Upcoming Writers’ Conference in Lancaster County


Are you an aspiring writer seeking to hone skills, become market savvy, consult personally with editors/authors—all on a budget? Then join us at Lancaster Christian WritersSuper Saturday 2016!! April 16th, 2016, from 8:30am-4:30pm at Lancaster Bible College, 901 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA, 17601. This one-day writers conference offers a dual track of workshops in fiction and non-fiction. Early registration price of $50 is due by Wednesday, April 13, and includes soup/sandwich buffet lunch and LCW membership. Registrations after April 13 and walk-ins day of the conference are $60.

Non-fiction faculty include writers conference director and author Marsha Hubler, professional writer/editor Hana Haatainen Caye, transformational speaker and novelist Tracy Higley, and award-winning Toastmaster speaker and author Michele Chynoweth. A fiction track will be taught by award-winning novelists Gayle Roper, Mike Dellosso, and Dwight Kopp.

Workshops cover such topics as:

  • Can You Say Satisfying? Creating the Inspiring Moment.
  • Keep ‘Em Wide-Eyed! Sure-Fire Techniques for Writing Hi-Octane Suspense
  • From Book to Bestseller: You Are Your Own Best Publicist
  • The Delicate Art of Creating Villains
  • Non-fiction That Sells: Making Your Article or Book Irresistible to Editors
  • Style: Uncovering Voice and the Power of Identity.
  • The Business of Writing: Making Money as a Freelance Writer.
  • Impactivity: Pursuing Your Writing Dream with Passion, Balance, and Joy

A conference bookstore will offer a wide variety of writer resources and faculty titles. Personal consultations with faculty are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Author/editor/conference director Marlene Bagnull and award-winning novelist/collaborative writer Jeanette Windle are among auxiliary faculty offering personal consultations.

More information, including the Super Saturday 2016 Flyer/Registration Form and Press Release can be found at Lancaster Christian Writers Today (http://lancasterchristianwriterstoday.blogspot.com/) OR email LCW president Jeanette Windle at jeanette@jeanettewindle.com.

Mail Super Saturday 2016 registration form (or relevant info) and check or money order payable to: Lancaster Christian Writers, c/o Jeanette Windle, 1776 Euclid Drive, Lancaster, PA 17601. For credit card/PayPal payment, request invoice at jeanette@jeanettewindle.com (preferred) or call 717-209-0011 after 4 PM.

I have attended LCW’s Super Saturday conferences for the past three years and am already registered to attend this one!  I always learn something helpful or make a valuable new contact or make a new friend, and I have heard all but one of these speakers before and they do an excellent job!  So, if you write or want to write and live in or near Lancaster County, plan to join us for this Super Saturday Writers’ Conference!

ACFW Keystone Christian Fiction Writers Conference

I couldn’t have received a better greeting upon arriving at the conference — I was at the registration table to collect my name tag and folder, and I heard, “Kelly Barr.”  I turned and saw Mike Dellosso!  He gave me a hug and I told him it was great to hear about their upcoming adoption.

If you don’t know who Mike is, to me Mike is the first, what I consider fairly successful, author that I had a fifteen minute one-on-one appointment with at my very first writers’ conference.  He was so helpful and encouraging.  Since then I have been his Facebook friend and am a member of his Darlington Society.  I also did an interview with him on this very blog here if you would like to learn more about him.  I encourage you to go to Amazon and buy his latest ebook, Fear Mountain now and help him and his family raise the funds for their adoption.  I also highly recommend his book, Centrailia.  His books will keep you turning the pages.

Mike was our keynote speaker.  He presented us with wise words about how to keep writing and not give in to our fears and/or failures.  He used the example of a runner and left us with the scripture reference of Isaiah 43.  We need to be listening to the voice of God regardless of what anyone else says.

Mike also did a session on how to find time to write.  It was a very encouraging session with many things to think about.  The top two things I took away from this session were “Write what you’re passionate about.  The going will get rough and things will upset your schedule, so your passion is what will keep you going.”  And, “If you’re going to start something, finish it because as you go through the process, you will learn valuable lessons.”

Kelly Anne Liberto also did a session.  The title of her session was “Hiding God’s Word in Our Stories in a Post Christian World”.  She had some trouble with her computer at the beginning of her session and again later, so I think this may have caused her to lose her focus.  I have to say that I was disappointed with this session.  Based on the title, I was expecting her to explain how to write a Christian message into your story without using all of the Christian language, and I expected to receive some examples of how to do this.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that she adequately covered this, and I felt that a lot of what she did talk about was advice on how to lean on God as you prepare to write and as you write.

Dwight Kopp presented a workshop on “Characters and Chaos”.  He was a very energetic and enthusiastic speaker, which made this workshop very enjoyable.  He explained how important both characters and complications are to any story.  He made suggestions of great places to find ideas for stories, and he left me with a great mental picture, when he said something like, take an idea and play with it like playdough, experimenting with different complications and possible endings and eventually you’ll find a story worth writing.

My friend, Donna Smith, also did a workshop.  Her workshop was “Plotting for Pantsers”.  She gave us lots of information and suggested a couple of books, one of which I definitely want to get my hands on:  Story Trumps Structure by Steven James.  She said it is a very unique book and is great for pantsers.

The conference ended with a Panel Discussion.  I had never seen or participated in one of those before.  It was very educational, informational and enjoyable.  Nine people, consisting of some publishers, agents, editors, and authors sat up front and we were able to ask them questions on any writing topic for an hour.  They talked about writing trends, writing contracts, self-publishing and much more.

During the day, we also had the opportunity for 15 minute one-on-one appointments with agents, editors, authors, and publishers.  I met with an agent.  She was a very nice lady, but from what I knew of her in the past, she pretty much told me what I expected her to tell me, and her advice is not the advice I want to follow.  Later, I met with a publisher and that was a surprising experience.  I handed her my One Sheet, and instead of reading over that and talking to me about my story, she said, “Tell me your story.”  So, I gave a brief oral description of my plot line.  When I finished, she said, “I love it!”  Wow, I didn’t expect such an enthusiastic response.  She gave me a packet of information, explained her publishing and told me to contact her.

The day was quite enjoyable and I left feeling very encouraged about my writing.  Therefore, I thought the day was a success.

A Writers’ Conference!

I am preparing and getting geared up and exciting for the American Christian Fiction Writers PA Chapter’s first one-day writers’ conference, known as the Keystone Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference!  You can find all of the details here.  If you are interested in writing Christian Fiction and are anywhere near State College, PA, I encourage you to sign up.  You can even still register at the door.

I am super excited about the seminars and I have two appointments — one with an agent and one with an editor.  I’m going to try pitching my first book.  I’m both nervous and excited about this.

I won’t be traveling to the conference alone.  I will be traveling with three other writers, so the trip should be fun.

Is it Worth Attending a Writers’ Conference?


I attended the annual Lancaster Christian Writers (LCW) Super Saturday one-day conference this past Saturday and it was fantastic!

Why should a writer attend a writers’ conference?  Well, we all know that writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely, job.  We need interaction, and what better interaction than to connect with other writers?  I made some new friends as well as connected with friends I already know.  It was exciting to talk to other writers about writing!

I also was able to have 15 minutes of one-on-one time with published author, Karen Whiting, and what a fantastic fifteen minutes that was!  I took approximately 2 1/2 pages of my current work in progress (WIP) with me (it was the third beginning I have written for this WIP).  I was able to ask Karen to read it and give me feedback, and she did!  She gave me wonderful feedback that was extremely encouraging to me because she had very little corrective comments, but she also had lots of great ideas for my story, AND she gave me a great title for my story.  (She had asked me what the title of the story is, and I said I didn’t have one yet, so she gave me a couple of ideas, one of which I loved and thought would be a great fit).

In addition, there were some outstanding workshops to attend.  I attended two workshops that were presented by author,Dina Sleiman — one on using Myers-Briggs personality types for characters.  My favorite workshop was presented by author, Kelly Long.  She presented a workshop about including “absolute truth” in our fiction — stressing that “absolute truth” only comes from the Bible.  She included two really good activities that we had to participate in, and she shared some of her personal life story.  It was a powerful workshop.

I’m not sure if I mentioned on this blog before or not, but this is my second year as a member of LCW, and this year I also became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), which is a nationwide organization.  They have lots of great resources and ways to connect with other writers online.  There were quite a few ACFW members at the conference and we sat together for lunch and took a group photo after lunch.  That was fun!

After lunch, I attended the second workshop by Dina Sleiman about writing blockbuster scenes.  She went over Making Every Scene Count, POV, setting your scenes, creating your scenes, and exiting your scenes well.

The final workshop I attended was presented by Karen Whiting, and it was on Marketing, and it was another great help to me, as she handed out index cards at the beginning of the workshop and told us to write the title of our book, our name, and what our book is about on the index card and hand them in.  Then as she spoke about the many ways to market, she went through the index cards and offered marketing suggestions to those individuals for their book.  So, not only did she help me by giving me some great ideas for writing my book, as well as the title I plan to use, but she gave me some great ideas for marketing the book, when the time comes.

I also want to mention that our opening Keynote speaker was Grace Fabian, and what an powerfully, inspirational opening she gave.  She has a remarkable testimony, and I bought her book so I can read her life story.  She has suffered great pain and loss but still has a strong faith in God.  What a blessing!

So not only was this conference wonderfully helpful for my writing, but it was a revival to my spiritual soul that had me praising the Lord!  I’m so thankful to know Him.

That’s the kind of great stuff you can get out of attending a Writers’ Conference, and it doesn’t have to be a long, expensive one to make it worth your while.  Sure, I would love to attend one of the big Writers’ Conferences that last a couple of days and cost over a hundred dollars to attend plus the cost of a hotel room, but at this time, I am unable to do that, and not just because of the financial cost.  I hope to be able to do that some time, but until then, I attend all of the inexpensive, one-day workshops I possibly can, and I get something out of each and every one of them, and I have made some new friends by doing so as well.  I highly recommend that you get to whatever writers’ conferences you can, as well.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

One-Day Super Saturday Writers’ Conference

A writers’ conference is a great place to learn more about writing techniques and marketing and publishing opportunities and possibilities.  It is also a great place to meet other writers and make connections and form bonds, which is a wonderful thing since writing is a lonely business.  You can make lifelong friends who can help and encourage you and you can do the same for them as you walk your writing journey.  I attended this event last year, and cannot wait to attend this Saturday.  If you are anywhere near Lancaster County, I invite you to come and see what this one-day conference has to offer, and if you like, I can meet you face-to-face if you let me know you are coming so we can connect.


For a bargain of excellence and price, no writer, whether beginning or advanced, within driving radius will want to miss Lancaster Christian Writers’ Super Saturday 2015!! to be held April 11th, 2015, from 8:30am.-4:30pm at Lancaster Bible College, 901 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

This one-day writers conference offers a full slate of workshops taught by top industry professionals in both fiction and non-fiction fields. An early registration price of $50 is due by Wednesday, April 8, and includes soup/sandwich buffet lunch (think Panini!) and LCW membership. Registrations after April 9 and walk-ins day of the conference are $60.

A fiction track will be taught by award-winning novelists Dina Sleiman and Kelly Long along with children’s author Brenda Hendricks. Non-fiction faculty include TV/radio speaker, marketing expert, award-winning author of 19 books Karen Whiting, professional memoir and ghostwriter Shawn Smucker, journalist/social media experts Lisa Bartelt and Alison McLennan.

Keynoting the opening session will be linguist, missionary, and author Grace Fabian. Workshops cover such topics as: 

Market Yourself Now! Learn Tools to Develop Press Kit, Bio, Website, and Other PR Products.

Writing Blockbuster Scenes: How To Keep Readers Flipping Pages and Asking For More.

 Transformed Manuscripts: Repackaging Your Ideas (Sold or Rejected) to Expand Marketability.

 The Unfortunate Truth in Fiction: Addressing Hard Issues Without Pulling Down Your Story.

 A Story To Tell: Surefire Do’s and Don’ts to Write a Gripping True Life Story or Memoir.

 Myers-Briggs for Your Protagonist: Applying Personality Types to Create Characters with Distinctive Qualities, Motivations, and Voices.

 Let’s Ride the Seesaw: Recruiting Your Inner Child to Communicate with Young Readers.

 100% Guaranteed (Oh, Yeah?) Secret to Blogging Success Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

A conference bookstore will offer a wide variety of writer resources and faculty titles. Conference attendees can get personal consultations with faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lancaster Christian Writers welcomes writers of all churches and denominations, all levels and genres. Monthly meetings offer opportunities for manuscript critique, networking with other writers, workshops and guest authors.

The Keynote Speaker

At Saturday’s writers’ conference, Marlene Bagnull was the keynote speaker who opened for the conference.


Marlene shared many wonderful Bible verses that a writer can cling to for encouragement.  She wrote this wonderful book, which I purchased and she autographed, and I can’t wait to dig into it.

She suggested that a writer pray for his/her writing every morning.

She shared how her first book was out six years to forty-two different publishers before it finally was published.  She said, “If you believe God called you to write, don’t give up!”

She said there is a quote: “It takes 1,000 rejection slips to become a professional writer.”  (I’m not sure I have enough time for this.)

She asked, “If you knew Christ was coming back this week, what manuscript would you like to lay at is feet?”

Great things to think about.  The best possible direction — focus on Christ.

If you like this post, be sure to check out Marlene Bagnull’s blog:  http://writehisanswer.wordpress.com/

I have three more posts to cover the writers’ conference, as I will post on each of the authors whose workshops I attended.

My First Christian Writers’ Conference

This past Saturday I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers’ 2014 Super Saturday writers’ conference.  It was the first time I have ever attended a writers’ conference, and I absolutely loved it!  I attended some great, educational workshops, met some wonderful Christian authors and even had a 15-minute one-on-one consultation with an author!

I received such great advice and writing how-to’s and brought home a LOT of books, most of which I was blessed to have signed by the authors!  I look forward to attending next year’s conference!  I am also considering attending a nearby Writers’ luncheon and workshop in October.  What a boost — it has me very excited to get into my writing again, and now I believe I have a direction!

Suzanne Kuhn, better known as Suzy Q (http://suzyq4u.com/) gave a presentation on social media.  She focused mostly on Facebook and Twitter.  I was already comfortable with Facebook, but she certainly cleared up Twitter for me and helped realize how helpful it can be, and I now know what a hashtag is and what it’s purpose is.  Do you?

More to come on this great event in future posts.  Stay tuned!