2017 Conference Schedule - Final

PLEASE NOTE: On Saturday, the conference begins at 8 a.m. Vendors are asked to set-up between 7 and 8 a.m.

Friday, May 12, 2017
12 - 4 p.m.

Registration (Lobby)

1 - 4 p.m.

WWA Board Meeting (Boardroom)

1 - 1:50 p.m.

Presenter: Barry Wightman (Henrietta)
From Genre to Literary - How to Amp Up Your Fiction Writing
No matter what you write, here's a fast-moving workshop with lots of insider moves you can make to set your fiction apart from the run-of-the-mill. In an unconventional and entertaining workshop, we’ll get to the heart (of darkness) that lies in that age-old question:  The arty novel—who needs it? Maybe you do.

Presenter: Pat Zietlow Miller (Thistle)
When Less is More ... Cutting the Fluff to Find What You Really Want to Say
You’ve heard that shorter is better when it comes to picture books. But that’s easier said than done. How do you say everything you need to in such a small space? Learn nine tips to make your manuscript leaner, tighter and more powerful. Examples will show exactly how it’s done. You’ll never even miss the words you lose.

Presenter: Beth Amos (Hutchinson)
The Key Elements of Suspense
Using the analogy of a poker game, Amos will walk writers through the steps of creating suspense by asking five key questions that will teach you how to use vibrant settings, vivid characters, and varying points of view to create conflict and keep those pages turning. Learn how to ramp up the stakes and avoid common writing mistakes to assure a winning writing hand. Appropriate for any genre.

2 - 2:50 p.m.

Presenter: Johanna Garton (Henrietta)
Writing from a Place of Vulnerability
You’ve got a story to tell of your own life, but how do you honor the people who’ve been part of your journey as you include them in your writing? Join Johanna as she talks about the process of creating a memoir about her family’s year in China. You will learn how to package your story into something readers will enjoy while still maintaining your place at the family dinner table.  

Presenter: Mary T. Wagner (Thistle)
Adventures in Self-Publishing
From novice blogger to award-winning essayist and author, from head-banging formatting issues to the sound of bagpipes wafting on the Atlantic ocean breeze, from “is there a book in me?”  to “hell YES!!,” When the Shoe Fits and Finnigan the Circus Cat author Mary T. Wagner shares her journey into print. Part nuts-and-bolts advice about publishing, part savvy and joyous perspective about the fun and opportunities to be had as a self-published author, Wagner shares the good, the bad, and the stuff she learned the hard way.

Presenter: Wayne Breitbarth (Hutchinson)
LinkedIn for Authors: How to Capitalize on the World's Largest Professional Networking Site for Selling More Books and Grow Your Business
Join the 80,000+ people who have learned how to achieve career success with LinkedIn, the world's most popular professional networking site, from Wayne Breitbarth, a nationally recognized speaker. Wayne will be sharing the best LinkedIn features and strategies that he and other authors have used to sell more books, find more speaking and consulting opportunities, and raise overall awareness of your book and your business. 

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.


3:10 - 4 p.m.

Presenter: Karla Huston (Henrietta)
Meet Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston
Join Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston for a reading and conversation about poetry and memory. She’ll read from her newest chapbook of poems, Grief Bone (Five Oaks Press: 2017), and share poems written for, from, and about memory and the way it works in poems.

Presenter: Brea Behn (Thistle)
Book Cover Basics
In less than 60 seconds, a reader decides whether to buy your book. Author Brea Behn will help authors find the ideal book cover -- without spending a fortune – and advise writers on how to create a concise book summary and author bio that is sure to entice new readers. Those considering self-publishing will not want to miss this workshop!

Presenter: Kristine D. Adams (Hutchinson)
What's Your Story?
Indiana writer Kristine D. Adams will facilitate an interactive presentation that will explain various techniques of memoir writing. The workshop is structured to encourage participants to write about moments in life. Whether travel stories, life challenges, or personal insights, everyone has a story -- learn how to tell yours.

4 - 6 p.m.

Dinner (on your own)

6 - 8 p.m.

Writing Contest Awards Ceremony (Oshkosh Public Library -use Washington Ave. entrance)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

7 - 8 a.m.

Vendor Set-up (West Paul L)

7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Registration (Lobby)

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Book Exhibition (West Paul L)

8 - 8:50 a.m.


Presenter: Louis V. Clark III (East Paul L)
Author of How to be an Indian in the 21st Century
Warm, plainspoken, and wryly funny, Clark's book shares his own American Indian story, talking frankly about a culture’s struggle to maintain its heritage. His deceptively simple, poetic storytelling matches the rhythm of the life he recounts – what he calls “the heartbeat of my nation,” – from childhood on the Rez, through school and into the working world, and ultimately to his life today as an elder, grandfather, and published poet.

9 - 9:50 a.m.

Presenter: Jerome F. Buting (East Paul L)
Author of Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System
In his book, attorney Jerome F. Buting interweaves his account of the Steven Avery trial at the heart of Making a Murderer with other high profile cases from his criminal defense career. He explains the flaws in America’s criminal justice system and lays out a provocative, persuasive blueprint for reform.

10 - 10:50 a.m.

Presenter: Jill Swenson (Henrietta)
Everything You Need to Know About Editors and Agents
"Do I need an agent? How do I get one? What is a query letter?  What should I look for in a book contract?”  Jill Swenson will answer these questions and more! Swenson has thorough knowledge of the publishing industry and will share her expertise, as well as the latest trends in publishing. She has a wealth of information that a writer at any level will find invaluable.

Presenter: Chris Walker (Thistle)
Citizen Journalism
In an age of conglomerate news where local news coverage has waned, citizen journalism has become increasingly popular. Wisconsin political blogger Chris Walker will present tips on how to start your own blog, including how to choose a platform, what resources citizen journalists in Wisconsin should know about, why content is important, and how to get your blog noticed/read. Note: This is a non-partisan workshop and we respectfully ask that political opinions be left at the door.

Presenter: KW Penndorf (Hutchinson)
Plotting and Developing Characters in a Series
When your fictional characters just won't leave you alone and your novel has too many ideas to fit in a single book, then it's time to talk series writing. Let KW Penndorf, author of the FREYA books, lead you on the adventures of developing both book and series arcs while driving your memorable characters to build story throughout them all. Walk through background building, scene development, plotting, staying true to your fictional "friends,” and above all else--organizing every tiny detail and brilliant idea of yours that's simply itching to get published.

11 - 11:50 a.m.

Presenters: Beth Amos, KW Penndorf, Jill Swenson, Barry Wightman (Henrietta)
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
Come for a lively panel discussion on book reviews and why they matter. This is an excellent workshop choice for both self-publishing authors and writers working with a traditional publisher. You’ll learn how reviews boost your rankings on sites such as Amazon and GoodReads, how to handle bad reviews, and much more! Bring your questions for the Q&A session.

Presenters: Eric Egan, John Egan, Mike Eserkaln, Greg Willett (Thistle)
Beyond Improv: Writing Stand-up Comedy
For anyone writing comedy, word choice and timing are crucial. Listen to a panel of Wisconsin comedians as they answer questions regarding where to get ideas, how to set up a joke, and what makes people laugh.

Presenter: Rex Owens (Hutchinson)
The History in Historical Fiction
How can we know who we are without history? Historical fiction is one way to answer this question using story rather than a history textbook. This session will explore how to weave history and story together for an engaging narrative.

Noon - 1 p.m.

Lunch (East Paul L)

1 - 2:30 p.m.


Presenter: Detective Jeremy Wilson (Henrietta)
Digital Forensics
Detective Wilson will talk about the recovery and investigation of material found on digital devices such as computers and phones, as well as material posted on social media sites, as a means to gather evidence and solve crimes. Topics include the process of retrieving information and the legalities of collecting digital information.

Presenters: Susan M. Baganz, Andrea Boeshaar, Susan Karsten, Lisa Lickel (Thistle)
Everything You Need to Know About Writing for the Christian Market
Our panel of Christian writers and agents will answer your questions about writing for the Christian market: What is the difference between Christian and inspirational fiction? Where do I find markets to sell my work? Do my characters have to be Amish?  This 90-minute discussion is sure to provide you with all the information you need to start a successful career in the Christian market.

Presenter: Kristen Bratonja (Hutchinson)
Publishing 101: The Various Types of Publishing Options Available Today 
During this 90 minute session, Kristen will cover the pros and cons of the major types of publishing - traditional, vanity, self, and indie - to help authors better navigate this increasingly complex industry and to help them decide which option may be best for them. She will also cover some of the major publishing scams and tips on how to avoid them. Finally, it will give some specifics about the publishing process with Orange Hat Publishing. 

2:30 - 3:20 p.m.

Keynote Speaker (East Paul L)
Presenter: Nickolas Butler
Author of The Hearts of Men
The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality—and redemption.

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Autograph session (West Paul L)

Door Prizes (East Paul L)