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1.  Keynote

Mind over marketing


Humans speaking to humans—that is the crux of real marketing. We tend to forget we are simply telling our story. Susan’s key learning points are:

  1. Changing your mindset so marketing is more effective and not a chore.

  2. Demystifying the myriad of marketing platforms to find your best fit.

  3. Learning how to find the right outside help without being taken advantage of.

  4. Defining the mindsets that prevent you from embracing and promoting your brand.

  5. Tips to save time on your marketing efforts including common missed opportunities on the internet and how to correct them.

Susan Murphy

Susan Murphy is The Humane Marketer, giving small business a big online presence. Her articles, newsletters, blogs, website content, resumes and more bring out the human story of each business she assists. She is currently writing a book, “La Casa Su Lago” (“The House on the Lake”), based on her youth in a large Italian family. Her other life titles include Single Mom, Actress and Woman-Owned Business Mentor.

2. Public Relations “How to Get Your Small Press or Self-Published Book into the Hands of Readers”



Participants will learn:

  • How to write up and then execute a book marketing & PR plan.

  • What should be on their book website.

  • How to go about contacting the media to promote their books.

  • How to set their books apart from the competition through effective marketing and PR tactics.

  • How to spread the word about the availability of their books.

  • How to interact with bookstores to set up events.

  • How to find other sales opportunities.

Rachel M. Anderson

Rachel Anderson has more than 30 years of communications experience across a wide range of disciplines. She is currently a marketing & PR consultant and publicist, who specializes in helping authors and publishers promote their books to local, national and international audiences. Since founding her company in 2009, she has secured more than 2,500 media placements. In 2017, Rachel and her teenage son, Justin, started a traditional publishing company called Sigma’s Bookshelf, which exclusively publishes the work of teen authors between the ages of 13 and 19. Learn more at 952-240-2513

3. “LinkedIn: The Best Business Promotion You Never Have to Pay For”



What a boon it is to the savvy author! In fact, it can provide the best promotion for your business that you never have to pay for. Your personal LinkedIn profile can make a dazzling first impression and begin building people's positive perception of you even before they meet you—OR, your LinkedIn profile can just sit there. Lacking logos, lacking pizzazz, a poor LinkedIn profile serves you—and your business—poorly.

Carol kaemmerer

Since 2013, Carol Kaemmerer has been shining her branding brilliance not on products, but on PEOPLE, helping business owners and senior executives to express their personal brand authentically online via LinkedIn. She is a popular speaker, executive branding and LinkedIn coach and author of the book “LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive: Promote Your Brand with Authenticity, Tact and Power.” A member of the National Speakers Association, she serves on its Minnesota Chapter board.

4. “Marketing with A Book! How to Use a Book to Grow Your Business”



Mark LeBlanc will share with you how to write the right book and leverage your book in doing more of the good work you are called and compelled to do. You will discover:


  1. How to create an extreme sliver of focus.

  2. What makes a good title and sub-title?

  3. A simple strategy for increasing your prospects.

  4. How to turn a book into a small empire.

Mark LeBlanc

Mark LeBlanc is the author of “Growing Your Business”; “Never Be the Same”; “Build Your Consulting Practice”; and “Defining YOU.”  He is a Certified Speaking Professional and has clocked over 20,000 hours working one-on-one with professionals of all stripes.

5. “Elements of Fiction”



Workshop includes music, discussion of how to write successfully, classic author references, and elements of fiction references through brief readings from her trilogy novels. You’ll learn about writing literary/historical/semi-autobiographical fiction (true stories layered in fiction), and appreciate awareness of elements of fiction: structure, characters, plot, arcs; the 5 senses; sensory, imagery; how to bring life to inanimate objects; how to turn loose ideas into cohesive stories; letting verbs do the hard work; and how to “Show, don’t tell.”

Connie Claire Szarke

Connie Claire (Peterson) Szarke, award-winning Minnesota author, writes literary/historical fiction, and receives much of her inspiration from the natural world. A former high school French teacher, her links with European culture, history, and the arts also provide additional material for novels and short stories, resulting in a trilogy: “Lady in the Moon,” “A Novel in Stories,” “Delicate Armor,” and “A Stone for Amer”; and two stand-alone short stories: “Stone Wall,” set in Ireland, and “Omertà,” set in Sicily.

6. “Calling in Creative Energy for Writers: Super Tools to Unblock and Unlock Your Story”



Writing can be an inspired journey and also a stressful path to completion. During this interactive session you will learn ways to use your mind/body/spirit connections to open up your mind, inspire new ideas, and create fresh motivation to keep your writing on track. As a result of this session, participants will uncover proven, easy and fast ways to charge up your author energy, and create your customized Author Energy Grid to recharge when your writing plans go off track.

Kristen Brown

Kristen Brown is a keynote speaker, business and lifestyle futurist, and bestselling author who helps busy professionals charge up soft skills for solid results using Vibrational Medicine to drive growth. Today she uses her unique perspectives, corporate expertise, Master’s education, and Yoga, Holistic Coaching, and Crystal Healing certifications to help audiences maximize their energy so they can have the business and lifestyle they envision.

Learn more at:

7. “How Humor Sells in Writing”



  • What prompted me to write a book/writing mentor experience, putting “the funny in.”

  • Making a Marketing Plan–and having a bigger vision.

  • Using your business brain (or find someone that has one) to further your success by calculating what a company may need you to write about.

  • My inexperienced formula I created for getting paid to write a book, and how I charged the company that needed it. 

Brenda Elsagher

Brenda Elsagher is a national keynote speaker, award-winning author, and 20-year veteran of comedy.  A Certified Humor Professional, Brenda finds the funny everywhere, even difficult things, and addresses that in her session. She’s knows the anguish of keeping your butt in the chair writing when you’d rather be cruising! Prepare to laugh, learn, and walk away physically feeling better. Brenda’s hope with this precious time together is that you’ll find writing jewels you didn’t seek!

8. “Writing a Great Book is Not Enough: You Still Have to Market It Post-Launch”



  • Updated from 2018 presentation: Most authors focus their promotion efforts to take advantage of the buzz from their launch. Jill will share insights she has gained since launching her first book in February 2018. How she:

  • 1.      Leveraged her professional expertise as an award-winning management consultant into selling her book,

  • 2.      Continues to keep her book in front of others, and

  • 3.      Is using the content to create new opportunities to market the original book.

Jill J. Johnson

Jill Johnson is the President and Founder of Johnson Consulting Services, a highly accomplished speaker, an award-winning management consultant, and now the author of the award-winning book “Compounding Your Confidence.” Jill’s consulting work has impacted more than $4 billion worth of decisions. She has a proven track record of dealing with complex business issues and getting results for client such as Mayo Clinic.



Ann Aubitz is the author of “Katlyn Conquers the World “and “The Many Faces of Down Syndrome.” Her writing buddy is her daughter with Down syndrome, Katlyn Aubitz. Ann co-owns FuzionPress and FuzionPrint with her husband Brian, located Burnsville.  FuzionPress works with authors to bring their book to market using an effective combination of self-publishing and traditional methods, offering design, formatting, editorial, marketing, and PR services provided by their team of professionals.  She’s also a proud member of Women of Words and chairs the yearly writing conference. or

9. I Am Ready to Publish My Book, NOW WHAT?


You are ready to publish your book, now what should you do?  This class will help you publish a book in today's market in 10 easy steps.  Learn the most frequently asked questions a printer/publisher gets asked daily from self-publishing authors about what to do—and not do.  If you have ever dreamed of seeing your book in print, this is the class for you!

Gloria VanDemmeltraadt

Gloria’s passion is legacy writing. In addition to teaching people how to capture their own stories, she has written many life stories for others. She is a dynamic speaker, and a hospice volunteer who has helped dozens of patients document their memories. Gloria has published 6 books, including: “Death in Deep Lake”; “Danger in Deep Lake”; “Danger in Paradise”, “Capturing Your Memories”; “Memories of Lake Elmo”; and “Musing and Munching.”

10.  “How to Start and Finish Your Memoir”


This interactive session includes hands-on activities and detailed information to guide participants past stumbling blocks in knowing how to start—and how to finish writing life stories or memoirs. Participants will learn the steps to follow to write a memoir or life story, multiple approaches to capturing information, and tips to keep focused on the project.

Maureen Aitken

Maureen Aitken is the recipient of the Foreword Review INDIE Prize (General Fiction, Gold Winner) and the Nilsen Prize for her collection of stories, “The Patron Saint of Lost Girls.” The collection has earned a Kirkus Star and a Foreword Star. Her work has received a Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant, a Loft Mentor Award, a grant from the SASE/Jerome Foundation, and an award from Ireland’s Fish Short Story Prize. Aitken teaches writing at the University of Minnesota.

11. “How Place Drives Plot in Fiction”


This workshop will focus on “place” as a key to the decisions, stresses, and inspirations of your characters. In this workshop we will talk about two famous examples of place, we'll "free write" on description in your own work, and share our findings and writings. We will then discuss how to use these elements in future writing. 

Lindsay Arthur

Lindsay is a well-known trial lawyer and founder of a major Minneapolis law firm. Since retiring from law in 2015, he has taught creative writing courses at schools and through community education. He also conducts writers’ workshops and coaches writers working on memoirs and novels. He wrote “How to Write a Truly Great Novel” (Archway Publishing 2018), and a novel, “The Litigators” (Scarletta Press 2005), which won a merit award for fiction. His second novel, “Justice For All,” should be released in late 2020.

12. “How to Get Started Writing a Novel”


Writing a novel is a major and challenging undertaking. Whether you write 25,000 or 100,000 words, organizing one’s thoughts and recording them thoughtfully into a well-crafted manuscript is a daunting assignment that has the potential to become frustrating and wasteful of one’s valuable personal time. This class introduces a number of useful tools for organizing and planning your writing project, including the use of storyboards, scene charts, chapter outlines, character profiles, and time-management techniques.

Betty Brandt Passick/Midge Bubany/Gloria VanDemmeltraadt/Joan H. Young


Betty Brandt Passick writes books renowned for their infusions of earthy soul, faith-isms, and Midwestern values. In 2016, she researched the “mystery man” who first came to her Iowa hometown around 1920


Midge Bubany is the author of the Cal Sheehan mystery series set in north central Minnesota. She has a short story in the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime anthology, “Dark Side of the Loon,” and also in “Cooked to Death: Hell for the Holidays.”


Gloria VanDemmeltraadt discovered her writing prowess late in life. After four nonfiction books, one of them award winning, she discovered the joy of writing fiction.


Joan H. Young writes the Anastasia Raven mystery series set in fictional Forest County, somewhere in the upper Midwest. A series of children's mysteries, The Dubois Files, spun off the first set of books, as Cora Dubois tells stories from her childhood.




“Writing a Mystery Crime Novel”

From this panel of mystery authors you will:

  1. Better understand how to write mystery crime books.

  2. Be exposed to mystery crime authors and variations of the genre.

  3. Learn how these panelists write, and how they learned about powerful language.

  4. What inspired them to write about crime?

  5. What were the hardest lessons they learned?

14.  “Turn Writing into Speaking Gigs”

Are you missing a big opportunity? You know you offer something of value to others. Turning your writing into speaking gigs will expand your audience and sell more books. Learn strategies to get started! 1) What topics can you turn into talks? 2) Who is your audience and how do you reach them? 3) How can you boost your confidence as a speaker? Shelly has been a presenter for over 17 years and will guide you to begin your journey as a speaker.

Shelly Christensen


Shelly Christensen, MA, is the author of a new book, “From Longing to Belonging—A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Community.” She is a popular keynote, conference, and webinar speaker. Speaking has expanded Shelly’s book sales and income potential. Shelly’s passion for her work helped her navigate obstacles to public speaking.     



15. “Passive Income

Through Online Classes”

Are you looking for a way to turn the content of your book into a source of passive income? In this session, we’ll explore how easy it is to create online classes related to your area of expertise. Learn how to 1) uncover content you’re an expert in that would transition to an amazing online course, 2) how to apply basic adult learning principles to make sure your audience enjoys their learning experience, and 3) exactly how to create materials that will be effective for a variety of learning styles.




Dr. Amy Jauman, SMS, is an author and international speaker who has taught online and blended courses for 15 years. She authored the “Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists” and, in 2018, released “Certification Success: Create Your Personalized Study Plan” through Kendall Hunt Publishing. Amy is a certified social media strategist and certified instructor through the National Institute for Social Media with a master’s degree in experiential education and a doctorate in organization development.



16. Making the Most of Your

WOW Conference Connections

In this energizing capstone session, you will be guided to pull together and set the next steps for inviting in the meaningful connections you’ve made at the WOW Conference. Too often when we attend big events, we learn a lot and make great connections—but then it turns into a distant memory of unfulfilled intentions. This dynamic presentation will provide the tools to take the conference experience and connections forward with you as resources, support, and inspiration on your journey as an author. Those who wish to continue and deepen their experience further will find tools including the “Win/Win Networking” guidebook and “50 Fun Things™” workbook and tools.

Teresa Thomas


Teresa Thomas, the “Win/Win Connector,” is author of “Win/Win Networking: Your Guidebook for Confident and Effective Connections”. More recently, Teresa created the “50 Fun Things” to guide people from all walks of life that are ready to shift into leading more fulfilling lives with meaningful connections. Teresa is an engaging facilitator, speaker and writer with a lighthearted, interactive style.



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