Success Stories: Sally Matheny’s Writing Journey from the W2I Conference

A freelance writer and blogger, Sally Matheny has published in numerous online and print publications, including AppleSeeds, Clubhouse Jr., Homeschooling Today, Practical Homeschooling, and The Old Schoolhouse. Sally attributes much of her writing success to her first experience attending a Write2Ignite conference.

She says, “I connected with an editor from Clubhouse Jr. In a fifteen-minute session, I showed her the first picture book manuscript I had written. She offered kind and helpful advice. That particular manuscript still sits in my filing cabinet. However, I later wrote two articles published by Clubhouse Jr. It took roughly a year of edits for each of them before reaching publication. It was a long learning process which grew me as a writer.”

To read Sally’s full account of the series of events after her introduction to W2I, look for her article on our blog, scheduled for April 19, 2018!

You can read more about Sally at her blog, www.sallymatheny.blogspot.com.

Speaker Spotlight: Kim Peterson’s Workshop “Is My Manuscript Ready for an Agent?”

One of the biggest mistakes beginning writers make is sending a manuscript before the story is ready. In Kim Peterson’s presentation “Is My Manuscript Ready for an Agent?” you can learn criteria from an agent’s first reader to determine whether your manuscript needs work or is ready to submit.

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 on her blog, Nature Walk with God.

Write2Ignite Conference Celebrates Success Stories!

Conference connections that helped launch authors' careers!

Maria Bostian: author of What Should Daisy Do? and Firefighters’ Busy Day As Write2Ignite Conference 2018 approaches, we want to highlight what we’re calling “Success Stories”: stories of past participants whose attendance at W2I led to specific contacts, published work, and even jobs! We often emphasize the benefits of attending a writing conference—benefits that include […]

Alert: Website under construction! Changes are in the wind!

 Photo by Darcy L. Hendrick

Like this winter’s weather (not to mention unusual early spring weather patterns), the Write2Ignite website will be changing in appearance and content in the coming weeks, for several reasons.

  • First, we lost some key pages and will be restoring them, with improvements. Registration is one of them!
  • Second, we’ll be reorganizing and reformatting some content, adding menu tabs, and moving others.
  • Third, we will continue to add Speaker Spotlights with brief descriptions of workshops on our September 21-22 Conference schedule, complete our faculty bios, and add editors and literary agents as their responses come in.
  • Our overworked Webmaster, Samantha Schweizer Bell, will be getting help from Team members new to WordPress. Please bear with us as we make these changes!

Speaker Spotlight: Jean Matthew Hall’s Workshop “Definitions of Children’s Book Genres and Categories”

  Foundational to writing successfully for children is a clear knowledge of children’s literature, including the distinctions among book genres and the different categories of books for children. How is a “picture book” different from an “early reader,” when both include common audience ages and plenty of illustrations? What tips can a writer who has spent her whole professional life introducing children to books bring to an understanding of these definitions?

Jean Matthew Hall, well known to longtime followers of Write2Ignite Conference as the first director of this group, returns to W2I in 2018 as a presenter. Her first workshop (see the “Bonus” early session in the conference schedule) will help writers establish a fuller understanding of how book genres and categories work and why it’s important to get them right for writers creating their stories, describing them, and pitching them to agents or publishers.

Professionally, Jean has taught “almost every grade level kindergarten through high school” and served as a Christian school principal and administrator as well as director of early childhood development. These experiences, which helped her develop connections with “the hearts of teachers, children, and parents,” inform her goal of creating books to” communicate “values and truths about God” and “encourage and edify both children and the caring adults in their lives.”

Jean’s workshop will combine the nuts and bolts facts of definitions with her lifelong experience and development as a writer in this genre she loves so much—plus Q & A time for the audience!

To learn more about Jean, visit her website and blog, https://jeanmatthewhall.com/.

Speaker Spotlight: Vicki Moss Shows Writers How to “Connect the Dots”

Vicki Moss, Contributing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine, has over 18 books in the Moments series (Grace Publishing), and has over 500 articles published nationally and internationally. She is also author of How to Write for Kids’ Magazines and Writing with Voice. Sharing from her own experience, Vicki will challenge writers struggling with writing projects that just aren’t going according to plan.

So you think you want to be a novelist, but God has other plans. He’s opened more doors for you to write nonfiction than fiction, or vice versa. What to do? Connect the dots. What God has in store might be so much better than your own plans. And fiction might be forthcoming to follow behind your nonfiction (or again, vice versa)—the two intertwining to make a beautiful tapestry that allows you to reach more readers. But how to connect the dots?

Join Vicki in this writing workshop to find out how she connected the dots in her personal writing journey. Learn how to connect your own dots to view a bigger picture—perhaps part of God’s road map for your writing destiny.

“A man’s heart plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

To learn more about Vicki, visit her website at http://livingwaterfiction.com/

Speaker Spotlight: Carol Federlin Baldwin, Teen Track “Fiction Writing”

Carol Baldwin, author of Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4–8, will lead Teen Track participants at Write2Ignite 2018 through exercises including movement activities and writing practice after helping them gather some basic tools to put into their writing toolbox:

  • Muscle Words
  • Show, Don’t Tell
  • The Red Pencil Is Your Best Friend
  • Using Mentor Texts
  • Details Make the Difference (genre fiction)

Carol will show how these writing tools can be used to craft original characters and sensory settings and how a character’s conflicts drive the plot of a story.

You can see what Carol blogs about at https://bit.ly/2H4MNnc.