Thursday, September 15, 2016

Event: Houston Writers Guild presents Indiepalooza Conference

Indiepalooza 2016

Members:  Friday Only $50; Saturday Only $100; 2-Day Pass $120
Nonmembers: Friday Only $75; Saturday Only $125; $170
Student 2 Day Pass: $75

Ticket price includes:
Friday Night:
Coffee and Double Tree’s famous cookies; cash bar available
Continental breakfast
All day coffee, tea, sodas, water
Lunch:  Tuscan Delight Buffet
Cucumber and tomato salad; bocconcini and tomato salad; fire-roasted red pepper salad; Ceasar salad; chicken parmesan; beef lasagna; sauteed Italian vegetable medley; and fettuccini alfredo. Garlic breadsticks and Tiramisu included as well plus coffee, tea, water, and sodas.
Plus: Afternoon Double Tree’s famous cookies break
Spend the night Friday and stay up with us at our cocktail party in the hotel’s bar area.  

To reserve a room at the special $99 per night rate, visit

Still have individual marketing coaching with expert publicist, Brian Jud.  Marketing Coaching Sessions (see below for details): $50

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Dylan Drake – What Makes a Great Cover (7:00pm-8:00pm)
In this session, Dylan Drake will explore the elements that make for a great cover design.  As a graphic designer, book nerd, indie publishing evangelist, and Owner of Wayword Author Services, Drake will share tips and techniques for making your cover stand out fom the rest.

Cocktail and Networking from 8:00pm – ?

Saturday, September 24 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
9:00 am to 10:00 am Keynote Speaker Max Regan – Indie Publishing is a Team Sport

Everyone knows that the author is always the driving force behind any great piece of writing, but what happens when we ask our work to cross from private to public space? When we embark on the publishing journey, how do we ensure that our work is as professional and successful as possible? The truth is that every book you’ve ever read has a whole team of professionals working invisibly behind the scenes, making sure that the author puts their very best foot forward. These folks can help you bring texts through the Drafting Process and see your work through the eyes of your readers in the literary marketplace. They help you build not only a stronger book, but a stronger craft. Whether you are developing a story, working to finish a book, building an author platform, choosing a book cover, or trying to market a project, come take a look at who these people are, what they do and how they can help you bring your best possible work to life.
Max Regan is a freelance Developmental/ Content editor of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He has worked with a diverse array of authors who have published with Simon and Schuster, Counterpoint, WW Norton, Random House, Harper Collins and others. Max is the founder and director of The Hollowdeck Writing Guild in Boulder, Co For over 25 years Max has designed and taught creative writing classes across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He has taught and lectured at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Rose Medical Center and Naropa University where he worked for over a decade as the Director of the Naropa Summer Writing Program. His own creative work has been published in numerous literary journals, magazines and anthologies and has been translated into Czech, Spanish, French, German and Japanese. He lives and works in Boulder CO and St.John, USVI.

Breakout 1  Options: 10:15 am to 11:15 am

Option A: Rookie Indies tell Their Journey -Chantell Renee and Martine Lewis
Chantell Renee is an Urban Fantasy writer that caters to New Adult. She has been writing short stories and poetry since she fell in love with the subject at the young age of twelve. The idea that she could ever write a novel seemed unbelievable. She fell in love with words. What made them so fascinating was the way words create worlds; how they can inspire physical and emotional experiences for those who read or hear them. Her debut novel, Belonging, and the second book in the trilogy, Consumed, were published this past year.

Martine Lewis is a forty-something who was born and raised in the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada. She spent her childhood looking forward to her summer vacations at the farm, which were a nice escape from the suburbs where she lived. Her debut young adult novel, Crossing the Barrier, is book one in the Gray Eyes Series and was published this past year.


 Option B: Building Winning Relationships -Mary Smith

Creating a team of professionals to help you reach your publishing goals is not easy.  Managing those relationships takes skill.  In this session, Mary will share tips and techniques for managing your relationships effectively and keeping your team on target and working productively. This is a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified class.

Mary Smith is a Ziglar Legacy Certified trainer, coach and leadership development expert.  She started an oil and gas recruiting firm, Personnel Professionals, in 2004. She has 28 years as an educator, 8 of which were in developing and teaching staff development, curriculum writing and coaching/mentoring teachers.  Mary was a ROPES facilitator for 10 years, and has experience building teams that are successful through collaboration.  Mary is an active member of Toastmasters and Association for Talent Development Houston.  She is personable, fun, relatable and her passion shows in her presentations.  Mary has owned several businesses, but none have met her need for the training and development that Educational Leadership Consultants has provided.  She truly loves her work! Mary, a native Texan, was raised in Houston, TX and graduated with a BS from The University of West Florida.  She still resides in Houston, is married with two children and 8 grandchildren.


Option C: The Types of Editing and Why We Need Them – Johnnie Bernhard

In this session, Johnnie will discuss the difference between developmental/content editing, copy editing, and proof reading.  She will share how these types of editing are each an integral part to ensuring the success of your manuscript.
A former English teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard life’s work has been reading and writing. A published author, her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines, both nationally and internationally. She is a graduate of the University of Houston (B.A. Journalism) and Nicholls State University Graduate School (English). She has written articles and columns for: the Suburban Reporter, Houston, World Oil Magazine, Houston, The MS Press, Ocean Springs Record, Gulfport Memorial Hospital Patient Publications and Word Among Us. She was also published in two anthologies for the Gulf Coast Writer’s Association and the Houston Writer’s Guild.

Breakout 2 Options 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Option A: Setting Goals – Mary Smith
(see above for Mary’s bio)
In this session, Mary will discuss tips and techniques for effective goal setting.  Understanding time management and making an effective plan to reach your goals will also be covered. This is a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified class.


Option B: Journals, Magazines, Anthologies: An Author’s Friend – Adrienne Perry and Fern Brady

Many authors are using publication in journals, magazines, and anthologies to help them build up their following as they work towards their first novel.  As an author, these kinds of publishing can help you market and promote, but how can you tell which publications you should submit to.  Join Adrienne Perry and Fern Brady as they share tips on making these options work for you.
Adrienne Perry grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the daughter of a rolling stone from Souther California and a mother whose family homestead outside of Gillette, Wyoming. Adrienne earned her MFA from Warren Wilson Collee, serves as the current editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and is a Kimbijio Fellow at the University of Houston. Adrienne is currently at work on a novel and a collection of short stories. An exerpt of her story “Red Desert” was translated by Jean Guiloineau and appears in the French Literary journal Si├Ęcle 21.

Option C: Business Basics – Small Business Bureau

In this session, members of the Houston chapter of the Small Business Bureau will share tips and resources for launching your own small business. Whether you will publish only your own books or have a larger dream of becoming a small press, this session will provide valuable information to keep in mind as you embark on the journey of being your own small business.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow business. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the Unites States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
Is the organization that works with SBA to teach and assist individuals that are interested in starting small businesses.  They offer workshops, mentoring, templates, and other tools to help make small businesses in Houston successful.  Check out their website at

12:30pm to 1:30 pm  Lunch  — See above for the delicious buffet options we will be enjoying

1:30 pm to 2:00 pm – Presenting Authors Book Signing

Breakout 3 Options 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Option A: Veteran Indies Share Their Experience – Melanie Bragg, Alicia Richardson, Dorothy Tinker

Artemis Greenleaf [A.K.A. Alicia Richardson] has always been fascinated by the mysterious, and she devoured fairy tales, folk tales and ghost stories since before she could read. In 1995, she had a near-death experience which turned her perception of the world upside down. She lived to tell the tale (and often does, in one form or another). Artemis lives in the suburban wilds of Houston, Texas with her husband, two children and assorted pets. She writes novels, short stories, and non-fiction, and her work has appeared in magazines. For more information, please visit

Melanie Bragg obtained her Bachelors of Science from the University of Texas at Austin with Honors in 1978 and her Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston Law Center in 1982. After serving a year as a Briefing Attorney for the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas, Melanie started her own law practice. She worked in the civil, criminal, probate and family courts. Her self-published legal thriller, Crosstown Park, explores social justice issues.  The sequel is in the works.

Dorothy Tinker is a genre fiction writer, with a heavy focus in epic fantasy.  She is the author of the Peace of Evon young adult series, with three books published and the fourth, and final, book of the series in progress. Dorothy has two fantasy/romance short stories published in the HGW Press anthology, Riding the Waves, and a scifi/spiritual short story published in the Inklings Publishing anthology, Eclectically Cosmic.  The first two stories further explore the lives of two minor characters from her first book, Peace of Evon, while the third short story explores the mysteries of an extradimensional resort hotel. Dorothy is an enthusiast of languages, cultures, and fantastical worlds

Option B: Marketing 101 – Brian Jud

In this session, Brian will review the basics of marketing strategy and planning; planning new products to expand profits; sales forecasting; finding and working with distributors; pricing strategies for greater net income; generating buzz through publicity, advertising, sales promotion and selling.
Brian Jud is author of Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly book) and TheMarketing Planning CD-ROM describing new ways to sell more books profitably to special-sales buyers. He is also the author of the new series of printed booklets published by R. R. Bowker with Proven Tips for Publishing Success. Brian is editor of the Book Marketing Matters special-sales newsletter, and creator of the Special-Sales Profit Center used by R. R. Bowker to sell other publishers’ books to special markets.

Option C: Successful Crowdfunding – Adam Holt

Author Adam Holt will share his experience with Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. From campaign start all the way through fulfillment, he’ll share the methods he used to successfully fund his debut and followup novel on the crowdfunding website.
Novelist and poet Adam Holt grew up near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where his father worked for Mission Control during the Apollo missions. After attending Baylor, Adam taught English at Greenhill School in Dallas for a decade; however, he left teaching in 2013 to devote himself to writing and sharing his love of human space exploration. He’s currently working on the third novel in the Tully Harper Series, about a trio of teen space travelers that change the fate of the solar system. As a poet, Adam was selected to read at the upcoming Poetry Series at the Houston Public Library. In his free time he coaches, travels, and searches for great tacos.

Breakout 4 options 3:15pm to 4:15 pm

Option A: Difficult Conversations Made Easy: Giving and Receiving Feedback — Mary Smith
(see Mary’s bio above)  In this session, Mary will discuss the importance of genuine feedback, how to give good quality critique to others, and most importantly how to receive and use feedback critique given to you.  As indie authors, the critique process helps ensure that when our work finally reaches publication it is of the highest possible quality in terms of content.  But knowing how to use critique to our advantage can be difficult


Option B: Poetry and the Indie Author – Andrea Barbosa

Selling poetry today can be difficult.  In this session, Andrea will share tips and strategies for finding places and methods for selling and publishing your poetry. As Author Events Director for the Houston Writers Guild, Andrea will give guidance on how to make poetry sellable again.
Award-winning novelist and poet Andrea Barbosa is an avid reader, soccer fanatic and a tourist at heart. She took Creative Writing classes at Texas Tech University. Her poetry collection, Holes in Space is the recipient of the 2015 Silver Medal Award in Poetry from Readers’ Favorite, and is featured in the 50 Best Books of 2014 at website, voted top 5 in poetry by readers. She is currently working on Olympian Heartbreak, the second in the Olympian Love romance series


Option C: Teaming Up for Maximum Promotion – Space City 6 Artemis Greenleaf, Monica Shaughnessy, Ellen Leventhal, Mandy Broughton

These four local Guilders have teamed up to help each other promote. Join in this session and learn some tips and tools, strategies and techniques, for developing a team approach to marketing and promotions as authors.

(see Artemis Greenleaf above as Alicia Richardson on Veteran Indie Panel)
Monica Shaughnessy has a flair for creating characters and plots larger than her home state of Texas. Most notably, she’s the author of the Cattarina Mysteries, a cozy mystery series starring Edgar Allan Poe’s real-life cat companion. Ms. Shaughnessy has numerous books in print, including mysteries, suspense novels, children’s works, and short story collections. She also writes under the pen name, Annie Bassett, with co-author Mandy Broughton. Customers have praised her work time and again, calling it “unique and creative,” “fresh and original,” and “very well written.” When she’s not slaying adverbs and tightening plots, she’s walking her rescue dogs, goofing around with her family, or going back to the grocery store for the hundredth time because she forgot milk.

Mandy Broughton is a nerdy girl who loved school (M.A. in Clinical Psychology and M.A. in Christian Education). But as much as she loved school, she loves reading more. She usually has a book in her hand and two more in a bag. And she won’t buy a purse unless it has a special pocket for her kindle. She gravitates towards mysteries, science fiction and historical novels but the Bible is her passion.

4:30pm to 5:30pm   Bloggers Panel Meet book review bloggers Emily Reads Everything, Bohemian Housewife, and Rolopolobookblog. These ladies will share about their blogs, working with authors, and provide tips for how to best reach out to this growing avenue for book promotions.  You won’t want to miss this panel!