Archive for the ‘Writing Fiction’ Category

Feb banner

Looking to overcome winter doldrums and jumpstart this year’s writing?

A brand-new conference is coming up quickly this February 9-10 (Friday/Saturday) in Lansdale, PA (just off the north/south PA Turnpike) at Towamencin Mennonite Church (Friday afternoon) and Dock Mennonite Academy (Friday evening and all day Saturday). Friday night lodging at the Holiday Inn is $89 plus tax with roommate matching available to split the cost with one, two, or three other writers.

A small but highly qualified faculty will provide three inspiring keynotes, valuable 20-minute paid critiques and marketing consultations, a “Build Your Platform Panel,” and in-depth teaching.

Sarah Bolme, teaching a 4-hour learning lab Friday afternoon on Going Indie. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace and the director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Karen Ball, teaching a 3-hour session on Taming Fiction Dragons. In her more than 30 years in publishing, Karen has built fiction lines for major publishers and worked with some of the best authors, including Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury.

Bill Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on Writing that Changes Lives. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with authors such as Mike Huckabee, Charles Swindoll, and Josh McDowell. He is an award-winning author of 7 books and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.

Jim Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on The Five Rs of Nonfiction. Jim is an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. He has spoken across the United States and overseas.

Karen Whiting, teaching a 3-hour session on Developing a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book. Karen is a freelance writer and award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books.

Feb flyer for webFriday evening,  in addition to Bill Watkins’ keynote, Christians Are Hateful – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians, includes author interviews and a book signing. Bring your book(s) to sell and sign.

Click here for the conference flyer.

And for more info and to register click here.

Conference Bonus:

An extra bonus for conferees is to attend and participate in the Munce Christian Product Exposition (CPE) February 11-13 at Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

Munce, the largest association of independent Christian bookstores in North America, holds two CPEs each year, the second in Nashville, TN, in the fall.

It is a real privilege to come and interact with 100+ bookstore owners. Karen Whiting will do a special training at the CPE in how to make the most of this exciting opportunity including: 

1. There are several limited spots open to sign complimentary copies of books for retailers at the Sunday afternoon (4:30 – 5:30) author personality event. Authors need to provide 50-80 copies of their book to give retailers. This is a great opportunity to get your book in the hands of retailers who might choose to carry the book, or have you come to their store for an event. You can include your speaker one sheet, bookmarks, and other promotional materials.

2. Experience a book trade show. The exhibit floor is open on Monday and Tuesday plus there are workshops on marketing and other retail topics. You’ll see the latest in products and have the opportunity to talk to retailers and sales reps (you cannot interrupt the sales happening between retailers and sales people).

Click here for the schedule. If you’re interested in attending, email Karen at authorkarenwhiting@gmail.com.

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Some days words are flowing and your characters seem so real you find yourself praying for them. Other days . . . Well suffice it to say that writing a novel isn’t easy.

The May 17-20 Colorado Christian Writers Conference can transform your story – and you!

Tracie & Jim Peterson Jan 2014Tracie Peterson, award-winning author of over 100 published books along with her husband, Jim, will offer a unique Fiction Clinic that will dissect a best-selling novel in order to help you write a best-seller. It is designed for both new and established writers who long to write quality fiction. Participants will submit a synopsis and the first 10 pages of their work in progress so that their classmates and teachers can dissect their work and discuss it. The clinic is limited to 10 participants. Click here for more information and the application that needs to be submitted by April 15.

Wksp grid CO 2017

If you’d prefer choosing six one-hour workshops instead of a clinic, our fiction track offers six one-hour workshops:

Reaching Boys through Fiction
Credible characters
Using Your Past in Your Fiction
Dive Into Deep POV
It’s Show Time
Plot Skeleton

Maybe instead of workshops on the craft you need the encouragement workshops in our Writer’s Life track offer. If your novel is near-to-finished, one or more workshops in the Publishing or Marketing Track may be your best choice. You get to choose six workshops from the 42 offered. Click here for titles and blurbs.


DJ Disillusioned - CopyDJ Waking Lazurus - CopyI’m especially excited about the continuing session with  novelist D. J. Williams who is also a producer and director of more than 350 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated world-wide. In his six-hour class (you’re able to take it in addition to a clinic or six workshops) D. J. will help you create a roadmap to chase your cause-driven novel. This is an interactive workshop that dives into the structure that moves novelists and screenwriters to write stories that make a difference. I’ve read D. J.’s novels. They are powerful page-turners.

Finally, if you register for all three days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) you are entitled to FOUR one-on-one appointments with the faculty of your choice based on their availability when you register. As of today, March 9, there are still ten more opportunities to receive a 5th appointment.

The chart below (1 of 3 pages – click here for a PDF) just includes editors and agents. Our authors and other professionals are also available to offer advice and encouragement. Click here for their Areas of Expertise chart.

Fiction p 1 editorial needs Mar 8

And one more thing . . . We’re also offering a 4-1/2 hour Wednesday afternoon Advanced Fiction Intensive with Kim Woodhouse. You’ll need to submit the application and a 3-page sample of your writing. Kim will dissect your characters, plot, setting, GMC, and voice and then you’ll analyze and discuss each other’s work.

Father, thank You for CCWC’s faculty and their willingness to take time from their work and families to give a hand up to other writers.

And God is able to bless you abundantly,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work [and word].
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV2011)

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Dan Wooding (right) with Brother Andrew – famous for smuggling Bibles into China.

I just received the following from my good friend Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST News. I’ve known Dan for many years and deeply appreciate him and his ministry. This is an exciting opportunity to work with him in making a difference.

Dan Wooding, founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), a worldwide news service which specializes in stories on persecuted Christians, world missions, and believers who are making a difference for Christ in our world today, is looking for a volunteer who can work closely with him on sending out these many stories. That person would be trained by Dan over the phone, Skype or FaceTime, on how to input and format the stories from his team of writers, and also learn how to re-size and input photos and include the captions. Also, that person would need proof them in American English and punctuation. (Dan’s writers come from all over the world.) Although this in an unpaid position – none of Dan’s team receive a salary, but work as “Media Missionaries” — it would be an exciting way for that person to become part of a unique news service that goes out to some 2,000 media outlets each day. Age is no problem, so if you are interested and love news, just contact Dan initially at his e-mail – assistnews@aol.com – with your contact information and also some background on your writing, and he will then he will get back to you to discuss this further. This would be a wonderful opportunity for you to use your talents for the Lord and bring to the attention of many globally important material that they can act upon and prayer for.

I’m working on the May 17-20 Colorado and July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. As always it’s so exciting to see Father’s plans come together.

Open Doors missionary Al Janssen, who with Brother Andrew (pictured above) works to strengthen God’s light in the Middle East, will hopefully keynote at both conferences on “A New Kind of Jihad.” Philly is a definite yes; Colorado still tentative because of a tremendous amount of international travel the first five months of 2017. His message will challenge listeners to join them in a new kind of jihad, leaving vengeance behind in favor of forgiveness, radical love, and unyielding payer. Al has authored or co-authored more than 30 books which have been published in 18 languages.

Literary agent, Leslie Stobbe, introduced me to his client, D.J. WilliamsExecutive Producer | Director | Author. I’m excited to announce that he will keynote and teach a continuing session at the Colorado conference.

With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, has ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels have engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided him with a unique perspective that has fueled his creativity over the course of a twenty year career in both the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector.

In his latest novel, Waking Lazarus, Williams has written an epic global adventure filled with riveting characters and page turning twists and turns. Think Jason Bourne meets Homeland. It is a brilliant follow up to his previous novel, The Disillusioned, that garnered the praise of Hollywood’s elite, including Judith McCreary, Co-EP, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and CSI, who said, “The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mystery…you won’t put it down until you’ve unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth.”

With the release of Waking Lazarus, Williams is once again capturing the attention of industry veterans including Peter Anderson (Oscar Winner, Cinematographer), who has already endorsed this latest adventure, “Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.”

Currently based out of Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits of more than 350 episodes of broadcast TV syndicated worldwide by developing new projects for television, film and print.

KEYNOTE – Second Act: Storytelling that Inspires Change
Is the story you desire to write moving you toward inspiring change? The second act in any story is where the main character gets in over his head, is pushed to innovate, to move forward in faith, and to act decisively so the story has a greater purpose. When an elephant charged his safari convoy in Africa, Executive Producer and Author D.J. Williams experienced split seconds of pure clarity about God’s calling on his life: to pursue God’s plan to share stories of the forgotten through social issues that inspire true change. D.J.’s story of faith in the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East will inspire you to seek out God’s plan and purpose for your life, and move you toward becoming a storyteller who inspires others to embrace the pursuit of social causes in a world desperately in need of the Gospel.

A 5-part interactive workshop that dives into the structure that moves novelists and screenwriters to write stories that make a difference in the world. By the end of the workshop writer’s will have created a roadmap to chase their cause-driven novel.

Session 1: Defining Passion, Shaping Habits, Harnessing Raw Ideas
Session 2: Developing Plot, Timelines for Research, Flexible Outlines
Session 3: Creating a World with Characters that are Believable
Session 4: Building Visual Chapters and Dialogue filled with Mystery & Suspense
Session 5: Going Beyond the Last Page

More conference information coming soon!

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Eva Marie EversonUpdate on the BelieversTrust
Beyond the Steeple Award
Eva Marie Everson

A few of you have inquired for more information about the BelieversTrust Beyond the Steeple award which I will be presenting at GPCWC 2015.

Allow me to tell you a little more about BelieversTrust and about the award.

BelieversTrust is “the Home for Writers.” We offer numerous other opportunities so writers can not only interact with one another, they can grow in their craft, and then find a home for their work. A central part of our focus is on helping writers create commercially viable content. BT is also the nonprofit arm of SON–Spirit of Naples, which is currently taking the necessary steps to build a $50million film studio in Naples, Florida. Our hope is to see much of what is created at the Trust brought to film at SON.

Therefore, we have created the BelieversTrust Beyond the Steeple Award.

What is this award?
The “Beyond the Steeple” award of $200 and a one-year membership to BelieversTrust will be presented to one conferee at GPCWC. This honor is bestowed upon the project deemed to hold the most potential for transmitting truth via story (true or imagined) into a mainstream, unchurched audience. Genres include: novels, novellas, screenplays (for TV or full-length films), memoirs, and YA fiction. Winning also makes you eligible for a grand prize trip to Naples to meet the BelieversTrust team and discuss your project.

How does it work?
Conferees/Entrants email the following to Rebeca (Note: only ONE “c” in her name) Seitz, CEO of BelieversTrust, at Contest@BelieversTrust.org with “Beyond The Steeple” in the subject line as well as the conference name (GPCWC). Deadline: July 15 2015.

1) a cover sheet with their name, the title of their work (currently unpublished by royalty-paying venues), and the genre of the work.

2) a 250-word synopsis

3) a cover letter explaining why they feel called to write to a mainstream audience

4) the first 30 pages of their work

The final step is to “like” us on Facebook (BelieversTrust) and “follow” us on Twitter.

​Contact Eva Marie Everson at EvaMarie@BelieversTrust.org

To register for the July 29 – August 1 GPCWC (Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference), go to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/register. The price increases July 2 so don’t procrastinate! Eva Marie will teach the continuing session, “Fiction Practicum.”  For more info click here.

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Discouraged faceLast week I confessed my struggle with procrastination.

What about you? Isn’t it easier to stay in the comfort zone of thinking, talking, even praying about something you feel called to do (or to write) than to actually get started, much less finish? Isn’t it safer to put things off to “someday” than to risk failure?

Let’s be honest. Isn’t it really F E A R that holds us back? Fear of not being able to finish what we start … Fear of not having what it takes – of not measuring up to what others expect … Fear of rejection … Fear of failure …

Years ago, as I struggled to finish my first book, my writing papa, Lee Roddy, asked me whose voice I was listening to. He knew – I really did, too – that I was listening to the voice of fear not faith.

I’m so grateful for the many reassurances God gives me in His Word.

Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed.
I am your God. I will strengthen you;
I will help you; I will uphold you
with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:0 TLB

And I’m grateful for the lesson of the elk.

beautifull elk

These magnificent creatures fearlessly roam the grounds of the YMCA of the Rockies and downtown Estes Park. The bulls weigh an average of over 700 pounds. Their antlers stretch close to 4 feet high and weigh around 40 pounds each. And yet, as Father, pointed out to me, they hold their head high as they charge across the fields and scale boulders.

I’ve never forgotten what He said to me one day when I was more overwhelmed than usual with everything I needed to do and fearful I’d never meet the deadlines that could not be extended. “Child,” He said, “the load is not too heavy when you are doing what I created you to do.”

Father, thank You for how You’ve reassured me that what You call me to do, You will also equip me to do. Help me to choose to walk (and run) in faith and not fear.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run [like the elk] and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 TLB

News You Can Use

Mastering POV

Set of multicolored big buttons made of glass or plastic with metallic bordersLinda Evans Shepherd and her Right to the Heart of Women ministry is sponsoring another webinar this coming Thursday evening, March 26. If you’ve written or are writing a novel, you know one of the biggest challenges is mastering POV (point of view).  I encourage you to join Linda and her guest Cynthia L. Simmons. For more information and to register click here.

Learning Scrivener

ScrivenerI’ve heard great things about this powerful software for writers. Through March 24 Writer’s Digest is offering it at 25% off making the MAC version $33.75  and the Windows version only $30. For more info and to see Scrivener in action click here. I’ve ordered it, but now I need to learn how to use it. Yep, I admit I’m intimidated by the learning curve that is a given with new software. I’m trusting the Lord that He will help me get everything ready so that I can attend Debbie Allen’s 2-1/2 hour “Afternoon with Scrivener” Wednesday, May 13, at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Later that afternoon she is also teaching a 90-minute session on “Self-publishing with Scrivener.” I hope you’ll join me and that you’ll choose to walk in faith and not fear!.

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Faith rocks2“Faith is the confidence
that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance
about things we cannot see.”
Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Rejection: A Fact of the Writing Life – Yes, this really is an encouraging blog from literary agent, Steve Laube, who published my book Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers. To add to what Steve shared, 31 years of ministry through the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference and 18 years through the Colorado Christian Writers Conference would not have happened if I had allowed the deadly Ds (disappointment, doubt, discouragement) that often accompanied 42 rejections of my first book cause me to give up. To tie into the next item, I was ahead of the market.

Studying the Markets – Great advice from Cec Murphey, GPCWC 2014 faculty member who will keynote on “Write His Answer – Authentically” and teach the continuing session “The Power of Story.” I highly recommend Cec’s “Writer to Writer” blog.

Need more encouragement? – Best-selling author, Joel Rosenberg, says of where he was at in 2001, “Failure has a way of focusing the mind and I’d come off of ten years of political failure in Washington DC and I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m a Rosenberg, yet I am not a lawyer, a dentist, a doctor, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, an accountant or even a stockbroker.

“I’ve got no financial genes and I can’t do anything practical. I write ‘Op-Eds’ that people don’t read. I    write speeches people don’t listen to; the only thing I know how to do is write and clearly badly. But these are my loaves and fishes and I don’t want to be a failure; I want to be a blessing.

“So, I told the Lord, ‘I want to be a servant of yours, Lord Jesus, so could you take these loaves and fishes, limited though they be, and would you break them, and bless them, and somehow feed people with them.’”

Click here to read the rest of this powerful and encouraging interview. I highly recommend Joel’s books and his blog, http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/ that tracks the latest happenings in the explosive Middle East.

How to Respond to Alarming Changes – Another helpful and encouraging post from literary agent, Rachelle Gardner. Click here.

A Word Fitly Spoken or Written – Good counsel from literary agent and GPCWC 2014 faculty member, Diana Flegal. Click here.

For fiction writers – K.M. Weiland, author of historical and speculative fiction and writing mentor has a helpful blog. Click here for “Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 31: One-Dimensional Conflict.”

Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, July 30 – August 2

Deadline extended for paid critiques – Since manuscripts for paid critiques are now sent via email, I’ve extended the due date to July 16. Paid critiques are a great investment in your writing ministry. Your critiquer will read your manuscript before the conference (please note length parameters at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/paidcritiques) and spend 30 minutes with you at the conference pointing out things you need to strengthen and answering your questions. The cost is only $30.

Book signing Thursday & Friday night – Conferees as well as faculty are welcome to participate in a book signing following the Thursday and Friday night keynote. On Thursday night Cec Murphey will  keynote and authors whose last name begins with M – Z will have 1-2 minutes to talk about their latest book followed by a book signing. On Friday night Rob Cook will keynote and authors whose last names begins with A – L will share and sign their books.

Appointments – For those already registered, you have until tomorrow, July 10, to submit your appointment request form online for your appointments to be booked in the order your registered for the conference. That gives early birds a real advantage. All appointment requests need to be received by July 24. After that you can sign up for appointments when you arrive at the conference.

Bonus appointment with Rick Marschall – Because Rick is a last minute addition, we’re offering an bonus appointment with him in addition to the number of appointments you’re already entitled to receive (4 appointments for those coming all 3 days with the first 100 conferees receiving a 5th appointment, 3 appointments for those coming 2 days, and 2 appointments for those coming one day). If you’ve already submitted your appointment requests, you can add Rick by simply sending an email to mvawter@writehisanswer.com. Rick is also available for paid critiques of devotionals, picture books, nonfiction books and book proposals, historical novels, and humor. Rick has 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles to his credit. A former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney, his fields as an author are as eclectic: popular culture; classical music; country music; biographies; television history; children’s books; cartoons and comics; and Christian books, where his publishers have included Thomas Nelson, Faithwords, and Tyndale House. For four years he has produced the weekly blog www.MondayMinistry.com,  devotionals that feature music videos and address culture, worldview, church history, and matters of faith.

Roommate matching – You can make a new friend and lower your conference cost by requesting a roommate but please do so as soon as possible.  A double room on campus is only $39 a night or $59 a night for a single. We need to let Cairn University know by July 23 how many are staying on campus.

Scholarship help and time payments – Complete the application at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/scholarships and know I’ll do everything possible to help you be able to come.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference, May 13-16, 2015

Be sure to put next year’s date on your calendar. And remember, CDs of this year’s conference are available. You’ll find an order form at http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

Keep writing His answer!

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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.


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Marlene BagnullColorado Christian Writers Conference updates . . . 

Neither rain nor snow, sleet nor ice . . . Well it goes something like this! While yesterday’s ice storm prevented us from picking up the brochures from the printer today as we had planned, I’m praising God for how preparations for the May 14-17 Colorado Christian Writers Conference are progressing.

If we have your USPS address, you should receive your brochure in a little over a week. Meanwhile, you can view it on the conference website.

Yesterday I uploaded photos, bios, and the editorial needs of our 18 Book Editors and representatives. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I’ll upload the page for the 11 Periodical Editors. Then I need to tackle the pages for the 18 Agents & Other Professionals and the 21 Authors. Whew! What a huge but joy-filled task. Thank You, Father, for the great faculty You have provided.

Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference Update

I’m still focused on updating the website for the May 14-17 Colorado Christian Writers Conference but soon, very soon I trust, I’ll be able to turn my attention to the Philly conference. I can tell you that so far we have 4 agents, 12 book editors or representatives, and 22 other professionals on faculty.

I think I already announced that Cec Murphey will be keynoting and teaching a continuing session on The Power of Story. “Stories,” Cec says, “are truth in human skin. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction stories and illustrations you need to impact your readers. You can learn to write original  stories, sustain suspense, intrigue readers, and provide satisfying endings.”

News you can use . . .

Grammar test – Take this quiz to see how sharp your grammar skills really are. Are you making common grammar mistakes?

Tips for tags – dialogue that is – A helpful article by James Scott Bell, an excellent author and teacher who has served on our faculty.

Are the words you speak and write pushing millenials away? – If you’ve not seen this onFaith November 7, 2013 article by Addie Zierman, and even if you have, it’s important to read and to read again. Father, please help us think before we speak and write – better still, to pray!

Joel Rosenberg’s Blog – In his January 29 blog, Joel writes about the importance of prayer and asks important questions. “Are we praying for our leaders at this time of crisis? Or are we sniping at them?”

Amen. Father help us to faithfully and prayerfully serve You.

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Mike dellosso

Guest Blog
Mike Dellosso

In 1959 Vince Lombardi took over the head coach position of the less-than-stellar Green Bay Packers. During one practice, Lombardi got so frustrated with the lackluster effort of the team he had them gather around him and he picked up a football. He said, “Let’s start at the beginning. This is a football.”

We all need to learn the fundamentals. Then we can branch out and try new things, break new ground, spread our wings and soar.

My passion is to teach writers the fundamentals of fiction writing and publishing. And then to teach them how to break the bounds of those fundamentals and create something unique and captivating. Something that will change lives and get people talking.

Please join me for the Not Yet Published Novelist Clinic at the July 31 – August 3 Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. I’ve published seven novels and one novella myself; I’ve taught numerous workshops and seminars in a variety of settings. I’ve coached writers to be the best they can be. I’d love to work with you on your novel and get it ready for publication, make it something editors and agents will want, even fight over. In the six hours we will work together you’ll learn new techniques you can use immediately to improve your writing, to bring it alive and make it jump off the page. We’ll have a blast.

If you’ve completed a manuscript or are currently working on a project or started one but can’t seem to get it going in the right direction this clinic is for you. But you’ll need to submit your application online no later than July 10 for the opportunity to be chosen as one of the six participants in this clinic. For more info and the application click here.

What others have said about Mike’s teaching:

I took a seminar class from Mike and was impressed with the level of both availability and expertise. Mike got down to the nuts and bolts challenging us to look beyond the norm to the “possible.” I felt stimulated to write more creatively, and outside my own box, seeing that the “possible” might just be deeper inside myself.  One of the big take-aways from his class was what impact our words have on our readers–how we can touch those deeper spots within each person–ultimately for the good. I recommend taking a class from Mike. I’m looking forward to gleaning more from this inspiring and inspired teacher. –Donnalynn D.

I loved Mike’s class. I learned so much from the workshop. I’m applying what he taught me in my critique group. One of things he taught was get into each character’s head.  I highly recommend his workshop!! –Deborah C.

Thanks, Mike, and congratulations on your latest contract with Tyndale.

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Yes, it’s been far too long since I blogged! I’ve been focused on mopping up the Colorado Christian Writers Conference (click here for a CD order form) and my garden and my house that are sorely neglected during conference season.

It’s time (okay, I admit past-time) to focus on the July 31 – August 3 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference (GPCWC). Some “News You Can Use” whether or not you’re able to come to the conference (although I hope you’ll prayerfully consider coming):

Looking for an agent? – This year’s GPCWC has five agents on faculty! Two are new agents with established firms: Sally Apokedak with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency and Ruth Samsel with William K. Jensen Literary. Now is a good time to check out the genres they are interested in representing before their stable of clients is filled. You’ll find info at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/AgentsOthers.

Appointments – Of course, the very best way to land an agent is through meeting with them at a conference, and GPCWC offers more opportunities than most conferences for one-on-one appointments. And good news! Because we have such a large faculty this year, not just the first 75 conferees to register but the first 150 conferees will receive an additional appointment. Also, since I know it’s not possible for everyone to come to the entire conference, all who are among the first 150 to register will receive an additional appointment. That means:

One day conferees – Two appointments

Two day conferees – Three appointments

Three day conferees – In addition to the bonus appointment
for coming all three days (Thursday through Saturday),
will receive an additional appointment for a total of
FIVE 15-minute one-on-one appointments.

Keep in mind that the earlier you register, the better opportunity you have of getting your top picks. Bios and editorial needs for our 16 book editors and 13 periodical editors will be posted in the next few days. I’ll announce on the Facebook conference page when they are online.

CFOM June 2013

Encouragement and help for novelists – Check out the June issue of Bonnie Calhoun’s Christian Fiction Online Magazine. There is no charge to subscribe to this excellent resource that each month features 35+ columns by the best and brightest authors, publishers, and agents in Christian fiction. 

Bonnie’s “Publisher’s Choice” this month is yours truly with an article that highlights the opportunities for novelists at this year’s conference. From Dr. Ted Baehr’s “Breakthrough Scriptwriting” and Tim Shoemaker’s “Take Your Fiction to the Gym” continuing sessions, two clinics, and numerous workshops this year’s GPCWC offers more than ever for both beginning and advanced novelists.

Scholarships – GPCWC is offering two 50% off scholarships to readers of Christian Fiction Online Magazine. But scholarships are not limited to CFOM readers. If you need scholarship help, you’ll find the application at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/Scholarships.

Teens Write – You’ve heard the question: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! This year’s Teens Write answers a similar question: How do you write a novel/article, devotion, screenplay? One Word at a Time! Pam Halter has done a fantastic job putting together an exciting program taught by nine authors and editors for teens ages 12-18. For more info on the Thursday, August 1, all-day Teens Write click here Please ask Father if there is a teen He wants you to encourage to come and to mentor.

Let Freedom Ring” in our Churches– Important thoughts from Mike Huckabee in a five-minute video. I’ve chosen never to seek tax exempt status because I don’t want to be muzzled from speaking or writing His answer. And although I pack both the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences with an outstanding faculty and tons of learning and networking opportunities, I will continue to offer special sessions that are not about the craft of writing or of selling/marketing/promoting our work but that instead focus on the critical issues of our day. If you’re coming to the GPCWC, please prayerfully consider tithing your conference time by attending one of the following two-hour Thursday specials or order the CD.

Prepare for Persecution with C. Hope Flinchbaugh
A Culture in Peril with Rick Marschall
Compassion, Justice, Advocacy with Steven Lawson

Father, I feel such a sense of urgency to “write Your answer” NOW, while the doors to print and distribute Christian literature and take full advantage of the Internet are still open. Help us not to hide our light under a bushel but to effectively and faithfully write what You’re calling us to write whether fiction or nonfiction, stories or articles, poetry or screenplays. Use each one of us, Father, to make a difference in the lives of our readers.

You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this,
as public as a city on a hill.
If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you
under a bucket, do you?
I’m putting you on a light stand.
Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!

Matthew 5:14-15 MSG


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