2022 Early Bird Classes
Classes with ** are bonus classes found on MP3s only
Classes may update and revise.
Hows and Whys of Social Media – Many writers mistakenly assume it’s either too late or too early to build a solid social media presence. Edie will walk you through the reason social media is non-negotiable for almost all writers, and how to find a way to make it work for your specific situation. Included will be information on why we need a social media presence before we get a contract. Which networks work best for which audience (and why you need to be active on more than one). How to use scheduling programs to keep your social media time commitment manageable. How to compose effective updates that increase shares. What you need to know to connect with your book’s potential audience.
Finding Your Platform – Five steps to establishing a platform: Define Yourself, Know Your Audience, Determine Your Strategy, Create Valuable Products, and Lay Your Platform’s Planks.
Hooks That Won’t Let Go - Twenty ways to write a hook to your article, story, query, or book that will compel interest.
The Power of Story – Do you think powerful stories only apply to fiction? Think again. Whether you are writing a devotional, personal essay, article, or book, a well-told story enhances your nonfiction. By employing the power of story, your writing captures and holds readers’ attention. In this workshop, learn where to start your story, how to weave story into other information, when to use segues, and how to self-edit for a powerful story.
**Nonfiction Book Building Blocks – It's not unusual for aspiring writers to have a beeline focus on publishing a book. But like assembling and implementing the necessary building materials to construct a house, writers need to gain skills and establish credibility before attempting a book. Writing and speaking on your topic lay a good foundation, but there are other skills to master. In this workshop, learn the essential building blocks to construct your book and boost your chances of getting a nonfiction contract.
Sizzling Emotion and Symbolism – Every word, action, reaction, and internal thought about the world around us breathes emotion. Feeling is what makes us human, helps us communicate with others, and analyze life. Our characters process emotions based on their personality, career, culture, backstory, education, relationships, and life experiences. In this hands-on workshop, writers will learn how to incorporate emotion in every sentence.
The Power of Backstory – Fiction writers are often apprehensive about using backstory. Too many times they hear it’s unnecessary, an information dump. The truth is, backstory is a vital part of every story. Through backstory, writers discover motivation and behavior patterns. In this hands-on workshop, writers will learn the literary techniques to incorporate emotion in every sentence.
Sensitivity and Diversity in Manuscripts – The number of books with ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. Because publishing houses are looking for more diversity in what authors are submitting, non-ethnic writers need to address some important issues when it pertains to diversity in their manuscripts. This workshop addresses writing about a culture outside of your own and the need for sensitivity readers.
**What’s Your Voice? – One of the biggest struggles new writers face is how to find their writing voice. It’s also the key to unlocking their creative potential. Spending time deliberating over voice is worth your attention and focus. No matter what you write—fiction or nonfiction—your voice is essential. Take time to learn your unique voice.
Eva Marie Everson
Once Upon a Time in My Childhood – Writing about our childhood can be therapeutic but it can also add the exact spice to whatever we are working on. As Christians, we pull from our memories to write about the Spirit’s work in our lives. Those lives begin at birth, and they weave a thread through the tapestry of our stories. But to be effective, we must first be honest. So, where do we begin? Using a variety of methods, Eva Marie has created a hands-on workshop that will not only have you penning your memories in class, but growing from them as a writer long after.
The Benefits of Critique Groups (and what they are really for) – As the president of Word Weavers International (a 501(c)6 ministry for Christian writers who seek the benefits of critique, community, and conference) Eva Marie has spent nearly 25 years at or near the helm of the benefits of critique. During this session, Eva Marie answers questions like: What is critique and how is it different from editing? What should writers look for in critique groups and critique partners? What are some of the most common mistakes writers make and how can they learn from them? If you want to learn more about how critique can serve you in self-editing and how you can, in turn, serve others, join Eva Marie for this workshop.
**What Do Editors and Agents Want? – It’s all so confusing. We read on blogs and agency sites that first this is wanted and then that. But what can really make us stand out as seasoned authors when approaching agents and editors? Or will we “stand out” in negative ways? Some hints and tips that will push your letter to the top of the slush pile and help you to navigate the industry like a pro instead of a rookie.
Get Aging Out of Your System – No, Horace and Harold are not romantic leads in 2021. And Matilda probably won’t get many likes as well. So is it only names that need to be updated? Groovy! Oh, boy, another way we age ourselves is with our dialogue. Help! All of us over 45 need help. Stay relevant in your writing. Don’t let your writing give away your age. Place yourself in an age category. Discuss what each age group writes. Show examples of “aging out” of relevance. Examples of how to remain relevant. Ideas for hitting the target audience without showing your age.
10 Insider Tips to Getting Your Articles and Devotions Published – Why do editors say yes to some submissions and no to others? This workshop climbs inside magazine editors’ heads to discover the reasons behind their decisions. As a magazine editor and a freelance writer, Lori knows that simple things charm editors and increase a writer’s chance of success. She’ll share ten suggestions, complete with real-life examples in this fun, interactive workshop.
**Confirming Your Calling, Charting Your Course – Has God called you to write? How do you know? If He has, how do you know what you’re supposed to write? How do you handle the mind games that threaten to discourage and defeat you? We’ll address Insecurity, Doubt, and Competitiveness, walk through a five-step personal analysis, and craft a personal mission statement that will focus and direct the course of your writing life.
**The Basics of Writing for Children – Picture Books, Early Readers, Chapters Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult?! There are so many sub-categories that fall under the “Children’s Books” umbrella? Come learn what each age group actually wants or requires, and what you should or should not do. What should your first pages have? Should you rhyme or not? Do you actually have a story?
Tackling Middle Grade, the “middle child” of stories – Writing books for kids ages 7 to 12 is a difficult challenge to take on. The age range is huge and the topics are very diverse, ranging from slapstick humor to death. Come and learn about developing characters, which traits to use and which to avoid, plot-driven stories vs. character-driven, Pantsers vs. Plotters, dialogue, and more!
Finding our Creativity or The Magic of Getting Writing Ideas – Being creative is thinking differently than we have before —or in a way that is different than others. Why would someone want to read what we write if we’re just regurgitating everything they’ve always thought or heard? This doesn’t mean that we will in any way alter God's Gospel message. It does mean that we learn how to view every topic from our own unique perspective, seeing—and then communicating—ideas in a new and engaging way. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll explore how to find our voice and also practical techniques to spark our creativity and help release a waterfall of ideas about any topic.
**Making it Look Easy: Achieving Excellent Style in any Genre – Great style is the difference between the amateur and the professional, the fledgling writer and the consummate wordsmith. A crash course in excellent writing for any genre, this workshop will describe and illustrate the essential elements of excellent style. You will come away with concrete tools for self-editing to produce polished works that will knock the socks off editors and publishers and have them clamoring for anything you plan to write in the future.
**Tight Writing - Writing the rough draft is where the process begins, but self-editing is a necessary task for every author. We will look at categories of edits that every author should be working through either daily in small bites or at the completion of the full rough draft or maybe both.
Publishing is a Team Sport - When the manuscript is ready to prepare for publication, what should the author expect? What stages remain and who is responsible for each of those? We will look at flow charts and breakdowns of the polishing and preparation that takes a raw manuscript and makes it reader ready both in the traditional publishing world as well as in self-publishing or indie publishing.
Writing Dynamic Devotions – Have you been sitting on a devotion that needs to see the light of day? Perhaps, you haven't even written it yet, but you have hundreds of ideas floating around in your head but don't know how to organize them into a devotion. Maybe, you are an article writer or book author who has never written a devotion. Well, this class is for you. We'll show you how to HOOK your audience and give them a TOOK from God's Word that will take hold of their lives. We'll teach you how to write a dynamic devotion with guidelines that will not only allow you to publish your devotion with Christian Devotions but will also allow you a good chance at having it published at almost any site that publishes devotions. A devotion is sometimes the only Bible some people read, and it is often read by more people than an article, short story, or book ever will be. You will not want to miss this class.
Sarah Loudin Thomas
**ABA or CBA—Which is Right for You? – Join in a lively discussion of the differences between ABA (American Booksellers Association) and CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). We'll talk about what sets Christian fiction apart including the words, tropes, and situations that might make your work difficult to place with a Christian publisher. We'll also talk about what Christian fiction is NOT (boring, tame, preachy, etc.)! And finally, we'll cover seven questions you can ask yourself to determine which path is best for you.
**SETTING AS CHARACTER - Appalachia is practically its own character in my novels. We'll talk about how place can add depth to a story. How do you choose your setting? How do you bring it to life? How much research should you do? We'll answer those questions and others you might have about bringing your setting to life.
One-on-One Mentoring – 2022
Larry Leech, Edie Melson, Linda Gilden, Les Stobbe, DiAnn Mills, Billy Wayne Arrington, Candy Arrington, Linda Glaz, Bob Hostetler, Susan King, Denise Loock, Andrea Merrell and Terri Kelly serve as mentors. Most all will be available for private appointments.
Mentoring spots are open to writers who have a novel or non-fiction manuscript in progress.
Linda will address speaking, magazine and articles, and non-fiction. Speakers should have the beginnings of a platform. Linda will work specifically with you on your novel, non-fiction proposal, and presentation.
Edie will work with you on your website, blog, and social media.
Larry and Linda will help with your non-fiction, magazine submissions, and memoirs.
DiAnn is wonderful with both fiction and non-fiction.
Les has years of experience editing and managing non-fiction titles.
Billy Wayne is awesome with the Arts like screenplay, song lyrics, and ministry development.
Candy Arrington can guide you on articles, blog post, blog critique, devotions, nonfiction books.
Bob will do fiction and non-fiction
Susan, Denise, and Andrea are excellent with editing and non-fiction and fiction
Linda Glaze can do fiction.
If there is someone you want to mentor and they are not listed – ASK! We’ll see if they are available.
The cost is $50 (additional to your ACWC registration) and the spots are first-come, first-serve. You will contact Terri Kelly at [email protected] AFTER you register to apply for one of these mentoring spots.