Bonnie S. Calhoun
the Founder and Publisher of Christian Fiction Online
Magazine . She is also the Owner and Director of the Christian
Fiction Blog Alliance which is the parent organization for
Bill Myers’ (www.billmyers.com) books and videos have sold over 8 million copies. Not bad for a man who never wanted to be a writer!
Bill will teach “Writing Fiction that Sells and Changes Lives” at the August 1-4 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference held at Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne (north of the city). This 5-1/2 hour continuing session includes an extensive look at plot, character, scene structure, dialogue, comedy, and trends. Examples will be studied from Bill’s past TV shows and books. He will also address the secrets of ramping up these elements to hold the nanosecond attention span of children and young adults.
Besides writing numerous best-selling adult novels, Bill writes for children (McGee and Me, Adventure in Odyssey) and teens. He is a recipient of the C.S. Lewis Honor Award. He has learned to deftly weave timeless truths into incredible tales that are powerful and thought provoking. His work has brought millions of readers not only amazement and entertainment, but also into a deeper relationship with God.
Last year Bill gave the opening keynote, “Hearing His Answer,” at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. His message was so powerful and so applicable to the needs of writers at all levels that I immediately invited him to come to this year’s Philly conference.
In addition to his continuing session and keynote, Bill will be available for paid critiques. For only $30 he will read 12 pages of your manuscript prior to the conference and then meet with you for 30 minutes to discuss your writing strengths and weaknesses. Click on Paid Critiques for more info and a list of others who are offering paid critiques.
Do you write suspense or thrillers? Robert Liparulo, the bestselling author of five thrillers for adults and the six-book Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults also will be teaching a continuing session. In “Writing Suspense/Thrillers” Robert will address the structure and tenants of successful thriller / suspense stories; the use of faith elements within thrillers; developing protagonists readers care about and villains readers love to hate; and writing YA thrillers that grip young readers.
Nine of Robert’s books have been optioned for feature motion pictures, and he is writing an original script with Andrew Davis, the director of The Fugitive and The Guardian. He will teach you how to create stories that attract Hollywood producers and how to turn novels into screenplays.
Robert’s latest release, The 13th Tribe, blends his brand of action and high-tech adventure with a spiritual/ supernatural story. Frank Peretti calls it “a great read!”
Bill and Robert, along with other novelists on faculty, are part of an exciting Teens Write on Thursday, August 2. In the spirit of the Summer Olympics, Teens Write will present “The Publishing Games.” In “Rowing” Bill will share how he has trained and published over 100 books. Robert will talk about how to make fantasy feel real in “Gymnastics.”
Tim Shoemaker will show teens how to strengthen their fiction by showing, not telling in “Weight Lifting.” Tim’s first novel for boys, Code of Silence, was released in hardback by Zonderkidz in May with two more to come. It received a starred review on Booklist, a library review publication
(and official publication of the American Library Association). Tim's editor at Zonderkidz said, "They don't give out a starred review very often. It's very influential!"
Other novelists participating in Teens Write include Eddie Jones. In “100 Meter Hurdles, High Jump” he will show teens how to map-out their race and manage key scenes and hurdles. Joyce Magnin, another Zonderkidz author, will ask how well you know your characters in “Pole Vaulting.” Pam Halter and Joy Kieffer will help teens learn how to hook their readers on the first page in “Relay Race.” In “Curling” Torry Martin will talk about writing comedy sketches for short films and stage. Plus Teens Write includes workshops by two editors who are looking for manuscripts from teens.
There are lots more opportunities for fiction writers, young and old, throughout the conference. In addition to choosing a continuing session, each day conferees choose two workshops from the fourteen offered or a clinic. Jeanette Windle, a best-selling author with 16 books in print, will lead a clinic for writers of contemporary, suspense, political and international thrillers. Joyce Magnin’s clinic will focus on writing a novel for young adults, tweens, or teens as well as writing women’s and literary fiction. Joyce is the author of the award-winning Bright’s Pond novels from Abingdon and two middle grade novels from Zonderkidz . For more info and the application that is due July 12 go to Clinics.
Beyond all the learning opportunities GPCWC offers, those who register for all three days (Thursday through Saturday) are entitled to four 15-minute appointments with the faculty of their choice. Of course, the sooner you register the better opportunity you have of getting your top choices, but with a faculty of 55 authors, editors, and agents you’re sure to make helpful connections.
The registration fee increases after July 12 so don’t delay. Pastors, seniors, and alumni receive 10% off; full-time students 25% off; teens 60% off. If finances prohibit you from coming, you’re encouraged to apply for one of the 50% off scholarships offered to CFOM readers. You’ll find a link to the application at Scholarships, and hopefully we’ll find you at the August 1-4 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference!
Marlene Bagnull founded the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship in 1983. That same year she directed their first day-long seminar that has grown to a major 3-1/2 day conference. In 1997 she began directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. She is the compiler/editor of 3 books and the author of 5 books includingWrite His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers.