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Bearing Fruit

berry-strawberry-hands-leaves-65271 pexelsSpring is finally here on the east coast, at least I hope it is. I’ve got loads of daffodils blooming. (I love how they naturalize and spread each year.) Waiting in the garage (and hopefully surviving) are 100 strawberry plants that arrived when there was 14″ of snow on the ground. My peach, pear, and apple trees (well, one of the apple trees) are in bloom.

As I think about the fruit I hope to harvest this summer and fall, I know far more important fruit will result from the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. I’ve added a new faculty member to the Colorado conference (info coming soon), and tomorrow morning I trust I’ll finally get started on the 16-page brochure for the Philly conference.

But I know the “fruit” Father wants our lives to bear is not what we do for Him but how we grow closer to Him so that our lives reflect Him. I hope you’ll click here for a Bible study on “Bearing Fruit.”

Marketers on a Mission logo

A dear friend whose life and ministry is bearing much fruit is Patricia Durgin. Tomorrow, April 25, at 3:00 pm I’m delighted to be her guest on “Marketers on a Mission.” I’ve known Patricia for many years and am so impressed by the work she is doing to equip Christians to effectively market their business or ministry. The link for tomorrow’s interview is below. I hope you’ll join us.

https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaADurgin/videos/1686232451459763/

MK book
Missions Moments at the Write His Answer Conferences

Both the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference have always had a strong emphasis on raising awareness to needs at home and around the world. M.K. Henderson has frequently been with us and has a new book I encourage you to order. Click here. Ebook copies are available to purchase as a pre-release sale for $1.99 through April 30. (After April 30 the ebook will be $4.99.) Your purchase will automatically appear on your device May 1st. Print copies also will be available May 1st on Amazon.

Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can’t produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing.

John 15:4-5 TLB

 

Flyer

Yes, the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is happening!  We will celebrate our 35th year of ministry July 26-28 — one day shorter to make it more time and cost affordable for you.

Our format will be similar to what we’ve offered in the past. Our theme, “Write His Answer” from Habakkuk 2:2, has not changed. The GPCWC continues to be committed to encouraging and equipping Christians from diverse backgrounds to write about a God who is real, who is reachable, and who changes lives.

Almost all of the faculty is in place. I’ll be introducing them to you over the next couple of weeks while I work on updating the website and getting the brochure to the printer. I’m excited and trust you will be, too.

KataranPattonMeet our newest
faculty member
Katara Washington Patton

Katara is the author of a series of books on successful living based on Biblical characters. Successful Moms of the Bible, Successful Women of the Bible and Successful Leaders of the Bible (Hatchette/FaithWords, 2016-2017) have received many outstanding reviews and testimonies of how Patton’s down-to-earth and sometimes humorous style has piqued even more interest in the Bible and the lessons within. Patton is also the author of a devotional coloring book for all ages, The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book (Hatchette/FaithWords 2017).

Katara has also created supplemental material for best-selling authors, such as T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer. She was general editor of Aspire: The New Women of Color Study Bible (Zondervan), the writer for the teacher’s workbook for Bishop Vashti MacKenzie’s Journey to the Well (UMI), and writer and acquisitions lead for Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity Teen Edition (Tyndale).

Katara graduated summa cum laude from Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and English. She then earned a Master of Journalism in magazine publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She also received a Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, IL), where she received the outstanding preaching award.

She has worked in the editorial and acquisitions departments at Weekly Reader Corporation, Jet Magazine, Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), McGraw-Hill and Tyndale House Publishers. In 2013 she established Esteem Publishing, which allows her to help others bring their book and media ideas to fruition. In 2014, she was named Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Katara is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana. She and her husband, Derrick, reside on the South Side of Chicago. They have one daughter, Kayla. She is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. As much as possible, she tries to enjoy a Zumba class and a competitive game of Scrabble to keep her life balanced.

~*~*~*~

More News

If you heard the conference is moving, we are! I’m delighted to announce that we’ll be at Dock Mennonite Academy just off the Lansdale exit of the North/South PA Turnpike (476). It’s a beautiful campus.

Lodging is at the Holiday Inn in Kulpsville, just one minute from the turnpike exit and five minutes from Dock. We used the Holiday Inn for our February conference and were impressed.  They’ve offered us a special rate of only $109 a night (plus tax). If you choose to share a room with one, two, or three other conferees (we’ll assist with roommate matching) you will substantially cut the already low cost.

Breakfast and Thursday dinner is on your own at the Holiday Inn or a local restaurant. You’ll have the option of purchasing box lunches Friday and Saturday and a catered Italian Feast Friday night.

Please pray for me as I work to open online registration by May 1 and put July 26-28 on your calendar now.

And the Lord said to me,
“Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear,
so that anyone can read it at a glance
and rush to tell the others.”

Habakkuk 2:2 (TLB)

DickBrusoPhoto_014ret-2
Two Power-Packed Programs
in One Incredible Early Bird Workshop
at the May 16-19, 2018
Colorado Christian Writers Conference

presented by international speaker
and branding expert,
Dick Bruso

 

 

As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” Arrive early at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and attend a very special two-part, 90-minute, early bird session starting at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16th. This is a workshop you can’t afford to miss!

Part One: Create a Best-Seller Brand 

Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity, and life to both your work and your brand.

Part Two: Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach

Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

Last year these two programs (now combined for one jam-packed two-part workshop) were standing room only and the CDs of these sessions sold like hotcakes on a wintry day.

But, wait! There’s more!” 🙂 And, there really is more: Everyone attending this session will be given a complimentary 30-minute one-on-one phone consultation with Dick Bruso to help further their careers.

So register now for this special early bird workshop to begin your exciting adventure with CCWC on Wednesday, May 16th!

Underwood tpewriterI’ve been writing for publication for over 40 years. So much has changed since my first devotional was published in The Secret Place in the 1970s. Well, I’m not as ancient as this old manual typewriter, although I do remember my grandfather had one in the basement. I had to press really hard on the keys for the letters to print clearly. And I often had to untangle the keys.

Selectric
In high school I learned QWERTY touch-typing. By the end of the year I was typing 60 wpm on a Royal electric. That was faster than most in my class, but it wasn’t until I was introduced to an IBM Selectric on my first job after high school that my speed topped 100 wpm. I loved my Selectric and was fascinated by the little typeball that spun around.

Never did I imagine how far technology would take us. Truly these are exciting days filled with opportunities for writers to reach the world.  “For such a time as this” the Lord has provided the technology to do what we could have never done in the past. Because I am so excited about indie publishing, in my latest seminar, Grow Your Writing Ministry, I devote a good portion of time to the why and the how-to. The entire seminar of approximately 5 hours is available as MP3 files along with detailed handouts for only $18.

I’ve also made it a priority to include sessions on indie publishing at the two conferences I direct.

At the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference Dan Walsh, the bestselling author of 19 novels, will teach the continuing session The Brave New World of Indie Publishing. Dan says “Five or six years ago, almost no one considered indie or self-publishing as a worthwhile path to pursue. Now all of that has changed. After successfully publishing 13 novels the traditional way, in 2015 I joined a large number of my fellow authors who were all starting to publish their books on their own as indies. I’ve done 5 now and absolutely love it. I’ll cover the ins-and-outs of the publishing world (traditional, hybrid, and indie) and explain how to succeed at indie publishing if that path is the right one for you.” (Important – The faculty and program are almost finalized for the Philly conference. Info coming soon to http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.)

At the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conferencein addition to Cheri Cowell’s workshop on Evaluating Your Options (click here for Cheri’s blog)  we are also offering a continuing session on Indie Publishing. 

Bob Ruesch colorRoyHanschke_2x2x600
In the Thursday morning session you’ll discover the pitfalls, snags, and triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company. Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher.

 

 

Ken RaneyIn the next 3 sessions, Ken Raney will address formatting the interior and designing professional looking book covers, business cards, newsletters, blogs and websites, bookmarks, postcards, email signatures, ads, and more  along with accessible online resources for writers such as templates, themes, stock photography, fonts, photo-manipulation programs, etc. Ken has over 35 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. He will provide practical and user-friendly info even for non-techies. The last session features a panel of indie authors.

Shelley Ring Jan 2018
In addition, Shelley Ring will teach a Saturday morning workshop on Back Cover Copy. If you don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. You’ll learn how to write a short, sweet package to woo readers to buy your book. Bring your synopsis or current WIP.  Be prepared to write!

 

 

We’ve also got a track of  workshops on marketing at both conferences since whether you publish traditionally or go indie, you need to commit to work hard at spreading the word about your book.  Does this all seem beyond you? It is, in your own strength. But God . . .

Now you have every grace and blessing;
every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours
during this time of waiting
for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB

Cheri Cowell closeup from webGuest post by
Cheri Cowell

I am an author/publisher. I began writing in 2000 with magazine articles and seven years later published my first book. Recently, I had my fourth traditionally published book release with Zondervan, but it is helping my fellow authors extend their reach through my company, EABooks Publishing, that gives me the most satisfaction. So here is my opus, The Tale of Three Authors.

Amy* was considered a successful author with two books published by traditional publishing houses. However, there was one book she’d pitched and pitched and had been unable to sell. The book represented her heart’s cry and passion and she wouldn’t rest until it was published.

Chip* was a leader in his local critique group, winning several writing awards, and the admiration of many. Yet, when he sat before editors at writers’ conferences he performed poorly and never knew how to answer the platform question. He wasn’t good at selling himself or his work, but he was a good writer with a lot to say.

Bonnie* was a retired high school English teacher who’d married her high school sweetheart. Together they’d served as missionaries around the world. Now that her husband was gone and her years waning, she’s begun to look at the legacy she was leaving. Her grandchildren loved the story she always told about a young girl in Bangladesh, the true story about a girl and her life of faith in a foreign land. Bonnie knew she didn’t have the funds most self-publishers were charging, and yet she didn’t fit the profile of the up and coming author the traditional publishers were looking to sink their money into. Was there a place for her in this publishing world?

These three writers found a place with EABooks Publishing

The same year Amy released two traditionally published books, she released the book of her passion as an e-book. She timed it perfectly to piggyback on the publicity from her traditionally pubed books. Now she knows the message of her ‘passion book’ is reaching people and making a difference.

Chip has published five books with EABooks Publishing, some as e-books and others as print-on-demand. He’s found a new outlet for his creativity, and with marketing help from EABooks he’s developed a fan base. And he’s even making a little money. His fans can’t wait for the release of his latest project—an audiobook.

It took Bonnie a long time to make her decision, but when she finally decided to go with EABooks Publishing she found the whole process empowering. When her book began selling on Amazon she sent a link to a friend, who decided to purchase hundreds of copies for the children’s home he supported. Bonnie would have been happy to sell only to her family and friends, but sharing the gospel with hundreds of needy children makes her heart sing.

This tale is still being written and has room for the stories of more authors. Come share yours with Cheri Cowell, Owner and President of EABooks Publishing, at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She’d love to hear about your book.

* Names and genders have been changed but these stories are true.

Note from Marlene 

I’m happy to have Cheri Cowell on the faculty of this year’s CCWC. She will teach a Wednesday early bird workshop from 4:45 – 6:00 on Evaluating Your Options. Cheri will discuss traditional publishing, answer some forbidden questions, and take a look at the many options for self-, independent and co-publishing, and partnership publishing. As someone with her foot in both worlds, Cheri can help you evaluate your options.

Debbie Hardy for GPGuest Post by
Debbie Hardy

So, you’ve been told that you should write a book, but where do you start? And after you’ve put pen to paper or opened a Word doc, what next? How in the world do you get published?

That’s exactly where I was just a few years ago. In fact, I was so terrified of going to my first writers’ conference that I paid a friend’s way and took her with me so I wouldn’t chicken out and go back home!

Since that time, I’ve attended dozens of conferences, workshops, and seminars and learned a lot about the publishing industry. And I’ve published 3 books, I’m working on 2 others, and I have a literary agent. I’m going to share what I’ve learned at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference in May.

Come join my Wednesday, May 16, early bird workshop from 1:00 – 2:00, “How to Write a Book AND Get it Published,” and learn how you too can become a published author. We’ll talk about how to get that book to come out of you, how to not appear to be an amateur, and how to get your book into the hands of your target audience.

I’ll also give you a glossary of publishing terms, so you can understand the industry lingo and feel at home.

The CCWC conference has 8 continuing sessions, 4 hands-on clinics to have a professional work on your WIP (Work In Progress) with you (deadline for applying is April 16), and over 50 workshops (including 16 early bird workshops on Wednesday) covering anything you could want to learn about the industry.

Probably the most important feature of this conference is the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with authors, editors, agents, and publishers to discuss your writing dreams.  (Click here for info about CCWC’s appointments.) That’s how I met my agent, my publicist, and my first publisher. (If you want to know the difference between a publicist and a publisher, come to my workshop. I’ll let you in on the secret!)

See you in Estes Park, May 16-19.