Suggested Presentations for Writer’s Conferences & Workshops:
* Making the Leap: How to Become a Fulltime Freelance Writer
* A Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance: Learn to Set the Right Goals for Yourself as a Writer!
* Don’t Just Write For Children, Build a CAREER as a Children’s Writer!
* Bringing the Past to Life: How to Write Historical Fiction and Nonfiction
* Writing the Middle Grade Novel
* Show Me the Money: How to Make a Comfortable Living as a Children’s Writer Without Writing About Harry Potter
For more information about my speaker services, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of topics, availability, and fees.
Here is a review of one of my previous workshops.
2008 Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference
Columbia, Missouri—April 11, 12, & 13
Suzanne Lieurance’s Master Class
Show Me the Money: How to Make a Comfortable Living as a Children’s Writer Without Writing About Harry Potter
A Review by: Dan Neill, Troy, Missouri, class attendee
Sunday Morning, 9:00 A.M. This was the final day of an action-packed, knowledge-filled conference. Most of us were busy saying good-bye to the many new and old friends we had spent the weekend with. I was excited, but weary as I took my seat at one of the round tables in the meeting room. The class was to go until noon, and I had determined I would not force my brain to work down the homestretch—my plan—sit, listen, keep quiet with brain on cruise-control. My strategy in effect, I sipped coffee, rubbed my eyes occasionally, half paying attention. Then she—Suzanne Lieurance—torpedoed my comfy scheme. Soon I squinted toward the front of the room at this fast-talking, quick-moving, gesturing, enthusiastic dynamo espousing her passion for children’s writing and for children’s writers. I sipped coffee. With my face cradled in a hand, I stared, wondering if her blond hair was going to catch fire. Was this woman a children’s writer? A teacher? A coach? An inspirational speaker? A blend of all four with a few unidentified ingredients thrown in, I finally determined. Seemed like a recipe for disaster.
I’ve heard mighty things come in small packages. Then, boom goes the dynamite! Like a cherry bomb under a lily pad, she utterly blew my plan out of the water. She made us work! The nerve! We were to put together our writer’s biography—and they were read aloud in class. The audacity of this woman, this—force of nature—to wake my brain, my passion for writing, my creativity, ripping the blankets off their slumber.
Wrapped in all the butter-melting charm of one of Grandma’s Sunday dinners she doled information and passed the inspiration. Educational opportunities: The National Writing for Children Center classes, children’s writing coach availabilities, websites, books, CDs—for starters. My poor brain! Debunking myths about children’s writing, networking, marketing your work and yourself, setting goals!—I felt nauseous. I scribbled notes not a tenth as quickly as she talked. Fortunately, she had handed out a fourteen-page workshop overview, which contained but a small portion of the ideas which ravaged like flood waters over my sinking brain. How to be professional: writing a resume, set up a website, blog—I could feel myself going down for the last time. Then, thank goodness, she rescued us with a ten-minute break.
After catching my breath, I considered. OK, after the break, she’ll be nearly out of gas and the workshop will grind to a leisurely halt. Who was I kidding? She got her second wind, punched it into the next gear, started her sprinter’s kick to the finish line. Either I was hallucinating or I really did see sparks and a few whiffs of smoke fly off her hair from time to time. Then the entire room combusted! She went and did it, invoked those writer’s magic words: get published, make money. Sparks popped in the eyes and faces of everyone in attendance! Not only, get published and make money—quickly and often! Now! Tomorrow! This week! And again and again! Maybe even quit-your-day-job money! It was torch to haystack time. Hopeless! I’d have to rest on the ride home.
Listservs and forums and websites, oh, my gosh, websites! She listed more than twenty in the overview and at least that many more were fired from those in the class. Ideas bulleted from every vantage point in the room—and words of praise and hope and passion and tears. I was caught in an unrelenting, conspiratorial crossfire that would have made the Warren Commission blush.
Oh, and then, she dusted off and wheeled out inspiration once more and: “Possibility thinking. If one thing doesn’t work, move on to the next. Don’t wait, get started in the morning. Persistence, positive thinking—you can do it. You will do it!” I felt dizzy, faint. I was fading fast. Was it from blood loss by the hits I took in the crossfire or… was I…
After the workshop, nearly everyone walked up and shook Suzanne’s hand and thanked her and offered words of praise. I can’t believe it. Even I spoke to her afterward and told her how awesome she was! In my weakened condition… I was… had become… a convert.
On the drive home, I glorified Suzanne and her class so, my car mates finally told me to lay off the Suzanne Lieurance—accolades. Then, with my own butter-melting craftiness, I trotted out those magic words: getting published, making money, quick, often. And they all begged for a copy of my overview and notes. They’re such children. We all are at heart.
On a final note, and I realize this may blow all the credibility I’ve established over the previous paragraphs. Suzanne’s workshop was the single, most-learning-filled three hours of any class I’ve ever taken. And Suzanne is the most remarkable human being I’ve encountered in person. Find my words hard to believe? Well, then, you’ll have to meet her or take one of her workshops or sign up for her children’s writer’s coaching—and find out for yourself! I suggest taking along snorkel and bullet-proof vest!
Besides making author visits to schools across the country, I also love to speak and present workshops at writer’s conferences and other events.
Here are some of the groups and associations I have presented for:
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Sisters in Crime
Kansas Press Association
The Missouri Writers’ Guild
Ozark Writers and Illustrators (for Children)
The American Library Association (ALA)
The International Reading Association (IRA)
Barnes & Noble Bookstores
Heartland Coaches Association
Small & Home Business Connection
Johnson County Public Libraries
Avondale Methodist Church
Kansas City Missouri School District
DeLaSalle Detention Center
University of Missouri
Shawnee Missouri Schools
Christian Preschool Association of Greater Kansas City
Association for the Education of Young Children, KCMO
Cat Writers’ Association
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