Weekend With Your Novel: Success Stories

Congratulations to Ron Kuka for prestigious Bartell Award in the Arts
Ron Kuka is the 2017 recipient of the Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts. The award, established in 1992, recognizes and honors the achievements of UW-Madison faculty and staff across a broad range of activities and services in the creative arts including the areas of outreach, public service, and/or other enterprises involving the larger community. The award is for $6,500 and may be used for teaching, research, and public service activities.

Ron is a faculty associate in Creative Writing, UW-Madison Department of English, and has been an instructor of tremendous workshops at the spring Writers’ Institute conference and the fall Weekend with Your Novel, both events sponsored through UW-Madison Continuing Studies.

Still Life, the first novel in D.B. Kennison’s Randi Lassiter series, debuts
This quirky murder mystery with Evonovich-esque humor got Kennison a contract on her birthday. Darlene’s manuscript opening was workshopped in Angela Rydell’s fiction critique group during Weekend with Your Novel.

Darlene wrote to Angela Rydell, “I feel like my writer's journey is just beginning and I wanted to say thank you. Your feedback, as well as the group's, was invaluable to my completing the manuscript. I literally cried tears of joy as I drove out of Madison that night because of the guidance and encouragement that the experience gave me… There were two big take-away items from the group: Everyone laughed (so they got my humor—bonus!), and everyone said I needed to get to the dead body sooner. We handed in ten pages and my dead body showed up on eleven. LOL. When I got home, I first moved the body and then finished the novel.”

Darlene’s advice to other writers: “Be fearless! No matter what point you’re at in the writing process, stay focused, work on your craft and don’t give up.” Find her blog at Whispers in the air.

JZ Howard's book All of Me Wants All of You has just received the Inspirational/Romance Fiction Gold Award!
Cover of current catalog
Author JZ Howard has participated in our Weekend With Your Novel and Writers’ Institute events over the past 2 years. Laurie Scheer has critiqued All of Me Wants All of You. The book has just received the Inspirational/Romance Fiction Gold Award from the 2015 Illumination Book Awards. The Illumination Awards are intended to celebrate and recognize the exemplary books produced by the ever-growing Christian branch of publishing and bookselling. A vast array of new titles is released from this thriving sector each year, bringing inspiration and answers to millions of readers exploring their faith. Congratulations to JZ! 

"Weekend with Your Novel" is published
Richard Davidson, a 2008 participant in “A Weekend with Your Novel” held every fall in Madison, is the author of Lead Us Not Into Temptation. This is the first book of a mystery series starring former NASA engineer, Arthur Blake, who is a minister in the fictional Chicago suburb of Parkville. The book is available from Virtualbookworm.com, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, and the author’s website, www.davidsonbooks.com. Richard is vice president of the Chicago-area Off Campus Writers’ Workshop group.

Mary Hughes - new published author!
Congratulations go to Mary Hughes, West Bend, WI whose first novel, Biting Nixie, a paperback vampire tale, came out in time for Halloween from Samhain Publishing. The e-book version will be issued in January 2009. Mary has attended the UW-Madison "Weekend with Your Novel" and "Writers' Institute" conference.

Published in fiction the first time! Kris Babe, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Congratulations, Kris! Trillium Literary Journal will be publishing Kris’s fiction for the first time (a short story), as well as a piece of creative nonfiction. This follows major successes for Kris in nonfiction: a profile of author Benjamin Percy, Nov/Dec 2007 Poets & Writers magazine; an interview with author Shauna Singh Baldwin, December 2007 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle; and an essay in the “My Wisconsin” column, Nov/Dec 2007 issue of Wisconsin Trail’s magazine. Kris has attended Writers’ Institute, A Weekend with Your Novel (offered again this fall), and School of the Arts in Rhinelander. She’s currently in Laurel Yourke’s weekly fiction critique workshop and credits Laurel’s fine teaching for getting her to a publishable level.