Our keynote speaker, Jack Castle has been called the “Man of Adventures” by the Coeur d’Alene Press. He has traveled the globe as a professional stuntman. While in Alaska, Jack worked as a police officer, criminal justice professor and response team commander. While working for Universal Studios, Jack met Cinderella at Walt Disney World and they were soon married.
Jack’s novels have been ranked as the Top 100 Bestselling books on Amazon and are available worldwide in e-book, print, iTunes, Kobo and from Barnes and Noble. Jack’s recent fiction series, Stranger World is highlighted in this YouTube trailer.
Branding, SEO, & Content Creation
You are your brand. Your brand is your business. The content you create and how you communicate it, tells your audience what your brand is all about. Are you communicating the message you want? Learn how to do this and do it well.
Denise graduated with a BA degree in Communications, landed an internship with a fortune 500 corporation, and proceeded to earn her MBA in Marketing while working through the ranks. Over the past 25+ years, she has held positions in Marketing Services, Product Marketing, and Trade Marketing, as well as been a freelance Marketing Professional for several small and medium sized companies. Taking the lessons learned from creating her own author brand, Denise M. Colby, Denise enjoys sharing her combined knowledge with other authors. Denise has been a volunteer social media director for the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and is a founding member of the Orange County Chapter of ACFW. She has published two poems/articles in two books and eight magazine articles to date, and is editing her first Historical Romance novel. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three sons, and is currently an E-Commerce Content Marketing Manager for a drainage company. You can find out more about Denise and sign up for her Marketing for Authors Newsletter at http://denisemcolby.com/marketing-for-authors/.
Cynthia K. Deatherage Ph.D.
Learning the Feels Right of Fiction Writing
“Knead it until it feels right”–That’s what my grandmother said when she was trying to teach my mother how to bake bread. But how do you know when it feels right? To this day, my mother still can’t make bread because she hasn’t figured out the proper consistency of bread dough!
Writing fanfiction is like having the dough already at the feels right stage. All the ingredients have been mixed together. You’ve got the Setting, including the cultures, cities, topographies, flags, music, history, etc.; the Characters, including the way the characters act, think, speak, and feel; the Stuff/Props, the things characters use or wear such as uniforms, weapons, vehicles, jewelry, tools, musical instruments–you name it, it’s already been invented for you and mixed together in previous stories. All you have to do is think of a new story to plug in. Sort of like adding spices or raisins to the bread dough.
Fanfiction can serve as a stepping stone for developing writers, as an excursion into an untried genre for writers expanding their horizons, or as a means to break those occasional dry spells, when the desire to write weighs heavily, but nothing original has come to mind. And, of course, in addition to learning the feels right of successful fiction writing, Fanfiction can be just plain fun!
Cynthia Deatherage holds three degrees in English and has published two books: Waysmeet: Poems and Tales of Fantasy and Wonder and Tales with a Twist. Additionally, she has published numerous stories and poems in various Science Fiction and Fantasy anthologies and journals. Recently, she has ventured into the realm of Fanfiction and is currently working on her own rendition of the memoir of Iduna (Elsa and Anna’s mother of Disney’s Frozen movies). Dr. Deatherage resides in Idaho along with her husband of nearly 27 years, two teens, four dogs, twelve cats, and an occasional very temporary field mouse.
Leslie J. Hall
Confessions of a Contest Judge: Tips for Becoming a Finalist
Winning a contest can be the thrill, validation, and encouragement a writer needs to keep writing. Contest submission can also be an excellent practice ground for submitting work to an editor or agent. How can our manuscript rise above other entries to be a winner? Learn how to get your entry to rise to the top! Instructor has judged (and entered) numerous writing contests.
Students will leave with :
- Ways to select an appropriate contest
- How to avoid “fake” contests
- How to solidify why they are entering a contest
- Five ways for getting their work recognized and how to set up their submission for success
Leslie J. Hall is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for writing and words with writers and would-be writers. She is a regular instructor and speaker at colleges and writers conferences around the Pacific Northwest. She’s written nine novels, mysteries and women’s fiction. In 2014, she won first place in the PNWA Writing Contest, mystery category. Her latest humorous mystery series will launch this fall on Amazon. Leslie is on the board of Northwest Mystery Writers of America. Find her at www.lesliejhall.com.
Igniting Your Creativity Through the Arts and Your Five Senses
“The Magic Dimension of Creativity”
You are a writer. Seasoned; maybe even published. Years of study, skill-building the craft, conferences and books galore. Or maybe, you’re just getting your feet dipped into the inkwell—heart full of desire and ready to learn those ABC’s of writing. What more do you need? Anyone can learn, tap the keys and produce that finished manuscript. But was it fun? Do your words zing and sell, or do they flat-line on the page? It’s called creative writing for a reason. What’s missing? The magical dimension of creativity. Learn concrete tools for becoming a Creative, not just a Mark Maker, through igniting the arts and senses.
Patti Lee is a writer, artist and educator with a passion for encouraging life-long creativity in the arts for youth and adults and mentoring new writers. Since 2011, she has specialized in teaching “TeenTrack” at conferences around the Northwest. She provides editing, coaching, and workshops through Artistica Writer Services, and offers a “creative sanctuary” and mentoring for writers in her Art, Soul office in Lewiston, Idaho. A life-long Texan, Patti resides with her husband Don (adjunct professor at W.S.U., artist, and beekeeper extraordinaire) in Clarkston, Washington.
Making Money with Your Writing
Writers need to pay the bills. They’re tired of wondering if (or when) they will see a payoff for their labors. In this workshop we’ll follow the money trail to discover where paying gigs can be found. Whether you’re a novelist or a non-fiction writer, you’ll be inspired to try your hand at new things as you pursue an income with your craft.
Award-winning author Janice Thompson got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over 130 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historical fiction, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. She particularly enjoys writing light-hearted, comedic tales because she enjoys making readers laugh.
Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. Her tagline, “Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters!” sums up her take on life.
Janice lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and three mischievous dogs. When she’s not busy writing or playing with her nine grandchildren, Janice can be found in the kitchen, baking specialty cakes and cookies for friends and loved ones. No matter what she’s cooking up—books, cakes, cookies or mischief—she does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.
Poetry Is for Everyone
Many people feel intimidated by the thought of writing or even reading poetry, preferring to leave it up to the experts. But we all have a unique poetic voice just waiting to be explored. In this highly interactive workshop, we will discuss just exactly what poetry is, why it is important, the pros and cons of rhyming vs. free=verse, and even how to get more enjoyment out of reading poetry. We will also write and share (only if you want to!) several poems during the workshop.
Ryan has been writing poetry and other short works since he was six years old. He was the founder of the Palouse Writers’ League, and he has worked many years as a technical editor and writing instructor. When he’s not homeschooling his kids or doom-scrolling through the latest headlines, he likes to write personal essays and poetry, play guitar, and hike.