Speed Dating for Writers (advance registration required, slots filled)
As a special, popular add-on session, seasoned writers, marketers and agents will answer your questions and share writing and publishing tips. It’s based on a speed dating model that allows writers to learn a variety of perspectives from the pros in a short amount of time.
Three sessions will be offered (7:45-8:45 a.m., Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, and 3:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7) in the Executive Dining Room.
The sessions will be moderated by Tracy Beckerman, nationally syndicated humor columnist and author.
Meet the pros:
Lauren E. Abramo joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2005 after receiving degrees in English at New York University and Irish Studies at National University of Ireland Galway. As vice president and subsidiary rights director for the agency, she sells foreign and audio rights, and she also maintains a small client list. Her interests include humorous middle-grade and contemporary young adult on the children’s side and upmarket commercial fiction and well-paced literary fiction on the adult side. She’s also interested in adult narrative nonfiction, especially pop culture, psychology, pop science, reportage, media and contemporary culture, with a strong focus on books about social justice. In nonfiction she has a strong preference for interdisciplinary approaches, and in all categories she’s especially interested in underrepresented voices. (Agent 1: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Kim Bongiorno, author, full-time freelance writer and award-winning blogger behind Let Me Start By Saying, is best known for her parenting humor, whether in 280 characters on Twitter or essay form in a New York Times bestseller. She has had well over 1,000 articles published on more than two dozen websites, appeared in nine humor anthologies, self-published a collection of short fiction, wrote a young adult novel, is working on a middle-grade novel, was a social media manager for a popular women’s website, has taught writing and online presence at writing conferences and creates something new every day. Kim lives in New Jersey with her handsome husband and two charmingly loud kids, who she pretends to listen to while playing on Facebook and Twitter. If she were less tired, she’d totally add something really clever to her bio so you’d never forget this moment. Learn more at KimBongiornoWrites. (Social Media: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
David Braughler is the founder and CEO of Braughler Books. He works with authors, organizations and executives to help them turn their stories and expertise into published books. Over the last six years, he’s worked individually with more than 200 authors on nearly 300 titles. David has partnered with authors in the U.S., Spain and Australia on books ranging from self-help and memoirs to business topics and personal essays. (Publishing: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Donna Cavanagh is founder of HumorOutcasts.com (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press (humor books), which expanded to include the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books so authors of all genres would be represented. Donna launched HO as an outlet for writers to showcase their work in a world that offered few avenues for humor. HO now features the creative talents of more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, TV and movie producers, filmmakers, comics and authors from all over the world. (Publishing: 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp has worked as a freelance writer since 2001 publishing service journalism articles as well as personal essays. She received “Best Overall Blog” in the Digital Media Category of the 2017 Society of Professional Journalists Awards for her monthly blog in Cincinnati Family magazine. Also for her work in Cincinnati Family Magazine, Bonnie was named Gold winner from Parent Media Association in 2018 for General Feature Writing. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times; Scary Mommy; and Brain, Child Magazine as well as regional parenting publications. Bonnie is the communications director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and is a member of Parent Media Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a wife and mother of three and she writes from her home office in Louisville, Kentucky, where PJs are considered professional attire. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie. (Writing for Magazines: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
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 of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, she maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com. (Landing a Book Deal: 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Bob Hostetler is a literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency and an award-winning author and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His 50 books, which include the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door (co-authored with Josh McDowell) and The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, have sold millions of copies. Bob is also the executive director of the Christian Writers Institute. (Agent 2: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room, and 3:30-4:30, Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Katrina Kittle is the author of five novels— Traveling Light; Two Truths and a Lie; The Kindness of Strangers; The Blessings of the Animals; and Reasons to Be Happy. The Kindness of Strangers won the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. Katrina teaches creative writing workshops from third graders to retirement communities, focusing on craft and motivation (and is especially good at jumpstarting stalled writers). She teaches in the Dayton-Cincinnati area through Word’s Worth Writing Center, offers manuscript consultations and is a public speaker. (Fiction: 3:30-4:30, Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Peter Marino is an emeritus English professor at SUNY Adirondack. His young adult novels, Dough Boy and Magic and Misery, were nominated for the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults, the latter included on Booklist’s Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth and the ALA Round Table’s Rainbow Books Bibliography. (Fiction: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, Executive Dining Room)
Dinty W. Moore is the author of 11 books, including The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, he edits Brevity, an online journal of flash nonfiction. (Memoir: 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Allia Zobel Nolan has written more than 175 traditionally published titles that reflect her two main passions: God and cats. Her publishers include Workman, MacMillan, Adams Media, Simon & Schuster, Harvest House, Harper Christian (Zonderkidz), Standard, Tommy Nelson, B&H and Kregel, among others. Recent titles include Cat Confessions: A Kitty-Come-Clean Tell-All Book (112,000+ copies sold); Whatever Is Lovely: a 90-day Devotional and Journal; The Worrywart’s Prayer Book; The Joy of Being Fifty (illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast); Angels in the Bible Storybook; Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much (illustrated by Nicole Hollander); and the classic award-winning children’s book, What I Like About Me: A Book about Differences. She worked as senior editor for Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing for nine years. She recently collaborated with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop to publish Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget, due out in April 2018. (Landing a Book Deal: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Brian O’Connor is an award-winning business and finance columnist, founding managing editor of Bankrate.com, executive ghostwriter, custom content consultant and author of The $1,000 Challenge: How One Family Slashed Its Budget Without Moving Under a Bridge or Living on Government Cheese, which was named Best Money Management Book of the Year by The Institute for Financial Literacy. He has won three humor-writing awards from the National Society of Newspaper columnists, a two-time Best in Business winner for his columns in The Detroit News, and winner of the Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize from Columbia University. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Martha Stewart Living and The Wall Street Journal. (Syndication: 3:30-4:30, Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Zachary Petit is a journalist, magazine editor, photo dabbler and “lover of all things writerly, design-ish and nerd-like.” He is the author of three books, including The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work and Thrive On Your Own Terms. (Writing for Magazines: 3:30-4:30, Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Susan Pohlman is an essayist, editor/writing coach, retreat leader and author of the memoir Halfway to Each Other. (Memoir: 7:45-8:45 a.m., Friday, April 6, Executive Dining Room)
Cindy Ratzlaff is an author, speaker and president of Brand New Brand You, Inc., a brand marketing and communications consulting firm. She is a 29-year veteran of the book publishing industry, having held executive positions at both Simon & Schuster and Rodale Inc. (Social Media: 3:30-4:30, Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Suzette Martinez Standring is a syndicated spirituality columnist with GateHouse Media. She wrote The Art of Opinion Writing: Insider Secrets from Top Op-Ed Columnists, which won First Place in the 2014 New England Book Festival and is an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her previous book, The Art of Column Writing, has won awards, and both books are used in national journalism courses such as Johns Hopkins University. Suzette is executive director of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the host and producer of It’s All Write With Suzette, a cable TV show about writing. (Syndication: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Sharon Short is executive director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton. She has written the coming-of-age novel My One Square Inch of Alaska; two mystery series; and a collection of humorous essays. Under her pen name, Jess Montgomery, she is the author of a historical mystery series set in 1920s Appalachian Ohio, featuring a female sheriff, to be published by Minotaur Books starting in 2019. (Fiction: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Saba Sulaiman is an associate agent at Talcott Notch Literary Services, a boutique agency in Milford, Connecticut. She’s looking to build her client list in a variety of genres. Captivating storytelling with characters who are smart and weird and wonderful and engage in meaningful relationships that evolve over time is what makes her world spin. (Agent 1: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)
Marion Winik is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore and the author of nine books, among them First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, Highs in the Low Fifties and The Lunch-Box Chronicles. (Memoir: 7:45-8:45 a.m. Saturday, April 7, Executive Dining Room)