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Canceled due to covid.

Success strategies and insider advice for writers at ANY stage

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Hosted by Shepherd University, in scenic Shepherdstown, WV.  Only 75 miles from Washington, DC and Baltimore. 

2020 Broad Schedule
Broad Conference Schedule


Friday, October 2, 2020

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm:  Workshop upstairs at Four Seasons Books

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm:  Workshop upstairs at Four Seasons Books

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm:  Keynote Address in the Erma Ora Byrd Lecture Hall

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm:  Reception


Saturday, October 3, 2020

8:00 am - 9:00 am:  Registration and coffee in the Erma Ora Byrd Atrium

9:00 am - 10:00 am:  Keynote Address in the Erma Ora Byrd Lecture Hall

10:15 am - 11:00 am:  Panel Discussions #1

Online Marketing Panel

Roundtables on Mystery/Crime and SyFy/Fantasy

11:15 am - 12:00 pm:  Panel Discussions #2

Presentation on Editing

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm:  Lunch with Presenters 

Join the presenter's table at the Dining Hall and continue the conversation.

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm:  Panel Discussions #3

"How to Find an Agent"

2:30 pm - 3:15 pm:  Panel Discussions #4 

Flash Fiction/Short Story Panel

Roundtable on Young Adult Fiction

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm:  Panel Discussions #5 

"The Benefits of Joining an Association"

"The Benefits of Self-Publishing"

4:30 - 5:00:  Keynote Address in the Erma Ora Byrd Lecture Hall

5:10 pm:  Closing remarks

2020 Keynotes
This Year's Inspiring  Keynote Speakers

PAULA MUNIER, Book Agent, USA Today bestselling author

Her professional evolution mirrors that of publishing itself. From her early days as a reporter to her latest incarnation as all-around content queen and bottle washer, she has reinvented herself as the publishing industry has changed—and keeps on changing. The only constant: her love of the written word. Over her 20-plus years in the business, she's conceived, created, produced, and marketed exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as WGBH, Fidelity, Disney, Gannett, F+W Media, Quarto, Greenspun Media Group, among others. 



AMY COLLINS, Book Marketer, President of New Shelves Books

The most up-to-date, entertaining, and knowledgable publishing industry speaker, Amy Collins has sold to Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and other major chains. She helped launch several hugely successful private label publishing programs before starting New Shelves Books, one of the fastest-growing book distribution, sales, and marketing companies in North America.

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2020 Panelists
Robin Cutler

   Robin Cutler leads the development of IngramSpark as an Ingram Content Group service for indie authors and publishers. During her career, she has published over 1000 books as Assistant Director at USC Press, and CEO and founder of her own trade imprint, Summerhouse Press. Robin most recently worked for Amazon/CreateSpace. She has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation, distribution, on-demand models, and author strategies. Follow Robin on Twitter @rcutlerspark and be sure to check out IngramSpark on Facebook, on Twitter #ingramspark.
Alan Gibson

     With over four decades in the advertising business, Alan has written and produced television, radio, print and digital commercials and built his reputation as one of the most creative players in entertainment advertising. 
     Not content with writing in thirty and sixty-second formats, he took to novel writing in 2015 and has since published three best-selling mystery/thrillers, under the pen name of A.B. Gibson. His third book, High Voltage, is published by Story Merchant Books. 

Sherry Harris

   Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mystery series. She is the immediate past president of Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and a member of International Thriller Writers.

   In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.

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Ellen Hoffman

   Ellen Hoffman, a former Washington Post reporter, is the author of four non-fiction books, two on travel, and two on personal finance and retirement. As a free-lance writer, she has written hundreds of articles and columns for magazines and newspapers including Business Week, Money Magazine, and others.

   Currently, she works as a book editor and ghostwriter. When Ellen is not helping other writers start or finish their books, she is trying to figure out what her own Book Number Five will be.

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Wendy H. Jones

   After 17 years in the Royal Navy and Army and a stint in Academia, Wendy took up writing crime. In January she released the first of her new series, Cass Claymore Investigates. She’s also written the Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults, and recently published a children’s illustrated book, Bertie the Buffalo. Her original seven-novel series, D.I. Shona MacKensie Investigates, is set in her hometown, Dundee, Scotland, where she currently resides.

Dr. Carrie Messenger 

   Carrie Messenger received her BA from Yale University and her MFA from the University of Iowa. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova and lived in Romania on a Fulbright grant. Her work has appeared in Ecotone, Fairy Tale Review, and Witness. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in Shepherdstown, WV. In the Amber Chamber won the 2017 Brighthorse Prize for Short Fiction.

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Dr. James Pate

     James Pate has taught at Shepherd University since 2010. He has been published at Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, storySouth, Occulum, Superstition Review and Berkeley Fiction Review, among other places. His collection of essays on contemporary Gothic poetry, entitled Flowers Among the Carrion, was published by Actions Books in 2016. His novel Speed of Life was published by Fahrenheit Press in 2017.

Ray Sibley 

     Ray Sibley is a teacher, a poet, and an avid gardener.  Ray also breaks, trains, and shoes horses. He has a Doctorate in Performance Studies from LSU.  He has been teaching Literature, Theatre, and Creative Writing for the last thirty years.  He moved to Shepherdstown, West Virginia in 2016. Ray’s poetry is influenced by his varied life experiences.

Sandy Tritt

  Sandy Tritt is a writer, ghostwriter, editor and speaker. The founder and CEO of Inspiration for Writers, Inc., an international editing and critiquing service for aspiring writers, she has edited hundreds of manuscripts (fiction, nonfiction, and plays), and ghostwritten dozens more. She’s the author of several books, including From Laundry to Love and The PLAIN ENGLISH Writer’s Workbook. Sandy loves to give writing workshops and will travel about anywhere to do so. Just invite her.

Ed Zahniser

   Ed Zahniser’s seven poetry books, print chapbooks, local anthologies, and exhibit catalogs from two art gallery shows have been accessioned by the University at Buffalo Special Collection of 20th- and 21st-Century Poetry in English. Ed's most recent book, Confidence in Being and Other Poems, is available at Four Seasons Books, along with several of his earlier books. His poems have appeared in more than a hundred venues in the United States, United Kingdom, and Arab Emirates. Ed is the Poet Laureate of Shepherdstown and co-founder of the Good Shepherds Good Town Good News Paper (1979-2020).

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