Monday, March 28, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Kathy Carlton Willis, Writer to Speaker Elective Course & Banquet Presenter

How important are speaking skills for a writer?

Speaking is one of the top platforms for writers. Not only for back-of-the-room book sales, but also to build name awareness. Speaking allows you to test out your ideas before you write them into articles and books—you get instant feedback. Writing is such a lonely profession—speaking puts faces on your readers.

Please give us an overview of your four-part elective class, “Writer as Speaker.”

The course Writer as Speaker is derived from my book, Speaker to Speaker: The Essential Speaker’s Companion. I’ve divided the book into 4 classes. I especially recommend it for those who want to turn their occasional speaking ministry into a strategic business plan with a stronger ministry presence. The four classes include:

Working Up Your Program.

You’ll evaluate your speaking craft and work up better programs to offer event planners. We’ll discuss different presentation techniques. And you’ll learn what event planners want and brainstorm ways to create a turnkey event.

Customizing Your Niche.

During this session, I will highlight eight types of public speakers and give you tips for becoming a specialty speaker. We’ll identify ways to stand out when event planners consider their options from the sea of speakers available today.

Dealing with Speaking Challenges.

Every public speaker deals with challenges from within, and from without. I’ll touch on some speaking fears and share war stories, so we can learn ways to overcome the sticking points of this profession. I’ll reveal the Top 9 “oops” moments speakers face.

Setting Up Your Business.

Whether you’re just now setting up your speaking business or if it’s time to revamp your existing one, this session will help you order your work as a professional. We’ll cover working from home, creating a speaker contract, setting speaking fees, requesting endorsements, getting the word out, and putting together your resource table.

What about writers who consider themselves introverts? Is there a place for them in the speaking world?

My best tip for introverted writers is to make sure you’re speaking on your heartbeat topics—when audiences sense your passion they are more willing to overlook any speaking blunders. You’ll appear more confident than you really are when you’re sharing your favorite subjects.

Can you give us a sneak peak of your talk for the Saturday evening banquet?

One reason so many people feel stuck today is because they suffer from The Terrible Toos Syndrome. If you’ve ever said you’re too [fill-in-the-blank] to pursue that dream God has placed in your heart, then you possess The Terrible Toos malady. You’re afraid you might set yourself up for failure or disappointment. You leave the training wheels on your life bike rather than risk the excitement of pursuing your dreams. This keynote will encourage you to embrace a new understanding of what God’s presence in your life can do to embolden the dreams God wants you to dream.

Anything else you would like to add?

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Write to Publish. I’m eager to serve alongside the rest of the faculty and always enjoy having one-on-one time with writers. My goal is to fan the flame of God’s dream inside of you as a writer and speaker.

Read more about Kathy at

Write-to-Publish meets June 8 – 11 
in the Chicago Area

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Bob Hostetler, "Writing Nonfiction" Continuing Class

In a nutshell, give us a brief description of your continuing class and is there anything that makes it unique?

We will be squeezing a lot into these sessions, running the gamut (or gauntlet) of writing and publishing nonfiction—both short form (articles and other forms) and long form (books). We will tackle varieties of articles, hooks, sidebars, queries/one-sheets, manuscript format, etc., all the way to book proposals and the book-writing and contracting process. 

What will be the biggest takeaway from your class?

Conferees will walk out of these sessions with a fresh perspective and a path to publication. 

Is there anything a writer can do to prepare themselves for this class?

Bake cookies for the presenter. Chocolate chip. 

Anything you would like to add?

Yes. Donuts are also acceptable. 

Learn more about Bob at his website.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8-11 
in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: Cynthia Ruchti, Fiction Writing Continuing Class

Give us the reason for the title of your class,"Writing Fiction That Gets an F" and a little bit about what you will discuss.

Fiction can either draw an F for faded, floundering, flailing, flubbing, flat, formulaic, flaccid OR it can earn an F for fast-paced, fascinating, fresh, and fabulous. This class pays attention to strategies that help create Fabulous Fiction, with a capital F. In addition to subjects like foundations, fundamentals, focus, finding your voice, finales, and faith, we'll work on fine-tuning story world, finding the best starting point, fixing the pacing, forming an emotionally riveting tale, and in other ways tailor the sessions to fortify your fiction.

What will be the greatest takeaway from your class?

Good isn't good enough to capture the interest of editors, agents, readers, or reviewers when more writers than ever before are competing for their attention. Sometimes all a manuscript needs to take if from good to great is fine-tuning, focusing on details other novelists might bypass. Attendees will walk away with a fresh look at their manuscripts and practical "finds" to move their projects closer to the coveted F for Fabulous.

Is there anything a writer can do to prepare for your class?

Writers serious about not settling for good on their way to great can prepare by making a careful analysis ahead of time. What are the manuscript's strengths and weaknesses? What is holding them back from moving forward? What do they know needs work? And are they willing to do whatever it takes to make their novel stronger? 

Anything else you would like to add?

I'm looking forward to what we'll learn together as we apply proven techniques for writing fiction that gets noticed.

Learn more about Cynthia at her website.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8 - 11
in the Chicago area.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Write-to-Publish Faculty Interview: James Watkins, Website Class and Publishing Rep

Tell us a about your continuing class at Write-to-Publish, “Creating a WordPress Website to Promote Your Message.” Sounds like a hands-on class.

Indeed! Students will build their very own WordPress Website while in class. Having a Web presence is absolutely essential in today's publishing world. When a book proposal goes before a publications board, the first thing the editing and marketing people do is google the author's name. If that person doesn't pop up, the author doesn't exist and they move on to the next proposal. So, every writer needs a blog/Website, Best of all, you will have a potential audience of over two billion Internet users!

Can you say something to encourage those who would like to attend your class but are fearful?

I've used several Web editing programs, and WordPress is by far the easiest to use. I've taught this class at colleges and conferences, and not one person has left in tears--just a great site! I will guide students step by step, click by click in making a memorable website. I'll also teach good design principles and how online writing differs from "in print" writing. But wait, there's more: sites for free, royalty-free photos. The only thing worse than no site is an ugly, boring site! Before coming to class, be sure to sign up at (not .org) and bring your lap, username and password to class

Anything else you would like to add?

The actual usage of WordPress is for beginners, but the instruction on good design,writing online, and how to promote your site will be helpful for those at any level. Online writing is very different from the traditional in print publications, although the "online" style is found more and more in print. So there's something for everyone!

You are representing Wesleyan Publishing House (WPH), ACW Press and Light from the Word (LFTW). Can you give us a little info about each one and what you would like to see and hear from those who meet with you?

I'm an acquisitions editor for WPH, a royalty publisher. I'm looking for nonfiction book proposals that help Christians become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. (Books are around 40,000 words in length.) I'm not looking for children, fiction, memoir, poetry or End Time books.  

I also represent Light from the Worda daily devotional magazine. If I see some very good writing the illustrates a biblical truth with powerful anecdotes rather than teaching (and preaching), I will pass it on to the editor who may assign you seven scriptures to illustrate. 

For WPH and LFTWvisit for complete writers' guidelines.

And I'm an editor with ACW Press, an independent publisher. We provide the highest quality editing and design for the lowest possible price with all packages including a complete edit, custom cover and interior design and ISBN. We've published everything from highly technical nonfiction to novels to collections of poetry. If you're a speaker, it essential that you have a book to send home with your audience members!

So, I can get you into print--one way or 

I've been in this crazy publishing business for 40 years, so I'm also available if you just need some advice, critique or direction. Despite being an editor, I'm actually quite harmless!

Learn more about Jim at his website.

Write-to-Publish meets June 8-11 in the Chicago area. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Write-to-Publish Conference Faculty Interviews

If you have come to this blog looking for interviews with the faculty of the Write-to-Publish Conference, please be patient, as they are in the works!

This year Write to Publish will meet June 8-11 in the Chicago area. For further info about the conference please go to

The link to each interview will be posted on the conference Facebook page. Please like us and keep up with each interview.

Hope to see many of you in June!