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Archive for the ‘Colorado Christian Writers Conference’ Category

Cheri Cowell closeup from webGuest post by
Cheri Cowell

I am an author/publisher. I began writing in 2000 with magazine articles and seven years later published my first book. Recently, I had my fourth traditionally published book release with Zondervan, but it is helping my fellow authors extend their reach through my company, EABooks Publishing, that gives me the most satisfaction. So here is my opus, The Tale of Three Authors.

Amy* was considered a successful author with two books published by traditional publishing houses. However, there was one book she’d pitched and pitched and had been unable to sell. The book represented her heart’s cry and passion and she wouldn’t rest until it was published.

Chip* was a leader in his local critique group, winning several writing awards, and the admiration of many. Yet, when he sat before editors at writers’ conferences he performed poorly and never knew how to answer the platform question. He wasn’t good at selling himself or his work, but he was a good writer with a lot to say.

Bonnie* was a retired high school English teacher who’d married her high school sweetheart. Together they’d served as missionaries around the world. Now that her husband was gone and her years waning, she’s begun to look at the legacy she was leaving. Her grandchildren loved the story she always told about a young girl in Bangladesh, the true story about a girl and her life of faith in a foreign land. Bonnie knew she didn’t have the funds most self-publishers were charging, and yet she didn’t fit the profile of the up and coming author the traditional publishers were looking to sink their money into. Was there a place for her in this publishing world?

These three writers found a place with EABooks Publishing

The same year Amy released two traditionally published books, she released the book of her passion as an e-book. She timed it perfectly to piggyback on the publicity from her traditionally pubed books. Now she knows the message of her ‘passion book’ is reaching people and making a difference.

Chip has published five books with EABooks Publishing, some as e-books and others as print-on-demand. He’s found a new outlet for his creativity, and with marketing help from EABooks he’s developed a fan base. And he’s even making a little money. His fans can’t wait for the release of his latest project—an audiobook.

It took Bonnie a long time to make her decision, but when she finally decided to go with EABooks Publishing she found the whole process empowering. When her book began selling on Amazon she sent a link to a friend, who decided to purchase hundreds of copies for the children’s home he supported. Bonnie would have been happy to sell only to her family and friends, but sharing the gospel with hundreds of needy children makes her heart sing.

This tale is still being written and has room for the stories of more authors. Come share yours with Cheri Cowell, Owner and President of EABooks Publishing, at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She’d love to hear about your book.

* Names and genders have been changed but these stories are true.

Note from Marlene 

I’m happy to have Cheri Cowell on the faculty of this year’s CCWC. She will teach a Wednesday early bird workshop from 4:45 – 6:00 on Evaluating Your Options. Cheri will discuss traditional publishing, answer some forbidden questions, and take a look at the many options for self-, independent and co-publishing, and partnership publishing. As someone with her foot in both worlds, Cheri can help you evaluate your options.

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Debbie Hardy for GPGuest Post by
Debbie Hardy

So, you’ve been told that you should write a book, but where do you start? And after you’ve put pen to paper or opened a Word doc, what next? How in the world do you get published?

That’s exactly where I was just a few years ago. In fact, I was so terrified of going to my first writers’ conference that I paid a friend’s way and took her with me so I wouldn’t chicken out and go back home!

Since that time, I’ve attended dozens of conferences, workshops, and seminars and learned a lot about the publishing industry. And I’ve published 3 books, I’m working on 2 others, and I have a literary agent. I’m going to share what I’ve learned at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference in May.

Come join my Wednesday, May 16, early bird workshop from 1:00 – 2:00, “How to Write a Book AND Get it Published,” and learn how you too can become a published author. We’ll talk about how to get that book to come out of you, how to not appear to be an amateur, and how to get your book into the hands of your target audience.

I’ll also give you a glossary of publishing terms, so you can understand the industry lingo and feel at home.

The CCWC conference has 8 continuing sessions, 4 hands-on clinics to have a professional work on your WIP (Work In Progress) with you (deadline for applying is April 16), and over 50 workshops (including 16 early bird workshops on Wednesday) covering anything you could want to learn about the industry.

Probably the most important feature of this conference is the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with authors, editors, agents, and publishers to discuss your writing dreams.  (Click here for info about CCWC’s appointments.) That’s how I met my agent, my publicist, and my first publisher. (If you want to know the difference between a publicist and a publisher, come to my workshop. I’ll let you in on the secret!)

See you in Estes Park, May 16-19.

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2018 CO banner

  • Do you ever doubt your abilities as a writer?
  • Have you almost given up on getting published in today’s competitive market?
  • Do you hate the “slush pile” and wish you could talk to an editor one-on-one?
  • Are you secretly terrified of the idea of building a “platform”?
  • Do you feel like you’re all alone in your writing adventure/struggle?
  • Is it really worth hanging in there for the long haul?
  • Is there a desire burning in your heart to write words that will potentially lead others to Christ?

7 Top Reasons You Need to Register
for the May 16-19 CCWC

1.  Master the craft of writing. Okay, no one will ever achieve that lofty goal. There’s always more to learn. But as one conferee said, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference is equivalent to a semester college course in writing. A faculty of 59 editors, agents, and authors will provide instruction for wannabe and advanced writers of fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting. With 58 workshops and 8 continuing sessions to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

2.  Learn how to sell your work to potential publishers. Whether you’ve received more than your share of rejection slips or have yet to get your first, our Publishing track of six workshops will give you the information you need to make the best possible impression on an editor.

3. Face-to-face opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents. In today’s publishing world the only way to connect with many agents and editors is through meeting them at a conference, and no conference provides more opportunities than CCWC. Those who register for Thursday through Saturday are entitled to FIVE 15-minute one-on-one appointments with the faculty of their choice. You’ll find lots of helpful info on how to prepare and make the best choices by clicking on http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/appointments. Authors are also available to meet with you.

4. Explore the benefits and how-to’s of indie publishing. Cheri Cowell’s Wednesday early bird workshop from 4:45 – 6:00 will help you “Evaluate Your Options.” Our “Indie Publishing” continuing session will give you the tools you need to go indie.

5.  Learn the craft of marketing/promoting your published work. Yes, it’s a craft, and not one that comes naturally to most writers. I’ve often said that the reason I quit Girl Scouts was the stress of trying to sell cookies. Whether or not you enjoy marketing, you hold the key to the sales of your book. And the good news is that marketing can be learned. We have a track of six hour-long marketing workshops and a continuing session on “Your Book Launch Game Plan.”

6.  Fellowship with other writers. Writers connect deeply with one another faster than I ever have in the chit-chat before and after Sunday-morning worship services. A key verse that I’ve sought to follow is 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage each other to build each other up” (TLB). It happens every year at CCWC!

hands joined in prayer

7.  Renew your faith and passion to “write His answer.” Each year Father meets us on the mountain and challenges and equips us to keep on keeping on.

There’s still time to register and to request appointments. Housing is still available at the YMCA – Estes Park Center. Thanks to the Y’s spacious classrooms, none of the workshops or continuing sessions are filled. To register securely online click here. There is a slight price increase April 17.  Some scholarship help is still available (click here).

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Ephesians 3:20
Matt mountain

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God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn;
he will never go back on his promises.
Romans 11:29 TLB

  • Do you feel called to write a nonfiction book?
  • Have you been procrastinating because you don’t feel up to the task?
  • Perhaps you’ve begun writing but now you’re feeling stuck?
  • Or maybe you’ve got a completed manuscript, but now what? Should you try and find a traditional publisher, or is indie publishing a better option?

When I finished my first book about 45 years ago (yes, I’ve been writing for a long time), indie publishing wasn’t an option. Back then it was called vanity publishing. Not only was it outrageously expensive, it “branded” the author (but not in today’s positive understanding of the word) as not being good enough to find a real publisher.

Today, because indie publishing is often the best option, the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference is offering a 6-hour continuing session on Going Indie.

Cindy Lambert Mar 2015But God’s plan for you may be traditional publishing. If so, a strong book proposal is essential to gain the attention of an agent and publisher. I highly recommend Cindy Lambert’s Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic. Cindy is the former vice president and associate publisher of trade books with Zondervan. In addition to the six hours she will spend working with six authors on their book proposal, Cindy will meet one-on-one with each participant for 30 minutes. Click here for more information and the needed application. It is due April 16.

Proposal-writing classes have always left me feeling a bit bewildered. Each instructor had their own, different list of “musts,” “dos,” and “don’ts.”  The fog lifted for me after working with Cindy Lambert at CCWC. A delightful and caring mentor, I would have enjoyed her class under any circumstances. But as a teacher Cindy really zeroed in on: WHAT we needed to include in our proposal, WHY that information was important to an Acquisitions Editor, WHERE each section should be shown for optimum effect, HOW to dig deeply to uncover what made our writing stand out in a crowd, and, maybe most importantly, WHO are our readers?  It took my understanding of writing and publishing to a whole new level. ~ Lori Hynson – Phoenixville, PA

A pre-requisite for participating in Cindy’s clinic is her Crafting a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal early bird workshop on Wednesday from 4:45 – 6:00. This workshop is open to everyone.

Instead of applying for Cindy’s clinic, nonfiction writers have the option to choose six workshops from the 42 offered Thursday through Saturday. In addition, you still get a 6-hour continuing session. Especially recommended for nonfiction writers is Writing Narrative Nonfiction, Your Book Launch Game Plan, or Write from the Deep.

And don’t forget CCWC’s one-on-one appointments. If you attend Thursday through Saturday you are eligible for FIVE free appointments. (The first 75 who registered get SIX.) That’s more than any other conference offers. Five of the six agents on faculty are interested in acquiring nonfiction books and more editors than I’ve got time to count. See the charts below.

Agents NF

Click here to view a 3-page full-size PDF
of all genres agents are interested in representing.

Editors Chart NF p 1.jpg

Click here to view a 5-page full-size PDF of all editorial needs.

Editors Chart NF p 2.jpg

The conference registration fee increases on tax day, April 17. You can register securely online by clicking here. If you’re waiting for your tax return, you can register now , pay a $100 deposit in the next 7 days and the balance at the conference.

Always remember to:

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him to help you do it, and he will.
Psalm 37:5 TLB

 

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poetry in Bible pexels-photo-257013Have you ever attended a workshop on writing poetry?

I never had. In fact, to be honest, I wasn’t interested in reading poetry much less writing it. Okay, of course, I read and loved many of the Psalms. I guess I just didn’t think of them as poems.

But then I took a poetry workshop with David Page at the St. David’s Christian Writers Conference that transformed my thinking and my writing. Since then, I’ve published over 50 poems in numerous Christian periodicals, many of them more than once.

Through the years I’ve offered poetry workshops at the Colorado and Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Sadly, they are usually not well attended. This year I hope that will change and that you will seriously consider taking Catherine Lawton’s early bird workshop Wednesday afternoon, May 16, from 1:00 – 2:00 at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. The cost is only $25 ($15 if you take a second or third early bird workshop). You won’t regret it!

Ten Ways Poetry Can Improve Your Prose
by Catherine Lawton

  1. Writing poetry provides practice in developing skills of concise wording (something we editors like!).
  2. The writing (and reading) of poetry can sharpen your observation skills.
  3. Because syntax matters in poetry, you will improve in your understanding of syntax matters.
  4. Figures of speech used in poetry teach you finer subtleties of word usage and connotations and make you a better wordsmith.
  5. Precision in word choices, necessary in poetry, sharpens your skill in choosing the most fitting, evocative, precise words in your prose.
  6. The rhythms and rhymes of poetry tune your ear to hear fluctuations and patterns in the sense and sound of language.
  7. Writing (or reading) a poem can provide a rejuvenating break from a long writing project. It may even break you out of writers block.
  8. Writing a poem can help you distill a thought, discover the kernel of the truth, and find your focus on a topic to develop more fully later, in prose.
  9. A poem or short rhyme can add variety/spice/interest to a longer piece, when used in an organic way in a novel, memoir, blog post, even an expository piece of writing (and it looks good on the page).
  10. You may possibly find your calling as a poet and discover that your poetry will reach your reader’s mind and heart more effectively than 1,000s of prose words.

Cathy Lawton 2017

Catherine Lawton is an author and co-owner, publisher, and editor at Cladach Publishing that she founded fifteen years ago.

Cathy has enjoyed producing written expression since she was a toddler scribbling in the margins of her preacher-father’s theology books. This desire was encouraged when she had a poem published in a national periodical at the age of  twelve. Cathy is the author, as-told-to author, or compiler/author of four books, including her collection of poetry written throughout her life, Remembering Softly: A Life in Poems. Her writing has appeared in a variety of periodicals.

Cladach is a small royalty press that produces and distributes 2-3 new titles per year and currently has 38 titles in print. Cladach publishes trade paperbacks, ebooks, and some audio books. This family company includes Cathy, her husband, Larry, and their daughter, and they wear all the hats of publisher, editor, design, marketing, sales, and fulfillment. With a BA in English and training in music, Cathy has worked as a substitute teacher in public schools, a private piano teacher, a freelance writer and editor. Cathy finds regular renewal in nature, contemplation, poetry, music, friends, and family.

Cladach is pronounced: Kla’ dak ~ This Scottish Gaelic word means “shore” as in “seashore.” “Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore” (John 21:4). The Lord sends us forth on life’s sea to venture for him, then welcomes us to the safety of his shore; and always He is with us. 

Note from Marlene: Cathy’s workshop is one of 16 Wednesday early bird workshops. I encourage you to subscribe to her blog, “The View from This Publisher’s Shore,” at http://cladach.com/blog.

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2017 snow CCWC
With another nor’easter on the way (the fourth one in three weeks on the east coast), I am so looking forward to springtime in the Rockies. Well, not the “spring” we experienced last year at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference when we were in the bulls-eye of a storm that dumped 41″ of snow! Yes, 41″ – that’s not a typo!

The YMCA of the Rockies did an incredible job keeping the walkways and roads passable. They even cleared snow off the cars in the main parking lot. And really, it was awesome, especially for the folks from the south who had never seen this much snow.

Even more awesome was how Father again met us on the mountain. I expect He will do the same this year blanketing us with His presence but without the snow!

The bios of all 60 faculty members are now on the conference website. Click here. Also on the website are the wonderfully helpful charts of editorial needs, genres our agents our interested in representing, and areas of expertise Barb Haley, our appointments coordinator, has prepared to make it easier for you to choose your free 15-minutes one-on-one appointments.

If you come Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Wednesday is a pre-conference day with 16 afternoon workshops and not one but two powerful keynotes in the evening), you’re entitled to 5 (yes, FIVE) appointments.

New this year is a chart you can click on for each faculty member for more info. Here’s a sample:

Chart Steve Barclift 2018 CCWC

The price increases March 18 – not by much, but the earlier you register the better opportunity you have to get your top appointment requests.

With 8 continuing sessions, 42 workshops (plus the 16 Wednesday early bird workshops), 4 clinics (by application due April 16), challenging keynotes, panels, and those important one-on-one appointments CCWC will encourage and equip you to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives!

For you are dealing with the One who formed the mountains, made the winds, and knows your every thought; he turns the morning to darkness and crushes down the mountains underneath his feet: Jehovah, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is his name.
Amos 4:13 TLB

YMCA lodge

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Dianne Buts for webWhen You Think
You’re Not the One to Go

Guest Post
Dianne E. Butts

Have you ever had a moment when you witnessed something, knew God was doing something amazing and important, but had no idea it would affect your life let alone how?

I will never forget that evening in the Ruesch Auditorium at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. I believe it was the year 2000, when Marlene gave the podium to Barbara Nicolosi. When Barbara took the mic, she asked the audience two questions. Here’s how I remember them:

How many of you have seen something objectionable come out of Hollywood recently?”

I think a majority, if not all, the people in the audience of maybe 200 raised a hand and nodded and murmured agreement.

Then Barbara asked:

How many of you have prayed for Hollywood recently?”

The room went dead. Still. Not a single hand moved that I could detect. Including mine.

ActOne 2018 promo HalfPageFlyerBarbara went on to tell us about the school she and some others had started, called Act One: Writing for Hollywood, to train Christian writers to write for Hollywood and thereby transform Hollywood from the inside out. And that is why she had come to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference to speak to us Christian writers.

At the time and for many reasons it was not possible for me to go to Act One, although I longed to. I didn’t think I’d ever be the one to go. But ten years later, through several amazing circumstances, the Lord made it clear He wanted me to apply. And go. And in more amazing ways He provided what was needed so I could. So in the summer of 2010, I attended the Act One: Writing for Hollywood classes for two weeks in Hollywood. This launched me into an area of writing I had never envisioned when I started out to write fiction books for the Christian market.

Since then I have written feature-length screenplays which are currently being considered by some production company executives (which I was able to meet through Act One sponsored events), I have also swerved into not only writing short films but producing them! I never saw that coming. Turns out the short documentary film I was producing at the time of last year’s CCWC won two awards at a film festival last August: Best Documentary and the Evangelista Award for the clearest presentation of the gospel of all the films in the festival.

Over the years I have prayed God would do Ephesians 3:20 things with my writing: “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus…” To my amazement, He is doing just that as He uses me in film.

Now, that you know my story, I have a question for you: Have you considered applying to and attending the Act One program? Yes, I mean you.

Right now Act One is preparing their summer Writing Program, and not only that but Act One also offers a Producing & Entertainment Program and a new Directing Workshop. Find all the details at these links:

  • Act One Hollywood Writing Program: New: Offering two tracks! Film Track and TV Track, or both. 10 days each track. Feature Films: July 9-19. Television: July 20-22 + July 23-Aug 2. Application* Deadlines: Early Bird Deadline is April 30, 2018 ($100 off price). Regular Deadline: June 15, 2018. Questions: james@actoneprogram.com

*$50 application fee

If you decide to apply for an Act One program, please tell them Dianne Butts sent you. And please let us know what adventure God is taking you on. We’d all like to know, to pray for you, and cheer you on.

And if you are interested in writing for the screen, whether feature films or TV, you won’t want to miss the amazing opportunity at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference this year! For the first time Executive Producer Brian Bird (The Case for Christ, When Calls the Heart, Touched by an Angel, more) will be teaching a continuing session — that’s six hours over three days — on screenwriting! Come meet Brian Bird (he’s really, really nice and not scary at all) and learn from him how to launch your career in screenwriting. To learn more about Brian and his six-hour continuing session click here and scroll down the page. To register for the CCWC conference click here.

Just one more thing: If you’re coming to the conference, Marlene is planning to show my award-winning short film, The Door, on Friday evening. I hope to see you there!

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2018 CO banner

These are in addition to Writing Women’s Fiction with Deborah Raney, Advanced Fiction Writing with Dave Lambert, and Screenwriting with Brian Bird. See https://writehisanswer.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/the-power-of-story/.

Erin Taylor Young High Resolution

Write from the Deep
with Erin Taylor Young

In the challenging world of publishing, we need a way to find refreshment, renewal, and restored passion. And there’s no better place to do that than in the deep places. These interactive sessions will challenge you to go deep with God in your call and craft. Erin is the co-creator of Write from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer with the gift to make her readers laugh out loud even as she’s delivering hard truths about living a life of faith.

Craig von Buseck croppedWriting Narrative Nonfiction
with Craig von Buseck

The narrative nonfiction genre is a burgeoning market for writers who want to tell true stories with powerful messages. Learn the difference between narrative nonfiction, biography, and historical fiction. Discover how true stories can unlock the hearts of your readers to the ways God can move supernaturally in the lives of people who seek Him. Craig is an author, speaker, teacher, and Senior Editor for Inspiration.org, the official website of Inspiration Ministries.

Scoti Domeij 1Your Book Launch Game Plan
with Scoti Domeij

The biggest secret no one tells you behind an author landing an agent or book contract or making money in self-publishing—a savvy book marketing plan. Your Book Launch Game Plan provides a step-by-step, month-by-month, how-to action plan that covers the nitty-gritty groundwork of book marketing. It lays out a 6-month timeline to build a social media platform, to create pre-release marketing buzz, to launch your book, and to promote your book throughout the year after your book launches. Scoti has worked with 10 traditional publishers as an author; editor; senior research assistant; copyriter; marketing director; and production, art, and design coordinator.

Ken-Raney-HR-3 copyIndie Publishing
with Ken Raney

In the first session discover the pitfalls, snags & triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company, Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher. In the next three sessions Ken will address formatting the interior and designing professional looking book covers, business cards, newsletters, blogs and websites, bookmarks, postcards, email signatures, ads, and more along with accessible online resources for writers such as templates, themes, stock photography, fonts, photomanipulation programs, etc. Ken has over 35 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. His sessions will be practical and user-friendly info even for non-techies. The last session features a panel of indie authors.

Bill Watkins2Writing that Changes Lives
with Bill Watkins

Culture changes one life at a time. And those personal changes impact the lives of others, eventually bringing about changes in policies, laws, business, entertainment, education, the church, and a host of other spheres in society. Although there are multiple causes of change, one that’s proven effective long after its author is gone is writing. But not just any writing. It must be writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth. It does not waste time with the trivial and the comfortable. Instead it takes readers more deeply into the true, the good, and the beautiful in all their power and mystery. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of writers including Mike Huckabee, Charles R. Swindoll, Leslie Vernick, Josh McDowell, and Cecil Murphey.

~ *~ *~ *~ *~

Be among the first 75 to register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and you’ll receive a free 6th one-on-one appointment. For more information and to register go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

 

 

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2018 CO bannerThree Continuing Sessions for Fiction Writers

Because one of the most effective ways to present truth is through the power of story, we’re offering not one but three continuing sessions on writing fiction at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference:

Deb-Raney-HR-3Award-winning novelist Deborah Raney will teach a 6-hour continuing session on Writing Women’s Fiction. Beyond covering many writing tools that apply to all genres: strong characterization, complex plots, and deft use of point-of-view, Deborah will discuss key elements unique to contemporary women’s fiction: addressing social issues in fiction, creating likeable-yet-flawed characters, using strong dialogue, creating page-turning action (despite a lack of explosions or car chases), and writing cinematically (making it that much more likely your book might become a movie).

Brian Bird2Brian Bird who has spent three decades in Hollywood, will provide soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays in his 6-hour Screenwriting session. Brian has written or produced two dozen films including The Case for Christ and Captive as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season.

Dave Lambert 2018A third option for fiction writers (it’s going to be difficult to choose) is Dave Lambert’s Advanced Fiction Writing. Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books. He also wrote the fiction curriculum for the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. Dave will help take your fiction to the next level as he examines some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress.

Did I say it’s going to be difficult to choose?

Plus there are five more continuing sessions. Three of them would also be a good choice for those who write fiction. Watch for the next blog!

For more information about all our continuing sessions go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/continuingsessions.

Online registration opened February 1. Click here

The earlier you register, the better opportunity you have to get your top choices for the five free one-on-one appointments you are entitled to if you register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. And if you’re among the first 75 to register, you’ll receive a 6th appointment.

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This morning, an article on www.CharismaNews.com grabbed and held my attention. Below are excerpts of what Larry Tomczak wrote January 29 in “We are Now in a Second Civil War in America.”

Are you aware how seriously we’ve gone off track as a nation? . . .

The dark is getting darker and the light is getting lighter while the difference between the two is becoming increasingly evident. . . .

Like the frog boiled to death slowly in water without recognizing what happened, scores of Americans are imperceptive to today’s encroaching darkness. . . .

My greatest concern in this hour is that so many sincere Christians are not being prepared amidst the escalation of evil, apostasy and mounting persecution. . . .

frog-in-the-kettle

I can’t help think that many of us are like this frog. We’re ignoring the signs of the times and are happily doing our thing, oblivious to the fact that the heat has been turned up and life in America as we have known it is in danger of collapsing.

It’s the complacency, the apathy, of so many Christians that causes me to keep on keeping on directing three writers’ conferences even though I’m well past retirement age.

Repeatedly I’m reminded of the words of my dear friend, Hannah Crabtree, who grew up in Switzerland before the start of the Second World War. She said,

The church in Germany saw what was happening,
but the church in Germany was silent.

It’s why I’ve asked my friend, Bill Watkins, to keynote and teach a continuing session on Writing to Change Lives at both the February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, and the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference  (CCWC) at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center.

“Culture,” Bill says, “changes one life at a time. And those personal changes impact the lives of others, eventually bringing about changes in policies, laws, business, entertainment, education, the church, and a host of other spheres in society. Although there are multiple causes of change, one that’s proven effective long after its author is gone is writing. But not just any writing. It must be writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth. It does not waste time with the trivial and the comfortable. Instead it takes readers more deeply into the true, the good, and the beautiful in all their power and mystery.”

Because one of the most effective ways to present truth is through the power of story, we’re offering not one but three continuing sessions on writing fiction at the Colorado conference:

Award-winning novelist Deborah Raney will teach a 6-hour continuing session on Writing Women’s Fiction. Beyond covering many writing tools that apply to all genres: strong characterization, complex plots, and deft use of point-of-view, Deborah will discuss key elements unique to contemporary women’s fiction: addressing social issues in fiction, creating likeable-yet-flawed characters, using strong dialogue, creating page-turning action (despite a lack of explosions or car chases), and writing cinematically (making it that much more likely your book might become a movie).

Brian Bird, who has spent three decades in Hollywood, will provide soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays in his 6-hour  Screenwriting continuing session. Brian has written or produced two dozen films including The Case for Christ and Captive as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season.

A third option for fiction writers (it’s going to be difficult to choose) is Dave Lambert’s Advanced Fiction Writing. Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books. He also wrote the fiction curriculum for the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. Dave will help take your fiction to the next level as he examines some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress.

Did I say it’s going to be difficult to choose?

Plus click here to view four more continuing sessions at the May 16-19 CCWC:

  • Write from the Deep with Erin Taylor Young
  • Writing Narrative Nonfiction with Craig von Buseck
  • Your Book Launch Game Plan with Scoti Domeij
  • Indie Publishing with Ken Raney

    Online registration for CCWC opens February 1
    Click here

The February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, includes:

  • Four-hour learning lab on Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) on Friday afternoon. (Opposite it are optional 30-minute paid critiques and free 15-minute appointments.)

Saturday, in addition to two keynotes, a marketing panel, optional 30-minute paid critiques, and 15-minute free appointments, participants will choose a 3-hour continuing session:

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for 4 major publishers.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 books.
  • And Writing to Change Lives with Bill Watkins.

The price for the Writing to Impact Lives Conference increases February 1 so don’t delay! And be sure to check out the three free books you’ll receive as part of your registration to the entire conference. Click here to register.

And pray! Ask Father what He wants you to write. And believe! At this critical time in history, He can enable you to write words that will make a difference.

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