Melanie has spoken to audiences across the country about a variety of topics including writing, adoption, and the power of story. She is passionate about encouraging others to use the unique gifts that God has given them, and she has shared her journey with grade school children, college students, fellow novelists, ministry leaders, book clubs, radio hosts, and publishing professionals. She enjoys teaching at writing conferences, women’s events, and as an adjunct writing and public relations professor at George Fox University.

“Melanie Dobson has presented multiple workshops at our annual conference. She provides practical tips for creating scenes, enhancing tension, developing characters, and writing memorable novels. She’s an encouraging and approachable author with a kind heart. I highly recommend her as a speaker, teacher, and writer.” —Julie McDonald Zander, organizer of SW Washington Writers Conference

Sample Writing Workshops & Coaching Classes

Writing Historical Fiction for Contemporary Readers
How do we engage today’s readers in historical fiction? This six-hour class is designed to equip both novice writers and seasoned novelists with research tools, writing techniques, and essential fiction components to engage and inspire contemporary readers.

Why Bad Things Must Happen to Good Characters
Fiction readers connect deeply with main characters who face formidable challenges and opposition. In this workshop, we discuss how to create likeable, flawed characters as well as both internal and external conflict so readers can empathize with our characters and cheer for them to overcome every obstacle along their journey.

Ten Steps to Create a Compelling Novel
How do we structure a novel to grab a reader’s attention and keep him or her engaged until the last page? This workshop is for writers who have an idea for a story and want to learn how to mold and structure their concept into a compelling novel with passionate characters, strong opposition, and entertaining dialogue.

Power of Story
Christian writers have a unique call to stir hearts, minds and souls through story. Like the parables of Christ, a powerful story can transform readers wherever they are on their journey. My passion is to encourage both fiction and nonfiction writers to embrace and share the transformative stories that God has given them.

Stitching Together Time-Slip Fiction
Time-slip fiction is a growing genre, but what exactly is a time-slip novel? And how do you weave together two or more time periods? In this workshop, we discuss how to structure a story that slips between past and present plotlines, effectively integrate backstory, and create a cohesive contemporary-historical novel.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?
A good love story engages readers across genres. This workshop is for romance writers as well as for writers—both men and women—who want to learn how to incorporate romantic themes into another genre. In this class, we talk about love, conflict, pursuit, dialogue, and other components of a compelling romance.

Writing Faith-Based Fiction
The Bible is filled with war stories and love stories, tragedy and triumph, and I believe that God continues to use stories today to encourage, educate, and equip His children. In this workshop, we talk about how to write a powerful and memorable novel that communicates God’s truth and draws readers closer to Him.

Sample Topics for Church Events & Women’s Retreats

Power of Story
Like the parables of Christ, a powerful story can inspire and change someone wherever they are on their journey. My desire is to stir both hearts and souls through story and encourage others to embrace and share their stories as well. Please click here to read one of my stories about heroines on Ann Voskamp’s blog.

Adoption Journey
People often ask about our family’s adoption story. As the adoptive mom of two teenage girls, my desire is to encourage other mothers by sharing the joys and struggles of our journey and how God has used adoption to transform my heart and mind.

Catching the Wind
The importance of faithfulness is often overlooked in our culture, but my novel Catching the Wind is about the lifelong faithfulness of a man to do exactly what God called him to do. Based on the story in Luke 5, this talk is about how we are each called to step into deeper waters as we are faithful to God’s calling.

Master Creator
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about an artisan named Bezalel. God gave Bezalel wisdom, knowledge and the ability to make beautiful art. Then God used this man’s talents to design a tabernacle—the very place where God dwelled. We are each made in the image of a master artist, and in this talk, I discuss the process of creation and encourage others to worship God and inspire others through what they create.

Paper Hearts
Three years ago my family spent a month serving in Uganda. We were certain we were supposed to go, but we didn’t know what we would actually DO when we arrived. On this trip, God used our seemingly random talents in miraculous ways, and through the story of our journey, I want to encourage and inspire other women in their unique gifts and talents as well.

To contact Melanie about a potential speaking engagement, please email

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