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2004 Featured Speakers

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Jane Kurtz
Don Coldsmith
Debra Stufflebean
Fred Krebs
Robert N. Lawson
Eleanor Bell
Susan Marchant

Naomi Patterson
Carol Yoho
Rick Bruner
Elizabeth Nichols
Mark Bouton
Barbara Waterman-Peters

Special Guests :
Jane KurtzJane Kurtz, award-winning children’s author, has published 22 books for children—picture books to novels—and three books for teachers with Simon & Schuster, Harcourt Brace, Harper Collins, and other major publishers. Her first book with a major publisher came out in 1994, and she has produced at least one book a year since then. Jane’s Bicycle Madness looks at Frances Willard, a champion for the rights of women and oppressed workers during the 1800s, through the eyes of a fictional 12-year-old girl living next door. Her latest book The Feverbird's Claw, a fantasy novel set in a time of ancient civilizations and published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins, recently won a silver Parents Choice award. Kurtz has an MA in English and has taught at elementary through college level. She now makes a full-time career of speaking and writing. She has appeared in many states and in Ethiopia, where she sponsors a children’s library. About two years ago, she moved to Hesston, Kansas, with her husband, Leonard Goering. Jane is a member of Kansas Authors Club District 5 and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
[graphic dot]Writing and Publishing Books for Children: Ten tips for writing children's books and stories that young people (and their parents and grandparents) will want to read—Award-winning author Jane Kurtz shared what she learned about the craft of writing that has led to the publication of her 22 books. Rejection letters, she says, taught her to take the craft seriously. Jane explained how she learned to revise and to recognize excellence in her own work.

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Don ColdsmithDon Coldsmith, one of Kansas’ best-selling authors, has written more than forty books, 150 magazine articles, and 1600 newspaper columns over the last 31 years. His column “Horsin’ Around” currently appears in the Emporia Gazette and Grass and Grain. Don is best known for his series “The Spanish Bit Saga,” historical fiction with Western and Indian themes, with more than six million copies in print. He served in the Army in World War II, graduated from Baker, and became a doctor. Coldsmith is a Past President of Western Writers of America and has taught in the Division of English, Emporia State University. He was chosen Distinguished Kansan of 1993 by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas, received the Edgar Wolfe Award for lifetime contribution to literature in 1995, and was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America in 2000. He was listed among the twenty most important writers of the 20th Century by his fellow professional writers in the same year. In 2003 he received the prestigious Owen Wister Award, presented by the Western Writers of America Guild. Pipestone Quest is his newest book. Still Horsin’ Around was recently published by Dancing Goat Press. Don and his wife Edna maintain a ranch near Emporia. Don delivered the Saturday luncheon address.

[graphic dot]Research for Fiction—Presenter Debra Stufflebean offered participants an outline of research techniques used to create authentic detail for writing both non-fiction and fiction.

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Fred KrebsFred Krebs, who portraedy William Allen White at the convention, has been teaching history at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, for the last 32 years. He has taught American History, Kansas History, and many courses in the humanities and social sciences. Fred is a busy public speaker on a wide range of subjects including Women in American History, African-American History, foreign policy, arts, literature, and film studies. He has participated in Chautauqua programs in 20 different states with over 16 different historical characterizations. He recently received the Kansas Human(i)ties Award for connecting people and ideas in Kansas for over 25 years. He has been presenting William Allen White since 1985.
[graphic dot]Kansas Literature—Fred Krebs presented an overview of Kansas literature from a historian’s perspective. Krebs has read widely in Kansas literature, from the poetry of Eugene Fitch Ware to the detective novels of Rex Stout, as well as the work of William Allen White—editorial, novels, and poetry.

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Other Workshop Speakers:
Robert N. Lawson is a retired Professor of English who taught at Washburn University, Topeka, for over thirty years, his specialties Shakespeare and Japanese Literature. He received his PhD in English (1966) and MA in Oriental Studies (1985) from the Bob LawsonUniversity of Kansas. Bob joined Kansas Authors Club in 1978 and has served as District 1 President 1981-82 and 1987-88 and as State Vice-President in 1988 and President in 1989. Bob’s strategy for years of success in the State Literary Contest is to enter his best piece of work in each category each year until it wins. Bob was a mainstay of the Headwaters Writing Group at Washburn for many years. He regularly features Kansas authors and friends on his website. Bob served as General Editor of Woodley Press, which publishes poetry and fiction by Kansas authors, from 1980 to 2000. This summer Woodley Press published The Collected Sonnets of Robert N. Lawson, which includes 90 fine sonnets written over 50 years. Kansas Authors Club recently nominated Bob for Poet Laureate of Kansas.

Eleanor BellEleanor Bell, Topeka, has been writing poetry for many years. Her book of poetry, Flights Through Inner Space, was published by Woodley Press in 1980 (first edition). The second edition, expanded and revised, was published in 2000 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Woodley Press. Eleanor, a professional writer and editor, serves on the Woodley Press Board and has edited several books they have published, including The Selected Sonnets of Robert N. Lawson. Eleanor’s “Sonnet Lesson,” a teaching model sonnet dedicated to Robert N. Lawson, won first prize in the sonnet category in the Kansas Authors Club Literary Contest in 1981; Lawson’s sonnet “Appeal to Aristotle” placed second in the same year. Eleanor served as President of Kansas Authors Club District 1 in 1982-83. She has another book ready for publication: Second-Hand Rainbows, a collection of essays and poetry.
[graphic dot]The Perennial Sonnet: A short history of the sonnet in English literature, from the Renaissance to the present, with some suggestions on why it has been so long lived, followed by the writing of a sonnet by the group, passing in review the requirements of the form and its variations. As Gwendolyn Brooks has said, “Poetry has a future.” The sonnet, with its long tradition, will be part of that future.

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Susan MarchantSusan Marchant, Director of Kansas Center for the Book for 15 years, has worked with books, authors, and illustrators throughout her career. Whether teaching, selling, marketing, programming, or promoting authors, especially those with ties to Kansas, books are her passion. Susan earned her BA at Washburn University and her MLA at Emporia State University. She has served as a judge for the Kansas Arts Commission’s Literary Grants and the Library of Congress Letters About Literature programs. She is currently working with the Governor’s Sesquicentennial Committee in commemoration of the Kansas Territory. As a fifth generation Kansan and an avid supporter of books and reading, Susan continues to share and promote the rich literary history of our state.
[graphic dot]The Kansas Center for the Book: Susan Marchant, Director, explained what the center does to promote Kansas authors. The Kansas Center for the Book is one of 50 state centers nationally that are affiliated with the national Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Kansas became the 9th state center in 1987, and has carried the mission of celebrating books, literacy, reading, and libraries statewide for the last 17 years. The collection of the Kansas Center for the Book at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library includes books in print written by Kansas authors and books about Kansas.
[graphic dot] The WOW (Words on Wheels) Mobile
, from Kansas Center for the Book, took literary exhibits to every geographical corner and more than forty cities in Kansas.The WOW Mobile was on site at the convention. The display featured books by Kansas authors old and new, including two bound volumes of typewritten poetry by our founder H. W. Roby from the collection of the Topeka Room.

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Naomi Patterson
Naomi Patterson
, a lyrical and insightful poet, is a retired Clinical Psychologist. She earned her Master’s Degree at Ohio State University and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. Her clinical practice for nearly thirty-five years focused on the diagnosis and treatment of children. She has been writing since childhood and continues writing both prose and poetry. Naomi has published two books of poetry, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her third book, For Crying Out Loud, will be available by late October. She has written a monthly column for the Topeka Capital-Journal since 1997. A consistent winner in both the prose and poetry categories of the Kansas Authors Club annual contest, Naomi was awarded the Kansas Authors Club Achievement Award in 2002. She is a member of Kansas Authors Club District 1.
[graphic dot]Poetry Workshop: The Cheese Stands Alone—What sets us apart as poets? And how do we keep our work fresh? Naomi Patterson, award-winning poet, remined us of what we already know and offered suggestions for renewing our approach to writing. Poetry writers were challenged to break out of the box—to experiment with less familiar poetic forms and hone skills with the familiar.

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[graphic dot]memoir, n. a history composed from personal experience. This workshop was meant to inspire, invigorate, enliven, and entertain those who love the written word. Participants were encouraged to mine the rich ore that lies in their memories.

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Carol Yoho Carol Yoho, manager of Dancing Goat Press, has a BFA in Art from Washburn University and an MS in Media Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She teaches web graphic design at Washburn University, works with several on-campus departments and non-profit organizations on their web sites, and manages the technical and artistic aspects of the Kansas Authors Club web site. Carol and her husband, Kansas author Max Yoho, have published five books as Dancing Goat Press. Carol is a member of Kansas Authors Club District 1 and American Women in Communication.
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Self-Publishing: Roll Up Your Sleeves and Do It!—Carol Yoho, manager of Kansas enterprise Dancing Goat Press, offered tips on do-it-yourself publishing, from prep work to self-promotion.

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Rick Bruner
Rick Bruner
, singer/songwriter/guitarist, lives in rural Jefferson County near Lake Perry. Rick has studied music at Dodge City Community College and attended the Rocky Mountain Song School in 1998 and 1999. He took first place in the 2001 Heartland Folk Festival Songwriter’s Showcase in Kansas City MO. He performs regularly in Lawrence and Topeka and has opened for Bill Morrissey and Peter Keane. He often improvises songs with lyrics written by his audience. Rick plans to release a CD later this year.
[graphic dot]The Inner Songwriter—Songwriting is not just for rock stars or Nashville hit factories. We are all natural songwriters. A young child easily sings a made-up song, but many of us have lost touch with the inner songwriter. Whether or not you play an instrument or think you have musical ability, you can write a song. Rick explored this area of writing creativity. He discussed finding (and creating) inspiration, techniques of lyric writing and song structure, and how to have fun with the process of songwriting.

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Liz NicholsElizabeth Nichols is a poet, musician, and music educator. She is professor emeritus from Ball State University, Muncie IA. Elizabeth is a member of the Haiku Society of America and was coordinator for the Western Plains and Mountains Regions from 1998-2003. Since returning to Topeka, she is active in Heartland Haiku, American Penwomen, Kansas Authors Club District 1, and The W rite Stuff. Her exploration in haiku form has resulted in visual presentations, which she calls “Eye-ku.” She has presented many Haiku workshops around the country. Elizabeth has had haiku selected by the Basho Haiku Festival in Japan and national and international publications. She and other members are currently represented in Heritage, an international collection of Haiku in English, edited by Romanian poet Ion Codrescu.
[graphic dot]In the Moment: Haiku and Senryu—Elizabeth Nichols has been writing poetry for many years. From longer poems she graduated to the writing of haiku because the form enables the capture of specific moments while traveling. She has also discovered that the discipline of the three-line poem demands vigilant choices of words for meaning and sound. Her presentation focused on how to capture the essence of the moment.

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Mark BoutonMark Bouton, Kansas Authors Club District 2 member, was an FBI agent for 30 years, and he’s been writing mystery novels for the past 20 years. He attended the Beginning Mystery Writers’ Novel Workshop taught by mystery writer Robert Westbrook, Taos NM, in 1998; the Writers’ Digest Novel Writing Course in 2001; and the Advanced Mystery Writers’ Novel Workshop in 2002. During 2004, Mark has been a member of panels at the Love Is Murder Writers’ Conference, Chicago IL; the Left Coast Crime Writers’ Conference, Monterey CA; and the Mayhem in the Midlands Mystery Writers’ Conference, Omaha NE. He is scheduled for the Greater Manhattan Mystery Conclave on Oct. 3. Mark’s mystery novel Max Conquers the Cosmos, published by Five Star Mysteries, Waterville ME, has been nominated for the 2004 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award.
[graphic dot]Getting Your Novel PublishedMystery writer Mark Bouton provided an inside look at writing, finding an agent, and traditional publishing: what a writer must do to achieve competence and success. Mark gave tips on writng dialogue, character, and plot and suggested ways to network and make contacts at publishing houses.

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Barbara Waterman-PetersBarbara Waterman-Peters received her BFA from Washburn University of Topeka in 1973 and her MFA from Kansas State University in 1998. She has taught at Washburn University and currently teaches at Kansas State University. Active in the visual arts for many years, she has served on various museum and arts organization boards, and as a juror, curator, critic, panelist, presenter, and speaker. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally. Since 1999 she has been the visual artist for the Andrew and Georgia Neese Gray Theater at Washburn University. She is a published writer and editor in the visual arts and reviews new publications for the American Library Association Choice. A member of The Write Stuff, Barbara did the artwork for their book Insight Out. She is a new member of Kansas Authors Club District 1. Barbara was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions from the State of Kansas and is listed in Who’s Who of American Women.
[graphic dot]Author as Artist: Handmade Books— Barbara demonstrated the procedures required for participants to make their own small books to hold and enhance poetry or a journal. Materials were provided.

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This information was provided by
Karen Sells Brown, District 1