Writing/Historical Presentations

Most presentations are geared to last about 40-60 minutes, but Nicole can tailor them to shorter or longer time slots as needed.

Writing/Craft Presentations


Marketing Plans for Traditional and Indie Authors (can be presented in a hour, but a two-hour or longer workshop is best so we can have audience interaction)
In today’s publishing world, it’s not only indie authors who have to handle the lion’s share of marketing their book. Increasingly, traditionally published authors are being asked to shoulder the burden. So where do you start? Drawing on 15 years of professional experience and a master’s degree in public relations, as well as her own experience as an author, Nicole Evelina will lead you through creating your own marketing plan. You’ll learn how to:

  • Get an idea of the market for your genre
  • Research competitive and comparative books
  • Identify your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats
  • Identify your target audience
  • Develop key messages about your book and yourself as an author
  • Plan what tactics you will use before launch, during your launch and after to gain and sustain sales:
    • Distribution – online and physical stores
    • Getting endorsements
    • Paid advertising
    • Social media
    • Your web site content
    • Guest posts/writing articles
    • Events/speaking engagements
    • Media relations
    • Tapping into online and real-life organizations
    • Using giveaways and ARCs to build buzz
    • Getting reviews
    • Supplemental materials you’ll want to have on hand
  • Measure for success and evaluation of ROi

Nicole will share her own marketing plans with you, so you can see how one looks when complete, as well as provide handouts you can use as templates to create your own plan. Nicole has won international communications awards for her marketing plans and regularly writes them for her day job.

How to Hit the USA Today Bestseller List
The easiest way to hit any list is to sell a lot of books. But how do you do that as an indie/little-known author? There is a tried-and-true method that involves getting a Bookbub Featured Deal and then carefully stacking other types of advertising around it. Join Nicole Evelina as she shares the strategy that worked for her and made her a USA Today Bestselling author as an indie author for under $2,500.


Back Cover Copy That Sells
You have mere seconds to convince a reader to buy your book. Besides your cover, the description on the back (or online) is the most powerful tool you have to make your case. But crafting that copy is easier than you might think. In this course, award-winning author Nicole Evelina will teach you a quick three-step method for writing copy that sings, in both fiction and non-fiction, with genre-specific tips.

Kill the Cliché: How to Write Romance That’s Unexpected
Looking to make your romance novel stand out? It’s not as hard as you may think. While it’s true the romance genre relies on certain tropes to power its stories (friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, second chance at love, etc.), that doesn’t mean your book has to be the same as all the others on the shelf. Join multi-award winning author Nicole Evelina as she helps you turn time-worn clichés into fresh ideas that will have your readers racing through the pages to get to that happily ever after.

Show Us Your World: Writing Setting and Description in Fiction
Setting and description are key to immersing your reader in the world of your novel. But how do you accomplish this without overwhelming your readers with pages of flowery prose? Nicole Evelina shares her tips for writing description that will leave your readers wanting to live in the world of your book without sacrificing pace.

Starting Strong: Tips for Honing Your Novel’s First Chapter, Page and Line
Thinking of entering a contest or querying an agent/editor? Before you pull the trigger, take one more look at your first chapter, first page and first line. These are the elements that that will either suck your reader in or condemn your work to the trash pile.  In this workshop, Nicole Evelina will give you tips to start your story off strong, as well as outline a few things readers, agents, editors and judges hate to see in the opening of a book. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure your first pages are as gripping as they can be.

Subplots: Adding Richness and Depth to Your Story
If you’re a reader, you know what a subplot is, whether you realize it or not. But as a writer, these secondary stories may seem daunting to create, much less weave seamlessly into your main story. Award-winning author Nicole Evelina will walk you through the purpose of subplots, how to create them and show you how they may vary depending on your genre. Whether you’re writing a standalone or a series, you’ll learn how subplots can enhance your book and explore examples from well-known and local authors to help turn theoretical ideas into concrete patterns you can apply to your own work.
Write Your Way to Worldbuilding
Worldbuilding is a skill every fiction writer needs to develop, regardless of what genre they write. Join USA Today bestselling author Nicole Evelina as she walks you through the basics of worldbuilding for your novel. Nicole will cover how to develop your setting, character traits, language, history/mythology, the culture and rules of your world as well as give specific tips for fantasy and historical fiction writing. She will also show you how this information ties into your plot and character arcs to strengthen your whole book.

Writing Historical Fiction: Making the Past Relevant to Today’s Readers
Ever wanted to try your hand at historical fiction but didn’t know where to start? Award-winning historical fiction author Nicole Evelina will show you it’s not as intimidating as it may seem, even if you’re not a fan of research (though it helps if you are). She’ll cover research methods and sources, how research informs plot, how to handle characterization in other time periods, how to bring the past to life, mistakes to avoid, and more. Whether you’re just dipping a toe in the historical waters or have already published in this genre, you’re sure to learn something new.


Researching for Fiction
Solid research is key to getting your readers to believe the story you are telling. And it’s not nearly as difficult or scary as it may seem. Drawing on her college training and more than 20 years of research for four historical fiction and two non-fiction books, Nicole Evelina will teach you the basics of research for any genre, including how to:

  • Distinguish between reliable sources and those best left alone.
  • Use Amazon/WorldCat as research tools.
  • Determine what types of things you need to research.
  • Access primary and secondary sources to enrich your research.
  • Find experts for phone or in-person interviews
  • Access hard to find materials for free (or cheap)
  • Get the most out of your research time

This is a shorter version of the research for historical fiction presentation listed below and is tailored for all genres.

Research For Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction
Research is the lynchpin of good historical fiction and essential to well-written non-fiction. It’s what enables us to bring worlds to life for our readers, to take them back in time. It’s also what sets professional authors apart from amateurs. Drawing on her college training and nearly 20 years of research for four historical fiction and two non-fiction books, Nicole Evelina will teach you how to:

  • Distinguish between reliable sources and those best left alone.
  • Use Amazon/WorldCat as research tools.
  • Determine what types of things you need to research.
  • Use primary and secondary sources to enrich your research.
  • Find experts for phone or in-person interviews
  • Access hard to find materials for free (or cheap)
  • Get the most out of your research time


Self-Editing Tips and Tricks
Editing. That one little word conjures a range of emotions in writers. Some love it. Some hate it. No matter how you feel about it, it’s a necessary step to get your novel ready for publication. Nicole Evelina will teach you some tips and tricks she’s learned over the last several years that will make self-editing a much easier step. Highlights include how to:

  • Break your editing into rounds so that you don’t have to tackle everything at once.
  • Examine dialog, description, characterization and action.
  • Use a beat sheet to check pacing and balance of power.
  • Make every word count without having to agonize over every sing word.
  • Use advice from beta readers and contests to strengthen your novel.


Getting and Working with an Agent
Querying (or the process of getting an agent) is known to be a tough, often demoralizing process, but it doesn’t have to be. Award-winning author Nicole Evelina will guide you through the process of deciding when and who to query, how to write a query letter, how to handle “the call,” and tips for interacting with your agent once you get that elusive “yes.”

Resources for Self Published and Hybrid Authors
Just because you’ve self-published a book doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. In addition to your production team (editor, cover designer, etc.), there are a wealth of resources and partners out there to help make your publishing experience fruitful and fun. Nicole Evelina will share some of the ones she’s found during her personal crash course in learning how to self publish. She’ll tell you about associations/groups, books, websites/blogs, email lists, Facebook groups, contests and more that can be valuable tools for education, marketing and networking as you strive to break out in a crowded marketplace.

The Business of Writing 

Audio Books for Indie Authors
Audio books are the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry and are a relatively easy way to make money on books you’ve already written. The process may seem overwhelming, but Nicole Evelina will guide you through a few of the ways of getting your book from page to earbuds. She’ll help you understand your options for production, the cost involved, how to audition narrators and guide them once you’ve selected your talent, what the recording and editing process entail, and how to get your books out to your audience.

Author Branding: How to Stand Out from the Crowd While Still Being “You”
When we hear the word “branding,” most of us automatically think “logo.” While that is one part of it, branding is actually so much more. It includes the way people feel when they interact with you, your “voice” both in your writing and online, and the image you project online and in person. In addition, branding encompasses your logo, author and book taglines and the fonts and colors you choose for your web site and marketing materials. Drawing on 15 years of professional experience in marketing and a master’s degree in public relations, as well as her own experience as an author, Nicole will help you understand branding through case studies of authors who do it successfully, as well as offer tips and exercises you can employ to discover your own brand.

“Everyone Has a Book in Them:” How to Know if you Your Book Idea Will Sell in Today’s Marketplace
Learn how to know if your book idea is likely to appeal to traditional publishers and whether your self-published book is likely to reach readers from an author who has published in both ways. Topics will include gatekeepers in traditional publishing, genre trends, perennial bestselling topics, the importance of platform and how to find an idea that not only appeals to you but fills a gap in the marketplace. For those who write, this session will provide insights into getting published, whether traditionally or independently. For those who work with independent authors as coaches, editors, proofreaders, etc., the session will help you guide your clients in their publishing decisions.

How Acting Classes Can Make You a Better Writer
Writers are introverts, right? So at first glance, acting classes might seem like an odd choice for skill advancement, but the two disciplines really have a lot in common. Nicole Evelina will show you how acting classes can help you getting inside your character’s head by examining their motivation and using “method acting” techniques to “become” them as you write;  improve the blocking (movement) and dialog in your stories; and help you gain confidence as a speaker so that you shine at readings and other speaking events.

How to Use Pinterest to Develop Your Story and Career
As an author, you can use Pinterest for far more than collecting recipes and craft ideas you probably won’t ever get around to trying. Nicole Evelina will provide tips for and share personal examples of how to:

  • Create boards for your stories, settings and characters
  • Use those boards in marketing and fan activities
  • Use the images you find to brainstorm character attributes
  • Collect images for future inspiration
  • Provide a “human face” behind your author brand
  • Advertise and hold contests on Pinterest to attract and retain readers

Public Speaking for Authors
Many people are terrified of public speaking, but as authors, it’s a skill we need to hone, regardless of if we plan to simply host readings of our work or go on to teach workshops at conferences, give interviews to the media or offer keynote addresses. In this presentation, Nicole Evelina will teach you how to overcome your fears, present effectively, use public speaking to advance your career and make money, and how to get gigs even when you are just starting out.

Web Sites and Social Media for Authors
By now we all know that web sites are a must for anyone who wants to be taken seriously in any field. This is especially true for authors whose sites function as not only as virtual calling cards, but as portals for sales and interaction with fans. In this course, award-winning author Nicole Evelina will walk you through everything you need to do to set up a site of your own, from choosing a hosting company and buying a URL to deciding what information to include and how to organize your pages. She will also
show you how to incorporate branding and marketing best practices into your social media. In addition to using her own site and social media examples, Nicole will offer best practices from famous authors and show you how to emulate them.

Working with a Publicity Company: What You Need to Know
Based on her experience using a major publicity company to promote her novel, Madame Presidentess, Nicole Evelina will explain what it’s like to have experts on your side when you are an indie or hybrid author. She’ll cover how to know when a publicist can help you, how to choose a company, what to expect from them, what they expect from you, and how to be a star client to maximize your ROI.


From Corporate to Creative: How to Use Your Day Job Skills to Unleash Your Creativity
(This presentation was created for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) St. Louis chapter, but can be adjusted for just about any other group looking to get into creative writing.)
They say everyone has a book in them, or maybe some short stories or poetry. As a corporate communicator you may have the ability to write but may not feel creative enough to break out of your business-minded mold. [Nicole’s real name here], a 20-year veteran of business communication and a USA Today bestselling author who writes under the pen name Nicole Evelina, will show you how to tap into ideas and talents you didn’t know you had. Whether you want to write the next great American novel or just want to learn to be more creative, she will show you how to get started.

Nicole can also develop presentations on these subjects or any that you would like:

  • Writing strong female characters
  • Writing romantic comedy
  • Working with an editor/cover designer/layout artist

Historical Presentations
Victoria Woodhull: Forgotten by History
Former St. Louisan and First Woman to run for US President
Few people realize that the first woman to run for president in the United States was not Hillary Clinton in 2016; it was Victoria Woodhull in 1872 – 48 years before women were granted the right to vote. Born dirt poor to a con man and a religious zealot, Victoria would rise above abuse and social conventions to become a self-made millionaire who was:

  • The first woman to run for President of the United States
  • The first woman to speak before the House Judiciary Committee of Congress
  • The first woman to run and own a stock brokerage on Wall Street
  • One of the first women to run a weekly newspaper in the US

Join award-winning historical fiction author Nicole Evelina as she explores the dramatic and often unbelievable life of this real woman – a Spiritualist, suffragist, renowned public speaker and unlikely Presidential candidate who doesn’t appear in any history books. Nicole has written a historical fiction novel, Madame Presidentess, based on Victoria’s life.

Virginia and Francis Minor: Forgotten Suffrage Pioneers
In Missouri, a husband and wife couple, Virginia and Francis Minor, were key early leaders in the quest for female suffrage. Virginia founded the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri, the first organization of its kind in the country—possibly the world— in 1867, pre-dating the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) founded by Susan B. Anthony and the American Woman’s Suffrage Association (AWSA) founded by Lucy Stone by two years. This unusual and forward-thinking couple were at the vanguard of women’s rights, developing a philosophy of how the gender-neutral language of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution inadvertently gave women the right to vote, an argument that would become the official position of the NWSA for nearly five years. In putting this theory to the test, the Minors went on to face the highest court in the land in defense of women’s voting and citizenship rights in the 1873 Supreme Court case Minor v Happersett. Although they were ultimately overruled, and their case isn’t widely-known, it helped shape the current definition of state and national citizenship and their associated rights. Learn about  the impact of their case today, their role in the suffrage movement, and lesser-known aspects of the couple’s lives, including their service as civilians during the Civil War, Francis’ legal career, and Virginia’s efforts post-Minor that concluded only with her unorthodox funeral and the reading of her unusual will.

Guinevere: Mysterious Mythological Queen
Everyone knows something about the legendary Queen Guinevere, even if only that she was King Arthur’s (often traitorous) wife. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Join award-winning historical fiction author Nicole Evelina as she explores the many of identities Guinevere and how her role and personality changed as the legend evolved. Nicole is the author of three fictional works about Guinevere and spent 15 years researching Arthurian legend. Note: This presentation is geared toward a general audience, but I do have an academically-focused version entitled Changing Minds, Changing Role: Guinevere Throughout Literary History, if that better suits your needs.

Spiritualism in 19th Century America
In the aftermath of the bloody Civil War, Americans were desperate to connect with departed loved ones. In March 1848, the Fox Sisters began a movement that promised to allow the living to communicate with the dead, a phenomenon called Spiritualism that would last into the 1920s. Famous Spiritualists include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Todd Lincoln and Victoria Woodhull, the first American woman to run for president.

In this presentation, Nicole Evelina will give a brief history of Spiritualism, introduce you to the fascinating world of mediums and clairvoyants, show you some of the tools and tricks they used to communicate with the dead, and illustrate how Spiritualism helped women gain a voice in public forums.

Feminism and Suffrage in Victorian America
The first wave of feminism in the United States began in the 1830s and 1840s, leading up to the famous Seneca Falls Convention. These women were fighting for the right to vote, yes, but their movement ran much deeper; it encompassed the idea of female personhood outside of a man, sexual freedom, political equality and much more. In this presentation, Nicole Evelina will introduce you to many of the colorful characters who made up the early part of this movement. In addition, she’ll show you:

  • How the causes of feminism and abolition were entwined.
  • How the Civil War set the women’s movement back immeasurably.
  • The myriad causes (such as temperance, abolition, etc.) that were part of the women’s movement.
  • What led the women’s movement to split into two competing parties.
  • The truth behind the infighting within the women’s movement.
Suffrage in the Show-Me State
USA Today Bestselling author and St. Louisan Nicole Evelina will take you through 54 years of Missouri history, showing how the battle for the franchise began in the Gateway to the West in 1865 and spread out across the state over the next 30 years before finally being ratified in 1919, making Missouri the 11th state to grant full suffrage to women.

Along the way, you’ll meet inspiring figures from Kansas City, Hannibal, Joplin, and St. Louis such as:

  • Virginia and Francis Minor, the only people to argue the issue of women’s suffrage before the Supreme Court.
  • Phoebe Couzins, Washington University graduate and one of the first female lawyers in the US.
  • Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters, which began in St. Louis.
  • Edna Gelhorn, women’s rights advocate, right-hand woman of Eleanor Roosevelt, and suffrage leader.
  • Emily Newell Blair, suffragist who came up with the idea of the Golden Lane silent protest in 1916 along with Edna Gellhorn.

In addition to profiling these women and their accomplishments, Nicole will explain  the many groups of women formed to band together over 55 years to raise their voices in demand of the vote.

Women’s History: Past, Present and Future
 Join USA Today bestselling author  Nicole Evelina to hear about why she feels women’s history is important, why she’s chosen to make telling forgotten women’s stories her personal mission, and how you, too, can contribute to women’s history (yes YOU!) Nicole will also take questions and if time allows, read briefly from a few of her works.

Other suffrage-related presentations that Nicole can develop:

  • Husband and wife couples in the movement
  • How spiritualism and the suffrage movement were intertwined

British Celtic Culture 101
The Celts were a diverse and fascinating people whose culture goes far beyond blue woad tattoos and female warriors. In this presentation, Nicole Evelina will draw on more than 15 years of research into the British Celts to help you understand daily life for the pre-Roman, Roman, and post-Roman British Celts, including:

  • Society/housing/work
  • Daily life/food/clothing/entertainment
  • Marriage/family
  • Law/government
  • Military
  • Healing/hygiene

Other Historical Topics Nicole Can Speak on

  • Celtic women
  • Druidism and neopaganism (Celtic Wicca)
  • Arthurian legend