting is on point and now you're at the middle of the story going..."What now? How do I get to the end?" If you have trouble with stalling out in the middle of the story, come learn some tips and tricks to jump start your manuscript and give it new life to finish strong and leave your readers looking for the next book. Auditorium

2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.       

Researching Your Novel, (Beginner – Intermediate Level) Lynn AustinHow to research all of the components that go into a novel--the setting, historical events, scientific and medical facts, professional details, characters' pesonalitites--without being overwhelmed or following endless rabbit trails. Auditorium

How to Create a Successful Fiction Series, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) Dan Walsh: Without a doubt, readers prefer books that come in a series (vs a stand-alone). The reason is obvious: If they loved the story and the characters in your first book, they want to spend more time with them. Of Dan’s 25 published novels, 18 are part of a series (his 6 stand-alones were at the request of his publisher). In this session, Dan shares all the essentials he’s learned to write the kind of novel series that force readers to keep reading one book after the other (then move on to another series when they’re through). Room 225

3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      

How to Choose the Best POV for Your Story, (Beginner – Intermediate Level) Deb ButterfieldChoosing the best point of view for your story goes well beyond deciding on first, second, or third person. To help you make the ideal choice for your story, this workshop will examine:

Hermeneutics of Fiction, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) James HannibalWhether they know it or not, all readers apply hermeneutics—the art of interpreting comunication—to the stories we give them. Learn how to use character, setting, narrative, and theme to draw a hermeneutical path to the message you want your story to convey. Auditorium

4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      

Write Great Beginnings that Totally Hook the Reader, (Beginner – Intermediate Level) Dan Walsh: You know the old saying, “You only have one chance to make a great first impression.” This is very true in publishing. A few years ago, Dan did a Reader Survey called “Things that Matter Most to Readers,” and “The Novel has a Great Beginning” got the 2nd highest number of votes. If you’ve written a great book but your first 5 pages don’t grab the reader and suck them in, chances are they’ll never read the rest. In this workshop, Dan’s shares what he’s learned about Great Beginnings and why he’s followed these things while writing all 25 of his novels. Auditorium


Be BOLD, Bridging the Gap with Edgy Christian Fiction, (Intermediate – Advanced Level) Michele ChynowethAre you a writer who desires to serve God but also wants to write a novel that’s down-to-earth, edgy, racy, raw…REAL? Are you concerned that it may not fit in either the Christian or secular worlds? St. Paul told us in his writings to be “bold” in our ministry. Why preach to the choir when there are so many who need your story or message but may not pick up your book to read it if you are afraid to write it? There’s a way to write fiction that’s still clean and Christian but passionate, not pablum. Michele Chynoweth, bestselling author of several edgy contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories, will teach how we can write novels that come close to the line without going over it. Room 225

Wednesday (Regular FCWC Conferees)

1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Registration Opens and Bookstore opens for consignment


2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.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. Room 221

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. 


3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.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

5:30 p.m.                        Dinner

6:45p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      Registration will re-open after dinner

6:45 p.m.                        Coke Floats and Conversation, Auditorium

After Hours Workshops:                                                         

8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Attention Grabbing One Sheets (B), Kathy Bruins & Kim de BlecourtThe one-sheet is a creative condensed version of your book proposal. Agents and acquisition editors desire to see your one-sheet at the conference. This is a huge selling tool for your manuscript. A color printer will be made available for you to print out your one-sheet before your one-on-one meetings at the conference. Room 234


Meeting Industry Professionals Like a Professional (B), Linda GlazMeeting with agents and editors like a professional instead of looking like a rookie. DON'T make mistakes. Room 238


The Basics of Writing for Children (C), 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 237


Writing About a Sensitive Topic (F/NF), Deb Butterfield::Some trials in life are more emotionally sensitive than others, such as sexual abuse, rape, and pornography and drug addictions. Though God has called you to write about your journey, writing it so others can heal from the same struggles can be very difficult. In this workshop, you’ll learn:


7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.      Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.    Registration                                                                                             

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

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

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

1:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.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,” “Heart of a Hoosier,” 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!):

Come ready to learn, laugh, and love this genre. Michelle is saving your seat! Room 223


Writing Fiction Track, Lynn Austin: In this class, you will learn the essential ingredients of a good novel and how to combine them into powerful fiction: A captivating plot that will keep readers turning the pages. Compelling characters who come to life and engage readers. A continuing conflict that creates tension until it’s finally resolved. A consistent point of view that flows throughout the story. A vivid setting that readers can see, smell, hear and feel. Realistic dialogue that gives a distinctive voice to your characters and propels the action. And how to weave your Christian worldview into a theme that ties everything together for a satisfying ending. We will also talk about the all-important first page of your novel and how to grab readers (and editors) and compel them to keep reading. If you have a novel-in-progress, bring it along so you can apply some of these story elements in class. If you’re just beginning your novel, this class will get you off to a great start. Auditorium


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 233


Children’s Lit Writing Intensive,  Leslie SantamariaCome ready to write and collaborate in this hands-on continuing class that will take your work for children to the next level. We’ll begin with an introduction to children’s products of all kinds and the Top 10 Tips for Success. Then we’ll examine the steps in writing a story or nonfiction piece that kids today will love. Sessions will end with writing exercises designed to apply the principles of the day to an existing manuscript or to generate new projects to continue after the conference. We’ll also discuss writing visually for picture books, writing for the general market, and determining how much faith-based content to include in each project. 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


Devoted to Devotions: the Value of “Small Writings”, Ava Pennington: You’ve been thinking about it. Praying about it. Maybe even talking about it. God has placed a devotional book on your heart. Or maybe you just want to write individual devotions. But how do you process your passion into printed words? Devotional writing can be a valuable part of your writing journey, providing benefits far beyond what you might realize. We’ll explore benefits, structure, style, and types. Then we’ll discuss tools, components, dos & don’ts, and bonus tips. We’ll also focus on self-editing: writing tight, weasel words, Christianese, and clichés. Finally, we’ll focus on submitting and selling your devotions. Bring your devotional ideas and we’ll find the answers to your questions together! Room 224


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. Room 221


Latest in Social Media: Creating Content & Integrated Marketing, Bethany Jett:
Marketing is all about serving others. In this workshop, Bethany Jett lays the framework for successful marketing practices, including:

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

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

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Steven James, Auditorium

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

Writing Nonfiction for Kids (C), Leslie SantamariaThe Nonfiction and Education markets for children’s writing are huge. We’ll discuss the nonfiction material all periodicals for kids need: articles, interviews, devotionals, crafts, articles, puzzles, recipes, games, poems, and more. You’ll also learn the 5 types of nonfiction books for kids, how to apply the techniques of fiction to make your work come alive, the type of research needed to make editors love your projects, and where to find markets to send your work. Room 234

Hit and Run Suspense (F), Lynette EasonAre you interested in learning what makes a great suspense story? Come join Lynette for a “hit and run” hour of learning what goes into making a suspense story stand out from all the rest. Room 238


Podcasting for Authors—All You Need to Get Started (or Stop Blogging - Start a Podcast!)(B), Britt Mooney: While it seems like everyone has a podcast, it is still a growing section of digital media and will continue to expand as more people around the globe get connected. Why should an author start a podcast? In this class we will go over the advantage of having a podcast for an author and all the basics you'll need to get your voice out there. Room 237

Writing for Focus on the Family (F/NF), Rachel Pfeiffer: This workshop provides an overview of Focus on the Family’s opportunities for publication. You will learn what content each publication is looking for and how you can submit fitting content for each. Room 233



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

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

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

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Keynote Address, Steven James, Auditorium

12:00  p.m. – 1:00 p.m.   Lunch 

 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.      Workshops:

Inkling to Ink (F), James Hannibal: Every story ever written incorporates similar "story beats." They are ingrained in all of us, both writers and readers. Learn how to capitalize on these story beats to connect with your readers better. Room 237


Writing for Guideposts (NF), Julie Lavender: Wanna write inspiring, true stories for Guideposts Magazine and have your words join other pages that have been read by millions of people for the past seventy years? Come learn tips and techniques for getting your story accepted for Guideposts Magazine and other Guideposts publications from Guideposts contributor Julie Lavender. With four major publications and an online presence, the Guideposts organization offers many opportunities for writers, and Julie's experience as a 2014 contest winner and Refresher workshop attendee offers class participants the inside scoop on what Guideposts is looking for in a story. Room 238

Using Photography in Your Writing (B), Stephanie Pavlantos: This class is for people who love to take photos and share them online in devotions, blog posts, and other writing platforms. We will explore ways to use our pictures in self-publishing, social media book promotion, blog articles, cover art, and presentations. We will utilize Canva, a free-to-use online graphic design tool, as well as Lightroom and Photoshop, which are photo editing software, to make graphics, memes, social media ads, covers, and posts. Room 223


Which Publishing Path to Take (F/NF),  Michele ChynowethLearn from an award-winning, best-selling author (and marketing professional) who has been through it all! Michele Chynoweth originally believed (like most writers) that she had the next bestseller and would be discovered by a major publisher. After sending out several queries (and even winning the First Place prize in the Maryland Writers Association Fiction contest), she finally gave up in frustration and self-published her first novel, putting her 30-plus years of experience as an advertising/marketing/public relations professional successfully to work. About a year later on the advice of another author, she submitted it to several Christian publishers and was offered a contract with a traditional publisher. She has since gone on to contract with a literary agent and her novels are currently being published by a large New York publisher. Join her as she discusses all of the pros and cons of traditional vs. self-publishing when it comes to time, money, marketing and more – and how to best approach each publishing path. Michele can talk about publishing from nearly every angle and hopes writers can learn both from her mistakes and success stories! Room 234

To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme (C), Michelle Medlock Adams: Sometimes rhyme just works better with a children’s story. Other times, rhyme seems too trite or forced, limiting the storyline. So, knowing when to rhyme and when not to rhyme is something every children’s writer needs to understand. And, when it seems like rhyme is the best fit, that’s when you need to know how to rhyme. Michelle shares tips and tricks for rhyming so that an editor won’t be able to resist. Room 222

2:45 p.m.  – 3:45 p.m.      Workshops:

Pinterest Basics (B), Victoria Duerstock: Victoria 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 224

Does My Writing Offend You? The Need for Diversity in Manuscripts (F/NF), Edwina Perkins: 
The number of books with ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. Because publishing houses are looking for more diversity in what authors are submitting, non-ethnic writers need to address some important issues when addressing diversity in their manuscripts. It is important to remember your most valuable ability as a writer is your credibility. This workshop focuses on the impact of writing about a culture outside of your own and offers information to help authors write with authenticity in their manuscripts. Room 223

Reprints, Writes, and Rewrights (B), Cheri CowellIt takes twice as long and ten times the energy to write a new piece than to rework and resubmit that piece again and again. Learn how to get more mileage out of your work in this chock-full-of-tips-and-tricks class. Room 234

Path to Platform: Building an Audience and the Best Techniques To Do So, Blythe Daniel (F/NF): What’s needed in a platform these days? Do all publishers look at platform similarly? In this workshop we’ll look at what’s considered a platform – what I define as audience engagement. We’ll look at how to build yours most effectively and what to show publishers that you have done and will continue to do for your book. Also we’ll go into detail on what is considered platform. For nonfiction and fiction writers. Room 238


Writing for Wild Heart Books (F), Erin Taylor Young:  Exciting things are happening at Wild Heart Books! Owned and operated by a successful USA Today bestselling author, this company knows how to sell books. If you’re wondering whether a small publishing company might be right for you, this workshop is your guide. And feel free to bring any questions you’ve got about writing romance. That’s our specialty, and we’re here to help! Room 233



4:00 p.m. – 4:55 p.m.      Workshops:

The Writing Tool that Will Refine Your Skill – Devotions (NF), Cindy Sproles:
The misnomer is devotions are simple to write because they are short. But the truth is, learning to write a devotion properly is the greatest writing tool you can add to your toolbox. In this class, we utilize the hook, book, look, and took method of writing devotions. We’ll discuss aspects that stop the reader from reading and offer tips that draw readers in and provide them the ahhh moment that strikes the soul. There is no one specific right or wrong way to write a devotion, but elements are a must for a devotion to make an impact. Learn the dos and don’ts of writing tight and concisely. Room 234


Deeper POV (F), Linda Glaz: Basics and more on writing deep POV. Room 223


Why Would I Want an Agent on My Side? (B), Cynthia Ruchti: Are you unsure how an agent would help you in your career? Are you business-savvy and pretty sure you can interest an editor in your work without bothering with an agent? What does an agent DO, anyway? Come find out. Room 222


What Stands Out to Agents About Book Proposals (F/NF), Blythe Daniel: Why do certain book proposals and book ideas get picked up and others don’t? Is it really all about platform? What do we as agents see in a book proposal that is a red flag? What could writers put in their book proposal that would help it stand out? When agents pass on book proposals, is it because of an idea, who the author is, or things you can’t pinpoint because it’s so much effort to explain? What is the best way for a writer to move forward after they have been told “no” on a book proposal? Or if they are told “yes,” what’s next? These are some of the questions we’ll go over in this workshop designed to help writers move ahead and have a “what can I do” mentality rather than “it’s just not happening for me” or “I’m lost.” Room 238


The Social Butterfly (B), Lauren Crews: Writers are told to build their platform, but few know where to start when developing content for social media or how to balance it with our other responsibilities. This class will help participants evaluate what their core social media content posts can be. It will lead them through the process of planning a month’s worth of social media content. Finally, it will introduce them to online resources. They will leave with a monthly plan they can implement with their own social media posts. Room 233

5:05 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.      Dinner                                                                                                 

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Steven James, Auditorium                                   

8:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.   After Hours Workshops:

Writing Christian World View into the General Market (F), Cindy SprolesAs 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


He Said. She said. Oh My! (F) Linda Glaz: A funny look into the mistakes writers make developing the opposite gender in their novels. 
Did he really call that Chartreuse? Did she really say, Dude! How’s it hangin’? Laugh your way into learning the difference between male and female POV and how to write it well. Room 237


The 3 R’s For Every Writer (B), April Ballestero: There are three major milestones every author will want to master and measure in the business of their writing.?

These milestones create reliable results to build your platform and grow your community, and they apply to every stage of your journey— whether you're just starting or already building momentum. Join Author and Coach April Ballestero as she shares strategies and tools to master and measure the business of your book. Room 234


Facebook Live—Engaging Your Audience and Adding Value (B), Athena Dean Holtz: Connection is one of the most important aspects of developing a following and creating a unique voice among the many others out there. Athena Dean Holtz has utilized Facebook Live to offer hope since the beginning of the pandemic and has continued to expand and improve her daily encouragement over the last couple of years. Learn the basics of hosting a Facebook Live and develop strategies to accomplish what God is asking of you in using this amazing technology. Room 238


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

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

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

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Keynote Address, Steven James, Auditorium

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.      Special Book Signing with Steven James, FCWC Bookstore

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

Nonfiction Writing 101, 201, 301, and 401 (NF), 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 (F), 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


Writing and Publishing Memoir (F/NF), Cheri Cowell Do you have a story to share? Would it make a good memoir or is it something else? Come learn the do's and don'ts of sharing your story, how to craft a good memoir, and how to get it published. Room 238


The Art of Writing a Fiction Series (F), Robin LuftigWhile writing your novella or novel, you may consider turning the story into a series. When that happens, there are several things you’ll need to keep in mind. How you lay the groundwork in a first novel can help you easily launch subsequent storylines. What might seem like a toss-away scene in your first book can be used as a pivotal moment in the third. We’ll zero in on specific authors and their series, focusing on what tools make their work successful.  Room 232

All About Going Indie (B), 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

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.      Workshops:

Keep Calm and Pace Yourself (F), Lynette EasonHas anyone ever told you that your writing was episodic? Or that the story felt rushed? Or that it was too slow? If so, the person/editor/agent is pointing out a pacing issue. So what's a writer to do? How does one fix that? Easy answer! There are tips and tricks that every writer uses to keep the story going at the correct pace. You don't want to be too slow or too fast, instead, much like Goldilocks, you want to get it just right. Come join me as I fill you in on the tools I use to do that.  Room 223


Don’t Murder Your Manuscript (F/NF),  Jan Powell: Write like a pro so you’re not DOA on arrival at your agent or editor’s desk. Eliminate overused phrases. Polish and perfect your words from the beginning to the end. Stay in the appropriate word count. Make sure your manuscript is full of life! Room 221


Writing for Middle Grade (C), Leslie Santamaria A common misunderstanding is that all middle grade literature is for middle school readers. So what is middle grade? And how can Captain Underpants and A Wrinkle in Time be in the same category? Materials for kids ages 8 to 12 vary widely in length, approach, and subjects. The age range is only a few years, but what kids at the younger end of the spectrum and the older end are ready to read is vastly different. We’ll break down the products for middle grade readers and the expectations for each, including word lengths, amount of dialogue on the page, and the weightiness of topics. Join the conversation as we talk about fiction and nonfiction writing for this amazing group of both eager and reluctant readers who absorb the world around them like thirsty sponges! Room 222


Writing for Periodicals and Newspapers (NF), Julie Lavender: Learn how to gain valuable writing credits to boost the resume, Julie Lavender: Looking 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

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.      Workshops:

Speakers Sell More Books (B): Michele Chynoweth: An award-winning Toastmaster as well as a best-selling author, Michele Chynoweth learned early on that speakers sell more books – and then took lessons from pros like Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul) – to start giving workshops and landing speaking gigs at churches, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, women’s groups, writers conferences, book festivals and more! She’ll teach you the basics about overcoming your fears, vocal variety, writing a good speech, engaging your audience, even incorporating humor – so that you’ll have them hanging onto every word – and then lining up to buy your books! Room 224

Title Spinning (F/NF), 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 223


5 Spiritual Truths Every Writer Needs to Know (B), Erin Taylor Young: We’ve been tasked by Almighty God to do this thing called writing, and it can be one of the greatest adventures of our lives. Or…it can be pockmarked with worry, frustration, discouragement, and lack of direction. This workshop will give foundational truths every writer needs to know—and cling to—so that our paths are lit by confident fellowship with our Creator every step of the way.
Room 222


Writing Articles that will Inspire Readers, Thrill Editors, and Honor God (F/NF), Annette Marie GriffinThis course will explore some fascinating facts about the felt needs of today’s reader, outline the editorial needs of today’s media, and dive deep into the spiritual calling that drives today’s Christian writer to the foot of the cross to obtain relevant contentRoom 221

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      Workshops:

How (and Why) to Start a YouTube Channel (B), Jean Wilund: You don’t have to wait until you get a book contract to share your message. One of the fastest growing (and potentially profitable) avenues for getting your work out is YouTube. In this short workshop, I’ll share the basics of why you want to start a YouTube channel, how to get started, and mistakes to avoid. Room 223


The Do’s & Don’ts of Devotional Writing in the Children’s Market (C), Michelle Medlock AdamsAs the author of many award-winning children’s books including: “Get Your Spirit On! Devotions for Cheerleaders” (Lighthouse/SonRise), “Dinosaur Devotions” (Tommy Nelson), and “Puppy Dog Devotions” (New Hope Kidz/Iron Stream Media—cowritten with Wendy Hinote Lanier), Michelle teaches how to create meaningful devotions that are fun and kid-friendly. Specifically, Michelle shares how to find “the hook” to make your devotional stand out in this crowded category, how to write intimate and personal thoughts with humor and authenticity without watering down the Word, and how to create a series of themed devotional books. You’ll also discover various markets for those individual devotions and devotional books you’re called to write, and the secret to breaking in! Room 224


Why You Need a Critique Group (B), Tez Brooks: Do we really need a group of peers reading and editing our pieces? Learn how these groups can excel your writing career. Discover how to critique like a pro and how writers from diverse genres create a more robust group. Room 221


Weight of the First Page (F), Linda Glaz: Making that first page POP! Room 222

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.      Dinner

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


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

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

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

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

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