This year we are thrilled to have Ann Kroeker with us at Winsome! You can read all about her here and register for her Next Level Writers Workshop here. But what neither of those will tell you is that Ann is Winsome founder Kim Hyland's fairy godmother (aka writing coach) and has played an integral role in Kim's upcoming book An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together (Baker Books, Spring 2018).

Today Ann shares about her connection with Winsome and what she's looking forward to!

Tell us a little about you and your role at Winsome this year.

I’m thrilled to lead a workshop for people who are interested in growing as a writer and looking for ways to send their work out into the world—possibly for the first time ever. In our Next-Level Writer Workshop, we’ll learn how to take our ideas and stories from private to public venues. My role as the workshop leader is to help attendees see they can take either baby steps or giant leaps into the world—however God leads. They’ll grow as a person and a writer, leveraging existing skills and building new ones. By the end our time together, they can see how with courage and creativity they can begin to impact people right away.

How did you hear about Winsome?

I know about Winsome from two places: from Kim Hyland herself, as we’ve gotten to know each other in the past year, and from social media, as attendees processed their time at Winsome. Clearly, it's making an impact on women’s lives.

Do the Winsome values of authenticity, diversity, and truth already play a role in your life, even if you use other names to describe them?

Yes, absolutely. One of the most powerful tools we have as writers is to write with authenticity to convey truth. I think we can all point to writing that conveys truth without being authentic, and we can also identify a writer who has an authentic voice but lacks truth. Ideally, those go together: an authentic writing voice—steeped in truth—sharing authentically about her life. As a coach, I try to help writers of faith pull that together.
And though we writers must narrow our target audience—often thinking in terms of demographics—I hope we learn to write in a way connects with a wide range of people from all walks of life. Writing and sharing ideas and stories is a natural way for us to know people and be known. As a writer, I can share my perspective and life experience; as a reader, I can turn to the work of diverse writers whose perspective and life experience are different than mine. In this way, we can understand one another more intimately, which can initiate and strengthen relationships.

Why did you want to lead a workshop at Winsome?

I love encouraging people who are interested in writing but aren’t sure what to do with their words and ideas. I hoped I could come to Winsome Retreat as a presenter and be a voice assuring women, “Your message—your story—matters.” Not only that, I wanted to show them how they can express themselves effectively and, if they want to, begin to send that message or story out into the world.

What are you most looking forward to at Winsome 2017?

I can’t wait to meet the people signed up for the Next-Level Writer Workshop! The setting sounds wonderful, too.


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