2014 Keynote Speaker and Faculty Member

2014 Keynote Speaker and Faculty Member

Bob Mayer is a West Point Graduate, Former Green Beret, CEO of Cool Gus Publishing and a NY Times Bestselling Author. He has had over 50 books published. He has sold over four million books, and is in demand as a team-building, life-changing, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concept, which he translated into Write It Forward: a holistic program teaching writers how to be authors. He is also the Co-Creator of Cool Gus Publishing, which does both eBooks and Print On Demand, so he has experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing.His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists. His book The Jefferson Allegiance, was released independently and reached #2 overall in sales on Nook.

Bob has presented for over a thousand organizations both in the United States and internationally, including keynote presentations, all day workshops, and multi-day seminars. He has taught organizations ranging from Maui Writers, to Whidbey Island Writers, to San Diego State University, to the University of Georgia, to the Romance Writers of America National Convention, to Boston SWAT, the CIA, Fortune-500, the Royal Danish Navy Frogman Corps, Microsoft, Rotary, IT Teams in Silicon Valley and many others. He has also served as a Visiting Writer for NILA MFA program in Creative Writing. He has done interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, PBS, NPR, the Discovery Channel, the SyFy channel and local cable shows.

C BoiterCindi Boiter, writer, editor, publisher, donor, patron, organizer and arts advocate, has had a remarkable and continuing impact on the arts community in South Carolina. A widely published writer, Boiter is a six-time author for the South Carolina Fiction Project, a three-time winner of the Piccolo Fiction Open, and a recipient of fellowships in fiction and creative nonfiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors, among other honors. Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in publications such as Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Southern Living, Sandlapper and elsewhere. It is as editor and publisher that Boiter has had a remarkable impact in the Midlands community and the broader cultural landscape of the state. She and her husband founded Muddy Ford Press as a publication platform for South Carolina writers and artists. To date MFP has published fiction, poetry, nonfiction and books of visual art by South Carolina artists. The press also underwrites the publication of Jasper: The Word on Columbia Arts, a bimonthly arts magazine that premiered in September 2011 and regularly celebrates and spotlights local artists and their valuable presence in the community. She has been insistent on connecting artists across disciplines. She has organized forums, workshops, salons and other forms of community that connect artists and the public She promotes an interdisciplinary and collaborative aesthetic which she believes is essential to cultural growth, and she uses her position and the tools at her disposal to promote the Midlands and the state as centers of creativity and culture.  
greg paxtonGreg Paxton, a screenwriter and playwright with over 50 productions, will present vital information for structuring a screenplay. After studying screenwriting at UCLA, he received national recognition for his scripts in such venues as the Hollywood Symposium and the Austin Film Festival, and obtained script options. This led to several short films, produced simultaneously with his robust theater career. Then he wrote and directed the feature film “Above The Fire,” an ensemble drama about the tenth anniversary of 9-11, which premiered at the Charlotte EpiCentre in 2012 and is currently listed on imdb.com. With a dozen feature screenplays on his slate, he just completed a trailer for the latest, a comedy called “Reel Weddings.”  
Alice OsbornAlice Osborn’s past educational and work experience is unusually varied, and it now feeds her work as a poet, as well as an editor-for-hire, writing coach and dynamic speaker/facilitator. After the Steaming Stops is her most recent collection of poetry; previous collections are Right Lane Ends and Unfinished Projects. Alice is also the editor of the short fiction anthology, Tattoos and the forthcoming Homes and Houses Anthology, both from Main Street Rag. She’s currently at work on her upcoming collection, Heroes without Capes. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in the News and Observer, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review and in numerous journals and anthologies. She serves on the NC Writers’ Network Board of Trustees and volunteers for writing events whenever she can. When she’s not editing or writing, Alice is an Irish step dancer, as well as an aspiring musician on guitar and violin. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children and three birds. Visit Alice’s website at www.aliceosborn.com.
Jonathan_K._Rice_2014Jonathan K. Rice is founding editor and publisher of Iodine Poetry Journal, which is in its fifteenth year of publication.
In 2002 he co-edited the chapbook, Celebrating Life, a project funded by Barnes & Noble
in celebration of National Poetry Month and in memory of Dorothy Perry Thompson, noted poet and instructor at Winthrop University. He is the author of a chapbook, Shooting Pool With A Cellist (Main Street Rag, 2003) and a full-length collection, Ukulele and Other Poems (Main Street Rag, 2006). His poetry has also appeared in numerous publications and he has been a longtime host of poetry readings in Charlotte, NC, where he lives with his family.
In 2012 he received the Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont Community College.
Iodine Poetry Journal has had the distinction of having work included in Best American Poetry 2006, which was selected and edited by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
 mike lythgoeMichael Hugh Lythgoe grew up in Evansville, IN. He attended St. Louis University, served as an Air Force officer (earned his MA from The University of Notre Dame, and taught at Syracuse University). Mike earned an MFA from Bennington College after retiring from the USAF. He has taught world history, led an education and research foundation, and coordinated adult learning courses at The Smithsonian Institution. He was a Jenny McKean Moore Fellow with writer-in-residence John Haines at George Washington University. His chapbook, Visions, Revisions, was published in Virginia.  BRASS, won the Kinloch Rivers contest (sponsored by the PSSC) in 2006. His full collection, Holy Week poems, is available as an ebook at BN.com. Mike has taught poetry, art appreciation courses, and the literature of espionage for ten years for the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the USC campus in Aiken, SC. Lythgoe is a contributing editor to Windhover, published by UMHB in Texas. He won the John Edward Johnson Prize Prize (PSSC) in 2014. He won second place in the South Carolina Academy of Author’s Fellowship contest for his poetry. His recent credits include: The Caribbean Writer, Windhover, Christianity and Literature, Cairn: The St. Andrews Review, The Petigru Review, The Santa Fe Review, SIXFOLD, Pea River, Innisfree Poetry Journal. Mike was a featured poet at Spoleto, Westobou  (Augusta, GA), Monday Night Blues in Charleston, SC, and in the Lichfield Tea & Poetry series, 2014. He lives with his wife, Louise in Aiken, SC.  
dinah johnsonDinah Johnson is the author of several picture books including All Around Town: The Photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, Black Magic (illus. by Gregory Christie) and Quinnie Blue (illus. by James Ransome), all published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. As an essayist, she contributed to State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love and to Literary Dogs and Their South Carolina Writers. As the child of an Army colonel and a teacher, Dinah grew up all around the world, but will always call South Carolina home. So it means a lot to her to have another life as Dr. Dianne Johnson, professor of English at the USC. She is a pioneering scholar who was instrumental in uncovering the history of African American children’s literature. Dinah’s greatest joy is visiting schools and getting letters from children. One of her favorite reads: “You had made my heart sing.”  
michelle richterMichelle Richter has a degree in Economics with a minor in Russian from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and left a career in finance and banking for publishing. She joined St. Martin’s Press’ editorial department in 2006 after obtaining a Masters in Publishing from PaceUniversity. While at St. Martin’s, Michelle edited MELISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL by Melissa Joan Hart, among others, and worked on a variety of fiction and nonfiction.Michelle is primarily seeking fiction, specifically book club reads, literary fiction, and well-crafted women’s commercial fiction, thrillers and mysteries (amateur sleuth, police procedurals and smart cozies). Her favorite authors include Laura Lippman, Harlan Coben, Richard Russo, Tom Perrotta, Chelsea Cain, and Gillian Flynn. For nonfiction, she’s interested in fashion, film, television, science, medicine, sociology/social trends, and economics for trade audiences. She has a soft spot for fiction and nonfiction in and about Boston/Massachusetts, Ireland, and Russia.You can follow Michelle on Twitter at @michrichter1.  
Joan Y. EdwardsJoan Y. Edwards is an author/illustrator of the delightful picture book, Flip Flap Floodle. In December 2014, 4RV Publishing will release Joan’s Elder Care Guide with practical hints and resources to empower caregivers and elders. She is a motivational speaker and offers goal setting, blogging, and writing workshops. Robert Schuller, Hale Dwoskin, Bob Proctor, Maxwell Maltz, Joel Osteen, and Tony Robbins inspire her. She loves spending time with her family and friends.
Joan’s Never Give Up blog, http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com, has over 128,126 reads and 189 subscribers in less than 5 years. She offers encouragement, inspiration, and resources for writers and founded PubSubbers plan for submission to help writers believe in their writing and submit to publishers. Her website, http://www.joanyedwards.com, has children’s Gospel-related devotionals, wordsearch, and crossword puzzles for all three liturgical Cycles A, B, and C. She wrote the devotionals for Growing with the Gospel, K-1, Cycles A, B, and C published by Liturgical Publications http://www.lpiresourcecenter.com/lpirc/ViewBrowseCategory.do?categoryId=41 and was editor and consultant for both the K-1, and 2-3 version. She is a member of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her articles have appeared in SCBWI-Carolinas Pen & Palette and SCBWI Bulletin.
scott laxScott Lax is a the author of two novels, “Vengeance Follows” and “The Year That Trembled.” He’s also a short story writer, playwright, essayist, film and television writer, editor and writing teacher. Scott has worked as a salesman and a professional musician (performing as a drummer with Bo Diddley, among others). He studied Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge after graduating from Hiram College, and was a Bread Loaf Scholar in nonfiction and Sewanee Fellow in fiction. He was named Midwest Filmmaker of the Year at the Cleveland International Film Festival in 2002 for his work as source-writer and producer of the film adaptation of “The Year That Trembled.”  
AureliaAurelia Sands is a publisher for Deer Hawk Publications.
Deer Hawk Publications is a small press publisher that specializes in fiction for all ages. We take pride in working with first time authors to fine tune their work for publication and teaching them the nuances and complexities of the publishing world. We have published authors with success. Our work does not stop when the book is hot off the presses, but we also help the author promote their work as well.Deer Hawk is not a vanity publisher. We work closely with our clients before final publication. While we do not provide advances at this time, we do promote and pay our authors. We want to form a working relationship with all of our authors to help them put out the best work possible.
barbaraBarbara Claypole White writes and gardens in the forests of Orange County, North Carolina. English born and educated, she creates love stories about damaged people for Harlequin MIRA. The Unfinished Garden, Barbara’s debut novel, won the 2013 Golden Quill for Best First Book. The In-Between Hour was chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) as a Winter 2014 Okra Pick. Her third novel, a father/son story, has a publication date of June 2015. Connect with Barbara on her website www.barbaraclaypolewhite, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraClaypoleWhite, or Twitter @bclaypolewhite  
holly mcclureHolly McClure is the President of the Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency, representing women’s fiction, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. She has served as president and conference director for the 30-year-old southeastern Writers Association. She previously worked with another small agency, then left to establish Sullivan Maxx in 2004. Her intention was to represent a few Southern writers, but the agency grew quickly.

She is the author of a Young Adult mystery novel, Secrets & Ghost Horses, and an adult thriller, Lightning Creek. Her varied background includes business, marketing, and public relations. Holly is a frequent speaker and writing instructor. The name Sullivan Maxx is taken from Holly’s middle name and a family tradition.

Susan BreenSusan Breen teaches creative writing for Gotham Writers’ Workshop in Manhattan. Her debut novel, THE FICTION CLASS, is published by Plume, a division of Penguin. Her short stories have been published by a number of literary magazines, among them www.anderbo.com and The Chattahoochee Review. She lives with her family and dogs and cat and fish in Irvington, New York and, for those who are interested, there is a lot more biographical information on her web site, which is at www.susanjbreen.com.  
D ChildersDanielle Childers is a former librarian and educator. An eternal advocate of the written word, Danielle uses her experience with information science, genre, and marketing to contribute to the publishing community. In addition to working as the Marketing Director for BelleBooks Publishing House and its imprint Bell Bridge Books, she also acts as Backlist Editor for authors including New York Times bestselling author Anne Stuart and USA Today bestselling authors Susan Kearney and Katherine Garbera. Danielle lives in Memphis with her husband, Himalayan show cats, Cowboy the English Bulldog, and an extensive library.  
Linda LovelyLinda Lovely has published four books: DEAR KILLER and NO WAKE ZONE in her Marley Clark Mystery Series, and DEAD LINE and DEAD HUNT in her Smart Women, Dumb Luck romantic thriller series. The first three titles are available as audiobooks. The fourth should be recorded by fall. Her audio experiences prompted her to write several articles on audiobook production, which have appeared in Sisters in Crime’s InSinc, Romance Writers of America’s Romance Writers Report, and AudiobookMonthly.com.
A journalism major, Lovely initially pursued a career in PR. Now she focuses on writing fiction. She’s served five terms as president of the Upstate SC Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She also belongs to Romance Writers of America, Thriller Writers International, and the South Carolina Writers Workshop. A popular speaker, Lovely teaches genre fiction classes through Clemson University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and often visits with book clubs.
To learn more, visit: www.lindalovely.com
Sharon WoodsSharon Woods Hopkins is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Thriller Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Southeast Missouri Writers’ Guild, Heartland Writers Guild, Romance Writers of America, and the Missouri Writers’ Guild. Sharon also spent 30 years as an Appaloosa Horse Club judge, where she was privileged to judge all over the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
Sharon lives on the family compound near Marble Hill, Missouri with her husband, Bill, next door to her son, Jeff, his wife, Wendy, and her grandson, Dylan, plus one dog, a cat, and assorted second generation Camaros.
 KILLERWATT was nominated for a 2011 Lovey award for Best First Novel and placed as a finalist in the 2012 Indie Excellence Awards.
Her second book, KILLERFIND, was a finalist in the 2013 Indie Excellence Awards, and won first place in the Missouri Writers’ Guild Show-me Best Book Awards in 2013.
Her third book KILLERTRUST recently placed as a finalist in the 2014 Indie Excellence Awards.
Visit Sharon at www.sharonwoodshopkins.com or Deadly Writes Publishing
KarenWhiteKaren White has been narrating audio books since 1999.  Honored to be included in Audiofiles Best Voices and Speaking of Audio’s Best Romance Audio 2012 and 2013, she’s also an Audie Finalist and has earned multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards and Library Journal starred reviews.  She currently lives with her family in Wilmington, NC.Publishers Weekly says of  Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, “Karen White delivers a stunning reading, her character interpretations are confident and well-rounded, and she forges a strong bond with the audience.”Speaking of Audiobooks says, “Karen is one of my auto-buy narrators – if I think a book may interest me, her narration will sway me to give it a try.”  
Eliott WalshElliott Walsh records and produces audio books from a home-based studio in coastal Georgia. He’s worked with independent authors, small publishers and ACX; Amazon’s Audiobook Creation eXchange. In the past year he has recorded and released two novels as finished audiobooks, and is in production on another. The challenges of audio book production were a good fit with his theater background and a long standing interest in computing and digital audio.His professional credentials include training at Boston University School of Dramatic Arts, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, and the Performing Arts Foundation of Huntington, N.Y., and as a young man he performed on stage, radio and television in Boston and New York before turning his talents towards other career pursuits. His day job is to provide laser vision services for soldiers at Winn Army Hospital, Fort Stewart, Georgia. You can find him at http://spoken-arts.swiftpassage.com .”  
Anne KaylorAnne Kaylor is an eclectic conundrum of conservative and liberal thinking, finding her greatest passion in the release of words from mind onto that white expanse of the page. Her sanity is dependent on writing, on continually deconstructing the world into a personally meaningful place.Though born in Maine, Anne has spent much of her life in the South and now lives in Mount Holly, North Carolina, with her husband, James. She resonates with her favorite author, Flannery O’Connor, on the dichotomy of being Catholic and Southern and writes from this perspective.In addition to editing and designing books for other writers, Anne is founder, publisher, and editor of the flash prose and short fiction journal moonShine review. Her own works have appeared in Pearl, Thrift Poetic Arts Journal, Iodine Poetry Journal and Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, and her full-length book of poetry and photography, Floating a Full Boat, is available through Main Street Rag Publishing Company.Beyond editing and writing, Anne’s passions include traveling, scuba diving, and rescuing those in need, mostly dogs and cats but humans, too.Anne has an MA in English from UNC-Charlotte and a BA in English and Journalism from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Indiana, where she acquired her first job as Director of External Communications for the Sisters of Providence.  
Barbara EversBarbara V. Evers loves books, whether reading or writing them. She works as a professional trainer and public speaker, and in her spare time, pursues her passion for books. With an MA in Professional Communication, Barbara contributes her knowledge of writing in the development and design of various business documents, as a technical writing instructor, and as an editor\proofreader for other writers.  Her short stories and essays have appeared in the best-selling anthology, Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents, The Petigru Review, moonShine review, and Stupefying Stories. Her essay, Home Is Where The Heart Is, won First Place in the 2013 Carrie McCray contest.  In addition, Barbara is a “Fearless First Reader” and editor for the digital SciFi\Fantasy journal, Stupefying Stories.  For more information check out her website,  www.Eversworks.com, and her blogs, www.AnEclecticMuse.blogspot.com and The Workbench of Faith.  
samantha bagoodSamantha Bagood wanted to be a literary agent since she was in high school. So she was ecstatic to join Adams Literary in 2012, where she now works as an assistant. She brings her design, writing and editorial experience from years of freelancing, writing and book reviewing. She loves meeting people who share her passion for children’s literature and the children’s book industry, especially those who are just starting out like her.

Samantha graduated from Appalachian State University, where she earned a degree in English, with concentrations in creative writing and professional writing, and a minor in communications.
In her free time, she reads, writes and takes on occasional freelance design work. She also runs races with obstacles that tend to be much, much taller than her.
Beth Ann CagleBeth Ann Cagle, co-editor of Kakalak: Journal of Carolina Poetry and Art and senior-editor of moonShine review prose journal, grew up in a small, North Carolina farming community called Alexis. Now residing in Charlotte, NC, this poet, photographer, and previous newspaper reporter also serves as a college educator, having taught creative writing and literature at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Concord and Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. Her poetry chapbook, The Fearless Tattoo, won the 2003 Shadow Poetry Award. Beth writes about many topics, but growing up Southern is one of her favorite inspirations. She is currently working on a full-length collection of family narrative poems, which has been solicited for publication. She has been feature photographer for literature journals and has published poetry and photography in Slipstream, Tulane Review, Blue Collar Review, New York Quarterly, The Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Journal, GSU Review, Palo Alto Review, Maelstrom and many other journals in the US, UK, and Australia. Beth holds a Master of Arts degree in the English–Writing Track and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Helen AitkenHelen Beacham Aitken is a former Science Educator, turned freelance writer, photographer and humorist. She typically writes for the boating magazine, All At Sea Southeast, even though she knows very little about boats. Helen is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Boating Writers International, the National Association of Professional Women, and is an award-winning writer.
She writes humorous, creative non-fiction short stories, highlighting Southern living and her family provides great material. Married to Scott, a retired U.S. Marine, Helen has one son Will, who is draining her finances with college tuition.
Helen is the author of the book, It Only Happens To Me… Can You Dial 9-1-1?, inspired from her blog, It Only Happens To Me… at www.helenaitken.com.The website also features many of her published articles.
She loves giving speeches on “Healthy Humor,” teaches creative writing and is a professional volunteer, living ​near the beach in Peletier, N.C.  Helen is a previous SCWW board member, volunteer and a contributor to the Quill newsletter.
Her greatest passion is for travelling, but not for Scott, so she’s looking for a wealthy, buff, gay man to become her travelling companion and protector.  Helen loves the beach, great chicken salad, husband, Scott, and son, Will, but not in that order.  Most days she is at the computer, trying to keep the dogs and cats separate, or putting out kitchen fires.
SONY DSCChuck Driskell is a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper which fueled his passion for success. His post-military life has been spent in the advertising business and as a writer where he finds time to create stories that are a blend of crime, suspense, and spy genres. He is the author of the Gage Hartline Series which include The Diaries and To the Lions which has been optioned by Solipsist Films and is now in movie development. Chuck’s other books include Demon’s Bluff, Doppelganger, and  Lahn’s Edge. He lives in South Carolina with his wife and two children.
You can find more about Chuck Driskell and his books by visiting his website at http://chuckdriskell.com or find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChuckDriskell.
Anne ColletteAnn Collette was a freelance writer and editor before joining the Rees Literary Agency in 2000. Her list includes books by New York Times bestselling author B. A. Shapiro, Oprah’s “Fall 2012 Unputdownable Mysteries” author Mark Pryor, Anthony Nominee Vicki Lane, RT Award Nominees Clay and Susan Griffith, Steven Sidor, National Bestseller Carol Carr, and Chrystle Fiedler. She likes thrillers, literary, commercial women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, horror and vampire fiction; in non-fiction, she prefers narrative non-fiction, military and war, work to do with race and class, and work set in or about Southeast Asia. She also represents cookbooks. Ann does not represent children’s, YA, sci-fi, or high fantasy (Lord of the Rings-type books).
Holly HolladayHolly Holladay is the publisher and editor in chief of Holladay House Publishing. After graduating from Wofford College, Holly immediately began working in the publishing field as an associate editor and production coordinator for a small independent publishing house. Her first two books won prestigious Benjamin Franklin Awards through the Independent Book Publishers Association. Since that time, Holly has worked with numerous authors and has published several award-winning titles. In July 2013, Holly established Holladay House Publishing in order to fulfill her goal of publishing books in a wide variety of genres. Holly is actively involved in all aspects of the publishing business including editing and production, graphic design, marketing, and sales for every title Holladay House Publishing produces. For more information about Holly and Holladay House Publishing, please visit www.holladayhousepublishing.com.  
David CoeDavid B. Coe, who also writes as D.B. Jackson, is the award-winning author of fifteen novels and the occasional short story.  His most recent novels, THIEFTAKER, THIEVES’ QUARRY, and A PLUNDER OF SOULS, written under the D.B. Jackson pen name (http://www.DBJackson-Author.com), are the first volumes of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston that combines elements of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction.  The fourth volume, DEAD MAN’S REACH, will be published in the summer of 2015.Writing as David B. Coe (http://www.DavidBCoe.com) he has published the LonTobyn Chronicle, a trilogy that received the Crawford Fantasy Award as the best work by a new author in fantasy, as well as the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy. He has also written the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, ROBIN HOOD, starring Russell Crowe.  His next project, a contemporary urban fantasy called the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will be published by Baen Books. The first book, SPELL BLIND, will be out in January 2015. David’s books have been translated into a dozen languages.David received his undergraduate degree from BrownUniversity and his Master’s and Ph.D. in U.S. history from StanfordUniversity.  He co-founded and regularly contributes to the Magical Words group blog (http://magicalwords.net), a site devoted to discussions of the craft and business of writing fantasy, and is co-author of How To Write Magical Words:  A Writer’s Companion.