Serious Writer’s Academy has one last stop for it’s one-day writer’s boot camp and that’s Aurora, Illinois on Saturday, october 12th. I’m excited to hear the amazing teacher and award-winning author Michelle Medlock Adams present at the event. I’m over-the- moon that the Aurora, Ilinois Word Weaver’s chapter not only co-sponsors the event but will be overseeing the critique session on Saturday afternoon. We’ll be sponsoring a Meet & Greet Friday night , October 11th at the event venue the Hampton Inn, in Aurora. I took some time to interview this amazing woman. At the end of this post is all the information you’ll need to register for this One-Day Writer’s Boot Camp.
Michelle, tell us a bit about your writng journey.
When I was in first grade, Mrs. True made an announcement that would forever change my life.
“We’re having a poetry contest this week,” she said, “so use today and tomorrow to come up with your best poem.”
We had just studied the various types of poems, and I decided I really liked the ones that rhymed. In fact, I had checked out every book of rhyming poetry I could find from our school library, and I’d read them all—twice.
As my classmates wrote about their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, I carefully crafted the words to my poem: “I Love Penny.”
Penny was my 7-year-old wiener dog and my best friend in the whole world.
My poem went a little something like this: “Penny is my very best friend. I’ll love her to the very end. She’s a very special wiener dog. I love her though she smells like a hog…”
OK, so I wasn’t exactly a first grade Dr. Seuss, but my poem was good enough to earn first prize. (I guess the other first grade poets must’ve been really bad.) At any rate, I won a few sparkly pencils and the honor of going first in the lunch line that afternoon. Mrs. True also displayed my poem in the front of the room for all to see. I stared at my winning poem all afternoon.
That’s the day I became a writer.
I wanted to write all the time, and so I did. I wrote during recess while other kids played tag and climbed on the monkey bars. I completely fell in love with words.
I wrote a play in fifth grade that we performed for all of the fifth grade classes; I was editor of our sixth grade newspaper “The Panther Paw”; I wrote short stories in junior high for a literary magazine; and I wrote many articles for my high school newspaper before majoring in journalism at Indiana University.
Though I began my career writing news stories for a daily paper, my career path took an unexpected turn when we moved to Texas so I could write features and personality profiles for an international ministry magazine. After a little while, the editor came to me said, “You have kids, right?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Great, you can write some kids stories for our children’s outreach.”
I remember thinking, “Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I know how to write for them.”
But I was a journalist so I began researching the world of writing for children, and I once again fell in love. Head over heels. That was more than 20 years ago, and I’ve been lovesick ever since. Creating stories for children—stories that teach, entertain, encourage and inspire. But I also still love writing nonfiction books for women, and I love ghostwriting books for celebrities, politicians and ministers.
As a fulltime freelance writer, I’ve often joked that I will write anything that isn’t illegal or immoral, but seriously, I do enjoy writing in different genres. I simply love to write, and I’m thankful that God has enabled me to do so.
Who do you most admire in the writng world? Tell us why.
My old boss Bob Bridge at the Bedford Times-Mail Newspaper in Southern Indiana. He was and still is the best writer I’ve ever read. I always say that I received my degree in journalism from Indiana University, but I learned to write from Bob Bridge. I am so grateful that I was able to spend a few years under his direction. Bob has won pretty much every award you can win in writing—so many he can’t even remember them all—but that’s not why he writes.
He writes because he loves to tell stories in a way that causes others to feel something. I have studied the way he turns a phrase for years. He makes me a better writer.
Why a one-day boot camp?
This is probably more of a question for Cyle, but as “the Chairqueen,” I will offer my two cents. I think these one-day workshops are amazing because the cost is low, the energy is high, and the information is overflowing. Those who can’t take off a week of work to attend a full-blown writers event can still keep up on industry happenings, network with other writing professionals, and hone their writing skills at a one-day Serious Writer bootcamp.
What do you want attendees to gain from these one-day boot camps?
I hope they will gain whatever it is they are seeking, and I hope they will leave with a renewed energy and excitement about their future writing and marketing endeavors, armed with new ideas and lots of practical information.
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to new writers?
I would say—just do it! Sit down and capture those thoughts on paper. Don’t worry about the details—if every word is spelled correctly or if it all flows perfectly—just get those creative juices flowing. You can go back later and fix the spelling and grammatical errors. Allow yourself to write freely. You have to have a “sloppy copy” before you can put on your editor’s hat and begin finetuning.
More about Michelle:
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association.
Author of over 90 books with close to 4 million books sold, Michelle has won more than 50 industry awards for her journalistic endeavors, including her most recent Golden Scroll first place award in the Best Children’s Book category for Dinosaur Devotions (Tommy Nelson), and four 2019 Illumination Awards, including a first place in the Holiday Category for her book, C Is for Christmas (Little Lamb Books).
Since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Michelle has written more than 1,500 articles for newspapers, magazines and websites; acted as a stringer for the Associated Press; written for a worldwide ministry; helped pen a New York Times Bestseller; hosted “Joy In Our Town” for the Trinity Broadcasting Network; blogged twice weekly for Guideposts from 2013 to 2015; written a weekly column for a Midwest newspaper; and served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University three different years. Today, she is President of Platinum Literary Services, a premier full-service literary firm; Chairman of the Board of Advisors for Serious Writer, Inc.; an online instructor for the Serious Writer Academy; and a much sought-after speaker at writers conferences and women’s retreats all over the United States. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites articles, blog posts, and books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is celebrating the recent release of her books, What Is America?; How Much Does God Love You?; Platinum Faith (co-authored with Bethany Jett); and They Call Me Mom (co-authored with Bethany Jett). And, she is excited about her 2020 releases Cuddle-up Prayers; The Perfect Persimmon; and I Love You Bigger Than the Sky.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two daughters, Abby and Allyson, two sons-in-law, one grandson, and two granddaughters. She and Jeff share their home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Shepherd/Collie mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing and cheering on Indiana University sports teams and the Chicago Cubbies.
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Here is the link to register for this one-day writer’s boot camp. Here.
If you live within a two-hour drive of Aurora, Illinois this is well-worth the price of admission. Hope to see some of you there.