WisRWA Calendar

May 19
2017
2017 WisRWA Conference
May 19 - 21, 2017
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Featuring best-selling authors Christie Craig, Virginia Kantra, and Sarah MacLean.

Register now under the Conference tab!

Meeting Times

Mar 03
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

The Haves and Have-Nots of Website Design for Today's Author: Join Elle J. Rossi of EJR Digital for an interactive discussion on author websites. What works? What doesn't? Learn how to get the most bang for your buck and hear new ideas on how to engage readers at your cyber home.

**Please note this is a FRIDAY, not our usual 1st Wed. of the month.**
Mar 11
2017
Chippewa Falls
10:00 to 12:30, 29 Pines at the Sleep Inn & Suites Conference Center, 5872 33rd Ave. (on Hwy 29), Eau Claire

Whether you’re drafting your first novel or making edits on your twentieth, we all battle the same enemy…TIME. How can we be expected to write with all the demands of social media, contracts and bookkeeping, day jobs and families? Come share your ideas and hear ours.
Mar 11
2017
Wausau
10:30-12:30 - Vino Latte 700 Grand Ave, Wausau

 Character Excavation, presented by Kristan Higgins, Farrah Rochon, Damon Suede from 2016 RWA National Conference: "In this session, the speakers will drill down past arcs and stereotypes into what makes fictional folks burn and shimmer on the page. They'll also unpack some helpful tools: the power of deep characterization to structure your story, how to skirt the swamps of backstory and the traps of tropes, and the source of that essential spark that brings fictional folks to life (and love) on the page."
Mar 18
2017
Milwaukee
9:00-11:30 - Mayfair Mall (Garden Suites Community Room, Lower Level)

TRENDS IN PUBLISHING: Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company says, “I think you can call the talk A bookseller's take on trends in publishing," and yes, he pays attention to things going on outside his bookstore. Daniel will talk about the relationships between publisher/bookstore and novelist/bookstore, as well as field questions about book launches and readings.
Apr 05
2017
Green Bay
11:30-3:00 - 1951 West Restaurant,1951 Bond St, Green Bay

Personal Branding: We all know about product branding - Nike's “Just Do It,” for example - but have you heard about personal branding? Gini Athey will present a Five-Point Personal Branding program and suggest ways to connect it to our writing and promotion of our books.

WisRWA Newsletter



September, 2016

What Lengths a Writer Goes to for Research

Highlights from the Writers’ Police Academy

The Writers’ Police Academy conference (held in Green Bay, Wisconsin, August 11-14) started with a bang on Thursday afternoon. The attendees explored armored, S.W.A.T, and bomb squad vehicles. Lesson: my characters will need a lot more agility than I have to get inside those vehicles, especially the armored one. The first step into the driver’s seat is waist high on me.

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Tried on a flak vest and crowd control shield. Didn’t even attempt the battering ram. Heavy is the theme with this equipment, including the bomb squad suit. Lesson: My characters will need physical strength to handle this stuff.
For a plastic gun, the Glock 17 was heavier than I expected, but has the sweetest trigger action. Now, when I put a Glock in a character’s hand, I know what that gun feels and shoots like, with every expectation my character can be as deadly as I was.

I learned how to poison a person with bacteria from my own cupboard or the woods out back. Useful information for any amateur sleuth that might turn up in a new series. TIP: mushrooms are unreliable, even the known poisonous ones.

I finally found a use for geometry in self-defense. It’s all about the angles. No doubt I’ll have a character using these techniques. TIP: when fighting an attacker, fists to flesh, palms to bone. Meaning, don’t punch ’em in the face and injure your knuckles. Use the heel of your palm against the jaw and cheekbones.

Friday started with a mock crash scene which involved a variety of triage scenarios, among them a trapped man needing the Jaws of Life to extricate him, testing a drunk driver, and a dead guy and his hysterical and combative mother. Yes, combative is among the normal reactions in these scenarios. We got the full show of rescue vehicles arriving with lights and sirens. Even the evac helicopter dropped in. Helpful should one of my characters get in an auto accident or come across one.

Saturday kicked off with an interactive mock lockdown. No narration. Minutes into the lecture, it just happens. A knife wound victim staggers into the lecture hall. The instructor calls for help from anyone with medical training. When three more victims stumble in, it’s a lockdown situation. Belts are used to tie shut door hinges and objects jammed into the opening mechanisms. Warnings sound over the P.A. A suspect is apprehended. But, is there an accomplice?

S.W.A.T. explodes into the room, guns drawn, shouting, “Hands on your heads!” Their presence is so commanding seven men instantly control a room of hundreds. I am experiencing an adrenaline rush, just as any character I put into this situation will. I also now know what it feels like to get frisked. Told you it was interactive.

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There’s much more I could share, from Lee Goldberg (author of the Monk Series and scriptwriter) who delivered his How to Use Research speech like a comedy routine and Tami Hoag (does anyone not know who this author is?) sharing a personal story about using research in one’s private life. Our instructors included an ATF agent, an arson investigator, a Private Investigator, and the amazing officer Colleen (The Rock) Belongea who my six foot plus defense instructor said he would not mess with. She was a favorite with everyone, and as much a face of this conference as organizer Lee Lofland, author and detective.

To view more pictures of this event, go to www.leelofland.com, The Writers’ Police Academy, or my author FB page. This excellently organized event will be repeated in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2017.

Barbara Raffin

by WisRWA member Barbara Raffin

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Lonely vs Being Alone – Fall Into Fiction Workshop

Fall Into Fiction WorkshopWe all know what it’s like to feel lonely. You can be in a room full of friends and family, people you love, and still feel lonely. They can all be talking, laughing, having a good time, and you feel like you’re outside looking in through glass. Being lonely is not the same as being alone.

Being alone is taking a much needed break from everything outside ourselves. It’s going for a long walk. It’s reading a really good book without interruption or making a jigsaw puzzle while watching a movie marathon. We all need a day like this now and then, a day where we can shut out all the worries and concerns of our everyday life. Doesn’t matter how you unwind, the point is we all need to unwind…alone.

As writers we cherish our alone time, hoard it hungrily and protect it with the ferocity of a well-trained watch dog. This is the time we can most clearly hear our characters speak to us. This is the time we can let our muse take over our thoughts, the time we can allow our plot to percolate through our brains and out our fast-typing fingertips. Writers are by nature solitary creatures. Oh, we do seek each other out from time to time to compare notes, share tips of the trade, and to reassure ourselves that we aren’t truly alone because all mankind has succumbed to a zombie apocalypse except for us and we somehow missed it while we were being alone. It’s why I belong to a number of writers’ organizations and critique groups. These are the people who help me remember WHY I write. Conferences and workshops are an excellent opportunity to not be alone.

My Chippewa Falls area of WisRWA is sponsoring a one-day Fall Into Fiction Workshop, on Saturday, October 8th, and I’m looking forward to meeting others who feel the creative urge the way I do. I’m hoping to put some faces to the names.

Come join us at The Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1202 W. Clairmont Ave, Eau Claire to hear journalist, author, and editor Candace Havens speak. In the morning it’s about “The Book Map: Plotting Your High Concept Ideas,” and in the afternoon “Fast Draft and Revision Hell.” (We all know what that’s about, right!?) Arrive early and join us for book signings and a pizza party Friday night.

I hope to see you there, but hurry! Seats are limited and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to not be “alone” on October 8th.

Find out more about the Fall Into Fiction Workshop, or register online.

Jane Yunkerby WisRWA member Jane Yunker – this blog originally appeared at www.janeyunkerauthor.com.

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