Please note: all times are Eastern; end times are approximate

All sessions can be viewed at the times indicated below, or for 3 months following the conference

All times and sessions are subject to change

Monday November 8 

  • 9:30 – 10:00 Eastern: Worship – Rev. Jen Adams
  • 10:00 – 10:45 Eastern: Diana Butler Bass keynote presentation – learn more about Diana here
  • 10:45 – 11:30 Eastern: Diana Butler Bass Q&A
  • 11:45 – 12:30 Eastern: Bruce Reyes-Chow presentation – learn more about Bruce here
  • 12:30 – 1:15 Eastern: Bruce Reyes-Chow Q&A
  • 1:30 – 2:20 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 2:30 – 3:15 Eastern: Kaya Oakes presentation “The ladder of abstraction: how language can guide us from messy middles into deeper truths” – learn more about Kaya here
    • The linguist S.I. Hayakawa wrote that language exists on a ladder, and that for many writers, we end up stuck between the concrete ideas at the bottom of the ladder and the abstract ones at the top. Life, too, mirrors this ladder, and we are constantly being pulled between the idea of our “writing selves” and the life of the mind, and our authentic, lived realities. How can language and close attention to how we write also help us to avoid muddiness and murkiness in our writing as we shift between our identities as people who write and people who do everything else? Let’s talk about the ways the ladder of abstraction can be a tool to help us navigate these shifts in writing and in life.
  • 3:15 – 4:00 Kaya Oakes Q&A
  • 4:00 – 4:45 Eastern: Susan Salley (Abingdon Press) presentation: “Writing with a Purpose: Finding the Focus for Your Proposal and Platform” – learn more about Susan here
    • Three questions and four key words will help you think about how to shape your writing plan, proposal, and platform and ultimately channel your energy for your best results.
  • 4:45 – 5:30 Eastern: Susan Salley (Abingdon Press) Q&A
  • 5:45 – 6:15 Eastern: Jennie McLaurin Q&A about her new book “Designed to Heal: What the Body Shows Us about Healing Wounds, Repairing Relationships, and Restoring Community” – learn more about Jennie here

Tuesday November 9

  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Marilyn McEntyre presentation “What We Can Afford to Say” – learn more about Marilyn here
    • Whether we’re seasoned writers in our sixties or beginning writers in our seventies or beyond, working with words may offer very different challenges and satisfactions than it might have earlier on.  This session will explore some of the kinds of spiritual and artistic freedom that come with age.  Playing with a word an elder taught me to claim, we’ll look at how those freedoms emerge from awareness of abundance.  We’ve had a lot of experience, we’ve witnessed a great deal, we’ve taken some sharp turns in the road, we have, as one older woman simply put it, “been through things,” and we can afford to take a step back.  We can afford to be amused.  We can afford to push back.  We can afford to question conventions, and even institutional norms.  We’ll explore ways to cultivate a new dimension of authority, confidence, and joy in writing that is one of the gifts of age.
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Marilyn McEntyre Q&A
  • 11:15 – 12:00 Eastern: Lyn Cryderman presentation “How to Get Your Mojo Back–Writing when you don’t feel like it, you don’t have anything to say, you’re discouraged, or you’re just plain stuck.” – learn more about Lyn here
    • It happens. You open your laptop or fire up your desktop, stare at the screen, start a sentence, delete it, stare some more, then click over to YouTube and watch fail videos because they make you feel better about your own failure to make any progress on your writing project. In this presentation we will explore ten ways to get your writing mojo back–to turn those agonizing occurrences of unwriting into a productive writing session.
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Eastern: Lyn Cryderman Q&A
  • 12:45 – 2:00 Eastern: Break
  • 2:00 – 2:45 Eastern: Patricia Raybon presentation “Things That Work: Craft Secrets of Writing That Sells.” – learn more about Patricia here
    • What’s missing in your writing that’s holding you back and dragging it down? Are there time-tested craft secrets you’re overlooking that leave your writing just so-so, not sold? Join award-winning author, essayist and novelist Patricia Raybon as she pulls back the curtain on “Things That Work: Craft Secrets of Writing That Sells.” Reacquaint yourself with writing techniques, tactics, principles and perspectives that never fail to level up your writing style, output, satisfaction and, in fact, also your writing sales.
  • 2:45 – 3:30 Eastern: Patricia Raybon Q&A
  • 3:45 – 4:15 Eastern: “Sharing resources for progressive spiritual writers”
    • Learn about a new project where we intend to share information helpful to progressive spiritual writers when they launch and market their books. This will be particularly important for independently published authors who don’t have the benefit of publishing houses’ publicity and other resources.
  • 4:30 – 5:00 Eastern: an interview and Q&A with Sophfronia Scott, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Alma College
  • 5:15 – 6:00 PM Eastern: an interview with Frank Schaeffer – learn more about Frank here
  • 8:00 – 9:00 Eastern: Second Tuesdays Writer Discussion Group with Sophfronia Scott: we will discuss “Finishing Well: completing projects in a topsy-turvy world”

Wednesday November 10

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Eastern: Diana Butler Bass keynote presentation and Q&A
  • 11:45 – 12:45 Eastern: “Marketing as a Spiritual Practice” with Kate Rademacher and Brian Allain – learn more about Kate here and Brian here
  • 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern: What Do You Need As A Writer? – this informal conversation is an opportunity for you to share and discuss the most important kinds of support you need as a writer
  • 2:00 – 2:45 Eastern: Sharon Norris Elliott presentation “The Ten P’s to Step Up Your Writing Success” – learn more about Sharon here
    • Do you plan to set yourself apart from other writers? How do you move, not just to the next level, but to the excellent level? Watch this workshop and learn how to elevate your mindset to that of a professional author. Step into your role with all the right people and processes in place.
  • 2:45 – 3:30 Eastern: Sharon Norris Elliott Q&A
  • 3:45 – 4:30 Eastern: Amy Gingerich (Herald Press) presentation “Fostering collaborative processes between authors and editors” – learn more about Amy here
    • Authors come with a vision for their manuscript. Editors then seek to hone and amplify an author’s voice and message. But sometimes an author’s vision isn’t communicated clearly, or an editor’s aesthetic or ideology muddy the message. In this workshop we’ll explore how to break down assumptions on either side and foster collaborative communication between editors and authors. Along the way, this process allows for authors to have more agency and expands editors’ viewpoints.
  • 4:30 – 5:15 Eastern: Amy Gingerich (Herald Press) Q&A
  • 5:30 – 6:00 Eastern: Burton Laine Q&A about his books – learn more about Burton here

Thursday November 11

  • 11:30 – 12:15 Eastern: Erin Healy  presentation “Identifying Your Book’s Competitive Titles” – learn more about Erin here
    • One of the more daunting aspects of writing a book proposal is researching and compiling the “Competitive Title Analysis” section. Though you might be tempted to give this component superficial treatment (or make the dreaded mistake of claiming there are no other books like yours on the market) this market analysis is one of your proposal’s most important selling points. Learn what this section needs to accomplish for you as well as how to compile a meaningful list of comparative books.
  • 12:15 – 1:00 Eastern: Erin Healy Q&A
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Eastern: Break
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Eastern: David Morris Q&A “How to Take Advantage of Today’s Publishing Environment”– learn more about David here
    • In this Q&A talk about how the publishing environment has dramatically changed in recent times, how there’s more opportunity than ever for enterprising authors if you can put in the time writing and driving awareness about your book. He will offer general principles about what’s going on, will talk about how authors can take more responsibility for driving awareness about their writing and how they, in turn, have more power and control. He plans to address platform building that fits today’s world, what to do about agents and what kind of publishers and publishing options you might pursue, and how to submit a proposal.
  • 3:15 – 4:30 Eastern: Open mic
  • 4:45 – 5:45 Eastern: Ken LaZebnik on Writing For Television – learn more about Ken here
    • Ken LaZebnik, who has written for one-hour television over the past 25 years, and is currently Director of the LIU M.F.A. in Writing and Producing for Television, discusses the challenges that writing for TV presents: What sort of considerations go into the creation of a television series? How does the process of breaking stories in a writers room really work? What are the building blocks for telling stories on television? Go inside the television writers room and find out how writing for television is deeply satisfying – and deeply challenging.

Friday November 12

  • 9:30 – 10:15 Eastern: Wes Granberg-Michaelson presentation: “How to Reflect your Inward Journey in your Writing” – learn more about Wes here
    • Your writing, on any subject, will be strengthened if the reader has a sense of how you arrived at your convictions.  Your story adds credibility.  Yet, you don’t want what you write to be all about you.  Readers don’t appreciate an ego-centric approach, unless you’re doing a memoir–a wholly different challenge. How to you navigate this challenge?  I’ve learned some lessons, both positive and negative, in the recent books I’ve done, which I’ll try to share.
  • 10:15 – 11:00 Eastern: Wes Granberg-Michaelson Q&A
  • 11:15 – 12:30 Eastern: Victoria McAfee Q&A “Remembering God’s Presence in the Process” – learn more about Victoria here
    • This presentation is to help new and well-established writers rest in Psalm 139. He knows you, your thoughts, desires, dreams, and ideas. He’s already made a way for you through this complex jungle of platforms, social media, and so many other new strategies that make writing more of a challenge these days. Victoria’s writing journey is an excellent reminder that there is no need to be anxious; instead, seek the Father, and walk confidently in His plan for you as a writer. He is fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses. God has already arranged to keep you encouraged and moving forward. He is with you every step of the way, making sure you make the right connections. God is present,  leading, and guiding.  He’s the beginning of your story, in the middle, and is aware of exactly how it’s all going to end. Your writings are already written in His book. The presentation will also offer some information about capturing the attention of this present and next generation.
  • 12:45 – 2:00 Eastern: Networking Lunch Break – an unmoderated, informal time for you to chat with other conference attendees
  • 2:00 – 3:00 Eastern: Indie publishing demo with Adam Thomas – learn more about Adam and his services here
  • 3:15 – 4:15 Eastern: Elevator pitch feedback session
  • 4:30 – 5:45 Eastern: An interview with Parker Palmer about writing – learn more about Parker here

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