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Fall Conference

Fall Conference

Friday, October 11th

1:00 pm

Characterization-Creating Unforgettable Characters - Patricia Lynn

This class will help writers quickly create memorable characters by giving sound techniques use. These techniques can be tailored to your personal writing habits and goals.

The Importance of Accurate History in Your Historical Fiction - Sandra Reddish

Interested in writing historical fiction?  Then this is the class for you!  Learn what ticks off historians (they are avid readers too) when they read historical fiction.  Sometimes, it’s the little things that will disrupt the readers flow and learn what and how to correct these mistakes.  Learn to make ample use of “author’s notes” or “based on” in the books.  Also, know that historical fiction may be the only way some people learn about history.  Therefore, it’s important that the history is accurate.  By using “bad” history in historical fiction, it will affect a writer’s reputation, so knowing what “good” history is is imperative to a writer’s credibility.

Being a writer and entrepreneur: Constructing your business plan - Carrielynn Peace

Entrepreneurship: The Launching and execution of a new undertaking, typically a business, requiring vision, planning, and risk (Rhonda Abrams).
Being an author is launching a new business. You are the leader of your organization. Your decisions directly impact the direction that your writing and thus YOUR company will take.  This class, being a writer and entrepreneur: Constructing your business plan, will give you the tools to build your business.
Carrielynn will teach on your business plan, your customer and target market, strategic positioning, financing your business, and marketing.   There will be a template given out in class so that you can begin to put the pieces together for your business plan.
Join your fellow authors as we dream and develop a plan to take our writing to the next level.


2:00 pm

Sensitivity: Keeping Discrimination Out and Diversity and Inclusion In - Julie Stamps

Want to find out how you can write inventive stories while respecting all cultures, people, and abilities? Find yourself cautious when it comes to giving your readers a diverse field of characters for fear of offending someone? Not familiar with what sensitivity readers are? Come to this workshop to find out what writing with sensitivity is all about and how you can create a story that represents the real world and become more socially aware and empathetic in the process. 

The 10 Things Companies and Editors Want in a Freelance Writer Right Now - Linsey Knerl

After 11 years of professional, full-time freelancing, I've learned that you don't need your MFA or even a journalism degree to get steady, high-paying freelance work. Learn what companies and pubs paying up to $1 a word want in a freelance writing relationship and your best way to break into new markets. This session is aimed at anyone wanting to grow their freelance business, from beginner to expert levels.

Creating Believable Dialogue - Brandy Prettyman

Writing believable dialogue is one of the most challenging tasks we face as writers. Whether dialogue is ‘believable’ depends entirely on the genre you are writing in, the characters you have created and even point of view. How do you find the right mix to ensure your readers keep coming back for more? Join Brandy Prettyman for an in-depth look at creating believable dialogue for all types of writing and some common errors to avoid.


3:00 pm

Writing Opposite Genders Believably - Rhonda Hall

If you want your characters to be gender specific, using a proven algorithm, we'll discuss male versus female words or object versus relational verbiage. This class will help you understand how words make a difference in your writing. Time and technology permitting, we will have participants work on their own writing. Bring at least 500 words of your writing to class.  (Digitally would be better, so bring a laptop.)

If you don't have a sample available, don't worry, we will have handouts, so you can still understand the process.

Participants should come away with a basic grasp of the power of words and how changing just a few key words can make a huge difference in how your character is perceived.

So You Think You Want to be a Writer? - Lisa M Leonard

This class is for people who love the idea of writing but don't know how to get started. We will consider how music, sightseeing, journaling, and conversation can provide inspiration. What do you love? What warms your heart? What takes your breath away? These are the things that help us put pen to paper.

Bringing Your Writing to Life - Margaret Lukas

Tolstoy believed that only something clearly seen could be known. This is true for both characterization and setting, which is why capturing the reader’s attention, as well as an agent's, requires significant and sensual detail. In this class, we’ll discuss what makes an item significant and sensual as well as how to catch and delete flat or superfluous descriptions that clutter and slow the writing. We’ll cover abstractions, similes, metaphors, and the advantages and pitfalls of using them.


4:00 pm

Tips for Publishing Wide - Bonnie Lacy

As indie authors become aware of increasing opportunities to publish wide, we also realize how much easier it is publishing exclusive. For anyone desiring to go wide or direct, this workshop will reveal tricks and tips on how to make that easier and less frustrating. It's a big world and with digital options opening up a wider audience almost daily, it's important to help each other along that path. Check out this class for simple but practical tips to help you on your independent publishing journey. Go Wide!

Find an Agent on Twitter: #pitmad and Other Opportunities - Christine Mager Wevik

Learn how to condense your book pitch down to 280 sizzling characters, and get an agent's attention.

Character Archetypes - What are Archetypes and How to Use Them - Victorine Lieske

Studying character archetypes can not only help you create more rounded characters, it can elevate your writing to a higher level. This class will explore some core archetypes that you will find in all kinds of literature. We will discuss how these archetypes are a foundation, not a cookie cutter character type. We will explore how to build memorable characters using well known and loved archetypes.


Saturday, October 12th

10:45 am

Writing Advice: What's Good?  What's Bad?  How Can You Tell? - Jessica Robinson

We live in a time where there are a variety of options when it comes to publishing.  With millions of books being published every year, it's evident that lots of people are trying their hand at creating novels.

During the process, people will try to find information and inspiration that will give them an edge.  Often, they will seek out writing advice and they will find it.  In spades.

Not all advice is created equal.  Sorting the good from the bad can be challenging.  In this workshop, participants will look at a variety of different writing advice from numerous sources and learn how to look at it critically and whether or not the advice applies to them.

All writers no matter their ability or genre are welcome to participate.

Using Poetry to Improve Your Writing - Charlene Pierce

No matter what genre you prefer to write in, writing the occasional poem can improve your writing skills.  In this class, we will not get bogged down with the form and jargon of poetry.  Instead we will focus on how the practice of writing it can help us grow.  Poetry forces us to think differently and to say more with less.  It calls on us to do more than paint a picture for the reader.  It wants the reader to be a part of the painting, to feel the painting as the artist does.  Even if we are writing in free verse, it makes us pay attention to the sound and rhythm of the words we are putting on the page turning our words into music for the reader's ear.  So let's try our hand with a few poems and see how liberating it can be.  You will leave this class with an understanding on how to practice with poetry and how to listen to your writing.  The goal is help you grow as a writer in your own genre.  Who knows, once you get used to the practice you may find a poet in you.

Be a Leader in Your Field - Gina Barlean

At conferences, we learn about things such as marketing, writing, and pitching to agents. But, over the ten years I’ve been a member of the Guild, I’ve never seen a class given to explore the merits of leadership skills. I believe it’s useful to understand the benefits of simple tools leaders in all career fields use, often innately, and sometimes because they’ve taken the time to study them.  

Understanding the basic skills of leadership can change the course of success in any career field. The elements are simpler than you may think. In this class, we’ll talk about and put into practice simple, learnable skills that will help you take steps to becoming a leader, which will make you more credible with other authors, agents, and people sitting in the audience when you speak about, or read your books.


2:00 pm

Don't Scare Your Fairy: Tips for Keeping Your Muse Happy and Flappy - Julie Stamps

The concept of muse isn’t new. Whether it’s a voice inside of you, some supernatural being, or perhaps a person or object of this world, these creative spirits give hope and inspiration to writers. Believing we have a guiding force can be emotionally and mentally comforting. And conversely, it’s easy to assign fault to our “fairy” when our writing doesn’t go the way we want it to. When the words start to trickle instead of flow, we want to hold an outside force culpable. It is human to blame your muse at that passionate and stressful moment, but then as an artist you must trudge forward. You write anyway! In this workshop, we will give you tips on how to keep your muse engaged, how to feed your fairy, and how to get your fairy back when they flit off. Including a special appearance by a virtual fairy! 

On Writing Humor, Seriously - Rhonda Hall

We'll explore classic humor writing techniques & discuss different methods and actions on ways to add humor to your writing.

Marketing Your Indie Book - How to Sell More Books - Victorine Lieske

Marketing is more complex than just setting up an ad. In this class we will look at how to identify your core market, how to know what your audience is looking for, and how to present your book so they want to buy it. We will look at cover art, how to write better blurbs and ad copy, and how to use these things to create great ads that sell books! Don't just buy ads. Build smart ones!


3:00 pm

Putting Your Best Work Forward - Becky Faber

As a manuscript reader for Plainsongs (Hastings College) for over twenty-five years, I have insight into how submitted material is evaluated. This session will address some tips for evaluating one's work before submission to maximize potential for acceptance. These steps will include drafting/revision, understanding your own style, how to seek feedback, and dealing with rejection.

Words Matter: An Interactive Workshop (2 Hrs) - Carrielynn Peace

Words Matter. We all know that. We, as authors, especially know the value of our words. That is why we put them on paper, on the back of envelopes, on napkins, on computers, on people’s minds, and in their hearts. That is why we have saved them in notebooks, on scraps, and proposals. Because they can change lives, ours and our readers. In the Words Matter class, we will explore the importance of crafting your words. We will delve into how we use our words to change attitudes, beliefs, and society.

We too, as Nebraska authors, living the good life, have that opportunity to impact our world with our words. Whether speaking of our recent flooding, the unicameral, the Keystone Pipeline, or Husker Nation, we have a unique story that the world needs to hear.

We will also have fun talking about new words. We will engage with others finding new terms to add to your vocabulary. We will interact with one another about how we each hope to make our words count. Regardless of your genre, capturing new words is a necessity. Words matter will be a fun, engaging class as we work in groups playing and exploring with an author’s favorite tool, words. 

Keeping the "Purple" out of Your Prose - Chelsea Miner

There have long been two camps of writers: Those who prefer “simple prose" and those whose work more closely resembles the long-winded style of Dickens. These two camps have long been at war, but it doesn’t have to be so. The goal of this course is to bridge the gap between overly loquacious and overly simple word-smithing. Attendees will learn to cut the fat, keep their voice, and move their stories along without totally sacrificing the desire to describe.


4:00 pm

Giving Birth to New Monsters - Shennon Helms

Creating unique creatures for paranormal, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Know Your Weaponry: Firearms - Katherine Wielechowski

From revolutions to hunting to personal protection, firearms have been used for all sorts of purposes throughout history, some good, some nefarious. Where humans go, from pirate ships to the stars, historical fiction to sci-fi, firearms follow. This class will give you an overview of the history of firearms and their uses with a focus on the correct terminology and safe handling.