Kathy Dunnehoff is the author of four romantic comedies: “The Do-Over”, “Plan On It”,
“Back to U” and “Hollywood Beginnings." She also writes screenplays, stageplays, and has
taught creative writing for more than 30 years. And she believes that writers need conferences
the same way dogs need dog parks. https://www.amazon.com/stores/Kathy-Dunnehoff/author/B005519KTG?ref=ap_rdr&store_ref=ap_rdr&isDramIntegrated=true&shoppingPortalEnabled=true
Mark Sullivan is the acclaimed author of eighteen novels, including the #1 Amazon Charts
and #4 USA Today historical bestseller "Beneath a Scarlet Sky", which has been translated into 37 languages and is in development as a feature film with Imperative Films. Sullivan's other novels include the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestseller "The Last Green Valley", about Bozeman's Martel family, and five #1 New York Times bestselling novels with James Patterson. His prior novels have earned him a New York Times Notable Book citation, the W.H. Smith Fresh Talent Award, a nomination for the Edgar Allen Poe Award, and a Los Angeles Times Best Book nod. His forthcoming historical novel, ALL THE GLIMMERING STARS, which takes place in Uganda, will be published in May 2024. He lives with his wife on Flathead Lake during the summer and Bozeman and Big Sky the rest of the year. https://marksullivanbooks.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UAto-ep80c
Please note: The one-on-one Conference appointments for Julie Stevenson are all filled. Please consider Zach Honey.
Julie Stevenson is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin in New York. She represents
literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction,
young adult fiction and children’s picture books. She is drawn to storytelling with
unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, and a strong sense of narrative
tension. She looks for work that explores the depths of human experience, particularly the
many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, and regional and
international backgrounds. She’s agented #1 New York Times and international best
sellers, as well as books that have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel
Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Dayton
Literary Peace Award, the Eisner Honor, and the Caldecott Honor. Before she became an
agent, Julie worked in the editorial departments of Tin House and Publishers Weekly. She
received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Washington University in St.
Louis and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Chris La Tray is a Métis storyteller, a descendent of the Pembina Band of the mighty Red River of the North, and an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. His third book, Becoming Little Shell, will be published by Milkweed Editions in Niibin the summer of 2024. His first book, One-Sentence Journal: Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large, won the 2018 Montana Book Award and a 2019 High Plains Book Award. His book of haiku and haibun poetry, Descended from a Travel-worn Satchel, was published in 2021 by Foothills Publishing. He was selected by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte to serve as Montana Poet Laureate for 2023–2025. Chris writes the weekly newsletter "An Irritable Métis" and lives near Frenchtown, Montana. http://www.chrislatray.com/
Mark Leichliter (aka Mark Hummel) is a novelist, editor, and teacher. To Montana readers,
he is best known for his crime novel The Other Side. Writing as Mark Hummel, his comedic
literary novel titled Man, Underground is forthcoming in October (Regal House Publishing).
He is previously the author of a novel In the Chameleon’s Shadow and the story collection
Lost and Found. https://markleichliter.com/
Holistic Chiropractor and Author Erika Putnam
Dr. Erika Putnam is an author, holistic chiropractor, and yoga instructor. She resides and
practices in Whitefish, Montana. She combines her unique interests and expertise to deliver
real life pain and prevention solutions on the page, in the office and on the yoga mat. For
over 25 years she has approached health from a wholeness perspective that includes the
complexities of the physical, emotional, and energetic elements of people. She is an
advocate for prevention and pro-active self-care. Erika is a contributing author in several
books including the Ultimate Guide to Self-Healing Techniques and leads an online writing
group for healers and health care entrepreneurs who want to write and learn in
Friday, September 29
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
With lunch break on your own
Limit: 25 Participants
The Craft and Business of Memoir and Narrative Nonfiction Writing
What makes a memoir compelling to read? What makes a publisher say “yes” to publishing
a memoir? As a literary agent, Julie has worked with many writers and publishers over the
years to develop compelling and saleable memoirs – from Senator Jon Tester’s memoir to
Ryan Busse’s memoir Gunfight and many other books of narrative nonfiction and essay
collections. In this workshop, Julie will share her thoughts on what tools writers can
employ to write a saleable memoir or work of narrative nonfiction and how to keep a
reader's attention from start to finish. We will look at craft elements such as story
structure, narrative tension, scene and character development, the use of composite
characters, how writers approach the “truth” of memories. We’ll also talk about the
importance of a writer's platform and how writers can develop a platform. We will take an
in-depth look at the nonfiction proposal and discuss what elements editors expect to see
when a proposal lands in their in-box.
Saturday, Sept. 30
8:00 - 8:25 AM - Opening and Welcome with Kathy Dunnehoff
8:30 - 9:20 – Mark Sullivan Keynote Address: Writing from the Heart Not the Head
Sullivan will chronicle how he moved from writing from the head to writing from the heart
and how that has made all the difference in his career.
9:30 - 10:30 – Glenn & Barbara Schiffman: Moving From Page to Stage
Sharing book excerpts, short stories, poems or true-life essays out loud at book signings or
storytelling events is a different experience than when your words are read silently on the
page. Learn easy ways you can be more confident and engaging as a writer-speaker when
presenting your work to audiences by using listener-focused editing tools and simple
10:45 - 11:45 – Zach Honey: Suspense in Story Telling
A deep dive into the nature and definition of suspense and a discussion on how to use it to
serve and strengthen your story.
Noon - 1:15 – Lunch Break (lunch is not provided, many restaurants nearby)
1:15-1:30 – Dr. Erika Putnam: Easy Neck and Shoulder relief for Writers
A group mini class to stretch your writing muscles and focus on the health of your neck and
shoulders. Participate, feel good, and gain helpful tips.
1:30 - 2:30 – Mark Sullivan: The Power of Intent and the Pursuit of Mastery in a Long
Sullivan will detail how writing with a specific intent in mind changed his outlook and his
success. He'll also talk about why the pursuit of mastery versus book sales make all the
difference in a writing life that spans decades.
2:45-3:45 – Chris La Tray: Observation and the Daily Practice
Silence and observation are key to the creative process, particularly writing. This 60-
minute workshop will discuss the practice of observation and transferring it to the journal
... even if only one sentence at a time.
4:00-5:00 – Mark Leichliter: Envisioning Revision
The writer Leich Bardugo said, “I think the hard work of writing is just how long a book is
terrible before it's good.” Revision is how we get from terrible to good, and it’s where we
spend most of our time as writers. Revision starts with RE-VISION, re-seeing the
manuscript, learning to listen to it, asking the right questions of it. This workshop will give
you more tools for learning how to “re-see.”
Sunday, Oct. 1
8:30-9:30 – Zach Honey: Query Letters and Book Proposals
A step-by-step discussion for creating all the material you'll need to catch an agent's eye including the query letter, synopsis, elevator pitch, and log line. Additionally, how to write a pitch for your non-fiction concept, and the differences between the two submission processes.
9:45-10:45 – Chris La Tray: The Writing Life
How teaching workshops and saying yes to opportunities – combined with a reasonably
successful newsletter and a refusal to ever give up on a book – has enabled writer Chris La
Tray to make a living as a writer.
11:00-12:00 – Julie Stevenson: Literary Fiction
What are the differences between literary fiction, upmarket fiction and commercial fiction?
Literary agent Julie Stevenson will discuss the many ways in which the publishing industry
categories fiction, what she looks for when taking on literary and upmarket fiction, and
how a writer can develop understanding for what niche best fits their work.
12:00-1:00 – Catered Lunch
1:00-1:20 – Dr. Erika Putnam: Back Pain Relief for Writers
A group mini class to relieve your backside and reduce the strain of prolonged sitting.
Recommended and taught by a chiropractor. Engage in safe movements and learn
preventative self-care for your back.
1:30-2:30 – Mark Sullivan: Relying on Your Body and Your Mind to Write with Deeper
In a lively "hands-on" class, Sullivan will show how adopting certain body positions can
trigger the mind and heart to write with deeper meaning and more impact.
2:45-3:45 – Julie Stevenson and Zach Honey: Navigating Publishing
A brief overview from both presenters followed by open questions from conference
4:00 - 5:00 - Julie Stevenson and Zach Honey: First Impressions
One page of an anonymous manuscript is read out loud with instant feedback from the
Fifteen-minute author visits with Agent Stevenson or Agent Honey (limit 12 each)