2013-2014 Schedule

SCHEDULE for 2013-2014

We meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

Season Kickoff

Barbara Weisenberger – “A Story Yet to Tell”

Barb is an Eau Claire native and graduate of North Jr.-Sr. High School, District One Technical Institute and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her passions include reading, sewing, theatre, nature photography, cats (especially walking her two tabbies on a leash – not always a pretty sight but typically worth a few chuckles), costume design for stage productions, writing, story telling and challenges she has yet to meet.

One of those challenges occurred in 2007 when Barb joined Toastmasters. To be able to give voice to all she had accomplished seemed logical, but proved to be a difficult journey (there’s a reason that public speaking is feared more than death itself). Amongst her varied accomplishments, Barb is most proud of her participation in numerous speech contests, including the Regional Toastmasters International Speech Contest which took her to Nashville, Tennessee, and the unique opportunity to address a crowd of thousands in Madison, Wisconsin, not so very long ago.

Maya Angelou wrote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” On September 10th, Barb will share with us the part of her song that only a writer can understand.

This month, we are hosting an afternoon fiction writing workshop prior to our usual evening meeting. Find out more about the afternoon workshop.

Michelle Lim presents "Brainstorming Conflict in Your Novel." Building conflict in your story is an essential part of writing a strong novel. Without conflict your story will fall flat and readers will put it down to read something else. Through teaching and hands on activities Brainstorming Conflict in Your Novel will show you the three tier framework for conflict and give you strategies to build conflict into your stories. From story twists to character secrets, you’ll be a pro in no time.

OCTOBER 8, 2013

Michelle Lim joins us from Minnesota. She is the author of Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel and a Romantic Suspense writer with three complete manuscripts that have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest in 2011 and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers.

NOVEMBER 12, 2013

Monica Holtz - "What's New in Publishing"

With advances in technology, the publishing world is changing daily. It's an exciting time to be an author and a reader. Whether you read or write news articles, magazine items, short stories, books, or blogs, you'll want to hear what author and publishing consultant Monica Holtz has to say about the the new world of writing and publishing. She'll sort through the confusion, answer questions, and give advice on ebooks, e-readers, print books, magazines, self-publishing, and success. Bring your questions. Participants also are invited to bring their iPads, Kindles, and other e-reading devices to this presentation.

Monica Holtz is a writing, editing, and publishing consultant based in Eau Claire. As the owner of Holtz Creative Enterprises, she has helped authors publish many types of books since 2005. Monica also is the author of three books focusing on Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. Her newest book, The Christmas Village (October 2012), takes readers on a trip through the magical annual holiday display at the park. Her two children’s books, Emily at the Zoo (2009) and Behind the Zoo (2011) feature the animals at Irvine Park Zoo. Monica worked as a newspaper journalist and editor for many years before starting her own business. Contact her at holtzbooks@yahoo.com, or find her on the Internet at holtzcreativeenterprises.com.

December 10, 2013

Guild Christmas Party

Join us for an evening of food, fun and fellowship as we celebrate Christmas together. We will use our creativity for a Christmas-centered writing exercise and share the results with each other for laughter and good memories.

JANUARY 14, 2014

FEBRUARY 11, 2014

MARCH 11, 2014

The January 14, 2014 meeting was canceled due to weather and the meeting topic moved to May.

Stephanie Vobornik - "Online Resources"

In this age of technology, many of us go online to do research and to find resources for our writing. How do we know that the resources are accurate? How do we know if the resources are factual, or if they are representative of an opinion or group? During this discussion we will look at online resources. We will explore how to do high quality online research as well as how to really know the source of your resource.

Stephanie has been writing since she was a child. She enjoys creative writing as well as technical writing and research. She has her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing, and she graduated in December 2012 from UW-Stout with her Master's Degree in Career and Technical Education. Her love for writing and research served her well while completing her Master's thesis on Quality Matters™ and its correlation to students' perceptions of high quality online courses.

Nathan Anderson - "Writing Great Stories"

Nathan will motivate and inspire us to improve our writing. Great stories do not often come from just wandering around in your characters' lives. There is art to writing a story that captivates your audience to the very last word of the very last page, and it's an art you can learn. Be prepared to take your story to the next level during this hands on workshop. Fiction writers and nonfiction writers alike will find elements of this workshop that will help them improve their writing skills.

Nathan Anderson (http://www.bighungryplanet.com) is a writer, speaker, teacher and musician. He graduated from Bethel Seminary with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, and spent ten years pastoring in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He has been working on a young adult/tween fantasy novel series called Jak and the Scarlet Thread that will take readers through the entire Bible. He is also finishing up a non-fiction theology trilogy called “A Beautiful Hell,” and hopes to publish it soon.

APRIL 8, 2014

MAY 13, 2014

Karen J. Olson - "Column Writing: Is it for You?"

Karen J. Olson, a writer, speaker and columnist for over fourteen years, will share information on the mechanics of column writing, as well as editor/columnist relationships, and marketing tips. Olson has written columns on disabilities, home life, parenting, and faith for various publications. Her writing credits include Woman’s Day, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, and dozens more. She is the current owner of a niche company, Caspara Publishing LLC, which includes an editing and critique business.

(Rescheduled from the snow day in January)

Dan Stanley - "Lessons in Writing Learned from Experience"

Start your 2014 writing projects with the expertise of Dan Stanley, one of the owners/editors of The US Journal. Learn how to begin with a main point, develop through illustrations, and maintain transitions and flow. Discover these and more pointers accumulated from years of experience in publishing and preaching to hone your skills in writing with a purpose. Hear about opportunities to bring glory to God as you kick off a new year of writing.

Dan was raised in a Christian home and graduated from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in 1980. He and his wife have ten children, all homeschooled/tutored. He has been involved in two church plantings and is presently pastor of the Eau Claire Gospel Center. He joined with two friends and launched The US Journal to provide trustworthy news, give good examples and to be salt and light in the world.

Please note: While we make every effort to adhere to this schedule, there are times when TOPICS or SPEAKERS MAY CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. And, since we meet in Wisconsin, there are times when weather causes us to cancel altogether. If we must cancel, we'll notify WWIB and WHEM radio in the Chippewa Valley by noon on meeting day. Thanks for your understanding!