Maya Rodale –Honorary Dangerous Girl
Maya began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she is the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a frequent contributor to NPR Books, The Huffington Post, Bustle and more. Maya lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.
Lisa Cron – Storyteller Extraordinaire
Lisa Cron is a story coach and the author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence and Story Genius: How To Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages that Go Nowhere)
Lisa has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency. Since 2006, Lisa’s been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and she’s on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA program in visual narrative in New York City.
Lisa works with writers, nonprofits, educators and organizations, helping them master the unparalleled power of story, so they can move people to action – whether that action is turning the pages of a compelling novel, or taking to the streets to change the world for the better. Or both!
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi – The Dynamic Duo
Their mission? To offer help and support, and to empower writers everywhere.
Angela and Becca are the authors of six books, yes six! The Thesaurus Collection is a truly valuable resource for writers of all levels from daring to decadent. Angela and Becca’s workshops are sure to help you write more productively while helping to elevate your storytelling.
Angela loves her home near Calgary, Alberta, nestled close to the Rockies. She travels with her family, exploring new and unusual places, and is amazed at how the universe seems to bring along the people she needs to connect with at just the right time. Angela enjoys sharing her passion for writing craft as she’s a writing coach, international speaker, and a firm believer that writers succeed best together. The desire to help writers in new, innovative ways is a love Angela shares with Becca Puglisi.
Becca is a YA fantasy/historical fiction writer. She is co-author (with Angela, of course!) of the bestselling The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. She also is co-founder (again, with Angela, of course!) of One Stop For Writers®, a unique online resource containing many helpful tools, craft tutorials, and the entire Writers Helping Writers thesaurus collection.
When not writing, Becca’s life revolves around her husband Al and their two adorable little blessings. The little ones, a girl and a boy, keep Becca intimately acquainted with the children’s section of the library, the park, and any Chick-fil-A with a playground. She has given up wearing lipstick because she can’t stop kissing her kids.
Mel Jolly – Dares to be Dramatic
Since 2009 Mel Jolly has been, “keeping authors out of the loony bin.”
She’s the founder of Author Rx, and an Author Educator, Consultant, Project Manager and Assistant for many NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors. Mel has always had a true passion for connecting readers (and non-readers) to books. She enjoys channeling that energy into teaching authors the tips and tricks she’s learned about how to thrive in the publishing industry. Mel also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance, which means she’s not afraid of a challenge, a crowd, or a little drama!
Valerie Biel – Dependable Indie Expert
Several titles from Valerie Biel’s YA series, The Circle of Nine World, have received multiple awards. Her debut novel Circle of Nine – Beltany was honored as a 2015 Kindle Book Award Finalist, a finalist in the Gotham Writers’ YA Novel Discovery Contest and the Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest, to mention a few. When Val’s not writing, she’s working on freelance publicity projects, assisting other authors or teaching about writing topics at conferences, libraries, and schools. She’s a member of a fantastically fastidious critique group through her membership in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Once upon a time, Val graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and political science. Now, she lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and children and dreams regularly of a beautiful cottage on the Irish coast where she can write and write and write.
Angie Stanton – Daydream Aficionado
Angie Stanton is a life-long daydreamer who grew up with her hands clutching a book and her head in the clouds. Now Angie puts her daydream talent to great and groovy use by writing contemporary fiction about life, love, and the adventures that follow. Angie is the best-selling author of If Ever, Waking in Time, Rock and a Hard Place, Snapshot, Royally Lost, Under the Spotlight, Snowed Over, and Love ‘em or Leave ‘em. In her spare time, Angie sneaks off to New York City to enjoy the best live entertainment experience on earth, Broadway. She is currently working on a series of Broadway-themed books, and is a contributing writer to Broadway World. Angie’s book, If Ever, won FIRST PLACE in the WisRWA’s Write Touch Readers’ Award contest!
Amy Reichert – Milwaukee Enthusiast
Amy E. Reichert, author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE, THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER, and THE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO LETTING GO, loves to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, a volunteer baby snuggler, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her library’s board of directors. She’s a lifelong cheesehead (aka, born and raised Wisconsinite) and could not live without coffee and ice cream!