2023 Schedule & Class Descriptions


*Schedule Subject to Change

How to Read This Schedule:

NF = Nonfiction

F = Fiction

C = Children’s

B = Business of Writing

Tuesday (Nonfiction Intensive Conferees Only)

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


Wednesday (Nonfiction 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.  

12 Tips to Writing Life-Changing Bible Studies,  Ava Pennington: You may have participated in Bible studies, but do you know how to write them? Learn 12 foundational principles to write effective, powerful Bible studies! Room 225

Writing Nonfiction That Matters: Follow Your Dreams in Writing!,  Michelle Medlock AdamsUsing the acronym “DREAM,” Michelle shares how to write meaningful nonfiction through determining your topic, making sure your content is relevant, engaging with your readers, getting to know your audience, and meditating on God and what He wants to say through your words. Let Michelle help you figure out your message and the best way to share it with the readers who really want and need it. Auditorium

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.    

Voice and Description, Cindy SprolesDo you understand what your voice is? Are you able to physically move a reader by the passion in your words? In this class we will delve into what voice is and how to ping the senses of the reader so they are moved by the reading experience. Nonfiction can easily become dry and emotionless - texbook, but when we learn how to bring that passion and emotion to the page, our readers feel our efforts. Together we will learn how to look deeper at the scenes around us and how to scratch a scab of the heart until it bleeds and connect with our nonfiction readers. Room 225

Think you have a Nonfiction Book Idea? Critical Steps that take you from Idea to Book, Edie Melson: Sometimes it’s hard to know where an idea truly fits. It may sound good, but it’s critical that we have the tools to evaluate whether the idea is book length or needs some tweaking. In this workshop Edie will share the elements an idea must have to be considered book length. She’ll also cover how to add to an idea and shape it into something more appropriate for a book. Auditorium

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Lunch, Private Dining Room with speaker: Michelle Medlock Adams

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.      

3 Pillars of a Great Nonfiction Book, Bethany Jett: In this workshop, Bethany Jett shares the key elements every nonfiction book should have. Whether you write devotionals or books on leadership, you’ll be able to outline your manuscript with confidence, which makes the actual writing part so much easier. Room 225

Handling GOD’S Word with YOUR Words, Ava Pennington: Regardless of whether you write for the general market or the Christian market, you’re using the gift of words as a child of God every time you sit at your computer. So, what are you communicating, even if you never quote a Bible verse? This workshop will explore the significance of worldview as well as 4 principles for rightly handling Scripture in what we write. Auditorium

2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.       

Writing for the Gift and Devotional Book Markets, Michelle CoxHave you ever thought about writing a gift book or a devotional book? Then come to my class where we’ll talk about what you need to know from the time you come up with the idea until the day you see your masterpiece on bookstore shelves and bestseller lists. We’ll cover things like formatting and expanding your book project, finding a publisher, what to expect during the publishing process, and much more. I learned everything the hard way, but after attending my session, you won’t have to do that. (Pausing to adjust my halo.) Please join me so I won’t be sitting in my classroom like a big wallflower! Room 225

Marketing Your Nonfiction Books!, Michelle Medlock Adams: Grab a Planner, Get a Plan! Every bestselling author knows that you don’t wait until the day of your book’s release to start promoting it, and you don’t stop marketing your book after the official launch. Instead, you find creative and consistent ways to share about your book and its amazing content, and you use traditional holidays, wacky holidays, seasons, important anniversaries, national and international days of recognition, and evergreen events, to formulate your marketing plan. In this class, Michelle teaches how to effectively market your book before, during, and after its release using a calendar. (If you don’t have a planner, make sure you purchase one before this session.) Auditorium

3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      

Writing Devos that Touch the Heart (NF), Cindy SprolesIn this class, we’ll learn the old school method of Hook, Book, Look, and Took and how applying this process to your devotions will take it from ordinary to touching and impactful. Room 225

Writing Nonfiction Through the Marketing Lens, Bethany Jett: Auditorium
In this workshop, you will learn how to craft your manuscript from a marketing perspective so that your book becomes your best marketing tool. Topics covered include:

4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      

When Friends Become Co-Authors, Michelle Cox: "Let's write a book together!" It sounds so simple, but there are pitfalls along the way and circumstances that might harm friendships if you aren't prepared for them. Please join me and we'll talk about things you need to consider if you want to co-author a book. Auditorium


Use Fiction Techniques to Make Your Nonfiction GreatEdie MelsonWhatever we’re writing, story is the trump card we must always know how to play. Using storytelling in nonfiction is the single biggest thing that will take your writing from adequate to sellable. In this workshop Edie shares how to format dialogue, when to show and when to tell, and other fiction writing tips that make nonfiction sing. Room 225

Wednesday (Regular FCWC Conferees)

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


2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.     Book Proposal Studio, Linda GlazThe 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 an instructor in preparation of a professional book proposal. Room 221

Wednesday’s class is the introduction for the Book Proposal Studio Continuing Class that will take place throughout the conference.

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. *THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL COST TO THIS CONTINUING CLASS AND YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER**

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  How to Sell 1,000 Books in a Month, Susan NealMarketing should comprise a large part of an author’s job to sell more books. This class will cover the following topics: Room 234


3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      Pitch StudioIn 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 223


5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.      Dinner

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

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

After Hours Workshops (Begins after Coke Floats and Conversation):                                                      

What Does That Mean? (B), Cindy SprolesThis is an introduction to the writing industry. From lingo, to agents, to critique groups, as well as what expectations do new writers have, and how to pursue the goals they wish to attain. This class is a must for new writers. Room 237


Writing Articles that will Inspire Readers, Thrill Editors, and Honor God (NF), Annette Marie GriffinIn a world where attention spans dictate content, truth is considered relative, and clicks prove more valuable than gold—people still crave a cure for emptiness. This course will explore fascinating facts about the felt needs of today’s reader, outline the changing 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 content. Room 234


Writing Funny (F), Zena Dell Lowe Creating humor, jokes, and comedy in your work can be tricky business. Attempting to be funny and failing is horrible thing to experience. This class offers an ultimate crash course on learning what’s funny, what makes people laugh, and how to do it.  It’s joke writing broken down to basics so that almost anyone can learn to create humor. Room 238


Storyboard in the Making (C), Amy Jo Maurer: Psalm 139 tells us that "all our days were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” So, think of Jesus writing out your life story. Now think of a storyboard as His way of helping you write/lay out the story He’s put in your heart. Whether you have a children’s picture book, poetry, memoir, or a gift book that you would like to write with accompanying artwork or photographs, a storyboard is a helpful way to organize your ideas. In this class you will also learn how to make a “dummy” book, which can be presented to an agent or publisher. Making a storybook is a fun, first peek at your story coming together in a tangible way. Both traditionally published and self-published writers will benefit from this class. Room 233


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, Michelle Cox, 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, Lori Hatcher: The world of non-fiction writing is both deep and wide. It encompasses books, articles, devotions, blog posts, and so much more. In this 4-day intensive, you’ll learn crucial elements of successful non-fiction writing. On Day 1, you’ll discover how to identify your writing passion, find your audience, and craft a mission statement to guide your writing and keep it on track. On Day 2, you’ll learn how to move your writing out of your computer and into the world. We’ll explore a valuable key to success writers often miss on their way to writing a book and learn how to pitch and query. We’ll also learn how to write a killer bio and use the Christian Writers Market Guide to advance your career. Day 2 will conclude with a list of 15 great places to submit your non-fiction writing. On Day 3, we’ll learn ten ways to charm an editor and discuss advanced editing tips for serious writers. We’ll conclude with a method to help you banish writer’s block and stay productive. On Day 4, we’ll learn the steps involved in writing a book, from concept, to contract, to completion. For all things non-fiction, we’ll have a grand week! Room 237


Writing Fiction Track, Zena Dell Lowe:  The essential building block of any story is to create unforgettable characters, but how exactly is that done? Why do some characters seem real while others fall flat? For novelists and screenwriters, this course will break down the essential elements of a great character, how to reveal true character, and the practical tools you need to develop excellent characters of your own.

Have difficulty getting from Act One to Act Three?  Do you find that your story lags in Act Two, or worse, you get lost and don't know how to finish?  If you've tried other approaches to the three-act structure, but still seem to have difficulty finishing your project, this is the class for you.  We'll use the Hollywood Beat Sheet to learn how to flesh out your story, make sure the main character drives the action, and develop an easy to use roadmap to help you get to the end. This class may change your life.  It did mine.  (If possible, please watch the film "Witness" starring Harrison Ford prior to attending this workshop.)

The worst thing in the world is when you watch a movie or read a novel and know you have just been “set up.” This session will explore ways to make your set-ups invisible and organic, so that when you finally pay them off, the audience will be truly surprised and satisfied.

Do you want to take your story to the next level and really make it great?  Do you want to learn how to “show” and not “tell”? In this session we will consider what we mean by calling storytelling a “visual” art form, and discover how to construct more complex visual imagery in novels and screenplays so as to portray deeper levels of meaning through your work. Room 222 


Fiction Intensive: Write Your Novel as a Parable to Engage Hearts and Minds, Mesu Andrews: Since the Bible is the bestselling Book of all time, God must be a great Storyteller! Though His stories are True, they’re told with passion that reaches the heart, and Jesus often used Parables so His listeners would understand and remember His teachings. Shouldn’t we, as His storytellers, follow His example and learn to write stories that impact both minds and hearts? This four-day intensive practicum is open to all fiction genres, and we’ll split our time between craft concepts and writing practice on your current WIP. (This class is limited to the first 12 participants. You must sign up in advance! Please bring your laptop!) Email the following to: [email protected] Room 234


Children’s Lit Writing Intensive, Michelle Medlock Adams: Michelle Medlock Adams, a multi-award-winning children’s book author and senior editor of Wren & Bear Books, is excited to lead this year’s continuing class—"Writing for Today’s Children’s Book Market”. The children’s book market has drastically changed over the past three years, and it continues to evolve. So if you have a heart for kids and a desire to make a difference in their world through your writing, this class is for you. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie in the genre of children’s writing, Michelle is saving your seat…and she has chocolate. You’ll learn the process from idea to submission, the earmarks of a modern-day picture book, how to identify trends in children’s publishing, how to know where your story fits, and how to breathe new life into old stories. Room 221

We will also cover:


Speakers TrackJames CarteeThe four-part workshop begins with an exploration of asking ourselves as both writers and notable speakers, "Who are we in the eyes of God?" A practical, inspirational speaker understands why one chooses to speak to a specific audience and what objectives one seeks to achieve. In today’s society, comprehending a diverse audience and demographic is paramount to drawing forth the best inclusiveness outcomes with respect for all walks of life. A passionate speech necessitates an eternal mindset with lasting results. 

Secondly, a professional public speaker learns to turn the written word into a well-delivered spoken plan. The two modes of delivery (writing versus speaking) contrast dramatically in style, organization, methods, reasoning, logic, and language strategy. 

Thirdly, the interpersonal element determines the impactful moment of listening attention spans. Events become successful on well-founded research and outlining of organizational components. A presentation filled with passion and emotional appeal leaves an audience with a heartfelt message to take home and ponder in their own relational destinies with Jesus. In addition to professional development, honorariums present opportunities to make additional income in ministry and elsewhere. A marketing pitch and strategies for building a professional network for potential speaking engagements can undoubtedly become a successful business!  

Finally, our plans are not always God's plans. Understanding the Holy Spirit's conviction of Christian preaching becomes the best tool for success in changing lives. Listeners come to Christian gatherings for a message of conviction to walk away with lessons that apply to real-life circumstances. The best speakers sometimes struggle with stage fright; however, once an advocate knows their platform, they become the destined speakers God designed to drive home messages for receivers on the other end of a powerful punch line. 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] Auditorium


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*, Edie Melson: Continuing instruction on writing your book proposal. By the end of the week, you should have a completed book proposal ready to dazzle editors and agents! *Must have registered for the Book Proposal Studio ahead of time. Room 232


 Latest in Social Media: Creating Content & Integrated Marketing, Bethany JettIn this condensed continuing class (last day is Saturday), you’ll learn how to become the “resource expert in your niche. We’ll discuss how to build credibility with your audience and strategies to create content through your blog, social media, and email list that your readers want and will share. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or for children, this class will give you the building blocks that will turn the stress of marketing into an exciting way to provide value.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, Instagram is the platform where writers should have a presence. Learn to create content that your audience will eagerly consume. Topics include how to use Stories, Reels, and Carousels to purposefully engage with your readers, why microblogging can help you “actively listen” in real time, and as a bonus, how to incorporate YouTube into your strategy. Please note: On Thursday, this Continuing Class is from 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Room 223

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                                                                                                 

6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Mark Hancock, Auditorium

After Hours Workshops (After the General Session):

Begin and End With a Bang (F/NF), Jesse FloreaStudies show you have less than 15 seconds to grab a reader’s attention. An intriguing lead may be the difference between publication and rejection. This workshop will look at different ways of beginning a story (both for shorter articles or books). It will also help you stop your story at the right place. Note: All attendees are encouraged to bring a first page from a manuscript that will be read anonymously and critiqued during the session. Room 234

Armchair Archeology (F), Donna Mumma
We will focus on three different parts of the research process: Room 238

An Author’s Guide to Organically Building a Sustainable Platform (F/NF): Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes: Did you know that the best way to organically establish our author platforms is to understand that it’s about our relationships? Attendees will discover how to invest in relating and interacting with industry professionals, readers, and colleagues interested in us and our specialized services. In this interactive workshop, we will also discover how platforms are extensions and representations of our strengths, core beliefs, work ethics, values, communication styles, and ideas. Attendees will leave with ready-to-go methods for instituting and sustaining connectivity to their potential client base to organically build author platforms. We will also spend a good amount of time reviewing branding, what it is, how to do it effectively, and tools to help us. Room 233

YouTube 101 (B), Britt Mooney: Take your platform to the next level. Video isn't the future of growing your audience, it's today! YouTube is one of the top search engines, and it's a great place for AUTHORS to be seen, heard, and get new fans. Start a YouTube channel and engage your audience. Room 237



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 and remember the Social Media class is from 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. each day)

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Keynote Address, Mark Hancock, Auditorium

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.   Lunch 

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

Enhance Your Multimedia Presence: Optimize Platform w/ Interviews, Audio Content, Videos, and Online Workshops (B), Tina Yeager: Extend your platform and engage audiences with audio, video, and more! This workshop will cover multiple forms of media through which you can deliver your message and embrace new followers. Learn the basics of audio content delivery, virtual classes, and video platforms. We’ll also discuss how to conduct interviews or serve as a guest on shows hosted by other influencers. Room 238


Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (B), Evelyn Johnson-Taylor: Do you struggle with an identity crisis? Do you ever think, if people really knew who I was, they wouldn’t like me? It's important to remember that each writer has their own unique style, voice, and perspective. Comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your self-esteem and creativity. In this course, we will explore imposter syndrome and provide steps to help you overcome it. It's crucial to embrace your true self and show it to your readers authentically. Remember, God created each of us uniquely, and there are no carbon copies. You can learn how to discover your true identity in Christ and find the confidence to overcome any feelings of intimidation. Room 224

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing for Children (C), Jesse Florea: Kids are taught to follow rules. And to write for them, you should follow some rules, too. By learning these do’s and don’ts, you’ll have a better chance of creating stories that will catch an editor’s eye and eventually entertain a child. You’ll find out audience insights and felt needs, writing tips, industry trends, the use of humor and more. Room 223


Poetry: Cross Training For Prose Writers (F/NF),  Lora ZillAthletes “cross train” using different muscles to increase performance. Writers should also exercise different thinking and writing “muscles” to increase their skill. We will discuss ways to use poetic tools such as sound, imagery, and rhythm to enrich your work—both prose and poetry--and look at the writing examples of Annie Dillard, Catherine Marshall, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King. This class is interactive and will have lots of discussion. Room 234

Keeping Fiction Facts Straight: Historical Research and Organization (F), Mesu Andrews: Never again lose a key piece of information or source you worked so hard to find! Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, writing mainstream or Christian market, every author must either create or adopt an effective system to retrieve information the moment it’s needed at every stage of publication—research, (plotting), rough draft, editing, publishing, and marketing. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to assess research source authenticity, discover how to store research that’s easy to find when you need it, and uncover simple organizational tricks that increase time efficiency and make the marketing process more effective. Room 222

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

Deep, Deep, Deep Deeper POV (F), Linda Glaz: Authors 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 to understand when it is and when it isn’t necessary. Room 224

20 Insider Secrets to Writing a Best-selling Non-Fiction Book (NF), Lori HatcherHave you heard the adage, “See one. Do one. Teach one.”? This saying describes the steps of true learning. First, we learn at the feet of others (See). Then, we put what we’ve learned into practice (Do). Finally, when we understand it well enough to reproduce it, we share our knowledge with someone else (Teach). Lori Hatcher has learned from others, written three (so far) bestselling books, and loves to teach others what she’s learned. In this infinitely practical workshop, Lori will share 20 of the most useful tips she’s uncovered to help you write a best-selling non-fiction book. Room 238

Storytelling for Speakers and Writers (F/NF), Karen Porter: The best advice I ever heard from a writing/speaking coach was, “story it up!” Stories teach truth and get the point across. Stories relate to your audience more than dull facts, boring statistics, complicated logic, or hi-stakes sales pitches. Learn how to craft a story and about the story ARC and discover what makes a good story. Story structure is critical to fiction and even more important in non-fiction. Learn where to find good stories because every life situation is ripe with story. For speakers, fiction and non-fiction writers, bloggers, podcasters, and anyone with a message that needs more pizazz. They may never remember your bio, but they’ll never forget your story! Room 234


The Quintessential Query (B), Steve Hutson: When you submit your work to an agent or publisher, you'll probably need to send a query. It's the most important single-page document that you will ever write. Learn the ten essential elements that can help you get to a yes. Room 237


Changing the Next Generation of Readers, One Magazine Article at a Time (C), Julie Lavender: Did you know that some magazine articles have a bigger audience than many published books? If you’re passionate about writing for little ones, consider a magazine option to inspire, teach, and entertain little ones with each published project. Come learn strategies and tips to get published in faith based and general market children’s magazines. We’ll explore magazine writing that has the potential to change the next generation, one little heart at a time. Room 221

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      Workshops:

Turn that Page (F/NF), Cindy Sproles: There is something special when a reader says, “It was a fast read.” Fast read doesn’t necessarily mean short on pages, rather, it means that a reader can’t put the book down. When readers reach the end of a chapter, they cannot help but continue to read. In this class, we’ll discuss the process of crafting your chapters, so readers are hanging on every word. We’ll learn the different types of cliffhangers and how to properly execute them so readers can’t lay the book down. In this day in time, when readers are short on time, writers have to step up the pace. Learning how to draw your reader in and keep them reading will be the success of your book – fiction or non-fiction. Room 234


The ABCs of Writing for Children (C), Annette Marie Griffin: If you've ever considered writing for children but didn't know where to begin this is the course for you. We'll explore the advantages of using your God-given gift of writing to edify children, cover the basic information you'll need to get started- including tips on how to quickly obtain your first publishing credits, AND explore the top ten do’s and don’ts of the craft. Room 237


Killer Dialogue: Explore the Art of Effective Dialogue for Suspense & Thrillers (F), Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes: The Thriller/Suspense novel is a dark, engrossing literature genre indicative of suspenseful plot-driven stories. These novels are expected to generate excitement, suspense, interest, and exhilaration. Since these are the primary goals of the genre, thriller writers must have laser-focused expertise in crafting dialogue. Executing dynamic dialogue will keep readers enticed enough to keep turning the page. In the workshop “Killer-dialogue,” the instructor will walk authors through the anatomy of a thriller: the contract, the clock, and the crucible. Using the three “C’s,” the instructor will help authors learn to craft intriguing dialogue. Additionally, attendees will receive the needed dialogue tools to sustain suspenseful stories that readers cannot put down. Room 222


How Stellar Hook and Writing Can Stand Over a Shiny Platform (F/NF), Blythe Daniel: We all know that publishers like to see that a writer has engagement through a platform that extends from e-mail lists to social media and in-person speaking with the ability to sell books to an audience. However, a stand-out book idea and writing can still stand tall over a polished platform. In this workshop we’ll talk about how to help take an average idea and turn it into a more “over the top” one and a few tips to polish your writing and editing skills to produce a manuscript that agents and publishers would be interested in. Room 238

What if? Using Forensic Techniques for Greater Twists and Turns (F), Patricia Hartman: Fiction readers crave emotional roller coasters that take them to the brink. How can you surprise your reader? This workshop provides tools and techniques for ramping up the tension in scenes and subplots. We’ll do a hands-on exercise for building tension using one of Patricia’s forensic cases to create great fiction readers crave. Room 224


Why Being Healthy Makes You a Better Writer: Habits of Health (B), Randy Tramp: One can incorporate Healthy Habits into their life to be mentally sharper and physically fit. I would teach ways to create habits in health and other areas of life. A person does not have to be overweight to benefit from these workshops. Room 223

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

6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.      General Session & Keynote, Mark Hancock, Auditorium                                   

After Hours Workshops (After the General Session):

Let’s Read That Publishing Contract (B), Steve HutsonAfter years of struggle, you’ve finally landed an offer from a publisher. Awesome. Should you accept it? Do you even understand it? We will look over a typical contract, line by line. What’s good, what’s bad, and what’s worth fighting for. Room 237


Writing for the Secular Market (F/NF) Penny Musco: Can a believer write for non-Christian publications? Absolutely! Who better to be salt and light in a world dying for good news? Penny Musco has written for both the Christian and secular markets, and she is here to HELP! you pitch editors at secular magazines. Room 238


Sharing the Gospel through Poetry (F/NF), Karisa Moore: This course shows participants how to effectively utilize poetry in their devotions, nonfiction, and fictional writing. This interactive PowerPoint discussion will identify our audience, sources of inspiration, poetry forms, and how poetry can bridge faith divides to point to Christ. Each participant will receive handouts that include a discussion guide, next steps for incorporating poetry, and resourcesRoom 233


Optimal Email Marketing from Opt-In Gift to Email Sequence  (B), Susan Neal: Learn how to obtain email subscribers, keep them, and get them to open your emails. Discover how to create the best opt-in gifts to entice readers to join your list. Next, ascertain how to get the subscriber to know, trust, and value you so they will want to open your emails and purchase your products. Room 234


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 and remember the Social Media class is from 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. each day)

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Keynote Address, Mark Hancock, Auditorium

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.    Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.      Special Book Signing with Mark Hancock, FCWC Bookstore

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

Nonfiction 101 - aka "Better than Bob's" (NF), Michelle Cox: Nonfiction such as devotional, gift, and inspirational books can touch hearts and lives and lead people to Jesus. If you have a gift for words, for finding God's fingerprints on everyday life, and a caring heart, writing nonfiction might be just the niche for you. During this time, we will learn:

Join me and let's reach others for Jesus. 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


Independant Publishing Bootcamp (F/NF), Cheri CowellLearn the pros and cons of this growing trend, how to evaluate your options, the basics of formatting and cover design, e-book options, and how marketing your self-published book is different than a traditionally published book. Room 238


Canva for Writers (B), Katy KauffmanLearn how to create a meme—a photograph with a quote on it. Then learn to create a “musical meme”—a slideshow of memes set to music. Join Katy in a fun practicum to add yet another tool to your writer’s arsenal—Canva.com. In this practicum, you’ll learn the basics of Canva by working with photos, text boxes, and music clips to create inspiring graphics that you can use on social media and your website. A basic knowledge of Canva will be helpful, but Katy will provide a handout during her class with step-by-step instructions and give plenty of time to practice, ask questions, share ideas, and practice some more.

Participants will need a laptop and a Canva account (the free version is fine). To start a free account, contact Katy for her referral link, and if you use it, Canva will give you a credit for a goody reserved for pro accounts (like a photograph or clip art). Registered conferees need to email Katy at [email protected] to reserve a spot in the practicumRoom 232

Children’s Author, Children’s Author – What Do You See? (C), Julie LavenderLearn tips and techniques for writing for children from A to Z and 1 to 3 to wow little ones and impress big ones, too. With an emphasis placed on board books and picture books, we’ll learn about all types of books for children, from wee little ones to teens. We’ll also explore writing devotions, curriculum, and educational projects. Come explore all the elements of great children’s writing and let’s change the next generation together! Room 237

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.      Workshops:

The Essentials of Great Dialogue (F), Zena Dell Lowe: Dialogue can make or break a story. Do you find yourself wishing your dialogue was a little spicier and a little less contrived and drab? Whether you’re a screenwriter or a novelist, this course will teach the essential elements of great dialogue and give practical tools you can apply immediately to make your dialogue sharp. Room 221


Diversity and Sensitivity in Manuscripts (F/NF), Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes: 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


The Business of Networking (B), Deb DeArmond: Have you ever wondered how to build your platform? How to make connections? What to do once you have those connections? And what on earth is marketing? How do you market your book—before and after publication? The Business of Networking will show you how to do those things and help you design a one-sentence, attention-getting, pre-pitch entre to a conversation. Room 224


Using a Podcast or YouTube to Teach (B) Stephanie Pavlantos: Both Podcasts and YouTube channels are great teaching platforms. In this workshop, we will discuss having guests or going solo, video or audio-only, getting the equipment you need on a budget, interviewing or conversation-style programs, podcast hosting, advertising on your website and social media, and especially how to use your podcast/YouTube channel to get your message out. Room 222

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.      Workshops:

Solving the Cliché Conundrum and Other Editing Challenges (F/NF): Jan Powell: What are clichés? Overused phrases that have long lost the crisp, fresh images they first conveyed. We all use them. While they do communicate, they occur so frequently in conversation, we often don’t notice them in our writing. Learn to put a fresh spin on these worn phrases by using literary devices. Also, improve your editing by layered review. Room 224


Neurodivergents: When Your Normal Isn't the Norm (B), Heather Iseminger: Do you have a character with autism, ADHD, OCD, down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, or any other type of neurodivergent (ND) diagnoses? Are you, yourself, an ND writer? There are distinct struggles NDs deal with as artists that may not be the norm for most. This session will provide specialized organizational methods, writing strategies, and other strategic tools specific to the ND writer. It will also offer advice to neurotypical attendees wanting to better minister to all members of their audience, as well as responsibly include authentic ND characters in their narratives. Room 223


Self-Edit It Before You Send It (F/NF), Karen Porter: This workshop is a practical and hands-on class on how to spot areas in your manuscript that need to be edited—before you send it out.  Discover how to find passive voice, wordy sentences, incorrect punctuation, split infinitives, and so much more. Learn how to use the tools in your computer programs to eliminate problems. Your writing will be forever changed for the better. Room 222


 What’s Sticking/What’s Not Landing Well in Non-Fiction Book Publishing (NF), Blythe Daniel: Many times a writer will wonder if a topic or a category is something that’s going to stick with what a publisher is producing or come in for a harsh landing. In this workshop, we’ll look at what seems to be gaining momentum and sticking nd what is falling flat. This will focus on non-fiction, both adult and children’s works. Room 221.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.      Workshops:

How to Sell 1,000 Books in a Month (B), Susan Neal: Were you unable to attend this class on Wednesday? Here’s your chance! 
Marketing should comprise a large part of an author’s job to sell more books. This class will cover the following topics: Room 223 **Please note: This class goes until 5:30pm**



From Proposal to Pub Date—What’s the Process in Traditional Publishing? (B), Catherine DeVries: For those who are soon to be published or are new to the process, Catherine DeVries will share what happens at a traditional publishing house, from proposal to pub date. She has worked for several houses over three decades and will share the steps you can expect to go through alongside your publisher. From Acquisitions, Pub Board, and the Manuscript process to Marketing Support (including titling and cover design), Sales Support, and YOU! Room 222


Make Your Mark in Magazine Writing (NF), Deb DeArmond: Magazine writing is a great way to establish your credibility as an author. In fact, “writing short” may be among the best methods to build your platform, find your people, and often receive payment for your work. For aspiring writers focused on publishing a book, this may seem like small potatoes. But it can support your dream and build skills as you pitch, follow editorial guidelines, and deliver on deadline. Deb’s work includes multiple articles for Focus on the Family, and 10 years as a monthly columnist and a frequent feature writer for Mature Living Magazine with 300k monthly readers. She’s earned $35k+ during that time. Join Deb and discover where to find opportunities and how to make your mark in magazines! Room 224


Finding Your Story (F), Zena Dell LoweThe choice of what story to tell is the most important decision you will make as a writer. Don't waste valuable time and energy on a story that won't get published or produced. Is your story character driven? Is it marketable? Is it expensive? Are you "milking your genre"? We will discuss personal and market place factors you should consider in choosing what story to tell, and how to apply the “Hollywood formula” to your story. Room 221

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, there is no Social Media class today)

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   Something special, Auditorium

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