Introducing 2019 MSCWC Mentors

We are so excited to introduce the publishing professionals who will be available for one-on-one mentoring appointments at the 2019 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. Join us in welcoming the following mentors:

Debra Butterfield dreamed of being writer since she was a pre-teen. She didn’t pursue her dream until she was forty-five years old and began as a junior copywriter with Focus on the Family. In 2006, she stepped into the world of freelance writing. She is the author of Carried by Grace and Mystery on Maple Hill (a short story ebook). Her magazine credits include CBN.com, Susie, Live, The Vision, and On Course online. Debra has three adult children and two grandchildren whom she doesn’t see often enough. Oddly enough, she likes the smell of skunks. She blogs about writing at DebraLButterfield.com. She has been freelance writing since 2006, started freelance editing in 2010, and joined CrossRiver Media as Senior Editor in 2014. Debra is especially interested in inspirational fiction and nonfiction for women.

Kathy Cretsinger lives in Benton, KY, but she is a native of the mountains of East Tennessee. She and her husband moved to Kentucky nine years ago to be closer to their children. Mantle Rock Publishing began in 2012 for the purpose of publishing only her books, but agents and other authors wanted her to publish theirs. Kathy attended Freed-Hardeman University and took several other classes in colleges close to her hometown. She loves history and watching her grandchildren in their sports and music venues. She enjoys working with authors to help them become better authors. Kathy and her husband, Jerry, have two grown children and four grandchildren. Kathy is especially looking for pitches on contemporary romance, historical romance, cozy mysteries, and romantic suspense. Mantle Rock does not accept novellas.

Julie Gwinn, currently a literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has more than a decade of experience in Christian publishing, including serving as marketing manager then Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and marketing manager for Abingdon Press. Prior to joining the publishing industry, Gwinn had more than 20 years’ experience in advertising, marketing, and public relations. She uses her previous experience to aid her authors at every phase of their publishing plan. She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two children and also enjoys freelance editing and DIY projects around the house.  Julie is most interested in Christian fiction (especially romance), mystery, historical and contemporary women’s fiction and nonfiction (especially spiritual growth and Christian living titles).

Jon Woodhams has been in Christian publishing for more years than he cares to admit. He worked for David C. Cook and Waterbrook Multnomah prior to joining Guideposts in 2011 where he is editor of fiction continuities. He has edited Miracles of Marble Cove, Nantucket Dreams, Chesapeake Antiques Mysteries, A Cup of Christmas Cheer (short Christmas fiction), Secrets of the Blue Hill Library, Mysteries of Silver Peak, Tearoom Mysteries, and is now launching a brand-new series in 2020. This will be his third time at MSCWC.

Introducing 2019 MSCWC Faculty

April Carpenter, Conference Director and President of Byhalia Christian Writers, is pleased to announce the workshop leaders for the 2019 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference.

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, made the CBA bestseller list. She writes contemporaries, historicals, and cozy mysteries, serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy. Connect with her at www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.

Winner of an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in suspense, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi with her rescue kitty, Suzy. Her romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series and the Memphis Cold Case novels. She also has written sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming available as ebooks. Her workshops on writing include online courses with American Christian Fiction Writers and workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference in Collierville, TN, including one on Scrivener. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens. Visit Patricia’s website at http://ptbradley.com.

Tracy Crump has published two dozen stories in anthologies, including nineteen in Chicken Soup for the Soul. As co-director of Write Life Workshops, she conducts workshops and webinars on writing for the series, and her “How to Write for Chicken Soup for the Soul” course is one of Serious Writer Academy’s top sellers. Her articles and devotionals have appeared in national publications, and she edits The Write Life, a popular writers newsletter that includes story callouts. She is a freelance editor and proofreader for Farmer’s Almanac. She is represented by Bethany Morehead of Cyle Young Literary Elite. Visit Tracy at TracyCrump.com or WriteLifeWorkshops.com.

Rhonda Dragomir is co-founder of the Dragomir Group in Wilmore, Kentucky, which offers services to businesses and writers. She has published works in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies and Spark magazine. Rhonda has decades of experience as an administrative assistant and graphic designer, and she loves to share tips and tricks to increase productivity and professionalism in all forms of communication. Winner of several writing awards in both fiction and nonfiction, Rhonda invites you to visit her author website, rhondadragomir.com. In her one-on-one appointments, she will be happy to consult with you about your website design or work with you on formatting your manuscript.

Victoria Duerstock wears many hats, but none more enjoyable than writing! A natural outgrowth of building her author platform and learning social media, she enjoys teaching these subjects to others. She has courses available at Serious Writer Academy and has added personal coaching for authors building their platforms. Her full length project Heart & Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Your Living Space, releases April 16, 2019, with Abingdon Press. This short devotional presents 90 days of Scripture, personal application, prayer, and design tips into one full color volume. She is currently working on the next in the series Heart & Home for Christmas, releasing in the fall of 2019.

Linda Fulkerson has nearly two decades of experience in small business management and marketing. Her writing career began as a freelance magazine features writer. She later moved into the exciting realm of newspapers and has held the positions of copy-editor, sports writer, online editor, and online advertising coordinator. Her company, DLF Digital Services LLC, provides a variety of services including cover designs and video book trailers. She is the author of several nonfiction books, a series of coloring books for writers, and Dead Broke, a mystery novel. To learn more about Linda, visit her website at www.LindaFulkerson.com.

Vanessa Davis Griggs is a motivational speaker and the author of eighteen novels and one inspirational book of devotionals. She also contributed ten devotionals in Sisters in Faith Holy Bible published by Tyndale. A wife, mother of three, and grandmother of five, Vanessa believes we all come here with a purpose, and she encourages everyone she meets to take flight and soar!Bo

Jean Matthew Hall lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary. Her premier picture book is due to be released by Little Lamb Books in early 2019, to be followed by three more books in this Four Seasons series. Jean is a member of the SCBWI, Word Weavers International, and the Kentucky Christian Writers. She is also an AWSA Protégé. Jean is a former director of the Write2Ignite! Conference in Tigerville, SC. Her desire is to write stories, articles and poems that encourage young children and the caring adults in their lives. You can visit Jean at www.jeanmatthewhall.com, on Facebook at Jean Matthew Hall Author, and on Twitter @Jean_Hall.

Bob Hostetler is an award-winning author, literary agent, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His fifty books, which include the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) and The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, have sold millions of copies. Bob is also the executive director of the Christian Writers Institute. He and his wife, the lovely Robin, have been married for forty years. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Andi Lehman holds a degree in communications from the University of Memphis and freelances in diverse markets. She enjoys writing devotionals and true stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. A popular wildlife speaker, Andi continues to work on a series of nature books for children. In 2016, Andi joined Tracy Crump as a traveling partner presenting Stirring the Pot, a workshop that teaches how to write for Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. Andi serves as a staff member of Write Life Workshops, which offers webinars and workshops about writing and publishing.

Award-winning Shannon Taylor Vannatter writers contemporary Christian cowboy romance and has over a dozen published titles. It took her nine-and-a-half years to achieve traditional publication. She gleans fodder for her fiction in rural Arkansas where she spent her teenage summers working the concession stand with her rodeo-announcing dad and married a Texan who morphed into a pastor. Shannon is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and taught a novel-writing continuing education course at Arkansas State University along with countless sessions at conferences canvassing Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband and son, flea marketing, and doing crafts.

Brenda L. Yoder is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, speaker, author, and life coach. Her new book, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind was released by Herald Press in 2018.  She’s authored Balance, Busyness & Not Doing It All and has been featured in The Washington Post and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She writes nonfiction for several online magazines and has a mental health column in her local paper. Brenda specializes in faith, life, and family beyond the storybook image. A speaker for women’s groups and youth, she also trains pastors and church leaders on topics relating to faith and mental, behavioral, and emotional health. Brenda is a mom of four and wife of 29 years and lives on a farm in Indiana. You can connect with Brenda at brendayoder.com or on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

Introducing Our Keynote Speaker ~ Bob Hostetler

We are over-the-moon thrilled to have Bob Hostetler as our keynote speaker at the 2019 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference.

Bob will be speaking to us on our chosen theme:

God’s Plan ~ My Pen

Bob is a frequent speaker at church events, pastors’ retreats, and writers conferences. He delivers dynamic keynote addresses, absorbing workshops, and even entire retreats.

In addition to writing (his fiftieth book releases in 2019), Bob is a literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency. Bob has been involved in Christian publishing for thirty years and has been represented by Steve Laube for more than a dozen years, so adding the role of agent to his work seems natural. The Steve Laube Agency is among the most respected in publishing today, representing an impressive array of authors.

Bob also serves as executive editor for the new Christian Writers Institute, offering online video and audio courses, books, and other resources for the development of Christian writers.

You won’t want to miss Bob’s inspiring (and entertaining) messages. Register today for the 2019 Mid-South Christian Writers Conference.

We hope to see you on Saturday, March 16, 2019!

To learn more about Bob, visit www.bobhostetler.com.

To listen to Bob’s Podcasts, click here.

Registration, Location, and Lodging

REGISTRATION

The Sixth Annual Mid-South Christian Writers Conference is less than four months away.

That may seem like a long time, but with all the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, the days are going to speed by faster than the Polar Express on its way to the North Pole.

So take a few minutes today to register for the conference and make your hotel reservations.

Then enjoy the holidays knowing that before long you’ll be networking with other writers on a day jam-packed with information you need to achieve your writing dreams.

Register before the Early Bird Deadline of Saturday, February 23, 2019 to save $10!

For more information on the conference and to register, visit our Registration Page.

LOCATION

The MSCWC is held in the beautiful facilities of Collierville First Baptist Church, 830 New Byhalia Road, Collierville, TN 38017.

LODGING

A limited number of rooms have been blocked off for a special conference rate of $99/night (plus tax) at the Courtyard by Marriott – Collierville and the Hampton Inn – Collierville.

For room rates and conference codes at these two hotels, plus information on additional hotels and their rates, please visit our Location Page.

Note: This is prime soccer tournament time in Memphis. Most hotels will fill quickly, so please make your reservations early.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional details, visit the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference website.

And visit this blog every Thursday for updates, faculty posts, and news

A Day in the Life of a Writer

A Welcome Message From

April Smith Carpenter, Conference Director

The MSCWC committee’s priority, as we plan the 2019 conference, is to connect with you—our attendees.

Personally, I enjoy hanging around with like-minded people. I attend my local Christian writers group monthly meeting for this very reason. I also love attending writers conferences so I can be with other writers.

To welcome you to our blog for the coming conference, I’m sharing six emotions I go through when I sit down to write. Perhaps you go through these emotions, too. Let’s see how much alike we are!

Here is my process.

HAPPY

Happy happens when my words flow freely from my fingers onto the computer keyboard. In my mind, I’m writing the perfect masterpiece that won’t need any editing.

However. . . after take a quick break, this happens.

SCARED

I make the mistake of reading some of what I wrote. I stare at the screen.

I think, “Oh, no, what I wrote is junk!”

My face heats up!

ANGER

I quickly scan everything I have written as my earlier enthusiasm crashes down on my psyche. I might give all my writing a thumbs down. I might even stick out my tongue at the screen.

DEPRESSION

“Are you kidding me?” I say to the cat. “How could this be happening?”

And then, just as my fingers highlight everything I’ve written, and I’m about to hit the delete key, I see that one excellently written sentence.

CONFIDENCE

“Oh, yeah!!! There it is…. maybe this isn’t so bad after all,” the voice inside my head says.

This new confidence allows me to keep going. I don’t delete anything, at least not yet. The realization hits that my “perfect masterpiece” needs some editing. But that’s okay.

RELIEF

The feeling of relief runs through my body.

I might shed tears of joy—especially if I will meet my deadline.

“Thank you, God,” I whisper.

PRAYER

“Oh, No!” Did I pray before I started writing today? (if your memory is as bad as mine, you can’t remember!)

“Thank you, Lord,” I pray, “for the calling you have given to me to be a writer. Help me write today for your Glory, Amen.”

Though the process of writing may be complicated sometimes—okay, how about all the time?—the emotions you invoke, once you’ve finished, aren’t like any other.

HAPPY DANCING!

So, how like-minded are we? While reading this post, were you thinking, “yep, that’s me!”?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The committee is praying for you, and we can’t wait to see you at the 2019 MSCWC.

MSCWC Conference Wrap-Up with April Carpenter

Faculty Spotlight: Hallee Bridgeman

Meet Hallee

With over a half million sales, Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping, exciting and edgy.  Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband.  Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.  Visit Hallee’s website at http://www.halleebridgeman.com.

Hallee’s Workshop

Creative Marketing Plan

In a competitive publishing industry, authors must learn to market. But how? And where to start? Join best-selling author Hallee Bridgeman as she shows how to begin marketing your book before it’s even published, where to advertise/market, and how to create a support team that will help spread the news of each release.

Hallee’s Friday Four-Hour Workshop

Best-selling indie author Hallee Bridgeman will teach Seven Steps to Successful Self-Publishing, including tips and tricks for the current market. This expanded version of the workshop she presented last year will allow Hallee time to discuss topics on a more complex level.

The Friday workshop costs an additional $35 with conference registration or $55 for the Friday workshop alone.