Conference Presenters

From Writer to Author

Visit these conference pages:
Main Conference Page
Location & Hotel Information
Full and Half Conference
Awards Banquet Only
Meals Only

The following information is up to date as of June 18, 2019.

Presenters (and/or Mentors)

Nancy Arbuthnot
♦ Friday 2:00-3:15 and Saturday 10:00-10:30

Nancy Arbuthnot is a poet and professor emerita at the United States Naval Academy where she taught composition, literature, and creative writing from 1981-2010. She still enjoys teaching, and will be presenting Writing a Memoir or Non-fiction Piece (Saturday) and moderating a panel on Targeted Writing (Friday). She looks forward to mentoring attendees about jump-starting memoir writing.

Joseph Badal
♦ Saturday 8:00-9:00

Joseph Badal is a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran and author of 14 award-winning thrillers and mysteries. He will be managing the conference mentoring program and moderating a panel on Characters (Development and Using Historical Figures). Joe is a frequent mentor to those wishing to hone their craft and who want to progress from being a writer to becoming a published author.

Kari Bovée
♦ Saturday 8:00-9:00

Kari Bovée is the award-winning author of the Annie Oakley Mystery Series. She will appear on a panel titled Characters (Development and Using Historical Figures). She is willing to mentor attendees on developing fictional characters using archetypes and real-life historical figures.

Janet K. Brennan
♦ Saturday 8:00-9:00

Janet K. Brennan is an award-winning American author and publisher. She will be discussing character development with a focus on historical fiction. Janet is willing to mentor attendees on character development, historical fiction, memoir, poetry, op-eds, and traditional publishing.

Brinn Colenda
♦ Friday 2:00-3:15

Brinn Colenda is retired Air Force pilot and an award-winning author of three political-military thrillers. He will participate in the Targeted Writing panel (Trade Magazines, Thrillers, Memoirs). Brinn will be available to mentor aspiring fiction and thriller writers or individuals who want to learn more about the military.

Ruth W. Crocker
♦ Friday 2:00-3:15 and 4:00-4:30

Ruth W. Crocker is an award winning author of nonfiction books and personal essays and teaches writing as a healing process. She will appear on a panel addressing Targeted Writing: Trade Magazines, Thrillers, and Memoir (2:00) and will give an inspirational presentation on The Writer’s Journey (4:00). She will be available to mentor attendees about writing short- and long-form memoir, essays, and preparing writing for publication.

Sonja Dewing
♦ Saturday 11:15-12:00 and 1:45-2:45

Sonja Dewing is an award-winning fiction author, writing instructor, creativity instigator, and municipal liaison for the local National Novel Writing Month. She is appearing on a panel to discuss Publishing Options (11:15) and will moderate a panel discussion about Marketing (1:45). She will be available to mentor attendees about publishing to Amazon, building their platform, using social media, and how to keep writing.

Charlene Bell Dietz
♦ Saturday 9:00-9:45

Charlene Bell Dietz is a former educator and administrator whose award-winning mystery novels have each won a Kirkus Starred Review. She will discuss how to make hard-working, unforgettable scenes. She’s willing to mentor attendees on the following: creating effective story structure (regardless if a pantser or a plotter), critiquing a scene from a work in progress (250 words), or problem solving specific writing issues.

Chloe Rachel Gallaway
♦ Saturday 11:15-12:00

Chloe Rachel Gallaway is the best-selling author of The Soulful Child: Twelve Years in the Wilderness, a memoir that is currently making a worldwide impact with readers in five countries. She will moderate a panel about Publishing Options. Chloe is willing to mentor attendee’s on “writing an emotionally compelling book and building a grass roots platform.”

Chris Goff
♦ Friday 10:45-11:15, Saturday 8:00-9:00 and 10:30-11:15

Chris Goff is a former journalist and the award-winning author of eight books—six mysteries and two thrillers. She will teach Creating a Controlling Premise (Friday) and Suspense Elements that Translate to Every Genre (Saturday, 10:30), and will participate on a panel addressing Characters (Saturday, 8:00). She is willing to mentor attendees on mystery and thriller writing, fiction basics (dialogue, plot, character, setting), nonfiction, and the business of writing.

Geoff Habiger
♦ Friday 9:00-9:30

Geoff Habiger is senior editor at Artemesia Publishing and is an award-winning author. He will be speaking on making the leap From Writer to Published Author and what it takes to become published in today’s market. Geoff will be available to mentor attendees on preparing their manuscript, querying publishers, and the author-publisher partnership.

Loretta Hall
♦ Friday 11:15-12:00 and 2:00-3:15

Loretta Hall is a freelance writer and nonfiction book author. She will appear on the Targeted Writing panel (2:00) and will moderate the panel Getting to the Finish Line (11:15). Loretta is willing to mentor attendees on writing for magazines and writing nonfiction books.

Bob Kidera
♦ Saturday 1:00-1:45

Bob Kidera is a retired educator and an award-winning author. He will be presenting Overcoming a Late Start to Your Writing Career. Bob is willing to mentor attendees on mystery writing, obtaining a provider of services for an audiobook, and of course getting a late start.

Jonatha Kottler
♦ Friday 1:00-2:00

Jonatha Kottler is an educator, and a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She will present a talk on Stealing from the Greats: Inspiration From and Retellings of Famous Works. Jona is willing to mentor attendees on historical and interdisciplinary approaches to literature and how to participate in Write like a Grrrl Workshops.

Marc Liebman
♦ Saturday 11:15-12:00 and 1:45-2:45

Marc Liebman has had three careers – Naval Officer and Naval Aviator, business consultant and entrepreneur, and award-winning author of six novels. Marc appears on two panels: Publishing Options (11:15) and Marketing (1:45). He is willing to mentor prospective authors through the writing process, finding a publisher as well as marketing the published book. He is available both at the workshop and later via phone.

Jack Woodville London
♦ Friday 11:15-12:00 and 12:00-1:00

Jack Woodville London is a co-host of the conference and is the Director of Education for the Military Writers Society of America. He is on the panel Getting to the Finish Line: Critique Groups, Hard Lessons the Easy Way, Chapter Endings (11:15) and is the Friday lunchtime speaker (12:00). Jack is willing to mentor attendees on any subject related to writing.

Jacqueline Murray Loring
♦ Friday 2:00-3:15

Jacqueline Murray Loring is an educator, an award winning author, filmmaker, and screenwriter. She will appear on the Targeted Writing (Trade Magazines, Thrillers, Memoir) panel. Jacqueline would like to mentor the family members of veteran attendees on why and how they can tell their stories.

RJ Mirabal
♦ Friday 9:30-10:30 and 11:15-12:00

RJ Mirabal wrote The Rio Grande Parallax, an NM/AZ Book Awards finalist epic fantasy trilogy set in New Mexico, and he’s currently working on stories for all ages about his rescue dog. RJ will participate in two panels: Research and Those Pesky Details (9:30) and Getting to the Finish Line (11:15). He’s ready to help new writers avoid common mistakes publishing their books and how to use “thought research” to write more effectively.

James Rosone
♦ Saturday 1:45-2:45

James Rosone is a US Army and Air Force veteran and the author of sixteen books who went from making $23K in writing the first year to over $277K in year three. During the Marketing Panel James will discuss some of the hidden secrets to generating sales on Amazon and other social media platforms. James is willing to talk with anyone, during and after the conference, who would like to learn more about digital marketing.

Hugh Simpson
♦ Friday 3:30-4:00

Hugh Simpson is a retired Marine Corp Aviator and author. Hugh has published two titles, Borderline Decision (August 2018) and Caribbean Cabal (June 2019), with a third titled Fairplay slated to publish in Fall 2019. He will discuss Fellowship with Other Writers and Published Authors Who Have Traveled the Path. Hugh is willing to mentor attendees on getting started in writing and preparing yourself for the journey in “writing” and how to avoid some of the frustrating obstacles.

Rob Spiegel
♦ Saturday 12:00-1:00

Rob Spiegel is a lifelong writer. He works as a senior editor at Design News and has published books, poetry, memoir, and fiction. At the conference, Rob will present a luncheon talk on Blogging to Boost Your Writing. Rob will mentor on how to build an audience for your blog.

Ted Spitzmiller
♦ Friday 9:30-10:30 and Saturday 3:00-4:00

Ted Spitzmiller has been writing professionally for more than a half-century. He will moderate the panel Research and Those Pesky Details (Friday) and present Becoming an Evocative Conveyor of Information (Saturday) which will focus on practical aspects of getting your thoughts into words. As a guy who has been around-the-block a few times, he can provide advice on almost any topic but grammar.

Jim Tritten
♦ Mentoring during the conference

Jim Tritten is a retired Navy pilot and award-winning author. He is the overall joint conference coordinator. Jim is willing to mentor attendees on writing about the military and writing opportunities afforded by the VA.

Patricia Walkow
♦ Friday 11:15-12:00 and Saturday 11:15-12:00

Patricia Walkow is a former computer applications system manager, and now a writer, editor, and publisher whose work has won awards both individually and as a founding member of the Corrales Writing Group. She will participate in two panels: Getting to the Finish Line (Friday) and Publishing Options (Saturday). Pat is available to mentor on the effective use of critique groups and the independent publishing process.

Dr. Bob Worthington
♦ Friday 9:30-10:30

Dr. Bob Worthington is a retired Army officer (with three combat tours) and a retired Journalism professor. He will appear on a panel about doing research for writers. As a nonfiction writer with over 2500 publications he would be honored to mentor any attendee on writing or getting published and paid.

Ann D. Zeigler
♦ Friday 9:30-10:30

Ann D. Zeigler is an award-winning author and federal-practice attorney, and a former college English teacher. She will be discussing how writers can deal with research and accurate writing about the law and legal issues. Zeigler will be available throughout the conference to talk about focused writing challenges.

Dane Zeller
♦ Saturday 1:45-2:45

Dane Zeller is a combat veteran and award-winning author. He will appear on the Marketing (Digital, Guerilla, Social media) panel. Dane is willing to mentor attendees on the subject of The Deep, Dark Hole of Social Media.

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