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                     The 2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight:
LITERARY AGENT FOR WORDWISE MEDIA SERVICES

                          MICHELLE LAZUREK 
                       
                      ATTENTION, WRITERS!
  One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be Wordwise Media Services agent Michelle S. Lazurek. Michelle is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor’s wife and associate literary agent for Wordwise Media Services. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children’s Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell award for best non-fiction, she is a member of the Christian Author’s Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She and her husband live in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, with their two children, Caleb and Leah. 
                  MICHELLE’S CLASSES
             Wednesday Afternoon Classes               Do You Have a Platform? 
The word “platform” is used in writing, but few know what that means. Think of platform like a stage. It’s the place where you get your message out to the masses. But how does one do that in the midst of an overly-packed schedule?

In this workshop you will:
1. Understand the planks you need to build your platform
2. Identify which planks are right for you
3. Identify one way you can build your platform today

                 Writing for Early Readers

Many people want to write for children. But how do you write engaging content that not only tells a story but also keeps a young audience engaged despite the instant gratification world in which we live? In this workshop, Michelle will address the following aspects of children’s writing:

  • Why is writing children’s book so important?
  • Five tips to help you if you have a desire to write but don’t know where to start
  • Four ways to keep children engaged in the story
  • How to structure your book

                 Thursday Afternoon Classes

               From Conference to Contract:

     Turning Your One Sheet into a Stellar Proposal
You’ve gone to the workshops. You’ve met with publishers. They’ve shown interest in your book. So now what? In this workshop, Michelle shows you the five essential elements to flesh out your book idea and turn it into a proposal that captures a publisher’s attention. This workshop addresses:
An editor’s viewpoint on the process for sending a query, what to do with rejections, and the process from a go-ahead to a finished and published manuscript. This session will include hints and processes that can help every writer submit materials that can avoid rejection or extensive revision.

             
       The Twelve Essential Elements for Creative                                   Character Development

Purpose

To help writers create and fully develop characters for their next writing project; a fun and exciting way to develop characters through mind mapping.

Premise

Have a great character in mind for your next children’s book, short story, or YA novel, but don’t know how to start creating one? In this interactive workshop, Michelle helps you create a dynamic main character that will help jump start your next writing project. This workshop includes:

  • 12 Questions to ask when creating character profiles
  • Four rules on creating page turning main characters
  • Exercise in creating an actual character from start to finish

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Writers, please continue to pray with us that the COVID-19 situation will not cause us to cancel our 2020 MCWC conference.
I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

To contact me for a brochure: marshahubler@outlook.com  or go to https://bit.ly/2XUGg4Z to see the conference details AND register online.

  

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The MCWC Faculty Spotlight: Hartline Literary Agent Jim Hart

One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be Jim Hart.

Jim is a literary agent with the Hartline Literary Agency. His clients include both veteran and debut authors, and represent a mix of non-fiction and fiction. He serves both the Christian and general markets. Jim is also a singer/songwriter and worship leader and has been involved in youth and music ministry as well as social outreach for several decades.

Currently Jim is most interested in non-fiction on the topics of Christian living, church growth, social issues, parenting, biographies, and some self-help.

Jim is also looking at select fiction in these categories: suspense/thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical, Amish, and suspense), women’s fiction, speculative and sci-fi.

He is not looking at children’s or middle-grade fiction at this time.

JIM’S CLASSES
Wednesday

Are You Ready to Work with an Agent?

This class will help you evaluate where you are in your writing journey and help you to determine if you are properly prepared to look for a literary agent. We will address specific steps that ultimately lead you to begin your search for an agent. This will include understanding the role of a literary agent and what they do; researching agents; preparing the necessary materials such a query letter and a proposal; recognizing the role of author platform.

2020 Small Town Marketing

Marketing and platform building can be daunting. We often don’t know where to start. There are so many options and a multiple of people shouting to us “You need to do this” or “you should be doing that”. It’s like being lost in an unfamiliar big city. We have a destination, but don’t know where to turn next.  For some of us the big city is overwhelming. It’s crowded, and it’s too fast paced. We prefer a nice small town. It’s easier to get to know people, the pace is more relaxed, and it feels more like community.
Small Town Marketing will present simple ideas to help you in your efforts to market and promote your work and build your author platform along the way. We’ll talk about creating or tapping into a community of writers, creative people and readers.

Thursday

Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to Market

This class will look at marketing and promoting your book in a different light, starting with Jesus’ Parable of the Talents. We will define marketing simply as engaging with others. These are the questions that will be presented:

Why to engage? Who to engage? When to engage? Where to engage?

 

2020 Proposals that Pop

Your book proposal is often the first thing a prospective literary agent and editor will review as part of their decision-making process. Good proposals are noted and followed up on. Bad proposals are deleted and forgotten.

“Proposals that Pop” will give you valuable information on what exactly should be, and what should not be, included in your proposal. Some of the themes discussed will include: Basic Structure Guidelines, Compelling Cover Letters, and Knowing When to Stop.

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Writers’ please continue to pray with us that the COVID 19 situation will not cause us to cancel our 2020 MCWC conference scheduled for Sunday, July 12th to Friday, July 17th.
I hope to see you there!
Marsha, Director

To contact me for a brochure: marshahubler@outlook.com or register online at https://bit.ly/3avK1SA

 

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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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Building your Author Platform

Literary Agent Jim Hart

 

An Author Platform?

Yes, an author platform. Any author who wants to sell books needs to build an author platform. But how?

One of the best things you can do to build you author platform is to grow an audience of subscribers to your blog. A healthy e-mail list is attractive to potential publishers.

Lack of author platform continues to become one of the top reasons we see proposals declined from a publisher.

According to a recent blog from Rob Eager e-mail is forty times more effective at “acquiring customers than all social media combined.”  That’s a bold statement. But consider that your e-mail list allows you to communicate directly to your readers. It’s more targeted than Twitter or Facebook. (BTW- I just noticed the Pope has 8.75 million Twitter followers, he should have no problem getting a book contract.)

A very effective way to grow your e-mail subscription list is to offer some free content as an enticement for a reader to subscribe to your e-mail blog. In the same blog Rob Eager addresses the myth that giving away free content could have a negative effect on current and future sales. He counters this by explaining “free content is a low-cost effective way to gain new customers.”

So what content do you have that you could format into a short, downloadable PDF?

  • An unpublished short story
  • A five-day devotion series
  • A short collection of your poetry
  • A handful of your favorite recipes that tie in with your current book or work-in-progress
  • A how-to manual for one of your hobbies

But whatever content you offer, it needs to have value to the reader. It should be something that they feel they may not be able to find elsewhere. Think about content that is unique to you as a writer.

In addition to using your blog to collect e-mail subscribers, using a site like Noisetrade is a great way to offer content to potential readers. Noisetrade originally started as a “pay what you want” site for musicians to release content. They’re also now allowing authors to offer content— everything from a complete book to a short story. With Noisetrade, the consumer can pay you a small “tip” or download for free if they so choose. But either way they have to supply you with their e-mail address.

Remember, the larger your e-mail list is the stronger your online marketing asset becomes. And that could get you a J from a publisher.

I’m looking forward to presenting a class on “Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to Market” at the Montrose conference this year. This class will look at marketing and promoting your book in a different light, starting with Jesus’ Parable of the Talents. We will define marketing simply as engaging with others. These are the questions that will be presented:

Why to engage?

Who to engage?

When to engage?

Where to engage?

The thought of marketing and promoting can be overwhelming. It’s my goal for writers to be encouraged to step out and let their message be heard, and starting small is okay!

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Jim will present two more classes at Montrose this July. All his classes will help writers zero in on key elements essential to getting published:

What to do if there is No Market for Your Book

This class will examine what to do with your manuscript when you are told there is no market for what you’ve just written. We will explore options such as self-publishing, re-purposing the manuscript, as well as changing direction and writing something new.

Peace in the Literary Storm

There are tools and practices that can help us deal with discouragement when it enters, or threatens to enter, our lives. As both Christians and creative people, we can be subjected to seasons of disappointment. However, it’s possible to not only survive through these seasons but to still thrive in spite of a dry spell.

In this workshop we will consider:

1) Living the dream: it could be worse; I could be a ________________(fill in the blank)

2) Faith vs. Plan B

3) Patience, trust, exercise, and other bad words

“Peace in the Literary Storm” will encourage you to dig in for the long haul and be confident in the gifts the Lord has given you.

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I look forward to seeing you at our conference July 16th to the 21st!

Marsha

Director MCWC

 

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