2017 Speakers

Track Speakers

Trudy Lewis

Fiction Track

Trudy Lewis is the author of the novels The Empire Rolls (Moon City Press) and Private Correspondences which was awarded the Goyen Prize from TriQuarterly/Northwestern. her short story collection The Bones of Garbo won the Sandstone Prize from the Ohio State University Press. Trudy's stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly Best American Short StoriesCimarron ReviewCold Mountain ReviewCream City ReviewChattahoochee ReviewMeridianNew England ReviewNew Stories from the SouthShenandoah and others. She is the recipient of the Lawrence Foundation Award and the Glenna Luschei Prize from Prairie Schooner. Trudy is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri.

Saturday, Oct 28th - - 10-12pm - Craft of Writing

"Out Of Character" With Trudy Lewis Where do fiction writers find the inspiration for their characters?  In this workshop, we will discuss a varied cast of characters created by writers such as Octavia Butler, Suzanne Collins, Christopher Isherwood, and Kelly Link.  Then we will participate in a group activity and create characters of our own.

Saturday, Oct 28th - - 3:10-5pm - Editing/Craft of Writing continued

"Making the Scene" With Trudy Lewis How do writers go about constructing a scene? How do they create a set, stage manage characters, orchestrate entrances and exits, balance action and dialogue?  In short, what can fiction writers learn from the dramatic arts?   In this workshop, we will look at successful scenes from published stories and plays, using them to inspire new work or illuminate ongoing projects.

Dinty W. Moore

Creative Non-Fiction

Dinty W. Moore is author of The Story Cure: A Book Doctor’s Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir, the memoir Between Panic & Desire, and many other books. He has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Arts & Letters, and The Normal Schoolamong numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes and edible dandelions.


Dinty W. Moore

The Story Cure

 “Moore’s signature wit and wisdom are once again on display in this useful guide for writers of all levels of experience." —Poets & WritersMagazine

Susan Mroz


Sue Mroz is an award-winning filmmaker and Associate Professor of Instruction in Cinema Art and Science at Columbia College Chicago. Prior to Columbia, she was Program Director of the Chicago International Film Festival and worked as an actor and filmmaker with Wild Life Theater and Rococo Rodeo. She has an MFA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago, and studied extensively at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Her areas of specialization are mythology, dreams, and the psychology of creativity. Classes taught and/or created include Project Development, PreProduction and Preparation; Myth, Dream, and Movie; Directing 1; Screenwriting 1, 2, and 3; Adaptation; Directing for Character; and Creativity: Vision and Process. Current works include the experimental exploration There Was No Proof, and the short narrative The Scary Ham, based on the story by Ellen Klages. In 2011 Sue received the Excellence in Teaching Award for full-time faculty at Columbia College Chicago.

Breakout Session Speakers

Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am-Mystery
Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am-Poetry
Breakout Session: 11:00-11:50am
Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus

Mentor & Breakout Session Speaker

 Maurice Broaddus

A community organizer and teacher, his work has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Weird Tales, Apex Magazine, Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Black Static, and many more. Some of his stories have been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. He is the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, The Knights of Breton Court trilogy. He co-authored the play Finding Home: Indiana at 200. His novellas include Buffalo Soldier, I Can Transform You, Orgy of Souls, Bleed with Me, and Devil’s Marionette. He is the co-editor of Dark Faith, Dark Faith: Invocations, Streets of Shadows, and People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror. His gaming work includes writing for the Marvel Super-Heroes, Leverage, and Firefly role-playing games as well as working as a consultant on Watch Dogs 2.

Learn more about him at MauriceBroaddus.com.

Breakout Sessions:
9:00-9:50am - World Building
11:00-11:50am - TBA
Breakout Sessions:
Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am-Playwriting/Screenwriting
Breakout Session: 10:00-10:50am-Poetry
Breakout Session: 9:00-10:45am-SciFi-Fantasy
C. David Milles

C. David Milles

Breakout Session Speaker

Although not a superhero, C. David Milles does have a dual identity. He is a teacher by day and a writer by night. He enjoys exploring the building blocks of stories, especially through the lens of the Hero’s Journey.

He loves all things geeky: superheroes, video games, reading, and writing. His favorites include television shows like Lost, Fringe, and Doctor Who, and movies like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future.

He is the author of four young adult novels: Paradox, Redemption, Legacy, and New Miller’s Grove. He writes regularly for the web site based on the best-selling book series on screenwriting, Save the Cat!, and has contributed chapters to Lost Thought, based on the hit TV show.

You can visit him on the web at: www.cdavidmilles.com

Breakout Sessions


Structure is crucial in writing any story, but sometimes it's easy to get stuck along the way. Using the principles taught in the #1 bestselling book series on screenwriting, Save the Cat!, you can learn to solidify your story structure. This session will examine and discuss the story beats found in films and will help you see ways to apply them to your own writing.



Writing for Young Adults has never been more popular, but there are risks in writing for this audience. In this session, you'll learn five things you can avoid in your YA writing--and why they matter if you want future readers to experience your story as if it were written just for them.


Breakout Sessions:
11:00-12:30pm-"Using the Structure of Save the Cat! to Guide Your Writing
3:10-4:00pm-"Pitfalls to Avoid When Writing YA"
Carolyn Mulford

Carolyn Mulford

Mentor & Breakout Session Speaker

Mentor for mysteries and for YA historical novels


Carolyn Mulford worked on five continents as a nonfiction writer/editor before turning to fiction. Her award-winning Show Me mystery series features Phoenix Smith, a former CIA covert operative who returns to rural Missouri and adapts her tradecraft to solve crimes with old friends and a K-9 dropout. In Show Me the Sinister Snowman, the fifth book, a blizzard traps Phoenix in an isolated antebellum mansion with an armed abusive husband outside and an unknown killer inside. You can read the first chapters of her five mysteries and her two historical novels, The Feedsack Dress and Thunder Beneath My Feet, on her website: http://CarolynMulford.com.

Sunday Breakout Session - 11-11:50 a.m
Polishing Your Manuscript

A good writer becomes an editor on the final draft. This session offers techniques for spotting weak writing, finding and correcting common errors, and strengthening the manuscript word by word. Participants may bring two pages of their own work to use in applying the techniques.

Breakout Session: 11:00-11:50am
Peggy Nehmen

Peggy Nehmen

Breakout Session Speaker

Peggy Nehmen

Peggy Nehmen combines her love of graphic design, typography, and publishing with thirty years of experience in this highly competitive field. She provides branding and marketing for start-ups, established companies and self-published authors. Her ability to visually interpret and convey her clients’ messages has made her a trusted marketing professional.

A member of IBPA and a longtime St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) member, Nehmen is currently the membership chair of SLPA. Her objective is to help authors through the design and self-publishing process to produce customized book covers and interiors.

Nehmen-Kodner is a St. Louis-based design studio Nehmen owns with her husband, Gary Kodner. N-K prides itself on providing superior service, creating innovative designs and delivering a quality product your work deserves.

For more information about the company, go to n-kcreative.com/portfolio/book-design/.

Breakout Session: 11:00-12:30pm-

Eric Praschan

Mentor & Breakout Session Speaker

Eric Praschan is the author of the suspense novels, The Burden of SilenceBlind Evil, and The James Women Trilogy, which includes Therapy for GhostsSleepwalking into Darkness, and The ReckoningThe Burden of Silence was awarded first place in the 2016 Open Book Contest of the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, Missouri. He has been writing suspense fiction for more than 20 years. He holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Theological Studies. He has many years of experience in drama, music, teaching and higher education. Eric has served as a fiction writing mentor for the past two years at the Show Me Writer's Masterclass. He currently lives in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife. 

Connect with Eric: ericpraschan.com


Sunday Morning Breakout Session - Getting Hooked and Keeping Up the Pace

-We'll discuss how to hook readers with your opening pages, including character introduction, inciting incident, and the crucial first line/paragraph.

-We'll also discuss tips for developing the flow of your story so it keeps the pages turning, including narrative hooks and character conflict

Breakout Sessions:
Breakout Session: 3:10-4:00pm-
Breakout Session: 10:00-10:50am-Working with an illustrator

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