Experienced writers will be spiritually renewed as they sharpen their word-smithing skills and learn about Christian publishing at this annual conference.
4 Continuing Morning Classes
1 Work-in-Progress Seminar
33 Afternoon Workshops
3 Afternoon Series
1 Faculty Panel Discussion
Appointments with Editors and Agents
Professional Critiques and Consults
Hands-on Mentoring Opportunities
EDITORS AND AGENTS COMING THIS YEAR!
DAVE FESSENDEN (EDITOR/AGENT) - Honeycomb House Publishing LLC, CLC Publications, & WordWise Media Services
BOB HOSTETLER (AGENT) - Steve Laube Agency
ROSEANNA WHITE (EDITOR) - WhiteFire Publishing
JEANETTE WINDLE (EDITOR) - Kregel Publishing
LORA ZILL (EDITOR) - “Time of Singing” Poetry
A Word from the Director:
"... for such a time as this.”
Did you ever imagine we’d be living in a time such as this? With the Covid crisis, the great divide in our country, and worldwide unrest, people need the truth of God’s Word more than ever. Thus, our ultimate goal should be to share God’s love and great salvation in our written words with so many who are deeply troubled and have nowhere to turn.
Therefore, when you write, do you ask the Lord to give you direction so your work will impact others’ lives? That article, story, poem, music, or book should reflect your heart, God’s heart, and reveal your passion to share the truths you’ve learned from the Author and Finisher of our Faith. You just might find that coveted book contract in your hands.
3:30 REGISTRATION OPENS
7:00 OPENING SESSION
Keynote: “The Sucessful Writer” - Author Bob Hostetler
9:00 GET ACQUAINTED TIME
9:00 PRAISE & WORSHIP
9:20 MORNING CHALLENGE
M: “What Time Is It” - Gayle Roper
T: "Delight Yourself in the Lord: My Writer's Story" - Rachel Schmoyer
W: "What Can Christian Communicators Learn from the Tower of Babel Story" - David Fessenden
Th: “Deeply” - Roseanna White
10:40 MAJOR MORNING CLASSES
1:30 AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS
4:30 CRITIQUE GROUPS or FREE TIME
5:30 SUPPER and FREE TIME
7:00 EVENING SESSIONS
M: “The Montrose Tonight Show” - Bob Hostetler/Dave Fessenden
T: FREE TIME
W: “Digging for God’s Truth” - Kathie Mitchell
“Book Launch Party – Time to Celebrate” - Ginny Merritt/Maureen Longnecker
Th: WRITERS’ THEATER - Patti Souder
9:00 MORNING CHALLENGE - “Journey of Patience” - Annette Whipple
9:30 BENEDICTION and FAREWELL
Designed to provide in-depth learning and participation. Most valuable when taken as a series but all are open to those who cannot attend every day.
MAJOR MORNING CLASSES 10:40-12:10 Monday-Thursday
1. BOB HOSTETLER “The Wonderful World of Nonfiction”
Four sessions on writing nonfiction of many kinds tailored to the interests and strengths of the attending writers.
2. GAYLE ROPER “Making Fiction More than Real”
We want our stories to ring true. We want our readers to believe our fictive worlds. To achieve this goal, we have to develop characters, create a plot, imagine a setting, but there's more. With your story in mind, you're going to search for the more. Come prepared to write and share.
3. JEANETTE WINDLE “So You Want to Write! (For Beginning Writers)”
How do I get started as a writer? Find material or choose a topic? Create a scene or compelling character? What is the meaning of such cryptic terms as “show, don’t tell,” “passive vs. action,” flashback, deep POV, head-hopping? What are the formatting and editing guidelines an editor will expect? How and where do I actually SELL my writing? These are some of the mysteries veteran author, journalist, editor, and writing coach Jeanette Windle will be clarifying in this continuing track designed for the beginning writer. This class is hands-on and interactive so bring pen-and-paper or laptop.
4. LORA ZILL “Poetry: For the Love of the Word and Words”
Poetry asks great things of us: imagination, creativity, and courage. But you don’t have to be a poet to learn from this rich and engaging art and craft. We’ll have fun with hands-on exercises to stimulate new ideas and ways to use language. We’ll play with the tools of poetry to shape our words into meaningful forms. We’ll discuss not only craft but how to think about language. Engaging with poetry will make you a better writer and wordsmith in any genre. Come and join us as we create with the Word and words!
CHILDREN’S NONFICTION with ANNETTE WHIPPLE
10:40 – 12:10 MONDAY-THURSDAY
(LIMIT 8 CONFEREES, Extra Charge $40)
Bring your informational kid lit work-in-progress. During our four mornings together, we’ll share and brainstorm together. You’ll polish your book or article manuscript to make it shine to prepare it for submission.
Afternoon Workshop Series
(How-to instruction on specialized topics)
“The Other Side of Writing” Jill Thomas
3 Sessions: 1:30 – 2:15 Tues. – Thurs.
This three-part series delves into some of the peripheral aspects a writer faces: giving a public presentation about your book, designing a spectacular author table, creating a stunning newsletter, and simple stress-free marketing.
“Fiction from Seed to Harvest” Roseanna White
4 Sessions: 2:30 –3:15 Mon. – Thurs.
This four-part fiction series—Each class can stand on its own too—will take you from the nitty-gritty of fiction writing rules and practices all the way through the heart we need to maintain when trying to get our books into the world.
“Write Short, Write Sharp: Devotions from Idea to Market” Cathy Mayfield
4 Sessions: 3:30 – 4:15 Mon. – Thurs.
During this four-part workshop, you will create a publishable devotion from idea to finished project with an intended market. Come join us for a fun time working together to share God’s message with the generations. Bring your computer or notebook!
1. Hot Topics in the Writing/Publishing World - Faculty Panel
2. Fiction Rules and When to Break Them - Roseanna White
3. Using the Six Senses Purposefully - Jeanette Windle
4. Poetry: Cross Training for Prose Writers - Lora Zill
5. Writing for Children - Annette Whipple
6. Get the Most out of your Editorial App’t - Dave Fessenden
7. Hide and Seek Ideas – What is a “Devotion”? - Cathy Mayfield
8. Juv. Fiction: Bring Out the Child in You – The Basics - Marsha Hubler
9. Smile - Using Video on Social Media - Rachel Schmoyer
10. Giving a Professional Presentation - Jill Thomas
11. Fiction with a Purpose - Roseanna White
12. The A to Z of Writing a Sellable Article - Jeanette Windle
13. Writing So Others May Believe: How John Did It. - Lora Zill
14. Digging Deeper into Children’s Nonfiction -Annette Whipple
15. Songwriting - Dave Fessenden
16. Dissecting Devotions – Publishing Guidelines - Cathy Mayfield
17. Breathing Life into your Kiddie Lit. – Think Outside the Box - Marsha Hubler
18. Plan Ahead – Use a Scheduler to Post on Social Media - Rachel Schmoyer
19. Marketing for Dummies - Jill Thomas
20. You’re History – Doing Research - Roseanna White
21. Hook that Whale! -Query to Proposal (A hands-on class) - Jeanette Windle
22. Writing with the Heart of an Artist - Lora Zill
23. Successful School & Library Visits - Annette Whipple
24. Anthologies and Compilations - Dave Fessenden
25. Devotions: Very Long to Very Short - Cathy Mayfield
26. Juvenile Fiction- The Story Elements & Story Arc - Marsha Hubler
27. Build Momentum & Gain Followers on Social Media - Rachel Schmoyer
28. Writing the Compelling Newsletter - Jill Thomas
2:30 – 3:15
29. Spirit-Led Marketing: Fiction & Nonfiction - Roseanna White
30. Write the Compelling True Life Title - Jeanette Windle
31. Writing Truth in “Post-Truth” Culture - Lora Zill
32. Beyond Book Signings - Annette Whipple
33. Book Proposals – The Front/End Method - Dave Fessenden
34. Devotions Kindergarten - Get Ready to Publish - Cathy Mayfield
Dave Fessenden: editorial coordinator and acq. editor for CLC Publications, owner/publisher of Honeycomb House Publishing LLC, & a literary agent for WordWise Media Services; has degrees in journalism & theology & over 30 years’ experience in writing, editing, & editorial management for Christian book publishers. He has published 7 books. Nonfiction writing blog: www.Concept-to-Contract.com;Personal website: www.DaveFessenden.com; Purchase my books at www.thebookstore.info
Bob Hostetler: is an award-winning author, literary agent, & international speaker. His more than fifty books include Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) & The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional. Bob is also an agent with The Steve Laube Agency & the executive director of the Christian Writers Institute (christianwritersinstitute.com).
Marsha Hubler: the author of the best-selling Keystone Stables Series, she has a master’s degree in education. She has 22 books & dozens of articles/short stories in print. Her latest series, TOMMI POCKETS, addresses kids suffering from divorced parents & peer rejection with the hope offered by God and people who care. The director of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference since 2015 & a frequent speaker, she loves to help beginning writers. Visit her at www.marshahublerauthor.com
Cathy Mayfield: Often found teaching rather than writing, she homeschooled her children for over 30 years & hopes to help homeschool her grandchildren. Cathy realized a dream by becoming a writer with Guideposts, having devotions published with All God’s Creatures 2021, a 365-day devotional, as well as devotions coming in the 2022 edition. She also will soon have devotions in Guideposts’ devotional magazine for caregivers, Strength & Grace. In down times, she’s on her porch with her dog, watching birds, & renewing her love affair with embroidery.
Gayle Roper: loves story, whether reading one or writing one. She has authored more than 60 books & has won multiple awards including the Carol Award, the RITA Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award & the Reviewer’s Choice Award as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Southeastern PA where she enjoys her family, her friends, & eating out.
Rachel Schmoyer: Before starting her Read the Hard Parts of Scripture writing & speaking ministry, she worked as a freelance copywriter & social media manager for several digital marketing agencies. She’s a pastor’s wife at Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church and the mom of four kids. Her devotional articles have appeared in publications like The Quiet Hour and Light from the Word. Her first book, Take It to Heart: 30 Days through Revelation will be released shortly by CrossLink Publishing. She’s a graduate of Cairn Univ. with a BS in Bible and a BS in Education.
Jill Marie Thomas: a business owner, teacher, author, and speaker, has years of experience teaching college mathematics and speaking and writing on behalf of her family’s pretzel manufacturing business. She’s published five Bible studies, a series of five scripture-writing journals, three nonfiction books and has a fiction work in progress. She loves drinking coffee with friends, adventuring with her grandkids, and traveling to exotic places.
Annette Whipple: Annette Whipple celebrates curiosity and inspires a sense of wonder while exciting young readers about science and history. She’s the author of 10 fact-filled children’s books including The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guide (Chicago Review Press), The Story of the Wright Brothers (Rockridge Press), while The Truth About series (Reycraft Books) explores owls, dogs, & spiders. Get to know Annette and explore her resources for writers at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.
Roseanna White: is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing for WhiteFire Publishing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Learn more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Jeanette Windle: Award-winning novelist, investigative journalist, editor, and collaborative writer Jeanette grew up in the Amazon's guerrilla hot zones, has lived in 6 countries and traveled in more than 30. Those experiences have birthed 16 fiction titles, including bestselling Veiled Freedom (2010 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christy Award finalist) and Freedom's Stand, (2012 ECPA Christian Book Award/Carol Award finalist), as well as such nonfiction collaborative titles as Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace (2016 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christian Retailing Best Awards finalist) and All Saints, also a Sony Affirm movie.
Lora Zill: teaches writing & critical analysis at Gannon Univ. & creative writing for Allegheny College’s arts programs for gifted middle & h.s. students. She’s also a teaching artist with the PA Council on the Arts, conducting artist residencies in public schools & training teachers in arts- infused curriculum. She edits & publishes a poetry journal, Time Of Singing, & speaks at writing, education, & arts conferences. Her award-winning poetry & nonfiction have been published widely.
Zach & Leah Peterson
Music for Zach and Leah Peterson has been an integral part of their lives from an early age—Leah playing in accordion contests at age 4 and Zach singing in cantatas and church beginning at age 9. They both sang in the nationally televised Rejoice Choir as well as the Susquehanna Valley Chorale.
In 2015 they produced their first CD, “The Love of God,” that included two of their original compositions. Their desire is to communicate and worship in song to uplift and edify the believer and bring the lost to Christ. Zach currently serves as the music director for Bible Baptist Church, Kreamer, PA, and Leah directs the church’s children’s choir.
A great opportunity to have your work evaluated by a published professional. Receive a written evaluation of your manuscript plus a 30-minute private appointment to discuss ways to improve and/or market your piece.
Register for MCWC by June 1st and request guidelines for emailing your manuscript.
$40.00 per critique.
DAVE FESSENDEN Nonfiction (Limit 3 conferees)
BOB HOSTETLER Nonfiction: business and leadership, Christian living, gift books, devotionals, humor, marriage and family, parenting, prayer, spiritual growth, teens/young adult, women’s nonfiction ( Limit 6 conferees)
GAYLE ROPER Fiction (Limit 5 conferees)
ROSEANNA WHITE Fiction: Romance, historical and narrative (Limit 4 conferees)
JEANETTE WINDLE Fiction; Nonfiction (no picture books or poetry) (No Limit)
LORA ZILL Poetry: any kind; submit five poems (No Conferee Limit)
Private 15-minute appointments with editors and agents to show them your work, which may be suitable for their publications and/or to discuss ideas for stories. Sign-up sheets available at the conference. Bring professionally prepared manuscripts. Be sure to bring copies! No charge.
FOUR-SESSION WORK-IN-PROGRESS: Children's nonfiction with Annette Whipple ($40) Limit: 8 conferees
CRITIQUE GROUPS and GENRES of INTEREST GROUPS
Opportunity for feedback from other writers. No charge. Held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:30pm.
Features books by faculty and conferees. When registering, please indicate books you’ve written which you would like to sell. Please tag all books with prices rounded to a dollar.
PRIVATE BLOGGING LESSONS
Work one-on-one with social media guide, Don Catlett, to start a blog or upgrade the one you have. Each 45-minute session is $20.
BUDGET BOOK SALE
Looking for good books? Check out this special new and used book sale. All proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund.
Listen to the sessions you missed or those you want to hear again.
MONDAY: THE MONTROSE TONIGHT SHOW WITH HOST JOHNNY JAY JIMMY
An unforgettable live talk show designed especially for writers, featuring a special musical guest, zany interviews, and laugh-out-loud comedy segments.
TUESDAY: FREE TIME
WEDNESDAY: DIGGING FOR GOD’S TRUTHS- We can't write what we don't know. Come and explore Bible study helps to dig out God's truths and incorporate these truths into your writing without being preachy. For fiction and nonfiction. (Kathie Mitchell - presenter)
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY: TIME TO CELEBRATE! Join Ginny Merritt, Maureen Longnecker, and special guest, Elliot, the Jack-in-the-Box Puppet, as they walk you through the steps to plan and pull off a party to celebrate and launch a book. They’ll share their book launch experiences, discuss potential elements to include, give helpful tips, and aid you in thinking about your own event.
THURSDAY: WRITERS’ THEATER- another opportunity for you to shine! Bring your own work, an excerpt from a short story, memoir, novel, or a poem and trimmed to three minutes and read it to the conferees at the Writers’ Theater, a delightful program that celebrates your creativity. (Patti Souder - moderator)
Shirley Brinkerhoff Memorial Scholarship
$200 grant for tuition
Awarded to a writer actively striving to hone the craft of writing who has not yet secured a publishing contract. See below for application.
Help available according to need. Please inquire when registering. Donations are always welcome.
|Early Bird Discount
||$15.00 off full week adult tuition if registered by June 1st
||Ages 18 and under
||Subtract $10.00 for each first-timer you bring
||Monday to Thursday
|Per Diem Tuition
|Lodging and Meals:
||Double occ, Sunday supper through Friday breakfast
||Lily Hill Inn
||Add 25% for single occupancy request.
||Sunday night through Friday Morning
||RV Court (water, electric, sewer)
||RV Court (water, electric)
||RV Court (no hookups)
Comments from 2020 Conferees
“Every class I attended was good. I’m thankful for the excellent faculty.”
“I had a wonderful time and learned so much.”
“I love the peace, the people, and the presence of Almighty God here.”