Ready to take your writing to the next level? In addition to the main conference we will also offer an optional DigDeeper Retreat (separate registration required) taught by Joyce Dinkins, Publishing Board Director at Our Daily Bread Ministries and Brian Allain, owner of Writing for Your Life and Publishing in Color. It will take place on the University Park Campus of the University of Southern California, at the University Religious Center (URC) – located at E3 on this map   Wednesday, March 27, 2019,  the day after the Publishing in Color conference, and the day before the Writing for Your Life conference.

The Retreat cost is $199 and includes break refreshments (lunch and dinner are on your own).


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

CLICK HERE to pay now.


Sneak peek at the schedule:

Wednesday March 27

9:00 AM: Introductions and Session 1 (Brian Allain) 

“Building Your Tribe”

  • Strategic positioning – how to find your niche and become known
  • Building your following – why it matters and how to do it
  • How marketing is different for spiritual writers
  • Social media marketing recommendations
  • Tactical Facebook marketing guidelines
  • Facebook advertising

10:15 AM: Break

10:45 AM: Session 2 (Brian Allain)

“Why You Should Consider Self Publishing”

This presentation will be similar to that in the main conference, but includes the opportunity for more in-depth conversation and a one-hour phone consultation after the conference.

In this presentation we will discuss how changes in the publishing industry mean that there has never been a better time to consider self publishing. We will review recent and current industry structure, the top 10 reasons to consider self publishing (all the way from tools to economics to platform to sources of assistance), and deal with the concern of legitimacy. We will also consider a couple of examples.

12:00 PM: Lunch on your own

1:30 PM: Session 3 (Joyce Dinkins) 

  1. Timely and timeless truths about writing success:
    • Inspiration
    • Tools
    • Style
    • Resources, and
    • Critique methods
  2. Writing exercise with guidelines (short devotional)
  3. 30-minute, one-on-one, critique opportunity

3:00 PM: Break

3:30 PM: Session 4 (Joyce Dinkins) 

  1. Self-editing (macro and micro editing guides provided)
  2. Diversity: relevance for readers, sought by publishers
  3. Big-picture polishing, and dusting off devotional details (30 minutes)


The Retreat cost is $199 and includes break refreshments (lunch and dinner are on your own).


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

CLICK HERE to pay now.


Writing for Your Life is pleased to offer 0.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for pastors for this advanced writer’s retreat. Writing for Your Life is 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 Publishing in Color main conference page



Leader bios:

Joyce Dinkins is a publishing leader with Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODBM), a Christian nondenominational nonprofit. After two years executing editorial for the Our Daily Bread devotional, Joyce now directs a publishing board that develops partnerships, provides publishing services, and develops products for diverse African American entities and audiences as well as for general markets. Joyce collaborates to acquire authors and other publishing talent for special editions of Our Daily Bread, for books published by Discovery House, and collaborates in content development for other ODBM channels, at US headquarters.

Before joining ODBM in 2015, she dedicated 9 years as New Hope Publishers managing editor, 4 years as a NavPress editor, and 13 years as a David C. Cook editor. Joyce’s freelance work includes projects for a dozen more Christian publishers since 1995. After beginning her professional career as an NBC-TV news writer, she was a copywriter at the Chicago Tribune, and created corporate communications for many years.

Since 2005, Joyce has enjoyed membership in the Academy of Christian Editors. She has earned awards and honors from professional groups, and as an undergraduate and graduate student. By collaborating in a range of publishing conferences, she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm and experience.

Our Daily Bread:


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