Learning Labs


New this year – interactive Learning Labs
Wednesday, May 11, 1:00 – 3:30 MT


An Afternoon with Liz       

Liz Curtis Higgs

Author, Speaker


Liz is the author of 37 books, with 4.6 million copies in print. Her award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light. According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled again and again to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

He did his best to find just the right words. And what he wrote was honest and true. 
Ecclesiastes 12:10 NIRV

An afternoon to remember and treasure with best-selling author and beloved storyteller Liz Curtis Higgs. As a writer of both contemporary and historical novels, Liz believes the best fiction is built on a solid, factual foundation, which research alone provides. From hands-on experience to online exploring, from finding the right books to interviewing the right people, Liz will show you how to create a believable time and place for your characters to live and breathe. 

Too Much Data, Too Little Time

Scoti Domeij     – Scotti is unable to be with us. Hopefully we can offer this later in the year.
Publisher, Blackside Publishing
Editor & Contributing Writer, Havok Journal
Gold Star Mom         

Scoti has held various responsibilities with 10 traditional publishers including author; editor; senior research assistant; copywriter; marketing director; and production, art, and design coordinator. Scoti’s passion is to help writers hone their skills, pursue their passion, publish, and effectively market the story God embedded in their hearts.

Scoti is the proud Gold Star mother of Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Kristoffer Domeij, KIA October 22, 2011, in Afghanistan on his 14th deployment, the most deployed soldier in American history to be killed in action. As a result of her loss, God opened the door for Scoti to become the Publisher for Blackside Publishing. In her role as an editor and a contributing writer for Havok Journal, an online Huff-post-style journal targeted to and written by military personnel and veterans, Scoti opens conversations on subjects-you’re-not-supposed-to-talk-about. 

 Not every author wants to become a data geek and too few authors pay close attention to metadata. Metadata—your book’s DNA—is the most crucial information to market and sell your book today. Bar none. Global access to your book increases the importance of metadata. What is metadata? Online info that describes your book and connects your book to prospective book buyers. Metadata is how your book is found online, marketed, tracked, and referenced. Every publishing platform requires metadata. This continuing session includes:

Superb Style: In Three Big Steps

Tim Riter       
Acquisitions Editor, Raven Croaks   
Author; Speaker; Teacher

 See Donna Brennan’s interview with Tim at https://youtu.be/Vb0o_tLQ6H4

Tim has a passion to help others not only know God, but to weave Him into the everyday fabric of their lives. He spent over 20 years doing that as a lead, associate, and youth pastor, and extended that with over 25 years writing professionally with 10 Christian living books that have sold over 100,000 copies and have been translated into 8 languages.

Blend in serving as a college professor and high school teacher in composition and communication with being an inveterate motorcycle rider and trout fisherman, and you gain someone who can connect to a variety of people in all stages of life.

Tim has had 10 television interviews, ranging from The 700 Club to local television, and over 100 radio interviews, and has spoken to hundreds of groups and churches. His blog, Unconventional at timriter.com, explores fresh ways to follow the old faith.

In last year’s online Colorado Conference, Tim Riter shared four keys to excellent writing in a well-received continuing session. Tim and his passion for excellence in the craft of writing will return, in a 2.5-hour learning lab where superb style will be explored, giving writers an improved chance for their writing to be noticed in the midst of the glut of information that cries, “Read ME!” The key is to intentionally play with three elements of style: word choice and structure (diction and syntax), to know when and how to break the rules and conventions of grammar to enhance the impact, and how to craft your work to persuade your readers.  

Jumpstart Your Creativity! 

Mary Potter Kenyon

Author, Speaker, Workshop Presenter


Mary graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Psychology. A grief counselor and Therapeutic Art Coach, Mary works as Program Coordinator at Shalom Spirituality Center in Dubuque, Iowa. She is the author of seven books, including the recently released Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity. Mary founded both an annual grief retreat and writer's conference in Dubuque. She is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. 

You’ve set aside time for creativity, but when you sit in front of your keyboard, you get stuck. Nothing is flowing. If it’s true that the hardest part is getting started, what can you do to jumpstart your creativity? A dynamic presentation that includes a brief synopsis of pertinent creativity research, a reflective quiz, and ideas for reigniting creativity. Are you ready to reclaim that box of crayons from your childhood and reconnect with your creative side? Attendees leave with their own “magic pencil” and permission to add play into their life.