UPPAA Spring 2022 Conference Schedule

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Peter White Public Library

Peter White Public Library

UPPAA Annual Conference, Peter White Public Library, 117 N. Front Street, Marquette, MI
Saturday, June 4th, 2022

Always FREE for members, please click here to register now!
Hurry, registration ends May 25th, 2022

Please note this year’s schedule starts 30 minutes earlier than last year’s event.

Session Descriptions

Keynote Speaker – Linda LeGarde Grover

Linda LeGarde Grover (Duluth, MN) is a member of the Bois Forte of Ojibwe and professor emeritus of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Recent publications are a mixed-genre memoir Gichigami Hearts: Stories and Histories from Misaabekong (UMN Press October 2021) and a revised re-issue of her research paper “From Assimilation to Termination: The Vermilion Lake Indian School” (Minnesota History Fall 2021). Grover’s research on American Indian boarding schools focuses upon extended families, tribal communities and federal policies; her research begins with the schools that her family members attended.  Her award-winning works, The Road Back to Sweetgrass, The Dance Boots, Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year  and The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives.

In sharing aspects of her journey as an Ojibwe woman writer, Linda LeGarde Grover will address the importance of stories in teaching and learning, and the importance of tribal tradition and historical narrative in Native voices. The talk will be titled “Reflections on Writing from History and Heart: Inde’ Ozhibii’ige Dibaajimowin

Morning / Post-Keynote Speakers

Kathleen Carlton Johnson – Marketing your poetry

Kathleen Carlton Johnson been published in several small press publications: Diner, Rattle, William and Mary Review, The Third Wednesday, U.P. Reader, and MacGuffin, to mention a few. She has just published her 14th Chapbook, Rain of Stars. Kathleen is well aware of the joys and pitfalls of self-publishing. Please join her in this seminar!

Writing poetry is an exceptional act. Poetry is a condensed use of the language. It is a powerful type of writing that is entirely different from prose. It is also a place where we can stare down ideas, emotions, relationships, beauty—all of these written on a  single piece of white paper.

Muriel Rukeyser said it best, “Given me, give I you my self. Voice of my days. Blessings; the seed of pain, green of the praise of growth. The sacred body of thirst.”  Poetry and your notebook are part of self; every poet is driven by some mysterious need to communicate their vision to others.

This presentation will give you

  • Tools to communicate your poems to the audience you seek.
  • How to get published and where to look to get published.
  • A list of books to guide your creativity
  • and a place to look for support in your ventures.

Nikki Mitchell – Complementary Merchandise Strategies for Your Middle Grade / Children’s books

Nikki Mitchell is the American author of the Middle Grade Portal Fantasy series, Eleanor Mason’s Literary Adventures (Nightshade Forest, City of Gold, and Cave of Stories). She is also the author of the non-fiction, humorous take on being a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, “How to write a book with a kid on your lap,” and “Millie Mildew and the Rotten Apple Tree” on Kindle Vella. Mitchell is a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and lives there with her husband, two children, rabbit, and three cats.

Presentation Synopsis:

  • Why merchandise for your middle-grade books/children’s books is important to your brand and sales?
  • Best types of merchandise for this genre and which ones to avoid
  • Where to look/what to look for when it comes to finding small businesses/artists
  • What you can do with your merchandise (bundles at vendor events, pre-order incentives, etc)
  • Dos and Don’ts of working with small businesses and artists. This comes directly from actual vendors I have used.
  • Which to give away and which to sell

Afternoon Session #1 Speakers

Brandy Thomas – Proofreading and Editing — What Does an Editor do?

Brandy Thomas is a freelance editor who lives and works in Marquette, Michigan. She edits across the publishing spectrum, but specializes in science fiction and fantasy as well as children’s books. In addition to editing the written word, she is also an audiobook narrator and audio editor. You can hear her as the voice of the UP Reader audiobooks. She is also the Membership Chair for the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Author’s Association. In her free time, she writes poetry and short stories.  For more information about Brandy, visit www.ThomasEditing.com

What exactly does an editor do? What is the difference between a copyeditor, a proofreader, and a developmental editor? Brandy Thomas will be getting into the nuts and bolts of what an editor does and why every writer needs one. Not only will she explain the differences between types of editors, but also what to look for when selecting one and what is involved in the editing process.

Sharon Kennedy – On Becoming a Columnist

After teaching English Composition at a community college and university, Sharon began writing a general interest column in 2014 that ran in her local newspaper. For 30 months, she wrote for free. Tired of giving away her work, she quit the paper but continued writing for the monthly magazine, The Mackinac Journal. When Gannett Media purchased her hometown paper in 2018, she was hired. Her columns now appear in a number of Michigan newspapers. Her most recent book is The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County. She is currently working on a sequel and continues writing her columns.

Presentation Synopsis:

  • Getting started: Why do you want to be a columnist?
  • Deciding on an audience: Who are you writing for?
  • Selecting a topic: Slice of life, politics, religion, nostalgia, other?
  • Writing a column: Staying within a word limit. Meeting deadlines.
  • Contacting editors: Start local. Fill a void. Be persistent.
  • Keeping your readers engaged: You’re talking directly to them. You sympathize, laugh, and weep with them. You are their friend, and they look forward to your next column.
  • Working for free: Branding is more important than payment. Syndication is a pipe-dream.

My interactive presentation is appropriate for writers just starting out or those who have given up trying to write a novel. Participants will be given a prompt and asked to write a few lines to share with the group. Sharing will be voluntary.

Afternoon Session #2 Speakers

John L. Hagen – Advanced Writing Tools: Beyond MS Word
J.L. Hagen is a writer, poet, musician, and retired non-profit executive. He is the author of Sea Stacks, a collection of short fiction available on Amazon.com. These stories reference the fictional Upper Peninsula community of Loyale, Michigan. His story “Chelsea’s Rescue” in the anthology Again, Hazardous Imaginings was named one of the best science fiction short stories in 2020. A graduate of writing programs at the University of Michigan’s Residential College and the University of Chicago, he grew up in St. Ignace. He has lived and worked in four states and briefly taught English Composition at the Community College of Indiana. He and his wife Joy commute between Lake Michigan and Tampa Bay.

Presentation Synopsis:

Who knew creative writing could be so easy? Twenty-first-century software has automated almost every aspect of writing, editing, proofreading, and publishing but the human imagination. Learn how apps and programs can help you:

  • Plot a “page turner” novel and create complex characters using templates and story boards.
  • Compare your writing to best-selling authors in your genre.
  • Analyze a document for repeated words and phrases with the push of a button.
  • Find “body language” phrases to characterize emotions like anger or frustration.
  • Measure your story’s grade level to match your audience’s reading skills.
  • Uncover slow-paced paragraphs, difficult-to-read sentences, and lagging story arcs.
  • Find rhyming words and phrases for poetry and songs

Whether you’re still scratching with a Bic on legal pads, using Wite-Out and a Smith Corona, or searching 400-page Word docs for clichés and repetitious phrases, this presentation will help change your writing life forever.

Steve Lehto – YouTube Video and Marketing of Your Book

Steve Lehto is a writer, attorney, and broadcaster. His books focus primarily on Michigan and automotive history and he has also written for a variety of outlets like Jalopnik and Road & Track. He also creates videos for his YouTube channel where 300,000 subscribers have watched his videos 120 million times to date.

Many of us are more comfortable writing than we are speaking. And it is even worse for writers who do not care to be on camera. However, if you can get over your stage fright, YouTube can help you reach one of the largest audiences in the world FOR FREE. And while the audience is huge – 2 BILLION monthly active viewers worldwide – if you spend a little time at it, you can get your message out to a very well-targeted audience. Remember when they said every author needed a homepage? That is no longer true – what you need is a YouTube channel. Do it right and you can sell more books this way than you ever could from a homepage. And, you can even make money from YouTube and AdSense if your channel does well.


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