Meet Our KEYNOTES:
Friday Night Keynote Speaker – Gayle Lynds
New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds is the award-winning author of ten international espionage novels, including The Assasssins, The Book of Spies, and The Last Spymaster. Her books have won numerous awards. Publishers Weekly lists her thriller Masquerade among the top ten spy novels of all time. Library Journal hails her as “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” Lee Child says she’s “today’s best espionage writer.” The Associated Press calls her “a master of the Modern Cold War spy thriller.”
With Robert Ludlum, she created the Covert-One series. The first – The Hades Factor – was a CBS miniseries. A member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, she is co-founder (with David Morrell) of International Thriller Writers, Inc. She lives outside Portland with her husband and a bossy geriatric cat. Please visit her at www.GayleLynds.com and read her blog posts at www.RogueWomenWriters.com
Saturday Luncheon Keynote Speaker – Wende Dikec
Wende has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy. She teaches writing classes for young people, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Three Rivers Romance Writers, YARWA, Women’s Fiction Writers, Mindful Writers, and PennWriters. Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
To learn more about Wende and her books, check out her websites: www.wendedikec.com or www.abigaildrake.com. She can also be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendedikecwriter/ and https://www.facebook.com/abigaildrakewriter/. To read her dog blog, go to https://www.facebook.com/Capone-the-Wonder-Dog-911837042208982/.
Thursday Intensive Instructors:
Full-Day – Stuart Horwitz
Stuart Horwitz is a ghostwriter, independent editor, and founder of Book Architecture. His clients have reached the best-seller list in both fiction and non-fiction, and have appeared on Oprah!, The Today Show, and in the most prestigious journals in their fields. He is the author of three books on writing: Blueprint Your Bestseller, which was named one of 2013’s best books about writing, Book Architecture (2015) which became an Amazon bestseller, and Finish Your Book in Three Drafts which was released in June of 2016.
Thursday Full-Day Intensive
Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: Crafting Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction with the Book Architecture Method
It’s the age-old battle between the outliners and the pantsers – those who meticulously script every writing session, and those who pilot solely by feel. Finding your unique approach requires a method rather than a formula. The Book Architecture Method has helped bestselling writers transform their messy manuscripts into polished books. Accomplished and aspiring writers alike will learn the secrets of how to painlessly create a complex narrative such as:
- what “plotting” actually means, and why there isn’t one narrative arc but several
- how to make sure your book has one “theme” – and one theme only
- how to separate your work into scenes and use this disassembly to diagnose what’s going wrong with your manuscript
- the secret to why some narratives feel like they are all coming together at an emotional pay-off while others do not
This workshop will introduce writers to a process for organization and revision that includes in-depth exercises to be completed throughout the day so that attendees leave with a new perspective on their book’s core, its structure, and where the work of revision lies most clearly. The workshop assumes nothing of a writer’s previous knowledge of technique, nor how much of their manuscript is complete.
Thursday Morning (Half-Day) Intensive with Bobbi Cardduci
Bobbi is an award winning author and multi published short story writer. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, in print and online. Bobbi’s website and blog can be found at www.bobbicarducci.com and theimperfectcaregiver.com. Bobbi also blogs monthly for TheCaregiverSpace.org and AgingCare.com.
Creative Writing for Truth Tellers (Nonfiction Intensive)
Opportunities for nonfiction writers include memoir, feature articles, how-to, reviews, travel writing, profiles, and personal essays. Participants will learn how to use creative writing techniques to enhance their work. Brief writing exercises included in this interactive workshop where participants are invited to bring a sample of their work to share with the group. Beginners welcome.
Thursday Afternoon (Half Day) Intensive with Timons Esaias
Timons Esaias is a satirist, poet, essayist and short fictionabulator. His works have appeared in twenty languages. A finalist for the BSFA, and winner of the Asimov’s Readers Award for poetry, his story “Norbert and the System” has appeared in a textbook, and in college curricula. He teaches in the Seton Hill University MFA in Writing Popular Fiction.
Warfare For Writers: Some basics for the writer who sends characters into battle.
This workshop tackles three elements of this very vast subject, in separate sections:
“A Catechism for the Semi-Clueless” addresses the fundamentals of military science: What is War? Why are there units? Why officers? What are strategy, tactics, logistics and camp-followers? Other basic definitions will be addressed, but most importantly we’ll ask ‘What Does This Mean For My Writing?’ for each element.
“Fortifications 101” is a slide show lecture, discussing defenses through history. There will be naming of parts, with a focus on the nine essential elements that tend to be missing when you visit castles, forts and bastions today.
“Getting Combat on the Page” will be writing exercises, to put theory into practice. We’ll break battle down into modular parts, and consider what to show the reader, and what to spare them. We’ll remind ourselves that battle is our opportunity to stress our fictional characters in a nicely extreme environment.
Agents & Editors:
Agent Louise Fury – The Bent Agency
Louise Fury represents literary and commercial fiction for teens and adults, as well as select nonfiction. A native South African, Louise lives in New York City and travels to Cape Town every year, where she spends time educating South African writers and meeting with international publishers. Before agenting, she worked in marketing and advertising for both the consumer markets and publishing. Louise represents numerous New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors. Louise is a huge advocate of utilizing secondary rights—she has sold film/TV, audio and foreign rights for her clients and believes in staying ahead of the pack by embracing change, not just adapting to it.
Looking for: … writers with a unique voice and an unforgettable story, whether it be for kids or adults, fiction or nonfiction. I’m particularly drawn to manuscripts that are written with an unforgettable voice—this can be deep, dark and gritty or literary, lyrical and emotional. I love unique or unusual formatting as well as art and/or graphics. Both fiction and nonfiction.
Also interested in: Graphic novels, mysteries and thrillers. I want high-concept ideas, sports books, humor and pop culture manuscripts. I also love cooking and craft books.
Louise will be joining us for “Your Agent For 20 Minutes” which will be by appointment only.
Associate Editor Alexa Pastor – Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Alexa Pastor joined Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in August of 2014. First assisting Justin Chanda, and now working with Zareen Jaffery, Alexa has been fortunate enough to work with some of the most celebrated voices in the industry including Morgan Matson, Patricia MacLachlan, S.J. Kincaid, and Mike Lupica. She is also the lucky editor of the Anna, Banana chapter book series by Anica Rissi and several other projects by talented authors including Leah Henderson, Kathleen Krull, and Mary Taranta.
Prior to landing her dream job, Alexa interned at both Bloomsbury Children’s Books and Running Press Kids, was a bookseller at Barnes and Noble, and graduated summa cum laude from Villanova University (Go ‘Cats!). She completed her master’s degree in Children’s and Young Adult Publishing at Rosemont College in 2015. She is acquiring literary and commercial picture books, middle grade, and YA with fresh, honest voices that demand to be heard, and stories that make her laugh or cry enough that people look at her sideways on her long commute. You can follow Alexa on Twitter @Alexa_Pastor926.
Agent Sheree Bykofsky – Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc. Literary Agency
Sheree Bykofsky founded her agency, Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc., in New York City and has represented over 1,000 authors. She is also the author of more than two dozen books, including five editions of THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO GETTING PUBLISHED (not for idiots). Her agency represents all adult genres but is concentrating particularly on prescriptive non-fiction, especially health, business, self-help/psychology, parenting, food, spiritual, games, biography and current affairs, women’s interest, humor, pop culture. In fiction, we particularly like commercial fiction with literary appeal and mysteries. We are always looking for a bestseller in any category.
Some of the genres we generally will not represent include horror, westerns, occult, picture books, and fantasy.
Agent Lauren Bieker – Fine Print Literary Management
After a brief career in the fashion industry, Lauren made her move to publishing as an intern for agent Paige Wheeler. She moved to FinePrint to assist with day-to-day administrative tasks, but is now developing her client list and is open to queries.
Lauren is looking for commercial and upmarket women’s fiction and some well-crafted and differentiated YA novels. She is also open to select dystopian science fiction, as well as high concept and literary fiction works. She appreciates great storytelling and is a “sucker” for outstanding writing and convincing characters. While primarily interested in fiction, she will consider non-fiction proposals related to the world of fashion.
Lauren writes during her free time and has been published on various online platforms. She has attended many writing workshops and intensives, including the National Academy of Writing’s intensive at Cambridge University in the UK.
Please note: Lauren is NOT looking for religious fiction, horror, fantasy, or political/military fiction.
Agent Paul Stevens – Donald Maass Literary Agency
Paul Stevens joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016. Before that he worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery.
Paul represents Jeremy Finley, Agnes Gomillion, Sean Grigsby, Alyc Helms, Iain Hannay Fraser, Leanna Renee Hieber, Kel Kade, Dan Koboldt, Michael Livingston, Matt Maley, Elle Andrews Patt, and Stephen S. Power.
Paul is an Ohio native and a graduate of the Ohio State University. He also grows carnivorous plants.
Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, suspense, and humorous fiction.
(Paul is not looking for young adult or middle grade books at this time. If you have a YA or MG project, please consider submitting to one of the other agents at this agency.)
He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.
Agent Sandy Lu – L. Perkins Agency
Sandy Lu joined L. Perkins Agency in 2009 and is actively building her client list. She holds BAs in psychology and sociology from Queens College, with minors in music, business, and Japanese. Prior to becoming an agent, she attended the Ph.D. Program in Social and Personality Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center and worked as a business manager in the theater industry. Originally from Taiwan, she is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese.
Sandy is looking for submissions that will draw her in with a unique voice, make her miss her subway stop and keep her up all night. She especially loves historical fiction and anything dark, twisted, or with a supernatural bent. For more information, please visit www.lperkinsagency.com.
Currently Looking For: Fiction: commercial and upmarket fiction, mystery/crime, thriller, horror, sci-fi/fantasy, and YA. Non-fiction: narrative, history, biography, science, and pop culture.
Not Looking For: Poetry, picture books, graphic novels, religions/spirituality, politics/current affairs, parenting, sports, and how-to/self-help.
Clients: Michael Boccacino, M. H. Boroson, Kim Foster, Jennifer Harlow, Dot Hutchison, Robin Riopelle, Randall Silvis, and C. V. Wyk.
Conference Workshop Schedule (.pdf)