Monday April 27

Breakout Seminars A – 10:30 AM

  • Tony Jones
    • Two Things Your Book NEEDS (And a Few More Things It Should Have)
      • Every non-fiction book needs two things. How does Tony Jones know that? Because he’s both an author and an acquisitions editor. He’s written books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. And he’s acquired and edited books that have sold well, and others that haven’t. This session will be a no-BS talk about how to write and sell books in today’s challenging publishing environment.
  • Sophfronia Scott
    • The Miracle of Metaphor
      • In spiritual writing we’re often seeking to grasp and describe the ineffable while at the same time bringing the reader closer to experiences that are extremely personal. How do we do that? By using one of the most important keys in a writer’s toolbox: metaphor. We’ll explore this craft element through text examples and writing exercises.
  • Lisa Kloskin, Fortress Press
    • Not Another Memoir: How to Use Your Personal Story in More Compelling Ways
      • Publishers review an onslaught of memoir book proposals each season. Learn about the challenges of the memoir genre and how to use your personal story in other genres and in more compelling ways to create a book that will really stand out.
  • Reader Track: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
    • A Life on Fire:  Reading Spiritual Memoir
      • Bookstores and publishers like to break memoir into subcategories like “travel memoir” and “recovery memoir.”  What few people know is that “spiritual memoir” isn’t a subcategory of memoir; it’s memoir’s predecessor. What is spiritual memoir?  How have memoir’s African Christian origins shaped personal narrative today? How do the stories of others’ inner lives change how we understand what’s sacred?  We’ll hop, skip, and jump through a lineage of great memoirs, landing today at spiritual memoir’s renaissance.

 

Breakout Seminars B – 1:15 PM

  • Lori Erickson
    • Finding A Niche
      • Lori Erickson, who writes about the intersection of spirituality and travel, leads a discussion of how the most fruitful writing specialties are often a combination of interests. She’ll give advice on how you can identify your passions and find ways those topics can be combined to provide rich inspiration for your writing.
  • Tony Jones
    • How the Publishing Industry REALLY Works
      • Getting published is intimidating, in large part because so much of the industry is hidden from authors. What is a fair advance amount? How about royalties? How do I know if they’ll market my book? Do I need an agent? Tony Jones will answer these questions and more in this session, tearing down the curtain that separates authors from the industry that publishes their books.
  • Naomi Krueger, Beaming Books
    • Spiritual Writing for Children
      • Children are spiritual beings, but the Bible and many faith concepts are actually really difficult (and sometimes inappropriate!) to teach children. How can picture books help nurture a child’s spirituality in ways that don’t sugar coat the messiness of faith while still being sensitive? This workshop will discuss how to write on faith topics for children in a way that respects their development and unique ability to experience the Divine.
  • Reader Track: Brian Allain, Writing for Your Life
    • Reading Frederick Buechner
      • While he served as Director of the Frederick Buechner Center, Brian had the great pleasure of doing a “deep dive” into Frederick Buechner’s books. Based on that experience, along with a new book “Reading Buechner” by Jeff Munroe, this seminar provides both an overview of Buechner’s books as well as some favorite excerpts.

 

 

Tuesday April 28

Breakout Seminars C – 10:00 AM

  • Lisa Kloskin, Fortress Press
    • What Your Publisher Should Do for You, and What They Won’t
      • 21st century book publishing is always a collaboration between the author and the publisher. Publishers rely heavily on author platform and author networks to promote books, but you can, and should, expect a certain level of support from your publisher. Learn what to expect, what you’ll likely have to manage yourself, and how to advocate for yourself.
  • Lori Erickson
    • Building a Platform
      • Lori Erickson will share her experiences in writing for magazines, newspapers, online sites, social media, book publishers, and her own monthly newsletter. Learn how you can build a platform that extends into different types of publishing and reaches varied audiences.
  • Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
    • Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir
      • Each of us has a sacred story written uniquely for us within our experiences.  When we look for holiness in the details of our memories, when we open ourselves to transformation as we write, and when we craft our stories to engage the inner life of an audience, we venture into spiritual memoir. We will get started with the basics, using writing exercises and examples from master writers.
  • Reader Track: Sophfronia Scott
    • The Story Behind This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World
      • It’s not every day that a mother decides to co-write a spiritual memoir with her 12-year-old son. But Tain’s extraordinary faith response in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at his school, Sandy Hook Elementary, made Sophfronia realize their journey was one worth sharing. In this session she discusses how the idea for the book came about, how she and Tain handled the unusual collaboration, and what has happened since the book’s publication.

 

Breakout Seminars D – 1:30 PM

  • Sophfronia Scott
    • When Did That Happen?: Navigating Your Novel Through the Sea of Time
      • According to author Joan Silber, “The end point of a story determines its meaning, and one of the main tasks a writer faces is to define the duration of a plot.” That task, whether you’re writing the story of an hour or the epic of a generation, can determine whether your narrative sails to the shore or sinks under the weight of confusion. In this talk we’ll look at how time supports the telling of your story and examine the various ways to develop the motion of time in your fiction.
  • Lisa Kloskin, Fortress Press
    • Not Another Memoir: How to Use Your Personal Story in More Compelling Ways
      • Publishers review an onslaught of memoir book proposals each season. Learn about the challenges of the memoir genre and how to use your personal story in other genres and in more compelling ways to create a book that will really stand out.
  • Naomi Krueger, Beaming Books
    • Spiritual Writing for Children
      • Children are spiritual beings, but the Bible and many faith concepts are actually really difficult (and sometimes inappropriate!) to teach children. How can picture books help nurture a child’s spirituality in ways that don’t sugar coat the messiness of faith while still being sensitive? This workshop will discuss how to write on faith topics for children in a way that respects their development and unique ability to experience the Divine.
  • Reader Track: Tony Jones
    • Read Like a Writer, Write Like a Reader
      • Writers and readers are married, for they both depend on one another. But sometimes each loses sight of that fact. In this session, we’ll talk about what readers can learn from writers, and vice versa, and we’ll do so by investigating some of our favorite prose. So bring along a passage from a writer you admire and be prepared to share it!

 

Breakout Seminars E – 3:00 PM

  • Naomi Krueger, Beaming Books
    • Spiritual Writing for Children
      • Children are spiritual beings, but the Bible and many faith concepts are actually really difficult (and sometimes inappropriate!) to teach children. How can picture books help nurture a child’s spirituality in ways that don’t sugar coat the messiness of faith while still being sensitive? This workshop will discuss how to write on faith topics for children in a way that respects their development and unique ability to experience the Divine.
  • Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
    • Living Revision
      • At its core, revision is the work of transformation—of seeing text, and therefore the world, with new eyes.  Done well, revision returns writers to our original love for writing and the subject. The more we’re moved in the writing, the more potential our writing has to move others.  Let’s revise our ideas about revision, exploring it as a form of play, a means of listening, and as our central work as human beings.
  • Brian Allain, Writing for Your Life
    • Many Paths to Publishing
      • In this seminar we discuss the many different paths to getting published, and review several case studies of writers at different stages of their writing journey. Included are several video interviews about how an author got their first, or subsequent, book deal.
  • Reader Track: Lori Erickson
    • Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper
      • After her brother died unexpectedly and her mother moved into a dementia-care facility, spiritual travel writer and Episcopal deacon Lori Erickson felt called to a new quest: to face death head on, with the eye of a tourist and the heart of a pastor. Her book Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper is the result, a travelogue of places that have helped her come to terms with mortality, from the Valley of the Kings in Egypt to her mother’s nursing home. Foreword Reviews calls it “an ideal guidebook for facing the inevitable.” Ira Byock, author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible, describes it as “open-hearted and soulful, never morbid, and often uplifting.” Lori will talk about her new book and what she’s learned from traveling with the Grim Reaper.

 

All conference and seminar information are subject to change.

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