(These fun and educational workshops from last year are a wonderful example of the content we are lining up for this year's 2015 conference!)

In addition to the one-hour workshops on Saturday, we will hold some two-hour pre-conference workshops on Friday afternoon that will consist of intense, personal and practical activities for those willing to get directly involved in the writing process.  These two-hour workshops will require a modest fee ($40 before October 20, $50 the day the conference begins) beyond the general registration fee of $90 before October 20 and $100 the day of the conference.

CONFERENCE ALUMNI PANEL:  "What We Learned and How It Has Helped!" - Dr. Jerry Hopkins (Chair), Lynn Hobbs, Kelsey Jackson, Bill Dareing, Terri Lacher, Cindy Anne Duncan, and perhaps others

This session is an open discussion led and coordinated by Conference Director/Planner Dr. Jerry Hopkins.  Each panel participant has attended past Christian Writers Conferences at ETBU as well as other writer conferences, and will share how this conference has benefited and blessed many lives.  Each participant will share how the conference profited and helped them in their writing.  This session is a good introduction to the many opportunities available the rest of the day.  Each author has experience in writing and publishing, and the wide-range of ages and experiences in the panel will provide valuable information and inspiration.

Twila Belk

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Make the Most of Your Conference Experience

This is a two-hour hands-on workshop for writers who would like learn more about how to benefit from a writers conference.  Learn things you can do before, during and after the conference to make it an experience that benefits you now and in the years to come.  This hands-on introduction to the conference experience will help you gain much.  Bring your questions, your note-pad and pen to gain new ideas and insights.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - The Basics and Beyond

Learn from an experienced writer about the basics in this business of writing.  In this workshop, you will learn about terminology, resources, industry relationships, opportunities, where to start, how to organize, and how to keep it going.  This is an opportunity to learn from a writer who knows the profession both as a working author and as a person who works with and for other professional writers.

Crystal Bowman

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP- Welcome to the World of Children's Literature: What Writers Need to Know before They Begin

For writers who would like an introduction to the genre of children's literature, this session will get them started in the right direction. Learn the dos and don'ts of writing for children as well as the sub-genres within the genre of children's literature. Gain insight into the world of publishing and writing for children. A question and answer time will be included. This will be a two-hour continuing workshop.


Writing picture books for children is fun but it's also challenging! This two-hour continuing class will dissect the picture book genre so writers will know what makes a story worthy of being published. We will take an in-depth look at vocabulary, word play, word count, characters, plot, themes, point of view, and much more. Find out why picture books are one of the hardest genres to get published, and how you can increase your chances of getting your picture story book into print.

Linda Burklin

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Getting Started in Speculative Fiction

If you are ever around young people at all, you know that what they love to read is science fiction and fantasy literature.  Speculative fiction has come a long way since the days of Tolkien and Lewis, and if you're interested in giving it a try, this class is a great overview.

In this workshop you will learn:

What is speculative fiction?  What subgenres does it include?

Why should Christians be writing speculative fiction?

How do you create a believable world and populate it with believable characters?

What is the "hero's journey" and how can it be part of your story?

What are some resources available to writers of speculative fiction?

Terry Burns


The workshop "Writing in Obedience" by editor/agent Terry Burns is for the new Christian writer or the writer looking to decide how God wants them to incorporate their faith into their writing.  How do we know what the Lord wants us to do?  Are we being called to write or do we want to write for Him as an offering?  What is required of us as authors using our writing for the Lord and how do we go about it?  What do we really want to achieve with our writing and how do we define success?  The program is based on his new book, written with editor Linda Yezak entitled "Writing in Obedience."

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Survive Your Way to Publication

Publication is not a selection process but a survival process.  Terry walks the author through the entire pitch and submission process, how to do a proposal, and what each portion is and what it does.  He explains how to pass the various tests and make it into the 15% of submissions actually in the running.  This workshop is presented in a Q & A format based on his book "A Writer's Survival Guide to Publishing.


Ken Camp


In this two-hour hands-on workshop find out about the seven deadly sins of writing, and learn how you can repent of those transgressions.  Discover quick, easy and relatively painless ways to make everything you write better.  Participate in hands-on exercises to tone and tighten flabby prose.  Learn how to work with editors and collaboratively with other writers.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - How to Get an Editor's Attention--in a good way

Find out what editors really want.  Learn how to pitch an article for publication to an editor.  Find out about editors' pet peeves and discover how to steer clear of committing those peevish deeds.


Lynn Marie Cherry & Lexie Smith

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Social Media for Writers

Do you have a platform?  How many followers do you have?  Are you pinning, tweeting, posting, or drowning in the waves of social media?  Lexie and Lynn are here to help you navigate the sea of social media options by aligning your online presence to your writing vision.  Don't have a vision for your writing?  They can help with that too by using a proven vision statement exercise.  With defined writing goals as your compass, you can choose the right social media tools to help you on your writing journey. (They'd also enjoy seeing you are their end of conference networking session.)

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Social Media Networking and Idea Exchange

You've done a lot of listening at the conference.  Now it's time to do a little talking.  It's your chance to share what you know and connect with fellow writers.  Not a talker?  No problem.  You can sit back and learn by listening.  You can even spend some time setting up or tweaking your social media sites.  This is a great opportunity for collaborative learning.  Wrap up your conference experience by establishing new relationships and expanding your social media circles.


Kristen Clark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - How to Get More and Higher Quality Book Reviews

This workshop is about how to get more and higher quality book reviews to gain credibility and sell more books.  Customer reviews are the single most effective tool for selling books, especially on Amazon.  In this workshop, you will learn five practical and easy to implement tips for getting more and higher quality book reviews.  And once you have the reviews, what do you do with them?  This workshop will also also explore 5 Indie Marketing ideas for taking full advantage of every book review to increase sales and grow your fan base.


Lawrence Clark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Public Speaking Strategies for Authors

This workshop deals with author strategies for obtaining more book sales through booking interviews on radio, television and podcasts.  After attending this informative-packed workshop, you will discover practical tips and strategies used by best-selling authors to promote their books.  In the first half, you will learn what program directors are looking for, what to say, and how to say it so you can be booked on radio and television, as well as on the growing number of internet-based podcasts and Google hangouts.

In the second half of his workshop, Dr. Clark will reveal some secret techniques from his many years of speaking in public and appearing as a guest on numerous programs, as well as teaching public speaking at the university level.  You'll learn what to say and what NOT to say, as well as some practical tips on how to present yourself so you'll appear knowledgeable, professional, and personable during your interview.


Christopher Collins

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - The Beginning Playwright:  From the Itch to the Show

Have you ever had an idea that you thought would be great on stage?  Have you ever heard a conversation, experienced an interesting event, lived through circumstances of literary proportions, or created a character or scenario that just begs to be acted out?  Then this session may be for you!

Join Chris as he explores the process of beginning the journey as a playwright.  How does a writer get ideas and develop characters?  How should a play be written and how should it flow?  What are the trends and styles in modern play-writing?  How does one actually become a playwright? What should you do with your creations?  We will address these topics and explore entering the play-writing world.


Cindy Anne Duncan

 SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Wide Open Spaces - It's Your Life--Now or Never . . . Journal It!

This is an inspiring workshop with an experienced writer who walks an enriching path of wonder. She never misses an opportunity to write about her feelings and discoveries in life.  This workshop focuses on helping you develop journaling skills on a deeper level.

Ms. Duncan asks God to keep her on the path He chose for her.  She finds that when she walks this path, she is totally amazed at what and whom God places in front of her.  She has only to truly seek,  look, and listen.

Ms. Duncan believes in living life to the fullest, and will share with you just how . . . "Wide Open Spaces" . . .  are a delight. You will discover the joy you find in journaling these experiences of life.   These journal entrees bring a wealth of joy not only to your life, but to generations to come.

Ms. Duncan is the author of The Grace Anne Series: "Simply Grace Anne."  They are a series of children's books, Pre-K through Fourth grade, based on Ms. Duncan's real little three legged dog, Grace Anne.  In each book Grace Anne learns the vital lessons in life such as words and actions count, and truly matter.  At the end of each book there is a discussion page where an adult can discuss with the child the lesson learned and motivate them in thinking of ways they can bring joy to someone's life and spread that joy throughout the world.

This workshop is filled with energy, emotion, excellent journaling ideas, and the joy of not missing one moment in life . . . . . Remember, "It's your life, it's now or never."


Jerry Faught, II

SATURDAY WORKSHOP -Writing for Your Denomination

Dr. Faught will be presenting ideas, insights and information on writing for your denomination. He will include Sunday School lessons, youth devotional articles, Bible studies, and special curriculum materials.  His session will involve  developing ideas, writing query letters, and how to network with other authors and editors.  He has inter-denominational experience through teaching and writing for Baptists, and also teaching and working with the historic Methodist school, Wiley College.


Richard L. Fluker

FRIDAY EXHIBIT - Book Show and Tell

Remember the show-and-tell days from elementary school?  You might have showed off just one prized possession.  Richard, in his "book show and tell," displays more than 60 mementos from his growing-up years on a farm in central Texas!  All are related to his book The Cows Are Out and Other Tales from a Farm Kid of the 50s.  As Richard makes remarks or reads a passage in which the item is mentioned, he draws attention to it by pointing to or holding it up.  His audience will be engaged by the "old stuff," the movement, and the demonstrations.  Afterwards, many are inspired to share their own memories.  And most buy a book after seeing it come to life.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday morning Richard will have an exhibit of historical farm and rural artifacts that illustrate rural agricultural life in East Texas.  The artifacts have dramatic stories and lessons that preserve and present the stories of family, friends and history.  The Fluker Exhibit will be available  Friday and all day Saturday.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Editing:  Searching for a Better Way to Say It

You have a draft, but the original, "aha" thoughts you were fortunate enough to nab are only so many words scattered in a jumble of phrases, and clauses, and awkward sentences.  That's okay!  Now it's time to rewrite and edit.  Richard will discuss sentence structure and length, achieving the right blend, and transitions.  Using checklists, he'll show how to ferret out throwaway words, cliches, abstractions, redundancies, vanilla words, and other elements that will dilute your prose.  He'll also talk about "coming in close," or finding the right words to help the reader understand what you saw during those "aha" moments.

Richard has a unique approach to writing and editing.  Using his own writing and stories he will present how he prepares and edits his manuscripts.  His reading in the editing process, is an example of an effective way to identify, correct, and refine work for publication and communication.  He has helpful experience in both publishing and radio production..


Joan Hallmark

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Your First Book

So you want to write your first book?  How do you start?  How do you choose a subject and why is the subject of interest to you?  Will it be interesting to others?  How do you get organized and do your research?  How do you find an editor or publisher?  When published, how will you help market the book?  All these and other questions will be discussed.

This well-known and popular TV personality in East Texas will discuss how she wrote her first book.  She will give suggestions and ideas as to how to begin and how to work through writing your first book from beginning to end.


Jerry Hopkins

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Building a Writing Investment:  Keeping a Journal

This workshop is taught by an experienced writer who has kept a journal since 1960.  Dr. Hopkins will discuss why it is essential for a person to use a journal in one's classroom, professional, and personal life.  Examples of journals from the past and present, bibliographical information, philosophical background, reasons for journaling, practical suggestions, and a "hands-on" experiment will all be included in this workshop.  The presenter will share an array of handouts, bibliographical resources, work sheets and related materials to enhance the journaling experience.  Jerry will also make available an interesting display of published journals he has collected. This will be a "hands-on" workshop for both those who wish to enter the world of journaling, or those already experienced in the art of journal keeping.


This forum consists of alumni of previous conferences. They will share how the conference has benefited and blessed their writing and publishing career.  The conference has helped many types of people at all different ages.  One part of this opening session discusses how to benefit from the conference and gives ideas and insights.  There is literally something for everyone in the conference.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Book Reviews

Dr. Jerry Hopkins and Dr. Michael "Mike" E. Williams, Sr., will work together to present strategies for reading books and writing reviews for publication in scholarly journals as well as other publications.  Both have extensive experience in reading and writing.  They have many types of book reviews published in a number of different publications.  Dr. Williams is the editor of a scholarly journal and has served for many years as the book review editor for the Baptist History and heritage Journal.

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Finding Books - A Literary Adventure

Dr. Hopkins will present a workshop on finding books and writing resources in bookstores, yard, library, and estate sales.  He will teach about the value of books and how to acquire, use, and share them. 


Bill Keith

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Writing a Book But Never Had a Chance to Ask

Bill will discusses the writing and creative process that results in a completed book, and gives an opportunity for questions. He draws from his many years of experience in working as a book editor, publisher and author of numerous best-selling books.


David King

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Sharing Your Faith:  Writing Daily Devotionals

The focus of this workshop is to help you develop the essentials for good devotional writing. You will discover how to start writing meditations and learn the significance of being Bible-based and authentic as you share your faith through your writing.  You will receive a market list and sample and compare several leading daily devotionals to see the difference between them.  This workshop is designed for both beginning and intermediate writers, but even experienced writers can benefit from David's ideas and suggestions.


Logos Bible Software Representative

FRIDAY & SATURDAY WORKSHOPS - Logos Bible Software Presentations

Logos Bible Software will have a software exhibit with resources and software available for purchase.  The representative will also be conducting software demonstrating workshops, as well as discussing the thousands of volumes and other resources available through Logos. 


 Shari Parker


As a publisher, editor and marketing agent, Ms. Parker discusses the approaches and advantages of self-publishing: how to get started, what you need and don't need to do, and what the costs are.  There will be an opportunity to ask questions, discuss ideas, and learn about the publishing business.

 SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Promoting and Selling Your Book

As a writer you're wondering where and how to sell your books.  Have you defined specific targets to buy your books?  Do you know how to reach them?  You will find these answers and more in Shari Parker's one-hour interactive workshop on promoting and selling your book.  Shari shares her secrets for successful selling and guides you through the seven essential hooks for every book.  She has consolidated her 40 years of experience in sales and marketing into a list of 50 markets you can use to sell more books, and you will receive worksheets to assist you in developing your marketing strategy plan.  During the workshop, points will be given to each person participating.  The person with the most points at the end of the workshop will choose a free book from the over 60 titles she has published.

Harold Rawlings

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing Christian Non-Fiction

 This workshop will explore the wonderful world of Christian non-fiction, which is one of the most popular book markets today.  We will discuss its various genres: devotional books, history, biography, essays, memoirs, self-help, parenting, and book reviews.  You will learn the importance of establishing a purpose before writing, determining your audience, discussing themes central to the Christian experience, doing thorough research on your subject matter, and being as accurate as possible in telling the story.


SATURDAY EXHIBIT - Ancient Scriptures, Valuable Rare English Bibles and Texts

The Rawlings Foundation has one of the best collections of ancient texts of Scripture and rare English Bibles available.  These will be on display Friday and Saturday in the Ornelas Student Center.  Dr. Rawlings is the author of Trial By Fire:  The Struggle to Get the Bible into English, which grew out of his lecture on the History of the English Bible.  He has also authored Basic Baptist Beliefs:  An Exposition of Key Biblical Doctrines and The Words of This Prophecy:  Messages on the Book of Revelation.  His spiritual formation booklet for new Christians, "Now That I'm Saved, What's Next?" is used by churches throughout the United States.


Scott Stevens

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Connecting People to God's Word:  Writing Bible Study Curriculum

Interested in connecting large numbers of people to God through His Word?  One of the most effective ways to do so is through creating excellent Bible study curriculum.  This workshop will explore the keys to writing compelling content for use in Bible Study groups.  Emphasis will be given to creating material for both Bible study participants (pupil resources), as well as teachers (Bible commentary and teaching plan resources).  Discover how you can multiply the influence of your writing ministry through curriculum creation.


Sally E. Stuart

KEYNOTE ADDRESS - The Sacrifices of the Writers

Although there is great joy in writing, it also demands certain sacrifices that ultimately define who you are and what God demands of you as a writer.  This address will take a closer look at those sacrifices, suggest new and creative ways to approach each writing project, and challenge you to be the best writer you can be.

FRIDAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Understanding and Selling in the Christian Market

One critical thing to making consistent sales, is a clear understanding of the Christian market and how it functions.  This hands-on two-hour workshop will give you the necessary insight, and provide a clear and personalized path to those sales.  Come take an inside look at the foundations of marketing success with the experienced founder of The Christian Writer's Market Guide.


SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Book Proposals That Sell

A book proposal determines whether your book gets accepted or rejected.  This workshop identifies all the elements required, and will help you be sure your proposal succeeds in catching an editor's attention.


Donn Taylor

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Making Your Poems Different

Today, many written poems look the same.  What makes a poem stand out in an editor's flood of submissions?  This session illustrates five techniques that can make your poems strikingly different from most that editors see.  These techniques will help novices and experienced poets alike.


Terry Wolever

SATURDAY WORKSHOP - Writing and Publishing Baptist History Resources

Learn how to research and write history using genealogy.  Terry will present ways in which you can further your research in Baptist history through the use of genealogical resources.  He will demonstrate by taking a case study, and walking the class through the various steps and tools available to develop a more interesting, detailed biography of a historical Baptist individual.  While this workshop will be focused on Baptists, those interested in other denominations or groups can employ the same approach and technique.

Wolever is an experienced researcher, editor, and writer working with Particular Baptist Press on a number of important biographical studies.