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Posts Tagged ‘Marsha Hubler’

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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MCWC’S FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

 AUTHOR ZOE MCCARTHY


A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy, is the author of six contemporary Christian romances containing humor and tenderness. Her nonfiction book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is designed to shape a not-yet-submitted, a rejected, or a self-published manuscript with low ratings into a book that shines. The book can also be a guiding resource for writers starting a manuscript. Zoe is a member of Word Weavers and American Christian Fiction Writers (treasurer for the Virginia chapter). She lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

ZOE’S CLASSES

 

MORNING

WORK-IN-PROGRESS

ADULT FICTION

(LIMIT: 8 CONFEREES)

MONDAY -THURSDAY

10:35 – 12:10

 

AFTERNOON CLASSES

WEDNESDAY

3:30 – 4:15

“Make a Scene of Your Scene:

4 Improvements to Make Your Scene Stand Out”

Based on topics from Zoe M. McCarthy’s book

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days (Sonfire Media, 2019)

Participants will learn through instruction, examples, and short exercises:

  1. How to include a zinger in their scene’s dialogue
  2. How to add suspense to their scene in any genre
  3. How to use an imaginary video camera to make their scene’s setting come alive
  4. How to round out flat characters introduced in their scene

THURSDAY

3:30 – 4:15

“Share your Writing Journey as Part of your Marketing Plan”

Participants will learn through instruction and examples:

  1. What elements to include in their writing journey presentation
  2. How to write their writing journey
  3. Venues to share their writing Journey

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Writers, stay in touch concerning our 2020 MCWC conference. Things look promising, but we encourage you to register as soon as you can, so we can evaluate the financial ramifications of going forward with the conference. I look forward to seeing many of you in Montrose next month. Keep on praying.

Marsha, Director

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2020 FACULTY SPOTLIGHT
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
JOYCE MAGNIN

   Joyce Magnin is the author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Bright’s Pond series, the Harriet Beamer novels, Maybelle in Stitches (Quilts of Love Series) and four middle grade novels, Boxing Emily (spring 2020), Jelly Bean Summer, Carrying Mason and Cake-Love, Chickens and Taste of Peculiar which was awarded a Kirkus starred review.
Her debut novel, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Bright’s Pond) was named one of the top five titles of 2009 by Library Journal and was a Carol Award finalist.
She loves to visit schools and talk about the magical world of books and writing. Joyce is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
“Writing and story have always been a part of my life. I love to share my passion, my joy and my personal adventure.” ~ Joyce Magnin

JOYCE’S AFTERNOON CLASSES

Formatting: One Inch Margins All Around
In this class we will take a look at what it means to properly format your manuscripts for submission. We will discuss fonts, margins, line spacing, proper punctuation of dialog etc. Appearance matters when it comes to publishing. And believe it or not, knowing the right way will make the writing easier. But you can still wear your jammies to write.

Kidlit Boot Camp
From conception to finished product in forty minutes. A comprehensive look at everything it takes to write a successful book for children, tweens, and teens.

Sassy Gets the Job Done
How to write compelling characters for your tween, midgrade, or teen novel. We’ll get to the heart of character development.

The Hero’s Journey in Kidlit
The Hero’s Journey is the most elegant of all plot structure formulas. We’ll look at how to apply the 12 steps of the hero’s journey to your story.

Revising Your Kidlit for Fun and Hopefully Profit
Congratulations! You have a first draft. Now what? Learn about revision—a checklist of elements to look for as you revise your story. It’ll be no problem if you’re not quite finished a draft.
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Attention Writers, please continue to pray with us that the COVID-19 situation will not cause us to cancel our 2020 MCWC conference. The good news is that Montrose’s county, Susquehanna County,  has gone “YELLOW” and should be going “GREEN” very soon as the number of positive COVID cases continue to decline. Right now the only factor that might cause us to cancel is low conferee enrollment. All our faculty members are anxious and excited to come.

PLEASE let me know if you plan to come to the conference but have not registered yet. We want to have the conference following all the guidelines to make the event safe for everyone. Our enrollment, or lack of it, will determine 2020 MCWC’s destiny.

 I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

 

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

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  The 2020 MCWC Faculty Spotlight: EDITOR VIE HERLOCKER

ATTENTION, WRITERS!

      One of our 2020 MCWC faculty members will be editor Vie Herlocker.
Vie is associate editor for Surry Living Magazine, Mt. Airy, NC. Her experience includes editing for a small publisher and reviewing for Blue Ink Reviews. She is a member of Christian Editor Connection, Christian PEN, ACFW, ACW, and WordWeavers. Vie received a nonfiction Excellence in Editing award in 2017, and a novel she edited won a 2018 Selah award.

VIE’S CLASSES

Major Morning
From Novice to Noticed (For Beginners and Those Needing a Do-Over)

     Welcome to the world of writing!  Join the Book Mama (and her alter ego, Miz Moe) on a behind the scenes look at the language of publishing, the tools of the trade, formatting, writing techniques for fiction and nonfiction, editing your work, submitting your manuscript, and more. We’ll discover the sneaky mistakes that may mark you as a novice—and discuss how to find and fix them so that you have a better chance of being noticed! (And noticed for the right, rather than the wrong things.)

 Wednesday Afternoon Class

What Can I Expect from a Professional Edit?   

     Editing covers a continuum of services and skills. The terms used to describe the different types—developmental, substantive, line, and copyedit—can be confusing. And then there is proofreading. You may have asked: Do I need an edit? Where do I find an editor? How much does editing cost? This session will demystify the world of working with an editor.

Monday Evening Session

MS WORD:
The Masked Superhero of the Writing World 

     Lurking on your computer—ready to jump in and come to the writer’s rescue—is the often-overlooked superhero, MS WORD! Come to this evening session with Book Mama and Miz Moe and learn to unleash the power of Find and Replace, Find and Highlight, Comment Balloons, and the mastermind, Track Changes. 

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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/2KCOWql

for the full details and to register online.

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2020 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT   

 PRAISE AND WORSHIP LEADER ALISON EVERILL

     One of our 2020 Montrose Christian Writers Conference faculty members will be the Praise and Worship Leader, Alison Everill.
Alison 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 she 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 2 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 lead our Praise and Worship time during every joint session from Sunday evening to Friday morning. She will also coordinate a Singspiration on Wednesday evening, highlighting the history of some of our most popular hymns that were sometimes written over a hundred years ago. She will also conduct a work-in-progress for two afternoons for those who are writing their own music:

Alison will be teaching:

SONGWRITING
WORK-IN-PROGRESS

 6 Sessions:   1:30 – 4:15
Tues -Wed.

      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 will 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!  

    Writers, don’t miss the 31st annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 12th to the 17th! Please join us in prayer that the Corona virus crisis will be well past by that time and that we can hold our conference.                                     

I hope to see you in July!
Marsha, Director

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

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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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On Writing: Five Elements of a Strong YA Book

You’re ready to start pounding the keyboard with a great idea for a novel to catch the attention of tweens or young adult readers. But where do you begin? What makes that story irresistible to the reader? What makes your manuscript a page turner?

Let’s discuss five elements, each which could take an hour’s seminar to explain in detail, that will help you write a winner. If you incorporate these five elements into your writing, you’ll have a finished product that will catch the eye of an editor and hook your reader until the last page:

1. Develop memorable characters – Joe Schmo should not be a brown-haired, brown-eyed stereotype with no quirks or anything different about him; rather, he should have strong personality traits, perhaps be very courageous or very cowardice to gain your sympathy; he should, nonetheless, conquer his fears and frustrations and go after what he wants.

2. Pace your action and intersperse it with periods of quiet. Kids love action, but if every page has Joe Schmo jumping out of a hot air balloon, swimming the English channel, or saving Mary Schmarey from a bomb that’s going off in three seconds, your reader will just get bored or he might need some nerve pills! Conflicting emotions and inward struggles are just as exciting to the reader as a jet plane flying under the San Francisco Bay Bridge!

3. Develop witty, clever dialogue, but make sure it doesn’t all sound like kids’ talk. Brand your characters with certain styles of dialogue for variety’s sake, and for tween novels especially, “have dialogue on every page,” one of my wise editors once told me.

4. Have your main character face challenges and problems that are very difficult to overcome. You need antagonistic characters to make life difficult for Joe Schmo, or you need to develop a plot that has Joe running in circles or, sometimes, running away before he gets the wisdom or courage to defeat his foe.

5. Develop an “instant-recall factor” in your story line. Winning stories always have a plot or parts of a plot that stay with the reader long after he’s put the book down. What favorite books do you remember? What is it about their story line that is so memorable? Write incidents that excite the reader’s mind or play on his emotions. When I have book signings and my tween fans come to the table, I like to ask them, “Do you like to laugh or cry when you read? I have books in my Keystone Stables Series that will satisfy any emotion, and, hopefully, the characters and story line will stay with my readers long after they’ve read the last page.

So, there you have it. Take these five tips that have helped me become a YA novel best-selling author, and  you’re on your way to writing a winning novel as well.

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On Writing: Working with an Editor

When it finally happens, you know, the phone call or e-mail that says, “Congratulations! You’ve got a contract with our company!”, prepare yourself for the exciting adventure of seeing your name in print. There’s nothing quite like it after you’ve been trying for years to do so. Have a party or go to Dunkin for a latte or buy your dog a big box of treats. Celebrate somehow. Then prepare yourself for the next step in your writing life.

As you enter this new phase of writing/publishing, determine in your heart to do the best job you can with the editor to whom you are assigned. The editor is your friend, not your arch enemy who is set on destroying every clever phrase you ever penned.

Here are a few tips that I learned along the way that might help you in your “strange encounter of the first kind” with the person who has been hired to make you look real good:

1. Before you ever submit your first draft to your editor, revise, revise, revise your manuscript. Have a critique group edit it; have another writer friend or two critique it, and send the best possible manuscript to the editor after you’ve rewritten it at least seven or eight times. Your editor is NOT your high school English teacher. He/she expects you to know how to use commas, quotation marks, and colons.
2. Be on time with assignments – editors are on a very tight schedule. Don’t give them deadline headaches. If you have excuses for not meeting those deadlines, you won’t be invited back for another contract.
3. Divorce yourself from your manuscript and analyze it objectively. Your editor is going to suggest changes you won’t like. The words you wrote are not written in stone, and, as much as you think your manuscript is your newborn baby, it is not. Accept with a learning spirit the changes the editor wants.
4. If you are set on keeping your words, discuss the matter with your editor. Explain your reasoning but be willing to listen to his/her explanation. Your editor is a hired professional who knows the ins and outs of publishing. He/she KNOWS what will work 99% of the time.
5. Thank your editor often. When the project is done, send him/her a card of gratitude, at least. (A small gift as a token of your appreciation would be well received.) He/she just might remember you the next time the company is looking for an author in your genre specialty.

So, there you have the basics of working with that editor who wants you to succeed as much as you do. Remember, you’re on the same team. Just let the editor be the quarterback.

Marsha

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LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK FOR KIDS AND ADULTS ALIKE WITH A STRONG SALVATION MESSAGE?

https://amzn.to/2Zkx48L

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ARE CRITIQUE GROUPS VALUABLE?

Some members of the Susquehanna Valley Writers Group, Selinsgrove, PA

 

Absolutely, undeniably yes. My local critique group has helped make me the writer I am.

One of the most valuable tools you’ll ever have in your writing career is a local critique group comprised of other writers.

Some groups meet once a week; others meet once a month. The choice is for the group to make. Some groups meet in the members’ homes; others meet at libraries, bookstores, or cafes with quiet corners. Again, the choice is the group’s.

If you don’t belong to a local critique group, make it a priority to join one. If you aren’t sure there even is one, then determine to start one yourself.

So, how do you get the word out that you are interested in a critique group, either joining or starting?
1. Ask for information at your library or bookstore. If they know of no critique group, prepare an 8 1/2 x 11 poster and ask if you can post it. Put your name, phone number, and email address on the poster.
2. Mount posters in your local grocery stores and mini-marts.
3. Place a free ad in your local “service” newspaper, the one that allows you to buy and sell without paying for an ad.
4. Call other local authors you know and ask about a critique group. If they aren’t members of any, encourage them to help you start one. You really only need three or four other writers to start, and not all need to represent the same genre. Six to eight members are ideal if you plan to meet for two or three hours at a time.

So, there you have it. Get busy with that critique group. If you become accountable to someone for your writing on a regular basis, you will write more often, and you’ll write better!

(Next time: The Guidelines for a Successful Critique Group)

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MY LATEST BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE!

TOMMI POCKETS

A TWEEN HISTORICAL FICTION TAKING PLACE IN THE 1950s

Tommi Leland wishes she was a boy. But why?

 

https://amzn.to/2Zkx48L

 

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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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