Publishing Institute
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Publishing Institute

Join fellow writers for a day-long event exploring the many facets of publishing.  Learn more about query letters, custom publishing, writing communities and landing your first book deal.  Practice pitching your project with an agent and hear from Harvard University professor Bret Anthony Johnston, who will read from his debut novel and share his thoughts about maintaining faith in yourself through the writing and publishing process.

Saturday, November 15
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
North Dining Room, Mount Mary University (view map)

Detailed Schedule

  • 9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.:  Check-in, Notre Dame Hall (2nd Floor)
    • Coffee, rolls and networking with fellow writers.
  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.:  Panel Discussion
    Learn more about the panelists.
    • The First Book Deal:  A Conversation with Three Authors, featuring Jenny Benjamin, Julia Pandl and Dan Schultz. 
  • 10:45 a.m - 11:45 a.m.:  Breakout Sessions
    Learn more about the authors.
    • How to Write a Top-Notch Query Letter, Elizabeth Evans and Jessica Regel
    • E-Publishing/Self-Publishing/Custom Publishing, Judy Bridges
    • Coming Back to Writing, Ann Angel
  • 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.:  Lunch and Keynote Address featuring Bret Anthony Johnston
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.:  Open Critique of Sample Queries, American Idol Style
  • 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.:  Breakout Sessions
    Learn more about the authors and agents.
    • One-on-One with an Agent (extra fee required; limited space available; first come-first served)
      Give your 10-minute verbal pitch to agent Elizabeth Evans, Jodelle Sadler or Jessica Regel.
    • The Importance of Writing Communities in Your Career, Kim Suhr
    • Post-publication:  Marketing and Building Your Audience, Jenny Benjamin, Julia Pandl and Dan Schultz
  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.:  Author Readings and Book Signings with Jenny Benjamin, Julia Pandl, Judy Bridges and Dan Schultz.
About the Keynote:  Bret Anthony Johnston
Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the award-winning Corpus Christi: Stories, which was named a best book of the year by The Independent (London) and The Irish Times, and the editor of Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and a 5 Under 35 honor from the National Book Foundation. He teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars and at Harvard University, where he is the Director of Creative Writing.

Bret will read from his debut novel, Remember Me Like This, and discuss the writing process and preparing a work for publication.  He'll also address maintaining faith in yourself and in the process as you experience the twists and turns along the road to publication.

 Elizabeth Evans

Elizabeth Evans of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency represents a wide range of nonfiction, including memoir, travel/adventure, journalism, sports, popular science, history, psychology, biography, humor, cookbooks, and art/ illustrated titles. She looks for stories of adventure, books that foster knowledge and understanding and those combining a lively narrative with in-depth research. She is especially interested in food writing, long-distance running and yoga books, and war narratives with unique perspectives. She holds an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco. Her recent titles include The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis, Who Knows Tomorrow, and Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Delightfully Untranslatable Words from Around the World.

 Jessica Regel

Jessica Regel represents all genres of young adult and middle grade books, a select list of adult general fiction, women’s fiction, and adult nonfiction. She is passionate about projects that are compulsive, contagious, and creative, books that are “conversation starters” and novels that bridge the literary commercial divide. Jess spent 11 years at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency representing subsidiary rights. Her titles include Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange and Starling series, Emily Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Shana Mlawski’s Hammer of Witches, Jeryl Brunner’s My City, My New York, Jillian Cantor’s Margot and Searching for Sky and more. Jess is a graduate of Hunter College with a degree in English literature.

 Jodell Sadler

Jodell Sadler, agent and founder of Sadler Children’s Literary, is the author of Pacing Picture Books to Wow! and Craft Picture Book Magic.  Her upcoming publications include Be Original, Love Writing, and Get Published (working title, 2015) and Risky Behaviors: The Ultimate Teen Guide (2016). She earned her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Hamline University in 2009 and is a secondary English teacher and an adjunct faculty member with Mount Mary University and Rasmussen College. She became an agent in 2012. She hosts Picture Book Pacing, Editing, and Avoiding Burnout tutorials, among other Webinars, with Writer’s Digest and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

 Ann Angel

Ann Angel is the author of Janis Joplin, Rise Up Singing, the 2011 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award winner and Adopted Like Me, My Book of Adopted Heroes. She writes articles, nonfiction books and short stories for adults, and fiction and nonfiction for young adults. Ann was contributing editor for Such A Pretty Face, Short Stories About Beauty and is contributor/editor for the upcoming anthology, Things I’ll Never Say, Stories About Our Secret Selves. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and directs the English Graduate Program at Mount Mary University.

 Jenny Benjamin

Jennie Benjamin has won the Adolph Suppen Poetry Prize, and first place in the Iowa Woman Writing Contest. Her poems have appeared in over 30 journals and magazines. Her novel, This Most Amazing (Armida Books 2013), won the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association First Chapters Contest and was a semifinalist for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Big Read award in August 2011. She is a freelance writer and teacher and lives in Milwaukee.

Judy Bridges

Judy Bridges is the founder of Redbird Studio writing center in Milwaukee and the winner of four national awards for her book, Shut Up & Write! A renowned mentor and coach, Judy taught (and learned from) over 6,000 aspiring and accomplished writers of all ages, helping them write and publish fiction and nonfiction. Judy shares her wisdom with a no nonsense, humorous voice that makes writing accessible and attending her workshops a joy.

Julia Pandl

Julia Pandl was born in Milwaukee where she still lives and works. Memoir of The Sunday Brunch is her first book in which she shares the experiences from years working at her family’s Milwaukee-based restaurant. When she is not writing, she works for the Boelter SuperStore (a restaurant supply store), and she moonlights as a stand-up comedian. The youngest of nine siblings, Julia finds humor in the everyday details of our lives, which she chronicles at

Dan Schultz

Dan Schultz is the award-winning author of Dead Run, The Murder of a Lawman and the Greatest Manhunt of the Modern American West. A former newspaper crime reporter, he received his M.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota. His interest in the West began with his first toy sixshooter and cereal-box sheriff’s badge. He recently moved to Chicago from Colorado but beats a path back to the mountains every chance he gets.

Kim Suhr

Kim Suhr is the author of Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom and director of Red Oak Writing ( Her work has appeared at Grey Sparrow Journal, Full of Crow and Staccato Fiction and has earned awards from the Wisconsin Writers Association’s Jade Ring and Lindemann Humor Contests. She received the Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction in the Solstice MFA Program.

Registration Information

The deadline for registration has past.  Thank you for your interest! We invite you to join us for Writers on Writing, April 14, 2015.

Questions?  Please contact Karen Murray,, (414) 258-4810, ext. 395.

Sponsored by the Master of Arts in English Program at Mount Mary University. 

Special thanks to Red Oak Writing for planning and promotional support. 

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