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Events at Montrose Bible Conference
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- From A Guest

Our Events

34th Annual Montrose Christian Writers Conference

July 16-21, 2023

RegistEr HERE or MAKE A PAYMENT


EQUIPPING WRITERS FOR ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE

Oh that my words were now written!
oh that they were printed in a book!

(Job 19:23)

Experienced writers will be spiritually renewed as they sharpen their word-smithing skills and learn about Christian publishing at this annual conference.Daily Inspirational Sessions
Appointments with 3 Editors and 2 Agents
4 Continuing Morning Classes
2 Work-in-Progress Classes
40 Afternoon Workshops
6 Afternoon Series
Faculty Panel Discussion
Great Evening Programs
Professional Critiques and Consults
Hands-on Mentoring Opportunities

A Word from the Director: 

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!(Job 19:23)

    The number one reason for attending writers’ conferences is to learn how to get your words “in print” and, if God wills, get those words printed in a book! However, with our country and world in desperate need of the truth from God’s Word, today more than ever, we should strive above all other goals to share that good news in any genre possible. People are scared, confused, and searching for peace and happiness that only salvation in Jesus Christ can bring.

       Therefore, when you write, do you ask the Lord to give you direction so your work will impact others’ lives? That article, story, poem, music, or book should reflect absolute truth from the Bible and reveal your passion to share the truths you’ve learned from God’s Word. You just might find your words printed in a published book.

                                                   Marsha Hubler

Schedule

 

Sunday
3:30 REGISTRATION OPENS     
5:30 SUPPER     
7:00 OPENING SESSION
         Keynote: ”The Great Reversal” - Dave Weiss                           
9:00 GET ACQUAINTED TIME    

Monday-Thursday
8:00 BREAKFAST
8:45 MEDITATION
9:00  PRAISE & WORSHIP with Zach & Leah Peterson   
9:20 MORNING CHALLENGE

          M: ”The Guiding Principle for the Christian Writer” - Dan Balow

          T:  “Accepting God’s Definition of Success -  Alison Treat

          W: ”Paul’s Guide to the Writer’s Journey” - Karen Whiting

          Th: “Writing is Worship”  - Amy Radford

10:40 MAJOR MORNING CLASSES
12:30 LUNCH
  1:30 AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS
  4:30 CRITIQUE GROUPS or FREE TIME
  5:30 SUPPER and FREE TIME
  7:00 EVENING SESSIONS

          M: “Paint Class” or “Folded Gift Box Workshop”  - Dave Weiss or Ginny Merritt/Amy Radford

          T:   FREE TIME or Rehearsal/Prep for Wed. evening

          W: CELEBRATE THE HYMNS OF THE FAITH  - Zach & Leah Peterson

          Th: WRITERS’ THEATER  - Patti Souder


Friday: 
 8:00 BREAKFAST
 9:00 PRAISE & WORSHIP
 9:20 MORNING CHALLENGE:To Imagine and Create: Fulfilling Our Call as Christian Writers and Artists”  - Lora Zill
10:00 BENEDICTION and FAREWELL

Continuing Classes

Designed to provide in-depth learning and participation. Most valuable when taken as a series but all are open to those who cannot attend every day.

MAJOR MORNING CLASSES 10:40-12:10 Monday-Thursday

1.AUTHOR ANNETTE WHIPPLE

“Nonfiction for Kids”

Want to share your knowledge & passion with children? This class dives deep into the nonfiction market for children—both in the Christian & general markets. Participants will explore the nonfiction writing process along with strategies, methods, & tools to improve writing & get published. We’ll study children’s informational texts to see how they’re similar & different. Hands-on activities will be included. This major morning class will equip you to write & inspire children’s curiosity.

2.AUTHOR KAREN WHITING

“Marketing your Book”

These 4 sessions will cover the basics & most recent ways to reach readers & promote your books & brand. It will include:

  • How to create memes to use in various book promotion (social media, flyers, presentations, & more)
  • How to plan/promote podcasts to grow your readers & how to be a guest on podcasts
  • Book launches & time for the launch
  • Connecting marketing to your unique abilities & book concept
  • Making the most of media interviews
  • Making the most of images & video clips
  • Developing a workable strategy to market your book

3. AUTHOR TRACY HIGLEY

“Fiction Foundation Plus!”

We’ll cover the basics then go deeper. Learn how to craft a page-turning plot, create relatable yet fresh characters, deepen your setting to engage your reader, and build a theme that brings power to your writing.

4.AUTHOR LORA ZILL

The Making of a Wordsmith – The Art and Craft of Poetry”

If you love language and creating with words, this class is for you. Every writer, no matter their genre, can benefit from writing poetry. It’s an art and a craft that strengthens your feel for language and skill in using it. We’ll learn about imagery, sound, rhythm, line length, and white space and engage in creative, hands-on writing exercises. We’ll write and share with each other and enjoy the fellowship of a community of writers who love the word and The Word.

 

Two Work-in-Progress Seminars
 

SONGWRITING 
with ZACH & LEAH PETERSON
10:40 – 12:10  MONDAY-THURSDAY 

LIMIT: 8 CONFEREES ($40 each)

The Songwriting Journey: From a Line of Lyrics to a Finished Song 

This class is designed to help aspiring songwriters who have either a tune or some lyrics and want help making a finished product. We’ll cover the basics of songwriting and intertwine lessons on meshing lyrics with music using your work as the subject matter. 

FANTASY

with BEST-SELLING AUTHOR C.J. PETERSON

3:30 – 5:15 MONDAY-THURSDAY

NO LIMIT on the NUMBER OF CONFEREES ($ 20 each)

Sci-Fi and Fantasy: May the Odds Be Ever in your Favor

What is the difference between sci-fi and fantasy? What are the subgroups? What about world-building? C.J. shares some tips and tricks regarding all of these! During the classes, she can help the writers in getting started, character arcs, world-building, and more!

 

Afternoon Workshops Series

(How-to instruction on specialized topics) 

“The Power of Chat (GPT: Generative Pre-trained Transformer ) for Authors”

Don Catlett

2 Sessions: 3:30 – 4:15 Mon. – Tues.

Join me for 2 workshops that explore the pros and cons of using ChatGPT for authors. The workshops highlight how ChatGPT can assist in streamlining the writing and editing process, generating ideas, increasing productivity, and possibly improving the overall quality of your work. Whether you are a seasoned writer or just starting out, these workshops are designed to offer valuable insights and help you decide if you should integrate ChatGPT into your writing or editing processes. On day one, we’ll learn about ChatGPT and how authors can begin to utilize it. On day two, we’ll cover additional tips and techniques for authors working with ChatGPT. Join me to discover if ChatGPT can help take your writing and editing skills to the next level.

“Podcasting for Writers”

Alison Treat

2 sessions: 3:30 – 4:15 Tues. – Wed.

Have you thought about having your own podcast? Together, we’ll determine whether it’s the right next step in your career and develop your plan for success.

“Journey to Publication” 

C.J. Peterson

3 sessions: 1:30 – 2:15 Tues.-Thurs.

Writing a book can be difficult. No matter where you are in the process, C.J. can help! These 3 classes can be taken as a series or separate. Either way, grab a pen and paper because these presentations are chocked full of information for writing a story, what to do next, the types of publishing companies, and where to go afterward. She also makes sure to toss in a few gold nuggets for good measure. This creates an amazing recipe for an author in any step of the process to find something to take away from each class. So, don't miss out!

“Jesus, the Master Storyteller (Parables)”

Dave Weiss

3 Sessions: 1:30 – 2:15 Tues. – Thurs.

As storytellers, God has gifted us to tell stories and communicate His truth. As Christians, we are called to follow the example of Jesus. Because of this, it stands to reason that we could benefit by studying how Jesus, the Master Storyteller used “story” to communicate truth to all who would listen. These timeless stories are well known to this day, both inside and outside the Church. We'll look at 3 of His most famous parables, and then we’ll create some short parables of our own to communicate similar principles. 

“Creative Nonfiction”

Amy Radford

3 Sessions: 1:30-2:15 Tues. – Thurs.

Nonfiction, though based on facts, actual events, and true stories, can engage and delight the reader. Creative nonfiction takes the structure of fiction and builds truth around it. These sessions will explore the multifaceted world of creative nonfiction and offers writers at any level a chance to explore the opportunities this genre can provide.

Building an Audience with Video Platforms”

 Tom Murosky

4 Sessions: 2:30 – 3:15  Mon. – Thurs.

We’ll review how  to “leverage video” to reach your audience and build an author platform that gets attention.

Afternoon Workshops

Monday
1:30-2:15           
1. Hot Topics in the Writing/Publishing World - Faculty Panel

2:30-3:15           
2. How Do I Get an Agent? - Dan Balow
3. Video Platforms - Tom Murosky
4. Juv. Fiction: First Page Grabbers - Edna Cravitz
5. Building an Audience Before You Publish - Tracy Higley          

 3:30-4:15           
6.Ready! Set! Edit! - Janelle Leonard
7. The Power of Chat (GPT) for Authors (Part 1) - Don  Catlett
8. Juv. Fiction: Double Endings and More - Edna Cravitz

Tuesday
1:30-2:15  
9.. Storytelling 101 -  C.J. Peterson
10. Edit: A Four-letter Word - Linda Fulkerson
11. Jesus’ Parables: The Sower - Dave Weiss
12. Creative Nonfiction: What’s “Creative” About Nonfiction? - Amy Radford

2:30-3:15
13. Be a Reader’s Favorite Author - Dan Balow
14. Building an Audience on your Video Platforms - Tom Murosky
15. Five Ways to Turn your One Sheet into a Stellar Proposal - Michelle Lazurek
16. Where Do Novel Ideas Come From? - Tracy Higley

3:30-4:15
17. Is Podcasting Your Next Move? (Part 1) - Alison Treat
18. The Power of Chat (GPT) for Authors (Part 2) - Don Catlett
19. Eight Traits of an Author Worth Fighting For - Janelle Leonard            

Wednesday
1:30-2:15
20. Exploring the Publishing Realm  - C.J. Peterson
21. Creating Compelling Characters - Linda Fulkerson
22. Jesus’ Parables: The Talents - Dave Weiss
23. Preserving Memories: Memoirs - Amy Radford

2:30-3:15
24. Develop your Author Brand - Dan Balow
25. Monetizing your Video Platform - Tom Murosky
26. The Agent/Client Relationship: What You Need to Know - Michele Lazurek
27. Using Setting to “Set” Your Fiction Apart - Tracy Higley                       

3:30-4:15         
28. How to Start a Podcast (Part 2) - Alison Treat
29. Fiction’s “Must Haves” - Janelle Leonard
30. Writing for Children’s Periodicals - Karen Whiting

Thursday
1:30-2:15          
31. Pack your Bags for Action and Adventure - C.J. Peterson
32. Winning the Hearts of Agents, Publishers, & Editors - Linda Fulkerson
33. Jesus’ Parables: The Prodigal - Dave Weiss
34. Nature Writing - Amy Radford                                                            

2:30-3:15        
35. Effective Book Proposal Preparation - Dan Balow
36. Expand your Reach w/ Cross -promo + Collaboration - Tom Murosky
37. Writing a Novel your Readers Will Love - Linda Fulkerson
38. Independent Publishing - Tracy Higley

3:30-4:15        
39. Newsletter Tips and Tricks - Alison Treat
40. Fiction: Unmasking Characters - Janelle Leonard
41. Heading Home with a Plan - Karen Whiting

Faculty

Dan Balow: started in Christian publishing in 1983 
with David C. Cook and has been involved in 
marketing, sales, rights management, audiobook 
publishing and acquisitions. He started working with Steve Laube as an agent in 2013. 

 

 

 

 Don Catlett: truly enjoys sharing the tools & skills he’s developed as a designer & marketing advisor over the past 22 years. As a freelance Wordpress & social media consultant who’s fascinated by content marketing, design, & technology, he transforms creative ideas into effective strategies. He helps his clients bring the right content to the right media so it's ready at the right time. Looking for someone to help you tell your story on the web? Come along as Don guides you through the journey.

 

Edna Cravitz: chose the right profession—teaching. Teaching grades K-5, she enjoyed reading and writing where books came to life and children’s writing flourished. The author of KEEP RUNNING, MAGGIE MCROONEY and the recipient of the Keystone State Literacy Award (Susquehanna Valley) 2021 Literacy Award, she’s a storyteller, grandmother of five, loves children’s books, and a clogger. This retired coal cracker lives in central PA with her husband, Bob.

Linda Fulkerson: A USMC veteran, Linda began her writing career as a copyeditor and typesetter at a small-town weekly newspaper. She has since been published in several magazines & newspapers, including a two-year stint as a sportswriter & later the online editor of a midsize daily. Linda also served as the director of digital services for the largest media outlet in central Texas. She is the author of two novels, two novellas, & several non-fiction books. In 2020, she founded Scrivenings Press LLC, a traditional publisher of clean and Christian books.

                                                                                                                   

Tracy Higley: has authored nearly twenty books, including the recent Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time. She holds a master’s degree in Ancient History and has traveled the Mediterranean world, researching her books and falling into adventures. 

Michelle S. Lazurek:is a multi-genre award winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. She's a regular contributor for ibelieve.com and crosswalk.com, a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services, a certified writing coach, and an acquisitions editor for Roaring Lion Publishers, a self-publishing company that also does customized marketing plans, website designs, logo designs, etc. She's looking for all genres of fiction, nonfiction and children's books. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website http://www.michellelazurek.com. 

Janelle Leonard: is a coffee enthusiast, eclectic genre junkie, agented YA author, and an elementary librarian. As the managing editor of WhiteFire and acquisitions editor for WhiteCrown Publishing, she gets to daily use her passion for the written word.

 

Thomas Murosky: is a teacher at heart, assisting people with writing & book production, publishing through his own imprint, OWIC Publishing, & instructing about alternative platforms to reach an audience. His publications include Creator: SwitchedToLinux (multiple platforms: education about computers, software), WritingDoneRight (YouTube: Teaching writing, nuts and bolts of publication and book production), &  OurWalkInChrist (multiple platforms; education on Christian faith and practice).

C.J. Peterson: is a multi-award-winning, multi-genre author who’s been published since 2012. She’s an author, blogger, podcaster, publisher, and she & her husband own an orchard & apiary. She’s weathered many storms of life, which only deepened her faith in God. Her publications include the Grace Restored Series (5 Books) and Seasons of Change (won 2nd place in the Adult Fiction category for the North Texas Book Festival in 2016). Of her many awards, the
most recent is A Day at The Races: A Lesson in Friendship (won the International Purple Dragonfly Award in 2022 for Children's Book: Family Matters Category).

Zach and Leah Peterson: Music for Zach and Leah Peterson has been an integral part of their lives from an early age—Leah playing in accordion contests at age 4 and Zach singing in cantatas and church beginning at age 9. They both sang in the nationally televised Rejoice Choir as well as the  Susquehanna Valley Chorale. In 2015 they produced a CD, “The Love of God,” that includes two of their original compositions. Their desire is to communicate and worship in song to uplift and edify the believer and bring the lost to Christ. Zach currently serves as the assistant pastor for Riverview Baptist Church, Kratzerville, PA, and Leah serves in the children’s ministries.

Amy K Radford: is an author, speaker, and educator who believes we are shaped by the stories we share. Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently an English teacher and freelance writer for Christian organizations, journals, and curricula such as Calla Press, Pure in Heart Literary Journal, Baptist Bulletin, and The Independent. She also has a BA degree in English and a BS degree in elementary education.

 

Alison Treat: writes about freedom, her own & that of others. She’s the author of the historical young adult novel One Traveler. Her fiction has earned her a spot as a finalist in the ACFW First Impressions Contest & as a winner in the Promising Beginnings Contest. She works as a freelance editor & hosts the podcast, “Historical Fiction: Unpacked.” When she’s not writing, Alison can be found hiking or skiing with her husband & three children in the Endless Mountains of PA.

 

 

Dave Weiss: is the pastor of the Springfield Church of the Brethren in Coopersburg, PA. He’s written and/or illustrated many self-published books, mostly on the topics of creativity, art, and creative ministry. He and his wife, Dawn, live in Mohrsville, PA. They have two sons and a grandson named David.

 

Annette Whipple: celebrates curiosity & inspires a sense of wonder while exciting readers about science and history. She’s the author of 12 fact-filled children's books including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press), Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs (Reycraft Books) in The Truth About series, and Quirky Critter Devotions: 52 Wild Wonders for Kids (Tyndale). When Annette is not reading or writing, you might find her baking for her family in Pennsylvania,   
 

Karen Whiting: a mom of five including two rocket scientists, is a certified writing and marketing coach, international speaker, former television host, on the team of an award-winning documentary film company, and award-winning author of more than 30 books for women, children, and families. She’s also sold more than 1000 articles.

 

Lora Zill: teaches at Gannon University and for Allegheny College’s arts programs for gifted public school students. A teaching artist with the PA Council on the Arts, Lora conducts residencies in public schools and trains teachers in arts-infused curriculum. She publishes a poetry journal, Time Of Singing, and speaks at writing, education, and arts conferences. Her award-winning poetry and nonfiction have been published widely.

 

 

Professional Critiques

This is a great opportunity to have your work evaluated by a published professional. Receive a written evaluation of your manuscript plus a 30-minute private appointment to discuss ways to improve and/or market your piece.

Register for MCWC by June 1st and request guidelines for emailing your manuscript.  $40.00 per critique.
Note: Register to submit to Michelle Lazurek no later than May 10th. 

 

Faculty Genre Limit
Linda Fulkerson

Any genre/subgenre; middle grade to adult fiction as well as nonfiction

5
Michelle Lazurek

Christian living, leadership; spiritual growth, etc. picture books; YA; juvenile fiction no sci fi or historical   

5
Janelle Leonard YA Fiction 3
Amy Radford Creative nonfiction/Memoirs 5
Alison Treat Historical Fiction 2
Annette Whipple Juvenile and YA Nonfiction 1
Karen Whiting Book Proposals,Marketing Plans.Memoirs 10
Lora Zill Poetry 6

 

 

Other Opportunities

WORK-iN-PROGRESS

MORNING FOUR-SESSION WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Songwriting Seminar with Zach and Leah Peterson  $40 (Limit: 8 conferees)

AFTERNOON FOUR-SESSION WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Fantasy – with C. J. Peterson $20 (No limit on conferees)

PRIVATE BLOGING LESSONS

Work one-on-one with social media consultant Don Catlett to start a blog or upgrade the one you have. Each 45-minute session $20.

EDITORIAL APPOINTMENTS

Private 15-minute appointments with editors and agents to show them your work, which may be suitable for their publications and/or to discuss ideas for stories. Sign-up sheets available at the conference. Bring professionally prepared manuscripts. Be sure to bring copies! No charge.

CRITIQUE GROUPS and GENRES of INTEREST GROUPS
Opportunity for feedback from other writers. No charge. Held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:30pm. 

BOOK TABLE
Features books by faculty and conferees.  When registering, please indicate books you’ve written which you would like to sell. Please tag all books with prices rounded to a dollar.

MP3 RECORDINGS
Listen to the sessions you missed or those you want to hear again. 

BUDGET BOOK SALES

Bring all your used or new books from your shelves and donate them to our Budget Book Sales. Then at the conference, take home bags of budget books to fill your empty book shelves.  All proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund. 

EVENING EVENTS

MONDAY: PAINT CLASS or FOLDED GIFTBOX WORKSHOP  - Dave Weiss/ Ginny Merritt  & Amy Radford

Paint Class
On Monday evening Dave Weiss will lead a painting workshop. This will be a step-by-step guided process designed to help painters and non-painters to have fun “making art.”  Fee:$20 per person. 

OR

Folded Gift Box Workshop
Ginny Merritt and Amy Radford welcome you to come have fun for an hour, making little gift boxes from greeting cards, scrap-booking paper and calendar pages while relaxing with fellow authors. Who knows? This craft could spark ideas for a story! Fee: 50 cents per participant. Free for truly poor writers.

TUESDAY:  FREE TIME OR REHEARSAL/PREP FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING 
WEDNESDAY: CELEBRATE THE HYMNS OF THE FAITH -  Zach/Leah Peterson

We need YOU to bring your voice or instrument as we recognize the significance and timelessness of hymns through the ages. Connect with the voices of the past, present, and future as we celebrate the music that has touched many hearts with the foundations of our faith. 

THURSDAY: WRITERS’ THEATER 

Another opportunity for you to shine! Bring your own work, an excerpt from a short story, memoir, novel, or a poem and trimmed to three minutes and read it to the conferees at the Writers’ Theater, a delightful program that celebrates your creativity. Patti Souder is the moderator. Some faculty and conferees consider this evening so special, they “dress up” to present their work. You are certainly welcome to do that, as well.

Scholarships

Shirley Brinkerhoff Memorial Scholarship

$200 grant for tuition: Awarded to a writer actively striving to hone the craft of writing who’s not yet secured a publishing contract. Application below. 

General Scholarship

Help available according to need. For more information go to the About Montrose tab and click on scholarships.  

 

RegisTER HERE or MAKE A PAYMENT

Rates & REGISTRATION form    

 

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Montrose Bible Conference // 218 Locust Street, Montrose, PA 18801 // Phone 570-278-1001 // Toll Free 1-800-598-5030 // Contact Us