Continuing Sessions

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

Branding and Marketing Workshop

Instructor: CJ Redwine

This in-depth set of session  covers everything from identifying your brand to building it through imaging, platforms, content, and consumer interaction. CJ will follow up this vital information with strategies on how to utilize what you’ve learned about brand building to create a cohesive online presence using Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as your own website and newsletter.


Magic, Truth, and Imagination

Instructor: N D Wilson

N.D.’s  teaching will come from his experience as a Middle Grade writer, but his content can be applied to books for any age audience. He will offer three sessions that cover the following concepts:

-Word Magic: Writing to the Body and the Mind
– The Bones of Truth: Crafting Fantastical Fiction that Doesn’t Lie
– Imagination is Forever: Fantasy, Realism, and Stories that Won’t Ever Die


The Nuts and Bolts of Screenwriting

Instructor: Thomas Locke Unpack the basics of strong scriptwriting skills, from what a three-act structure looks like, the need to outline, developing characters and dialogue for script, pacing and flow; to the commercial side of things: the pitch, the one-sentence concept, the one-page overview, and developing compelling imagery. ***Note**** Thomas requests that each attendee bring the first five pages of a screenplay they are working on, whether for a pilot or feature film.


Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules

Instructor: Steven James

Ditch your outline and learn to write organically, master the subtleties of characterization, and add mind-blowing twists to your fiction.



Elective Classes

Making Magic: Storytelling Disney-Style

Instructor: Sara Ella
Have you ever wondered why the waterworks appear at the end of films like Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid? Or perhaps you’ve asked yourself what in the world caused you to care so much about a clownfish! Time and time again, Disney stories make their way into our hearts, impacting us long after we leave the theater. How do they make that magic succeed? What can we learn from Disney’s techniques that will help our own novels shine? In this class, we’ll explore the “Disney formula,” why it works, and how you can sprinkle a little Pixie Dust into your writing.

50 Shades of YA?

Instructor: Sara Ella
The world is constantly pressuring us to add elements to our novels we may not feel comfortable writing about. YA authors particularly are told to be more diverse, more edgy, and more “realistic.” But where’s the line between realistic and risque? Is it possible to address tough and even taboo issues teens face every day, while still keeping true to our faith? You can tackle these difficult topics and realities of our culture with grace and maybe even little magic thrown in. We’ll discuss crossing lines, how much you should or shouldn’t say, and how your writing can shine a light in places of darkness.


Develop a Thick Skin: The Key to an Author’s Long-Term Success

Instructor:  Steve Laube

Understanding the role of criticism and how to deal with it in the writer’s life

Working With Your Agent

Instructor:  Steve Laube

A discussion of communication, expectations, frustrations, and possible elimination



Writing Fight Scenes, Battles and Brawls with POW

Instructor: Carla Hoch

Struggle with constructing a fight scene? Learn the FightWrite POW method featured in Writer’s Digest Magazine July/August 2019 issue. Learn to Prepare the reader for the fight scene, find your Ouch objective, then combine these factors to make a Way for your character to accomplish their goal for the scene and yours for the story.

Dealing Damage

Instructor: Carla Hoch

Learn what areas of the body are deadly targets, the appearance of wounds by blades and bullets, the basics of bruising and breaks and how to show rather than tell how long a character has been dead.


Inspiration in History

Instructor: Rachel Marks

There’s nothing new under the sun—or so they say. But for a writer, that’s a very good thing. Let’s use a passion for the past, for myth and legend and ancient culture, to fuel our creative vision and put a renewed spark into our projects. Come to this class ready to brainstorm and inspire each other. We’re going to fire up our imaginations and breathe new life into those stories.

Where Do I Fit? Writing for the Secular Market

Instructor: Rachel Marks

The differences between the CBA and ABA market aren’t always clear at first glance, and this crazy business of publishing seems ever-changing. In this class, Rachel will talk a little about her own journey through the dueling gauntlets and dig into what that choice really means to you, as the writer, and for the budding vision of your story.

Character Creation Workshop

Instructor: Rachel Marks

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” ― Ray Bradbury. Characters are the most vital thing you’ll build while weaving your tale. And sometimes, they’re the toughest thing to get just right. In this class, we’ll get inspired to create unforgettable characters, and we’ll discuss the elements that truly bring a character to life and leave a lasting impression on our readers.


Media Training 101 – How to effectively promote yourself and your book (two part elective)

Instructor: Clint Redwine

Part 1 – Landing the interview.

Did you know that 95% of interview pitch letters get thrown in the trash without ever being read? How do you cut through the clutter to become one of the 5% who gets a foot in the door?

In this course, you will learn how to write a professional pitch letter, what you need to do to get noticed, and how to build an all-star support team. You’ll also learn what common mistakes to avoid so your pitch rises to the top of the inbox. You will leave this course with the skill set to promote yourself and your book through TV, radio, and online media outlets.

Part 2 – They booked me! Now, what?

Not all interviews make the air! Once your pitch is accepted, you need to learn how to bring your A game so you aren’t wasting their time and yours.

In this course, you will learn how to prepare for your interview, what you need to do during the interview to make it entertaining for radio, TV, or online outlets, and what still needs to be done when the interview is over. You’ll also learn the common mistakes that many interviewees make that keep their interview from ever making it to air.



10 Things Every Aspiring Author Should Know

Instructor: Linda Howard; Editor at Tyndale Publishing

Summary coming soon

Trends in Kids’ Books

Instructor: Linda Howard; Editor at Tyndale Publishing

Summary coming soon


Harnessing the Storm: The Long and Short of Flash Fiction (2 part elective)

Instructor: Andrew Winch

The short, short story is an exploding phenomenon, but to novelists—new and professional—the idea of telling a tale in 1,000 words is terrifying. In part one of this class, we’ll demystify the art of flash fiction, from plot to publication with plenty of pro-tips along the way. And in part two, we’ll put our newly-learned skills to work first by editing a piece of “bad” flash fiction, and then by writing and editing our very own stories in an interactive workshop.





Discussions led by a moderator and a selection of experienced panelists on topics of interest to authors in all stages of their publication journeys.

Indie Authors and Adaptations

You’ve written, perhaps even published your book, and now you want to offer it in other formats. What does it entail for independent author to produce audio versions of their works, or perhaps graphic adaptations like illustrated editions or graphic novels? Come to this discussion to hear from those who have walked those roads.

Cancel Culture: Responding with Grace when Fans Flare Up

As authors, of course we want our works to be embraced by fans across many walks of life. But what if a subset of readers band together against something you’ve presented? Join this discussion to unpack how a creative Christian can respond productively to online wildfires of opinion.

Why Write Short Fiction?

Any author who has written both novels and short stories will tell you the two forms are very different animals. Come to this panel to discuss the value in creating short works in addition to novels, and gather ideas about what to do with those short stories once you’ve written them.

After the Contract: What to Expect Once You Sign with an Editor or Agent

Hear from authors who have experienced the traditional publishing process and discover the surprises they encountered AFTER they signed a deal. From contract to release, the author experience offers all kinds of twists and turns you’ll want to learn about if you’re aiming for an editor or agent contract.

Teen Track

Finding and Forging Hope Through Fiction

Instructor: Wayne Thomas Batson Anxiety, depression, and suicide attempt rates are all skyrocketing among teens. Why? Could it be that worldly messages have finally become so overwhelming and pervasive that all hope seems lost? It’s time to declare a different message. Time to take back the art of writing to bring hope to ourselves and to this generation. In this three-part series, young writers will learn to spot the world’s false narratives, to knock down strongholds, and to infuse fiction with contagious, courageous inspiration.


While you’re preparing to register, consider which of these classes you’d like to sign up for. Your choices at the time of registration help us to properly choose rooms that will accommodate the number of interested attendees. We know it’s agonizing not to be able to attend every class, but don’t worry! There will be conference audio to help with that.