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  […]

Have You Heard?

2019 Conference Updates

The WRITE2IGNITE team has been working hard to select a theme and faculty for the 2019 conference. Just in case you missed our announcements, here are the links: THEME: A True Witness KEYNOTE SPEAKERS TEEN TRACK WORKSHOP OPTIONS ADULT WORKSHOPS FACULTY    Can you tell we’re excited about this conference? We’re praying that it will […]

Adults-Only Workshops round out W2I 2019 program September 20-21

Workshops in the adult track will be presented by the following faculty (see Faculty bios in “Faculty” section under “2019”: ).

Samantha Bell will present criteria for *** Polishing Your Picture Book.  Is your picture book the best it can be? Fearless attendees may submit a picture book manuscript for possible review during the workshop. Consider length, plot, dialogue, word choice, pacing, and more!

Daniel Blackaby offers ***Tolkien, Lewis, and the Christian Imagination for adults. Examine Tolkien’s and Lewis’s vastly different approaches and ideas of Christian Art as a way to explore more generally what it means to be a Christian Artist today.

Jean Matthew Hall  (whose debut picture book should be appearing this September) presents***What Is a Picture Book?  “Isn’t it curious that a picture book illustrator needs to tell the story with pictures, and the picture book author needs to show the story with words?” This workshop helps writers decide what they need to say, and NOT to say in picture book manuscripts.

Tony Snipes returns to W2I with two marketing-focused workshops.

***5 ‘MORE’ THINGS I LEARNED IN CORP. AMERICA That Help Your Writing Business Pay for Itself: A sequel to last year’s SRO “5 Things,” this workshop unpacks what 20 years in the Newspaper, Television and Radio industries have taught Tony about leveraging resources to produce creative content.
***How I Turned a Facebook Page into a Weekly Storytelling Medium: 5,000 weekly viewers. 2,000 dedicated subscribers…and a line of products that help pay for it all. This workshop details how (and why) Tony uniquely launched “The Portsmouth Aeroshipbuilding Co.,” the story it tells about American history and the history of his hometown.

Terri Kelly (representing DevoKids) returns as a W2I presenter with ***How to Write Devotions for Children. Learn how to grab kids’ attention in concise, creative, and clear devotions. This workshop presents secrets to communicate on a child’s level. Learn how to brainstorm ideas and prepare for the writing path God has planned for you.

Kim Peterson, a perennial favorite at W2I, brings three craft-based workshops to this year’s conference. The first, Develop a Strong Supporting Cast of Secondary Characters (for adults and teens), was described in Part II. Two additional workshops include one for fiction writers and one designed for nonfiction/magazine writers.

 ***Deepen Your Middle Grade & Young Adult Novels Construct a novel tweens and teens want to read. From motivation to characterization to plot to POV to setting, tell a story that readers — and editors — can’t ignore.

***Selling Snappy Sidebars – Earn good money supplying magazine markets with these high-demand mini-articles. Tips apply to children’s, young adult and adult markets.

Lori Hatcher returns to W2I with two workshops focused on editing.

***(Practically) Painless Editing for the Grammatically-Challenged  To impress an editor, not only does your work need panache: it also needs polish. Yet even seasoned writers have weak areas. In this nuts and bolts workshop, Lori Hatcher reveals the most common writing errors, shows how to catch them, and helps writers practice their newfound knowledge in a group editing session.

***Ten Ways to Charm an Editor This workshop climbs inside magazine editors’ heads to discover why they say yes to some submissions and no to others. As a magazine editor and a freelance writer, Lori knows that simple things charm editors and increase a writer’s chance of success. She shares ten suggestions with real-life examples in this fun, interactive workshop.

Vanessa Fortenberry offers a workshop for beginning or intermediate writers:

Writing 101: The Importance of the 3 R’s (WRiting, Research, and Revision) Explore the basic elements of story development, purpose, audience, and genre from beginning research to honing manuscripts.

Todd Williams, Editor-in-Chief, Union Gospel Press, in his first appearance at W2I, presents two communication-focused workshops.

***Engaging Pages asks “What does it take to truly communicate with your readers?” This workshop highlights practical ways to understand the logic of communication guided by Scriptural concepts. The word Logos (translated “Word” in John 1:1) is an important Greek term relating to multiple subjects like commandments, accounting, stories, science, doctrine, and especially Creation. Two primary concepts embodied in logos, collecting and organizing, are basic to creativity and essential for good writing.

***Connecting with Kids We were all kids once, but for writers, childhood often seems far away. This workshop explores the struggles and joys of being a kid, presenting creative strategies for targeting childhood traits to excite and energize young minds. Three sheets created by Union Gospel Press, identifying essential characteristics of beginners, primaries, and juniors, provide information about children’s development at different stages. A fourth sheet illustrates hooks and creative appeals for connecting with children through the written word.

Two presenters will offer workshops focused on writing for YA (Young Adult) audiences.

Vijaya Bodach returns as a presenter after several years’ absence with three workshops.

*** Writing Memoir for Kids (Part I): Techniques is a hands-on workshop to help writers harness the power of writing memoir by recapturing the awe and sensuality of childhood—how grass tickles the feet, the warmth of holding hands with your best friend, the utter emptiness of betrayal. Mine your memories, shape your stories, and create gems that become pure gifts for children.

***Writing Memoir (Part II): Witness—Writing the Most Important Story Sharing her own conversion story, Vijaya applies techniques learned in Part I to writing personal testimony. The world values a witness’s knowledge from personal experience. You make the difference between hearsay and fact, between opinion and reality. Learn to share your past, the moment(s) of conversion, and your life with Christ as a new creation

***Writing a Book that’s Controversial Today, the world celebrates sin in the name of choice, diversity, and tolerance. Fight the good fight! Write the better story, make it beautiful. But prepare for pitfalls of taking an unpopular position. Persevere. Trust in the Lord’s protection and power. BOUND (YA novel) allows readers to examine their views on life and love, liberty and responsibility, through a character who is questioning these very things. Participants will discuss difficulties and solutions in writing and publishing controversial books. [Disclaimer: includes some references to mature subject matter and offensive language]

Linda Vigen Phillips combines fiction and nonfiction elements in her discussion of free-verse YA novels. ***”Using Verse to Get to the Heart of Your Story” shows how free-verse can help writers teach compassion and empathy towards those who deal with mental or physical issues. 

  • A therapeutic way to deal with one’s own life challenges (mining your past).
  • An effective warm-up exercise or tool to unlock writer’s block.
  • A method to bypass the rules and encourage free association.
  • A path to probing deeper into all story elements, particularly character and setting.
  • Resources include a handout of selected books in verse and exercises. Brainstorm five random words (example: verb, season, time, place, color) and add one emotionally charged word or idea to generate a verse poem in five minutes. Use familiar shapes to write a shape poem depicting a current state of mind.

Third of three faculty and program announcements! Part I discussed teen and general track Keynote presenters and additional workshops they’re presenting. Part II detailed Teen Track (teens only) program plus general track workshops open to both teens and adults. The full program schedule, including panel/Q & A sessions, Book Signing, and information about Friday night’s reception with presenters, will appear in “2019 Conference Updates” next week.


Write2Ignite Conference 2019 Faculty is now complete! Teen Track workshop options


In addition to Keynotes and workshops by Nancy Lohr, Edie Melson, and Daniel Blackaby, [“Keynotes” announcement April 15], faculty authors, editors, and literary agents will present the following workshops. [See Author bios in “Faculty” section ]

** = Teens Only     *** Adults Only – All other workshops open to adults or teens

Teen Track faculty:

Carol Federlin Baldwin will offer three Teen Track workshops:

**Let Your Characters Do the Heavy Work What good is a story without a memorable character? Includes hands-on writing activities to help teens create unforgettable protagonists and antagonists.

**Creating a Sensory Setting A descriptive setting sets the tone for a scene. Basics of creating mood-inducing settings, using precise adjectives and figurative language.

**Stories that are Out of This World: Write a Science Fiction or Fantasy Story. For teens who love alien adventures, whether anti-gravity tournaments, fairies that camouflage themselves in flowers, or wizards who hijack British schooners. Discuss the process of creating a story with believable science fiction or fantasy characters and placing them in settings consistent with their unique physical, mental, and social characteristics!

Brenda Covert Following Brenda’s popular 2018 metered poetry writing workshop, she offers **Poetry Writing: Playing with Words  [teens only]  In this interactive poetry workshop, teens will practice refining their creative voice and will have the chance to share their work in class. The workshop will introduce African Praise Poetry, Erasure Poetry, and Paint Chip Poetry, with an eye toward sharing personal faith while having fun playing with words.

See additional workshop and Keynote by Daniel Blackaby in “Keynotes”

General Track Workshops open to Teens 

 Tessa Emily Hall returns to W2I with two publishing/marketing-focused workshops.

Create Book Buzz by Coordinating a Blog Tour Blog tours are a powerful online marketing strategy vital in generating buzz surrounding a book release. This workshop walks participants through the process of finding bloggers, preparing creative material that features their book, and using tools to keep it organized. Result? A blog tour to bring readers flocking to your release.

How to Sell Your Book to an Agent: What to Do and What to Avoid It’s no easy feat to attract  a literary agent’s attention, especially when it seems they’re searching for a reason to reject your manuscript. Learn to make your submission stand out in an agent’s slush pile and what you can you do to avoid having your submission deleted as soon as the agent opens your email.

 Steve Hutson, Literary Agent, WordWise Media Services, presents two workshops with advice on approaching editors or agents. In Rejection-proof Submissions: Why You’re Not Getting Published, he explains why writers who have “sent off [a] manuscript to dozens of agents and editors, [may] be rejected again and again.” Sharing things most pros don’t disclose, he’ll help writers discover the most common problems and how to avoid them. Hint:  It may have nothing to do with the quality of your writing or your story.

In What NOT to Say to an Agent or Editor, Steve explains that No matter how good your story, or how awesome your execution, it might not be enough. You still have to sell this thing. Learn what to say — and, very importantly — what NOT to say, when pitching your book.

Kim Peterson‘s workshop on secondary characters will appeal to all fiction writers:

Develop a Strong Supporting Cast – From Fern Arable to Willy Wonka to Ron and Hermione, secondary characters enrich the stories readers love. Secondary characters allow the reader to see the main character in new, exciting ways. Learn how to create compelling secondary characters that enhance your plot and make your protagonist unforgettable, without stealing the show.

Kenzi Nevins, Illustrator and Agent – Cyle Young Agency), offers a workshop for artists!

An Illustrator’s Market: Portfolios, Platform, and Proposals outlines the following elements:

  • Social media and online portfolios: how many people have them, how many people think they need them, how many people have literally no idea what to do
  • Instagram: pros and cons, and its power for an illustrator
  • Online portfolios: what they should include and how to get a good one, with examples
  • The growing popularity of the illustrated book market
  • Children’s Trends: Nonfiction and Science (with examples)
  • Children’s Trends: Fiction and Diversity (with examples)
  • Parts of an illustrated book proposal (both children’s and graphic novels)
  • Various methods of illustration, and popular mediums



“A True Witness” – Write2Ignite 2019 Conference Theme

Introduction by Deborah S. DeCiantis

    Scripture makes many references to the concept or term “witness” in both Old and New Testaments. Christians know Jesus’s “Great Commission” words in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them […]

Welcome, Helena George

A First-time Write2Ignite Attendee

Last September, I made the drive to South Carolina full of anticipation. My first writers conference! Dreams swirled in my head. I would meet other writers…talk about books and characters…maybe catch the attention of a publisher…talk about writing and books some more… I’ll admit, I was nervous. I’d probably say something stupid or spill a […]