2019 UPPAA Conference Schedule Announced!

Spread the love
Peter White Public Library

Peter White Public Library


Please click here to register now! 

Always FREE for Members, only $15 for non-Members

UPPAA Annual Conference, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI
Saturday, June 1, 2019

  • 10:00-10:30 – Registration in the Community Room
  • 10:30-10:45 – Opening remarks, President Tyler Tichelaar, Community Room
  • 10:45-11:45 – Keynote, Karen Dionne, Community Room
  • 11:45-12:45 – Audiobook Adventures, Victor Volkman, Community Room
  • 11:45-12:45 – Publishing 101, Lloyd Wescoat and Aimée Bissonette, Shiras Room
  • 12:45-1:30 – Lunch, Community Room/Hall
  • 1:30-2:30 – Business Meeting, including election, drawing, release of UP Reader, presentation of short story contest awards, Community Room
  • 2:30-3:30 – The Art of Hawking, Community Room
  • 2:30-3:30 – Novel Writing Panel, Shiras Room
  • 3:30-4:30 – Marketing Panel, Community Room
  • 3:30-4:30 – Children’s Books, Shiras Room
  • 4:30-5:00 – Networking and Cleanup, Community Room

Session Descriptions

Karen Dionne: What I Learned from Writing My Breakout Book

Karen DIonne, author of The Marsh King's Daughter

Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

When Karen wrote The Marsh King’s Daughter, a dark psychological suspense set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, she had no idea of the extent of the wild journey she was about to embark upon. Praised in The New York Times as “Subtle, brilliant and mature . . . as good as a thriller can be,” The Marsh King’s Daughter was selected as a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry Award and the Crimson Scribe Award for best novel, was named one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, Powell’s Books, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, and many other booksellers and reviewers, and is in development as a major motion picture.

And yet The Marsh King’s Daughter is Karen’s fourth published novel. What made this book different from the rest? How can writers use the lessons she learned about writing standout fiction to elevate their own work? In this presentation, Karen will share the six key elements she believes made all the difference.

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the U.S. and twenty-five other countries. She is the co-founder of the online writers community Backspace, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors. Karen has been honored by the Michigan Humanities Council as a Humanities Scholar, and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs. www.karen-dionne.com

Victor R. Volkman: Audiobook Adventures—New Media and Sales Channels for All Authors!

In this session, we’ll take you from understanding the growth possibilities of the audiobook marketplace to the nuts-and-bolts of finding and hiring a narrator, preparing your manuscript for narration, quality assurance, distribution, and marketing of audiobooks. Bringing your books to market as audiobooks allows you to leverage existing content, discover new audiences, and get your own piece of the $2.5 billion market with an annual growth rate exceeding 20 percent. We’ll cover considerations for both fiction and non-fiction in adult and children’s audiences.

Victor Volkman is the CEO of Loving Healing Press Inc. and its imprints, including Modern History Press, which is the publisher of the U.P. Reader anthology series. In the past sixteen years, Victor has published more than 200 books in print. He has served on the UPPAA board since 2010. His own audiobook adventure now includes sixteen audiobooks available on Audible.com, Amazon, and Apple iTunes.

Lloyd Wescoat and Aimée Bissonette: Indie Publishing Road Map: Details, Deadlines, and Directions for a Successful Publishing Journey

Lloyd Wescoat

Lloyd Wescoat

Join bookseller and small press owner, Lloyd Wescoat, and attorney and author, Aimée Bissonette, for an interactive session on Indie Publishing. We’ll cover a multitude of items successful authors need to consider, including how to contract and work with publishing professionals (editors, book designers, illustrators, e-pub vendors), obtaining ISBN numbers, book printing, pricing, getting your books placed with bookstores, contest and award submissions, when and whether to set up your own independent publishing entity, and more. Bring your questions and a willingness to share your experiences. Handouts and a resource list will be provided.

Lloyd Wescoat is the owner of an independent bookstore in Copper Harbor, Michigan and has been a retail bookseller since 1981. As a partner in Mudminnow Press, she has stretched her wings to bring new books to market, considering wholesale sales, distribution, and those maddening steps toward publication and promotion.

Aimée Bissonette

Aimée Bissonette

Aimée Bissonette is a lawyer, teacher, and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has published books for both the children’s and educational markets. In her legal practice, Aimee (recently retired) worked with numerous authors and illustrators, advising them on all aspects of trade and indie publishing. Aimée has presented as a guest lecturer for Highlights Foundation at its Self or Indie Publishing workshop. Look for her article, “Dissecting the Self-Publishing Contract,” in Writer’s Digest’s 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing.

Kenn Grimes: The Art of Hawking

You’ve written a book. You’ve even gotten it published. Now what? The Art of Hawking workshop will help you discover how to maximize sales when doing a book signing or participating in author or book fairs. This workshop will focus on three phases of successful “hawking”: Presentation; Solicitation; Expectation.

Kenn Grimes is the author of the popular Booker Falls Mystery Series (Cozy Cat Press), a set of three cozy mysteries set in the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1920s; as well as three other books, Camptown . . . one hundred and fifty years of stories from Camptown, Kentucky (Arbutus Press), Ancestors (Enigma House Press-Hydra Publications), and his self-published novel, The Other Side of Yesterday. He is a member of UPPAA, Mystery Writers of America, Historical Fiction Society, and Michigan Writers. Last year, Kenn participated in thirty-one book signings, author or book fairs in Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky, including the Midwest’s premier event, the Kentucky Book Fair.

Please click here to register now! 

Carrie Pearson: Children’s Book Industry 201: Agents (vs. Schmagents), the Submission Process, and A Little Contract Stuff

For writers and writer/illustrators of children’s books. This session continues where we left off at UPPAA 2018 and focuses on the agent decision process (do I need one? how do I get one? what do they do for me?), what happens when a manuscript goes on submission, and offers a little contract information (the big clauses, and I don’t mean Santa). Carrie’s experience spans thirteen years in the children’s book industry. She’ll share why she’s had three agents (third one’s the charm!) and help you think about your next career moves.

Carrie Pearson grew up as a troll, but after twenty-three years in Marquette, she can’t imagine living anywhere else. She feels that being a children’s book author represents the best merger of her education, occupations, and passion. She holds a BA in early childhood education, taught at University of Michigan’s preschool and then moved into the business world for fifteen-plus years. She is now a full-time writer for children and owner of a consulting business in the children’s book industry that focuses on preparing writers to connect with the right agent and/or editors. She is a regional advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is represented by Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Carrie has traditionally published three picture books and her next, a picture book biography of Dr. Virginia Apgar, launches in fall 2020. Carrie would love to connect with you on Twitter @carrieapearson, Pinterest carrieapearson, and through her website www.carriepearsonbooks.com.

Novel Writing Panel: Fabricating Fabulous Fiction

A panel of authors: Debbie Frontiera, Terri Martin, and Naomi Rawlings, will present ideas on how setting, plot, and characters weave together to turn fiction into an unforgettable tapestry that draws in readers and keeps them turning the pages. Authors will present on each aspect from their own experiences. This will be followed by questions, answers, and discussion so those attending can gain more insight into how to improve their fiction writing.

Deborah K. Frontiera grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From 1985 through 2008, she taught in Houston public schools. A “migratory creature,” she spends spring, summer, and fall in her beloved U.P. and the dead of winter in Houston, Texas. Three of her books have been honor or award winners. She has published fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books, and is the newsletter editor for the UPPAA. For details about her many books and accomplishments, visit her web site: www.authorsden.com/deborahkfrontiera.

Terri Martin and her husband moved to Upper Michigan nearly twenty years ago and have no desire to live anywhere else. Terri is currently a regular contributor to U.P. Magazine (Porcupine Press) where she finds an outlet for her humorous writing. Additionally, her feature articles and short stories have been published in magazines and literary journals. She has a published middle-grade children’s novel, A Family Trait, with a second book she hopes to publish soon. Terri served as editor and layout for a literary newsletter blog affiliated with the Finnish North America Literary Association. She worked in higher education from 2005 to 2016 in various roles including administrative assistance, classroom instruction, tutoring, and grant-writing. She earned a master’s degree in English from Northern Michigan University in 2013. Terri can be contacted at terri4045@gmail.com.

Naomi Rawlings is the author of eleven historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. She first started writing in 2008, and to date, her books include four traditionally published novels and seven self-published novels. She has been nominated for three publishing awards, enjoys coaching other writers, and moonlights as a novel editor. She lives with her husband and three children in the Copper Country. www.naomirawlings.com.

Marketing Magic Roundtable

In this panel discussion, we’ll touch on the three legs your book needs to stand on to be successful: Amazon keywords, an author platform with a media kit, and breaking in to the burgeoning eBook marketplace.

  • Victor Volkman is the CEO of LHP and MHP with more than 100 authors and illustrators under contract. He has published more than 200 books since 2003. In his segment, you’ll look at a selection of tools using live demonstrations of products, keywords, and reports. You’ll find out how a $10,000 investment over the course of two years turned into $60,000 in gross sales on Amazon.
  • Charli Mills is a born buckaroo who managed company brands for twenty years. In 2014, she founded an imaginary place at CarrotRanch.com where real people from around the world gather to write 99-word stories. She teaches authors professional development skills and writes stories about the veteran experience and forgotten history.
  • Naomi Rawlings is the author of eleven historical novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. She has been nominated for three different publishing awards, and her books include four traditionally published novels and seven self-published novels. She lives with her husband and three children in the Copper Country.

Please click here to register now!


  1. Pingback: Congratulations Lucy Woods, 2nd Place winner Dandelion Cottage – UPPAA

  2. Pingback: Congratulations Lucy Woods, 2nd Place winner Dandelion Cottage – UP Reader

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *