Spring Conference

2018 Nebraska Writers Guild Spring Writers' Conference - April 6th-7th 2018

Carol Joy Holling Center, Ashland NE 


The Information Below Gives You a Glimpse of What the Current Plans are for the 2018 Annual Spring Confernce.

All entries are subject to change or deletion until this heading goes away.

Updated information will be posted as it becomes available.


Friday, April 6th 

PRE-CONFERENCE - A Writing Opportunity

1:00 - 2:30 pm - Hike and Write  (please register)

Choose between either a Guided Writing Tour moving from one outdoor site to another or a Private Outdoor Site where you can spend time alone writing. (Don Dingman, Facilitator)

FREE - Elective Workshops - Open to the Public (please register):

2:30 - 4:00 pm -  Malaga Baldi:  Upgrade that Query Letter

Participates will bring the body of a proposed query letter. The letter should be blind -- no address, no name. The workshop will start with a spiel about query letters then we go to bat on the queries. Shy ones learn, loud ones ask the questions that are on everyone's mind. We cover everything about publishing....

2:30 - 4:00 pm - Jim Misko: “Cauldron” (a hands-on story development workshop)

The group is divided into three smaller groups: protagonists, antagonists, and affected people. I use the Berkeley Riot as the “Cauldron” and each group is to define what they would like their protagonist to think first thing—the internal monologue. And then what is their first physical reaction, the external action. It is always lively and nobody has gotten up and left. The participants write down both reactions and then put it in a paragraph for their book.

4:05 - 5:05 pm - Sarah Buhrman: What Genre is Which?

Choosing a genre can be confusing and frustrating. How do you know what to pick? You have to get it right, or your sales will suffer. We will talk about how to cut through all the details and get to the core genre of your story. Learn what key things to look for in your book, and the tricks to help you find the right genre.

4:05 - 5:05 pm - George Hast: An Alternate Model for a Writers Group

5:10 - 6:10 pm - Diane Siefkes: LinkedIn - Not Just A Job Board

When people think of LinkedIn, they often assume it's a place to get a job. I debunk the myth and present simple strategies and tips to utilize LinkedIn to grow your network and your author enterprise or other business.

Members and Public Reception

6:10 - 7:00 pm -  Meet and Mingle (Open to the Public)

Member Readings - (Open to the Public)

7:00 - 9:00pm - Readings by Nebraska Writers Guild Members (Readers Must Register in Advance!)

A great way to see who’s writing what and who can really understand your writings. 

Agent and Editor One-on-Ones - (Rudy Shur and Stephanie Hansen)

Available between 3:00pm and 6:00pm

(Paid Conference Participants Only - must register in advance - priority on a first to register and complete payment basis)


Saturday, April 7th 

Must Register to Attend

7:30 - 8:00 am  Registration

8:00 - 8:30 am  Welcome and Announcements

8:30 -9:45 amJim Misko:  How I Got from Where I Started to Where I Am Now

9:45 -10:10 am  Break

10:15 – Laree Lindberg with Electric Moon Publishing


11:35 - 1:30 pm  LUNCH

1:35 pm – Lisa Pelto with Concierge Marketing and Book Publishing Services

1:40 - 2:00 pm – NWG Spring Business Meeting (see agenda and reports in your packet)

2:00 - 3:30 pm Publishing Panel (Jim Misko, Rudy Shur, Malaga Baldi ?, Stephanie Hansen ?)

3:30 - 3:45 pm – Break


Human beings love a good story.  Our brains are hardwired for a tantalizing tale from our caveman ancestors huddled around a roaring fire to viewers today cozying up to a computer consuming YouTube videos.  Our primal attachment to story explains why all compelling films, from five-minute shorts to epic sagas, share the same fundamental characteristics.  They are a turn on for our story-loving minds. 

We define the Seven Essential Elements of highly successful stories: The Hero, Their Flaw, Their Goal that establishes The Stakes, Conflict, Escalation, Twists and Suspense.  We will see them in action in both storytelling and trailers, dissecting how they work individually, as well as collectively, to create enthralling stories.

5:00 pm — Evaluations/Raffle Winners Announced

Must be present to win raffle prizes.

Agent and Editor One-on-Ones - (Malaga Baldi and another agent to be announced)

For times available see the registration form.

Publishing Services Consultant One-on-Ones - (Lisa Pelto and Laree Lindberg)

(One-on-ones are available to Paid Conference Participants Only - must reregister in advance - priority on a first to register and complete payment basis.)

Resource Providers Biographies:

Bari Evins – 

Jim Misko – (NWG Member - Alaska/California)

Rudy Shur – Square One Publishing (Owner/Editor)

Malaga Baldi  Baldi Agency in New York City (Agent & Owner)

Malaga Baldi has worked as an independent literary agent since 1986. The Baldi Agency is an eclectic agency specializing in literary fiction, memoir and cultural history. She worked as a cashier at Gotham Book Mart, in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and the Elaine Markson Agency before going out on her own. Baldi believes the strength of the author's voice and the heart of the story to be key when considering new work. 

Stephanie Hansen –  Metamorphosis Literary in Olathe, Kansas (Literary Agent - NWG Member) 

Sarah Buhrman– (NWG Member)

George Hast– (NWG Member)

Johnny Gerhardt – (NWG Member)

Chris Mager Wevik– (NWG Member)

Laree Lindberg– (Owner - Electric Moon Publishing - NWG Member)

Lisa Pelto– (Owner - Concierge Marketing and Book Publishing Services - NWG Member)