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Photo Sessions for the 2018 Conference

Do you have a professional headshot? If so, how long has it been since it was taken? Good headshots can be extremely valuable at helping you promote your work. They can be used on business cards, in articles, on book jackets, on blogs, and elsewhere.

At the 2018 Write2Ignite conference, you’ll have an opportunity for an inexpensive photo session with a professional photographer!

Derek Eckenroth—an “award-winning university photographer, experienced wedding photographer, and aspiring real-estate and automotive photographer”—will conduct photo sessions during the conference. You can find many beautiful examples of his photography work on his website,

At the conference, photo sessions will be held in the Craft-Hemphill Center, room 207. The fee for each photo session is $35, and you’ll receive four to six usable headshots. The photographer will email digital files to you within two weeks of the conference.

If you’d like to have a photo session, please make an appointment ahead of time by contacting Write2Ignite registrar and financial director Cathy Biggerstaff at

Testimonials about Write2Ignite

The 2018 Write2Ignite conference is coming up fast! Are you still on the fence about attending? Here are some testimonials about Write2Ignite from previous attendees.

“I Love Write2Ignite”: Author Terri B. Kelly

Author Terri B. Kelly thinks that “everyone” should attend the conference! Click here to view her testimonial about Write2Ignite.

“Fantastic”: Attendee of the 2017 Write2Ignite Conference

Write2Ignite attendees have ample opportunities to network and learn at the conference. Click here to view a testimonial by a previous attendee of Write2Ignite.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s conference. (Be sure to register by September 1, 2018, to take advantage of our early registration discount.) We can’t wait to see you there!

Sneak Peek: Carol Baldwin’s Presentations for W2I 2018

Ready for Write2Ignite 2018? I’ll be leading three workshops at the conference: “Strangers in a Strange Land,” “Fiction Writing” (Teen Track), and “Writing Historical Fiction.” Let me describe them for you!

“Strangers in a Strange Land”

In Exodus 2:22, Moses names his son Gershom because Moses was a stranger in a strange land.

Christian writers, in some ways, are also “strangers”—in the secular publishing world.

How can we, if we’re Christians, honor Christ as writers in a largely non-Christian domain? What’s our calling as Christian writers? What’s our privilege? How do we fit—or fail to fit—in the secular publishing world? There are no easy answers. Nevertheless, in my interactive workshop “Strangers in a Strange Land,” we’ll examine ourselves, this “strange land,” ways to integrate our faith into our writing, and our presence in the secular world.

“Fiction Writing” (Teen Track)

I love teaching teens; they have out-of-this-world ideas for their characters and plots. True, sometimes their lack of inhibition must be tempered by plausibility, but their enthusiasm is contagious and inspirational!

In my Teen Track workshop, “Fiction Writing,” I’ll teach teens the following:

  • how to exercise their muscle words (All groans aside, this skill does involve actual exercise!)
  • how and why writers should use mentor texts
  • how a red pencil is their best friend
  • how to jazz up their writing by showing rather than telling
  • how details make a difference in crafting genre fiction

“Writing Historical Fiction”

I love historical fiction almost as much as I love teaching teens!

My hands-on workshop “Writing Historical Fiction” will involve the following topics:

  • R—Research. Should you read newspapers? Magazines? Books? Should you read fiction or nonfiction? Microfilm? How do you know when your research is done?
  • E—Experts. How can you find experts to consult about your story? What should you ask them? How should you use an expert’s story to inform your story?
  • A—Arrange. How can you create a system to keep track of notes, interviews, and photos?
  • D—Details and drafts. What details do you need to create an authentic story? How do you move from writing rough drafts to homing in on your story?

If you plan to attend this workshop, please bring your favorite historical novel. If you’re working on a project, bring one or two pages of your work.

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference in September!


Carol Baldwin

Carol Baldwin loves teaching writing and has presented at many educational, library, and writing conferences. She taught in the continuing education department at Central Piedmont Community College, coordinated the Charlotte SCBWI group for over twenty years, and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists.

Carol’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8 (Maupin House, 2008). Currently, she’s working on her first young adult novel, which is set in North Carolina in 1952.

Find Carol’s book reviews, writing tips, and classes at, and follow her on her Facebook page or Twitter (@CBaldwinAuthor). You can also contact her at

Giveaway Contest: Week 10!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Aurura B. Steadham, the winner of our Week 10 contest!

This week’s contest is open to everyone and is our final giveaway! To enter, tell us the name of your favorite picture book from childhood. 

Submit your answer before August 4 by

  • commenting on this post,
  • sending a comment to W2I’s contact email (, or

We’ll draw from the comments submitted and announce the winner for Week 10 on August 6! 

Reminder: Don’t forget to check the guidelines for the “Faith and Freedom” writing contest cosponsored by EA Books Publishing and W2I. That contest is open to both adults and students attending W2I on September 21–22. The deadline for submissions is August 20! Winners of the “Faith and Freedom” contest will be announced at the W2I conference on September 22.

Sneak Peek: Jean Matthew Hall’s Presentations for W2I 2018

Hello, everyone! This year’s Write2Ignite conference is coming up fast. As one of the presenters at the conference, I’ll be leading two workshops: “Children’s Book Categories” and “Writing from Childhood Memories.” Let me tell you about them.

“Children’s Book Categories”

Foundational to writing successfully for children is a clear knowledge of children’s literature, including knowledge about the distinctions among book genres and the different categories of books for children.

You might have many questions about book genres and categories. For example, maybe you’re thinking, “How is a picture book different from an early-reader book? After all, both are written for similar audience ages and include plenty of illustrations.”

My workshop “Children’s Book Categories”—which includes Q&A time—will help you gain a fuller understanding of how book genres and categories work. I’ll explain the difference between book genres and book categories and then define the commonly accepted categories of books for children and young adults. After attending this workshop, you’ll be better equipped to create stories, describe them, and pitch them to agents or publishers.

“Writing from Childhood Memories”

Remember the time you jumped off a dock and almost drowned? So embarrassing!

Or that time you tried to rescue your cat from a tree and got stuck while the cat jumped down to freedom? Really scary, huh?

How about that awful, terrible, messy divorce your parents went through when you were eight years old? Remember how you just wanted to curl up and die?

Remember the year your family moved to Texas? Remember how you had absolutely no friends all summer, and boredom, anger, and resentment filled your heart?

Inspiration often comes from our memories of childhood or from events in our children’s lives. But times change, cultures change, toys change, and technologies change. As a result, stories that we base on our childhoods, which might have happened twenty or thirty years ago, must also change.

Here are some tips to help you shape stories that are based on events from your childhood:

  • Don’t try to capture details of a remembered event in your story. Rather, capture the emotions you felt before, during, and after the event. Show your characters experiencing those same emotions. Change the details but keep the feelings.
  • Don’t try to accurately portray real people from a remembered event (unless you’re writing a biography). Rather, seize one or two traits of each person, and make those traits bigger, better, uglier, smarter, faster, slower, and more beautiful than they were in real life. Doing so will enable you to create memorable characters your readers can relate to.

That’s how to translate your own childhood experiences into stories that today’s kids will love.

Attend my workshop to learn more! I can’t wait to see you there.


Jean Matthew Hall, who served as founding director of Write2Ignite Conference from 2008 to 2016, is a retired educator and administrator. Her experiences listening to “the hearts of teachers, children, and parents” have led to her goal of crafting “stories that encourage and edify both children and the caring adults in their lives.” This passion has fueled both her writing career and her past service in leading Write2Ignite Conference, which is designed to inform and equip Christian writers to create and publish quality reading materials for younger audiences.

To read more by and about Jean, check out her blogs and book reviews at her website, You can also read an interview about her pending book series with Little Lamb Publishing at

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