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Writers Festival Workshops
Sat. March 18, 2023

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9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Keynote Address         Brian Lutterman

The Stories We Sell: The Journey of Those Who Must Write (and Read)

Lutterman explores, by examining his own writing career and those of others, why writers feel compelled to write, how they can disseminate their stories to others in today's market, and what role readers play in the process.






10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Jumpstart Your Book Marketing: A Publisher's Perspective      

Ann Aubitz

This class will discuss the steps and give you a practical approach to marketing your book. In addition, we will go through the types of marketing that can be done through these stages of the publishing process:

  • Inception

  • Preorder

  • Launch

  • After launch

    Learn real-world information that is easy for you to implement.


Ann Aubitz is the co-owner and publisher of Kirk House Publishers and Fuzion Press, located in Burnsville, Minnesota. She helps writers reach their objectives and become published authors. Ann is a proud member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and a Board Member-at- Large for the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MiPA). In addition, she is a group leader for two Women of Words (WOW) groups, and chairs the yearly writing WOW Conference.

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10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Plot Twist: Storylines Matter       

Nicole Fende

Great characters without an interesting plot are the literary equivalent of watching paint dry— they won't keep a reader engaged. Storylines with contrived, improbable solutions will leave readers dissatisfied. Learn methods to quickly and easily create an effective plot.


Nicole Fende is an author, publisher, and experienced role-play- ing game campaign architect. Combining her process driven left brain with her playful right brain, Nicole developed an approach to plot and characters that works with the creative mind. She wants writers to discover how structure and process can also be playful and fun.

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10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Writing Dynamic Scenes     

Allison Wyss


We know things are supposed to happen in our scenes, but it's easy to fall into a rut regarding what that change is. Many writers hail conflict as the great scene creator, but intimacy can do the same thing. This session will quickly touch on ways to create connections between characters and how those connections can bump characters out of their previous orbits, revealing hidden vulnerabilities, and prompting them to act in new ways—all to create dynamic scenes.


Allison Wyss is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center. Her stories have appeared

in Water~Stone Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Moon City Review, Cincinnati Review,

Yemassee, Lunch Ticket, and Jellyfish Review. She is also the author of the short story

collection, Splendid Anatomies. She writes about the craft of fiction on the Loft's blog and tweets,

often about writing, as @allisonwyss.









12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.


Brainstorming with the Minnesota Minions                                              Panel: Jessie Chandler, MB Panichi, Judy Kerr


“Self-Editing” involves the things you can do to fix your writing before you send it to a professional Interested in a method to come up with new writing ideas and have a great time (i.e. FUN!) doing it? Sometimes it just takes a little help from your friends. This workshop will illuminate how to brainstorm many aspects of novel writing in a group setting. Gather a few like-minded writers, or anyone interested in reading or the craft of writing. Put them in a room, give them free rein, and you never know what they!ll lasso! It could be a steer or an idea for the next bestselling novel. We!d love for you to join us and find out!

The Minnesota Minions are traditionally published crime fiction/science fiction writers. We're a writing group, and we exchange ideas and brainstorm plots, thoughts, and characters. We!ve been

doing this for the last eleven years. There!s nothing we love more than diving in and coming up with intriguing and captivating story ideas!




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12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.

Marketability: How Publishing Professionals Look at Your Manuscript Jennie Goloboy and Catherine Lundoff


A small press publisher and a literary agent discuss how they evaluate manuscripts. What do publishing professionals mean by “marketability?” How can you improve your odds in every stage of the process? What is and isn’t necessary for a book to reach publication? How can you learn to evaluate your own manuscript like a pro? Bring plenty of questions- we’re ready to tell all!

Jennie Goloboy is an author and literary agent at Donald Maass Literary Agency. Catherine Lundoff is a publisher and author. Both have taught writing and writing as a business locally and nationally, including at the Loft, Clarion West, Springboard for the Arts (Catherine), and the Wisconsin Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp.

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12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.


Fundamentals of Writing a Great Mystery Novel

Jerry Weaver aka Redmond Herring



We'll review the fundamentals of creating and writing a mystery novel, including creating character

profiles, timelines, and the who, what, where, when, why, and how. We'll talk about the first

chapter, creating a strong plot, and how you should end your mystery tale.

Jerry Weaver has written and published three mystery novels under the pseudonym Redmond

Herring: Escape From Freedom; Living In A Lie; and Sakatah Man. He has an extensive background in public speaking.



2p.m.  – 3p.m.

Writing a Memoir Step-by-Step     

Gloria VanDemmeltraadt

This session is a hands-on workshop with realistic exercises to help people capture their own memories whether for personal use or publication.

Gloria VanDemmeltraadt's area of expertise is capturing memories. She has taught this class more than thirty times, and has written life stories for more than 150 hospice patients. Gloria is also the author of ten books including her own memoir, along with many short stories.



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2p.m.  – 3p.m.


Tips for Increasing Awareness About Your Book

Rachel Anderson


This workshop takes authors through the process of planning and promoting events for their books. We'll discuss email marketing, social media, traditional media, event marketing, advertising, setting up events and more.

Rachel M. Anderson has more than 30 years of communications experience across a wide range of disciplines. She currently works as a marketing & PR consultant and publicist for RMA Publicity. Her company helps small publishers and self-published authors promote their books to local, national, and international audiences. Since 2009, she has secured more than 2,700 media placements for clients. Before entering the world of publishing, she was a major market television newscast producer. She worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Myers, Florida.


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2p.m.  – 3p.m.

Strategies for Writing Nonfiction

Mary Verril


Writers who produce nonfiction in the forms of memoir, biography, and history can face challenges in fact-finding, engaging sources to provide multiple views of their subject, arranging information, and documenting sources. This workshop will explore how to effectively research using firsthand sources, such as interviews, seeking permissions to use published sources, and organizing (or rejecting) information that is discovered along the way. Participants will be invited to share experiences about their nonfiction writing processes and suggest resources for others writers, including problem-solving for projects that are currently under development.

Mary Verril's writing and teaching expertise is mainly in nonfiction. She taught writing and literature courses at Minnesota State Colleges, and also taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and other college campuses. She is a freelance writer for educational publishing, an editor, and the author of a self-published biography, Thea Bowman: A Story of Triumph.





3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Write, Rewrite, Repeat...Publish

John Baird Rogers

How does an indie author get from draft to ready-to-publish? The journey begins with a great story, but the rest of it, the making of a good story into a publishable book, is work. This workshop covers what happens between the first draft and publication. We'll cover the writing process, tools available, the many types of services available, alpha-beta-advance readers, final edit, preparation for production of a trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

John Baird Rogers is the indie author of two self-published books. The third book in his mystery series will be published in May, 2023. A member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime and Midwest Mystery Works (MMW), he has presented as part of a panel on self-publishing at the Boucheron World Mystery Convention as well as on a panel with MMW at a previous Rosemount Writers Festival, and was a judge for Royal Palm Literary Contest in Florida.

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3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.


Dialogue and Character: Building Blocks of Fiction

Dave Wahlbridge

Now that you've got a story idea, how do you move it forward? We'll answer many questions on character and dialogue including: How do you come up with interesting characters (that aren't you?) Where does snappy dialogue come from? How do you move a story forward through character actions? Plus how to make your dialogue crisp and never boring.

Dave Walbridge writes funny. Wait—strike that. He is a funny writer.
about: Dave writes books, jokes, and scripts funnily? His work has appeared on radio, TV, in magazines, on buttons, and in books. His career started on stage, then moved to scriptwriting, and now he is a ghostwriter for books.

He's a professional comedy writer, a playwright, runs the American Comedy Writing Convention, and has taught at the Loft, summer camps, and at the Rosemount Writer's Festival. If you have a play writing emergency, he's probably the guy to call.


3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

The Writer's Guide to Research and Data

Demetria Dickinson

Learn tips, techniques, and sources for writing research. Suitable for both fiction and nonfiction, this workshop will mostly focus on internet research and will cover scientific journals, news sites, blogs, and obscure corners of the internet. We’ll also discuss when to use each of these sources, how to interpret the information, and how to know when the info you find is legitimate.

Demetria Dickinson is a science journalist whose articles on various scientific topics have been published in Fortune, the Minnesota Women's Press, and Atlas Obscura, among others. She also writes speculative fiction as a hobby. Demetria has given presentations on science topics and careers to people of all ages, and volunteers at the Science Museum of Minnesota.


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