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Posts Tagged ‘how to get published’

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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The 2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight

ELK LAKE PUBLISHING
CHIEF EDITOR

DEB HAGGERTY

One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be the chief editor and owner of Elk Lake Publishing, Plymouth, MA.
Deb Haggerty has been involved in Christian speaking and writing since 1995. She’s 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.”

 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.

DEB’S CLASSES

MONDAY 2:30 – 3:15
HOW TO GROW A TOPIC

What should we write about, where do we find topics, and how do we construct them?
When we decide to write or to speak, we first must decide what we want to say. We need to understand the parts of the book or speech and how to construct them. We need to understand research and know what makes us credible on the topic we’ve chosen.

TUESDAY 2:30 – 3:15
PUBLISHING 101:
FROM QUERY TO THE BOOK CONTRACT

We’ll review the publishing process from query to the finished book and everything in between.
Presenting yourself and your work successfully to an editor/publisher requires certain skills and documents. Ways to ensure you make that very important great first impression will be discussed along with tips and techniques to aid in the creative process. This is an interactive seminar with questions and discussion actively encouraged.

TUESDAY 3:30 – 4:15
PREPARING A PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION

Speaking to groups is one of the best ways to sell books.Several studies have shown one of the best ways to sell books is back-of-the-room at a speech to a group. Many of us are terrified of the prospect of talking in front of people. This workshop will teach the steps to a professional presentation for even the faint of heart.

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Deb Haggerty had met several authors at last year’s MCWC whose work she loved and has contracted with those authors for a book deal. Don’t miss this year’s conference and plan to meet with her if you are writing the genres her company publishes. You might get that contract you’ve been working for.                    
I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

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

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Writers, Have You Ever Asked Yourself These Questions?

Writing for publication can sometimes be a lonely and discouraging career path to take. For the last 27 years, dozens of Montrose Christian Writers Conference faculty members have attempted to encourage writers to keep plugging on and to share with them how to become the writers God wants them to be. Too often folks with talent for writing give up too soon on their publishing dreams and quit right before they would have landed that contract.

If you’re a discouraged writer, the 2017 MCWC is just for you. If you’ve ever felt as if there was no hope for what you’ve written, you probably asked yourself some of the following questions. But there’s an answer (a title of a workshop) for every one of your concerns with the classes offered this year:

  1. How do I prepare my manuscript to submit to a publisher?   Formatting before Beginning
  2. How do I get rid of this annoying writers’ block? Three years is long enough!  21 Ways to Overcome Writers Block
  3. How can I change my short story into a drama?  Creating a Viable Stage Production
  4. Would I have a chance at winning a writing contest?  Writing for Guideposts Contests
  5. Will social media, especially a blog, help me sell books?  Blogging 101
  6. Why should I bother writing poetry? No one reads it anyhow.  The Art and Craft of Poetry
  7. Someone told me my characters are “flat” in my kids’ story. How can I fix them?   Putting Characters in Place
  8. Do I need to apply for a tax number to write? To sell my books at book signings?  Understanding the Business of Writing for Publication
  9. What questions should I ask the person for whom I’m writing a profile piece?  Writing the Profile Piece
  10. Is my devotional book different from the tons of devotionals out there already?   Writing Compelling Devotions
  11. Will anyone be interested in buying the book I’m writing?  Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to Market
  12. Do folks ever read Bible studies anymore?  Bible Studies That Sell

We could go on and on, telling you about the 40+ workshops offered at this year’s conference, but I think you get the idea. We’ll have practically all genres and pertinent issues about writing/publishing addressed at the conference.

The opening exercise is Sunday evening at 7:30 at the Montrose Bible Conference Center, Montrose, PA. And … as long as there are rooms available for lodging, it’s not too late to register! Even better, if all the rooms  are taken and you are close enough to commute, you can register anytime, even after the conference is underway!

Please check out all the of the classes and special perks available at http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

and register today! You’ll never be sorry!

Marsha, Director

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July 7, 2014

The Elements of an Eye-Catching Fiction Proposal

In your writing and publishing venture, you might be asked to submit a proposal to an editor or agent once you’ve caught his/her attention. So what is a proposal?
Other than asking someone to marry you, a proposal in the publishing world is quite the complex project. Of course, the first thing you want to do is check the publishing houses’ guidelines. They might have them outlined for you on the website or if an editor asks for a proposal, then you ask him/her for their guidelines. If there are no guidelines, then follow a standard format that all editors will accept to get to know you and your project better.
Let’s look at the basic elements of a good proposal for a fiction manuscript. In later blog posts, we’ll look at samples of each of these (if applicable). One word of caution is merited here. Be careful to spend quality time on your proposal. Depending on how many sample chapters you send, your proposal could easily be 40 to 60 pages long. It’s not something that should be taken lightly because your proposal will either earn you a contract or send your manuscript back to you to try again some other place.

Basic Elements of a Good Fiction Proposal

1. Cover page – includes title of your work, your name, address, phone number, email, website, and to whom you’re sending the proposal
2. Table of Contents – list all the sections included in your proposal and their page numbers
3. Synopsis –  a one-to-two-page synopsis of your entire manuscript, including the climax and resolution. Don’t keep the editor/agent guessing how it’s going to end.
4. About the Author – a one-to-two-page bio of you, including a photo, a little background, and your writing credits and awards won; include your involvement with social media, i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, blogsite, etc. with all URLs.
5. Character Sketches – a one-page description of your main characters (one or two main characters, no more); include time period, personal appearance, quips, goals in life.
6. Market Potential (this one takes the most time) – spend quality time in bookstores and/or online, researching the other books already published in the same genre and age group. Include these elements: Layout and Audience, Competitive Works, Marketing Ideas, and Date of Completion.
7. Chapter Outline – this is not a I, II, III, A, B, C “outline.” It’s a one-to-two-paragraph summary of each chapter in your book. If your work is not finished, just write the outline up to the last chapter you’ve written.
8. Sample Chapters – the publisher’s guidelines might indicate chapter one, two, and the last one, maybe chapters one, the chapter in the middle of the book, and the last one. If not designated, send the first three chapters.

Well, there you have the basic elements of a proposal that will catch that editor’s or agent’s eye.
Why is the proposal so important?
If an editor or agent reviews a well-done proposal, he/she will recognize that the author already has good writing and organizing skills, has a goal set to finish a project, and can meet deadlines. All these qualities are essential in maintaining a good relationship between the author and editor.
Write an eye-catching proposal, and you’re one step closer to reaching that unreachable star: publication!

pen and quill

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