Ready to take your writing to the next level? On the day after the main conference we will offer a limited-size, in-depth DigDeeper Retreat, taught by Ami McConnell and Brian Allain. The retreat will go deeper into various aspects of successful writing including strategies and tactics for building your platform. It will take place in the same Janet Ayers Academic Center as the main conference, and will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2018 – the day after the main conference.

Also: special Q&A guest appearance by Jenny Baumgartner, Editorial Director / Acquisitions Editor, Thomas Nelson Books

Sneak peek at the schedule:

9:00 AM: Introductions and Session 1 (Ami McConnell) –  Book Mapping

You’ve owned up to your desire to write. You’re committed to making it happen. Now what? Welcome to Book Mapping. Together we’ll chart a course to fulfillment of your publication dream. In this intensive workship setting, you’ll work closely with an experienced trade book editor and in small groups to create a book map that meets your specific needs. Class size is limited. Sign up now to explore:

  • The Dream: Dare to imagine books with your name on the cover.
  • Practice: Create a discipline that works for you.
  • Audience: Define your ideal reader.
  • Voice: Discover your authentic voice.
  • Landmarks: Learn the signposts of effective storytelling.
  • Content bank: Tap into your literary resources.
  • Director’s chair: Organize your material.
  • Partners: Consider agents and publication options.
  • Branding: Create a sustainable brand.

10:30 AM: Break

11:00 AM: Session 2 (Ami McConnell) –  Book Mapping (continued)

12:30 PM: Lunch and time for writing and reflection

2:00 PM: Session 3 (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

3:30 PM: Guest Q&A with  Jenny Baumgartner, Editorial Director / Acquisitions Editor, Thomas Nelson Books

4:00 PM: Q&A and Wrap-up

6:00 PM: Group dinner (optional)

The Retreat cost is $299 and includes lunch and breaks (but not dinner).

Registration is available after you have registered for the main conference.  If you have done that and would like to register for the Advanced Writer’s Retreat, please contact Brian Allain at [email protected].

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 main conference page.

Leader bios:

Ami McConnell is a Nashville-based writer, editor, and publishing consultant. She has served as VP and Editor-in-Chief at Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and as Senior Acquisitions Editor at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her editing credits include many New York Times bestsellers as well as RITA, Carol, and Christy award winners. She has edited renowned authors Colleen Coble, Ted Dekker, Homer Hickam, Karen Kingsbury, Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, and Wm. Paul Young, and has been recognized for excellence by the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She formerly served on the Advisory Board of The Buechner Institute at King College and is an active board member of the Women’s National Book Association, Nashville Chapter. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. LinkedIn

Brian Allain serves as Director of the Frederick Buechner Center and produces two series of spiritual writers conferences: Writing for Your Life and Publishing in Color. At the Buechner Center, Brian led the launch of Mr. Buechner’s online presence and grew his social media reach to over 2 million Facebook fans and over 300 thousand Twitter followers. Brian has developed and led writers conferences at Princeton Seminary, Western Theological Seminary, and Belmont University. He led the self-publishing effort for the book Buchner 101: An Introduction to Frederick Buechner. He also provides marketing consulting services to several spiritual authors and institutions. and