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These are in addition to Writing Women’s Fiction with Deborah Raney, Advanced Fiction Writing with Dave Lambert, and Screenwriting with Brian Bird. See https://writehisanswer.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/the-power-of-story/.

Erin Taylor Young High Resolution

Write from the Deep
with Erin Taylor Young

In the challenging world of publishing, we need a way to find refreshment, renewal, and restored passion. And there’s no better place to do that than in the deep places. These interactive sessions will challenge you to go deep with God in your call and craft. Erin is the co-creator of Write from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer with the gift to make her readers laugh out loud even as she’s delivering hard truths about living a life of faith.

Craig von Buseck croppedWriting Narrative Nonfiction
with Craig von Buseck

The narrative nonfiction genre is a burgeoning market for writers who want to tell true stories with powerful messages. Learn the difference between narrative nonfiction, biography, and historical fiction. Discover how true stories can unlock the hearts of your readers to the ways God can move supernaturally in the lives of people who seek Him. Craig is an author, speaker, teacher, and Senior Editor for Inspiration.org, the official website of Inspiration Ministries.

Scoti Domeij 1Your Book Launch Game Plan
with Scoti Domeij

The biggest secret no one tells you behind an author landing an agent or book contract or making money in self-publishing—a savvy book marketing plan. Your Book Launch Game Plan provides a step-by-step, month-by-month, how-to action plan that covers the nitty-gritty groundwork of book marketing. It lays out a 6-month timeline to build a social media platform, to create pre-release marketing buzz, to launch your book, and to promote your book throughout the year after your book launches. Scoti has worked with 10 traditional publishers as an author; editor; senior research assistant; copyriter; marketing director; and production, art, and design coordinator.

Ken-Raney-HR-3 copyIndie Publishing
with Ken Raney

In the first session discover the pitfalls, snags & triumphs two writers experienced. Bob Ruesch used an indie publishing company, Roy Hanschke a traditional publisher. In the next three sessions Ken 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, photomanipulation programs, etc. Ken has over 35 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, advertising, and marketing. His sessions will be practical and user-friendly info even for non-techies. The last session features a panel of indie authors.

Bill Watkins2Writing that Changes Lives
with Bill Watkins

Culture changes one life at a time. And those personal changes impact the lives of others, eventually bringing about changes in policies, laws, business, entertainment, education, the church, and a host of other spheres in society. Although there are multiple causes of change, one that’s proven effective long after its author is gone is writing. But not just any writing. It must be writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth. It does not waste time with the trivial and the comfortable. Instead it takes readers more deeply into the true, the good, and the beautiful in all their power and mystery. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of writers including Mike Huckabee, Charles R. Swindoll, Leslie Vernick, Josh McDowell, and Cecil Murphey.

~ *~ *~ *~ *~

Be among the first 75 to register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and you’ll receive a free 6th one-on-one appointment. For more information and to register go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com.

 

 

I’m risking being a pest because I so believe in the value of this new conference. Plus there is now a 9th reason for you to come!

Come to what? When? Where? The NEW

Write to Impact Lives Conference
February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA

And why?

Question & Exclam pt

9. Writers love books, and they need books! And if you register for both days, along with those who have already registered you will receive FREE the following three books that support the purpose of this conference.

New WHA cover

My Bible study for writers that addresses the struggles we face and must overcome.

Communicate Change Lives

Jim Watkins’ book that I believe every Christian writer needs to read.

CWMG 2018
The info you need to find markets for your work as well as literary agents, writers conferences and seminars, writers groups, editorial services, publicity and marketing services, and contests.

The three books sell for $44.97 on Amazon ($37.99 through the Write His Answer Bookstore), but if you register for the entire conference, you will receive them free of charge (or the equivalent value in other books we’ll have for sale).

8. To give your writing the jumpstart it needs in the midst of the winter doldrums and prepare to meet with editors and agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Attendees will receive 10% off GPCWC’s registration fee .

7. To participate in our Friday evening author interviews and book signing. If you’re not yet published, you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and by fellowship with other conferees and our faculty. We need to

Encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

6. To be challenged, encouraged, and inspired through three powerful keynote addresses.

  • “Christians Are Hateful” – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians – Bill Watkins
  • Write from the Deep – Karen Ball
  • Keeping Your Dreams Alive – Jim Watkins

5. To discover the advantages of Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, Director, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Self-publishing is no longer viewed as the last resort for writers unable to land a contract with a traditional publisher. Even best-selling authors often choose to go indie. This 4-hour learning lab will give you the knowledge and tools you need to publish and market your book.

4. To keep growing your writing skills in a 3-hour continuing session.

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. As an editor, author, and former literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency, Karen has over 30 years publishing experience.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. Jim will give you practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
  • Writing that Changes Lives with Bill Watkins – Writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth can change lives and eventually cultures. During his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of authors including Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Leslie Vernick, and Mike Huckabee. He is also an award-winning author with 7 published books, the president of Literary Solutions, and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books. Whether it’s still an idea or an already published book, learn how to use your strengths to develop a marketing strategy that fits you and reaches your potential readers.

3. To learn ways to build your “platform.”  Whether you land a contract with a traditional publisher or go indie, you need to learn how to effectively reach your audience. Our faculty panel will share what works (and doesn’t) and answer your questions.

2. You’re too late to take advantage of a paid critique, BUT as their schedule allows, faculty will be available for free 15-minute appointments. Sign-up when you arrive.

1. Last but first, to hear from the Lord and recommit yourself to write to impact lives!

God can do anything, you know—far more
than you could ever imagine or guess or request
in your wildest dreams!
Ephesians 3:20 MSG

For more information and to register, click here. Walk-ins are welcome, but please check the website for specific info on the location.

The Power of Story

2018 CO bannerThree Continuing Sessions for Fiction Writers

Because one of the most effective ways to present truth is through the power of story, we’re offering not one but three continuing sessions on writing fiction at the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference:

Deb-Raney-HR-3Award-winning novelist Deborah Raney will teach a 6-hour continuing session on Writing Women’s Fiction. Beyond covering many writing tools that apply to all genres: strong characterization, complex plots, and deft use of point-of-view, Deborah will discuss key elements unique to contemporary women’s fiction: addressing social issues in fiction, creating likeable-yet-flawed characters, using strong dialogue, creating page-turning action (despite a lack of explosions or car chases), and writing cinematically (making it that much more likely your book might become a movie).

Brian Bird2Brian Bird who has spent three decades in Hollywood, will provide soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays in his 6-hour Screenwriting session. Brian has written or produced two dozen films including The Case for Christ and Captive as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season.

Dave Lambert 2018A third option for fiction writers (it’s going to be difficult to choose) is Dave Lambert’s Advanced Fiction Writing. Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books. He also wrote the fiction curriculum for the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. Dave will help take your fiction to the next level as he examines some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress.

Did I say it’s going to be difficult to choose?

Plus there are five more continuing sessions. Three of them would also be a good choice for those who write fiction. Watch for the next blog!

For more information about all our continuing sessions go to http://colorado.writehisanswer.com/continuingsessions.

Online registration opened February 1. Click here

The earlier you register, the better opportunity you have to get your top choices for the five free one-on-one appointments you are entitled to if you register for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. And if you’re among the first 75 to register, you’ll receive a 6th appointment.

News You Can Use

reading newspaper pexels-photo-404976

Yes, I believe our writing is a ministry! But if we want to reach the most people possible with the message Father has entrusted to us, we can’t ignore the business aspect of our ministry. Especially when it comes to social media, we need to learn the most effective ways of connecting with our audience and with influencers.

So . . . below is some “news you can use” that will hopefully help you to expand your ministry. But one word of caution. Be careful to guard against getting so caught up with numbers and the world’s way of doing things that you leave the Lord out of the equation. He is able to make things happen that you could never do on your own.

God can pour on the blessings
in astonishing ways
so that you’re ready for anything and everything,
more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
2 Corinthians 9:8 MSG

The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan

Rob Eagar, www.startawildfire.com, announced: “I’m giving away an incredible new 10-part email course called the Ultimate Book Marketing Plan for FREE at Reedsy.com. Reedsy is a new global online marketplace for authors that I encourage you to visit. It’s like AirBnB or Angie’s List for the needs that authors face, such as finding a book cover designer, editor, or a marketer like me.

“This new email course officially launched January 26. You get to be one of the first authors to access it for free. It’s a perfect complement to the Ultimate Book Marketing Template that many of you have downloaded. Click here to take the free email course at Reedsy.”

A Writer’s Best Friend 

A helpful and humorous blog by author and literary agent Bob Hostetler about a tool every writer needs to use. I won’t tell you what it is. 🙂 You need to read Bob’s blog. Click the link above.

Connect with Influencers in Three Sentences

If you need to secure endorsements for your book, you need to read this helpful blog post from Mike Loomis who has served on the faculty of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

What Facebook’s 2018 Change Means for Authors  

This blog post from Thomas Umstattd Jr. (another former CCWC faculty member) explains Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. One important change: “Reactions (like laugh, heart, and crying face) are now weighted more than likes. So if somebody gives you a heart emoji, that’s more than if they just give you a regular thumbs up.” Let’s remember to do this when responding to posts of those who need our support.

This morning, an article on www.CharismaNews.com grabbed and held my attention. Below are excerpts of what Larry Tomczak wrote January 29 in “We are Now in a Second Civil War in America.”

Are you aware how seriously we’ve gone off track as a nation? . . .

The dark is getting darker and the light is getting lighter while the difference between the two is becoming increasingly evident. . . .

Like the frog boiled to death slowly in water without recognizing what happened, scores of Americans are imperceptive to today’s encroaching darkness. . . .

My greatest concern in this hour is that so many sincere Christians are not being prepared amidst the escalation of evil, apostasy and mounting persecution. . . .

frog-in-the-kettle

I can’t help think that many of us are like this frog. We’re ignoring the signs of the times and are happily doing our thing, oblivious to the fact that the heat has been turned up and life in America as we have known it is in danger of collapsing.

It’s the complacency, the apathy, of so many Christians that causes me to keep on keeping on directing three writers’ conferences even though I’m well past retirement age.

Repeatedly I’m reminded of the words of my dear friend, Hannah Crabtree, who grew up in Switzerland before the start of the Second World War. She said,

The church in Germany saw what was happening,
but the church in Germany was silent.

It’s why I’ve asked my friend, Bill Watkins, to keynote and teach a continuing session on Writing to Change Lives at both the February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, and the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference  (CCWC) at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center.

“Culture,” Bill says, “changes one life at a time. And those personal changes impact the lives of others, eventually bringing about changes in policies, laws, business, entertainment, education, the church, and a host of other spheres in society. Although there are multiple causes of change, one that’s proven effective long after its author is gone is writing. But not just any writing. It must be writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth. It does not waste time with the trivial and the comfortable. Instead it takes readers more deeply into the true, the good, and the beautiful in all their power and mystery.”

Because one of the most effective ways to present truth is through the power of story, we’re offering not one but three continuing sessions on writing fiction at the Colorado conference:

Award-winning novelist Deborah Raney will teach a 6-hour continuing session on Writing Women’s Fiction. Beyond covering many writing tools that apply to all genres: strong characterization, complex plots, and deft use of point-of-view, Deborah will discuss key elements unique to contemporary women’s fiction: addressing social issues in fiction, creating likeable-yet-flawed characters, using strong dialogue, creating page-turning action (despite a lack of explosions or car chases), and writing cinematically (making it that much more likely your book might become a movie).

Brian Bird, who has spent three decades in Hollywood, will provide soup-to-nuts advice for authors adapting their own stories into screenplays in his 6-hour  Screenwriting continuing session. Brian has written or produced two dozen films including The Case for Christ and Captive as well as nearly 300 episodes of such shows as Touched by an Angel. He is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart, now in its fifth season.

A third option for fiction writers (it’s going to be difficult to choose) is Dave Lambert’s Advanced Fiction Writing. Dave has a M.F.A. in fiction writing and is the author of 11 books. He spent 18 years as an acquiring editor at Zondervan, and most recently, 3 years as senior fiction editor at Howard Books. He also wrote the fiction curriculum for the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. Dave will help take your fiction to the next level as he examines some of the more advanced techniques: character growth and change, creating believable character emotion, voice, exposition, a sense of place, style, conveying meaning through implication, and more. Time will be set aside to discuss the problems you’re encountering in your work-in-progress.

Did I say it’s going to be difficult to choose?

Plus click here to view four more continuing sessions at the May 16-19 CCWC:

  • Write from the Deep with Erin Taylor Young
  • Writing Narrative Nonfiction with Craig von Buseck
  • Your Book Launch Game Plan with Scoti Domeij
  • Indie Publishing with Ken Raney

    Online registration for CCWC opens February 1
    Click here

The February 9-10 Write to Impact Lives Conference in Lansdale, PA, includes:

  • Four-hour learning lab on Going Indie with Sarah Bolme, director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) on Friday afternoon. (Opposite it are optional 30-minute paid critiques and free 15-minute appointments.)

Saturday, in addition to two keynotes, a marketing panel, optional 30-minute paid critiques, and 15-minute free appointments, participants will choose a 3-hour continuing session:

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for 4 major publishers.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 books.
  • And Writing to Change Lives with Bill Watkins.

The price for the Writing to Impact Lives Conference increases February 1 so don’t delay! And be sure to check out the three free books you’ll receive as part of your registration to the entire conference. Click here to register.

And pray! Ask Father what He wants you to write. And believe! At this critical time in history, He can enable you to write words that will make a difference.

Lord, when doubts fill my mind,
when my heart is in turmoil,
quiet me and give me
renewed hope and cheer.
Psalm 94:19 TLB

You try, really try to be positive, to not doubt your ability or your call.

You affirm His promises. “He is able to do far more . . .”

But you may be feeling stuck – blocked. Words are not flowing. You may fear that your creativity has dried up.

And you feel alone. Friends and family who are not writers don’t “get” you. Why do you keep banging your head against a blank computer screen or tossing it (the screen, not your head!) out the window?

computer airbag 781

(Used with permission.)

Yes, writing is a lonely task. And yes, disappointments, doubts, discouragement (the “Deadly Ds”) will nip at your heels. But I’ve searched the Scriptures. Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him. And it is definitely not easy to “write His answer” to those who are lost and so wounded by life they want to give up.

But I believe, really believe, that God can use the words you write to impact lives now and for eternity. That’s why, despite the disappointments, doubts, and discouragement I also face, I choose to affirm my call

to encourage and equip you
to write about a God who is real,
who is reachable,
and who changes lives.

It’s why I said yes to direct the Write to Impact Lives Conference February 9-10 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and why I didn’t cancel the conference when the sponsoring organization had to back out. The workload has been daunting in the midst of also planning the May 16-19 Colorado and July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers ConferenceBut I’m praising God that the 16-page brochure for the Colorado conference is at the printer a week earlier than last year! Amazing, but then we serve an amazing God!

I know it’s been a cold winter, and it’s tempting to stay warm in your cozy home rather than venture out to a February conference. And I know budgets are tight, and it may seem wiser to save your money for a conference where you can pitch your ideas and manuscripts to editors and agents.

But the Write to Impact Lives Conference is about sharpening your writing and marketing skills so you will be better prepared to create interest in your work at future conferences. And it’s about fellowship with other writers and the encouragement we need to receive and to give.

I believe Father is asking me to “sweeten the deal” and give you “more bang for your buck.” My words, not His! And so, for new registrants and those who have already registered, I’m including three books that support the purpose of this conference.

New WHA cover

 

My Bible study for writers that addresses the struggles we face and must overcome.

Communicate Change Lives

 

Jim Watkins’ book that I believe every Christian writer needs to read.

CWMG 2018
The info you need to find markets for your work as well as literary agents, writers conferences and seminars, writers groups, editorial services, publicity and marketing services, and contests.

The three books sell for $44.97 on Amazon ($37.99 through the Write His Answer Bookstore), but if you register for the entire conference, you will receive them free of charge (or the equivalent value in other books we’ll have for sale).

The price increases February 1 so don’t delay. Again, please do not let the cost prevent you from coming. Ask Father to make the way possible. If friends, family, or your church are unable to help, email me (mbagnull@aol.com) or call me (484-991-8581) to request scholarship help or time payments.

Click here for more information and to register for a conference that will help you not to feel alone, strengthen your call, and equip you to write to impact lives.

puzzle pexels-photo-164531I’m not very good at putting puzzle pieces together. While others find them challenging and fun, I find them frustrating and a waste of time.

A picture of the completed puzzle helps, but not enough for me to persevere. Perhaps it’s because puzzles don’t just take time, they take patience. And all too often my work can be for nothing when someone bumps into the table and sends the pieces flying.

Then too, puzzles are a reminder of things in life that I can’t figure out – of pieces that don’t seem to fit together even though I know God has a plan and I can trust Him.

And so I pray,

Lord, lead me as you promised me you would . . .
Tell me clearly what to do, which way to turn.  
Psalm 5:8 TLB

As I began putting together the puzzle pieces of 42 workshops for the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference, He answered. (Sometimes the hardest part of solving a puzzle is simply to getting started.)

There were so many great workshops to choose from. Father, show me what is most needed by the writers You are calling to come.

Wksps grid for webI thought of how overwhelmed I felt when I attended my first conference around 45 years ago. Yes, the Feeling Green? workshop the four Kandel sisters proposed would speak to the questions I had back then and that others have today.  What do you do when you are so green to the publishing process that you feel like you know nothing? How do you handle it, when you discover that some of what you thought you knew was so wrong that it makes you feel queasy?

Do you long to Share Your Faith Story? Carol Round’s workshop will help you learn how to do it without beating someone over the head with the Bible.

Do you need help determining the big picture for a book project. Terry Whalin’s workshop, Nonfiction Book Creation from the Ground Up, will teach you storyboarding techniques that will help solve the puzzle.

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your latest writing project, but have you done everything you can to convince an editor? In Before Submitting Your Proposal, editor Tamara Clymer will walk you through the proposal process and show you what you need to do to get your manuscript past the proposal stage and into production.

Do you want to write a novel your readers can’t put down? In Creating Page-Turning Fiction Jennifer Slattery will share the components you need: high stakes, a sense of urgency, sensitivity to the emotions of the reader (balancing emotive sections with comic relief), a strong and consistent moral premise (not to be confused with spiritual theme), and a consistent and believable plot and subplots that work together.

You’ve heard you need to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all kinds of other social media, and you need 10,000 “friends” if you want to be taken seriously as an author. Who has time for all of this and still find time to write? And what if you don’t know a Tweet from a Hoot and your Friends are on your Christmas Card list? Cheri Cowell’s workshop, Social Media for the Reluctant: Connecting to Your Readers, will give you the answers you need.

Do you have a life story the world needs to hear? Do you want to leave a legacy in print for family, friends, and beyond? In Master the Memoir Marti Pieper will discuss the dos and don’ts of this popular genre, including the importance of a narrative thread, how thinking small makes a big difference, and the mystery of marketability.

But what can you do When You Don’t Have a Platform? Literary Agent Nick Harrison will share ideas for how to compensate for not having a platform, both in your proposal and when the book is published.

And if you’re just beginning and can’t imagine ever writing much less publishing a book, in Matchmaker, Matchmaker editor Sherri Langton will teach you how to study a magazine and shape your writing for different markets. Bring an article you haven’t yet sold or an idea and Sherri will help you find the right match.  

I could go on and on (yes, I’m excited) but why don’t you click here and see for yourself the 42 workshops you can choose from at this year’s CCWC? Or perhaps instead you’d prefer to be part of a hands-on clinic with 6-8 other writers. Watch for info on our clinics and our 8 continuing sessions coming soon.

Our 16-page brochure is at the printer and will be uploaded to the website in the next several days. Meanwhile, I’m praying you’ll begin making plans now to come to the May 16-19 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. Registration opens February 1.

And when we obey him,
every path he guides us on is fragrant
with his loving-kindness and his truth.
Psalm 25:10 TLB