Event Archives


Past Events:

Swiss UCC

Septebmer 3New Glarus Book Expo, 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 pm, 18 4th Ave, New Glarus, WI. I’ll be on hand to discuss all Leo’s latest adventures and to sign books. I’m sharing a table with Lucy Sanna, author of The Cherry Harvest


April 23: Gail Borden Public Library Author Fair, 270 North Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL – take this opportunity to discuss books with Kristin. Carpe Diem, Illinois and God on Mayhem Street will be available for purchase.

Gail Borden Library

April 15: Madtown Author Daze – 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 227 State Street, Madison, WI – Kristin will join 29 other authors during this wonderful book signing event.

Madtown Daze

March 24-26: UW-Madison 28th Annual Writers’ Institute, Concourse Hotel, 1 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI – Kristin is a presenter, the organizer of the Bookstore and Book Signing Event, and pitching coach. She’s also pitching her new YA dystopian novel to four agents: Amelia Appel, Elise Erickson, Steven Salpeter, and Uwe Stender28th-writers-institute

September 12, 2016: Picked up God on Mayhem Street!

August 6, 2016: It was a wonderful turnout at the In Print and Chicago Writers Association 5th Annual Writers Block Party!


June 13-17, 2016: UW-Madison Write-by-the-Lake Writers’ Retreat: Kristin took Tim Storm‘s class:  Stories That Matter: Creating the Resonance That Publishers Crave — A Workshop for Novelists, Memoirists, and Short Fiction Writers and worked on her psychological thriller.

June 14, 2016: Carpe Diem, Illinois is the first book to be discussed on the WNIJ Read With Me Book Series Radio Program! Check in to hear Kristin’s interview with Dan Klefstad.

WNIJ Read With Me Logo

June 11, 2016: Chicago Tribune’s Printers’ Row Literary Festival, Chicago, IL. Kristin enjoyed talking with attendees, selling copies of Carpe Diem, Illinois in the Chicago Writers Association Tent, and listening to Jeremy McCarter.

April 14-16, 2016: UW-Madison’s Writer’s Institute, Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI. Kristin presented “The Edge of Your Seat–a cliffhanger how-to” workshop, moderated The Benefits of Critique Panel discussion, and assisted writers with their pitches. Kristin joined ten In Printers as they participated in workshops on craft and paths to publication, pitched their stories, sold their books, and mingled at mixers. They listened to keynote speakers Dan Blank who talked about growing an audience and national book awards winner Hank Phillipi Ryan who inspired them with her storytelling. They ate at Great Dane off the square with former member Becca Kojetin who flew in from Nashville. It was another incredibly inspirational weekend!


Jabe, Shannon, Tricia, and me

Kristin with writers Jabe Stafford, Shannon Anderson, and Tricia Wagner


Author Rebecca Williams Spindler reading at Open Mic Night

Christa and Cheryl

Christa Bruhn with Cheryl Woodson

March 12, 2016: The In Print Professional Writers Organization’s 5th Anniversary Bash at Cliffbreakers in Rockford was an incredible success! Guest speakers, silent auction, In Print Years in Review, contest winners, door prizes, food — a wonderful time!10600482_738746582828383_7009112031468416094_n

2016-03-12 02.30.25

Joe and Chris Cacciatore

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Christina Lamphere and Mary Lamphere

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Debbie Deutsch

2016-03-12 04.27.20

2016-03-12 04.25.45

February 24, 2016Author Rebecca Williams Spindler and Kristin had a wonderful time signing books and talking to unschoolers at the Unschoolers Platform Conference at the Key Cove Water Resort in Gurney, IL.

December 3, 2015: L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Dr. William Stork, In Herriot’s Shadow, and Kristin discussed their writing and read from their books to an enthusiastic audience. After their presentation, audience members joined them at the Tyranena Brewery to sample the local beers and watch Aaron Rodgers’ 61-yard touchdown pass. A perfect evening!

2015-12-3 Lake Mills Library Poster IHS and Kristin-page-001


November 13-15, 2015: UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies Weekend With Your Novel. Kristin had the pleasure of teaching two workshops: “You Have an Idea for a Novel — What Comes Next?” and “The Beginning Writer’s Toolbox” and leading a critique group workshop. It was a wonderfully inspiring weekend!

November 7, 2015: Edgerton Sterling North Book & Film Festival, Edgerton High School, 200 Elm High Street, Edgerton, WI – such a terrific event!

With the ladies

With fellow authors Rebecca William Spindler, Peggy Williams, Karyn Saemann, Mary Joy Williams, and Julia Hoffman


Edgerton Book Festival table

October 22, 2015: Who Dunnit? Mystery Authors Reveal All – The Columbus Public Library, 223 West James Street, Columbus, WI 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Author Julia C. Hoffman did a great job moderating the mystery writers panel with Peggy Williams and Mary Joy Williams and Kristin discussing everything from selecting characters’ names to collaboration. Thanks Julia and the Columbus Library!

September 19, 2015: In Print/Chicago Writers Association Fourth Annual Writers Block Party — Scripting Your Story – Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL, 1-4 p.m. Screenwriter Dave Congalton gave the audience a lot of great screenwriting advice and the panel discussion with award-winning screenwriters Christine DeSmet, Peggy Williams, Rebecca Williams Spindler, and Dan Burns gave terrific incites into the life of a screenwriter. Many thanks to Dave, the panel of experts, and the staff at the Gail Borden Public Library. 2015 BP flyer (1)

10665904_546737808798193_8953949064154777316_nSeptember 4th, 2015: In Print’s Word of Art 2 Reception – Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rockford, IL – What a night! The pictures say it all:


Kristin’s welcome to the writers, artists, families, and friends at the Word of Art 2 Reception at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rockford, Illinois

39 - Rich Brandt and Kristin Oakley

Rich Brandt listening as Kristin explains how his story, “Johnny Be Good”, inspired her painting.

67 - Kristin Oakley, Shannon and Bruce Anderson

With Shannon and Bruce Anderson. At last year’s Word of Art, Kristin painted a picture based upon Shannon’s poem “To My Son Leaving Home”

115 - Rich Brandt, Kristin Oakley and Leone Castell Anderson

Rich, Kristin, and Leone Castell Anderson. Two of Lee’s poems were selected by artists this year!

110 - Kristin Oakley and Dan Klefstad

Kristin and Dan Klefstad

106 - Rich Brandt and Kristin Oakley

Rich Brandt and Kristin by his words and her painting

121 - The Word of Art 2 Committee - Deborah Ann Lucas, Catherine Conroy, Mary Lamphere, Kathleen Tresemer, Kristin Oakley, and Linda Kleczkowski

The Word of Art 2 Committee: Deborah Ann Lucas, Catherine Conroy, Mary Lamphere (Committee Chair), Kathleen Tresemer, Kristin, and Linda Kleczkowsk

August 20th-23rd, 2015: Writers’ Police Academy, Appleton, Wisconsin. This was an incredible opportunity to learn about police and fire-fighting procedures. Kristin was handcuffed, rode in a fire truck, and led through a smoke-filled hotel room. Kristin attended sessions on interrogation techniques, concealed carry, bio-terrorism, forensic psychology, and booking and processing. She’s including what she’s learned in both book two and book three of the Leo Townsend series.


June 15th – 19th, 2015: UW-Madison’s Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop and Retreat, Madison, Wisconsin. Kristin explored her new novel, Paul, in Laurie Scheer’s class “The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre” and discovered that it’s a psychological thriller. Kristin also hosted Thursday afternoon’s Open Mic! and had a wonderful week with fellow writers.



Laurie Scheer’s Mastering Your Genre class


Writer Shannon Holmes Anderson working hard on a perfect day!

Memorial Union Terrace

Memorial Union Terrace


Shannon Holmes Anderson, Rich Brandt and me – 3rd Thursday on the Pyle Center Rooftop Terrace


Memorial Union Terrace


June 5th-7th: Chicago Tribune Printers’ Row Literary Festival – Such a wonderful time signing copies of Carpe Diem, Illinois and hanging out with fellow writers in the Chicago Writers Association tent, listening to Amber Tamblyn read her poetry and Nelson DeMille discuss his writing process, and buying books. And the weather was perfect! 

2015 Printers' Row

2015 Printers' Rowa

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Caitlin and me enjoying the beautiful day!

2015 Printers' Rowc

Dan Burns and me signing books at the Chicago Writers Association tent.


April 24, 2015: The Ladies of the Trinity Lutheran Church Book Club in Durand, Illinois treated me to fruit and pastry as we discussed unschooling and the characters of Carpe Diem, Illinois. I even learned a few things about Leo! Thanks much to Lolita Ditzler for inviting me and Mary Jane Koch for hosting this wonderful event.

Trinity Lutheran Church


email-banner-wi2015March 27 – 29, 2015: The 26th Annual UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies Writers’ Institute. This year’s Institute was an especially exciting one for me — I had the honor of participating on the success panel during Friday’s luncheon! In addition to this, I presented my workshop on cliffhangers, moderated the benefits of critique panel discussion, critiqued manuscript pages, assisted authors with their pitches, and even sold copies of Carpe Diem, Illinois. Can’t wait for the 27th Annual Writers’ Institute which will be held April 15th-17th, 2016.

In Print Presenters: Kathleen Tresemer, Catherine Conroy, Mary Lamphere, me, and Chris Cacciatore

In Print Presenters: Kathleen Tresemer, Catherine Conroy, Mary Lamphere, me, and Chris Cacciatore

Benefits of Critique Panel

The Benefits of Critique Panel: me, Kathleen Tresemer, Mary Lamphere, and Catherine Conroy


On February 25th, 2015, I discussed Carpe Diem, Illinois, my writing process, and the benefits of unschooling at the Lodi Woman’s Club Public Library in Lodi, Wisconsin. Despite the slippery roads and chilly temperatures, there was a good-size crowd who had many wonderful questions and insights about homeschooling. Many thanks to Trish Frankland and the Lodi Public Library!

Lodi Woman's Club Library


BOTY Flyer 2014The Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award Celebration, on January 24th, 2015 at The Book Cellar in Chicago was a fantastic event!

CWA Awards

CWA Awards with girls closeupCWA Awards with SamanthaCWA Awards with Ted, Randy, and RussellCWA Awards with Lisa and Mom

CWA Trophy


Book Selling at Barnes & Noble

On November 23rd, 2014 I had a terrific time at the Cherry Valley Barnes & Noble discussing Carpe Diem, Illinois and signing copies for book lovers. Many thanks to Sherry Zabikow and her staff for hosting me!


DuCrest of the University of Wisconsin–Madisonring the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies Weekend with Your Novel November 14th – 16th, 2014, I enjoyed Laurie Scheer’s discussion of Jess Walter’s novel Beautiful Ruins, attended writing workshops taught by Ron Kuka and Christine DeSmet, presented a workshop on cliffhangers, met with talented writers to critique their works in progress, and got to spend time with my good friend, Writer Mary Beth Maas. A weekend packed with inspiration!


My first author slam at Mystery to Me on November 8th, 2014 was a terrific experience! Thanks to Joanne Berg and her staff for organizing this incredibly successful event. Can’t wait to slam again in 2015!

Photo: We are SO EXCITED to be hosting our third author SLAM! 2 days, 33 authors, 15 minutes each. November 7 (6:30-9:15pm) & November 8 (1:30-9:30pm). </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Stop by for one or all! As always, there will be several breaks for signing, discussing, snacking and socializing. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The full schedule is available at www.mysterytomebooks.com/events


November kicked off with a wonderful time at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Authors Marketplace , at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. I met several terrific writers including Mary Grover Gray, another Little Creek Press author. My sister, Lisa Schroeter, helped me sell books and old college friends Nancy and Bill Barbiaux stopped by for their own autographed copy of Carpe Diem, Illinois.

Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books


I had a wonderful time with fellow authors at the In Print Book Fair in Rockford on October 25th, 2014. Thanks so much to the In Print Board for hosting this fabulous event.



The 2014 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Springfield, IL offered me a unique opportunity to meet Illinois librarians and fellow authors.




Quite the display!


At the Southwest Wisconsin Book Festival on September 13th, 2014, I discussed the benefits of critiquing with Writer Nicole Dimond; attended writing workshops; met Veterinarian-turned-Author Bill Stork and picked his brain about how to poison cows (research for God on Mayhem Street); lunched with author friends Mary Lamphere, Kathleen Tresemer, and Laurie Scheer, and enjoyed listening to humorist Michael Perry. Thanks much to Kristin Mitchell and her crew at Little Creek Press for hosting this wonderful event!



It was a beautiful day to discuss Carpe Diem, Illinois at Arcadia Books in Spring Green, WI on Sunday, August 17th, 2014! My friends and family listened to the history of Carpe Diem, Illinois and Leo Townsend’s future in the next book, God on Mayhem Street. Thanks to John and Nancy for this wonderful opportunity!




On Friday, August 1st, 2014 friends joined me at Higher Grounds in Freeport, Illinois as I signed copies of Carpe Diem, Illinois and discussed my writing process. Many thanks to Cynthia and her staff at Higher Grounds!

With fellow author and good friend Lee Anderson.

With fellow author and good friend Lee Anderson.

Authors Catherine Conroy, Lisa Roettger, Kristin, Mary Lamphere, and Kathleen Tresemer.

Authors Catherine Conroy, Lisa Roettger, me, Mary Lamphere, and Kathleen Tresemer.



I had a wonderful time at A Room of One’s Own in Madison, WI on Weds., July 23, 2014 discussing Carpe Diem, Illinois and answering questions ranging from character development to my publishing process. Thank you to Gretchen and the staff at A Room of One’s Own for hosting me!


My first book reading/discussion was on June 12, 2014 at the wonderful independent bookstore Mystery to Me on Monroe Street in Madison, WI. Great turnout, great questions, great fun! A big thank you to owner Joanne Berg for introducing me to the Madison literary community!



The 2014 Chicago Tribune Printers’ Row List Fest was a great place to sell books and connect with amazing writers. The weather was perfect, Second City performed an incredible abbreviated version of “The Breakfast Club”, James Patterson advised how to encourage young writers, and book lovers discussed everything from the World Cup to favorite Chicago eateries. The mega m&ms I brought were a big hit, too. Thanks so much to the Chicago Writers Association for this terrific opportunity!


With my daughters Caitlin and Jessica


Bookseller Tents


Second City performing “The Breakfast Club”


Bookseller tents and the C-SPAN van


Margaret Severe with her copy of Carpe Diem, Illinois


With Author Jessica Cage


Spoken Word Poet Kottyn Campbell and me


Carpe Diem, Illinois display


With Author Gunter Kaesdorf


On May 16th, 2014, I signed books at Bagels & More during the Beloit ArtWalk. My writer friends, Kathleen Tresemer and Mary Lamphere, joined me along with several homeschooling friends, art enthusiasts, and Miss Beloit (Hayley Jordan) and Miss Beloit’s Outstanding Teen (Meghan Crave). It was a terrific evening.

Thanks so much to Bagels & More owners, Joan and David Sierkierski for letting me a part of this wonderful event!



The WPA Home Education Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh was a lot of fun. I had a great time meeting some incredible people like authors Rebecca Williams Spindler and Madelyn Spindler and even sold a few books!




Mary Lamphere, Debbie Deustch, Bartender Derek, me, Catherine Conroy, and Kathleen Tresemer.


Nathan Bransford kicked off the conference.


Michael Perry, incredibly funny.


With my editor, Karyn Saemann, showing off our debut books.


The crowd outside State Street Brats waiting for the final four game — Badgers vs. Kentucky.

The 25th annual UW-Madison Writers’ Institute was a terrific success!

Wonderful talks by Nathan Bransford, Michael Perry, Dale Kushner, and Jacquelyn Mitchard; invaluable networking with writers, agents, and publishers; workshops including Kristin’s Cliffhanger How-To workshop; and my first ever book sale.