2019 Writer’s Conference Faculty, Workshop Descriptions & Schedule

For overview information and registration link, click here.

Conference schedule (may be subject to change)

Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Extras
9:00 – 9:30 Check-in and light breakfast. Bookstore Opens.
9:30 – 10:00 Prayer, Devotion, and Worship. Announcements.
10:00- 10:55 Keynote: Lisa Carter, Writing from Deep Places
11:00- 11:55 General Session: Lisa Carter, Hooks, Lines, and Sinkers
12:00- 12:45 The Crown Award Luncheon
12:50 – 1:45 Zoe M. McCarthy: Help Your Reader Commit Identity Theft: Learning to Write in Deep POV Lisa Betz, Seven Story Blunders and the Story World Secrets to Avoid Them Hannah R. Conway & Sara R. Turnquist, We’re Engaged — With Our Readers! Special Guest appointments
1:50 – 2:45 JP Robinson, 3D Characters: Five Key Strategies to Create Characters that Walk Off the Page Lori Altebaumer, Seasoning Your Story with Setting and Description Heather Gray, Meme-Making Made Easy: A Hands-On Canva Workshop Special Guest appointments
2:50- 3:45 Michele Chynoweth, The Importance of Self-Editing Sara R. Turnquist, Say What? Using Dialogue to Enhance Your Story Hannah R. Conway, The Algo-mist: Pointers, Not Potions, for Navigating Facebook & Instagram’s Changing Algorithms Special Guest appointments
3:50 – 4:20 General Session: Q&A Like Crazy (Panel)
4:20 – 5:00 Conference Closing. Bookstore Remains Open until 5pm

 

Lisa Carter

Lisa Carter is the bestselling author of multiple romantic suspense novels, historical novellas and a contemporary Coast Guard series. The Stronghold won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense and Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times Top Pick. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with her family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

Hooks, Lines and Sinkers

The very first sentence of a story can be extremely powerful. It can stick with you for days, weeks, even years. End your novel poorly and you’ll spoil the whole book; end it well and you will leave the reader satisfied, perhaps even moved. In this workshop, Lisa will review the secret to crafting great opening and closing lines.

 

Lori Altebaumer

Lori Altebaumer is a writer who only half-jokingly tells others she lives with one foot in a parallel universe. Lori loves sharing the joys of living a Christ-centered life with others through her writing. She is a wandering soul with a home-keeping heart and a love of words and story. Now that her nest is empty, Lori enjoys traveling with her husband and visiting her adult children where she can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat here.

Seasoning Your Story with Setting and Description

A novel without setting and description is like a play performed on an empty stage–in the dark. Setting and description is the spice that gives flavor to your story. But like any other tool, the writer must know how to use it, how much to use, and when. This workshop will guide the writer in answering these questions as they consider the needs of their story. We will discuss the functions and uses of setting and description, the need to use them with authenticity, and how to grow your skills in harvesting details to use in your story.

 

Lisa Betz

Award-winning writer Lisa E. Betz believes that everyone has a unique story to tell the world. She loves inspiring fellow writers to be more intentional about developing their craft and courageous in sharing their words. Lisa shares her words through speaking, leading Bible studies, writing historical mysteries, and blogging about living intentionally. She is also the managing editor of Almost an Author, a website for writers.

Seven Story Blunders and the Story World Secrets to Avoid Them

Do you know what entices a reader’s brain and what frustrates it? This talk covers seven common mistakes made by writers and the “Story World” secrets that explain how to overcome them and create a satisfying story. Based on material from Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron.

 

Michele Chynoweth

Michele Chynoweth is the best-selling and award-winning author of The Faithful OneThe Peace MakerThe Runaway Prophet and The Jealous Son, contemporary suspense/romance novels that re-imagine Old Testament stories in the Bible. Michele is also an inspirational speaker who has addressed a variety of writers’ conferences and other organizations across the country, a book coach/editor and a writing instructor for the Continuing Education program at Cecil College, and she has won several awards including the Selah Award for Best Suspense (Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, 2018). A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Michele and her husband live in North East, Maryland.

The Importance of Self-Editing

You’ve heard the saying, “you never get a chance to make a first impression?” Well, that’s absolutely true when it comes to getting your book published. So many writers are in such a rush that they don’t take the time, nor rely on the resources needed, to polish their book before they publish it. Enter the editing process which plays a vital role in making sure your book is perfect. Best-selling author, writing instructor, book coach and former news reporter and editor Michele Chynoweth will share some crucial editing tips that will help you get started crafting the best version of your book, including advice on style, dialogue, description, organization, proofing, formatting and more – so that, no matter which publishing path you choose, your work will be ready to be successfully launched into the world.

Hannah R. Conway

Hannah R. Conway is a military wife, mother of two, former middle school teacher, best-selling author, and popular speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live near Nashsville, Tennessee.

The Algo-mist: Pointers, Not Potions, for Navigating Facebook & Instagram’s New Algorithms

Over 2.4 Billion people have Facebook and Instagram accounts. Over 75 million check their accounts day, and most from 11 to 18 times a day. Our readers are there, but the new algorithms make it increasingly difficult to reach them. In this course you’ll learn what the new algorithms are, how they impact us as writers, and how to connect with our readers regardless.

We’re Engaged — With Our Readers! (co-taught with Sara R. Turnquist)

Readers are more than our audience, they are children of God who desire to connect with those who make them feel valued—and that happens to be us as writers. In this course we will learn ways to connect with our readers using today’s technology, discuss cost effective but meaningful gifts we can give, and explore a few old school methods of showing appreciation.

Heather Gray

Heather Gray is a multi-published hybrid author of over a dozen books. Her background ranges from social media and working with new authors to planning book launches and marketing campaigns. With a split personality that jumps back and forth between creative and business-minded, Heather has found herself at home in the writing world where both are in high demand.

Meme-Making Made Easy: A Hands-On Canva Workshop

Whether you want to break out of category fiction, bring more excitement to your writing, or just become a stronger content editor, this class will examine plot in depth as well as present a number of advanced, elaborate plot structures.

Q&A Like Crazy, Panel Discussion facilitated by Heather Gray
Whether just starting out or already established in the industry, every author has questions, and this panel is the place to ask them. You’ll be given an opportunity to meet authors representing a variety of genres and areas of expertise and to ask whatever questions are on your mind. From the craft of writing to the business of publishing, no area of the writer’s life is off-limits.

Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy is a full-time author and speaker. She writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. She has a book on the writing craft, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

Help Your Reader Commit Identity Theft: Learning to Write in Deep POV

Based on Rivet Your Reader with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson, and topics from Zoe M. McCarthy’s own book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, participants will learn how to help the reader become comfortable in their character’s identity. Through instruction, examples, and short exercises, this workshop will discuss why, how, and where to use Deep POV (DPOV), what DPOV is and isn’t, as well as specific ways to incorporate DPOV in your fiction manuscript.

 

JP Robinson

JP Robinson began writing as a teen for a local newspaper and soon garnered local recognition for his writing.  He gained experience in the fields of Relationship and Geo-marketing by doing promotional work for multi-million dollar medical facilities and non-profit groups. He  is an international speaker, educator, writing coach, and prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction. JP also conducts writing seminars in various parts of the country and heads Logos Publications, LLC, an emerging publishing and book marketing team. Together with his incredible wife, Lois, he runs Fearless Marriage, a non-denominational ministry for Christian couples.

3D Characters: Five Key Strategies to Create Characters That Walk Off the Page.

Christian authors are called to reflect God’s creativity. Discover five key strategies to make your characters leave your mind and enter their “world.” Learn how to gracefully diversify your pro/antagonists, enhance their emotional appeal, and give them believable depth.

 

Sara R. Turnquist

I’m a coffee lovin’, word slinging, Historical Romance author who’s super power is converting caffeine into novels. I love those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires me. Well, that and a good love story.

But of all the love stories I know, mine is my favorite. I live happily with my own Prince Charming and our gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning. Happy Reading!

Say What? Using Dialogue to Enhance Your Story

Dialogue is one of the more essential parts of your novel. You can’t get around it…if you’re writing fiction, it’s pretty much vital. But what its primary purpose? And how can you best utilize it? Keep it from being clunky? Or assist you in delivering backstory in a way that is natural and flows with your story world? Learn all these tricks and more…and you’ll be more confident in writing impactful dialogue.

We’re Engaged — With Our Readers! (co-taught with Hannah R. Conway)

Readers are more than our audience, they are children of God who desire to connect with those who make them feel valued—and that happens to be us as writers. In this course we will learn ways to connect with our readers using today’s technology, discuss cost effective but meaningful gifts we can give, and explore a few old school methods of showing appreciation.

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