Keynote Speaker

Meg Gardiner.jpg

Meg Gardiner

Edgar-winning novelist Meg Gardiner writes thrillers. Fast-paced and full of twists, her books have been called “Hitchcockian” (USA Today) and “nail-biting and moving” (Guardian). They have been bestsellers in the U.S. and internationally and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Into the Black Nowhere, her current title, is the second novel in the UNSUB series, featuring rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix. The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls it “thrilling and un-put-downable.” Stephen King says, “Into the Black Nowhere. Excellent. You know the drill, bookstore near you. Buy now, thank me later.” The first novel in the series, UNSUB, is nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller, and has been optioned by CBS.

Meg was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School. She practiced law in Los Angeles and taught in the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Later she moved with her husband and three young children to London, where her first novel was published.

Beyond writing, Meg is a three-time Jeopardy! champion and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She lives in Austin, Texas.




Angela Christina Archer

Angela Christina Archer is an author of Sweet and Spicy Romances from Yesteryear. Her titles range in different historical time periods, including the Civil War, the Klondike and Nevada Gold Rushes, the Great Depression, and the Salem Witch Trials. For more information visit her website at

Growing up in Nevada, reading was always a pastime that took second place to trail riding and showing horses. When she did find the time to curl up with a book, she found enjoyment in the Saddle Club Series, the Sweet Valley High series, and the classics of Anne of Green Gables, The Box Car Children, and Little House on the Prairie. Although, writing always piqued her curiosity, it wasn’t until September 2009 that she worked up the courage to put her passion to paper and started her debut novel. With a love of history, the genre picked her, she didn't pick the genre.

When she’s not writing, Angela spends her days as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. She lives on a small farm in Newcastle, Oklahoma with her husband and their two daughters. Her hobbies include gardening, taking care of her many farm animals, and baking and cooking from scratch. While she doesn't show horses anymore, she still loves to trail ride with her daughters.

Life certainly is hectic, at times, but she wouldn't have it any other way.


Elements and Rules of Writing Historical Novels

Historical novels draw readers into another time and era. A time in history when people lived without electricity, fought in wars for their country, panned for gold, lived among Dukes and Duchesses, battled rival clans in the Highlands, or explored a new frontier either on foot or by Viking long ships. In this discussion we will dig into the elements and rules for writing in the Historical genre.

The Best of Both Worlds: Being a Hybrid Author

Are you a traditional published author who is interested in self-publishing? Or are you a self-published author interested in traditional publishing? Explore the pros and cons to both and what it means to be a Hybrid Author.

Robin Patchen

Robin Patchen

Robin Patchen is one of the authors of 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing, an in-depth guide to self-editing. She is a multi-published award winning author and freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction who was nominated to be ACFW's 2018's Editor of the Year. As a general editor with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina's Smitten line and a freelance copyeditor for Serenade Press, she has the privilege of working with exceptionally talented romance and historical romance authors. Patchen loves mentoring new authors and helping established authors polish their books. She enjoys reading and editing almost every clean YA and adult genre.

For more information about Robin Patchen, visit her website at


Small Edits, Big Impact: Literary Devices and Simple Tricks to Improve your Prose

Has your critique partner ever "fixed" a great piece of your writing because it wasn’t grammatically perfect? Maybe you were using a rhetorical device and didn’t even know it. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use rhetorical devices—which often don’t follow rules—and other simple tricks to improve the emotional impact of your stories. Because great prose transcends voice and genre, examples of the different devices will be taken from speeches, literature, and movies to illustrate how they can be used in all kinds of writing.

Writing when Life Gets in the Way 

Do you often set your writing aside to make room for urgent projects? Do you find it difficult to write when life has been physically challenging or emotionally draining? Learn to meet your writing deadlines—external and self-imposed—despite the distractions, difficulties, and dramas that come your way.