Karen Ball has always loved the power of story. It’s a gift that she’s been able to use that love during 30+ years in publishing to lead several publishers (Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and now B&H Publishing Group) in building strong and powerful fiction lines. Currently the owner/operator of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC, and a literary agent with the Steve Laube Agency, Karen partners with authors to help them refine their craft, thus delivering their stories as powerfully as possible. She’s had the honor of acquiring and working with some of the best novelists in the market, including Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Ginny Yttrup, Robin Lee Hatcher, and many others. A published author in her own right, several of Karen’s novels have received awards and been on the best-seller lists. She lives in Oregon with her husband and father, and a collection of four-legged, furry “kids,” including a perpetual-motion Corgi and an Aussie-Terrier mix that should have been named “Destructo.”
Life is a Journey, Enjoy the Ride
This addresses the tendency to get so focused on the goal that you miss what God has for you in the midst of the journey
Setting as Character
How to use setting to transport your readers into your story world
Friday Fiction Panel
Self Editing for Fiction—Continuing Course
Learning how to spot the weaknesses in your writing, and gaining tools for dealing with them
What’s Your Catalyst?
Digging deep to understand why you want to write the book you want to write, what the core message is, and how you can best communicate it.
There’s Nothing Wrong with You! For Seat of the Pants Writers
An interactive workshop for SoTP (seat of the pants) writers. In this session we discuss the pros and cons of SoTP writing, and share best practices with each other to help us do our job better
What do Publishers WANT from Me?
Understanding what publishers/editors/sales teams/marketers are looking for in proposals.
Show vs. Tell
How understanding this element of the craft can strengthen your writing
Wendy Wetzel is an editor for the trade books division with baker Publishing Group. She has worked in publishing or as a freelance editor for over ten years.
Dirk Wierenga is a publishing consultant. In that role, he is Director of Publishing Services for Principia Media, associate with Credo Communications, Manager of Publishing for Exxel Publishing, and owner of Fox River Press which provides an array of publishing services for authors and publishers.
Thursday Nonfiction Panel
Finding a Great Editor
John Topliff is general manager for Somersault, Prior to that, John was vice president of strategic product integration at Zondervan, working with bestselling authors, including Philip Yancey, John Ortberg, Anne Graham Lotz, and Rob Bell, to maximize their content across all publishing divisions.
His career experience includes positions at Baker Publishing Group, Revell, HarperCollinsPublishers, and Spring Arbor Distributors.
John Topliff has aa Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL. Don’t get him started on his love for Paris!
A Contemplative Experience for the Busy Writer
God wants to reveal himself to us. When we feel safe and when we feel loved, we risk revealing ourselves. What we write reveals what’s inside us.The purpose of the contemplative experience is to provide an opportunity for writers to experience God individually and in a small group of no more than ten to explore several classic spiritual disciplines and discover new ways to integrate these practices into their lives. Disciplines to be explored include lectio divina, silence, and the prayer of examen.
“Spirituality is the attention we give to our souls, to the invisible interior of our lives that is the core of our identity.” –Eugene Peterson
John Topliff will be available for a limited number of consultations.
James Watkin’s mission is “to communicate the gospel of Christ in as creative manner as possible with as many people as possible.”
Jim wears more hats than his Aunt Luella! He is: author/contributor to over 30 books and over two thousand articles, book acquisitions editor and editor of Vista for Wesleyan Publishing House, conference speaker throughout North America and overseas, editorial advisor for ACW Press, writing instructor at Taylor University, minister of communications at The River Community Church and most of all, child of God.
Jim has won awards for his books and writing and editing as well as an “Amy” award for writing in the general market.
He is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church, and has done graduate work at Ball State University’s School of Journalism and Purdue University’s School of Communications. Jim has a PhD in paralinguistics–but only because a friend bought it at a diploma mill as a gag gift..
Most important, he’s married to the Rev. Lois, and has two married children and four adorable grandchildren.
Thursday Nonfiction Panel
Confessions of an Author and Speaker
Learn the three stages authors go through to connect with an audience in print, pixels, or person.
Solomon’s Secrets for Successful Scribes
Nonfiction–Concept to contract
25 Rejection-Proof Markets that Minister to Needs
If your goal is to truly minister to needs, this session will help you find a market.
Writing with Banana Peels
Based on the text book of the same name, this session gives practical strategies for communicating more effectively with humor.
Communicate to Change Lives
Information for Christians who want to change lives through their writing or speaking.
Jim Watkins will offer a limited number of consultations.
Gloria Penwell’s expertise and love of the writing world comes from years of traveling with her husband, Dan. Together they attended hundreds of writers conferences while Dan was Acquisitions Editor at AMG Publishing. Gloria is the CLASS Christian Writers Conference Assistant Director. She loves to encourage new writers and understands what the writing life is about. Gloria will be representing AMG Publishers.