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Come to the Montrose Christian Writers Conference!

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One of the most meaningful experiences you’ll ever have as a writer is attending writers’ conferences. The knowledge gained, the friendships made, and the encouragement received are all well worth the time, effort, and money invested in any writers conference you attend.

My attending the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, literally, changed my writing life forever.

In 2001, I met Barbara Scott, the acquisitions editor of Zonderkidz, and my Keystone Stables Series was launched, eventually becoming a best seller with over scott-barbara-photo-2017150,000 in print. After all these years, the books are still in print and selling fairly well. Thanks to the wisdom of Barbara Scott, who said, “I want this series to have a long shelf life,” that’s exactly what’s happened.

The Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA, is one of the best conferences, in my opinion, that you’ll ever attend. Of course, I’m partial since I assumed the directorship in January of 2015, attempting to continue the excellence of faculty and workshops started 27 years ago and directed by Patti Souder for 20 years.

This year’s conference from July 16th to the 21st is entitled

EQUIPPING WRITERS FOR ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE

“Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book!”

(Job 19:23)

It will feature four continuing morning classes:

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA (ADVANCED FICTION) – FILM ACTOR TORRY MARTIN

WHERE DO I BEGIN?  – EDITOR BARBARA SCOTT

NONFICTION: THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT  –  AUTHOR B.J. TAYLOR

THE ART AND CRAFT OF POETRY  –  POET LORA ZILL

 as well as 45 other afternoon and evening classes or workshops. If you leave this five-day conference without learning anything, I’d say you’re not cut out to be a writer.

This year we’re also offering three work-in-progress classes (limited to 8 participants):

PICTURE BOOKS – AUTHOR CAROL WEDEVEN

POETRY BOOT CAMP – POET LORA ZILL

TEEN TRACK –  AUTHOR CATHY MAYFIELD

(Registration fees and housing rates are reduced for teens)

Do you need your manuscript privately critiqued to see if you should continue or give it up and take up crocheting? We’re able to help you with that as well, offering professional private critiques by five faculty members (for a small fee) OR freebie peer critique groups moderated by seven faculty members. So get that manuscript ready!

If you’re considering attending this conference, I recommend you register as soon as possible when registration opens in March. I expect it to fill up very quickly. Watch for all the details coming soon at www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

If you want to take a peek at what the conference looked like last year, go visit now.

Happy writing!

SUMMER CAMP ADVENTURE

Keystone Stables Book 4

KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES BOOK 4

Skye has her hands full trying to help Jonathan, a stubborn deaf boy, learn to ride western when he just wants to ride English style. Then he takes off on his horse in the middle of the night and gets lost in the woods.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TFE5VI/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

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July 20, 2015

A Word about Marketing and Promotion

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If you’ve gotten a book published, then you’ve probably experienced the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of marketing your own work.

Book signings? I hate them. In another blog, I’ll tell you why.

Most writers hate all kinds of promotion and marketing because they take us away from valuable writing time; yet, they are a necessary evil to get our names out there in the public eye.

If you haven’t a big name that might pop up on a talk show or on syndicated radio programs (which WILL sell thousands of books), then you have to devise a plan to promote your work and yourself.

We’re going to post a few blogs about this topic because there’s SO much to know about marketing a book. Even if you are just in the process of writing your manuscript, you need to promote yourself, and one of the biggies these days is social media online.

So, today’s writing tip is a short one: start a website and a blog site. That’s one way to start getting the exposure you need to sell books. Then post on your blog regularly, at least once or twice a week to build up your following.

“But my book isn’t even out yet,” you might say.

Nevertheless, you can start drawing a fan base by writing either short excerpts of your book or writing about topics or themes similar to that of your book. I have two active blogs at the moment. The one, www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com is all about horses and is targeted at kids who are horse fans and would want to read my Keystone Stables books. My other blog, www.marshahubler.wordpress.com, targets writers and is primarily a service blog to help other writers with all facets of the writing/publishing business.

It takes years to build up a fan base, so devise a plan and get to it. Choose a theme or topics of interest that will draw folks to your sites. Get your name floating out there in cyberspace so when your book comes out, folks will, first of all, know who you are and will know about you and your book through your social media. Secondly, they’ll be eager to buy a book with an author with whom they’ve had direct contact.

Whether you’re planning to be published, have the contract in your hand, or already have your book out, get started today!

KEYSTONE STABLES BOOK ONE

A HORSE TO LOVE

Skye Nicholson is a hateful foster kid, but when she meets Christian foster parents and a gorgeous horse named Champ, her life is changed.

Keystone Stables Book 1

 

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If you’ve ever worked with foster children, then you know they have a built-in mechanism for survival. It’s called “lying.”

I hate to be so blunt, so maybe we can reword this so it doesn’t sound so cut-and-dried. Let’s see.

They like to stretch the truth. They tell little white lies. They don’t exactly tell it like it is. They exaggerate. They tell stories. They . . .

If you’re considering becoming a foster parent, please be aware of the facts concerning foster children and their desire to level with you. The desire is not there.

I wholeheartedly believe that many foster children’s ability to hide the truth in practically every facet of their lives stems from their unfortunate pasts either with their own families or in other foster homes.

Foster children have the inborn tendency to either get into trouble or to be blamed for getting into trouble when it really isn’t their fault at all. Thus, over the years, they’ve learned that lying has become a matter of self-preservation. If they could talk their way out of being grounded or losing privileges, then why not?

From a Christian foster parent’s viewpoint, I can say that trying to change this one behavior in our foster kids’ lives was the toughest thing I ever faced. I never knew when one of the children was telling the truth or not. I often felt like an FBI agent or Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, digging into the facts, searching for clues to “who done it,” or giving every child the third degree: “And where were YOU at three A.M. this morning when the barn burned down?”

But by God’s grace some of the teens accepted Christ into their lives, and things started to change. They saw how “telling whoppers” only added to their misery and caught them in an endless cycle of mistrust with all those around them, including those who really did care. It was only after the children became Christians that their behavior started to change, they “came clean,” and we could love them for who they were, kids in need of a tremendous dose of tough love.

So my challenge to you, foster parent, is be gracious, be willing to believe, but be very, very careful.

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

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In my 40-plus years of working with parents and children of all ages, it has never ceased to amaze me that some parents could never grasp the idea that their children would be adults some day, probably get married, and/or have an apartment or home of their own. When that would happen years off in the future, there were a few questions that would need to be answered: Who’s going to do the dishes? Cook the roast? Run the sweeper? Good old Mom or Dad? What if Junior or Honey lives on the other side of the globe?

Learning domestic skills does not come to a child-turned-adult by some fairy waving her magic housekeeping wand over his/her head, and VOILA! Child-turned-adult knows exactly what to do to “run a household.”

Numerous times I’ve been invited to homes where the mother (often the dad too) was sweating up a storm cooking the meal, setting the table, feeding the dog, and trying to hold a decent conversation with me while the teenage son or daughter sat in front of the TV with his/her feet up on the sofa.

The teen came to the table only when the mother (or dad) had everything served. When the meal was finished, so was the teen, and off he/she went again to do his/her own thing.

Thank goodness, this scenario didn’t happen all the time, but it happened enough for me to scratch my disciplined head and wonder, “What is that parent thinking?”

Many a marriage falls apart because either or both partners haven’t a clue how to cook, control their finances, use an iron, or cut the grass. Changing diapers? Are you kidding?

My challenge to any parent is to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old, he’ll not depart from it.”

That verse from the book of Proverbs hints to not only spiritual guidance for the child but also training for life, as well, that will help him/her cope with the pressures of adulthood and marriage.

Marriage is a team effort; but if one partner spends all his/her time in front of the TV with his/her feet up, conflict is right around the corner that could lead to further problems and even divorce.

So, parents, start early. Junior and Honey are not too young to learn the ropes around the house, even at the age of five or six. They can pick up their toys or take out the garbage, or, here’s a thought, they can feed their dog!

Help your child be successful years before he/she ever steps over the threshold of his/her own home. He/she will be eternally grateful and will come back to thank you again and again.

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