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Looking for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up? **PLUS A GIVEAWAY**


Here’s a sneak peek at conference presenters with descriptions in their own words. We’ll be posting a teaser page each  Monday. You still have time to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount.

To register, visit: https://write2ignite.com/registration-2019/

 

Kim Peterson – Selling Snappy Sidebars

Sidebars fill the pages of magazines, our computer screens, and even some TV shows. Sidebars are short articles that accompany and relate to a larger work, yet they present a different angle. With today’s online and “everything now” mentality, these high-demand mini pieces often serve as the article. Come to this workshop to learn why editors, writers, and readers love sidebars. We’ll also examine the different types, how to be creative in assembling a sidebar, and how to write these snappy pieces to entertain and inform readers. You’ll soon be providing the extras your editor craves.

 

 

Vijaya Bodach – Writing Memoir (Part II): Being a Witness—Writing the Most Important Story

Can you think of any modern-day witnesses? These are people who questioned Christianity and found it to be true! And they will do anything to keep this Pearl, this Treasure, this Gift. Can you state the reason for your hope in Christ? Allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you. We are now living in a post-Christian society. We have the greatest number of people who have no religious affiliation. They are the “nones” (not to be confused with nuns). It is YOUR story that will make a difference in their lives, as you sow seeds of faith and hope in them. Yes, I’m looking at YOU!

 

Terri Kelly – How to Write Devotions for Children

Turn yourself into a writing machine. Don’t you want to publish a children’s picture book or a magazine article for teens? How about a middle-grade chapter book or nonfiction for children? There is a surefire way to sharpen your story: Write Devotions. In How to Write Devotions for Children, you’ll learn a simplified method that you can apply to all writing. Not only will you walk away with a plan for a publishable devotion to the best audience in the world—our children, you’ll gain a writing tool belt to wear for life.

 

Edie Melson – Writing for the YA Audience

We live in a world with a savvy and sophisticated young adult population. In their young lives—through media and the ready availability of digital information—they’ve been exposed to a lifetime of experiences. The first rule of YA writing is respect—respect for our audience, and respect for their experiences and opinions. The second rule is authenticity. Our YA readers can spot a fake a mile away. This workshop will cover the mindsets and expectations of this audience. We’ll discuss how this mindset affects our writing in multiple genres and for different age groups.

 

Tessa Emily Hall – Create Book Buzz by Coordinating a Blog Tour

Marketing isn’t always an author’s best friend—but in today’s publishing landscape, it’s a requirement. What if I told you it could be both exciting and cost-effective? And that, even with no prior marketing experience, you could reach readers from the comfort of your own home? 

This is what I have found to be the case through coordinating blog tours for my own books. Coordinating these tours have proven to be a powerful strategy to reach target readers and spread online buzz surrounding a new release. By tapping into my passion for the book, I have discovered how to create unique tours that invite my target readers to share in this excitement. 

Come to my workshop, Create a Book Buzz with a Blog Tour, and learn these five steps on how to kick off your virtual tour from the ground up—in a way that is both organized and efficient. You will also discover secrets on how to infuse your passion with creativity to brainstorm unique and fun content for your tour. 

Who knows? After coordinating your first blog tour, you might realize that marketing isn’t your worst enemy after all.

Steve Hutson – Why You’re Not Getting Published: Rejection-Proof Submissions

Have you sent off your manuscript to dozens of agents and editors, only to be rejected again and again? Learn the things they won’t tell you; 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.

GIVEAWAY

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Part III- What is Our Faculty Looking Forward To?

For the last two Thursdays, we’ve been hearing what our team and attendees are looking forward to at the 2019 Conference. Today we hear from some of our faculty. For more information about each one of these workshop leaders, please consult our Faculty page.

Tessa Emily Hall, Author and Associate Agent Hartline Literary Agency

Since I began attending this conference as a teen writer, Write2Ignite holds a special place in my heart! Every year I look forward to returning to this campus, which is cozied in the mountains, and being surrounded by people who share my passion for writing for the youth. I am always shocked at how much this conference can pack into these two days—inspirational keynotes, informative workshops, encouraging meetings with professionals, and more. This year, I especially look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. And, of course, hearing from the social media expert, Edie Melson! If I have a chance to glean from the other sessions, I would love to hear Daniel Blackaby’s workshop, “Tolkein, Lewis, and Christian Imagination,” as well as Tony Snipes’ workshop on jumpstarting your writing business. But it looks like I wouldn’t go wrong with attending any of these workshops! 

Lori Hatcher, Author and Editor of Reach Out Colombia 

So many kind people have shared their knowledge with me over the course of my writing journey. What I’m most looking forward to is sharing some of the tips and tricks of the trade I’ve learned with others so they don’t have to figure it out on their own. I love helping writers polish their writing, so the 15-minute critique times are always fun. I get to read what others are writing and (hopefully) add some sparkle or shine.

Edie Melson, Author and Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

I call it eavesdropping on God. Because I’m part of the faculty, I get to hear some of what God’s doing in ways others don’t. It’s so encouraging to see the care our Heavenly Father takes with each dream and calling. I also look forward to “geeking out” on technical discussions of grammar, publishing and the writing craft!

Jean Hall, Picture Book Author and Blogger

I’m looking forward to spending time with old writing friends and making new ones. I’m also excited to help attendees hone their skills at writing picture books. I relish every opportunity to teach people about something I love as much as creating picture books.

Kim Peterson, Writer, Freelance Editor, Writing Mentor

I am looking forward to meeting aspiring writers and helping them find answers to their questions about writing. I also enjoy seeing how their ideas develop and their writing skills grow during the conference as they learn new techniques and they make new writing friends. I also enjoy hearing from returning conferees. Many share how God provided a great contact for them, or they’ve sold an article, or their new picture book or novel is now in print. I love rejoicing with them!

Kenzi Nevins, Junior Agent at C.Y.L.E

I’m super excited to talk about this exciting and constantly-growing industry I’m so passionate about, as well as hear pitches from some amazing writers and illustrators! I love spreading awareness about the illustration industry and some of the changes in it in regard to publishing. Also, I adore hearing about people’s books! Whether it’s the genre I represent or not, I’d love to talk to you and help you figure out what your next steps are. 

Terri Kelly, Author

On Friday, what sounds fascinating to me is Tony Snipe’s talk on five things he learned in corporate America. Who doesn’t want to learn how to jumpstart their writing business?

Since I’ve written strictly non-fiction, I want to hear all about how to deepen your Middle Grade/YA Novel from Kim Peterson. I’m ready to dip my toe into fiction for kids.

And of course, Jean Hall’s going to give me everything I need to know about writing picture books for children in her class on Saturday afternoon. I expect I’ll be ready to pen a picture book as soon as Write2Ignite is over.

Can’t wait to go! How about you?

Linda Phillips

I have heard about W2I conference for years, especially through the eyes of good friends Carol Baldwin, Jean Matthews Hall and Donna Earnhardt. Now I finally have the opportunity to experience it myself and I am totally excited!  I agree with Carol’s assessment that this conference exudes “encouragement and helpfulness” and I hope my contribution, “Using Verse to Get to the Heart of Your Story” fits into those themes.  I am enjoying learning about the wonderful staff, and can’t wait to meet Deborah, Diane, Gail and Brenda. I always come away from conferences with new insights, great inspirations, and a host of new friends. I know this conference will offer all of that and more, and I can’t wait!

Vijaya Bodach

I am so excited there are times I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. What am I looking forward to? In a nutshell:
catching up with old friends, making new ones, soaking up all the goodness, learning from you all, and sharing what I know generously.
What a grace-filled weekend it’s going to be with my fellow Christian soldiers!

God bless, Vijaya

Steve Hutson

Fellowship with my tribe. And if I should find a kindred spirit to work with? Even better.

 

 

 

 

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Decisions, Decisions

Here’s a sneak peek at conference presenters with descriptions in their own words. We’ll be posting a teaser page each  Monday. You still have time to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount.

Visit: https://write2ignite.com/registration-2019/

 

Kim Peterson – Deepen Your Middle Grade & Young Adult Novels

In this hands-on workshop, explore how to make your MG and YA novels more compelling. First, determine your novel’s theme and learn ways to reveal that message to the readers, making it memorable. Then, get to know your characters better by deepening characterization: explore your characters’ goals, what motivates them to pursue those goals, and how conflict grows your characters as they overcome obstacles. Finally, transport your readers into your
novel’s setting. Whether your characters visit the past, the present, the future, or a new land, learn how to create a place your readers want to visit often.

 

Nancy Lohr – Read Like a Writer

Just as athletes watch game tapes to study other athletes, writers need to analyze the work of other writers. You should read widely and read well both for inspiration and instruction. Whether intuitively or intentionally, writers need to read with a different focus and greater awareness than the average reader does. This workshop will examine various techniques for reading like a writer.

Attention Teens! Carol Baldwin – Creating a Sensory Setting

The Lord has given us five senses. So, why do we just describe things which our characters see? In this hands-on workshop we’ll touch, taste, hear, smell, AND see things that our characters may experience in different settings.

 

 

 

How I Turned a Facebook Page Into a Weekly Storytelling Medium.

I  give you a box with an “ON” switch in the palm of your hand.
I then tell you to close your eyes and think about a couple of those
publishing ideas you’ve been kicking around. While your eyes are still closed, I task you to choose one of those ideas…the one story you feel most people have the most excitement for.

You choose that one topic and then you open your eyes! Now you immediately flip the switch and you discover that what you’ve actually launched with that switch was…your own weekly magazine with content based on the idea you chose! This magazine you just published is full color, distributed all over the nation and has an audience that loving greats you each week, ready to consume more content related to your story.

If something like this is real, it simply couldn’t be free. And it’s not. What it costs is a little time, in exchange for your first 1,000 readers. Attend “How I Turned a Facebook Page Into a Weekly Storytelling Medium” and you will leave with a roadmap that reflects how Tony converted a Facebook business page into a weekly publication with an audience of readers from 0 to 5,000 people. No tricks or internet shortcuts, but proven steps applied to a modern reading platform.

Samantha Bell – Polishing Your Picture Book

You finally have the text of your picture book down on paper. You’ve heard every manuscript should be revised, but yours is only a few hundred words long. What more could it need? You’ll find out in Polishing Your Picture Book! In this workshop, attendees may bring along a copy of their works-in-progress. As a group, we’ll read as many as time allows. Then we’ll consider ways to polish the manuscript to get it ready for submission. Even if your story is still in the idea stage, you’ll learn valuable tips for writing your own picture book!  

 

 

Daniel Blackaby – Tolkien, Lewis, & Christian Imagination

Daniel Blackaby

How would you feel if your best friends called your book “almost worthless” or a “carelessly written jumble”? This was J. R. R. Tolkien’s review of C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The two dear friends are forever linked together as fathers of Christian fiction and Art, but each had a radically different idea of what Christian fiction should be. Their greatest legacy was not to establish a narrow template for Christian writers to follow, but to demonstrate that there is no template. In this seminar, Daniel Blackaby will explore these two vastly different approaches and showcase the great freedom you have as a Christian writer. 

 

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Teaser Post: Trust and Obey

“Am I rich?”

“Am I famous?”

“Am I on a bestseller list?”

Often, we writers ask questions like these as we try to measure our success.

The problem? Most of you, like me, have to say no to these questions. Unless we’ve been fortunate enough to author beloved children’s books or a series of YA novels that launch a box office smash, most of us aren’t household names.

The questions listed above point toward the world’s measurement of our success and threaten to place our writing focus where it doesn’t belong. Too much reflection on these thoughts can tumble us into the Slough of Despond, where we wallow like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress.

The real problem? Those questions don’t reflect how God measures success. While it’s wonderful to craft a picture book that ranks high on Amazon or a nonfiction hardcover that funds a major purchase for the family, perhaps we need to consider the questions God asks.

“Do you trust Me?”

“Are you obeying Me?”

Hopefully, we’re saying yes to those questions about our daily living. But we should also apply them to our writing:

  • Are we obeying God by writing the truths He wants us to convey?
  • Are we pleasing Him by being good stewards of the gift of words He gave us?
  • When we’re writing in obedience to His prompting, do we trust Him with the words He gives us?
  • Do we trust His timing for those words?

The solution: In the push to finish manuscripts, find an agent, sell a series, and so on, focusing on God’s questions can take the pressure off. We can trust that God has a plan for us and our gifts.

As we move forward in our writing journeys, let’s be sure to ask the questions that measure success in God’s eyes. Will we trust and obey?

During the 2018 Write2Ignite conference, Kim will teach several workshops, including “Is My Manuscript Ready for an Agent?,” which will help writers evaluate their manuscripts. 

***

Kim Peterson 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.”

 

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Making Mud Pies

I’m told I was a particularly difficult baby and a challenging child. The family blames the first on colic; I blame the second on a vivid imagination.

Whatever the cause, a series of photos seems to substantiate the claims of my parentals, aunts and uncles, and grandmother. One snapshot in particular comes to mind.

Picture a “sweet” toddler (me) in a two-piece pink bathing suit (circa the mid-sixties). Black mud smears my white tummy, mats honey-colored curls, and plasters my face. Two green eyes peek out. Mud even coats my arms to the elbows.

What happened? Armed with a Banquet pot pie tin (pre-microwave days), dirt, and water, I “cooked dessert” with joy and abandon. In the middle of a puddle, my imagination sprang loose, and fun ran amok. Creativity happened.

Many of us enjoyed the creativity of childhood. Forsaking a bike to experiment with a unicycle, hosting a tea party on Mars, and staggering through a homemade obstacle course on stilts.

Then we grew up, leaving childhood behind. Unfortunately, many of us left our childhood sense of wonder behind, too.

Somehow grown-up responsibilities crowded out our childlike creativity. Oh sure, we are still creative in how we organize our files, decorate our homes, and manage the other things that clamor for our attention. We use our creativity daily, but we aren’t enjoying our creative nature, and we rarely devote time to enriching that aspect of our lives.

But if we want to write for children, we need to rediscover the joy of a vivid imagination.

If you want to bring back that sense of wonder, to embrace that childlike creativity, to re-accept our unique natures and use the gifts God gives each of us, join me at Write2Ignite! 2017 in my workshop “Creativity: Imagine Like a Child.” We’ll be digging into some fun hands-on exercises!

Hope to see you there. I hear the dirt at North Greenville University is red!

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Back to Basics

by Kim Peterson

 

Morning Tea & JournalEvery January, I return to the basics. Not resolutions exactly, but I return to what anchors me.

Ideally, I maintain good writer-ly habits all year: I write in my journal daily. (Um, only did that one year.) I nurture my creativity regularly. (Well, it’s on my to-do list.) I edit and write with the dedication required to achieve renown. (Ha! I’m hardly a household name.) Finally, I exude the joy that keeps me steadily working and ministering through words. (Oh, brother.)

The only habit that truly sticks with me is prayer. Prayer about my writing. Prayer about everything. Because my piety and love provide a strong enough motivation for such stick-to-it-iveness? (No, I think they call it desperation.)

At this point, you either wonder why I edit and write … or you’re nodding and agreeing. I hope you see our shared humanity, our good intentions and our more realistic actions.

That’s why every January calls me back to basics — basics I need for crafting words.

Write Morning Pages – Almost a journal, but not quite, this daily writing date with a blank page provides a place to dump negativity and self-doubts in the morning. In the evening, I finish each entry with a list of five reasons for gratitude or objects of beauty God revealed that day.

Undergird Everything with Prayer – Writing, like everything else, benefits from prayer woven throughout the day. Stop for longer prayers between projects, seek inspiration between steps and whisper requests for guidance between words. End the day’s creative work with a heartfelt prayer of gratitude.

Nurture Creativity – Devote 15 minutes a day to reading books that encourage creativity, acceptance of our artsy natures and use of the gifts God gives each of us.

Forgive – Ask God to wipe out guilt about unfinished projects, to erase self-doubt about work that never measured up, and to forgive our failures in attitude and action. Seek reassurance when fear makes us dread touching the keyboard. Doing so allows us to …

Find Joy – Find joy in the idea. Find joy in the easy stages. Find joy in the hard work, the critiques, the rewrites, and the sweat of creating. His joy is our strength.

Do It All Again – Believe that the journey matters. Faithfulness matters. Pleasing God matters. Whether the work of the previous day flowed in effortless inspiration or whether it required endless, painstaking effort, rise up — day after day — and obey His directive to write …

As unto God – Offer what we have created to the Lord, to use as He wishes.

This blog post grew from the basics that anchor me, these daily habits that equip me to face the blank page. What basics help you obey God’s call to write?

Kim Peterson

Working as a freelancer for thirty-seven years, Kim has written for several Indiana newspapers and various periodicals, including AppleSeeds, Encounter, Evangel, Vista and devotional markets. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rocking Chair Reader, and other anthologies. She loves writing for children.