2018 Conference Schedule

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 11, 2018 Room
12 - 4 p.m.

Registration

Lobby
1 - 4 p.m.

WWA Board Meeting

Boardroom

1 - 1:50 p.m.      
Breakout Sessions                                                                       

Presenter: Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB
How Dog Training Can Help You Be a Better Writer
Have you ever struggled to find the time to write? Been intimidated by a deadline or a work in progress? You’re certainly not alone; all writers struggle to some extent with the challenges inherent in the craft. However, there’s help for us from a seemingly unrelated field: dog training. Honest. Patricia McConnell will explain how she employed the same basic principles of behavior modification that she used on aggressive dogs to counteract all the forces that were holding her back as a writer. It even includes “training treats.” (Chocolate anyone?) 

Henrietta

Presenter: Dionne Kelm
Children's Books: From Start to Finish
Author of the children's book series Grandma Hearts, Dionne Kelm will share examples from her own work as she discusses the process of writing and publishing a children's book. Topics will include flushing out an idea, creating a mission statement, writing the book, branding your concept, finding a publisher, and marketing your work. 

Thistle

Presenter: Christy Wopat
Turning Memories into Memoir
Everyone has a story, but not everyone can tackle the daunting task of writing a memoir. Are you ready to turn your memories into stories that could possibly help someone else? In this session, memoirist Christy Wopat, author of Almost a Mother: Love, Loss, and Finding your People When Your Baby Dies, will talk you through the process of how she turned her grief into narrative non-fiction, taking careful consideration of how her “truth” could affect the people in her life. You’ll learn practical steps to get you on your way to turn your memories into memoir.

Hutchinson

2 - 2:50 p.m.
Breakout Sessions   

Presenter: Silvia Acevedo
Focus on Feedback: How to Start (or Join) a Critique Group and Make the Most of Criticism
Creating is so often a solitary endeavor that writers and illustrators may lack the feedback needed to improve their craft. One great solution is to join or create a critique group, but how exactly do you do that? And what should you expect? Join Silvia Acevedo, author of the God Awful series of books and 10-year crit-group whiz, as she talks us through connecting with other creators, establishing submission guidelines, best practices for insightful critiques, and following through with your new friends.

Henrietta

Presenters: Barry L. Busby & Cheryl I. Brehmer
Coroner Corner
Join two Winnebago County coroners for a discussion on aspects of their job that will help bring your murder mystery to life. Drawing on their professional experiences, Busby and Brehmer can aid you in writing believable death scenes and avoid common misconceptions often depicted in film and books. Topics include identification of the deceased, notification of family, and working with law enforcement. Note: The content of the program will be respectful to deceased persons and their families, but may include graphic descriptions that some audience members might find unsettling.

Thistle

Presenters: Larry Scheckel & Ann Scheckel
Eight Tips to Getting Published
Larry and Ann Scheckel, retired teachers, will share their experience in maneuvering through the pitfalls and rewards of the book publishing landscape. Having published six books in eight years, they will highlight mistakes made and triumphs achieved as well as pass along eight insightful tips to those who wish to experience the thrill of seeing their name on a book cover and their book on a shelf.

Hutchinson
2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Break/ Snack

 

3:10 - 4 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Presenter: Barry Wightman
Ask Not What You Can Do For an Editor ‐ Ask What an Editor Can Do For You (And Your Story)
This session gets right to the heart of the matter. What makes a piece of writing publishable and market ready? A fast- paced session sparked with real‐ world examples, the session covers what an editor does: a good editor serves your story.

Henrietta

Presenter: Rex Owens
How to Create a Successful Blog
Blogging takes planning and commitment but is an effective way to brand your name and establish a relationship with your readers. Author Rex Owens has blogged weekly for years and will share what he’s learned along the way, including the mechanics of blogging and creating content for your blog.

Thistle

Presenter: Jill Swenson
The Perfect Pitch
You’ve got the attention of an editor/agent for only 5-to-7 minutes. How can you present your book or proposal in an engaging, concise manner that will hopefully land you a book contract? We can help you craft that perfect pitch. Be sure to sign up for a free pitch session on Saturday!

Hutchinson

4 - 6 p.m.

Dinner (on your own)

Becket's Circle Room
Dutch Treat

6 - 8 p.m.

Writing Contest Awards Ceremony

Oshkosh Public Library
(use Washington Avenue entrance)
Saturday, May 12, 2018  

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.

9 a.m. - Noon

Pitch Sessions (Individual sign up)
Michelle Grajkowski - 3 Seas Literary Agency
Michelle represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction along with select non-fiction projects with a terrific message.  She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.

Boardroom

8 - 8:50 a.m.
 

Presenter: Lori Rader-Day
Keynote Presentation

Lori Rader-Day is the author of the Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning novel Little Pretty Things and The Black Hour, winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Her third novel, The Day I Died, was an Indie Next Pick and is a finalist for the Chicago Writers Association’s Book of the Year. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she is a member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter and a board member of Sisters in Crime Chicagoland. Her next novel, Under a Dark Sky, will be published by Harper Collins in August. Find her at loriraderday.com.

East Paul L.

9 - 9:50 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Presenter: Valerie Biel
From Stone Circles to Fantasy Fiction: How Archaeology & History Inspire Modern Storytelling
Explore how ancient monuments and the remnants of early civilizations and their history help create intriguing fictional worlds. Valerie Biel will guide you through the importance of research into current titles, the historical record, and folklore & mythology, and discuss how to identify the gaps which make room for fictionalization.

Henrietta

Presenters: Jerome F. Buting, Kathleen B. Stilling, & Ryan S. Ulrich
Writing Defense
So you want to write a legal thriller? Get the insiders’ view from actual defense attorneys who will answer your questions about the legal system from their side of the courtroom. Topics will include jury selection, preparing a client for trial, and planning a legal strategy. Bring your courtroom drama to life with the help of our panelists!

Thistle

Presenter: Carmen Leal
Using Your Story to Inspire and Challenge
The best stories minister to the writer before the reader even sees them. Learn how to use your own story to reach the world. You'll leave this workshop with a new perspective and fresh energy to write articles and devotions that will inspire and challenge hearts.

Hutchinson

9:50 - 10:30 a.m.

Break/ Snack
Browse our Book Exhibition

West Paul L.

10:30 a.m. - Noon
Breakout Sessions

Presenter: Beth Amos
ABC's of Character Development
Characters that are compelling and believable – how do you create them? Learn how to use your skills of observation and perception of those around you to bring your fictional characters to life. What do they look like? What are they thinking? How are they behaving? What are their strengths, their weaknesses, their fatal flaws? This workshop will help you tap into the “people” resources that are all around you to help you create realistic fictional characters.

Henrietta

Presenter: Detective Jeremy Wilson
Crime Scene Investigation
Back by popular demand, Det. Jeremy Wilson! Wilson is currently assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau of the Oshkosh Police Department, where he works as a Detective. Since joining the Oshkosh Police Department, Jeremy has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, worked undercover and as a forensic phone analyst. Det. Wilson has previously spoken at the Lakefly Writers Conference about blood splatter, crime scene collection and digital forensics – we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this year!

Thistle

Presenter: Jill Swenson
Everything You Thought You Knew about Social Media Marketing is Now Wrong
With all the recent changes in the social media landscape – Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Google – authors need to rethink what were considered best practices for marketing books. This presentation will highlight some of the most significant changes, discuss ways to protect your privacy and intellectual property, and present tried-and-true and new techniques for building your audience platform and marketing your book.

Hutchinson

Noon - 1 p.m.

Lunch

East Paul L.

1 - 1:30 p.m.

Book Signing/ Dessert East Paul L.

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Presenter: Michelle Grajkowski
The Business of Writing
So, you’re finally doing it: sitting down and putting words on a page. As you type in that first word, you’re feeling the excitement of living your dream. CONGRATULATIONS! You are now a writer...and a CEO! HUH? You see, to be successful in today’s publishing world, you need to think about your career and your business. Now that you’ve plotted your book, let’s plot your career. Michelle Grajkowski, owner of 3 Seas Literary agency, will share tools and ideas to build a strong business.

Henrietta

Presenter: Shaun Harris
Me Talk Good For Money
Actions speak louder than words, but it's the great one-liners we all remember. Novel and comic book writer Shaun Harris will take you through the 10 Ironclad Rules of Dialogue and why they should be broken. Expect some group participation and on the spot workshopping. 

Thistle

Presenter: Lynn Kuhns
Before It’s Too Late: The Immortality of You, as Your Words Live On
Yes -- you can “speak” after it’s all over. No -- this fun and insightful workshop isn’t only for those finalizing their bucket lists. Any stage of any life is the right time to prepare for when you’re not around to direct the show. Explore how to fulfill your own writing dreams and those related to inspiring, entertaining and influencing those whom you’ll leave behind. This program includes a take-home workbook,
information, and discussion on setting and reaching your long-term goals; maintaining files, social media and personal writings; and tidying up your writing business.

Hutchinson

3:10 - 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Presenter: James Brakken
Writing Realistic Historical Fiction
Not all fiction that takes place in the past is historical fiction, but if you’re writing historical fiction, getting basic facts correct is crucial. Brakken will recommend resources for research, talk about using characters’ daily life, attitudes and dialogue to explore the time period, and how to not let history get in the way of your story.

Henrietta

Presenter: Laura Jean Baker & Ryan S. Ulrich
A Writer and a Lawyer Walk Into a Bar
Join Laura Jean Baker and her criminal defense attorney husband, Ryan Ulrich, as they talk about the collaboration process that lead to Baker's memoir, The Motherhood Affidavits. The presentation will focus on turning the sometimes mundane but interesting details of true crime into stories on the page.

Thistle

Presenter: Miles Maguire
From Fakery to Fact: The Tools of Journalism
This session will explore the techniques that journalists (and other nonfiction writers) use to gather and present information to readers. This is a topic that is relevant to current concerns about “fake news” but has broader implications for the practice of journalism and nonfiction generally. One area of focus will be the rise of narrative journalism over the last 50 years, including the effect of storytelling on the credibility of news accounts.

Hutchinson

4:00 p.m.

Door Prizes

East Paul L.