9:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. Session One

How to Build a Writing Career: Writing is an art, but if you want to make writing your career, it needs to be a business, too. During this session, we’ll talk about how to interweave your interests and aspirations with viable ways of making money as a writer—it literally pays to develop your brand and your message. From crafty networking tactics to lesser-known types of writing assignments, you’ll walk away with a clearer idea of which direction to take next. Successful writers are also organized business people. Presented by Lisa Howard. LECTURE

Is Self-Publishing Right for You? Self-publishing might seem attractive in the cutthroat world of publishing, but is it right for you? Join this presentation for a no-holds-barred discussion about what it takes to succeed in the indie world—and whether it’s right for you. Presented by Colleen Gleason. LECTURE

10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Session Two

Speaking Skills for Writers: The only thing most people fear more than death is public speaking. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how the greatest speakers in the world prepare, secrets for keeping calm and staying focused, and have the opportunity to practice in a safe environment. Bring a 3-4 sentence “introduction” for yourself, and a paragraph or two from your novel, essay, or poem. This workshop is for fiction and non-fiction writers. Presented by Linda Angér. WORKSHOP

How to Create a Winning, Attention-Getting Non-Fiction Book Proposal: Every day editors wade through a physical and virtual sludge pile of proposals from well-intentioned authors. What stands between your idea ending in an editor’s hands rather than the reject pile? A well-crafted proposal that wows an agent or editor, clearly articulates why your book is unique how it stands out from the competition, and why you are the right person to write it. Learn what homework you need to do before putting pen to paper, what to include in your proposal, and how to get noticed. Presented by Cindy Kitchel. LECTURE

World-Building: Every editor says that a compelling world is what engages readers and brings them back for more. Join this popular workshop—an interactive one—where it takes you through the steps of building a compelling world that readers can step right into. Presented by Colleen Gleason. WORKSHOP

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Keynote Address

The Magic or Writing: Inspiration from Decades of Writing

Presented by Keith Taylor

Book Signing to Follow Talk

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Session Three

Creating Credible Law Enforcement Characters: It’s crucial that characters in fiction are realistic, or you risk losing your reader. This presentation will help you add realism to your law enforcement characters. It will cover the basics (which law enforcement agency you should be using for your story), how agencies work (the breakout of different law enforcement structures), how investigations work (when law enforcement gets involved, joint investigations, labs and forensics, specialty units), as well as other tools of the trade (handcuffs, weapons, special rules and regulations). It will also cover how to find more information. Presented by Elizabeth Heiter. LECTURE

The 21st Century Writer: Attract readers to your website and build your presence both online and offline. Presented by Sylvia Hubbard. LECTURE

Magazine Editors’ Panel: Editors from different local magazines will cover the submission process for freelance writers. Deadlines, expectations, word count, photos and more will be discussed. Presented by Susan Kehoe of Neighborhood SEEN Magazine and Rex Halfpenny of The Michigan Beer Guide. PANEL DISCUSSION

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Session Four

From Distraction to Satisfaction – Best Online Writing Resources From Social Media and Beyond: Attendees will walk away with numerous online writing resources that will help them in their writing and in publishing their work. Participants will share other resources as well; a handout will then be compiled with all valid resources and be available for publication on the Rochester Writers’ website. Group participation –  attendees will benefit most from bringing their tablets/laptops. Tired of Social Media being a distraction in your writing world? What if you could harness the forces of Social Media and become a more productive writer in the process? Bring your tablet/laptop/smartphone and explore online resources:

1. best online ebook resources
2. weekly short stories delivered to your inbox for free
3. daily/weekly emails on writing/grammar tips
4. submission trackers
5. writing blogs
6. best online sources giving you places to submit your writing that PAY
7. resources that help you track your writing
8. what people/sites to follow on Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)
9. Michigan writing conference websites

Presented by Roberta Brown. WORKSHOP

Spice Your Writing with Humor – Master Three Hand’s-On Humor-Writing Techniques: Workshop three writing power tools to add humor and energy to fiction, creative nonfiction, and memoir—even poetry. The workshop provides examples and time for participants to wield the power tools on their own works-in-progress. This is a deep dive into a few specific techniques so that participants can achieve mastery in this session. Presented by Teresa Crumpton. WORKSHOP

Romance Writing Panel: From love stories to erotic fiction and everything in between. Learn about the romance genres and sub-genres with this fun panel of Q&A. Presented by Sylvia Hubbard & Elizabeth Heiter. PANEL DISCUSSION

Please Note: All events take place in the Oakland Center of Oakland University (2200 N Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309). Use parking lot 2 (P2) and walk south (opposite the pond) for the shortest distance into the Oakland Center. In addition, use parking lot 1 off Squirrel Road (P1) and walk east toward the building. The Oakland Center is positioned between the lots and the Clock Tower. Look for Bright Yellow Signs. The Oakland Center is #13 on the printable version Campus Map.