Author, Singer, Songwriter
Tracy is a multi-published author, International Best-Seller, Selah Award finalist and Writers of the Future Semi-Finalist. Her many years as an ACFW, Realm Makers, and RWA member have given her insight into key writing techniques, practices, and tips. As a writer, she knows the business. As a Christian, she’s eager to share that knowledge with others. Find out what her courses can do for YOU!
Workshop 6C – SHOW and TELL TIME: How to KNOW if you SHOW! (Saturday, 2:00 – 3:00)
You’ve heard the phrase “Show, don’t Tell,” but what does it mean? How do you find it— and more important—how do you FIX it in your own writing? Don’t worry, I’ll SHOW you (and Tell you, too)!
Carol Award Winning Novelist
Terry is the award-winning author of The Jerusalem Prophecies series, including The Aleppo Code which won the 2016 Carol Award as the best mystery/suspense novel of 2015. Ottoman Dominion, the third book in his latest series, Empires of Armageddon, was released last November. Terry has also led a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism team and has received the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.
Starting out as a sportswriter in Philadelphia, Terry became an Editor and Publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York, and in 1988 moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland, and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles. In 1996 he transitioned into the nonprofit sector, spending 12 years as VP Operations for The Bowery Mission and six years as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless, NYC nonprofits that serve homeless people. Terry and his wife, Andrea, live in Danbury, CT.
Continuing Session – The Novelist’s Toolbox
Both professionals and do-it-yourselfers know that the right tool makes any job easier. In this continuing session, Carol Award winner and multi-published author Terry Brennan will share some essential tools for The Novelist's Toolbox: Mastering the timeless story structure called The Hero's Journey; How to use The Plot Skeleton to build a satisfying story; Structure for Gardeners - Designing order for those who work by the seat of their pants; Bit Players Steal the Show - Creating minor characters to drive plot (show, not tell); and the many layers of compelling Character Development. Along with exercises and class participation, this continuing session will help you acquire some essential tools to build better novels.
An ordained pastor, Victoria Dorshorn writes Christian nonfiction and faith-based screenplays. Her newest book, Victory through Voice: How to Speak Truth when the Culture Demands Silence, picks up where her first book ends, Victory through Light: How to Overcome the Growing Cultural Darkness. Godly living and sharing the Word are essential today to shine light into the moral darkness and to speak truth to a dying culture that needs to hear the life-giving message of the gospel.
Continuing Session – Impact Our Culture, Part 4 – Victory through Voice (Friday, 4:00 – 5:15)
Our nation is heading into spiritual darkness at exponential speeds. The powers in control in society seek to silence all voices that stand against the avalanche of evil. Society tells us to stand down and be quiet. They strive to shut us in a closet so they can slam the door on our message of grace, truth, righteousness, and life. We must avoid the closet at all costs. But how can we speak out in this cultural climate? Will we be persecuted for speaking truth when the culture demands silence? Let us follow in the steps of the first century Christians and trust God for the results.
Michael was born in rural North Carolina to an 18 year old mill worker. Though his early life was one of poverty and isolation, God miraculously intervened in his life as a teenager by bringing him into the sights of a young youth pastor in western North Carolina. Michael was discipled into Christ and mentored into manhood through his teen years. He enrolled in Bible College in 1967 and entered the full time ministry in 1971. He met his wife Barbara in high school and they were married in 1969. They have five children and as of now, 14 grandchildren. The couple have made their home in Southern Vermont for the past 50 years.
After serving the same pulpit for almost 40 years, Michael retired from full time pastoral ministry to pursue other opportunities to serve the Kingdom of God. He is the author of seven books, and as the director of the Kenya Development Fund, he has served the Deaf in the East African country of Kenya for more than 30 years. He is a frequent speaker at various conferences nationwide. He has a radio show MONDAY MORNINGS WITH MIKE, over WLPV-FM in Greenfield, Massachusetts, which he also features on Facebook live. He also regularly comments on a wide variety of issues through his blog at www.mkgantt.com.
Keynote – Old Paths, Ancient Markers – Guarding the Treasure of the Gospel (Thursday, 9:40)
It wasn’t the messenger the council feared; it was the message. It was the Name. They hoped their threats would frighten the believers into silence, but they only emboldened the disciples. Their prayer was powerful: “Grant unto us a boldness to speak the Word of God” (Acts 4:29 ESV).
Continuing Session – Impact Our Culture, Part 2 – The Burden of the Watchman (Thursday, 4:00 -5:15)
There are some who see what others do not see, hear sounds others do not hear, and discern danger before danger reveals itself. Should he sleep, the loss of the city will stain his hands forever.
Author and Speaker
Jendayi is a minister of practical advice on how to do life in Christ well. She’s a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO), Senior Productivity Consultant, Board-Certified Health Coach, and Board-Certified National Counselor. She believes the best thing we can do for our families and Nation is to get healthy in body, soul, and spirit.
Jendayi speaks at Fortune 500 firms and churches alike, with an affinity for coaching Christ-centered leaders to optimize their time, personality, priorities, and resources to powerfully impact the kingdom of God. Her first book, The Chubby Church: A Call to Break Free of Weight and Eating Bondage, is changing lives.
Workshop 3A – The Emotionally Fit Writer (Friday, 11:50 – 12:50)
How to defeat negative emotions so you can stop procrastinating and get through the doubt, fear, worry, unworthiness, and criticism of your book project. The 5-step Emotional Fitness Workout for inner strength to feel happy, healthy, and whole for life so you can process those negative emotions that derail your efforts. What to do in the moment to handle emotions driving you to eat, drink, sleep, or watch movies to avoid writing. How to grow yourself to see yourself as an effective writer/author. This workshop will help writers understand the power of emotions for insight into their lives as well as provide a powerful “workout” to exercise their emotional bodies. ”J” will offer much needed tools to help you mature into a confident and successful Kingdom author.
Liz Curtis Higgs
Best-selling Author, Speaker
Liz is the author of 37 books, with 4.6 million copies in print. She has spoken at more than 1,800 conferences in all 50 states of the U.S. and 15 foreign countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, Germany, Ecuador, and Japan. Her messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny, helping both sisters and seekers embrace the truth of God’s amazing, unchanging grace. Liz’s dedication to platform ministry has not gone unnoticed. In 1995 the National Speakers Association honored Liz with their Council of Peers Award of Excellence.
Keynote – Ministering to Our Readers (Friday, 9:40)
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
Liz Curtis Higgs has a question for you: Is your writing career entirely in God’s hands? Discover the surprising answer as Liz shares the life-changing lessons she's learned from three decades of writing for the Lord.
Keynote – Sitting at His Feet (Saturday, 9:40)
“Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to all He said” (Luke 10:39 NLV).
As a storyteller, Liz Curtis Higgs knows the very best stories have already been written in God's Word. The New Testament accounts of Mary and Martha offer valuable insights about how we write, why we write, and what the Lord might be teaching us in the process.
Workshop 3C – Researching Your Novel – LIVE (Friday, 11:50 – 12:50)
"He did his best to find just the right words. And what he wrote was honest and true" (Ecclesiastes 12:10 NIRV).
As a writer of both contemporary and historical novels, Liz Curtis Higgs believes the best fiction is built on a solid, factual foundation, which research alone provides. From hands-on experience to online exploring, from finding the right books to interviewing the right people, Liz will show you how to create a believable time and place for your characters to live and breathe.
Monday Morning Ministry Blog
Rick has written 74 books and hundreds of magazine articles. A former Director of Product Development at Youth Specialties and speaker at Youth Worker conferences, he has worked as a political cartoonist and columnist. He was the Editor of Marvel Comics magazines and a writer for Disney, and has been on the faculty at four universities; among his appearances, he has been a guest on the radio shows of Dr Gina Loudon, Hugh Hewitt, G Gordon Liddy, Mitch Albom, and Adam Corolla. He has spoken at the Library of Congress and on C-SPAN. Rick’s Monday Morning Music Ministry has been active, and growing, since the Spring of 2008 and combines the Word, music, worship, encouragement, challenges, and spiritual discussion. During the 2020 election Rick wrote commentary, op-eds, and essays for national publications like RealClearPolitics, The American Spectator, Human Events, American Thinker, RealClearReligion, and WorldNet Daily.
Continuing Session – Impact Our Culture, Part 3 – Preserving the Family (Friday, 10:30 – 11:45)
The family as we have known it and God has designed it is under attack. How can we speak Truth and Life to this generation?
Charles is an author with a personal passion for American history and our nation’s unique Christian heritage. He has written an American Civil War series entitled “Destination Hope.” As a Jewish follower of Yeshua, Charles speaks at Pro-Life and Tea Party rallies about our godly American heritage. “I write to preserve life and liberty, because by fighting to provide freedom for others, we preserve freedom for ourselves.” For over 35 years he supported the Department of Defense where his work gained recognition throughout the military and weapons development corporations.
Continuing Session – Impact Our Culture, Part 1 – America at the Crossroads (Thursday, 10:30 – 11:45)
Have we been on a rollercoaster ride? And now 2021 is shaping up to be another pivotal year for the United States of America. Has it swung wildly back to a weak Progressive/Socialist society like many morally and fiscally bankrupt Socialist/Communist states? Or, is it too late to restore America to a strong Constitutional Republic rooted and grounded in Judea/Christian truths? Many Christians desire to know what the Bible teaches regarding today’s sensitive social and political issues. Christian writers can address controversial subjects in our posts, articles, texts, and stories. With today’s aggressive Cancel Culture, should we?
Gayle is the award winning author of more than forty books. She has been a Christy finalist three times for her novels Spring Rain, Summer Shadows, and Winter Winds.
Her novel Autumn Dreams won the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Summer Shadows was voted the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Book of the Year (tied with fellow author Brandilyn Collins).
Gayle has won the Holt Medallion three times for The Decision, Caught in a Bind, and Autumn Dreams. The Decision won the Reviewers Choice Award, and Gayle has also won the Award of Excellence for Spring Rain and the Golden Quill for Summer Shadows and Winter Winds. Romantic Times Book Report gave Gayle the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gayle rejoices every day that she gets to be a writer because she's in love with story. Even on the days that words rebel and have to be coerced onto the paper, there is nothing else she'd rather do. When readers like her work, it's like God says, "See? I knew what you were wired to do." When her books win awards, it's icing on the cake. And she gets to teach others how to write at conferences too. She spends a lot of time smiling. Her latest project is her blog, www.widowsjourney.com.
Pre-conference Zoom meeting – Practice Your Fiction Pitch
Rachel holds a B.S. in Bible and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Cairn University (formerly Philadelphia Biblical University).
She says: “I think my church, Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church, is wonderful although I’m a bit biased since my husband is the pastor. My day job (really, my 24/7 job) is mom to our four children.
“I have written devotionals for Light From the Word and The Quiet Hour. My work will also soon be found in Highlights for Children and Thriving Family Magazine.
“Ever think Scripture is hard to read, hard to understand, or hard to apply? Get support and community from other Christian women at my website Read the Hard Parts.
“I love to read biographies! I have been journaling my journey of reading a biography on each First Lady of the United States in chronological order. Check it out at Remember the Ladies.
Workshops 2G – Find Your Readers on Social Media – LIVE (Thursday, 2:45 – 3:45)
Tik-tok. Instagram. Reels. Facebook. Clubhouse. Twitter. Pinterest. Social media is EVERYWHERE. Learn how to use the power of the Internet to your advantage as Rachel shares the latest developments as well as best practices.
Illustrator, Bible Teacher
Marji is a joyful exhorter, creative storyteller, illustrator, and engaging Bible teacher. She has authored and illustrated eleven books, including a recent mystery novel written in collaboration with her twelve-year-old grandson, William.
Marji is the director of Embracing Grace Ministries, and Lives Overcoming Loss. She is a widow, the mother of two grown sons, and a grandmother of seven. Her art studio and ministry headquarters are nestled beside her 200-year-old farmhouse in the rolling hills of upstate New York.
Workshop 4A – Flourishing in God: A Message from Trees (Friday, 2:45 – 3:45)
What can Christian writers learn from the study of trees? God’s principles of flourishing are hidden all through His created world. When a large ash tree had to be removed from her yard, Marji never expected it to hold a life-changing assignment. Marji will share those principles in this inspiring workshop.
Dr. Mel Tavares
Author, Speaker, Journalist
Mel has been writing and coaching writers for over 20 years in small groups and at writers conferences. She is passionate about helping raise an army of writers who will provide biblical answers to a world filled with hopelessness, brokenness, and angst.
Over 20 years, Mel has written thousands of articles for publication as a journalist and freelance writer and is a multi-genre author of several books, including #Challenged: Equipping Families to Thrive in Today’s Youth Culture and Lessons From The River. She is a contributing author in an upcoming release from DaySpring, Sweet Tea for the Grieving Soul and is also a contributing writer for Inspiration Ministries.
Mel holds a Doctorate of Ministry and serves on staff in the Pastoral Care and Counseling Ministry in her church.
Workshop 1G – Utilize the Digital Mission Field (Thursday, 11:50 – 12:50)
Gain perspective and practical tools on how to use digital platforms as the mission field, impacting untold thousands (yes millions) around the world for Christ.
Angie Bass Williams
Pastor, Author, Speaker
Angie is a retired Federal employee and a Support Pastor at Grace Mennonite Fellowship in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She preaches in various denominations and is a guest on Valley Family Forum’s television and radio programs. Angie has served as Publicity Director and Prayer Ministry Team Leader for interdenominational evangelistic crusades. She was Advertising Director and Staff Writer for “Blessings” magazine and operated a home-based writing and editing business. She enjoys writing poetry, offering hospitality, teaching Bible studies, and helping others to get their books published.
Her book, Jesus Wants Your Mind!, demonstrates how to allow God’s Word to dominate our thinking, producing spiritual maturity. Angie underwent breast cancer surgery and radiation treatments while writing Joy In Adversity. This account of God’s overcoming power in her life serves to encourage and build the faith of others who are walking through life’s trials. Having experienced many episodes of physical suffering and difficult times such as the loss of three babies and numerous surgeries, Angie says, “We are what we are in adversity!” One of her favorite Scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7, which tells us not to worry, but to pray and thank God for the answers, resulting in His perfect peace.
Continuing Session – Impact Our Culture, Part 6 – Get Out of the Boat (Saturday 3:15 – 4:30)
Step out of the boat of political correctness and “walk on the water” of Spirit-led writing that expresses the truth of God’s Word. Tackle sensitive subjects such as abortion and euthanasia from a biblical perspective.
Workshop 4G – The How-to and Why of Writing Poetry with Catherine Lawton (Friday, 2:45 – 3:45)
Two gifted poets will split this hour workshop.
Catherine will address how to improve, market, and publish your poetry. In the process, sharpen your observation skills, deepen your relationship with God, connect with and influence others.
Angie will talk about how poetry packs a powerful punch. Teach the Word, offer hope, and keep the reader engaged by using rhythmic flow and cadence. Convert your poetry into song lyrics or greeting cards.
Workshop 5B – Revelation, Inspiration, or Perspiration? (Saturday, 12:00 – 1:00)
How do I convey the message of my heart to the printed page? It takes discipline and perseverance to produce a book that blesses and encourages others.
David is a Christian author and speaker. After a 34-year career with the federal government, he has written seven books including the award-winning Amazon bestseller Taking God to Work (The Keys to Ultimate Success) and Sabbatical of the Mind (The Journey from Anxiety to Peace) that won critical acclaim for its honest look at going crazy in the Washington rat race, taking time to understand fear, and returning to the Department of Homeland Security with new purpose. David also writes for Guideposts devotionals, CBN.com, and other Christian publications. He earned a B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. (Electronic Commerce) from Regent University.
Workshop 4F – Launch Your Book (Friday, 2:45 – 3:45)
Effective marketing of any book requires planning, organization, and a blueprint for success. This workshop provides concrete steps which can lead to a strong book launch. From conception of the idea through the first month of launch, certain themes separate Christian authors from others. Prayer must underpin aggressive planning from identifying the target audience to embracing the importance of God’s message contained in your book. We will cover what to do as you write, in the months leading up to launch, and the events surrounding the release of your book. Topics include building a web presence, Bookfunnel promos, street team, test readers, using several types of media relationships, cover and blurb strategies, news releases, live events, buying email promo lists, awards as a marketing strategy, four creative ideas to boost sales, etc.