"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on."
Mark’s publishing career has enabled him to participate in a variety of industry events. Whether touring a Wisconsin paper mill, interviewing inmates at a Max 5 security prison, or networking at publishing conventions and writing conferences—these trade activities have helped him connect with people to share knowledge, expertise, and skill.
Selective List . . .
Today’s Christian Living — January 2023
“From Foe to Fluffy Furball,” a Turning Point essay. Check it out.
Royal Dragonfly Book Contest, 2nd place — December 2022
Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon won 2nd place in the Middle Grade Fiction category for the Story Monsters Book Awards.
Voyage of Discovery — Pensacola, FL, November 2022
“The Case of the Spinning Egg,” a 10-page mystery short story in Abeka’s 6th grade reader. (Preview here.)
StarLight Magazine — LaGrange, KY, November 2022
“A Little Dirt Don’t Hurt” for dudes and dads. Check it out.
Nonfiction Instruction — Pensacola, FL, November 2022
Through a Zoom meeting, Katy Kauffman (author and Refresh editor) provided Mark's Creative Nonfiction students practical teaching about genre trends, submission opportunities, and conference benefits.
Devotional Instruction — Pensacola, FL, November 2022
Julie Lavender, award-winning author, spoke to Mark's professional writing students (via Zoom meeting) about developing ideas, following guidelines, and getting published.
Greenville Christian Academy, Author Chat — Greenville, NC, October 2022
What do you do if you have writer's block? During two Zoom meetings, Mark answered this question and many others while talking about the writing process.
Raleigh Christian Academy, Author Chat — Raleigh, NC, October 2022
Sixth-grade students asked Mark a variety of questions related to his writing of Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon. Mark also emphasized the importance of editing and revision.
Bill Rice Christian Academy, Author Chat — Murfreesboro, TN, October 2022
During this Zoom meeting, Mark shared with students what inspires him to write. He also shared why using our words for the glory of God is so important.
Northland Christian School, Author Chat — Flagstaff, AZ, October 2022
Having just finished reading Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon, 6th grade students asked Mark a variety of writing-related questions.
Kids Answers Magazine — Petersburg, KY, October 2022
“The Magnificent Marvels of Space” (Vol. 17 No. 4) is a five-page article that helps kids see that God’s cosmic creations are out-of-this-world. Check it out.
Answers Magazine — Petersburg, KY, October 2022
“Nature’s Midas Touch” (Vol. 17 No. 4) describes the fascinating way some plants and animals combine organic molecules with minerals to create biominerals. Check it out.
Pensacola Christian Academy, Author Chat — Pensacola, FL, September 2022
Around 120 sixth graders gathered for a Q & A session with Mark, followed by him reading Chapter 1 of Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon. Check out these Author Visit pictures.
Video Class — Pensacola, FL, September 2022
To help launch Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon for Abeka’s sixth grade video class, Mark participated in a recorded Q & A session.
Clubhouse, Jr. Magazine — Colorado Springs, CO, September 2022
“Super Siblings” (Vol. 35 No. 9) encourages brothers and sisters to get along by showing them how even animal siblings help one another while still having fun. Check it out.
MFA Creative Writing — Houston, TX, FL, Aug./Sept. 2022
Completed courses: Faith, Culture, and the Arts / Writing Workshop (Fiction I).
Writing Camp — Pensacola, FL, July 2022
High schoolers traveled from across the country to attend this 5-day writing camp. For 2022, Mark taught classes emphasizing editorial symbols and paths to publication. Check out Writing Camp.
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference — Black Mountain, NC, June 2022
In addition to attending classes, Mark networked with authors, editors, and agents. Multiple authors and editors agreed to provide Zoom meetings for Mark’s professional writing classes.
“Raising Godly Boys” Minute — Greenville, SC, May 2022
Mark finished writing his 100th radio script for Trail Life USA. These scripts are being broadcast daily on 400+ Christian radio stations. Listen here.
Promotional Fountains Article — Pensacola, FL, April 2022
By Students and for Students: Fountains 2022. Check it out.
2022 Directors’ Choice Awards Finalist — April 2022
The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference announced Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon as a finalist for the 2022 Directors’ Choice Awards in the Children/Young Adult category. Check it out.
HBU Writers Conference — Houston, TX, April 2022
This online writers conference assembled proficient authors (including Bret Lott, Scott Cairns, and others) to discuss composition techniques, short stories, flash fiction, and writing as a vocation.
Overcoming: Fountains 2022 — Pensacola, FL, April 2022
Mark's Advanced Copy Editing classes compiled, edited, and proofed the literary journal. This 33rd edition challenged readers to overcome the storm of life by relying on God. Check it out.
Kregel Publications — Grand Rapids, MI, April 2022
To provide extra instruction to his PW 404 Advanced Copy Editing students, Mark organized a Zoom meeting with Janyre Tromp (developmental editor at Kregel publications). Janyre talked about her editorial responsibilities, pros/cons of freelance editing, and how students can continue growing as writers even after college.
Answers Magazine — Petersburg, KY, April 2022
Staying alive is what extremophiles do best. “Staying Alive” (Vol. 17 No. 2) is an eight-page feature article that explores the marvels of extremophiles. Check it out.
Answers Magazine — Petersburg, KY, April 2022
God created fascinating ways for plants to be fruitful and multiply. “How Do Seeds Spread?” (Vol. 17 No. 2) is a two-page Creation on Display article. Check it out.
Southern Christian Writers Conference — Hattiesburg, MS, February 2022
This regional workshop emphasized the importance of finding one's writing passion and maintaining it during long writing projects.
Kids Answers Magazine — Petersburg, KY, January 2022
It’s easy to see God's creation in the great outdoors, but what about inside the house? “The Great Indoors” (Vol. 17 No. 1) is a six-page article that helps kids discover God's wonderful creation in everyday home objects. Check it out.
Woodlands Trail — Greenville, SC, January 2022
Mark’s “Amazing in Different Ways” short story was selected for inclusion in an upcoming Woodlands Trail publication. (Forthcoming, 2022)
“Raising Godly Boys” Minute — Greenville, SC, December 2021
Trail Life USA—one of the largest Christian scouting organizations for K–12th grade boys—asked Mark to develop dozens of radio scripts. These have been recorded and broadcast on 300+ national radio stations including American Family Radio and Bott Radio Network. Listen here.
Focus on the Family — Colorado Springs, CO, December 2021
To provide extra instruction to his PW 406 Creative Nonfiction students, Mark organized a Zoom meeting with Jesse Florea (Director of Youth Publishing) and Rachel Pfeiffer (Associate Editor at Clubhouse magazine). Jesse and Rachel provided practical instruction, advice, and encouragement to Mark's senior-level students.
Woodlands Trail — Greenville, SC, December 2021
Mark’s “Sticks and Stones” short story was selected for inclusion in an upcoming Woodlands Trail publication. (Forthcoming, 2022)
Contest Judge for First Impressions — National Competition, November 2021 / 2020
Each year, the American Christian Fiction Writers association holds their First Impressions contest. As a writing judge for the Young Adult category, I evaluated entries based on a host of criteria including characterization, description, dialogue, conflict, emotional connection, etc. Check it out.
Woodlands Trail — Greenville, SC, November 2021
Mark's “A Sticky Situation” short story was selected for inclusion in an upcoming Woodlands Trail publication. (Forthcoming, 2022)
Florida Christian Writers Conference — Leesburg, FL, October 2021
In addition to attending classes at the 2021 Word Weavers International conference, Mark also networked with authors, editors, and agents. Agent meetings: Bob Hostetler (The Steve Laube Agency); Sally Apokedak (Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency)
Author Interview — October 2021
Kristen Hogrefe Parnell, award-winning author of 6 books, interviewed Mark for her blog. They talked about sibling strife, the power of forgiveness, and much more. Check it out.
Newsletter Announcement — October 2021
American Christian Fiction Writers, Virtual Conference — September 2021
By attending this conference, Mark gained insight into how to more effectively use deep POV, market one's writing, and structure social media posts. He also enjoyed the opportunity to network with other writers and editors. Agent meetings: Jessica Sharpe (Bethany House Publishers); Janyre Tromp (Kregel Publications)
Contest Judge for the Carol Awards — National Competition, September 2022 / 2021
Each year, the American Christian Fiction Writers association holds their Carol Awards contest. As a writing judge for the Young Adult category, I evaluated entries based on a host of criteria including characterization, description, dialogue, conflict, emotional connection, etc. Check it out.
Blog Review — September 2021
Sarah Poling, blogger at Whispering the Word, focused her review on the dynamic characters found in Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon. Check it out.
Book Review — August 2021
Deb Haggerty, book reviewer at Positive Grace, wrote an excellent review of Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon. Check it out.
Release Announcement — August 2021
“The Loom,” a monthly newsletter from the Word Weavers association, provided a new release announcement for Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon.
Book Presentation — Indianola, Iowa, July 2021
Becky Wigeland, curator at the National Balloon Museum, gratefully accepted a signed copy of Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon from Mark for the museum's library.
Author Interview — July 2021
Tricia Goyer, award-winning author of over 70 books, interviewed Mark for her “Writer's Desk” blog. Mark and Tricia chatted about topics ranging from outlining to writer's block. Check it out.
Author Interview — July 2021
Deena Adams interviewed Mark on her “Hope-filled Fiction” blog. The interview focused on themes of faith and forgiveness found in Mark's novel. Check it out.
Writing Camp — Pensacola, FL, July 2021
Twenty-two high schoolers traveled from across the country to attend this 5-day writing camp. For 2021, Mark focused on teaching creative writing and poetry forms. Field trips included tours at Abeka, the Print Shop, and planetarium. Check out Writing Camp.
Fiction Finder — June 2021
The Fiction Finder website released information about Mark's novel Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon.
Family Fiction — June 2021
Cookie Distribution — Pensacola, FL, June 2021
As a simple gesture to say thank you, Mark hired the Frosting Cookie Co. to make 70 balloon-themed cookies. Mark distributed these to Abeka art and editorial staff members who worked hard to make Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon soar to life.
Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon — Pensacola, FL, June 2021
Mark's novel is published by Abeka, one of the largest publishers of Christian school resources in the world. Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon is included in Abeka's fall 2021 catalog. Readers immediately begin commenting on the adventurous storyline, heartfelt themes, powerful lessons.
Crossroads: Fountains 2021 — Pensacola, FL, May 2021
Mark's Advanced Copy Editing classes compiled, edited, and proofed the literary journal. This 32nd edition challenged readers to carefully consider the crossroads of pivotal decisions. Check it out.
Print Shop Tour — Pensacola, FL, April 2021 / 2019 / 2018
Mark led his Advanced Copy Editing (PW 404) students on a field trip of a mid-sized print manufacture. The tour helped students understand the equipment, terminology, and processes involved—and cultivated enthusiasm for the way writing is made into a tangible product.
Writers' Seminar — Pensacola, FL, October 2020
To help his professional writing students learn from an accomplished author, Mark organized and emceed a Writers' Seminar. Mr. Dustin Brady, author of 10+ books (with sales of nearly one million), spoke about his writing process and publishing journey. Check it out.
Writing Camp — Pensacola, FL, July 2020
Despite Covid-19 attendance restrictions, high schoolers still traveled from Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, Georgia, and other states to attend this 5-day writing camp. For 2020, Mark focused on teaching creative nonfiction and short forms of poetry. Check out Writing Camp.
Contract Signing for Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon — Pensacola, FL, April 2020
Mark's signed a publishing contract for Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon. Abeka, one of the largest publishers of Christian school resources in the world, scheduled publication of the novel for 2021.
Refocus: Fountains 2020 — Pensacola, FL, April 2020
For the first time ever, Fountains was released as a digital publication. Mark's Advanced Copy Editing classes compiled, edited, and proofed the literary journal. This 31st edition challenged readers to reconsider life from a "new perspective." Check it out.
2020 Kidz Lit Contest — Toccoa, GA, March 2020
Mark won 3rd place in the Young Adult fiction category. Although he had planned to attend the Word Weavers International conference in Georgia, Covid-19 forced cancelation of the entire conference. The contest winners, however, were announced live on Facebook on March 19.
Writing & Book Festival — Pensacola, FL, November 2019
This inaugural event brought together published authors and writing enthusiasts for workshops on topics including outlining, 1st pages, editing, publishing, copyright, marketing, etc.
Promotional Profile Articles — Pensacola, FL, July 2019
These articles detailed Mark's transition from publishing to teaching.
From Editor to Instructor (page 12)
Writing Camp — Pensacola, FL, July 2019
As director, Mark created a proposal detailing schedule, modules, and learning outcomes for a 5-day Writing Camp. In 2019, 24 campers from 9 states participated. In addition to teaching at the camp, Mark also assisted with marketing, program coordination, and logistics. Check out Writing Camp.
Fountains 2019 — Pensacola, FL, April 2019
Mark's Copy Editing II class worked with authors to edit their pieces and assemble a final manuscript. Students also generated interest and operated a sales table at the book launch of the 30th edition of Fountains (PCC's literary journal). Check it out.
College Days Connection — Pensacola, FL, March 2021 / 2020 / 2019
Representing the Professional Writing concentration, Mark met with prospective college students to not only discuss program objectives and answer questions, but also to inspire and generate enthusiasm for the way writing can impact lives.
Writing Judge — Pensacola, FL, March 2021 / 2020 / 2019 / 2018
Mark participated on a panel to judge several writing contests including the Extemporaneous Essay Contest and the annual Commencement Contest (original fiction and nonfiction).
Humanities Interest Session — Pensacola, FL, March 2021 / 2019 / 2018
Mark spoke to prospective college students about the importance an English degree had on his life. By talking about his editing career, he emphasized current print and digital publishing opportunities and using those mediums to positively influence society.
Fountains 2018 — Pensacola, FL, May 2018
Mark's Copy Editing II class worked with authors to edit their pieces and assemble a final manuscript. Students also generated interest and operated a sales table at the book launch of the 29th edition of Fountains (PCC's literary journal). Check it out.
Publishing Strategy Session — Chicago, IL, October 2017
The Emmaus Worldwide director, several colleagues, and Mark met with key Chicago personnel / representatives to discuss networking opportunities, collaboration, and publishing projects.
Publisher Representative at “Prison Pack” Church Service — Chicago, IL, December 2016
For the 4th year, Emmaus Worldwide partnered with Willow Creek Community Church to develop Bible study resources that are distributed to nearly 75,000 prison inmates across Illinois (as a Christmas care-package initiative).
Bible Conference — Bethany Bible Chapel — Cedar Falls, IA, October 2016
At this church-leader conference, Mark represented Emmaus Worldwide by promoting the publisher's publishing activities. He also met with key individuals / organizations to explore potential collaboration.
Life of Christ (BT 247) — Emmaus Bible College — Dubuque, IA, September 2016
Professor David A. Glock invited Mark to guest teach his class of 105 college freshmen about Emmaus publishing resources and their use in a wide variety of ministries.
Christian Ministry Seminars — Dubuque, IA, February 2016
Mark co-led a classroom seminar to encourage students to serve the Lord both now and in the future. The Emmaus Bible study resources provide excellent tools for use in prison / jail ministry, camp ministry, small group Bible studies, one-on-one mentorship, evangelism, etc.
Verso Paper Corp. — Paper Mill Tour — Wisconsin Rapids, WI, September 2015
Mill staff (of this 11th largest paper mill in the world) provided Mark a tour and unique insight of pulp and paper manufacturing. Mark also learned about sustainability practices and overseas competition.
Book Launch — Dubuque, IA, May 2015
To build excitement and generate sales, Mark worked with Amy Hernandez, the author of UnStuck: Moving Beyond Defeat, to develop a successful book launch. The book signing included live piano music, specialty coffee, and desserts. For over 90 minutes, the author was busy signing books.
Filming / Interviewing — Ypsilanti, MI, March 2015
After traveling to Detroit, Mark interviewed Edwin Wolff. His story of finding Christ inside prison is not only inspirational, but also an encouragement to prison ministry workers. With the footage collected, Mark and his team developed three videos. He also wrote an article for The ECS Connection based on Ed’s story.
Strategic Planning — Dubuque, IA, October 2014
Board members and department managers from Emmaus Worldwide gathered for several days of strategic planning. Mark and the publishing team accessed SWOT and STEEP variable before developing specific, implementable plans.
Filming / Interviewing of Prison Inmates — Patosi, MO, May 2014
To promote prison ministries, Mark obtained government security clearance to interview and film 12 Christian inmates inside a Max 5 security prison. I then helped develop videos and related marketing campaigns.
ECPA 2012 PUBu — Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, October 2012
PUBu provides an educational and networking opportunity for those within Christian publishing. Sessions are developed around major publishing-related communities and led by industry experts.
Publications (CS 380) — Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque, IA, April 2012
As a guest instructor, Mark taught junior and senior level students the program tools needed in importing, designing, typesetting, and exporting publications for print and online formats.
International Christian Retail Show — CBA Convention, St. Louis, MO, June 2011
At the St. Louis CBA convention, Mark evaluated exhibit opportunities for Emmaus Worldwide. Roaming the exhibit floor also proved useful in analyzing Christian publishing trends.
Developing an Email and Social Media Marketing Plan — Dubuque, IA, April 2011
Hosted by the NICC Center for Professional Development, this forum offered practical insight into developing and implementing an email and social media marketing strategy.
Publishing Executive & Book Business Seminars — January 2011
Your Future On-demand: Exploring the Future in POD/Digital Book Printing
Finding Direction as New Market Dynamics Take Hold of the Book Industry
2010 Publishers Institute — Christian Small Publishers Association, St. Louis, MO, June 2010
During the International Christian Retail Show, the CSPA hosted the Publishers Institute, discussing pre-publication book promotion, legal publishing rights, social media strategy, etc.
Publishing / Printing Industry Forum — Dexter, MI, November 2009
Industry professionals from the book production business gathered to network and learn about color management, marketing, advertising, graphics and halftones, proper PDF creation, etc.
Printer Visitation — Nappanee, IN, April 2009
Mark visited Evangel Press’ production facility to view equipment and discuss upcoming projects.
Xpedx Paper Summit — Grand Rapids, MI, June 2008
This conference explored the array of papers available and discussed sustainability issues / prices. Representatives included International Paper, Abitibi/Bowater, Fraser, and Glatfelter.
Printer Visitation — Chelsea, MI, November 2006
Representatives of Sheridan Books, Inc. walked Mark through their printing facility in Chelsea, Michigan. They discussed printing options such as foil stamping, embossing, and cloth covers.
Printer Visitation — Dexter, MI, August 2006
For development of a casebound devotional book, Mark met with printers from Thomson-Shore at their manufacturing plant where they together evaluated options and strategies.
Printer Visitation — Grand Rapids, MI, May 2005
In visiting several book manufacturers (Dickinson Press and Color House Graphics), Mark developed business relationships and learned printing technology.
Christian Publishing Institute — Colorado Springs, CO, June 2004
This week-long course (hosted by David C. Cook Publishing) offered an intensive learning experience to managers and publishers pursuing editorial excellence.
Guest Speaker — Wewak, Papua New Guinea, August 2002, August 2003
During National Book Week, Mark visited local schools to encourage children to enjoy and participate in reading and writing. He emphasized the theme of “Read to Lead.”
International Publications Visit — Gospel Literature Service, Mumbai, India, May 2003
For three days, Mark met with GLS representatives in Bombay to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Together, they explored solutions and networking strategies for work within Southeastern Asia.
Guest Instructor — Tangugo, Papua New Guinea, July 2002
Mark taught 25 workshop participants the fundamentals of effective writing and publishing.
World Journalism Institute — Ashville, NC, June 2001
For four weeks, prominent journalists from across America taught Mark and a select group of emerging writers the methods and importance of communicating truth within the framework of today's media.
Writing Finalist — Graduate Research Symposium & Exhibit, Abilene, TX, April 2001
Mark's short story "Voidinmi's Transformation" (written entirely without use of the letter "e") was nominated by Dr. Albert Haley (award-winning author) for inclusion in this symposium recognizing exceptional talent.
Journalism Writing Judge — Trent Independent School District, Trent, TX, March 2001
As an Independent School District writing judge, Mark evaluated students’ news, feature, and editorial articles according to specific criteria to determine winning selections.
International Symposium on Faith & Literary Art — Baylor University, Waco, TX, February 2001
This regional conference explored the infusion of religion and the arts, particularly writing. Keynote speaker: Anne Lamott.
Southwest Conference on Literature — Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, OK, September 2000
These workshops focused on teaching and writing trends within contemporary social culture.
Christian Booksellers Association — CBA International Convention, Orlando, FL, July 1999
Although Mark has attended numerous CBA conventions, this year’s banquet presentations and performances involving prominent authors and artists were especially memorable.