Workshops

 Writing Devotional for Kids – Crystal Bowman Devotions for kids are often in demand with Christian publishers. But in order to catch the attention of a good publisher, writers need to learn everything they can about this genre. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at creating devotions for children that will reach today’s market. We will discuss what Bible translations to use, whether to write in first, second, or third person, the use of fiction or non-fiction stories, and how to incorporate spiritual take away for the reader.

The 1-Hour Book Sale: From Concept to Contract – Cyle Young Have you ever wanted to contract a book with a publisher in only one hour? It can be done… but you have to know how to listen, whom to listen too, and where to look. Cyle shares his story of a 1-hour proposal to book deal to help you learn how you can do it too.

200+ Tech Tools Every Author Should Know – Cyle Young The Internet provides a wealth of resources for writers. In this class, we will review over 200 new and popular tech tools that will help you as a writer. Learn what a Thunderclap is and how it can help you share your book launch with the world. Gain more twitter follower through Followback programs. Create amazing graphics for book covers and social media through Canva or PicMonkey. These are just a few, come to the class and learn about many more!

 Carefully-Crafted Characters – S. D. Grimm Superheroes, alien villains, cyborg sidekicks, and magical mentors. Join me as we crack open our characters and figure out how their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities (whether magical or science-based) can all be used to create dynamic character arcs.

Workshop: A Guide to Writing Young Adult Fiction: how it’s different and why that matters – S.D. Grimm    If you’re interested in writing or do write Young Adult fiction (YA), this class is for you. We will take a more than skin-deep look into the YA genre to find out what it is at a heart and soul level, to understand why it appeals to young adult and adult audiences alike, and to discuss how you can use that knowledge to hone your writing skills into writing better YA.

Screenwriting 101- (Continual Class; Total 6-hours; Parts 1-6) – Torry Martin  If you’ve never written a screenplay before, then this is the class for you. Learn the art and craft of screenwriting from beginning to end. (67-page handout to be emailed to attendee’s after classes.)

Written in Layers; Always Something to Discover – Lisa Koster Have you learned to read the Bible? It sounds like a silly question, but just reading the Bible like you would any other book leaves us missing out on so much. Give your study that “Wow!” factor by peeling back the layers that obscure your understanding of God’s message. In this workshop, we’ll explore simple investigative questions that will unlock the deeper meaning of Scripture. Whether studying for yourself or writing for others, take your Bible study to the next level and see God’s Word like never before!

 The Rest of the Story – Lisa Koster Were you ever told you sounded like a “broken record?” Did you have “rabbit ears” or “snow” (maybe both?) on your TV? If these phrases leave you perplexed, we probably belong to different generations or are of different heritages. Imagine, then, the cultural gulf between Biblical times and today! In this session, we will examine the context of a well-known Bible story and discover there’s often much more to Scripture than meets the eye, especially when Jesus is involved!

Dynamite Bible Studies that Can Change the World – Gloria Penwell Focus on the essentials of presentation, explication, elaboration, and application in writing Bible studies. Find the wide audience of denominations who need small group Bible studies. Other topics include:  Using Subheads, Narrowing Your Focus, Topical Subjects, Online vs. Print Studies, finding Background Resources, Storytelling, Setting Priorities, and Using Your Passion.

 Edit Like a Pro: A System for Editing Fiction and Nonfiction – Kristen Stieffel Professional editors have a number of tools and techniques they use to edit books. Unfortunately, these aren’t normally taught to writers, who wind up editing aimlessly without knowing how much editing is enough. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to analyze a story and use a book map to ensure your structure is sound. You’ll also get professional tools that will show you how to edit, in what order, and how to know when you are done.

 Unventing Language: Use Real Languages to Inspire Your Fiction – Kristen Stieffel Constructed Languages like Elvish and Klingon are a vital part of many speculative stories. But you needn’t be a linguist like Tolkein or Okrand to incorporate distinct languages into your storyworld. Inventing complete vocabularies and grammar for a ConLang is beyond the scope of this talk. What we will cover is how to un-vent a language by mixing and matching elements of real languages to give the impression of a language that’s foreign to your viewpoint character. We’ll discuss how culture shapes language and vocabulary, what to avoid when representing foreign languages in your manuscript, and how to represent multiple languages in a manuscript written entirely in English. This class is designed for speculative fiction writers, but may also be useful to writers with international real-world settings.

 Avoiding IRS Audits, Jail Time & Unnecessary CPAs – Chris Morris Most writers don’t exactly get excited about taxes or accounting. Actually, it probably stresses you out…but it doesn’t have to. This workshop will cover the following topics:
 What you can and cannot write off
 When it makes sense to hire a CPA
 When you have a business, not just a hobby
 Why you might be flagged for an audit, and how to avoid it
There will also be time for questions. When is the last time a CPA gave you an
open forum to help you out, at no cost?

 Chronically Creative: How to Balance Writing with Long-Term Illness – Chris Morris Many people battle chronic illnesses, and struggle with guilt as a result of it. This is particularly true for creatives, where a bad day can make it impossible to have any progress on projects. In this class, learn how to find a balance between grace and perseverance, how to “forgive yourself” for your illness, and how to move forward even on the bad days. These topics are taught from a deep well of personal experience and communicated through stories, biblical guidance, and practical tips. The lessons from this course are largely applicable to chronic “anything negative” – chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic stress, or even a perception of chronic bad luck.

How to Turn Your Book into a Brand – Antonio Crawford  Authors often spend the majority of their time and efforts focusing on writing, proofreading, and editing to achieve perfection on their manuscripts. After their books are published, it is then they realize the importance of creating an author platform and building a brand to launch their books. But who has the energy for that? Marketing and branding can seem overwhelming. In this session, participants will receive a simple strategy and tools to help build their author platforms and turn their books into a brand.

Tools for the Speculative Writer – Morgan Busse I will be sharing the unique tools a speculative writer needs to craft a fantasy/science fiction/time traveling novel such as maps, building your world, creating relatable characters, and how to help your readers suspend their disbelief. I will also be sharing my own experience as a speculative writer in the Christian publishing world.

How to Bring the Christian Worldview into Your Fiction without being Preachy – Morgan Busse We’ve all heard the accusations: Christian fiction is preachy. But that doesn’t have to be the case. I will share tips and techniques I have learned over the years that have helped me blend both my love of story and my love of God into one powerful novel without turning away my readers.

Show & Tell: Harnessing Your Storytelling Power – Lindsay Franklin If you’ve read a fiction craft book or attended a fiction-writing workshop, you’ve probably heard the maxim “show, don’t tell.” It’s pervasive for a reason—“show, don’t tell” is excellent advice for the modern novelist! But what does it mean and why is it so important? How can we identify excessive telling in our manuscripts? Should we ever ignore this advice? (Spoiler alert: yes, there are times when it’s better to tell.) We’ll cover the fundamentals of this powerful storytelling tool, but we’ll also explore the unique challenges of showing instead of telling when building worlds from the ground up in speculative genres or when taking the reader outside her normal, daily experience of time or location in historical and travel fiction.

Faith & the Fantastical: Why Christian Authors are Uniquely Equipped to Tackle Speculative Fiction – Lindsay Franklin There’s a misconception that speculative genres—fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, dystopian, and others—arAdd Newe at odds with the Christian worldview and a biblical, faith-based life. Nothing could be further from the truth! In this workshop, we’ll examine why followers of Christ are uniquely equipped to tackle stories of the fantastical, and how our big stories of “What if…?” glorify our wonderfully imaginative Creator. You’ll leave energized to write, refreshed in your calling, and ready to embrace the God-breathed fire of creativity inside you.

Three Acts – Andrew Hamlet Almost every story whether thousands of years old or out yesterday can be broken down into three acts. Even modern books on story theory use this structure as their foundation. In this class, you will use the three-act structure to break down contemporary stories as well as your own.
Learning this structure will help you fend off writer’s block, plot holes, and dead ends in your writing.