Getting Ready for the 2010 Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference

Montrose Bible Conference - Torrey House A quick post to let you know that I will be presenting at the Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference from July 25-30, 2010. The conference is held at the Montrose Bible Conference in beautiful Montrose, Pennsylvania, about a half hour from Binghamton, NY. The tuition is a very reasonable $165 for the week (sans meals).

I’ll be teaching a “major morning class” on blogging—90 minutes for four days, Monday-Thursday. We’ll cover the following:

Day 1: Blogging 101 – Introduction to Blogs & Blogging
A brief overview and history of blogging and its roots. A look at the variety of blogs published today, from personal blogs to professional blogs (similar to online magazines) to corporate blogs, and the numerous opportunities that await writers in the electronic medium. A look at microblogging (Twitter, Facebook and others). And a very practical step-by-step method for how to track and read blogs, and how to interact with other authors and with readers (via blog comments). Day one provides a foundation for understanding the broad range of blogs and will answer the question, “Just what is a blog anyway?” And more importantly, “Why blogs are definitely in your future if you’re a writer.”

Day 2: Blogging 201 – Attracting a Publisher via Your Blog
This day is devoted to establishing a blog that showcases your talent to capture the interest and offer from a publisher to take your writing into print. Some people today refer to this as establishing a personal brand, and some call it creating an author platform from which to showcase your writing. It’s similar to an online portfolio. Your blog IS your website, and we’ll show you the steps to set up your very first blog (if you haven’t done so already). And we’ll give you suggestions for what to blog about, how often to blog, how long each post should be, and loads of other practical tips for how to write blog posts.

Day 3: Blogging 301 – Freelance Blogging
Did you know there are networks of blogs similar to magazine publishers with multiple titles–and they will pay you for freelance submissions? Freelancing for blogs is similar to freelancing for magazines–only there’s a far better chance you will get published. There is also a developing market and need for corporate blogging. PR departments often do not have the time nor talent to devote to blogging. This day will explore the blogging marketplace, where to find opportunities, how to make submissions, how much the markets pay and more.

Day 4: Blogging 401 – Professional Blogging
In the final segment, we’ll discuss the great opportunities that await if you want to blog professionally. What is a problogger? How do you make money from blogging on your own? What markets should you consider? What technology should you use? Yes, there are people making a comfortable living from blogging! Come and find out how.

In addition, I’ll be teaching two afternoon workshop classes (45 minutes):

Ebook Explosion
There is no doubt that 2010 is the year ebooks are going mainstream. More than 3 million Amazon Kindle ebook readers have been sold since 2007. Sony, Barnes & Noble and a dozen other manufacturers have or are introducing ebook readers in 2010. And the 800-pound gorilla, Apple, introduced the iPad in April, with sales already exceeding 3 million (it took Amazon’s Kindle  three years to reach that number!). Macmillan and other publishers are playing hardball with Amazon over ebook “agency” pricing. Google has digitized some seven million books! Today, authors can elect to go direct to e-print with Amazon and earn a 70% royalty. The entire industry is undergoing tremendous change. This session will explore the latest developments and give writers some ideas about how to think about, negotiate, and deal with electronic publishing.

Online Tools for Writers
From outliners to word processors to email to calendars to note taking and everything in between, writers have a smorgasbord of free and low cost online tools at their fingertips. Google and other software manufacturers have made “cloud computing”—software delivered via the web browser—a reality. This session will explore and recommend some “best of” tools that writers will find handy to have in their virtual toolbox. It’s time to start living in the cloud.

I’d love to see you in Montrose!

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2 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the 2010 Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference

  1. Shirley Leonard

    Jim is a patient, very thourough teacher and makes it easy enough for a clueless one like me,but inserts enough depth to keep the others interested. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the week will bring.

  2. James Allen Willis Post author

    Thanks Shirley! It was a pleasure meeting you and having you in my class. All the best!

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