Elective Classes


Marketing Made Easy

Instructor: Morgan Busse

There are many things you can be doing in marketing, but only so much time. I will share the places you need to have your profile up, how to go deeper in your marketing and engage your audience, where to find your audience on social media, how to create eye-catching advertisements, and how to spend only a couple minutes a day on your marketing (so you can be writing). (Beginners to intermediate writers)

Don’t Preach: Organic Writing and the Christian Worldview

Instructor: Morgan Busse

As storytellers, our job is to tell stories, not sermons. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your worldview into your story. Morgan will share techniques and ideas on how to bring spiritual elements into your story that both Christians and non-Christians can relate to, and in a way that will organically fit into your story. (this class is for all writers)


Ninja Editing – How to be your own best critic without giving yourself a nervous breakdown

Instructor: Patrick Carr

Description: “Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept…” – Michael Crichton.

You’ve finally finished the first draft, but now what? This course will teach you to edit like a ninja, paring your prose so that it shines like a diamond. In addition to discussing editing tools and platforms, this course will teach you the difference between content editing, line editing, and copy editing as well as strategies for implementing each of them. By the time we’re done, you’ll have the tools and know-how to bring your writing to the next level.


World Building – Walking the tightrope between too much and not enough

Instructor: Patrick Carr

Description: This session will study the masters of world-building from J.R.R. Tolkien to Stephen R. Donaldson to Jim Butcher to Brandon Sanderson. Along the way we will discuss which techniques of world-building you should adopt for your novel and which you should avoid at all costs. In addition, we will be looking at strategic world-building, the methodology of creating a system of magic that is robust enough to carry the plot of your story, yet flexible enough to provide inspiration when you’ve written yourself into a corner (It happens to all of us).


Do You Need an Agent?

Instructor:  Steve Laube

The title kind of says it all . . . the role of agents is evolving in an ever-shifting publishing landscape

The Complete Book Process

Instructor:  Steve Laube

In one hour, agent Steve Laube walks you through the stages of book creation, from the initial idea to print. He’ll offer experienced insight about what authors can expect after they land that coveted contract, including editing, cover design, and marketing. A must-attend for authors who are looking to publish with a traditional publisher.



25 Trends in Publishing

Instructor: Alyssa Roat

Unicorns, Amish romance, and STEM: what do they all have in common? This class covers 25 trends cropping up in the publishing world.

Writing Christian/General Market Crossover

Instructor: Alyssa Roat

More and more Christian publishers are looking for something that will appeal to a wider audience. Meanwhile, many Christian writers want to break into the general market. In both cases, how do you stay true to your beliefs while appealing to a secular audience? This class includes topics such as allegory, fictional religions, relatable characters, maintaining tension, and the infamous conversion scene.


Cinderella … Version 2.0

Instructor: CJ Redwine
So you want to write fairytale retellings, but you aren’t sure where to start? Join C.J. Redwine, author of the New York Times best selling Ravenspire retelling series, and learn how to choose the right story, how to make it your own, and how to deliver that wow factor to your readers.

Managing Anxiety & The Creative Life

Instructor: CJ Redwine
For many creatives, anxiety can become a damaging partner in the creative process. New York Times best selling author C.J. Redwine draws on research and studies done by qualified therapists to teach you 13 easy-to-use  anxiety management techniques that work for the creative life. Come anxious, leave calm and equipped!


Technically Speaking – Dialogue & Subtext

Instructor: Ronie Kendig

Good dialogue is about more than simply what your character says or what appears as narrative. This workshop will look at classic dialogue tips, but it will also explore ways to “say” something without actually saying it. We will examine subtext, which in its broadest definition refers to a theme or message in a work, but we’ll draw that down to your character’s own message, what’s spoken, and what’s not.

Mind Magic- Tips & Tricks to Capture Your Reading Audience (Without them Knowing It)

Instructor: Ronie Kendig
Learn some “sleight of hand” maneuvers to capture your reader—without them realizing it! There are elements in writing that will either spur your reader to maintain the journey, or push them to the nearest exit. This workshop looks at visual construction as well as psychological impressions found in novels. It’s almost like cheating, using the right techniques, words, sentence structure, and other aspects of writing that have psychological value.

Continuing Sessions

6 hours of teaching over the course of two days–take a deep dive into some intensive topics.


Balancing Life and Writing

Instructor: Wayne Thomas Batson

Wayne Thomas Batson walks you through his real-life experience of handling a busy author career, while also managing a teaching career and family. Some of the topics he’ll touch on:

  • Setting daily quotas
  • Striking while the iron’s hot
  • Dealing with “writer’s guilt”
  • Family responsibilities and the writer (prioritizing children, working around the “have-tos” of life)
  • and MUCH more


Bestseller Boot Camp: An Author’s Guide to Independently Publishing Books that Make Money

Instructor: Julie Hall

A crash course in the art and business of successful independent publishing.

In this 3-part course you’ll learn how to craft an award- winning manuscript, publish it independently, build a huge fan base, and make money through marketing. Whether you’ve just started your work in progress or are a veteran indie author, this course will give you the knowledge and technical tools needed to write and independently publish successful books.



Instructor: Dr. Ted Baehr of Movieguide

This is an intense, comprehensive MasterClass on making movies that glorify God, minister in profound ways to audiences and make money. While profit is not the primary reason for making a movie it is vital if we wish to redeem the media and see many more uplifting movies and programs produced.

This comprehensive event will cover the many aspects of scriptwriting, funding, marketing, and distribution.

Our desire is to change the world by equipping you to make world-changing movies.

In this MasterClass you will learn:


  • Premise
  • The 3 Acts
  • Story Beats
  • Character Arcs
  • Using Subtext
  • Scene Construction
  • Drawing Emotion
  • Creating Suspense
  • Building Empathy
  • Providing Entertainment Value


  • Protecting Rights
  • Understanding Contracts
  • Financing
  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Effective Marketing
  • Distribution Options


Teen Track

The Hero’s Journey

Instructor: Bryan Davis

Take readers on a heroic journey with your characters. Learn the structure of the hero’s journey, grab readers on the first page, immerse them in your characters, and never let them go, even after the book closes. By implementing deep, intimate point of view as well as motivation/reaction units, readers will feel like their hearts are thumping as they see through your characters’ eyes.

Over the coming weeks, check back as we update with more elective teachers, topics, and titles, so that you can start deliberating which classes to choose. We know it’s agonizing not to be able to attend them all, but don’t worry! There will be conference audio to help with that.