Special Workshop

David A.R. White

Elements of Scriptwriting, Novelization, and How to Give Your Book the Best Chance at Success on the Big Screen

Learn from actor/producer/filmmaker David A.R. White (God’s Not Dead, Pinnacle Peak Pictures, Pureflix) as he explains the basics of how to write strong scripts, turn those scripts into a novel (novelization), and describes what makes your story likelier to be developed into a movie.

This workshop will be at 4:30 p.m., Monday April 3 in the Auditorium.

Mini Workshops

Tricia Goyer

Developing Your Brand and Defining Your Message

This imbedded mini-workshops will be tailored to each of the Major Morning Workshop topics.

Regular Workshops

Sandy Barela

Effective Street Teams          

Have you wanted to have a street team but didn’t know where to begin? Do you have a street team but have struggled to keep them engaged? Have you heard of a street team but have no idea what it is or why it is important?

This class will be broken into four parts to help authors create and maintain an effective street team: Why have a street team, where to find members and how to structure one; how to utilize your street team during a book launch; how to make the most of your team between book launches; and how to keep your team engaged with purpose.

Social Media Basics  

After completing this session, you will  have a better understanding of various social media platforms; the importance of social media as an author; how to build your social media platform; and how to use your platform effectively.

Denise Barela

Scrivener 101 

Have you heard people talk about Scrivener, but aren’t quite sure how to use it? This class will cover the basics of the program. We’ll cover how it can be used along with all the cool features that will come in handy as a writer! This is a crash course on how to use Scrivener to make your writing process simple and streamlined!

Leann Barna

Secrets of Screenwriting – Feature Films  

Learn the insider information about writing a feature film that will increase your project’s ability to be produced. Whether you are writing an original script or adapting a book, this workshop will cover what producers and studios are looking for when choosing their projects.

Secrets of Screenwriting – Television Series 

Television writing has changed significantly with the rise of the streaming service. Learn the secrets of writing a television series that will increase your project’s ability to be produced. Whether you are writing an original script or adapting a book, this workshop will cover what producers and studios are looking for when choosing their long-term projects.

Pitching Your Book as a Feature Film or Television Series   

Do you see your book as a movie or television show? Do you have great original idea? Learn what producers and studios need to know when pitching your original script or book for a feature film or television series.

Misty Beller

Launch Team Lift-off

Whether you’ve never heard of a launch team, or if you already have a team in place and want to breathe fresh life into them, this course is for you. We’ll cover:
  • The role of the launch team.
  • How to start and grow your team, including sample wording and sign-up forms.
  • How to interact with your team so your expectations are clear and your team is engaged.
  • During a launch
  • What to give your team
  • Pro tips for both traditionally-published and indie authors.
  • Ten tips to keep your team motivated

Market a New Book Release

Learn the comprehensive approaches to reach previous fans and new readers during a book launch. We’ll cover topics like:
  • Prerequisites to a solid launch
  • How to choose your strategy
  • Growing and utilizing your email list
  • Your websites and social media sharing
  • Building and empowering your launch team
  • Blog tours
  • Paid advertising

Joanne Bischoff

A World of Wonder: Keys to Great Historical Fiction

Excellent historical fiction balances a mirror between characters in the past and the reader in the present. Illuminating the modern reader to reflect on days gone by, so as to proceed with meaningful inspiration into the future. In this workshop, historical novelist, Joanne Bischof, will discuss the key components to meaningful and realistic historical fiction that connects with the reader’s outlook. We’ll tap into the themes that reach an audience’s emotions while avoiding issues that pull them out of an old-fashioned setting. Whether it’s visual details, manner of dress, worldview or even dialogue, utilizing the right historical essence will infuse your period novel with quality and delight.

Let’s Go Deep with Point-of-View

Do you long for your reader to laugh? Cry? Hold their breath? In this workshop, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of how to make your character’s point of view deeper. This places their thoughts and emotions onto the page in such a tangible way, the reader will believe they’re right there on the battlefield . . . in the courtroom . . . or soaring above skyscrapers. Deep POV is a powerful tool that can be used in any writer’s arsenal and by gaining handy tips and methods to craft more sensory storytelling, you’ll gain skills to captivate your reader and keep them turning the pages.

Robin Currie

What Do Librarians Want, Anyway?

Selling your book of any kind to the growing library market.

Teddi Deppner

Using Flash Fiction to Build Your Fanbase          

The journey to publication can be a long one, and even if you have a book released every year that’s a long time for readers to wait. Learn to write a complete story in 1,000 words or less, and you can use it to add publishing credits to your name, to build your mailing list, or to satisfy your fans until your next novel is out. This workshop covers introductory tips for writing flash, strategies for using it to build your career, and vendor options for mailing lists and supporting graphics.

The Nuts & Bolts of Compelling Flash Fiction  

Flash fiction can take many forms, but the most satisfying experience for a reader is a complete story in miniature (not an excerpt or vignette). Learn how to avoid common flash writing mistakes and to craft a story that takes a reader on an emotional journey in 1000 words or less.

Rachel Dodge

The Art of Devotional Writing: Making Much of God’s Presence in our Everyday Moments

If you love encouraging others, digging into Scripture, and marveling at God’s fingerprints on the everyday details of life, this workshop is for you. Devotional writing starts with noticing and note taking; it’s about seeing the world with spiritual eyes. In this workshop, we will explore the different forms of devotional writing and learn practical tips for crafting devotions for a variety of platforms. Come learn how to write devotions that touch hearts for Christ!

Ian Feavearyear

Simplifying Your Sources and Citations: Straightforward Software for Citation Success   

Having trouble keeping track of your sources? Unsure of the correct format for your citations and bibliography? In this workshop, Ian will walk you through 2 applications, Evernote and Zotero, that will take your messiness and transform it into success-iness. You’ll learn to use Evernote to manage your sources and Zotero to create perfect citations and a stunning bibliography. This workshop will be outta-cite!

Jesse Florea

Dos and Don’ts of Writing for Children

Kids are taught to follow rules. And to write for them, you should follow some rules, too. By learning these dos and don’ts, you’ll have a better chance of creating stories that will catch an editor’s eye and eventually entertain a child. You’ll find out audience insights and felt needs, writing tips, industry trends, the use of humor, and more.

Writing for Focus on the Family

As a nearly 30-year veteran of working at Focus on the Family, Jesse will share about all the different opportunities to write for this ministry. And it’s not just magazines! From newsletters to marriage, parenting and sanctity of life stories for the Web, Focus on the Family has lots of opportunities for new—and experienced—writers.

Tricia Goyer

Creating Multiple Income Streams Via Writing

Geared toward career writers, or those who hope to become a career writer, this workshop will discuss several different ways you can serve your writer, while also generating revenue, as you write what you are called to write. Attendees will leave with action steps to build their writing into a sustainable business, ideas of ways to monetize their writing and platform, and suggestions for how to create different incomes from each major project they produce.

Nonfiction Writing that Captivates and Holds the Reader’s Attention

Writing something you want your reader to learn from means the book will probably end up dry and clinical, right? WRONG! This craft workshop is perfect for nonfiction writers who need help taking their informational, how to, devotional, or teaching projects and turn them into engaging, warm, page-turning books. Leave knowing how to add the compelling human aspect to any information-based project.

From Idea to Finished Project: How to Craft the Perfect Project to Serve Your Message

We have an inkling about a theme or message we want to write about. But which writing form will serve it best? Novel? Devotional? Memoir? Prescriptive Nonfiction? If you’ve struggled with how to choose the right vehicle to get your message into the world, this workshop is for you. We’ll talk about all the ways one theme or idea can be presented, and the steps for how to choose the right one for your project. We’ll do a little practical work on a sample idea, and you’ll leave knowing how to confidently choose the best writing form for your next idea.

Nick Harrison

Perfecting Your Non-fiction Book Proposal         

You’ve written your masterpiece … but now you have to pitch it! Proposals are one of the most crucial tools for creating interest in and selling your manuscript. This workshop will give you all the details you’ll need to get it right. We’ll discuss the key elements of a winning proposal as well as Publishing committees and what they’re looking for in proposals. Will also include specific tips on how to make your proposal more attractive to editors.

Bob Hostetler

Do I Need an Agent?

What agents do, how to know if you need an agent, and how the agent/writer relationship works … or sometimes doesn’t.    

How to Get the Most Out of this Conference     

A fun introduction and orientation to a writer’s conference.

Simple Self-Editing Exercises to Improve Your Craft   

A highly practical session prescribing self-editing exercises to help writers develop themselves into craftsmen … er, craftspeople.

David Hyde

Screenwriting 101: Where to Begin  

An introduction to Screenwriting, what it is and why it is different from other forms of writing, including format, action format and dialog.      

Building Your Three-Dimensional Characters

What is the difference between one-, two- and three-dimensional characters? Why you need all three in your stories and when you should use them.  

Tara Johnson

Body Language 101: Using Nonverbal Communication to Create Unforgettable Characters

Understanding body language, micro-expressions, and posture is the ultimate way to ‘show and not tell’. Since over 50% of language is non-verbal, refusing to unearth our characters’ body language is a recipe for creating flat, one-dimensional fictional people. Body language adds tremendous depth to dialogue, sets tone, and shows readers how a character’s emotions reflect in their behavior. This workshop will teach the student how to use universal body language to give their characters rich emotion, as well as teach how to spot deception and bumps in verbal language that reveal inner motive. This class will also use examples from real life, including transcripts and videos from confessed serial killers and public figures.

How to Write Stunning Book Blurbs

Nothing causes more stress in a writer than trying to condense an entire manuscript into a synopsis, or worse yet, a back cover book blurb.  This workshop will take the mystery and frustration from the process by helping the students identify the key elements every book blurb needs and teach them how to arrange it in a compelling way that will leave their readers wanting more. (Hint: The answers are found in knowing your story’s GMC.)

Bonus content: Boiling your book blurb down to a compelling tagline

Jill Osborne

Middle-Grade Masterpiece    

Funny, awkward, loud, goofy, sassy, smart—what word comes to mind when you think of today’s middle graders? How about masterpiece?

Today’s preteens (ages 9-12) are a cool bunch. They know lots of facts, but have a boatload of questions. They love tackling new challenges, but are plagued with irrational fears. They’re old enough to be given more responsibility, but their adolescent brains rebel, so sometimes they act like a three-year-old.

Most of society sees them as a mess—but God says they’re a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).

How can adults write effective stories, devotionals, and Bible studies to bring hope to this new generation? What subjects are appropriate? What spiritual truths can they understand? What “bad things” can a Christian character do in a middle-grade novel? How evil can the villains be? What elements must be present in every story to keep them turning the pages?

And what is the most important thing a writer must do before writing for middle graders? Bring your inner twelve-year-old and join the discussion. There will be candy and gum.

Ghostwriting—It’s Not as Spooky as it Sounds.       

Ever thought about ghostwriting? No? Maybe it’s because you didn’t know the option existed (that’s why they call it ghost). Have you ever wondered how celebrities and other public figures produce so many books? Many of them have a story to tell, but don’t have the time or expertise to craft a novel or non-fiction book. So … who you gonna call? A ghostwriter! (Cue music here.)

In this workshop, we’ll define ghostwriting and collaborative writing, and we’ll share some exciting and surprising perks of the job. If you’re looking for adventure and you love to meet new people, or if your desire is to use your God-given talent to inspire as many readers as possible, you may be a future ghostwriter.

Courtnaye Richard

The Power of Platform          

Are you looking to grow your reach as a writer? Are you interested in discovering how to expand your tribe? Do you want to increase your book sales? As writers, we often hear and read articles about how important it is to have a strong author platform. In this session, you will discover new platform growth strategies, email list building techniques, how to leverage your current audience, and how to maximize your marketing. Get ready to experience the power of building a strong and thriving platform in 2023!

Self-Publishing: Pen It, Publish It, & Promote It      

If you’re looking to write your book, publish it, and spread the word about it like wildfire as a writer, then this is the session for you! Come and learn step-by-step systems on how to write your new or next book. Gain insight and ideas on the self-publishing industry of our day. Discover how to promote your book with effective marketing and public relations strategies that will set you up for maximum success! Let’s get you ready to pen it, publish it, and promote it!

Stephanie Rousselle

The Secret Weapon of Platform Building: Podcasting 

How do you leverage podcasting to build your tribe, establish your credibility as an expert, and network with peers? Discover:

  • direct and indirect benefits of podcasting for authors
  • a realistic overview of the work involved
  • how to transform your content into a podcast format
  • how to tap into the Christian podcasting community

You will leave with practical next steps based on where you are today.

Cynthia Ruchti

Writing Acoustically

“It is what we experience through the senses that makes life meaningful… Impressions obtained through these two (higher) senses (seeing and hearing), are as much a necessary human nourishment as food and water.” –from The Importance of Sound in Our Lives, The Anstendig Institute. Readers listen with their ears, eyes, and heart. Writers who understand the “sound” of their writing have yet another inroad into their readers’ appreciation and response. This workshop will equip the writer with practical ideas for improving the “sound” quality of their writing and enhance how the writing resonates within the reader. How would you rate the acoustics of your writing?

Rachel Scott

10 Steps to Building an Authentic Author or Writers Brand        

When we hear the words brand or branding we often relate it to a business or product. In this workshop, Rachel will explain the difference between a business brand and a personal brand, and how developing a strong personal brand as a writer will open doors of opportunity and deeper connection with present and future readers. Attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of branding and ways to build or enhance their own personal brand to ultimately increase their presence, platform and potential reach.

Email Series that Sell

Your email list is one of your greatest assets as a writer! So, how can you get the reader to do more than simply open and close the email? In this workshop, Rachel will share the power behind writing Email Series and how to effectively build trust and nurture your audience to take the next step in their journey. Whether it’s joining a group, purchasing a book, or signing up for 1-on-1 coaching, email series done right will sell. Attendees of this workshop will learn what it means to be a career writer and practical ways to create Emails that Sell.

Mick Silva

Christian Publishing 101       

Come learn from a former acquiring editor about what it takes to publish your nonfiction book with Christian publishers and how to get your proposal in front of them. Help to land an agent, design your brand, and build an audience eager for your work with a process of defining your vision and executing it from the pitch to your page.

Mary Snyder

Take Your Book on Tour: Finding & Booking Your Own Book Tour         

Sharing your story in person is the best way to encourage people to buy your book.  Join Mary R Snyder as she walks you through creating a launch plan that showcases the unique message of your book.  Learn how to:

  • Create the assets necessary to get booked
  • Lock in anchor dates/ locations
  • Get paid to share your message & sell your books
  • Walk away with a solid book tour launch plan

Carrie Talbott

Blogs Aren’t Dead, They’re Surely Alive  

Thinking about blogging? Ready to help build your platform? Nervous about starting? After eight years of mistakes and breakthroughs, I’ve learned a few key do’s and don’ts about titles, content, photos, and SEO. Sharing your voice through a blog is a great way to practice the craft of writing and build an audience. Yes, blogs are still relevant; come learn how to make yours stand out.

Canva Can (And so Can You!)

Canva rocks! As an online graphic design tool, Canva lets you create without needing any graphic designer skills. From basic photo edits to crafting social media images, flyers, and documents, you can start with a basic idea and leave with a rad creation. Bring your laptop and get ready for a hands-on tutorial with plenty of time for questions and creativity. Zero experience required!

Annette Whipple

Facts Are Fun: Writing Nonfiction for Children

The hot market of children’s nonfiction needs more writers. Share your knowledge and passion with children through informational texts. This workshop dives into children’s nonfiction and informational fiction writing. Participants explore strategies to engage readers with fresh ideas, improve writing, and get published. Inspire children’s natural curiosity through your writing.

Skip the Pitch: Work-for-Hire Writing Assignments

Get published! If you enjoy writing about new topics, both fiction and nonfiction, consider writing for the educational market. Participants will learn about this market and how to create a work-for-hire package to catch publishers’ attention. Get publishing experience with books and other resources for children (K-12) without the slush pile.

Beyond Book Signings          

Increase book sales by connecting with readers at events. Don’t let your next book signing disappoint—think outside the box. Annette shares how to hook potential readers at events. Sales are important, but engaging readers hooks them for life…no matter where you find them! Get inspired to explore new events and connect with new fans.


Mary DeMuth

Building a Platform with Intention and Joy

This interactive two-hour intensive workshop will break down the basics of platform, as well as how to shape and develop yours with both intention and, more importantly, a sense of joy. This is our passion, after all! During our time together, we’ll explore actual scenarios, brainstorm ideas for developing your brand and connection with your readers, and develop specific action points you can take with you to either develop, or deepen, your platform.

Robynne Miller

What are You Really Writing About?

Whether we write overtly Jesus-centered material, or from a Christian worldview, our words are saturated with themes and messages. Do you know what yours are? This interactive two-hour intensive workshop will lead you through a series of writing prompts in order to discover both the obvious, and underlying, themes in your writing. With that often-surprising knowledge, your writing will take an intentional and deepened trajectory into what God has trusted you with to bring to your readers. Bring your laptop or pen and paper … we have some discovering to do!