Conference Workshops


In addition to the one-hour workshops on Saturday, there will be a series of pre-conference two-hour workshop sessions for those interested on Friday afternoon that will consist of intense, personal and practical activities for those willing to get involved directly in the writing process.  These two-hour workshops will require a modest fee ($40 before October 20, $50 day conference begins) beyond the general registration fee of $90 before October 20 and $100 day of conference.

CONFERENCE ALUMNI PANEL:  "What We Learned and How It Has Helped!" - Dr. Jerry Hopkins (Chair), Lynn Hobbs, Kelsey Jackson, Bill Dareing, Terri Lacher, Cindy Anne Duncan, and perhaps others

This session is an open discussion led and coordinated by Conference Director/Planner Dr. Jerry Hopkins.  Each of the participants have attended the conference and other conferences and will share how the conference has benefited and blessed many lives.  Each participant will share how the conference profited them and helped them in their writing.  This session is a good introduction to the many opportunities available the rest of the day.  Each author has experience in writing and publishing.  There is a wide-range of ages and experiences in the panel that will provide valuable information and inspiration.

Crystal Bowman & Teri McKinley

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Welcome to the World of Children's Literature:  What Writers Need to Know Before They Begin

This is a two-hour hands-on workshop for writers who would like an introduction to the genre of children's literature, this session will get authors started in the right direction.  Learn the do's and don'ts of writing for children, as well as the sub-genres within the genre of children's literature.  Gain insight into the world of publishing and writing for children.  A question and answer time will be included.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - The Nitty-Gritty of Writing for Children:  Advanced Workshop for Writers of Children's Literature

This is a six-hour continuing class workshop (all day) on writing for children by two experienced authors.  Writing for children is fun but it's also challenging!  This continuing class will cover the basics of writing for children, as well as dissect the sub-genres within children's literature.  From board books and picture books, to Bible story books and books for beginning readers, writers need to know the specifics in order to catch the attention of a publisher.  For each sub-genre within children's literature, we will take an in-depth look at vocabulary, word play, word count, characters, plot, themes, point of view, and much more.  These sessions will also include question and answer times, as well as a critique session.  Writers are encouraged to bring along stories they have written for children ages 0-8 years.

Terry Burns


The workshop "Writing in Obedience" by editor/agent Terry Burns is for the new Christian writer or the writer looking to decide how God wants them to incorporate their faith into their writing.  How do we know what the Lord wants us to do?  Are we being called to write or do we want to write for Him as an offering?  What is required of the author using their writing for the Lord and how do they go about it?  What do we really want to achieve with our writing, how do we define success?  The program is based on his new book, written with editor Linda Yezak entitled "Writing in Obedience."

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Survive Your Way to Publication

Publication is not a selection process but a survival process.  Terry walks the author through the entire pitch and submission process, how to do a proposal and what each portion is and what it does.  How to pass the various tests and make it into the 15% of submissions that are actually in the running.  This workshop is presented in a Q & A format based on his book "A Writer's Survival Guide to Publishing.


Ken Camp


In this two-hour hands-on workshop find out about the seven deadly sins of writing, and learn how you can repent of those transgressions.  Discover quick, easy and relatively painless ways to make everything you write better.  Participate in hands-on exercises to tone and tighten flabby prose.  Learn how to work with editors and collaboratively with other writers.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - How to Get an Editor's Attention--in a good way

Find out what editors really want.  Learn how to pitch an article for publication to an editor.  Find out about editors' pet peeves and discover how to steer clear of committing those peevish deeds.


Lynn Marie Cherry & Lexie Smith

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Social Media for Writers

Do you have a platform?  How many followers do you have?  Are you pinning, tweeting, posting or drowning in the waves of social media?  Lexie and Lynn are here to help you navigate the sea of social media options by aligning your online presence to your writing vision.  Don't have a vision for your writing?  They can help with that too, using a proven vision statement exercise.  With defined writing goals as your compass, you can choose the right social media tools to help you on your writing journey. (They'd also enjoy seeing you are their end of conference networking session.)

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Social Media Networking and Idea Exchange

You've done a lot of listening at the conference.  Now it's time to do a little talking.  It's your chance to share what you know and connect with fellow writers.  Not a talker?  No problem.  You can sit back and learn by listening.  You can even spend some time setting up or tweaking your social media sites.  This is a great opportunity for collaborative learning.  Wrap up your conference experience by establishing new relationships and expanding your social media circles.


Kristen Clark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - How to Get More and Higher Quality Book Reviews

This workshop is about how to get more and higher quality book reviews so as to gain credibility and thereby sell more books.  Customer reviews are the single most effective tool for selling books, especially on Amazon.  In this workshop, you will learn five practical and easy to implement tips for getting more and higher quality book reviews.  And once you have the reviews, what do you do with them?  This workshop will also also explore 5 Indie Marketing ideas for taking full advantage of every book review in  your effort to increase sales and grow your fan base.


Lawrence Clark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Public Speaking Strategies for Authors

This workshop dealing with strategies for authors about how to get more book sales through booking interviews on radio, television and podcasts.  After attending this informative-packed workshop, you will discover practical tips and strategies used by best-selling authors to promote their books.  In the first half, you will learn what program directors are looking for, as well as what to say and how to say it so you can get yourself booked on radio, television, and the growing number of internet-based podcasts and Google hangouts.

In the second half of his workshop, Dr. Clark will reveal some secret techniques from his many years of speaking in public and appearing as a guest on numerous programs, as well as teaching public speaking at the university level.  You'll learn what to say and what NOT to say, as well as some practical tips on how to present yourself so you come across as knowledgeable, professional, and personable during your interview.


Christopher Collins

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - The Beginning Playwright:  From the Itch to the Show

Ever had an idea that you thought would be great on stage?  Ever heard a conversation, experienced an interesting event, lived through circumstances of literary proportions, or created a character or scenario in your head that just begs to be acted out?  This session may be for you.  Join Chris as he explores the process of beginning the journey as a playwright.  How does one get ideas?  How does one develop characters?  How should a play be written?  How should it flow?  What are the trends and styles in modern playwriting?  How does one actually become a playwright?  What should we do with these creations?  We will attempt to address these topics and explore how to enter the playwriting world.


Cindy Anne Duncan

 SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Wide Open Spaces - It's Your Life--Now or Never . . . Journal It!

This is an inspiring workshop with an experienced writer who walks a path of wonderment, as well as enrichment.  In her life, she never misses an opportunity to write about her discoveries and feelings.  The focus of this workshop is to help you develop journaling skills on a deeper level.

Ms. Duncan asks God to keep her on the path he would have her on.  She finds that in walking this path, she is totally amazed at what and whom God places in her path.  She has to only truly seek, listen, and look.

Ms. Duncan believes in living life to the fullest, and is going to be sharing with youjust how . . . "Wide Open Spaces" . . .  are a delight to discovering the joy you will find in journaling these experiences.  She also brings the wealth of joy these journal entrees not only bring toyour life, but to generations to come.

Ms. Duncan is the author of The Grace Anne Series, "Simply Grace Anne."  They are a series of children's books, Pre-K through Fourth grade, based on Ms. Duncan's real little three legged dog, Grace Anne.  Within each book Grace Anne learns the vital lessons in life; words and actions count, they truly matter.  At the end of each book there is a discussion page where the adult and child discuss the lesson learned and how they can help in thinking of ways they can bring joy to someone's life and how this joy spreads throughout the world!

This is one workshop filled with energy, emotion, excellent journaling ideas, and the joy of not missing one moment in life . . . . . Remember, "It's your life, it's now or never."


Jerry Faught, II

SATURDAY WORKSHOP -Writing for Your Denomination

Dr. Faught will be presenting ideas, suggestions, insights and information on writing for your denomination, including Sunday School lessons, youth devotional articles, Bible studies, and special curriculum materials.  His session will involve how to develop ideas; how to write query letters; how to network with other authors and editors.  He has inter-denominational experience having taught and written for Baptists, but also working and teaching with the historic Methodist school, Wiley College.


Richard L. Fluker

FRIDAY EXHIBIT - Book Show and Tell

Remember the show-and-tell days from elementary school?  Maybe you showed off just one prized possession.  Richard, in his "book show and tell," displays more than 60 mementoes from his growing-up years on a farm in central Texas.  All are related to his book The Cows Are Out and Other Tales from a Farm Kid of the 50s.  As Richard makes remarks or reads a passage in which the item is mentioned, he draws attention to it by holding it up or pointing to it.  The "old stuff," the movement, the demonstrations keep the audience engaged.  Afterwards, many are inspired to share their own memories.  And most buy a book after seeing it come to life!

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday morning Richard will have an exhibit of historical farm and rural artifacts that illustrate rural agricultural life in East Texas.  Such material artifacts have dramatic stories and lessons that preserve and present for all the stories of family, friends and history.  The Fluker Exhibit will be available throughout Friday and all day on Saturday.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Editing:  Searching for a Better Way to Say It

You have a draft, but the original, "aha" thoughts youwere fortunate to nab are only so many words scattered in a jumble of phrases, clauses, and awkward sentences.  That's okay.  Now it's time to rewrite and edit.  Richard will discuss sentences--structure and length, achieving the right blend, and transitions.  Using checklists, he'll show how to ferret out throwaway words, vanilla words, cliches, abstractions, redundancies, and other elements that dilute your prose.  He'll also talk about "coming in close," or finding the right words to help the reader see what you saw during those "aha" moments.

Richard has a unique approach to writing and editing.  He will present, using his own writing and stories how he prepares his manuscripts and then edits them.  His reading in the editing process is an example of an effective way to identify, correct and refine what one is writing for publication and communication.  His experience in both publishing and radio production is very helpful.


Joan Hallmark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Your First Book

So you want to write your first book?  How do you start?  How do you choose a subject?  Why is the subject of interest to you?  Will it be interesting to others?  How do you get organized?  Do your research?  Find an editor?  A publishers?  When published, how will you help market the book?  All these and other questions will be discussed.

This well-known and popular TV personality in East Texas will discuss how she wrote her first book.  She will give suggestions and ideas as to how to begin and how to work through writing your first book from beginning to end.


Jerry Hopkins

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Building a Writing Investment:  Keeping a Journal

A workshop with an experienced writer who has kept a journal since 1960.  The essentials for a person to use a journal in one's professional life, personal life, or in the classroom will be discussed.  Included in the presentation will be examples of journals from the past and present, bibliographical information, philosophical background and reasons for journaling, practical suggestions, and a "hands-on" experiment in journaling.  The presenter will share an array of handouts, bibliographical resources, work sheets and related materials to enhance the journaling experience.  An interesting display of published journals collected by the presenter will be available. This will be a "hands-on" workshop for those who want to begin journaling, or those who are experienced in keeping a journal.  Workshop Level:  Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced


A forum where alumni of previous conferences share how the conference has benefited and blessed their writing and publishing career.  The conference has helped all kinds of people and all different ages.  An element built into this opening session deals with "how to benefit" from the conference giving ideas and insights.  There is literally something for everyone in the conference.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Book Reviews

Dr. Jerry Hopkins and Dr. Michael "Mike" E. Williams, Sr., will work together to present the strategies for reading books and writing reviews for publication in scholarly journals and other publications.  Both have extensive experience in reading and writing.  They have reviewed many books and their reviews have been published in a number of different publications.  Dr. Williams is the editor of a scholarly journal and has served for many years as the book review editor for the Baptist History and heritage Journal.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Finding Books - A Literary Adventure

Dr. Hopkins will present a workshop on finding books and writing resources in bookstores, yard sales, library sales and estate sales.  He will share the value of books and how to acquire them, use them and share them. 


Bill Keith

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Writing a Book But Never Had a Chance to Ask

An experienced writer/editor/publisher discusses the writing process.  He gives opportunity for those attending to ask questions, drawing from his many years in working as a book editor, publisher and author of numerous best-selling books to answer and discuss the creative process that results in a completed book.


David King

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Sharing Your Faith:  Writing Daily Devotionals

The focus of this workshop is to help you develop the essentials for good devotional writing.  Discover where and how to start writing meditations.  Learn the significance of being Bible-based and authentic as you share your faith through your writing.  Sample and compare several leading daily devotionals to see how they differ and receive a market list.  This workshop is designed for both beginning and intermediate writers.  Even experienced and advanced writers can benefit from David's ideas and suggestions in this workshop.


Logos Bible Software Representative

FRIDAY & SATURDAY WORKSHOPS - Logos Bible Software Presentations

Logos Bible Software will have a software exhibit with software and resources available for purchase.  The representative will also be conducting workshops demonstrating the software, the resources available with the software.  There are thousands of volumes and other resources available through Logos. 


 Shari Parker


As a publisher, editor and marketing agent Ms. Parker discusses and describes the approaches and advantages of self-publishing--how to get started, what you need to do, what you don't need to do, and what the costs are.  There will be an opportunity to learn about the publishing business and also get your questions answered and your ideas discussed.

 SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Promoting and Selling Your Book

You are or want to be a writer, but you're wondering where and how to sell your books?  Have you defined the specific target to buy your books?  Do you know how to reach them?  You will find these answers and more in Shari Parker's one-hour interactive workshop on promoting and selling your book.  Shari guides you through the seven essential hooks for every book.  She has consolidated her 40 years of sales and marketing experience into a list of 50 markets you need to use to sell more books.  You will receive worksheets to assist you in developing your marketing strategy plan.  During the workshop, points will be given to each person participating.  The person with the most points at the end will choose a free book from the over 60 titles she has published.  Shari Parker shares her secrets for successful selling.

Harold Rawlings

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Christian Non-Fiction

 This workshop will explore the wonderful world of Christian non-fiction, one of the most popular book markets today.  We will discuss the various genres of Christian non-fiction:  devotional books, history, biography, essays, memoirs, self-help, parenting, book reviews.  You will learn the importance of establishing a purpose before writing, determining your audience, discussing themes central to the Christian experience, doing thorough research on your subject matter, and being as accurate as possible in telling the story.


SATURDAY EXHIBIT - Ancient Scriptures, Valuable Rare English Bibles and Texts

The Rawlings Foundation has one of the best collections of ancient texts of Scripture and rare English Bibles available.  These will be on display Friday and Saturday in the Ornelas Student Center.  Dr. Rawlings is the author of Trial By Fire:  The Struggle to Get the Bible into English, which grew out of his lecture on the History of the English Bible.  He has also authored Basic Baptist Beliefs:  An Exposition of Key Biblical Doctrines and The Words of This Prophecy:  Messages on the Book of Revelation.  His spiritual formation booklet for new Christians, "Now That I'm Saved, What's Next?" is used by churches throughout the United States.


Scott Stevens

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Connecting People to God's Word:  Writing Bible Study Curriculum

Interested in connecting large numbers of people to God through His Word?  One of the most effective ways to do so is through creating excellent Bible study curriculum.  This workshop will explore the keys to writing compelling content for use in Bible Study groups.  Emphasis will be given to creating material for both Bible study participants (pupil resources), as well as teachers (Bible commentary and teaching plan resources).  Discover how you can multiple the influence of your writing ministry through curriculum creation.


Sally E. Stuart

KEYNOTE ADDRESS - The Sacrifices of the Writers

Although there is great joy in writing, it also demands certain sacrifices that ultimately define who you are and what God demands of you as a writer.  This address will take a closer look at those sacrifices, suggest new and creative ways to approach each writing project, and challenge you to be the best writer you can be.

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Understanding and Selling in the Christian Market

A clear understanding of the Christian market and how it functions is critical to making consistent sales.  This hands-on two-hour workshop will give you the necessary insight, and provide a clear and personalized path to those sales.  An inside look at the foundations of marketing success by one who has much experience and founded The Christian Writer's Market Guide several years ago.


SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Book Proposals That Sell

A book proposal is the document that will determine whether your book gets accepted or rejected.  This workshop will not only identify all the elements required, but will help you be sure your proposal will succeed in catching an editor's attention.


Donn Taylor

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Making Your Poems Different

Many poems written today have a sameness that makes one look much like another.  What, then, can make a poem stand out in the flood of submissions each editor receives?  This session describes and illustrates five techniques that can make your poems strikingly different from most that editors will see.  These techniques will help novices and experienced poets alike.


Terry Wolever

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing and Publishing Baptist History Resources

Learn how to research and write history through using genealogy.  Terry will present ways in which to further your research in Baptist history through the use of genealogical resources.  He will demonstrate how to do this by taking a case study and walking the class through the various steps and tools available to develop a more interesting and detailed biography of a particular individual in Baptist history.  While this will be focused on Baptists, those interested in other denominations or groups can employ the same approach and technique.

Wolever is an experienced researcher, editor and writer working with Particular Baptist Press on a number of important biographical studies.