Full program

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 25th annual Writers' Institute. We are already looking forward to 2015. All information below is from the 2014 event, here for your reference.

(See the agenda page» for an at a glance view of the whole weekend)

Thursday  |  Friday  |  Saturday  |  Sunday

Thursday, April 3

5:30-6:30pm

Pitching basics/open pitching session
DeSmet, Scheer
(open to those who attend all 3 days of the conference only)

6:30-7:45pm

Panel - The Lure of the Logline
Rydell, Fong Yoneda, and Scheer
(open to those who attend all 3 days of the conference only)

Friday, April 4

Friday morning
8:00-3:00pm

Registration open
Pick up badges and event materials
(coffee, tea, juice, pastries)

8:30-8:55am

25th Year Opening Welcome Celebration
This year’s conference info, introductions of agents and instructors, Poem or Page Contest winners, and premiere of the sophomore issue of The Midwest Prairie Review Journal

9:00-9:45am

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

9:00-9:55am

Keynote address
Nathan Bransford
How to Stay Sane During the Writing Process

10:00-11:25am — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 5)

Jane Friedman
How to Get Your Book Published

Kimberli Bindschatel
Indie Publishing: A New Path to Success

Ron Kuka
The Deep Edit

Jackie Mitchard
No Vampires Need Apply: Why the New Wave in YA

Kathie Fong Yoneda
Staying Alive: Resolutions to Keep You Productive & Challenged

10:00-11:25am — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Karsbaek, Kracht, Sadler, Scherer, Schwartz, and Stout

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz, Miyamoto, and Oakley

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
Devoti and Oakley

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Anton, Hoffman, Mitchell, Oakley, Roupp, and Saemann

10:25-11:25am — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #1

Agent Q & A
Laura Biagi

Fireside chat #1
Dale Kushner

11:30am-12:30pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 4)

Karen Saemann
Review How-to and the Changing Face of Book Criticism

Lori Devoti
Creating Characters that Live in the Hearts of Readers

Sue Roupp
Poetry Essentials

Roy Hoffman
Home Sweet Home: Writing About Place

11:30am-12:30pm — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Biagi, Kracht, Sadler, Scherer, Schwartz, and Stout

Editor pitches (8 minutes each)
Mitchard

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz, Miyamoto, and Oakley

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
DeSmet and Rydell

One-on-one Meetings (30 minutes each)
Anton, Bindschatel, Friedman, Kushner, Mitchell, Oakley, Roupp, and Saemann

11:30am-12:30pm — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #2

Agent Q & A
Jen Karsbaek

Fireside chat #2
Kathie Fong Yoneda

12:35-1:50pm

Success panel lunch

Friday afternoon
2:00-3:25pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 4)

Doug Moe
Stories Behind the Stories

Lori Devoti
Learn to Format Your Own eBooks

Christine DeSmet
Plotting First-Aid & Magical Solutions

Ken Miyamoto
Cinematic Solutions to Writing Your Novel

2:00-3:25pm — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Atlas, Biagi, Karsbaek, Sadler, Scherer, Schwartz, and Stout

Editor pitches (8 minutes each)
Mitchard

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Oakley

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
Rydell (2-3p only), and Oakley (3-3:25 only)

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Anton, Bindschatel, Fong Yoneda, Friedman, Hoffman, Kushner, Mitchell, Oakley, Roupp, Saemann

2:25-3:25pm — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #3

Agent Q & A
Elizabeth Kracht

Fireside chat #3
Nathan Bransford

3:25-3:35pm

Break
Soda and cookies

3:30-4:30pm

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

3:35-4:25pm

Keynote address
Dale Kushner
Writing from the Self

3:30-4:20pm — Agent and practice pitches

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Atlas, Biagi, Karsbaek, Kracht, Sadler, Schwartz, Scherer, and Stout

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz (3:30-4:30pm)

4:30-5:45pm

Agent panel
State of the Industry Discussion with our Agents

Friday evening
6:00-8:00pm

Critique groups
Rydell, 8 maximum

7:00-8:00pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 2)

Ken Krimstein
Ha! How the Tricks of the New Yorker Cartoonist Can Help You Free up Your Writing and Unleash the Full Power of Your Stories-Even the Serious Ones!

Miyamoto, Watson, Atlas, Fong Yoneda, Kurz
Panel – TV & Movies Matter

Saturday, April 5

Saturday morning
8:00-12:00pm

Registration open
(coffee, tea, juice, pastries)

8:30-9:25am

Panel — Local booksellers
Representatives from local bookstores Mystery to Me and Arcadia Books kick off BOOK DAY.

9:30-10:15am

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

9:30-10:18am

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Biagi

9:30-10:25am

Keynote address
Michael Perry
Writing From the Heartland

10:30-11:55am — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 5)

Roy Hoffman
Keeping a Journal and What to Do With It

Kathie Fong Yoneda
How to Build & Grow A Community of Colleagues

Angela Rydell
Lightning Round: How Flash Fiction Electrifies Writing

Kristin Mitchell
Book Design from Cover to Cover

Ken Krimstein
Writer’s Block Blaster

10:30-11:55am — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Biagi, Karsbaek, Kracht, Scherer, Schwartz, and Stout

Editor pitches (8 minutes each)
Mitchard

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
DeSmet, Devoti, and Oakley

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Anton, Bindschatel, Fong Yoneda, Harms, Kushner, Oakley, Roupp, Saemann

10:55-11:55am — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #4

Agent Q & A
Jodell Sadler

Fireside chat #4
Jane Friedman

Saturday afternoon
12noon-1pm

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

12noon-1:25pm — Break

Lunch on your own

Book signing event

1:30-2:25pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 4)

Laura Biagi, Agent
How to Write a Stellar Opening

Kelly Harms
Crunching Numbers: Advances, Sales Figures, etc.

Celeste Anton
Making the Most of Your Website

Perry, Kushner, and Krimstein
Panel — Publishing Your First Book

1:30-2:25pm — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Karsbaek, Kracht, Sadler, Scherer, Schwartz, and Stout

Editor pitches (8 minutes each)
Mitchard

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz and Miyamoto

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
DeSmet. Devoti, and Rydell

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Bindschatel, Fong Yoneda, Oakley, Roupp, Saemann

1:30-2:25pm — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #4

Agent Q & A
Rebecca Scherer

Fireside chat #5
Marilyn Atlas

2:00-3:30pm

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Miyamoto

2:30-3:25pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 4)

Nathan Bransford
How to Write A Novel

Dale Kushner
Following the Unconscious Into Poetry

Jane Friedman
How to Write a Query That Gets Manuscript Requests

Roy Hoffman
The Art of the Interview

2:30-3:25pm — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Atlas, Biagi, Karsbaek, Kracht, Sadler, Scherer, and Stout

Practice pitches (15 minutes each)
Kurz

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
Rydell

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Bindschatel, Fong Yoneda, Harms, Krimstein, Oakley, and Roupp

2:30-3:25pm — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #4

Agent Q & A
Tina Schwartz

Editor Q & A
Jacqueline Mitchard

3:30-3:45pm

Break
Soda and cookies

3:45-4:45pm — Concurrent sessions (choose 1 of 4)

Jackie Mitchard
What a Young Adult Editor Wants, and Doesn’t Want

Kristin Oakley
The Edge of Your Seat – A Cliffhanger How-To

Kimberli Bindschatel
Indie Publishing: Demystifying Marketing

Sue Roupp
Memoir Writing

3:45-4:45pm — Pitches, critiques, and meetings

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Atlas, Biagi, Karsbaek, Kracht, Sadler, Scherer, and Schwartz

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
DeSmet, Devoti, and Oakley

One-on-one meetings (30 minutes each)
Fong Yoneda, Harms, Hoffman, and Krimstein

3:45-4:45pm — Agent Q & A session and fireside chat #6

Agent Q & A
Rachael Stout

Fireside chat #6
Jane Friedman

4:50-5:30pm

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Biagi, Kracht, Sadler, Schwartz, Scherer, and Stout

5:30-6:00pm

Agent pitches (8 minutes each)
Biagi

Saturday evening
6:00-8:00pm

Critique groups
Devoti, 8 maximum

7:00-8:30pm

Evening discussion session
Marilyn Atlas
Creating 3-Dimensional, Non-Stereotypical, Memorable Characters

Sunday, April 6

Sunday morning
8:30am

Good morning!
Foyer, 2nd floor
(coffee, pastries, and fruit)

8:45-10:00am

Jane Friedman
Madison Wisconsin Ballroom
The Future of Authorship

9:00-10:15am

Advanced manuscript critiques (30 minutes each)
Univ AB
DeSmet

10:00-10:15am

Break
Foyer, 2nd floor
(coffee, pastries, and fruit)

10:15-11:30am

Nathan Bransford
Madison Wisconsin Ballroom
Social Media for Authors

12n — Conference concludes

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