We are located in beautiful downtown Monroe, Georgia

Find us inside

Monroe Mercantile Co. 

113 N Broad Street

Monroe, Georgia 30655

HOME TO CHEELY'S GENERAL STORE & CAFE'

SOUTHERN BELLE BOUTIQUE

PROUD CORPORATE SPONSOR OF

THE MONROE WALTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS  (MWCA)

MEET OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER 

Sheila Hudson

Sheila Hudson is an award winning author and inspirational speaker.  She has worked with the SE Writers Association as an organizer and presenter for their conference.  Along with penning several cozy mystery series, Sheila has also published books to help writers hone their craft.  The Southern Pen Bookshop is excited to have Sheila as the keynote speaker at our second annual writers conference.

Shelia resides in Athens, Georgia  

MEET OUR PRESENTERS

MARY MARVELLA

Everybody Hurts, ahhh a great song by REM.  But, yes, everyone feels some type of emotion.  But does your readers?  Do they truly feel the emotions of your character or are they dependent on you to tell them how to feel?  Mary Marvella returns this year with a fresh new topic - Making An Emotional Connection wtih Your Readers.

 

Mary Marvella,  a writer and editor, has just the right tools to help writers tap into their character's psyche and transcend them beyond the pages but into the hearts and sould of the reader. Mary has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember.  She made up stories for the other children and created the details for their “play like” or “let’s pretend” games. Sometimes the details were so real they scared she’d scare herself.

 Mary Marvella now shares her passion for writing beyond the pages of her romance novels.  She is  a writing instructor, freelance editor, and tutor.  She has authored several romance novels.​

marymarvella.wordpress.com

MAKING AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION

JACKIE ROD

No, this is not a lobotomy class.  Mind Mapping is a visualization tool that helps graph ideas when brainstorming or strategizing.  This concept is not new but has been around in the business and educational sector. Jackie Rod will untangle this maze and expose its benefits for the developmental stages of writing.

 

Jackie Rod critiques and edits manuscripts for her author friends, judges writing contests, and conducts workshops for writing groups. Each month she presents a grammar lesson for the Walton Writers group. Jackie loves the idea of ‘word painting’ for description.  “Writers should use all the senses to engage the emotions of readers.”  She also believes in well-defined characters are essential to the strength of any work.She belongs to Romance Writers of America, Atlanta Writers Club, East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers, Georgia Romance Writers, NOLA STARS, and Heart of Dixie Writers.

MIND MAPPING MAZE

GENIE BERNSTEIN

Gotta spend all my time writing my manuscript.  This is a common mantra among writers.  However, while writing your first manuscript your focus should also be on building an audience of readers and your writer's resume.  This is where writing for small publications can help not only building your audiences, help provide a strong author bio, but also hone your writing skills. 

Genie Bernstein career as a writer began by literally falling out of the sky when she had to perform an emergency landing with her single engine airplane.   He is the author of several books but she also has an impressive repertoire of small publications she's written for.  Genie brings her knowledge of the advantages of writing for small publications and how to find writing opportunities to our conference this year.

THERE'S MORE TO WRITING THAN A MANUSCRIPT

TIM RIORDAN

Marketing....no writer ever said I want to market.  Most of us prefer to sit in our comfort zones and write.  But, the writing is the easiest part of being a writer.  The challenge is getting your "little baby" into the hands of readers or recognized by reviewers, bloggers, and bookstores.  

  Tim Riordan is a bestselling INDEPENDENT author.  He has published both fiction and non-fiction books.  His romance under the pseudonym, Judah Knight, The Long Way Home was a finalist in the Georgia Independent Author of the Year Award for 2019.  

BESTSELLER - MARKETING FOR SUCCESS

MIMI SCHROEDER

Simply put Mimi Schroeder loves promoting books and authors.  She has spent 20 years doing this one passion of hers.  Mimi continues to share her passion of promoting authors and their books through MAX Communications - a public relations firm for authors and books located in Atlanta, Prior to MAX Communications Mimi enjoyed the privilege of being the Publicity Manager for an independent trade publisher, a book reviewer for a Ganett newspaper, a publicist for an academic book publisher, a bookstore events manager for both an independent and chain bookstore, as well as, a bookseller. Mimi has worked with authors such as: Terry Kay, Susan Stockdale, and Melissa Stewart to name a few. 

She will share her knowledge and experiences as to why authors should consider partnering with a publicist.

WHAT IS A PUBLICIST & WHY AUTHORS NEED ONE

MIMI SCHROEDER

Simply put Mimi Schroeder loves promoting books and authors.  She has spent 20 years doing this one passion of hers.  Mimi has worked with authors such as: Terry Kay, Susan Stockdale, and Melissa Stewart to name a few.  Before joining MAX Communications in Atlanta, Mimi has enjoyed the priviledge of being the Publicity Manager for an independent trade publisher, a book reviewer for a Ganett newspaper, a publicist for an academic book publisher, a bookstore events manager for both an independent and chain bookstore, as well as, a bookseller.

She will share her knowledge and experiences as to why authors should consider partnering with a publicist.

WHAT IS A PUBLICIST & WHY AUTHORS NEED ONE

CINDY L. SMITH

Cindy L. Smith is the founder of Living Hope for Today, an organization that empowers women to have victorious lives through Christ by leading prayer groups, bible studies, and retreats.  Cindy has been an advocate for women and children for over 30 years and creates events to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse. Her passion to help homeless mothers achieve self-sufficiency and to know God led her to found Living Hope Transitional Homes in 2004.  She served as the organization's Executive Director for eleven years. Cindy's first novel, Whispered Truth, is based on true events of abuse, forgiveness and hope. Whispered Truth won the Gold Illumination Award from the Jenkins Group in the Inspirational Romance Category and is the first in the Truth, Trust, Treasure series.  

THE ACCOUNTING SIDE OF WRITING

Track those expenses and keep more of your hard-earned Benjamins!

MIKE OWENS

Mike Owens has spent most of his adult career as an educator for special needs with a focus on teaching the deaf. He is fluent in American Sign Language. During his years at Pinecrest State School (Pineville, Louisiana), he wrote his first instructional manual for teaching sign language to non-verbal students. Later, as an Educational Consultant for the Department of Education in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he wrote numerous training manuals for special education teachers and administrators covering a variety of special needs students.

The creative side of Mike’s passion to write began in Middle School and remain present during his College years, and the time he spent teaching in Costa Rica. It wasn’t until, after returning to the states, did the urge to publish take hold. It took almost ten years to finish writing two young adult books. It was after retiring, and a move to Georgia before he realized the opportunity to become published. Only after becoming a part of the Scribblers’ Christian writers’ group in Norcross did publishing his works become a reality.

WRITING FOR YOUNG ADULTS

PETER BOWERMAN

Join Peter Bowerman, multiple award-winning author of the “Well-Fed Writer” and “Well-Fed Self-Publisher” titles, for a lively, eye-opening session that’ll have you seeing sales and marketing in a whole new light. Leveraging 40+ years of sales, marketing, copywriting and publishing experience, Peter will leave you with a solid grounding in the principles he used to create a full-time living from his books (and related products and services) for well over a decade. Don’t miss it!

EXORCISING MARKETING DEMONS

LEE ST. JOHN

Author and humorist known for her Southern Charm, Lee St. John writes her columns for the Georgia newspapers, The Newnan Times-Herald, The Rockdale/Newton Citizen, and the Fayette-News. A popular stand-up comedienne and entertainer, she rats out herself, family, friends, co-workers, and even celebrities in her 2 author narrated audio books in the SHE’S A KEEPER! series.  She’s on television, radio, podcasts, at festivals, her website, Facebook, national speaking engagements, and in national and local magazines. Lee shares her observational humor on every dang social media platform.  Her secret to all her media success -GUMPTION.  Good ole’ fashion Get-up-and-Go” action. Gumption is shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness. Lee shares tips to help you renew or create yours so you can get more tongues wagging and more peeps reading about you and your writing.  Her session will end with a GUMPTION Bingo game.  Each participant will receive a  ‘Bingo’ card at the start of the session and while listening and learning , they will cross off the important definitions delivered by the presenter and then shout out ‘Bingo’ when they have achieved five-words-in-a-row, just like in regular bingo games. Prizes will be given to the winners. 

FINDING YOUR GUMPTION 

ELENA DILLON

What is visual content and why do you need it for your marketing strategy? And how does this apply to your author business? The answer is fairly simple. 

Visual content is anything that uses pictures, graphics, video, etc. When you see a GIF of cats falling off tables? That’s visual content. A pretty graphic with a quote from a book? Visual Content. Those fabulous cooking videos where they make a cinnamon roll apple pie in twenty seconds? Visual content. 

It’s what will get your content seen. As a matter of fact statistically, your readers are 44% more likely to engage with visual content. Hmmm. 44%? Hard to ignore.

We all want to work smarter not harder, right?  Elena will demonstrate : Strategies for smarter marketing -Tools that make visual content easier to create and more manageable—How to plan your content and marketing so it takes up less precious writing time.  And believe it or not? It’s fun. She’ll teach you how to create a graphic while in the time it takes to stand in line for coffee.

Elena Dillon, is the winner of the Weta Nichols Writing Award for Young Adult, the InD'tale RONE award for Young Adult and a finalist in the Book Buyers Best. She writes sweet teenage romance with sass, suspense and swoon.

VISUAL CONCEPT MARKETING

LEV BUTTS

Dr. Butts discusses his methods for creating believable characters, primarily charismatic and sympathetic antagonists. Through a  discussion of pop-culture and literature's most memorable villains, he  will dissect common elements in popular baddies and develop ways to incorporate these qualities into one’s own characters. Dr. Butts will provide exercises for developing credible villains and memorable bad guys.

Leverett Butts teaches composition and literature at the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Eclectic and The Georgia State University Review. He is the recipient of several fiction prizes offered by the University of West Georgia and TAG Publishing. He lives in Temple, Georgia, with his wife, son, their Jack Russell terrier, and an antisocial cat.

CREATING BELIEVABLE BAD GUYS

MAB MORRIS

Editor! Editor! Everyone says get an editor.  But, editors are like doctors and come in different specialties.  Mab Morris is the pediatrician of editors. She is a Developmental Editor, sometimes referred to as Substantive Editor.  Her focus is to nurture a fledgling manuscript and its nervous parent to ensure the growth and development of the story and characters.  As a developmental editor, Mab looks at the big picture such as: plot and character development, consistency, and substance.  Learn how to take your manuscript from infancy to maturity in this informative session and discover what to expect from a developmental editor, how to determine the right fit for you and your work, and bring any questions you may want Mab to answer.

Developmental Editing to Proofreading

A Manuscript’s Journey from Hobby to Pro