Christian Writers of Literature for Children and Young Adults

Category: Conferences Page 3 of 8

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

Have You Heard?

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






Can you tell we’re excited about this conference? We’re praying that it will minster to Christians who desire to use their writing gifts to write quality literature for children and young adults. Spring Registration (with the biggest discount) is on unto the end of this month. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

“A True Witness” – Write2Ignite 2019 Conference Theme

    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 to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NKJV) In church lingo, this is usually referred to as “witnessing,” sharing the good news of the gospel.

During Creation, God gave witness to the nature of His own created works, calling each day’s creation “good” or “very good.”

Similarly, Bible references to the created world as a witness are frequent. In some cases, the Creation or created object serves as witness to God’s judgment on human sin and guilt (Dt 4:26, Joshua 24:27, Romans 1:18-25). In others, the Creation testifies to God’s glory (Psalm 19 and other psalms).

From Genesis forward, “witness” occurs often in references to covenant agreements between persons or between God and a person or group (see examples in Genesis 21:30, 31:44 – 52, and Judges 11:10). The tabernacle, also called the “tabernacle of witness,” was a perpetual visual reminder of the covenant relationship between God and the nation of Israel (Numbers 17:7-8).

Write2Ignite Conference formed as a group for “Christian Writers of Children’s and Young Adult Literature” to encourage and equip writers to inspire Christian worldview thinking in young readers – a type of witness. Through prayer and discussion, we’ve identified Witness as an organizing theme for the 2019 conference September 20-21. This doesn’t mean every article or book for kids should contain a direct gospel invitation, but as we draw upon biblical principles, our writing should reflect God’s character, standards, and role in every area of human life.

I John lays out foundational doctrines and supporting evidence for Christian faith: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – . . . we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you . . . that you also may have fellowship with us . . . .”

John further states his purpose in sharing this gospel of “eternal life . . . . that your joy may be full.” (1:1-4, NKJV) He then lays out various signs, behaviors, and spiritual principles that demonstrate the truth of his claims about God, Jesus Christ, faith, and fellowship.

The Bible describes [fallen] human condition as lostness – of fellowship with God due to sin, of the Garden paradise, of peace and health. Results include perpetual seeking as people try to earn favor with God or a god, through sacrifice or good works. The gospel message is one of finding and being found. As we see God pursue the lost sheep (parables in Luke 15), the witness of lostness is exchanged for the witness of foundness. Through Jesus Christ, we have an Advocate, Mediator, Savior, Father, restored fellowship with God and the community of faith.

#Write2Ignite2019 will help us explore various facets of witness in God’s Word. As we gain insights into their effects in our own spiritual walk, we will also examine ways in which our writing in any genre or platform can serve as witness, proclaiming God’s truth and equipping young audiences to follow and serve Christ.

∞  Deborah S. DeCiantis

(photo courtesy of Jolee G. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/witness-concept-background-photo-p262938)


Debbie DeCiantis first connected with Write2Ignite Conference when she was called on to act as liaison between North Greenvile University and Write2Ignite in 2009. She accepted the role of acting director in 2016 and the role of director in 2017. Debbie currently does freelance editing and critique writing. She enjoys living in the country and spending time with her husband, four adult children, six grandchildren, and too many dogs.

This and future discussions of biblical witness will be found in Author Resources.




Welcome, Helena George

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 drink or get lost. Maybe someone would tell me point-blank that my story ideas were plain trash.

Well, let me be up front and say that I do not regret going. Write2Ignite challenged me to ask myself: Why do I write? What do I want to leave my readers with? Am I prepared to do the work that it takes to get my own writing published?

I learned a lot. I listened a lot. I talked a lot. Everyone I met with had a story. They told me about their own writing journey, their published works, their story ideas. And all our conversations were full of God–what He has done in our lives and in our writing.

I especially loved being told (in a writer’s conference!) to do my absolute best and leave the results to God; to seek Him first and bring all my writing concerns to Him in prayer.  As the popular verse in 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” God has given us these gifts, these stories, and we must do our best to learn the craft and write them well and not for ourselves, but for His glory.

While I haven’t been to other writing conferences, I can still honestly say I would recommend going to Write2Ignite. It’s run well, and the staff and speakers are friendly and encouraging. I rarely was confused about where to go and what was going on, and my whole trip went smoothly. One of the highlights was the mealtimes–getting to sit and talk to other writers and readers while getting unlimited cookies from the cafeteria!

I look forward to returning to Write2Ignite!

Helena George grew up in a house with books in every room, and acquired a taste for reading at an early age. She is currently finishing up her YA fantasy trilogy and blogs under the pen name Julian Daventry at http://juliandaventrymemories.blogspot.com/ When she’s not busy working or crafting stories, Helena fixes pasture fencing, pretends to be a runner, and rides her three horses.

Who Needs A Two-for-One Critique?

By Brenda Covert

You may be wondering whether your manuscript is ready to be published. Maybe you have a nagging feeling that your story is missing something, but you don’t know what it is. Perhaps you’re going to attend a writer’s conference, and you want to make sure your writing is polished before sharing it with editors and agents. Your family thinks you’ve penned the next best seller, but what will professionals think? A professional opinion would really help.

We have just the thing: a 2-for-1 critique! You receive a written one-page critique or comments written on your pages from two Write2ignite professionals.

We are offering 2-for-1 Critiques now through June 15. The fee of $45 gets one story critiqued by two professional members of our faculty. Two heads are better than one, and two critiques offer twice the insight!

To submit a manuscript for critique in any of the categories below, email your manuscript to our critique coordinator, Brenda Covert. In the subject line, put “W2I CRITIQUE ENTRY.” Include in the email text your name, email address, title, and category. You may submit as many manuscripts as you wish, as long as you pay the fee for each one.


Young adult or middle grade novel—1-page query letter or synopsis (single-spaced) plus first pages of the manuscript (double-spaced), up to 10 pages total.

Nonfiction book— chapter outline, synopsis and/or query letter (single-spaced) and first pages of the manuscript (double-spaced), up to 10 pages total.

Picture book—Complete manuscript up to 1,000 words

Early reader/chapter book—First chapters up to 10 pages

Nonfiction article—1,200 word limit

Short story—1,200 word limit

Poetry—5 poems equal 1 critique; 40-line limit for each poem

Devotional—500-word limit each; up to 4 devotionals per paid critique

Manuscript Submission Procedure

Type all manuscripts in double-spaced, 12-pt. font, standard manuscript format. Include your name, the title of your piece, and the page number on each of your manuscript’s pages.


We accept payment by  PayPal, check, or money order.


To pay by PayPal, use the button below.

Credit Card: 

if you wish to use a credit card, please contact Cathy Biggerstaff.


Check or Money Order:

If mailing a check or money order, make it payable to Write2Ignite. Please send the check to the address that you receive after you email your material to Brenda Covert.

Let us know what we can help you with!

Brenda Covert has been a professional editor since 2002, first in the educational field and then in the Christian/family-friendly market. Her editing experience goes from picture books to chapter books to YA novels and adult fiction and nonfiction, including inspirational books, Bible studies, and cookbooks! You can find Brenda online at BrendaCovert.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter, where she’s  @TheBrendaCovert.

Overcoming a Writer’s Fears by Attending Conferences

As a writer, I often find myself bogged down in fear.  Fear that my writing may not be good enough. Fear that I am too old. Fear that I don’t know how to write. Attending conferences gives me the insight to overcome those fears through encouragement, instruction, resources and reminding me that my writing needs to be covered in prayer. 

Read More

Life After a Writers’ Conference

How can I capture in words what last year’s Write2Ignite conference meant to me? Attending my first-ever writers’ conference left me feeling (and probably looking) like a deer in headlights! I left with an overwhelming conviction of the need for Christian writers and with a vast amount of information gleaned from each workshop. God lit a fire in me to pursue writing as I never had before.

At Write2Ignite, I had a conversation with Brenda Covert about poetry and Union Gospel Press. That conversation led me to apply to write for Union Gospel Press after the conference. Months passed, and I received an acceptance to write for the press’s Sunday school curriculum. What a small but positive step in the large world of writing and publishing!

Another opportunity opened when I created a writers’ club with friends at my church. This August, our team will celebrate its first-year anniversary as Women of the Word: Overcomers Writing Group.

You know, I still have my folder of notes from last year’s conference; and every now and then, I glance through the pages of inspiration that first ignited a drive in me to truly go for it! The 2017 conference still speaks life into my writing.

I think it’s safe to say that God will surely amaze us with all He wants to accomplish in the many creative people He’ll bring to this year’s conference. I hope to meet you there so we can see what God does!


Want to know more about Diane and her writing? Connect with her on Facebook.

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