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Six Tips for Beginners

So, you’ve got your blank screen before you, you’ve got a tremendous idea for the “next great American novel,” you’ve got your dictionary, thesaurus, Elements of Style, and your Chicago Manual of Style ready. You rub your hands together, blow on your fingernails, and say, “Look out, world. Here comes brilliance!”

If you’ve never tried writing anything but eight-line poems or a letter to the newspaper’s editor once in a while, there are a few tips I’d like to share with you to help you not only write well but also get published. You might not be ready for a novel; perhaps, a 1200-word fiction story or article would be the best way to start.

Whether you’re determined to write a novel or start with shorter stuff, the tips I want to share will help. They’ll also be brief and to the point. In other words, I will not expound with long, convoluted sentences, which is one of the tips I have for you.

Tips to Help You Write Well:

1. Don’t write long, convoluted sentences. Write short, poignant sentences with very few flowery words and long descriptive paragraphs. Today’s readers won’t stand for your showing off for pages of narration that will bore them to death and cause them to set a match to your work.

2. Avoid the exclamation mark! One per page is often too many. Use clever words to emphasize emotion and action. Stay away from the exclamation mark!

3. Even if you’re writing fiction, be accurate. Do your homework. If you’re describing a fire scene, make sure you visit your local fire company and get all the details of what fire fighting is all about.

4. Stay away from fancy words. Go for simple active verbs, not descriptive adverbs and impressive adjectives. Instead of “She walked limply and lazily” try “She hobbled.”

5. Avoid figures of speech. They often distract your readers from the real core meaning of your sentence or paragraph. It just makes your reader think you were too lazy to put your own words together to write a clever line.

6. Try to stay in the background, like, invisible. A skillful writer will have his/her readers engrossed in the story, identifying with the character or theme and will not give the author a second thought. Not until the last page. Then the readers are free to exclaim, “Wow! What a story!” (And with the exclamation marks!)

Marsha Hubler
www.marshahubler.com
www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
Author of the Keystone Stables Series

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Start saving and make plans to join us next July 12th to the 17th at the 31st Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA. We have editors, agents, and best-selling authors on faculty to help you with any facet of your writing. :) 

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THE 2020 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE FACULTY

JULY 12TH-17TH

WHO HAS SAID THEY WANT TO COME?


AGENTS
SALLY APOKEDAK – APOKEDAK LIT. AGENCY
JIM HART – HARTLINE
MICHELLE LAZUREK – WORDWISE

EDITORS
MATT HOLLIDAY – PA MAGAZINE
JEFF MCDONALD – WAR CRY (SALV. ARMY)
CINDY SPOLES – LIGHTHOUSE PUBL. OF THE CAROLINAS
VIE HERLOCKER – FREELANCE

MARKETING/PROMOTION EXPERT
KAREN WHITING

SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT
DON CATLETT

PRAISE & WORSHIP LEADER AND W-I-P
ALISON EVERILL

ART & CREATIVITY
DAVE WEISS

AUTHORS
ANNETTE WHIPPLE – KIDS’ NONFICTION
JOYCE MAGNIN – KIDS’ FICTION
ZOE MCCARTHY – ADULT FICTION (W-I-P)
MICHELE CHYNOWETH – FICTION
SUE FAIRCHILD – DEVOTIONS/CHICKEN SOUP PIECES
TIFFANY STOCKTON – FICTION 

Writers, mark your calendar now for July 12th to the 17th!
The 31st Montrose Christian Writers Conference promises to be one you won’t want to miss!
Marsha, Director

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THE NECESSITY OF WRITERS’ CONFERENCES

The best training you’ll ever receive is that which you’ll get by attending writers conferences. Next to your local critique group, writers workshops and conferences will give you the knowledge you need to become a better writer. The various workshops offered usually take you from A to Z concerning the writing/publishing business with fresh ideas for you to try.

You also make new long-lasting writer friends, kindred spirits who think just like you do. (They don’t call us “Odd Ducks” for nothing.)

Writers conferences also offer you the opportunity to present your work face to face to agents and editors of publishing companies. I’ve acquired four of my five book contracts by meeting editors at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference held in Montrose, PA, every July.

Speaking of conferences, why don’t you check out the details of our last Montrose Christian Writers Conference at https://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx. Plan to come to our next one from July 12th to July 17th, 2020. We plan to have three agents, three editors of publishing companies, and award-winning authors on our faculty.

If you’ve never been to a writers’ conference, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Director of MCWC Marsha Hubler
www.marshahubler.com
www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
Author of the Keystone Stables Series

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THE MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE

Writers, the 2019 Montrose Christian Writers Conference is history for a month already. With over 100 writers, agents, and editors gathered together in mid-July, we had a wonderful week of fellowship and learning how to write better for God’s glory.

Believe it or not, I’m already working on the 2020 MCWC and already have verbal commitments from about 10 authors, editors, and agents. Lord willing, our next conference will be held from Sunday, July 12th to Friday, July 17th, 2020. A few folks who’ve already said yes to coming on faculty are freelance editor Vie Herlocker, literary agents Sally Apokedak and Michelle Lazurek, authors Annette Whipple, Joyce Magnin, and Tiffany Amber Stockton, social media expert Don Catlett, and marketing guru Karen Whiting. There are still about five or six more potential faculty members, so check in often to see the final line-up, hopefully before the holidays are upon us.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned writer and whether you write fiction or nonfiction, there will be over 40 classes presenting all facets of the writing/publishing world. We also have interesting and fun events Monday through Thursday evenings, often allowing conferees interaction with faculty members.

Then there’s Frank and Bucky, who always liven up the week’s boring moments (if there is such a thing.)

So mark your calendar and start sprucing up your manuscripts. Next July you just might find yourself with a contract in your hands.

 

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The Dynamite 2019 Montrose Christian Writers Conference Faculty

Writers, if you’ve never attended a writers conference, this is the year to do it. We have a tremendous faculty coming who will be glad to sit down with you and review your work in private. Also, plan to attend over 45 classes that will teach you about fiction, nonfiction, poetry, songwriting, marketing, working with editors, finding an agent, and much more.

One of our editors is Roseanna White, (also an author), whose company WhiteFire is looking for juvenile fiction and adult fiction.

Another faculty member is Lora Zill. Lora teaches writing and critical analysis at Gannon University and creative writing for Allegheny College’s arts programs for gifted middle and high school students. She is also a teaching artist with the PA Council on the Arts, conducting artist residencies in public schools and training teachers in arts infused curriculum. Lora edits and publishes a poetry journal, Time Of Singing, and speaks at writing, education, and arts conferences. She has co-authored a chapter on creativity in an academic textbook and her award-winning poetry and nonfiction have been published widely. She is completing a book about feeling God’s pleasure through creative expression and blogs at www.thebluecollarartist.com.

The rest of our faculty include:

Dan Brownell – editor with Today’s Christian Living

Rebecca Irwin Diehl – editor  with The Secret Place

Alison Everill – Praise and Worship Leader

Deb Haggerty – publisher and editor-in-chief of Elk Lake Publishing

Pam Halter – award-winning children’s book author

Jim Hart – agent with Hartline Literary Agency

Gloria Penwell-Holtzlander – acquis. editor with Bold Vision Books

Jeanette Levellie – award-winning author

Elaine W. Miller – international speaker and best-selling author

Linda Rondeau – editor with Elk Lake Publishing

Gayle Roper – award-winning author

Donna Smith – editor of the blog “Almost An Author”

Shawn Smucker – award-winning author

Kim Sponaugle – award-winning illustrator

Diane Stark – award-winning author

Jim Watkins – award-winning author

Please check more details about this faculty at https://www.facebook.com/MontroseChristianWriters/ For more details about the conference and registration forms, please go to http://www.montrosebible.org

Register now, gather your tote bag full of your work, and get ready for July 14th. I’ll look for you then at Montrose!

Marsha, Director

 

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August 6, 2018

THE 2018 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE IS HISTORY!

From Sunday evening, July 22nd to Friday morning, July 27th, a stellar faculty of 14, and about 70 eager conferees gathered at the Montrose Bible Conference campus for almost a full week of over 45 workshops to help any writer, newbie or experienced. The evening activities also brought more insight into the world of writing/publishing as well as lots of laughs.

(For all the details of the conference, please go to https://bit.ly/2pdcYQC)

Pictures are worth 1000 words. Thus, no more words…just pictures of the exciting time….

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2018 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

July 22nd to 27th  

INTRODUCING KAREN WHITING

Karen Whiting will present a Major Morning Series entitled

MARKETING THAT FITS YOUR STYLE

Harness the power of the five key areas of marketing to your specific brand/book:

Social Media (FB, twitter, Pinterest, etc.)

Print (articles, freebies, promo materials)

Speaking (events, keynotes, retail stores, libraries, churches)

Media (radio, TV, internet, newspapers)

Expertise (get quoted)

 

Karen will also present three afternoon workshops:

Writing for Today’s Tweens

Writing to engage kids and to motivate them to apply Biblical principles in life, we’ll look at countering the top reasons older teens and young adults leave the church. We’ll review language that interests youth and how to be authentic in writing for kids without writing “down” to them.

Writing Devotionals for All Ages

Karen has written devotional books for preschoolers, women, girls, families, history buffs, and more. Learn about basics in devotional writing and markets for selling single devotionals. Learn how to apply to write devotionals for outsourced products or pitch a book of devotions

Selling to Children’s Periodicals

There are many opportunities for writers, especially aspiring writers in magazines, Sunday school take-homes and denominational newspapers. Learn how to target your writing for the audience.                                                                                            

WHO IS KAREN WHITING?

 Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is an international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of eighteen books. She has written more than six hundred articles for more than sixty publications. Currently. Karen writes for Leading Hearts Magazine and Molly Green Magazine. She writes for women, families, children, and the military. Best sellers include God’s Girls and My Princess Devotions.

Her Awards:

Christian Retailing Best 2014, children’s nonfiction

AWSA Nonfiction Book of the Year

Awards: Military Writer Society of America Gold Medal, faith category

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ALSO INTRODUCING BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JEANETTE WINDLE

 Jeanette will present a Major Morning Series entitled

SO, YOU WANT TO WRITE?

How do I get started as a writer? Find material or choose a topic? Create a scene or compelling character? What is the meaning of such cryptic terms as “show, don’t tell”, “passive vs. action”, flashback, deep POV, head-hopping? What are the formatting and editing guidelines an editor will expect? How and where do I actually SELL my writing? These are some of the mysteries veteran author, journalist, editor, and writing coach Jeanette Windle will be clarifying in this continuing track designed for the beginning writer.

This class is hands-on and interactive so bring pen-and-paper or laptop.

 

Jeanette will also present an afternoon workshop on Monday:

A Story to Tell—Your Own or Another’s: Writing the Memoir/Collaborative Title

Non-fiction biography is the bread-and-butter of freelance writing. Whether writing your own memoir or someone else’s life story, this workshop will walk you through the practicalities of breaking down, organizing, and weaving into story form a compelling life narrative. Not writing a full book? Principles apply as well to the personal experience short story/article.

On Tuesday afternoon Jeanette will coordinate a Freebie Peer Critique Group for writers working on

nonfiction: theological/memoir/Christian living

WHO IS JEANETTE WINDLE?

Award-winning novelist, journalist, editor, & collaborative writer Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries and traveled in almost 40. Those experiences have birthed 21 fiction and non-fiction titles, including Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace (2016 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christian Retailing Best Awards.

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Writers, it’s not too late to register! Go to: http://www.montrosebible.org for more information and the registration form! I’d love to see you next week!

 

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