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Wallowing or Ministering?

The party was in full swing. I had arrived early and was determined to be the last to leave. That wouldn’t be difficult, since I was the only person there.

I can party with the best of them. And I’m especially adept at hosting and attending my own pity parties. It’s easy to feel sorry for myself, especially when I’ve been wronged or falsely accused. My natural inclination is to be defensive or sulk at the injustice of my circumstances, all the while wallowing in self-pity. Either way, the party’s on.

The writing life is also not exempt from pity parties. Disappointment over not meeting with the editor we requested at a conference. Discouragement over not getting an agent or a book contract. Doubting opportunities will arise since they haven’t yet.

Then I think of Joseph. If anyone had a right to a pity-party, it was Joseph. First, his brothers sold him as a slave. Then his new master falsely accused him of sexual misconduct and threw him into a foreign prison. Joseph had no clue as to how long he’d be there—perhaps until his death. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, he worked as a trustworthy representative of the prison keeper.

Even more surprising, Joseph looked past the injustice of his own situation to help someone else (Genesis 40:6-7). He noticed the dejection of his fellow prisoners and inquired about their situation. Joseph didn’t realize it at the time, but in assisting his fellow prisoners he was preparing the way for the fulfillment of God’s plan for his own release.

Joseph is a powerful example to me—a reminder to look beyond my own disappointments so God can use me to minister to others.

So as you prepare for conference season, are you willing to see beyond your own disappointments? Will you look for someone else who needs encouragement? Will you trust God’s timing in the face of doubt and discouragement? Consider asking fellow conferees about their writing journey. You might even find a new accountability or critique partner!

When we put others’ needs ahead of our own, God works miraculously in our life…and then through our life to touch the lives of others. And who knows? Perhaps someday God will use the person you encouraged to encourage you!

Are you wallowing or ministering?

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Write2Ignite Team Videographers!

 

When this picture was taken of the Write2Ignite team at the 2018 conference, little did they know that within a year many of them would become “experts” at taking and posting videos online. Here’s a sampling of some of the recent videos our team created about writing and the conference. View one or view them all! As new videographers, we would appreciate your feedback–and of course, we hope to see you at Write2Ignite 2019!

 

Deborah DiCiantis on the Teen/Tween Fiction Contest

Click here for more information on the contest.

Diane Buie talks about how to get the most out of your 15 minute meeting time at a writer’s conference.

Brenda Covert shares the benefit of getting a critique.

Cathy Biggerstaff with “Bring a Friend” discount.

Here’s the link to the Bring a Friend discount. Cathy is given you an EXTRA big discount. Each friend will receive $15.00 off the regular price-which brings your registration down to $109.00. Since we think going to a writer’s conference with a friend is such a good idea, we’re giving this discount throughout the registration period.

Carol Baldwin with 5 Writing Tips.

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July 4: A Teen Track Historical Fiction Creative Writing Contest**

Photo credit: The National Archives  Teens and Tweens! In honor of the Fourth of July, this post is for you! Whether you’re a history buff or just someone who loves a challenge, here’s a holiday contest that will stump most adults in the U.S.! See entry details and rules after the questions to enter!

How many of us think about why we celebrate July 4 (also known as “Independence Day”)?

We may think of barbecues, picnics, sparklers, fireworks, or family trips. But how often do we remember the document which marked the start of a new nation?

Here are 10 Questions to test your knowledge of U.S. history and events connected with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. How many answers do you (and your family and friends) know?

Adults may help students find resources, but students should read information and write an original story, poem, or journal entry/entries in their own words. **Creative writing pieces must include specific answers to at least FOUR of the 10 questions, listing the source(s) where information/answers were found. Entries without sources will not be accepted.

  1. In what year was the Declaration of Independence written and signed?
  2. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  3. Was the original version of the Declaration the one that was signed?
  4. How many men signed the Declaration?
  5. What was the name of the group/meeting where the Declaration was discussed and signed? In what city did the meeting take place?
  6. Was this a publicly announced meeting? Why or why not?
  7. How many colonies were represented?
  8. What were their main reasons for wanting independence? What country had authority over the colonies at this time? What was the name of the king?
  9. Name the first battle which preceded the Declaration and the war which resulted from the decision to declare independence.
  10. Was the Constitution of the United States, which was completed and signed September 17, 1787, the original document governing the newly established country?

Answers to these questions, as well as many other facts related to July 4/Revolutionary War history can be found at the following online sources:

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/downloads  and other pages of the National Archives

http://www.ushistory.org/    http://www.ushistory.org/documents/confederation.htm

https://revolutionarywar.us/  https://www.myrevolutionarywar.com/

https://www.historyisfun.org/learn/learning-center/colonial-america-american-revolution-learning-resources/american-revolution-lesson-plans-activities/

Original creative writing entries received by July 25 will be entered in a drawing to win a Teen Track scholarship to Write2Ignite Conference September 20-21, 2019! You must be a rising 6th through 12th grader or have just completed 12th grade this year to enter.

Three ways to submit your answers on the attached entry/submission form at  https://write2ignite.com/category/2019-conference-updates/

  1. Email your entry to write2ignite@gmail.com by July 25,2019
  2. Mail your entry to Mrs. Cathy Biggerstaff, 410 Aydlotte Rd., Rutherfordton, NC 28139
  3. Bring your completed entry (on paper or saved on a digital device) to Art SLAM! Live /Write2Ignite Conference event July 20 from 2 to 5 pm at Haywood Mall, Greenville, SC https://www.simon.com/mall/haywood-mall/map/#/

Include complete name and contact information on the entry form with your submission!

Drawing results [and answers to “10 Questions”] will be posted by July 27, 2019.

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My Wonderful, Terrifying Journey @ Write2Ignite 2018

Today’s guest blogger, Celeste Hawkins, shares her first experience attending a Write2Ignite Conference.

As I opened the doors to check into my first writers’ conference, I held a print-out of my book draft in one arm and the parking-line-yellow purse that makes me feel more optimistic in the other. I pulled it closer to my side as I searched the crowd of faces.

I spotted her and let out the breath I’d been holding in, then sifted my way off to the quiet side of the chattering writers, editors, and publishers. Everyone seemed to be pulling out their schedules and looking over the first session options:

  • Tessa Emily Hall – “Common Mistakes Newbie Writers Make in Their Manuscripts”
  • Kim Peterson – “Is My Manuscript Ready for an Agent?”
  • Jean Matthew Hall – “Children’s Book Categories”
  • Lori Hatcher – “The Day I Wanted to Quit: Tackling the Mind Games That Discourage and Defeat Writers”

When I reached my friend, Leah and I hugged and caught up on life since we’d last seen each other at a birthday party over the summer. That’s when we’d discovered we were both working on our first books.

We looked at our schedules. It felt like trying to order ice cream: you know you can pick any one and be happy, but you kind of wish you could have all of them.

Finally, we agreed Kim Peterson’s was perfect for us. And for the next 45 minutes, Kim shared the top reasons manuscripts got trashed when she worked at the Leslie Stobbe Literary Agency.

I took three pages of notes.

Later, Leah and I sat together again at our first keynote with Jenny Cote, award-winning author of the popular children’s fantasy series The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz and Epic Order of the Seven.

As she took the stage, I noticed her springy blonde hair that matched her personality inch for inch. She presented like the Energizer Bunny, clicking through slide after slide of quirky quotes and reviewing the pros and cons of each option in the publishing world in detail — in a talk she’d titled “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Deadlines.”

It’s the question every writer must grapple with: do you want to call the shots, or let someone else? I’d been grappling with that myself.

Instinctively, I began to reflect on the answer I’d reached. Originally, I’d considered co-publishing my book. Next, I’d staunchly decided on self-publishing. As Jenny went on, the realization sank in like a rock to the bottom of a lake: I’d defaulted to those options because, deep down, I didn’t believe a “real publisher” would ever publish my book.

The familiar fear remained as I drove off at the end of that first day, curving around the dark rural back roads to home.

But the next day, I couldn’t help feeling renewed hope as I walked into a session with my former classmate Daniel Blackaby, who had published eight books since I saw him last in Shakespearean Tragedies.

If he did it, why can’t I?

The chairs were filled, and we had to bring in more from next door to seat the group consisting of teenagers up to 60-somethings. Daniel encouraged us to write even when we didn’t feel inspired. He gave us silly prompts and the results were side-hurting laughs at soon-to-be stories by creative writers.

  • You’re the coach of a basketball team that’s about to lose. Write the worst pep talk ever.
  • You just woke up, looked in the mirror, and screamed. Write what you saw.
  • Write a back-of-the-book description for this picture. (It was an old-timey ship, a long tentacle rising up out of the surrounding tempestuous waves.)

After the session, Daniel and I talked for a minute about our current projects. To my surprise, he even offered to read my book and provide feedback.

I’ll never forget the next session with Jenny.

She took us step by step through her writing process — from jotting down initial concepts on an idea page, outlining, and planning out chapters to finding a critique team, knowing when to stop editing, and even soliciting endorsements for your book cover.

She reminded us that we do everything first for God and the results are ultimately up to Him.

“My book will get rejected by publishers. But if I give God 100 percent of the steps, then when my book gets rejected, they’ve rejected God’s plan,” I scribbled down in big letters.

The words entered my soul as if they’d been meant only for me.

I rehearsed those words as I waited at the large conference table, pulling out my binder and re-reading the title on the front.

Then he came in, the quiet man with the blue eyes and a tie. I stood, and we introduced ourselves.

“Hey, I’m Celeste,” I said, sure to give what one of our family friends used to call “the famous Hawkins handshake” — the one I’d practiced as a girl when people greeted us at church doors. “Good to meet you, Dr. Lowry.”

“You can call me Sam,” he said in his brilliant Irish accent.

I asked him why he first became interested in books, figuring that’s the only reason anyone becomes a publisher. He recounted how his father had built him a wooden shelf by hand. After that, he felt a sense of responsibility to fill it up with books. He couldn’t stop reading.

The conversation turned to me. I told him about my background as a writer, gave him the elevator pitch for my book, and slid over the three-ring binder containing my manuscript. My heart quickened as I felt powerless to keep it safe and un-rejected any longer.

“It’s short,” he said about the word count, listed on the cover page.

“Yeah,” I said, then gulped.

I studied his every reaction, as he began to thumb through the pages, flipping forward then backward.

“Oh, I’m glad you have questions. You need that,” he added, pointing to the end of a chapter.

I nodded.

“Hmm,” he continued.

Was that the good kind of “hmm” or the bad kind of “hmm”? I stretched my shoulders back, willing every muscle to stay calm.

We sat in a silence that felt like eternity.

Finally, he spoke.

“Well, it’s definitely a good book.” He looked up with a smile.

My heart exploded like fireworks and surprise birthday parties. It was one of the best strings of words I’ve ever heard, lined up together like that.

“Send me the manuscript,” he continued.

Did he really just say that? What is happening? My mind raced. Should I say something now?

“Okay. Of course,” I managed to answer, gathering my things and probably saying “thank you” a dozen times as his next appointment walked in and I left, bounding up the stairs to find someone to tell.

Even now, I hardly believe it. I shared my book with a publisher. Then, he actually read it. Then, he wrote back saying that they’d be pleased to publish it. Now I’ve signed a book contract with Ambassador International. And maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be on the other side of the Write2Ignite Conference table at North Greenville University autographing my first book.

[This article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of 1892, the alumni magazine of North Greenville University.]

Celeste Hawkins lived in the same red-shuttered house in North Carolina until she was 22. After studying English education, Celeste started her career in writing and editing. Her work has appeared online at USA Today 10Best.com, as well as in print in edible UPCOUNTRY and 1892 Magazine, among others. She also created the popular travel website Travelers Rest Here. Set to release within this decade (hopefully), Always Been Loved is her first book, a deeply personal discovery of God’s out-of-this-world love for us. Celeste also enjoys sharing amazing stories of what happens when we pray, listen for God’s voice, and then obey at StillGodSpeaks.com.

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10 Questions about the fantasy genre and YA literature:

 While not every publisher accepts fantasy manuscripts, strong interest in this genre exists among children, teens, and young adults well beyond college age. This interview is the first in a series to explore fantasys appeal to younger readers, and to look at connections between this genre and Christian faith. Q: Before we start, how do you define YA literature? A: Literature written specifically to appeal to an audience from teens to young adult, up to 30 or beyond. Single [YA fans] can often be older, still in early stages of developing their adult career, delaying marriage, etc. Whether a person fits into the “YA lit” audience may be somewhat self-defined. There’s no age limit for enjoying YA lit.

  1. Q: What draws young adults beyond college age who continue to be fans and love to read fantasy? A: Fantasy explores a number of timeless themes. It allows the imaginative reader to engage with the impossible, experiencing things beyond mundane life. Additionally, not all fantasy is primarily for YA audiences. Young adults can enjoy and appreciate stories from Ursula K. Leguin (1929-2018) or Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), but they’re often not as simplistic as garden-variety fantasy. And as stories get older, they become less accessible to younger readers, but remain beloved to the adults who grew up with them.

The Dune series (Frank Herbert) is also fantasy (though often considered ‘science fiction’) but is not YA lit. YAs may read it, but many of its themes are oblique rather than obvious. In an early scene of the first book, protagonist Paul Atrides, then a young child, is subjected to a test that would certainly be considered cruel. His grandmother, a high-ranking member of an ancient, mystical, and politically powerful order causes him to undergo intense pain (the Gom Jabbar “Test of Humanity”). This is a scene I have considered multiple times since I first read it, and it remains compelling.

  1. Q: Besides Harry Potter, what are well-known YA fantasy series?

A: I sometimes hesitate to label something YA, because the term to some suggests simplicity and lack of rigor, but quite a number of excellent authors have written for younger audiences. A primary example is C. S. Lewis, who explicitly wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as a children’s series, while many of his other works are intended for adults. His space trilogy offers an intriguing escalation of complexity. Out of the Silent Planet might be considered a YA entry, as on its surface it is a tale of adventure in a fantastical setting. Perelandra, following the same protagonist to a second solar destination, is more a vehicle for philosophical and theological reflection than an adventure. As for That Hideous Strength, I still need to go back and re-read it (probably several times) because it was well over my head as a young adult.

Stephen Lawhead’s early stories are unquestionably YA, though his later novels grow in complexity as he grows as an author. J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings) is often considered YA, though the generational gap makes his writing less accessible to younger readers. Frank Peretti writes both kids’ stories (The Cooper Kids Adventure Series) and books for YA or adult readers (e.g., This Present Darkness).

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind also fit under the YA heading, as do Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and subsequent works.

[A search for dragons and fantasy produces another long list of fantasy authors named by fans. A search for Christian fantasy series yields this list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/4258.Best_Christian_Fantasy_books ].

Q: What about todays popular series (turned film or TV show), like Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games? A: Game of Thrones, the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire (George R. R. Martin), may be more adult than YA. I have only read the first several chapters of the first book, but from the outset it delves into complex themes and difficult situations. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) aims at younger audiences, particularly considering the age of the main characters.

  1. Q: What features do young adults (through 30-somethings) appreciate most in the fantasy genre? A: For me, it’s two things: impossible things being possible and an alternate existence.

Q: Do these elements connect to Christianity? A: Many people who don’t believe in God still want to believe in the supernatural; this is one reason fantasy is broadly popular. People are dissatisfied with limitations in their actual lives and want to go beyond those. From wishing they could accomplish certain things to being seriously depressed and imagining other roles or abilities, they gravitate to the theme of wanting to be the hero.

Q: Is this a link to current interest in superhero stories? A: It can be, but there’s also just the idea of regular people performing heroic acts. One example is 300, the graphic novel turned movie loosely based on an ancient Greek historical event. No one in that tale has supernatural powers, but that feat performed well over two thousand years ago will likely continue to be celebrated for a long time.

  1. Q: What elements would discerning fans dislike in a YA fantasy book or series? A: A hero that can literally do no wrong. Some authors fall into the trap of creating impossibly good heroes, often to the point of writing “Mary Sue” characters. [Mary Sue or Marty Stu – a character inserted into the story that doesnt necessarily fit, an idealized (unrealistically perfect) figure, sometimes a self insert representing the authors opinions. https://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/characters/mary-sue/ ].

Another problem is significant, unexplained change in how characters behave from one book to another. A turn-off for me occurs when Terry Goodkind’s original protagonist, Richard Rahl, suddenly appears at the end of Pillars of Creation. That story had intrigued me right up until the end, as the first in the series that didn’t follow the original cast of characters. Then Richard Rahl showed up, saving the day, and speaking with words that, to me, did not sound like his own. Goodkind seemed to be using Rahl as a puppet, compromising the character’s integrity to make a point. This was particularly frustrating because the preceding book in The Sword of Truth series (Faith of the Fallen) was, in my opinion, his best to that point.

  1. Q: Of the most popular fantasy writers since 2000, which are most compatible with Christian worldview values? General themes that are common in much secular fantasy may include a “moral universe” (though not necessarily biblical), clear right and wrong, a creator, and an evil one. The Wheel of Time series features types for God and Satan (“The Creator” and “The Dark One”), and appears to suggest that there are clear standards for right and wrong, but some moral standards vary widely from culture to culture.
  1. Q: Give brief examples of fantasy content illustrating what todays readers find most significant in this type of story. A: The hero’s journey is always a big thing. Otherwise, someone who is marginalized suddenly becoming important, gaining a larger role in society, etc. Readers often see themselves in stories they read, and I’d argue that this phenomenon is more common in fantasy than in some genres.
  1. Q: How do todays fans see themselves and their experiences in fantasy novels or short stories? A: Most people are (or feel) marginalized in one way or another, disenfranchised literally or metaphorically. Characters in a story may not be intentionally limited by another party; their lack of influence may simply be a fact of their circumstances –e.g., growing up on a farm. But regardless of the reason someone lacks agency, people often want to move beyond their current situation.

Readers want to feel they are part of the journey – fighting against evil, whether supernatural in origin or just the result of people being people. They might not directly imprint on the main character (“this character is me”), but can imagine themselves as part of the situation (“this is somewhere I’d like to be, and something I’d enjoy doing”).

  1. Q: What do you see as the future of the genre? Is it trending in a particular direction in terms of content, types of settings and stories, themes, etc.? A: I honestly have no idea what the trend will turn out to be, but I wouldn’t mind if werewolves, vampires, and zombies were forgotten for a couple of decades. That said, I would like to see more genuinely new, creative entries rather than continual “remakes,” or resurrecting old series. The fantasy genre, to me, is all about going somewhere new and different. I can enjoy a particular destination for three books or a dozen, but when I pick up a new author, I want to experience something different enough that I see it as its own world. I am more convinced now than I once was that stories should have definite ends. Plenty of serial works (from TV shows, to book and movie series, to webcomics) have gone from stupendously amazing to “jumping the shark”[refers to criticism of the sitcom Happy Days.
  1. Q: What classic fantasy books are, in your opinion, the best models for fantasy writers?

A: None of them and all of them – don’t follow one particular novel. Read multiple, diverse things and see what grows out of that. Someone writing about 1950s America can go to a library or archive to view film footage or read books and newspapers in order to research the setting. When you write fantasy, you can’t research your setting in the same way; instead, you have to create the world. Research by a fantasy/sci fi writer is twofold. One component is the work you do creating a fictional fantasy world. The other part is reading existing stories (not only novels). In my experience, I get many more ideas when I’m actively reading than when I’m not.

When it comes to creating your world, as when you’re writing the actual stories, try to do a little work every day. Add things to your world that you’re not going to use – this creates flavor, a living, breathing world for the characters to inhabit. And you might find yourself using some of it anyway. Some authors will start the world-building process by drawing a map; others by creating characters.  Of course, not every story needs a map, but every story does need believable characters. Seek authenticity in how characters react to situations.

[ #Write2IgniteConference2019 will feature Worldbuilding workshops by Edie Melson and Daniel Blackaby! https://write2ignite.com/category/2019-conference-updates/

  1. Q: What caveats or suggestions, if any, would you give to parents of tweens and teens who are drawn to reading and/or writing fantasy literature?

A: Read some of it yourself. Talk with them about it, not to lecture, but to initiate discussion. Say things like “I thought this was interesting,” or “I didn’t quite get this.” Ask them questions, and be genuine. Parents who try to prevent their children from being exposed to something specific can’t afford any gaps in their defense; if kids want to make an end run around you, in most families, they’ll eventually succeed. I would not personally suggest restricting kids to reading only Christian literature. There are plenty of excellent Christian authors, but if your only criterion is “author and publisher must be Christian,” quality varies. Some publishers focus on iterations of the same tale, requiring that every story hit certain bullet points: a common example is “someone not saved gets saved.” While a story that fits a formula can be good, restricting oneself to only stories that fit a certain formula can stunt a reader’s growth.

An avid reader as a child, Paul DeCiantis grew up on The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. The latter cemented his interest in the fantasy genre and helped form his preference for book series over stand-alone entries. Other favorite series include Stephen R. Lawhead (The Pendragon Cycle; The Song of Albion), Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), and Frank Herbert (Dune). He has been writing off and on since finishing high school. He finds his pre-graduation writing embarrassing, but greatly enjoys the creative bursts involved in world-building and hopes to finish some of his current projects. Professionally, Paul has worked in Information Technology doing some form of Technical Support, including four years in the U.S. Army. He earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (North Greenville University 2009), with concentrations in Linguistics and Literature. He believes knowledge of literature is an expansion of language, as simple references to commonly-known tales can conjure up whole worlds of information in the hearer’s mind. (Consider phrases like “strong as Hercules” and “Cinderella story.”)

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Bring a Friend to Write to Ignite

In honor of National Best Friends Day, June 8th, Write2Ignite is offering a “Bring a Friend” discount on registration fees during the month of June. When you and a friend register for the conference, you will each get a $10.00 discount off the current registration rate of $124.00.

To secure the discount, each person must enter their friend’s name in the “How did you find out about us?” blank on the registration form. Also, tell us how you found out about us in the same space on the form.

If one of the friends has to cancel their registration, the ticket will be refunded to make the purchase price match the individual ticket price at the time of purchase. (Example: The ticket purchased at $114 will only be refunded in the amount of $104 to make the other friend’s ticket equal the $124 purchase price now in effect.)

Bring a Friend and we’ll see you both in September!

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Conference Schedule

Here’s our jam-packed conference schedule! Start planning NOW for two days of encouragement and education. Spring Blessings discount has been extended through June 15!  registration

 

Friday, September 20, 2019  *Please check final schedule and room assignment

12:00 – 2:00 PM   TEAM set-up in Craft-Hemphill (CH) and Hayes Ministry Center (HMC)

2:00 – 3:00 pm  Volunteer orientation in CH-110 Presenters/editors/agents/TEAM prayer and orientation – volunteers meet faculty/Team members [** Recording devices, handouts, attendance sheets info]

2:30 – 4:00 pm  Registration and Check-in (HMC Lobby); online appointment signups

Published authors consign books for sale (CH Lobby)

3:15 – 3:55      BONUS Session Options:

  1. Vanessa Fortenberry “Importance of the 3Rs . . . “ in CH 101
  2. TEEN TRACK Worldbuilding” workshop with Daniel Blackaby HMC
  3. Todd Williams “Engaging Pages” in CH 102
  4. Lori A. Hatcher “Practically Painless Editing “ in CH 108
  5. Jean Matthew Hall “What is a Picture Book?” in CH 109
  6. Book Browsing in Craft-Hemphill Lobby; Appointment sign-ups ONLINE

4:00 – 5:00 PM   Welcome and Warm-Ups

TEEN TRACK: KEYNOTE “Tolkien, Lewis, & Christian Imagination” Daniel Blackaby in HMC

Adults’ Welcome and Warm-Ups  – Two Mini-Sessions (CH 110)

 (A)  Editor-Agent Panel Q & A and (B) Author Panel

5:00 – 6:30 PM  Adults break for supper in the Todd Dining Hall (across from Craft-Hemphill)

(* Use tickets in registration packet – Gluten-free options available; please specify dietary restrictions at time of Registration)

TEEN TRACK Pizza Bash with presenters  (HMC)

Please specify at registration if you require Gluten-free pizza.

Dinner hour free time: Book Browsing, Sign up online/ editor/agent/author appointments

6:45 – 7:45 PM  ALL: Announcements & Introductions of Presenters; Praise & Worship (HMC)

7:45 – 8:45 PM  SESSION A: [please check Teens and/or Adults]

ADULTS only: Tony Snipes “5 MORE Things I learned In Corporate America  That Can Jumpstart Your Writing Business in Under 24 Hours” in HMC

ADULTS & Teens: Kenzi Nevins “An ILLUSTRATOR”S Market: Portfolio, platform, and Proposals” in CH 101

ADULTS ONLY Linda Vigen Phillips “Using Verse to Get to the Heart of Your Story” in CH 102

ADULTS & TEENS: Nancy Lohr “The Plot Thickens” in CH 108

ADULTS only Edie Melson “Love the World You Build” in CH 109

TEENS only: Carol Baldwin “Let Your Characters Do the Heavy Work”                                in CH 110

8:45 – 9:30 PM RECEPTION Coffee & Conversation w/ Presenters/Editors/Agents (HMC) All are invited!

Registered participants will be eligible to sign up online for TWO (2) individual appointments with authors, editors, or agents. Sign-up site will indicate specific location of the person you are meeting.

Book sales are in the Craft-Hemphill Lobby. Teen Pizza Bash and Adult Coffee & Conversation are in Hayes Ministry Center. Photo (Headshot) sessions will be in Craft-Hemphill room TBA). Sign up online.  

  Interactive Features for 2019:

  1. TBA
  2. A Photo Booth – Enjoy taking photos/selfies with our special writers’ props – share on social media!

Saturday, September 21, 2019* Please check final schedule and room assignment *  

7:45 – 8:15 AM       Late Check-in (HMC Lobby)   Please observe workshop status: Adults, Adults & Teens, or Teens only***

8:15 – 9:00 AM           SESSION B

TEENS Only Brenda Covert Poetry Writing: “Playing with Words”                                                                            in CH 110

ADULTS & Teens Tessa Emily Hall “How to Sell . . . to an Agent . . . “ in CH 101

ADULTS only Vijaya Bodach  “Writing Memoir for Kids (I): Techniques”                                              in CH-102

ADULTS only Lori Hatcher  “Ten Ways to Charm an Editor” in CH 108

ADULTS Kim Peterson “A Strong Supporting Cast of Secondary Characters” CH 109

9:15 – 10:15 AM   Adults & Teens Announcements  KEYNOTE                                          by NANCY LOHR :  “Truth-FULL Writing” in HMC

10:30- 11:15 SESSION C

ADULTS only Tony Snipes  “How I turned a Facebook Page into a Weekly Storytelling Medium” in HMC

ADULTS only Daniel Blackaby “Tolkien, Lewis, & Christian Imagination” CH 101

ADULTS only Samantha Bell     “Polishing Your Picture Book” in CH 102

ADULTS only Nancy Lohr        “Read Like a Writer” in        CH 108

ADULTS only Kim Peterson  “Deepen Your Middle Grades/YA Novel”  CH 109

Teens ONLY ** Carol Baldwin “Create a Sensory Setting” in CH 110;

 11:15 – 11:40 Teens remain in CH 110 for NGU Q & A, then proceed to lunch **

11:15 AM – 12:45 PM   ** LUNCH in Todd Dining Hall (Bring tickets in registration packets*)

12:45 – 1:30 PM Session D ADULTS only Edie Melson  “Writing for the YA Audience” in CH 101

ADULTS only Terri Kelly  “How to Write Devotions for Children” in HMC

ADULTS only Vijaya Bodach “Writing Memoir Part II: Being a Witness” in                              CH 102

ADULTS & TEENS Tessa Emily Hall “Create Book Buzz . . . with a Blog Tour” CH 108

ADULTS only Kim Peterson  “Selling Snappy Sidebars” in CH 109

ADULTS & TEENS Steve Hutson “Why You’re Not Getting Published”                                                                           in CH 110

1:45 – 2:30 PM  Book Sales (C-H Lobby) and Book Signing (C-H Comm Center – 110)

2:45 – 3:30 PM  Session E

ADULTS only Jean Matthew Hall “Writing Fiction Picture Books”                                                      in  HMC

ADULTS & Teens Steve Hutson “What NOT to Say to an Editor or Agent” in  CH 101

ADULTS Only Vijaya Bodach “Writing a Book That’s Controversial” in         CH 102

ADULTS Only Todd Williams “Connecting with Kids” in  CH 108

ADULTS Only Andrea Merrell “Turning Pain into Prose” in CH 109

TEEN TRACK Carol Baldwin “Out of This World Fiction & Fantasy” in                                                                      CH 110

3:45 – 4:45 PM   ALL: CLOSING KEYNOTE –  by Edie Melson  “The New Paradigm of Social Media” in HMC

4:45 – 5:00 PM  Writing Awards, Silent Auction results, Grand Door Prize, Closing Prayer  in HMC

Registered participants will be eligible to sign up online for TWO (2) individual appointments with authors, editors, or agents. See online signup for specific location of the person you are meeting.

Book sales in the Craft-Hemphill Lobby close at 2:30 pm Saturday.

Photo (Headshot) sessions in Craft-Hemphill room TBA by appointment; walk-ins may take open slots.

Interactive Features for 2019:

  1. TBA
  2. Photo Booth – Enjoy taking photos/selfies with our special writers’ props – share on social media!

* schedule subject to change