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Continuing Education Sessions

As part of your conference registration options, you will be given the choice of one Continuing Education Session track to follow throughout the conference agenda.

As you review the options, you will see that each class is marked with a Level. The Levels are a tool to help you determine which classes will be most beneficial FOR YOU. These same Levels are also used to help you select Workshop Electives. You can find Course Level Definitions by clicking HERE, or you may also use the link provided in the navigation menu to the right.

After reading the Level Definitions, note the workshops and sessions you most want to attend and have it handy when you complete your registration. All classes are open to anyone; the Levels are merely to help you determine the type of instruction to expect.

IMPORTANT NOTE You are encouraged to study the sessions carefully before registering. In an effort to be as environmentally responsible as possible, handouts for sessions will not be available onsite. You’ll receive handouts for your sessions via email the week prior to conference. If you purchase the complete syllabus, that electronic syllabus will be included in your registration packet.

CE Session -  CE 1: The Two Creative Realms

    Title: The Two Creative Realms
    Level: ALL
    Presented by: Allen Arnold

    So many writers feel overwhelmed, burnt-out, disheartened, and alone in their creative journey. This is your invitation to discover your “truer” calling and enter into an entirely new creative realm defined by freedom and intimate fellowship with the Creator. This foundational experience fuses the practical with the mysterious in a way that will change how you approach the stories you write AND the Story you are living. The class includes a live interview with Ted Dekker as well as a notebook personalized for each attendee. Don’t miss it!

    Workshop Outline

    This C.E. is far more than a class…it’s an interactive experience. It’s been said to experience fantastical things, you must go to fantastical places. Allen Arnold helps writers enhance their storytelling skills by inviting them into a fantastical story that fuses the eternal with the practical. And like all good stories, it begins with Chapter One.

    Chapter One: Discovering the Realm You Create Within
    Most writers are trapped in the Orphan Realm…a place of scarcity and isolation where everyone is overwhelmed. But there is a realm of Freedom available. We start the journey with Four Living Parables…and an Adventure Journal personalized for each attendee.

    Chapter Two: Escaping the Desert
    To escape the Orphan Realm, one has to make it through the Creative Desert that is custom made by the enemy to keep each writer trapped, dry, and weary. Understand the scars of your story in a new way…as you discover the way out!

    Chapter Three: Learning How to Create with the Creator
    In the Freedom Realm, writers can actively and intimately create with the God. This isn’t just a new way to approach your talent…it’s the very reason you have been given this unique gift.

    Chapter Four: The Bohemian Fellowship
    For this mission, you need a small group of others to see you through. Discover what it means to be a Bohemian Writer…and what happens when you share and pursue your dreams and ideas with other Rare Ones.

    Chapter Five: The Rooftop Experience
    Our journey culminates not with a test…but with a celebration. Enter into a rooftop gathering where we will feast on stories and spiritual manna and wild creativity. Discover how to consecrate your creativity. The end of our story is the start to a whole new way of living and creating!

    Information Video:

CE Session -  CE 2: Write Like a Pro…for Beginners

    Title: Write Like a Pro…for Beginners
    Level: Freshman
    Presented by: Cara Putman and Deborah Raney

    Two veteran, award-winning authors share tricks of the craft learned over a combined three decades of writing for the CBA market and beyond. Deborah Raney and Cara Putman teach new writers foundational basics of writing that take a writer’s craft from beginner level to writing that is professional, confident, and compelling. These tips will help take your manuscript from the slush pile to the let’s-talk pile.Topics include: characterization, plot, point-of-view, theme and much more. Writers will leave with the tools to write like a pro.

    Workshop Outline

    Information Video:

CE Session -  CE 3: How To Think Like Your Editor

    Title: How to Think Like Your Editor
    Level: Sophomore
    Presented by: Erin Healy

    Does your manuscript suffer from one of these 10 common early-draft weaknesses?

    1. Characters who don’t win over your readers
    2. Improperly motivated characters
    3. Clichéd phrases and events
    4. “Suspense” (no matter your genre) that relies on withholding information rather than on true anxiety
    5. Bloated passages that don’t advance the plot
    6. Poorly conjured or cluttered scenes
    7. Badly timed revelations
    8. Ineffective points of view
    9. Purple prose
    10.On-the-nose dialog

    More importantly, if you don’t know whether your manuscript has any of these problems, how can you tell? Becoming a great self-editor is all about learning how to see your own work with new eyes, from new angles and perspectives. In this hands-on Continuing Education session, Erin will offer you a new set of “glasses” to wear—a self-editing process that will improve your self-awareness and change the way you look at your stories for the better. You’ll leave with more than a dozen practical steps you can take after your first draft is finished to improve the impact of your storytelling and the quality of your writing, whether you’re a veteran novelist or a novice.

    Workshop Outline

    Information Video:

CE Session -  CE 4: Seven Steps to Successful Self Publishing

    Title: Seven Steps to Successful Self Publishing
    Level: Junior
    Presented by: Hallee Bridgeman

    Best selling indie author Hallee Bridgeman will go over the seven steps to successful self publishing, and then show you tips and tricks for the current market.

    Workshop Outline

    A comprehensive overview of the self publishing process.

    Information Video:

CE Session -  CE 5: Using The Power of Innovation to Revolutionize Your Career

    Title: Using The Power of Innovation to Revolutionize Your Career
    Level: Senior
    Presented by: James Rubart

    After you’ve published and marketed four, five, six novels or more, the creativity and innovation you used to get this far can fade. You understand? You know the bottom of the barrel far too well? Yet without ongoing innovation—in our novels, marketing, social media, in our interactions with our agents, with editors and readers, our careers will not only stall, but fade to black. 

    In this continuing education track, veteran marketing pro (and best selling, Christy Award winning author) James L. Rubart will teach you techniques to inject fresh creativity into your fiction, yes, but more importantly, show you how the power of innovation can accelerate and revitalize every aspect of your career.

    Workshop Outline

    Phase I

    • What is creativity?
    • Where do ideas come from?
    • Innovation
    • Why be more creative?
    o Small group breakout/exercise

    Phase II

    • Visual exercise # 1
    • Visual exercise # 2
    • Visual exercise # 3
    • Brain Shift
    • What do you see?
    • We must be crazy
    o Small group breakout/exercise

    Phase III

    • The Split Brain _______
    • Right On! (Write On!)
    • Creative Blocks & Locks
    o Creative Blocks
    o 7 Steps to Stagnation
    o 10 Stinking Thinking Creative Locks
    • What is creativity (revisited)
    o Group Breakout/Exercise

    Phase IV
    • The Creative Pathway- Seven Steps to Creativity in Every Moment
    • Patch Adams gives us the secret
    • Group Breakout
    • Final thoughts

    Information Video:

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You must be at least 18 years old to attend conference without a parent/guardian present with you at all times.

Participation of an individual presenter, agent, editor, or publisher in the ACFW conference does not constitute endorsement by ACFW. Conference attendees are advised to use due diligence and take personal responsibility when choosing industry professionals with whom to schedule appointments or enter into agreement.