Preliminary schedule; subject to change.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Breakout Seminars A – 4:00 PM

  • Our Daily Bread Ministries – Joyce Dinkins, Executive Editor
    • “Polish and Shine”
      • Make editors and readers swoon when you deliver your written and spoken words. We’ll focus on common writing issues related to big-picture clarity and line-by-line accuracy, to give attendees reliable tools to enhance content. Experience ways to polish your proposal, including your writing samples, to enhance how publishers and ultimately readers receive your messages.
  • Skinner House Books – Mary Benard, Editorial Director
    • “Publishing at the Intersection of Progressive Values and Spiritual Growth”
      • Skinner House Books is the imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association, a religious denomination characterized by a willingness to cross boundaries, challenge the status quo, and commit to lifelong spiritual learning. Unitarian Universalists take seriously a free and responsible search for truth and meaning and honor doubts as the questions that take us further in our spiritual growth. This positions Skinner House well to publish books for spiritual seekers, people drawn to religious community but scarred by previous experience, the “spiritual but not religious,” multifaith people, interfaith activists, and anyone working and living at the intersections of different religious traditions. Many of our authors are not Unitarian Universalists but benefit from our access to the UU community as well as the general market. Come learn more about the kinds of books we publish and how to submit a strong proposal.
  • Rachelle Gardner (literary agent)
    • “Getting a Literary Agent and Getting Published”
      • Do all writers need agents? This workshop begins by discussing who needs an agent and why. You’ll learn how to research literary agents, how to determine the right agent for you, and how to write a powerful query letter to interest an agent. We’ll discuss how to know when you’re ready to seek an agent and what you need to prepare in advance. This workshop will dispel the mystique surrounding agents and help you make the best decision for your writing career.

Breakout Seminars B – 6:00 PM

  • HarperOne – Michael Maudlin, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President
    • ”Case Studies on How Great Writers Connect with Their Audiences”
      • Here we take a case study approach of looking how some great writers strategized how to frame their books so that they not only appeal to readers but have a lasting impact.
  • Amistad – Tracy Sherrod, Editorial Director
    • “How to Get a Book Deal”
  • Christianity Today Magazine – Cynthia Crawford, Assistant Editor
    • “Your Voice Matters: The Minority Voice in a Majority World”
      • As a writer, it’s important to find your voice. As a writer of color, this comes with added challenges. Traditional publishing often requires that we modify our writing style to appeal to the majority. In this session, we will discuss navigating the publishing world while maintaining our voice and the growing need for writers of color.
  • Kevin Wayne Johnson
    • “From Start to Finish for the First-Time Author”
      • With over 17 years in the publishing world as an author of 13 books, Kevin Wayne Johnson will share the following: Whether you are a self-published author or seeking a publishing contract with a major publisher, there are some initial steps to take in your writing journey. This workshop will teach you about the mechanics of writing your book (both fiction and non-fiction), marketing tips to propel you towards best-seller status, understanding copyright, book covers, typesetting/formatting, the multiple venues to sell your book, distribution channels, selecting the right literary agent, drafting your book proposal, and the latest trends in the industry that will guide you towards success. Take your first step today!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Breakout Seminars C – 10:00 AM

  • InterVarsity Press – Helen Lee, Marketing Director
    • “Vetting the House”
      • As aspiring authors of color, not only are you being vetted, but you also have to do some vetting yourself to get to know the potential publishing house you will be working with. The journey for an author of color is distinct, and you need to know what to look for to ensure your words and end product will be stewarded well.
  • Moody Publishers – Randall Payleitner, Editorial Director
    • “What Does an Acquisitions Editor Do?”
      • I have spent about half my professional life with the words “Acquisitions Editor” written on my business card. And, a while ago someone asked me: “Randall, what would you say an acquisitions editor does?” I gave an off-the-cuff five minute answer… here’s my more thought-out version. In essence, I think an acquisitions editor needs to be able to do at least five things really well…
  • Christianity Today – Andy Olsen, Managing Editor
    • “Thinking Big: What Is “Thought Journalism” and Why It Matters to Getting Published”
      • Thought journalism–the kind of stories and op-eds that dominate national magazines from The Atlantic to The National Review to, yes, Christianity Today–can be a tough nut to crack. Fortunately for good writers, publishing competitive thought pieces is entirely possible if you’re willing to do your homework and stay humble.


Breakout Seminars D – 11:00 AM

  • Ed Gilbreath – Executive Director of Communications, Evangelical Covenant Church
    • “Building Bridges: Embracing Your Mission As a Writer”
      • We all have a story to tell. As Christians, it is a story inspired by Jesus and how he taught us to live. In his various roles as editor, author, and journalist, Ed has worked with many writers to craft their stories and tell his own. This seminar will provide inspiration and information to help your mission as a writer.
  • The Christian Century – Elizabeth Palmer, Books Editor
    • “Book-Reviewing Your Way Into Publishing”
      • Writing a few solid book reviews can be a great way to get your feet on the ground in the publishing world. Christian Century book review editor Elizabeth Palmer will share her perspectives on the basic structure of a compelling review, how to balance your voice as reviewer with the voice of the book’s author, and the top five mistakes reviewers make. We will also discuss when and how to talk about race when reviewing a book that isn’t explicitly about race.
  • Loyola Press – Rosemary Lane, Trade Books Editor
    • “From the Personal to Universal: 5 Ways to Craft Content that Connects to a Wide Readership”

      • In this workshop, you’ll learn how to distinguish between the stories meant for your personal journey and the stories meant for a mass market. You’ll also walk away with five concrete strategies to elevate your writing to the universal, pinpointing how to amplify your message for a broader audience and sell your story to a publisher.

Breakout Seminars E – 1:45 PM

  • Urban Ministries – Cheryl Price and Annette Leach, Publishing Director
    • “7 Stepping Stones to Writing/Editing for Urban Ministries”
  • Credo Literary Agency – Karen Neumair, Senior Literary Agent
    • “Landing a Literary Agent”
      • Get insider information on how to open the door to traditional publishing with the right representation. This Q&R style session with Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair will give you the answers to the following questions: What is a Literary Agent? What does a Literary Agent Do? What does a Literary Agent look for in an author? How do I find a Literary Agent? How do I approach an agent for representation?
  • Church Publishing – Milton Brasher- Cunningham, Editor
    • “Perfect Pitch: Writing an Effective Book Proposal”
      • How do you get a publisher’s attention with your book idea? Do you have to have the book already written? What do you need to offer besides what you want to say? We will look at the elements of a book proposal and how you can present your work in a way that will create possibilities.
  • Writing for Your Life – Brian Allain, President
    • “Marketing and Platform Development for Spiritual Writers”
      • Having a “platform” – a community of followers – is increasingly important: both in terms of getting a book published and in selling it. This seminar offers both strategic and tactical recommendations for building your author platform. Marketing is not a dirty word – it is a way for people to learn about how you can help them. (For a more in-depth treatment of this topic, please consider the DigDeeper Retreat – separate registration required)

Breakout Seminars F – 2:45 PM

  • Tyndale House Publishers – Sarah Rubio, Associate Publisher
    • “What Are You Looking For? A quick guide to understanding what publishers want and choosing the path that’s right for you”
      • “What are you looking for?” is a question that publishers hear all the time from authors and agents. Some elements of the answer change from season to season—but some are always the same (and easier than you think). In this session, Sarah Atkinson walks you through what acquiring editors are looking for today, how to tell when a publisher/author relationship is a good fit, and what you as a writer should be looking for along the way.
  • New City Press – Tom Masters
    • “Publishing for an Ecumenical and Inter-religious Audience”
      • New City Press seeks to develop and promote the vision that all people are part of the one human family. Our books explore foundations for faith and spirituality, ecumenical and interreligious initiatives, and connections between religion and human identity, relationships, and culture. They also aim at being practical tools that share real-world examples of how people put the gospel into practice.We are looking especially for narratives—either individual or collections—in which authors share their experiences of making a difference in their personal lives, their families, churches, schools, or communities by living out the Christian “new commandment” or the Golden Rule.I will share excerpts from four of our current titles to give a taste of the kind of material we are seeking to publish, then outline the process for publishing with us.
  • Vine Publishing – Taneki Dacres, Founder and CEO
    • “From The Mind to The Masses – Kickstarting the Writing Process (Motivation,  Structure and Techniques)”
      • This interactive workshop is for budding authors who have not started the writing process, or who have started writing but have not completed their manuscript. From the Mind to the Masses will provide you with the information, motivation, tools necessary to either start writing, or continue writing your book. This workshop is designed to take you from thought to fruition – from idea to manifestation.

Breakout Seminars G – 3:45 PM

  • Our Daily Bread Ministries – Joyce Dinkins, Executive Editor
    • “Becoming a Real Editor”
      • Join this question and answer session to learn more about what it means to be an editor. Consider what type of editor you might be – or become. We’ll provide a rundown on editorial roles, day-to-day work realities, and discuss some of the current opportunities in Christian publishing.
  • Beaming Books – Naomi Krueger
    • “Picture Book Writing: The Ins and Outs of Writing, Submitting, and Publishing a Picture Book for Children”
      • “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children,” author Madeleine L’Engle once said. Picture books may be for children, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to write or only involve simple, light-hearted concepts. Come to this session with Naomi Krueger, an acquisitions editor at Beaming Books, to learn about best practices in writing picture books, the publishing process, and what you can do to improve your chances of being published.
  • Writing for Your Life – Brian Allain, President
    • “Why You Should Consider Self-Publishing”
      • Recent changes in the publishing industry mean that it has never been more attractive to “self-” or “indie-” publish.  This seminar describes how these industry changes offer increased motivation to consider self-publishing as your path to market.

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