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Writers Festival Workshops

Sat. March 19, 2022

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Publishing Choices in 2022       Gary Lindberg

The publishing industry has been going through an upheaval with the proliferation of eBooks, the domination of Amazon, the closing of countless independent bookstores, the Covid pandemic, and new publishing models that attempt to make sense out of the disarray. While there is some bad news for new authors, there is an abundance of good news too. In this session, you will learn about these recent changes and how they affect you and your book; how to choose the best publishing model for you; and how maximize your prospects for book revenue.


As an author/publisher, Gary Lindberg has written four Amazon #1 bestselling novels: The Shekinah Legacy, Sons of Zadok, Deeper and Deeper, and Ollie’s Cloud. He is also the author of the controversial nonfiction works Letters from Elvis and Brando on Elvis. He has edited and designed numerous novels and nonfiction books for Calumet Editions authors.


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10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Promote Your Work through Social Media     Amy Jauman


Your marketing and communications plan is how you speak with current and future readers, how your competitors understand how your work differs from theirs, how an agent knows if you’re a fit for their publishers, and how you identify new and innovative ways to keep up with an ever-changing market. But you're only one person, so how do know where to spend your time?


In this session we’ll talk about:

  • • uncovering what social media content your customers perceive as valuable

  • • determining how your readers would like to engage with you online

  • • creating content that informs, educates, and inspires your readers

  • • doing a lot of promotion when you only have a little time


Join us to jumpstart or overhaul your marketing plan all levels of experience are welcome!


Dr. Amy Jauman, SMS, is an author and ghostwriter, international speaker, and the Director of University Partnerships at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Previously, she was the program director for the digital marketing graduate certificate at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Director of Certification for the National Institute for Social Media. She focuses on using social media, experiential learning techniques, and online resources to make information meaningful to adult learners in traditional and remote business and educational environments.


In addition to her ghostwriting projects, Amy authored A Writer's Path to Book Sales: Learn How to Promote Your Work on Social Media in 10 Easy Steps and the Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists: Master the Six Content Domains of the SMS Exam, the National Institute for Social Media’s current textbook.


Amy is a certified social media strategist and certified instructor through the National Institute for Social Media with a master’s degree in experiential education and a doctorate in organization development.  smumn.edu/about/directory/amy-jauman


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10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Writing Women Protagonists       Panel Discussion 


The twists and turns of writing a female protagonist. Challenges given current day enthusiasm and sensitivity. Can a man write a woman? What advantages does a female protagonist have, and what challenges does she face?



John Baird Rogers has published two thrillers in the Mayfield-Napolitani series, Fatal Score (2018) and Skins and Bone(2021). The third in series, Fail Deadly (unpublished), was longlisted for the 2019 Grindstone International Novel contest. His story “New Orleans Purgatorio” was shortlisted for the 2015 William Faulkner – William Wisdom prize. He has studied at The Loft in Minneapolis, the Cape Cod Writers Conference, and is a 2021 senior judge for the Royal Palm Literary Award.


Julie Holmes is a  recipient of the IAN 2019 Outstanding Mystery of the Year award for her novel, Murder in Plane Sight, and is President of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime. She has written eight mystery manuscripts, Through the years she’s  learned a great deal about how to create a good mystery, and likes to share with other writers what she’s learned on her journey. julieholmesauthor.com/


Brian Lutterman is the author of Downfall, which launched the Pen Wilkinson series and is described by Mystery Gazette as “. . .an exhilarating action-packed financial thriller . . .”  His other books include Nightfall, Deadfall, , and Bound to Die, a Minnesota Book Award runner-up. Nightfall was named 2019 runner-up for Minnesota’s best indie adult novel in the Minnesota Library Association’s annual competition. Lutterman lives with his family in the Twin Cities.  BrianLutterman.com









12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.


Tips for Effective Self-Editing   Connie Anderson


“Self-Editing” involves the things you can do to fix your writing before you send it to a professional editor. This includes what to watch for, such as word usage, punctuation, grammar, content flow, and completeness. You’ll learn how to catch your own errors—especially overuse of certain words, by using the search/find/fix tool on Word. Also learn effective use of beta readers. Editing from the reader’s point of view ensures that the book’s message is clear, concise and accurate. Your time spent self-editing saves you money because an editor’s time is money.


Connie Anderson has been editing book manuscripts for many years—in a wide variety of genres. Her author clients appreciate the insights and honesty she brings to her editing, and agree that the right editor can help make your book the best possible…so find one you can trust. She also makes sure authors write to their intended market, and that they know and avoid costly mistakes in the publishing process. Connie offers FREE sample edit of up to eight manuscript pages. 





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12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.

The Author's Role in Selling Books: The Strategies and Easy Ways Authors Can Maximize Their Sales.    Adrian Lee



Adrian shares with you the ways in which you can improve book sales by reaching more readers in simple and easy ways. It is not solely the role of the publisher to sell your books and with Adrian Lee's thoughts and advice you will see your positive results. Adrian's background in all aspects of media over the last two decades has positioned him to be a resource for other authors who are looking to increase their sales.




Adrian Lee was born and raised in London, England, before traveling extensively throughout Europe, America and the rest of the world.  He taught for thirteen years in England, becoming the head of several history and art departments and a Local Education Authority Advisor; he currently lectures on all aspects of the paranormal including ghosts, hauntings, UFOs, psychic development and angels.  Adrian has also written the books Mysterious Minnesota: Digging up the Ghostly Past at 13 Haunted Sites, and Tales of a Pioneer Town: the Earliest Stories of Sauk Centre, Minnesota.


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12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.


The Key to Maximizing Book Sales is Finding Your Target Audience— Here’s How to Do It!      Rachel  Anderson



Many authors are under the impression that as soon as their book hits the market, demand will suddenly materialize and sales will be brisk. Sadly, that is not the case. The average self-published or small press book only sells 250 copies. So, what does it take to overcome the odds and sell 10 times that—or more?  The first step to success is finding the right target audience for your book. In this workshop, get some insight into what else you need to do. 


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.     RMAPublicity.com 




2p.m.  – 3p.m.


Publishing Possibilities  Ann Aubitz

In the class, we will talk about the different types of publishing offered to authors and discuss the differences between traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing. In addition, we will go through the various types of editing available and the ten questions to ask a publisher BEFORE you sign the dotted line.


Ann Aubitz is the Co-owner and Publisher of Kirk House Publishers and FuzionPress, located in Burnsville, Minnesota. After years of reading everything she could get her hands on, she decided to help others achieve their dream of becoming an author. Her mission is to help authors reach their objectives by seeing their books in print.

Ann is also a proud member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and a Board Member-At-Large for the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, and a group leader for Women of Words and chairs the yearly writing WOW conference.




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2p.m.  – 3p.m.


Brainstorming with the Minnesota Minions    Panel Discussion

Want to come up with some new writing ideas and have a great time doing it? Sometimes it just takes a little help from your friends. This workshop will show you how to brainstorm many aspects of novel writing in a group setting. Find a couple like-minded writers, or anyone interested in reading or the craft of writing. Put them in a room, shake them up, and you never know what’s going to come out! 


The Minnesota Minions are MB Panichi, Jessie Chandler, and Judy Kerr.  They have been a brainstorming team for over a decade, and they love to laugh while they do it.

Jessie Chandler is the author of seven novels, including the humorously suspenseful Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series, and a number of short stories, usually involving her series characters, in various anthologies. Her crime fiction has garnered a Lambda Literary finalist nod, three Golden Crown Literary Awards, three USA Book Awards, one American Fiction Book Award, and an Independent Publisher Book Award. During non-Covid times, fall and winter finds Jessie feverishly writing, and she spends springtime knee deep in edits and revisions. Summers are spent selling T-shirts, books, and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers.



Judy M. Kerr is a debut crime fiction author. Her first book, Black Friday, was released in 2019. Judy's first short story, "Stamped Unnatural," was published in May 2017 as part of the anthology Time's Rainbow: Writing Ourselves Back into American History.


MB Panichi’s first book, Saving Morgan, won a Goldie Award for Science Fiction. The sequel, Running Toward Home, was followed by Blood and Roses. All are fast-paced Sci-Fi Adventure/Romances meant to keep you turning the pages with intrigue and a taste of mystery. Choosing Love is a present-day romance set in northern Minnesota. MB's non-writing obsessions are reading, drumming, heavy-metal music, bikes, and Star Wars. She hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. 



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2p.m.  – 3p.m.

10 Clues to Writing Mysteries    Julie Holmes


Genre fiction has many “rules”, but mysteries, which can include everything from police procedurals to cozies, have their own take on those rules. We will review 10 guidelines, in no particular order, that are important to remember when writing your next whodunit.

Julie Holmes is a  recipient of the IAN 2019 Outstanding Mystery of the Year award for her novel, Murder in Plane Sight, and is President of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.


Julie Holmes has written eight mystery manuscripts, Through the years she’s  learned a great deal about how to create a good mystery, and likes to share with other writers what she’s learned on her journey .






3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Using Amazon Advertising to Sell Your Books   LynnGarthwaite

If your book is listed on amazon and you are the publisher (i.e. it’s self-published), you can take advantage of their in-house advertising to attract readers to your book listing. In this beginner-level class, we’ll talk about how to create a campaign, what amazon means by “bidding” for clicks, and how you can utilize this passive device to get people to find your book and buy it.


Lynn Garthwaite is the author of the Dirkle Smat Adventure four-book series, written especially for first and second-grade reading levels. She has also written picture books for clients, including Radio Flyer and Shutterfly, and an historic non-fiction titled Our States Have Crazy Shapes: Panhandles, Bootheels, Knobs, and Points. In addition to the printed book world, she has written seven screenplays, still hoping to one day see them produced. Lynn is an award-winning producer and co-host of the cable TV show “That’s Odd” and a committee member for the annual WOW Women of Words Writers’ Conference. Lynn lives in Bloomington, MN, with her husband and a big garden.


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3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.


Considering Your Publishing Options     Keri Mangis

When it comes to publishing options for your book, the sky is the limit. But sometimes, this lack of boundary can feel more intimidating than freeing.

In this workshop, Keri will walk through some of the most common options for getting your book into the right hands: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, and self-publishing. Learn some of the lingo, the players, and the websites you need to know, and understand what path best fits your goals as an author.

You will fly off with a bird’s eye view of the sky, knowing exactly which flightpath is yours. 

Keri Mangis is an author and freelance writer/speaker and the owner of Curiosa Publishing, LLC. Her work has appeared in the Star Tribune, Elephant Journal, Addicted to Success, The Good Men Project, Mindful Word, Thought Catalog, The Edge Magazine, Essential Wellness, The Sunlight Press, Rebelle Society, and others. She writes about culture/society, spirituality, personal growth, transformation, and empowerment and is a speaker at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community in Minneapolis. Her first self-published book, Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness, won numerous awards, including the 200 Independent Publishing Award winner in Mind, Body and Spirit. 



3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.


The Promise and Peril of Writing Historical Fiction   J. J. Harrigan


Historical fiction offers a promise that conventional history cannot offer. Historical fiction can make us FEEL what it was like to have lived through a particular era. But that feeling can be destroyed if the author ignores perils along the way. Falling prey to one of these perils might not be fatal to one’s novel, but it would tempt fate to violate them all. We’ll examine examples of the following and more:

  • Contrails in the sky

  • Words that couldn’t have been said

  • Forgotten icons of creative destruction.

  • Don’t know what you’re talking about impression.

  • Too-close-to-the-facts story killer.


JJ Harrigan is a popular speaker for the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions program, and served as a soldier in the U.S. Army, later as a U.S. Foreign Service in Brazil, and subsequently as professor of Political Science at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. He currently writes historical novels set at critical moments of our lifetime. PATRON SAINT OF DESPERATE SITUATIONS weaves a mystery around the plane crash that killed Paul Wellstone. JEEPTOWN SOCK HOP features a cross-racial teenage affair during the days of segregation. GOODBYE CUBA weaves a plot of intrigue around the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.