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    • Sat, September 28, 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Solon Springs WI
    • 247


    St. Croix Writers and Wisconsin Writers Association

    Northland Fall Writers Conference

    September 28, 2019   8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

    Solon Springs Community Center

    About This Conference:

    This conference is designed for you, writers and readers. During this exciting and eclectic day, you will explore and learn about several genres of writing, plus examine the benefits of professional editing for your manuscripts.  This full-day conference includes opportunities for you to purchase books by regional authors in a vendor area. Conference fee includes your catered lunch, plus morning and afternoon refreshments. 


    Solon Springs Community Center, 11523 South Business Highway 53
    Solon Springs, Wisconsin   54873

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

    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.

    Register online, or download, complete and mail this form and include registration fee or purchase order payable to Wisconsin Writers Association:

    Northland Fall Writers Conference
    WI Writers Association and St. Croix Writers

    c/o Debra King

    P. O. Box 98

    Solon Springs, WI  54873-0098

    Special Note!
       All WWA Members receive $10.00 discount. Join today at WI.Write.org


    St. Croix Inn, 11390 South 5th Street East, Solon Springs, WI      715-378-4444

    Swanson Motel and Campground, 11829 S. Hwy 53, Solon Springs, WI    715-378-2215

    Airbnb, Inc.  Available through search.

    Conference Agenda:

    8:30 AM - Registration and Check-in, Morning Refreshments. Vendor review & Book Sales

    9:00 AM - Welcome & Introductions:  Thomas Wayne King, WWA Board of Directors & author

    9:15 AM - Keynote Address:  Brian Freeman, author

    Thrill Seeker: A Writer’s Life in the Northland

    During his fifteen years as a Midwestern writer, Brian Freeman has seen the publishing world turn upside down and reinvent itself. But one thing hasn’t changed: the love that readers have for a great story. Brian will take you through the evolution of his career, from writing award-winning Northland thrillers to taking on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne franchise. He’ll talk about the way he develops characters and stories for different settings, platforms, and audiences, and he’ll answer your questions about thriving in today’s publishing industry.

    10:45 AM - Vendor Area and Networking

    11:15 AM - Poetry Introduction:  Gary Banker, WWA Board of Directors and author

    11:25 AM - Guest Speaker:  Karla Huston, Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2017-2018

    Why Poetry Matters: Discussion and Reading

    So what’s all the fuss about poultry? Those chickens work hard enough pluck-plucking at the bugs in the lawn. We need more poultry, not less! Those brown speckled eggs, those pretty red hens! Let’s hear it for—What? Oh, Poetry? Well that’s different! Never mind! New Jersey poet William Carlos Williams said in his poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” “It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”  If you are curious or in a state of denial about the power of poultry, ‘er poetry, join former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Karla Huston to learn why poetry still matters.

    12:30 PM - Catered Lunch (included in your conference fee).  Vendor Area and Networking

    1:30 PM - Fiction Introduction:  Naomi Musch, author

    1:40 PM - Guest Speaker:  Abby Frucht, author

    The Tarot of Character

    In this session, Abby will examine the reading of tarot cards as a method in the development of character and story in fiction and nonfiction.  She's no fortune teller (sorry!), but her discussion will feature the arc of the cards and a look at the intersection of will and fate that accompanies any tarot reading, as well as any making of narrative. She'll also look at the tarot of place and the tarot of objects.  Bring your favorite writing gear and a photo (or just a picture you keep in your mind is fine, too) of a person, place, or object that is important to you, for use in a simple, no-pressure writing exercise.

    2:30 PM - Afternoon Refreshment Break. Vendor Area and Networking

    2:50 PM - Editing Introduction:   Marty Russo, author

    3:00 PM - Guest Speaker:  Barry Wightman, WWA President, Author, Editor

    Is Your Manuscript Ready for Prime Time? What Editors Do.

    This session gets right to the heart of the matter: What makes a piece of writing publishable, ready to submit to literary agents or publishers? A fast-paced session sparked with real-world examples, this workshop covers what an editor actually does. Learn how he or she can help not only with basic copy editing (punctuation, grammar, etc.) but developmental editing - help with structure, arc, rhythm, characterization, continuity, all that stuff...and Hemingway's famous Theory of Omission. (What to leave in, what to leave out.) A good editor serves your story.

    3:50 PM - Closing Comments and Evaluations: Thomas Wayne King

    4:00 PM - Adjourn

    Special Thanks:
    Room at the Table Catering and Bakery

    Solon Springs Community Center, Village of Solon Springs

    St. Croix Writers

    Wisconsin Writers Association

    U-Roast-Em.com/Headwaters Roasting

    Featured Speaker: Brian Freeman


    #1 Amazon Bestselling Author

    Brian Freeman writes psychological thrillers that have been sold in 46 countries and 22 languages. His novel SPILLED BLOOD won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the annual Thriller Awards, and his novel THE BURYING PLACE was a finalist for the same award. Other winners of this award have included authors Lisa Gardner, John Sandford, and Stephen King.

    He has been named by Putnam and the Robert Ludlum estate as the official author to continue Ludlum’s famous Jason Bourne franchise. Brian’s new Bourne novel THE BOURNE CONSPIRACY will be released in 2020.

    “My goal is to write books with haunting characters and a lightning-fast pace,” Brian says. “My stories are about the hidden intimate motives that draw people across some dark lines. The twists and turns keep you turning the pages, and each piece in the puzzle gives you new insight into the heroes, victims, and villains.”

    “I don’t like books where the characters are all good or all bad,” he adds. “I want them to live in the real world, where morality means tough choices and a lot of shades of gray. I hope that’s why readers relate so intensely to the people in my books.”

    Brian is particularly known for the “you are there” sense of place in his novels, from dead-of-winter Minnesota to the tropical storms of Florida. He scouts real-life locales for all of his books and brings to life dramatic settings such as Duluth, Minnesota, San Francisco, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Door County, Wisconsin.  “Nobody writes weather like Brian Freeman,” says one reviewer.

    Brian has lived in Minnesota for more than 35 years with his wife, Marcia, who is his partner in life and in the book business.  They both stay closely connected to Brian’s readers.

    Karla Huston, Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2017-2018) is the author of A Theory of Lipstick (Main Street Rag: 2013) as well as 8 chapbooks of poetry including Grief Bone,(Five-Oaks Press: 2017). Her poems, reviews and interviews have been published widely, including the 2012 Pushcart Best of the Small Presses anthology. She teaches poetry writing at The Mill: A Place for Writers in Appleton, Wisconsin.

    Abby Frucht is the author of two short story collections, Fruit of the Month, for which she received the Iowa Short Fiction Prize in 1987, and The Bell at the End of a Rope (Narrative Library, 2012). She has also written six novels: Snap; Licorice; Are You Mine?; Life before Death; Polly’s Ghost; and A Well-Made Bed (Red Hen Press, 2016), on which she collaborated with her friend and colleague Laurie Alberts. Abby has taught for more than twenty years at Vermont College of Fine Arts and has served as a judge for the Pen Faulkner award for Fiction. She lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo by Heidi Hopkins.

    Barry Wightman spent thirty years in the high tech industry, traveling the world. He earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010. He currently serves as creative director at Forward Health Group, Inc. of Madison, WI.

    Barry’s first novel, Pepperland, received a starred review on Booklist, and was a winner of the Silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association, 2014. Barry is past Fiction Editor (2011 – 2016) for Hunger Mountain,  is President of the Wisconsin Writers Association, and is Program Chair for the University of Wisconsin (Waukesha) Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books. He is a talented voiceover professional and a Wisconsin Broadcasters Association award-winning essayist, whose work has been heard on WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.

    He’s a long-time reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. His music and book reviews have also appeared in various publications in Chicago, Milwaukee and Washington D.C.
    • Sat, October 05, 2019
    • Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Co Hwy M, Middleton, WI 53562, https://benedictinewomen.org/, (608) 836-1631

    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 Laurette 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 www.susannacalkins.com.

    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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