Speak the Name

Collection of Poems and Short Snippets

In February 2019, I released my first chapbook, a collection of poems that focus on the importance of speaking someone’s name and the value of naming. Because so many of the poems contain references to historical people, most of them largely forgotten, the book also contains short pieces of prose that illuminate an aspect of that person’s life. If interested in a copy, please contact me at kbsagert@aol.com. The cost is $8 plus tax and shipping. Thank you!

In the news, Nonfiction News

Hidden History of Lorain County: August 6, 2018 Release Date!

On August 6, 2018, History Press released Hidden History of Lorain County. Here is an overview that appeared in the Chronicle Telegram. Scroll to the bottom of this post for ordering information!

Now I’ll share a snippet from the very beginning of the book.


 “it is scarcely more than a hundred years since the first white settlers came within its borders. It is difficult for the present generation to imagine the conditions which surrounded the first settlers. Then a dense, almost impenetrable forest of trees of immense size covered every acre of this territory. The heroism of the families who plodded their way thither from New England, some on foot, some on horseback, and others in slowly moving carts, occupying more days in the journey than it takes hours now, is worthy of all praise. The rapid clearing of homesteads, and establishment of educational and religious institutions, scarcely find a parallel anywhere else in history.” (A Standard History of Lorain County, Ohio: An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with Particular Attention to the Modern Era in the Commercial, Industrial, Civil and Social Development. A Chronicle of the People, with Family Lineage and Memoirs, edited by Frederick Wright, 1916)

Settling of Lorain County

Hidden History of Lorain County: Lorain County map

The men, women and children who left New England behind to settle what is now Lorain County needed to say good-bye to friends and family, and to their beloved communities, often for the very last time. They left behind all that was familiar, all that was comfortable, to take enormous risks and make enormous sacrifices. They traveled through dangerous woods, sometimes on foot, carrying with them what they needed to live. They were tough, smart and resourceful. They were survivors who didn’t give up, even when the odds were stacked against them, people who were willing to risk it all to make a new life for themselves and their families.

The fertile land that was their destination had been fiercely in demand by multiple nations and tribes in the decades leading up to the Revolutionary War. The French had claimed the land because they’d explored it and to some degree occupied it, but that claim discounted the fact that Native Americans had long lived in this land that was blessed with rich soil, lakes and rivers teeming with fish, skies containing countless species of birds, and forests full of wildlife. And, when England collaborated with the Six Nations, Native Americans otherwise known as the Iroquois Confederacy, France could no longer maintain its claim of ownership.

Then, in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, England found itself challenged by British settlers who wanted the American colonies to become an independent nation, a challenge that was ultimately successful.

Overview of Hidden History of Lorain County

Chapters are as follows:

  1. Forgotten Founders and Leaders: Northern Lorain County
  2. Forgotten Founders and Leaders: Southern Lorain County
  3. Lorain County Cemeteries
  4. Underground Railroad and Civil War History
  5. County Monuments, Markers and Plaques
  6. Literary Lorain
  7. Little-Known Oberlin History

And, in case you like to read cover blurbs to decide if a book is right for you, here you go!

Early pioneers braved countless dangers to start anew in what is now Lorain County. Some of their stories faded from memory along the way, waiting to be rediscovered. Uncover the origins of the Felons’ Feast held by abolitionists in 1859. Celebrate the true story of Major League Baseball’s first black player, Moses Fleetwood Walker, who played for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883. Learn about the great scientific discovery made in Oberlin by Charles Martin Hall in 1886, as well as how one of Elyria’s forefathers rose to become chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Discover how the Easter Seals, officially named in 1967, began with a sixty-year-old streetcar accident. Author Kelly Boyer Sagert shines a light on fascinating lives and the county they shaped.

Many thanks for numerous local people and organizations who have allowed us to use their photographs. A special thanks goes to Tracy Boyer Isenberg for her two days’ worth of photography work.  Here’s just one example of her photography:

local history book: Eric Barnes Memorial

Where You Can Buy Hidden History of Lorain County

In Lorain County, you can purchase the book from the Lorain Historical Society at 329 W. 10th Street in Lorain and at Mindfair Books in Ben Franklin in Oberlin, Ohio (13 West College Street).

You can order Hidden History of Lorain County at Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or Target.com.

Or you can order directly from me by sending a check of $28.00 to Kelly Boyer Sagert, PO Box 3345, Lorain, Ohio 44052 or sending that sum through PayPal at kbsagert@aol.com. This amount includes tax and shipping. If you’d like it autographed, know that the Lorain Historical Society has autographed copies, or you can request specific text if you order from me. As I know more locations, I’ll add them. Thank you for your support!

Nonfiction Writing Advice, Writer's Conferences

Value of Attending Christian Writers Conferences

Like most things in life, there is a fine line between not networking enough as a writer – and focusing on networking at the expense of your actual writing time. If you find yourself spending too much energy on networking, it’s probably time for you to be honest with yourself. Do you really want to write – or do you simply enjoy socializing with writers and other Christians? Neither answer is “wrong.” A candid self-assessment, though, will most likely save you a lot of frustration — and this process will help you to determine what value there will be for you in attending Christian writers conferences.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Ethics in Writing

“If the best journalists in the world lack credibility then they are nothing. All we have is our credibility. We aren’t granted ‘journalist’ status by earning a certain college degree or being issued a government license. We earn it by reporting responsibly.” (Society of Professional Journalists President David Cuillier discussing ethics in writing, April 2014 issue of Quill)

Maybe you consider yourself a journalist – or a blogger or a magazine writer. No matter how you self label, when you write nonfiction, it’s crucial to report responsibly and to navigate ethical tightropes as carefully as possible.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Right-Size Your Early Publishing Strategy and Expectations

I’ve taught online writing classes for the company that publishes Writer’s Digest for 18 years now and at writer’s conferences for more than 20 years. If I were to choose the challenge that seems to derail the biggest number of talented writers with potential to be published in magazines, I’d say this: they tend to focus their early efforts on super-sized magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Entrepreneur and Parenting. But, is that really the best publishing strategy?

Nonfiction Writing Advice

How to Curate Content for Your Blog

A curated blog post contains information of interest to a particular audience from multiple sources. For example, the post might contain information about 2018 kitchen decorating trends from five different websites. When done poorly, the curated post doesn’t add any new layers of value to the information and/or what’s chosen to be included is of lesser quality. Here’s more about how to curate content for your blog.

Content creation, Nonfiction News

What is Content Creation?

what is content creation

As a freelance content developer, I create content for a wide variety of businesses, both B2B and B2C, on a fulltime basis. These have ranged from small mom and pop shops to a Fortune 500 company. I am HubSpot Certified for Inbound Marketing and a member of the prestigious, member-vetted American Society of Journalists and Authors. I am a lifelong learner with a passion for research and writing, and I love it when a piece of content works well for a client. Here are answers to FAQs.



Spiritual Writing

Power of a Purple Proclamation

When I was in elementary school, I desperately wanted to wear purple. But, my favorite color was my mother’s least favorite, so it was an uphill battle. Here is a proclamation that one of my mother’s dearest friends wrote in my support! When you look at the picture, imagine a royal purple border, one that has now faded to a muddy lavender at best. Then read the words, recreated below.

SEO for writers

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Writers

search optimization tips for writers

Search engine optimization (SEO): the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. (Oxford Dictionary)

I am frequently asked to provide foundation-level search engine optimization tips for writers groups, and here is the handout that I used at a workshop in March 2016.

So, you’ve got your blog set up – or your website – and now you’re waiting for traffic to come pouring in. But, it doesn’t. Or, if it does, the site visitors aren’t the type of demographic that’s interested in what you have to say or sell. What went wrong? The reality is that the Internet is loaded with content, and it takes time, effort and skill to become more visible in search engine results when people search on relevant topics – and the best way to make that happen is through the appropriate use of SEO.