9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Morning Keynote Address

“Made in Michigan” Talk, Q&A, and Book Signing. Presented by Tom Daldin.

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Session One

Meet the Agents: For writers, the decision to get an agent can be key. Agents bring a variety of specialized skills and knowledge to your publishing experience and will represent you throughout the sales process, during the contract negotiations with a publisher, and advocate for you at critical stages during the publication process. An introduction of the three agents in attendance at the conference. Lots of Q&A. Presented by Carrie Howland, Cyle Young, Bethany Morehead. PANEL DISCUSSION

How to Self-Publish Your Book and Do it Right: Self-publishing provides an enormous opportunity to writers, but how do you make sure you’re giving yourself the best chances of success? How do you get a good cover and a chance for your books to sell? Perhaps you feel ready to self-publish, but dread the massive learning curve. Well, dread no more. This workshop will explain exactly what you need to know by suggesting a foolproof, cost-efficient, time-efficient, extremely easy-to-follow, step-by-step self-publishing method. You’ll learn how to: prepare your manuscript, design your cover, format your paperback interior & eBook, register with desired retailers/distributors, and much more. Not only will this course save you time and money, but it will also save you from inevitable stress. Presented by Weam Namou. 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

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Session Two

Telling the Story: Fiction and nonfiction stories – whether a memoir, novel, film, or song – need to be creative and present a message to the audience or reader. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. Join us for a discussion about the art of storytelling and how stories help us to create meaning in our life, allow us to share our experiences and have the power to transfer our perception of the world. Presented by Weam Namou, Stan Williams, John D. Lamb. PANEL DISCUSSION

Promotional Podcasts – How they can sell your work, grow your readership, and market yourself: Podcasting is a growing medium and a worthwhile marketing tool for writers. They are a perfect way to build a following, sell your work, and tell your story beyond written word. In this session, you’ll learn why podcasting matters and receive numerous strategies on how to use one to promote and sell your own work. Presented by Jeff Large. LECTURE

Presenting Your Personal Pitch: Learn about crafting and delivering the verbal elevator pitch, which can be used for query letters, meeting agents and publishers, and selling yourself and your project. An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in the amount of time it takes to ride the elevator or a short television commercial. Learn to create a concise, effective and simple-to-grasp promotion that communicates who you are or what your proposal is about. Presented by Lisa Howard. WORKSHOP

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Afternoon Featured Speaker

“Lamb’s Song Assignments” – From Blank Page to Onstage. Presented by John D. Lamb

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Session Three

Magazine Editors’ Panel: Meet editors who represent Michigan-based magazines. Learn what to pitch and not to pitch with your nonfiction article ideas. Writer guidelines and editorial calendars will be discussed. Lots of Q&A. Moderated by Michael Dwyer. Presented by Jackie Headapohl, Christopher Blaker. PANEL DISCUSSION

The Sequence Method of Nested Story Diamonds: This presentation will explain a way to keep your readers and audiences emotionally involved from the beginning to the end. The method makes use of Nested Story Diamonds. We will first review the features, advantages and benefits of the story diamond used in Hollywood and by novelists. We will then show you how to nest the basic story diamond with sub-plots, sub-goals disasters and the alternating action of protagonist and antagonist. When structured right, these elements will emotionally capture your audience’s attention and keep them involved. We will also briefly describe the interplay of the Scene/Sequence concept of Goal, Conflict, Disaster, Emotional Reaction, Thought Dilemma and Decision. By the end of the session you will be able to quickly structure a story that will be easy and fun to write. And it will keep your reader emotionally connected. As usual, Dr. Stan will use a host of colorful graphic slides to illustrate all of this. Presented by Dr. Stan Williams – LECTURE

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.

Rochester Writers reserves the right to add, subtract, or substitute any of the presentations and speakers.