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Learn about our mission, company, and history—and the team that puts it all together.
At UpWrite Press, our mission is to empower individuals and organizations to reach their full potential by improving their writing, communication, and 21st century skills. We enhance critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, communicating, collaborating, and adaptability—essential drivers for success in the modern workplace.
UpWrite Press is a team of authors, trainers, editors, and designers devoted to helping people write and communicate more effectively in the workplace. Our workplace is a Civil War-era house and barn, where we’ve created the best-selling Write Source handbooks for teaching writing from kindergarten through college. Now we bring our proven techniques to the business world.
UpWrite Press offers a full suite of materials and services to support and train business writers. From award-winning references such as Write for Business to effective training materials such as the Write Program, UpWrite Press is your resource for business writing. Watch for our innovative set of online courses for business writing, e-mail writing, and management writing, and watch for the launch of our new online writing resource.
UpWrite Press draws upon a long, successful history of teaching effective writing. The company has its roots in Write Source, founded in 1976 by Patrick Sebranek and Verne Meyer, who had together created a writing handbook for their own middle school and high school students.
That handbook soon became such a phenomenon that it drew the attention of Boston-based publisher D. C. Heath, who contracted the authors to create an entire line of books and support materials for kindergarten through high school. When D. C. Heath was in turn acquired by the Houghton Mifflin company, the new publishers created a division named Great Source, largely to manage the multimillion-dollar annual sales of Write Source books.
Having completed the K-12 line in 1999, Write Source went on to create The College Writer (now in its third edition) for Cengage Learning, The College Writer’s Handbook, and The Business Writer. In addition, Write Source authored and developed COMP: Read and COMP: Write for Cengage’s 4LTR Press imprint.
With 25 years of experience running their own business, the founders recognized that business writing has its own unique demands. In 2001, they established UpWrite Press as a sister company to Write Source, each a division of Sebranek Inc. UpWrite Press’s very first product, Write for Business, immediately garnered awards from such organizations as the Chicago Book Clinic.
Since that time, the UpWrite Press team has gone on to create additional books, ebooks, training manuals, Job Aides, and an online testing center, all designed to provide the very best in training materials for business writers such as you. We also maintain a daily blog and bi-monthly eTips that offer aid on a variety of business-writing topics.
We appreciate your interest in UpWrite Press. If there is any way we can help with your business writing, don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail at email@example.com.
Here’s an alphabetical listing of the team of diverse talents that makes UpWrite Press work.
Steve Augustyn is the director of operations at UpWrite Press. He received his bachelor of arts in English literature with a minor in history from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1997. In that same year, his career began at the Wall Street branch of PaineWebber, now known as UBS. In 1999, as chief operating officer, he helped organize and create Coe Capital Management, a high-net-worth investment advisory firm in the greater Chicago area. In 2003, he joined the software development department at UpWrite Press as project manager. In 2006, he was promoted to project manager for all departments of UpWrite Press and Write Source. In 2008, he was promoted to his role as director of operations for Write Source and UpWrite Press. He is a member of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Christopher Erickson is co-owner and president of Sebranek, Inc., and its divisions, UpWrite Press and Write Source. In 1997, he received a bachelor’s degree in English literature with an integrated liberal studies minor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1997-1999, he developed digital media for Bifolkal Productions in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2001, he helped set up the technology department for Sebranek, Inc. and worked for several years on a companion software series for the Write Source product line. In 2004, Christopher was named director of Software Development for Sebranek, Inc. In 2006, he was appointed to the board of directors and named vice president of the company. In 2008, he and his wife, Janae, took over sole ownership of Sebranek, Inc. As president, Christopher works with his talented staff in all areas of the company.
Dave Kemper is co-author of the complete line of award-winning Write Source handbooks. Before joining the Write Source team, Mr. Kemper taught writing for 10 years and also worked for Motorola, Inc. In addition to his editorial work at Write Source, he has presented workshops nationwide on developmental writing. Now as part of UpWrite Press, he is applying his expertise to products that address the needs of workplace writers. See upwritepress.com for his blog entries on business writing.
Tim Kemper is a writer/editor at Sebranek, Inc. He received his bachelor of arts degree and departmental high honors in journalism from Butler University in 2008. After graduating, he joined the UpWrite Press and Write Source editorial teams. Since then, he has contributed to the UpWrite Press and Write Source blogs, and developed new writing material for Write on Course, a middle-school writing handbook, and COMP: Read and COMP: Write, college-level writing texts. As an undergraduate, he interned for the Indiana State Government, Emmis Communications, and the Current in Carmel newspaper.
Rob King is editor in chief at UpWrite Press. In 1988, he graduated from Valparaiso University as a Christ College scholar of very high distinction, receiving a bachelor of arts in theology and the humanities. He has worked since that time for various publishers, performing the primary editing on more than 100 nonfiction texts and 50 fiction titles. As a writer, he has contributed more than a thousand pages of instructional material to numerous projects and has published 23 novels, 4 novellas, 26 short stories, and 62 prose poems. In 1995, Rob founded the Alliterates, a group of fiction writers and poets, who meet once a month to discuss writing. Rob has also taught two semesters of creative writing at Karcher Middle School in Burlington, Wisconsin.
Christian R. Krenzke is an independent illustrator and has illustrated virtually all of the Write Source products and a number of UpWrite Press publications. In 1972, he graduated from Dominican College of Racine, Wisconsin, with a bachelor of arts in fine art, certified to teach K-12. After teaching at Union High School for seven years, Chris worked as an advertising artist/designer for Racine’s Shoreline Leader (a weekly newspaper) and then as a production assistant for Animagination Studio, an animated film studio also of Racine. Since 1983, he has worked independently, designing and illustrating educational materials, ads, and catalogs for a number of ad agencies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Western Publishing Company, and for WEAC (Wisconsin Education Association Council). Krenzke holds a long-standing association with both Write Source and UpWrite Press.
Lois Krenzke is the copyeditor at Sebranek, Inc. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin—Parkside in January 1973 with a bachelor of arts degree (major in English literature, minor in education), she started her career at Western Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin, as an editorial assistant. During her time there, she authored a number of mass-market storybooks and math workbooks and trained to be a copyeditor. Beginning in 1983, Lois worked as an independent proofreader/copyeditor for Write Source. This began her long association with the company, and she was hired as a permanent staff member in 1986.
Mark Lalumondier is a production designer/developer at Sebranek, Inc. He received a bachelor of arts in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design and a certification in Web-page design from University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2004. In 2002, he began his design career through an internship creating and maintaining Web sites for Prodesse Inc., a biotechnology firm based near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and also for the Business Department at UW-Parkside. In early 2004, he joined ITS Graphics, where he designed print and Web-based materials for faculty and organizations at UW-Parkside. In 2005, Mark became a part of the production department at Write Source and UpWrite Press. He has helped design and produce the K–12 Write Source textbooks, skillsbooks, and state customized teacher’s guides. Mark continues to design and produce print-based materials for Write Source and UpWrite Press and has currently expanded to producing technology projects such as the monthly e-mail newsletters and podcasts.
Joyce Becker Lee joined Write Source and UpWrite Press in 2003 as a writer and editor after a varied career that includes stints as newspaper reporter and editor, theater columnist, and radio commercial copywriter. In addition, she has taught English and Theater at Burlington High School, and Composition at Gateway Technical College. She received her BS cum laude in English/Theater Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her MA in Creative Writing and MFA from Northwestern University, where she was nominated for The Best New American Voices 2010. Joyce has had articles, fiction, and poetry published regionally, nationally, and internationally, and she is the author/composer of a dozen children’s musicals. She contributes the e-newsletters Writing eTips and Mid-Month Mini for UpWrite Press, along with its bi-weekly podcast on business writing.
Dr. Verne Meyer is a businessperson and an educator who has taught in high schools and in college. In 1976, he co-founded Write Source Educational Publishing House, now a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Supplemental. A graduate of Calvin College, Marquette University, and the University of Minnesota, he has co-authored more than a dozen English handbooks, including Write Source 2000, Writers INC, Write for College, The College Writer, COMP: Read, COMP: Write, Write for Business, The Business Writer, and Writing Effective E-Mail. Today, Dr. Meyer is a contributing editor for Write Source, Houghton Mifflin, and UpWrite Press. He also leads writing workshops across the United States.
Janae Sebranek is co-owner and vice president of Sebranek, Inc. She received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. In 2001, she helped set up the technology department for Write Source and worked for several years on a companion software series for the Write Source product line. In 2008, she and her husband, Christopher, took over sole ownership of Sebranek, Inc. As vice president, she now works in research and development, editorial, and technology for both Write Source and UpWrite Press projects.
Pat Sebranek co-founded Write Source in 1976 along with Dr. Verne Meyer after co-authoring their first writing book, Basic English Revisited. Prior to founding Write Source, Mr. Sebranek taught writing and speaking at the high school level for 16 years, where he developed several courses aimed at helping students use the writing process more effectively. He applied those same strategies to Write for Business, the first publication of UpWrite Press. He continues to contribute to products that will help individuals improve their communication skills in the workplace.
Lester Smith is a writer/technologist at Sebranek, Inc. He is a 1989 graduate of Illinois State University with a BA in English, magna cum laude, Honors in English, University Honors Scholar, and a minor in Spanish. In 1985, while pursuing his degree, he began working as a writer and editor for Game Designers’ Workshop in Normal, Illinois, which led to a design position with TSR (publishers of Dungeons & Dragons) in 1991. He joined the staff of Sebranek, Inc. (UpWrite Press’s parent company) in 1998 as an assistant writer and was soon assigned Webmaster duties as well. In 2000 he led the creation of the company’s e-Publishing Department. Currently he maintains the company’s e-mail newsletters and blog, troubleshoots technology issues, and contributes as a writer and editor to various projects. As a hobby, he writes and publishes poetry and fiction. He is also a board member for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, where he served six years as president.
Dr. John Van Rys currently teaches writing at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario. Van Rys has taught business writing for 18 years and often conducts in-house business writing training. A graduate of The University of Western Ontario and Dalhousie University, Van Rys received the highest scholarships available in Canada—the SSHRCC (Canada Council) Doctoral Fellowship and the Killim Scholarship—during his graduate studies. He has co-authored business-writing handbooks and materials for the educational and business-writing markets, including School to Work, The College Writer, COMP: Read, COMP: Write, The Research Writer, Write for Business, The Business Writer, Writing Effective E-Mail, and Writing Business and Sales Correspondence.
Jean Varley is the customer service manager at Sebranek, Inc. She graduated from Technology school in Baraboo in 1968. In 1992 she was hired at Write Source Development House to handle order entry and accounts receivable. From there, her responsibilities expanded to include duties in the Great Crate book series and convention attendance. During this time, she also became involved in the fulfillment and shipping area. In 1997 she became permissions and reprint manager. As of 2002, she has taken on various UpWrite Press responsibilities including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and shipment of orders.