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THE 2020 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MICHELE CHYNOWETH

       Writers, don’t miss the 31st annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 12th to the 17th! Please join us in prayer that the Corona virus crisis will be well past by that time and that we can hold our conference.
One of our faculty members will be best-selling author Michele Chynoweth.
Michele Chynoweth is the best-selling and award-winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker, The Runaway Prophet and The Jealous Son, contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories. Michele is also an inspirational speaker who has addressed a variety of writers’ conferences and other organizations across the country, a book coach/editor and a college writing instructor, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and lives with her husband in North East, Maryland.


Michele has won several awards including:
New Apple Book Award for Best Cross Genre Fiction (2018)
Book Excellence Award for Best Religious Fiction (2018)
Top Shelf Magazine Indie Award for Best Inspirational Fiction
Selah Award for Best Suspense (Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference (2018)
Readers Favorite International Book Awards for Inspirational Fiction (2014 & 2016)
Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference Writer of the Year (2012)

Through her “Book Coach Michele” services, Michele has helped several writers become successful authors of several published books including Lawrence Scanlan, Business Practices, Biblical Promises, Gigi Williams, God’s Hand in My One, Norman Gaither, Cecilia’s Satchel, and Vincent Taylor, Sassafras Neck: A Special Place in Time.

MICHELE’S AFTERNOON CLASSES

  1.    Getting Started

Do you have a great idea for a novel but are just not sure how to get started writing it?  College instructor and best-selling Christian fiction author Michele Chynoweth will show you how through simple, solid steps she uses in the classroom to guide you in coming up with a great story (plot) by starting with a good synopsis and chapter outline, then help you in making critical decisions so you can develop your setting, timeline, characters, voice, point of view, title and more and “hit the ground running” when you begin to actually write your novel!

  1. A Good Sense of Style
    You’ve probably heard of “show not tell” and various other terms editors use to help you learn the craft—but do you actually know how to use your words to weave good scenes together so that your novel flows seamlessly? Award-winning author and college writing instructor Michele Chynoweth will share tips on good writing style, including sentence structure, description, word choices, chapter hooks, weaving together plot, character and setting and more so that you can craft a great novel that keeps readers keep turning the pages!
  1. It Takes One to Know One (Character Development)
    Over the past 25 years author Michele Chynoweth has developed a tried and true process for developing characters that’s fun, flexible and really works—from coming up with names to creating profiles that portray your characters physically, emotionally and spiritually. She will help you develop believable, compelling characters that readers can really connect with, who make you laugh, cry and care. This entails writing dialog that isn’t contrived but natural, isn’t boring but memorable. A former news reporter and screenplay writer as well, she’ll even teach you how thinking like an investigative journalist and movie director can help!

I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

To contact me for a brochure: marshahubler@outlook.com

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Writers! Join us for the

Annual Susquehanna Valley Writers Luncheon

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Registration 10:45 AM

CARRIAGE CORNER RESTAURANT

257 E. Chestnut Street, Mifflinburg, PA 17844 (Along Route 45)

 

WHITE.ROSEANNA.FUN.PHOTO.CROPPED.2019

Guest Speaker:  Roseanna White,  Acquisitions Editor

When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, serving as the senior acquisitions editor for WhiteFire Publishing’s award-winning books, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com and about WhiteFire at www.WhiteFire-Publishing.com

Editor’s Pet (Fiction or Non-Fiction) – Session One

From query to your umpteenth project, this workshop shares how to get an editor’s attention and keep it (in the right way) until you’ve made yourself a house favorite.

Spirit-Led Marketing (Fiction or Non-Fiction) – Session Two

This workshop focuses not simply on marketing techniques, which are always changing, but on the mental, emotional, and spiritual mindset an author should maintain while marketing.


Session One:  11:00-11:45 AM          

Lunch:  11:45-12:45 PM           

Session Two:  12:45-1:30 PM

Cost: $25

Includes: Soup and Salad Bar, Beverage, Gratuity, and Speaker Honorarium

Authors’ Books Table: If you are an author, feel free to bring your books to sell on the Authors’ Books Table

Registration Deadline: Saturday, March 7, 2020

To register please send the following:

1) Your check for $25 made out to the SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY WRITERS GROUP

2) Your contact information: full name, address, email address, and phone number to:

Jill Thomas

229 South Second Street

Lewisburg,  PA  17837

Directions to the Carriage Corner Restaurant

http://www.carriagecornerrestaurant.com/

Located on Route 45 just east of downtown Mifflinburg (257 E. Chestnut St.)

Map and Directions to the Carriage Corner Restaurant

Carriage.Corner.Rest.

Open 7 days a week, Carriage Corner Restaurant is located on Route 45 just east of downtown Mifflinburg (257 E. Chestnut St. )

Group.Before.Lunch

http://www.carriagecornerrestaurant.com/ Bks.Freebies.Tables

FROM THE NORTH: Take Route 15 south to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Turn right on Route 45, traveling approximately 8 miles to Mifflinburg. Carriage Corner Restaurant is located on the left at the first red light in town.

FROM THE SOUTH: Take Routes 11-15 north toward Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Turn left onto PA Route 104. Travel approximately 25 miles to Mifflinburg. Turn right onto Route 45/Chestnut Street, traveling approximately 1.5 miles. Carriage Corner Restaurant is located on the right, just past the red light at Sheetz.

FROM THE EAST: Take I-80 west toward Bloomsburg. Take Route 15 south to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Turn right on Route 45, traveling approximately 8 miles to Mifflinburg. Carriage Corner Restaurant is located on the left at the first red light in town.

FROM THE WEST: Take Route 45 east to Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. Route 45 becomes Chestnut Street – travel approximately 1.5 miles to the end of town. Carriage Corner Restaurant is located on the right, just past the red light at Sheetz.

Come for a wonderful time of good food, fellowship with other writers, and gleaning knowledge from Roseanna and other published authors.

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On Writing: Excellent Character Development

Here we go! Here are 10 ways to make your characters come alive in that next great American novel you’re writing:

1. Make each character uniquely different with different names. A few years ago, I had another writer friend critique my first four chapters of the Amish fiction I wrote, and she caught a “biggie.” I had two characters named “Joe.” DUH!

2. Give each character his own distinctive voice. After a few chapters, your reader should be able to tell who’s speaking without even looking at the tag.

3. Have your characters working jobs or going to school or doing “something” relevant to the plot. If you’re writing a murder mystery, your main character probably shouldn’t be babysitting puppies for a living.

4. When you name your characters, give them names that fit their personality, body type, nationality, etc. Now picture this: your character is a 220-pound Italian hunk, built like Superman and he’s a policeman, then you give him the name “Wilbur.”

5. If you’re writing fiction with different viewpoints, only get inside the head of your main characters. I’ve read books by one of the leading writers of Amish fiction in the country, but I have trouble following her because of the multiple P.O.V.s. In one book, there were 16 P.O.V.s. I was so confused, I had to start over and write down everyone’s name, who they were, and what they did in the book. The author has a big name, but I don’t care for trying to unscramble all those P.O.V.s.

6. Build your characters a little at a time as you write the novel. The plot should “thicken” at the same time you start to describe your characters more vividly and get them totally involved in the action.

7. Even though you’re writing fiction, be authentic. Interview policeman, veterinarians, computer geeks, or whomever so you have a thorough understanding of their job descriptions. In book seven of my Keystone Stables horse series, I wrote about a barn fire. Before doing so, I went to the local firemen and interviewed them to get the details of how the fire company would handle a barn fire in a countryside setting. I asked what kind of equipment they needed, what certain names of the trucks were, and how they’d tackle the task. The account in my book is accurate and detailed, even though the book is fiction.

8. Start each characters’ names with different letters. How confusing would this be? Sam told Susie that Stella was going to be with Savannah the night of the social. Sheesh! Who’s who in that quandary?

9. For at least your main characters, give them some depth by including some history about them. They didn’t just hatch from eggs the day you started writing about them. (Or did they?) Build character sketches for each of them. I’ve heard of some writers giving their characters full families, birthdays, college degrees, bank accounts in Sweden, and so on to “flesh them out.” Details DO matter when you’re writing about people. Write so that your reader thinks he/she can almost hear your characters breathe.

10. Have your characters less than perfect. Develop flaws in their appearances or personalities, which they must overcome or accept as the plot unfolds. No one likes to read about a character who seems too good to be true. In the long run, that character will be too good to be true, and he/she will turn your reader right off.

P.S. I hope you’re making plans to attend the 2020 Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference. More details coming soon, but we have agents, editors, and best-selling authors for fiction, kid lit, devotions, magazine articles, adult fiction, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and more! Don’t miss it: July 12th to the 17th!

Marsha

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 What Does It Mean to Write Tight?

How often have you heard conference speakers, i.e. authors, agents, and editors, say that, to be a successful, published author, you need to write “tight”? The term kind of reminds me of squeezing something big into something tiny or speaking poignantly.

So in pen laymen’s terms, what in the world does writing “tight” mean?

Here are eight qualities that will define a piece of literature as “tight” or stripped to its cleanest components:

1. Use specific nouns:
Not: The bird flew over.
Rather: The raven flew over the barn.

2. Pitch out as many adverbs as you can:
Not: He spoke loudly and angrily.
Rather: He yelled!

3. Be positive in sentence inflection:
Not: He didn’t show any respect.
Rather: He showed no respect.

4. Use active not passive voice with your verbs:
Not: Bowser, the dog, was walked by Joe.
Rather: Joe walked his dog, Bowser.

5. Get rid of sentences that start with “There” or “There were:”
Not: There was a lot of snow last month.
Rather: Last month’s snow total broke records.

6. Show, don’t tell; in other words, describe your action clearly:
Not: Billy was really angry.
Rather: Billy pounded his fist on the table.

7. Watch for redundant phrases:
Not: Millie blushed with embarrassment.
Rather: Millie’s face turned bright red.

8. Use down-to-earth language and throw out eloquent pedantic phrases and euphemisms that no one will know what the heck you’re talking about:
Not: Rickie’s face showed lines of agony and remorse while streams of tears flooded her poor anguished soul.
Rather: Rickie cried as though her heart was broken.

So, there you have it. Embrace these tidbits on how to become a best-selling author, and your readers will be begging for more.

Me Know Everything!

Marsha Hubler
(Website) www.marshahubler.com
(Blog) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books

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On Writing: Five Elements of a Strong YA Book

You’re ready to start pounding the keyboard with a great idea for a novel to catch the attention of tweens or young adult readers. But where do you begin? What makes that story irresistible to the reader? What makes your manuscript a page turner?

Let’s discuss five elements, each which could take an hour’s seminar to explain in detail, that will help you write a winner. If you incorporate these five elements into your writing, you’ll have a finished product that will catch the eye of an editor and hook your reader until the last page:

1. Develop memorable characters – Joe Schmo should not be a brown-haired, brown-eyed stereotype with no quirks or anything different about him; rather, he should have strong personality traits, perhaps be very courageous or very cowardice to gain your sympathy; he should, nonetheless, conquer his fears and frustrations and go after what he wants.

2. Pace your action and intersperse it with periods of quiet. Kids love action, but if every page has Joe Schmo jumping out of a hot air balloon, swimming the English channel, or saving Mary Schmarey from a bomb that’s going off in three seconds, your reader will just get bored or he might need some nerve pills! Conflicting emotions and inward struggles are just as exciting to the reader as a jet plane flying under the San Francisco Bay Bridge!

3. Develop witty, clever dialogue, but make sure it doesn’t all sound like kids’ talk. Brand your characters with certain styles of dialogue for variety’s sake, and for tween novels especially, “have dialogue on every page,” one of my wise editors once told me.

4. Have your main character face challenges and problems that are very difficult to overcome. You need antagonistic characters to make life difficult for Joe Schmo, or you need to develop a plot that has Joe running in circles or, sometimes, running away before he gets the wisdom or courage to defeat his foe.

5. Develop an “instant-recall factor” in your story line. Winning stories always have a plot or parts of a plot that stay with the reader long after he’s put the book down. What favorite books do you remember? What is it about their story line that is so memorable? Write incidents that excite the reader’s mind or play on his emotions. When I have book signings and my tween fans come to the table, I like to ask them, “Do you like to laugh or cry when you read? I have books in my Keystone Stables Series that will satisfy any emotion, and, hopefully, the characters and story line will stay with my readers long after they’ve read the last page.

So, there you have it. Take these five tips that have helped me become a YA novel best-selling author, and  you’re on your way to writing a winning novel as well.

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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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