Register here

 

Register here

 

OUR PROGRAM

Saturday 3-hour Pre-Retreat Intensives (These are an additional $25 to participate)

All-Things-Speaking

 It’s time to take your writing to the next level through speaking! As a writer, you not only have words to pen, but you also have words to speak. In this intensive, you will walk away with practical speaking skills, pitching strategies for event and media hosts, speaker pricing, tips on how to craft your message for your specific audience, and so much more. Get ready to discover all that you need to know on becoming a successful and sought-after speaker! 

 Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out Media Group, LLC – a faith-based PR, Marketing & Mentorship Agency. In her 15 years of experience, she has worked with platforms such as PBS, CBN, TCT, Yahoo, local television and print publications. Courtnaye is also the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in Christ, while equipping them for their calling. She is an author, contributing writer for ibelieve.com and YouVersion. Her speaking appearances include She Speaks, Hope*Writers, FlourishWriters, and Entrusted Women’s Conference. Her blog, Inside Out with Courtnaye reaches thousands of women across the globe!

How to Make your Author Newsletter a Must-Read

When it comes to building an audience, us writers hear one consistent theme across genres: how many people read your email newsletter? This number, the subscriber list, sits at the top of the marketing campaign to-do list because email newsletters sell books (for every marketing dollar spent on social media advertising, a company makes $3 in return; for every marketing dollar spent on email marketing, a company makes $40 in return!). These readers are your loyalists, committed enough to your writing to hear from you regularly and to pass your words to others. 

So, how do you make an email that your audience actually wants to read? And how do you keep them reading? And how do you grow your email list beyond the few friends and family who’ve agreed at gunpoint to type their email into the box on your website?

Liz’s trial-and-error earned her a 2022 Webby Award nomination for best independently published email newsletter for her author substack, the Empathy List. This workshop will help you, likewise, to upgrade your email marketing skills through exercises to consider the strategy, branding and execution of your newsletter, so that your readers can’t help but share your words with others.

Liz Charlotte Grant is an essayist who has published across secular and Christian markets, including in Christianity Today, the Christian Century, the Huffington Post, Hippocampus Magazine and many more. She’s worked as an editor at the Curator Magazine and her newsletter was recently nominated for a 2022 Webby Award for Indie Newsletter publishers, making her substack one of the top newsletters on the Internet. She’s represented by John Blase at the Bindery Agency. Follow her at thEmpathyList.com or @LizCharlotteGrant on Instagram.

Brand Therapy: Discovering a Personal Brand That Make Sense For You with Stephanie Bryant

Do you get stressed out when you think about branding and marketing? You are not alone. In this interactive workshop, we will consider how to define and embrace your personal brand, what sets you apart as an author/speaker, how to serve your audience’s needs, how to stop compartmentalizing your brand, and strategically live in freedom online. With interactive brainstorming and activities, we will creatively plan your next steps for promotion that doesn’t feel narcissistic. 

Stephanie Bryant is a Social Marketing consultant, Business Coach, and Brand Therapist. Stephanie has worked with authors, creativepreneurs, nonprofits and small businesses for over 15 years with their personal brand, online presence, and strategic marketing. She is also the co-founder of (in)courage, a writer, and podcaster at the Jesus Led Adventure where she passionately guides her listeners to their personal promised land.  Find out more about Stephanie at www.stephaniebryant.me and on instagram at @stephaniesbryant.

 

Sunday Breakout Sessions (3 choices for each session time)

10:15-11:15 a.m. Session 1

Diversity, Demographics, and Audience with Prasanta Verma

Do you know what the U.S. population will look like in the next 5, 10, or 25 years? When we look at the history of immigration and the changing demographics of the U.S., as a writer, you will want to consider the growing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) audience. In this session, we will review several U.S. demographic changes and trends which indicate how readership will be changing in the years ahead. These trends will help you, as a writer, discern how to consider these growing “minority” groups in future writing projects and how to make your work representative. Attendees will learn about demographic changes in the U.S. population and important trends to take into account. This information will help writers discern what this means for their writing projects in terms of audience as well as representation.

Prasanta Verma, MPH MBA, is a writer, poet, and speaker. She is passionate about making the way for diverse voices and writes about cross-cultural communication, belonging, and identity. Prasanta was born under an Asian sun, raised in the southern Appalachian foothills, and currently resides in the upper Midwest. She is a regular contributor at The Mudroom Blog, and has a forthcoming book on ethnic loneliness. Her work has been published at Propel Women, The Curator, (in)courage, Sojourners, Relief Journal, Barren Magazine, The Truly Co., and more. Connect with her on her website at prasantaverma.com, Twitter @VermaPrasanta, or Instagram @prasantaverma.

Busting Through Writer’s Block: How to Never Stare at a Blank Page Again with Marcy Pusey

Ever stare at a blank page feeling stuck and uninspired… or worse, like an imposter? Welcome to the author’s journey! But while some authors will never move beyond the blinking cursor, you will. This session will define what “writer’s block” really is, address the neurology of the blockage, and discuss strategies for moving through and beyond it with ease. Never stare at a blank page again.

Marcy is mama to four humans and two pups, but she’s also tossed pizzas for a pizzeria, appears in a few movies, and is a castle exploring buff (or nerd, you decide). Marcy is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Certified Trauma and Resilience Practitioner, international 2x TEDx speaker, Story Coach, publishing consultant, and an award-winning, best-selling author of books for adults and children. Founder of Miramare Ponte Press, Marcy and her team provide coaching, consultation, and publishing services for storytellers, specializing in people of faith who feel called to tell their story. Learn more at miramarepontepress.com

Enneagram for Writers with Leah Everson

The Enneagram helps us as writers understand our motivations for writing, why we each have a unique focus, as well as our gifts and growth areas. In this session we will explore the 9 Enneagram Types and their motivations. We will discuss the unique gifts God gives each type, especially when they are aligned with their true identity as God’s Beloved. Finally, we will leave with spiritual practices for how to care for our souls according to each Enneagram Type in the stressful world of writing.

Leah Everson (MDiv) is a former pastor, enneagram coach, speaker, and writer. As an enneagram four, she has spent her life looking for meaning, seeking to be an agent of healing, and creating beauty in the world. After being called to pastor, Leah received her Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary where she took as many courses as possible in counseling and psychology. Leah has over 10 years of experience facilitating small groups, and counseling individuals and couples. Her desire is to see everyone find healing and wholeness in their connection with God, themselves, and others.

 

11:30-12:30 pm Session 2

Discovering Your Audience: Who do you serve and how do you serve them well? with Stephanie Bryant

We all serve an audience with our words, but do you know who your audience is? How would you describe them? How do you find them? This session will help you think about who your unique audience is for your writing/speaking and how to serve their felt needs. 

Stephanie Bryant is the co-founder of (in)courage and writer, a Social Marketing consultant, Brand Therapist and mom to a miracle. Stephane has a podcast called the Jesus Led Adventure where she passionately guides her listeners to their personal promised land. Find out more about Stephanie at www.stephaniebryant.me and on instagram at @stephaniesbryant.

 

Bible Journeys: Teaching Scripture Like a Tour Guide with Sharla Fritz

Discover how to escort your listeners or readers like a tour guide directing a life-changing journey. In this session, Bible study author Sharla Fritz will give you the tools necessary to craft a dynamic talk or article based on a Bible passage. You will learn how to prepare for the expedition (research the passage), lead the journey (guide readers or listeners through the passage), and return home transformed (apply biblical truths to everyday life).

Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of eight Bible studies including Measured by Grace, God’s Relentless Love, and Enough for Now, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor husband. 

How to Write a Stunning Book Proposal with Mary DeMuth

Your book proposal is the first handshake you have with an agent, editor, or publisher. How can you cover every aspect of proposal writing and make your proposal stand out? Author and agent Mary DeMuth has been creating creative and effective proposals for over a decade. Learn all the needed elements of a stunning book proposal to make the best first impression.

Mary DeMuth is literary agent, international speaker, podcaster, and she’s the novelist and nonfiction author of over forty books, including Love, Pray, Listen (Bethany 2022). She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 31 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com. Be prayed for on her daily prayer podcast with 2 million downloads: prayeveryday.show. For sexual abuse resources, visit wetoo.org.  For cards, prints, and artsy fun go to marydemuth.com/art. Find out what she’s looking for as a literary agent at marydemuthliterary.com

 

2:30-3:30 p.m. Session 3

Writing & Marketing Books for Children: How to Change Our World Through Writing for Kids with Marcy Pusey

You’ve heard it said, “Kids are so resilient!” Well, resilience is developed through life experience and kids haven’t had much of that yet. In this session, we will discuss how to actually develop resilience in children through the power of story, utilizing our knowledge of the human brain, to guide kids to places of health, healing, and growth. We’ll discuss what makes a children’s book incredible and how to get it into as many homes, hearts, and hands as possible.

Marcy is mama to four humans and two pups, but she’s also tossed pizzas for a pizzeria, appears in a few movies, and is a castle exploring buff (or nerd, you decide). Marcy is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Certified Trauma and Resilience Practitioner, international 2x TEDx speaker, Story Coach, publishing consultant, and an award-winning, best-selling author of books for adults and children. Founder of Miramare Ponte Press, Marcy and her team provide coaching, consultation, and publishing services for storytellers, specializing in people of faith who feel called to tell their story. Learn more at miramarepontepress.com

From Pitching to Published: Writing and Preparing Articles with Bronwyn Lea

How do you go from having a great idea to getting your words published? In this session, we’ll discuss best practices for crafting article pitches, writing query emails, and engaging in the editing and publication process. Topics include working well with editors, how to find (and use) submission guidelines, and setting expectations. Sharing from her experiences of pitching and publishing (with highlights and disappointments!) as a writer published in over 20 publications and now as an editor and curator, Bronwyn Lea will lead a conversation designed to equip and encourage you in the publication process.

Bronwyn Lea never planned to be a writer, or a mom, or a pastor, or to live anywhere other than her home country of South Africa. But she did commit to following Jesus, and He has led her to all sorts of surprising places. Bronwyn is a (somewhat surprised) pastor and editor, the author of Beyond Awkward Side Hugs (Thomas Nelson, 2020) a pun-lover and ice-cream afficionado. She lives with her husband and hilarious tween/teens in Northern California.

Creative Ideas for Launching Your Book with Quantrilla Ard, Stephanie Bryant, and Mary DeMuth

Are you launching a book? Are you looking for innovative ideas that are doable? This panel discussion features three industry professionals who have extensive experience in marketing and are also writers and speakers. They will help us brainstorm creative ideas for launching our books (or products) and speak into how to prepare for launches and sustain energy afterwards. We are excited to welcome these panelists to the stage:

Mary DeMuth is literary agent, international speaker, podcaster, and she’s the novelist and nonfiction author of over forty books, including Love, Pray, Listen (Bethany 2022). She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 31 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com. Be prayed for on her daily prayer podcast with 2 million downloads: prayeveryday.show. For sexual abuse resources, visit wetoo.org.  For cards, prints, and artsy fun go to marydemuth.com/art. Find out what she’s looking for as a literary agent at marydemuthliterary.com

Stephanie Bryant is the co-founder of (in)courage and writer, a Social Marketing consultant, Brand Therapist and mom to a miracle. She has helped authors with their book launches and social media strategy. Stephane has a podcast called the Jesus Led Adventure where she passionately guides her listeners to their personal promised land. Find out more about Stephanie at www.stephaniebryant.me and on instagram at @stephaniesbryant.

Quantrilla Ard, PhD, is a passionate creative at heart, who has answered the call to encourage women in all stages of life and backgrounds through empathy, transparency, and love. Quantrilla is a faith-based personal and spiritual development writer, dynamic speaker, and people-connector who believes in the power of collective strength, community, and fellowship. She holds a PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University and is an advocate for social justice with a focus on Black maternal and infant health and mortality. Quanny currently shepherds stories as a literary agent for Embolden Media Group. You can find her sharing stories of triumph at www.thephdmamma.com.

 

3:30-4:30 p.m. Session 4

The Attuned Writer: Spiritual Practices for a Deeper Writing Life with Darcy Wiley

As writers, we may find ourselves disoriented or discouraged with the amount of hustle it takes to publish and build a following for our work, all while balancing our personal lives. It’s no wonder when we show up to the writing desk that our minds dart from idea to idea or feel as blank as the page in front of us. How do we get out from under a writing life that is fueled by ambition or taken over by anxiety or apathy? We need to approach our work from a place of attunement instead. In this workshop, we will watch our creative capacity expand as we explore spiritual practices that honor the way God designed the brain and nervous system. In our time together, we will cultivate communion with the originator of all creativity and reorient ourselves to approach writing as a satisfying conversation between God, self, the world, and our readers.

Darcy Wiley is a writer and spiritual director who cultivates empathy, imagination, and a profound experience of God in the world. Through thoughtful listening, she companions readers and directees toward emotional, spiritual, and cultural flourishing. As co-writer of The Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You, Darcy worked with the founder of the 10/40 Window Movement to share stories of renewal and reconciliation in communities all over the globe. Her second co-writing project, Hearing in Technicolor: Mindset Shifts within a Multicultural Congregation, tells the cultural transformation story of a church near Atlanta. Darcy loves living the creative life in the Indianapolis area with her writer/drummer husband and their three kids. 

Leveling Up Your Social Media Without Losing Your Soul with Courtnaye Richard

Without a doubt, staying abreast of all the social media trends and updates can be quite challenging and tiresome at times. But don’t give up! Your social media platform is your global stage. It’s where your readers hang out and where you can make a great impact. In this workshop, you’ll experience encouragement and motivation for the journey ahead, as well as insight on leveraging current trends, growth strategies, practical social media tools, time management skills, and tips on how to create short-form videos that will stop your audience’s scroll! Let’s level up! 

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out Media Group, LLC – a faith-based PR, Marketing & Mentorship Agency. In her 15 years of experience, she has worked with platforms such as PBS, CBN, TCT, Yahoo, local television and print publications. Courtnaye is also the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in Christ, while equipping them for their calling. She is an author, contributing writer for ibelieve.com and YouVersion. Her speaking appearances include She Speaks, Hope*Writers, FlourishWriters, and Entrusted Women’s Conference. Her blog, Inside Out with Courtnaye reaches thousands of women across the globe!

Poetry as Prayer, Protest, People, and as a Practice of Paying Attention with Tasha Jun

In this session we will talk about what a poem is, where poems begin, and we’ll practice writing poetry together. Be sure to bring a notebook and writing utensil. No previous poetry experience required.

Tasha is a melancholy dreamer, a biracial Korean American storyteller, wife to Matt, and mama to three little warriors: two wild boys and one little lady.  As long as she can remember, she’s lived and stood in places where cultures collide. Writing has always been the way God has led her towards home and the hope of shalom. Follow her @tashajunb on Instagram or subscribe for her Shalomsick Notes at www.tashajun.com.

   

We will have one-on-one meeting times available on Sunday for retreat attendees to meet with the following industry professionals. When you register in Eventbrite, there is a place for you to enter your top 3 choices! We are grateful for these editors, agents, and marketing professionals who are donating their time to meet with all of you!

Bios of our Industry Professionals available for one-on-one meetings

Editors

Al Hsu  (pronounced “shee”) is senior editor at InterVarsity Press, where he acquires and develops books in such areas as culture, church and ministry, activism and global mission. In 25+ years at IVP, he has worked with over 275 authors and published more than 400 titles. Al holds a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has served as a columnist for Christianity Today magazine. He is also the author of three books: Grieving a Suicide, The Suburban Christian, and Singles at the Crossroads. He lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two sons. 

Al is currently acquiring nonfiction, church, culture, ministry, mission, justice, current issues, academic. He is not acquiring fiction, devotional, memoir, politics, poetry.

Catherine Parks is an Acquisitions Editor at Moody Publishers. When she’s not helping other authors, she enjoys writing books of her own. She is the author of five books, including Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships and two middle grade biography collections, Empowered and Strong. Catherine lives with her husband and two children in the Nashville area, where she enjoys hiking, coaching volleyball, and helping lead her local church in worship.

Catherine is acquiring Christian living, Spiritual formation, Middle grade fiction and non-fiction, and Homeschool resources.

Jillian Schlossberg is a senior acquisitions editor for nonfiction at Tyndale House Publishers. Since coming to Tyndale in 2014, Jillian has enjoyed partnering with a variety of gifted authors, including Aundi Kolber, Kayla Craig, and Robin Long. She loves to collaborate and develop a unique vision for each of her projects to help her authors reach their greatest potential. Jillian holds bachelor’s degrees in English literature and Spanish language from the University of Michigan. Jillian has an equally deep love for her husband, her two beautiful children, and any kind of taco.

Jillian acquires non-fiction and is particularly passionate about books that address conversations the Church needs to have as well as topics of health/wellness (including mental health).

Laura Leonard is acquisitions editor at Herald Press, where she recruits authors, acquires books, develops manuscripts, and gives overall shape to the book imprint of MennoMedia. Before coming to Herald Press in 2021, she held editorial and communications roles at Christianity Today and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College. She is originally from the Philadelphia area and works from her home in Glen Ellyn, IL.

 Herald Press is the book publishing arm of the Mennonite Church of the USA and Canada, and publishes thoughtful, Jesus-centered books in areas including Christian living, spiritual formation, peacemaking, justice, antiracism, community, food, sustainability, and more. We actively seek authors both from within and outside the Mennonite and Anabaptist traditions. Learn more at heraldpress.com/about-us.

Patnacia Goodman is a nonfiction acquisitions editor at Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Growing up as an avid reader, she pursued a B.A. in English Literature and Writing from Bethel University. Patnacia makes her home in Minneapolis, and when she isn’t reading, she spends her time trying to enjoy all four seasons (yes, even the Minnesota winters).

 Patnacia is currently looking for Adult nonfiction and Christian Living books. She is not looking for memoirs and devotionals.

 

Agent & Experts

Stephanie Bryant is the co-founder of (in)courage and writer, a Social Marketing consultant, Brand Therapist and mom to a miracle. She has helped authors with their book launches and social media strategy. Stephane has a podcast called the Jesus Led Adventure where she passionately guides her listeners to their personal promised land. Find out more about Stephanie at www.stephaniebryant.me and on instagram at @stephaniesbryant.

Stephanie is an visionary encourager and a creative coach. She is excited to meet with writers and communicators one-on-one for a “brand therapy” session. This will involve talking through your goals, audience and where you feel stuck about the future. Then, together, she will help come up with strategy for shaping your brand and social media. Stephanie will contact each person ahead of time with ideas on how to prepare for the meeting.

Quantrilla Ard, PhD, resides with her family in the Atlanta area. A passionate creative at heart, she has answered the call to encourage women in all stages of life and of various backgrounds through empathy, transparency, and love. Quantrilla is a faith-based personal and spiritual development writer, dynamic speaker, and people-connector who believes in the power of collective strength, community, and fellowship. She holds a PhD in Health Psychology from Walden University and is an advocate for social justice with a focus on Black maternal and infant health and mortality. Quanny currently shepherds stories as a literary agent for Embolden Media Group. You can find her sharing stories of triumph at www.thephdmamma.com

Keely Boeving has been an Agent with WordServe Literary since 2015. Prior to that she worked at Oxford University Press in New York and on her own as a freelance editor. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Denver Publishing Institute. A Colorado native, she lives in Denver with her husband and their three children. You can find her at www.keelyboeving.com and on Twitter @KeelyBoeving.

 Keely represents projects in the Christian and general markets. She is particularly interested in the areas of Christian living, spiritual development, faith and culture, social justice, mental health and wellness, leadership, and women’s topics including motherhood, relationships and marriage, business, and calling.

Don Gates is the founder of The Gates Group, a multi-faceted literary agency working with best-selling and award-winning authors across the country on a variety of publishing endeavors. Prior to his own venture, he was the Vice President of Marketing at Zondervan.

Before publishing, Don spent fifteen years in brand management at YUM! Brands, Hershey, and Campbell Soup. He received his BS from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he played Ivy League football. He also earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University, and a MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 Don works with best-selling authors like Lee Strobel, Kyle Idleman, Trillia Newbell, Jonathan Pokluda, Mike Cosper, and Aundi Kolber. His focus is on Non-fiction works of Christian Living and Spiritual Growth, Memoir and Leadership, Prayer and Practical Life, and the like.

Mary DeMuth is literary agent, international speaker, podcaster, and she’s the novelist and nonfiction author of over forty books, including Love, Pray, Listen (Bethany 2022). She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 31 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com. Be prayed for on her daily prayer podcast with 2 million downloads: prayeveryday.show. For sexual abuse resources, visit wetoo.org.  For cards, prints, and artsy fun go to marydemuth.com/art. Find out what she’s looking for as a literary agent at marydemuthliterary.com

Karen Neumair is a Senior Literary Agent and the Chief Operating Officer of Credo Communications, where she assists authors with their book proposals and connects them with potential publishers. Since 2009, she has worked alongside nonfiction authors who write about Christian living and Spiritual Growth, as well as topics geared toward women and families. In 2017, she expanded her representation to also include children’s picture and board books. You can find Credo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at www.credocommunications.net or connect with Karen more personally at https://www.facebook.com/KarenNeumairLiteraryAgent.

*Select your top 3 choices for meetings with industry professionals when you register for the retreat in EventBrite!

 

Register here

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This