Keynotes & Workshops

Keynotes & Workshops 

Rene GutteridgeFriday 2pm
The Gift of Opportunity–Many people miss opportunity not because they’re not ready for it, but because they don’t recognize it. Rene Gutteridge will inspire you to take a second look at opportunities you might otherwise be tempted to ignore, and will share her humorous (and often times embarrassing!) journey toward becoming the writer she always wanted to be.

Terry Whalin—Friday 7pm
Never Quit Growing and Learning — In this keynote, the participants will learn about the power of reading, relationships and experimentation in different areas of publishing. It is important for their own personal growth to experiment in different areas to find the perfect fit for them.

Terry Whalin—Saturday 9am
The Unknown Road Ahead In this keynote, I emphasize what the great author Paul Little said years ago, “God can’t steer a parked car.” You have to be on the move in the publishing world for the right door to open for your writing. It will be different for you than from me. I challenge the audience to not grow discouraged in the process but to continue in spite of any setbacks and obstacles—and there will be setbacks, roadblocks and much more. I tell about some of the unusual setbacks in my own life—ones that I could not imagine years ago—like the death of a child, the loss of a job and my own divorce—yet in each case these experiences have been used in a powerful way in my life. In this keynote, I inspire writers to return home and dig into the opportunities.

Terry Whalin—Saturday 4:15pm
Never Give UpIn this keynote I tell the participants how each of them have a unique place in the publishing world. Most writers give up too soon.
Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Descriptions

Presented by Rene Gutteridge:

How Film is Ruining your Fiction.  This class teaches how our culture of film is negatively influencing how writers approach fiction techniques.

Presented by Terry Whalin:

Editors Read Book Proposals Not Manuscripts. How do you write a book proposal? What makes an excellent proposal and what makes a terrible one? Publishers receive thousands of these proposals. How do you determine which publishers are interested in your particular proposal? Terry Whalin has reviewed thousands of proposals from fiction and nonfiction writers. As a former literary agent and a current acquisitions editor, Terry knows exactly what he needs to secure a book contract for the writer—but often these proposals don’t include the critical elements. This session includes practical how-to information about proposal writing from the editor’s perspective. Terry has written many book proposals and his proposals have had great success in the Christian and general marketplace.

Become a Prolific Writer & Write Less. Learn the insider secrets of repurposing to broaden your writing world and open new opportunities for ministry and income. Terry Whalin has modeled and will teach the techniques in this workshop. Whether you have never been published or are much published, you need these tools.

Go Viral. You can waste huge amounts of time and energy on social media. How can you do it effectively and without spending a lot of time? Terry Whalin has over 220,000 twitter followers, over 4,800 Facebook friends and over 5,000 LinkedIn connections. He spends less than 30 minutes a day on his social media yet has an effective growing presence in the social media arena. In this workshop, Terry reveals his inside secrets and tips for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so you too can grow your platform and presence without wasting hours of time.


Presented by RJ Thesman:

The Missing Piece to the Marketing Puzzle. You’ve written your book, and now the real work begins. You have to find the readers who want to buy your book. How do you make it through the marketing jungle? Many writers forget some of the most important pieces to the puzzle. RJ Thesman shares the hidden secrets to find those missing pieces to your marketing puzzle.

Six Words Every Writer Should Avoid. RJ Thesman offers this keynote-turned-workshop to help writers avoid six words. As a writing coach, RJ’s clients often list specific reasons why they cannot write. These reasons – or excuses – focus around six key words. Find out how to avoid the dreaded six and move toward your writing goals.

The Power of Your Life Story. No one can discredit your personal experience, and the memoir genre is one of the most powerful writing tools. Join RJ Thesman for tips on how to write your marvelous memoir and discover the power of your life story.

Sharing Hope Through Writing. All of us experience hard times, emotional pain and obstacles that affect our writing. But these experiences can become powerful fodder for your next blog post, article or book. Using her Hope series as an example, RJ Thesman shares tips and best practices for how you can share hope through your words.

Presented by Daniel J. Mawhinney: 

The Author Email Marketing Machine [Part 1] Discover why email is the “weapon of choice” in a successful author’s marketing arsenal. Learn how to leverage the power of email to get the results you want, specifically: how to grow your audience, find more readers, and sell more books.

In Part 1 we will be covering: Why email? When there is 1,001 ways to market your book, why is email at the top of the list? There are 5 great reasons!
Kicking Butt & taking names! Begging readers to “sign up for my newsletter list” should be a thing-of-the-past. Get your readers begging YOU to sign up when you have an ’email collection system’ that runs on auto-pilot!  

Q & A

The Author Email Marketing Machine [Part 2] Discover why email is the “weapon of choice” in a successful author’s marketing arsenal. Learn how to leverage the power of email to get the results you want, specifically: how to grow your audience, find more readers, and sell more books.

In Part 2 we will be covering: Now that you have all of these email addresses, what do you do with them? Learn how to use “magical email” to slowly but surely get your readers to know you, like you and trust you. Develop a core messaging strategy (and calendar) that resonates with your readers.

Q & A

Presented by Darlene Shortridge:

The Path Less Travelled – Your Publishing Options.

Darlene will be sharing the talk that started it all. Learn facts and figures, pros and cons to all three publishing platforms. If the idea of self-publishing is new to you, or fairly new, you’ll want to attend this class before attending Building Your Street Team and both Author Email Marketing Machine sessions.

Building Your Street Team. 

How do I get more reviews?
How do I build a platform?
How do I get a buzz going about my newest book?
How do I get into libraries?

A street team does all this and more! And no, a street team isn’t only for best sellers or famous authors. A street team can help launch you and your books from right where you are to the next level. Learn how to build your own street team and learn how to effectively use the team to promote your next best seller.
Presented by Carol Round:

SHARING YOUR FAITH STORY: God has called us to be ambassadors for Christ. How can we share our faith story without beating someone over the head with the Bible? “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!'” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT)

JOURNALING WITH JESUS: Do you find it difficult in your busy day to spend time with God? Do you find yourself nodding off when you spend time alone in prayer? Do you find that your prayer life has become stale? Not only will prayer journaling draw you into a more intimate relationship with your Creator, but your writing career will also benefit from this spiritual discipline. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a ESV)

Presented by Robin Patchen:

Small Edits, Big Impact: Learn how to use rhetorical devices and other simple tricks to create prose that is both gripping and memorable.

Digging into Dynamic Dialog: Learn to craft strong dialog that deepens characters, enhances emotional impact, adds humor, and provides energy that drives a story forward.

Bearing your Soul without Sharing your Secrets: Learn to delve into your experiences, examine your emotions, and share your heart through the plot and characters in your manuscript.

Following God’s Call When Life Gets in the Way: Meet your writing deadlines—external or self-imposed—despite the many difficulties, distractions, and disasters that come your way. Be inspired to pour yourself, your talent, and your heart into your writing, trusting that God never depletes what He doesn’t refill and overflow.

Presented by Sharon Rose Gibson:

How to Pursue and Achieve Excellent Writing and Why: Ideas and inspiration are great but how do you get your writing done on a consistent basis? You’ll discover a surefire productivity tip to move you from stuck to success.  You’ll learn 7 tips to develop a daily writing habit for your own enjoyment and to refine your writing skills. You will be encouraged to see how your writing can make a significant difference in the world. You’ll be encouraged to pursue excellence versus perfectionism and discover what makes a successful writer.

How to Write for Fun and Profit by Using Creative Writing Skills to Make Your Writing Sing: Learn the importance of knowing and mastering basic writing skills to make your writing sing! This is a hands-on workshop where you will learn and then implement what you’re learning. Learn one sure fire to get yourself unstuck and writing. Learn how to captivate your reader in the beginning, keep their attention in the middle and end with a punch! Learn how to put action and energy into your writing by using active versus passive verbs. Discover insider secrets to using your senses to add color to your writing and much more!

How to Write Your Story NOW and Leave a Legacy Your Loved Ones Will Treasure: Stories are the way we connect and enter each other’s world. Learn 5 specific ways to incorporate stories into your family life to unite and bring your family closer together. You will learn specific writing strategies to captivate your loved ones and others with your stories. This is a hands-on workshop so if you want, you can bring a short story of 300-500 words to work on.

Communication and connection between the generations is often weakened by the distraction of electronic devices. Faith, values and history are often crowded out. Stories create a solid foundation for the future generations even those who are not yet born. Learn how to write stories that create a bridge of love for you and your family to walk over into each other’s hearts.