Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
HomeSpeakers & Faculty

Speakers & Faculty

Guest Speakers

Melinda M. Snodgrass is a recovered lawyer, a screenwriter and novelist with novels available from both Tor Books — The Edge of Reason, The Edge of Ruin and the Edge of Dawn, and Titan Books, (The Imperials series. The High Ground and In Evil Times. The Hidden World the third book in the series has been delivered and she is working on the fourth book, The Currency of War. She also co-edits and writes for the Wild Cards book series with George R.R. Martin, and is the executive producer on the upcoming Wild Cards TV series. She is an FEI dressage rider who owns two Lusitano horses — her stallion Vento da Broga, and her new young horse Donhador.

Jodi Daynard is the author of the bestselling novels The Midwife’s Revolt and Our Own Country. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, The Paris Review, Agni, New England Review and in several anthologies. She is the author of The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers (W. W. Norton).  Ms. Daynard's essays have been nominated for several prizes and mentioned in Best American Essays.  Her most recent publication is the historical novel The Midwife’s Revolt, which publishers weekly has called a “charming, unexpected, and decidedly different view of the Revolutionary War.” Ms. Daynard has taught writing at Harvard University, M.I.T., and in the MFA program at Emerson College, and served for seven years as Fiction Editor at Boston Review.   

Parris Afton Bonds is the mother of five sons and the author of forty published novels. She is the co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America as well as the cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop, all of which nudged her closer to being committed to Bedlam, which she has managed to avoid so far by a pretense at sanity.

Declared by ABC's Nightline as one of the three-best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award-winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in major newspapers and magazines as well as published in more than a dozen languages. A New York Times best seller, she donates her time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates ~ both of which are captive audiences.

The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.

About herself, Parris says, " My heart belongs in the Southwest, where I grew up and where my children and grandchildren reside, but my spirit is free."

Master Class Faculty

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood in roles including Caleb the gladiator in the mini series ‘AD – Anno Domini’, the immortal Graham Ashe in ‘Highlander’, the original voice of Salem in ‘Sabrina, the teenage witch’ and as Hamlet. A playwright, fight choreographer and novelist, he has written ten adult novels including ‘The French Executioner’, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; The Jack Absolute Trilogy; ‘Vlad – The Last Confession’; ‘A Place Called Armageddon’ and ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ – which he adapted for the stage and which premiered in Vancouver in 2015. He also writes for young adults, his latest being ‘The Dragon and the Unicorn’. His recent novel ‘Plague’ won Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. His latest ‘Fire’ is a thriller set during the Great Fire. He is translated into thirteen languages. Website:

Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers).  He’s a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), the University of Chicago (M.A., Italian), and the University of Virginia (B.A. with High Distinction in English).  As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn an incredibly variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career.

Larry Brooks is the USA Today bestselling author of three craft books from from Writers Digest and six psychological thrillers, as well as an award-winning book on relationships. He is also creator of the fiction writing craft site,, and produces a series of training videos for writers. He teaches writing workshops around the country and a few that require the use of a passport, which he says is the best part of his job.



Peter Andrews is a full-time, independent writer of speeches, articles, and blogs. He has dozens of short stories and hundreds of nonfiction articles in print. He has worked professionally in PR and as a Web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. He teaches writing for the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Westchester Community College, and the Westchester Center for the Arts and online. He belongs to the National Association of Science Writers and Romance Writers of America, and he is past president of  RWA’s young adult chapter (YARWA). His How to Write Fast blog can be found at

  LaShonda Katrice Barnett is the author of the debut novel Jam on the Vine (Grove), a story collection (1999) and editor of two volumes of interviews with women musicians.  Designated a Stonewall Honor Award by the American Library Association (2016), Jam on the Vine was an Editor's Choice pick at the Chicago Tribune; won ElIe Magazine's Belle Lettres Reader's Prize and earned Barnett the Emerging Writers Award at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.  The novel is a 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalist.  Barnett’s short fiction has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Guernica Magazine, New Orleans Review, SN Review, Juked, C4: Chamber Quarterly Literary Review, Gemini Magazine and elsewhere.  Twice-nominated for the Pushcart prize, Barnett has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York Money for Women/ Deming Memorial Fund, and the College Language Association.  She holds the Ph.D. in American Studies and teaches at Northwestern University.

Social Media Contacts: :Twitter @LashondaKatriceFB:http: //

Web Sites:  and

  Monette Bebow-Reinhard presented on being historically politically correct at the Virginia Conference, and was able to get a contract for the novel that was discussed, Saving Boone: Legend of a Half-White Son. She was the only authorized Bonanza novelist, but that publisher has retired so she is seeking reprint authority. Another novel, Dancing with Cannibals, was co-authored and is available at Amazon. And two other novels were published by two other publishers. She earned a master’s in history in 2006 and also writes movie scripts, one based on Henry’s orders to the Little Bighorn, showing who was really responsible for Custer’s death. Ever hear the phrase “the buck stops here”?
Pat Brown writes historical fiction under the pseudonym of GK Parker. Pat was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba. She was an air force brat and moved several times before settling in London, Ontario for her formative years until leaving for Los Angeles in 1978. Over the years she has worked a variety of jobs from housekeeper, ticket taker, stable hand, retail aquarium store manager, hospital porter, census taker, movie extra, and for nearly 10 years she worked in the IT field. Her final position was as a Network Engineer for a law firm in Bermuda. She has since retired and is now back in London using all her experiences to write exciting fiction with memorable characters. She has a grown daughter living in Toronto, and 5 siblings scattered between London and Toronto.
Anya Carlson is a self-empowerment workshop creator, producer, and teacher/presenter. Following her major in elementary education at Gonzaga University, she taught first and sixth grades in Spokane, Washington. Her studies also include philosophy, dance, touch healing, music and guided visualization, and meditation. Following her teaching career, she worked as a convention planner, producer and presenter in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. A lifelong reader and writer/creator, she has during the last three years been partner, researcher and executive assistant of author-illustrator J. B. Rivard throughout the writing, publication and marketing of his historical novel Illusions of Magic. She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Guy Cote grew up in Sanford, Maine, obsessed with history and action/adventure films. He began writing in high school, and completed his first screenplay by the time he graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in history. In 1991, he moved to Florida, where he wrote five more screenplays, one of which was a G.I. Joe script for a company at Universal. That film was never made, but the experience taught him invaluable skills that later aided his novel writing.

Guy earned a Masters Degree in history from the University of South Florida, and took a teaching position. He wrote his first novel Long Live the King soon thereafter. His second novel is a courtroom suspense story entitled Proof of Passion, which his agent is currently shopping. He is now working on his third novel, an untitled thriller.  Please visit his website and leave him a message.  

Sara Dahmen is a metalsmith of vintage cookware and manufactures modern kitchenware in tin, copper and iron.  Her debut novel, Doctor Kinney’s Housekeeper, won the Laramie Award Grand Prize for Western Historical Fiction, and inspired House Copper & Housekeeper Crockery: American-made cookware created with pure and/or organic materials featured in Food and Wine magazine.  She has published over 100 articles as a contributing editor for Veil Magazine, writes for Edible Milwaukee, Root and Bone and many book and review blogs.  She has spoken at TEDx Rapid City, speaks across the country at multiple writers conferences such as the Writer’s Institute and RWA, and co-chaired the Port Washington Literary Festival since its inception in 2013.  Prior to her writing gigs, Sara was a print, radio and TV producer in Milwaukee before owning and operating a nationally award-winning event planning company for ten years.  When not writing or sewing her husband some authentic clothing for reenactments, she can be found hitting tin at her apprenticeship with a master smith, reading the Economist and reference books, or playing with her three young children.  

When Madeleine de Jean opened the first wine bar in the US in New Orleans with Paul Prudhomme and became the first woman sommelier in the world, she was expanding her dramatic talents from stage and screen which had been honed at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Paris’s Comedie Francaise
In The Night Julius Caesar Invented Champagne, ‘Madam Champagne’ continues sharing her beliefs in the civilizing effects of wine and Champagne.
Denise [Deni] Dietz, aka Mary Ellen Dennis, tried to hide her mom's hardcover Gone With the Wind inside her third-grade Dick and Jane reader. She got caught, learned her lesson, and hid her mom’s paperbacks instead. Deni still experiences the same thrill when she reads a non–clichéd, character–driven novel. She says she wants to BE THERE, in the scene. For example, she doesn't want to know that Santa Anna was captured in 1836. She prefers to know that he was naked except for his underpants. A developmental editor for Five Star’s Frontier Fiction line, Deni also runs an editing service: STRAY CAT PRODUCTIONS. Many of her clients have received starred reviews and/or contract offers from traditional pub houses. With 17 published novels, Deni is a USA Today bestselling author. Her books include The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter (nominated for an RT Award), and the Anthony-nominated Annie and the Grateful Dead. She is often asked what she likes best: writing or editing? The answer is both. She says that when one of her clients is offered a contract she does a Snoopy dance.


Holly Y Felmlee is a former history and music teacher, and host of a children's radio show. In 2009, she and her husband completed Peace Corps service in Romania, where she learned about the fascinating – and neglected -- history of Eastern Europe. She is the author of a series of historical mysteries for children that take place during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Gini Grossenbacher, historian and author of Madam of My Heart, Volume I in the American Madams Series is one of California’s respected and sought-after creative writing coaches and educators. She is a prominent literacy activist and developed an award-winning and innovative curriculum for the teaching of literature and the language arts in school districts and private academies in the Sacramento Valley. Gini is an engaging speaker and literary critic who not conducts workshops, but also appears on broadcast media on the craft of writing and aspects of historical fiction.

Gini is also a lifelong forensic historian with a special hands-on interest in the recovery of women’s narratives too often neglected in the stories nations and great cities tell about their origins. She has done in-place literary and historical research across five continents and wandered back alleys and elegant high streets from Bangkok and Kyoto to Singapore, from Mexico City and Martinique to Caracas, from London and Paris to Rome and the medieval hills and historic towns where Francis and Clare of Assisi reinvented European monasticism. 


Dan Jorgensen grew up in rural South Dakota, where he attended a one-room country school and became the first member of his family to attend college.   He has had a long career as a writer, editor, and educator and now serves as senior writer for the Colorado-based Broadlands Living magazine.

His most recent book, And The Wind Whispered, won the 2016 Colorado Humanities Book Award for Historical Fiction.  He’s authored 6 other books, including the national bestseller Killer Blizzard, 3 songs, and a 1-act play, and contributed to 2 anthologies.  He also has written hundreds of news, sports and feature stories as a journalist and in public relations.

A U.S. Army veteran he is a member of the VFW, the Sigma Delta Chi journalism fraternity, Rotary International, Writers of the Old West, and Historical Writers of America.  He and his wife Susan have two adult daughters and 4 grandchildren. 


Rose Kleidon, a Charter Member of Historical Writers of America and a member of the Historical Novel Society, was a presenter at the 2017 Unicorn Writers’ Conference. Her short story, Last Man Out, was a finalist in WOW’s Summer 2016 Contest. The author of two textbooks, Kleidon has written two yet-to-be-published works of historical fiction. They can be previewed at  Shis a Professor Emeritus at the University of Akron, where she taught English, Speech, Technical Writing and Advertising Copywriting. She is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois. 


Jack Woodville London studied at Oxford University and the Academy of Fiction, St. Céré, France and was the first Author of the Year of the Military Writers Society of America.  He is the author of nine articles on the craft of writing and numerous articles on early 20th Century history.  His craft book, A Novel Approach, a short and light-hearted work on the conventions of writing, is designed to help writers who are setting out on the path to write their first book.  A Novel Approach won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015. 

His World War II-era novel Virginia’s Warwas a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author ‘Novel with a Romantic Element’ contest. His ‘parallel-quel’ novel, Engaged in War, won the silver medal at the London Book Festival for General Fiction and was the Book of the Month by Good Reads.  The third novel in this series, Children of a Good War, is represented by WordServe Literary Agency.

Jack also is the author of the serialized novel The (very brief) War Diary of Bart Sullivan, available to readers of First Draft.

Visit Jack at or contact him at jack@jackwlondon.comHe lives in Austin, Texas.


Tom Macy is a novelist, short story writer, researcher, and computer programmer. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, and Historical Writers of America. To help authors, he created software that runs as a Microsoft Word add-in and performs basic editing and more. He has completed three books in his historical fiction Fury trilogy (1849-1852). First Fury, based on a true event, deals with how far bitterness can drive someone. RUINED addresses the emotional trauma of sexual abuse. Till Her Heart Dances portrays the interplay of various types of love. The Courage of your Faith is a twelve part historical Bible Study with twelve short stories. All these (except for the novels) are available for free on his web site, Tom lives in Windsor, Colorado, with Sandy, his wife of 47, years and enjoys her flowers.


Amanda McCabe, aka Amanda Carmack, has loved history ever since she saw "Anne of the Thousand Days" on TV as an 8 year old!  When not writing or reading, she loves yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook. 

Susan McDuffie has been a devotee of historical fiction since her childhood, when she believed she had mistakenly been born in the wrong century.  Her discovery that Clorox was not marketed prior to the 1920s reconciled her to modern life.  Susan writes historical mysteries set in medieval Scotland, and has also published Regency short stories.  The Muirteach MacPhee Mysteries include A MASS FOR THE DEAD, THE FAERIE HILLS (2011 New Mexico Book Award for “Best Historical Novel”), THE STUDY OF MURDER, and THE DEATH OF A FALCON (July 2017). Additional information about Susan’s work can be found on her website or her Facebook page
Lewis McIntyre was born in Asheville, NC in 1948, graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1970, and receiving a Master of Science degree from the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA in 1977.  He reads Latin fluidly and is an avid self-taught historian:  from 2002 through 2013 he collected open source intelligence for the US Army counter-terrorism efforts, gaining a close knowledge of the cultures, languages, religions and history of the Middle East and Central and East Asia. He is the author of one full length novel, “The Eagle and the Dragon a Novel of Rome and China,” a fictional account of the first Roman diplomatic mission to China, and a short story, “Come, Follow Me, a Story of Pilate and Jesus,” exploring the relationship between those two key individuals that first Easter weekend.  He lives in La Plata, MD with his wife Karen.

Born and raised inside San Francisco, Donald Michael Platt sold a script to the TV series, Mr. Novak, ghosted Your Hair and Your Diet for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers in Hollywood. He wrote as a with: Vitamin Enriched for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and The Couples Disease, for Lawrence S. Hakim, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic. Donald’s 6 novels include: A Gathering of Vultures, finalist in the Indie Awards horror category. Rocamora HF finalist for the International Book Awards set in 17th century Spain; a sequel House of Rocamora; Close to the Sun, A WWII novel about USAAF and Luftwaffe fighter aces (3-time finalist in book awards contests); Bobo the Apostate, set in the 9th century (editor’s choice for the HNS magazine); and The Sorceress and the Skull, Historical Fantasy.

Donald currently resides in Winter Haven, Florida.

 J. B. Rivard is a U.S. Navy veteran with an Engineering degree from the University of Florida. He retired from a 25-year career at Sandia National Laboratory, where he authored or contributed to research listed on Google Scholar and presented results at conferences across the U.S. and in Germany, Japan and in the U.K. He also worked as a newspaper reporter and as a feature writer for WorkBoat magazine. He is an award-winning painter. He wrote and illustrated the historical novel, Illusions of Magic ( His recent nonfiction articles include “A Critical Clarifier” Mar. 18, 2016, Washington Independent Review of Books, and “Conundrum Question: Fact vs. Fiction in the Historical Novel” Jan. 6, 2017, The Lakefront Historian. He lives in Spokane, Washington.  
Randi Samuelson-Brown is a Colorado native originally from Golden, who developed a love of Colorado History from her father. Now living in Denver with her husband, she has a B.A. in History, with post-graduate research in Irish History from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.

When not writing or reading she enjoys exploring ruins, soaking up the atmosphere in old mining towns, traveling wherever the spirit moves her and when the opportunity arises.

Randi's first published novel, The BEATEN TERRITORY is being released October 18, 2017 from Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale/Cengage Learning.


Barbara Salvatore - Big Horse Woman began over twenty years ago with a dream of a young Native woman, who would go on to reshape Barbara's life. Big Horse Woman- the haunting historical fiction novel about a Ponca woman born in 1833- was a Finalist in the 2009 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest and was recently awarded First Place, Prairie/First Nations category, in Chanticleer's Laramie Prize for Western Fiction.

Devoted to learning the history and culture of her characters, she is a student of the Ponca language, and served as the first Ponca Language Educator for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Another core feature of her stories, is the plant knowledge she shares. As a practicing Herbalist and Horse keeper, she offers classes in Plant Medicine and Horse Care. Her art has been exhibited in New York and Nebraska and, along with her writing, been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies. 

  Anna Schmidt is a three-time finalist for the coveted RITA award presented annually by Romance Writers of America. Her novel A Sister's Forgivness gave Anna her fourth finalist honor for the Reviewers’ Choice Awards from Romantic Times magazine. She has won that award twice before. Publisher's Weekly had high praise for Anna's WWII series The Peacemakers stating that Schmidt "seamlessly integrates...actual events, and the courageous real-life individuals who fought against Hitler’s regime, with her fictional characters and their story, to produce a strong tale of hope and love in the face of insurmountable obstacles." The author of over thirty-five works of historical and contemporary fiction, Anna earned her masters degree in Theatre Arts and worked professionally in theaters in Virginia and Wisconsin. She has taught at the college level and is a popular presenter of hands-on workshops.

Tim Weed is the winner of a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and his historical novel, Will Poole’s Island (2014), was named one of Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books of the Year. Tim teaches at Grub Street in Boston and in the MFA writing program at Western Connecticut State University. He’s the co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program and serves as a featured expert for National Geographic in Spain and Tierra del Fuego. His fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing (2017) has been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Read more at

Jess Wells is the author of four novels and five books of short stories including a recently released audiobook. Her last two novels are historical fiction set in Europe during the medieval and early modern period. Jess is the recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Grant for Literature, as well as being a four-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. In San Francisco at The Writing Salon and at conferences nationwide, she teaches the craft of historical fiction; the fundamentals of the short story; setting as a plot driver; and how to write the story of your family. Visit for her blog; her books are available in print and e-book format on, bookstores and libraries.
Mark Wiederanders writes historical fiction about the private lives of famous writers.  His first novel, Stevenson’s Treasure, was published by Fireship Press in 2014, and subsequently was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing.  His screenplay about William Shakespeare’s family, “Taming Judith” was a finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures’ screenwriting competition and was optioned by a film company.  Mark has earned writer’s residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Martha’s Vineyard Writers’ Residency, and the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center.  Mark is a psychologist (PhD, University of Colorado) who did research on the criminally insane.  He lives in Sacramento, California where he is now finishing a novel about Jack London.