All workshops and events will take place at the conference hotel, the Wyndham Irvine, located at 17941 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614. Workshops summaries can be found on the Workshops and Events page, and within the working Schedule (when it becomes available).
Staffers conducting optional Advance Submission Critique, followed by one-on-one consultation, are indicated beneath their respective bio. Advance submissions must be received by no later than August 31, 2018.
Special Guest Speakers
DEMETRA BRODSKY is author Dive Smack (Tor Teen), a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection. Gretchen McNeil (Ten) calls it, “A tense psychological drama with a voice that pulls you in and a twist you won’t see coming.” Publishers Weekly declares, “Strong characters and a compelling mystery make this a real page-turner.” And Booklist raves, “Brodsky’s debut combines an engaging school story, filled with best friend shenanigans, first love, and a fascinating look at competitive diving, with a tense psychological mystery.” An award-winning graphic designer & art director, Demetra has a B.F.A. from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design was Director of Exhibits and Creative Services for The Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York, before becoming a writer.
SARA GRAN is author of The Infinite Blacktop (Atria Books), the third noir thriller featuring her self-proclaimed “world’s greatest detective,” Claire DeWitt. “The most interesting private eye I’ve encountered since Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander… Gran presents an unflinching, heartfelt portrait of the way many women of her generation have lived their lives: speeding down the fast lane…” writes the Washington Post. Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls) describes the series as “cryptic, dreamy, funny and gritty as hell … an unreliable detective unlike any other.” Claire DeWitt and The City of the Dead and Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway preceded. Sara’s other books include Saturn’s Return to New York, Come Closer, and Dope. Her work has been published in over a dozen countries and languages, and been optioned for film by Miramax, Dimension, and Paramount.
HENRY LIEN is author of Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword (Henry Holt and Co.) “It’s Hermione Granger meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets the Ice Capades meets Mean Girls,” expounds The New York Times. The first in a series, Publishers Weekly calls the debut novel, “Massively entertaining,” in a starred review. And Mike Jung (Unidentified Suburban Object) declares it, “Thrilling, beautiful, fierce, and like nothing I’ve ever read before.” Henry’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s, Analog, the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, earning several Nebula Award nominations, and in a previous life was an attorney, a fine art dealer and college instructor.
AMY MEYERSON is author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays (HarperCollins’ Park Row Books). Of it Publishers Weekly effuses, “In her heartfelt debut, Meyerson brings readers on a scavenger hunt full of literary clues and family secrets… Filled with quotes from and allusions to The Tempest, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Jane Eyre, Meyerson’s evocative novel is a fun homage to book lovers and the eclectic spirit of L.A.” And Kirkus lauds, “A lovely look at loss, family, and the comfort found in a good bookstore.” Amy’s short work has been published in Reed Magazine, The Manhattanville Review, The Bloomsbury Review, The Fanzine and Obit Magazine, and was a finalist in Open City’s RRofihe Trophy Short Story Contest and in Summer Literary Seminars’s Unified Literary Contest. She also teaches at the University of Southern California..
Authors & Industry Experts
AS OF 8/8/18
WES ALBERS is Director of the Southern California Writers’ Conference. For more than a decade he has helped to facilitate over $4 million worth of first time book and movie deals for emerging authors through the SCWC and his personal contacts. His own writing draws from over twenty years in the San Diego Police Department, first as a patrolman, then sergeant. He now serves as Detective Sergeant in charge of Border Investigations, as well as Staff Sergeant supervising the Emergency Negotiations Team, a hybrid team of hostage negotiators from the SDPD, the FBI, and NCIS. Of his debut novel, Black and White, New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds (The Book of Spies) hails, “Gritty and rewarding … A top-notch cop novel. Watch out, Joseph Wambaugh!”
- SESSIONS: “How to Make the Most of the Conference,” No-Host Mixer, Introductions
GRETA BORIS is the author of a new domestic suspense series based on the 7 Deadly Sins, which is being published by Fawkes Press in a rare seven-book deal. The first title, A Margin of Lust, is out June, to be followed by The Scent of Wrath later this year. Greta also authored the Amazon Kindle bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout, and has written articles on culture, health and entertainment for a variety of national magazines, including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She is the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 700 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.
- SESSIONS: “Take Charge! Improve your Writing Productivity,” “Take Charge! Finesse Your Plot,” “Take Charge! The Road to Publication” and “Take Charge! Build Your Author Platform” (all with Megan Haskell)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Thriller, mystery, suspense; first 10 pages (or multiple columns up to 15 pages), cover letter
TERESA BURRELL is the author of the popular, best-selling Advocate Series featuring Juvenile Court Attorney Sabre Brown. Her legal suspense series consists of nine novels with another to be released in the fall. She has also started a new mystery series from a spin-off character from book #6, The Advocate’s Felony, called Mason’s Missing. As an attorney in San Diego, Teresa maintained a private law practice for 12 years, which specialized in juvenile court work where she focused on representing abused minors and juvenile delinquents. She has also enjoyed a satisfying career as a teacher of children of all ages, with diverse backgrounds and special needs. Her marketing skills have afforded her a lucrative writing career and is the basis for her first non-fiction book called $0 to Six-Figures which will release in September.
- SESSIONS: “$0 to Six-figures in 7 ‘Not-So-Easy’ Steps: Strategies” and “$0 to Six-figures in 7 ‘Not-So-Easy’ Steps: Tactics”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller; first 10 pages, cover letter
GAYLE CARLINE began life as a software engineer until she chewed her way out of the cubicle to become a storyteller. In addition to writing a humor column for her local Orange County newspaper, she is the author of the fun and entertaining Peri Minneopa Mysteries, including Freezer Burn, Hit or Missus, The Hot Mess, and Clean Sweep, featuring a housecleaner-turned-detective living in the OC. Her recent releases are the stand-alone From the Horse’s Mouth: One Lucky Memoir, and the first of a new equine-themed murder-mystery series, Murder on the Hoof. A More Deadly Union, featuring housecleaner-turned-detective Peri Minneopa, is her latest.
- SESSIONS: “Funny How? How Am I Funny, and How to Write It” and “Going It Alone: The Keys to Self-Publishing Success”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, mystery, humor, columns; first 10 pages (or multiple columns up to 15 pages), cover letter
MICHAEL STEVEN GREGORY, Executive Director of the Southern California Writers’ Conference, is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter. He has scripted network series, directed television and features, and been involved as a writer, producer or director in over 150 short films. His longform projects include the doculogues We, The Writer and We, The Screenwriter, the romantic-comedy A Valentine Carol, and groundbreaking Don King Presents: Prizefighter, for 2K Games. His books include Disc Golf: All You Need to Know about the Game You Want to Play, which remains a bestseller over a decade after publication. Michael is also the owner of AuthorEdge, a transmedia content producer for publishers. He was recognized as Man of the Year from San Diego Writer’s Monthly, and is a recipient of the Odin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild.
- SESSIONS: No-Host Mixer, Introductions
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Screenplays, TV and short-form scripts; first 15 pages in proper format, cover letter
ARA GRIGORIAN is the international award-winning author of Game of Love (2015), and Ten Year Dance (2017), his critically-acclaimed second novel. Ara is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children’s television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn’t) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later). Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories. He is a public speaker and a workshop leader for the Southern California Writers’ Conference, Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and others. Ara is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.
- SESSIONS: “Every Story is a Love Story,” “Marketing Manners: Getting Permission to Buy” and “Story Beats: Your Story’s Pulse”
MEGAN HASKELL is the award-winning author of the dark fantasy adventure series, The Sanyare Chronicles, co-author of Aspiring to Author: A Guide for Your Publishing Career, and Program Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 950 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California. Called “a must read” by bestselling YA author, Sherry Ficklin, Sanyare: The Last Descendant (Book 1) received a Readers’ Favorite Bronze award and was an IAN Book of the Year Award Finalist in Adventure Fiction. Megan lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two young daughters, and one ridiculously energetic dog. You can find her online at www.MeganHaskell.com, OCWriters.Network, and Facebook.
- SESSIONS: “Take Charge! Improve your Writing Productivity,” “Take Charge! Finesse Your Plot,” “Take Charge! The Road to Publication” and “Take Charge! Build Your Author Platform” (all with Greta Boris)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Science fiction, fantasy, commercial fiction; first 10 pages double-spaced, cover letter
MELANIE HOOKS is a recent graduate ‘With Distinction’ of UCLA Extension’s TV Writing Program, Melanie Hooks first dipped her toe into Read & Critiques over ten years ago at her first SCWC San Diego. As an English teacher, she thought herself prepared, but discovered firsthand the terrors that can await the fragile writer ego. She’s happy to share her ‘id’ survival tricks – and all her distinguished, unfunded script pitches if you sit still too long over coffee… you’ve been warned.
- SESSIONS: “Read, Critique & Live to Write Another Day” and Rogue Read & Critique: SciFi/Fantasy (both with Laura Perkins)
CHERIE KEPHART served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia on a water sanitation and health education project before returning to the United States with an African souvenir she didn’t expect: a debilitating illness that went misdiagnosed for years and nearly killed her. Aionios Books publisher Gerardeen M. Santiago, PhD, describes her just-released A Few Minor Adjustments as, “[A] memoir that reads like a novel. It contains all the elements of a compelling read: a great story, with perfect pace, and a seasoned/mature writing style.” Kirkus Reviews declares it, “A rich and complicated story, told on each page with clear dialogue and memorable anecdotes.” A graduate of the University of Auckland, New Zealand with an M.A. in Medical and Cultural Anthropology with First Class Honors, Cherie also holds a B.A. in Communications from UCSD and a Certification in Scientific and Technical Writing. In addition to her extensive technical writing, Cherie also has notable experience as both a ghostwriter and editor.
- SESSIONS: “Healing through Writing Memoir” and “Soul Therapy: The Spiritual Side of Writing Memoir”
REINA MENASCHE calls her first love writing fiction, though she is also a professional social worker, certified public school counselor, university instructor, and actress. Her second novel, Silent Bird, was released in December 2013. Her first novel, Twice Begun, was honored in the romance category of the 2013 San Diego Book Awards, and her other fiction has been recognized in contests by organizations such as the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild and Southern California Writers Conference. In 2013 Reina began hosting East County Magazine’s Bookshelf radio program on KNSJ fm in San Diego, interviewing “local literary luminaries.” Her latest book is Silent Bird, recipient of a 2009 SCWC Outstanding Fiction Award.
- SESSIONS: “Character Therapy 1: You’re the Shrink!” and “Character Therapy 2: It’s Alive!”
JEFFREY J. MICHAELS is a Gemini. As such he is deeply involved in whatever interests him at the moment. He is currently polishing a sweeping fantasy series of interconnected tales collectively known as “The Mystical Histories.” He describes his writing as “metaphyictional,” combining fantasy and humor with metaphysical elements, offering the reader new ways of looking at themselves and their world. In his real life, he conducts motivational workshops and offers personal consultations assisting clients to tap into their own inner wisdom to make positive life and creative choices. Jeff’s published works include: A Day at the Beach and Other Brief Diversions, a collection of metaphyfictional short stories, and Tasa’s Path, Book One in his fantasy trilogy. Over the past decade Jeff has been a monthly columnist for the magazine Sedona Journal of Emergence. Six collections of his inspirational articles are available in trade paperback and on Kindle.
- SESSIONS: “Write from the Heart”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Genre (sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror) and commercial fiction; aspirational & transformative non-fiction; first 10 pages double-spaced
OZ MONROE is the author of Soil-Man, Book 1 of the Symphony dark fantasy series, recently awarded the Gold in Horror Fiction by the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. In it, a grieving husband must confront his disbelief in religion during a desperate race to reclaim the soul of his wife, murdered before him by what appears to be a dark angel. Award-winning horror author Mark Clements (Lorelei, The Land of Nod) calls the debut novel, “[A] rare combination of fine (sometimes incandescent) writing, high-speed action, violence, gore, humor, erudition and philosophical point-scoring.” Jennifer Silva Redmond (Editor, Sea of Cortez Review) proclaims it, “righteous in every sense of the word. Not for faint hearts or weak stomachs, Soil-Man will appeal to strong-willed, clear-eyed seekers of truth–if they’re out there.” An active member of MENSA and a passionate proponent of Humanism and critical thinking, Oz is currently at work on the second book in his series.
- SESSIONS: “The Science of Storytelling: How Neuroscience Can Help Us Tell Better Stories”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Science-fiction, fantasy; first 10 pages double-spaced
MATTHEW J. PALLAMARY has a dozen books in print, with many having been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, French, and German. His historical novel of first contact between shamans and Jesuits in 18th century South America, Land Without Evil, was adapted as a full-length stage and light show, the PBS-broadcasted making-of which garnered an Emmy nomination. His distillation of 25 years of teaching experience, Phantastic Fiction: A Shamanic Approach to Story, earned an International Book Award. And Matt’s memoir Spirit Matters, detailing his journeys to the jungles of Peru, took top honors in the San Diego Book Awards Spiritual Book Category, along with being named a finalist in the National Best Book Awards. His latest title, n0thing, an 2017 International Book Awards Finalist in Science Fiction, delves into the subject of computer generated dreaming.
- SESSIONS: Read & Critique and Rogue Read & Critique (All-Genre)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Horror, fantasy, transformative fiction; memoir, biography; first 10 pages double-spaced
LAURA PERKINS has penned five young adult fantasy novels and serves as a freelance editor and writing coach. She has an extensive background in facilitating groups as well as conducting personal feedback sessions, assisting clients with motivation issues, goal setting and strength assessment. She brings first-hand knowledge and experience in many areas writers often use as their story worlds, including the Criminal Justice Department, probation, psychiatric facilities, wilderness programs, adventure sports, middle schools and high schools – internationally and in the states. She has lived in Europe and South America and traveled extensively internationally and domestically. While her passion is fantasy, young adult, character driven fiction and sci-fi, she works with many different genres and loves the offbeat and out of the ordinary.
- SESSIONS: “Read, Critique & Live to Write Another Day” and Rogue Read & Critique: SciFi/Fantasy (both with Melanie Hooks)
OWEN PRELL is an entertainment attorney, with a particular focus on the publishing industry. Having represented authors, publishers and agents for decades–Chronicle Books remained a client for 20 years; bestselling author Sara Gruen is one now–his expertise spans publishing agreements to film adaptations and beyond. Also a writer, Own has written for both stage and screen, and his documentary film, Finding Nico, followed his quest to get to know his godfather, a disgraced former Hollywood B-movie actor who may or may not have lived with Marilyn Monroe. His debut novel, Chance to Break (North Loop Books), set during the opening days of Wimbledon, when an otherwise ordinary men’s singles match seems incapable of ending, is now out.
- SESSIONS: TBA
DARLENE QUINN authors the popular Web series, which draws upon real events in the ever changing world of high-fashion of the mid-80’s to present day. As part of a seven-member corporate management team of Bullocks Wilshire, Darlene saw first-hand how greed became a major factor in the demise of our regional department stores. But while the series is brimming with intrigue and haunting nostalgia, she never allows the hard facts to get in the way of page-turning suspense. Each title has garnered national and international awards. Unpredictable Webs won the International Readers Favorite Gold Medal for General Fiction, as well the President’s Choice top prize at the Beverly Hills Book Awards. Her most recent, Conflicting Webs, won the International Beverly Hills Award for excellence in General Fiction and Readers Favorite Silver Medal for General Fiction. Severed Webs is the next in the series.
- SESSIONS: “Rewrite & Read,” “Rewrite & Critique” and Read & Critique (All-Genre)
JUDY REEVES is a writer and educator with more than 20 years of experience as a workshop leader. She is the author of four books on writing, including A Writer’s Book of Days, named a “hottest book for writers” by Writer’s Digest magazine. The other books are Writing Alone, Writing Together, A Creative Writer’s Kit, and The Writer’s Retreat Kit. She teaches creative writing at UCSD Extension, holds private workshops, and speaks at writing conferences internationally. In addition to her work as a writer and writing provocateur, Judy co-founded The Writing Center, a nonprofit literary arts organization and is executive director of San Diego Writers, Ink. Her latest book, Wild Women, Wild Voices, is now out, from New World Library.
- SESSIONS: “Structure in Memoir: Revealing the Universal Story Inside Personal Narrative,” “Tell Me a Story—Using Fiction Techniques to Craft a Compelling Memoir”
JANIS THOMAS is the author of three critically-acclaimed humorous Women’s Fiction novels, Something New, Sweet Nothings, and Say Never. The award-winning Murder in A-Minor is the first book in her Musical Murder Mystery series, featuring songwriting detective Samantha Wedlock. She has recently signed a two-book deal with Lake Union, the women’s fiction imprint of Amazon Publishing, for her latest two novels of domestic suspense. Janis is a popular workshop leader and speaker, an editor, and a passionate writing advocate.
- SESSIONS: “The Storyteller’s Toolbox Pt.1,” “The Storyteller’s Toolbox Pt.2” and TBA
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Commercial and women’s fiction, romance, first 10 pages double-spaced; cover letter
CLAUDIA WHITSITT is an award-winning author and former educator who has published five mysteries and three works of middle grade historical fiction to date. Broken Lines, the third installment in her Kids Like You series, which began with Between the Lines and Beyond the Lines, is out now. Claudia’s novels feature strong heroines and address social issues which continue to plague our country. When she isn’t writing, she’s visiting schools and teaching writing to middle grade students. She’s known for her kind nature, even when telling you that your works sucks, and will make you want to become a better writer.
- SESSIONS: “Infusing Micro-tension Into Your Novel” and “Voice: Finding Your Own”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Middle-grade fiction, mystery; first 10 pages double-spaced, cover letter
Agents & Editors
AS OF 8/8/18
CAROLINE GEORGE is a junior agent for Cyle Young Literary Elite, currently looking to expand her client list. A 2017 Belmont University graduate with a double-major in publishing and public relations, Caroline is seeking authors with excellent writing skills and developed/promising platforms, and is committed to helping bring fresh stories to the public. Also a novelist, her latest young adult fantasy The Vestige is out from Evernight Teen. Caroline considers herself a not-so-southern Georgia peach, coffee-junkie, bona fide goofball and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.”
- STATE OF THE AGENT PANEL
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Open to most every genre, excluding erotica; first 10 pages, cover letter
JENNY HERRERA is an agent with the David Black Agency, which represents such authors as Erik Larson, Jeff Hobbs, Jennifer Gonnerman, and Bill Phillips. She went to college in Ohio, where she studied Philosophy, French, and Russian, and has master’s degrees in Philosophy and Social Sciences. Jenny loves reading non-fiction books about big ideas and fiction that is thoughtful, un-selfconscious, and authentic. She is seeking submissions in upmarket fiction, serious non-fiction, young adult, middle grade, and thrillers, as well as any book that breaks the mold. Recent books she loves include: An Ember in the Ashes, Sweet Bitter, The Hate U Give, My Life on the Road, Strange the Dreamer, Far From the Tree, If We Were Villains, and many many more.
- STATE OF THE AGENT PANEL
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Upmarket fiction, thrillers, young adult and middle grade; serious non-fiction; first 10 pages, double-spaced; cover letter –SOLD OUT
JEAN JENKINS is a freelance editor (MsRewrite.com) and consultant to writers. She has successfully shepherded to print genre and mainstream novels with major publishers and small independents, as well as editing/advising self- and e-published writers. Clients include writers, both foreign and domestic. Her specialty is teaching craft and what works in the marketplace as she helps writers polish their material. Several books on which she has consulted are in the pipeline and nearing publication with major houses. Calling upon her varied life experiences and over twenty years of editorial consulting, she is equally at home editing spy thrillers, cozies, suspense, women’s issues, mainstream, or any bloody good story. It might be said, the bloodier, the better.
- SESSIONS: “Best Foot Forward: Polishing to Impress” (1 & 2), and TBA
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Mystery, suspense, thriller, police procedural; narrative nonfiction; first 10 pages, double-spaced, cover letter
HOLLY KAMMIER is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The UCLA honor grad currently splits her time between San Diego, CA and Henderson, NV. She recently published her second book, Kingston Court, a chic lit novel with an edge. Holly is an avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing. Along with novelist Jessica Therrien, she co-founded Acorn Publishing, a new model approach for enabling quality authors to indie publish under a single imprint.
- SESSIONS: “Acorn Publishing: Exploring the Benefits of Hybrid Publishing” (with Jessica Therrien)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, all genres; first 10 pages, cover letter
JILL MARR is an agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, one of the most respected literary agencies in the U.S. Representing an impressive and eclectic client roster, SDLA has helped guide the illustrious careers of many best selling authors in several genres, including Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Lisa See and Diane Mott Davidson and on the non-fiction side, Peter Irons, David Landes, Mike Davis, Chalmers Johnson and Susan Faludi, among others. Jill is interested in commercial fiction, especially women’s fiction, multi-cultural fiction, historic fiction, mysteries and thrillers. She is also looking for non-fiction in the areas of self-help, inspirational, memoir (she especially loves travel and foodie memoirs), parenting, history, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor and music.
- STATE OF THE AGENT PANEL
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, mystery; practical and narrative non-fiction; first 10 pages, double-spaced, cover letter
MARLA MILLER is an author and freelance editor. She wrote for the OC Register’s lifestyle magazine for 16 years before becoming founding editor-in-chief of an O.C. coastal lifestyle magazine. Her first book, All American Girls, the only authorized biography of the iconic World Cup/Gold Medal winning U.S Women’s National Soccer Team, was published by Simon & Schuster, and her sports oriented columns appeared in Oxygen.com. Marla launched MarketingtheMuse Workshops in 2003, motivated by her recognition that most traditionally published authors receive little help from “big house” marketing departments. Her experience in the entrepreneurial author movement includes “with author” bylines for two indie books, The Booty Bible and Decode the Black Box of Group Health Insurance, along with her own Days Gone By and first e-novel, Deadly Little Secrets. MarlaMiller.com is a resource center for writers with emphasis on marketing information in publishing/epublishing.
- SESSIONS: “Nonfiction for Newbies: Is it a Book or Not?”, “Pitch Witches: Query Letter Critique” and “Pitch Witches: What’s Your Book About?” (with Jennifer Silva Redmond), ” Rogue Read & Critique: “Cold Openings: Your First Five Pages”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction; narrative and prescriptive non-fiction; columns (Note: anything emphasizing medicine or psychology, Marla’s your reader); first 15 pages, cover letter
MICHAEL MOHR is a Bay Area writer, former literary agent’s assistant and freelance book editor. His fiction has been published in: Adelaide Literary Magazine; Bethlehem Writers’ Roundtable; Fiction Magazines; Tincture; Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine; and more. His blog pieces have been included in Writers’ Digest, Writer Unboxed and MASH. His writing/editing website and weekly blog is www.michaelmohrwriter.com. His most recent client accomplishment is a memoir, White American Youth (Hachette), by Christian Picciolini, a former neo Nazi skinhead who changed his life. Michael edits memoir, adult literary and commercial novels, YA and suspense/thriller.
- SESSIONS: “How to Create Sexual Tension in Fiction and Memoir“
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Adult literary and commercial fiction, YA/NA, suspense/thrillers; non-fiction: memoir; first 10 pages, cover letter
JENNIFER SILVA REDMOND spent more than a decade as editor-in-chief/acquisitions editor at Sunbelt Publications before becoming a freelance publishing consultant and editor. On the staff of the Southern California Writers Conference and San Diego Writers, Ink, she was also prose editor for A Year in Ink Vol 3, and co-founder of the Sea of Cortez Review. Her essays, articles, and short fiction have been published in various anthologies, such as Latinos in Lotusland, and national magazines. She is always looking for “great new stuff” and has a wide circle of agents, editors, and publishers with whom to share marketable fiction and nonfiction. More information, a short list of edited titles, and client testimonials can be found at www.jennyredbug.com.
- SESSIONS: “Backstory: Employing Expository Like a Screenwriter,” “Pitch Witches: Query Letter Critique” and “Pitch Witches: What’s Your Book About?” (with Marla Miller)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, nonfiction, memoir, short stories; first 10 pages double-spaced, cover letter
BRITT SIESS is an agent with Martin Literary. Having a strong background in publishing, she has interned for the Taryn Fagerness Agency, Wales Literary Agency, and Martin Literary & Media Management. Britt is looking for stories that are character driven, with resonating themes, that immerse readers in worlds imaginative and diverse. She also likes a little (dark) humor, and there must be stakes! She is particularly drawn to literature that makes us reflect on our own society and confront our choices. Britt is primarily seeking adult science fiction and fantasy, as well as middle grade submissions with fantastic or contemporary elements.
- STATE OF THE AGENT PANEL
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Speculative fiction, cyber/steampunk, fantasy, Gothic horror & thrillers, magical realist literature, and middle grade with fantastical or supernatural elements; first 10 pages, cover letter
DR. EWE STENDER founded the Triada US Literary Agency, and is a Full Member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. He is interested in all kinds of non-fiction and fiction. In non-fiction, he is pretty much open to any project, from memoir, pop culture, and health to how-to, gardening, history and everything in between, including non-fiction for children. In children’s fiction, he is looking for YA, and MG. In adult fiction, his tastes trend towards women’s fiction, psychological suspense, and Mysteries. As an immigrant to the USA himself, he is always eager to bring projects from underrepresented voices into the world.
- STATE OF THE AGENT PANEL
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Adult fiction, YA and MG; memoir, practical and narrative non-fiction ; first 10 pages, cover letter
LAURA TAYLOR is an author and freelance editor, whose work has received endorsements from Pat Conroy, W.E.B. Griffin, and Stephen King. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her writing, including 6 Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement, Reviewer’s Choice, and Career Achievement Awards, 2 Maggie Awards from GRW/RWA, 2 Golden Heart Finalist Awards (RWA), an RWA RITA Finalist Award, and a Golden Rose Award from the Gold Coast Chapter of RWA. Having sold over a million books in print, an additional 550,000 digital editions have been downloaded by e-book readers. Her novels feature sassy, strong-willed heroines and determined alpha male heroes. Her romance e-books include: Desert Rose, Midnight Storm, Heartbreaker, More Than Friends, Fallen Angel, Wilder’s Woman, Warrior Series Boxed Set, Moment By Moment, The Christmas Gift, Anticipation, Seduction, Surrender, Sublime, and the Love at the Beach Boxed Set.
- SESSIONS: “Indie Excellence: Glocalization and the Key to Survival,” “Post Conference: Where Do You Go from Here?” and Rogue Read & Critique
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Mainstream, historical and genre fiction, romance; first 10 pages double-spaced, cover letter
JESSICA THERRIEN is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Aside from her wildly popular trilogy, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, “The Soulless,” won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round. After being published by a small press out of Los Angeles and hitting the #3 best-selling book for Teens on Barnes & Noble, Jessica discovered that the world of traditional publishing isn’t for everyone, got her rights back and, with novelist Holly Kammier, co-founded Acorn Publishing, a new model approach for enabling quality authors to indie publish under a single imprint.
- SESSIONS: “Acorn Publishing: Exploring the Benefits of Hybrid Publishing” (with Holly Kammier)
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Fiction, all genres; first 10 pages, cover letter
JANET F. WILLIAMS is a writer and freelance editor for both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at various venues in So. Cal. She is interested in editing YA and adult fiction, memoir, business, self-help, LGBTQ+, spiritual, and more. She is the author of the self-help/communications book You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get: Proven Techniques to Get More Out of Life, named Best Specialized Instruction Book by Kirkus Indie, and selected one of their top 10 books of the year. She also writes lesbian romance and erotica short stories under her pen name Zoe Amos, and has one YA novella, Superior. For more info please visit: janetfwilliams.com and gooddaymedia.com.
- SESSIONS: “The ABCs of LGBTQ+” and “Write Using Six Senses”
- ADVANCE SUBMISSION CRITIQUE: Commercial and women’s fiction, LGBT; Non-fiction: business; first 10 pages double-spaced
ROBERT YEHLING is the award-winning author, co-author and ghostwriter of numerous books, as well as long-time journalist, editor and writing instructor. Through his company, Word Journeys, he has edited more than 130 fiction and nonfiction titles that have found homes with publishers of all sizes. Bob’s latest titles include the biography of autistic surfer Clay Marzo, Just Add Water: A Surfing Savant’s Journey with Asperger’s (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and musician Stevie Salas’ When We Were the Boys: Coming of Age on Rod Stewart’s Out of Order Tour (Rowman Littlefield). Voices (Open Books Press), a novel set against a half-century of rock and roll, is his latest.