Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and far too many pets.

Kelley Armstrong has been a #1 New York Times, #1 Globe & Mail (Canada), USA Today, and Sunday Times (UK) Best-Selling Author.

Featured 2016 Releases

Betrayals – Cainsville Book 4

Someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium.

City of the Lost – First in a new mystery series

Imagine a secret town, isolated in the Yukon wilderness, deliberately cut off from the world, where everyone is pretending to be someone they're not. Even good people can get up to some very bad stuff.


Ben Montgomery

Ben Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website

Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Arkansas, the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006.

In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail and The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.


Go Long

Ten secrets to reporting, pitching and writing nonfiction books. Ben Montgomery, author of "The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II" and the NYT bestselling "Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman who Saved the Appalachian Trail," relays the lessons learned from the process of making a book, from idea to publication.

Thursday Pre-Con Workshop – Dirty Little Narrative

How to make your true short stories for magazines and newspapers sing. Ben Montgomery, a prize-winning enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, shares tips on how to report for narrative and breath life into your words.


Cara Brookins

Cara Brookins is an author and motivational speaker. In addition to her memoir Rise, How a House Built a Family, she has seven published fiction novels including young adult, middle grade, and adult. Her #RaiseMyRoof lectures motivate audiences around the country to build a new life and a new perception of self. A large social media presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook connect her to millions every month.



Cara and her kids left a domestic violence situation and built a 3500 square foot house from the ground up with their own hands in order to rebuild their family and build empowered selves. Now she’ll help raise the roof off your goals by insisting you take huge steps. The only way to build a bigger future is to shock yourself and everyone around you into a bigger vision of self.

Writing In Multiple Genres Without Killing Your Career

Anyone can write all over the map, but selling across multiple genres is a challenge. If you have a vast array of books or are thinking about genre leaping, here's how you can make it work.


Sam Morgan

Sam is the Right Hand of Darkness at Foundry Literary + Media. He is a native of Shelby, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Communications--Media Studies and Production. Before becoming an agent in late 2012, Sam worked throughout New York City as a television critic, pizza guy, and several other glamorous positions. He's an active nerd across all media from British television (Doctor Who and Black Mirror), to video games (Injustice and Nintendo), to science fiction and fantasy novels (Pratchett, Adams, Gaiman), to college basketball (Go Heels, Go America). Sam is also active in the New York comedy scene at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater and making his own little rinky-dink videos in his spare time. He is ridiculously handsome, gut-busting witty, and prone to hyperbole.

For the time being, he is open for queries.

Also, he has a beard now. He feels this is important to know.


Publishing Math

Publishers have some of the funkiest accounting math in any industry. Between royalties and reserves, advances and earning out, it's sometimes difficult to see just how much money a book can make. This talk will help demystify some of the math involved and show you how you don't necessarily have to earn out in order to make money (for your publisher).

Tales from the Slush Pile

Sending a query letter can often feel like pouring your heart and soul onto the page, flinging it off an ocean cliff, and hoping it blows back with an offer of representation. What can you do to help you stand out? What are some absolutely dealbreakers that will send agents reaching for the delete key? This session will discuss how to present yourself in the best light and some humorous examples of when querying authors went a little... too far.

Bess Cozby

Bess Cozby is an Editor at Tor/Forge books, where she is actively building her list with a focus on historical fiction for adult, young adult and middle grade audiences. On the adult side, Bess is also seeking suspense and women’s fiction with a literary feel. For YA and MG, she also would love to find fun, fast, or nail-biting thrillers and contemporary novels with a high-concept hook. A few things she is particularly interested in: fame and its effects on people, sibling dynamics, American history, and philosophy. An element of romance is always a plus. The intersection of commercial, heart-warming, and surprising is where she is building her list.


The Revision Process: From First Draft to Final Book

A book can change drastically between writing the first, fresh lines to holding the final version in your hands. As both an editor and a writer, Bess Cozby is acquainted with every step of the revision process. In this talk, she'll discuss the basics of revising on your own, with critique partners, an agent and, finally, editor, with a focus on making your book the strongest it can be, and building powerful relationships along the way.

Ann Leslie Tuttle

Ann Leslie Tuttle is a Senior Editor at Harlequin Books with over 17 years' experience in acquiring, editing, and publishing women's fiction and romance. New York Times best-selling authors she has worked with include Sylvia Day, Julia London, and Megan Hart. Most recently she has solicited, edited, and worked on packaging digital content in the areas of New Adult, contemporary, and paranormal romance for Harlequin E and Harlequin's joint partnership with the Hearst Corporation. She has managed several category romance lines. It's always been her dream to work in publishing, and she especially loves that moment when she's discovered a writer with an amazing voice or a great story and is able to work with that author to share her work with readers.


The Inside Scoop on Publishing with Harlequin

With 1300 authors across the globe, and more than 85 titles each month in 93 international markets and 32 languages, Harlequin has more opportunities for authors than ever before.  Learn all about these opportunities from senior editor Ann Leslie Tuttle. Hear all about  Harlequin’s many imprints, learn the differences between its many romance lines, and get practical tips on how to determine where your writing fits— and what you need to do to get your manuscript noticed.

Friday Box Luncheon  Casual Q&A with Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle

Are you considering traditional publishing? Do you wonder if editors contracted with publishers take on side work for indie authors? Do you want a chance to ask any questions you might not get to during your pitch session with Ann Leslie Tuttle? Well then, join us for a casual Q & A box lunch for a chance to ask all your questions.


Rhonda Penders & Ally Robertson

The Wild Rose Press opened in May 2006 as a romance only small press and epublishing company. Today the company is home to over 2700 active titles and has expanded beyond romance. Currently, TWRP accepts mainstream fiction including women’s fiction, historical fiction, murder/mystery/thrillers and erotica. The company publishes in both electronic and print. They accept short stories and full length novels. 

TWRP believes that publishing is a team effort between editor, author, and publisher. Rhonda Penders holds tight to that mission statement. She spends part of every day making sure her authors or "roses" as they are called are happy and well cared for. 

Penders writing background includes everything from small town newspaper reporting to writing confessionals. She has several full length novels and short stories published under the pen name Roni Adams. She is also one of the authors in Chicken Soup for the Soul; Alzheimer’s Edition. Penders lives in Upstate New York with her husband of 30 years. They are the parents to three grown sons and are trying to adjust to the dreaded empty nest.

Ally Robertson is Editor of The Wild Rose Press's Crimson Line, which houses the romantic suspense, Mystery/Suspense, and Thriller genres.


The Business of Writing with Rhonda Penders

You signed a publishing contract and started a business.  Do you know all you need to know about the business of writing?  What receipts to save?  What can you deduct?  What records should you keep?  Join me as we explore all you need to know about the business side of writing.

Plotting Your Way to a Solid Outline with Ally Robertson

Editor/Author Ally Robertson aka Alicia Dean, will take you through simple steps that will help pinpoint the crucial elements of your plot in order to create an outline that will help keep you on track and make the writing of your novel or short story go more smoothly. Even Pantsers can benefit from this workshop. Knowing the turning points and obstacles your characters will face are beneficial, even if you don't know exactly how they will get there.


Lauren Spieller

Literary Agent Lauren Spieller comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye, and is passionate about author advocacy. In Middle Grade, she’s drawn to heartfelt contemporaries, contemporary fantasy and magical realism, and exciting adventures. In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres. She is especially fond of fantasy, magical realism, and space operas; contemporary stories with a hook; and anything with a feminist bent. In Adult, Lauren is seeking female-driven psychological thrillers, immersive literary fantasies, upmarket general fiction, and unique non-fiction with an existing platform. For more information on how to query, please visit


Querying Agents

Writing a successful query is notoriously hard. From summarizing an entire book to standing out in a sea of submissions—sometimes it can seem like the odds are stacked against you! Join Assistant Literary Agent Lauren Spieller for tips on how to write a clear, concise novel summary, as well as hints on how to stand out in a crowd and get requests.


Hannah Fergesen

Hannah joined KT Literary as a New York-based agent in 2016, after stints as a bookseller at the famous Books of Wonder in Manhattan, a literary assistant at Trident Media Group, and a freelance editor working with well-known authors. Thanks to her degree in Writing for Film and Television, she is attracted to stories with strong visuals and sharp dialogue, whether presented in edgy speculative or contemporary YA and MG fiction, or dark and lyrical speculative adult fiction.



Stakes are something that can make or break a book, and therefore, a query. One of the most frustrating things for a writer is writing an entire book, and only realizing once he has begun writing his query letter that his stakes aren't working. So how do we make sure our stakes work at the core of the book, and then translate that to a query when the book is ready to be seen?


Jason Hough

Jason M. Hough (pronounced "Huff") is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dire Earth Cycle and the near-future spy thriller Zero World. In a former life he was a 3D artist, animator, and game designer (Metal Fatigue, Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction, and many others). He has worked in the fields of high-performance cluster computing and machine learning and holds a patented invention related to location-based content licensing. He also stars in the 1.5-hour YouTube tutorial "Scrivener Bootcamp"!


Scrivener Bootcamp

If you've been thinking about trying Scrivener but are daunted by its vast feature set and very non-Word way of doing things, this session is for you!

New York Times bestseller Jason M. Hough has written six published novels with Scrivener. This session will include an introduction to this software's most useful features, and include many tips and tricks Jason has figured out along his journey. The goal is to get you comfortable with the "scrivener mindset," ready to tackle your next project with this amazing writing tool.

Pre-requisites: None! You may wish to optionally bring your own laptop with Scrivener installed and follow along yourself, but it is not required.

Writing Kick-Ass Action Scenes

New York Times bestseller Jason M. Hough is known for his exhilarating action sequences.  This session will take the participants through numerous examples of action scenes, both good and bad, analyzing what works and what doesn't.

Jason will also take an action scene that is merely okay, review it, and then revise it into something that will leave readers breathless.

Participants are encouraged to bring a short action scene they've written, which you can revise during the class or at least jot notes of applicable ideas. These will not be read aloud or critiqued during this session, however one may be selected if there is a volunteer and time permits.


Amy Collins

Amy Collins packs every speech with tons of industry tips and executable advice. She has been a book buyer for a chain of bookstores as well as a Sales Director for a large books and magazine publisher. In 2006 Amy started New Shelves Books, one of the fastest growing book distribution, sales, and marketing companies in North America.


How to Get Noticed on Amazon

Amazon now offers an array of marketing options. Expensive, not-so-expensive, and free. Which ones work? Which ones don’t?  Amy Collins has spent the last year trying every option available on Amazon. She has spent her money and tested each and every marketing idea out there and is going to share her experiences and results. New review and display options are now available to authors and small presses. Do you know what they are and how to use them to increase your sales?

You will learn:

  • What works for fiction and what works better for non-fiction
  • The newest “rules” for getting reviews
  • How to optimize your searchability on Amazon
  • How to increase your sales using time instead of money

How to Get Your Books into Bookstores (Chain and Independent)

Want to learn how to get your books into more bookstores? Amy Collins will spend 30 minutes outlining the exact process that will yield the most success.

She will cover:

  • What book buyers are looking for
  • What materials you will need to present
  • How to present your request that they stock your book
  • How to follow up and increase your sales
  • The terms and vocabulary that you will need to converse easily with buyers

There are simple (yet constantly changing) rules to book sales that every author and publisher should learn and follow.  Learning the rules and how to play the game will go a long way in helping you win your way to strong sales of your book in a market that seems to want to keep you off of the playing field altogether!  After the tutorial, Amy will choose 3 audience members to present their books and she will coach and help shape the pitch so that by the time the presentation is finished, everyone will know exactly how to shape and present the message to the buyers that will maximize their chances of a sale into the bookstore market.


Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is an author, singer-songwriter, photographer, and award-winning poet who recently served as the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma for 2013 and 2014. Though he lives now in Wimberley, Texas, with his wife Ashley, he has always considered Oklahoma his home. Nathan taught at the University of Oklahoma for many years but now travels widely, offering readings, house concerts, creativity workshops, and musical performances in an effort to bring back the hint of a smile and the hope for a good story in poems...poems unafraid of making sense...poems that carry us to better places.


The Art of Poetry

This workshop walks a poem, or poems, through the full process of creation. . . from topic generation to the application of serious editing tools, and then on to completion. We'll also concentrate on the nature and importance of performing our poems, as well as certain issues of publication.

The Art of Songwriting

This workshop takes apart the inner workings of song concepts and structures so we can better learn how to piece them together. We'll also cover the nature and importance of performing songs, as well as the basic principles of being behind the microphone...and in front of an audience.

Joan Stewart

Publicity Expert Joan Stewart works with small business owners, nonprofits, and organizations that need to use free publicity in traditional and social media to establish their credibility, enhance their reputation, position themselves as experts, sell more products and services, and promote a favorite cause or issue--even without a publicist.


How to Use Email to Create SuperFans Who Help You Sell Books

There's gold in an email list. Yet 9 out of 10 authors don't have an email management program that lets them stay in touch with their followers on a regular basis. Publicity expert Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, will explain how to use email to build valuable relationships with readers who can become loyal SuperFans and buy everything you offer.

How to Become an Expert in Your Topic and Promote Your Expertise (Even if You Write Fiction)

Authors write books. But authors who are subject matter experts also get paid speaking engagements, media interviews, and invitations to appear on other people's blogs and podcasts. Expertise isn't only about what you know. It's also about what you do. Publicity expert Joan Stewart will show you how to create expertise from scratch, build on it and promote it.

How to Generate Fun Ideas for Book Publicity

Checklists. Controversy. Celebrities.  Cheat Sheets. Quizzes. Your own holiday. They're all powerful ways to generate publicity for your fiction or nonfiction—12 months a year. Publicity expert Joan Stewart will show you how to brainstorm publicity ideas for your book launch, or revive a dying book marketing campaign. You'll learn about a few fun, free tools that will make the job easier.


Judith Briles

Judith Briles, DBA, MBA, is a recognized authority in workplace issues and personal and professional development and is a master book shepherd. Her 30 books include Show Me About Book Publishing and The Tango of Authoring and Publishing. Author YOU: Creating and Building the Author and Book Platforms is her latest book. Judith knows the publishing and speaking worlds. To many, she's known as the Book Shepherd. Her books have sold in excess of one million copies, sold multiple foreign rights to 16 countries, and are multi-book award winners. Judith is the CEO of Mile High Press, has been featured on over 1000 TV and radio shows--from Oprah to CNN--and in print media--from The Wall Street Journal to the National Enquirer. She is a columnist for several publications including the Denver Business Journal and is a sought after speaker for conferences and associations. She is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Author U, a membership organization for authors who desire to be seriously successful. Her websites are,, and

Dr. Judith Briles is an innovative and creative guide who will assist you with your book and publishing project. She has mentored up and coming authors and publishers for years and dedicated hundreds of hours to educating others to the pitfalls, and joys, of the publishing world.

Signup to discuss your book with The Book Shepherd for a FREE 20 minute session by emailing Conference Coordinator, Sabrina Fish. (Will accept signups until all available time slots are filled.)


If Publishing Is in Your Midst … Which Option is for YOU and YOUR Book?

Amazon changed the publishing field—a great thing for so many newbie authors who didn’t think a New York publisher or an agent would ever give them a moment’s notice…and it’s also not so good a thing.

Does it make sense to seek a traditional publishing contract?
What are the differences between traditional, self, independent, paid-to-publishing, hybrid and vanity publishing?

This in-depth Master Workshop will identify a variety of options for today’s author.

Publishing continues to morph …

Do you know what your options are?
Have you created your Author’s Platform?
What about a Book Platform?
Do you know how to avoid the publishing predators?
Do you know who they are?
Do you know the dollars and sense of publishing?
Do you know that a book, the right book, can accelerate your career and skyrocket revenues?
Do you know which publishing option is the right fit for you and your book?

How to Avoid Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers and Boo-Boos

Whether you are just beginning the author journey or think you are an old pro, the publishing maze has a few tricks up its sleeve. Contracts can snarl you, marketing can swamp you, and social media can suck your energy. No wonder authors become comatose—no longer, after this highly interactive, fun and “aha” session.

Identify the top blunders even experienced authors repeat.
Tips on unraveling contracts that have not delivered.
How to find help without going broke.
Insider aha’s on the essentials every book should have … and most don’t.
How to prevent your book from “looking” self-published


Dr. Marty Ludlum

Dr. Ludlum is a Professor of Legal Studies at UCO and concentrates on international business transactions. He also leads study tours to England and Ireland. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family and is an award winning magician. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Economics, an M.A. in Communication, and a Juris Doctor, all from the University of Oklahoma.


Should I Incorporate my Writing Business?

Writing is a Business – Set it up right! This session will discuss starting a writing business as a sole proprietor, partnership, and a corporation. Each business form has advantages and disadvantages. No one option is best for everyone. The presentation is by a seasoned (code for “old”) Oklahoma attorney Marty Ludlum, who is also a Professor at UCO in Edmond. The presentation is interactive, not a sermon or a lecture. Just practical advice from a lawyer and would-be novelist.

Legal Issues for Writers

Can I use real people/real places in my fictional novel? Should I? How can I use real people/places without legal liability? Can I use a pen name? Does the pen name protect me?

Finally, this session will discuss everyone’s worst fear: "I just got legal papers in the mail. Now what?" The presentation is by a seasoned (code for "old") Oklahoma attorney Marty Ludlum, who is also a Professor at UCO in Edmond. The presentation is interactive, not a sermon or a lecture.  Just practical advice from a lawyer and would-be novelist.


Jennifer McMurrain

Having a great deal of wanderlust, Jennifer McMurrain traveled the countryside working odd jobs before giving into her muse and becoming a full-time writer. She's been everything from a "Potty Princess" in the wilds of Yellowstone National Park to a Bear Researcher in the mountains of New Mexico. After finally settling down, she received a Bachelor's degree in Applied Arts and Sciences from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. She has won numerous awards for her short stories and novels. She lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with her husband, daughter, two spoiled cats, and two goofy dogs.


Indie Strong

We're in the middle of a revolution in the world of publication. More and more authors are taking matters into their own hands and publishing independently. Before you take that step into the world of Indie learn the steps you need to take in order to not only produce a professional looking product, but to sell books.

Contest Junkie

A self professed contest junkie, Jennifer will show you what you need to do to make writing for contests work for you. From researching which contests to enter, the perks of entering contests, and knowing which contests to stay away from. If you're interested in becoming a contest junkie, this workshop is for you.


Heather Davis

Heather is a momma, a writer, a blogger, a humorist, and has a finely tuned ability to share every last detail of her life with anyone who will read or listen. Her books are TMI Mom books: Oversharing My Life, Getting Lucky, Crazy on Board, and Girlfriend Rules. Her fifth book Life With Extra Cheese, was just released to rave reviews. She's even been known to jet off to NYC to appear on national talk shows. She lives in Bartlesville with her husband Brian and her daughters.


"Writing For The Love" (Inspirational Writing)

We've all read those pieces that, when finished, cause us to inhale deeply and smile, feeling inspired by the words or the story or the personal anecdote. How do we write so that others are similarly inspired? This workshop examines the various ways and styles writers can employ to not only inspire their readers, but to inspire themselves as well.
"Once Upon A Time There Was Me" (Writing Your Life’s story)

Memoirs and personal anecdotes are a quick-growing genre whose readers defy classification. Good news for all writers is this: You have a personal story to tell about your life—and your readers are waiting to read it. Come to this session to find out the best way to tell your own life's story. Leave this session inspired to start your memoirs and anecdotes immediately.


  • Writing For The Love (PowerPoint presentation)
  • Once Upon A Time There Was Me (PowerPoint presentation)

Sonia Gensler

Sonia Gensler is the award-winning author of Ghostlight, The Dark Between, and The Revenant, all from Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Kids. Weird and dreamy from birth, Sonia grew up in a small Tennessee town and ran with a dangerous pack of band and drama geeks. As an adult she experimented with a variety of impractical professions—museum interpreter, historic home director, bookseller, and perpetual graduate student—before finally deciding to share her passion for stories through teaching. Sonia taught literature and writing to young adults for ten years and still thinks fondly of her days in the classroom. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and cat.


Writing Horror with Heart

The best horror stories offer more than shock and gore—they also feature vividly drawn characters who rise above their fears and flaws to defeat the antagonist. This presentation reviews the characteristics of classic horror and offers tips on creating characters and conflicts that engage readers on an emotional level.

Saturday Box Luncheon Honing Your Writing Process to a T(ea)

Sonia Gensler, published author and tea enthusiast, will share the evolution of her writing process during Saturday’s “High Tea” luncheon. With honest discussion of what worked and what didn’t, Sonia (a self-acknowledged process junkie) will review the strategies she’s used for research, character development, story planning, and revision. Planners and “pantsers” alike will come away from this session with an arsenal of tactics for avoiding and/or breaking through writer’s block.


Ruth Weeks

Ruth Burkett Weeks is not only a professional tarot card reader and public speaker but an award winning author as well with numerous contest wins and short stories. Her first book, Soldiers From the Mist, was voted 2012 Ozark Writers League Book of Year. Her third book, Daughter of the Howling Moon, won 2015 OWFI Best Fiction Book.  She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Cat Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Ozark Writers League, and OWFI. Ruth has also served as a contest judge and on the board of directors for the Ozark Writers League in Branson, MO. Her forth book, The Adventures of Dixie Dandelion, will be released November 2016.  Ruth resides in Springdale, Arkansas and is currently working on her fifth book, The Night of the Fire Moon, a sequel to Daughter.


The Stage and the Page

This session promises to be fun and unique! Join Ruth Weeks as she demonstrates creative methods of discovering the essence of your characters, including the use of method acting. Come prepared to play, discover and overcome writer's block!

Things that Go Bump in the Night

If you write paranormal, or if you've ever thought about writing paranormal, this is the workshop for you. Author, Tarot Card reader and Ghost Whisperer, Ruth Weeks will discuss the genre and how to keep your readers turning page after chilling page.

David Christopher

David Christopher is a former journalist who has written for The Times, The Financial Times, and Press Gazette, had a dozen short stories published and two plays produced.  When he's not writing, or taking care of his kids, he's the Director of Marketing and Growth at Tailwind, a social media marketing tool.  He is the co-founder of BigWing Interactive, Oklahoma's largest digital marketing agency, and the founder of Confluence conference, Oklahoma's largest digital marketing conference.


Building a Marketing Platform for your Writing

Your ability to market yourself and your work could be the difference between a successful book launch and a failed one. In this session you will learn how to differentiate yourself and your work in a crowded marketplace, how to identify your audience and hone in on them, how to capture their attention (and their email addresses), provide them with content that will make them hungry for more, and ultimately get them to not just buy your work, but to help you promote it.

Write More, Write Better

Only by devoting tens of thousands of hours to your craft can you possibly hope to master it.  In this session you will learn how to develop the willpower needed to write every single day and turn writing into a keystone habit that will help you be more self-disciplined in all areas of your life.  You'll learn tactics, tools, philosophies, lifehacks and technology-enabled efficiencies that anyone can put into practice right away to increase their output and grow more rapidly as a writer, and as a person.


Lance Hawvermale

Lance Hawvermale is the author of five novels, most recently the 2016 thriller Face Blind, from St. Martin’s Press.  An OWFI veteran, he has won over 25 conference awards.  His poetry has been published in Mid-America Review, ByLine, and The Same.  He holds a master’s degree in English and has worked as a college professor, an editor, and a youth counselor.  An alumnus of the AmeriCorps program, Lance performed his service on the Otoe-Missouria tribal lands in Red Rock, Oklahoma.  He is represented by the Jonah Straus Literary Agency of New York.


Poetry for Daredevils

Poetry is more than metaphor and well-timed line breaks.  That poem is you, exploding all over the page. For those not afraid of heartache, black nights, and keyboards as warm as the tips of your fingers, join us as we talk about constructing a poem for maximum impact.

Learn how to target your poems for contests and publication.  Most of all, learn how to dive off the cliff and—as Bradbury said—build your wings on the way down.

Getting Published . . . the Hard Way

A writer’s journey is a road fraught with detours, rockfalls, and the occasional highway robber.  Your goal is to get published, but that seems like a faraway dream.  And the path behind you is piled with rejection letters, blocking your way home.  How do you go forward when all signs point toward defeat? Inspiration can be found even in rejection.  Learn how to translate your own heroic journey into publishing success.


Tamara Grantham

Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in Indiefab’s Book of the Year Awards, a Rone award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at


Amy Shojai

Amy Shojai has been reinventing herself for years. She’s a certified animal behavior consultant for cats and dogs, and the award-winning author of 30 best selling pet books and pet-centric thrillers with bite! Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101. She’s been a consultant to the pet products industry and a host/program consultant for select “furry” TV projects.

Amy blogs professionally at Bling, Bitches & Blood—a monetized platform she describes as a virtual water cooler for all-things-pets, bloody-good writing tips, and some serious sparkle-icity. Amy is also a musician, actor and produced playwright (Shojai & Steele Plays) and frequently teaches acting and playwrighting topics with her business partner Frank Steele. Find out more at


Blog-icity: Why Most Blogs Suck & How to Make It Work

You got a book contract—congrats!—but your editor says you need a blog. How do you start? What should you blog? Why blog at all? A well planned and executed blog can build audience, create content for future books, even get you a book contract, and enhance author credibility. This session answers your must-know questions, and points out some of the common reasons blogs fail, and why every writer (both nonfiction and fiction) should consider blogging. We'll discuss blog platforms, choosing content, scheduling effectively, monetizing your blog, copyright and FTC disclosure issues and more in this fun PowerPoint presentation.

Scripting Nekkid: The Playwright's Life

Learn what's involved in writing plays, and how to take a script from concept to production. Find out the nuts and bolts about what works, the challenges involved, and personal experience examples (the good, the bizarre and the awesome). Topics covered include play format, path to production, how to include music (or not), copyright issues, and how to collaborate (without killing each other!). This PowerPoint presentation includes examples from Shojai & Steele Plays productions, and more.