A)  Deborah Malone – Mystery Writing 101

So you want to write a mystery! Mystery Writing 101 covers the ABC’s of writing a mystery. Topics covered are What is a Mystery, Characters, Setting, Clues, Point of View, Dialogue, Plotting, Editing and Tying up the Package.

B)  Andrew Breeden – Writing Devotionals for The Upper Room Magazine

Participants will learn how to write devotions for The Upper Room Magazine. Through group discussion and instruction from an Upper Room editor, the session will explore what makes a strong devotion, how to connect personal experience with scripture, setting pen to paper, and the unique global ministry of the The Upper Room. Our writer’s guidelines can be found at

C)  Hallee Bridgeman – Seven Steps to Successful Self-Publishing

Best-selling indie author Hallee Bridgeman will go over the seven steps to successful self-publishing and then show you tips and tricks for the current market.

Workshop Session 1 | 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Workshop Session 2  | 12:30-1:30 p.m.

A)  Johnnie Alexander & Patricia Bradley – Telling the Story: I Wrote It My Way

You may be a plotter, outlining every scene before you begin, or you may be an organic writer, writing by the seat of your pants, or you may be somewhere in between. Two experienced novelists share tips and ideas for writing fiction the right way—that is, the way that works best for you and for your story.

B)  Jim Watkins – Writing with Banana Peels

Based on his college text book, this seminar provides practical strategies for communicating more effectively with humor. If nothing else, you’ll laugh a lot!

C)  Sandra Robbins – How to Combine Riveting Suspense with Heartwarming Romance

Participants will understand the elements of romance and suspense that combine to appeal to the reader’s heart. They will learn how to balance a story about a once-in-a-lifetime love that is threatened by the worry and concern of an impending crisis that will keep the hero and heroine apart.

Workshop Session 3 | 1:45-2:45 p.m.

A)   John Burgette – Organizing Research Notes: Keep It Simple

Learn a simple strategy for organizing and sorting research notes/citations by themes or topics. An optional technique for using the notes to develop a final outline, which can be very useful for non-fiction, research-specific, or historical fiction writing, will also be discussed.

B)   Ramona Richards – Shoot the Deputy: How Secondary Characters Can Make or Break a Novel

Secondary characters are often too prolific or too underdeveloped. This workshop provides tips on controlling your supporting cast: how different levels of characters should be revealed and built into the plot, explanations of how flat secondary characters can kill a sell, and tips on how to layer your characters in order to build interest and curiosity without taking over a book.

C)   Nancy Kay Grace – Toes in the Water: Getting Your Feet Wet in Blogging

This session is for writers who want to learn more about blogging. Nancy will help minimize the fear factor for tech-challenged writers. Topics covered are online writing techniques, simple guidelines for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), elements of a blog post, and tools used in blogging. Nancy uses Wordpress and will refer to this platform, although some of the basics would apply to other platforms as well.