Cristen speaking at writers event
Cristen speaking at editors event
Cristen teaching memoir workshop
Cristen speaking at Idaho Writers Guild literary luncheon

looking for a podcast guest, Panelist, speaker, or workshop leader?

2024 topics

  • The 7 Core Nonfiction Author Competencies: What It Takes to Write, Publish, and Market Commercially Viable Books without Burning Out
  • Is It Writer's Block? Is It Burnout? Or Is It Something Else?
  • How to Write a Commercially Viable Academic-Trade Crossover by Understanding the Reader's Journey
  • Nonfiction Author Platform Building & Awareness Campaign Basics

upcoming events

Coeur Du Bois writers group logo

What "Show, Don't Tell" Means, What It Looks Like, and Why It Matters

Saturday, May 4th, 2024

Confused by the advice "Show, don't tell"? You're not alone. Even experienced writers struggle with this one. After nine years of substantive editing, I've come to the conclusion that novelists and memoirists stumble in this area because sometimes it's better to show and sometimes it's better to tell. Writers instinctively understand this, but struggle to identify showing versus telling in different contexts and which to do when and why.

If this sounds like you, join me at the May Coeur Du Bois Chapter (CBC-RWA) meeting for a writing workshop with real-world help, including real-world, compare-and-contrast examples and a take-home tip sheet.

IN-PERSON ONLY at 1:00 p.m., Smoky Mountain Pizzeria and Grill, 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706. 

For more information and to register, click here.

14th Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference promotional image

The 14th annual Nonfiction Writers Conference returns May 8-10, 2024

Held entirely online. No travel required! 

And I'm happy to be back for a 3rd time as one of the Ask-a-Pro pros!

Depending on registration level, attendees can access the following benefits:

  • Live educational sessions delivered by Zoom, including Q&A with speakers.
  • Pitch the Agents LIVE!, an interactive double session where several literary agents listen to author pitches and give constructive feedback. If agents like what they hear, they will request proposals from participants. (Must apply to participate; 20 participants will be selected.)
  • Attendee Networking and Mastermind Event, featuring small group discussions held with Zoom breakout rooms. Each participant can share a two-minute introduction, then gets 8 minutes to share a question or challenge and get feedback from other group members. Even introverts love this unique event!
  • Ask-a-Pro sessions, delivered as one-on-one phone or video consultations with industry pros. Many attendees feel these are worth the price of admission alone.
  • Private Facebook group to connect with attendees and speakers.
  • Recordings and transcripts available for those who can’t attend all live sessions.

The Nonfiction Writers Conference has a long history of delivering educational content and helping accelerate the careers of attendees. If you’re ready to take your author business to the next level, don’t miss this powerful event.

Register for the Nonfiction Writers Conference: Click Here.

This year, I've joined the conference's affiliate program. So if you use the link above to register for the conference, they'll pay me a percentage of your registration fee.  

past events


Idaho Writers Conference: The Lifelong Author | You've Been Booked as a Presenter (Podcast Guest, Panelist, Workshop Leader, etc.)--Now, What Will You Say?


HEARTtalk with Dr. Charles Lee: The Ethos in Writing Memoir (July 2023, watch here)

JourneySixty6, the Writing Podcast: How to Move Your Story Forward with Scenes (July 2023, listen here)

Idaho Writers Conference 2023

Journey Sixty6, the Writing Podcast: How to Write a Memorable Memoir: Structuring and Building Unforgettable Scenes (April 2023, listen here)


Writers Corner Workshop: How to Write in Scenes for Memoir and Novel Writers

Idaho Editors and Writers Association: Working with Clients Who Aspire to Be Traditionally Published (June 8, 2022)

Idaho Writers Conference (presenter and faculty, May 20 & 21, 2022)

NFAA Podcast Guest: Tips for Writing a Compelling Memoir (February 23, 2022; listen here)

Idaho Editors and Writers Association: Publishing Trends Panel Discussion, I covered traditional publishing topics (February 9, 2022)


Nonfiction Writers Fall Conference (virtual): Ask-a-Pro (November 4th & 5th, 2021)

How to Avoid the Top 5 Novel-Writing Mistakes (June 8, 2021; Idaho Writers Guild Writers Corner virtual event)

Idaho Writers Guild Literary Lunch: Book Publishing Panel (May 18, 2021; virtual)

Nonfiction Writers Conference, Ask-a-Pro (May 5-7, 2021)

Writing and Book Awards: The Why, Which, and When to Help You Sell More Books (January, 2021; virtual)


Nonfiction Writers Conference (virtual): Ask-a-Pro  (November 2020)

Rediscovered Books Ask an Editor Live Facebook Event: 500+ views; click here for on-demand video access

Be So Good They Can't Ignore You: How to Develop Your Craft and Create a Brand that Opens Doors (Writers Corner, Library! at Collister, February 2020)

A Professional Approach to Writing and Editing Commercial Memoir (Idaho Editors and Writers Association, February 2020)


Writing a Legacy Memoir: Finding the Story in Your History (Hillcrest Library Boise, Idaho October 2019)

Micro Blogging for Authors: Develop Your Brand and Sell More Books (Library! at Collister Boise, Idaho October 2019 Rated 9.5 out of 10 by attendees)

Your Vision, Your Voice: How to Think like and Work with a Developmental Editor (Idaho Writers Guild Literary Luncheon August 2019, Sold out & rated 9.67/10)

The Approachable Vegan: Bringing People to the Table and Keeping Them There (Boise Self-Help Group August 2019)

The Persuasive Vegan: How to Talk Your Walk without Trampling Others (Whole Food, Plant-Based 4 Life Support Group, Boise August 2019)

Play to Win: How to Make Your Life Imitate Your Art & Be the Hero of Your Own Journey (The Aware Athlete Show August 2019)

Memoir Writing 101: Finding the Story in Your Story (Eagle Public Library January 2019)

Setting the Record Straight: How Traditional Publishing Really Works and Why You Need to Understand It (Meridian Chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association January 2019)

NFAA Teleseminar Greatest Hits Replay: Cristen Iris – Secrets to Writing Authoritative and Compelling Nonfiction


Author Panel Q&A (Library! at Collister December 2018)

Genre Specialization: The Key to Editorial Excellence (Idaho Editors and Writers Association November 2018)

Secrets to Writing Authoritative and Compelling Nonfiction (Nonfiction Authors Association Teleseminar October 2018)

Anthropology at Work: Education to Employment, College to Career (Boise State University Anthropology Department seniors 2018)

So Called Podcast Interview 2018

Working with a Developmental Editor (Library! Boise 2018)


Idaho Writers' Corner Author and Editor Panel (Library! at Collister Boise 2017)

The Power of Precise Language: Choosing Words for Impact and Effectiveness (Idaho Editors and Writers Association 2017)

The Wind Up, the Pitch, and the Swing (Idaho Writers Guild 2017)

Point of View & Perspective (Library! at Collister 2017)

It's All About Pacing (Library! at Collister 2017)


Evolutionary Medicine and the Heterozygous Advantage (Idaho Health and Welfare Spring 2014 Epidemiology Conference co-presented with medical anthropologist and epidemiologist Dr. Robert Graff)

The Importance of Balancing Fixed and Variable (Smart Women, Smart Money ~2009)