This year’s InScribe Fall Conference provided a heaping helping of valuable tips on writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. There were interesting and informative speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters. The workshops supplied lots of practical advice. Writing contests gave entrants chances to win cash prizes and have their pieces published in the FellowScript Fall Supplement. They also had the option to receive an in-person critique from experienced writers and publishers in the Blue Pencil session. There were plenty of occasions to network with other participants. We prayed, worshipped, and celebrated our writing achievements. Sally Meadows expertly lead us in song as we worshipped over the course of the conference. Best of all, it provided a place to feel right at home discussing our passion for Christian writing. Participants offered each other huge servings of support, understanding, encouragement, and advice.
This year’s Fall Conference also served up a fascinating Keynote speaker. Linda Hall is a freelance writer and author of several novels in various genres. In her keynote speech on Friday, she shared several anecdotes about the many ups and downs she’s encountered throughout her journalism, writing, and publishing career. She offered several “Sage Bits of Wisdom,” including “life is unpredictable; go with the flow” and “find joy in what you do.” Her topic for her keynote address on Saturday was “Writing with Authenticity.” She suggested examining your beliefs, values, and goals; what you enjoy reading; and what makes you smile and brings you joy in order to be true to yourself as a person. Her “Sage Bit of Wisdom #10" was – “Just do it!” Do what your heart’s telling you to do.
In her workshop on “Switching Genres and Building Your Audience,” Linda offered advice on switching things up by substituting various ingredients. She suggested that writing under a different pen name for each genre might be a good idea. She noted that it’s hard to find one publisher to handle all of your genres, so she advised considering self-publishing. This is something she does herself.
Together with her husband, Rik Hall, Linda conducted a workshop on “Everything You Wanted to Know about Indie Publishing.” If you like to experiment with alternative recipes, it offered another route to fame and fortune. Rik also presented his own workshop on “Formatting for E-books and Print.” He discussed the pros and cons of various ebook publishing and distribution services, such as Kindle KDP, CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Kobo. He talked about how to properly pre-format your book in MS Word before uploading it to these self-publishing platforms. He also emphasized the importance of accurately following their step-by-step instructions for formatting if you want your creation to turn out just right.
Ellen Hooge presented an enticing workshop, “Judging a Book by Its Cover.” She presented several ideas for cooking up your own unique “Book Cover Design.” She talked about current trends in book covers, such as the colour black and hand-drawn fonts. She discussed the various elements involved in book cover design, including the psychology of colour, the draw of images, and the language of fonts. In addition to her PowerPoint presentation, she provided an alluring full-colour handout containing thumbnail pictures of a number of book covers to illustrate her points.
Nina Faye Morey is a Saskatoon writer, poet, artist, and editor. Her work has been published in Christian, secular, and literary journals. She won two FellowScript Writing Contests, third place in the Fiction and Nonfiction Categories of InScribe’s Fall Contest, and the Barnabas Fellowship in 2015. She also contributed to the 2015 ICWF anthology, 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers. Nina’s an ICWF Executive member and editor-in-chief for FellowScript. As well, she’s a member of the 'Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild' and 'Saskatoon’s Innovative Toastmasters Club'.