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MORE PERKS AT THE 2017 MCWC

A Personal Word from the Director!

Three weeks from now, the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference will be under way. Besides over 40 workshops, 4 Major Morning sessions, and 3 Work-in-Progress Seminars, there are numerous “perks” planned throughout the week. Just a few of them are:

  1. A Life-Changing Event: In 2001, I met Barbara Scott, who at that time was the acquisitions editor at Zonderkidz. Through that 15-minute meeting on the porch at the conference center, I received contracts to write the 8-book Keystone Stables Series, which is a best-seller (and still selling today!) You never know where your one-on-one meetings with an agent or editor might lead you. Take advantage of the opportunities at Montrose this year. (I acquired two additional contracts from other publishers at Montrose over the years as well.) Barbara will be with us again. She’s now an independent editor, but if you want the scoop on whether your manuscript is ready for publication, meet with her on the porch. She’ll give it to you straight!
  2. The Budget Book Sale! Every third year or so, we have a budget book sale, when faculty and conferees donate unwanted books. We then sell dozens, if not hundreds, of wholesome books of all genres at a much-reduced price. All the proceeds go to the scholarship funds. So raid your bookshelves and bring all those dusty books you don’t want anymore. Then bring some loose change and take a bagful of “new” used books home with you!
  3. Painting Class with Artist Dave Weiss: On Tuesday evening, Dave will teach a painting class. Every participant will have his/her own canvas, paints, and brushes to paint a picture that might have seemed impossible before the class started.
  4. Praise and Worship Time with Conrad and Donna Krieger: Every year, the attendees rate this half hour presentation and song time every morning as the highlight of the week. Conrad and Donna are gifted musicians, who lead us in a spiritually uplifting time of worship that starts every day on a God-honoring note.
  5. Writers’ Theatre on Thursday Evening: This is your time to shine. Bring a piece no longer than three minutes long and read it to an audience of your peers in a nostalgic setting with beautiful decorations by Ginny Merritt and dimmed lights with the spotlight on YOU.

So, this is just a sample of the “perks” the 2017 Montrose Christian Writers Conference will offer this year. It’s not too late to register, so go to http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

 and get your name on our conferee list. I’d love to meet you in a few weeks. Set your GPS to Montrose, PA, for July 16th!

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The 2017 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE

Classes and Workshops for Practically Every Genre

With over 50 classes and workshops, you’ll be sure to find something to help you get that manuscript ready for publication. Following are just a few of the seminars and classes offered:

MAJOR MORNING CLASSES 10:40-12:10 Monday-Thurs.

                                        

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?  TORRY MARTIN

WHERE DO I BEGIN? (Help for Newbies)     BARBARA SCOTT

THE JOURNEY TO PUBLISHING NONFICTION     B. J. TAYLOR

THE ART & CRAFT OF POETRY                              LORA ZILL

WORK-IN-PROGRESS SEMINARS (LIMIT 8 CONFEREES EACH)

Morning: 10:40 – 12:10 Monday-Thursday

(Class size: Limit 8 conferees)

PICTURE BOOKS FOR PUBLICATION

CAROL WEDEVEN

READY, SET, WRITE … AND FINISH

(TEEN TRACK)

CATHY MAYFIELD

*Afternoon: 2:30 – 3:15 Monday – Wednesday

* POETRY BOOT CAMP

(Limit 6 conferees)

LORAZILL

 

AFTERNOON WORKSHOP SERIES

(How-to instruction on specialized topics)

BLOGGING 101 & THE SOCIAL MEDIA

3 Sessions:  1:30 Tues. – Thurs. Don Catlett

AN EDITOR’S PET PEEVES

4 Session  2:30 Mon. – Thurs.   Vie Herlocker

DRAMA THAT MATTERS

4 Sessions:  2:30 Mon., 1:30 Tues. – Thurs. Patti Souder

WRITING FOR CHILDREN

3 Sessions:  2:30 Tues. – Thurs. Carol Wedeven

Check out all the details and registration forms at:

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

Please plan to attend. I’d love to meet you.

Marsha, Director

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The Montrose Christian Writers Conference

Faculty Spotlight

HAS GOD CALLED ME TO WRITE?

scott-barbara-photo-mcwc-2017

Barbara Scott

 

Are writers made or born with their gift? What is a Christian writer? Is it too late for me to start writing? I’ve asked and pondered every one of those questions at some point in my life.

Viewpoints differ as to whether a writer is made or born. Not that I’m in any way holding up Jack Kerouac, a twentieth-century novelist and poet, as someone to emulate. Quite the contrary. But he did answer the first question above rather succinctly in an essay published in 1962 in Writer’s Digest. He wrote, “Writers are made, for anybody who isn’t illiterate can write; but geniuses of the writing art like Melville, Whitman or Thoreau are born.”

You may sigh and take your hands off the keyboard at this point. Your internal dialogue might go something like this: “I’m not illiterate, but I’m certainly no genius. Who do I think I am? Maybe I should quit right now if that’s what it takes. Maybe I just thought God called me to write. I don’t even know where to start.”

Well, as Julie Andrews once sang to her young charges in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.”

Most of the people God called in Scripture were quite ordinary. God’s Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures by using the minds, the hands, the writing implements of ordinary, obedient people. God still works the same way today. Some writers are young. Some are old. Some are educated. Some can barely spell.

That’s why Marsha Hubler asked me to teach a series of workshops for novice writers in July at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. No writing experience necessary. Following are descriptions of the major morning workshops I plan to teach beginners who believe God has called them to write:

Lingo Lessons

In a comfortable, non-judgmental session, I’ll explain the basics and answer any questions about the language of writing, editing, and publishing to help you navigate these new waters. If you bring the first paragraph of any project, I’ll critique your work during the third major morning session on editing.

The Write Stuff

Think of this session as Writing 101. Learn about proper formatting, margins, and fonts; how to write a synopsis, proposal, and query letter; and how to use more than the spell-check feature on your computer. Bring a pen and paper or your laptop to class.

What’s an Edit?

Not every word you write is golden. That’s why every writer needs an editor. Editing is more than proofreading for spelling mistakes. This session will explain the various types of edits and when, why, and how each is used.

Graduation Time

We’ll tackle issues such as how to build a network of writing friends, finding a critique group, attending conferences, pitching your ideas, and how to know when you’re ready for the next step. Do you want to remain a hobbyist or take a leap of faith and seek publication?

I’ll also teach a few short afternoon classes:

The Power of Storytelling

In an interactive session, I’ll discuss the role and importance of writers—fiction and nonfiction—in God’s plan, from your calling to how to change lives with stories that touch the heart. Learn the elements of a great story, even if you write nonfiction.

Pick a Genre

Is God calling you to write? Don’t know what to write? In this workshop, learn the characteristics of each genre (type of writing) and how to discover your “sweet spot.”

Please join me in July and let’s start at the very beginning.

Barbara’s Bio:

An inspirational book editor for more almost twenty years, Barbara Scott has recently returned to her first love—writing. In the fall of 2016, Gilead Publishing released her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in an inspirational collection titled Sleigh Bells Ring. Barbara is the coauthor of two bestselling novels and wrote numerous gift books and devotionals before her long stint as a senior acquisitions editor for several Christian publishers.

 

Today’s Book Feature:

Keystone Stables Book Five

LEADING THE WAY

Can Skye help Katie Thomas, a blind foster girl, learn to barrel race a horse?

http://www.amazon.com/Leading-Way-Keystone-Stables-Book-ebook/dp/B003SE75ZI/ref=pd_sim_351_6?ie=UTF8&dpID=511o8hwVNXL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_OU01_AC_UL320_SR206%2C320_&refRID=0WD7GM9G0BRSCZKCKZFM

 

Keystone Stables Book 5

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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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MEET THE AUTHOR/EDITOR: BARBARA SCOTT

 Barbara Scott - Agent (2)

I first met Barbara Scott at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July of 2001. She was then the acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz (the children’s division of Zondervan) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I was a struggling writer who had gone to that writers conference to try to sell a series of Bible study guides to a company interested in Christian non-fiction. I had no idea who Barbara was nor did I think I’d be interested in writing juvenile fiction at that time in my writing career.

However, in one of the editor/conferee private appointments, on a whim, I met with Barbara and showed her a short story I had written about a girl in a wheelchair who learned to ride a horse. Unbeknown to me, Barbara was looking for someone to write a juvenile girl/horse series for Zonderkidz. We talked for a while on the front porch of Dreyer Hall at the Montrose conference, she liked my writing style and twenty-plus years’ experience with children and horses, and she shared her idea with me. Without going into much more detail, let’s just say the best-selling eight-book KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES was conceived, and the rest is history.

Barbara’s that kind of gal whom you want to be your best friend as soon as you meet her. She’s warm, friendly, and often laughs at your stupid jokes that aren’t funny at all. But on top of that sparkling personality, Barbara is “street-wise” and is a walking dictionary when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing.

Barbara Scott Has More Than 30 Years of Publishing Experience, ranging from newspapers and magazines to Christian books for all ages. As a senior acquisitions editor, she is credited for kicking off a well-rounded series of bestselling YA novels at Zondervan and quality, highly reviewed novels at Abingdon Press.

Barbara also says, “I’ve worked with both fiction and nonfiction authors and sold their work to numerous publishers while a literary agent for WordServe Literary Group. I’m also a published author, and currently I’m writing and editing under the banner of my own company, Heartland Editorial Management”  (http://www.heartlandeditorial.com ).

Barbara’s Credentials:

Barbara has a long list of credits that are quite impressive. “I’ve partnered with best-selling authors such as Brandilyn Collins and Melody Carlson for the YA fiction line at Zondervan, and many of the authors in my fiction launch at Abingdon Press received rave reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.” Two of her authors at Abingdon Press, Cynthia Ruchti and Richard Mabry, were nominated for Carol Awards by ACFW in 2011, and Nancy Rue, one of her authors at Zonderkidz has sold more than one million copies of her various children’s and YA series there. The fiction line at Abingdon Press exceeded all sales expectations.

Her Background:

Barbara’s educational background includes a M.A. in English from National University, a B.A. in English from Missouri Southern College, a Certificate in Film from the Mass Media Institute at Stanford University, a graduate-level course in child development from Calvin College, training in screen development with the Robert McKee Story Seminar in Los Angeles, and numerous sales, management, and customer service training courses.

I would say this woman is highly qualified to write and edit, wouldn’t you say?

Barbara’s “Secret” Life:

Asking this amazing gal to share something really interesting that most folks don’t know about her, I found that she’s definitely has had an exciting life.

 “As a teenager, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol (an auxiliary to the Air Force) and went through ground flight school, two weeks of boot camp on an Air Force base, and learned how to rappel down cliffs, shoot a rifle, and hunt for downed civilian planes. I was a lot braver then and in much better shape! Also, by the time I finished college back in the Stone Age, I had attended twenty-seven schools, and I received my Master’s Degree in English at the age of sixty.”

What else can be said about a gal who’s “been around”?

All I can say is Barbara knows her stuff when it comes to the publishing world, and I’m eternally grateful to her and God for giving me the opportunity to write from my heart and to write about what I love: horses, kids, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Visit Barbara’s daily tips, inspirational quotes, and encouragement for writers on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.Scott01 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.

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A HORSE TO LOVE

Volume One in THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Keystone Stables Book 1

 Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/A-Horse-Love-Keystone-Stables/dp/0310717922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363616301&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Horse+to+Love+by+Marsha+Hubler

 

 

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