April 2, 2017

Class descriptions

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Level ratings:  

Basic Training
Mature Audiences

Class formats:


Class types:

Open Seating
Limited Seating – Advance  Signup Required

Ages and Stages: The Science of Writing for Children

Jeannie Furlong

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Maybe you already know how many words a picture book should have, or how long the sentences can be – but do you know why? Get beyond publishing industry standards and come learn the developmentally-appropriate practices that will help you connect with young readers from the very first page.

Ask an Agent Panel

Everyone | Panel | Open Seating | 8:20 a.m. Saturday and 2:10 p.m. Sunday in Stateroom 2

Exactly what it sounds like – we’ll gather half a dozen members of our stellar literary agent lineup and let you ask whatever questions you want. It’s a great way to learn some useful tips and see what makes literary agents tick.

Auntie M’s Guide to Greaseless Self-Promotion

Tex Thompson

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 4:50 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

“Yeah, writing is great, but I tell you what I really love: constantly shilling my book to a crowd of indifferent strangers,” said no writer, ever. But while marketing yourself is an unavoidable task, it doesn’t have to be an unbearable chore. If you’re disappointed, burned out, or just wondering where to start, this workshop is for you. We’ll work together to help you find your audience, harness your talents, and rekindle your enthusiasm – one step at a time.
The Author-Agent Relationship

Kes Trester and Dawn Frederick

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

You’ve written your book but now it’s time for its book home to be found. Through hard work (and many queries), you finally have an agent. What will your role be going forward? What should you expect from your agent? In this class, author Kes Trester and her agent, Dawn Frederick, will provide these essential insights.

Bad Marketing Advice

Everyone | Panel | Open Seating | 10:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

Our authors will tell you about the advice they’ve gotten over the years about how to promote themselves and their works, and they’ll reveal which ideas worked and which didn’t.

Blogging for a Better World

Lorrie Irby Jackson

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

Every writer hears it sooner or later: “if you want to get known, you need to blog.” And every writer asks the question: “but what can I blog about besides my own writing?” Good news: there is a whole wide world of topics out there, most of which don’t get a fraction of the attention they deserve – and some are hiding in plain sight, close to your own heart. Come learn the difference between blogging and journalism, and what real-life reporting can do for you.


Book to Film: Writing for the Page and Screen and Everything in Between

Will Evans

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:10 p.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

Writing a book is not quite the same thing as writing a screenplay. What are the differences in approach an author should take in terms of structure, style, and plot across different writing mediums? How can a writer construct a cinematic story, or a literary script? How do audience expectations weigh on a writer’s artistic considerations? This panel explores the interplay between literary conventions and the elevated nature of writing a screenplay, hosted by a book publisher and film producer who straddles these worlds in his everyday working life.



Boom and Bust: Surviving the Writer’s Life

Amanda Arista

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

Unless you are among the two, maybe three writers on earth whose writing has never been rejected, you will deal with the pain of rejection or a career slump or the loss of your own “creative juice” sometime in your writing career. If you have a long career, you may deal with it more than once. But there’s great news. These writing disasters can be just the kind of disruption that can lead you in a new creative direction. “Everything in life is fodder for a story.” This workshop by D.D. Ayres will offer suggestions or how to survive rejection, burnout, even self-doubt to refresh your creative skills as a writer.

Build Your Writer’s Bio: How to Strengthen, Diversify, and Personalize Your Credentials

Annie Neugebauer

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

Every cover letter, query letter, and author website requires one dreaded thing: the writer’s bio. But when you’re just starting out, how do you craft a paragraph that doesn’t look anemic? This class will delve into the many different types of credentials that belong in a bio, how to build them if you don’t already have them, what to highlight where, and how often to update.

Cover Design 101

Rod Martinez

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Despite what they tell us, a book is judged by its cover. Yes, it’s only a saying that is used in almost every aspect of life, but as far as we authors are concerned, this statement takes on a very real importance. If you want your book to shine, you need a cover that will grab their attention and imagination. Together we will go through the process of producing a great cover to get your book in the hands of readers.


Courting Controversy

Will Clarke

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio B

Read Will Clarke’s writing and you will know he does not shy away from controversial topics. In this session, the acclaimed author will talk about why being willing to address controversy can be a great spark for a writing career.


Crafting an Enticing Query and Logline

Brent Taylor

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Learn the four easy questions to ask yourself before sitting down and writing a query letter that’s clear, concise, and gripping. In this age of online pitch contests, loglines (the one-sentence/”Hollywood” pitch) are increasingly important; learn how to take your query letter and boil the elements of your story down into one sentence or less. This class is taught with examples of Brent Taylor’s own client queries and editor pitch letters.

Crafting Fabulous First Lines

J.C. Davis

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

Are your first lines falling flat? Bordering on boring? Simply sufficient? Come learn what makes a fabulous first line and how to ensure you’re creating a promise that delivers the wow factor readers are looking for. Successful first lines have a lot of things in common. We’ll examine what makes those first lines and first paragraphs sing and how you can use those same techniques to improve your story. Handouts will be provided and audience participation is encouraged.

Creating Compelling Female SF&F Characters

Rachelle Harp

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 11:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

Learn ways to make your female characters come to life on the pages of your science fiction or fantasy stories. We’ve seen plenty of cardboard characters over the years. But it’s the female characters who challenge our ways of thinking and surprise us with their heart and strength that stick with us after we close the book. We’ll examine a few helpful techniques and characteristics to add depth and realism to the women of your stories. By digging deeper, you’ll hook your readers and have them riveted to the pages, eager to share in your character’s journey.

Decoding, Declawing, and Delivering a Revise-and-Resubmit Request

Amanda Arista

Advanced | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 3

From the trenches of her current submission battles, author Amanda Arista helps you define that ambiguous territory of Revise and Resubmit. After switching genres, she is starting over and had 6 R&R requests on one manuscript. What is an author to do? Amanda will walk you through the highs and lows of receiving this type of feedback, help with the decision-making process of whether to revise or not, and give you a few tips to decode the comments and make any manuscript glow.

Defeating Self-Doubt

Inka Nisinbaum

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

Do you know this feeling when you sit down, start typing and every cell of your body just knows: This is going to be a bestseller! And then, the next day, you sit in front of the same PC, the same story and you think “I should never write anything other than a grocery list ever again”. Doubt is part of writing. Everybody doubts himself, not just us ‘not yet famous’ authors, everybody. And once you overcome your doubt, your book is done, the rejection letters will start flying in. Writing is hard. It’s a tough business but there are ways to overcome doubt and the feeling of defeat. Based on experience and a Master in Psychology, Inka can teach you how to get where you want to be: writing your second published book.

Dialogue: Intensified Talk

D.D. Ayres

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 11:00 a.m. Sunday, San Antonio A

For a writer, dialogue is more than two people talking. It’s a compelling and dynamic way of storytelling. Good dialogue revs up emotional immediacy and intimacy when two or more people are together. The Uses of Dialogue are three-fold: REVEAL and DEFINE CHARACTER, ADVANCE STORY IN COMPELLING WAY, and PROVIDE TENSION AND EMOTION in a scene. This workshop is a fun session highlighting techniques on how to make your dialogue more entertaining and engaging. This class by D.D. Ayres will dissect short scenes from stories, song lyrics, even a movie script, to see how propulsive dialogue can move a story forward and make characters more compelling.


Dialogue Workshop

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Signup Required | 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 3

Is your dialogue bringing your story to life, or dragging it down? Bring samples of your dialogue, read it to a panel of writers and get feedback.

Emotional Rollercoaster: How to Take Your Readers for a Ride

Kelsey Macke

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom A

If authors want readers to have an emotional response to their stories, then writers must practice creating deeper emotional authenticity and complexity in their works. Tense, vulnerable, heart-wrenching writing requires us to dig deep and expose the raw nerves in ourselves and our characters. In this workshop, writers will learn how to insert deeper, more authentic emotional resonance into their writing.

Essentials of Self-Editing

Henry McLaughlin

Advanced | Workshop | Open Seating | 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom B

The heart of writing is rewriting. In this class, we will explore the different types of editing to help authors determine which they are most comfortable with and which they may want to seek professional. The goal is to give authors tools to edit their first and subsequent drafts in order to minimize the number of rewrites and to reduce the risk of rejection because of a poorly edited manuscript. With these tools, the authors will be in a position to submit polished manuscripts to contests, agents, and publishers. In this hands-on class, attendees will be working on their current WIPS, applying the principles through exercises and discussion.

The Evolution of Scene

Ann Fields

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom A

First draft. Raw. Second draft. Readable (with lots of cringing). Third draft. Readable (with less cringing). Fourth draft. Critique-ready. These are the basic evolutions in crafting a scene. But what moves a scene from raw to critique-ready? Elements; certain story elements. These specific elements and more will be shared and discussed during this class, which is designed for fiction writers of all genres who write novellas, short stories and/or novels.


Fantasy Worldbuilding

David Farland

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

In “Fantasy Worldbuilding,” David Wolverton will talk about how to arouse a sense of wonder in fantasy, whether it be in creating characters, building societies, developing magic systems, or creating magical creatures or places.

Finding, Working with, and Keeping an Agent

Abby Saul

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

A good agent is a true partner for your writing career: helping you to get published, write well, and maximize your author brand. So how do you get and work with one, and what, exactly, can an agent do for you? This class by agent Abby Saul will discuss finding an agent (including the art of the query letter), the winding way of the publishing path (and how an agent guides you along it), and what to expect of your agent partnership (including business management, contracts, and editorial processes).

Finding Your Voice

Amanda Arista

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom A

Voice is one of the most elusive tools in the writer’s toolkit. In this session, Amanda Arista will give you concrete examples of how to build your writing voice. Voice is defined as the distinct personality, style, or POV of a piece of writing that grabs reader’s attention and establishes a relationship. Voice is what the readers listen to and fall in love with. By understanding the writer’s audience, tone, and character POV, writers can define a voice that will set them apart from others, enhance their story and keep readers’ eyes glued to the page.

The Future of Cybercrime

Keath Marx

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

From almost the moment that the first computers appeared there have been those who would use it for their own illicit gain. This presentation provides a peek under the covers of this nefarious world. From shedding light on its roots to events ripped from today’s headlines, you’ll get a glimpse of the darker side of technology.


Getting Your Baby Ready for the Real World

Kirk von der Heydt

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 10 a.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

It has finally happened. You have an agent. Or perhaps you have decided to take the plunge and be self-published. Whatever the case you have decided to release your “baby” to the real world. Now comes the arduous task at making your story a product. It is an emotional turmoil that many struggle with. This interactive class is designed to help get past that hurdle and network with others also in the same dilemma.


Ghostwriting: Conjuring the Real Person

Robin Underdahl

Everyone | Lecture | Limited Seating – Advance Signup Required | 1:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 4

Listening is only the beginning of your work. A ghostwriter has to develop the voice and story of a real person in a way that captures more truth than the subject would be able to get onto the page without your help. It is both a relational and an artistic task. A few of the challenges we will cover are breaking into crystallized areas of memory, the importance of research, legitimate license, acquiring or borrowing expertise, and achieving unity in the work as a whole.

#Hashtags, Buzzwords, and Loglines – Selling Your Book in Today’s Market

Peter Miller

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

14,000 years ago, “storytelling” was a buffalo on a cave wall. Today, it’s hashtags, buzzwords, & loglines. With this presentation, you’re going to learn how to sell your book in today’s market, which has changed dramatically in just the last 10 years. Topics include: social media, building an effective sales pitch, and the psychology of success. As an author, your 4 favorite words should be: “The End” and “Bidding War!”


How to Self-Publish: When, Why, and How

Jane Friedman

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Signup Required | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

This class will provide an introduction to the major self-publishing options and services available today (both print and ebook), and how to choose the right service and approach for you.

How to Get Your Book Traditionally Published

Jane Friedman

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Signup Required | 1:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

You’ll learn what it takes to capture the attention of a New York agent or publisher, how to determine the commercial viability of your book project, and what can lead to quick rejection for a novel, memoir, or children’s book.

Legal Issues for Writers

Eric Ruben

Advanced | Workshop | Open Seating | 3:50 pm. Saturday, Stateroom 1

Literary agent and law school graduate Eric Ruben will walk you through some of the many complicated legal issues writers may have to contend with.


Letters from Suck Island: Writing During Adversity and Grief

Rosemary Clement

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 10:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

Publishing is a business, but writing isn’t exactly like punching the clock. When the tough stuff happens and exhausts your physical, mental, and emotional reserves, forcing words onto a blank page can be painful in every way. How do you stay creative and productive when the last place you want to be is alone with your thoughts?



Make ‘Em Cry, Make ‘Em Scream: 3 Simple Tips for Writing Horror

Russell C. Connor

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

Hey…want to read something REALLY scary? Delve into the dark depths of the horror genre with IPPY-award-winning author Russell C. Connor as he discusses books, movies, undead serial slashers, killer worms, and the one thing that scares him the most. Along the way, you’ll pick up some pointers for how to best utilize suspense in your own work, and keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Making Time for Your Dream

Carolyn Rae

Basic Training | Lecture | Open Seating | 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

How many times have you said to yourself, “I would love to write more – if only I had the time?” Good news! You do have the time – you just have to know where to find it. In this class, you’ll learn how to choose the best time for you to write, and how to arrange your life to provide you with the time you need to tell your story.

Navigating the Seas of Small-Press Publishing

Laura Maisano

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 9:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

When you’ve queried over and over, and your friends tell you there’s other fish in the sea, that’s true. But, some of them are sharks and some are small fish worth frying up, I mean, giving a try. Author-friendly presses you can submit to sans agent sound like a dream, but what will a small press do for you? Veteran editor Laura Maisano and the Unstoppable multi-published Tex Thompson will captain your ship through learning about working with a small/indie press, what to look out for before signing, and ways to get the most out of the relationship.

Open Your Inner Eye: Photography for Writers

Beatriz Terrazas

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 1

It may seem that words and images are so different from each other that they share little in common. Often writers believe their brain is wired solely to write, and that photography involves a complete re-training of their mind. But training your eye to understand, see and create good photos—whether it’s with an iPhone or professional camera—can help your writing craft. Beatriz Terrazas works as both a writer and editorial photographer. She will share what makes good photography powerful, how photography has pushed her through dry spells in her writing, and tips that will help you improve your writing and create frame-worthy images.

Opportunities in the Non-Fiction Market

Everyone | Panel | Open seating | 11 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

In your quest to become a published author, don’t overlook the vast range of possibilities on the non-fiction side.  Our panel will reveal why writing non-fiction might be your straightest path to publication.


Picking Up the Pace with a Writing Coach

Beatriz Terrazas and Kristin vanNamen

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 10 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Most people don’t know about writing coaches, and they often think that editors show up only after the book is finished. But writing coaches and personal editors come in early and stay for the long haul. Whether you’re just getting started, close to finished, or lost in the muck of the middle, a writing coach will help you manage your book and manage your writing life. A personal editor will help you with the nitty-gritty details of literary pitfalls, prose and plot. Kristin vanNamen and Beatriz Terrazas work as both writing coaches and personal editors. Join them as they share their insights, information and experience. (They’ll also bring cookies!)


Practice Your Pitch Workshop

Basic Training | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | 8:20 a.m. Saturday, Staterooms 3 or 4

First time pitching to an agent, or just nervous about it? Our experts will make sure you’re on the right track. They’ll explain the components of a successful pitch and then you’ll get to practice.


Pre-Publicity: Building Your Brand BEFORE the Book Deal

Kae Tienstra

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 11:00 a.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

Everyone knows how important good publicity is for books and authors. But today’s agents and publishers are seeking authors who have a platform and a following of potential readers. In this class we will discuss how to create this platform. Topics include social media opportunities; how to build a blog, website, Instagram and Twitter following and the wisdom of starting locally and moving outward with your publicity program. We will also cover the opportunities provided by print and broadcast media and how they are appropriate for some fledgling authors. Op-eds will be emphasized here.

Read and Critique Workshops

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | Multiple sessions

One great way to hone your craft is to read your work in front of a critique group. The DFW Writers Workshop has been doing just that since 1977, and has perfected its system over the years. Bring your current work in progress, read it in front of a group and receive critique from published authors. 

Each reader gets a specified allotment of reading time (normally enough to read around 5 to 6 pages of formatted manuscript). We also have a small number of “observer” seats available if you’d like to listen to the reads and learn from the critiques, but aren’t quite ready to read your own work in public yet.

Real-World Book Promotion

Arlene Gale

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 2:50 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

Book promotion means clarity about who your readers are, where to find them, and how to talk to them face-to-face in the real world. There’s a whole world out there outside of social media!  This session’s main focus is opportunities for promoting your book in real life, including how to find contacts at conferences, libraries, bookstores and schools; how to find booksignings others organized, and things to consider when organizing your own booksigning. We’ll also talk about swag and how, when and where to use it.


Sequels, Spin-Offs and Series, Oh My!

Laura Maisano

Advanced | Lecture | Open seating | 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

You’ve finished book one, so it’s all smooth sailing from here, right? Wrong! Writing a sequel or continuing story has a few more challenges than any standalone or book one. Readers who haven’t had the joy of reading your work before need to know what’s going on, but you don’t want to lose your tried and true fans either with re-hashing old info. What do you do? We’ll give you a way to judge the scales and see if your continuing work is balanced for both audiences.


Serialized Storytelling – Bite-Sized Writing

C.L. Stegall

Advanced | Lecture | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | Stateroom 3

This class will focus on tips and advice on how to create, structure, and manage a serialized story. Be it for web, eBook or novelette publication, learn the ins and outs of producing a written work in serialized format. Topics will include planning and design, plotting and structure, scheduling challenges and how to overcome them, multi-platform presentation, and discussion of hurdles in producing an ongoing or limited run episodic story.

Shaping the Truth: Applying Fiction Techniques to Memoir Writing

Stephanie Klein

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

81 percent of Americans believe they have a book in them, with real-life dramas that seem made for memoir. But when we commit these stories to the page they sometimes feel dull, dragging, having lost their emotional resonance. This class will focus on how to write engaging nonfiction narrative through the application of fictional structure and writing techniques. We’ll explore the importance of emotional stakes, self-revelation, conflict and suspense, and touch on plot vs. story, avoidance of cliches (both the writing and the ideas) and the importance of a structured beginning, middle, and end, even with dialogue that begins mid-scene. Beyond memory-mining exercises, we’ll discuss the politics of writing about loved ones and explore the distinction between blogging/journaling and crafted storytelling.

So Close and Yet So Far: Getting Good Writers Over the Hurdle

Advanced | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | Multiple sessions

There are a lot of good writers out there who are actively submitting their work but for any number of reasons, haven’t managed to close the deal and land an agent. Maybe you’re one of them! Part support group and part clinic, this workshop will give you the chance to describe your experiences to agents and published authors and get their feedback on what to do next. Prerequisite for this class: You must have multiple rejection letters from agents or publishers, and you are encouraged (but not required) to bring them for show and tell. This class is not for writers who are just starting out and haven’t started submitting yet.

So Here’s My Problem Workshop

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | Multiple sessions

You have the floor. Are you thoroughly vexed? Are you flummoxed? What writing challenge has you tearing your hair out? Our informal discussion group of agents and published authors will listen to your woes and do their darnedest to unfurrow your brow and turn your frown upside down. Whether it’s a devious problem with plot development, diabolical dialog, a quarrelsome query letter, a sloppy synopsis or a frightful first five pages, we’ll help. You can bring up to 2 pages of writing; if you do, bring a minimum of five copies, for you and the panelists.

Speakeasy: Mastering Public Speaking and Events

Kelsey Macke

Everyone | Workshop | Open Seating | 3:50 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

Even the most extroverted person can be dumbstruck by the thought of speaking publicly about their work. It can be hard to blend two shots of confidence, a dash of humility, and a twist of humor into one palatable cocktail when your nerves are on the rocks. Get ready to step out of your comfort zone feeling a little less shaken and stirred. In this session, we’ll improv, brainstorm, and hone in on ways to feel confident at any book event, conference, signing, or panel.


Spicy Romances – Finding YOUR Intensity

Sarah Bale and Kimmie Easley

Mature Audience | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:20 a.m., Stateroom 1

Writing a romance book or love scene? Wonder if it’s too much… or not enough? Join two romance authors as they show you how to find just the right amount of spice for your book, creating the perfect scene.


Staying Relevant for the Long Haul

Rachel Caine

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 2:10 p.m., San Antonio A

So many writers “make it” and then vanish from the business five years later when markets shift and leave them behind. No. 1 best-selling author Rachel Caine will identify the traits and practices necessary to maintain long-term success as a working writer.



Swag Attack! Working With a Graphic Designer

Sally Hamilton and Rosemary Clement

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 8:00 a.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

You’ve got a book coming out. Now what? Do you need bookmarks? Business cards? Posters? If you are self-publishing, does it even have a cover? You’re probably in need of a graphic designer. Get the behind-the-scenes dirt on working with a graphic designer straight from the author’s mouth. Designer Sally Hamilton and author Rosemary Clement discuss the pros and cons of working together on promotional materials for Rosemary’s last 5 books. They’ll highlight how to find a graphic designer, what to ask for, and how to maximize your promotional materials without breaking the bank.

Tackling the Dreaded Synopsis

Jaime Olin

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 4

One of the toughest parts of the querying process is preparing a short synopsis of your novel. After you’ve spent months drafting and perfecting your novel and query letter, the last thing you feel like writing is a 1-5 page summary of your plot. Yet more and more agents are asking for synopses, and there is an art to writing them well. This class will focus on pointers and pitfalls of synopsis writing, and participants can submit their own synopses for in-class critique.

Technical Writing as a Career

Arlene Gale

Everyone | Lecture | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | 9:20 a.m. Saturday, Stateroom 3

What’s a technical writer? Is that a real way to exercise my writing passions, develop writing experience, and get paid? If you have a gift for writing and the gift of translating technical reports, data, policies, procedures or laws into reports, speeches, video scripts, articles or grant applications, technical writing may be a great career choice. But technical writing is so much more. It’s also writing instructions to teach someone how to do something like skateboard, play a video game, assemble a toy or furniture, or use equipment properly. Come learn about how to create income part-time or full-time, self-employed or direct employee, as a technical writer. Learn how to turn what you may already know into income!

The Ten Best Secrets for a Winning Nonfiction Book Proposal… No Lie!

Sharon Pelletier

Everyone | Workshop | Limited Seating – Advance Registration Required | 8:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 3

In this workshop you’ll learn the secrets to writing a nonfiction book proposal that will catch agents and editors’ interest…and reel them in, hook, line, and sinker. We’ll talk about the basic structure of a strong proposal and the top 10 elements that set you up for success.


Ten Steps to Self-Publish Your Book

Sarah Bale and Kimmie Easley

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 11 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Are you thinking about dipping your toes in the self-publishing waters, but have no idea where to begin? Join Sarah Bale and Kimmie Easley as they teach you industry tricks to self-publish your book in 10 easy steps.

Ten Tips All Novelists Can Borrow From Hollywood Screenwriters

Kes Trester

Advanced | Lecture | Open seating | 3:50 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio B

Ever notice how some books almost leap from the page with cinematic style? Want to write novels tailor-made for screenplay adaptations? Come learn ten tricks of the Hollywood screenwriting trade, such as how to write action openings that hook readers from the very first scene, craft dialogue scenes that crackle, and much more. BYOP (bring your own popcorn!).

Through the Time Machine: Researching for Fiction and Non-Fiction

Harry Hall

Everyone | Lecture | Limited Seating– Advance Registration Required | 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 3

Effective storytelling requires us to hold our readers’ hands and invite them on the adventure. But how do we bring the era to life? How can we recreate an environment that we’ve never experienced? How can we keep our characters in character? Writing history requires us to strip away our prejudices, assumptions, and feelings of nostalgia. Then we will discover a new depth to our storytelling. In this session, Harry will show us how we can take our writing and researching to the next level so both author and reader can better experience a bygone era.


Using Tarot Cards to Tell Your Story

Kristin Breckenridge

Everyone | Lecture | Open seating | 1:30 p.m. Sunday, San Antonio A

It’s all in the cards! Used by John Steinbeck and Stephen King, tarot cards are not just for fortune telling but cover the entire spectrum of the human condition. Delve into the mystical world of tarot to discover how to develop characters and plot your novel using storyboard techniques. This class will show how the Fool’s Journey in tarot closely resembles Joseph Conrad’s Hero’s Journey. You will also learn the meanings behind the cards, the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana, and how to use tarot layouts to unleash your creativity!

Using the Query Pitch to Troubleshoot Your Novel

Annie Neugebauer

Advanced | Lecture | Open seating | 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 1

Are you struggling to write your query letter, back cover copy, or editorial pitch? While it could just be the usual fight, inordinate trouble writing your pitch might signify deeper problems in your manuscript itself. This class will teach writers to utilize their query-writing skills to actually uncover and hone in on weak points in their manuscript. We’ll also discuss query techniques to plot your novel, get un-stuck, and prevent future heartache by writing your pitch first.

Wait! Before You Hit ‘Send’

Tex Thompson

Advanced | Lecture | Open seating | 10:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio A

You’ve gotten to “The End.” You’ve reworked and revised your story until your eyes bleed. And now you’re finally ready to send it off – to an agent, an editor, or straight to Amazon. But are you really? In this class, we’ll walk you through the no-stress, no-regrets checklist of everything you and your manuscript need to ensure that you step out into the spotlight polished, professional, and primed for success.

What Makes a Publishable Memoir?

Everyone | Panel | Open Seating | 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

Everyone knows somebody who’s writing a memoir. But what are the elements of a memoir that has a shot at getting published? Who’s a good candidate for a memoir, and who should try their hand at writing something else? How can writers get agents’ and publishers’ attention in a crowded field?


Wheel of Fortune: Contests for Writers

J.C. Davis

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 1:30 p.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

Hundreds of writing contests are offered online and off each year. Some are free. Some are paid. Some get your work in front of agents, some get your work in front of editors and some offer monetary or other prizes. Join veteran contest entrant and occasional winner, J. C. Davis as she takes you through the ins and outs of what contests are on offer, how to enter, and what to expect afterward. From the highs to the lows, from the red flags to red ribbons we’ll discuss it all and help you discover if there’s a contest out there just right for you.

When to Ignore Good Advice

Rosemary Clement

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:10 p.m. Sunday, Stateroom 2

“Write every day.” “Show, don’t tell.” “Adverbs are the devil.” From our first writing class, these axioms are so ingrained in our psyche that we obey them (and pass them on) without thinking. But we should. Just because something is true doesn’t make it terrible advice. Good writers know the rules. Great writers ignore them.


Writer’s Quest: Finding Your Origin Story and Going the Distance

Dawn Frederick

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 4

We all have an origin story, a chain of events that brought us here today.  Much like writing a book, there’s always a catalyst that inspires a person to go this long and winding path: publishing. Was it a book? A teacher? A librarian?  Maybe a combo of the two?  Either way, we all have a creation story that can help to keep the greenest writer or the most seasoned writer focused 100%. The foundation of this lecture is The Phantom Tollbooth.  This tale is something that any person who wields a pen or keyboard will recognize falls in line with the writerly life.


Writing through Chronic Illness

Lindsay Cummings

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 11:20 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio B

How often do we hear “just write every day” – as if it’s always that easy? And more importantly, how do you keep your momentum and stay productive when you can’t predict what your body will do from one day to the next? Let’s talk about building a new kind of writing accountability – one that works for YOU.


Writing Enchanting Prose

David Farland

Advanced | Lecture | Open Seating | 4:50 p.m. Saturday, San Antonio B

In “Writing Enchanting Prose,” Wolverton will cover the basics of how you can hypnotize your reader by being aware of what senses you are making “appeals” to in your reader, and in what order. He’ll also discuss the difference between appealing to the senses in ways that don’t work, those that work a bit, and those that really bring your story to life for the reader.

Writing Fight Scenes That Kick Butt

Seth Skorkowsky

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 3:10 p.m. Sunday, San Antonio A

There comes a point for many stories when all of the intrigue, suspense, and detailed scenery come to a dramatic moment: The Fight Scene. It doesn’t matter if that battle is carried out with fists, rapiers, starfighters, or telepathic might, the same principles apply. Author Seth Skorkowsky will lay out the ingredients for dynamic fight scenes and offer several tips and tricks to get your readers’ blood pumping and make them hungry for more.


Writing for Christian Publication

Henry McLaughlin

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Stateroom 2

This class will focus on the similarities and the differences between Christian and general market publication. We will stress the importance of producing high-quality manuscripts. We will emphasize the expectations of the Christian market, and examine some of its pitfalls. The class will focus on the expectations of the Christian reader and how to meet and exceed them. Attendees will walk out of the class with a better understanding of the nuances of writing for the Christian market, including how to structure their writing for the reader.



Is It Young Adult or Middle Grade?

J.C. Davis

Everyone | Lecture | Open Seating | 9 a.m. Sunday, San Antonio B

Determining whether your current work in progress or the epic masterpiece you just finished fits on the Middle Grade shelves or is more suited to a teen audience is about more than the age of your main character. There are a number of factors that go into deciding where your book fits and important considerations like novel length, theme and voice. Making sure your book really is YA or MG or even an adult literary novel can help focus your writing efforts, strengthen your novel and make sure you’re querying the right agents.



Arista, Amanda

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, and lives in Dallas, but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped. She is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches classes to other aspiring storytellers.

Ayres, D.D.

USA Today bestseller Laura Parker Castoro has published 46 novels with major publishing houses. Her next release is Physical Forces. As Laura Parker, she writes historical and contemporary romance, Westerns, and sagas. As Laura Castoro, she writes contemporary African-American and women’s fiction. She also published non-fiction YA and a short story in “Good Housekeeping.” Currently writing as D. D. Ayres, she publishes a romantic suspense series called the K-9 Rescue Series. She was the 2005 inductee into the Arkansas Writers’ Hall of Fame. In 2012 Icing on the Cake was chosen for If All Arkansas Read the Same Book, sponsored by the Arkansas Library Center for the Book. In 2013 she was named a Legend of Romance and awarded the prestigious Romance Pioneer Award by Romantic Times. She is a past president of both Novelists, Inc. and the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, an international writer residency program.

Bale, Sarah

Sarah Bale’s family always knew she was destined to write romances when they saw the elaborate stories she created for her Barbie dolls as a child. Throughout middle school the writer inside Sarah began to bloom. At fifteen she penned her first book, which will never see the light of day if she has any say. When Sarah isn’t writing she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She resides in Oklahoma and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon. She has penned several books dubbed as ‘Spicy Romances’ as well as romantic comedies.

Breckenridge, Kristin

Kristin is a DFW Writers’ Workshop member and has a Master’s in Creative Writing. In the past she has been a nanny, a cupcake seller, a real estate tax secretary, and professional knitter. But through all that she has enjoyed writing mystery, urban fantasy, and anything a little out of the ordinary. She is currently looking to break into the dragon taming business.

Easley, Kimmie

Kimmie is an author who grew up traveling the country, rarely settling in one place for much longer than a minute. Being no stranger to heartache, she allows her unconventional childhood to fuel her writing. Kimmie can be found somewhere in the south writing wine-worthy stories.

Caine, Rachel

Rachel Caine is a big name in North Texas when it comes to several genres: urban fantasy, science fiction, horror, young adult, thrillers and romantic suspense. With more than fifty novels in print, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list 11 times, and had a #1 international bestseller in her Morganville Vampires series.

Part of Rachel’s story is re-invention. She’s had to adapt to changing circumstances multiple times to continue to thrive as an author. And that makes her a perfect keynote speaker for DFWCon’s theme this year: Intensify. It’s about renewing, re-energizing and refocusing your efforts as a writer.

Rachel, who lives in Fort Worth, has four novels out in 2017, including Red Hot Rain, a new Weather Warden novel; Stillhouse Lake, a new thriller; Ash and Quill, the third of her NYT bestselling Great Library series, and Bleeding Starlight (we hope we can keep that title!), the first book of The Honors, a new series co-written with Ann Aguirre.

She’s also involved in several anthologies that will drop in 2017, including the beautiful hardcover edition of Shawn Speakman’s Unfettered II. Her short story from The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft has been chosen for The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror.

Clarke, Will

The elusive and mysterious, yet friendly Will Clarke is the author of the critically acclaimed Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles.

Clement, Rosemary

Rosemary Clement writes supernatural mystery and adventure novels for youngish adults. Her books are on recommended reading lists and have received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. She drinks too much coffee, journals with a fountain pen, knits her own sweaters, and loves books with witty banter, romantic tension, dead bodies, and live ghosts. You can connect Tweet her at @readrosemary, or visit her webpage/blog at readrosemary.net.

Connor, Russell

Russell C. Connor is the author of nine novels, two short story collections, and four e-Novellas under his imprint Dark Filament Books. His novel Good Neighbors won both an Independent Publisher Award and a Readers’ Favorite Award. He is also a former president of the DFW Writers Workshop.

Cummings, Lindsay

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of young adult and middle-grade books for HarperCollins and Harlequin Teen. Her latest book, Zenith, is releasing August 1st internationally. Lindsay loves DFWCon. She got her first agent at the con when she was 18! Visit her at http://www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com

Davis, J.C.

J. C. Davis spent her childhood inventing secret worlds and finding forgotten places. Busy reading her way through the local library, she never imagined writing books of her own until one day, all grown up, she fell in love with a children’s book and decided to rediscover a few of those secret worlds she’d invented. Her debut novel, Cheesus Was Here, takes place in a tiny Texas town, which really is a strange world all its own. In addition to writing, J. C. is an amateur photographer, runs a Harry Potter meetup group and embraces all things nerdy. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two kids, a pair of rowdy dogs, an incontinent cat, a hamster with a ridiculously long name, and two adorable hedgehogs who want to take over the world.

Evans, Will

Will Evans is president and co-founder of Cinestate, an entertainment studio established in 2016 with the film producer Dallas Sonnier, combining book publishing, film production, and audio experiences. In 2013, Evans founded Deep Vellum Publishing, a nonprofit literary publisher dedicated to translating the world’s best novels into English. Evans also co-founded Deep Vellum Books in early 2016, a brick-and-mortar bookstore and cultural community center in Dallas’s historic Deep Ellum neighborhood. Prior to his career in publishing, Evans worked for five years in the music industry on tour and in Los Angeles before becoming a talent buyer for Austin’s iconic music venue, Emo’s. Evans graduated from Emory University with degrees in History and Russian Literature, and received a Master’s degree in Russian Culture from Duke University. His translation of Oleg Kashin’s political satire novel Fardwor, Russia! A Fantastical Tale of Life Under Putin, was published in 2016.

Farland, David

David Wolverton is an award-winning, bestselling author with more than 50 novels in print. He goes by the name David Farland for his fantasy novels. He has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for “Best Novel in the English Language” and the Whitney Award for “Best Novel of the Year.” He is best known for his New York Times bestselling fantasy series The Runelords. And he judges the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest.

Wolverton has mentored some of the most successful authors out there today, including Brandon Sanderson and Stephenie Meyer.

Fields, Ann

Ann Fields began her writing career in the romance genre in 1996. She published four romance novels and one novella under the pen name of Anna Larence before she encountered her first ghost. That one brush with the supernatural shifted her focus from love and happily ever after to love and life in the here and after. In her novel, Fuller’s Curse and her short stories featured in Voices from the Block (Volumes I & II) and Lyrical Darkness, she explores life in all its many dimensions. She can be reached online at http://www.annfields.com, http://twitter.com/ann_fields and http://www.facebook.com/AnnFieldsAuthor.

Frederick, Dawn

Dawn Michelle Frederick is the owner and literary agent of Red Sofa Literary, established at the end of 2008. She brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table, bringing multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, and a literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency. She carries a B.S. in Human Ecology and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution. Dawn is a co-founder of the MN Publishing Tweet Up, the News chair for the Twin Cities Advisory Council for MPR, and a teaching artist at Loft Literary. You can find her on Twitter at @redsofaliterary.

Friedman, Jane

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com (200,000 visits per month). She’s delivered keynotes on the digital era of authorship at the San Francisco Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and Willamette Writers Conference, among many others. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Her essays have been published in anthologies by the University of Chicago Press, Seal Press, Milkweed Editions, and McPherson & Co. She has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017).

Furlong, Jeannie

Dr. Jeannie Furlong earned her Ed.D. in Early Childhood Education and has survived 46 years in the field. She claims many handles: Episcopalian, wife, mother, grandmother, chief cook and bottle-washer, housekeeper, speaker, trainer, dog lover, avid Dallas Cowboy couch-quarterback-ess, plant enthusiast, watercolorist, illustrator, knitter, swimmer, correspondent, consultant, lover of Mondays and the color RED. She is a compulsive collector of picture books, a trainer for early-childhood instruction, and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Gale, Arlene

Arlene Gale has 30 years of professional writing and speaking experience. She helps clients write content for websites, social media, marketing materials, and more. Arlene helps authors become better speakers and create more dynamic presentations. Her non-fiction book Face Forward, Move Forward is a multiple international and national award winner. It was an Aamazon.com No. 1 Best New Release in four categories and stayed a No. 1 Best Seller for a year. Arlene’s written and published more than 1,000 magazine articles in technical trade magazines as well as feature stories in sports, inspirational, and other magazines.

Hall, Harry

Insightful and entertaining, Harry Hall used his years as a teacher and professional speaker to write the book, Help! Everyone Is Staring at Me, which gives readers tips on overcoming Americans’ number one fear (death is second). In late 2014, he completed, The Pedestriennes, America’s Forgotten Superstars, the first book ever written on the professional female endurance walkers who, from 1876-1881 dazzled the country with their on- and off-track exploits. The book took 12 years to complete. It has earned three national writing awards. Harry lives in Grand Prairie with his wife Susie, their teen son Zane and Zane’s best friend, Scamp (Pooch) Hall.

Hamilton, Sally

Sally Hamilton is an accomplished graphic designer with over 10 years of industry experience working with clients such as Westinghouse, Walmart, and Michaels. She is the designer of the DFW Writers’ Workshop, DFW Writers Bloc, and DFW Writers Conference logos including the 10th anniversary logo. Her book cover illustration credits include A. Lee Martinez’s Robot’s Vs. Slime Monsters anthology and Strange Afterlives, in which she has a featured short story. Freelancing as an expert on self-promotional materials for writers, Sally has worked with many authors to create a wide variety of enticing swag. Her goal is to include the author in the design process and to empower them with a better understanding of the importance of visual communication. In her spare time she writes the books she wants to read, crochets, and wrangles her novelologist husband A. Lee Martinez and their menagerie of furry, four-legged roommates.

Harp, Rachelle

Rachelle Harp is a speculative fiction author as well as an avid coffee drinker. She spins short stories and novels in various genres. Over the years, she’s worked in education as both a music and a history teacher, and taught at various local writers conferences. She and her family live in the North Dallas area. Most recently, Rachelle was a Writers of the Future Contest finalist and participant in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars. Rachelle is a Zebulon Contest winner for the Pikes Peak Writers. Her fiction is forthcoming in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine and published in Perihelion SF Magazine and onStarShipSofa. Her non-fiction can be found inChicken Soup for the Soul. She’s an associate member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a Codex Writers member.

Jackson, Lorrie Irby

Lorrie Irby Jackson is a Cleveland, OH native and Dallas-based freelance journalist. In addition to contributing stories to Upscale Magazine and The Dallas Morning News, Jackson is also a senior lead writer and music director for soultracks.com, a leading online resource for classic and current soul music. Links to her present and previous articles/commentary can be found at her personal blog, http://www.motherofcolor.com.

Klein, Stephanie

Ranked the 26th most powerful blogger in the world by The Observer, and having been compared with Sex & the City, dubbed “The Carrie Bradshaw of New York bloggers” by The New York Times, internationally acclaimed author and photographer Stephanie Klein is a uniquely influential storyteller with a cult-like following. Along with being profiled in magazines like Elle, People, and Entertainment Weekly, she has been featured on the cover of The New York Times Styles section, and has appeared on everything from 20/20 ABC News and The Today Show to the Rachael Show and The TV Food Network.

With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the best-selling memoirs Straight Up And Dirty (which she developed for ABC as a half-hour comedy series) and Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp (which she is adapting into a feature film), is presently completing her newest memoir about how her downright grueling experiences as a leader in The Girl Scouts of the USA have saved her marriage, friendships, and life. Klein lives with her husband and boy girl twins in New York, where she blogs about it all on http://www.stephanieklein.com.

Macke, Kelsey

Kelsey Macke is author of the award-winning YA novel, Damsel Distressed and half of the band Wedding Day Rain. When she’s not playing with snapchat filters, she’s speaking about writing, passion, and mental health. Equal parts enthusiasm and sincerity, Kelsey is a champion for creatives who want to connect more emotionally with their work and their audiences. Her work is represented by the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Connect with Kelsey online by visiting http://www.KelseyMacke.com.

Maisano, Laura

Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a senior editor at Anaiah Press for their young adult and new adult Christian fiction. She’s the author of the YA fantasy series Illirin (Schism and Unity) and will be releasing her geeky YA romance this year! Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. Check out her blog at http://LauraMaisano.blogspot.com or twitter @MaisanoLaura.

Martinez, Rod

Rod was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and was attracted to words at an early age. His first book “The Boy Who Liked to Read” was created in grade school, his teacher kept it. Eventually he discovered comic books, but his High School English teacher told him to try short story writing. He wrote middle-grade adventure The Juniors that was picked up by a publisher, and the rest – as they say, is history.

Marx, Keith

Keath is an information security professional with more than 25 years of experience. As an industry professional as well as an author, he brings the subject of cybercrime to life to inform and inspire fellow writers to delve into the dark depths of this shadowy world and use it to inform and shape their own stories.

McLaughlin, Henry

Henry McLaughlin writes historical, contemporary and fantasy novels. His debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the Operation First Novel award sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and was published by Tyndale House in January, 2011. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and serves as Associate Director of Story Help Groups. Henry regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, ghostwrites, and mentors and coaches. Visit him online at www.henrymclaughlin.org

Miller, Peter

Peter Miller has been a literary and film manager for several decades and is President and CEO of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, Inc. (previously PMA Literary & Film Management Inc. of New York). He has represented more than 1,400 books globally, including 23 New York Times bestsellers. In addition, his company has had 23 movies produced that he either managed, developed or executive produced, three of which have been nominated for Emmy Awards: Goodbye, Miss Fourth of July (The Disney Channel, with four nominations); A Gift of Love (Showtime, with two nominations); and Helter Skelter (CBS, with one nomination). Peter Miller has several film and television projects currently in active development. Known in both the publishing world and Hollywood as “The Literary Lion”, Peter Miller regularly attends colleges, universities, writing conferences, Book Expo America, the London International Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Neugebauer, Annie

Annie Neugebauer is a novelist, short story author, and poet. She has work appearing in more than 50 venues, including Black Static, Apex Magazine, and Fireside. Her book of poetry received an honorable mention in the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She also has work forthcoming in anthologies such as Suspended in Dusk 2, Fearful Fathoms, and Memento Mori. Annie’s an active member of the Horror Writers Association, webmaster for the Poetry Society of Texas, and a columnist for two Writer’s Digest award-winning websites: Writer Unboxed and LitReactor. She’s represented by Alec Shane of Writers House. You can visit her at http://www.AnnieNeugebauer.com for blogs, poems, organizational tools for writers, and more. Follow her on twitter @AnnieNeugebauer.

Nisinbaum, Inka

Inka Nisinbaum is originally from Germany, now living in Dallas. She is a published author in Germany who just finished her first novel in English. Inka didn’t get a lot encouragement when she realized writing was her calling. It was always “Writing? But what do you really want to do?” Inka holds a Master in Psychology, is a double lung and liver transplant survivor (the first woman worldwide who had a child after this kind of transplant) and is an Amazon-bestselling author in her area of expertise. And she did it all by herself. If you struggle with confidence and doubt your mad skills, Inka will help you. “I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

Olin, Jaime

Jaime Olin is a young adult author and attorney based in Dallas. Most of her YA protagonists can be found somewhere on the ‘unlikeable’ spectrum, but she loves them anyway. Jaime has recently signed with an agent to represent her YA contemporary debut novel. She also leads a novel critique group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Pelletier, Sharon

Sharon Pelletier grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and moved to New York in 2009 to pursue a career in publishing. She joined Dystel & Goderich Literary Management in 2013 after working for Europa Editions, Vantage Press, and Barnes & Noble. At DGLM, in addition to growing her own client list, Sharon oversees digital projects and social media. While her interests are broad, Sharon’s list focuses on upmarket commercial fiction, including suspense categories and book club fiction. She is also interested in narrative nonfiction and YA suspense.

Rae, Carolyn

Carolyn Rae follows her passion, writing romantic suspense in which bullets are flying, people are dying, and lovers are resisting attraction, at least until they can escape the danger chasing them. Carolyn is the author of a Witness Protection Series trilogy, Hiding from Love, Protected by Love, and Tempted by Love. Her latest e-book is Just the Two of Us. She is also an author of There IS Life After Lettuce, a cookbook for heart patients and diabetics.

Ruben, Eric

Eric Ruben is the founder and president of The Ruben Agency. As a veteran entertainment professional, and a graduate of New York’s Cardozo School of Law, Eric has a unique perspective that is valuable to writers. Eric has sold clients’ books to major publishers including Avon, Harper Collins, Ballantine, Loveswept, Harlequin, Samhain, Midnight Ink, and more.

Saul, Abby

Abby founded The Lark Group after a decade in publishing at John Wiley & Sons, Sourcebooks, and Browne & Miller Literary Associates. She’s worked with and edited bestselling and award-winning authors as well as major brands. At each publishing group she’s been a part of, Abby also has helped to establish e-book standards, led company-wide forums to explore new digital possibilities for books, and created and managed numerous digital initiatives.

A zealous reader who loves her iPad and the e-books on it, she still can’t resist the lure of a print book. Abby’s personal library of beloved titles runs the gamut from literary newbies and classics, to cozy mysteries, to sappy women’s fiction, to dark and twisted thrillers. Find her @BookySaul on Twitter.

Skorkowsky, Seth

Raised in the swamps and pine forests of East Texas, Seth Skorkowsky gravitated to the darker sides of fantasy, preferring horror and pulp heroes over knights in shining armor. His debut novel, Dämoren, was published in 2014 as book #1 in the Valducan series; it was followed by Hounacier in 2015 and Ibenus in 2016. Seth has also released two sword-and-sorcery rogue collections with his Tales of the Black Raven series. When not writing, Seth enjoys cheesy movies, tabletop role-playing games, and traveling the world with his wife.

Stegall, C.L.

C.L. Stegall is the author of modern speculative fiction novels, short stories and the web serial, Codename: Church. His work ranges from young adult (the Progeny series) to thrillers such as The Ordeal and White Sands. He is the editor of and contributor to the novella anthologies 4POCALYPSE: Four Tales of a Dark Future and 4RCHETYPES: Modern Interpretations of Classic Horror. He has also served as editor for numerous short stories and enjoys the process as much as the results. He is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy in all their forms, a lover of carrot cake and a former military intelligence linguist. He lives in Plano with his lovely wife and two dogs who think they run the joint.

Taylor, Brent

Brent Taylor is an associate literary agent at Triada Us. His tastes are eclectic, but all of his favorite novels are similar in that they tend to have fresh voice and fantastic writing.

He is seeking smart, fun, and exciting books in the following categories: middle grade, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, and crime fiction. His favorite books include: The Time Traveler’s Wife, White Oleander, The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and The Westing Game.

Terrazas, Beatriz

Beatriz Terrazas is a writer and photographer with nearly three decades of journalism experience. She has covered assignments ranging from political conventions to Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Cuba, from the history of Mexican vanilla to what the Rio Grande means to people along its 1900-mile journey. Terrazas was part of a Dallas Morning News team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for the project Violence Against Women: A Question of Human Rights. She was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1998. Terrazas is a repeat instructor at the Highland Park Literary Festival and the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. She divides her time between the written word and the visual story, and has an abiding belief that stories can save lives.

Thompson, Tex

Arianne “Tex” Thompson is home-grown Texas success story. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in literature, she channeled her passion for exciting, innovative, and inclusive fiction into the Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris. Now a professional speaker and writing instructor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex is blazing a trail through writers conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, relentlessly enthusiastic one-woman stampede. Find her online at http://www.TheTexFiles.com!

Tienstra, Kae

Kae Tienstra, a literary publicist since 1979, launched her literary agency with her husband Jon in 2007. She is interested in women’s fiction, mysteries (especially cozy mysteries), nonfiction health, medical, psychology and nature books.

Trester, Kes

A native of Los Angeles, Kes Trester is a former film development executive, independent film producer, and television commercial producer. In an attempt to raise kids who could actually pick their mom out of a line up, Kes turned to writing full-time. Her contemporary novels for young adults are cinematic, fast-paced, and above all, fun. Add an understanding husband and a pack of rescue dogs to the mix, and that’s also an apt description of life in the busy Trester household. Her debut YA novel, A Dangerous Year, will be published this year.

Underdahl, Robin

Robin Underdahl is co-author (ghost) of Shoot the Conductor: Too Close to Monteux, Szell, and Ormandy, which is the memoir of Anshel Brusilow. Published by University of North Texas Press, it received first place in the 2015 INDIEFAB book prize (Music and Performing Arts) and in the 2014 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Contest (book manuscripts). Her fiction has appeared in Notre Dame Review, Columbia, Coachella Review, Dark Sky, Short Story, and other journals. Her memoir of place in Upstreet was listed among Notable Essays in the 2011 Best American Essays. She holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University.

Von der Heydt, Kirk

Kirk von der Heydt was born in New York, but by age 16 he had attended 20 different schools across the country. When not outside exploring new towns, he found adventures in books. Even as an adult, Kirk continues searching for new challenges. Whether it is returning to college, building things in his shop, riding his motorcycle, or creating new stories, Kirk is a true renaissance man. After honing his craft with the DFW Writers Workshop and being the 2014 DFWCon director, Kirk is ready to share his adventures. Rabbit Slayer is his debut novel and the first book in The Alice Chronicles. Kirk lives in Hurst, Texas with his supportive and native-Texan wife. He is also the proud father of two beautiful adult daughters who are the inspiration for his novels. Read more about Kirk at http://www.kirkvonderheydt.com.