KCWC provides attendees with planned tracks for targeted professional development.  Please browse this page for offerings and return regularly for updates.


These workshops help you learn about the business aspects of being a writer.

Writing Craft

Learn how to improve your writing skills and present your work in a professional way.

Fiction or Non-Fiction Track

Both fiction and non-fiction workshop tracks provide instruction specific to your genre.

Each workshop is led by a respected industry professional. When offerings are finalized, the Schedule page will be updated so you can plan your attendance. Visit this page regularly for the most current listings.

Am I Called to Write? How to Know and What to Do About It

with Lori Hatcher ~ Track: General

Most writers leave a conference pumped up and empowered. Then they go home. The doubts, fears, and insecurities they left behind begin to whisper in their ears again. Head games—writers play them every day. Is winning the battle in our minds really just a matter of positive thinking, or does God have something to say about it?

This workshop offers a mix of sound biblical truth, humor, and common sense to empower the most insecure writer to answer God’s call to write boldly for Him, regardless of his or her ability, experience, or education. Addressing the areas of comparison, insecurity, and competitiveness, we’ll examine the biblical roots of each issue, walk through a five-step personal evaluation, and craft a unique mission statement designed to silence the voices that imprison our writing potential.

Are Authors in Their Write Minds?

with Jim Watkins ~ Track: General

Several university studies have discovered that writers are more prone to mental health issues than the general public. But the research also shows that because of this, writers excel in greater creativity, sensitivity, and understanding of others. Jim uses the Bible and behavioral science to show how to use our weaknesses to communicate through God’s strength. 

Breaking into the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series

with Diane Stark ~ Track: Writing Craft/Non-Fiction

In this workshop, Diane Stark will show participants how to craft a story with just the right ingredients – emotion, positivity, and a dash of humor – that will be the perfect blend for a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Diane has had more than 50 stories published in the series, and she can help you break in as well.

Canva Basics for Writers

with Tama Fortner ~ Track: Business/Marketing

In our digital world, it’s all about images! Tap into your creativity, and learn to create professional-looking posts for social media using the free version of Canva. This class will touch on how to create a color scheme and choose fonts, as well as how to create social media posts for Instagram and Facebook. The basic features of Canva will be explained and demonstrated, including templates, images, elements, sharing, and downloading. Participants are asked to bring their laptops with the free version of Canva already downloaded.

Crafting a Compelling Speaking Presentation

with Lori Hatcher ~ Track: Business/Marketing

You feel called to speak. You realize your life experiences and spiritual insight can make a difference in other people’s lives. You know what you want to say, but you aren’t sure how best to say it. Toastmasters International speaker Ryan Avery studied 25 years of the International Speech Contest winners to determine which elements are most important in crafting a memorable, moving, and motivational speech. He included these three elements in his speech, “Trust Is a Must,” and walked away as the 2011 Toastmasters International World Champion. In this workshop and with his permission, I share his three-step formula.


with Rhonda Dragomir ~ Track: Business/Marketing

Book trailers are impressive marketing tools, but contracting with a producer for a professional video can be very costly. With a small investment in a user-friendly program, you can create your trailer on your own, saving hundreds of dollars. Rhonda Dragomir will demonstrate Corel VideoStudio® and share her tips and tricks for making your video eye-catching and informative.

Diving into Devotions

with Julie Lavender ~ Track: Writing Craft/Non-Fiction

Nothing refreshes and nourishes the soul like the Word of God. In addition to daily immersion in the Bible, many people use a devotional to deepen their walk with the Lord. Devotionals line the shelves of bookstores. The need for devotional content never seems to diminish. With each new event or generation or emotional need, readers long for fresh content to strengthen or deepen their relationship with God. You can help meet some of those needs with devotional writing. If you want to use your written words to help readers draw from the wells of salvation for spiritual renewal and abiding joy, come join me and let’s learn how to dive into devotion writing.

Emotion & Impact in Fiction: The Care and Feeding of Your Readers

with Shellie Arnold ~ Track: Writing Craft/Fiction

At the heart of all writing is this goal: connection. We want to connect with our readers and have them connect with us. As writers, we have a responsibility to honor the fragile trust given us by readers when they open our books and read our work. This teaching joins the theories of great storytelling with actionable tools to improve the craft. We look at the why, how, when, where, and what it takes to connect with our readers, establish trust, and be a faithful steward of that trust to the very last page.

Find Your Target Reader

with Misty Beller ~ Track: Business/Marketing

During this class, we’ll learn exactly what a target reader looks like, not just demographics, but also behaviors, preferences, and backgrounds. I’ll teach three practical ways to discover our target reader, using audience volunteers to see the steps in action. Finally, we’ll discuss how this new enlightenment should affect both our writing and marketing to make our efforts exponentially more effective.

From Llama Llama to Twilight

with Leslie Santamaria ~ Track: Writing Craft/Children's

Books for kids come in many shapes, sizes, and reading levels: board books, picture books, picture storybooks, easy readers, early readers, leveled readers, chapter books, middle grade, and more. So what are the differences between these products? In this lively overview of the children’s section of any library or bookstore, we’ll examine all the types of books for kids at different ages and grade levels and discuss unique aspects of each so that you can figure out the best formats for your great ideas. 

The Importance of Editing

with Michele Chynoweth ~ Track: Writing Craft

You’ve heard the saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” That’s absolutely true when it comes to getting your book published. Enter the editing process which plays a vital role in ensuring your book is perfect. Professional editor Michele Chynoweth will share some crucial tips that will help you get started crafting the best version of your book, including advice on style, organization, proofing, beta readers, formatting, research, and more – plus advice on finding the best editor for your work – so that it will be ready to be successfully launched into the world!

The Importance of Your Pitch

with Edwina Perkins ~ Track: Writing Craft

Pitching your book is one of the most important things you’ll do as an author. A memorable pitch can help a book go a long way in a crowded marketplace. It’s a concise, one or two sentences used to sell your book to an editor, agent, and eventually to readers. This workshop will give tips on how to create a killer pitch.


Launch Team Lift-off – Build a dynamite team without killing yourself

with Misty Beller ~ Track: Business/Marketing

Whether you’ve never heard of a launch team, or if you already have a team in place and want to breathe fresh life into them, this course is for you. We’ll cover:
—The role of the launch team.
—How to start and grow your team, including sample. wording and sign-up forms.
—How to interact with your team so your expectations are clear and your team is engaged.
—During a launch.
—What to give your team.
—Pro tips for both traditionally-published and indie authors.
—Ten tips to keep your team motivated.

Lights, Camera, Action! Publicity & Platform

with Michele Chynoweth ~ Track: Business/Marketing

Publicity, promotions, public speaking, platform…the words can strike terror into some writers who just want to hide away at their desks and write. But marketing your book is important now more than ever and stepping into the limelight is crucial. Author, speaker, book coach, and marketing expert Michele Chynoweth will share tips on how you can be your own best publicist and provide training on developing your press release and media kit, become a better public speaker, and get more publicity by landing TV, radio and podcast gigs so that you can sell more copies of your book.

Literary Devices and Simple Tricks to Improve Your Prose

with Robin Patchen ~ Track: Writing Craft

Has your critique partner ever “fixed” a great piece of your writing because it wasn’t grammatically perfect? Maybe you were using a literary device and didn’t even know it. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use literary devices—which often don’t follow rules—and other simple tricks to improve the emotional impact of your stories. Because great prose transcends voice and genre, examples of the different devices will be taken from speeches, literature, and movies to illustrate how they can be used in all kinds of writing.

One Fish, Too (Two) Fish, Red Fish, Blew (Blue) Fish

with Leslie Santamaria ~ Track: Writing Craft/Children's

You’ve captured a draft manuscript for kids that you think has potential. Now what? How do you make sure it’s the best it can be to sell well and inspire young readers? Is it the right length? Are the vocabulary and syntax on the appropriate reading level? Does the dialogue sound like real kids today? We’ll discuss the special considerations for revising and polishing your story or nonfiction piece for kids, including who should critique and beta read your work and how to find those people. 

Plotting & Storytelling

with Shellie Arnold ~ Track: Writing Craft/Fiction

What makes some stories weak, while others seem to grab our attention? The stories that captivate us are the ones we don’t forget. They’re unforgettable because they’re relatable and believable and take an honest look at our humanity. We all know life doesn’t only happen outside ourselves, but also inside. That’s why our characters must have an inner journey and an outer journey. But weaving those journeys together can be tricky. In this teaching, I walk writers through a repeatable process they can customize to create great, unforgettable stories.

Researching to Write: How to Research a Nonfiction Children’s Book

with Tama Fortner ~ Track: Writing Craft/Children's

Want to write a nonfiction book for children? Then you’d better be ready to do some research because it’s the facts you uncover that will drive your writing! Learn the skills, tips, and tricks used by an ECPA award-winning and bestselling nonfiction writer for children. Topics covered will include finding potential ideas, identifying and tracking down primary and secondary sources, warnings about and surprising uses of Wikipedia, mining the depths of the Internet using Boolean searches, and keeping track of all that research. (Psst! These tips and tricks work for researching teen and adult books too!)

Self-Publishers, Piranhas, and Pariahs

with Jim Watkins ~ Track: General

The waters of independent publishers are filled with danger! Here’s some practical advice for successfully self-publishing your work—without blood in the water.


Sensitivity and Diversity in Manuscripts

with Edwina Perkins ~ Track: Writing Craft

The number of books with ethnic characters has risen over the last few years. Because publishing houses are looking for more diversity in what authors are submitting, non-ethnic writers need address some important issues when it comes to understanding how to include diversity in their manuscripts. This workshop addresses the impact of writing about a culture outside of your own, the need for sensitivity readers, and what they do.

So You Want to Write A Picture Book

with Tama Fortner ~ Track: Writing Craft/Children's

Mem Fox is credited with saying, “Writing a picture book is like writing War and Peace in haiku.” In other words, it’s not as simple as you think. In this class, writers will explore the what, who, why, where, when, and how of writing picture books.

Using examples from classic children’s books, as well as her own works, ECPA award-winning and bestselling children’s writer Tama Fortner will lead writers through the steps needed to create a “Read it again, please!” picture book.

So You're a Newbie: A Primer for First-time Attendees

with Carlton Hughes ~ Track: General

First time attending a writer’s conference? Not sure what to expect? This class is perfect for the newcomer. Come, enjoy, ask lots of questions, and we will provide the answers.

Twenty-Five Rejection-Proof Markets

with Jim Watkins ~ Track: General

Discover 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.

Why Writers Must Also Be Speakers

with Lori Hatcher ~ Track: Business/Marketing

Most writers prefer the solitary confines of their writer’s cave, emerging only occasionally for family dinners and social gatherings. “I’m a writer, not a speaker,” they say, and retreat to the safety of their own company. Unfortunately, times have changed. Today’s increasingly public society requires that writers must also be speakers if they hope to have successful careers. From the elevator pitch, to the agent interview, to the speaking invitation that follows your book publication, writers must be prepared. This workshop will share nine reasons why writers must be speakers. We’ll also enjoy a peek into one of the foremost speaker training programs in the world, Toastmasters International.

A Writer’s Armor

with Edwina Perkins ~ Track: General

Ephesians 6 reminds us to put on the entire armor of God. Why? To prepare for battle. As  writers, if we are going to run our race with excellence we need to put on a writer’s armor. The stories we pen today can impact generations to come and that’s a huge responsibility. No wonder we’re under attack. This workshop will introduce the different parts of a writer’s armor as it relates to the armor of God and what it means to put it on.

Writers rights

with Tracy Crump ~ Track: Business/Marketing

First rights, reprint rights, one-time rights. Rights, rights, rights! What does it all mean, and what if I do something wrong? You don’t have to study law to understand literary rights even in this electronic age, but you may find yourself at a disadvantage if you count on others to protect them for you. Learn the differences in the rights you sell on your work and find out how to retain as many rights as possible.

Writing Articles – How to Stand Tall in the Writing World and Extra! Extra! Read All About It! – Writing for Newspapers

with Julie Lavender ~ Track: Writing Craft/Non-Fiction

Looking for extra credit at the conference? Extra writing credits, that is? You’ve probably heard the saying, “Go big or don’t go at all,” but in the writing world, you might want to try this mantra: “Start small and then grow tall.” If you haven’t snagged that elusive book contract yet, consider writing articles for periodicals to collect those much-needed writing credits to impress an editor. And, even if you’re the published author of a number of books, you’ll want to tap into magazine writing opportunities to boost your platform and increase your audience! In this class, you’ll learn tips and techniques for getting acceptances to magazines to earn a host of extra writing credits that will help you stand tall in the writing world!

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your byline on the front page of a newspaper? More than 1300 daily newspapers and other weekly ones fly off the presses in the wee hours of the morning, and your local newspaper needs fresh content with every issue! With that necessity for constant content, breaking into newspaper writing is often easier than getting other writing gigs, and you can build writing credits quickly. Find out how to write for newspapers and how to share faith-based, God stories in the pages of a newspaper.

Writing Christian Novels that Sell

with Michele Chenowyth ~ Track: Writing Craft/Fiction

Are you a writer who desires to serve God but also wants to write a novel that has the potential to become a bestseller? There’s a way to write fiction that’s still clean and Christian but also marketable to the masses. Michele Chynoweth, bestselling author of several edgy contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories, will teach how we can write novels that weave together meaningful messages AND compelling characters, sizzling settings, and exciting plots.

Writing the Emotional Roller Coaster

with Robin Patchen ~ Track: Writing Craft/Fiction

People read fiction for an emotional experience, yet most novelists leave their readers’ emotional journeys to chance. Why not engineer your readers’ emotional journey? Conference attendees will explore the three ways to add emotion to a manuscript. They will discover how to use the emotion wheel to add depth to their prose, to dig deeper into what a character is feeling, and to bring more complexity to the characters’ journeys. Each attendee will learn simple tools and techniques to create stories that will pull their readers onto a roller coaster that will leave them breathless.

Writing for the Guideposts Family of Magazines

with Diane Stark ~ Track: Writing Craft

In this workshop, Diane Stark will teach participants what types of stories Guideposts is looking for and how to craft your story to get noticed. She is a contributing editor and manages several departments in the magazines. She will detail the kinds of stories she is looking for and how to submit them to her. So far, five writers who attended Diane’s workshop at the 2021 KCWC have had stories published in Guideposts. Join them!

Writing for Kids Today: An Introduction

with Leslie Santamaria ~ Track: Writing Craft/Children's

You’ve started on the journey to become a children’s writer or want to take your first steps, this class will get you going. We’ll begin with an overview of the industry today to help you sort out which markets might be good avenues for your work. Then we’ll talk about how to write stories and articles that children (and editors!) will enjoy. We’ll cover: getting started, current trends, developing kid-like characters, plotting a rewarding story, and crafting nonfiction. You’ll leave with plenty of handouts and a boost of inspiration to write for kids for the glory of God.