SEPTEMBER 19-21, 2013



CONFIRMED PRESENTERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

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of Kevin MaurerKevin Maurer -- is an award-winning journalist and best selling author, who has covered special operations forces for eight years while embedded with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. He spent a month with special operations units in Africa in 2006 and covered the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan's first parliamentary election.

Maurer is best known as the co-author of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, written with a member of the Virginia Beach-based Seal Team Six. The book, which has been translated in more than a dozen countries and also debuted at #1 in the U.K. and Canada, spent several weeks at #1 on the New York Times best seller list.

Maurer's first co-authored book, Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds, about a battle in Afghanistan's Shok Valley, was written with Mitch Weiss and was published in June 2011 by Bantam Books.

He then co-wrote a memoir of a Korean War veteran, Valleys of Death: A Memoir of the Korean War, which was published by Berkley in October 2011.

Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces, for which he is the sole author, was published in September 2012.

His latest book in print, also co-authored with Weiss, No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan, about a team of Green Berets in Afghanistan, was published in December 2012. Maurer and Weiss also co-wrote Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary, which will be released on July 2, 2013. The book is available now for pre-order.



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of Lisa McMannLisa McMann -- is the New York Times bestselling author of the WAKE Trilogy , the VISIONS series, the UNWANTEDS series, and other books with tween and teen characters.

The WAKE Trilogy revolves around seventeen-year-old Janie, who gets sucked into other people's dreams. The books are: Wake, Fade, and Gone

In the two riveting middle-grade dystopian novels that make up the UNWANTEDS series, thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination. See how thirteen-year-old twins handle their different labels and one is suddenly faced with death.

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble in Crash, the suspenseful first of four books in the the VISIONS series.

She also has two stand-alone thrillers, CRYER'S CROSS and DEAD TO YOU.

McMann grew up in Michigan and now lives in the Phoenix area with her husband, two teenagers, and two cats. Connect with Lisa on her Facebook friend page, her Facebook fan page, and on Twitter.


LITERARY AGENTS

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of Ethan Vaughan -- a literary agent at Kimberley Cameron and Associates, has worked in journalism since 2007, but his first introduction to publishing came with a 2011 summer internship at Folio Literary Management in New York, where he worked under the redoubtable Jeff Kleinman and received a crash course in agenting. Vaughan is seeking: Fantasy/sci-fi (particularly of the young adult variety); women’s fiction; literary fiction; historical fiction; and historical nonfiction. While he loves escaping into an incredible new world, he's a big sucker for really well-done literary fiction (something like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which sheds light on who we are as humans). As regards his first love, fantasy, he is very selective, strongly prefering fantasy that is somehow grounded in the real world, be that through the integration of mythology (as in the Percy Jackson series) or through a fantasy universe being hidden inside of our own (as in the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia series).


picture
of Jeff OurvanJeff Ourvan -- a literary agent at Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, is also an attorney, published author, and writing instructor. His interests are varied: he represents non-fiction works, especially memoirs, histories, biographies, science and sports works. He also represents fiction writers, particularly in the young adult, thriller and international fiction categories. Prior to his career as a literary agent, Jeff was a litigator for many years at two large New York-based corporate law firms and a communications consultant working in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Jeff's latest authored work, THE STAR SPANGLED BUDDHIST, was released by Skyhorse Publishing in June.





picture
of Dawn DowdleDawn Dowdle -- is a literary agent at Blue Ridge Literary Agency, which she founded in January 2009 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Dowdle represents a wide range of fiction and children's fiction, including mystery, romance, suspense/thriller, Christian fiction, Cozy mystery, young adult, women's fiction, and middle grade. Previous to her work as an agent, Dowdle worked as a freelance copy editor.

  Dowdle's clients include Rachel Brimble, JM Stewart, Ellen Butler, Shirley Kennedy, Aubrie Dionne, Vonnie Davis, Kathleen Delaney, Cathi Stoler, Mary Marks, and Michael Murphy. Her most recent sales include: 2 Romances by JM Stewart to Berkley/Intermix,  Young Adult by Anne Van to Books We Love, Mystery by Susan Union to Koehler Books, 3-book Cozy Mystery series by Mary Marks to Kensington Books, Romantic Thriller by Mags Story writing as Maggie K. Black to Love Inspired Suspense, 2 Historical Romances by Rachel Brimble to e-Kensington, and 3 Romances by Rachel Brimble to Harlequin Superromance.


AUTHORS

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of Mitch WeissMitch Weiss -- is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press. In 2003, he was assigned to an investigative series that uncovered the longest string of atrocities carried out by a U.S. fighting unit in the Vietnam War. In recognition of the series “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths,” which led to an investigation by the Pentagon, he was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Weiss currently works for the AP on investigative projects, and an investigative series he wrote about corrupt real estate appraisers won several national awards in 2009. He also was part of a team of AP reporters that won a George Polk Award in 2010 for their coverage of the British Petroleum oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Weiss, co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War, has also co-authored several books with Kevin Maurer, including Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds, No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan, and Hunting Che: How a U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World's Most Famous Revolutionary.


picture
of Jack DownsJack Downs -- is a CPA and an MBA with extensive and current experience teaching both accounting and technical writing for the University of Maryland University College, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Carroll Community College. He also writes mysteries. Apprentice House of Baltimore released his first full-length novel, Buried Treasure, in February 2013. His second novel, Cattails: The Edenmist Affair, will also be released by Apprentice House, in June 2013. He is currently working on his third novel, Cattails: The Hermes Project.




picture
of Lydia NetzerLydia Netzer -- author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Shine Shine Shine, a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, Amazon Spotlight Book of the Month, and shortlisted for the LA Times Book Prize in Fiction, was born in Detroit and educated in the Midwest. She lives in Virginia with her two home-schooled children and mathmaking husband. When she isn't teaching, blogging, or drafting her second novel, she writes songs and plays guitar in a rock band. Find her on Facebook, Twitter (@lostcheerio) and at http://www.lydianetzer.com.






picture
of Chantelle Aimée OsmanChantelle Aimée Osman -- is president and founder of A Twist of Karma Entertainment, a film development and consultation company. As former head of business affairs and development for production companies in Hollywood, Ms. Osman has experience in all aspects of the film industry - from dealing with agents, studios, and independent productions, to casting and editing scripts. She has greenlit projects ranging from A-list blockbusters to made-for-TV movies. An award-winning mystery writer, whose numerous short stories and flash fiction pieces have appeared online and in print, Ms Osman presents annually at the Muse Online Writers' Conference and the Florida Writers' Association Conference. She also is the founding member of Anthony-nominated Sirens of Suspense blog (www.SirensofSuspense.com), a reviewer for the syndicated Poisoned Fiction Review (http://poisonedfiction.blogspot.com) and has served as editor for several successful anthologies.


picture
of Cliff GarstangClifford Garstang -- served in the Peace Corps in South Korea, before earning an MA in English and a JD. He practiced international law in Singapore, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Subsequently, he earned an MPA in International Development from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and worked for Harvard Law School as a legal reform consultant in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Garstang also earned an MFA. His award-winning collection of linked short stories, In an Uncharted Country, was published by Press 53 in 2009. Press 53 also published his second book, What the Zhang Boys Know, in September 2012. Garstang’s work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Cream City Review, Tampa Review, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He won the 2006 Confluence Fiction Prize and the 2007 GSU Review Fiction Prize, and has had a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and scholarships to both Sewanee and the Indiana University Writers’ Conference, as well as residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Editor of Prime Number Magazine, Garstang lives in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.


picture
of Jeff AndrewsJeff Andrews -- graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a B.A. in Business Administration and later earned a Master of Science in Administration from George Washington University. He served twenty years in the Marine Corps including tours in Vietnam and Beirut, Lebanon. After retiring from the military he worked in financial services and taught college.

The opening chapter of his debut novel, The Freedom Star won first prize in the Christopher Newport University Writers’ Conference competition and was a finalist in the inaugural James River Writers/Richmond Magazine’s “Best Unpublished Novel in Virginia” contest. The Freedom Star and book two in the series, The Gandy Dancer, are available everywhere. His short stories have appeared in Combat Magazine, The Goblin Reader, The Binnacle, and Whistling Shade. He also had a non-fiction feature article published in Boys’ Life. Andrews is a member of The James River Writers, the Zoetrope writing community, and The Hampton Roads Writers, where he was a founding member and served on the board of directors. He's also a member of the Society of Civil War Historians.


picture
of Jeanne LarsenJeanne Larsen's -- latest book is Why We Make Gardens (& Other Poems); she won the AWP award for her first collection of poetry, James Cook in Search of Terra Incognita. She has also published two books of poems translated from Chinese, most recently Willow, Wine, Mirror, Moon: Women’s Poems from Tang China . Her three novels, Silk Road, Bronze Mirror, and Manchu Palaces are now back in print. She directs the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University.




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