A Writing Update and Conference Highlights

I AM FINISHED with the rough draft of my first novel! Let the editing begin — yes, that is my next step.

LCW’s Super Saturday one day writers’ conference went very well, and there were quite a few new attendees, including quite a few young people and one twelve-year-old boy. What a great thing to see!

There was a keynote address and four sessions. I attended a session presented by J.P. Robinson, who gave an information packed session on marketing!

I attended a great session on how to use setting to create strong emotional impact and suspense, which will be a great help as I edit my novel because describing and using my setting are weaknesses of mine, although I have improved from the start to the finish. I also attended an in-depth session on plot and character that had a great exercise to help understand the importance of really knowing your characters. Both of these sessions were presented by Ronie Kendig.

I also had a one-on-one appointment with Rita Gerlach who also writes historical romantic fiction. She read the first scene of my novel and gave me suggestions for two minor adjustments to improve it, but she really liked it and encouraged me in my writing. She also offered some advice on publishing.

Once again, a very valuable, worthwhile one-day LCW Super Saturday Writers’ Conference — Thank You, Jeanette Windle!

Join Me at Super Saturday Writer’s Conference


If you are within a distance that allows you to travel to Lancaster, PA for a one-day writer’s conference, I hope you will register for this one and join me. I have been attending this one-day conference every year since 2013 and have not been disappointed. A writer’s conference is a great way to learn more about the writing craft, publishing, and marketing. It’s also a great way to meet other writers and connect with publishers.

If you want more information on this upcoming conference, check out the following links:



If you do attend, please be sure to stop me sometime during the day and say “Hi”. I hope to see you there!

LCW Super Saturday is Coming!

If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, and you live in or near, or can travel to Lancaster County, PA, I highly recommend this one-day writers’ conference, and this year’s promises to be the best yet, just look at the line-up:

LCW SUPER SATURDAY 2018  April 7, 2018  (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)


MARLENE BAGNULL— Conference speaker and director Greater Philly and
Colorado Christian Writers Conference; author, Write His Answer; editor and
publisher, Ampelos Press

WORKSHOP: Hook ‘em from the Get-go and Hold ‘em to the End. With
over 1,000 sales to Christian periodicals, Marlene Bagnull has developed a
checklist to help you create, rewrite, and edit your articles so that you can be
certain you’ll hook ’em from the get-go and hold ’em to the end.

DONNA BRENNAN—magazine and technical writer with
numerous short stories, interviews, and nonfiction articles published online and
in print magazines including Thriving Family, Encounter, Splickity, and
Christian Fiction Online Magazine. A member of American Christian Fiction
Writers (ACFW) and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG),
Donna has served in various capacities on the GLVWG board, including several
terms as Conference Chair.

WORKSHOP: Make It Personal: Mastering Deep Point of View: What is
meant by “deep point of view” and how does it affect your writing or your
reader? Can you only attain deep point of view in first person writing, or is it
possible in third person? In this interactive session, we’ll discuss what is and
isn’t deep point of view and study examples. And then we’ll all try our hand at improving several
samples of writing by going deeper with the point of view.

PIERRE EADE—pastor, conference speaker, and author of Born to
Grow and Our Good Father. Pierre’s personal mission is to inspire,
educate and empower people to grow. Pierre enjoys writing on the
topic of spiritual growth on his website and blog. In both his writing
and speaking, Pierre is a gifted communicator who uses the power of
personal story and humor to bring the Bible to life.

WORKSHOP: The Power of Story: Using Personal Anecdote and
Humor to Write Compelling Non-Fiction. “Then I witnessed the most
amazing thing happen with my dog!” Capturing your audience’s
attention. Bringing a smile to their face. Landing your message with a
powerful punch. All of this is possible through the power of story. In
this workshop, you will not only learn the why and how of creative storytelling but get a chance
to put it into action. And maybe hear the astonishing true story of how Pierre Eade’s dog was
healed through the power of—peanut butter?!

LYNN EIB—award-winning newspaper reporter-turned-award-winning
author with six titles published by Tyndale House, including bestselling
When God & Cancer Meet and Peace in the Face of Cancer, 2017 Golden
Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year. Her journalism career includes awardwinning
reporting stints on The Cleveland Plain Dealer and The York Daily
Record, as well as many published articles in both secular and religious
magazines. As a longtime cancer survivor and patient advocate, she has
provided emotional and spiritual support to tens of thousands of cancer
patients and caregivers around the world. Lynn is also founder of The
Cancer Prayer Support Group, the country’s oldest such faith-based group.

WORKSHOP: Faith-Based Writing Both Believers and Seekers Will
Read. Do you want your writing to not only encourage believers, but also
draw those seeking God closer to true faith? If so, you need to write so
those readers will read and can understand your message. Learn to think
like those readers think, appropriately choose a title/book cover, avoid
Christian terminology, and use Scripture powerfully, yet wisely. If you have a heart for your
work to be an evangelistic tool, you will want to attend this workshop.

GAYLE ROPER–Has been in love with story as long as she can remember, whether reading or writing one. She has authored more than fifty books and won numerous awards including RITA Award, Carol Award, and Golden Scroll. Romantic Times Book Report has given her the Lifetime Achievement Award. Christian Writers’ Conferences including Mount Hermon CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC have cited her contributions to the training of writers. She lives in Southeastern PA and can be contacted at gayle@gayleroper.com; http://www.gayleroper.com.

WORKSHOP:  But I Love Her! Making Your Characters Live. What makes a character on paper more real than the person sitting next to you? Characters your reader cares for and knows are the keys to successful fiction, whether plot driven or character driven. We will discuss personalities, markers, layering, and consistency.

WORKSHOP:  Before You Write–Theology and Philosophy of Christian Fiction. You can’t wait to write your story. You have a great plot and wonderful characters. But who are you writing for? What’s your world view? What about pattern and principle? Verities vs. distinctives? You should know so you can write from a solid base.

LOREE LOUGH— Bestselling author of more than a hundred books
that have earned countless industry and Readers’ Choice awards,
including fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults, with nearly seven
million copies in circulation and seven books optioned for movies. Loree
also has 68 short stories, and 2500+ articles in print. An oft-invited guest
of writers’ organizations, colleges and universities, corporate and
government agencies in the U.S. and abroad, Loree loves sharing
learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry.

WORKSHOP: Don’t Waste That Research: Turning Your Extra Data into Writing Income.
Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, writers spend countless hours reading and interviewing in preparation for a well-researched article or novel. In this fun and practical workshop, Loree will show you, step by step, how to turn that research into extra dollars. Now, doesn’t that make “cents”’!

SHAWN SMUCKER— Co-writer of many nonfiction titles and author
of YA speculative novels The Edge of Over There and The Day the
Angels Fell, 2018 winner of Christianity Today’s Book Award in
Children and Youth category. He lives in Lancaster, PA, with his wife
and six children.

WORKSHOP: Writing Out of This World: A Practical Guide to
Speculative Fiction from Concept to Publication. Are you thinking of
diving into the emerging genre of speculative fiction? Does your new
book idea involve elements of supernatural realism? Join Shawn
Smucker, recipient of Christianity Today’s 2018 Book Award for his
YA speculative novel The Day the Angels Fell, as he explores the
process of moving your “out of this world” story idea from concept to
successful publication.

JEANETTE WINDLE—president, Lancaster Christian Writers,
investigative journalist, freelance editor, award-winning author
of 21 fiction and non-fiction titles, including Forgiven, 2016
Christian Retailing Best Award and ECPA Christian Book
Award finalist, and All Saints, also a Sony film.

WORKSHOP: Life’s Good, Bad and Ugly: Making Fiction
Ring True. Writers can only breathe reality into their words if
they know intimately of what they are writing. From an author
who has been there and done that, learn how to use the good,
bad, and ugly of your life experience to give your fiction the
touch that will grab editors’ attention and make your story ring
true to readers.

Now hurry over to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JMRwT9RXQ46IzkN9v3GNEPhWnwgID9fT/view

and register! I hope to see you there!

Writers’ Conference Fun

I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday one-day writers’ conference on Saturday, April 8, 2017. It was so much fun because the speakers and seminars were extremely helpful and informative and because I was able to connect with some old friends and make a couple of new ones.

It’s always fun to connect with other writers because they understand me. They think like me. It’s great to be able to share challenges and successes and to be able to support and encourage each other.

I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re a writer and you haven’t been to a writers’ conference, you really should go. I’m sure you would enjoy it. I know most writers are introverts (including me), but you know, even we introverts need to step out of our comfort zones once in a while, and I don’t think there’s any place better to do that than with other writers because you’re guaranteed to have a common topic of conversation.

Here are some highlights from the day:

My dear friend, Mike Dellosso, author of Centralia and Kill Devil,  was the keynote speaker. (I’ve posted a couple of book reviews of some of Mike’s books here in the past. I’ve done an author interview with him as well and included some of his books on several of the Top Ten Tuesday posts I’ve done in the past.)

Mike was the first published author I ever connected with in public in regard to writing and he has been a great help and encouragement to me, and I can always count on him to give it to  me straight. Last year he looked over a few pages of my WIP and informed me that it was “lifeless”. Yes, he said that, but then he said, “I’m sorry, that sounded harsh.” And he followed that up with suggestions and explanation of how to fix the problem.

Anyway, his keynote this year was very good and inspirational. One quote that sticks with me: “Wherever you are on the road in your writing, that’s where God wants you at this time. Do your best.”

I also attended two seminars presented by Roseanna White, author of Lady Unrivaled. She presented a seminar on “Fiction Rules and When to Break Them” — one example: “Show Vs. Tell”: The Rule: Do this as much as possible because it may take longer and consist of more words, but it makes the story vivid. Her second seminar taught what’s important in a book cover and how to be sure the cover of your book is both professional and eye-catching, as well as the fact that it should evoke emotions, questions, or interest, and convey something important about the book.

Laurie Edwards was a fun speaker. She did a seminar about “Adding Emotion to the Page: Surefire Techniques to Connect with Readers” as well as a seminar about “Information Dump or Dramatic Flashback? Using Back Story the Right Way”. She had us do some very intriguing exercises in each seminar that really drove her points home.  She told us a story about a conversation she had with someone who asked what she did for a living, to which she answered that she is a writer. The other person asked a few more questions, one of which Laurie answered with, “My characters talk to me.” After a pause, the person she was speaking to said, “They don’t really, do they?” We all laughed. Non-writers just don’t understand those of us who write.   🙂

There were also seminars on marketing, social media, organizing your WIP for effectiveness, and how to turn your life into award-winning fiction. I was not able to attend any of these seminars.

At these conferences, several seminars run at the same time and you have to choose the ones you believe will be most helpful to you where you are currently at in your writing. However, I did pick up a book about marketing and one about social media. I can always read and study on my own. I actually do this a lot. There’s something to be said for being “self-taught”. Some of the most successful people in history were “self-taught”.

Have you ever been to a writers’ conference? What was your favorite thing about it?

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!

An Update and Writers’ Conference

You may be wondering where I have been.  I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I posted here, but in addition to being a writer, I am a homeschool mom of three and that keeps me quite busy.  As part of our homeschooling, we are involved in a homeschool co-op which runs twenty weeks of the year, and in order to be a member, I am require to teach a class and be a teacher’s helper in a class.  This year I am teaching Starting Points by David Quine, a World View study.  It is a wonderful study, but it is very in-depth and has no teacher’s book or answer key.  The teacher is required to read and study the same as the students and to teach the students from what he or she gleans from the study.  Therefore, I have been incredibly busy reading and studying wonderful books about my faith and why I believe and what I believe, as well as some wonderful works of fiction and watching two classic movies.  I am currently working my way through C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and will be wrapping that up a week from today.  However, I then have one more book to read and study to complete the Bible and Literature sections of the curriculum.  There is also a history section, which I will not be doing until the new school year begins in September.  

I highly recommend that anyone who wishes to grow stronger in their faith or wants to write stories with a strong Christian message, characters or lesson complete this study.  You will not regret it.

That being said, I plan to begin posting on here more regularly in a couple of weeks.  I hope you will bear with me.

Now, something on writing:  this Saturday I will be attending my first Writers’ Conference.  I will be attending the Lancaster Christian Writers 2014 Super Saturday!  You can find out more about it here:  http://www.lancasterchristianwriterstoday.blogspot.com/.

I look forward to learning more about the writing craft and publishing.  I plan to post about the conference next week, so stay tuned.