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Writing and Publishing Wisdom at the Holy Wisdom Monastery

  • Sat, October 05, 2019
  • Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Co Hwy M, Middleton, WI 53562,, (608) 836-1631


Registration is closed

Writing & Publishing Wisdom

Sharing Literary Wisdom at the Holy Wisdom Monastery

Mini-Conference Hosted by The Wisconsin Writers Association


When:    Saturday Oct. 5, 8am-5pm

Location:   Holy Wisdom Monastery Retreat Center - Garden Room

4200 Co Hwy M, Middleton, WI 53562


Pricing & Registration

Early Registration: $49.00 ($39.00 for WWA members) includes conference, catered lunch, morning & afternoon refreshments. Artisanal coffee by Common Ground.

Early Registration deadline is September 18, 2019 for food count.

Late Registration: $55.00 ($45.00 for WWA members)

Vendor Registration: $64.00 ($54.00 for WWA members) includes six-foot covered table, conference, catered lunch, morning & afternoon refreshments.


8:00am - Arrival, check - in, coffee & light refreshments (Garden Room / retreat center)

9:00am - Introduction by WWA President Barry Wightman (10min appx) followed by:

9:15am - Presentation with Wisconsin Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga

10:15am - Presentation- Mystery Writer Susanna Calkins

BREAK - 15 min

11:30am - Pathway to Publishing - Panel Discussion Featuring:

~ Kira Henschel - HenschelHAUS Publishing

~ Shannon Ishizaki - Orange Hat Publishing

~ Ross Tangedahl - Cornerstone Publishing

~ Jason Smith - Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine

12:30pm - Lunch & Awards Presentation

~ Buffet lunch from Common Ground Middleton

~ Jade Ring Writing Contest - winners presentation

~ High School Writing Contest - announcement

2:00pm - Afternoon Presenters (50 min each w/ break & coffee service between)

~ Presentation with English & Creative Writing teacher Elizabeth Jorgenson

~ Presentation with author & Director of Red Oak Writing Kim Suhr

3:30pm - Closing presentation & wrap up questions with author Nick Chiarkas Speaker Bios & Presentation Info

Margaret Rozga

Life-long Wisconsin resident Margaret Rozga, Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2019–2020, lives in Milwaukee. She earned her BA at Alverno College and an MA and PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. An emeritus professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Waukesha, she continues to teach a poetry workshop for Continuing Education at what is now the UWM–Waukesha campus.

Session description: TBD

Susanna Calkins

Susanna Calkins writes the Lucy Campion historical mysteries set in 17th century London and the Speakeasy Murders set in 1920s Chicago (Minotaur/St. Martin’s). Her fiction has been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, the Agatha, the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery (Lefty) and the Anthony, and was awarded a Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award (the Macavity). She has been teaching at the college level for over 25 years and currently works at Northwestern University.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives in the Chicago area now, with her husband and two sons. 

Check out her website at

Session description: In this session, Susanna Calkins will share the inspiration behind her award-winning historical mysteries and her own path to publication. She will discuss strategies for moving a story forward and engaging readers, no matter the genre of fiction.

Kira Henschel (publishers panel)

Award-winning independent publisher Kira Henschel will be joining our discussion with valuable input on the publishing process. Kira has helped birth more than 550 books since 2002, when she founded HenschelHAUS Publishing. She also provides book consulting and coaching services for those who wish to self-publish.

Shannon Ishizaki (publishers panel)

Shannon Ishizaki is the owner of Orange Hat Publishing, who publishes distinctive books from all genres including children’s books, early reader books, young adult books, and full-length novels.

Orange Hat Publishing is family owned and operated that has contributed to the publication of over 100 books. We’ve combined our years of experience in publishing, marketing, and web design to offer our authors a unique experience to make their dream of publishing a book a reality.

Ross Tangedal (publishers panel)

Ross Tangedal is the Publisher-in-Chief & CEO, Cornerstone Press a small, independent publishing house nestled in the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point campus has been churning out a book a year since 1984 while encouraging students to pursue careers in publishing.

Cornerstone Press is a rare gem in that it’s just one of four undergraduate, student- run presses in the United States that offer direct experience in every aspect of publishing, from acquiring and editing new manuscripts to book design and production to marketing and sales.

Jason A. Smith (publishers panel)

Jason A. Smith is the associate director of the Wisconsin Academy and editor of the organization's quarterly magazine of Wisconsin thought and culture, Wisconsin People & Ideas. Before joining the Wisconsin Academy in 2008, Jason was the managing editor of The Common Review, the quarterly magazine of the Great Books Foundation, and helped the storied nonprofit to develop materials for adult reading groups.

Elizabeth Jorgensen

Elizabeth Jorgensen received her undergraduate degrees from Marquette University. In 2009, she received her master’s from Carroll University and in 2017, was named Graduate of the Last Decade.

She teaches English at Arrowhead High School. Her memoir, Go, Gwen, Go: A Family's Journey to Olympic Gold, co-written with Nancy Jorgensen, is available from Meyer & Meyer Sport. Shorter works appear in Wisconsin English Journal, Azalea and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She has presented on sijo (Korean poetry) at NCTE, WCTE, WSRA and for NCTA.

Session description: Sijo Makes You Smarter. Sijo expands your consciousness, sparks new possibilities, opens new horizons in your own writing. Rich in Korean history, sijo is a lyrical form of poetry divided thematically and structurally by line and syllable count. Because sijo is a form most Americans know nothing about, this presentation will introduce the structure and form of sijo, sharing the best. And then, we'll write a few of our own. Remember - sijo makes you smarter.

Kim Suhr

Kim Suhr is the author of Nothing to Lose (Cornerstone Press, 2018) and Maybe I’ll Learn (KDP, 2012). She is also Director of Red Oak Writing. Kim holds an MFA in Fiction and is a Board Member and Treasurer for the Wisconsin Writers Association (WWA).

Session description: Writers talk about the importance of revision, but the act of truly "re-seeing" our work is often easier said than done. In "Robust Revision," we'll explore different techniques for improving our early drafts and practice one or two of them on our own work. Participants are invited (though not required) to bring along a few pages of writing in progress they'd like to revamp.

Nick Chiarkas

Dr. Chiarkas grew up in the Al Smith housing projects in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where his book Weepers takes place. He is presently working on his next novel, Nunzio’s Way, which will be followed by Black Tiger Tea, and then Blue Bounty (working title).

Session Description: As our closing presenter, I thought I would embrace that that position by touching on the importance of a good ending. The “right” opening to your novel is the crucial “hook” to keep your readers going. Likewise, the “right” ending is critical to bringing your readers back. And, although I love the idea that, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” (Leonardo da Vinci), as an author I nevertheless must decide when to type “The End.” To be clear, when writing a non-fiction book, I pretty much know at the start where it will end. But as a novelist, deciding when the book will end is more an agreement between me, the story, and one or more of the characters.

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