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Chicago Writers Association

Speakers Bureau

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Compelling Speakers.

At Your Fingertips.

2016-2017 Program Menu (PDF Download)

CWA Speakers Bureau Quick Fact: 

Now in its eighth year, the Chicago Writers Association’s Speakers Bureau continues its rise as a go-to resource for local venues seeking spirited programs. The 2016-17 CWA Speakers Bureau features:

  • A total of 75 programs from 43 local presenters
  • 27 new programs touching on everything from pop culture and writing to Chicago history

Programs on the CWA Speakers Bureau menu include key information to help you make a decision about a program’s suitability for your venue, including a brief description, the target audience, fee, estimated time, and references. Should you have interest in a particular program, please contact the presenter directly.

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LOCAL CONNECTIONS

“The Path to On the Job: Murder, Reflection, and Where TV Cop Shows Fail” by Daniel P. Smith

The relationship between the police and the public continues generating attention. On the Job: Behind the Stars of the Chicago Police author Daniel P. Smith guides audiences into the closed-door society that is the Chicago Police Department. Sharing never-before-told stories of the tolls the job exacts on the officers, their families, and their lives while interweaving a discussion of Chicago’s criminal landscape, police department culture, and history, Smith discusses the unique personal experiences that led him to pen his debut work. (Adults; 75 min; $150-200 negotiable with permission to sell books)

References: Cindy Kline, Indian Prairie Public Library, (630) 887-8760, klinec@indianprairielibrary.org; Jeannine Kacmar, Palos Heights Public Library, jkacmar@phlibrary.org, (708) 448-1473 x104

Contact: smithwriting@gmail.com, (708) 717-6126

 

NEW! “Who’s Been Living In My House?” by Grace DuMelle


Learn who lived in your Chicago home before you from longtime house historian Grace DuMelle, author of the award-winning Finding Your Chicago Ancestors. See how to search online by address for inhabitants, then apply genealogical techniques to flesh out the names. Will you find a vaudeville performer or a cracker packer? Servants or saloon keepers? Includes Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $175 with permission to sell books)

References: Kay McSpadden, Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, kaymcspadd@aol.com

Website: hhrs1872.wordpress.com

Contact: hhrs1872@ameritech.net(312) 842-8933

 

NEW! The Hundred-Year House and One Hundred Years of Chicago Arts” by Rebecca Makkai

You’ve been to the museums, but how much do you know about the history of Chicago’s arts scene? Rebecca Makkai discusses her award-winning novel The Hundred-Year House, set on Chicago’s North Shore in the ‘20s, ‘50s, and ‘90s, as well as the artists’ colonies and Chicago arts history that inspired it. Photos, stories, and everything you never knew about the crazy lives of the artists. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren Newport Public Library, dhoffman@wnpl.com; Jill Pollack, StoryStudio Chicago, jill@storystudiochicago.com

Contact: rebeccamakkai@gmail.com

 

“Wrigley Field’s Last World Series: The Wartime Chicago Cub and the Pennant of 1945” by Charles N. Billington

Author and sports historian Charles Billington discusses the Chicago Cubs as an athletic, business, and social institution ingrained intoChicago’s cultural fabric. Billington explores the Chicago Cubs’ domination during the team’s first 70 years of existence (1876-1945) and the profound effects World War II had on baseball. Billington’s program includes rare film footage of the 1945 World Series alongside 1940’s music dealing with the war and baseball. (Pre-teens to adults; 100 min.; $175 negotiable)

References: Christy Eyre, Brookfield Public Library, (708) 485-6917;Richard Dawidowicz, Knights of Columbus, (847) 478-9419

Website: charlesbillington.com

Contact: (773) 351-5871, cnb1148@sbcglobal.net

 

“Wrigley Field’s Last World Championship: The 1963 Chicago Bears and the fall of the House of Halas” by Charles N. Billington

Sports historian Charles Billington discusses one of sport’s most dominant and colorful teams – the 1963 Chicago Bears championship squad. Playing at the start of pro football’s “modern age” under legendary owner/coach George Halas, the 1963 Bears put an indelible stamp on their profession; yet, their success sparked Halas’ downfall. The Bears’ contribution to the social and economic fabric of Chicago is also discussed along with analysis of rare film footage of the 1963 season. (Pre-teens to Adults; 100 min; $175 negotiable)

References: Marci Buerger, Mt. Prospect Public Library, (847) 590-3215; Karen Black, Glenview Public Library, (847) 729-7500

Website: charlesbillington.com

Contact: (773) 351-5871, cnb1148@sbcglobal.net

 

“Comiskey Park’s Last World Series: The Go-Go White Sox and the Pennant of 1959” by Charles N. Billington

The 1959 Chicago White Sox were the South Side’s first pennant winners in 40 years, but their success played in front of a tragic backdrop: one of Chicago’s first families locked in a bitter legal battle for control of a prized heirloom, the team itself. Sports historian Charles Billington delves into this history, which includes a film analysis of the 1959 World Series as well as a legal and business history of the 1950s-era baseball industry. (Pre-teens to Adults; 100 min; $175 negotiable)

References: Nancy Kendzior, Bloomingdale Public Library, (630) 924-2735; Peggy Hamill, Glencoe Library, (847) 835-5056

Website: www.charlesbillington.com

Contact: (773) 351-5871, cnb1148@sbcglobal.net

 

“Chicago’s Most Wanted” by Laura L. Enright

Chicago, when told it couldn’t do something, went ahead and did it anyway. Far from a toddling town, it was, is, a charging town, meeting challenges head on, losing big and winning bigger. From sports to gangsters to ghosts, Enright presents amazing facts from her book  Chicago’s Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Murderous Mobsters, Midway Monsters and Windy City Oddities (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Anne Estabrook Driver, Chicago Public Library, estabrook@chipublib.org(312) 747-4626

Website: www.laura-enright.com

Contact: lauraenright64@gmail.com

 

“Chicago Roller Skating History” by Marcie Hill

Roll down memory lane with author and Chicago roller skating historian Marcie Hill as she discusses 125 years of Chicago roller skating history. Starting with the first rink in the 1880s, she highlights Chicago’s role in this great phenomenon. Topics include Chicago firsts; classism and racism; and the staying power of the most popular sport and leisure activity in the world. This session will be a recollection for some and a history lesson for others. (Youth and adults; 60 min; $200)

References: Randy Richardson, Chicago Writers Association, info@Chicagowrites.org; Nicholas Saunders, Chicago Public Library, (312) 747-3270

Website: www.marciewrites.com

Contact: msmarcie@marciewrites.com, (877) 570-5228

 

“Chicago and the Memory of the Civil War” by Robert I. Girardi

The Windy City was a source of men, supplies, and transportation during the Civil War and the conflict made Chicago a major city. The men who fought the war came home to build and rebuild the town, and along the way, they erected museums and monuments. They presided over parades and Memorial Day services until a disinterested public swept them aside. Today their legacy adorns Chicago’s landscape, but few remember their story. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Kathy Hussey, Wilmette Historical Museum, (847) 853-7666, husseyk@wilmette.com; Bill Furry, Illinois State Historical Society, (217) 525-2781, wfurry@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.robertgirardi.com

Contact: (773) 693-7387, CvlWarGuy@aol.com

 

NEW! “1812 Chicago” by Patrick McBriarty

Historian Patrick McBriarty reveals an intimate look at the five months between April and August 1812 and the events and intrigue surrounding the remote military, French, and Indian trading outpost of Chicagou.

Centered on John Kinzie, the area’s leading fur and Indian trader who is embroiled in preserving his family and business amidst Indian Country caught between the British, Native Americans, and upstart land-hungry Americans at the outset of The War of 1812. (Adults; 45-60 min; $175-250 negotiable with permission to sell books and DVDs)

Reference: Curtis Tuckey, Cigar Society of Chicago, curtis.tuckey@logicophilosophicus.org

Website: www.PTMWerks.com

Contact: (773) 710-0485, Patrick@PTMWerks.com

 

“Chicago River Bridges” by Patrick McBriarty

A multimedia presentation on the importance of bridges in the development of the Windy City from the first wood footbridge, built by a tavern owner in 1832, to the engineering and architectural marvels spanning the Chicago River today. Based on the award-winning book of the same title, learn how Chicago emerged as the Drawbridge Capital of the World with stories of floods, fire, politics, and bridge innovations. Alternatively, screen the 56-minute PBS documentary Chicago Drawbridges and enjoy a Q&A with the filmmakers. (All ages; 60 min; $175-250 negotiable with permission to sell books and DVDs)

References: Neil O’Shea, Niles Public Library, (847) 663-1234, noshea@nileslibrary.org; Kathleen Thomas, Chicago Maritime Museum, (312) 720-7245kaththomas@att.net

Website: www.PTMWerks.com

Contact: (773) 710-0485, Patrick@PTMWerks.com

 

 “Giants in the Park, Parts I, II & III: Unveiling the Histories behind Lincoln Park’s Monumental Art” by Krista August

Lincoln Park, historically Chicago’s most important park, features GIANTS of history and literature, celebrated in enduring bronze: Grant, Lincoln, LaSalle, Goethe, Shakespeare…17 in all. In this three-part program, Krista August unveils the histories behind local monumental art, using historical photographs and highlights from her two books, Giant in the Park and Giants in the Park ACTIVITY BOOK for Growing Giants. (All ages; 60 min; $150-200 with permission to sell books)
References: Lori Griffin, The Clare, (312) 784-8050, LGriffin@theclare.com; Mary Jo O’Toole, Chicago Public Library, (312) 744-1926, mdrungil@chipublib.org
Website: www.GiantsinthePark.com
Contact: krista@GiantsinthePark.com, (773) 320-5737

 

“Return to the Scene of the Crime” by Richard C. Lindberg

Chicago author and historian Rich Lindberg takes his listeners on a tour of famous and forgotten Chicago crime scenes spanning 150 years. Based on his locally best-selling book Return to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Infamous Places in Chicago, Lindberg, who has spoken to numerous membership groups, associations, libraries, and more, shares his colorful anecdotes and stories about the Windy City’s lusty, colorful, and often notorious past. (Adults; 60-90 min; $135)

References: Bill Stephens, Bensenville Public Library, (630) 766-4642; K. Kuningas, Wauconda Public Library, (847) 526-6225

Website: www.richardlindberg.net

Contact: rclwriter@aol.com, (773) 631-3023

 

“Devils in the White City – and Beyond” by Richard C. Lindberg

True crime author Rich Lindberg presents a fascinating montage of Gaslight Era serial killers, scoundrels, and murderers. A veritable rogues gallery will pass in review, including H.H. Holmes (the original Devil in the White City), matrimonial swindlers, and murderers Johann Hoch and Belle Gunness plus the enduring mystery of Lizzie Borden of Fall River (“Lizzie Borden Took and Axe…”) and Amy Archer Gilligan, the black widow who inspired the play and movie “Arsenic and Old Lace.” (Adults; 60-90 min; $135)
References: Sherrie Rhodes, Prairie Creek Library, (815) 584-3061; Dawn Ritter, Joliet Public Library, (815) 846-0500

Website: www.richardlindberg.net

Contact: rclwriter@aol.com, (773) 631-3023

 

“The White Sox – From the Very Beginning” by Richard C. Lindberg

Since 1985, Richard Lindberg has served as the Chicago White Sox team historian. Four of his 16 books, including Total White Sox cover the often tragic and cursed history of the city’s beloved South Side team. Lindberg’s interactive presentation spans the full gamut of team history from Charles Comiskey and the “Dead Ball Era” and into the modern age, presenting an insider’s view and interpretation of the team and its front office. A slide presentation features many unusual and never-before-seen images. Upon request, this program can be expanded to a Cubs-Sox format presented jointly with Cubs historian George Castle for an additional presentation fee. (Kids and adults; 60-90 min; $135)
References: Stephanie Driscoll, Indian Trails Library, (847) 459-4100; Shauna Porteus, Winnetka-Northfield Library, (847) 386-5246

Website: www.richardlindberg.net

Contact: rclwriter@aol.com, (773) 631-3023

 

NEW! “Poland in Chicago; Chicago in Poland” by Donna Urbikas

Outside of Warsaw, Chicago has the world’s largest Polish population, but as assimilation and integration extends to third and fourth generations, much of that culture has been lost, mingled with others, or persists in the staunchest ways. Learn about the challenges of Polish immigration from the early 1800’s to the present, discover the various centers of Polish and Polish-American culture and some of the traditions of Polish culture. A multimedia presentation by former teacher and author Donna Urbikas who emigrated to Chicago as a child and grew up in the Polish community of the 1950’s and 1960’s, as highlighted in her recent memoir, My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia. Includes resource handouts, Q&A. (Teens and Adults; 60 min; $75 with permission to sell books)

Reference: Sheila Leary, The University of Wisconsin Press, publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu, (608) 263-0734

Website: www.danutaurbikas.com

Contact: donna@danutaurbikas.com(312) 343-5454

 

“Silhouettes of the Past: Growing up in Chicago during the 1950’s and 1960’s” by Dr. Leslie K. Best

Author and educator Dr. Leslie K. Best discusses Chicago’s past, including historical data prior to and during the 1950’s and 1960’s that impacted her life as an African-American living on the South Side of Chicago. Dr. Best details her family’s journey through the Woodlawn, Hyde Park, and Chatham communities in the quest for a better life. They often had to break through discrimination, racial restrictions, and barriers; however, she found mostly pleasurable experiences that everyone can connect to. (Teens and Adults; 60 min; $200 with permission to sell books)

References: Kelley Nicholas-Brown, Richton Park Library, (708) 481-5333

Contact: (708) 912-7018besteducate@aol.com

LIFE AND FAMILY

 

NEW! “Connected to What?! Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Youth” by Mary Ellen Young
Concern about how youth are using social media is widespread and growing. Hear the latest research about what tweens and teens are connecting to, the impact it is having on them, and the importance of disconnecting so that they can develop a healthy sense of self from Mary Ellen Young, co-founder of Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence. (Adults; 90 min; $250 with permission to sell books)

References: Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage Regional Office of Education, (630) 407-5770, druscitti@dupageroe.org; Cindy O’Meara, Naperville School District 203, cnavinomeara@naperville203.org(630) 234-7369

Website: www.authenticme.biz

Contact: (630) 975-2003info@authenticme.biz

 

NEW!The Other Three R’s: Raising Responsible, Respectful, and Resilient Children” by Mary Ellen Young

Raising children in today’s demanding, high stakes, over-scheduled, digital age is challenging. With what can be a hyper-vigilant focus on grades, scores, and performance, let’s consider what youth really need to be prepared for life. Learn strategies to help your children respect themselves and others, take responsibility, and bounce back from failure from Mary Ellen Young, co-author of ELEMENTS for Girls: A Fun & Engaging Self-Discovery Project. (Adults; 90 min; $250 with permission to sell books)

References: Dr. Beth Sullivan, DuPage Regional Office of Education, (630) 495-6080, bsullivan@dupageroe.org; Ruth Cross, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), (630) 200-6866, rcross@casel.org

Website: www.authenticme.biz

Contact: (630) 975-2003info@authenticme.biz

 

NEW! “Challenges of Adult Daughter, Aging Mother Relationships” by Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman

Dr. Janice Fortman, author of The Secrets to How Not to Throw Mama from the Train, sheds light on the complicated and dynamic relationship between mothers and daughters. She offers assistance and gives solutions to having more pleasant and loving relationships between adult daughters and their aging mothers. Includes handouts. (Adults; 90 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Gwen Maybin, Coffee, Tea and Me, (630) 441-5877, CTMDIST@aol.com; Dr. Sarah Crawley, Toastmasters International, (773) 785-9450

Website: www.drjanicespeaks.com

Contact: jhfortmanassociates@comcast.net(877) 667-7325(773) 443-2058

 

“Love, Loss and Life’s Detours” by Uma Girish

Love and loss are intimate parts of the human journey, but finding and following the detours leads to a life of purpose, meaning, and joy. Grief Guide and award-winning author Uma Girish shares her cross-cultural story of moving from India to the U.S. in 2008 and her life’s compelling second chapter. She draws life lessons from her transformational memoir Losing Amma, Finding Home to illustrate how the most challenging roads can lead you to passion, purpose, and peace. Includes Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $175-200 with permission to sell books)

References: Marileez Doss Suter, International Women Associates of Chicago, marileezsuter@sbcglobal.net, (312) 263-1421; Daniel Roeder, Brookdale Senior Living, droeder@brookdale.com, (847) 490-5838

Website: www.umagirish.com, www.internationalgriefcouncil.org

Contact: umagir@gmail.com, (630) 267-6625

 

“Living Life with a Purpose” by Dominique Wilkins

It is important to face your truths, deal with them, find your purpose, and live life knowing it. Through real-life scenarios, Wilkins explores how to live life every day for a reason. She uses her love for people to help them mirror the situations and use their purpose to fulfill goals and dreams. Includes handouts. (Ages 16+; 90 min; $100 with permission to sell books and audiobooks)

References: Toneal Jackson, APS Books & More!, (847) 942-6135

Website: www.AuthorDWilkinsGOODbooks.com

Contact: AuthorDWilkins@mail.com(773) 510-5493

 

NEW! “Surrounded by Santa: Bring Meaning Back to Your Holidays” by Jerilyn Willin

Holidays used to be wonderful without breaking the bank. They can be again. “Santa” is an interactive program designed to help folks reclaim their holidays from the media and retail frenzy. Participants explore what is meaningful for them in holiday celebrations vs. expectations and pressures; examine their most remembered holiday experiences; and create traditions (new or vintage) that bring holiday meaning back to them and their families. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60-90 min; $275 with permission to sell books)

References: Diane Breulin, Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, dbreunlin@sycamorechamber.com

Website: www.jerilynwillin.com

Contact: Jerilyn@jerilynwillin.com, (630) 924-8565

 

CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

“It’s Never Too Late to Make Mid-Course Corrections” by Mary T. Wagner

From soccer mom to supreme court arguments; sneakers to spike heels; waitressing to award-winning author; the career path taken by When the Shoe Fits author and “Growing Bolder” blogger Mary T. Wagner has been varied – but it’s never been dull. Combining optimism, practicality, and a healthy dose of humor, Wagner offers hard-won pointers on personal growth, reinvention, and the importance of trusting your instincts. Includes readings and Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $275 with permission to sell books)

References: Marsha Mamerow, Women In Management, mmamerow@lamar.com; Annie Bahringer, W.J. Niederkorn Public Library, abahringer@esls.lib.wi.us

Website: www.marytwagner.comwww.runningwithstilettos.com

Contact: runwstilettos@yahoo.com

 

“How to Make a Presentation Without Passing Out” by Jerilyn Willin

Overwhelmed by butterflies when asked to speak in public? Public speaking is the #1 fear of adults, yet we present all the time. We give reports at work, pitch to agents/editors, interview, network, and make formal presentations. Can it get easier? Yes, it can! Learn tools and techniques to: help you better think on your feet, turn nerves into positive energy, confidently answer questions, and know what to do with your hands. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60-90 min; $275 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Beller, Electrology Assoc. of Illinois, (847) 308-9020, remover1@comcast.net; Judy Toft, Lions Club Illinois,  jetoft@comcast.net

Website: www.jerilynwillin.com

Contact: Jerilyn@jerilynwillin.com, (630) 924-8565

 

“Eyes on the Prize: 5 Steps to Get Where You Want to Be” by Jerilyn Willin

Having a goal is just the first step to getting where you want to be. Goals don’t achieve themselves. They require attention and focus. Every day. This program shares steps to help you move toward the life and career outcomes you desire. You will learn how to: develop SMART goals, work toward them every day, get out of your own way, and develop an easy-to-remember roadmap of strategies. You will leave with your next steps and a plan. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60-90 min; $275 with permission to sell books)

References: Juli Schatz, Author! Author!, Bibliocat36@gmail.com; Jeanie Somers, TOPS/Illinois, topsacjeanie@aol.com

Website: www.jerilynwillin.com

Contact: Jerilyn@jerilynwillin.com, (630) 924-8565

 
MIND & BODY

 

“I Can’t Be a Runner … Or Can I?” by Danny Smith

Go from the couch to the 5k finish line. Running Times contributing writer Danny Smith shows you how. Informative and inspirational, Smith presents a detailed and proven 10-week program that blends walking and running. Leave with a plan and the necessary knowledge to take charge of your health. A perfect program to pair with Chicago Marathon headlines or New Year’s resolutions. Partner with the local park district for added reach and impact. Includes handouts. (Teens and Adults; 60 min; $175)

References: Cindy Kline, Indian Prairie Public Library, (630) 887-8760, klinec@indianprairielibrary.org; Diana Koepp, Frankfort Public Library, (815) 534-6173, dkoepp@frankfortlibrary.org

Contact: turnleftcreative@gmail.com, (708) 717-6126

 

“The Power of Mindful Eating: 5 Keys to Ending Overeating and Making Peace with Food” by Judith Matz, LCSW

Author, therapist, and nationally known speaker Judith Matz has helped thousands of people to break the diet-binge cycle and learn how to have a healthy and satisfying relationship with food. Based on her popular books Beyond a Shadow of a Diet and The Diet Survivor’s Handbook, Matz’s engaging presenting style and extensive knowledge and wisdom will ensure that participants walk away with the skills needed to end overeating and support physical and emotional well-being. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Teens and Adults; 60-75 min; $200-250 with permission to sell books)

References: Jancey Wickstrom, Renfrew Center of Chicago, (847) 291-6805 x1301, jwickstrom@renfrewcenter.com; Elisa D’Urso, Dominican University, (708) 488-5284efischer@dom.edu

Website: www.judithmatz.com

Contact: judmatz@gmail.com(847) 267-1200

 

NEW! “Fostering a Healthy Body Image: Changing the Conversation about Dieting, Food, and Weight” by Judith Matz

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about your weight? Do you wonder if it’s possible to quiet negative thoughts about your body? Eating and body image expert Judith Matz, co-author of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook and Beyond a Shadow of a Diet, will show you three strategies that help people of all ages to feel more confident in – and take care of – their bodies at any size! Includes handouts, Q&A. (Teens and Adults; 60-75 min; $200-250 with permission to sell books)

References: Jancey Wickstrom, Renfrew Center of Chicago, (847) 291-6805 x1301, jwickstrom@renfrewcenter.com; Elisa D’Urso, Dominican University, (708) 488-5284efischer@dom.edu

Website: www.judithmatz.com

Contact: judmatz@gmail.com(847) 267-1200

 

“Commit To Get Fit: And Improve in Every Aspect of YOUR Life!” by Laura Dion-Jones

Pro-health activist, certified coach, and Commit To Get Fit author Laura Dion-Jones presents her motivational, transformational program aimed at helping individuals overcome personal, professional and fitness hurdles to improve their lives. Dion-Jones will help you discover a strategy that will help motivate you to commit to make the changes in your life that you desire. Includes Q&A. 8-week follow-up support series also available. (All ages; 90 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Lisa Zink, Winfield Public Library, (630) 653-7599; Lisa Guidarini, Algonquin Area Public Library District, (847) 458-6060 x.115

Website: www.lauradionjones.com

Contact: lauradionjones@gmail.com, (312) 933-7325

 

NEW! “How Running builds GRIT” by Molly (M.) Rae

We all know how hard it can be to overcome life’s challenges. Developing grit – resilience, discipline, and mental strength – is key to facing life challenges successfully. Molly Rae, author of With Grace Under Pressure, discusses the gritty parallels between distance running and our life challenges. She will help you tap into your own grit and motivate you to find the runner within. Great for book clubs, running groups, sports teams, support groups. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Teens and Adults; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Janice Booth, Illinois Writing Project, k9tchr@frontier.com; Marco Galvin, Students Run Chicago, marco.galvan.chi@gmail.com

Website: www.withgraceunderpressure.com

Contact: m.rae131@yahoo.com(630) 242-2660

 

 HISTORY

 

“The Journey of Mollie’s War: WACs and WWII” by Cyndee Schaffer

Author Cyndee Schaffer discusses women in the military during WWII and in particular, her mother’s experiences as a member of the Women’s Army Corps. Mollie’s War is a memoir describing the life of a WAC who followed the troops into England, France, and Germany. Using excerpts from Mollie’s letters written home to her family, Schaffer takes you on the romantic and always frightful journey of a woman in uniform during this crucial time in history. Multimedia presentation includes WAC recruiting movie, photos, letters, medals, and memorabilia. (Teens and adults; 60 min; $150-300 negotiable with permission to sell books)

References: Philip Mohr, Des Plaines History Center, (847) 391-5399, pmohr@desplaineshistory.org; Shelley Augustine, Yorkville Public Library, saugustine@yorkville.lib.il.us, (630) 553-4354 x120

Website: www.mollieswar.com

Contact: cyndeeschaffer@gmail.com(847) 917-4125

 

NEW! “History You Didn’t Learn in School” by Donna Urbikas

WWII and Eastern Europe provide a number of challenges for students of history and curiosity seekers since the history of that region during those times is very complicated. Based on the author’s recent memoir, My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia, learn what was never presented in history classes and how regional and nationalistic ideologies influence current political events in that part of the world. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

Reference: Sheila Leary, The University of Wisconsin Press, publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu, (608) 263-0734

Website: www.danutaurbikas.com

Contact: donna@danutaurbikas.com(312) 343-5454

 

“A Life Less Lived” by Eileen Ladin-Panzer

Dr. Eileen Ladin-Panzer will read from her novel, A Life Less Lived, which is a verbal painting of a Jewish immigrant family living in a Chicago neighborhood during the 1940s and 1950s. She will discuss the many threads it contains, including the characters, Judaism, Chicago, and general history of the period.

References: Gail Galvan, ggpodbooks@hotmail.com; Les Cohn, Management and Business Consultant, les.cohn@comcast.net, (816) 516-9882

Website: www.eileenladin-panzer.com

Contact: eladinpanzer@gmail.com(847) 432-3746

 

“The Murder of Major General William Nelson” by Robert I. Girardi

Award-winning historian and author Robert I. Girardi presents a fascinating Civil War murder case. On September 29, 1862, in the lobby of Louisville’s Galt House Hotel, Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis murdered Major General William Nelson. Davis was arrested, but never brought to trial. A combination of political intrigue, cronyism, and military emergency brought this about. Girardi discusses the case from his perspective as a Chicago homicide detective. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Kathy Hussey, Wilmette Historical Museum, (847) 853-7666, husseyk@wilmette.com; Bill Furry, Illinois State Historical Society, (217) 525-2781, wfurry@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.robertgirardi.com

Contact: (773) 693-7387, CvlWarGuy@aol.com

 

“The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals in their Own Words” by Robert I. Girardi

The leaders of the Civil War armies came from all walks of life, amateur as well as professional. Many rivalries and jealousies were born of ambition or from personal animosities. The generals were not shy in voicing their opinions of one another both during and after the war. An award-winning author and historian, Girardi examines the incisive and insightful comments that Civil War generals wrote about each other. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Kathy Hussey, Wilmette Historical Museum, (847) 853-7666, husseyk@wilmette.com; Bill Furry, Illinois State Historical Society, (217) 525-2781, wfurry@sbcglobal.net

Website: www.robertgirardi.com

Contact: (773) 693-7387, CvlWarGuy@aol.com

 

“How Corn Changed Itself and then Changed Everything Else” by Cynthia Clampitt


About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass in Mexico transformed itself into corn – and then transformed the Americas, even before First Contact. After First Contact, it spanned the globe and drove westward expansion in North America, building cities and inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. Vampires, Henry Ford, time zones, Fritos, and the Chicago Bears are all part of this remarkable story. (General audience; 60 min; $135 plus travel expenses and permission to sell books)

References: Judy Bock, Geographic Society of Chicago, (847) 223-7627judyil@aol.com; Debi Wolfe, Schaumburg Public Library, dwolfe@stdl.org, (847) 923-3391

Website: www.worldplate.com

Contact: caclampitt@att.net(847) 537-7915

 

“The Rule of Rum” by Cynthia Clampitt


Even if you don’t drink rum, this is worthwhile history. Learn when rum arose and where, how pirates got involved, how rum helped unite the 13 Colonies, and how it became one of the issues that led to the American Revolution. From the Caribbean across the British Empire, from taxes to military rum rations, come discover how rum once ruled the world. Includes handouts. (General audience; 60 min; $135 plus travel)

References: Jan Oblinger, Fremont Public Library, joblinger@fremontlibrary.org, (847) 918-3239; Vicky Edwards, Chicago-area Mensa, AchicVic@aol.com, (630) 629-8385

Website: www.worldplate.com

Contact: caclampitt@att.net(847) 537-7915

 

NEW! “Gypsy Music Street: Genocide and a Daughter’s Journey to Her Mother’s Shattered World” by Roberta Dietzen

Following the death of her Holocaust survivor mother, Rezsi Lehrer, in 2007, Roberta Dietzen wrote her memoir, Gypsy Music Street, a story about irrevocable loss and the traumatic ramifications of the Holocaust that continue to resonate with following generations. Dietzen shares the rich Jewish culture of pre-war Eastern Europe and her memorable roots trip to Budapest and Ukraine. She stresses the importance of bringing awareness to the phenomenon of genocide. Includes Q&A. (Adults; 60-90 min; $150-200 with permission to sell books)

References: Wendy Schoof, Carbondale Public Library, (618) 457-0354, wschoof@carbondale.lib.il.us; Richard Reeder, Chicago Jewish Author’s Literary Series, richardreeder34@gmail.com, (847) 542-4624

Website: www.wix.com/robertadietzen

Contact: rldietzen@comcast.net, (847) 204-7608

POP CULTURE & CURRENT EVENTS

 

“Inside Cuba” by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Author Libby Hellmann’s Havana Lost takes place in Cuba during the Revolution of 1958-59 and during Cuba’s Special Period in the early 1990s. In addition to visiting Cuba, Hellmann did extensive research on the country and its history. With Cuba capturing current headlines, Hellmann’s PowerPoint presentation, highlighted by many of her own photos, will deepen understanding of our neighbor only 90 miles away. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Deb Hoffman, Gurnee Library, dhoffman@wnpl.info; Monique Flasch, Glenview Library, mflasch@glenviewpl.org

Website: www.libbyhellmann.com

Contact: (847) 441-9194libbyfh@comcast.net

 

“A Sketch of Iran: The Country and its Culture” by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Author Libby Fischer Hellmann’s A Bitter Veil takes place in revolutionary Iran, which required extensive research. Hellmann shares a slide presentation about Iran’s people, architecture, customs, and culture. With Iran so much in the news today, this presentation moves beyond the rhetoric to deepen understanding of this fascinating country. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Deb Hoffman, Gurnee Library, dhoffman@wnpl.info; Monique Flasch, Glenview Library, mflasch@glenviewpl.org

Website: www.libbyhellmann.com

Contact: (847) 441-9194libbyfh@comcast.net

 

“Unintended Impact: One Athlete’s Journey from Concussions in Amateur Football to CTE Dementia” by Jim Proebstle

Concussions from amateur football are a major concern to parents, coaches, players, administrators, and fans. Success turns traitor as the potential long-term impact from concussions and the onset of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) dementia is real. Proebstle’s non-fiction book, Unintended Impact: One Athlete’s Journey from Concussions in Amateur Football to CTE Dementia, provides a reality check and human interest understanding to the devastation that concussions received in the glory years can bring to an athlete’s adult life. (Adults; 45 min; fee negotiable with permission to sell books)

References: Marie Bolchazy, Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, (847) 526-4394(847) 508-5422marie@bolchazy.com

Website: www.jimproebstle.com

Contact: prodyne1@att.net, (847) 323-4144

 

“American Diamond: Baseball, Pop Culture, and Our National Myths” by James Finn Garner

Baseball is the National Pastime, not only on the field but in all forms of entertainment. No other sport has inspired so much literature, poetry, film, music, and performance. In this rollicking, humorous presentation, Garner explores the historic and literary reasons that drive this American phenomenon and how the Internet continues the tradition today. Garner, best known for his NYT best-seller Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, also runs the fan-driven poetry/doggerel website, Bardball.com. (Teens and adults; 60 min; $200 with permission to sell books)

References: Ray Thomas, Del Webb Sun City, ray.thomas@SCCAH.org, Kathleen Swan, Harper College, kswan@harpercolledge.edu

Website: www.jamesfinngarner.comwww.bardball.com

Contact: (773) 878-7450velda@jamesfinngarner.com

 

NEW! “Forging Ahead or Falling Behind?” by Maggie Kast

Recent police shootings of African-American men have proven that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Learn about the infamous Scottsboro trials of 1931, in which nine black men, all under age twenty-one, were unfairly convicted of rape. Kast is the author of A Free, Unsullied Land, a novel that tells this true story. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Teens and adults; 75 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Jan English Leary, author, (773) 769-2051, jenglish_leary@hotmail.com; Lisa Wanger, Stillpoint Theatre Collective, stillpointe@aol.com, (773) 868-1700

Website: www.maggiekast.com

Contact: magdance@gmail.com773-320-1195

 

“Evolution of the Modern Zombie” by Scott Kenemore

Join Scott Kenemore – best-selling author of The Zen of Zombie, Zombie Ohio, and Zombie Illinois – on a rollicking tour of the zombie’s origins in Haitian mysticism through its evolutions in pop culture to the ravenous zombies of today. Fun (and appropriate) for all ages! Kenemore has previously presented at numerous colleges and universities and at top fan conventions like San Diego Comic Con and Chicago Comic Con. (All Ages; 60-90 min; $200)

References: Brendan Riley, Columbia College, briley@curragh-labs.org, (312) 369-8817

Website: www.scottkenemore.com

Contact: scottkenemore@hotmail.com, (773) 799-7127

 

“Alzheimer’s Disease: Our Modern Epidemic” by Carrie Jackson

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the nation’s most expensive disease to treat. Learn to recognize symptoms, find resources, and identify why the disease is taking such a physical, emotional, financial, social, and spiritual toll on society. Carrie Jackson, a Certified Dementia Practitioner who has served on a number of boards that promote Alzheimer’s education, advocacy, and research, was herself her father’s full-time caregiver until his 2012 death from Alzheimer’s. Includes Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $200)

References: Sarah Vessalo, Park Ridge Public Library, SVessalo@prpl.org, (847) 720-3389

Website: CarrieJacksonWrites.com

Contact: Carrie1Jackson@yahoo.com(773) 484-3267 

 

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

 

“Travelogues” by Jeanne Roppolo

Audiences participate in non-traditional journeys with author, storyteller, and motivational speaker Jeanne Roppolo. Through photos and videos, meet fascinating people and explore other cultures in destinations around the globe. Includes one free book and teacher study guide. Be inspired and take advantage of this unique learning resource rooted in true stories. (All ages; 60 min; $175 with permission to sell books)

References: Nina Kuzniak, Mather Lifeways, (773) 205-3306, nkuzniak@matherlifeways.com; Dina Sweet, DeKalb CUSD 428, (815) 757-8536, dina.sweet@d428.org

Website: www.grandmagoesto.com

Contact: (808) 987-4473jeanneroppolo@yahoo.com

CHILDREN’S

 

NEW! “Children’s STEM Workshop” by Patrick McBriarty

Host an interactive STEM/STEAM children’s workshop with working children’s author Patrick McBriarty. Introduce kids to science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) using simple construction materials so that they can make their their own bridges, airplanes, or trains. Hands-on learning of how things work begins with a reading of Drawbridges Open and CloseAirplanes Take Off and Land, OR City Railways Go Above and Below followed by interactive play. (4-10 years old; 45-60 min; $150-250 negotiable)

Reference: Monica Dzierzbicki, Indian Prairie Public Library, monicad@ippl.info

Website: www.PTMWerks.com

Contact: (773) 710-0485, Patrick@PTMWerks.com

 
WRITING, RESEARCH & LITERATURE

 

“What Every Writer Needs to Know About the Law” by Rejean Morgan, J.D.

Learn what every writer needs to know about the law to protect your creative efforts through the use of trademarks and copyrights, and to avoid common pitfalls, such as defamation and infringement. Rejean Morgan is an intellectual property attorney and author of What Every Writer Needs to Know About the Law. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Adults; 90 min; $350 with permission to sell books).

References: Amy Franco, Glen Ellyn Public Library, (630) 790-6747; Shauna Porteous, Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District, (847) 446-7220 x618

Website: www.amiplaw.com

Contact: Rmorgan@amiplaw.com(224) 828-3426

 

“Psychos, Stalkers, and She-Devils: Using Bad Characters to Create Good Fiction” by Rebecca Johns

Aspiring writers will learn the techniques of building better bad guys from DePaul University creative writing professor Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory and Icebergs: A Novel, a PEN/Hemingway finalist work. Includes handouts and exercises. (Adults; 90 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren-Newport Public Library, (847) 244-5150

Website: www.rebeccajohns.com

Contact: rebeccajohns1971@yahoo.com

 

“Structuring Your Novel” by Rebecca Johns

Aspiring writers will learn the craft of structuring a novel from beginning to end from DePaul University creative writing professor Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory and Icebergs: A Novel, a PEN/Hemingway finalist work. Includes handouts and exercises. (Adults; 90 min; $300 with permission to sell books)
References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren-Newport Public Library, (847) 244-5150

Website: www.rebeccajohns.com

Contact: rebeccajohns1971@yahoo.com

 

NEW! “Researching and Writing Your Historical Fiction Novel” by Rebecca Johns

Aspiring writers will learn the art and craft of researching and writing historical fiction from DePaul University creative writing professor Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory and Icebergs: A Novel, a PEN/Hemingway finalist work. Includes handouts and exercises. (Adults; 90 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren-Newport Public Library, (847) 244-5150

Website: www.rebeccajohns.com

Contact: rebeccajohns1971@yahoo.com

 

“Adventures in Self-Publishing” by Mary T. Wagner

From novice blogger to award-winning essayist; from formatting issues to the sound of bagpipes wafting on the Atlantic ocean breeze; from “is there a book in me?” to “hell YES!!,” When the Shoe Fits author Mary T. Wagner shares her journey into print. Part nuts-and-bolts advice about publishing, part savvy perspective about the fun and opportunities to be had as a self-published author. Includes Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $275 with permission to sell books.)

References: David W. Berner, author, davidwberner@gmail.com; Annie Bahringer, W.J. Niederkorn Public Library, abahringer@esls.lib.wi.us

Website: www.marytwagner.comwww.runningwithstilettos.com

Contact: runwstilettos@yahoo.com

 

“Building Suspense” by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Do you write fiction? If so, you’ll probably want to build suspense somewhere in your story. Author of 13 crime thrillers, Libby Hellmann offers an interactive one-hour workshop on the techniques you’ll need to build suspense into your writing. Appropriate for all writers regardless of genre. Take home materials included. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Deb Hoffman, Gurnee Library, dhoffman@wnpl.info; Monique Flasch, Glenview Library, mflasch@glenviewpl.org

Website: www.libbyhellmann.com

Contact: (847) 441-9194libbyfh@comcast.net

 

“The James Bond Phenomenon” by Raymond Benson

Everything you want to know about James Bond 007, straight from Raymond Benson, the third official continuation author – and first American – commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write original Bond novels (between 1996-2002). Slideshow presentation covers the life of Ian Fleming, history of the novels and the films, and Benson’s own experience as a Bond author. (Teens and Adults; 90 min; $200 plus travel expenses and permission to sell books)

References: Hanley Kanar, Love is Murder Writers Conference, hanleykanar@gmail.com, (847) 337-0603; Dann Gire, Daily Herald, dgire@dailyherald.com, (847) 427-4530

Website: www.raymondbenson.com

Contact: RBinPerson@comcast.net, (847) 217-0389

 

NEW! “You Ought to Write a Book” by Jim Kepler

You’ve heard it from your friends; now turn their suggestions into reality. Published author, editor, agent, and college instructor Jim Kepler applies his career of first-hand experience to explain the ins and outs of the nonfiction book publishing process, including: content development, focus, market/audience identification, production, and marketing. Why and how to make the choice between traditional (royalty) publishing and self-publishing. Includes handouts. (Youth and adults; 60 min; $150)

References: David Steinhaus, Independent Writers of Chicago, (262) 995-5812david@davidwords.com; Barbara Barnett, Midwest Writers Association, (847) 302-0895barbara.barnett@blogcritics.org

Website: www.adamspess.com

Contact: jkepler@adamspress.com(312) 235-9404

 

NEW! “Getting Published: How to Beginby Christine Sneed

Writers will be given an in-depth lecture on how to submit their work to periodicals, how to find an agent, and how to approach an independent press. Northwestern graduate creative writing professor Christine Sneed, author of the award-winning novels Little Known Facts and Paris, He Said will present this lecture. Includes handout. (Adults; 60-75 min; $250 with permission to sell books)

References: Russell Johnson, Evanston Public Library, rejohnson@cityofevanston.org; Mike Hominick, Northbrook Public Library, mhominick@northbrook.info

Website: www.christinesneed.com

Contact: csneed924@yahoo.com

 

NEW! “Keeping It Real…Interesting: Maintaining Momentum in Your Fiction” by Christine Sneed

Aspiring writers will be given tips on creating and maintaining forward momentum in their stories, whether they’re working on a plot-driven story or with a more literary and character-driven narrative. Lecture presented by Northwestern graduate creative writing professor Christine Sneed, author of the award-winning novels Little Known Facts and Paris, He Said. Includes handout, exercises. (Adults; 60-75 min; $250 with permission to sell books)

References: Russell Johnson, Evanston Public Library, rejohnson@cityofevanston.org; Mike Hominick, Northbrook Public Library, mhominick@northbrook.info

Website: www.christinesneed.com

Contact: csneed924@yahoo.com

 

“How to Successfully Market Your Book” by Lissy Peace

You are your best ally to sell your books. Whether working with a publisher or self-published, learn how to work with a distributor, empower e-book marketing, build social media, make Amazon work for you, get your books into book stores, create and select events, and other successful tools to help market your book. Understand what it takes to become a best seller, how to create publicity for your title and how to utilize award programs. This program is perfect for all authors, at any stage of their career. (Adults; 120 min; $200)

References: Elsie Martinez, Zion Public Library, (847) 872-4680; Christine Posinger, Des Plaines Library, (847) 827-5551

Website: www.lissypeace.com

Contact: Lissy.Peace1@gmail.com, (312) 961-3431

 

“Should I Self Publish?” by Lissy Peace

It’s a big decision, but it can be a profitable endeavor if you take the steps to make your self-published title stand-out as a quality, well written fiction or informative, resourceful nonfiction book. Lissy Peace has worked with many authors who have successfully self-published their titles. Prepare your book for self-publishing in all available formats. This program is prefect for all authors looking to learn the ropes of self-publishing. (Adults; 120 min; $200)

References: Elsie Martinez, Zion Public Library, (847) 872-4680; Christine Posinger, Des Plaines Library, (847) 827-5551

Website: www.lissypeace.com

Contact: Lissy.Peace1@gmail.com, (312) 961-3431

 

“Pitch an Agent” by Lissy Peace

Are you ready to present your book idea to a publishing agent? What should you present in your query letter? How long should your proposal be? Do I need to have the book finished? Lissy Peace has sold numerous books to mainstream publishers throughout the country. Several have also been sold into feature film rights. Bring your materials and pitch Peace, who can guide you on the right path to securing a literary agent. This program is perfect for those looking to work with a traditional publisher and eager to secure a book deal. (Adults; 90 min; $200)

References: Denise O’Neal, Chicago Sun-Times, (312) 321-3139

Website: www.lissypeace.com

Contact: Lissy.Peace1@gmail.com, (312) 961-3431

 

“Moving from Concept to Completed Manuscript” by Patricia Skalka

Mystery writer and former writing instructor Patricia Skalka discusses the three key elements of the novel and shows how to weave them together into a step-by-step road map of the story that takes you from start to finish. The process produces a tight storyline, speeds the writing, and eliminates the “what now?” question that can slow the process. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60-75 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Jerod Santek, Write On Door County, (920) 868-1457, jerod@writeondoorcounty.org

Website: www.PatriciaSkalka.com

Contact: patriciaskalka@gmail.com, (773) 262-3534

 

“Writing the Next Chapter” By Patricia Skalka, Lynn Sloan, and Joyce Burns Zeiss

Hoping to have a second career as a serious writer? Learn from three novelists who made the leap and succeeded. Where do you start? How do you sustain creativity? What are the paths to publication? In this unique program, Patricia Skalka, Lynn Sloan, and Joyce Burns Zeiss – a mystery writer, a writer of literary fiction, and a young adult novelistshare their stories, offering insights, advice, and encouragement. (Adults; 75-90 minutes; $300 negotiable with permission to sell books)

References: Penny Fields, Off-Campus Writers Workshop, penny@ur-pal.com, (847) 331-8591

Website: www.PatriciaSkalka.com

Contact: patriciaskalka@gmail.com, (773) 262-3534

 

NEW! “Creating Characters that Connect with Readers” by Patricia Skalka

Memorable characters are both complex and conflicted. In this workshop, Patricia Skalka, author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries and former writing instructor, details what it takes to go beyond superficial descriptions – tall or short, cheerful or grim, blond or brunette – to create truly multi-dimensional characters, the kind that dance off the page and come alive for both the writer and the reader. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60-75 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Jerod Santek, Write On Door County, (920) 868-1457, jerod@writeondoorcounty.org

Website: www.PatriciaSkalka.com

Contact: patriciaskalka@gmail.com, (773) 262-3534

 

Vampires: From Ancient Bogeymen to Romantic Heroes” by Laura L. Enright

Once the sum of all our fears, the vampire has retained an allure and evolved to fit today’s fantasies. Enright, author of Vampires’ Most Wanted: The Top Ten Book of Bloodthirsty Biters, Stake-wielding Slayers and Other Undead Oddities and To Touch the Sun, the first book in her Chicago-set vampire series, discusses vampires in legend, literature, and media. (All ages; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Anne Estabrook Driver, Chicago Public Library, estabrook@chipublib.org(312) 747-4626

Website: www.laura-enright.com

Contact: lauraenright64@gmail.com

 

“Public Speaking for the Shy Author” by Victoria Noe

Let author and former stage director Victoria Noe give you the confidence to face any audience by learning how to choose a reading, introduce yourself, and use a microphone. Bring a three-minute excerpt from your work. Three audience members will be chosen to show off what they’ve learned. (Adults; 75-90 min; $250 with permission to sell books)

Reference: Porter Anderson, porter@porterandersonmedia.com

Website: www.victorianoe.com

Contact: victoria@victorianoe.com, (773) 450-0391

 

“Getting Started in Genealogy” by Grace DuMelle
Itching to explore your family history after you’ve seen those celebrity genealogy shows? Get off on the right foot with the help of award-winning author and researcher Grace DuMelle (Finding Your Chicago Ancestors). DuMelle explains genealogy’s top 10 concepts and principles: working backwards, talking to relatives, using the U.S. Census, and more. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $175 with permission to sell books)

References: Terri Meyer, Ela Area Library District, (847) 438-3433tmeyer@eapl.org
Website: hhrs1872.wordpress.com
Contact: hhrs1872@ameritech.net(312) 842-8933

 

NEW! “The Surprisingly Simple, No Nonsense Guide To Self-Publishing” by Gregory T. Obert

Having a hard time getting large companies to publish your book? Ever wondered if there was another way? Join author Gregory Obert as he shares the step-by-step guide he used for his book, The Man on the Bench. Discover how to protect your book, maintain your rights, and maximize your audience. Learn how to accomplish your dreams quickly and easily! Includes handouts and Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $500 negotiable with permission to sell books)

References: April Olsen, Massillon Museum, (330) 833-4061, aolsen@massillonmuseum.org; Ahsan Karim, Light Vision Group, (773) 655-4191, ahsan@ahsankarim.net

Website: www.gregorytobert.com

Contact: gregory.t.obert@gmail.com, (847) 271-1896

 

NEW! “Memoir Writing 101” by Donna Urbikas

Based on author Donna Urbikas’ recent traditionally published memoir, My Sister’s Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin’s Siberia, learn where to start your memoir. Urbikas, a former teacher who completed the University of Chicago’s Certificate Writing program, will provide examples not only from her memoir, but also from others as she goes through some basic steps. Includes exercises, handouts, Q&A. (Adults; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

Reference: Sheila Leary, The University of Wisconsin Press, publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu, (608) 263-0734

Website: www.danutaurbikas.com

Contact: donna@danutaurbikas.com(312) 343-5454

 

NEW! “How to Create an Online Blog and Website in 2016” by M. Ahsan Karim

Participants will learn what about domain names, including how to buy and maintain one; hosting, including how to get hosting and maintain a hosting account to keep the domain name active; and how to create a basic website using a free theme from WordPress. Participants will also learn how to add general text and photos to the blog and discover the benefits of having their own branded website. Includes handouts. (Aduts; 60 min; $600 with permission to sell books)

Reference: Maureen Burns, Archdiocese of Chicago, (708) 691-3570; Leah Duszynski, Catholic Schools, leahduszynski@gmail.com

Website: www.AhsanKarim.net

Contact: (773) 655-4191, ahsan@ahsankarim.net

 

NEW! “Writing Your Family Story” by Maggie Kast

Learn the challenges of writing your family story from Maggie Kast, author of A Free, Unsullied Land, a coming-of-age novel of the ‘30s. After reading and discussion of examples of family stories by various authors, each participant will identify a memory or story to explore. Then, all will write for 10-15 minutes followed by optional sharing. Includes handouts, Q&A. (Teens and adults; 75 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Jan English Leary, author, jenglish_leary@hotmail.com, (773) 769-2051; Lynn Sloan, author, lynn.sloan@gmail.com, (312) 513-1522

Website: www.maggiekast.com

Contact: magdance@gmail.com773-320-1195

 

NEW! “Mastering the Mental Game for Writers” by Sara Connell

Learn effective strategies to turn writer’s block, fear, procrastination, and self-doubt into productivity, confidence, and writing success. Learn seven core habits of successful authors and how to implement these strategies into your own writing. Includes handouts, coaching exercises, Q&A. (Adults; 60-90 min; $150)

References: Rebecca Makkai, author, rebeccamakkai@gmail.com; Scott Onak, Story Studio Chicago, (208) 882-1403

Website: www.saraconnell.com

Contact: sara.connell@gmail.com(773) 773-1183

 

NEW! “When Truth is Stranger than Fiction” by Sara Connell

Explore how to tell deeply personal true stories while respecting the people in them.  Hear the incredible story of how Sara Connell’s mother offered to be a surrogate for her grandchild and how the memoir became an award-winning book, made it on “Oprah,” and touched thousands of lives. Learn techniques to turn personal and family stories into riveting narrative and page-turning fiction. Includes Q&A (Adults; 60 min; $150 with permission to sell books)

References: Linda Joy Meyers, National Memoir Association, lindajoymyers@comcast.net; Rebecca Makkai, author, rebeccamakkai@gmail.com

Website: www.saraconnell.com

Contact: sara.connell@gmail.com(773) 773-1183

 

NEW! “The Literary Landscape” by Rebecca Makkai

Your book choices are likely determined by marketing, publicity, and luck. But what are writers reading? Who are the most exciting literary authors working today? What’s coming out next year that will be amazing? How has the literary world changed in the past ten years? Come chat with author Rebecca Makkai for an insider’s look at the literary world and become the best-informed member of your book club. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren Newport Public Library, dhoffman@wnpl.com; Jill Pollack, StoryStudio Chicago, jill@storystudiochicago.com

Contact: rebeccamakkai@gmail.com

 

NEW! “Let’s Make a Scene!” by Rebecca Makkai

Scenes are the building blocks of fiction and memoir – and yet while an education in playwriting or screenwriting pays huge attention to the architecture of scene, fiction workshops tend to overlook this craft. Award-winning author Rebecca Makkai will take a playwright’s approach to fiction, teaching you how to build scenes with a solid arc, scenes that advance every element of the story, scenes that matter. (Adults; 60 min; $300 with permission to sell books)

References: Debbie Hoffman, Warren Newport Public Library, dhoffman@wnpl.com; Jill Pollack, StoryStudio Chicago, jill@storystudiochicago.com

Contact: rebeccamakkai@gmail.com

 

Have questions or comments about the CWA Speakers Bureau? Please contact CWA Speakers Bureau Director Daniel P. Smith at smithwriting@gmail.com or (708) 717-6126.