Archive for the ‘Colorado Christian Writers Conference’ Category

Guest post
Sherri Langton
Associate Editor
Bible Advocate,
Now What? e-zine

I consider myself the fossil of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, having attended since January 1987. Back then, it was a one-day conference at my local church, Denver First Church of the Nazarene. Betty Robertson, a writer and Nazarene pastor’s wife, was the director.

In 1987, I wasn’t thinking about writing. I worked in the purchasing department of a large downtown bank — and hated it. I begged God to get me out of that stress-filled office, but He remained silent. I now think He was waiting for me to attend my first CCWC to discover what He would do.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Ruth Vaughn, a prolific writer. One thing she said that January day set the course of my writing: “God can make creative use out of your misery.” Ruth sparked an idea to write my own greeting cards. I called the line Godsend, and for several years sent cards to friends and church members who were hurting.

God didn’t stop at greeting cards. When I was laid off at the bank (mercifully), I wrote about my frustrations of job hunting, and my stories were accepted by Standard. Over the years, I’ve seen God make creative use out of depression, death, grief, cancer, and many other miseries. The stories and articles I wrote on these subjects were published in major and smaller Christian publications. I met many of those editors at CCWC.

Now as a magazine editor and faculty member, I “count it all joy” to give back to a conference that has given so much to me. What message will God give you at this year’s CCWC? He can set you on a new path, too!

~ *~ *~*~*~*~

Sherri is teaching two workshops at the May 15-18 CCWC:

The Literature of Personal Disaster Wednesday, 4:45 – 5:45
Is a story good just because it relates a horrific event? Why we write about tragedy and how to make it real to the reader as well as redemptive.

Not-So-Extreme Makeover – Saturday, 2:45 – 3:45
Have you written an article that can’t seem to get published? Bring it and we’ll review a checklist of what it needs. come away with specifics on how to improve it.

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Reposted with permission from Sarah Bolme’s blog, Marketing Christian Books.

The growth of independent publishing is truly astounding. Consider these figures from Bowker (the ISBN provider):

  • The number of print books independently published grew from 235,639 titles in 2012 to 879,587 in 2017. That is 273% growth in six years.
  • In 2017, 85% of all independently published print books were published through Amazon (CreateSpace) for a total of 751,924 titles.
Photo courtesy of NeONBRAND.

Amazon has leveled the playing field for publishing a book. Almost anyone can publish a book through Amazon (using Kindle Direct Publishing—previously through CreateSpace). Of course, the ability for anyone to publish a book has both positive and negative consequences.

Positive Consequences

1. Anyone can now be an author.
Anyone means anyone. Amazon does not discriminate with respect to whom they allow to upload a book.

2. No gatekeepers.
No subject is taboo. No one has to approve of the content, style, or quality of the writing.

3. It’s free.
Yes, absolutely free to upload a book to Amazon. It does not cost a cent. All it requires is Internet access.

Negative Consequences

1. Anyone can now be an author.
Anyone can be an author whether or not they take the time to hone the craft of writing, understand proper book design, or learn anything about marketing a book.

2. No gatekeepers.
Anything goes. This means that there is no check on quality. There are no guarantees for buyers.

3. It’s free.
The easier and cheaper it is to publish a book, the more people will publish books. The more books published, the more competition all books have for readers’ eyes.

Here’s the deal: Don’t just be anyone.

In other words, be an informed author. If you are thinking about publishing a book, don’t do it just because you can. Take the time to hone your writing, learn about proper book design and layout, and understand what you need to do to market your book. Both you and your book will be better for it.

I am thankful that it is both easy to independently publish a book and it is easy to learn what you need to know to do this. Many sources exist to help independent authors who want to learn.

You have the opportunity to learn directly from me at the upcoming Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park May 15-18, 2019. I will be teaching a Continuing session on “You Can Indie Publish & Market Your Book.” This session will teach you what you need to know to publish an industry standard book and to begin the process of promoting your book.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

NEWSFLASH: Sarah will also teach this continuing session at the August 8-10 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

If you can attend either conference, I encourage you to do so. You will learn valuable information, not just from me, but from the other presenters as well. Don’t take my word for it; here is what a couple people said about my “You Can Indie Publish & Market Your Book” sessions on Facebook:

Don’t just be anyone. Learn what you need to know and be an author that people want to read and share with others.

Related Posts:
Conferences Are Worth It
Are You In a Rush?
Proof! Author Platform Building Works

Don’t miss out on any of the great information Sarah shares in her blog. Subscribe to receive each post in your email box. Just click here.

Sarah Bolme is the Director of the Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) and the author of Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books. The 4th edition of this must-read book was released March 5, 2019.

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beatrice bruno



Guest Blog
by Beatrice Bruno

The Write Drill Sergeant for YOU!







And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And He laid His hands on her: and immediately she was made straight,
and glorified God.

Luke 13:11-13 KJV

Replace this precious woman with yourself. She was ill for 18 years. Her body bent over preventing her from standing straight. She needed healing.

Think about yourself. What is the infirmity keeping you from writing? Doubt. Unbelief. Skepticism. Fear. What is holding you back from completing the book, articles, Bible studies, etc., inside of you? Are you limiting yourself because you just don’t believe you can do it? Are you holding yourself back because of what someone else has said to you about your being a writer? Well . . .

Writer, Thou Art Loosed!

I can guarantee that many, if not all writers have been right where you are right now. Some have overcome their infirmities; some have not. At what stage are you?

I am bringing my key training for writers, Writer, Thou Art Loosed! to the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. Let me share a little of my writing journey with you.

Because of Doubt! Fear! Unbelief! it took me 10 years to write and publish my first book! I completed and published that first book in 2004 . . . while working as a team truck driver with my husband, no less! Since then, I have authored four other books, articles, and Bible studies as well as ghostwritten four books for my clients. And the number is increasing . . . because I got Loosed!

I had to get over myself and get out of my own way so I could write the first book inside of me! I had to give myself permission to believe I could write a book!

Are you in that space? Do you want to get LOOSED?

Writer, Thou Art Loosed! is designed to help participants get a different view of themselves, a view or perspective that will remove limitations and barriers possibly preventing them from writing that book, article, etc.

Participants will also complete intensive writing and perspective exercises. For three hours of class time on Wednesday, May 15, The Write Drill Sergeant will focus on the you and what you truly need to believe, Writer, Thou Art Loosed!

Give yourself permission to get Loosed so you can write the book that wants to be birthed inside of you.

Your reading audience is waiting!

Sign up today! Don’t miss out!

I look forward to spending time with you!

Writer, Thou Art Loosed!

Learning Lab
Writer, Thou Art Loosed!

Wednesday, May 15
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost $40
(Coming only on Wednesday – $65)
Click here for more info and pre-class writing assignment. Click here to register.

Beatrice Bruno is an Army veteran and former (but always and forever) Drill Sergeant. An ordained gospel minister and life and writing coach, Beatrice loves showing folks how to get over themselves and let go of the PAST. Having trained over 2,000 Basic Training soldiers through Army Basic Training to graduation, she has seen characters who run the gamut from straight-arrow to cone-head! Many of these real life characters will find their way into her fictional characters in her books.

And now, Beatrice has crossed over into an area few, if any, look forward to – Widowhood. Married for 27+ years to John who passed away in August of 2018, Beatrice has raised four children – his, hers, and theirs – to adulthood. Beatrice is now looking for her new normal…if there is such a thing…after losing her beloved husband.

Beatrice is spreading her wings as a novelist and creating the series, The Baby Chronicles, Volume 1, which includes the GI Josephines (Volume 2) and the Soldiers of the Lord (Volume 3). But Beatrice will not stop there. A mind for the unusual Christian experience, Beatrice is also working on Lara Rose, HGPI. Ask her what that acronym means and she will be glad to share it with you.

Beatrice’s passion is in helping others to write the books God has given them to write. Inside of each individual writer, Beatrice believes God has planted a seed within that will glorify Him and edify His creation.

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David Rupert


Guest blogger
David Rupert


I have been coming to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference off and on for about 20 years.

I work full-time for the government as a Corporate Communications manager, overseeing public relations, crisis communications, and executive communications. This isn’t really “Christian writing,” and yet I always pick up a skill at CCWC that I can use to improve my professional life.

On the side, I’ve engaged in Christian writing. I call myself a “hobbyist” writer. I’ve made a little bit of money, but most of my activity has been blogging about faith, the workplace, and culture. It’s kept my skills strong and my mind alive. I’ve made some money ghost-writing books for others and sold a few articles, but my writing is done mostly without compensation.

There is a perception that the Colorado Christian Writers Conference is only for those who are “full-time writers.”  And indeed, there are agents and editors and publishers at every turn, in every workshop and even at your dinner table. I want to assure you that there’s a place for you. As a non-professional, I’ve fit right in at CCWC. Every year I glean a new skill. I always make an attempt to attend one class that doesn’t interest me initially, but I still come away inspired intellectually and with one more tool in my box.

If you are a mom, tapping out words in the dark of night after the kids are asleep, you are a writer and CCWC is for you. 

If you are working in the marketplace, following a profession and yet your heart has a message that can only come out in words, you are a writer and CCWC is for you.

If you are retired and the years have given you both knowledge and wisdom to share, you are a writer and CCWC is for you. 

I’ll be teaching two workshops. The first is called, “The Rocks Cry Out,” and I’ll talk about how to engage the culture from right where you are with your words. The second is called, “Don’t Kill Your Writing.” I’ll give the four ways to destroy your writing life.

I hope to see you on the mountain.

David Rupert
Patheos Blogger
Director, Writers on the Rock

2019 CO banner & website


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Susan King Jan 2019




Guest blog
by Susan King
Associate Editor
The Upper Room






#1 – Reach: Magazines have the potential to reach more people with your message. For instance, if you’re published in The Upper Room, with more than three million subscribers, you reach a readership that very few book writers can match.

#2 – Turnaround Time: Even today—with some publishers using print-on-demand—a book can take 18 months until its release. The average lead time for magazines is one to six months. Think about the many months required to write a book but an article may take only a few hours. And the per-word compensation for an article is astronomically higher than for the average book.

#3 – Faster Payment: Periodicals often pay upon acceptance. Even if they pay on publication, your wait is much shorter than with a book.

#4 – Writing Credits: Experience in writing for periodicals looks good to publishers of that future book. First, it tells book publishers that other editors liked your stuff—over and over again. Also, it shows your versatility in being able to write on a variety of topics and in a variety of formats. And some magazines allow you to include your book credits along with a short bio printed with your piece, so you add to your platform for plugging any book you’ve written.

#5 – Instant Feedback: Feedback comes more quickly than responses to a book. Even if your feedback is mostly flat rejections, it will do what all feedback should: help you learn, grow, improve, and be willing to adapt your writing to the requirements of a variety of outlets.

#6 – Variety: Creative people are naturally drawn to varied ideas and teem with creative ways to approach them. Writing magazine articles for many different kinds of magazines, and on many different topics, will help you avoid the feeling of slogging along through the same topic month after month as you write your book.

#7 –  Improvement of Craft: Hal Hostetler (former editor of Guideposts and Saturday Evening Post) claimed that writing devotionals was the best discipline a writer could have. In general, the shorter the piece, the harder it is to write. While most magazine articles are longer than the average devotional, they are all much shorter than a book. Thus, a final benefit to writing for periodicals is that it helps sharpen your writing skills in general.

That, in a very large nutshell, is why even a novelist or nonfiction author might consider writing magazine articles. Maybe the writer will be intrigued enough to give up the book altogether. Most likely, you will use what can be gained from writing for magazines to produce a much better book.


For over 24 years, Associate Editor Susan King has served at The Upper Room, a daily-devotional magazine that reaches millions of readers in more than 100 countries. One of her greatest joys has been representing The Upper Room every year at several of 23 different Christian writers’ conferences in the U.S. and Canada.

We’re so happy to have her on faculty at the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She will teach the continuing session, “Making It Look Easy!” This 6-hour class will focus on achieving excellent style in any genre. Readers don’t care what you write if they can’t tolerate how it is written. Do you want to write with such sparkle and verve that you’ll knock the socks off editors? In this crash course in the essential elements of good style for any genre, you will come away with concrete tools for self-editing to produce polished works that will please readers and broadcast to editors and publishers that you are a consummate wordsmith. One of the goals of this class is to produce an excellent devotional to submit to The Upper Room magazine.

Other magazine editors on faculty at this year’s CCWC include:

  • Karen Bouchard – Editor, Power for Living
  • Debbie Hardy – Representative, ChristianDevotions.us
  • Kate Jameson – Assistant Editor, Clubhouse Jr.
  • Sherri Langton – Associate Editor, Bible Advocate, Now What? e-zine, and Churchright
  • Rick Marschall – Editor, Innovative Health Magazine
  • Linda Evans Shepherd – Publisher, Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily, e-devotional
  • Karen Whiting – representative, The Kid’s Ark

4 pics

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Storm over city

It’s been almost 30 years since Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages by Chuck Colson was published. He writes,

‘Dark Age’ is a strong term. I recognize that. Yet  in recent  years I’ve had a growing sense of storm clouds gathering on the horizon . . . The forecast is foreboding . . . We scan the horizon with unease.

We sense that things are winding down, that somehow freedom, justice, and order are slipping away. Our great civilization may not yet lie in smoldering ruins, but the enemy is within the gates.

The times seem to smell of sunset. Encroaching darkness casts long shadows across every institution in our land. . . . We do face a crisis in Western culture, and it presents the greatest threat to civilization since the barbarians invaded Rome.”

Chuck Colson – Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages

If you are not aware of  H.R. 5, known as the Equality Act, that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives March 13, you need to Google it – NOW! This bill, if passed, would end our freedom as Christians to live out our faith not just in our workplaces but in our homes.

Liberty Counsel says,

HR 5, wrongly named the Equality Act, is the most extreme threat to religious freedom, free speech, privacy, and to women’s rights that has ever been proposed by Congress. The impact of HR 5 will be widespread – affecting churches; religious colleges and universities; public, private, and Christian schools; curriculum; religious and private organizations; employers; employees; individuals; foster care and adoption; shelters; local, state, and federal entities; privacy; women’s rights; and more. Click here to read more.

Yes, we must “love without stopping” (1 Cor. 16:14 MSG). But that does not mean we can ignore what God clearly says in His Word.

If we have eyes to see, the moral fabric of our nation is not just unraveling – it’s being torn apart. How much longer can a righteous God withhold His judgment of a nation that has turned away from His Truth?

The 23 years the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and 36 years the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference has focused on the need for God’s scribes to “Write His Answer.”

Michael Gantt, who is again keynoting at both conferences, says:

MK gantt watchman

I urge you to subscribe to Michael’s blog at https://mkgantt.com and to read his post about the conference and why I’ve given him a standing invite to keynote. In part he says,

Writers have always been among the most feared by despots and dictators. Truth tellers have been imprisoned and executed, their writings banned and burned, their character brought into question by allegation and accusation. The written word is among the most powerful weapons of history. . . .

I realized this weekend that my part in standing before these conferences of writers and publishers is to represent the Word of God that it might not be bound; to communicate with a deep sense of urgency that we are not writers who are coincidentally Christians, but we are Christ followers who have been given a gift to write and that we bear a grave and dangerous responsibility to guard the deposit of truth that has been entrusted to us and to ensure above everything that the Word of God is not bound.

I also urge you to check out my blog post, “Write His Answer to Issues at this Year’s CCWC,” I posted on March 3. If you are unable to come to the conference, you can order a CD of one or more of the workshops in our Issues track:

America at the Crossroads
The Rocks Cry Out
Speaking Life to a Culture of Death
Answering Christianity’s Critics
The Burden of the Watchman
Make Some Noise!

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, for children or adults, God can use you to write words that, as Michael says, “can shape lives and maybe, just maybe, change the world.”

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Question & Exclam pt

Why should you come to the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference?

If you’re a beginning writer, CCWC will give you a solid foundation to build upon. It can save you both time and disappointments in your journey to publication. If you’re an advanced writer, there’s always more to learn.

Whether you have never published or are publishing regularly, CCWC is an opportunity to grow your writing and marketing skills through 5 new learning labs and 13 early bird workshops, 8 continuing sessions, and 42 workshops. As one conferee said, “It’s the equivalent of a semester course in writing.”

CCWC will give you face-to-face opportunities to present your ideas or manuscripts to editors and agents or to authors who can provide encouragement and direction.  Free one-on-one 15-minute appointments with our faculty are included with your registration.


A bonus SIXTH appointment for those who register
for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday has been extended
from the first 50 to the first 75 to register.

Need hands-on help? Pray about applying for a clinic or requesting one or more paid critiques.

Do you long for deep friendships with others who share your passion for words and the Lord? You’ll meet them at CCWC.

Discouraged faceHave rejection slips or writers’ block caused you to become discouraged? You’ll find answers and encouragement at CCWC.

Do you need direction from the Lord and confirmation that you’re writing what He wants written? CCWC is not just a writers’ conference; it’s also a retreat where those who are listening have heard from Him in ways that have changed their lives.

Are you running on empty spiritually? The worship and keynotes will fill you to overflowing.

Yes, CCWC by God’s plan and design is much more than just a writers’ conference. I’m excited to see what He is going to do and know that it will be “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20 NKJV).

Register now to beat the March 21 price increase. You’ll save $5 to $20 that can be better spent on books. 🙂

Possible And Impossible Keys Show Optimism And PositivityIf it looks impossible financially? Remember, nothing is impossible for the Lord. Partial scholarships are available for those with financial need thanks to all who have contributed to our scholarship fund and the generosity of Illumify Media. For more information and to apply click here.


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I confess! I hate research. As a result, almost all of my 1,000 plus sales to Christian periodicals are based on personal experience. You’ll rarely find me including statistics or quoting a bunch of “experts.”

Well, I hate most kinds of research, but I love digging deep into God’s Word to “write His answer.”

Study GOD and his strength, seek his presence day and night.

1 Chronicles 16:11 MSG

Early on in the 46 years I’ve written for publication I discovered the importance of studying (researching) the markets. I took seriously what an editor said at one of the first writers’ conferences I attended. I don’t remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten what she said: “An incorrectly targeted article is nothing but a source of irritation to a busy editor.”

Each edition of the Christian Writers Market Guide that Sally Stuart compiled for 24  years was well-worn and much appreciated. From it, and the guidelines for writers that I always requested from publishers, I developed Market Analysis Charts. As part of my Ministry/Marketing Packet that I sold for many years they were used by well over 1,000 writers.

Barb Haley apr 2016 croppedToday I’m so grateful for my dear friend, Barb Haley, who serves as the registrar and appointment coordinator for both the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference.

The charts of agent interests, editorial needs, and areas of expertise that she prepares for both conferences are an incredibly valuable research tool and a huge amount of work.

Below  is the chart of nonfiction editorial needs for the 22 editors at the May 15-18, 2019, Colorado Christian Writers Conference. There are also charts for fiction, children/YA & Other for our editors, 5 agents, 7 other professionals, and 19 authors.


In addition, with the bio for each of our 53 faculty members you’ll find the chart they completed (see sample below). Click on Editors, Agents & Other Professionals, and Authors.


Father, thank You for Barbie and for Steve Laube who is continuing the work Sally Stuart began with the Christian Writers Market Guide. Thank You for the Internet that puts information at our fingertips. Help us not to be lazy when it comes to obtaining info we need. And especially, Father, remind us daily to study Your Word. Help us to do in-depth research so that we can effectively share Your answer.

Know what his Word says and means.

2 Timothy 2:15

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Debbie Hardy for GPDebbie Hardy – The Queen of Resilience!  If you see her at the May 15-18 Colorado Christian Writers Conference, chances are, she’ll be wearing a tiara.

She loves this conference!  Attending for 11 years, she has been a speaker/teacher for 7 years.

Her first conference was a big challenge.  She had just begun her first book and was scared.  Marlene encouraged her to bring her first chapter.  Still she was so afraid to come alone, she convinced a friend to come with her, and Debbie paid her friend’s way!

Debbie learned two important lessons that first year.

1 – publishers and editors are people too!  And she had fun getting to know them and still does.

2 – there is a whole language to learn in the land of publishing.  So in many of her classes, she provides a vocabulary sheet with definitions to encourage new writers to jump right in.

This year she will be teaching an Early Bird workshop on Writing Devotions and doing Interviews representing ChristianDevotions.US.

Her favorite part of the conference is talking with new writers and seeing their eyes light up when they get some piece of feedback that makes them say “I can do that!”

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Dick Bruso from Eric.jpg

Guest Blogger – Dick Bruso
International Professional Speaker and Author

Wow! Another exceptional Colorado Christian Writers Conference at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, May 15-18, will be here before you know it. I’ve had the distinct privilege of attending and speaking at CCWC for a number of years and have been blessed beyond measure.

My life verse is Psalm 37:4 (NIV), “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The Colorado Christian Writers Conference allows all who attend to truly delight themselves in the Lord throughout the entire conference while at the same time fulfilling the desires of their hearts as Christian writers.

Here are just a few ways you will be significantly impacted at CCWC 2019:

* Becoming much better equipped to write what God had laid upon your heart

* Forming new and life-long friendships with your brothers and sisters in Christ

* Learning from and connecting with a vast variety of remarkable professionals all dedicated to helping you move your writing career forward

* Enjoying the beauty and majesty of God’s creation in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains

* Building your faith through dedicated and powerful times of prayer and worship

If you haven’t already signed up for CCWC, now is the time to do so before the price increases March 21! It will prove to be one of the most valuable investments you will ever make as you seek to influence others for the cause of Christ!

Special Note: On Friday, May 17th, I will be giving two back-to-back workshops (featuring an exclusive bonus*) as described below:

“Create a Best-Seller Brand” (2:15 to 3:15 p.m.)
Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity, and life to both your work and your brand.

 “Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach” (3:30 to 4:30 p.m.)
Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

*Exclusive Bonus! Everyone attending either of these sessions will be given a complimentary 30-minute, post-conference, one-on-one phone consultation with me to help further their writing and speaking careers.

Testimonial from CCWC 2018

I attended Dick Bruso’s Create a Best-Seller Brand and Fast Track Your Speaking Outreach. Dick’s superb presentations were the answer to my prayers.

I can’t recommend his workshops enough. They were the high point of the CCWC for me, and I attended many other excellent sessions.

Jeff Walton, speaker and author of
the award-winning Christian novel,
Final Departure: Death Is Never On Time

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