Monday, July 20, 2009

Wisconsin Christian Writer's Conference

Today's guest blogger is Lisa Lickel who will be telling us more about the Wisconsin Christian Writer's Conference where I am blessed to be teaching one of the workshops--Ginger or Mary Ann? How writers are like the characters of Gilligan's Island.

Who wants to be an author?
You do? Great!
Join me, Jaime Sundsmo, Erica Vetsch, Andrea Boeshaar, and Michelle Van Loon – with a host of others – for the latest and wildest reality show ever – “Who Wants to Be An Author”
Premiering in one unique place for one day only!

Thank you, Erica, for the opportunity to be your guest today, and announce the upcoming Writer’s Connect workshop planned for October 17, 2009, in Baraboo, Wisconsin. If you’re a Midwesterner who can’t make it to Denver for the ACFW convention this year, perhaps you’ll consider spending the weekend in Baraboo. It should be prime time color season, not to mention close proximity to some of the best, unique fun Wisconsin has to offer. And at $25 for the day, 9 AM to 4 PM, including lunch and door prizes, you can afford both Denver and Baraboo!

It’s been a few years since Wisconsin and other Midwest authors have had the opportunity to connect, so I hope we’ll return to regular get-togethers, and maybe even begin a Wisconsin ACFW chapter, as well as new writer’s and reading clubs.

To get away from the traditional key-note speaker, we’re starting off with a unique treat – yep – a reality show for wanna-be writers. More fun than a—well, I don’t want to give it away, but we’ll all hopefully learn something about the business, besides enjoying the opportunity to “vote” a new author onto the scene.

Jaime Sundsmo has put up a special website, that will answer most of your questions. Payment options, directions to the conference site, and local lodging venues are included.

Connect: A big part of our time together will be devoted to making connections. We’ve been approached about possibly starting an ACFW chapter in Wisconsin, and if there are people interested, we’ll make sure you have the information needed, and perhaps even the dues seed money, to start up. Book tables are a great way to connect with some of your favorite Midwest authors. You’ll have time during the day to chat and check out merchandise. I’m not sure at this point whether we’ll have the ability to take your credit cards, so plan accordingly, please.

Workshops: Besides those important connections, the bulk of the day will be devoted to learning and sharing and growing in our craft. The list of available workshops may still grow, so check in often. So far, we’re catering to both new writers as well as experienced ones with such offerings as:

Part 1: Steps to Publication - Andrea Boeshaar
Part 2: Steps to Publication - Andrea Boeshaar
Help, I'm Stuck! - Lisa Lickel
Nuts & Bolts of Submission - Lisa Lickel (Beginners)
Pitch to Me - Practice your verbal pitching in a non-threatening situation!
Ginger or MaryAnn? - how writers are like the characters of Gilligan's Island - Erica Vetsch
Writing your Story, Telling His - Michelle Van Loon
Discovering Your Writer's voice - Michelle Van Loon

Choosing early will let us know best how to meet your expectations. We’re also willing to entertain suggestions and, leader available, create the workshop that will help out most.

When I began writing professionally several years ago, the first writer’s gathering I attended was Wisconsin Christian Writers, hosted by Andrea. My eyes were opened to the possibilities of the writing career, and I was awed to meet wonderful writers like Linda Wichman, Kathryn Springer, Becky Melby, and Andrea, just to mention a few. I had no idea what I was getting in to, but I haven’t stopped. I have since attended other conferences and developed some wonderful friendships and I encourage you, too, to keep meeting other writers and professionals face to face.

Feel free to contact me for more information.

Which leads me to tell you a little more about me and why you should even consider asking me anything. Very briefly, I’m a Wisconsin native who got into the writing game after seeing an ad for the Christian Writers Guild in Today’s Christian Woman magazine while on my lunch hour as a church secretary. I signed up for the apprentice course and began selling my work before I finished. Since 2004 I’ve sold numerous magazine articles to my national church magazine and even one to Writer’s Digest, been a local features writer for a couple of newspapers, sold some devotionals, had a couple of radio theater plays produced, and sold two novels. If I tilt my head back, I can stick my nose out of the water while standing on the iceberg of ignorance. But I delight in sharing what I have learned so far. One of the most important ways is through meeting others who share a passion for language – for communication – for entertainment – for teaching and growing. You’ll find that I’m pretty blunt about my writing journey at my blog, where I share interviews and tips and updates about where I’m at on the path. I’ve been pulled kicking and screaming into social networking, although I’m holding out on twitter so far. This year I’m learning to market myself, although I’ve decided it’s okay to hate it. I walked cold into a bookstore the other day and left my poor little media packet and a copy of my novels for the owner – a very big step for me.

Whether or not you can attend the conference, I’d love to chat more with you.

Thank you, again, Erica, for this chance to meet your readers. My very best wishes for you and your writing journey, and I’m excited to meet you in person in October.

Lisa Lickel
Erica Here: I'm really looking forward to this conference, meeting people, teaching a workshop, and spending the day with folks who write fiction. If you can squeeze it into your schedule, you can't beat the price, and you'll have a great time.


  1. I wish I didn't have that great big obstacle called Lake Michigan separating me from Wisconsin. Then I'd only be a few hours away instead of many, many! Sounds like a wonderful conference, though! At some point, I'd love to help organize something like that for Michigan.

  2. Sounds absotively wonderful! Love the title of your workshop. have fun with it. Can't wait to hear about the weekend!

  3. Ooo! Love your choice on a workshop. sounds very fun. Can't wait to here how it goes!! And congrats on Lily and the Lawman!!

  4. Oh my!!! I do believe this is the first I've heard about the workshop. Sounds like a totally fun class.

  5. This sounds like so much fun. Who says writers can't have fun while stepping up the learning curve. I love the title of your workshop, Erica!

  6. I've always wondered why there's no bridge across Lake Michigan.

    And yes, I know it's a big lake. I'm obviously not an engineer. :)

    I so wish I still lived nearby WI. This sounds like a great conference.

  7. I'm still going with the tunnel option under the puddle. As you know...any lake you can see across isn't a real lake! I have family near GR, so we "go round" enough. If you're interested in how the workshops panned out, don't forget to check back in to the website late October for an update.
    (Oh, and my last book, Healing Grace, took place around Traverse Bay.)

  8. Hey, my name is Luci, and I'd really like to come to your conference. Was looking at a CW conference out in OR and it was way too expensive for me. But this is close by and sounds perfect for me. Tried the link you posted, but nothing came up. How can I get signed up?

  9. Hi, Luci,

    Sadly, due to lack of enrollment, we had to cancel the conference last fall. I don't know if the conference coordinators will be trying again this fall or not.

    If you're interested in writing Christian fiction, I can't recommend the ACFW Annual Conference too highly. This year the conference will be in Indianapolis, the third weekend in September.

    You can find out more about the ACFW and the conference at:

  10. Thank you for the information. I'll look into that!