Conference Schedule 2017

Click here for a PDF of the 2017-Conference Schedule!

Click here for a PDF of a Taylor U campus map for the conference.

Note that if you’re new to writers conferences and feel a bit like a beginner, we have just what you need. In each session time, we’ve created a beginner session to help you out. Look for the red Pub 101 notices in the descriptions below.


11:00 am – 1:00 pm Registration
1:00 pm – Introductory keynote session

If John Had Not Written — Bob Hostetler

2:00 pm – Session 1 (four running concurrently)

Say What? Knowing the Lingo — Cindy Sproles
Many times conferees walk into a conference and feel as though they entered a foreign country without a translator. This session will focus on writing and publishing jargon familiarizing conferees with those initials they hear, such as POV, GWS, RUE. They’ll learn publishing terms such as first rights, queries, cover letters, lead time, pay on publication and even proposals etc. Once you understand the lingo things fall into place and you can roll through a conference confident and comfortable. (Pub 101)

Titles, Leads, and Closings — Dennis Hensley
This session will teach participants how to come up with attention-grabbing titles for fiction and nonfiction pieces, including a dozen examples to start using immediately. The instructor will explain how to write grabber leads that will pull readers immediately into an article or story, and then how to end the piece with total reader satisfaction.

Do’s and Don’ts of Children’s Writing — Kate Jameson
Kids are taught to follow rules. To write for them, there are some rules for you to follow, too. By learning these do’s and don’ts, you’ll have a better chance of creating stories that will catch an editor’s eye and eventually entertain a child. You’ll learn about audience insights, writing tips, industry trends, how to effectively use humor, and more.

Writing Nonfiction with Authority — Dawn Anderson
It takes more than a great idea to place a book with a publisher. What are the hard questions you need to ask yourself to determine if your idea—with you as its author—is sellable? Do you have the authority to write on the subject that’s pressing on your heart? If the answer is no, what can you do? If the answer is yes, how do you then write with the voice of authority? This workshop will summarize the work to be done to confidently approach your audience with experience, expertise, and excellence, offering a real takeaway value that will benefit the reader.

Teen Track

For teenagers only! Join us for a special session with Dr. Hensley where we’ll help you understand how to navigate the next couple of days at the conference, do a one-on-one session (if you choose), and hear about what the Professional Writing program at Taylor University is all about!

3:00 pm – Session 2

The Perfect Nonfiction Book Proposal — Chip MacGregor
Learn from an agent who reads thousands of proposals a year, what he looks for in nonfiction proposals, what will help you gain interest, and what not to do.

Ahhh, ma chérie, come fly away weeth me! (Writing Romance) — Linda Glaz
Learn to interpret the elements in order to write better romance. Formula? No formula. Edgy? Traditional. If you know the secrets, you can write amazing and satisfying romance novels.

Writing Book Reviews –Lin Johnson
If you like to read and hate rejection slips, writing book reviews may be an option for you. Find out how to review a book, get assignments, and keep editors happy from someone who has written hundreds of book reviews  and who formerly edited a magazine that was primarily reviews.

Why Am I Writing a Book? — Dawn Anderson
This workshop is an exercise in self-examination and an invitation to prayer. With a plethora of questions, you will be led to examine the purpose behind your writing, consider the direction you have received thus far, identify a vision for your writing, think honestly about your expectations, and then begin to plan your course. This process is a necessary precursor to determining when and how to publish and helps determine your long-term potential as an author. (Pub 101)

4:00 pm – Session 3

The Perfect Fiction Book Proposal — Chip MacGregor
Learn from an agent who reads thousands of proposals a year, what he looks for in fiction proposals, what will help you gain interest, and what not to do.

Cozying Up to the Cozy Mystery — Rachael Phillips
The basics of creating a cozy mystery that will keep readers gasping, grinning, and turning the pages.

Telling it Slant: Developing a Marketable Nonfiction Book Concept — Estee Zandee
Have a nonfiction book idea? How do you develop it? How do you put it together into something that might actually sell? This session will help you as you consider what to do with the story you want to tell or the information you want to share.

How to Write Good Well  — Rebekah Blomenberg
Do you find commas confusing? Do hyphens make you hyperventilate? Do you always wonder which word to put to work? Come learn the basic rules that will make you sound like a pro, from distinguishing between “lay” and “lie” to simple tricks that will elevate your writing to the best it can be. Master your petrification of punctuation and form a foundation for your fiction. You’ll never fear your keyboard or pen again! (Pub 101)

7:00 pm – Panel discussion

Publishing Opportunities in the 21st Century — Moderator Dennis Hensley
Panelists: Linda Glaz, Kate Jameson, Chip MacGregor, Cindy Sproles, Jim Watkins
Editors and agents will be asked to talk about developing trends in publishing, emerging new markets, alternate venues of published materials, and writing career options in the 21st century.

8:00 pm – Open mic readings
9:30 pm – Night owl event for high schoolers (run by PWR students)



8:00 am – Breakfast (dining hall)
9:00 am – Keynote session

The Ten Creative Commandments — Jim Watkins

10:00 am – Session 4 

Turning Personal Experiences into Parables — Cindy Sproles
In this class, you learn the for important aspects of a devotion. We’ll discuss the importance of a good hook, a solid story, and the value in a takeaway. We’ll spend time breaking apart a devotion and we’ll learn how to take to heart the phrase, “There’s a devotion in that!”  Devotions can be found in every scenario we are placed in – it’s all about becoming aware and listening to the whispers that God places in your heart, then trusting Him to lead you to the verse and application He wants. Devotions can be humorous, serious, and impacting. Join us to learn how to turn our personal experiences into Parables/devotions that teach.

He said. She said. Oh my! (Gender and Dialog) — Linda Glaz
A funny look into the mistakes writers make developing the opposite gender in their novels. Did he really call that Chartreuse? Did she really say, “Dude! How’s it hangin’?” Laugh your way into learning the difference between male and female POV and how to write it well.

Finding Time to Write — Lin Johnson
If you wish you had more time to write, these practical tips and an application exercise will help you make the time to start or expand your writing ministry.

Your Writer Platform (Yes, You Need It) — Katie Long
Learn why platform is so important to publishers and how you can build, maintain, and best utilize your own. Whether you are just starting or already have a tribe, this workshop will give you the tools to bring success and clarity to your platform through steps learned in Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World. (Pub 101)

11:00 am – Panel discussion

A Writer’s Many Hats — Moderator, Dennis Hensley
Panelists: Bob Hostetler, Rachael Phillips, Larry Wilson, Jim Watkins
Professional working writers will discuss why they write both fiction and nonfiction, how they delineate and separate their various assignments, who they secure writing assignments from, which jobs are temporary and which are on-going, and in what ways working in multiple genres actually enhances their visibility and sharpens their writing craft.

12:00 pm – Lunch (dining hall)
1:00 pm – Session 5

So You Want to be Published: But Are You Ready? — Michelle Israel Harper
Join Michelle as she elaborates on what you can do to get your manuscript publishable ready, then create a plan of action in class to see your journey of publication through to the end . . . and beyond.

Writing and Marketing Your Testimony (or Someone Else’s) — Dennis Hensley
Sharing a life-changing experience needs to be dramatic, logical, and insightful, and the event must be told in a captivating manner. This session will explain how to write powerful testimonies and where to find markets to publish them. (Pub 101)

Why Social Media Is Essential to Publication — Jim Watkins
If your name doesn’t show up on a Web search, your name won’t appear on a book cover. Social networking is now essential, but it’s also easy. Jim is an award-winning author of 20 books and will walk you step by step in using Facebook, Twitter, and your personal blog to be marketable to a publisher as you reach thousands of readers.

First Verse: Four Tips for Beginning Poets — Bob Hostetler
A practical, hands-on workshop using actual published poems and forms to get conferees enjoying, writing, and publishing poetry.

2:00 pm – Session 6

Writing Fantasy for the Christian Market — Michelle Israel Harper
Do you write fantasy? Is your dream to be the next Tolkien, Lewis, Thomas Locke, or Patrick Carr? What exactly are Christian publishers of fantasy looking for? Or should your goal be (gasp!) the secular marketplace? Join Michelle as she discusses fantasy subgenres and takes you deep into discussions on whether your story should focus on building up those of faith or reaching others with a message of hope.

From Proposal to Publication — Estee Zandee
An insider’s look at the step-by-step process of a book’s journey through the publishing house and how writers can be team players in the process. (Pub 101)

25 Rejection-Proof Markets — Jim Watkins
Writing opportunities that well-known authors have employed to truly change lives—and avoid rejection slips. Many of these proven writing ministries can be implemented immediately without waiting months—or years—to be traditionally published in books and articles.

Write Grace: Impacting Others through Your Words — Larry Wilson
The apostle John knew Jesus and was loved by the Master. He brings the message that God’s grace is available to all people. Our calling is to broadcast that good news to the ends of the earth, bringing freedom, hope, and a future. Here are four characteristics of writers to transform life through the written word.

3:00 pm – Session 7 

Finding and Working with an Agent — Chip MacGregor
Do writers need agents? How does a writer find an agent? An agent discusses why agents are so important for publishing companies and for writers and how to go about getting an agent.

But I’m Not Funny! Helps to Up the Humor Levels in Your Writing — Rachael Phillips
A creative workshop for both the humor-impaired and the humorous in which writers will learn tips to increase the comic aspects of their fiction and nonfiction.

The Business Side of Writing — Dennis Hensley
In this session the instructor will explain how to set up proper income and expense records, when an if to incorporate as a writer, how to make deductions for a home office and equipment and supplies, what educational events and subscriptions are considered business expenses, and how to keep track of pending payments for royalties, freelance assignments, and work made for hire. (Pub 101)

Write From the Heart: Finding Your Voice, Refining Your Message, and Moving Others to Accept Truth — Larry Wilson
God has given you a unique voice, message, and passion. For the world to hear your voice, you must develop the writer within you. This inspirational workshop will give you the practical advice and confidence you need to develop the writer within you.

4:00 pm – Keynote session

Read, Pray, Write — Bob Hostetler


Agents and acquisitions editors ready to hear pitches (check back for scheduling).

Editors and other publishing professionals able to give one-on-one advice (check back for scheduling).

Book table for books about writing and books by faculty speakers.

Special session and events for high school student writers.

Questions? Contact:
Linda Taylor
Conference Coordinator
Taylor University
236 West Reade Avenue
Upland, Indiana 46989
Phone: (765) 998-5591

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