Jan Johnson
Jan Johnson

Retreats & Conferences

Writer’s Conference Presentations

To justify the time and effort of teaching at a writer’s conference, I come only if I can do the keynote messages or a continuing class on magazine writing. I’m pleased to do several elective workshops as well.

Keynote Messages: I’ve done this in one talk or three – three is better! They focus on finding purpose in life.

Session 1: Writing on Purpose

Just getting busy writing will not be enough. We need to look not at what brings success but at what has broken our heart that breaks God’s heart so that we can write with the passion, honesty, energy and courage of Christ.

Session 2: How To Find Purpose in Life

A theme runs like a red thread through our lives. I offer steps to finding purpose and where to begin.

Session 3: Partnering For Purpose

While writing is a solitary activity, we need partners who can help us hear God and hear ourselves. We need fictional partners -–reading the classics of literature and of the faith. If we have a family, we can pull them in without turning them off to this passion God has put within us.

Continuing class on magazine writing: The Sure-Sell Magazine Article

We'll move step by step through the process of article writing: sharpening ideas into angles and identifying the right article type; analyzing markets and writing an irresistible query letter; researching and structuring the article; writing a first draft and then polishing it to produce your best work.

Elective Workshops:

Spiritual Disciplines For The Writer

Writing requires a rich inner life cultivated by spiritual disciplines. Meditation sanctifies the writer’s imagination; solitude teaches a writer to hear God; practicing God’s presence sprinkles tranquility throughout a writer’s parched day; service helps a writer bond with others and remain authentic in a celebrity world.

Shorter Version Of Above Blurb:

We'll move step by step through the process of article writing: sharpening ideas into angles and identifying the right article type; analyzing markets and writing an irresistible query letter; researching and structuring the article; writing a first draft and then polishing it to produce your best work.

How To Read An Editor's Mind

Each magazine has its own personality and wants only certain kinds of articles told in a certain way. By analyzing certain aspects of the magazine and its articles, writers can hit the target. I'll show the class how to color-code articles according to anecdotes, quotes, facts and humor.

Breaking Into Secular Magazines

Having a mind that's interested in what's around you is enough to give you ideas for trade magazines and national magazines. I'll explain how every query letter to a New York magazine is one more way of saying, 'Hello,' and earning your stripes with the editor.

Writing Curriculum & Bible Study Guides

In these markets, publishers buy your work in multiples and teachers use it to figure out how to help others grow in Christ. We'll talk about the technical terms and necessary skills involved in making the Bible come alive for folks and how to get an assignment.

Research -- Within And Without

How do you find "experts" and how do you get the nerve to call them and interview them? I'll also talk about interviewing friends and even your own children. Research within includes journaling allows us to insert a deeper perspective to each piece.

How To Write Irresistible Query Letters

The first step in querying is to sharpen the idea into a fresh, narrowly focused angle. We'll actually do this in class because it's such an overlooked, but frequent mistake many writers make. Then we'll discuss the tone and elements of compelling a query letter that hooks the editor, outlines the article in an appealing way and presents the writer in the best light.

How To Win At The Book Proposal Game

Writing a book proposal helps the author shape the content and tone and aim their book where no other book has hit. I look not only at the usual components of a book proposal, but also how to submit to several publishers at one time.

Painting Clear Pictures With Words (beginners)

The basic rules of clear, picturesque writing are simple: show, don't tell; use picture nouns and action verbs; vary sentence length and structure; put the word you want to emphasize at the beginning or end of your sentence; use the active voice; cut needless, words, sentences and paragraphs.

Recycling Your Work/How To Sell The Same Manuscript Over And Over

Selling reprints of articles expands your ministry and your income and . . . it's fun to see an article you're passionate about appear over and over! But what makes an article an "evergreen" that can be sold many times? How do you set up systems that help you deal with many magazines as if they were your only markets?

 

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