Speaker Spotlight: Tessa Emily Hall’s Workshop “The Balancing Act: Write Powerful Christian Fiction Without Preaching”

No one wants to hear a sermon when picking up a Christian fiction novel. So how can we, as writers who long to minister through Christian fiction, write a powerful story that points others to Christ? How can CBA authors draw a line between coming across as “too preachy” and watering down the spiritual element? In Tessa Emily Hall’s workshop “The Balancing Act: Write Powerful Christian Fiction Without Preaching,” you’ll learn how to write stories that portray authentic characters with real issues while staying true to the Christian fiction genre.

A YA author, associate agent, and YA acquisitions editor, Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. The debut novel she penned at 16 years old, Purple Moon (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), was a Selah 2014 finalist. Her second YA novel, Unwritten Melody, released with Clean Reads in fall 2016. Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as an associate agent at Hartline Literary Agency, a YA acquisitions editor for Illuminate YA (LPC imprint), and the founder and editor of PursueMagazine.net.

You can learn more about Tessa at TessaEmilyHall.com and on her blog, Christ Is WriteShe’s also on social media at Twitter.com/TessaEmilyHall and on Facebook.

Contest: Teen Track Comments Wanted!

Carol Baldwin highlights teen writers' potential

UPDATE: Congratulations to Jenna Turner, the winner of our teen contest! Keynote presenters, workshop choices, editor and agent appointments, professional critiques, and contests—these benefits are available to both students and adults who attend the Write2Ignite Conference on September 21–22, 2018! Carol Baldwin, who’s returning as a presenter, chose students’ potential as her “success story” focus: […]

Sneak Peek: Jenny L. Cote’s Presentations for W2I 2018

by Jenny L. Cote

“I did not think To show to all the World my Pen and Ink In such a mode; I only thought to make I knew not what: nor did I undertake Thereby to please my Neighbour; no not I, I did it mine ownself to gratifie.” —From John Bunyan’s “Apology” for Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan […]

Speaker Spotlight: Carol Baldwin’s Workshop “Writing Historical Fiction”

Interested in writing historical fiction? Attend Carol Baldwin’s workshop “Writing Historical Fiction” at Write2Ignite 2018, and discover how to write using mentor texts. Bring your favorite historical novel to be used as a mentor text. If you’re working on a project, bring 1–2 pages of the project. This hands-on workshop will include the following topics:

RResearch. What should you read? When have you done enough?

EExperts. Learn how to find experts, what to ask, and how to use their stories.

AArrange. Create a system to keep track of notes and interviews.

DDetails and Drafts. What details do you need and when? Learn about moving from rough drafts and homing in on your story.

Since Carol was a child, she has loved reading and has maintained a journal off and on for more than thirty years. Her book Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8 (Maupin House, 2007) reflects her twin passions of reading and writing. As she suggests, “If you want to write, read!” Carol co-publishes the Talking Story newsletter with Joyce Hostetter, and she’s a judge for the fiction contests sponsored by the Center for Writing Excellence.

You can learn more about Carol on Facebook and through her blog at CarolBaldwinBlog.BlogSpot.com.

Speaker Spotlight: Kim Peterson’s Workshop “Sour Grapes Aren’t My Cup of Tea”

In her workshop “Sour Grapes Aren’t My Cup of Tea,” Kim Peterson will help writers examine ways to paint word pictures. Attend her workshop at W2I 2018, and learn how to play with similes, metaphors, and other writing tools to enhance your ideas.

Kim mentors aspiring writers. She has taught writing for twenty-five years, working extensively with both published authors and those seeking careers in writing, editing and publishing. Currently, Kim teaches in the online professional writing program of Taylor University (Upland, Indiana). She also leads two productive online writers groups—one for mixed genres and one for writers of children’s books and articles.

Kim, who is a regular conference speaker, previously served on the writing faculty at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, and mentored writers through the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. A long-time professional book reviewer, Kim reviews novels for CBA’s Christian Market magazine. She recently concluded more than eight years as fiction reader for the Les Stobbe Literary Agency until Stobbe’s retirement.

Working as a freelancer for forty years (she started young!), Kim has written for Indiana newspapers and various periodicals and websites, including AppleSeeds, Encounter, Evangel, Vista, and devotional markets. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rocking Chair Reader, the Moments series, and other anthologies. She blogs about nature and loves writing for children.

Kim says of her childhood, “My mom made reading a priority. She surrounded me with books. When my morning chores were finished, she let me disappear up our cherry trees with a good book and a thermos of juice. I don’t climb trees to read anymore, but I can still disappear into a great story.”

You can learn more about Kim on Facebook and through her blog, Nature Walk with God.

Speaker Spotlight: Daniel Blackaby’s Workshop on Overcoming Obstacles

Have you reached a roadblock in your writing? Do you feel discouraged and overwhelmed by the challenges in your path? 

Every mighty hero must overcome powerful enemies and overwhelming obstacles to achieve his or her goal. The writer’s journey is no different. From the elusive search for inspiration to overcoming the dreaded writer’s block and navigating the maze of publication options, a writer is faced with opposition at every turn. At Write2Ignite 2018, Daniel Blackaby’s breakout session “Heroic Writing: Overcoming the Obstacles to Find Victory in Your Writing” will equip you with fun and practical advice to reach the end of the journey confident and victorious.

Daniel published his first novel as a 23-year-old college student. Since then, he’s published multiple books in both fiction and nonfiction genres. His writing has received several awards and nominations; has been featured in major trades, such as Publishers Weekly; and has been featured at several major retail conventions (ALA, ICRS). When not working on new writing projects, Daniel is completing a PhD in the field of Christianity and the ArtsHe has a passion for connecting with aspiring writers and artists and helping them leverage their creative talents for the glory of God. 

To learn more about Daniel Blackaby, visit his website, DanielBlackaby.com.

Speaker Spotlight: Jenny L. Cote’s Workshop on Plot

Want to improve your stories’ plot lines? Attend this year’s Write2Ignite conference for guidance from a published author!

Jenny L. Cote’s workshop, “‘Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Another Plot Line!’” will cover Jenny’s research for her novel on Patrick Henry—The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key. Go behind the scenes of Patrick Henry’s famous speech that rallied a nation to independence, and discover how it actually all started in Rome. Jenny will share how she’s weaving together one fun plot line for this famous speech across two novels and weaving a second plot line across seven novels.

An award-winning author and speaker, Jenny developed an early passion for God, history, and young people and beautifully blends these three passions in her two fantasy fiction series, The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz® and Epic Order of the Seven®. Likened to C. S. Lewis by readers and book reviewers alike, she speaks on creative writing at schools, universities, and conferences around the world.

Jenny has a passion for making history fun for kids of all ages, instilling in them a desire to discover their part in HIStory. Her love for research has taken her to most Revolutionary sites in the U.S.; to London (with unprecedented access to Handel House Museum to write in Handel’s composing room); to Oxford (to stay in the home of C. S. Lewis, “the Kilns,” and interview Lewis’s secretary, Walter Hooper, at the Inklings’ famed Eagle and Child Pub); to Paris; to Normandy; to Rome; to Israel; and to Egypt. She partnered with the National Park Service to produce Epic Patriot Camp, a summer writing camp at Revolutionary parks to excite kids about history, research, and writing.

Jenny’s books are available online and in stores around the world, as well as in multiple e-book formats. Jenny holds two marketing degrees from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. A Virginia native, Jenny now lives in Roswell, Georgia.

To learn more about Jenny, visit her on Facebook and at EpicOrderoftheSeven.com.