Writing & Books

Educational Topics

Called to Write: Thoughts for the Young Christian Writer

Does your student stay up late reading? Do they constantly carry a notebook or digital device so they can write a little more each time there is a moment of quiet? Are they interested in story structure or captivated by character? Do their imaginations astound you? If so, they might be called to write. This talk speaks encouragement, advice, and inspiration into the hearts of Christian kids who know, deep in their bones, that writing is their future. Drawing on over twenty years of …
  • specialized education
  • professional mentorship
  • personal experience
  • plus hundreds of thousands of hours of practice …
I distill everything I know about what it takes to be a writer, who should pursue it, and how to use it as an opportunity to share the gospel with others. 

Amanda’s virtual workshop was both informative and fun! Featuring profound connections to the Christian faith, relevant advice, and a healthy dose of humor, her presentation was met with record-breaking student engagement. We’re excited to host her again soon!

Emily Hutchinson

Membership Enhancement Coordinator, Homeschool New York / NYS LEAH

$1,000 in 6 Weeks: How to Make Money as a Writer

This talk includes an overview of income-generating options for writers outside of book sales alone, including:

  • speaking
  • freelance editing
  • graphic design
  • book cover design
  • audiobook narration
  • working as a virtual assistant
Learn how to ease the financial burden of getting a book off the ground by developing skills that can add to your income stream without relying on book sales.

Solo Warrior vs. the Wheel of Chance: The Difference Between Indie and Traditional Publishing (and How to Know What’s Right For You)

Hear an explanation of the two major paths, the requirements for success and pros and cons of each, and how to choose.

(Traditional) Book Selling 101: From Author Head to Reader Hands

In this overview of the traditional publishing workflow, you’ll learn how a book gets made, who is involved, what the steps are, and how long it takes.

Fantasy Worldbuilding 101: How to Design a Map and Plan Your World

This hands-on workshop takes you through the motions of designing the geography, weather, politics, and cultures of your fantasy world.

Fantasy Worldbuilding 101: The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is the most common storyline of fantasy novels everywhere. It’s almost impossible to write a fantasy or soft sci-fi without borrowing from this trope at least a little. All fantasy writers should know this structure so they can help their stories stand out from the crowd.

Craft Basics: How to Write Dialogue that Keeps People Awake at Night

Learn one of the most essential building blocks of good fiction technique: Dialogue!

  • Why can’t you write the way real people speak?
  • What do arguing people never talk about?
  • How do you say “I love you” without words?
We’ll cover all of the above. As a bonus, I’ll also show you the #1 rookie mistake that shouts, “THIS IS MY FIRST BOOK!”—and how to fix it.

You’re Killing Me: How to Commit Crimes (and Then Get Caught)

Let’s talk the basics of mystery fiction! From plotting a crime to slapping the handcuffs on, we’ll talk about the basics of writing mystery and crime fiction. Plus, we’ll talk about the One Sacred Rule of mystery fiction that you absolutely must follow … or risk dire consequences!

Faith & Family

Inspirational Topics

How to Trust God in the NICU & Beyond

In the spring of 2018, barely six months into marriage, my husband and I heard words we never expected: “You’re having twins.” The season that followed was filled with sudden medical emergencies, a premature delivery, five weeks in the NICU, the darkest and scariest months of our lives, and a long-term road paved with fear, questions, and trust that God would bring us through … because we certainly weren’t going to make it alone! If you are entering into a new trial or enduring a long one, let the testimony of my family revitalize your spirits: When trials become extreme, so does God’s providence.

Sticky Rocks and Princess Tears: A Twin Mom’s Thoughts on Comparing Siblings

As a mom of boy/girl twins, I live in an ongoing science experiment on the differences between males and females. While boys and girls have many things in common, there are also SO many differences … and some of them are foundational to their very identities! Everything from …

  • play styles
  • learning styles
  • expressing love
  • expressing anger
  • patience
  • problem solving
  • emotional fortitude
  • recovering from discipline
  • attention-seeking behaviors
… and more!

I’d love to share with you the lessons I’m learning about who our children are, how they are alike and different, and what to do when we’re tempted to compare them against each other. If you’d like to hear a sample of this conversation, check out my conversation with Laurie Christine at Redeeming the Chaos!