Keynote Speaker: Chuck Wendig
Chuck is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and Zer0es/Invasive, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. He was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, an alum of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and served as the cowriter of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. He is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds.com, and books about writing such as Damn Fine Story. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.
Shay Youngblood is a Georgia born writer, artist, teacher and mentor. She is author of the novels Black Girl in Paris and Soul Kiss and collections of short fiction. Her published plays have been widely produced and her short stories have been performed at Symphony Space and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Sustained Achievement Award, Youngblood received her MFA in Playwriting from Brown University. She was the inaugural Writer in Residence at the Dallas Museum of Art and is an artist board member of Yaddo artist colony. Her current project is a performance and art installation about architecture, memory and the environment based on research conducted in Japan, China, Texas, and Santa Fe.
Bob Mayer grew up in New York, City, graduated West Point, and served in the Infantry and Special Forces (Green Berets). After leaving active duty he studied martial arts in the Orient. He is the New York Times bestselling author of over 75 books.
Liara Tamani is the author of Calling My Name, a PEN America Literary Award finalist and SCBWI Golden Kite Award honoree. Liara’s forthcoming novel is All the Things We Never Knew. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College and a BA from Duke University. She lives in Houston, Texas and can be found online at www.liaratamani.com.