Mountain Valley Writers Re-Conference 2018

2017 Mountain Valley Writers Conference was a Hit

The first conference was a blend of conference and re-treat that provided attendees, vendors, and faculty the opportunity to connect, engage, and share. We set out to create a unique writing conference and we succeeded in spades!

Praises for Mountain Valley Writers

“The connections were the best part.”

We bring in enough faculty to insure that there will be one expert for (at the most) every four attendees.

“All presenters were willing to take the time to talk with you individually.”

We planned the 2017 conference with the goal of creating foundational connections. The engagement turned into such a positive part of the event that we are expanding that focus in 2018 with Mentor Meetings – a chance to schedule one-on-one time with faculty.

| Our Vision for 2018 |



More sessions, more surprises, and way more words!

The Mountain Valley Writers Re-Conference will be held March 23rd and 24th (Friday and Saturday) in combination with Word War 2018. By moving the conference to a Friday we make room for highlighting authors and writers – not only to each other but to the community as well. Never fear, we will have some learning and teaching times available on Saturday as well.

What you can expect from the re-conference:

7 amazing workshops and sessions
3 focus tracks
2 table talk discussions
1 no-holds-bar after event

But there’s more!

After the inaugural Mountain Valley Writers conference, we listened to the attendees. You requested time to showcase authors and time to share your words. We listened.

Introducing WORD WAR 2018

This will be a community-wide event featuring panel discussions, author readings, contest winners, word war competitions, and an after party!

Vendor tables
Author tables
Presentations/readings

Contests:

  • Print article
  • Guest posts
  • Blog website
  • Ebooks (up to 15,000 words)
  • Books (over 60,000 words)
  • Books (under 60,000 words)
  • Novels (over 60,000 words)
  • Novels (under 60,000 words)
  • Children’s book
  • Poetry (under 1000 words)
  • Tall tale stories (elementary/middle school)
  • Poetry (themed) for location
  • SELTI – places (focused on celebrating with the BiCentennial)

Activities:

  • Readings (must be under 5 minutes and family friendly)
  • Word wars (four contestants, four words, four minutes to create)
  • Q & A with speakers/panels

What do you think?

What are your thoughts about the 2018 Re-Conference and Word War 2018 line-up?
What are we missing?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Check back for more details and to be alerted for when tickets go on sale.

Speaker Spotlight for #MVWC 2017 – Cheryl Wray has the Query Secrets

Do queries put you in a quandary? Cheryl Wray has the tools to set things right.

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will feature speakers and presentations that will help provide the tools to writers that are working in the industry or those writers that are seeking to build their own platform for writing success.

Speaker Highlight

Cheryl Wray

Cheryl Wray is a reporter wit Al.com, a freelance magazine writer, and an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Alabama. She’s had more than 2000 articles published in a variety of magazines through the years, and is the author of two books on the article publishing process. Her book, Writing for Magazines (McGraw-Hill), was a featured selection of the Writers Digest Book Club and her most recent writing guide, Writing Feature Articles (Vision Press) is used in college courses across the country. She is currently working on a book on Type-1 diabetes featuring profIles of celebrities and everyday heroes. She’s also the co-founder of the popular Southern Christian Writers Conference.

Cheryl joins the Mountain Valley Writers Conference to share the secrets for crafting a query letter that grabs the attention of the editor and lands you the gig!

Craft a Query Letter that Sells

Expect to walk away with a query or query outline

    – how to do the research
    – finding the markets
    – submitting the letter/proposal

More about the Speaker

Favorite book: I’m an avid reader and could list probably 50 for you, but the one I come back to over and over is To Kill a Mockingbird. I love all things Southern, and the story’s morality and the characters can’t be beat (My almost 13-year-old daughter is named Scout. So, yep, my husband and I both love that book). I’m also a Harry Potter nerd, and love those books!

Favorite Quote: Again, my “favorites” change all the time according to what’s going on my life. But I love quotes from writers, from the Bible, from books, from songs even. Right now in my mind I have the verse from Esther that says, “Perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (4:14). A recent favorite is “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Both of those say a lot to me about taking advantage of our opportunities, believing in God’s plan for our lives, and also sticking to your dreams even when perhaps we are pushed down by our doubts or other people or whatever.

Want people to know about me: I love to encourage aspiring writers. I love to take the mystery out of the writing and marketing process. It takes diligence, yes, but it’s not brain surgery. You can do it!

Random fun facts: Have three daughters McKenna, Delaney, and Scout and am a brand-new grandmother with granddaughter Ramsey Cate. (Three of them have birthdays in the same week…the last week of March.) I love sweet tea, sports of all kinds, Star Wars, road trips, and bubble baths. (Sounds like a personals ad. ) I was born in Texas, the child of two writers, so it’s in my blood.

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Facebook: Cheryl Sloan Wray
Twitter: @cwray_sports


Get your tickets NOW!

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Speaker Spotlight for #MVWC 2017 – Jonathan Trip Builds Community

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will feature speakers and presentations that will help provide the tools to writers that are working in the industry or those writers that are seeking to build their own platform for writing success.

Speaker Highlight

Jonathan Tripp

Jonathan Tripp opens his home to you as host of Jonathan Trip Live. He creates an atmosphere of comfort with simple steps – like the “mug shot” of the day and other little invites to bring you into the conversation.

A background in management services and non-profit organizations has helped Jonathan become a proven leader ready (and willing) to create actionable social media strategies that will deepen connections with your target audience and grow the engagement that supports your brand and business.

The ever changing technology of the internet creates new opportunities and doors for moving forward. Jonathan is focused on this evolving world and helping you find your way through it. His Show, Jonathan Trip Live, focuses on social media, business and marketing topics, and developing a strong network.

Jonathan joins the Mountain Valley Writers Conference to share his tips for connecting, engaging, and growing community.

Want to create breakthroughs on demand? Say yes! Your actions are fueled by your beliefs whether positive or negative. Denise’s presentation will show you how to interrupt worn out, ineffective beliefs and replace them with powerful, effective beliefs to achieve your goals. In a fusion of comedy and science, you will hear and see how quickly you can make this can happen in any area of your life.

Building a Community

    Take away Top Point:
    Why community growth is more than just posts & links!

More about the Speaker

Favorite Book:
The Poetry of Robert Frost

Favorite Quote:
The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.

One thing:
My love for people and coffee are only outweighed by my love for my wife and family.

Random Fun Fact:
I love acquiring coffee mugs, especially from my listeners.

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Website: jonathantripp.com
Instagram: @jontripp
Community: jonathantripp.com/group
Start-Up: vitmug.com

Get your tickets NOW!

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Make the Most of the Writing Conference – Plan for Five

The Mountain Valley Writing Conference is only two weeks away. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, today is the day. The investment for one-day tickets will go up to $135 on March 10th. The investment for full conference admittance (two-days will go up to $235 on the 10th as well.

Not only should you not wait to get your conference tickets, but you should begin to prepare for what you want and what you will do when you arrive.

A few weeks back, the #blogchat – held every Sunday night at 8 pm Central – sparked a conversation about how to get the most out of your conference attendance. We came up with “the Fives for a Successful Conference – five targets and tips for before, during, and after a conference that would give you the most powerful (and measurable) results for your efforts.

Before the Conference – PLAN for Five

Plan to learn five new things – or to expand on five things you are already pursuing. Review the sessions and make a list of the questions you want to have answered or the information you want to gather.

Plan to meet five new people – it is ALL about relationships. Make an effort not only to meet five new people but to engage with them in a way that sets the foundation for potential relationship growth.

Plan to attend five GREAT sessions or workshops – at the Mountain Valley Writers Conference, you will have your choice of 8 workshops and 8 sessions. Expect to gain something from the ones you choose – maybe directly from the information offered, maybe from the question and answer sessions, and maybe from the spark of inspiration ignited by the information. Expect great and you will find it.

Plan to have five inspiring conversations – and expect to be the inspiration as much as you will be inspired. It is often the one to one conversations at conferences that generate the most amazing results.

Plan to write five short pieces (from 500 to 1000 words) – you can write about the conference, about the location, about the people, or about your own journey through the conference. Plan to write and make the notes that will give you the foundation for those writings.

Every conference you ever attend has the potential of moving you forward in your journey. The Mountain Valley Writers Conference strives to be the ignition for those who want to build a living or develop an income on the foundation of words. Putting to practice the PLAN for Five will help you move forward in your desired writing success.

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Get your tickets for #MVVWC 2017 by clicking the link below

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Tell Your Story – #MVWC Speaker Spotlight with Lawayne Orlando Childrey

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will feature speakers and presentations that will help provide the tools to writers that are working in the industry or those writers that are seeking to build their own platform for writing success.

Speaker Highlight

Lawayne Orlando Childrey

Lawayne Orlando Childrey is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. His autobiography, Peeling Back the Layers: A Story of Trauma, Grace and Triumph, was selected as one of the top six autobiographies of 2015 by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. In this book Childrey demonstrates how he endured some of the most horrific trauma imaginable, including childhood sexual abuse, depression, a crack cocaine addiction and an HIV diagnosis. He finally found fulfillment through his faith in God’s grace. Reviewers have called Peeling Back the Layers: A Story of Trauma, Grace and Triumph a masterpiece…so personal, so inspiring, so intimate.

Childrey is also the co-author of Self-Publishing & Selling Your Book, a step-by-step manual that explains the entire process from start to successful finish.

In addition, Childrey is also a recipient of the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Journalistic Excellence. He has won numerous Mississippi Associated Press awards for his reporting with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a statewide affiliate of National Public Radio. In 2014 the Alabama Community College System selected Childrey as its most outstanding alumnus in the institution’s 50-year history. The ACCS awarded a $5,000 scholarship in Childrey’s name to a deserving Alabama high school senior. During the same year, Childrey was named alumnus of the year for Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he serves on the executive committee of the Nashville Regional HIV Planning Council. He is also an executive board member of The Excell Group, a mentoring program for at risk youth in Pembroke, Illinois.

Childrey is currently in demand as a speaker, inspiring many different kinds of audiences with his incredible story.

He also works as a freelance journalist, national voice over artist and HIV/AIDS advocate.

Lawayne joins the faculty for #MVWC 2017 as an advocate for telling your story. He will facilitate a workshop highlighting the importance of autobiographical storytelling during the 2017 Mountain Valley Writers Conference.

Balancing the Truth of Your Heart with the Exposure to the World

    Everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach.

    From a legacy perspective, we tell our stories for ourselves and as a gift to future generations. This presentation highlights some of the many ways telling those stories, both good and bad benefit us all. It also demonstrates how difficulties arise not because we have a story, perhaps a very sad or painful story, but because we become attached to our stories and make them an essential part of our very selves. Telling our stories is not an end in itself, but an attempt to release ourselves from them, to evolve and grow beyond them. We tell our stories to transform ourselves; to learn about our history and tell our experiences to transcend them. During this presentation we will learn to use our stories to make a difference in the world; to broaden our perspective to see further than normal; to act beyond a story that may have imprisoned or enslaved us; to live more of our spiritual and earthly potential.

    Everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach.

More about the Speaker

Favorite book: Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris. This is the first book that I actually saw myself on the pages. I felt like Harris was telling my story and I read it in a day.

Favorite quote: To Thine Own Self Be True
When I was a kid growing up my mom would drill this in my head. However, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I began to fully appreciate its meaning. “Thanks mom and William Shakespeare, I get it.”

Random Fun Fact: I got to hang out and shoot hoops with the world famous Harlem Globetrotters when I was 10 years old.

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Video: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365762197/
Website: www.lawaynechildrey.com
Facebook: Lawayne Orlando Childrey and Lawayne Childrey, Author,
Twitter: @LChildrey
Instagram: lawaynechildrey

Get your tickets NOW!

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Elevating Mind Power – Denise Oatley Hall in the Spotlight for #MVWC

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will feature speakers and presentations that will help provide the tools to writers that are working in the industry or those writers that are seeking to build their own platform for writing success.

Speaker Highlight

Denise Oatley Hall

Denise Oatley Hall here. The first thing you should know about me, is I am a combination of artist, scientist, goofball and dreamer. When I was a kid, we lived on a lake. I wanted to build a submarine (no kidding) and paint it with wild colors before I launched it. In junior high, I found out I could make people laugh. (Much to the dismay of my teachers.) No surprise then that I became a professional clown and a children’s entertainer for many years. I am also passionate about going for the gusto in life and helping other people to do the same. Becoming a hypnotist gave me understanding and powerful tools to not only help people create lasting change but also experience belly- busting laughter. These days, I use most of these experiences (no pies in the face) to create one-of-a-kind keynote presentations, shows, retreats and write. Life is good. Oh, and my favorite food is a hot dog.

Denise lives in sunny Safety Harbor, Florida with her dog Sophie.

Denise joins the Mountain Valley Writers Conference to share her secrets of mind power and how to make the most of your subconscious to reach your defined success.

Want to create breakthroughs on demand? Say yes! Your actions are fueled by your beliefs whether positive or negative. Denise’s presentation will show you how to interrupt worn out, ineffective beliefs and replace them with powerful, effective beliefs to achieve your goals. In a fusion of comedy and science, you will hear and see how quickly you can make this can happen in any area of your life.

Power Up Your Mind

    Take away:
    Boost confidence and belief in self and goals
    Breakthrough negative thinking and reset mind
    Increase confidence in self and goals

More about the Speaker

Favorite book: I don’t know how anyone can have one favorite book. But I love Little Women. I read it yearly and love it dearly.

Favorite Quote: Favorite quote? I have so many…but here is one I am fond of. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but building the new.” Socrates

One thing I want people to know about me. I am extremely playful and I love to make other people laugh.

Random fun facts: My friends call me Pioneer Woman – ask me why.

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Website: Denis Oatley Hall
Facebook: ChoosePassion

Get your tickets NOW!

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Speaker Spotlight with Williesha Morris at the Mountain Valley Writers Conference

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will feature speakers and presentations that will help provide the tools to writers that are working in the industry or those writers that are seeking to build their own platform for writing success.

Speaker Highlight

Williesha Morris

With a journalism degree under her belt, Williesha Morris embraces emerging technology and focuses on freelance writing and blogging for both offline and online publications. Her blog, My Freelance Life, was awarded as one of the top blogs for writers in 2015 by The Write Life.com. She’s written for the Huffington Post, XO Jane, Brazen Careerist, Al.com and Birmingham Magazine.

Williesha built a success blog and will bring some of her experiences in the journey to you. Her session: Freelance, Blogging, and Money – Oh, My will provide the tools for developing an income with words.

    • Blogging is still a profitable way of getting your name out there
    • Only requires expertise, not necessarily writing ability (but that helps!)
    • Resources for finding paying gigs that will establish your credibility
    • Queries for several websites that were successful in landing over $1,000

More about the Speaker

Favorite Book: March trilogy by John Lewis because it presented in a beautiful form what the civil rights movement looked like from the inside.

Favorite Quote:”Sometimes we expect more from others, because we would be willing to do that much for them.” – Unknown – Reminds me that sometimes my heart can be too big, but I’d rather err on the side of love.

One thing you want people to know about you: Spent a summer in Australia and interned for the Olympic Committee in Sydney.

Random fun fact: Superhero shows are my weakness.

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Websites:
My Freelance Life
Nerdy Thirty Something

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Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Mountain Valley Writers Conference – Speaker Spotlight – Natalie Cone

Writers Conference Speaker Highlight

Natalie Cone

Natalie Cone is the wife of a handyman, the mother of two boys, a nature enthusiast, and a professional writer from Birmingham, Alabama. If she’s not blogging about the mishaps of motherhood or pecking away at her first fiction novel, she can be found in a field of flowers at springtime.

Natalie is the winner of both the 2013 AND the 2015 SELTI Short Story Contests. Her ability to capture the heart of a location allows her to create strong tourism fiction that is more than just a story in a place.

She will be sharing her expertise on how to turn the focus of a location into an income at the 2017 Mountain Valley Writers Conference.

Tourism Fiction

    -All about SELTI
    -Why tourism fiction is challenging
    -Why tourism fiction is fun
    -Featuring an area’s highlights, both popular and lesser known
    -Writing authentically about an area you’ve never been
    -Creating authentic characters that will best allow the reader to experience the area through their eyes

More about the Speaker

My favorite book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I was first introduced to the story through the film adaptation in 1993, also titled The Secret Garden. It sparked my obsession with skeleton keys and finding secret doors and hidden passages. It’s a story that marked my childhood and inspired the most magical pretend play with my little sister.
Favorite Quote: “Don’t fight it. Write it.” – Kris Cone (my husband). I repeat this in my head every time I am overthinking an aspect of my writing or am overwhelmed by my inner critic

Where to Connect with the Speaker

Blog: www.nataliecone.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NatalieWrites

Twitter @nataliecone

Get your tickets NOW!

Mountain Valley Writers Conference Tickets

Make Money Writing by Finding Your Writing Focus

The ways to make money writing can be as diverse as the people wanting to make money writing. Grant proposals require creative (and technical) writing skills. Corporations need words for their correspondence, press releases, and advertisements. Websites need content to create their sites and to maintain them.

These areas only scratch the surface for how you can make money writing. The only limits are your personal interests, your determination, and your imagination. If you can imagine an avenue for income production then there are ways to make that avenue begin working for you.

The presentations at the Mountain Valley Writers Conference are not just about how to write better, but are focused on finding paths to take your skills and your abilities and produce a living wage. It starts with a foundation of relationships and then provides the fuel for ingenuity and possibility.

You can IF you will!

What Can You Write to Build a Living Wage

    1. Start out making a list of things that you do or have done while employed at a job. Include the list of responsibilities in your job description and those that were expected of you even though they were not listed.

    2. Add to that list any topics that you learned through your education. This list should cover the on the job training you may have received, classes that you have taken (either for your diploma or as continuing education) or any specialty activities or events where you have experience.

    3. Now move on to those things that you enjoy doing in your spare time. You should include any hobbies or favorite activities that you did in your past. As long as it is legal and preferably moral then add it to your list.

    4. Include a list of special gifts or talents you may have or others may have expressed that they see in you. Include those things that people enjoy you doing for them – like cooking or that you do better than others – like organizing.

    5. The final addition to the list will be those things that you have always wanted to do but have not had the finances or opportunity. Be as specific as possible and do not limit your list to things that you can still do or expect to do. Let your imagination run free.

The list you have created probably covers a wide range of topics. Review the list for a moment. See if you can find any common topics or areas in these lists. The lists that intersect represent the areas where you have the strongest foundation. Other items on your list stand for the topics you could cover with a little extra research.

Review the list for a moment. See if you can find any common topics or areas in these lists. The lists that intersect represent the areas where you have the strongest foundation. Other items on your list stand for the topics you could cover with a little extra research.

The great thing about writing is that your next article or idea is often only as strong as your ability to research the topic. That means that although the lists you create represent some topics that you could already write about with some authority, there is no limit to what you could learn and then share.

Do you have your tickets yet?

The Mountain Valley Writers Conference will be an exclusive event to allow attendees the opportunity to engage other as well as the speakers and presenters. Get your tickets HERE!

Writing Conference Expectations

Mountain Valley Writers


The first time I attended a writing conference I fully expected to be tracked down and tackled by a publisher and forced to sign a gimongous contract because the publisher could not live without manuscript.

Although I learned amazing tips and met even more extraordinary people, I confess that my expectations were not met. I also confess that even though I have learned to set more appropriate (focused and specific) expectations when I am about to attend a conference – of any type – I still harbor that deep dream that I will be tackled by a publisher at one of these writing conferences.

We always need to keep dreaming!

A few years back I worked with a business coach as I prepared to invest in my biggest event to-date. He challenged me to write down why I was participating in the event, what I wanted to get out of the event, and how I would measure the return of my investment in the event.

Since that time, I have used the same questions to count the cost of every event that I attend. Even if the event is free, my time and my transportation are a cost. I have to determine if that investment will make a difference in my journey.

Preparing for the Mountain Valley Writers Conference

1. Why are you participating in the event? Something in your own journey on in some of the information that has been shared caught your eye. It made you want to learn more or know more. What is that something?

2. What do you want from the conference? #MVWC will be offering valuable information for those that are working at writing already and those that want to be working as writers. We will also be focused on building and growing relationships – because it is ALL about relationships. *link* No matter what is on the agenda, you have an expectation. What is your expectation for what you will walk away with when you leave the conference at the end of the weekend?

3. How will you measure the success of the event? You will have to make an investment – not just financially but in your time (and time is one of those resources you will not be able to grow more of) so you need to determine what elements you need to justify your investments.

Sitting down and getting these understandings in place before I attend a conference makes it easier for me to enjoy the conference. I know what elements I need to be pursuing to make the ends justify the means. I have a check list (or at least a guideline) of what I want to see in and from the experience.

Taking the time to judge the journey before pulling out into traffic can keep me moving forward and on target.

Are you ready for the Mountain Valley Writers Conference?

Click HERE to register now.