The 2022 speakers:


Talent, Craft, and Platform—the Publishing Deal Triad

Amy Collins is an agent with the Talcott Notch Literary Services agency with 30 years in the publishing industry as a book buyer and sales director for a large non-fiction publisher. She is a USA TODAY and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling author as well as an agent. Collins is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended publishing consultant. In her agent role, Collins focuses on non-fiction/history, historical fiction, fantasy and sci-fi. She can be reached at amysadvice.com. She is on the national advisory board for IngramSpark, a member of Mensa, a featured columnist for Writers Digest, IBPA, and a trusted teacher at conferences world-wide. She has taught and spoken at many of the publishing industry’s top festivals and conferences including Scottish Writers Association, Publisher’s Weekly’s BookCon, Oklahoma Writer’s Conference, Rocky Mountain Writers Conference, AAPS, Dublin Writers Conference, BAIPA, PALA, St. Louis Writer’s Conference, Writers Digest, Las Vegas Writers Conference, and many others.


The Skeleton in the Closet: What Film Structure Can Teach Us About Crafting Our Stories

Developmental editor Harrison Demchick came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than eighty published novels and memoirs. He’s also the author of 2012 literary horror novel “The Listeners” and short stories including “Tailgating” (Tales to Terrify, 2020) and “The Yesterday House” (Aurealis, 2020). As a screenwriter his first film Ape Canyon was released in April 2021. Harrison is currently accepting new clients in fiction and memoir at the Writer’s Ally (https://thewritersally.com/).


Inside the Lines: A Game Plan for Writing a Winning Sports Romance

USA Today bestselling author Tracy Solheim writes books with shirtless men on the cover. Some of them are actually bestsellers. The books, not the men. When she's not writing, she's practicing her curling… bottles of wine, that is. She's been known to cook dinner but no more than two nights in a row. Most days, she'd rather be reading, which to her is just necessary research. She lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and a neurotic Labrador retriever. Her two adult children visit but not often enough. (See the note above about cooking.) See what she’s up to at tracysolheim.com


The Plot and Structure Master Guide: How One Simple Document Can Make Your Story’s Structure Stronger

Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, is the author of 10 books (fiction, nonfiction, academic, children’s). She’s been a professional writer and editor for over 25 years, helping authors master story writing through speaking, personal coaching, and dozens of online courses in multiple venues. She has been a university writing instructor (two universities) and Writing & Communications Curriculum Development Lead (for a third university) overseeing the university's writing course content, as well as developing multiple college writing curricula and programs for students across the world. Erin has enjoyed speaking to audiences for over 30 years and has judged numerous book and anthology contests, including first and second tier judging for the Vivians and Ritas. She currently works with well-known authors for fiction writing course development and Hollywood A-listers for story development. She directs one of the largest online writing programs for teens, overseeing 20+ writing teachers, and continues to develop fiction writing curriculum for students worldwide. Coffee mug or espresso in hand and surrounded by her collies, Erin writes from Michigan. Visit https://erinbrownconroy.blog for more.


A Procrastinator’s Guide to Productivity: How to Beat the Monster and Get Sh!t Done

Alyssa Alexander is a USA Today Bestselling author who survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. Her books have been translated into multiple languages, received Top Picks from RT, Publisher Weekly Starred Reviews, and nominated for RT Best First Historical. When not working at her day job, writing, cleaning house, scaling Mount Laundry, or doing any of the other tasks a wife, mother and writer must do, she can usually be found with a book in her hand. And maybe a drink with a paper umbrella.


Basics of Editing and Proofreading

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter has been presenting popular in-person and virtual speeches for organizations, associations, and nonprofits for many years about topics such as editing and proofreading, freelancing, websites, grammar, interviewing, and more.


Make Goodreads Work for You

Diane K. Peterson is a retired school library media specialist who promotes the romance novel industry as an researcher, speaker, and reviewer. Most recently she has been contributing information to the RomanceWiki to help build the history of the genre as well as reviewing romance novels for Novels Alive. Diane leads classes and workshops for authors and older adults (Osher program). A compulsive “fixer,” she uses her status as a Goodreads librarian to correct and improve book records and assist authors. Website: www.dianekpeterson.com


Your Pacing Score: A Numeric System for Finding Slow Spots (And Tips to Fix Them)

Arielle Haughee (Hoy) is a six-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, and writing coach, and was previously the Executive Vice President and Conference Chair for the Florida Writers Association. She was honored with the President’s Award from FWA in 2020, and in 2021 Pling’s Party was awarded Children’s Book of the Year.


Pump Up Your Prose

Ava Cuvay is an award-winning bestselling author of sci-fi and paranormal romance featuring sassy heroines, gutsy heroes, passion, and adventure, often set in a galaxy far, far away. She resides in central Indiana with her own scruffy-looking nerfherder and kiddos who remind her daily she’s not nearly as cool as she thinks. She offers lively presentations and is passionate about helping other writers achieve their publishing goals. She believes life is too short to bother with negative people, everything is better with Champagne, and Han Solo shot first. When not writing, Ava is thinking about writing. Or wine. And she’s always thinking about bacon.


Writing More Diverse and Inclusive Romance

Jeevani Charika writes multicultural women’s fiction. She also writes romantic comedies under the pen name Rhoda Baxter. Her books have been shortlisted for various awards. One of these days, she’ll actually win one. Jeevani is British-Sri Lankan. She loves all things science geeky. She also loves cake, crochet, and playing with Lego. You can find out more about her (and get a free book by signing up to her newsletter) on her website. www.jeevanicharika.com


The Modern Author’s Press Kit

Sarah N. Fisk is a former mechanical engineer who made the switch to publishing in 2011. They have worked in the publishing industry as an editorial assistant, author’s assistant, publicist, and art director. Sarah is a former Pitch Wars mentor, board member, and Agent Liaison. They host the podcast Queries, Qualms, & Quirks and have a passion for spreadsheets. Sarah is one of the founding members of Disability in Publishing.

Getting Your Rights Back from a Publisher

Considered one of the most prolific writers working in modern fiction, New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith published far over two hundred novels in forty years, and hundreds and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction books. He has over twenty-three million copies of his books in print.


At the moment he produces novels in four major series, including the time travel Thunder Mountain novels set in the old west, the galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe series, the cold case mystery series, Cold Poker Gang series, and the superhero series starring Poker Boy.


During his career, Dean also wrote a couple dozen Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, Spider-Man and X-Men novels, plus novels set in gaming and television worlds. Writing with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch under the name Kathryn Wesley, they wrote the novel for the NBC miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and other books for Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.


He wrote novels under dozens of pen names in the worlds of comic books and movies, including novelizations of almost a dozen films, from X-Men to The Final Fantasy to Steel to Rundown.


Dean also worked as a fiction editor off and on, starting at Pulphouse Publishing, then at VB Tech Journal, then Pocket Books, and now at WMG Publishing where he and Kristine Kathryn Rusch serve as executive editors for the acclaimed Fiction River anthology series. He took over the editorship of the acclaimed Pulphouse Magazine in 2018.


For more information about Dean’s books and ongoing projects, please visit his website at www.deanwesleysmith.com


Free Alternatives to Microsoft Word

Crystal Ramos is a Maggie award winning writer with an MA in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. She also worked at a computer repair shop for almost five years and made it through her undergrad without using Microsoft Word.


Creating an Audiobook for Your Literary Masterpiece

Flo McCahon (aka Millie Mack) writes the Faraday Murder Series featuring amateur sleuths Carrie and Charles Faraday. The series includes both print, ebook, and audio versions. And she just completed her first culinary mystery for her new Irish Bistro Murder Series. Besides her mystery books, Millie also writes a blog all about mysteries at www.darkandstormynights.com. The blog features mystery authors, detectives, and techniques. And to challenge the reader’s mystery knowledge, there is an assortment of word search and crossword puzzles.


Social Media 101: How to Harness the Right Social Media to Promote Your Book

Jenna Grinstead is a whimsical Midwesterner with a penchant for magic and a deep desire for a world where the weird and different are embraced and celebrated. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she studied journalism. She found a way to turn her imagination and creativity into a career in marketing while writing romance, young adult, and middle grade fiction. She has conducted workshops and spoken on writing, world-building, social media, and marketing for writers, students, parents, and business owners. When she's not plotting her next story you can find her devouring novels and mint chocolate chip ice cream in her house with California poppies painted across the garage.