Speaking Engagements

Sarah Sundin enjoys speaking to community, school, and church groups, and loves to teach workshops for writers.

Use the navigation in this section to learn about Sarah’s speaking topics. Please use the Speaking Request Form to ask questions or submit an invitation.

Sarah Sundin speaking at Fresno State University, November 4, 2019

Sarah Sundin speaking at Fresno State University, November 4, 2019

“Sarah’s presentation was excellent – with much valuable information, interesting anecdotes, fascinating history, and nicely punctuated with her lovely sense of humor. It was a genuine pleasure listening to her talk.”
—PEO Organization, Pleasanton, CA

Speaking Topics

Community Organizations and Schools

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Here are my prepared talks, but I can also tailor a topic to meet the needs of your organization.

Rosie the Riveter and Friends: Lessons from the 1940s Woman

The World War II era was a fascinating time for women. They took new jobs in the military or in factories, they volunteered on the Home Front, and they lived by the motto, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Using the posters of World War II, we’ll explore how women dealt with these great challenges, and we’ll be inspired by their commitment to work, community, and home.

The Women of D-Day

Although no women landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, they were involved in many vital and significant ways. We’ll explore how these unsung women helped plan and support this historic event.

Birth of a Novel

How does an author actually write a novel? Come behind the scenes and see how plots and characters are crafted.

Writing is Rewriting

Appropriate for public schools, private schools, or homeschool groups, upper elementary through high school—also works well on Zoom. Students hate editing their work! This workshop details the many levels of edits professional writers go through, using actual marked-up pages, and describes what the author looks for at each level.

Church Groups

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Here are my prepared talks, but I can also tailor a topic to meet the needs of your organization.

Rosie the Riveter and Friends: Lessons from the 1940s Woman

The World War II era was a fascinating time for women. They took new jobs in the military or in factories, they volunteered on the Home Front, and they lived by the motto, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Using the posters of World War II, we’ll explore how women dealt with these great challenges, and we’ll be inspired by their commitment to work, community, and home.

Blessed Are…Encouragement from the Beatitudes

Available as a workshop or for a weekend retreat. In the Beatitudes, Jesus paints a startling portrait of the Christian character which stands in stark opposition to what is valued in modern American society. In these sayings, we find strength to become the women Jesus wants us to be. We find encouragement to endure life’s difficulties. And we find the way to encourage our friends, binding us together. Together, let’s explore God’s shocking blessings.

In God’s Waiting Room

Available as a workshop or for a weekend retreat. All of us go through seasons of waiting in life. In fact, waiting seems to be one of the Lord’s favorite teaching methods. While we sit in God’s waiting room, we can let the Muzak get to us and give way to fear, doubt, and despair, or we can flip through God’s Magazine and learn how to trust Him, seek Him, and live in hope. Together we can allow the Lord to turn waiting from trial to triumph.

Simplify Christmas

Does Christmas bring more stress than joy? More chaos than peace? We’ll look at the reasons to simplify our holidays and some practical tips for doing so. Let’s move from pressure, guilt, comparison, and debt to a true celebration!

Shoving off Shame

Shame is the voice in our heads saying, “I’m a horrible person. I’m not worthy. God could never use me,” and it incapacitates us. We’ll look at how God doesn’t want us to live under a heavy cloak of shame because Christ redeems us, covers us, and restores us. Plus we’ll look at tools for shoving off shame.

Diapers and Dreams

For most women, becoming a mom fulfills a lifelong dream. But you don’t stop being YOU, with your personal dreams and interests. In this workshop, we take a look at our dreams and discuss practical tips on what to do with them when you have little ones at home.

Writers Groups and Conferences

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Here are my prepared talks, but I can also tailor a topic to meet the needs of your organization.

Historical Research for Fiction Writers: Enrich and Deepen Your Story

Accurate details in historical fiction lend authenticity and color. We will discuss principles of conducting historical research, resources to explore, and how to document and organize your research.

Making Fiction Come to Life

“I felt like I was there!” In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to draw readers into our stories so they become the characters, so they live in the setting, and so the plot fully engages them. Also, we’ll look at how to describe the story world without overwhelming the reader with details.

How to Make Historical Fiction Come to Life

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to bring the past to life through plotting, characterization, and setting, and we’ll learn how to weave in historical details in a way that enlightens readers but never overwhelms them or bogs down the story.

Crafting Characters Who Resonate with Readers

Every author wants characters who feel real to the reader—characters with strengths and weaknesses, quirks and flaws, hurts and secrets and fears and dreams. In this workshop we’ll explore how to delve into nature, nurture, and experience to craft memorable and believable characters.

Setting the Scene—Writing Scenes That Live

Scenes are where your story comes to life. We’ll explore how to start a scene that grabs readers and grounds them in your world, how to use each scene to drive the story forward, and how to end the scene in a way that leaves them wanting more.

Serious about Series: Tips on Writing a Seriously Good Fiction Series

Learn how to use connection, consistency, and contrast to build a fiction series that readers clamor for.

Fiction Boot Camp

Drop and give me ten! Ten basics for fiction writing, that is. We’ll look at common issues seen in first novels from dialogue to point-of-view to setting up a scene. We’ll learn some fiction lingo and we’ll outline the steps to publication. Prepare to sweat—and learn.

The Super Synopsis – From Dread to “Done”!

Few things inspire more dread in the heart of a novelist than the word “synopsis.” We can write a novel faster than a speeding bullet, but the synopsis is our kryptonite. Learn some tools to bring this villain to his knees – and convert him into an ally in your quest for truth, justice, and a publishing contract.

No Missed Deadlines—Strategies to Keep You on Track

Writing for publication means deadlines—not only for manuscripts, but for publisher’s title questionnaires, blog interviews, endorsement requests, and more. Without a system of organization, things can fall through the cracks, tainting our professional reputation. In this workshop, we’ll explore practical ways to track assignments and manage goals, using calendars and charts and files.

For the Long Haul – Career Planning and Goal Setting

Designed for a 5-hour teaching track, but can be broken down into components. Making the transition from hobby writer to professional takes more than great writing. We’ll discuss how to develop a professional mindset and habits. We’ll look at career planning, goal setting, organization, and time management. And we’ll explore practical low-tech and high-tech tips to help you meet your goals.

In God’s Waiting Room

All writers go through seasons of waiting. In fact, waiting seems to be one of the Lord’s favorite teaching methods. While we sit in God’s waiting room, we can let the Muzak get to us and give way to fear, doubt, and despair, or we can flip through God’s Magazine and learn how to trust Him, seek Him, and live in hope. Together we can allow the Lord to turn waiting from trial to triumph.

Blessed Are…The Beatitudes for Christian Writers

In the Beatitudes, Jesus paints a startling portrait of the Christian character which stands in stark opposition to what is valued in modern American society. In these sayings, we find strength to become the writers Jesus wants us to be. We find encouragement to endure the difficulties of the writing life. And we find the way to encourage our readers to persevere.

Speaking Request Form

    Upcoming Events

    October 6-31, 2022
    FlourishWriters Online Conference

    I’ll be presenting a workshop on “Crafting Characters” at the online FlourishWriters Conference, which runs October 6-31, 2022. More details in early October.

    October 13, 2022
    ACFW Orange County

    I’ll be teaching a workshop on “Making Historical Fiction Come to Life” at the American Christian Fiction Writers Orange County meeting on October 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm. We’re meeting at Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, 307 E Katella Ave, Orange, CA.

    [More Information]
    November 10, 2022
    Book Club Meeting

    I’ll be meeting online with a book club in North Carolina as they discuss Until Leaves Fall in Paris.

    November 11-12, 2022
    Royal Writers Virtual Conference

    At the ACFW Virginia Royal Writers Virtual Conference, I’ll be teaching a workshop on “Setting the Scene.” Registration opens October 3.

    [Event Website]

    Recent Events

    June 14, 2022

    I spoke at the Greensburg-Hempfield Area Library on June 14, 2022 in Greensburg, PA.

    April 23, 2022

    I spoke via Zoom with the American Christian Fiction Writers Louisville chapter on “Setting the Scene.”

    April 3, 2022

    I joined twelve other authors in Brentwood, CA, for a Literary Stroll. Participants strolled around downtown businesses and heard from various authors. Read the write-up in The Brentwood Press.

    Inspire Christian Writers Conference 2022
    March 25-29, 2022

    At the Inspire Christian Writers Conference at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center in Felton, CA, I taught three workshops: “Crafting Characters Who Resonate with Readers,” “The Super Synopsis: From Dread to Done!” and “Serious about Series: Tips on Writing a Seriously Good Fiction Series.”

    March 13, 2022

    I taught a workshop on “Fiction Boot Camp” at Haven Writers group at Bridgeway Church in Roseville, CA.

    February 17-19, 2022

    Served as co-director of the 2022 West Coast Christian Writers Conference, held online. I taught a workshop called “Setting the Scene – Writing Scenes That Live.”

    Rosie
    October 16, 2021

    Spoke at Living Water Church in Cloverdale, CA, on “Rosie the Riveter and Friends – Lessons from the 1940s Woman.”

    Waiting
    February 22, 2020

    Keynote speaker and taught at Oregon Christian Writers Winter One-Day Conference at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR. In addition to my keynote addresses on “In God’s Waiting Room” and “Blessed Are…Beatitudes for Christian Writers,” I taught workshops on “Making Fiction Come to Life” and “Platform: Find Your Unique Light and Let It Shine.”

    Fresno
    November 4, 2019

    Spoke at Fresno State University, Fresno, CA, on “Rosie the Riveter & Friends: Lessons from the 1940s Woman.”

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