2021 Workshops




Times are MDST


Thursday, 11:00 – 12:00 (pre-recorded videos except as noted)

How to Thrive as a Creative – Karen Scalf Bouchard

As believers in a creative marketplace, how do we see our calling? Our readers? Our clients? Even our competition? For that matter, how do we view creative challenges and obstacles that get in our way?

Discover five simple shifts in perspective that will help you see what you do in a whole new light. Taught by author, writing coach, and Illumify acquisitions editor Karen Scalf Bouchard, this workshop will give you five choices you can make every day that will revolutionize how you perceive and live out your calling—even on days you feel overwhelmed or discouraged!

The Importance of Sensitivity/Diversity Readers – Edwina Perkins

“As a push for diversity in fiction reshapes the publishing landscape the emergence of sensitivity readers seems almost inevitable” (Katy Waldman). The number of books about ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. From 10 percent in 2013, to more than a quarter of young adult and children’s books featured characters of color in 2016. Sensitivity readers are not police of free speech. Their intent is not to be censors. They’re readers who review manuscripts for issues of bias, issues of representation, cultural inaccuracies, and insensitive language in order to make suggestions to authors. This workshop will address questions such as: What does a sensitivity reader really do? Does your project need one? Is a sensitivity reader paid? How do you become a sensitivity reader?

Fiction with a WOW Factor – Miralee Ferrell  LIVE

Fiction is typically character or plot driven, but creating believing, memorable characters and a strong plot will set your books apart. Strong settings, strong dialogue, deep internal thought, a believable plot, and understanding your characters motivation and what drives them, will all help bring your story to life. Learn to develop multi-dimensional characters that are memorable—stories that stay with the reader days after reading the last page—and characters that leap off the page and become real. This class will help you flesh out the already-good story you’ve started and help it be truly memorable.

Write Your Story and Change Lives – Dr. Mel Tavares

Your story matters! Your pain becomes the very platform the Lord uses for ministry to others. If you are courageous enough to write your story, you can change lives and create hope in a God who offers victory in the circumstances.

Marketing into Ministry – Cheri Cowell 
No one wants to hear about you and your book after the third week of your book's release, so how do you market your book without talking about your book? Come learn the proven strategy that turns marketing into ministry AND that sells books.

Post-it Planning: Stick your way to success (a non-electronic way to track and meet your goals)—Debbie Maxwell Allen
Struggling with your writing goals—and actually getting anything accomplished? Join us for a deceptively simple, non-tech way to plan your goals for the next ninety days and break those goals into manageable tasks. You’ll learn an easy—and satisfying—way to visually track what you’ve done and what’s left to do. Stop feeling overwhelmed and hit every target CCWC has inspired.

Ghostwriting: How to Write Someone Else’s Story or Message – Michael Klassen

Believe it or not, many of the books we know and love weren’t actually written by the author. They were written by ghostwriters (or collaborative writers). In this workshop, Mike Klassen will share tips and tricks he’s learned to write someone else’s story or message. You’ll also learn how you can build a healthy ghostwriting business.

Thursday, Lunchtime Breakouts, 12:15 – 12:55  LIVE

Celebration Web Design – Jonathan Shank
Scrivener and Vellum – Debbie Allen
Branding – Dick Bruso
AWSA, Right to the Heart, Esther Movement – Linda Evans Shepherd
Blog About Blogger Network – Stephanie Alton
CAN – Ava Pennington or Marti Pieper
Faculty Networking – closed to conferees

Thursday, 2:00 – 2:55 (pre-recorded videos except as noted)

Handling the Word with Your Words – Ava Pennington

How to make God’s Word the source of your words by digging deep into Scripture.

The Christian Mind and Christian Linguistics – Laura Bartnick

Strengthen your characters, the story plot, and the language or narration of your manuscript more authentically and biblically by attending this workshop. Laura is the author of Welcome to the Shivoo! Creatives Mimicking the Creator.

Let's Talk Screenwriting – Dianne E. Butts

You know your novel, story, or nonfiction book would make a great movie, but what do you do with it? Who do you approach and how? What materials do you need? We’ll talk about how the film industry works and what steps you can take toward getting your book made into a movie.


Nonfiction Research Strategies & Organization – Jendayi “J” Harris
Have you wrestled with the details of research for your nonfiction book? Have you wanted to increase your credibility for your material to extend your book project's reach in the marketplace? This workshop looks at various angles of research and covers why research is important, what tools to use for effective research, where to find research, and options on organizing your research bibliography as well as notes.

Your Marketing  Profile – Stephanie Alton

We’ll compare marketing your book/brand to a financial portfolio. Since there is not a one size fits all option for either, you really have to look at what you have going for you and what you want to accomplish to create something that helps you grow at your own rate. Stephanie will talk about the five investment areas for writers: 

The things you have control over: your writing, email list, and how you invest your time and money
The tried and true: speaking and podcasting
The helpful: be a guest, blogging, and marketing/publicity
The wild card: social media and other trends 
The fifth element: living what you preach/teach

Create a Best-Seller Brand – Dick Bruso  LIVE
In this updated and popular presentation, you will learn how to develop a unique brand that will powerfully capture the ever-changing marketplace . . . by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career.


Challenging Youth Trends – Dr. Mel Tavares

This workshop is designed to bring to light the challenges of today's youth culture for the purpose of gathering an army of writers who will sound the alarm in their sphere of influence. Dr. Tavares is an expert in youth and family culture and will equip participants with the understanding of specific trends and tips on how to Write His Answer through various genres. All participants will  be given a copy of Dr. Tavares' published dissertation on the topic. 



Times are MDST


Friday, 11:00 – 12:00 (pre-recorded videos except as noted)

Get Out of the Boat – Angie Bass Williams

Step out of the boat of political correctness and “walk on the water” of Spirit-led writing that expresses the truth of God’s Word. Tackle sensitive subjects, such as abortion and euthanasia, from a biblical perspective.

Three Puzzles of Periodicals – Sherri Langton

You have a great idea, but how can it become something worthy of print? This class will help you solve three puzzles that often stump writers wanting to submit to magazines: 1) what makes an idea marketable; 2) what “package” best suits an idea (devotional, teaching article, how-to, personal experience, etc.); and 3) what makes a piece connect with readers.

Dialogue Tags – Needed or Overused – Linda Glaz  LIVE

The current trend in the industry is to use fewer tags. You’ll discover some of the weaknesses in using tags and how much deeper POV can be when leaving them out. 

Master the Memoir – Marti Pieper

Do you have a life story the world needs to hear? Do you want to leave a legacy in print for family, friends, and beyond? The dos and don’ts, including the importance of a narrative thread and the mystery of marketability.

Think Outside the Publication Box – Debbie Maxwell Allen

Whether you are frustrated with the pace of publication, or you're eager to find new readers, it's time to think outside the publication box and find your readers with ideas you’ve never thought of. Millions of people all over the world are gaining access to smartphones, increasing the number of potential readers. Cutting-edge writers will consider the needs of these lucrative groups. Join us as we discuss a host of unusual, yet effective techniques to write in ways that reach farther than a physical book—and most are completely free.

Marketing for Writers Who Don’t Like to Market – Jim Hart

Why don’t we market? We don’t know how, we’re overwhelmed, we don’t think it’s important, we don’t think we have time, we’re afraid, we don’t know where to start. his class will look at marketing and promoting your book in a different light, starting with Jesus’ Parable of the Talents. We will define marketing simply as engaging with others. These are the questions that will be presented:


Focus on the Family Children/Youth Magazines Editorial Panel 

More info coming

Friday, Lunchtime Breakouts, 12:15 – 12:55  LIVE

Celebration Web Design – Jonathan Shank
Books for Writers – Marlene Bagnull
Speaking – Dick Bruso
Q & A Nonfiction Books – Bill Watkins, Literary Solutions
Marketers on a Mission – Patricia Durgin
Audiobooks – Richard Reiman
Writing for Magazines – Donna Brennan
Faculty Networking – closed to conferees 

Friday, 2:00 – 2:55 (pre-recorded videos except as noted)

Are Authors in Their Write Minds? – Jim Watkins

Jim will talk about the mental health of authors, particularly clinical depression, and how authors can embrace their challenges. (Studies show those with depression actually have greater creativity, sensitivity, and understanding than others.) 

Build Your Platform with Twitter and Facebook – Dianne E. Butts

Learn how to keep your Twitter and Facebook posts flowing with a minimum of time. Discover how to build Tweets that get results, post regularly to Facebook without being there, strategies for more traffic on Facebook, and more.

The 3-Step Secret to Making Your True Story or Novel More Riveting – Karen Scalf Bouchard

If you are telling a story—fiction, nonfiction, short, or long—where do you begin? What events should you include in your story, and in what order? Where do you put backstory or flashbacks? When a story isn’t “working,” how do you troubleshoot the problem? Do you need to simply massage a few paragraphs, or does the problem lie deeper than that?

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Franklin pioneered a style of writing called dramatic nonfiction, in which fiction storytelling techniques are applied to nonfiction stories. In the process, he developed and taught story development techniques that are sheer magic and can be applied to nonfiction stories as well as works of fiction.

In this workshop, I teach Franklin’s Complication/Resolution approach to outlining and developing any story, from short stories and articles to book-length dramatic nonfiction, fiction, and even children’s books. Worksheets will allow attendees the hands-on experience of developing a complication/resolution outline for stories they are currently working on or would like to tell one day.

I’ve used Franklin’s approach time and time again to help writers strengthen their stories. Almost without exception, recognizing and fixing a botched complication/resolution turns a good story into a WOW! story.


Using Negative Experiences for Positive Impact – Sherri Langton
Why do bad things happen to good writers? Is it chance, or is there divine design behind them? This class will teach writers that God uses negative things to not only change them but also inspire them to create stories and articles that will bless and encourage readers—and change lives.

4E  Workshop Not Available

Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach – Dick Bruso  LIVE

Discover the latest and greatest ways to accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. Come learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking. 

Writing Books for Children – Michelle Lazurek

Many people want to write for children. But how do you write engaging content that not only tells a story but also keeps a young audience engaged despite the instant gratification world in which we live? In this workshop, Michelle will address the following aspects of children’s writing:



Times are MDST



Saturday, 11:00 – 11:55 (pre-recorded videos except as noted)

From Conference to Contract – Del Duduit

Sound impossible? It’s not. But it can be done with some work. In this workshop, Del will give not only his personal experience from attending one conference, which has resulted in more than 10 bock contracts in 12 months, but he also shares some helpful tips he has learned along the way.

Revelation, Inspiration, or Perspiration? – Angie Bass Williams

How do I convey the message of my heart to the printed page? It takes discipline and perseverance to produce a book that blesses and encourages others.

The Otherworldly Challenges of Speculative Fiction – Joel Armstrong
From Harry Potter to Star Wars to the Marvel Universe, speculative storytelling has the power to transcend typical audience categories and speak to readers’ deeper questions and fears. But writing speculative fiction comes with unique challenges, such as intensive world building, unfamiliarity, and metaphorical social and psychological commentary.

5D Using Fiction Techniques in Your Nonfiction – Catherine Lawton
Incorporate descriptive detail, use dialogue, paint the scene, set a mood, and add dramatic tension and resolution to bring your nonfiction alive.

Evaluating Your Options – Jim Watkins

We’ll discuss traditional publishing, answer some forbidden questions, and take a look at the many options for self, independent, co-publishing, and partnership publishing.

Impact Our Culture Prayer Meeting – LIVE

All who are concerned for our nation are encouraged to join us for this time of Spirit-led prayer.

How to Make a Living as a Freelance Writer – Michael Klassen

The life of a freelance writer is filled with adventure—all too often the scary kind. In this workshop, Mike Klassen will share how to minimize the ups and downs of the freelance writer’s life, especially by applying the Gold Rush Principle and tapping into the Author’s Mindset. Finally, he’ll cover the lo-o-o-ng list of writing careers you can pursue today!

Saturday, Lunchtime Breakouts, 12:15 – 12:55  LIVE


Going Indie with –

Ampelos Press – Marlene Bagnull
EBook Listing Service – Amy Deardon
EABooks Publishing – Cheri Cowell
Illumify Media Global – Karen Bouchard & Michael J. Klassen
Morgan James Publishing – W. Terry Whalin (tentative)
Capture Me Books - Laura Bartnick
Faculty Networking – closed to conferees

Saturday, 1:00 – 2:00 (pre-recorded workshops except as noted)

What to Do When the Words Are Not There – Robert Ruesch & Roy Hanschke

You CAN write! Just because the screen (page) is blank - you are not alone. Each word you write is a success; combined, you have completed a task God has assigned. We will look at what other writers have said about their craft and discuss how to push forward when you feel the weight of writer's "rock." Together we will find ways to accelerate your writer’s walk.

A Million Little Pieces: Ethics for the Christian Writer – Marti Pieper

Today’s publishing climate provides as many ethical challenges as it does opportunities: How true should y true-life story be? When and why do I need permissions for the quotes and illustrations I use? How do I acknowledge those who have helped along the way? How does my character influence my writing? We’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.

Creating Believable Characters – Edwina Perkins   LIVE

They eat, breathe, get angry, and fall in love. Your characters have a story to tell, but they need to be believable. In this workshop, we will look at tips that will help your characters come alive and help your readers want to connect.

Writing a True Story – Debra Moerke 

Are you writing a true story? Whether you are a newbie or veteran writer, come learn some practical steps and insights that will help protect you as you write and publish your story. Debra is the author of Murder, Motherhood, and Miraculous Grace: A True Story, Tyndale House, 2019.

Before Your Book is Published 

An essential part of preparing to publish your book is building your presence on social media. Learn how to use Facebook Groups and Pages to the best advantage, learn a few tips and tricks about Instagram and Pinterest, and discover the importance and how-to of blogging and content marketing.

Five Easy Steps to Create Freebies and Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List – Karen Scalf Bouchard

Growing your email list isn’t hard – if you have a cool things that people will LOVE to get in exchange for joining your list. In this workshop, author, writing coach, and Illumify acquisitions editor Karen Scalf Bouchard walks you through five easy steps. In the process, you’ll discover:

The How and Why of Writing Poetry – Angie Bass Williams and Catherine Lawton

Two gifted poets will split this hour workshop. 
     Catherine will address how to improve, market, and publish your poetry. In the process, sharpen your observation skills, deepen your relationship with God, connect with and influence others.
     Angie will talk about how poetry packs a powerful punch. Teach the Word, offer hope, and keep the reader engaged by using rhythmic flow and cadence. Convert your poetry into song lyrics or greeting cards.