Spring Conference

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

Carol Joy Holling Center, Ashland NE 

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Register Today!

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Friday, April 6th 

PRE-CONFERENCE - A Writing Opportunity

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

Enjoy a return to pen and paper. An electricity free writing guided tour to several outdoor settings where you can find some personal writing time. You will be guided back for the afternoon presentations. (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 - Doreen Pfost: Finding A Story In Your Field Notes

This workshop provides tips and techniques that nature writers and others can use to take notes in the field and to organize and use those notes. Many writers and nature lovers leave their pens and paper at home when they take a walk because they find note-taking to be a nuisance and a distraction. But keeping field notes can help improve our observation skills and make us better naturalists and better writers. My program will include brief examples from my book, This River Beneath the Sky: A Year on the Platte (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) to illustrate how field notes can become part of a published work..

5:10 - 6:10 pm - Diane Siefkes: Marketing Online for Authors

As a “professional" author you want to be found, you want to be viewed as a professional. Facebook page may not be what’s best for you. I debunk the myths and present simple strategies and tips to utilize the big three - Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to grow your network, your author enterprise, or other small businesses.

5:10 - 6:10 pm – Chris Mager Wevik: Sharpen Your Pitch & Pitch Practice

Christine Mager Wevik has become the Nebraska Writers Guild resident pitch doctor. Since she began providing pitch practice at out conferences, the quality of our members' pitches has dramatically improved. Chris is an outstanding example of the value of the Nebraska Writers Guild's out-of-state members.

Members and Public Reception

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

Member Readings - (Open to the Public)

7:00 - 9:00 pm - 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. 

Friday Agent and Editor One-on-Ones 

Rudy Shur – Square One Publishing (Owner/Editor) (3:00 – 6:00 pm): Square One is seeking non-fiction: alternative health, collectibles, cooking, gambling, health, how to, parenting, personal finance, postcards, self-help, and writing; fiction – Square One is new in fiction and is limiting its fiction list at the moment.

Stephanie Hansen – Owner/Senior Agent - Metamorphosis Literary in Olathe, Kansas (2:00 – 5:00 pm): Stephanie is seeking: YA series, adult science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, and romance.

Friday Screenwriting/Story Consultations One-on-Ones

Barri Evins – Script Consultant at Big Ideas and Film Producer at be movies

Bring your loglines, query letters or short pitches and get a personalized evaluation from an expert with a real world, professional perspective! Providing constructive feedback and discovering answers to help screenwriters present their material to film industry insiders, from executives to agents, to ensure that it is both professional and powerful. Consultations are collaborative, focused, and practical. Expect honesty. We will work together to bring out the best in your concept, maximize your strengths, express your story, and boost your script’s marketability. Our goal is to make people want to read your story!

All writers should have their, title, genre, specific format/medium, and a single sentence logline. Loglines can be reworked, honed, and strengthened to show off your story and boost its most appealing elements to persuade pros to read your material. Query Letter Check Ups are available to test for effectiveness of how you present yourself and your material, strengthen weak spots, and ensure your query is targeted to meet the very specific expectations of the industry. Some writers like to bring a one-pager with synopsis. I personally recommend a query letter, as that is a stronger choice when marketing scripts. On the spot feedback is available for a short pitch – the target length is about 5 minutes to ensure there is time for back and forth constructive discussion to strengthen the pitch and polish the presentation. Invaluable prep for PitchFests, Industry Meetings, and Elevator Encounters!

An exclusive opportunity! If you have a movie idea in its early stages, bring a logline or very short pitch and have a one-on-one development session to bring your concept into focus as a film. Barri is also willing to work with TV writers, novelists, and nonfiction.

Friday Publishing/Marketing Services Consultant One-on-Ones 

Diane Siefkes – Owner/Consultant dkSolutions (marketing only) (4:00 – 5:00pm)

Lisa Pelto – Owner/Manager Concierge Marketing/Book Publishing Services (publishing and marketing) (3:00 – 6:00 pm)

(All One-on-Ones are for paid Conference Participants Only - must register in advance - priority based on a first to register and complete payment.)

 

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 am – Rudy Shur: 5 THINGS WRITERS DO TO KILL THEIR CHANCES OF GETTING PUBLISHED

9:45 -10:10 am  Break

10:15 – Laree Lindberg with Electric Moon Publishing

10:20-11:35 am – Jim Misko:  How I Got from Where I Started to Where I Am Now

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

3:45 - 5:00 pmBarri Evins: STORY ESSENTIALS – WHAT EVERY STORY NEEDS TO SUCCEED

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 stories share the same fundamental characteristics.  They are a literal 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 see them in action in films, but they are powerful building blocks in all storytelling mediums, present and past, from the humble anecdote, to the binge-worthy TV series, to the epic novel trilogy.  Understanding these story components and how they work individually, as well as collectively, empowers writers to create enthralling tales by harnessing the primal power of story.

5:00 pm — Evaluations/Raffle Winners Announced

Must be present to win raffle prizes.

Agent/Editor One-on-Ones 

Rudy Shur – Square One Publishing (Owner/Editor) (3:40 – 5:00 pm): Square One is seeking non-fiction: alternative health, collectibles, cooking, gambling, health, how to, parenting, personal finance, postcards, self-help, and writing; fiction – Square One is new in fiction and is limiting its fiction list at the moment.

Malaga Baldi – Baldi Agency in New York City (Owner/Agent)(8:30 – 11:30 am): Malaga is seeking: general fiction, Reference, Biography, Computers/technology, Business/investing/finance, history, mind/body/spirit, travel, lifestyle, cookbooks, science, memoir, cultural history, literary fiction, creative nonfiction, gay/lesbian fiction, hybrid/creative/nonfiction.

Publishing/Marketing Services Consultant One-on-Ones 

Lisa PeltoOwner/Manager Concierge Marketing/Book Publishing Services (publishing and marketing) (times available throughout the day on Saturday)

Laree Lindberg - Owner/Manager Electric Moon Publishing (publishing and marketing) (times available throughout the day on Saturday)

Marketing Services Consultant One-on-Ones - (Lisa Pelto and Diana Siefkes)

Screenwriting/Story Consultations One-on-Ones

Barri Evins – Script Consultant at Big Ideas and Film Producer at be movies

Bring your loglines, query letters or short pitches and get a personalized evaluation from an expert with a real world, professional perspective! Providing constructive feedback and discovering answers to help screenwriters present their material to film industry insiders, from executives to agents, to ensure that it is both professional and powerful. Consultations are collaborative, focused, and practical. Expect honesty. We will work together to bring out the best in your concept, maximize your strengths, express your story, and boost your script’s marketability. Our goal is to make people want to read your story!

All writers should have their, title, genre, specific format/medium, and a single sentence logline. Loglines can be reworked, honed, and strengthened to show off your story and boost its most appealing elements to persuade pros to read your material. Query Letter Check Ups are available to test for effectiveness of how you present yourself and your material, strengthen weak spots, and ensure your query is targeted to meet the very specific expectations of the industry. Some writers like to bring a one-pager with synopsis. I personally recommend a query letter, as that is a stronger choice when marketing scripts. On the spot feedback is available for a short pitch – the target length is about 5 minutes to ensure there is time for back and forth constructive discussion to strengthen the pitch and polish the presentation. Invaluable prep for PitchFests, Industry Meetings, and Elevator Encounters!

An exclusive opportunity! If you have a movie idea in its early stages, bring a logline or very short pitch and have a one-on-one development session to bring your concept into focus as a film. Barri is also willing to work with TV writers, novelists, and nonfiction.

(All One-on-Ones available to Paid Conference Participants Only - must register in advance - priority based on a first to register and complete payment.)

 
 

Resource Providers Biographies:

Barri Evins – Script Consultant at Big Ideas and Film Producer at be movies

Barri Evins, a working film producer and script consultant, created Big Ideas to give aspiring screenwriters what it takes to achieve their dreams and make breaking into the business a reality. She provides professional techniques and powerful tools to help aspiring and advanced screenwriters achieve their dreams through weekend intensives, unique consultation services, and mentorship. 

Barri began her career as a development executive for writer-producers Ray Gideon and Bruce Evans, who wrote STAND BY ME, STARMAN, and MR. BROOKS. She went on to become President of Debra Hill’s company, the producer of THE FISHER KING and the HALLOWEEN franchise. As a producer and an executive, Barri sold pitches and specs to Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Fox, Nickelodeon, New Line, and HBO before becoming an independent producer.

Her teaching career began at the UCLA Graduate Producers Program and AFI. She has taught at studios including Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Blizzard Entertainment. A sought after Script Consultant, Pitch and Logline Doctor, and expert in practical pointers for breaking into the business, Barri has spoken at screenwriting conferences including Great American PitchFest, Screenwriters Expo, and Screenwriters World. She contributed a chapter to the book Now Write: Screenwriting. Barri’s column, Breaking and Entering, appears in ScriptMag.com. A Big Ideas book is in the works. She works with screenwriters, TV writers, novelists, and nonfiction.

Jim Misko  Author (NWG Member - Alaska/California)

Jim Misko was born in Nebraska, then moved to Oregon and Alaska, completing what for him was a natural bridge to the frontier. He has worked as an oil field roughneck, a logger, a truck driver, a sawmill hand, teacher, journalist, real estate broker, and author. With numerous published articles and eight books to his credit, he works at being the best author of fiction he can become.

Rudy Shur – Author and Editor/Owner of Square One Publishing (New Hyde Park, NY)

Rudy Shur is the founder and publisher of Square One Publishers.  Author of How To Publish Your Nonfiction Book, second edition: A Complete Guide to Making the Right Publisher Say Yes.  Rudy began his work in publishing as a field representative for Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company and William C. Brown Publishing Company, where he ranked as the top salesman in each sales force.  In 1976, Mr. Shur and his partners founded Avery Publishing Group.  Over time, Avery was developed into a successful mid-size firm, achieving market dominance in the field of alternative health books.  In 1999, Avery was sold to Penguin Putnam, Inc. 

Square One is seeking non-fiction: alternative health, collectibles, cooking, gambling, health, how to, parenting, personal finance, postcards, self-help, and writing; fiction – Square One is new in fiction and is limiting its fiction list at the moment. 

Malaga Baldi – Literary agent and Owner of the Baldi Agency in New York City

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. 

Malaga is seeking: general fiction, Reference, Biography, Computers/technology, Business/investing/finance, history, mind/body/spirit, travel, lifestyle, cookbooks, science, memoir, cultural history, literary fictions, creative nonfiction, gay/lesbian fiction, hybrid/creative/nonfiction.

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

Stephanie represents debut to New York Times bestselling authors. She’s signed authors with small presses to major publishing house distribution. She received her Master’s in 2008 and Creative Writing Specialization in 2017. Predominately she represents YA SF/F but has a secret addiction for romance. While these are her favorite, she handles everything fiction from children’s books to adult thrillers. Previously an editor for Minds Eye Literary Magzine, she became a part of Metamorphosis in July 2016. Originally looking to help Midwest authors garner the attention of major publishing houses, despite residing in “flyover states”, she found camaraderie with multiple agents and editors.

Stephanie is seeking: YA series, adult science fiction and fantasy, thrillers, and romance.

Sarah Buhrman Author (NWG Member - Lincoln)

Author of sixteen books, Sarah is an AuthorGoddess, one who embraces the divine honor of creating worlds with words in the hope of inspiring others. Sarah has been writing for more than 20 years. She lives in a magical land with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby), and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week. Sarah is the author of Too Wyrd and Fluffy Bunny, books 1 & 2 of the Runespells series. She has short stories and essays in several anthologies, including Visions IV: Space Between Stars, A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales, London Calling: A Quill&Ink Anthology, and Chasing Fireflies: A Summer Romance Anthology. She also writes under the names Selina Wolfcat and Lina Greyce.

Doreen Pfost –  Author (NWG Member - Wisconsin)

Doreen Pfost is the author of This River Beneath the Sky: A Year on the Platte (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). A nature writer and communications consultant, in 2011 Doreen received the national Frederick Manfred Award for Creative Writing from the Western Literature Association.Much of her writing concerns conservation and the natural world; however, she is also interested in literature and the arts, and in stories about people and places. Born in Newfoundland, Doreen grew up in southern Michigan and Wisconsin. In 2004, her husband’s career led them to south-central Nebraska. There, Doreen earned a Master’s degree in English at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and began to study and write about the Platte River. Now back home in Wisconsin, she is at work on a history of Platte River conservation.

Diana Siefkes Consultant/Owner - dkSolutions (NWG Member - Lincoln)

I'd always dreamed of being an "author" but hadn't ever really thought about it much beyond a kids dream. Joining the military out of high school, I didn’t go to college until I was in my mid-30’s. And of course, still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up! The standard advice for all college students was to major in something you enjoyed doing. I enjoyed reading so an English major it was. I did end up doing a quite a bit of writing (d’oh) and found myself enjoying it. Of course, getting a job as a “writer” wasn’t quite as easy as I thought so I got a "real job" and put the idea of making a living as a writer back in the dream category. My current gig as an online marketing strategist for small businesses has allowed me to pursue the writing part a bit more. And I’ve (re)discovered how much I enjoy writing. So now seems the time to spend more time on it.

Chris Mager Wevik Author (NWG Member - South Dakota)

Christine Mager Wevik has become the Nebraska Writers Guild resident pitch doctor. Since she began providing pitch practice at out conferences, the quality of our members' pitches has dramatically improved. Chris is an outstanding example of the value of the Nebraska Writers Guild's out-of-state members. She is the author of two books, It's Only Hair: Hair Loss Help and Humor and Vacant Eyes. She has also published in "The Link," a magazine for The American Hair Loss Council, and "Funds for Writers", a nationally recognized newsletter for writers. 

Chris is a part-time farm wife, full-time writer, and aspiring Christian (“because as you know, Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”). She and her husband of 27 years, Douglas, have four children, Valerie, Ashley, Kara, and Dan, and two grandchildren, Claire and Nathan. They live on a farm south of Beresford, South Dakota, where they raise corn, soybeans, and livestock. Chris is an avid gardener and decorator. She is also involved in several community, school, and church activities and shares children's sermon duties with her pastor at Roseni Lutheran Church in rural Beresford, SD. In her spare time, Chris likes to nap, read Dean Koontz novels, and procrastinate.

Laree Lindberg – Author and Owner/Manager - Electric Moon Publishing (NWG Member - Stromsburg)

Before her sole procurement of Electric Moon Publishing, LLC., Laree signed with a literary agent and published devotions and articles. She has worked as a grant writer for a non-profit project, a technical writer for a media company, an e-book design expert for various publishing companies, and a ghostwriter, re-writer, and editor for a law firm. At the inauguration of EMoon in 2008, our business model was that of a royalty-based ePublishing company. Now, the stride of EMoon reaches far beyond e-books only. The services we offer are a writer's buffet - less the runny-nosed kid who licks all the spoons. Instead, we supply a pure, fresh approach to publishing. Simplified and brought directly to you for your convenience. She and her crew operate a full-service collaborative/hybrid publishing place for indie authors, ministries, and organizations. 

Lisa Pelto –  Author and President - Concierge Marketing and Book Publishing Services (NWG Member - Omaha)

Lisa graduated from the University of Nebraska - Omaha with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a major in Marketing. She speaks to groups both locally and nationally on cause-related marketing, cost control, manufacturing, special markets and other publishing issues. She is actively involved with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, SCBWI, Greater Omaha American Marketing Association, and a faculty member of IBPA University (Independent Book Publisher’s Association). At Concierge Marketing/Book Publishing Servies, she will help you create the very best book possible offering services from Awards (Print & Digital), Bar Codes, Display Services, Distribution & Fulfillment Services, E-Book Production & Digital Fulfillment Services, Editorial Services, Financial & Management Services, Foreign Rights & Translation Services, History, Indexing Services, Marketing & Sales Services, Print & Manufacturing Services, Publicity & Promotion Services, Publishing Consultants, to Rights & Royalties.

 

Register Today!