Conference News

The Nebraska Writers Guild 2024 Annual Conference

NE Writers Guild -annual conference speaker at microphone with audience in background

The 2024 Annual Conference 

April 25-27, 2024

Wyndham Omaha/West Dodge, 655 N 108th Ave, Omaha Nebraska

Reserve your room with our special discount rate applied.

Thank you for a great conference. We’ll see you next year!

Keynote Speaker: Becca Syme

Becca Syme holds a master’s degree in transformational leadership and has been a success coach (primarily utilizing the Gallup Strengthsfinder®) for over fifteen years. She’s coached over 5,000 individual authors and creatives through her Write Better-Faster and Strengths for Writers classes & coaching cohorts: six- and seven-figure authors, major award winners, midlisters, and new authors alike. Becca is the host of QuitCast for Writers and a mystery author. Connect with Becca at

Emcee: Dennis Gaunt

Dennis Gaunt has always enjoyed making people laugh. He has previously emceed at the Storymakers and ANWA writing conferences. He is a frequent teacher at those and other writing conferences around the country. In addition, he is a published author with both Deseret Book and Covenant Communications, as well as being a teacher and motivational speaker for youth and young adults. When he’s not writing, he enjoys photography, playing the guitar, going to Disneyland, and Godzilla movies. He also hates onions.

First Page Consultations with Dennis Gaunt

This year, Dennis will be giving consultations where he will go over your first page with you as seen from the viewpoint of a slush pile reader. Dennis has been working as a slush pile reader for many years. If you send your manuscript to a publisher, it is a slush pile reader who first sees your work. Dennis will give you his first impressions of your first page, and tell you his thoughts on how you can improve your story. If you want a consultation with Dennis, book it now! We only have a few slots available.

Literary Agents

The literary agents will be taking virtual pitches on Thursday, April 25th from 8:30-10:30AM.

Tess Callero with Europa Content Agency


Tess graduated from Indiana University with a dual degree in Marketing and English. She moved to New York to combine her love of both fields and become a literary agent. After spending four years at Curtis Brown, she moved to Europa Content in March 2019. Tess represents clients across genres and categories, from young adult and adult fiction to select nonfiction projects. She is a member of the AALA and is the Chair of the Media and Digital Innovations Committee.

What she’s looking for:

On the adult side, Tess loves smart, twisty psychological suspense in the vein of Lucy Foley or Ashley Audrain. She’s also looking for fun and engaging contemporary rom-com with elevated themes woven throughout – think Emily Henry, Talia Hibbert, Elena Armas, or Ali Hazelwood. She’d especially love a story that takes a young female narrator in a familiar setting and tells readers something new about the experience, like SUCH A FUN AGE or THE CLOISTERS. Please do not query her with sci-fi/fantasy, horror, or historical fiction.

In the children’s space, she’s exclusively looking for YA thriller/suspense. She especially loves a unique setting (boarding schools, small towns, international adventures). Please do not query me with picture books or middle grade.

Nonfiction: cookbooks, food narrative, pop culture, science, investigative journalism, business, social justice and anti-racism, humor.

Callie Deitrick with Wendy Sherman Agency


Callie Deitrick is a literary agent at Wendy Sherman Associates. In fiction, she represents Caitlin Barasch, author of A Novel Obsession (Dutton, March 15th, 2022) and Emma Fedor, author of  At Sea (Gallery, March 7th, 2023). She graduated from Hamilton College in 2016 with a major in creative writing and a minor in art. She then completed the Columbia Publishing Course in 2017. Professionally, she has worked as a publicity and editorial intern at Europa Editions, as an editorial intern at Henry Holt (where she illustrated the cover of Number One Chinese Restaurant), and as a bookseller at Little Joe’s. She has been an agent at WSA and has been assisting Wendy Sherman since the fall of 2018.

What she’s looking for:

Callie is looking for contemporary literary/upmarket novels with a fresh hook and a strong character-driven plot. She enjoys books that are both smart and entertaining with writing that has moments of humor and elements of suspense. She is drawn to books with flawed Millennial characters, diverse voices, and sympathetic protagonists. She has a soft spot for light speculative fiction with a simple conceit that otherwise feels like it could be set in reality. Narratives that subvert genre norms and the expectations of readers excite her, and she loves stories about complicated female friendships. Her personal interests—outside of reading—include art, traveling, cooking, soccer, and dogs.

Conference Schedule

8:00 amRegistration
8:30 amOpening Remarks
9:00 amWriting Sprints – Bring your laptop or other writing device and get ready to get words on the page. We’ll do 20-minute sprints with breaks in between where you can socialize.
12:00 pmLunch (included)
1:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: Creating and Maintaining a Successful Writing Group by Mari Beck and Jim Arrowood
Rose Room: The Art of Interviewing by Hugh Reilly
VIP Room: Write Now, Research Later: Going Down the Research Rabbit Hole by Barbara Salvatore
2:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: Market Better—Faster by Becca Syme
Rose Room: Project Management for Writers by Don Carey
VIP Room: Submittable: Surviving the Lit Mag Rabbit Hole by Tacheny Perry
3:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: Turning Your Personal Experience into a Memoir by Jennifer D. James
Rose Room: Chemistry Isn’t Just for Romance by Michelle Pennington
VIP Room: How I Connected with 256 Nebraska Libraries by Bonnie Lacy
4:30 pmClosing Remarks
7:30 pmMusic Bingo Night! Come win prizes and have fun!
8:00 amRegistration
8:30 amOpening Remarks
9:00 am Classes:Dodge 2-3: Adapting Your Novel into a Screenplay by Christine Conradt
Rose Room: Feed Yourself First: How to Make Money as a Content Marketer by Brittany Wren
VIP Room: Picture Book Basics by Heather Dawn Torres
10:00 am Classes:Dodge 2-3: Unstuck Yourself by Becca Syme
Rose Room: Cultivating an ARC/Street Team by L.A. McBride
VIP Room: How to Write Poetic Prose that Isn’t Purple by Charlene Pierce
11:00 am Classes:Dodge 2-3: What Do Copyeditors Do Anyway? By Julie Haase
Rose Room: “No, I Am Your Father!” How to Craft a Crafty Villain by KaTrina Jackson
VIP Room: Help! My Book Isn’t Selling by Victorine Lieske
12:00 pmLunch (included)
1:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: Bookkeeping for Authors by Brandy Prettyman (2-Hour Intensive)
Rose Room: Giving Birth to New Monsters by ShennonDoah
VIP Room: Motivation for Writers: A Crash Course in Courage, Connection, Confidence & Community by Mari Beck
2:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: Bookkeeping for Authors by Brandy Prettyman (2-Hour Intensive)
Rose Room: Questioning the Author “Rules” by Michelle Pennington
VIP Room: Writing Plausible Computer Hacks by Don Carey
3:30 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: A Genuine Look at Impostor Syndrome by Dennis Guant
Rose Room: Leveling Up Through Collaboration by Tara Grace Ericson
VIP Room: You Wrote the Book, Now Brand the Biz by Katie Garland
4:30 pmClosing Remarks
7:00 pmBoot Camp – Sign up for our free Boot Camp and we’ll divide into small critique groups. Read the first chapter of your work in progress and get feedback from your group!
8:00 amRegistration
8:30 amOpening Remarks
9:00 amKeynote with Becca Syme
10:30 am Classes:Dodge 2-3: All About Dialogue by Tosca Lee
Rose Room: Pitch Workshop by Jaye Viner (2-Hour Intensive)
VIP Room: Websites for Authors: How to Get the Most Out of Your Digital Space by Virginie Carmichael
11:30 am Classes:Dodge 2-3: Reading Like a Writer by Margaret Lukas
Rose Room: Pitch Workshop by Jaye Viner (2-Hour Intensive)
VIP Room: Inspiration in the Mundane by Brandy Prettyman
12:30 pmLunch (included)
2:00 pm ClassesDodge 2-3: Voice: Metallica, Muppets, and Me by Dennis Guant
Rose Room: Writing the Hallmark Style Rom Com by Christine Conradt
VIP Room: Writing with ADHD by Michelle Pennington
3:00 pm ClassesDodge 2-3: Writing Unforgettable Characters by Tosca Lee
Rose Room: Use Kindle Vella for Writing Inspiration and Productivity by Mari Beck
VIP Room: DIY Like a Pro: Graphics Edition by Katie Garland
4:00 pm Classes:Dodge 2-3: A Practical Guide to Deep POV by Julie Haase
Rose Room: Indie Publishing on a Low Budget by Victorine Lieske
VIP Room: Academic Writing for Publishing by Catherine Baker Nicholson
5:00 pmRaffle Drawing and Closing Remarks

Conference Prices

NWG Member Registration

Saturday Only: $149

Friday and Saturday: $199

Best Price: All Three Days: $239

Non-Member Registration:

All Three Days: $299

Anyone is welcome to join the NWG to get the member price of the conference. Click Here to Join.

Registration Is Now Closed

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations on or before March 15th – $25 Cancellation Fee. Cancellations after March 15th – No Refunds Given

Looking for other writing conferences to attend? Here’s a great article from Kindlepreneur on the best writing conferences. We are proud to have made the list!