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THE 2017 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT – AUTHOR CAROL WEDEVEN

Writers, do you have a picture book manuscript and you’re not sure what to do with it? Should you find an artist to do your sketches? Do you lay out the book and send a “dummy” to the publisher? Are you sure your word count is correct for the age for whom you’re writing?

Get all these questions answered at this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference from July 16th to the 20th. Author Carol Wedeven is moderating a morning Picture Book Work in Progress. Carol and no more than eight conferees will work on their picture book manuscripts, moving one step closer to publication. Then, in three afternoon classes (open to anyone), Carol will present the nuts and bolts of writing for children:

 Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

If you really want to write for children, dare yourself to become the child who will be your reader. We will observe, think, feel, believe like that child until you are able to see through that child’s eyes.  As soon as you connect heart to heart, you are ready to write.  It’s guaranteed.  Interactive, hands-on handouts from tears to hilarity.

Putting Characters in Place

Pushing and pulling are allowed, encouraged, expected. What words place a main character, a secondary character or a “walk-on” in just the right space within your story’s setting?  See it happen as we choose words which either pull a main character forward or push a secondary or walk-on character toward the background where they belong.  Interactive, hands-on handouts and the final aha!

Writing for Picture: Magazine or Picture Book for Children?

You submit a picture book manuscript, but the editor calls it a short story. What’s the difference? Is it possible to craft one form then change it into the other? How? Using award-winning picture books, you will see, hear, experience, and understand the basic element which makes the difference between manuscripts for picture books and magazines. Interactive hands-on handouts. An eye-opener session!

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Carol Wedeven: author of 11 children’s books, curriculum, poetry, fillers, short stories, & drama scripts. Enjoys drama improvisation, plays with words, hosts a critique group, and mentors writers.

I look forward to seeing you in July!

Check out all the details at http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Marsha, Director

The 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference Faculty Spotlight

AUTHOR MIKE DELLOSSO

 

Writers, are you working on a fiction project and you need help with your character development? How about your setting descriptions? Too wordy? Not enough detail? Have you decided exactly why you’re writing this project?

Fiction author Mike Dellosso will offer four fiction workshops at this year’s MCWC on July 17th and 18th. If you want to learn from one of the pros in the business, you won’t be disappointed if you hear Mike. He plans to present the following workshops to help you spruce up that manuscript.

MIKE’S WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

Character Building, part 1

In this workshop we’ll look at the basics of character building. I’ll help you choose the right characters for the right role, name the characters, and show you how to describe them to give them personality. We’ll discuss who gets to be the main characters, secondary characters, and tertiary characters. We’ll also look at point-of-view and dialogue.

Character Building, part 2

In this workshop we’ll dive deeper into character development and discuss motivation and back story. We’ll also talk about getting into character to make your characters come alive and jump off the page.

Setting and Description

In this workshop we’ll discuss how to create a world for your characters to populate, how to blend real locations with fictitious ones, and how to accurately describe those locations so your readers feel like they are there experiencing the same world as your characters are experiencing.

Making Your Fiction Matter

This is where it all gets real. This workshop will focus on writing fiction that really matters. Should we? Why? How much power does fiction really have? We’ll talk about the reasons for writing with purpose and best ways to make your fiction count and get the most emotional and spiritual bang for your buck.

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If you’d like a sample of your fiction work critiqued by Mike, he has offered to review conferees’ work in the following categories: suspense/mystery, speculative fiction, contemporary fiction, and memoirs. Check out the details at the website: http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Mike Dellosso is the author of a dozen novels and several non-fiction titles. In addition to his writing he’s also a writing teacher, adjunct professor, and healthcare worker. He lives in PA with his wife, five daughters, and their border collie, Kylo.

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Writers, register online at the above URL or call 800-598-5030 for a brochure and registration form to be mailed to your home. I’d love to see you at Montrose this July!

Marsha, MCWC director

The MCWC Faculty Spotlight

VIE HERLOCKER

AN EDITOR’S PET PEEVES

AFTERNOON SERIES

Writers, exactly how important is it to know whether that comma belongs there or not? Do you really need to know how to spell every word correctly in your manuscript? Won’t the editor at the publishing company “fix” my manuscript?

These questions have run through every writer’s mind. Yet, the average writer, especially newbies, often think the PUGS (punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling) aren’t that important when creating a masterpiece.

My afternoon series of classes will set the record straight. Each class will be very hands on with worksheets and handouts. Everyone in attendance will learn how really important editing your own manuscript is. Here’s what you’ll be learning in my four classes:

Day One

Formatting before beginning: margins, headers, font. Setting up Word for auto indent and no space between like paragraphs.

PUGS—specifically using commas, semicolons, colons, smart quotation marks, dashes, ellipses, plurals (with attention to plural acronym—UFOs, not UFO’s), turning apostrophes the right way (Don’t worry your noggin, just listen to Mama—an apostrophe’s simply a flying comma). Hyphenation, passive constructions, etc.

Day Two

Powerful Sentence Structures: (This is my baby)-examples of poor to good sentences and then showing how reworking them moves them to outstanding. Showing the power of end-loading or front-loading the critical information to get certain reactions from the reader. This day will also work on misplaced modifiers, awkward phrasing, rule of 3, etc. Also varying sentence structures and Whacking the Weed Words and Wonkers that weaken sentences: To be words, repetitions, overused words, adjectives and adverbs, cliches, etc. How to use “search” to help clean up your manuscript.

Day Three

PUGS specific to Christian writers: formatting/punctuating Scripture, capitalization of common religious terms. Using the tools to help you find the answers if you don’t know them. (This info can be part of the Day One PUGS stuff as well.)

Day Four

Understanding the business of writing for publication. I’ve found that most writers we contract at Sonfire have no clue how a book gets from pen to published to distribution and how royalties can be figured more than one way, so 10% one way may be just as good at 20% another way. This day will also work on IEPs. Individual Escape Plans—for hopping off that train or treadmill and taking measurable steps toward their goals. Will talk about investing in yourself, both financially and with time to study/write/rewrite/repeat.

Writers, you CAN improve your own writing!

Commit all that you do to the Lord, trust Him to help you do it, and He will. Psalm 37:5

A Little About Vie

Vie Herlocker is editor for Sonfire Media, a small traditional Christian publisher, and its fiction imprint, Taberah Press, located in Galax, Virginia. She is also a freelance editor at Cornerstone-Ink Editing. She is a member of the Christian Editor Connection, Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network, ACFW, and ACW.

While editing is her greatest love, Vie coauthored a book for the educational in-service market, ghostwrote a memoir, and has been published in compilation books and periodicals, including Penned from the Heart, Chicken Soup for the Empty Nester’s Soul, Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and more.

Editorial Needs

Sonfire Media publishes nonfiction “Messages that Matter.” We like Christian living and inspirational books, including distinctive memoirs. Themed devotionals are considered, but we prefer these not be 365-day books.

Taberah Press publishes fiction with “Intrigue and Inspiration.” We are looking for YA/New Adult speculative fiction that takes readers on a journey, shows them something about life, and reminds them that there is more.

Contact: vie.herlocker@sonfiremedia.com

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I’m looking forward to seeing you at this year’s conference.

To register, go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

Marsha, Director

 

REGISTER NOW TO GET YOUR MANUSCRIPT READY FOR PUBLICATION!

Writers, have you written a short story? A column for a newspaper? How about a pretty good poem? A novel? Do you think your work is good enough for a publisher or agent to look at it?

If you’ve never attended a writers’ conference, you have no idea what you’re missing. It’s one of the first and most important steps you can take to become a published writer.  There’s so much to know … and learn about the writing/publishing business.

This July 16th to the 21st at the 28th Montrose Christian Writers Conference, we have an excellent line-up of faculty members who will help you with writing skills, promotion, poetry, picture books, editing, agenting, finding a publisher, and a host of other essential information. Besides three WIPs and four Major Morning Seminars, we also are offering 43 afternoon classes to help you hone your manuscript or find that publisher:

AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

 

Indie Publishing vs. Royalty Publishing. What’s New?

(Faculty Panel Discussion)

Why Drama?

Formatting before Beginning

Fiction: Character Building (Part One)

21 Ways to Overcome Writers Block

Get the Most out of the Conference

 The Art of Collaborative Writing

Fiction: Character Building (Part Two)

Conducting High Profile Interviews 

Blogging 101

Creating a Viable Stage Production

Shock the Clock: Time Management

Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to  Market

Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

Powerful Sentence Structures

Fiction: Setting and Description

Write for your Life

Prayer in the Life of a Writer

Creative Blockbusters

Making your Fiction Matter

Writing for Parenting Magazines

Blogging 102

Format and Performance Know-how

Writing Compelling Devotions

No Market for your Book? What to Do

Putting Characters in Place

PUGS Specifics for Christian Writers

Writing for Guideposts and the Guideposts Contest

Graduation Time; What’s Next?

Bible Studies that Sell

Real “Artist-Ship”

Aspects of the Editing Process

Breaking into Anthologies

Social Media 101

Sharing the Fun of Drama

Column Writer as a Platform Builder

Peace in the Literary Storm

Writing for Picture: Magazine or Picture Book for Children?

Understanding the Business of Writing for Publication

Selling Personal Experience Short Stories

What’s an Edit?

Irresistible Queries and Proposals

Proofread with Excellence

Writing the Profile Piece

To check out the weekly schedule and the faculty members offering these classes, please go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

I hope to see you at Montrose in July!

Marsha, Director

 

 

READY TO REGISTER FOR THE 2017 MCWC?

The Montrose Christian Writers Conference is pleased to announce that our new online registration system is now open. If you plan to come, especially for the Work-in-Progress Seminars, don’t delay registering. Those WIPs have enrollment limitations.

[Printed versions of the brochure and registration form are also available. Call the office (570-278-1001) to have a brochure mailed to your home address.]

To register online you will need to go to our website http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

and follow the directions below to access the online registration system. You will need to have a login which may be used now and in the future to sign up for programs at Montrose Bible Conference.

TO BEGIN:

  1. 1. Click on the LINK above to go to our web page. Find the link for online registration. When you get to the Login page, click on the button that reads “Create New Account.”
  2. The first screen is where you set up your username and password. The name and email address is for yours, not the person you are registering. Keep the username and password in a secure place and use it whenever you wish to return to update information, register for other sessions, or make a payment.
  3. When you click “next,” you will be asked for the name of the person you are registering. Listed below are those persons from your family in our database based on the address. When you are asked for the name of the person to be registered, if the person is listed in the table below, you should enter the first and last name and the birth date exactly as listed below to be connected to that person. Enter the information as shown below even if it is wrong. If the name or birth date is wrong, send an email to mbc@MontroseBible.org and ask to have the information corrected.

Name

Birthdate

  1. Once you have entered and confirmed the information, click NEXT, and you will be taken through each screen in the registration process.
  2. If you are registering more than one person, complete the registration for the first person and then click on “Add Camper.”
  3. When you have entered all the registrations, you can make payment and complete your registration(s).

If you experience any difficulties during the registration process, you will see a Contact Us button at the top of the screen that includes the technical support phone number and the camp phone number. Call if you need assistance.

We are excited about the registration process and the capabilities provided to you both to register now, to update information later, and to make payments at your convenience.

Montrose Bible Conference

mbc@MontroseBible.org

570-278-1001

www.MontroseBible.org

I look forward to seeing you there in July!

Marsha

Director

MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT – AUTHOR/EDITOR B.J. TAYLOR

Writers, the brochures and online registration will be ready any day now for the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference. One of the outstanding faculty members scheduled is B.J. Taylor flying all the way from California to present one of the Major Morning 4-Session Series: “The Journey to Publishing Nonfiction.”

ALL ABOUT B.J.

B.J. Taylor is a recipient of the Pacesetter Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference and truly believes in never giving up. It took her eight years, but she finally succeeded in winning a spot at the Guideposts Writers Workshop in 2004. Her published work includes many stories in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and countless other publications including John Gray’s Mars and Venus in Love and Writer’s Digest. She’s the author of a memoir: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love, and Second Chances. (I highly recommend this book. It’s one of my favorites!)

B.J. represents Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and Mysterious Ways magazines as well as Inspiring Voices, the self-publishing arm of Guideposts books. She can read advance manuscript submissions and will help to guide and instruct through her many years of experience as a Guideposts writer as well as offer guidance to authors who wish to publish with Inspiring Voices.

B.J. has 40 stories in print in Chicken Soup and loves to teach her easy-to-remember formula for crafting inspirational short stories that sell. If you’re serious about becoming a published author and want to learn how to craft well-written true stories, check out her book written just for you based on the successful classes she has taught for the past ten years: P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell.

B.J. instructs at numerous conferences around the United States, from Washington to Florida to California. She has been a Keynote Speaker, a Mentoring Instructor, a Hands-On Nonfiction Class leader, and loves to help writers at all stages of their writing career.

HER OTHER TWO CLASSES AT MCWC:

Writing for Guideposts and the Guideposts Contest

B.J. Taylor will share the nuts and bolts you need to know to write a winning Guideposts story along with how to properly submit, who to submit to, what to include, and when to send it in for the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest held every other year. Thousands will enter; only 12 writers are chosen for the all-expenses paid opportunity of a lifetime. In 2014 two of the winners came from a conference where B.J. divulged her tips and tricks. Don’t miss out on the knowledge, experience, and secrets B.J. will share as a winner of a coveted spot in 2004.

Make $$$ Selling Personal Experience Short Stories

Want to know the formula for writing inspirational stories that sell? B.J. Taylor’s career includes selling four articles to Writer’s Digest, two dozen stories to Guideposts and Angels on Earth, and 40 stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul, along with sales to many other publications. Numerous writers have learned B.J.’s secret formula, submitted to Chicken Soup and Guideposts, and are now published authors. Learn how to make money in your writing career.

B.J. lives in Southern California with her husband and rescue dog Charlie Bear, who writes a column for “American Pet Magazine” (with a little help from his Mom Peep).

Learn more about B.J. at http://www.bjtaylor.com. You can also sign up for her blog and newsletter right from the website.

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MCWC is just a few months away. If you’re writing nonfiction, B.J. is the one to review your work!

I hope to see you there!

Marsha

Building your Author Platform

Literary Agent Jim Hart

 

An Author Platform?

Yes, an author platform. Any author who wants to sell books needs to build an author platform. But how?

One of the best things you can do to build you author platform is to grow an audience of subscribers to your blog. A healthy e-mail list is attractive to potential publishers.

Lack of author platform continues to become one of the top reasons we see proposals declined from a publisher.

According to a recent blog from Rob Eager e-mail is forty times more effective at “acquiring customers than all social media combined.”  That’s a bold statement. But consider that your e-mail list allows you to communicate directly to your readers. It’s more targeted than Twitter or Facebook. (BTW- I just noticed the Pope has 8.75 million Twitter followers, he should have no problem getting a book contract.)

A very effective way to grow your e-mail subscription list is to offer some free content as an enticement for a reader to subscribe to your e-mail blog. In the same blog Rob Eager addresses the myth that giving away free content could have a negative effect on current and future sales. He counters this by explaining “free content is a low-cost effective way to gain new customers.”

So what content do you have that you could format into a short, downloadable PDF?

  • An unpublished short story
  • A five-day devotion series
  • A short collection of your poetry
  • A handful of your favorite recipes that tie in with your current book or work-in-progress
  • A how-to manual for one of your hobbies

But whatever content you offer, it needs to have value to the reader. It should be something that they feel they may not be able to find elsewhere. Think about content that is unique to you as a writer.

In addition to using your blog to collect e-mail subscribers, using a site like Noisetrade is a great way to offer content to potential readers. Noisetrade originally started as a “pay what you want” site for musicians to release content. They’re also now allowing authors to offer content— everything from a complete book to a short story. With Noisetrade, the consumer can pay you a small “tip” or download for free if they so choose. But either way they have to supply you with their e-mail address.

Remember, the larger your e-mail list is the stronger your online marketing asset becomes. And that could get you a J from a publisher.

I’m looking forward to presenting a class on “Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to Market” at the Montrose conference this year. This class will look at marketing and promoting your book in a different light, starting with Jesus’ Parable of the Talents. We will define marketing simply as engaging with others. These are the questions that will be presented:

Why to engage?

Who to engage?

When to engage?

Where to engage?

The thought of marketing and promoting can be overwhelming. It’s my goal for writers to be encouraged to step out and let their message be heard, and starting small is okay!

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Jim will present two more classes at Montrose this July. All his classes will help writers zero in on key elements essential to getting published:

What to do if there is No Market for Your Book

This class will examine what to do with your manuscript when you are told there is no market for what you’ve just written. We will explore options such as self-publishing, re-purposing the manuscript, as well as changing direction and writing something new.

Peace in the Literary Storm

There are tools and practices that can help us deal with discouragement when it enters, or threatens to enter, our lives. As both Christians and creative people, we can be subjected to seasons of disappointment. However, it’s possible to not only survive through these seasons but to still thrive in spite of a dry spell.

In this workshop we will consider:

1) Living the dream: it could be worse; I could be a ________________(fill in the blank)

2) Faith vs. Plan B

3) Patience, trust, exercise, and other bad words

“Peace in the Literary Storm” will encourage you to dig in for the long haul and be confident in the gifts the Lord has given you.

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I look forward to seeing you at our conference July 16th to the 21st!

Marsha

Director MCWC

 

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