Spring 2020 Conference Schedule

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2020 UPPAA Spring Conference

U.P. Masonic Center, Marquette, MI

UPPAA Annual Conference, U.P. Masonic Center, 128 W Washington St, Marquette, MI
Saturday, June 6th, 2020

Always FREE for members, please click here to register now!

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

  • 9:00-9:30 – Registration:  coffee and cookies, vendor area live
  • 9:30-9:45 – Opening remarks, President.
  • 9:45-10:45 – Keynote, Carolyn Howard-Johnson (“The Frugal Book Marketer”)
  • 10:45 – 11:00 – morning Break time
  • 11:00 – 12:00 – First post-keynote speakers (Self-Publishing 101, Historical Fiction/Non-fiction)
  • 12:00 – 1:15 – Lunch / business meeting
  • 1:15 – 2:15  Afternoon Session #1 (Children’s Books, Romance Writing)
  • 2:15 – 2:30  Afternoon Break #1
  • 2:30- 3:30 Afternoon Session #2 (Social Media, Character Development)
  • 3:30 – 3:45  Afternoon Break #2
  • 3:45 – 4:45  “Birds of a Feather” hour
  • 4:45 – 5:00 Door prize giveaways / concluding remarks

Session Descriptions

Jansina  Grossman: Self-Publishing 101 

In this hour-long session, we will walk through the steps of self publishing. Topics will include:

  • costs (How much should I expect to pay?);
  • DIY options (Which parts can I do without help?);
  • timing (When should I hire an editor?);
  • things to avoid (What makes a book seem unprofessional?); and
  • best practices (How do I know when to start marketing?).

Participation will be encouraged, though it is not required.

Jansina is the owner of a nontraditional publishing company, Rivershore Books, and is a self-published author of three novels and two short stories. She is based out of Minneapolis, MN, and is pleased to be a member of UPPAA.

 Tyler Tichelaar: Writing and Researching Historical Fiction and Nonfiction

Being historically accurate is of primary importance when writing history and historical fiction. In this presentation, local author Tyler Tichelaar will teach you how to:

  • Avoid the biggest pitfalls of authors writing about history
  • Protect your book from inaccuracies
  • Find primary and secondary sources
  • Separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of real versus fake history
  • Develop processes for organizing your research
  • Document your sources properly
  • Connect with experts in your field who can help you
  • Find valuable UP-related sources if writing about local history
  • Tips for doing research online

You will leave knowing how to make history come alive for your readers, while not letting a good story get in the way of the facts.

Tyler R. Tichelaar is a seventh generation Marquette resident. He holds a PhD in Literature from Western Michigan University and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in English from Northern Michigan University. An avid interest in U.P. history and genealogy led him to writing U.P. historical fiction and non-fiction. Today, he is considered a local expert on Marquette history.  Tyler published his first novel, Iron Pioneers: The Marquette Trilogy, Book One, in 2006.  In 2011, Tyler was awarded the Marquette County Outstanding Writer Award, and the Barb Kelly Award for Historical Preservation for his efforts to promote Marquette history, following the publication of his book My Marquette.  Visit Tyler at www.MarquetteFiction.com.

Aimee Bissonnette: Crafting the Self Published Picture Book – Unique Product, Unique Issues

There are so many considerations that go into the decision to self-publish a book. Where picture books are concerned, though, those issues increase ten-fold.  As a genre, picture books have always stood alone. With no other genre is “look and feel” more important.  Come for a discussion of issues unique to picture books (e.g. structure, page count, and word count; working with illustrators, editors, and designers; the picture book “dual audience”; the need for diversity; printing concerns). Aimée will share recommendations from publishing experts, as well as her own experiences writing picture books.

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.

Donna Winters: Romance Writing

  • Plot structure—so many choices!
  • Doing the research (contemporary or historical)
  • Creating your romantic characters
  • Setting the scene

Donna Winters grew up in Upstate New York, moved to Lower Michigan in 1971, to the Upper Peninsula in 2003, and to New Mexico in 2015. She began writing romance novels in 1982, was first published in 1985, and now has over 20 romances and nonfiction titles in print. Her publishers have included Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Guideposts, Chalfont House, and Bigwater Publishing LLC, her self-publishing company. You can learn more about her writing at amazon.com/author/donnawinters.

Steve Lehto: Social Media for Book Promotion – YouTube and Beyond

Steve Lehto has had more than a dozen books published by five different publishers. He has learned that the most reliable promotion is the promotion you provide yourself. In the age of social media, authors have more tools available to them than ever before. And proactive authors can leverage these tools to promote their books and themselves. Lehto has over 120,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel and thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook. These platforms DO sell books. And, even earn money on their own. He will explain his strategies for social media and how you can tailor social media to your work.

Steve Lehto writes nonfiction, mostly about local history and automobiles. His work has been reviewed by the Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair. He has degrees in law and history and is a practicing attorney.  Website? Google “steve lehto” and see what happens. That last statement might seem funny but it actually proves my point with respect to my topic. And I’ll talk about that as well (SEO).

Naomi Rawlings: Diving into Character Development

Do editors, agents, and readers care about your characters? When they pick up your novel, do they read to the very last page because they can’t wait to find out what will happen to the fictional characters you’ve created? Diving into Character Development  takes an in-depth look at how to create compelling  true-to-life characters that will linger in your readers’ minds long after they finish your book.
Note: This workshop focuses mainly on the craft of novel writing, though some of the material covered will be applicable to short stories as well.

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.


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