Northwest Christian Writers Renewal
May 19-21, 2022  

Continue to check back on this page for updates to workshops being confirmed for our conference

You can view the Teaching Faculty 2022 biographies.


Morning Tracks

Morning tracks are 4-hour intensives delivered across the two mornings

by these award-winning authors.

Suspense Essentials: Secrets to Tapping into Tension Whatever Genre You Write
Steven James

Every story can be improved by increasing the suspense, tightening the tension and ratcheting up the action. This in-depth seminar will help you improve your story by pacing the promises that you make and connecting emotionally with your reader. We’ll explore the differences between suspense and conflict, study how to add jaw-dropping twists, and cover the four ingredients necessary for suspense in your story that will both surprise and satisfy the most discerning readers.

Creating Unforgettable Characters
Ginny Yttrup

Atticus Finch, Scarlett O’Hara, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen… Mention these names and readers are swept back into memories of stories they’ll never forget, because the authors created characters they’ll never forget. What makes a character memorable? It’s the way the reader relates to the character, to the way the character lived the story the author crafted for them. It’s their unique characteristics, their foibles, fears, strengths, and ultimately their heart. In this track we’ll work through the process of creating memorable characters beginning with their names, then creating their unique personality, assigning quirks, speech patterns, motivations, guiding life themes, and more. We’ll also look at character arcs and how they inform the plot of a story. (This track is appropriate for beginning or intermediate fiction writers.)

Pages from the Past
Melanie Dobson

How do we capture today’s fiction readers in a historical plot? This step-by-step class for both novice and seasoned novelists will discuss how to develop compelling characters, research historical settings, write in the emerging time-slip genre, and ultimately weave together an unforgettable story from the past.

Essentials for Writers
Karen Ball

God’s call to us is clear: Come away with Him. Let His words sink deep into us first, then take His truths to the world. In the ever-changing and challenging world of publishing, we need a way to find refreshment, renewal, and restored passion. These interactive sessions will challenge you to:

* go deep with God in your call and craft

* see how God uses your journey to help you find your story/message

* develop an accountability and/or prayer support team;

* prepare your heart and spirit for success;

* develop tools to overcome obstacles, both external (bad reviews, tough edits, frustrating delays) and internal (negative self-talk, anyone?)

* explore ways to nurture your creativity and passion. 

When we finish our time together, you will find yourself better equipped for this amazing task God has given you to share His truth with a troubled and weary world.

Writing Nonfiction Books for the Christian Market
Nick Harrison

Every Christian publisher is always on the lookout for new books to publish. In this workshop we’ll look at which non-fiction books are in demand. We’ll also consider the importance of writing books that meet the felt needs of readers. We’ll explore the problem of “platform” in promoting books—and how to overcome the lack of a platform. We’ll take a look at how Christian publishing works, the role of agents, and the development of craft in writing. The concluding hour of the track will be a one-on-one meeting to discuss the attendees’ current project. This workshop is targeted to writers who want to write long-term, as opposed to one-book authors.

One-Hour Workshops

Page-Turning Secrets of the Pros (Virtual via Zoom)
James Scott Bell, Author

Every novel needs page-turning suspense, because the alternative is a book where readers don’t care what happens next. In this workshop, you’ll learn what pro writers do to keep readers hooked and wanting—needing—to turn the page. From the foundations of a character facing death stakes to the secrets of organic action with no dull parts, this session will give you a tool belt of techniques that you can use for any genre.

Book, Blog, or Article? - Nonfiction Workshop (Virtual via Zoom)
Diana Flegal, Agent, Hartline

Does my nonfiction idea fulfill the criteria needed for a book or is it better suited to a blog series or an article? Is a blog even relevant anymore? If I want to write nonfiction, do I have to be active on social media? Why should I take the time to write an article I will not be paid for? These are a few of the questions we will answer in this fun interactive class. Tools needed: Ideas, and a laptop or notebook.

How to Write Transformational Nonfiction for a Christian Nature Magazine
Tom and Jennifer Ish, Creation Illustrated, Nature Magazine

Join the publishers and editors of Creation Illustrated magazine on their journey of helping families and youth unplug from Social Media and enjoy the wonders of God's Creation through character-building parables, object lessons, and stunning photography.  Learn how they got started in filling this vital need, what impact it's having, what they look for from writers, tips and pitfalls to avoid, and encouraging anecdotes and skills development to help keep writers motivated.

Called but Not Stalled
Suzanne Kuhn, Editor, Iron Stream Media

You know you’re called—God’s made it clear, but your career options seem dry and you feel stuck. What do you do? Has your time passed? Should you give up? Just because we are temporarily stalled does not mean we are no longer called. Discover the action plan that will equip and prepare you while you wait f or the breakthrough God is sending your way.

6 Secrets to Creating a Buzz Without Social Media
Suzanne Kuhn, Editor, Iron Stream Media

Long, long ago, before the internet was born, books were sold and speakers presented, reaching audiences en masse. In our technologically driven world, we’re losing the art of deep engagement and wide influence through proven outlets. Learn the six creative secrets to creating a buzz around your message without using social media—not all platforms should look the same.

Author How to Write a Book on One Page
Dena Netherton, Author

This is for newer writers not sure how to begin a book or how to organize their story. At the end of the class, a writer will have their own basic storyline in three acts, complete with concept, characters, setting, and basic backstory.

How To Write A Christian Romance
Darlene Panzera, Author

The romance genre is one of the most popular categories of the publishing industry. Readers love being immersed in heartfelt stories where characters meet, fall in love, and struggle to overcome adversity in hopes of gaining that much sought-after promise of a triumphant happily-ever-after.

However, a Christian Romance is more than just a story with Christian characters or a few lines of scripture. Come learn the expectations of the inspirational market, the components that create a riveting plot, and how to incorporate a meaningful message that will touch reader’s hearts.

How to Write Page-turning Scenes that Drive the Story Forward
Darlene Panzera, Author

Have you ever felt ‘stuck’ while writing, not knowing what scene should come next? Have you had your story called ‘episodic’ or ‘unmotivated?’ Do you have a hard time moving your story forward in a way that grips the reader? Do you wish your scenes had more emotional impact?

Come learn the individual components of Scene & Sequel to structure your scenes, advance the plot, and increase the stakes to create a story that your readers will claim ‘they couldn’t put down!’

How to Get Published: Book Basics for Beginners
Karen Neumair, Agent, Credo Communications

Brand new to the publishing process? Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair provides a brief overview of the three primary publishing paths, then unpacks the basic steps to publishing with a traditional publisher, including the role of a literary agent and how to find one. (Target Audience: Aspiring authors with no publishing experience) Proposals Publishers Love Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair teams up with aspiring authors to put together the perfect presentation for their project and give them a sneak peek at proposals that sell. (Target audience: Aspiring to beginning authors ready to seek an agent or publisher)

Proposals Publishers Love
Karen Neumair, Agent, Credo Communications

Senior Literary Agent Karen Neumair teams up with aspiring authors to put together the perfect presentation for their project and give them a sneak peek at proposals that sell.

(Target audience: Aspiring to beginning authors ready to seek an agent or publisher)

From Novelist to Fulltime Ghostwriter
Josh Kelley, Author

While most writers dream of writing fulltime, very few ever achieve it. But if you’re a talented writer (especially of fiction) and don’t care whose name is on the cover, ghostwriting could make it a reality for you. This isn’t a promise of easy money. It takes a lot of work—and even more Divine providence—but this workshop offers many hard-won lessons and useful tricks.

Public Speaking for Writers
Josh Kelley, Author

Many writers would rather face an empty page than speak to a full room, but the ability to speak clearly and confidently is a key plank in the writer’s platform. Good news: the same skills you’ve developed to become a better writer can also help you become a better speaker.

Developing an Author Brand
Dan Balow, Agent

If you want to be a successful authors, you are going to build a successful author brand. This involves becoming known for something, which almost always involves focusing and limiting your creativity to something which users will recognize and buy multiple times because they know what to expect. Many authors don't want to feel limited in their creativity, but it is necessary if you want to be a successful writer.

How to be Reader's Favorite Author
Dan Balow, Agent

Practical steps on interacting with your audience. This session will focus on author behaviors that will draw readers and will energize them to be long-term advocates for the author's work. Suggested behaviors are a combination of common sense and spiritual attitudes, such as following through on commitments and following The Golden Rule in your planning.

The Reality of Publishing Fantasy
Rowena Kuo, Editor, Brimstone Fiction

CBA vs. ABA, large publisher vs. small, vanity press vs. royalty-paying: finding the right audience and right house for your fantasy novel. Covers the pros and cons for submitting to various publishers, what houses to approach, and how to skip the slush pile.

Adapt Your Story into a Screenplay
Rowena Kuo, Editor, Brimstone Fiction

Step-by-step formula for adapting either a full-length novel into a 2-hour screenplay or a short story into a 15 min. film. what essential elements a screenwriter should incorporate to interest potential producers.

The Most Common Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Rowena Kuo, Editor, Brimstone Fiction

Rejected and don't know why? What distinguishes a professional manuscript from those requiring revision? The top 10 reasons for rejection a publisher won't tell you about and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.

Mining the Scriptures
Caroline Rice, Author

Are you lost when it comes to researching the Scriptures about your writing topic? Carolyn Rice will walk you step-by-step through a simple process she learned while attending Bible College. You will come away knowing how to trace your topic throughout the scriptures, find Greek and Hebrew meanings of words and come away with research that will help you with books, articles and blog posts for years to come.

Nonfiction from the Heart
Caroline Rice, Author

Have you had a great idea for a nonfiction article or book, and started writing, only to feel like it fell flat? Come learn how to touch the hearts of your readers with nonfiction writing. Carolyn Rice will share her own process for presenting the facts with a touch of heart.

Self-Editing: Becoming Your Own Most Helpful Critic (Virtual via Zoom)
Janyre Tromp, Editor, Kregel Publications

Always get a second pair of eyes on your writing. It’s an excellent rule of thumb, but how do you edit your own work to make it the best you can before sharing it with others? Janyre Tromp and Joel Armstrong are both in-house editors who also write (and edit) their own books. In this session, learn how to see your writing with fresh eyes, evaluate your structure and approach with your readers’ needs in mind, and “kill your darlings” when your pet anecdotes, talking points, or weasel words are getting in the way of clear, concise writing.

The Art of Description (and Not Going Overboard) (Virtual via Zoom)
Janyre Tromp, Editor, Kregel Publications

It's no secret that good narrative description is one of the keys to excellent writing. But navigating the path between too much and too little detail isn’t always an easy task. In this workshop we'll explore keys to creating effective “Show Don’t Tell” description as well as give concrete examples of how to put those keys into action without bogging down your manuscript.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from these dynamic workshops.



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