Unsure of where to begin as a writer? The Speak Up Conference brings in renowned Christian authors, editors and publishers to help participants:
Learn how to be a captivating storyteller
Learn the steps of writing a book from start to finish
Decide which publishing route is best for you
Choose the Classic or Premier ticker for a one on one with a:
Self Publishing Experts
A book proposal that catches the attention—positive attention—of an acquiring editor and other publishing professionals needs more than just the inclusion of the right items. It needs to be based on a unique and winning idea; it needs the right tone; it needs the right ingredients; and it needs to be the best possible example of your writing ability. Learn how to create a compelling proposal from an editor responsible for discovering and publishing some of the most admired Christian authors writing today.
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Are you presently writing devotionals for your friends or church and want to turn those into published pieces? Have you read a published devotion and thought, “I could have written that.” Having written over 600 devotions, Cheri will share her top twenty tips for developing and writing dynamic devotions that will sell.
With traditional radio, Facebook Live, podcast, and YouTube video broadcasting background, Athena Dean Holtz shares strategies for using these trending channels for getting your message out and taking your brand to a new level. Join publishing pioneer, podcast host, and YouTube broadcaster Athena Dean Holtz as she walks you through a plan for increasing your readership.
What are editors and agents reflecting on when they meet you or read your book idea? What are they thinking that you wish you knew better?
In this workshop, Moody Publishers acquisitions editor Judy Dunagan and literary agent Blythe Daniel want you to understand the role each plays in an author’s life. How does the relationship work for each: Author, Agent, and Acquisition Editor? We will also dive into these topics from our perspectives:
- What the most important elements in a book proposal are
- What acquiring editors and agents are both looking for
- What should you do if your idea doesn’t fit what we are looking for
- How an agent helps an author who has already connected with an editor
- How acquiring editors and agents work together
- Why editors like working with agents and vice versa
- How agents advocate for their authors
- How do you know what to submit to an agent or editor – and which comes first
This workshop is designed for those who are considering or are newly working with an editor or agent to sift through what you’ve heard from other authors and to bridge the information from these two individuals who work together a lot and relate to each other as friends and professionals in the process.
It's old-school thinking to consider only books or magazine articles as outlets for our work as writers. New markets open up every year. We’ll look at opportunities in social media and on the Internet. But not all markets require technical know-how. From opportunities at your local church to other opportunities in your community and beyond, we’ll investigate a wide variety of ways to use your gifts as a writer to connect with readers.
How can we make sure we're using the finest ingredients to create our proposal "culinary" delights? What can we do to eliminate common glitches as we prepare what we hope editors will see as a feast for the soul of readers and publishing decision-makers? This session is practical, visual, and infused with enough humor to make the mechanics of proposal preparation feel more like an exhilarating cooking contest than a chore.
Always get a second pair of eyes on your writing. It’s an excellent rule of thumb, but how do you edit your own work to make it the best you can before sharing it with others? Janyre Tromp and Joel Armstrong are both in-house editors who also write (and edit) their own books. In this session, learn how to see your writing with fresh eyes, evaluate your structure and approach with your readers’ needs in mind, and “kill your darlings” when your pet anecdotes, talking points, or weasel words are getting in the way of clear, concise writing.
In this session you will learn how to conduct yourself and get the most out of a fifteen-minute appointment with an agent or editor at a writers’ conference. Don’t miss out on going in prepared for your meetings.
The book of James includes a chilling reminder for those in ministry. Teachers, Scripture warns, will be judged more strictly. We’ve got to face facts: Writing is risky. Sharing God’s message of truth and hope is an enormous responsibility, and not one we should take lightly. In this session, we will:
- wrestle with the big questions of your calling and mission
- discuss the necessity of being grounded in sound doctrine
- uncover the subtle lies that can affect your ministry
- dive into Scripture to see what Jesus really has to say
Katie provides writers with ten steps to get unstuck, so they can move forward on their writing journey. This empowering message will free writers to offer their words to the world, starting today.
Connecting Your Core Values, Purpose and Vision to Your Writing
Ever wonder what should be your next best writing project? Is there a formula to your writing success? Yes! When we can effectively communicate what is important to us, that significantly influences the success of our writing. In this practicum you will learn how your core values impact your writing and how to identify which ones are the most important. You will create a take-away that will bring clarity for your next writing project.
Part One - Core Values and how they drive our decisions, behaviors and what we write about. Tools: Identify and discover your top three core values by viewing the big picture of your life experiences, gifts, events and skills.
Part Two - How to implement your core values in your purpose statement. Tools: Create a mission statement that can help set-up your writing success.
Part Three - Combining core values and purpose statement to craft a clear vision for writing. Tools: Draft of vision statement to create goals and action steps for your next writing project.
What’s the difference between marketing and PR in the publishing industry? If you are self-publishing, is it worth hiring a book publicist? What services can you expect to receive for your investment and how do you find the right publicist? If you publish traditionally, what are the best practices for collaborating with the publicist assigned to your project? In this workshop led by a former Tyndale House senior publicist, you’ll receive a broad overview as well as practical tips on what it takes to secure earned placements in web, print, and broadcast media when working with a book publicist.
Ministry Development Sessions
For Classic + Premier Ticket Holders Only
Marketing is KEY to building ANY business, and a speaking and writing ministry is no different. S.H. Britt said, “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. YOU know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” Indeed, we must let others know what we have to offer. But how can we do this effectively without looking like we are “marketing ourselves?” One of the best ways to organically advertise your ministry is to establish both a speaking and writing platform. This allows your voice to be heard, your face to be recognized, your message to be magnified, and creates a “breadcrumb trail” to your door. This workshop will help you (1) Craft a strong speaking bio that will leave a lasting impression, (2) Identify the most common psychological road blocks hindering the marketing success of any minister, counselor, coach, writer, or speaker, as well as strategies for overcoming these road blocks, and (3) Explore unique marketing strategies familiar only to the most experienced professionals.
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The Essentials of Sharing the Gospel in Writing, Teaching, & Speaking
The message of the gospel is the most profound truth in human history and the central focal point of Christian communications. In this workshop, participants will learn the essential components of the gospel, how to connect the gospel to their message, and methods of sharing the gospel in their writing, teaching, and speaking.
With over 1 Billion monthly active users, Instagram is the platform where writers should have a presence. The trick is to create content that your readers and audience will eagerly consume.
Topics include “Content Six,” how to use hashtag “top nines” to purposefully engage, color schemes and filters, how to microblog, how to use IGTV, Stories, Highlights, and the new Reels feature, connect with influencers, and more.
Please note: This workshop will be best suited for writers who have a basic understanding of the Instagram platform. If you a) have an account, b) know how to post a picture, then great!
Readers and audience members crave a communicator who is authentic and relatable, one who makes them feel understood and at ease. Learn the art of relatability, authenticity, and how to connect with your audience. In this session, counselor and authentic communicator Brenda L. Yoder helps you connect with your audience no matter the topic or setting.
Iron sharpens iron, and one (wo)man sharpens another (Pro. 27:17). Our society is riddled with the perspective of “my way is the only way.” But like my grandma says there is more than one way to skin a cat. How do we learn those ways? Mentoring. There’s power in mentoring others. Scripture has a great deal to say about mentoring. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” We are to help each generation prepare for life, skills, and gain knowledge in all kinds of areas. However, many of us don’t know how to mentor another person. We shy away because fear of messing up has paralyzed us. Join me as we look at scripture together and go over practical skills on how to be a mentor or what to look for in a mentor.
Every believer has a God-given purpose, but do you know what His purpose is for you? In this workshop, we will walk through how to find your God-given purpose and develop your personal mission statement by addressing these five areas:
- The importance of knowing your purpose (mission)
- The Scriptural basis for a believer’s purpose
- What purpose (mission) is not
- What purpose (mission) is
- The steps to finding your purpose
Once you know your purpose, you will know where to invest your time and energy. Participants will leave this workshop with the beginning stages of a personal mission statement and five steps to guide them in discovering God’s purpose for them.
Too often the latest books and leadership trends send the signal: “You aren’t enough. You need to work harder, be smarter… be more!” The truth is you aren’t “enough.” But what if that isn’t what God is asking of you as a leader? What if you get to use that gift of leadership He’s given you, working with the power He works powerfully within you to serve Him and others… and “enough” doesn’t even figure into it? Join us for an encouraging time as we let the New Testament paint its portrait of a Christian leader. We’ll come upon surprises, including what it really means to be meek and kind as a leader. Along the way, we’ll get a renewed sense of God’s liberating and empowering calling for those who lead.
If God has called you to write or speak, your call is irrevocable. No matter what obstacles, change, or extreme circumstances you face, God still has a purpose and plan for you and may be asking you to unleash your creativity and REIMAGINE your possibilities or your perspective to be used by Him. In this workshop, you will be encouraged to embrace who you are and explore new possibilities for your speaking or writing or perhaps see different with a new perspective. Leave affirmed in your calling and equipped with practical ideas to take the next step.
Have you struggled to have a consistent prayer life? Do you wind up with a guilty conscience and a burdened feeling to pray, yet unsure of how to keep your mind focused long enough to fulfill the promises? Do you have good intentions, but time and focus get in the way? Prayer Mapping will empower you to:
Prayer Mapping will empower you to:
- Enjoy prayer time
- Utilize a flexible tool to pray for 5 or more than 55 minutes
- Have a consistent prayer life
- Create a record of prayers (time frames, answers)
- Be free to follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting
- Discover a creative approach to prayer that fits your lifestyle and personality
Have you started your podcast, but don’t know what’s next, or you just really want to start with the sound, look and feel of a professional, join Lee Nienhuis for the Advanced Class. Lee has been the host of three successful podcasts and helped begin podcast for ministries around the world. In this workshop, we will discuss podcast sponsorship, planning, securing, and conducting great interviews, taming the scheduling clutter, podcast networks, and other waves of the future.
So, you have written your book – now what? Or you have an amazing testimony,
how do you let the world know about it?
Find out how to pitch your story to TV shows, and once they say yes, learn how to prepare yourself for that live interview, from what you say to what you wear! Maggie John has spent the last 18 years in the world of TV. She has been an Anchor; Host; Senior Executive Producer, Chase Producer; Reporter, and Documentary Producer over the years. Maggie was one a host of 100 Huntley Street- A Canadian Christian daily program—the longest-running daily show in Canada. She now anchors a multi-faith current affairs show called ‘Context Beyond the Headlines.’ Find out from her what the do’s and don’ts are in TV and how you can ensure you get your message across.
Using Facebook Lives is a great way to give your audience valuable content while building a sustainable platform for your ministry. But it can be scary to go live!
In this workshop, you’ll learn to:
- Catch and hold your viewers’ attention
- Beat the Facebook algorithm for more views.
- Get tons of shares and replays.
- Handle Q&A’s with confidence and panache.
- Build your email list.
Authors and speakers understand they need to build their platform as a way to connect to readers, sell books, and get more speaking invites but they do not know where to begin.
In this session, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith shares how to use the power of broadcast media opportunities (podcast, radio, TV, and guest post articles) to grow your email list and share the message God has placed on your heart with a larger audience.
You will learn:
- The best ways to pitch the media and how to easily connect with show producers
- How to use media opportunities to grow your email list and build a relationship with new readers
- Keys to getting more speaking engagements from your media appearances
There’s never been a time where it’s easier to get a message out into the world. And there’s never been a time where it’s easier to slip into the measure-up trap of comparison, as you do so. As a Christian influencer, here are five ways to guard against the measure-up fear and get-ahead pride which is sure to distract you from God’s work or lead you into bondage.
- Be humble
- Be vulnerable
- Recognize the enemy vs. Jesus’s voice
- Know your specific, unique calling
- Celebrate others’ unique callings
Replacing fear and embracing faith
We all struggle with doubt, especially when God calls us to do something that requires us to step outside of our comfort zones. Using the story of Moses, we will explore common mindsets that prevent people from stepping up to lead and practical ways to move past them.
This breakout session will guide you in:
- Identifying and examining harmful mindsets
- Developing strategies to overcome doubt and live courageously
- Understanding God’s plan for your life
A vivid imagination is a powerful tool when crafting stories and illustrations. However, that same imagination turned internally can become a roadblock that holds us back when we magnify our doubts and focus on what we don’t have, or don’t know. Learn effective tips for combating internal chatter enabling you to grow as a writer and speaker and increase your impact.
As we serve the Lord and others it can be a true challenge to do those very things that will enable us to take care of ourselves. And yet, without the freedom, tools and intentionality to do so, we can hinder our stamina and wellbeing, preventing us from being as effective as we would like to be in all we are called to. All that we are and all that we have belong to the one who created us and we have a responsibility to steward our time, talent and resources well.
In this workshop Tanya will teach on four foundational aspects of self-care, equipping attendees to walk away with tangible tools to facilitate the strong and healthy mindset that is necessary to continue to serve Jesus and others whole-heartedly!
You’ve worked hard to create your product.
Whether a book, planner, journal or video series, you poured your all into it. But though you built it, they haven’t come. How do you market a product like the pros when your team consists of “me, myself and I?”
In this session, you will:
- Comprehend the importance of becoming a strategic marketer for your products
- Know how to choose the best connection tools for your customers
- Understand the difference between “pushy” and “presenter”
- Learn how to write sales copy that drives sales
- Overcome the fear of sending too many emails