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NWG Annual Conference

NWG Annual Conference and Writing Retreat

Because of COVID-19, we have moved our conference to: April 22-24, 2021

Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites, 7007 Grover St., Omaha

Friday Keynote Speaker: USA Today Bestselling Author Elana Johnson

Saturday Keynote Speaker: Howard Tayler from the Award Winning "Writing Excuses" podcast

USA Today bestselling author, Kindle All-Star Author, and award-winning author Elana Johnson writes adult contemporary beach romance. She is the author of over 100 books across two names, and there's nothing better than sun, sand, and swoon-worthy kisses! Unless of course, she's writing about a handsome cowboy and the woman who can rope his heart. Learn more about her sweet beach romances at Learn more about her inspirational cowboy romances under Liz Isaacson at

Literary Agent Kristina Slater - Kristina Slater has known she wanted to write since she was six years old and wrote her first fairy tale. A voracious reader, she likes to disappear into other worlds. She is the youngest of 10 siblings, having nine older brothers. Kristina has an Animal Science degree from Kansas State University and is currently residing in Omaha, Nebraska. A fangirl at heart, she is looking for her next world to get lost in. 

She is seeking: Fantasy (Adult/YA), Horror, Sci-fi (Adult/YA), Historical Fiction, and STEM Children’s Picture Books.

Kristina will be taking pitches Saturday, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Free Consultations:

Alana Johnson * Lee Warren from Electric Moon Publishing * Michelle Pennington * Judy Corry * Anne-Marie Meyer * Victorine Lieske

We will be offering free consultations on Thursday after lunch, from 1:30 pm - 4:15 pm. You can sign up at the conference. These will be first come, first served. You can ask any questions you have about writing, publishing, and marketing. Or get general career advice. Consults will be going on simultaneously with the afternoon classes.

Boot Camp Critique Groups

Friday evening we will split off into groups and have our boot camp critique groups. This is a great way to get personalized advice on whatever it is you're working on. Bring 7 copies of your work. You can bring up to 2,000 words. You will pass out the copies to everyone at your table, and then read your work out loud. Everyone at the table will give you their feedback, and write notes on your paper. Then you will get them all back so you can take the feedback home. In the past, we have gotten great feedback on this event. People love it. It can be intimidating to share your work, but don't be nervous. You can do it!

Class Schedule

**Please NOTE: This schedule WILL change as we re-schedule teachers, make room for the second keynote speaker, and move classes around. We are working hard to get you an updated schedule soon!!

Thursday, April 22

8:00 AM - Registration and Bookstore Check-in

8:45 AM - Opening Remarks

9:00 AM - Writing Sprints! If you haven't participated in our writing sprints before, here's what you need to know: Bring a laptop. We will be setting a timer for 20 minutes and everyone will try to get as many words down as they can. Make sure your laptop is charged up! We will have a couple of power strips, but not enough for everyone. We'll have contests and prizes, and lots of fun! If you write with music, bring earbuds. 

12:00 PM - Break for Lunch (included)

1:30 PM - Class Breakouts and Free Consultations

     Room 1 - Consultations - You can sign up to have a free ten-minute consultation with Elana Johnson, Anne-Marie Meyer, Michelle Pennington, Judy Corry, Victorine Lieske or Lee Warren from Electric Moon Publishing. Ask whatever you'd like. It's a free ten-minute conversation to get advice about writing, publishing, or marketing.

     Room 2 - Content Marketing Smarter, not Harder - Laura Chapman

     Room 3 - KISSS - Kickin' it Short Story Style - Julie Stamps

2:30 - Class Breakouts and Free Consultations

     Room 1 - Consultations

     Room 2 - Bringing Gods to Life: Using Mythology in Fantasy - Sarah Buhrman

     Room 3 - Taking Your Skills to School - Charlene Neely and Jeanette Bjerrum

3:30 - Class Breakouts and Free Consultations

     Room 1 - Consultations

     Room 2 - Visual Storytelling - Ken Keys

     Room 3 - Stop Using Your Computer Like a Typewriter - Mary Schwaner

4:30 - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - The Perfect Novel - A Quest in Self-Editing - Michelle Pennington

     Room 2 - Let the Words Fall Out - Danyelle Ferguson

     Room 3 - From Panster to Snowflake - Jan Hinds

5:15 - Break for Dinner (not included - everyone on their own)

7:30 - Publishing Panel Discussion - Elana Johnson, The Writing Gals, and Lee Warren from Electric Moon Publishing will answer your questions and discuss publishing.

Friday, April 23rd

8:00 AM - Registration and Bookstore Check-in

8:30 AM - Opening Remarks

9:00 AM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Killer Cover Copy - Elana Johnson

     Room 2 - Conflict Hurts - Melinda Curtis

     Room 3 - The Fantasy Formula-How to Build a Realistic Fantasy World - Tamara Grantham

10:00 AM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Demystifying Theme - Michelle Pennington

     Room 2 - Writing Strong Supporting Characters of the Four-Legged Variety - Jackie Wallick

     Room 3 - A Strategic Guide to Querying Literary Agents - Brett Brockman

11:00 AM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Rocking Your Newsletter - Judy Corry

     Room 2 - Plot? Pants? The Novel Blueprint! - Jennifer Crosswhite

     Room 3 - Metaphor and Conceit; Don't Just Tell, Paint - Steve Rose

12:00 PM - Lunch Break (included)

1:30 PM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Skyrocket Your Romance Writing Income using Tropes - Anne-Marie Meyer

     Room 2 - Authentic Marketing: Living Your Best Brand and Staying True to Yourself - Laura Chapman

     Room 3 - Understanding the Nebraska Writers Guild - Gina Barlean

2:30 PM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Creating Believable Dialogue - Brandy Prettyman

     Room 2 - Perfect Pitching: How to Land Your Next Freelance Writing Client - Linsey Knerl

     Room 3 - Simple Formatting for Kindle in Word - Michelle Pennington

3:30 PM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Power-Up Income with Read-Through - Jessie Gussman

     Room 2 - Triangular Relationships in Fiction - Kevin Clouther

     Room 3 - Understanding Your Publishing Options - Lee Warren

4:15 PM - Shop at the Bookstore/Socialize

5:00 PM - Break for Dinner (not included)

7:00 PM - Boot Camp Critique Groups - Come read out loud your first chapter (or 2,000 words) and get feedback from other writers.

Saturday, April 24th

8:00 AM - Registration

8:45 AM - Opening Remarks and Keynote Introduction

9:00 AM - Keynote Speaker - Elana Johnson

10:15 AM - Break - Shop in the Bookstore and Socialize

10:45 AM - Class Breakouts

     Room 1 - Fantastic Novel Beginnings - Victorine Lieske

     Room 2 - Writing in Series - Carol Moncado

     Room 3 - The Ins and Outs of Contracts - Danyelle Ferguson

11:30 AM - Break for Lunch (included) and Business Meeting

1:30 PM - Break - Shop in the Bookstore/Socialize

2:00 PM - Class Breakouts & Agent Pitches

     Room 1 - Unforgettable Characters - Michelle Pennington

     Room 2 - Facebook Organic Growth Strategies - Nicole McDonald

     Room 3 - Aren't Genres Just Fiction and Non-Fiction - Bonnie Lacy

3:00 PM - Class Breakouts & Agent Pitches

     Room 1 - And the Beat Goes On! - Nancy Sharp Wagner

     Room 2 - Audiobooks: From Page to Performance - Josh Erikson

     Room 3 - Market Analysis and Managing Different Pen Names - Anne-Marie Meyer

4:00 PM - Class Breakouts & Agent Pitches

     Room 1 - Don't Feed the Troll--Keep Writing in the Face of Drama & Chaos - Julie Stamps

     Room 2 - How to Show Off - Brandy Prettyman

     Room 3 - DIY Critique Groups - Miranda Darrow

5:00 PM - Raffle Drawing and Closing



Join us on our Facebook Group for the Conference!! Be the first to read about the classes and all things related to the conference!!

Hotel Information: Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites, 7007 Grover St., Omaha

Phone Number: (402) 934-4900

Group Name: Nebraska Writers Guild
Group Code: FV99J5
Earliest Check-In at this rate begins: Wednesday, Apr 15, 2020 (4:00 PM)
Latest Check-Out at this rate: Sunday, Apr 19, 2020 (12:00 PM)
Rate Program: Group Rate for Nebraska Writers Guild

Please CALL to reserve under our group code to get the discount. We are working with the hotel to try to get a link so you can pay online, but that is not set up yet.


Non-Member Registration: $259 Early Bird Price (Through March 22nd)

Member Registrations: (Not a member? Join here!)

Full Three-Day Conference: $189 Early Bird Price

Fri/Sat Only: $159 Early Bird Price

Thurs/Fri Only: $134 Early Bird Price

Saturday Only: $129 Early Bird Price

Friday Only: $104 Early Bird Price

Thursday Only: $79 Early Bird Price

Early Bird Price ends September 8th!! All prices will increase by $20 after the 8th.


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations on or before April 1st - $35 Cancellation Fee. Cancellations after April 1st - No Refunds Given