Archive for the ‘Platform building’ Category

Lynda Stear2

Guest Blog
Lynda A. Stear
Publisher & Editor
Living Seasons Ministry

The Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference greatly impacted my writing life last year.

I had not attended a Christian writers conference for well over a decade because my professional medical writing life took me in other directions. Not only did I catch up with what the publishing industry expects from writers today, and there have been significant changes in the past decade, but I also discovered how important social media is for a writer.

The paid critique and 15 minute appointments with agents, editors, and publishers from the industry illuminated what was expected of me as a writer. I received encouragement to seriously consider social media to establish a platform and following for a ministry. This endeavor would show a publisher my drive and professionalism with my writing endeavors.

The conference bookstore was filled with reference materials about social media which I purchased. I went home, studied the literature, and contacted a Webmaster.  Three months later, I launched Living Seasons Ministry (http://www.livingseasonsministry.com/).

An agent and editor encouraged me to continue writing my historical fiction, which I had proposed, and I am currently writing this book and have a second cozy fiction novella started. The Website is ready and waiting for the eventual marketing of my books.

What also evolved out of this new website endeavor is that other writers wanted to write for Living Seasons Ministry, so that was a bonus to what was an idea planted into my mind and heart at the last GPCWC in 2014.

Networking with other writers helped me build a new community during this season of my life since I retired several years ago.

I want to encourage you to register for the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference with great expectancy as to how God will open your eyes to Write His Word.

Father, thank You for how You used and are using GPCWC to grow Lynda’s writing ministry. I love watching You work!

The registration fee increases July 1 so don’t procrastinate! You can register securely online at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/register. You will have the option to pay by credit card using PayPal or to mail a check.

Living Seasons Ministry

Living Seasons Ministry addresses seasons of life in which we find ourselves and offers Biblical solutions on how to live and serve within these seasons. An informative Website designed for a quick read or for studying lengthier in-depth articles. Audience: Christians and non-Christians, parents, singles and senior adults.

Read Full Post »

Vicki ChandlerGuest blog
Vicki Chandler

Confession time. The thought of marketing my picture book filled me with fear. But, I faced my fear. I read books about marketing. I got advice from other authors and editors. I took a stab at some strategies, which yielded few sales. Then, I, dissolved into tears.  I . . . I . . . I . . .

Heart EyesI’m acting like one of my former students. No wonder I’m crying over this new challenge. I’m stumbling along alone.  I need help!

The image came to mind of a little second grader during one of my cursive lessons.

“Mrs. Chandler, Bruce is crying,” reported a classmate.

Bruce had convinced himself that he’d never be able to write a cursive “T.” He’d given up.

I walked over to his desk and quietly coached him. With me standing beside him, giving him instructions, he finally wrote the elusive letter successfully because he didn’t give up.

That’s what I had done. I’d given up. What could I learn from Bruce’s experience? That there are people willing to stand by and help.

That’s what Karen Whiting’s “Develop a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book” clinic at the July 29 – August 1 Greater Phily Christian Writers Conference will do for you.

When I reluctantly enrolled in her marketing clinic, I had no idea how much she’d help me. It’s sad how discouragement can lead to low expectations, isn’t it?

Let me elevate your expectations. She took me from “no way” to “Yay!” She stood by me with:

Resources: Tools were provided that helped us understand the content and organization of a good marketing plan.

Hands-on activities: Practice sessions gave us the opportunity to build our plans.

Customized Coaching: Individualized attention was provided, along with instant feedback.

Intelligence and Insight: Karen’s ability to understand everyone’s project was astounding. She effortlessly helped each participant craft a three-sentence description of their book.

In three days, Karen helped me create a detailed marketing plan. She’s the Michelangelo of marketing. Don’t miss your chance to have her help you create your own marketing masterpiece. Spaces are limited. So don’t delay!

For more info and the application go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/clinics.

To learn more about Vicki’s writing and speaking ministry and her picture book for children about bullying go to

Read Full Post »


Why you need to come?

Banner 2015 GPCWC

  1. To learn the craft of writing. Okay, maybe you’ve been writing for many years, but there is always more to learn. Master craftsmen will teach workshops and continuing sessions that, as one conferee said, are the equivalent of a semester college course in writing. Writing a novel? Allen Arnold, the Founder and Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction who spent 20 years in Christian publishing overseeing the development of more than 500 novels, will be with us. You won’t want to miss his continuing session, “Heart of the Storyteller,” or Tim Shoemaker’s “Take Your Fiction to the Gym,” or Eva Marie Everson’s “Fiction Practicum.” And they are just several of the 53 authors, editors, agents, and publicists serving on this year’s faculty and covering a wide range of topics and genres.
  1. To learn the craft of marketing your work to potential publishers. If you’ve gotten more than your share of rejection slips or have yet to get your first rejection (I’m sorry, it goes with the territory of being a writer), GPCWC’s “Get Published” track of six hour-long workshops will provide practical help.
  1. Face-to-face opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents. At GPCWC you get FOUR 15-minute one-on-one appointments with the faculty of your choice if you register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; THREE if you come two days; TWO if you come one day. If you are among the next 15 to register you’ll receive one more free appointment. Check out our helpful charts of editorial needs and areas of expertise as well as the faculty bios.
  1. To learn the craft of marketing/promoting your published work. And 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 is because of the stress of trying to sell cookies. Whether or not you like marketing, the fact is that you hold the key to the sales of your book. But the good news is that it’s a craft that can be learned. Suzanne and Shawn Kuhn’s six-hour continuing session, “Take Your Publishing Ministry to the Next Level,” will provide practical help and encouragement. Marketing genuis, Karen Whiting, wifll lead a clinic limited to 8 particpants on “Developing a Unique Marketing Plan for Your Book.” For those who choose not to apply for Karen’s clinic, we have a “Marketing” track of six workshops. In “News Releases, Media Kits & More,” “Social Media for the Reluctant,” “Branding For People Who Are Not Cows,” and three more workshops you’ll find the help you need.
  1. Friendships with other writers. My closest friends are writers I’ve met at writers’ conferences. In amazing ways writers connect deeply with one another more quickly than I ever have in the chit-chat before and after Sunday morning worship services. And we need each other. A key verse for me that I’ve experienced and sought to follow is 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage each other to build each other up” (TLB).
  1. Inspiration and encouragement to keep on keeping on. Our keynotes will challenge you not to give up. Jim Watkins will keynote on “Keeping Your Dreams Alive.” Other keynotes include “Writing Light into Darkness,” “Awakening the Writer’s Heart,” “Dreambusting,” “Breaking Fear’s Grip,” and “The Cross is the Main Thing.”
  1. Direction from the Lord. Each year, and this is my 32nd year directing GPCWC, God meets us and changes lives. He has a plan for you and for your writing. He is the One who makes the impossible possible.

So here are seven reasons you need to prayerfully consider coming to the July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. I could easily list many more! Partial scholarships are still available if you need financial help to come that your family, friends, or church are unable to provide. Housing is available on the campus of Cairn University, and we’ll do roommate matching to lower the cost. Speaking of cost, if you register through June 30, you’ll save $5 to $20 on the registration fee.

There’s lots more info on our website and in our 16-page brochure. Still have questions? You’re welcome to email me at mbagnull@aol.com or call 484-991-8581.

Read Full Post »

Karen Whiting from FB 3Guest Blogger
Karen Whiting

Before a book hits the shelves we need to plan ways to reach people with its message to generate excitement. That means marketing. One of the best ways to develop a plan is to see what others have done.

Take a little journey with me on ways I promoted Nature Girl: a guide to caring for God’s creation.

I needed a good pitch and to know my reason for writing the book and why it can make a difference in lives of girls. My life and Romans 1:20 sparked the idea. I grew up in dairy farm country in Connecticut and married a Coast Guard officer that meant living near waterways around the country, including Hawaii. That gave me a great passion for this land and God’s creation. The words of Romans 1:20 remind us that creation is a witness to the existence of God. Nature reveals his power and divine nature. So, if we care for the earth we help preserve that witness. That’s a powerful thought. So, I want girls to develop a passion for nature and for preserving the witness of God’s existence in fun ways.

My daughter (co-author) and I brainstormed ideas. We made a list and started working on them.

    • We started with creating an acrostic of the words Nature Girl to reflect the fun and significant contents. Our publisher put it on a bookmark (http://tinyurl.com/nwo4s6y).
    • We created a pitch for media: Nature and fun go together. When we work to preserve the earth we also preserve the witness of God (Romans 1:20). The book presents a balanced view to motivate girls to care about nature from a biblical perspective and get girls to hang outdoors instead of in malls. Activities help girls explore the earth through experiments, earth care projects, crafts, scriptures, quizzes, and other activities while exploring nature, energy, critters, and more.
    • To connect to teens we wrote an article for Sisterhood magazine that was published the month of the book’s release.
    • We partnered with American Heritage Girls on creating materials to coordinate with their environment badge. This included ten pages in their leader magazine with ideas on holding one-day seminars to earn the badge and explore nature.
    • Speaking is important too, so I applied to speak at the American Heritage Girl leadership conference where I sold many copies.
  • I started writing for Molly Green magazine and wrote some articles to promote the book plus created some blog posts for it.

This is only part of the list. We also did more than a dozen radio shows, a number of TV shows, and a blog tour. We are connecting with a TV station now to be regular guests on topics related to the book. The publisher helped too, including flying us to Texas to sign books at the Texas Library Association convention, helping us with media, and providing books to sign for retailers at events.

One review can be found at http://bit.ly/1lG4LGw and links to others are on my website.

One radio interview is at http://www.shepherdshillacademy.org/blogs/traceembry/tag/nature-girl.

So, start your own brainstorming with where to pitch article ideas and media appearances, bookmarks that engage the audience, speaking ideas, etc.

What to learn more — come  listen to Karen at the Lancaster Writer’s Super Saturday on April 11th. Check http://lancasterchristianwriterstoday.blogspot.com/ for details.

Sign up for appointments with Karen at the May 13-16 Colorado and July 29 – August 1 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference www.writehisanswer.com She’ll be doing a special marketing clinic at the Philly conference.

Read Full Post »

Dianne E. Butts 1-2011Guest writer
Dianne Butts

Hello CCWC fans! If you’ve attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference or the Philly conference last summer, you’ve no doubt seen me around or taken one of my workshops.

I have something new going that I want to share with you. I will be teaching my very first Webinar, “Blog-Plosion,” this Tuesday, February 3, in the evening!

This is actually a spin off of the workshop I taught at CCWC last spring, “Social Marketing for the Techno-Challenged.” In this 2-hour webinar I will be sharing how I took my brand new blog to 65,000+ page views per months in only a few months. And my readership is still growing.

In this Webinar I will share all the strategies and techniques I used to gain readers FAST.

My Bible Prophecies Fulfilled blog, which talks about not only Bible prophecy but Jesus as the Savior, is getting hundreds of re-Tweets and shares, and I’m getting messages and questions from people all around the world. I’m having discussions with people all over the world–including Muslims and atheists. I know the Lord is using my blog-ministry in Ephesians 3:20 ways.

Learn how I’m doing it and how you can do it too. Would you like to grow your platform fast? Sign up now!

The webinar is coming in only a few days so if you’re interested sign up today. Here’s the info:

Set of multicolored big buttons made of glass or plastic with metallic borders

“Blog-Plosion!” Webinar by Dianne E. Butts.
Hosted by Linda Evans Shepherd

LINK: http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/14267/cfde5e5001

WHEN:  Tuesday evening, February 3, 2015
9:00 pm Eastern Time
8:00 pm Central
7:00 pm Mountain
6:00 pm Pacific

Can’t make it? This Webinar will be recorded so if you sign up, you’ll be able to watch it later even if you can’t attend it live.

WHERE:  Blog-Plosion Webinar Sign Up Page

HOW MUCH?: $19.99

You should receive an auto-responder email telling you when and how to log in to the seminar.
You will receive two handouts with this class.

Please use the Share button on the webinar page to share with your friends and contacts. Thank you.

Again, I’m very excited to have this opportunity to teach and to share how I’m making an impact in this world through my blog. If I can do it, so can you! I do hope you’ll join us Tuesday evening!

P.S. from Marlene – I’ve signed up. I encourage you to sign up, too!

Read Full Post »

pen & inkwell7 Reasons Why                                          You Need to Come

Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

July 30 – August 2, 2014



1. To learn the craft of writing. Okay, maybe you’ve been writing for many years, but there is always more to learn. Master craftsmen will teach  workshops  and  continuing sessions that, as one conferee said, are the equivalent of a semester college course in writing.  You’ll learn from authors like Cec Murphey, Linda Evans Shepherd, Tim Shoemaker, and Jeanette Windle. And they are just four of the 56 authors, editors, agents, and publicists serving on this year’s faculty.

2.  To learn the craft of marketing your work to potential publishers or explore the how-to of indie publishing. If you’ve gotten more than your share of rejection slips or have yet to get your first rejection (I’m sorry, it goes with the territory of being a writer), GPCWC offers a “Get Published” track of six hour-long workshops that will provide practical help. In addition, literary agent, editor, and author Dave Fessenden is teaching a two-hour Wednesday early bird workshop, on “Book Proposals: The Front-End Method.” You also can choose Tim Shoemaker’s continuing session, “How to Get Published.” For those considering indie publishing. we have a two-hour “You Can Publish Your eBook” early bird workshop on Wednesday and a continuing session on how to professionally format a book interior for CreateSpace.

3. Face-to-face opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents.  At GPCWC full-time conferees get FOUR 15-minute one-on-one appointments with the faculty of your choice. Because we have such a large faculty, there’s a good possibility that  even late registrants will get their top choices. On Thursday afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for additional appointments with faculty who still have openings. In today’s publishing world, the only way to connect with many agents and editors is through meeting them at a conference. Check out our helpful spreadsheets of their editorial needs. You’ll find links on the pages for our editors and agents. Anxious about meeting a real live editor or agent face-to-face? Jeanette Windle’s two “Practice Your Pitch” early bird workshops (one for nonfiction and the other for fiction) will help build your confidence. Our authors are also available for appointments. They can point out the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, answer questions, and provide helpful guidance.

4. To learn the craft of marketing/promoting your published work. And 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 is because of the stress of trying to sell cookies.  Whether or not you like marketing, the fact is that you hold the key to the sales of your book.  But the good news is that it’s a craft that can be learned. We’ve also got a track of six hour-long marketing workshops.

5. Friendships with other writers. My closest friends are writers I’ve met at writers’ conferences. In amazing ways writers connect deeply with one another more quickly than I ever have in the chit-chat before and after Sunday morning worship services. And we need each other. A key verse for me that I’ve experienced and sought to follow is 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage each other to build each other up” (TLB). It happens at GPCWC!

6. Inspiration and encouragement to keep on keeping on. Our keynoters will challenge you to “Write His Answer.”

7. Direction from the Lord. Each year, and this is my 31st year directing GPCWC, I see God at work in Ephesians 3:20 ways.  He has a plan for you and for your writing.  He is the One who makes the impossible possible. Indeed, GPCWC is “More than a Writers Conference.”

There’s still time to register and to request appointments. Housing is still available in Cairn University’s Heritage Hall. None of the workshops or continuing sessions are filled because of the university’s large classrooms. If you need time payments or scholarship help, please ask. You can email me at mbagnull@aol.com or call 484-991-8581.

God bless you and your writing – Marlene

Read Full Post »

Bios for the 16 Agents & Others on the faculty of the July 30-August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference are now online. Click here.

Creating a Best-Seller Brand:
The Inside Secrets
Every Author Needs to Know!


Two Incredible Sessions
in One Power-Packed Program
at the July 30 – August 2
Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

Presented by
Internationally Acclaimed
Branding Expert
Dick Bruso


Come Build Your Brand! This is your opportunity to begin the process of creating your very own distinctive brand based on all aspects of your writing career. In addition, if you currently have a viable brand you will be shown creative and dynamic ways to expand it.

Workshop 1
“How To Be Heard Above The Noise:
Branding Your Uniqueness”

This jam-packed and highly practical session is designed to help authors develop their distinctive brand, focus on their uniqueness to successfully reach their desired markets, and position themselves to be “heard above the noise” in the marketplace.

Highlights include how to:

• Create a compelling, memorable, and distinctive brand centered onwhat sets you apart in everything you write, say and do

• Maximize your ability to reach your target market(s) via creative branding, the incredible power of media, and strategic networking

• Produce powerful tools and ancillary products to significantly enhance your brand’s visibility and help you sell more books

Examples of dynamic branding, unique positioning, and creative marketing approaches utilized by successful authors and other professionals will be shared throughout this session.

Workshop 2

During this highly interactive session, Dick will demonstrate (with the assistance of several audience members) how you and your fellow authors can develop best-seller brands designed to capture the marketplace. You’ll, also, learn the secret of how to apply the “umbrella branding” approach to encompass all aspects of your writing career.

 Rave reviews about Dick Bruso’s approach to branding:

 Dick Bruso is simply brilliant when it comes to branding.
He has a talent/knack for combining creativity and practicality.
Greg Godek, author of the multi-million bestseller, “1001 Ways To Be Romantic”

Dick helped focus and define my brand,
which positioned me for even greater success.
Karyn Buxman, CSP, CPAE, Speaker Hall of Fame and author

Genius! That is the word that best describes Dick Bruso and his process.
He knows branding inside and out and really cares about his clients.
Kelly Kerr, founder of Amped Up Digital

It was critical that I enlisted a master
when it came to crafting my brand.
A pleasurable and highly collaborative process,
the result has been a new and enhanced brand
that has drawn rave reviews nationally.
Dick Bruso and Heard Above The Noise
receive my highest recommendation
Sean Stormes, author, speaker and founder of The Third Door

An international speaker, author and founder of Heard Above The Noise®, Dick Bruso is a highly regarded branding and marketing expert. He teaches his audiences and clients how to develop and expand their brands to powerfully penetrate the marketplace.

His clients include best-selling authors and in-demand speakers, as well as successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. He authored the book, Bible Promises: Help and Hope for Your Finances, and is a contributing author, on the topic of branding, to the popular books, Paid To Speak and Speak More!

Dick is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and NSA/Colorado. He served as president of NSA/CO for 2005-2006 and prior to then was a member of both the NSA National PR Advisory Task Force and the Biola University Studio Task Force.

Dick, also, served as the 2009-2010 Chair of the NSA Writers & Publishers Professional Experts Group and as the Chair of the NSA National Academy for Professional Speaking for 2011-2012.

Dick enjoys photography, writing lyrics and living in Colorado. Most of all he likes spending time with his wife, his four daughters and son-in-laws, nine grandchildren, and two little rascally dogs named Spanky and Darla.

Read Full Post »

Dear Writer –

Question Mark Key Shows Doubt And HelpWhy should you come to the July 30 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference?

Most “advertising” is exaggerated,
but the best part about what you’ve written
is that it’s all true.

GPCWC can have a great impact on your writing,
but even more on your life.

I trust that God will use your words
to encourage people to come. 

They won’t be sorry! – Esther Lovejoy 

If you’re a beginning writer, GPCWC 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 even submitted a manuscript to an editor or are publishing regularly, GPCWC is an opportunity to grow your writing and marketing skills. As one conferee said, “It’s the equivalent of a semester course in writing.” In addition to 60 workshops, you get to choose one of the following continuing sessions that provide six hours of in-depth instruction:

The Power of Story – Cec Murphey

Reaching Women through Writing & More – Linda Evans Shepherd

You Can Write Articles – Lisa Crayton

How to Get Published – Tim Shoemaker

Authentic Faith in Fiction – Tracey Lewis Giggets

Writing Nonfiction Books – Craig Bubeck

Indie Publishing – Bart Palamaro

Focus on Fiction – Jeanette Windle

GPCWC will give you face-to-face opportunities to present your ideas or manuscripts to editors and agents or to authors who can provide needed encouragement and direction. Free one-on-one 15-minute appointments with our faculty are included with your registration. The more days you come, the more appointments you may request. And this year there are 56 faculty members to choose from!

Need hands-on help with your manuscript? Apply by July 1 for the Advanced Fiction Intensive with Nancy Rue or the Nonfiction Book Proposal Clinic with David Fessenden.

Are you working to build your “platform”? Megan Breedlove’s clinic, “Get Them Coming to Your Blog/Website,” will provide practical hands-on help.

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

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

Do you need direction from the Lord and confirmation that you’re writing what He wants written? GPCWC 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 messages in our general sessions will fill you to overflowing.

And there’s still more, for in addition to being a high-quality professional conference, GPCWC seeks to be on the cutting edge of issues and world needs. From the opening session Wednesday evening when various faculty and conferees will focus on “Writing His Answer to the Issues that Concern You” and “Missions Moments” throughout the conference you’ll be challenged and encouraged to make a difference.

Are you concerned about the increasing hostility toward Christianity in our nation? In “Living in the 11th Hour” Thursday morning Mark Ammerman and Mike Rusten will talk about the need to be ready.

Do you carry a heavy burden for those who do not know Jesus? Friday morning Rusty Wright of the Amy Foundation will speak on “Jesus: The Effective Witness.” And you won’t want to miss Rusty’s Thursday afternoon special session, “Reaching Seekers and Skeptics.”

Yes, GPCWC 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).

Serving Christ joyfully and expectantly – Marlene

P.S. The sooner you register the better opportunity you’ll have to get your top appointment picks. The price increases June 1 so don’t procrastinate! You can view the 16-page brochure online and register using PayPal at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/register.

Read Full Post »

Memorial day

I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV 2011)

Father, there are so many grieving this weekend for loved ones who gave their lives for our country. Others are struggling with “what if” fears as their loved one serves in a country far from home. And still others daily face the pain of seeing a son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother cope with a physical disability or PTSD.

Thank You, Father, for the assurance that You will not forget them or their families – or us.

July 30 – August 2 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference

Now that this year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference is only a memory, it’s time to switch my focus to the Greater Philly conference. This afternoon I uploaded info on our clinics to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/2014clinics.

Advanced Fiction Intensive with Nancy Rue – Nancy is the only author whose writing has so captured me that I read the last 50 pages of her first novel, Row this Boat Ashore, line-by-line by the light of my electric blanket control. Really! Nancy comes to the mentoring table with a wealth of experience: 30 years writing both fiction and nonfiction for middle grade, YA, new Adult, and adult audiences and 42 years teaching creative writing. She has 122 published books to her credit and while still writing, Nancy has expanded her ministry through her Writers Mentorship Program to mentor new authors who are led to a writing ministry of their own. If you have a completed manuscript in any fiction genre, including middle grade or young adult, Nancy will guide you in making your work richer, deeper, and more polished in readiness for submission to agents and editors. Just ask faculty members, Tim Shoemaker, Joyce Magnin, Candy Abbott, and Pam Halter whose lives and writing she has powerfully impacted.

Nonfiction Book Proposals with Dave Fessenden – Dave has been part of GPCWC’s faculty (family) for decades. He is a literary agent with WordWise Media Services representing academic, semi-academic, biblical studies and issues nonfiction, as well as speculative (sci-fi/fantasy) and historical fiction. He is also an independent editorial and publishing consultant with degrees in journalism and theology and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. He has served in editorial management positions for Christian book publishers and was regional editor for the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country. Dave has published seven books including Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract and  A Christian Writer’s Guide to the Book Proposal. He will lead a group of 6 authors in critiquing one another’s proposals and then improving and fine-tuning them. In addition, each of the participants will have a one-on-one with Dave during breakfast or lunch.

Get Them Coming to Your Blog/Website with Megan Breedlove – Megan is an author, speaker, and website consultant whose website for more than four years has held one of the top two spots in Google search terms that receive thousands of hits each month. She is the author of Manna for Moms, Well Done Good and Faithful Mommy, and Chaotic Joy, all from Regal. In addition to her writing and speaking to encourage moms, Megan works with Christian authors and ministries to help them improve their platforms so that they too can get their message out to the world. In this clinic you’ll learn how to bring the maximum number of people to your site, what kind of web presence you need and where to go to get it, and how to determine exactly who your target audience is and what they need. You’ll receive individual instruction to ensure your site does the best possible job of meeting your audience’s needs, discover how to promote your site, increase your Google ranking, expand your author platform so you can get your message out to the nations, develop a presence that will be attractive to publishers, and more.

Our ministry received such value from Megan’s instruction.
We learned so much about web presence.
The proof is in the results.
By His design went from 1 or 2 visits on our website per day to 80 to 90 visits per day.
She gave us a real value.

Dave Weikel, http://www.byhisdesignonline.com

More information and clinic applications will be uploaded soon to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/2014clinics as well as faculty bios, editorial needs, and more.

May 13-16, 2015 Colorado Christian Writers Conference

With the 2014 conference already a memor,y planning for next year has begun. God met us on the mountain in powerful, life-changing ways. CDs of the keynotes, workshops, and continuing sessions can be ordered at http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

News You Can Use

Handling a Difficult Editorial Process – Rachelle Gardner, an agent with Books and Such, offers helpful suggestions for working with editors that will also benefit you when  meeting with them at a conference. (Father, give us open minds and teachable spirits.)  http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/difficult-editorial/?utm_source=feedburner

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with family and friends.


Read Full Post »

Allen Arnold Nov 2013

Donna Brennan
CCWC Faculty Member
Allen Arnold


As founder and former Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction, Allen Arnold was a strong advocate not just for story, but for the storyteller. He has worked with hundreds of authors and published more than 500 novels in his 20 years in Christian publishing.

Allen’s personal ministry is now to nurture the heart and spirituality of the storyteller. More recently, as Director of Content and Resources at Ransomed Heart Ministry, he has been able to expand his reach to help many others—besides just authors—get closer to God and live the story of their life with an awakened heart.

But he still has a special place in his own heart for the storyteller. That’s why he’s such a popular presenter at Christian writing conferences, and part of the reason he received the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Allen will be presenting a five-part continuing session at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference on May 14 through 17 on The Heart of the Storyteller. I caught up with him to ask him some questions about this session and about his passion for nurturing the hearts of others.

Question: If I sell my stories and articles, then I’m a writer, or an author. That’s my identity; that’s who I am. Or am I missing something?

Here’s what is missing in that assumption: being called to write is not dependent on whether your article or story sells (“IF my story sells, THEN I am a writer”). God calls people in ways that often never correlates to monetary validation. That said, even when a person is called to be a writer and even if they sell millions of stories, that is never their identity. Your identity goes far deeper than being a writer. At your core, you are a son or daughter of the Father. He knows you by name. For who you are…not what you do. Some children of God are called to create. But calling isn’t your core identity – which is quite freeing because no matter what happens within your calling, it can’t touch your identity.

Question: I think most Christian writers believe they are called by God to write their stories. So, after we spend the necessary time learning the craft, all we need to do is start writing, correct? After all, if God wants us to produce, we should be busy producing. Isn’t that how we obey our calling?

The thought that writers should just get “busy producing” is prevalent…and toxic. And it is because it puts our focus on “doing” rather than “being.” And it can cause us to miss the bigger issue of why God invited us to create in the first place. Is it important for authors to improve their craft – yes. But more than that – or perhaps I should say before that – we are called into Creative Fellowship with God. What the world needs most is the warmth from the glow off the face of those who spend time with God. It’s the difference of a storyteller who sits around a small campfire telling stories…and a storyteller whose face is glowing so bright she doesn’t need a campfire to warm the souls of those listening.

Understanding why God invited you to create is the most foundational aspect of your calling. Start there and dive deep into all new waters…then move on to enhance your craft. But by all means start with why you were called and what that means. Because that changes everything.

Question: So I need to work with God as I write my novel and tell my story. But what about after the story is written? Then I have to go to conferences and pitch my manuscript; and get a blog and try to build a following; and I’ll need an author page on Facebook; and I should start tweeting on a regular basis; and what about Pinterest and Instagram… That all sounds so exhausting. Is there a better way to get my book in the hands of readers and still find time to work on my next story?

Right – it doesn’t just sound exhausting. It is exhausting. What I’ll say here is counter to much advice within the industry. But I think sometimes those in an industry can repeat an answer so many times that it starts to sound like absolute truth when it is just opinion. Let me offer another opinion based on working with hundreds of authors during 20 years in publishing as well as my experience now in a ministry that focuses on the heart.

I understand that publishing houses have less staff than they did years ago – so the more an author can do to promote their book, the better. And the larger following they have on-line, the higher the odds of a successful launch. That is horizontal (human) wisdom – but large on-line followings actually don’t guarantee a book’s success. And those called to write are not usually equally gifted at marketing. So rather than taking half your writing time to strive after social media – what if you spent 95% of your time doing what you were called to do, which is to create and write?

Sure it’s important to promote your book. Find others who are gifted at marketing and find a way for them to spearhead it – whether you pay them or trade services. Absolutely do the interviews and participate in spreading the word about why you wrote your book. But to assume your project will only succeed if you succeed at social media is not only exhausting…but basically godless because the assumption is it is all up to you to make it happen. In the great stories of the Bible – victory was never all on the shoulders of the person following God. If God has given you this message, then He will not be sidetracked by you not tweeting enough or not building your platform.

This topic is something that we’ll discuss more in my session. And please don’t take my comments as minimizing the promotional aspect of publishing. My degree is in marketing and I spent much of my career at major advertising agencies and overseeing author branding. I believe in the power of great promotions – I just don’t believe the author should feel they must become marketing experts or spend hours a day on social media to achieve success in the calling God has given them. I want these words to alleviate stress and allow authors to breathe deep so they can focus more on their calling.


Note from Marlene – Thank you, Allen and Donna. I’ll post the rest of this interview tomorrow. For now I think Father would have us reflect deeply on what has already been shared.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »