2017 Classes


2018 Early Bird Classes (Friday afternoon – no additional charge)

Please note – Classes listed below are from 2017.  2018 classes are in the development phase. Check back at a later date to see the updated classes.

Hows and Whys of Social Media – Edie Melson – Many writers mistakenly assume it’s either too late or too early to build a solid social media presence. Edie will walk you through the reason social media is non-negotiable for almost all writers, and how to find a way to make it work for your specific situation. Included will be information on why we need a social media presence before we get a contract. Which networks work best for which audience (and why you need to be active on more than one). How to use scheduling programs to keep your social media time commitment manageable. How to compose effective updates that increase shares. What you need to know to connect with your book’s potential audience.

Making Your Mark – LaTan Murphy –There is no one like you on the planet. You were created with a unique purpose in mind. Put your hand to your chest and you will feel the heartbeat of a person with a very special call – the heartbeat of a writer. But, how do you make your mark in the world? What sets you apart from others? That’s the big question every writer faces and one I’d love to help you answer. Making Your Mark. What a fun time we will have discussing new ways to impact the world around us through powerful writing and speaking platforms.

2017 Stepping UP

Classes for new to intermediate writers

 (Note classes may change and new ones will be added)

Children’s Writing 101 – Michelle Medlock Adams – As the author of more than 30 published children’s books, including her award-winning board book, “God Knows You” and her best-selling “What Is . . .” series, Michelle shares some do’s and don’ts that have taken her manuscripts out of the slush pile and into the editors’ hands.

Pitches & One-Sheets: What’s in Your Toolbox? –  Sarah Loudin Thomas – Writing the book can feel like the easy part when you realize you now have to “sell” it to an agent or editor. We’ll discuss how to sit down opposite a publishing professional at a 15-minute appointment without hyperventilating, crying, or spilling a bottle of water in the professional’s lap (I totally did that). Bring your best verbal pitch and copies of your one-sheet if you’re up for a friendly critique, otherwise just come prepared to listen and ask questions that will help you pitch your work.

Ten Things You Never Say to an Editor – Denise Loock – Need we say more? Learn how to work with an editor and the do’s and don’ts of the editing process.

Blogging for Writers – Edie Melson – Most writers dread the time spent blogging, even though it’s a proven method of building an online presence. Edie helps you find alternative ways to blog, without giving up valuable writing time. Included are tips for starting/joining a group blog, how to find topics, and cluster blogging. She will also share tips to engaging your blogging audience, including the etiquette of commenting, the importance of open-ended questions, and formatting to make your posts more readable and shareable.

Five Fatal Flaws of Fiction – Vonda Skelton – The competition is tough. Don’t let these five weaknesses mark you as a newbie and set you up for a knee-jerk rejection from the editor.

Writing Strong Book Proposals – Larry Leech – For writers working on, or having completed, a non-fiction book, we’ll examine the necessary elements to write the non-fiction book. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn ways to identify your target audience and unique selling point, strengthen your first chapter and one sheet, and eliminate errors that can keep your manuscript from being picked up by a publisher.

Organizing and Goal Setting – Lin Johnson – Learn how to organize your resource materials, manuscripts, writers’ guidelines, and expenses. Plus walk through practical steps for setting goals to accomplish what you want to do with your writing.

2017 Stepping OUT

(Classes for Intermediate to Seasoned Writers)

(Note classes may change and new ones will be added)

Whose Voice is it Anyway – Vonda Skelton – The technique of communicating your character’s voice isn’t limited to dialogue. In this workshop you’ll learn how to develop character and dialogue that will make your characters come alive on the page.

Understanding a Magazine as Well as an Editor – Lin Johnson – The secret to selling articles is a thorough understanding of individual magazines and its articles to increase your sales. **Bring at least one magazine to class.

Adorable Antagonists – Larry Leech – We’ll explore the Importance of the Villain, Who the Villain is and what they want, How the Villain interacts with the protagonist, and Does the Villain have what it takes to achieve its goal and keep the protag from achieving theirs. This workshop is designed for novices and advanced writers.

The Writers Personality – Linda Gilden – The Writer’s Personality? What does my personality have to do with the way I write? Your personality affects the way you see the world. Therefore, everything you write is influenced by your point of view. What are the healthy habits of a sanguine writer? Why does a melancholy writer seem to get more projects done? How can a choleric writer organize his or her checklists for the most benefit? What can encourage a phlegmatic writer? Upon examination we will find that we all have characteristics of more than one personality. Our writing will be stronger if we understand our personalities, the personalities of our characters and our readers.

Start Making Money Now! – Michelle Medlock Adams – Of course, you’re not in this for the money. But, hey, why not make some money and minister through your writing? In this comprehensive class, you’ll discover various places to sell your writing. You’ll learn how to organize your time to maximize your earning and ministry potential. And you’ll learn those “tricks of the trade,” that will increase your chances of selling your work on a consistent basis.

Compass Point Plotting (Plotting for Pantsers) – Sarah Loudin Thomas – Since I began writing, I’ve thought of myself as a “pantser,” but as I’ve produced more books I’ve realized that there IS a method to my madness. Compass Point Plotting is a helpful technique to keep you on track as you go shooting off into the wilderness of story. The class covers how to set your four general compass points (key points in the story arc) and then use them as directional guides to keep you from rabbiting off in a crazy direction.

Preventive Health Care for Manuscripts: Poisonous Punctuation Practices – Denise Loock – No editor, agent, or publisher will be attracted to a toxic manuscript. Proper, preventive health care will ensure that your work is fit for publication. In this workshop, we’ll examine six poisonous punctuation practices that can send your manuscript to the morgue. Ellipses Envenomed. Quick-kill Quotation Marks. Hazardous Hyphens. Contaminated Capitalization. Deadly Dashes. Infectious Italics.

One-on-One Mentoring – 2018

Eleven spots will be available for one-on-one mentoring by Award Winning, Best Selling author, Yvonne Lehman, Best Selling author and speaker Vonda Skelton, Social Media whiz-gal, Edie Melson, and successful authors Linda Gilden and Larry Leech.

Mentoring spots are open to writers who have a novel or non-fiction manuscript in progress. The mentoring will be a 1-hour to 1.5 hours one-on-one time where Yvonne will work with fiction. Vonda will do speaking as well. Speakers should have the beginnings of a platform. And she will work specifically with you on your novel, fiction or non-fiction proposal, plot and writing.  While Edie will work with you on your website, blog, and social media. Linda will help with your non-fiction and magazine work. Larry will mentor memiors, proposals, and non-fiction. The cost is $50 (additional to your boot camp registration) and the spots are first come, first serve.  You will contact Terri Kelly at [email protected]  AFTER you register to apply for one of these mentoring spots.

Keynotes – 2018
Tim Shoemaker
Bob Hostetler
Edie Melson