Are you ready to take your writing to the next level?

On the day before the main conference we will also offer a day-long DigDeeper Retreat, taught by author and consultant Patricia Raybon, Acquisitions Editor Kelsey Bowen from Revell Books, and marketing consultant Brian Allain. It will take place at New Brunswick Theological Seminary on Monday June 18, 2018 – the day before the main conference. The Retreat will start at 9 AM and go through approx. 5 PM.


Here is what you can expect to learn:

Master the Memoir — My Story, God’s Glory. Is your life’s journey worth a book? Has personal challenge and hard-won triumph taught you a lesson worth sharing? Join award-winning author and essayist Patricia Raybon for a writer’s exploration of the first-person journey called the memoir. Journey, is in fact, a key concept here. Good memoirs go places—from struggle and insight to surprise and resolution. Make your trip a courageous, page-turning, life-changing adventure. At this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between autobiography and memoir.
  • The power of self-reflection over rambling.
  • The secret of finding your narrative thread–and weaving a reader-pleasing tapestry.
  • The best way to tell your truth despite your fear.
  • The legacy of spiritual writing and how to walk confidently in it.
  • The beauty of crafting sentences that shine.
  • The relationship of memoir to all other writing formats.
  • The reason to write and finish this creative journey to God’s glory.


Your Unique Road to Publishing — Finding Connection and Sealing the Deal.

The road to getting published is not smoothly paved. More often than not, it’s a cobblestone road in a remote spot where your GPS can’t find a signal. But if you have the right tools and a high level of perseverance and the willingness to learn and adapt, you already have what it takes to get there. Join acquisitions editor Kelsey Bowen as she talks through what you’ll encounter on the road to getting published, including the roadblocks, and how that journey will be unique to you, your message or your novel, and your brand. At this workshop you’ll learn:

  • how to identify when you and your book are really ready to pursue a contract, including polishing that book proposal to its absolute sharpest
  • how to identify your actual target audience and felt need
  • what the top routes of connection are for finding a literary agent or acquisitions editor
  • what agents and editors want to hear in a 15-minute pitch
  • what agents and editors want to hear if you have 30 seconds with them in an elevator
  • what the value of revision looks like in the pre-contract stage
  • what you should be doing during long waiting periods
  • what follow-through looks like once the contract is signed.


Building Your Tribe — The Business and Marketing Side of Getting Published

You’ve learned “how to write” from Patricia and “how to get published” from Kelsey. Now learn “how to market” from marketing guru Brian Allain. At this workshop you’ll learn:

  • Strategic positioning – how to find your niche and become known
  • Building your platform through social media – why it matters
  • How marketing is different for spiritual writers
  • Social media marketing recommendations
  • Tactical Facebook marketing guidelines including advertising
  • Why you should consider self-publishing


The Retreat cost is $179 and includes break refreshments (lunch and dinner are on your own).


Click on the link below to pay now and complete your registration (PayPal or credit/debit card accepted)



Publishing in Color is pleased to offer 0.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for pastors for this DigDeeper Retreat. We are a member of the Association of Leaders in Lifelong Learning for Ministry (formerly the Society for the Advancement of Continuing Education for Ministry).

Return to main conference page.


Leader bios:

Patricia Raybon is the award-winning author of several books including My First White Friend, her racial forgiveness memoir which won the prestigious Christopher Award and a Books for a Better Life Award, Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother, Their Path to Peace. A “vulnerable conversation” with her youngest daughter Alana Raybon, the book explores their mother-daughter struggle to make interfaith peace. and I Told the Mountain to Move, her prayer memoir which was a Book of the Year Finalist in Christianity Today Magazine’s annual book awards.

Her personal essays on family and faith have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, USA Weekend, Country Living Magazine, Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Guideposts, In Touch Magazine (In Touch Ministries), Christianity Today, Today’s Christian Woman, popular blogs including the Washington Post’s Acts of Faith and Her.Meneutics, and aired on National Public Radio. Patricia’s articles and essays include several first-place winners for feature writing and news reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists (Sigma Delta Chi), National Press Women, Colorado Press Women, Colorado Association of Black Journalists and the National Mental Health Association.

Kelsey Bowen is an Acquisitions Editor at Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where she’s worked for over five years. She has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and, when she’s not editing, you can find her devouring books from her TBR list or writing her own fiction with a good cup of Starbucks coffee close by. She is also active in her church as a worship leader. She currently lives with her husband Kyle, their one-year-old daughter Peyton, and her adorable Hava-doodle dog, Izzo, in Allendale, MI.

Brian Allain leads Writing for Your Life, a resource center for spiritual writers, which includes the Publishing in Color conference series (intended to increase the number of books published by under-represented groups of spiritual writers).  Brian also provides marketing services for authors and companies through Enliven Your Tribe! Previously he served as Founding Director of the Frederick Buechner Center where he led the launch of Mr. Buechner’s online presence and established several new programs and strategic partnerships. Brian has developed and led spiritual writers conferences at Princeton Theological Seminary, Western Theological Seminary, Belmont University, New Brunswick Seminary, and several churches. He led the self-publishing effort for the book Buchner 101: An Introduction to Frederick Buechner. and