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Pre-Conference Seminars

APH 2011 Annual Conference — E x p a n d i n g   H o r i z o n s

Harrah's Hotel & Casino – Sunday, October 16

Seminar 1 — Raising the Stakes: Playing at the Big Tables   (8:30 am – 4:00 pm)

Prerequisites: A participant must have been an APH member for at least four years and have completed a minimum of three projects. Pat McNees photo

Do you typically create and custom-publish memoirs commissioned by the narrators or their families? Do you want to create more interesting and varied products, for higher fees? Through mini-lectures, Q&A, frank group discussion, and brainstorming about best and worst practices, this seminar for experienced personal historians will explore how to take your personal history business up a notch or two by:

Growing your business requires learning to create new products, improving the quality of your work (what qualifies you to play at the big tables?), or creating products that are easier to produce while still pleasing your clients. Toward that goal, Pat will provide insightful training and tips for writing effective narrative nonfiction. She asks that each participant, prior to the class, write a short piece of narrative nonfiction (maximum 1500 words for sharing) about an event or experience in their lives (a true story, with an emphasis on storytelling, scene setting, and character development). This also will help us get to know each other (and our styles). You'll find material on the genre here:

Pat McNees was an editor in book publishing for eight years (Harper & Row; Fawcett) before launching a decades-long career as a book doctor, author, and editor as well as a journalist (freelance, Washington Post) and personal historian. Her editing clients include NIH, the World Bank, and St. Martin's Press. She has edited and overseen production on dozens of books, including several anthologies. The Library of Congress asked permission to use her copyright quiz.


Seminar 2 — Your Marketing Materials Matter   (8:30 am – 4:00 pm)

Two of your most important marketing tools are your print brochure and website home page–your online brochure. The words you use to promote yourself can make you memorable or forgettable. Which would you rather be?

Paula Stahel

Well-written marketing copy will work for you for years. In this seminar, you'll learn the value of a tagline, the components of an effective brochure, how to craft dynamic copy that explains and motivates, and more. We'll also explore ways to make your materials more appealing to the Boomers and Elders you want to land as clients. Through individual and small group exercises, you'll gain skills and learn techniques that produce results. And you'll be able to implement them immediately.

Seminar registrants should bring four copies of your current brochure to the class as well as a screen-shot printout of your website's home page. If you don't already have such materials, not to worry– Paula will help you create them. Please note: This seminar focuses only on effective marketing writing. Graphic design, SEO, and other technical design topics will not be included.

Paula Stahel brings extensive experience in writing business marketing materials for major corporations, including ARAMARK, Equifax, and Tampa International Airport, many of which won awards. The immediate past president of APH with eight years service on the board, Paula was on the team that created the Saving Lives brochure. An independent writer since 1983, she has co-authored and collaborated on numerous books, in addition to her work as a personal historian.


Seminar 3 — Writing Alchemy: Reach New Horizons in Your Writing   (8:30 am – 4:00 pm)

You asked for it! In response to your feedback regarding our 2010 workshops, Writing Alchemy is back as an intensive pre-conference seminar– with more time (6 hours) for writing, reading, discussion, and in-depth teaching. As you expand the horizons of your business, we'll equip you with unique and innovative writing tools that will make your words fairly explode with emotion, sensory detail, and energy. Whether writing personal history, company bios or fiction, Writing Alchemy ensures you always find the best way to tell a story. Our trademark Writing Alchemy process draws from social sciences and real-world observation to put you in control of the words and to help you deliver beautifully written stories to your clients.

This is a hands-on session. We'll use PowerPoint to introduce the concept of Writing Alchemy and take you through its 5 elements. You'll have plenty of opportunity to write and share with your colleagues. We'll discuss how using each element changes the focus of our stories and even our understanding of the story we want to tell. After finishing the writing exercises, you'll review the results to determine the strongest, most powerful elements for telling your story. You will leave equipped with the theory of Writing Alchemy and techniques for putting it to work. A fun and remarkably easy process, once you know how.

Kendra Bonnett Kendra Bonnett is co-creator with Matilda Butler of Women's Memoirs--a popular resource for writing prompts, author conversations, book reviews, ScrapMoirs, marketing/publishing advice, etc. They also co-authored Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its Story and the recently released Writing Alchemy. Having enjoyed a 30-year career as a writer, editor, marketing executive, publisher, and writing coach, Kendra has published 8 books, some 350 magazine articles, and founded 3 magazines.

Matilda Butler Matilda Butler, in addition to her work with Kendra Bonnett noted above, has trained more than 400 women in memoir writing. Her comprehensive writing workshop is the basis for the 5-DVD set, "The [Essential] Women's Memoir Writing Workshop: 21 Steps from Planning to Publication." She has published more than 50 articles, contributed chapters to several anthologies, including The New Papyrus, and co-authored two more books.

Sign up early! No more than 30 students, and no fewer than 10, will be accepted for each session. APH reserves the right to cancel any or all sessions, in which case we will provide full refunds. View the registration fees for both the pre-conference seminars and conference registration fees. If registering for a pre-conference seminar, but not the conference, please add $100 to the stated seminar fee.