2017 Conference Schedule

2017 Schedule coming soon!


2016 schedule:

Friday, May 13
12 - 4 p.m. Registration (Lobby)
1 - 4 p.m. WWA Board Meeting (Boardroom)
1 - 1:50 p.m. Presenter: Silvia Acevedo (Henrietta)
World Building
What is world building and how can it pull readers into your story? Silvia Acevedo, author of God Awful Loser, and its sequel, God Awful Thief, shows us the paramount principals of world building and how you can use each point to expand or shrink the struggles of your protaganist and the expanse of your tale.

Presenter: Philip Martin (Thistle)
How to Deliver a Successful Pitch
You've got the attention of an agent/editor for only 5 to 7 minutes- how can you present your book or proposal in an engaging, concise manner that will land you a book contract? Philip Martin will draw on his experience in editing and publiching to help you craft the perfect pitch. Be sure to sign up for free pitch sessions on Saturday!

Presenters: Jane Wypiszynski & Barry Wightman (Hutchinson)
Putting Your Best Voice Forward
Writing is hard work. Pitching your writing is hard work.  Even doing a reading at a bookstore, social event, or book club is hard work. So having some pointers on how to make those readings better would be helpful, right?  Barry and Jane will be offering tips, suggestions, and evaluations of your readings.

Barry has had a remarkable career which includes voiceover work for several media enterprises.  As a writer as well as an advertising guru he understands the importance of making material sound as stirring as possible. Jane has taught, coached, and judged oral interpretation of literature in a competitive national arena.  Her former students include Jim Belushi, Isabella Hoffman, and William Allen Young.

Please bring about 5 minutes’ worth of your work (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, prose) to read in our workshop.  We will listen and give you recommendations to make your performance as successful as possible.

2 - 2:50 p.m. Presenter: Valerie Biel (Henrietta)
30-Day Promotional Plan: Learn How to Launch (Or Re-launch) Your Novel
While promoting your book is an ongoing process, what you do in the 30 days leading up to your release (or re-launch) is crucial to gaining the attention your book deserves. This session provides a systematic approach, dividing the tasks into manageable categories within a month-long schedule that aims to protect your valuable writing time.

Learn the basics of press release writing, finding the right local/regional/statewide media outlets, building a buzz via Twitter/Facebook/your own website, designing contests for maximum interaction, and promoting directly to area bookstore managers, librarians, and teachers.

Presenter: Matthew Hefti (Thistle)
Everyone Has Everything In Them: Writing What You Don't Know
One of the common questions I get is "Can non-veterans write about war?" My answer is of course; anyone can write about anything. Using various short excerpts from both veterans and non-veterans writing about war, I'll go through what makes for successful and believable verisimilitude in fiction. Those same principles then can be applied to nearly any topic a writer may want to write about--whether it be Marilynne Robinson writing from the perspective of an elderly preacher decades ago, whether it be Steven King writing about monsters and space aliens, or whether it be a workshop goer writing a story about detectives or soldiers, everyone has everything in them.
Presenters: Jane Wypiszynski & Barry Wightman (Hutchinson)
Putting Your Best Voice Forward, Continued (See description above)
2:50 - 3:10 p.m. Break
3:10 - 4 p.m. Presenter: Louis V. Clark III (Henrietta)
“How” to be an Indian in the 21st Century
Louis V. Clark, author of “Two Shoes,” will talk about memoir writing in prose and verse, using examples of his own work. He will emphasize finding your own voice and using your uniqueness to tap into new markets.
Presenter: Christine Keleny (Thistle)
Ebook Formatting Made Easy
Christine will tell you about your options for ebook formatting and she will walk you through turning a word document into a mobi or epub file using Jutoh Software.
Presenter: Jill Swenson (Hutchinson)
Tweeting your way to success
Haven’t caught the Twitter bug yet? Here’s your chance. Understand why it is important to start a twitter account as an author and how to successfully use your account. During this presentation you will hear about some Twitter success stories and be given the opportunity to set up your own Twitter account with step by step instructions. Jill will also discuss Twitter’s basic features, including how to tweet, re-tweet, like a tweet, reply, make a list, use hashtags and the search bar. Come trend with us.
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 14
8a.m. - 2 p.m. Registration (Lobby)
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

3 - 3:50 p.m.
WWA Writer’s Services Marketplace and Bookstore (West Paul L)
This year, WWA offers conference attendees and authors an all-in-one marketplace experience with a writer’s services (such as editors, proofreaders, book designers, illustrators, cover designers, publishing services, writing magazines, writing assist software, website designers, etc.) vendor fair and book store. Authors are encouraged to consign your titles to the bookstore, where sales will be handled for you for a flat fee. Authors are no longer stuck at a table, but encouraged to sign up for and take advantage of the wonderful conference. Authors are also expected to spend at least 30 minutes helping at the bookstore and you should be able to make yourselves available to autograph books.
9 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome – general assembly (East Paul L)
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Pitch sessions (Boardroom)

Ashley Ruggirello, representing REUTS, a unique boutique YA/NA publisher based in Milwaukee that offers an unconventional, yet advantageous and author-friendly approach to traditional publishing. Publishes 12-24 titles each year.

Philip Martin, representing small but good quality indie press, Crickhollow Books. Publishes a range of regional-rooted fiction and some genre fiction (mysteries, always am looking for good fantasy but it's hard to find) for adults, and also historical fiction for middle-grade readers.

Jill Swenson (morning only), representing Swenson Book Development LLC, a boutique agency which represents a broad range of authors writing memoir, narrative nonfiction, children’s picture books, middle-grade fiction, art/photography, poetry, and YA. 

10 - 10:50 a.m. Presenter: Jessica Lourey (Henrietta)
From Idea to Novel
You've got that golden idea for a book, the one that won't let you go, that embellishes itself as you walk around your day. How do you turn that good idea into a great novel, and what do you do with it after you write it? Join author of thirteen books and college writing instructor Jessica Lourey for the answers.
Presenter: KW Penndorf (Thistle)
Write and Promote for a Younger Audience
Author KW Penndorf of the Freya series will offer successful strategies to help you learn to captivate your young readers by writing stories that 'show, don't tell'. With the second half of teh presentation, KW will share her resources and promotional experiences on how to reach those young readers so your book will sell.
Presenter: Elizabeth Koehler Pentacoff (Hutchinson)
Writing a Memorable Memoir
Not sure whether you have the skills needed to write a memoir? What if you or your subject doesn't remember enough to make the project worthwhile? Elizabeth will walk you through the process of writing a memoir, starting with teh right questions you need to ask. She will then show you how to expand the answers to those into narration and scenes.
11 - 11:50 a.m. Presenter: Dan Anderson (Henrietta)
Dealing with Rejection: Humor's Importance in Writing (and Life)
If you're a writer, you know rejection. It's part of the process. But how can one remain optimistic when one finds an ever-accumulating file/stack of rejections? With examples of famous failures (turned successes), Dan Anderson will talk about ways to use humor to reflect and find perspective as the rejections will continue to pile up--even among the successes--in your writing career. 

Presenter: Christopher Chambers (Thistle)
Writing Flash Fiction: No Wasted Words
Flash fiction, a literary form of extreme brevity, continues to gain in popularity among writers and readers, and most literary journals now publish flash fiction. Writers looking to tighten up and enliven their writing are invited to join us as we explore this popular short form. Flash fiction is a self-contained piece of fiction in 1,000 or fewer words that often employs classic story elements of fiction but with the compression and attention to language characteristic of poetry. We’ll read and discuss successful flash fictions, deconstructing them to figure out how they work. We’ll explore what micro-fictions can teach us about writing in longer forms. We’ll also discuss markets for publishing flash fiction.

Presenter: Andrea Lochen (Hutchinson)
Getting to Know Your Characters
Compelling and complex characters are an essential part of all great fiction.  But just how well do you know your characters?  Their fears, their dreams, their birthday, their shoe size?  Andrea Lochen, award-winning author of The Repeat Year and Imaginary Things, will discuss the importance of strong character development, both on and off the page.  Please bring one of your characters “along” to get to know better in a fun writing exercise.

Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch (East Paul L)
1 - 2:30 p.m. Presenters: Det. Jeremy Wilson & Carter Wilson (Henrietta)
Crime Workshop - The Perfect Murder
Nothing loses credibility with fans of murder mysteries faster that an inaccurate murder scene investigation. Det. Jeremy Wilson will share tips and techniques used by police in analyzing a murder scene, including how to properly secure a crime scene, gather evidence, interpret blood splatter and more!
Presenter: Jill Swenson (Thistle)
How to Write Your Book Proposal
If you hope to find an agent or an acquisition editor at a publishing house, then you need to prepare a proposal before you send a single query letter. Learn what belongs in your proposal and what does not. Gain how-to instructions for completing a comparative title analysis, preparing a marketing strategy, and writing your author profile, product description, chapter summaries, and query letters. Polish your premise statement and develop your pitch.
Presenter: Tom Montag (Hutchinson)
What’s the Use of Poetry?
What is the use of poetry? We will explore some given notions regarding the use of poetry, ask workshop participants to identify poetry's use in their own lives, and together we'll share what it all comes to. As there is not one right answer to this perplexing question, we will help to enlighten each other. What's the use of poetry? In your heart, you know.
2:30 - 3 p.m. Autograph session (West Paul L)
Door Prizes (East Paul L)
3 - 3:50 p.m. Keynote Speaker Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff, author of The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women. (East Paul L)