Maranatha Conference 2017
In the Professional Writing major, we focus on helping our students not only learn to write well, but also to know what to do with that writing—how to get published. That includes several other steps including writing proposals, perfecting elevator pitches, prepping first pages, creating a social media platform, and learning how to work with an editor. One key component of this is for all of our students to have the opportunity to attend a writers’ conference at some point during their time here at Taylor. Once they leave this enclave where they are surrounded by likeminded writers, they need to understand that attending writers conferences can be a good way to continue learning and feeling encouraged by being around other writers.
On September 28-30, 2017, Dr. Hensley and Prof. Linda Taylor took 10 PWR students to the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference in Muskegon, Michigan. The students could choose from various types of training sessions led by industry professionals, networked, and had the opportunity to meet one on one with author mentors, agents, editors, and social media experts.
Attendees included (from left to right in photo): Sam Guinsatao, Tim Pietz, Tucker White, Maggie Frye, Dr. Hensley, Hope Bolinger, Rachel Pfeiffer, Olivia Lauritzen, Katie Hiegel, Caleb Amick, Abbie Kessler, Prof. Taylor.
PWR Retreat Student, Alumni and Faculty Lectures
PWR Retreat to Feature Six Workshop Speakers
PWR students are gearing up for the first departmental retreat in (recent) department history. It’s our own version of The Hunger Games, but using the name of Professional Writing program director Dr. Dennis Hensley! We will have challenges and feats of excellence–but everyone will still be alive at the end of the day.
The daytime schedule will feature workshops taught by Linda Taylor, Chandler Birch, Chelsea Molin, Helen Wilbers, Kyle Carruthers and Amy Green. Workshop topics will include 1) RPG exercises in characterization, 2) overcoming fear/finding your voice as a writer, and 3) a discourse on effective techniques for breaking the fourth wall.
Los Angeles Film Studies School
This fall, PWR student Jeremy Paul travelled to LA to study script writing for part of his coursework at Taylor. Next year, the PWR program will send student Caitlin Vukorpa to the school.
Jerry B. Jenkins
Bestselling author Jerry Jenkins visited campus to teach a workshop. He is pictured here with recipients of the Taylor writing scholarship that he, personally, finances.
our students at writer’s conferences
Writing for the Soul Conference (Colorado Springs)
Four Taylor students received a full-ride scholarship to attend.
Write-to-Publish (Chicago area)
Many PWR students receive scholarships to attend WTP. Others work in registration and marketing in exchange for free attendance.
Indy Writer’s Conference (Indianapolis)
Author Solutions of Indianapolis graciously sponsored our entire group.
Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs)
Alex Mellen, Amy Green, Drew Neuenschwander and Shannon Potellicki have all served in Focus on the Family’s Audio Drama and Book Divisions. This summer, senior Lexie Owen will join the program.
guests instructors on campus
Writing, Technology & You
Drew Neuenschwander (’13) recently taught his annual Tec Lec or “technology lecture” to the freshman classes. This year marked his 15th guest lecture appearance for PWR.
Edward MacDougal, Hollywood filmmaker visited campus to teach a seminar on screenwriting. McDougal also hosted a showing of his award-winning Civil War film, Dog Jack.
Christy Award-winning novelist Steven James taught a suspense writing seminar. Here his students demonstrate their newly acquired skills in the art of villainy.