Bibi Belford, Chicago, is among the winners of the 69th Annual Christopher Award.
The award salutes those in publishing, radio, television, and film that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”
Belford won for her young adult book Crossing the Line (Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse Publishing).
Belford is a speaker at this year’s 29th annual Writers’ Institute and she has attended a novel Master Class in the past at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat, both events sponsored by UW-Madison Continuing Studies.
Sarah Carlson, Fitchburg, Wis., has sold her YA contemporary novel, All the Walls of Belfast, to Turner Publishing.
The novel set in Ireland will be released in bookstores and via e-book format in March 2019.
Sarah’s path to publication included a step-by-step approach using several UW-Madison Continuing Studies resources. She utilized Critique Services with Christine DeSmet for her writing and a query letter, and then joined a critique group and novel-planning course taught by Angela Rydell. She attended Weekend with Your Novel, Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop (where she received an advanced full-manuscript critique from Lori Devoti), and finally Sarah attended the Writers’ Institute (where she pitched and got her agent).
Nick Chiarkas, Middleton, Wis., has won the John E Weaver Excellent Read Award bestowed by the Earthshine Media Group for his novel, Weepers.
The award honors John Weaver, writer and founder of the Fox Croft Group, now part of Earthshine Media Group. For twenty years, Weaver worked with authors doing literary publicity and founded the Book Cover Award. He died of cancer in April 2016.
In writing his novel, Nick called on experts in UW-Madison Continuing Studies Critique Services and also attended the Writers’ Institute and Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat.
Nick is among the speakers at the 2018 Writers’ Institute.
Jon Etter attended the 2014 Writers’ Institute and paid serious attention to his writing. As a result, and after attending the 2015 and 2016 Writers’ Institutes, he has had nine short stories and one poem published. More importantly, his agent Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management, sold his completed three novels entitled Those Dreadful Fairy Books as a three-book deal with Amberjack Publishing. This middle-grade comedy/fantasy series’ first book, A Dreadful Fairy Book is due out in June of 2019 with the two sequels due in June of 2020 and 2021. Here is the Publisher’s Weekly announcement:
Dayna Anderson at Amberjack has bought Jon Etter‘s first three books in a new middle-grade fantasy series, Those Dreadful Fairy Books, centered on a bookish, not-very-cheerful fairy named Shade who begrudgingly goes on an adventure to find an elusive library, as told by the reluctant narrator Quentin Q. Quacksworth. Publication for the first title in the series, A Dreadful Fairy Book, is set for June 2019; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary & Media Management negotiated the deal for North American English rights.
Jon recently contacted Writers’ Institute director Laurie Scheer and stated “I definitely owe some of this to things that I learned about the craft and the business of writing from the Madison Writers’ Institute, so again thank you so much!”
Congratulations to Jon!
Stephen Rosenberg, Madison, attended the 2017 Writers’ Institute and found the experience to be very rewarding. As a result he self-published his book Cancer What You Need to Know, a resource for cancer patients and their families.
The book outlines the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in a clear and appropriate way for everyone to understand. The book was a #1 New Release in Health Risk Assessment on Amazon and has continued to do well (in the top 10 in numerous categories on and off since its recent release). Reviews have also been strong and continue to be posted through Kirkus Reviews and on Amazon.
What happens when a mother goes into town, and disappears? Leaving 7 children behind? With a teenager in charge? Rose Bingham, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., has written a beautiful memoir, Buy the Little Ones a Dolly, published by HenschelHAUS Publishing.
Bingham, a retired nurse, worked on her memoir at two UW-Madison Continuing Studies events: Writers’ Institute and the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. Rose has won numerous awards for her poetry and writing.
“Buy the little ones a dolly” were some of the last words Rose received from her mother in a Christmas letter when Rose was 15, sent without a return address. The mystery surrounding her mother’s disappearance comes to light 59 years later.
Kate Warpeha is a Chicago mad scientist and inventor. She attended Writers’ Institute a few years ago and continued working with Laurie Scheer through our Critique Services. The journey of completing her first YA novel with illustrations, along with illustrator Lisa Noble, has been an exciting labor of love. This is a beautiful story of generations coming together in a creative way. Kate is prepping other volumes within the Teen Ghoul series. Congratulations to Kate and Lisa!
Writer Marianne Flynn Statz of Madison, Wisconsin has signed agent and attorney Paul Levine to represent her nonfiction book, The Gift of Goodbye. Marianne pitched her project to Mr. Levine at the Writers’ Institute 2016. The book relates the story of solving a particularly troublesome crime and how it affected the detective’s life. Both the author and agent will be attending the upcoming March 24-26, 2017 Writers’ Institute conference in Madison.
Julie Holmes, of Arlington, Minnesota, has signed literary agent Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services to represent Just Plane Dead, a suspense novel. Julie met Cynthia at the 2016 Writers’ Institute in Madison, Wis. Prior to that, Julie took her manuscript through the Master Class for novelists at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat held each June. Both events are sponsored by UW-Madison Continuing Studies.
Just Plane Dead features aircraft mechanic Sierra Bauer. Sierra is more worried about her stalker ex-boyfriend’s return than the body she finds in her inspection plane, until the detective in charge of the case pegs her as a suspect.
Congratulations to Ann Zindler who placed third in the short story contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters with her story, “The Rescue.”
On the advice of her instructor (Christine DeSmet) in the UW-Madison Continuing Studies online course, “Write Your Novel Fast & Sure,” Ann took a chapter from her novel and reworked it as a short story that became “The Rescue.”
Ann will be reading her story on Nov. 3 as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival at A Room of One’s Own Bookstore in Madison. Her story will also appear in the February 2018 issue of Wisconsin People and Ideas.
With this publishing credit, Ann is busy pitching her novel to agents, including those she met at the Writers’ Institute in Madison.
John Peragine is an author of numerous books and a ghostwriter for many others. He’s published articles in the New York Times, Writer’s Digest, Bloomberg News, and Reuters. He has attended our Writer’s Institute and has been asked to speak at our 2018 Writers’ Institute to be held April 12-15th, 2018. His new book, Cucamonga Valley Wine: The Lost Empire of Winemaking (co-authored with George M. Walker) is available now.
Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth by Laurie Buchanan is on Aspire Magazine’s list of the Top 10 inspiring and motivational books for September 2017.
Note to Self has also been named a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist. Laurie utilized Critique Services of UW-Madison Continuing Studies for her book. She is a recent past guest instructor at Writers’ Institute.
Laurie utilized Critique Services of UW-Madison Continuing Studies for her book. She is a recent past guest instructor at Writers’ Institute.
The final installment in her Circle of Nine Series, Sacred Treasures, made the grand prize short list as well as being honored as the First Runner-Up in the young adult category.
The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. The Hoffer Award was founded at the start of the 21st century (with permission from the Eric Hoffer Estate) to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. Since its inception, the “Hoffer” has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses. “I’m so pleased that Sacred Treasures caught the eye of the award committee from amongst the thousands of worthy entries they receive each year,” Biel says. “It’s tough to gain attention in this business, so when you receive news like this, it is especially sweet.”
Valerie has been present at our Writers’ Institute conferences, participating as a speaker and as part of our Success Panel and Author Slam events.
Anne Davidson Keller, Madison, Wis., a recent attendee of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writers’ Institute and its critique sessions, has announced the debut of her first novel, Empty Chairs, available through Amazon and CreateSpace. The logline: After eleven-year-old Joe McDowell’s brother leaves the farm to fight in World War II, a cascade of catastrophes plunges the family into crisis, and Joe realizes he must choose between personal freedom and loyalty to his beloved father’s way of life.
Formerly of North Carolina where she received a BA in Psychology (at Chapel Hill), Anne has a Master’s degree in Social Work from UW-Madison. Anne notes her wonderful cover was created by local artist Jeanne Gomoll of Union Street Design.
Ron Kuka is the 2017 recipient of the Joyce J. and Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts. The award, established in 1992, recognizes and honors the achievements of UW-Madison faculty and staff across a broad range of activities and services in the creative arts including the areas of outreach, public service, and/or other enterprises involving the larger community. The award is for $6,500 and may be used for teaching, research, and public service activities.
Ron is a faculty associate in Creative Writing, UW-Madison Department of English, and has been an instructor of tremendous workshops at the spring Writers’ Institute conference and the fall Weekend with Your Novel, both events sponsored through UW-Madison Continuing Studies.
Heather Shumaker has worked in land conservation for two decades and served as the coastal program director for protecting Arcadia Dunes in Northern Michigan. She has a master of science degree in land resources from UW-Madison and is a national speaker who has participated in numerous annual Writers’ Institutes. Her new book, Saving Arcadia: A Story of Conservation and Community in the Great Lakes, is available now. Learn more about this very important book.
Additionally, DCS faculty associate Laurie Scheer assisted Heather as an editor for this book.
Fresh from appearing at our 28th Annual Writers’ Institute, author Patricia Skalka has informed us that The Council for Wisconsin Writers just announced that the 2016 winner of the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award is her latest book, Death in Cold Water. She is surprised, delighted, and humbled.
Ocean of Insight/A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope, new this fall 2016 from Parallax Press, recounts the true story and incredible Atlantic Ocean journey Heather Lyn Mann, her husband, and their cat made on a small sloop over the course of six years starting in 2007.
Before publishing, Heather participated in the advanced critique sessions at Writers’ Institute. A Madison, Wis., resident most of her life, Heather now lives in the Charleston area.
What the Mirror Sees, a women’s fiction novel by Teria Robens, won the 2015-2016 African American Arts Alliance of Chicago’s Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature-Fiction at their black-tie gala at the DuSable Museum on Oct. 24, 2016.
Teria took this women’s fiction novel through a Master Class at the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat, with instructor Christine DeSmet. She’s also been a part of the writing community regularly attending the annual Writers’ Institute in Madison.
Bibi Belford has sold world rights to her middle-grade novel, Another D for DeeDee, to Sky Pony Press. This is Belford’s second sale since participating in a Master Class at the Write-by-the-Lake Retreat sponsored by UW-Madison Continuing Studies. Belford was also a presenter at the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute 2016.
Her book’s logline: “Feeling dumb at a new school, being diagnosed with diabetes, and missing her immigrant dad, who has disappeared, make DeeDee feel lonelier than ever – until a new neighbor offers to help.” Publication is scheduled for fall 2017.
Christine DeSmet, an instructor and writing coach in UW-Madison Continuing Studies, and her scriptwriting partner, Peggy Williams, have won the 2016 short script contest sponsored by Living Storm Productions, Madison. Called The Stone Carver of King Street, the script will go into production this summer.
Christine teaches online courses in scriptwriting and novel writing, and is director of the Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. Peggy Williams, Madison, is a recent past instructor at Writers’ Institute. Both writers are members of Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum, where they learned about the contest.