Tag Archives: Story Lines

Mississippi River Writers Conference Host Award-Winning Authors

The AmericInn Lodge and Suites in Prairie du Chien, WI will be the destination for Mississippi River Writers Conference on May 3, 2014.

Kim Sigafus

The conference will be held from 9-4 p.m. and is an opportunity for both published and unpublished writers to network and gather information about their craft. The keynote speaker is award-winning fiction/non-fiction author, Kim Sigafus. She will be speaking on how writers can take back the power of the printing press and why they should.

Conference topics include:

  • Memoirs
  • Critical formula for successful storytelling in books and movies
  • eBook publishing

Anthony Wedgeworth

Anthony Wedgeworth will be teaching each step of the critical formula, which will include a breakdown of key elements which are utilized in blockbusters on the screen and on the shelves. This exciting and interactive presentation includes the entire process of story planning & outlining, character development & back story, emotional pacing & teasers, and plot & subplot threads.

Lyle Ernst

Lyle Ernst will present the many different reasons and ways to write your memoir. He will include samples and suggestions and ask everyone to join in the fun of writing a six-word memoir.




I will be presenting on eBook publishing and will be available throughout the conference to answer questions.

Lori Perkins of Total Printing Systems of IL will be in attendance to answer any questions writers may have on self-printing costs.

McIver Publishing will also be there to answer any questions on team self-publishing versus traditional publishing.

A writing contest for registered participants is being held for a great prize which will be awarded at the conference. A catered lunch is included in the conference fee.

Registration deadline is April 25th. For more information and to register visit the Mississippi River Writers website or call (815) 297-2293.

If you aren’t sure attending a conference is right for you. Let me give you a few more reasons. Follow this link to an earlier post from yours truly. The energy I feel leaving a conference is amazing. Don’t miss your opportunity to join us for a day.


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What Makes a Best Seller a Best Seller? – Part 3


If you have not read Jodi Picoult’s “The Storyteller” stop reading and go read the book. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience.

I am going to touch on what I think Jodi Picoult did right in “The Storyteller”. In my opinion I felt she used descriptive words well. I

could see Mary’s garden and the way Mary rigged herself up to paint her murals. I could see Hauptscharfuhrer’s office that Minka worked in at Auschwitz, and I felt like I had stopped for a coffee at Our Daily Bread. The one part she nailed, which is my favorite part of the book, is the scene where the little girl is instructed by her mother to close her eyes and sing without stopping. The girl sings and doesn’t quit. Everyone around her is shot and piled around her and she is still singing. This scene is written so vividly it’s haunting. Yes, I know it’s horrible that this part is my favorite, but it’s my favorite because it’s written well. I can hear it and see it play out in my mind and I wasn’t there. Perhaps I can hear this better than other readers because I’ve stood in among the redwoods where this happened. If you only take one thing away from this four-part series let it be to describe the scenes in your manuscript so the reader experiences it, not just reads it. Even though I saw it coming, I liked when Sage found Minka’s story written on the backs of the pictures in Josef’s bedside table and I’m glad she took them.

The other area Jodi Picoult did right was to get people talking. This story spurs discussion about right vs. wrong, guilt vs. remorse, and even revenge with everyone that reads it.

I noticed these gold squares in the sidewalks in front of houses all over Berlin that had Jewish people that lived there. Each square contains their name, which camp they were sent to along with the day they were murdered on it.

I noticed these gold squares in the sidewalks in front of houses all over Berlin that had Jewish people who lived there. Each square has their name, which camp they were sent to along with the day they were murdered, if it is known, on it.

A sign of a good book is that it creates  a stir and starts discussions. This book has definately started discussions and earned some stares from eavesdroppers around those discussions. If you have read “The Storyteller”, what do you think was done well and why?

In the fourth and last part of this series I will outline what I think could be done differently to make this story better.

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