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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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2020 FACULTY SPOTLIGHT
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
JOYCE MAGNIN

   Joyce Magnin is the author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Bright’s Pond series, the Harriet Beamer novels, Maybelle in Stitches (Quilts of Love Series) and four middle grade novels, Boxing Emily (spring 2020), Jelly Bean Summer, Carrying Mason and Cake-Love, Chickens and Taste of Peculiar which was awarded a Kirkus starred review.
Her debut novel, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Bright’s Pond) was named one of the top five titles of 2009 by Library Journal and was a Carol Award finalist.
She loves to visit schools and talk about the magical world of books and writing. Joyce is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
“Writing and story have always been a part of my life. I love to share my passion, my joy and my personal adventure.” ~ Joyce Magnin

JOYCE’S AFTERNOON CLASSES

Formatting: One Inch Margins All Around
In this class we will take a look at what it means to properly format your manuscripts for submission. We will discuss fonts, margins, line spacing, proper punctuation of dialog etc. Appearance matters when it comes to publishing. And believe it or not, knowing the right way will make the writing easier. But you can still wear your jammies to write.

Kidlit Boot Camp
From conception to finished product in forty minutes. A comprehensive look at everything it takes to write a successful book for children, tweens, and teens.

Sassy Gets the Job Done
How to write compelling characters for your tween, midgrade, or teen novel. We’ll get to the heart of character development.

The Hero’s Journey in Kidlit
The Hero’s Journey is the most elegant of all plot structure formulas. We’ll look at how to apply the 12 steps of the hero’s journey to your story.

Revising Your Kidlit for Fun and Hopefully Profit
Congratulations! You have a first draft. Now what? Learn about revision—a checklist of elements to look for as you revise your story. It’ll be no problem if you’re not quite finished a draft.
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Attention Writers, please continue to pray with us that the COVID-19 situation will not cause us to cancel our 2020 MCWC conference. The good news is that Montrose’s county, Susquehanna County,  has gone “YELLOW” and should be going “GREEN” very soon as the number of positive COVID cases continue to decline. Right now the only factor that might cause us to cancel is low conferee enrollment. All our faculty members are anxious and excited to come.

PLEASE let me know if you plan to come to the conference but have not registered yet. We want to have the conference following all the guidelines to make the event safe for everyone. Our enrollment, or lack of it, will determine 2020 MCWC’s destiny.

 I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

 

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

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  The 2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight: EDITOR VIE HERLOCKER

ATTENTION, WRITERS!

      One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be editor Vie Herlocker.
Vie is associate editor for Surry Living Magazine, Mt. Airy, NC. Her experience includes editing for a small publisher and reviewing for Blue Ink Reviews. She is a member of Christian Editor Connection, Christian PEN, ACFW, ACW, and WordWeavers. Vie received a nonfiction Excellence in Editing award in 2017, and a novel she edited won a 2018 Selah award.

VIE’S CLASSES

Major Morning
From Novice to Noticed (For Beginners and Those Needing a Do-Over)

     Welcome to the world of writing!  Join the Book Mama (and her alter ego, Miz Moe) on a behind the scenes look at the language of publishing, the tools of the trade, formatting, writing techniques for fiction and nonfiction, editing your work, submitting your manuscript, and more. We’ll discover the sneaky mistakes that may mark you as a novice—and discuss how to find and fix them so that you have a better chance of being noticed! (And noticed for the right, rather than the wrong things.)

 Wednesday Afternoon Class

What Can I Expect from a Professional Edit?   

     Editing covers a continuum of services and skills. The terms used to describe the different types—developmental, substantive, line, and copyedit—can be confusing. And then there is proofreading. You may have asked: Do I need an edit? Where do I find an editor? How much does editing cost? This session will demystify the world of working with an editor.

Monday Evening Session

MS WORD:
The Masked Superhero of the Writing World 

     Lurking on your computer—ready to jump in and come to the writer’s rescue—is the often-overlooked superhero, MS WORD! Come to this evening session with Book Mama and Miz Moe and learn to unleash the power of Find and Replace, Find and Highlight, Comment Balloons, and the mastermind, Track Changes. 

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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/2KCOWql

for the full details and to register online.

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AGENT SALLY APOKEDAK ON THE 2020 MCWC FACULTY!

 

Writers, don’t miss the 31st annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 12th to the 17th! One of our faculty members will be literary agent Sally Apokedak.

Sally  owns the Apokedak Literary Agency, a boutique agency specializing in Christian-worldview children’s books aimed at the general market. She currently has two agents on board, a few hardworking interns, and a select group of wonderful clients.

She’s been working in children’s publishing for 20-plus years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour, she was privileged to work with bestselling authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale. Now she represents her own list of bestselling and award-winning authors, and she teaches online courses to thousands of students in over 90 countries.

Sally will present a Major Morning series, Monday through Thursday from 10:40 until 12:10 entitled

CHILDREN’S FICTION: FIRST CHAPTER ESSENTIALS

If you want to write “kid lit,” your goal is to pull readers into your story world on page one and keep them there to the last page. To do that you need a story world that feels real; characters who are conflicted, active, and growing; a plot that pushes back against your characters so they can learn to be heroes; a voice that is attractive; and a theme that’s woven in so readers feel rewarded with a conclusion that was earned, rather than feeling like the author shoved her agenda down his throat. Please bring your first chapters—we will be working on them in class. 

So plan to join us for an exciting week filled with invaluable information about writing, editing, and marketing for numerous genres. Online details about all the classes and a registration form will soon be available at http://www.montrosebible.org and in a hard copy brochure. If you need a hard copy brochure, please let me know, and I’ll have one mailed to you. 

I hope to see you in July!

For more info about Sally : sally-apokedak.com

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

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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: Working with an Editor

When it finally happens, you know, the phone call or e-mail that says, “Congratulations! You’ve got a contract with our company!”, prepare yourself for the exciting adventure of seeing your name in print. There’s nothing quite like it after you’ve been trying for years to do so. Have a party or go to Dunkin for a latte or buy your dog a big box of treats. Celebrate somehow. Then prepare yourself for the next step in your writing life.

As you enter this new phase of writing/publishing, determine in your heart to do the best job you can with the editor to whom you are assigned. The editor is your friend, not your arch enemy who is set on destroying every clever phrase you ever penned.

Here are a few tips that I learned along the way that might help you in your “strange encounter of the first kind” with the person who has been hired to make you look real good:

1. Before you ever submit your first draft to your editor, revise, revise, revise your manuscript. Have a critique group edit it; have another writer friend or two critique it, and send the best possible manuscript to the editor after you’ve rewritten it at least seven or eight times. Your editor is NOT your high school English teacher. He/she expects you to know how to use commas, quotation marks, and colons.
2. Be on time with assignments – editors are on a very tight schedule. Don’t give them deadline headaches. If you have excuses for not meeting those deadlines, you won’t be invited back for another contract.
3. Divorce yourself from your manuscript and analyze it objectively. Your editor is going to suggest changes you won’t like. The words you wrote are not written in stone, and, as much as you think your manuscript is your newborn baby, it is not. Accept with a learning spirit the changes the editor wants.
4. If you are set on keeping your words, discuss the matter with your editor. Explain your reasoning but be willing to listen to his/her explanation. Your editor is a hired professional who knows the ins and outs of publishing. He/she KNOWS what will work 99% of the time.
5. Thank your editor often. When the project is done, send him/her a card of gratitude, at least. (A small gift as a token of your appreciation would be well received.) He/she just might remember you the next time the company is looking for an author in your genre specialty.

So, there you have the basics of working with that editor who wants you to succeed as much as you do. Remember, you’re on the same team. Just let the editor be the quarterback.

Marsha

*****

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https://amzn.to/2Zkx48L

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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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