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Writers! Join us for one of the few writers’ conferences being held during these uncertain times. The Montrose Christian Writers Conference is being held next week from Sunday, July 12th to Friday, July 17th in Montrose, PA. Following is information about a few of our faculty members. Go to  https://bit.ly/2TmCDDf for more details. 

2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight

Dave Weiss, Annette Whipple, Karen Whiting, and Faculty Changes

ARTIST/AUTHOR/PASTOR DAVE WEISS

   Dave Weiss’ life was transformed by two events, someone introducing him to Jesus and someone showing how his art could be used to the glorify God. Today Dave is a pastor/speaker and the author/illustrator of 18 books, ranging from children’s books to non-fiction books on creative ministry.

DAVE’S KEYNOTE ADDRESS
SUNDAY EVENING

The Crimson Thread

Often we look at the Bible as a collection of books or stories, but what we sometimes fail to see is how the stories are a part of a larger narrative—God’s plan of redemption. In this session, Dave Weiss using art and storytelling will connect the dots with a crimson thread.

PASTOR DAVE’S TWO AFTERNOON CLASSES
              Mon. 2:30 – 3:15            

The Illustrated Book. Part 1: Pick the Pix

One of the great challenges of creating illustrated books is selecting what to illustrate, i.e. which pictures will give the story the greatest impact. Author/Illustrator Dave Weiss working from the manuscript from his children’s book, David’s Farm, will share his creative process in picking just the right illustrations. Authors may also bring their own manuscripts to discuss illustration possibilities.

                                              
Mon. 3:30 – 4:15
The Illustrated Book. Part 2: Prepping the Pix

In this workshop, Dave Weiss will show more of the illustration process, including planning the illustrations, thumbnails/story boarding, as well as illustration techniques, character design, placing the text, and formatting the finished page.

AUTHOR ANNETTE WHIPPLE

Annette Whipple celebrates curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder in readers and writers. She’s the author of five nonfiction children’s books, and this year The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press) and Whooo Knew? The Truth about Owls  (Reycraft Books) will be published. Annette also has experience writing magazine articles & Sunday school materials. She learned to love science & history during her years as an environmental educator & classroom teacher. Annette lives in Oxford, PA, with her husband & three children. 

ANNETTE’S CLASSES
 Mon. Thurs. 10:40 – 12:10

MAJOR MORNING CHILDREN’S NONFICTION

Want to share your knowledge and passion with children? This class dives deep into the nonfiction market for children—both in the Christian and general markets. Participants will explore the nonfiction writing process along with strategies, methods, and tools to improve writing and get published. We’ll study children’s informational texts to see how they’re similar and different. Hands-on activities will be included. This major morning class will equip you to write and inspire children’s curiosity.

AUTHOR 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.
Awards Karen has won:

Christian Retailing Best 2014, children’s nonfiction
AWSA Nonfiction Book of the Year
Awards: Military Writer Society of America Gold Medal, faith category

KAREN’S CLASSES

MAJOR MORNING: MARKETING YOUR BOOK

Whether you already have a book or are just beginning as a writer, learn the tools to develop your name. It’s never too early to start! Workshop will cover developing a portfolio, business card, brochure, store events, press kit, bio, web site, and products.

FACULTY CHANGES

Due to various reasons, several faculty members have had to bow out this year. However, our other fantastic faculty members have graciously volunteered to cover most of the classes vacated by those who had to withdraw.

TWO OF DEB HAGGERTY’S CLASSES are now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MICHELE CHYNOWETH 

Monday 2:30 – 3:15:
Getting Started (Fiction)
Tuesday 3:30 – 4:15:
It Takes One to Know One-Character Development

ONE OF DEB HAGGERTY’S CLASSES is now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR ZOE MCCARTHY

Tuesday 2:30 – 3:15:
Writing in a Deep Point of View

SALLY APOKEDAK’S MAJOR MORNING CHILDREN’S FICTION CLASSES are now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JOYCE MAGNIN

Monday – Thursday 10:40 to 12:10:
First Chapter Essentials

VIE HERLOCKER’S MAJOR MORNING BEGINNERS’ CLASSES are now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MARSHA HUBLER

Monday – Thursday 10:40 to 12:10
: From Novice to Noticed

TWO OF MICHELLE LAZUREK’S CLASSES are now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR DIANE STARK

Wednesday 1:30 – 2:15:
Writing for “Guideposts” and “All Creatures”
Thursday 1:30 to 2:15:
Writing the Profile Piece: Someone Else’s Story”

TWO OF MICHELLE LAZUREK’S CLASSES are now filled by:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JEANETTE LEVELLIE

Wednesday 2:30 – 3:15:
How to Start a Speaking Career
Thursday 2:30 – 3:15:
Humor Sells

PRAISE AND WORSHIP LEADER ALISON EVERILL’S RESPONSIBILITIES have been filled by:
GIFTED MUSICIAN KATHY BRITTAIN

Sunday’s Opening Session and Monday -Friday’s Morning Sessions: –
A short Praise and Worship Time

Wednesday 1:30 – 4:15
Music Writing Seminar (Sign-up required; still room in this class; call 800-598-5030 for more information)

The Montrose Conference Center staff and I are doing all humanly possible to keep everyone safe as we gather together next week. I look forward to seeing many of you at this writers’ conference. I believe God will richly bless and protect us all as we strive to serve Him by learning how to write better and for His glory.
Marsha
Director

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MCWC’s FACULTY SPOTLIGHT:
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
TIFFANY STOCKTON 

Writers, please continue to pray for our conference. Susquehanna County is scheduled to go green this Friday, which is necessary for us to have our conference. So…as of today we are still planning to have our 2020 MCWC, and we will abide by all state guidelines to keep everyone safe.
Now, about our faculty member of the week:

Tiffany Stockton is an award-winning & best-selling author of 23 novels with 400,000 copies in print. She has a B.S. in education & a graduate of CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Services). With 17 years in the writing industry, she has spoken at the Colorado and Philly Christian Writers Conferences, at ACFW, and has been an annual instructor on ACFW’s online conference. 

Tiffany’s Afternoon Classes


Tues. 2:30 to 3:15 

From Premise to Published

                                                          
It can be a daunting task to take an idea and believe it will one day become a published book, but it IS possible. Here are some key ways you can make sure you succeed in each step along the way.

Tues. 3:30 – 4:15

The Basics of Writing:  Training Wheels to Mt. Biking  

                 
Writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes dedication, persistence, and a never-give-up mindset. But there are also a few things that will help make the transition from training wheels to a two-wheeler and even a mountain bike in no time. And you don’t want to skip a step, or your freewheeling days might be a bit wobbly.

 

                                                   Wed. 2:30 – 3:15

Killing History or Bringing it to Life? 

                                             

Writing historical fiction requires a lot of work. But you don’t want to get so bogged down in research that you forget your story or your characters. And for contemporary, including historical tidbits could liven up your writing. Some tips and tricks for weaving history into your story or your nonfiction narrative and creating a vivid setting are included in this workshop.

 

Thurs. 2:30 – 3:15
                                                                                 

Your Story and your Personality  

Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, your unique personality finds its way into your style, voice, and ability to persevere. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the 4 principal personality styles, as well as the strengths and weaknesses and how you can use both to your advantage. For those who write fiction or utilize fiction elements in their nonfiction, we’ll also discuss personality styles of characters and how to help your characters jump off the page.

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WRITERS WHO NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WRITING/PUBLISHING/MARKETING:

If you plan to attend our conference but have not registered yet, please contact me at marshahubler@outlook.com for a brochure or go to https://bit.ly/2TmCDDf
to see the conference details AND register online.

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MCWC Faculty Spotlight – Editor/Author Cindy K. Sproles


Cindy K. Sproles is an author, teacher, and speaker. She is the managing editor for Straight Street Books and Son Rise Devotionals (imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), and the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and InspireaFire.com.  Cindy travels nationwide teaching at writers conferences and women’s conferences. She is a best-selling author and serves as a writing mentor.  She is the author of nine non-fiction and three fiction books, and her devotions are widely published over the eastern seaboard. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.

Cindy’s afternoon classes
Mon. – Thurs.
2:30 to 3:15 

Writing Devotions that Strike the Soul

In this class, we’ll utilize the hook, book, look, and took method of writing devotions. We’ll discuss aspects that stop the reader from reading and offer tips that draw readers in, providing them the ah-h-h moment that strikes the soul. There is no one specific right or wrong way to write a devotion, but there are elements that are a must for a devotion to make an impact.

  Make Diamonds from Coal – Polishing your Manuscript

We’ll discuss polishing a manuscript. We’ll address where the story begins, the importance of the opening paragraph and page, what is your hook, and what is your overall goal of the book. We’ll look at how to develop characters who impact your readers so when the book is done, they want to know more about them. This class also addresses chapter lengths and overall word count, as well as the synopsis and how to submit to an agent or publisher.
                

 Writing Cliff Hangers: Keep ’Em Hangin’

What makes your reader continue to flip the pages? What does it mean when a reader says, “It’s a fast read?” These are questions every writer needs to answer and understand.  We’ll discuss what a cliffhanger is, the types of cliffhangers—Every cliffhanger is not a devastating thing—and how to add them at the end of every chapter. Learn about twists and how they pull the reader into the next page and how they may even surprise you. If you are writing a novel, this class is a must.

I Can Self Publish Just Because I Can

Self-publishing is readily available this day, but jumping the gun to publish before your manuscript is ready will become your Achilles heel as your career progresses. This class covers the business decision of self-publishing and its financial impact, and it discusses the importance of never skipping the steps to publication, i.e. editing, professional cover, and platform. Rejections and the purpose of them is addressed as well as understanding trends, the market, and if now is the right time to publish.    

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Writers, please continue to pray that Susquehanna County soon goes green. We’ll abide by all state regs to keep everyone safe at our conference.

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2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight – PA Magazine Editor Matt Holliday

One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be Chief Editor of the PA Magazine, Matthew K. Holliday.  Matt has been with that magazine since 1992. Although his title is “Editor,” his job includes all aspects of the publication process: working with contributors through coordinating production and marketing the magazine to potential subscribers. He enjoys working with regular and new contributors to obtain engaging material. He lives with his wife, teen son, and two golden retrievers in Mechanicsburg. Hobbies include traveling, wooden spoon carving, blacksmithing, kayaking, and camping.

MATT’S CLASSES

 Monday Afternoon Classes

                                Anatomy of a Suitable Article                           

Every magazine has needs and a style for its articles. We’ll dissect one or two articles that have appeared in Pennsylvania Magazine and discover the elements (subject/approach/writer/  photographer/process/submission/treatment that makes each article a winner. You can easily transfer this process to other publications too.

Photography 101

Make yourself more marketable by taking adequate photos. Have you wanted to sell stories locally, but they require you to submit photos with your text? Bring your camera or smart phone and learn the basics of taking images that are “good enough” for use in newspapers and small circulation magazines where the pay might be low, but the publication prospects are high. 

 Tuesday Afternoon Classes

                               From a Query to the Finished Article

An editor’s viewpoint on the process for sending a query, what to do with rejections, and the process from a go-ahead to a finished and published manuscript. This session will include hints and processes that can help every writer submit materials that can avoid rejection or extensive revision.        

                            How to Pitch & Contribute to a Magazine                                                             

Magazines require new material, every issue. Some are wide open for freelance work; many are not but pretend that they are. Learn how to analyze a magazine’s back issues, website, or how to make targeted phone calls or emails. Discover who receives queries, how to pitch the publication, what subjects to send, how to angle your story, when to send materials, etc. (Some publications are not worth your time; others can be goldmines.) Learn how to analyze which is which and go about the work of submitting materials for publication. 

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Writers, please continue to pray with us that the COVID-19 situation will not cause us to cancel our 2020 MCWC conference.
I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

To contact me for a brochure: marshahubler@outlook.com  or go to https://bit.ly/2pdcYQC to see the conference details AND register online.

  

 

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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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