3:30 REGISTRATION OPENS
7:00 OPENING SESSION
Keynote: “Finding New Focus” - Author/Editor Vie Herlocker
9:00 GET ACQUAINTED TIME
9:00 PRAISE & WORSHIP with Zach & Leah Peterson
9:20 MORNING CHALLENGE
M: ”Full of Grace & Truth” - Jim Fahringer
T: “What to Do Between Now & Next Year’s Conference” - Joyce Ellis
W: ”When the World Says They Don’t Want our Truth” - Jim Hart
Th: “Write with Excellence” - Lin Johnson
10:40 MAJOR MORNING CLASSES
1:30 AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS
4:30 CRITIQUE GROUPS or FREE TIME
5:30 SUPPER and FREE TIME
7:00 EVENING SESSIONS
M: “The Secret Life of Editors” (Hands-on Seminar) - Vie Herlocker
T: FREE TIME or Rehearsal/Prep for Wed. evening
W: “I’m Such a Character:” (Dress up in your favorite book character)
Th: WRITERS’ THEATER - Patti Souder
9:00 PRAISE & WORSHIP
9:20 MORNING CHALLENGE: "Help Stop Truth Decay" - Patti Souder
10:00 BENEDICTION and FAREWELL
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. PUBLISHERS/EDITORS ROSEANNA & DAVID WHITE
“Identity Marketing: Find your Audience and Serve Them”
Through the Identity Marketing System, writers will learn how to identify the niche they should target and how to blueprint that audience. We’ll review how writers can develop websites, newsletters, and social media to best serve readers (and themselves) and how to exercise their creative muscles to bring surprise and delight. This hands-on intensive seminar will equip participants to do all their marketing tasks when they get home in a manageable 30 minutes a day.
2. AUTHOR MICHELE CHYNOWETH
“Writing Christian Fiction that Sells”
Have you dreamed of writing a novel that targets the Christian market but also sells lots of copies? Will your novel reach thousands with a story that is unforgettable and gets rave reviews, but you’re just not sure how to make that dream a reality? Bestselling and award-winning author Michele Chynoweth will share simple, solid steps she uses in her Fiction Master Class to help you develop a novel that’s readable and marketable. She’ll guide you through hands-on workshops to learn the craft and will share her editing, publishing, and marketing expertise so you can hit the ground running once you reach “the end.”
3. LIN JOHNSON
“Twelve Steps for Writing and Selling a Book”
If you have a book idea, find out how to develop it into a salable manuscript, find the right market, write a proposal, and negotiate a fair contract. This class is not genre specific, so no matter what kind of book you’re writing, it will help you sell it to an editor or agent.
4. JOYCE ELLIS
“Just Starting: How to Get Published”
This foundational continuing class is designed for newer writers, for those exploring whether the writer’s life is for them, and for writers who feel they need to get back to the basics in order to increase the likelihood of getting acceptances on their work. We’ll cover topics such as finding and focusing ideas, building relationships with editors, submitting work properly, putting together a strong piece of writing, and polishing the work so you’re submitting your very best.
Two Work-in-Progress Seminars
with ZACH & LEAH PETERSON
10:40 – 12:10 MONDAY-THURSDAY
LIMIT: 8 CONFEREES ($40 each)
FANTASY: CREATE YOUR OWN BOOK
with CATHY MAYFIELD & FAITH WEAVER
3:30 – 5:15 MONDAY-THURSDAY
NO LIMIT on the NUMBER OF CONFEREES ($20 each)
Attention teens and young adults! Come join us on an interactive, novel-writing adventure! We’ll cover basics of beginnings and endings, world building, character and story arcs, and the distasteful job of self-editing. A focus on fantasy worlds, characters, and storylines will show the nuances of this popular genre. We’ll use examples from other authors as well as from your WIPs (works-in-progress). Come prepared to have fun as you develop yourself as a writer and your manuscript as a closer-to-publishable novel!
1. Hot Topics in the Writing/Publishing World - Faculty Panel
2. Engaging a Children’s Audience -Bonnie Swinehart
3. Fiction: Build the Foundations 1 - Vincent Davis II
4. Getting the Most out of a Writers’ Conference - Joyce Ellis
5. Ask Me Anything—Almost (1) - Marsha Hubler
6. Finding the Right Editor - Sue Fairchild
7. Writing Curriculum - Lin Johnson
8. WIP: Create your own Book, an Interactive Writing Adventure - Cathy Mayfield & Faith Weaver
9. Write the Christian World View into the General Market - Cindy Sproles
10. Editor’s Pet: Fiction or Nonfiction - Roseanna White
11. Intro to Social Media: Storytelling - Don Catlett
12. Road to Success: Prime the Pump - Caz Russell
13. Proposals that Pop (Fiction and Nonfiction) - Jim Hart
14. Fiction: Build the Foundation 2 - Vincent Davis II
15. Shaping Articles from Interviews - Joyce Ellis
16. Book, Blog, or Article? - Jim Hart
17. Agents and Publishers - Sue Fairchild
18. Writing Bible Study Guides - Lin Johnson
19. WIP: Create your own Book: an Interactive Writing Adventure - Cathy Mayfield & Faith Weaver
20. The Storyteller in You - Cindy Sproles
21. Four Roads Diverge - Roseanna White
22. Blogging: Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting - Don Catlett
23. Making Grand Slam Decisions Biblically - Caz Russell
24. Are You Ready to Work with an Agent? - Jim Hart
25. Constructing Characters - Vincent Davis II
26. Writing Picture Books for Children - Joyce Ellis
27. Marketing for Those Who Don’t Like to Market - Jim Hart
28. Contracts and Legal Stuff - Sue Fairchild
29. Writing Personal Experience Articles - Lin Johnson
30. WIP: Create your own Book: an Interactive Writing Adventure - Cathy Mayfield & Faith Weaver
31. Spit-shine your Manuscript - Cindy Sproles
32. A Fun-filled Tour of a Cover Design Process - Roseanna White
33. Word Press Quick Start - Don Catlett
34. Leaving a Legacy - Caz Russell
2:30 – 3:15
35. How to be your own Sales Person - Bonnie Swinehart
36. Constructing Plot and Story - Vincent Davis II
37. Writing to the Heart and Mind of the Non-Christian - Joyce Ellis
38. Ask Me Anything—Almost (2) - Marsha Hubler
39. Final Touches and Tools for Self-Editing - Sue Fairchild
40. Writing Devotions - Lin Johnson
41. WIP: Create your own Book: an Interactive Writing Adventure - Cathy Mayfield & Faith Weaver
Don Catlett: truly enjoys sharing the tools & skills he’s developed as a designer & marketing advisor over the past 21 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.
Michele Chynoweth: is the best-selling author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker, The Runaway Prophet and The Jealous Son, contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories. Michele is also a speaker, college writing instructor, book coach, and graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She lives in North East, Maryland.
Vincent B. Davis II: is the author of 7 books, entrepreneur, speaker, and soldier. He is passionate about helping authors learn the tactics he used to become a bestseller. Focusing primarily on Amazon, he loves making the complex simple so that authors can sell more books.
Joyce Ellis: has published hundreds of articles & 16 books including the Gold-Medallion-Award-winning One-Minute Bible for Kids, the humorous grammar book Write with Excellence 201, & the picture book The Fabulous World That God Made, one of Focus on the Family’s Top Ten Family-Friendly children’s books. Her newest release is the devotional book Our Heart Psalms. A former magazine editor, Joyce is also a writing instructor & public speaker. She takes frequent mission trips, & has taught English in Thailand via Zoom. She enjoys a good cup of tea & reading by a lake or ocean.
Sue Fairchild: has self-published four of her own books & has helped numerous authors to publish theirs. After starting as a freelance editor, she now works for Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., Redemption Press, & Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She’s also an editor for The Christian Pen, Vice President of the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Association, & the coordinator of her local critique group.
Jim Hart: is a literary agent with Hartline Literary Agency. For the past 8 years he has worked with both veteran & debut authors, representing a mix of non-fiction & fiction books. Jim is also a singer/songwriter & worship leader. He has been involved in youth & music ministry for several decades and is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God.
Vie Herlocker: is associate editor for Surry Living Magazine in NC. Her experience includes editing for a small publisher & judging writing contests. She has written for periodicals, compilation books, & has cowritten or ghostwritten nonfiction books. She’s a member of Christian Editor Connection, Christian PEN, ACFW, and Word Weavers.
Marsha Hubler: the author of the best-selling Keystone Stables Series, she has a master’s degree in education. She has 23 books & dozens of articles/short stories in print. Her latest series, TOMMI POCKETS, addresses kids suffering from divorced parents & peer rejection with the hope offered by God and people who care. The director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference since 2015 & a frequent speaker, she loves to help beginning writers.
Lin Johnson: is the editor-administrator of The Christian Writers Market Guide; a freelance editor, and author of more than 70 books with a specialization in Bible curriculum. She is a Gold Medallion Book Award and an Evangelical Press Association Higher Goals award recipient. Lin also directs the Write-to-Publish Conference in the Chicago area and teaches at writers’ conferences around the world.
Cathy Mayfield: Often found teaching rather than writing, Cathy Mayfield homeschooled for over 30 years, working with young writers through various avenues including writers’ clubs, workshops, & conferences. Her devotions have appeared in All God’s Creatures 2021. She’s published in Strength & Grace, Guideposts’ devotional magazine for caregivers, & the Focus on the Family magazine. She enjoys time with her husband & dog on her porch & reading to their 5 grandchildren.
Zach & Leah Peterson: joined the MCWC faculty in 2021 as the Praise and Worship Team. Music for Zach & 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 & church beginning at age 9. They both sang in the nationally televised Rejoice Choir as well as in the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. In 2015 they produced their first CD, “The Love of God,” that included two of their original compositions. Their desire is to communicate & worship in song to uplift & edify the believer & bring the lost to Christ. Zach currently serves as the music director for Bible Baptist Church, Kreamer, PA, & Leah directs the church’s children’s choir.
Caz Russell: is a certified independent John Maxwell speaker, trainer, & coach. He’s the author of Nuggets: What Dog Training Taught Me about Life and Leadership, & he’s an “outdoor” writer for The Daily Item newspaper. Speaking both internationally & nationally, the last 6 years he has traveled from the west coast to the east coast sharing his keynote messages, which often leave the audience feeling empowered and motivated.
Patti Souder: former MCWC director, has written, co-authored, or contributed to 14 books. She has also written articles, children’s stories, plays, & musicals. Her special niche? Creating drama sketches that bring Bible characters to life with rhyme, rhythm, & humor. Her dramas are available at SkitGuys.com, AlphaStarDrama.com, & Lillenas.com.
Cindy K. Sproles: the co-founder of ChristianDevotions.us, she’s dedicated to spreading the Word of God through devotions & offering writers their first writing credits. With 20 years’ experience, she’s a best-selling & award-winning author, receiving the 2021 Novel of the Year from the Christian Market Book Awards. She’s served as a managing editor for 2 publishing companies & now works as a freelance editor. She travels nationwide speaking at conferences where she loves teaching new writers.
Bonnie Swinehart: an author whose career has included assistant preschool teacher, librarian, environmental writer/editor, Director of Communications, newspaper reporter, photographer, & weekly columnist. Her “published author” dream came true with 2 juvenile fiction books, Benjy and the Belsnickel & Benjy and the County Fair. She enjoys speaking to groups (especially children) & sharpening her sales skills.
Roseanna White: is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing for WhiteFire Publishing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself.
David White: David J. White is a lover of stories, be they in the written word or on the screen. As the founder and publisher of the WhiteFire Publishing Group, he gets the chance to explore this love and lead authors and creatives into the challenge of getting them into the world.
Faith Colleen Weaver: lives in Carlisle, PA, with her husband and 4 cats. Her debut novel—a YA, fantasy, create-your-own-quest novel, Once Upon a Book—was released in November 2020 with a 2nd novel to be released in the spring of 2022. Appreciating choose-your-own-adventure books, Faith decided to write some for young adults & signed with Elk Lake Publishing for an open-ended series of these unique books. Faith enjoys reading, photographing nature, & mentoring teens.
MORNING FOUR-SESSION WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Songwriting Seminar with Zach and Leah Peterson $40 (Limit: 8 conferees)
AFTERNOON FOUR-SESSION WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Fantasy – For teens and young adults! Create your own Book: An Interactive Writing Adventure with Cathy Mayfield/ Faith Weaver $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.
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.
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.
Listen to the sessions you missed or those you want to hear again.
MONDAY: MIZ MOE’S (VIE HERLOCKER) EDITING SEMINAR
“The Secret Life of Editors”: Join Book Mama for a behind the scenes look at editing. Mama and her alter ego, Miz Moe (Meddlesome Old Editor), will disclose editing tips and techniques and help you uncover a few of the mistakes that even seasoned writers slip into. This workshop will include hands-on exercises and Bull’s Eye Caramels.
TUESDAY: FREE TIME OR REHEARSAL/PREP FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING
WEDNESDAY: I’M SUCH A CHARACTER!
Come dressed as your favorite character from your own book or from another author’s work! Give a one-minute introduction of your character then be prepared to join a panel discussion with other characters and answer a few questions such as “What was the scariest thing that happened to you on this book journey? What was the funniest thing that happened to you? What was the most meaningful experience you had?” (Questions will be provided ahead of time on Tuesday’s evening’s rehearsal/practice.)
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.