The mentorship program gives  attendees the opportunity to have their work reviewed by an experienced author or editor prior to the event, and meet with them for a 25-minute one-on-one appointment. Attendees had to submit one of the following:
    • 3 poems
    • 3000 words of fiction or non-fiction
    • 10 pages or 10 minute script for play/screenwriting.
After you have registered for the conference and the mentorship,  you will receive an email from our mentorship coordinator.  You will be asked who you wish to have mentor you and given what times the mentor has open (if any) to meet. If your first pick mentor is already booked, you will be asked who your next mentor choice is. Typically, each mentor will meet with up to 3 different individuals, so if there is one specific mentor you wish to have it is best to register early. You may also choose to sign up for more than one mentorship (each at a price of $40 each.) The mentorship coordinator will also provide you details on how to submit your work in advance so that your mentor may read your work and have a meaningful dialogue with you for your one-on-one at the conference. If you have any questions please email us through the 'Contact Us' page.
Meet our outstanding mentors!     
Fiction Mentors
Gordon Sauer

Gordon Sauer

Mentor - Fiction

Gordon Sauer received his MFA from Columbia University, where he was a Teaching Fellow. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Narrative Magazine, Columbia College Today, and Boulevard Magazine. He's taught creative writing at the college level for the past seven years, and he currently directs the Quarry Heights Writers' Workshop here in Columbia and is a reader for the Baltic Writing Residency.


Reinhardt Suarez

YA Writer

Reinhardt Suarez is a writer, teacher, and editor who has worked in all manner of publishing (from educational, to children's, to academic) over the last eighteen years. He holds a MFA from The New School in New York City. Along with the invisible contributions he has made to various publications both online and off, he has written one YA novel and is working on a second. He's also lived in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, and now Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his partner Kristin and their feline overlord, Karl.


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:


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

Leanna Brunner

Mentor & PitchFest Editor

Leanna Brunner is a college professor, writer, and editor who strives to help other writers fulfill their dream of publishing their own manuscripts. She has taught high school and college writing classes at various schools for more than twenty years in the Kansas City area.

In 2014, she conducted the Write the Dream conference in Kansas City in an effort to educate aspiring writers about the writing and publishing realm. Since then, she has worked with more than two dozen writers and assisted them with making their publishing dreams come true. She has written and published four suspense novels, a short non-fiction book, and a series of workbooks and interactive classes on writing; she is soon to release her first children's book about a spider. In addition to teaching and writing, Leanna owns a business, Write the Dream, which offers curriculum, classes, coaching, editing, and design services for those who are interested in writing and/or publishing.

Leanna was the Marketing Speaker for the Fiction Track at the 2016 ShowMe Writers Masterclass.

For the 2017 ShowMe Writers Masterclass, you may register for a mentorship with Leanna and she will also be taking pitches at the PitchFest.
Be sure to visit her table in the booksigning area!

Leanna resides in Smithville, Missouri.

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

Jocelyn Cullity

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

Jocelyn Cullity's short stories have been published in journals and anthologies that include Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53 / International Book Award Finalist), Blackbird, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her novel, Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons, will be published by Inanna Press in the Fall of 2017. She is the Director of the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Truman State University, consistently rated as one of the top public liberal arts colleges in the country.

Connect with Jocelyn at



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:

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.

Creative Non-Fiction Mentors
Amy Butler

Amy Woods Butler

Mentor - Creative Non-Fiction

Amy Woods Butler found her calling when she discovered she could make a living asking people about their lives. Since 2011, she has operated The Story Scribe (, a memoir-writing service that helps people preserve their personal life stories and family and business histories. She has also served as a coach and mentor for people new to the growing field of personal history.

In addition, Amy has published interviews, essays and reviews in a number of publications, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Lori Younker

Lori Younker

Mentor - Creative Non-Fiction

Poetry Mentors

Walter Bargen

First Poet Laureate of Missouri

Walter Bargen has published 19 books of poetry.  Recent books include:  Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (2009), Endearing Ruins/Liebenswerte Ruinen (2012), and Trouble Behind Glass Doors (2013). Quixotic was published by El Grito del Lobo Letter Press in 2014. His awards include: the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the William Rockhill Nelson Award.  He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).  

 He was born at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, farther back than he wants to admit.  As a result of his father’s military career, he has lived in many places including, Germany, Switzerland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri.   He wrote his first poem when he was a senior in high school.  He taught himself how to write by two simple processes, reading and writing.  He reads not only to enjoy what others write but to learn how others write, and he firmly believes that reading and writing teach writing.  He has lived outside Ashland, Missouri, since he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a BA in philosophy.  He later earned a M.Ed in English education from the same institution and then became distracted—again.


Connect with Walter:


Sunday Breakout Session: 9-9:50am

Robert Frost wrote, “No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”  The novelist, John Updike, said something similar, that writing was like driving a car at night, you can only see as far as the headlights. So when James Tate, the contemporary poet, says, “I stare at the blank page because I want to travel to a new place. I want the language to be new. The ideas to be new,” he is looking for that surprise.  How does a writer surprise him or herself in the first line of a poem and how does that contribute to the trajectory of a successful poem.  What makes a good first line, its characteristics, and how can a first line can lift up a poem or leave it lying flat on the page? We will read many good first lines and examine how they resonant through an entire poem.

Genevieve A. Howard

Strategic Communications Associate II

Genevieve A. Howard is a writer, speaker and communications professional with more than 10 years in digital communications experience. She earned her undergrad degree in language studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in education from Mizzou. She is a published author and a lifelong fan of relaxation, hot tea and houseplants.

She believes poems have a life of their own. It's the poet's job to guide them on their way as they become part of the world. Her philosophy includes the idea that poetry, songs and art are human birthrights.

Connect with Genevieve:

Play writing/Screenwriting Mentors

Jim Henry

Award Winning Playwright, Screenwriter, and Actor

Jim Henry is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America


Mr. Henry is an actor and writer in the Chicagoland area and is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and Literary Manager at Chicago Street Theatre.  Jim is the winner of more than 20 screenplay and playwriting awards.  He has had 60+ productions and public readings in the United States and Australia. His play 7th Monarch had a 3 month run off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre on 42nd St.  - 7th Monarch is the winner of three playwriting awards: Plays for the 21st Century (Dallas, TX), DramaRama 2000 (San Francisco, CA), and The Panowski Award (Marquette, MI). Other productions include The Road Theatre - North Hollywood CA, Chicago Street Theatre, LaCrosse Community Theatre and Missouri Valley College.


Mr. Henry’s first play, The Angels of Lemnos has been produced throughout the US and in Australia.  Angels world premiered at Chicago Dramatists where Jim is a Resident Playwright and he won Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work.  The play ran for five months in Los Angeles receiving an L.A. Times Critic's Choice, rave reviews from Variety, and a Robby Award for Best New Play.  The Angels of Lemnos is published by Chicago Dramaworks.


His Screenwriting credits include:   Jupiter in Vegas, Young Again, Moon Shadows, The Seventh Monarch, Eternal Patrol, and The Angels of Lemnos.  Moon Shadows won 4th place in the Final Draft Screenplay Competition (out of over 2500 entries).  The Angels of Lemnos won Third Place at the Hollywood Film Festival and was a finalist in the Sundance Feature Film Project two years in a row.  Mr. Henry has optioned two screenplays with Producer Ian Bryce (Transformers I, II & III, Savings Private Ryan, Spiderman, Almost Famous).


Jim is also an award winning actor with numerous theatre credits over the past 25 years.  He is the winner of NIETF’s Best Actor in a Play for three years in a row.


Jim and his wife, Dona, have been married thirty-eight years and are blessed with eight children and nine grandchildren.


Editor/Book Consultants
Meghan Pinson

Meghan Pinson

Editor - My Two Cents Editing

Meghan Pinson provides expert editing, engaging critique, and fearless consulting to authors of novels and nonfiction manuscripts. She launched My Two Cents Editing in 2009 as a full-time freelance copyeditor and has steadily expanded to help her clients move from first draft to faithful readerships. Now her small crew of literary specialists provides comprehensive manuscript critique and a full range of editing services: editorial assessment, developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, proofreading, and post-editing cleanup. Meghan leads writing and editing workshops at conferences and for small groups, and collaborates with her partner at Outrider Literary to guide authors through publication along indie, traditional, and hybrid paths. Meghan is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, the Missouri Writers Guild, the St. Louis Publishers Association, and Reedsy (where you can see her portfolio). Check out and write to for more information.