Prepare for Publishing Success

Local Author Fair 8 23 2014

Attention, writers! Are you ready to start sending out submissions, or do you have an interest in self-publishing your manuscript? Want to know how to use your writing skills to earn an income as a freelance writer? On August 23rd, from 9-1, area authors will share insight from their experience to motivate and inspire any writer to success at our library’s first Local Author Workshop.

Lawrence author R. L. Naquin wrote her first novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and after editing she submitted to 31 agents with no bites. She didn’t give up. Naquin submitted her manuscript directly to Carina Press, a digital publisher, and four months later she scored a six-book contract. The first book in her Monster Haven series, Monster in My Closet, was just released in print. Check it out at your library.

Harriet Lerner, celebrated psychologist and author, just celebrated 3 million copies sold of her New York Times Bestselling book The Dance of Anger. Lerner’s book is considered a classic, and stands as an enduring resource for millions of women, but the author told a recent interviewer that it was rejected for five years before it was accepted for publication. Lerner followed The Dance of Anger with a series of trusted and critically acclaimed relationship guides. Check out her many titles in our library catalog.

Naquin and Lerner are only two of the seven speakers who will speak for this fantastic event. Check out the impressive line-up of speakers and presentation descriptions below. Books by presenting authors will be available for purchase and signing after presentations have concluded, from 12:45-2:00.

Need a great headshot for online or print promotion? Michael Perkins will take a high quality photo of workshop attendees for free! Photos will be snapped between 1 and 2 pm in the library’s Lingo Room, and a digital file will be emailed to the author. Sign-up for photos will begin at 8:45 am on August 23rd. A limited number of authors will be served, so arrive early to snag your place in line.

And, there will be snacks!  Coffee, scones, muffins, and fruit will be provided at the start of the day, available for free while supplies last.

Call 580-4540 to sign up for email updates, or just show up at our library’s Marvin Auditorium on August 23, ready to learn and be inspired. Tell everyone you know on facebook and real life, this event is too good to be missed!

Questions? Contact Miranda Ericsson at or 580-4553.

Read on to learn more about our speakers and their presentations.

Keynote—Courage in WritingRegina Sirois 2014

It takes courage to face success and failure. With courage, we can even change our definition of writing success.

Regina Sirois believes in a lot of things: running outside when it’s raining, walking to the mailbox barefoot, banana popsicles on hot days, crisp, white sheets, and especially the power of words.

She identifies herself as a reader first and a writer second, and as such her loyalty lies with readers. She believes that a book should not just mildly entertain- it should change us. She graduated summa cum laude from Missouri State’s Departments of History and English and settled in the golden wheat fields of Kansas with her High School love. She is currently doing laundry (probably) and raising her two daughters. She fell in love the day she learned to read and cried the first time she did a word problem in math (“But it’s not a problem…” sob, sob. “It’s a story!”). Her debut novel, On Little Wings, won Amazon’s National Breakthrough Award in 2012.

Reflections on the Agony and Glory of the Writing LifeHarriet Lerner 2014

Harriet Lerner will share the ups and downs of her adventures in writing, publishing, and promoting with some words of wisdom to writers in the thick of it.

Harriet Lerner is the author of numerous scholarly articles and eleven books, including the New York Times bestseller The Dance of Anger which has sold three million copies, with 25 foreign editions. Harriet has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, NPR and numerous other media.  She and her husband raised their two sons in Topeka, Kansas where they were both staff psychologists at the Menninger Clinic for over two decades. They now live in Lawrence, Kansas where they have a private practice.

Using Duotrope Timothy Volpert 2014

Unless you have already become a millionaire author and publishers solicit your work with pleading hands, submitting your writing to journals and magazines is an important part of establishing and advancing your writing career. How do you know where to submit your work? How do you keep track of what you’ve submitted? Duotrope is a great tool for monitoring the nuts-and-bolts side of getting your work published.

Timothy Volpert is a poet and musician from Topeka, KS, where he drives a bookmobile for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. His works have appeared in Mobius: the Journal of Social Change, Kansas City Voices, Coal City Review, and others. He loves you, and wants the best for you.

Learn Small Publishing from the Inside Out kevin rabas 2014

Editor and writer Kevin Rabas explains the intricacies of regional publication. Rabas manages and co-edits FLINT HILLS REVIEW, a national literary magazine with a regional focus, and serves as manuscript editor for Woodley Press (Washburn U), a press dedicated to publishing books by and about Kansas and Kansans.

 Associate Professor Dr. Kevin Rabas (MFA, Goddard College; PhD, KU) co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State and edits Flint Hills Review. Rabas writes poetry, plays, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. He has four books: Bird’s Horn, Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, and Spider Face: stories. He writes regularly for Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM). Rabas’s plays have been produced across Kansas and in San Diego. His work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, and Rabas is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry, the Victor Contoski Poetry Award, the Jerome Johanning Playwriting Award, and the Salina New Voice Award.

The Art of Pitching Nonfiction Sarah Smarsh 2014

For writers of reportage, personal essays and other nonfiction forms, the 21st-Century explosion of digital publications has created a slew of potential venues but plenty of economic and ethical conundrums. An understanding of the changing market is essential within a genre that can be literary as fiction and poetry but often holds a direct connection to current events. Whether you’re a freelance writer aiming for print or online bylines or a memoirist looking for an agent, these tips and tools will make your efforts more efficient, effective and lucrative.

Sarah Smarsh has written for Harper’s, The Huffington Post, The Pitch and others. She is the author of two books on Kansas history and the editor of a feminist essay collection for the Waiting Room Project, a national creative dialogue on women’s health. Her personal essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Morning News, The Common, Parcel and The Flint Hills Review, and her literary criticism has appeared in Columbia Magazine and Great Plains Quarterly. She’s filed more than a thousand stories for regional and national daily newspapers, alternative weeklies and glossy monthlies. Sarah has taught creative nonfiction and journalism at Washburn University, Columbia University, Ottawa University and the Lawrence (Kan.) Arts Center. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia, as well as degrees in journalism and English from the University of Kansas.

Publish Your Own BookDennis Smirl 2014

Do you want to publish your own book? Self-publishing is an increasingly successful option for emerging and established writers. Dennis E. Smirl can tell you how to get started, and how to avoid rookie mistakes that can hurt sales. Discuss differences between CreateSpace and traditional publishing, with a focus on dollars invested vs dollars potentially returned. Learn about the importance of “the look”—because we do judge books by their covers, as well as their font and style. Bring your questions for Q and A after the presentation.

Dennis E. Smirl has been an Air Force officer, a salesman for a Fortune 500 company, a school psychologist, a computer science instructor at several community colleges, and a business owner. Married to his college sweetheart for almost half a century, he has spent time in Mexico, Japan, and South Vietnam, but prefers to take family vacations in the USA and Canada. A writer for as long as he can remember—he attempted a first novel at age ten—his first taste of national publication was a race report written and published in 1965. Beyond his interest in writing science fiction and mysteries, he has had a lifetime interest in horseback riding, auto racing (as a driver), golf, photography, computers and information processing. He has written nine novels and more than seventy short stories and novellas, and hopes to have all nine novels—and perhaps a couple more—available through Amazon print and Amazon Kindle within the next two years.

You Are Not a Statistic: Forging Your Own Pathrlnaquin 2014

There are so many paths for writers to choose from– agented, traditional, indie, self-pub, digital-first, hybrid — it’s difficult for an aspiring author to make decisions with everyone telling them what they SHOULD do. I’ll tell my absolutely ridiculous and unlikely story of how I got published, then share the choices I’ve made to move forward from there, creating a hybrid career that’s working better for me than if I’d limited myself to a single path.

R.L. Naquin is the author of the Monster Haven urban fantasy series from Carina Press. You can find her on the Web at:

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor. She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

Miranda Ericsson

Miranda loves to talk lit! Her favorite reads are poetry, literary fiction, and speculative science fiction, and she's passionate about promoting great literature written by Kansas authors. She works with library programs that support and engage writers in our community, so ask her for more information about the Local Writers Workshop, Great Writers Right Here author fair, and Community Novel Project. Miranda is also a member of the library's Genealogy Team and Fiction Team, facilitates TALK book discussions, and co-leads the Bean There, Read That book discussion group.