Twelve workshops will be presented by talented writers with Pete Vanderpool, a professional storyteller, as the keynote speaker.
“Find out how the events of our lives become stories that are designed to be blessings,” says Vanderpool. His workshop will deepen and add practical application to the topic of story gathering, a concept that is sure to add vibrancy to anyone’s people skills and listening abilities in every genre of writing. His new book with Wendy Brown, “Equipped to Bless: Finding Relevance in the Stories of Life,” will be available at the conference.
Brian Conn, director of public information at Lee University, will lead a workshop on tips for writing public relation stories for varied audiences. He has years of experience in getting the Lee University story out. Another workshop will be presented by Marsha Robinson on “Make a Scene: Turning Stories into Scripts.” She will also lead a breakout session on “A Place for Poets.” She invites attendees to bring their original poetry for a coffeehouse-style poetry reading and roundtable discussion regarding submitting poetry for publication.
Mike Burnett, director of printing at Pathway Press, will cover multiple aspects of publishing a book: how to lay out, format, and design a book with suggestions for the cover. He also covers final checklists, expected timelines, and how to choose a publishing partner. Writers will see eBooks in action and will leave this workshop with a complimentary handout of the entire presentation and access to a free eBook.
Wanda Griffith’s workshop will emphasize self-editing, which is accomplished by cutting the words that clutter, avoiding wimpy expressions and clichés and purging the mundane sentences that add nothing to the story. This session will also emphasize the art of enhancing the writing by adding the essential ingredients of inspiration, imagery, and insightfulness to the secret “sauce” of the story.
Wendy Brown, a local author, is also leading a workshop and breakout session. Her first book, “Revolving Choices, Playing Roulette With Life” is in its second printing and has been translated into Spanish. Fiction or nonfiction, her workshop, “Oilcans and Flashlights” will help writers make description more vivid, dialogue more believable, and characters jump off the page.
Lance Colkmire, editor of the Church of God Evangel, specializes in nonfiction writing for magazine articles and church curriculum. His workshop will assist attendees in finding their niche in writing. Evaline Echols, professor of business communication from Lee University, will teach on how journaling can become a tool for self-discovery, a place to generate and capture ideas, a training ground for writers and an effective way to transmit faith into the future through storytelling.
Mike Shreve, writer, publisher, evangelist and pastor of United Christian Church, will speak on the “Keys to Successful Writing and Speaking.” He will cover the importance of using various forms of social media that will increase writers’ opportunities to publish. He advises writers to create a website, build a platform, a Facebook page and Twitter account.
Marcia Swearingen’s workshop, “Rekindling the Flame When the Creative Call Flickers,” is an invitation for Christian writers to give themselves permission to follow the call to write. After exploring the spiritual implications of God’s call and the writer’s answer, she will talk about carving out time to make writing a priority. For writers who are at a loss on how to improve their skill, Nansy Grill will offer a fast-paced workshop packed with practical advice and takeaway information designed to move anyone’s writing to the next level. Attendees of this class will receive a special invitation/application packet for membership in Thunder Rock Writers, a group co-founded by four local writers.
Teresa Tuten’s workshop will cover techniques for making the story simple so that children can get the point. Ideas will be discussed to help writers for the children’s market communicate effectively with their small, but smart, audience.
Eddie Echols, a high school principal and worship leader from Atlanta, will provide music in the plenary sessions. For more information on the conference, go to www.secwc.com or call Wanda Griffith at 472-1391.