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The 2020 Montrose Christian Writers Conference is History!

 Conference center director, Jim Fahringer, and former writers’ conference director, Patti Souder

WE MADE IT!

    The 2020 Montrose Christian Writers Conference began Sunday evening, July 12th and ended Friday, July 17th on the campus of the beautiful restored home and conference center of world-renowned evangelist, missionary, and author R.A. Torrey.
   We had 12 on faculty including award-winning and best-selling authors, and we had about 60 conferees attend. With over 50 classes teaching anything from the basics of editing and writing well to marketing and promoting your book, the conferees went home with their heads stuffed full of knowledge they can apply to their own writing career.
Our wonderful faculty shared invaluable information to help beginners as well as those who’ve been published. We also had a Praise and Worship time every day with gifted pianist Kathy Brittain. That time is always a highlight for mostly everyone.

 With the ongoing COVID -19 threat, the conference center director, Jim Fahringer, and his staff did everything humanly possible to keep everyone safe, including taking our temperatures every morning, everyone wearing masks, having hand sanitizer available all over the place, and practicing social distancing. The kitchen and dining room crew went, what I consider, way beyond “playing it safe,” handling food meticulously with no salad bar and using paper/Styrofoam products. We even practiced social distancing at the dining room tables.
For you who attended,  you know God richly blessed the week. We made new friends and renewed old acquaintances. Some folks were in tears on Friday when we dismissed because their week had been so blessed. One faculty member said, “I don’t want to leave.” Another one told me, “I’d love to move here!”
 For you who missed because of a number of reasons, I pray that next year we’ll be able to resume “normalcy” and once again have another writers’ conference to encourage and uplift every faculty member and conferee who will attend.  In a few weeks, I’ll begin planning for the 32nd MCWC!
Thank you all for your prayers. God did bless in a marvelous way!
Marsha
Director

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MCWC Faculty Spotlight – Editor/Author Cindy K. Sproles


Cindy K. Sproles is an author, teacher, and speaker. She is the managing editor for Straight Street Books and Son Rise Devotionals (imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), and the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and InspireaFire.com.  Cindy travels nationwide teaching at writers conferences and women’s conferences. She is a best-selling author and serves as a writing mentor.  She is the author of nine non-fiction and three fiction books, and her devotions are widely published over the eastern seaboard. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.

Cindy’s afternoon classes
Mon. – Thurs.
2:30 to 3:15 

Writing Devotions that Strike the Soul

In this class, we’ll utilize the hook, book, look, and took method of writing devotions. We’ll discuss aspects that stop the reader from reading and offer tips that draw readers in, providing them the ah-h-h moment that strikes the soul. There is no one specific right or wrong way to write a devotion, but there are elements that are a must for a devotion to make an impact.

  Make Diamonds from Coal – Polishing your Manuscript

We’ll discuss polishing a manuscript. We’ll address where the story begins, the importance of the opening paragraph and page, what is your hook, and what is your overall goal of the book. We’ll look at how to develop characters who impact your readers so when the book is done, they want to know more about them. This class also addresses chapter lengths and overall word count, as well as the synopsis and how to submit to an agent or publisher.
                

 Writing Cliff Hangers: Keep ’Em Hangin’

What makes your reader continue to flip the pages? What does it mean when a reader says, “It’s a fast read?” These are questions every writer needs to answer and understand.  We’ll discuss what a cliffhanger is, the types of cliffhangers—Every cliffhanger is not a devastating thing—and how to add them at the end of every chapter. Learn about twists and how they pull the reader into the next page and how they may even surprise you. If you are writing a novel, this class is a must.

I Can Self Publish Just Because I Can

Self-publishing is readily available this day, but jumping the gun to publish before your manuscript is ready will become your Achilles heel as your career progresses. This class covers the business decision of self-publishing and its financial impact, and it discusses the importance of never skipping the steps to publication, i.e. editing, professional cover, and platform. Rejections and the purpose of them is addressed as well as understanding trends, the market, and if now is the right time to publish.    

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Writers, please continue to pray that Susquehanna County soon goes green. We’ll abide by all state regs to keep everyone safe at our conference.

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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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DO YOU NEED HELP TO GET YOUR WORK PUBLISHED?

COME TO THE MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE, MONTROSE, PA

July 17th – 22nd

Don't.Stop.Believing

Thinking of self-publishing your book? Award-winning author Michelle Lazurek will have a continuing afternoon series for you to learn the ups and downs of doing it yourself.

Having trouble understanding all those little icons in the Microsoft WORD menu at the top of your documents? How do you insert a picture? Bullet points? A footnote? Author/illustrator Brenda K. Hendricks will explain in depth how to use WORD as you write your manuscript.

Working on a tween or teen novel? Author Marti Pieper and best-selling author Karen Whiting will show you exactly what you need to do to get that manuscript published.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Needing an agent? Hartline Literary Agent Jim Hart will tell you how to get that agent.

Writing some short pieces or feature/news articles? Authors Patti Souder and Kathy Ide and best-selling author Jeanette Windle will share what needs to be done to get that short work published.

These are only a few of the 40+ afternoon workshops and seminars offered at this year’s Montrose Christian Writers Conference. Check out all the details (including a registration form) at http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx   Smiley.Face.Smiling

We’d love to see you there!

Marsha

Director MCWC 2016

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Today I have here with me two very special people; Roger Rheinheimer and Crystal Linn, who are Amazon top-ten selling Kindle authors, including their joint Amish romance series, Amish Forever.

Welcome Roger and Crystal and thank you for joining us today. Tell me, how does it feel to be a successful author?
Roger: I’m still blinking! All I can say is thank you to our dedicated readers and the tireless promotional efforts of our amazing publisher, Trestle Press.
Crystal: Thank you for having us, and thanks to our wonderful readers. To be honest, the reality of it all has not sunk in yet because my life has not changed. I still do normal things like cook dinner and walk my dog. I must stop and remind myself that I am indeed a successful author.

What made you decide to become a writer? I understand it is hard work with little pay, unless you get lucky.
Roger: Lucky is right! I feel we were just at the right place at the right time. Trestle Press has been a tireless advocate of the authors they represent. I’ve been writing all my life, and this is the most fun so far.
Crystal: There are important writers on both sides of my family. I grew up writing but thought nothing of it. Then, in the year 2000 we decided I would try to get my deceased mother’s stories published. In the process I became published and was stunned by the raving reviews.

Whose idea was it to write Amish Forever?
Roger: Apparently Giovanni Gelati of Trestle Press had read my first novel, Amish Snow. He contacted me and asked if I would write an Amish romance novel.

Interesting, tell me Crystal how did you become involved?
Crystal: Roger felt to do a good job he needed a female co-author and he placed an ad looking for a co-author for an Amish romance series. I replied to that ad and, as they say, “The rest is history.”

What is it like to co-author a book?
Roger: First of all, I had never co-authored before and one of the reasons I chose Crystal is because she was an experienced co-author. It’s great. We complement each other well and even with the pressure of deadlines and outside demands on our respective time commitments, have not had any significant disagreements. It’s really been awesome.
Crystal: While Amish Forever is my first novel, it is my fourth book to date. All four were either co-authored or collaborative efforts. It is like joint venturing where the key people sit down and discuss goals and game plans. Then they go to work, do what needs done, and communicate clearly.

Speaking of doing what needs done, who writes what and how do you get your writing voices to blend together so well?
Roger: LOL, good question! We actually sat down recently and had what we irreverently called a “board meeting,” and wrote out a pretty detailed outline of who takes the lead on what. I’ve always heard that there two things cause a partnership to fall apart: failure OR success. Thankfully we have completely avoided that and I think are more in tune than ever. I love the roaring engine, smoking tire scenes and Crystal conveys beautifully the teardrops falling on the vanity panel scenes.
Crystal: Before we start writing the next chapter, or volume, we email each other notes and ideas. I write the first draft and email it to Roger. He adds to what I wrote and writes more scenes then emails it back to me for editing. I edit and email it back to him. He then edits more and either sends it back to me for editing, if needed, or sends it to early readers. After that we give it a final edit and format it. When we are satisfied Roger emails it to Giovanni, our publisher.

Obviously you two are very organized? Tell me what it is you want your readers to take away from the story?
Roger: Ok, so here is where the guy chromosomes kick in. I want readers to feel like they got their money’s worth, that the characters came alive for them and, as the saying goes, the story carried them away to another time and place. I want readers to recognize the effort we have put into our craft and say to themselves, “That was a good story.”
Crystal: All of my books are about overcoming, in one way or another. The perfect example is my book: God’s Counterpoint, published in the ONE anthology by Mark Miller and published by Trestle Press. I want the readers of Amish Forever to come away feeling good about the story and feeling encouraged that they, like Ava, can overcome the obstacles in their own lives.

What in your opinion, is the fascination that American readers have with these Amish books?
Roger: The Amish, I believe, appeal to that fundamental human desire for simplicity and goodness. I think a lot of us envy their unswerving belief in a higher good.
Crystal: I agree with Roger. I also believe that the reader can live the Amish life vicariously, to borrow one of Roger’s words, through the lives of the characters.

The two of you are obviously committed to your writing. What are your future plans? Will there be more books? Will we learn more about Ava and Zeke?
Roger: Early on when we realized how popular this series was going to be I commented to Crystal that if we don’t write more together we need to admit we’re not really serious about writing fiction. We already have several story spinoffs. I especially like the ones involving Abe and Bliss.
Crystal: I look forward to writing more with Roger and, in addition, I have my own writing career. Recently I sent two books to publishers. One is a short story that Giovanni, of Trestle Press, will publish as soon as I make it longer. The other is a non-fiction grandparent’s guide I sent to a publisher I know personally in the Seattle area.

Our time is up, unfortunately but again, thank you Roger Rheinheimer and Crystal Linn for joining us today – and again, congratulations on your success with the best-selling Amish Forever. I look forward to reading more of your books.
Roger: Thank you for having us.
Crystal: Thank you for inviting us, and for the good wishes.

Visit Roger’s Blog here, and Crystal’s blog here.

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