Friday, October 24, 2014

The Ins and Outs of Social Media

On a cool, blustery October day, new and experienced (not old...I would never say old) members of the Great Lakes Chapter of ACFW met in Gaylord to hear Pegg Thomas share her knowledge and know-how regarding social media. In addition to sharing from her own experience, Pegg recently attended the Maranatha Conference in Muskegon and shared many of the tips she learned there.

Pegg demonstrated how she uses Hootsuite to keep her tweets trending.
The workshop specifically looked at what it takes to have a successful author platform, focusing on three main sections: building your social media platform, the nuts and bolts of social media, and Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon author pages.

In case you missed it, here are a few tips that Pegg gave us. Here are her top four suggestions for developing a real author platform:

- Work to develop it over time - this can't happen overnight
- Make "friends" - don't go looking for sycophants
- Aim to develop devoted followers - you want a long-term relationship with readers who want more of your stories
- Create a platform that works - if you don't like it, nobody else will either

For our first northern Michigan meeting, we had a great turnout. We also welcomed three new members! It was great having Christine Johnson, Brenda Garver, and Ron Estrada (who, we didn't realize, wasn't technically a member until this past weekend - the technicality has been fixed).

Ron, Brend, Christine, Karin, Linda, Pegg, and Joy - fun times in Gaylord.
Our next event will be online the first week of December (topic yet to be determined). We'll have a couple of test runs in November to make sure everyone's comfortable with the format.

Thanks to everyone who made the drive to Gaylord, and we're looking forward to meeting again online this winter. The 2015 workshop schedule is almost set, and we'll announce it as soon as we can.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September 2014 Newsletter

Greetings Great Lakes ACFW membersThe Newsletter for September, 2014
We can’t wait to hear from our members who attended the conference in St. Louis. The emails are humming on the loop.

Coming Up!
Please remember we have a meeting October 18 in Gaylord titled “Social Networking.” It will be held at the Evangelical Free Church, 1649 E. State Rd. Gaylord, Michigan. The workshop will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Please click here for the flier with further information, or you may contact Karin Beery at Karin(at)karinbeery(dot)com or Pegg Thomas at twinwillowsfarm(at)gmail(dot)com.

Member news!

Karin Beery and Tiff Colter once again hosted the At-Home Conference, a free, on-line conference alternative for ACFW members who can't attend the annual conference. What started as some posts exchanged between members of the Midwest Zone has grown into a 100+ member on-line event featuring an informational blog, giveaways, a Facebook group, and great courses presented by ACFW members. If you missed it this year, please consider joining next year!

Dawn Crandall’s second book in The Everstone Chronicles, The Bound Heart, releases from Whitaker House on November 3.

Peggy Wirgau attended the SCBWI Michigan Fall Conference on Mackinac Island in September, where she pitched her middle grade novel based on a true story about a 12-year-old Titanic survivor. She’ll also be doing research there for her next novel, based on a true story set during the Revolution.

Many members of the Great Lakes group attended the Maranatha Writers Conference in Muskegon Sept. 15-18. Judy Eick, Kathleen Rouser, Pegg Thomas, Karlene Jacobson and Linda Glaz said the keynote speakers were wonderful, the workshops encouraging, and the appointments helpful. Four days packed with information, wonderful food and good fellowship on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. Pegg particularly enjoyed speaker Cliff Graham, saying “He is a soldier, a pastor, and an author. He became as author because he wanted to reach young MEN in his youth group for Christ. He talked - passionately - about the need to reach men through Christian fiction. He described his books as, "the Old Testament meets Saving Private Ryan." 


Though these aren't specifically GLC members, I'd like to recognize the Genesis and Carol award winners (especially Carol Awards, so people looking for good books and view the list of award winners). Here are the links:


If you have a blog and would like to share your blog address, please include it in your newsletter information.
Blessings on your day,
Judy Eick aka Nelle Cooper

Monday, September 15, 2014

Social Networking in Northern Michigan - Save the Date!

Don't forget to register - this is going to be a great event, and a great opportunity for our southern and northern members to come together. Come early and enjoy the beautiful fall colors!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 2014 Newsletter

Greetings Great Lakes ACFW members, and welcome to the crisp treasures of autumn. I have to ask, did you stop by a display of school supplies and pick up a few new markers, some ink pens, and a few fresh pads of paper? Maybe you even picked up some note pads small enough to stick in your purse or a pocket, to jot down those moments of inspiration or observation. Yes, I did!

“Meet me in St. Louie, Louie!”

As so many members, presenters, agents, and editors prepare for the conference in St. Louis, I hope you are participating in the 40 days of prayer. We join in the excitement and pray for your preparation. We all benefit from the sharing after the conference. Best wishes to each and all.

In case you missed it:
On Saturday, Aug. 2, we met in Grandville for Judy Eick’s presentation, “The Author Speaks.” Karin Beery said, “Judy gave us excellent information on how-to speak in public, she also demonstrated what an engaging, educational presentation should looks like. I’m looking forward to applying her tips and tricks to my pitch sessions at conference this year. If you missed the workshop, don’t worry! We’ve already had requests to repeat this workshop next year.” See what you missed here.

Coming up:
Mark your calendar – Saturday, Oct. 18 in Gaylord there will be a Great Lakes ACFW workshop titled “Social Networking.” It will be held at the Evangelical Free Church, 1649 E. State Rd. Gaylord, Michigan,11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please check our website for the flier with further information, or you may contact Karin Beery or Peg Thomas.

Member news:
Congratulations Dawn Crandall! Her debut book, The Hesitant Heiress, released Aug. 1 from Whitaker House Books. This is the first book in her series of first-person POV historical romantic suspense.

Kim Russell took an unintentional writing break this summer because she was busy having fun! She’s looking forward to continue work on her WIP.

Rohn Federbush completed her novel Forevermore, a contemporary suspense novel entrusted to Karin Beery, ACFW Great Lakes President, for a thorough edit and critique. Rohn is digesting Karin professional edit, whose insight enriched each page.

Joy Avery Melville finished the self-edits for her second book in a trilogy and will be going to conference to pitch both stories. She will also be serving as a volunteer in several areas at the conference. From Joy, “I am privileged to have two clients I’ve been critiquing for over the last three years offered two contracts each, meaning I’m doing final critiques on four contracted novellas this month and next.” She was appointed ACFW Novel Track Writing (NTW) Loop Coordinator and has established the Monday Morning Meditation, which she shares with both NTW and GLC loops. She also recently started the Tuesday Teachables for the NTW loop—mini lessons through each month. “I am encouraging the Trackers as they work toward the word count goals they’ve set.”

**If you have a blog, would you send you blog site address for the next newsletter? It would be nice if we could support and encourage each other as we visit the blogs.

Blessings on your day,  
Judy Eick aka Nelle Cooper

GLC Historian

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Writer Spoke - and it was Great!

Did you know the number one fear of most Americans is public speaking? As writers, however, we must overcome that fear if we want to pitch our manuscripts to agents and editors. On Saturday, Judy Eick, our Great Lakes Chapter Historian and an active Toastmaster, gave us some great tips on how to prepare for that 15-minute appointment. Here are a few keys points to consider:

- The average person says 120-150 words per minute: 600-1050 words describing your manuscript should give you a 5-7 minute presentation.
- As a writer you already have the necessary public speaking skills, you just need to know how to use them.
- Three factors to polishing your pitch: prepare, practice, and presentation.

This was the third of four in-person meetings for this year. Our next workshop is already scheduled for Saturday, October 10 at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church (1649 E. State Rd., Gaylord, MI). Mark your calendars and we'll see you this fall!

Karin Beery
GLC President
Associate member Dawn Crandall brought her biggest little fan with her to celebrate the Aug. 1 release of her debut novel The Hesitant Heiress.

Your's truly - Aunt Linda (star of Life with Linda) joined us for her first ACFW-GLC event.

Judy Eick (writing as Nelle Cooper) gave us some great tips on that perfect pitch - thanks, Judy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 2014 Newsletter

Hello everyone!

As the days count down until the ACFW conference I want to take a minute to wish you well as you work on your book/proposal/query letter or presentation for the agent/editor appointments.

July News
Congratulations to Dawn Crandall whose debut novel,"The Hesitant Heiress" releases August 1 from Whitaker House Books. This is the first book in her series of first person POV, historical romantic suspense.

Upcoming Events
We have two workshops coming soon: (full details below)

The Author Speaks: Saturday, Aug. 2, 12-3 p.m. in Grandville (RSVP now!)
Christian Fiction Writers Social Networking Workshop: Saturday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Gaylord

We look forward to seeing you there!


Judy Eick

ACFW-GLC Meet & Eat, Featuring Judith Eick

The Author Speaks: You may be surprised to learn that many of the skills you have acquired in your writing have also prepared you to speak not only effectively but eloquently about your work. Judith’s presentation will help you develop the skills needed to orally present your work.

Saturday, August 2, 12-3 p.m.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
3441 Century Center St. SW
Grandville, MI 49418

Free for ACFW-GLC members; $5.00 for non-GLC members (does not include lunch)

Please support our host restaurant and enjoy your lunch there!

RSVP to karin(at)karinbeery(dot)com

Christian Fiction Writers Social Networking Workshop

Saturday, October 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Gaylord Evangelical Free Church
1649 E State Rd. 
Gaylord, MI 49735

$10/members—$15/guests, lunch included

Reservations required. RSVP to Pegg at twinwillowsfarm(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coming Soon - The Author Speaks!

Mark your calendars! Our August 2 meeting is right around the corner. I hope you can join us!

ACFW-GLC Meet & Eat, Featuring Judith Eick

The Author Speaks

You may be surprised to learn that many of the skills you have acquired in your writing have also prepared you to speak not only effectively but eloquently about your work. Judith’s presentation will help you develop the skills needed to orally present your work.

Saturday, August 2, 12-3 p.m.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
3441 Century Center St. SW
Grandville, MI 49418
Judith Eick is a member of Toastmasters International, accomplishing Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership goals. She is currently working on advanced manuals for Storytelling and Entertaining Speaker. She is a member of the Southeast Christian Speakers Network and regularly speaks at Christian meetings and schools. 

“As a Christian, a writer, and a speaker, it is my goal to encourage others. I truly believe God provides the resources we need, and I am so grateful for the people He has brought into my life through ACFW. I sincerely pray I can offer helpful information to other writers, whether they are presenting their work to agents, editors, or other authors.”
Free for ACFW-GLC members (does not include lunch)
$5.00 for non-GLC members* (does not include lunch) 
Please support our host restaurant and enjoy your lunch there! 
*$10.00 for those who would like to join the Great Lakes Chapter (the $10.00 includes the meeting and cost of GLC membership for 2014). To be a GLC member, you must also be a member of the national ACFW (info & cost at 

 Please RSVP to Karin Beery at Karin(at)karinbeery(dot)com