2019 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal

May 31–June 1, 2019  -  Westminster Chapel, Bellevue, Washington

Harnessing the Storm—The Long and Short of Flash Fiction by Andrew Winch – New writers romanticize novels as the ultimate goal. We all grew up with our favorite books, and we dream of making that same impact on others. The problem is, jumping into a novel is a bit like trying to run a marathon before you can crawl. Not only are short stories great preparation for longer works, they impact readers and build your credibility just as effectively. In this course, you'll learn the basics of flash fiction (stories 300-1,000 words)—how to write it, where to submit it, and why it improves your longer fiction.

Harnessing the Storm Part Two—Workshop (optional 1-hour hands-on workshop on writing and editing flash fiction) by Andrew Winch – Utilizing the tools you learned in part one, this workshop will give you the chance to put your skills to the test. First, you'll edit a piece of "bad" flash fiction, and then you'll write your own! Don't worry. You won't have to read it in front of the class.

Tips and Tricks for Working with Editors and Publishers by Deb Haggerty To present yourself and your work successfully to an editor/publisher, you must have certain skills and documents. That any paper you submit to them is absolutely perfect is a necessity. That said, we'll talk about ways to ensure you do what's required to make that very important great first impression. In addition, we'll talk about writers' conferences in general and what you should hope to gain from them. This is an interactive seminar with questions and discussion actively encouraged.

The 6 Spiritual Lies Derailing Your Writing Process by Mick Silva - Christian writers all share similar delusions about what this work entails. But identifying and learning how to defeat the common barriers designed to take you out will free you to share the most powerful message you have. Come and hear how to know you’re called, you’re never alone, and you’re more than capable of establishing and practicing this essential tactic for overcoming the six fundamental lies every writer hears facing that blinking cursor of doom.

Crafting a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal by Cindy Lambert – Discover step-by-step how to write a winning book proposal and learn what goes on behind the scenes at a publishing house as a proposal does its job to entice seven audiences (author, agent, editor, pub board, marketing, creative, and sales) to grasp a contagious vision for a book, and then equips them to successfully play their parts in placing the book into the hands of it’s ideal readership.

Steps to Developing Yourself as an Expert by Athena Dean Holtz - Part of expanding your platform is developing yourself as an expert in your field, the go-to person for local and national media and becoming a resource to those who need the wisdom and answers you have. Join Athena Dean Holtz as she shares insights into creating credible aspects to becoming a respected authority on your topic.

Travel Like a Writer by Dennis Brooke - Do you want to vacation like a tourist—or like a writer? Novelist and travel writer Dennis Brooke will teach you how to use your time away from home to develop a deeper and more authentic background for your writing and have more meaningful experiences during your travels. He will also give you tips on how to connect with other cultures and save money while on the road. Our presenter has journeyed and lived in destinations in Europe, South America, and the United States, including a 500+ mile pilgrimage on foot across Spain.

To Tell or Not to Tell by Cindy Lambert – We all applaud honestly and transparency in powerful writing, but how do we write of the events in our lives without violating the privacy and trust of others who have played some part in our life stories? Is it possible to find the freedom to tell the truth without destroying relationships, hurting people, or putting others at risk of public exposure? Yes, it can be done! Discover the defining boundaries, guiding principles, and tested techniques used by successful authors so that your writing can be authentic without damaging the reputations or privacy of the people God has woven into your life story. 

Speculative Fiction: Adventures in Time, Space and Other Worlds by Katherine Grace Bond – Has a creature from the other side of the Wardrobe gotten loose in your manuscript? Did one of your characters just Tesser without warning? Did a Twelfth Century knight recently show up in your protagonist’s office? Don’t panic. Whether you are writing about advanced technology or unseen worlds, come discover five ground rules to effectively guide your reader into the wondrous strange.

Writing to Heal Yourself and Others by Mick Silva We’re afraid. All writers are afraid to show the world their true selves. It’s like public speaking, when you get up in front of people and you haven’t done this kind of thing much yet, you have trouble being completely honest and sharing the truth about yourself, even if you have the best intentions. You want to go deep with readers and share your guts, but it’s really, really hard to know what’s for others and what’s for your own journey and not necessarily to be shared in print. Even oversharers tend to default to writing what’s familiar, safe, comfortable. So if we’re going to do the real work, we’ve first got to write what it takes to heal..

Sharpen your Sword: Wordsmith Through Editing by Amy Letinsky – Teacher and gifted editor will lead you through a session on the true joy of editing beauty into your work. Some prefer the drafting process, getting ideas out on the page. Others find that their best inspirations, God connections, and epiphanies, come during the editing process. How can you use editing as a time of story enrichment? Amy has tips and tricks to edit like a pro.

Talk About It!  Writing Great Dialogue by Renae Brumbaugh Green - This fun one-hour session uses interactive media and real-time student responses to give learners quick and easy tips for acing the dialogue dilemma. Students are presented with do’s and don’ts of written conversation, as well as some fun tips for keeping writing natural and fresh. 

Tips for Traveling Through Social Media by Mindy Peltier. Find out how traveling through social media is like taking the Tube through London. Learn the importance of an author platform, how to choose social media sites suitable for your genre and brand, and how to utilize efficiency tools for marketing.

Networking: Nuisance or Necessity by Deb Haggerty  -  Networking is an attitude. Always keep in mind those people you know to whom you can refer others. In order to receive the benefits from networking, you must first give. Effective networking techniques are a necessity to successfully market ourselves and our ministries, and when implemented, reduce the nuisance factor of making new contacts. Effective networking aids us in finding new resources, as well as in maintaining our professional relationships.

Discovering Your Unique Voice by Rowena Kuo - What is author's voice? Is your voice compelling enough to hook your reader in the first few sentences? We will discuss the top 5 key elements characteristic of an alluring author's voice, specific techniques to developing your gifts, and effective ways to infuse your writing with your particular signature. Discover what it takes to unlock your unique voice, capture your audience with your first words, and hold that audience captive until the last page. 

Imposter Syndrome: You Are Not the Fraud You Think You Are by Dori Harrell - You are not alone! There's a name for those inner lashings that plague authors, that cause them to wonder if they're frauds and to ask, Who do I think I am, anyway, that I can write? It's called imposter syndrome, and it afflicts newbies to advanced writers. But take heart! This course offers several strategies to make imposter syndrome work for you instead of against you and is meant to be an interactive, highly participatory look at imposter syndrome and ways to turn it into a positive for you and your writing. Dori introduced the topic at a recent NCWA meeting, which led to many authors asking for this workshop at Renewal.

How to Build A Great Critique Group by Pat Schantz - Pat is passionate about critique groups-- helping them form and grow to be helpful, encouraging, and productive. If you wish to be part of a critique group, or want to learn how to help yours grow, this is the class for you. Pat will guide you through engaging with a critique group with great skill, and possibly get a group or two started.

An Introduction to the Heart and Technique of Writing Song Lyrics by Lisa Mitts  Discover some of the keys to writing powerful song lyrics, especially for the genre of contemporary Christian music (CCM). In addition to the basic structure of a good song, also covered will be the importance of combining passion, emotion, and personal testimony with the foundations of God's Word and message for all His children. All class participants will have the opportunity to begin the process of writing a first song or improve their lyric-writing skills and share with the class. No prior musical or songwriting experience is necessary.

The Love Factor by David Mitts - In this workshop, David and Lisa Mitts will share how listening to the Holy Spirit brings inspiration and context for writing books, articles as well as songs. Learn how to see context in writing by bringing relatable examples to connect the dots for the reader/listener. Material covered will include examples from David’s recent book, ’The Love Factor’ which has lyrics of Lisa’s songs at the beginning of each chapter.

Make ‘Em Laugh! You Can Write Funny by Renae Brumbaugh Green -This laugh-out-loud one-hour session uses interactive media and real-time student responses to give learners some quick and easy tips for adding humor to any genre, as well as on overview of some more in-depth humor techniques. 

What Do Editors and Agents Want? by Linda Glaz - What do they want from us? Authors hear different stories about the process of meeting/reaching out to agents and editors.  Do it in a way that speaks to your professionalism rather than looking like a newbie.

The Reality of Publishing Fantasy by Rowena Kuo -  CBA vs. ABA, large publisher vs. small, vanity press vs. royalty-paying: finding the right audience and right house for your fantasy novel. Covers the pros and cons for submitting to various publishers, what houses to approach, and how to skip the slush pile.

The Making of Screen Success  - 3 part series by Jennifer Dornbush

  • Film to Novel - Novel to Film (Part 1) - the differences between novel and scripts and how adaptations are created, should you write the screenplay or not?
  • I Optioned my Book! Now What? (Part 2) - the pre-production process, what happens and who are the players? and what to do while you wait?
  • What Happens At Greenlight? (Part 3) - from greenlight to screen - what does the production process look like and who's involved? how are films distributed? who's involved? where does the author fit in? 

Stay tuned!  Additional workshops are being added 

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from these dynamic workshops.

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Thank you for helping us make this a fragrance-free event out of respect for those who have chemical sensitivities.

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