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Archive for the ‘Writers Conferences’ Category

Writers’ Tips for Newbies: After the Conference

Today’s tips are for all you beginning writers out there who have a great idea and don’t know where to start.

If you attended the last Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July, I trust you learned all kinds of things to help you become a published author. Let’s rehearse a few tips you probably learned to get you writing the next best seller!

If you’ve never attended any writers’ conference, it might be a consideration if you’ve got some ideas about becoming an author.

1. Start writing. Don’t just talk about it. Do you have an idea? Many good ideas? Don’t let those great creative ideas die in your brain cells! Get that computer out and start pecking away.

2. Join a local critique group. This has helped me become a better writer more than any other training, reading, or writing I’ve done. You must have a thick skin and be willing to accept criticism, but in the long run, your writing will improve drastically. Our group in the Susquehanna Valley (PA) meets once a month when everyone brings copies of about four pages of their latest work to have critiqued.

3. Attend writers conferences. Second only to the critique group, writers conferences have molded me into the author I am today. Writers conferences offer numerous workshops on different genres. You also meet other writers who have the passion to write as you do. They UNDERSTAND YOU! And … try to attend conferences where editors and agents are on faculty. Many writers have acquired contracts by meeting “the in-crowd” at conferences. Three of my four book contracts and several purchased articles resulted from contacts at writers’ conferences. Conferences are an essential part of your training.

4. Read, read, read! If you want to write juvenile fiction, read all the published juvenile fiction you can get your hands on. Likewise, if you’re into Amish romance, don’t spend time reading science fiction or fantasy. If you want to learn how to handle your genre, then study your genre. I have pages and pages of “good writing” excerpts that I’ve copied from published books. Once in a while, I open that file and read through the segments that show me excellent dialogue, good narration, and well-done character description.

So, there you have it. If you have the burning desire deep down in your soul to write, then get going! But consider yourself a work-in-progress just as your manuscript is. The more you learn, the better your writing will be!

 

 

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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 2019 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE IS OVER!  

BUT PLAN FOR MCWC 2020!

The 2019 Montrose Christian Writers Conference is history. I can’t believe it’s almost a week ago already that the conference ended. What a blessing this year’s conference was to me as the director. Without the help of my “committee,” I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off. Thank you, gals. You are deeply appreciated. (And you know who you are!)

I want to personally thank Jim Fahringer and his wonderful staff for providing such an excellent place at the Montrose Bible Conference Center, including fine meals and homey rooms. Without exception, folks say the beautiful setting and family atmosphere are tops.

I also want to thank each faculty member, who made this year’s conference one of the best we’ve ever had. We’ve had almost 100% of positive feedback from the conferees, who gleaned from the faculty’s expertise.

Thank you, Alison Everill, talented musician, who provided spirit-filled Praise and Worship times every morning to start our days with thoughts about our wonderful God.

Then I want to thank each conferee who sacrificed a lot of money and time to attend this conference. Besides paying tuition, room, and board, the conferees opened their hearts to the needs of others by donating used books for our Budget Book Sale. I’m guessing we had at least 100 books to sell. Thank you, Kathie Mitchell, for spearheading that big project.

Along with those book donations, faculty and conferees “purchased” dozens and dozens of those used books and many MCWC can coolers (koozies😊)to support the General Scholarship Fund. We raised over $500 to help future conferees with their finances as well as donating over $400 to the kitchen staff, many who work as volunteers or get paid minimal salaries.

When our conference closed on Friday, July 19th, we ended with a short praise and worship time, a challenge from a faculty member-author Gayle Roper-and a circle of friendship and prayer. It’s not unusual for conferees and faculty members to part with tears in their eyes, pledging to return next July. Once anyone attends MCWC, he/she is considered “family,” and we look forward to seeing each one every year.

I overheard one gal say, “I just have to come back next year,” and she plans to save all her loose change to put toward next year’s expenses. That’s an excellent idea for those who have to count every penny in their budget. In a year’s time, quite a few dollars can mount up. Another gal with tears in her eyes told me, “I love my family and my life back home, but I don’t want to leave. This was wonderful.”

If you’ve never been to our Montrose Christian Writers Conference, please consider joining us next year. The dates are forthcoming. I promise you won’t be sorry.

For you who’ve been there for 15 years or just for one year, I look forward, Lord willing, to seeing you again in 2020! God bless your writing endeavors over the next year.

P.S. Whether you attended or not, you might enjoy looking at my Pinterest 2019 MCWC Board with over 100 photos of the conference’s faculty, conferees, and events. I’ve just started downloading photos from the conference, so it’ll take me awhile, but check the board at your convenience:

If you weren’t at the conference and would like to know what you missed, check out the conference’s details:

http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

God bless you as you pray and ask God to help you write for His glory.

Marsha, Director

1 Corinthians 15:10

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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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ALISON EVERILL – MCWC’S NEW PRAISE AND WORSHIP LEADER

I know many former MCWC conferees and faculty members, who plan to return this July, have been wondering if we’ll have a daily Praise and Worship time at Montrose this year since Donna and Conrad Kreiger retired last year.

We’ve been praying that God would lead us to the right person(s) to continue the tradition of our God-honoring praise sessions that have been so greatly appreciated.

The Montrose Bible Conference director, Jim Fahringer, recommended a gal from Georgia, whom he said he’s had at the conference grounds for several other events and highly recommends her. Let’s get to meet ALISON EVERILL:

Alison Everill:  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 Alison 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 two 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 also teach four workshops for music lovers who have written their own music or would like to know how:

SONGWRITING
Alison Everill    4 Sessions:   2:30 – 4:15    Wed. – Thurs.

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’ll 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!  

Songwriters and everyone else planning to come, all the information and registration forms are on the website, https://bit.ly/2GvaC6s . Although the online registration is not ready, you can scroll down to the REGISTRATION FORM option and click on it. Then print the registration form to complete and snail mail it to the Montrose Conference Center office. The hard copy brochures will also be ready any day, which, if you are on our mailing list, you should receive in the mail very soon.

MEET DEB HAGGERTY -PUBLISHER AND CHIEF EDITOR OF ELK LAKE PUBLISHING

Deb Haggerty has been involved in Christian speaking and writing since 1995. She is well known in the industry for her teaching at Christian writers’ conferences such as Glorieta, Blue Ridge Mountains, Greater Philadelphia, and Florida. She has been on staff for CLASSeminars and Florence Littauer’s Personality Training Seminars. Her seminars on communication, networking, and grace are popular with conferences and church groups alike. She also teaches writers “Tips and Tricks on Working with Editors and Publishers.”

Deb took a hiatus from speaking when she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2000. Led to stay home and care for her family, she soldiered through the death of her mother-in-law, her stepson, and her mother. In 2014, she began a freelance editing business and also began editing for Elk Lake. In 2015, the owner asked her to come on board as Vice President of Acquisitions and Management. When he could no longer run the company due to health issues, Deb and her husband bought the assets of the company in 2016.

Since purchasing Elk Lake Publishing and incorporating, the company has gained a reputation for publishing positive books, encouraging new and experienced authors alike, and participating in the education of upcoming writers. Deb’s mission is to come alongside the authors God brings to her to ensure their work is produced in a positive and professional fashion.

Prior to her speaking and writing endeavors, Deb worked in corporate America for almost twenty-five years in a variety of assignments from sales, support staff, marketing, consulting, recruiting, and management. She even taught piano lessons for five years! All of these experiences have prepared her for running Elk Lake Publishing Inc.

Elk Lake Publishing is a traditional, royalty-paying publisher that acquires a variety of books in all genres of fiction and from children’s to adult. They also publish nonfiction “with a twist.” At this time, they’re looking for primarily fiction—especially mystery/suspense and contemporary women’s—and selected nonfiction, but no Amish, cowboy, memoirs, devotionals, Bible studies, or poetry.

Register for MCWC by June 15th and request guidelines for emailing your manuscript.

 $40.00 per critique

DEB HAGGERTY (Publisher/Editor Elk Lake) – juvenile & adult fiction (LIMIT: 5)

 

DEB’S WORKSHOPS

TUESDAY AFTERNOON

Networking: Necessity or Nuisance

Networking is an attitude. We must always keep in mind those to whom we can refer others. In order to receive the benefits of networking, we must first give. Effective networking techniques are a necessity in successfully marketing ourselves and our work, and when implemented, reduce the nuisance factor of making new contacts. Effective networking aids us in finding new associates, as well as in maintaining our professional relationships.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON

Tips & Tricks for Working with Editors and Publishers

Working with editors and publishers can be foreboding. This workshop will give you tips on how to work with us effectively. (Chocolate always is helpful.) We’ll discuss the how-to’s of proposals and style sheets along with lots of tips on self-editing and formatting our work. This is an interactive session with questions and comments welcome. (And did I mention chocolate?) You’ll come away from this session realizing editors and publishers are people just like you—ready, willing, and able to help you on this publication process.

July is just a short TWO months away. Register now and make plans to join us for a writers’ conference that will give you all the information you need to get your work published! 😊 I hope to meet you there on July 14th!    

Marsha, Director                   

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FACULTY MEMBER REBECCA IRWIN DIEHL

Editorial director of Judson Press & ordained to the publishing ministries in 2009, she loves working with authors to bring their words to the printed page. She’s worked in publishing since earning her undergrad. degree in English-writing in 1995. Completing a master’s in theological studies, she “found an ideal niche in Christian publishing, where her love of words meets her passion for God’s Word.”

REBECCA’S WORKSHOPS

(Rebecca will be at Montrose Monday and Tuesday, July 15th and 16th only)

 

MONDAY AFTERNOON

Writing Dramatic Dialogue

Learn some tips that are as useful in fiction as they are on stage! This class will feature some excerpts from the classics, the contemporary, and even from the class. Dissect the dialog and discover what works and why. Great for script writers, fiction writers, screenwriters, and even writers of memoir or biography.

The Art of Self-Editing

Getting your ideas on paper (or hard drive) is half the battle—but it’s only the first half. Learn the art of rewriting and self-editing to ensure that your manuscript is as strong as it can possibly be—without bogging down in the quicksand of overwriting. Covers a range of editorial issues, including organization, concept development, syntax, style, voice, and audience.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON

From Query to the 1st Royalty Check

A thorough behind-the-scenes overview of the publishing process from the time a concept is proposed through the first year of sales, including manuscript review and development, production and design, and front list marketing and promotions.

Publishing your Passion 

It’s not enough to have something to say; you have to say something people need to hear—and then say it in such a way that they will listen! How to develop a unique and compelling “package” for your passion as a Christian writer. Learn how to do a market analysis and identify both an audience and a need that you are able to meet, not just with God’s Word but with your own words.

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Writers, all the information and registration forms are on the website, https://bit.ly/2GvaC6s . Although the online registration is not ready, you can scroll down to the REGISTRATION FORM option and click on it. Then print the registration form to complete and snail mail it to the Montrose Conference Center office. The hard copy brochures will also be ready any day, which, if you are on our mailing list, you should receive in the mail very soon.

July is just a short three months away. Register now and make plans to join us for a writers’ conference that will give you all the information you need to get your work published! 😊 I hope to meet you there on July 14th!                                   

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THE 2019 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY!

Authors! Make your plans to attend the 2019 Montrose Christian Writers Conference from July 14th to the 19th, or just come for a day or two. (Per diem rates are available.) Watch for online registration coming soon at www.montrosebible.org.

From now until July, look for posts featuring one faculty member in each post. Then set your sights on the faculty members with whom you’d like to meet and show your writing skills at the conference. Who knows? You might go home with a promised contract for some of your work.

FACULTY MEMBER DAN BROWNELL

Dan Brownell, editor of Today’s Christian Living, Today’s Pastor, and Smart Retailer, is a graduate of Liberty University with a bachelor’s degree in English. He taught junior high and high school English at an international Christian school in Uijongbu, South Korea, before entering the publishing field. Besides editing magazines, he has worked as an educational test writer and editor, copywriter, proposal writer, book editor, and book acquisitions editor. He is married to his sweetheart, Cathy, whom he met in college. They have two children — Elizabeth and Josh — a dog, and according to Dan — way too many cats.

DAN’S WORKSHOPS

(Dan will be at Montrose Wednesday and Thursday, July 17th and 18th only)

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON

 Nonfiction Book Proposals Part 1 – The Publisher’s Proposal Process

Find out how book publishers decide what gets published and what doesn’t. Understanding what goes on behind the scenes can give you great insight and a big advantage. You’ll learn not only what publishers are looking for, but why. Although Dan is currently a magazine editor, he spent nearly five years as a book acquisitions editor for a major book publisher.

Nonfiction Book Proposals Part 2 – Researching and Writing a Book Proposal

Detailed research and concise, persuasive writing are crucial to submitting an effective book proposal. Discover how to do the background research necessary to attract an acquisition editor’s attention and interest. Also learn how to present a polished proposal with the right information.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON 

Five Tips on Selling a Magazine Article

Editors receive far more articles than they have room or budget to print, which can make it hard for even an excellent article to stand out among the competition. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do — that no one does — to move your article to the top of the pile. Learn the secrets of winning over an editor with your article.

Print and Digital Publishing Photo Requirements

Publishing is placing more and more emphasis on the visual impact of stories. Your ability to provide usable photos can make the difference in selling an article. This class provides some basic information you need to know about photo specs and expectations for both digital and print applications. Dan has worked with approximately 100,000 photos and images in his 20-year career as a book and magazine editor.

 

FACULTY MEMBER REBECCA IRWIN DIEHL

Editorial director of Judson Press & ordained to the publishing ministries in 2009, she loves working with authors to bring their words to the printed page. She’s worked in publishing since earning her undergrad. degree in English-writing in 1995. Completing a master’s in theological studies, she “found an ideal niche in Christian publishing, where her love of words meets her passion for God’s Word.”

REBECCA’S WORKSHOPS

(Rebecca will be at Montrose Monday and Tuesday, July 15th and 16th only) 

MONDAY AFTERNOON

Writing Dramatic Dialogue

Learn some tips that are as useful in fiction as they are on stage! This class will feature some excerpts from the classics, the contemporary, and even from the class. Dissect the dialog and discover what works and why. Great for script writers, fiction writers, screenwriters, and even writers of memoir or biography.

The Art of Self-Editing

Getting your ideas on paper (or hard drive) is half the battle—but it’s only the first half. Learn the art of rewriting and self-editing to ensure that your manuscript is as strong as it can possibly be—without bogging down in the quicksand of overwriting. Covers a range of editorial issues, including organization, concept development, syntax, style, voice, and audience.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON

From Query to the 1st Royalty Check

A thorough behind-the-scenes overview of the publishing process from the time a concept is proposed through the first year of sales, including manuscript review and development, production and design, and front list marketing and promotions.

Publishing your Passion

It’s not enough to have something to say; you have to say something people need to hear—and then say it in such a way that they will listen! How to develop a unique and compelling “package” for your passion as a Christian writer. Learn how to do a market analysis and identify both an audience and a need that you are able to meet, not just with God’s Word but with your own words.

************

Watch for the online registration to be ready any day now. We’ll also soon have hard copy brochures. Let me know if you would like one snailmailed to you.

Marsha

Director MCWC

 

 

 

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