Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sharpen Writing Skills at Montrose Conference

I'm getting very excited about what God has in store at this year's Montrose Christian Writers Conference July 25-30 at the Montrose Bible Conference, Pennsylvania.

I'll be on the faculty (along with some really cool people I can't wait to meet -- keep reading) to teach one of the morning tracks, a couple of workshops and to meet with writers about their sketches. I wouldn't be surprised if I have the opportunity to make some wonderful friends too.

If you are a beginning writer looking for inspiration and guidance, this is the the place for you. If you are an established writer and are looking for some support and fellowship, this also is the place for you. I know we're going to see God at work. I'll list some of the offeirngs along with the faculty below, but for miore information, or to register, visit http://www.montrosebible.org/writers.htm
-- Lauren Yarger

MAJOR MORNING CLASSES Monday-Thursday 10:40am-12:10pm
Designed as a continuing track to provide in-depth learning and participation. Most valuable when taken as a series but open to those who cannot attend every day.


Learn how to successfully write for publication. Discuss writing ethics, professionalism, attitude, office set-up, equipment, research aids, market analysis, query letters, guidelines, manuscript preparation and submission, dangers to avoid, the writing process, the publishing process, record keeping, publication barriers (and how to overcome them), and just about everything else you’ll need to hone your skill, polish your writing, and see your work in print.

Joan returned to full-time freelance writing in 2008 after three years as Senior Writer and Editor for a non-profit organization. Her award-winning blog about Labrador retrievers has garnered an international readership from Australia, Canada, England, Europe, and India. A teacher by background, Joan loves to mentor writers just starting their publishing career.


Like it or not, the best way to build a freelance writing career is by starting with magazine articles. Move past the predictable to explore fresh ideas. Examine the kinds of features that editors look for, the calendar-content connection, the wide world of shorts, and copyrights and wrongs. Learn how to market articles at the right time to the right publication and how to write successful online articles. Get answers for your questions with a Q and A session on Thursday.

Holly is an award-winning author or co-author of 14 books and thousands of articles and short stories that have appeared in Today’s Christian Woman, The Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest and The Writer. She is an annual judge for writing competitions sponsored by the Evangelical Press Association (magazines) and the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (books). Her most recent book is "Feature & Magazine Writing: Action, Angles and Anecdotes."

Ginger is editor and manager of discipleship and women's resources for Christianity Today International which sponsors Kyria.com and award-winning Marriage Partnership.com, each visited by 1 million unique visitors annually. She's also a former editor of Today's Christian Woman and an award-winning author who has written more than 250 articles and written or contributed to more than 16 books, including Surprised by Remarriage and a novel, "Katt's in the Cradle."


Fantasy has become one of the most popular genres. This track opens the doors to learning how to create an idea for a fantasy tale, begin the adventure, and carry it through to the end of the journey—a completed novel. Writers of all ages and all skill levels are welcome. Be ready to dream and imagine as a group. Who knows? Maybe we’ll conjure up the next best-seller!

Bryan is the author of the best-selling "Dragons in Our Midst" and "Oracles of Fire" series, contemporary/fantasy blends. His book, "Eye of the Oracle," hit number one on the January 2007, Young Adult CBA best-seller list. He has also written "Echoes from the Edge," a mystery/suspense trilogy. His newest series, "Dragons of Starlight," is a 2010 release that is geared for both teens and adults.

A seminary graduate who was once a computer professional, Bryan has also written books for children, fathers, and husbands.


Where is the line between artist/Christian? Sometimes there isn't one. Learn how to write in both worlds. How do writing, music, drama, dance, visual art, and the pastor fit together? Pause to look at the big picture. Master the basics of writing . . . and rewriting . . . sketches for church or publication so they have maximum impact. Explore the art of critical writing for theater, book, or movie reviews or when offering edit suggestions on a script. Learn how to receive criticism well.

Lauren, Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, writes, directs, and produces for theater. She produced a three-year tour of a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that ended Off-Broadway. Her adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” won a 2000 VT Bessie Award. She writes Broadway, New York, and Connecticut theater reviews and has a blog for Christian artists at http://christianperformers.blogspot.com. Lauren is a member of The Outer Critics Circle, The Drama Desk, the American Theater Critics Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

5. BLOGGING 101-401: WHAT, HOW, and WHY: Jim Willis

Just what is a blog? Why are blogs so important for writers? Learn about personal, professional, and corporate blogging as well as microblogging. Discover how to track, read, and respond to blogs. Learn to design blogs to showcase your talent and capture a publisher. Explore personal brands, author platforms, and online portfolios as well as practical tips for blogging. Examine the blogging marketplace, where to find opportunities, how to make submissions, and how to freelance and get paid.

Jim is vice president of marketing for the A-Team Groups, a British-based publishing company that publishes news and research in the financial services marketplace. Prior to that, he was director of electronic marketing for Knovel Corporation, an e-book publisher. Jim has been blogging since 2007. He has been a freelance reporter, and in his youth, was a staffer in the Ronald Reagan White House. Jim has had a lifelong passion for writing, loves to blog, and loves to read e-books on his Kindle.

Additional 2010 Writers Conference Faculty

Bonnie Calhoun:Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, a 220+ member organization that conducts weekly blog tours for the latest in Christian fiction from major publishing houses; publisher Christian Fiction Online magazine; and Northeast Zone Director for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Grace Fabian: Author, speaker, and teacher who served with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Mexico and Papua New Guinea. Her husband was murdered while translating I Corinthians 13 into the Nabak language. Her memoir, Outrageous Grace, tells of her quest with grief, forgiveness, and unimaginable redemption.

Jean Otto Ford: Freelance writer, editor, public speaker, graphic designer, award-winning artist, and marketing-communications generalist who has written 12 published books and countless magazine articles. She currently works as a doctoral dissertation editor, but for fun, enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books.

Mark Hamby: Author, speaker, and Bible teacher whose passion is seeing God use the power of story to transform lives, “one story at a time.” He is the founder and President of Lamplighter Ministries International, publisher of life-changing classic books and producer of world-class audio drama productions heard on radio as Lamplighter Theater.

Vie Herlocker: Editor for Sonfire Media, a Christian partnership publishing house in Galax, Virginia. She is also a writer with articles published in several magazines and collection books. She co-wrote the book, Building Better Schools by Engaging Support Staff, and ghostwrote, Until My Blindfold Comes Off.

Matt Holliday: Editor of Pennsylvania Magazine, launched by his parents 29 years ago, enjoys connecting the stories produced by writers and photographers with readers who enjoy them. A man of broad interests, Matt has served in the military and worked as a cook and real estate agent.

Marsha Hubler: Author and educator who has written poetry, short stories,articles, and 12 books. Books 7 and 8 of her best-selling Keystone Stables series were released by Zonderkidz this year. She has also published two new releases: Rickie Rides To The Rescue and The Secret Of Wolf Canyon.

Kathy Ide: Freelance editor for authors and book publishers and published author of books, articles, play/movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum. She is also the founder/coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.

Donna and Conrad Kreiger: Worship coordinators for the conference. Donna is a songwriter, soloist, pianist, organist, arranger and recording artist who has been involved in radio drama and taught on the college level. Conrad plays several instruments and has served as Minister of Music in a variety of churches.

Shirley Leonard: Graduate of the Christian Writers guild whose devotionals have appeared in the Secret Place, the Quiet Hour, Devotions, and Penned from the Heart and whose stories and articles have been published in Live, Women Alive, and Pennsylvania. A contributing writer for American Window Cleaner, she loves to see new writers find their niche.

Elaine W. Miller is the author of two books in the Splashes of Serenity Series. Her work is published in Sanctuary: A Devotional Bible for Women as well as several magazines. A featured guest on radio and television broadcasts, Elaine is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Mary Sue Seymour: Literary agent who founded The Seymour Agency in 1992. Most interested in Christian romance and women’s fiction but also sells a little nonfiction. A member of the AAR, WGA, The Author's Guild and RWA, she represents about fifty clients, many of whom have multibook deals with major publishers.

Carol Wedeven: Teacher, speaker, artist, and musician who has written several picture books, curriculum, articles, short stories, fillers, and poetry. In addition to traveling, she continues to work on a book project and serve as Assistant Director for MCWC.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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