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Archive for the ‘Writers Conferences’ Category

2020 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT   

 PRAISE AND WORSHIP LEADER ALISON EVERILL

     One of our 2020 Montrose Christian Writers Conference faculty members will be the Praise and Worship Leader, Alison Everill.
Alison began her music ministry as a childhood church musician. From then until now, she has chronicled her faith journey through her beautiful music. From the moment she sits at the piano to express her worship for Jesus through one of her original worship songs, listeners are drawn in to hear the passion in her voice and sense her devotion to the Lord through her powerful lyrics that speak volumes not only about her music but also her life.
She composes her own music and powerfully delivers each Christ-centered message. She has co-written and published 2 songs on Dove Award-winning artist Babbie Mason’s latest record project and has had several songs signed with the Gaither Publishing Company.
Alison will lead our Praise and Worship time during every joint session from Sunday evening to Friday morning. She will also coordinate a Singspiration on Wednesday evening, highlighting the history of some of our most popular hymns that were sometimes written over a hundred years ago. She will also conduct a work-in-progress for two afternoons for those who are writing their own music:

Alison will be teaching:

SONGWRITING
WORK-IN-PROGRESS

 6 Sessions:   1:30 – 4:15
Tues -Wed.

      Where do I begin? Finding good song ideas, coming up with your “hook,” starting strong. What are the Nuts and Bolts of crafting a good song? Rhyme scheme, matching syllables, word choice, song structure. How do I construct a professional lyric sheet and get my song publish-ready? You will also have an opportunity to share a song you have written with the group and receive feedback. Bring a demo if you have one and/or lyric multiple lyric sheets. We’ll work on any songs you have in progress using the tools we have learned and possibly write some originals! We’ll be writing during this time together! So come with a notebook, ready to create!  

    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.                                     

I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

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

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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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The 2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight 
Social Media Guru Don Catlett

Writers, don’t miss the 31st annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 12th to the 17th! One of our faculty members will be social media guru Don Catlett, who is no stranger to MCWC.

Don truly enjoys sharing the tools and skills he has developed as a designer and marketing advisor over the past 20 years. As a freelance WordPress & social media consultant who is fascinated by content marketing, design, & technology, he transforms creative ideas into effective strategies. He helps his clients bring the right content to the right media, so it’s ready at the right time. Looking for someone to help you tell your story on the web? Come along as Don guides you through the journey.

DON’S CLASSES

INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA STORYTELLING
BLOGGING: THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE STARTING
WORDPRESS QUICK START

 

Don will also have private blogging lessons ($20 for 45 minutes)
for anyone wanting to start a blog or update one. 

I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

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

 

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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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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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How to Turn Off your Reader

You’re writing that great American novel. You’ve read tons of “how to write” books, studied your high school English books to the last dangling participle, and now you’re ready to start pecking away at the keyboard.

There are a few basic principles of writing good fiction to keep your reader engaged that must be remembered or your book will go flying out your reader’s window. Worse yet, while it’s being reviewed at the publishing company, the editor will send your manuscript back so fast, you’re characters’ heads will be spinning.

So, if you want to turn off your reader, or your editor, here’s what you do:

1. Start your book by waxing eloquent. Describe beautiful settings, introduce action, and throw in a few pages of dialogue of minor characters. But don’t introduce your main protagonist until page 10.

2. Write 20 pages of backstory with vivid descriptions and details of your protagonist’s past life. Tell every nitty, gritty little detail about him that doesn’t mean beans to the main story line.

3. Have your plot direction a mystery. “What the heck is going on here?” will run through your reader’s mind every time he turns the page and starts a new chapter.

4. Develop a main protagonist that is offensive and says really outrageous or stupid things that aren’t justified. For example, women readers are very sensitive to male attitudes toward them. (The author’s attitudes will come shining through in the protagonist’s actions and words.)

5. If you’re writing Christian fiction, preach it, brother! Fill your pages with scripture verses. Have your protagonist a “holier than thou” saint who does no wrong and walks the straight and narrow. No reader in his right mind would want to embrace a character who is so heavenly minded, he’s no earthly good.

So, if you’ve decided you don’t want to ever be published, that’s what you do. Master these five steps, and you’ll definitely turn off any reader who’s brave enough to attempt to tackle your “eloquence.”

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

OVER 250,000 IN PRINT!

THE 8-BOOK KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

http://amzn.to/2nPbZ5q

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On Writing: The Editor Connection

As a beginner over 20 years ago, I didn’t have a clue about connecting with editors. I thought all I had to do was look up a publishing company’s address in the Writers’ Market Guide, send off my manuscript after I wrote it and revised it once, and then wait for the check to arrive in the mail.

Boy, did I have a lot to learn! Over the years, I’ve accumulated some wisdom that I’d like to pass on to you. Each of these “talking points” could be developed into an essay of sorts, but for convenience’s sake, we’ll just make a quickie list for you to ponder and then, in turn, to analyze your own progress in becoming a published author:

1. Study the market and make sure your manuscript matches what the publishing company is looking for. This is the number one reason that writers are rejected. A story about your favorite pet cow won’t make it in a horse magazine!
2. Follow the submission guidelines to the T if you even want to be considered. If the editor wants a proposal or a query letter first, then learn how to do those two “writing projects” well and submit them first.
3. Have your manuscript critiqued several times by other writers you know (like in a critique group). If you have the financial means, hire a freelance editor to refine your copy. If you don’t do this, the editor at the publishing company might read only one or two paragraphs of your submission and go no farther because of poor writing. “Duh, shure eye kin spel; did eye miss sumpthun?”
3. If you have an editor who is interested in your work, send it to him/her immediately. The longer you wait, the fuzzier his/her mind will become about your query or proposal.
4. Be patient when waiting to hear from an editor. These days it can take anywhere from three months to six months, maybe longer, to hear from an editor. The sad thing of late is that some publishing companies are not responding to writers’ queries or manuscripts unless they have been accepted. This can become a frustrating waiting game with no end. Therefore, find companies that accept multiple submissions, and send five or six out at a time. If you’ve heard nothing after six months, I suggest emailing or calling the editor, but not before.
5. The best way to “connect” with editors is to attend writers’ conferences. Yes, you have to dig deep into your starving author pocket to pay the conferees’ fee and other expenses, but in this business, it takes money to earn money.

Of the four book contracts I’ve acquired, three of them came from meeting editors at writers conferences. I’ve also had poetry, children’s short stories, and articles published in magazines by meeting the editors at conferences. Editors love to “connect” writers’ names with their faces. It’s a big plus for you and them alike.

So there you have a few tips to help you get started on the road to publication. Next time, I’ll address the topic of working with an editor once you get that acceptance letter or phone call.

I remember my very first phone conversation with an editor who wanted to do my Keystone Stables series (18 years ago already), and it was a thrill which I shall never forget.

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

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