Teens Write 2015

Thursday, August 4, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

BONUS: A 15-minute appointment with an author or editor.

You’re welcome to come at 8:30 am for opening keynote
and to stay for the Thursday evening keynote.

There is no additional charge if you are already registered for Thursday.

Coming just to Teens Write?

Cost is $45 if you register through July 24
$55 after July 24 and includes Pizza Feast at lunch.

Homeschooled students - 25% discount

Click here for a flyer to share with your friends.

Click here to register.

Parents & Teachers
we encourage you to attend one or more workshops of our
Thursday Specials intended for all Christians,
not just writers.
Click here for more info.


Satisfying Devos     10:00 - 10:30


Marty Machowski
Executive Editor, Children’s Resources
New Growth Press
Author, Pastor

Marty is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for 26 years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of Long Story Short, Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God; The Gospel Story Sunday School Curriculum; and the companion Gospel Story Children’s Bible. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

While Chicken Soup and other catchy devotions can fill your quiet time, God’s Word is what really satisfies your soul. Learn the secret to writing effective and satisfying devotions for young and old.

Keep Them Turning Pages    10:30 - 11:15


Mike Dellosso
Author, Speaker
Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing

Mike is the author of nine novels, an adjunct professor of creative writing and popular conference teacher, a husband, and a father. He is also a colon cancer survivor and healthcare worker. Born in Baltimore, Mike now resides in southern Pennsylvania with his wife and four daughters. His books include Centralia (releasing in June), The Hunted, Scream, Darlington Woods, Darkness Follows, Frantic, Fearless, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, and the novella, Rearview.

In this workshop we’ll look at two important aspects of writing thrillers: suspense and villains. We’ll look at techniques to turn up the pace of a story and keep the reading turning pages, and we’ll look at how to create villains that readers love to hate.

What’s So Bad about Old Fashioned?    11:15 – 12:00


Cindy Sproles
Executive Editor, Christian Devotions.us

Cindy is an author and speaker whose dream is to do nothing more than craft words that speak from the heart. God’s plan seems to be for her to write email devotionals, but God is expanding her horizons. In the meantime … she writes and speaks.

She’s a mountain gal, born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains where life is simple, words have a deep southern drawl, and colloquialisms like, “well, slap my knee” and “corn pone” seem to take precedence over proper speech. Apple butter, coal mining, the river, pink sunrises, and golden sunsets help you settle into a porch swing and relax. Family, the love of God, and strong morals are embedded into her life in the mountains.

Teaching writers, spinning fiction tales about life in the mountains, history, and down home ideas find their way into all she does. She loves to write devotions, to seek after the deeper side of Christ, and to share the lessons He teachers her from life in the hills of East Tennessee.

Unlike old bread, some methods of writing never grow stale. In this class we will learn the old school method of hook, book, look, and took. This old school method of writing helps you develop well rounded pieces of work, no matter what you write.

Pizza Feast    12:00 – 12:30

Show, Tell, Talk    12:30 - 1:15


Tim Shoemaker
Author, Speaker

Tim is a full-time speaker and author of 11 books. He is passionate about writing and has worked with youth for over 20 years. Code of Silence, book one of his contemporary suspense series, was included in the Booklist Online “Top Ten Crime Novels for Youth” list. Tim was selected by School Library Journal to serve on a four-member “Mysteries and Thrillers” panel for their Summer Teen Event.

Do you know when to show and when to tell? How would your character do these things? Dialogue can help, but poor dialogue will cost you. Tim won’t tell you how to improve your manuscript, he’ll show you.

Writing with Banana Peels    1:15 – 2:00


Jim Watkins
Author/Speaker/Threat to Society
Associate Acquisitions Editor, Wesleyan Publishing House
Editorial Advisor for ACW Press


Jim is passionate about communicating to change lives as well as teaching others to do that through conferences and seminars across the US and overseas. He is associate acquisitions editor at Wesleyan Publishing House and is author/contributor to over 30 books and over 2,000  articles. He has served as adjunct professor at Taylor University’s professional writing program and minister of communication at two large churches. His weekly “Hope and Humor” newsletter and daily Facebook posts will make you laugh and think. Jim loves God, his family, writing, speaking, and Chinese food—in that order.

Humor is a proven way to connect with your readers and help them remember what they’ve read. And it makes you a more likeable author. Jim will show you the principles and pratfalls of writing humor.

Rules of Engagement      2:00 – 2:45


Suzanne Kuhn
SuzyQ Author Coaching


Suzanne has more than 20 years of book retailing experience, working in all areas of book retailing and event sales, including traveling as part of Karen Kingsbury’s team. In 2010 Suzanne launched SuzyQ, a full-service author promotion and retail development firm that works with authors, publishers, and retailers, helping to coordinate events, train staff and authors in reader engagement, and develop promotions for increased sales and reader/customer loyalty.

Suzanne’s experience and knowledge in the book retailing venue gives her an edge when consulting retailers for niche and business plan development, facilitating book tours, and ensuring a more successful and profitable event.

Suzanne truly believes in the power of Christian literature to impact and change lives.

A practical, hands-on approach for writers in any stage of the process to maximize interactions and promote themselves. Suzanne will provide strategic ideas for reaching your specific audience.

Break       2:45 – 3:00      

How to Be a Successful New Illustrator     3:00 – 3:45     


Kim Sponaugle
Art Director, Bread & Jam Books
Freelance Children’s Book Illustrator


Kim is a freelance children's book illustrator and the Art Director of Bread & Jam Books (Fruitbearer Publishing). Upon graduation from The Art Institute of Philadelphia, she began working for D.C. Cook Publishing designing children’s curriculum, but she soon found her heart’s vocation in children’s illustration. While working as a Kid’s Portrait Artist, Kim developed a style that captured the effervescence of childhood. She works to incorporate that joy into her book work. In 2007, Kim started Picture Kitchen Studio and has had the pleasure of illustrating more than 50 books for children. She has been honored to receive The Mom’s Choice Award, Pinnacle Book, CIPA EVVY, Reader’s Favorite Awards, and most recently a Purple Dragonfly Award (first place for illustrations, Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon.) Kim lives in New Jersey with her husband Jerry and their beloved Westie Casey.

Being an illustrator is not just about working hard at creating beautiful work that tells a story, it’s also about setting yourself up to grow, where you’re illustrating the kind of work that makes happy clients and learning to use your talents and skills effectively for God’s glory and your benefit. This 101 workshop is what Kim wished she had known fresh out of art school on getting started in picture book illustration.

Will They Read On?      3:45 – 4:30    



Joyce Magnin
​Author and Speaker


Joyce is the author of 9 books - 7 books for adults including the award-winning Bright’s Pond series; the Harriet Beamer novels; Maybelle in Stitches (Quilts of Love Series); and 2 middle grade novels, Carrying Mason and Cake – Love, Chickens and Taste of Peculiar. Her debut novel, The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Bright’s Pond), was named one of the top 5 titles of 2009 by Library Journal. Joyce’s most recent release, Cake, was awarded the coveted Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews. Her work has received much critical acclaim.

Besides writing full time Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and speaker. She travels the country teaching at various conferences and women’s retreats. Joyce also enjoys doing school and library visits. Joyce is a dynamic and fun teacher who usually leaves the audience wanting more. “Writing and story have always been a part of my life,” Joyce says. “I love to share my passion, my joy, and my personal adventure.”

Every writer needs feedback. Every editor wants to be hooked on the first page. Joyce will read your first pages, make comments, and help you write a first page that will pull in any reader. Bring a copy of the first page of your work in progress.

Fairies and Elves and Dwarves, Oh My!     4:30 – 5:15   


Pam Halter
Coordinator, Teens Write
Editorial/Acquisitions Editor, Bread and Jam
Representative, Fruitbearer Publishing

Pam was a home-schooling mom for nine years and has been a children’s book author since 1995. Concordia Publishing House put out two picture books; Beatrice Loses Her Doll and Beatrice’s New Clothes were released August 2001. Pam enjoys coming alongside authors and helping them make their writing the best it can be. She also enjoys quilting, reading, gardening, cooking, and playing the piano.

Character development is key in writing fantasy. How well do you know fairies, elves, dwarves, wizards, pixies, ogres or trolls? Pam will help you get up close and personal with all the fun fantasy folk you can think up!

Panel & Wrap Up     5:15 – 6:00