Track Speakers

Saturday, October 28th

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.

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.

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

10am-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.

10-12pm - Craft of Writing

"Mining for Gold/Getting it Out" What are the stories that only you can tell?  What would make them cinematic?  In this interactive workshop, participants will be guided through a series of writing exercises to mine their lives for stories worth telling.  Basics of screenplay development and format will be introduced as a way to bring these stories into cinematic form.

10-12pm - Craft of Writing

"The Invisible Magnetic River of Memoir"

3:10 - 5pm - Editing/Craft of Writing cont'd

"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.

3:10-5pm - Editing/Craft of Writing cont'd

"Testing/Refining/Communicating" Where does my personal story touch the universal?  How do I find that “sweet spot”?  In this interactive workshop, participants will be guided through a series of writing exercises to bring their stories to a deeper level.  Aspects of mythology and psychology as presented by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Abraham Maslow will be introduced as a way to bring your stories to a place where they touch the larger human experience.


3:10-5pm Editing/Craft of Writing cont'd

"How the Invisible Magnetic River Guides Your Writing and Revision"

Breakout Session Speakers

Sunday, October 29th

Nancy Allen

Nancy Allen

Mystery - Breakout Session

Nancy Allen practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now an adjunct law professor at Missouri State University.

Nancy is an author of legal thrillers. Her newest novel is Juror #3, with James Patterson. It will be released by Hachette/Little, Brown in 2018. Nancy also writes a series of courtroom thrillers for HarperCollins, set in the Missouri Ozarks and starring prosecutor Elsie Arnold.


Juror #3 (with James Patterson), Hachette (2018)
Trafficking the Country Girls, HarperCollins (2017)
The Wages of Sin, HarperCollins (2016)
A Killing at the Creek, HarperCollins (2015)
The Code of the Hills, HarperCollins (2014)

Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am
"Breaking the Iron Curtain of NY Publishing: A Missouri Lawyer's Path to Publication"
Meghann Artes

Meghann Artes

Keynote - Visual Storytelling


Meghann Artes is an award-winning filmmaker and animator who has worked with Sesame Street, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Bix Pix, Nick Jr., NBC and ABC. Her short films have enjoyed success in festivals across the country and, in 2009, her work for Sesame Street was awarded both an Emmy and a Peabody.

Drawing from her small town childhood and her urban career, Meghann's independent works artfully utilize handmade elements and modern techniques. Meghann's whimsical subject matter as well as her use of color and texture draw in audiences of all ages.

Meghann holds an MFA from the Animation Workshop at UCLA and is currently an independent filmmaker and an associate professor at DePaul University in Chicago.


Teaser trailer for 'Speed Dating'



Visual Storytelling: 1:30-3pm, Sunday

Walter Bargen

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: www.walterbargen.com


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.

Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am-Poetry
Cathy Birk

Cathy Birk

Breakout Session Speaker

Cathy Birk is the Branch Supervisor for the Boonslick Regional Library - Boonville. For more than 20 years, Cathy has worked in the graphic design field. This includes being the advertising manager/graphic designer for the University of Missouri Press. As well as a graphic designer for a local newspaper. The library offers her shelves of books with eye-catching jackets and layout designs to enjoy each day. 

Cathy graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. She has Associate of Arts degrees in Speech and Theater and in Biblical Studies. 

She uses the time she isn’t shelving books and sleeping to spend time playing backyard hockey with her two children, reading, and playing “who sings this song” with her husband in the car. Her bucket list includes visiting the Library of Congress and learning to tap dance.

Breakout Session: 11:00-11:50am

"Book Design: Before Reading Begins" - In this session we will explore ideas to get your book noticed by the reader. This will include designing the books jacket and its interior page layout.

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
Andrew Doty

Andrew Doty

Editor - Owner of Editwright

Andrew Doty is an editor at (and the owner of) Editwright, a copyediting and proofreading services company, as well as a freelance developmental editor. He also volunteers as the editor-in-chief of punctum books, an open-access, para-academic publisher with 17 imprints, and as the editorial director of the St. Louis Publishers Association, a nonprofit committed to helping writers publish, market, and sell more books. Andrew is a poet and musician who has been publishing and performing for over 20 years.

Breakout Session:
Jim Henry

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.


Breakout Session: 9:00-9:50am-Playwriting/Screenwriting
Frank Higgins

Frank Higgins

Breakout Session Speaker

Frank Higgins is the author of many plays, including Black Pearl Sings! and The Sweet By ‘n’ By.  Black Pearl Sings! for several years was one of the most professionally produced plays in the country, including the Talking Horse Theatre in Columbia in 2016.  The Sweet By 'n' By was produced with Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow.   His work has been seen in New York and across the country at the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Old Globe Theatre, Ford’s Theater in Washington DC, Northlight Theatre in Chicago and other places.

His plays have been published by Samuel French Inc, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, and Pioneer Drama Service.

His one act play The True Death of Socrates is included in Best American Short Plays of 2013, published by Applause Books; Black Pearl Sings! is anthologized in the Random House/Vintage anthology Plays For Two. Scenes from his play Gunplay were read on Capitol Hill prior to Congress passing what came to be known as the Brady Bill.  His new play Louie Louie and La Dolce Vita will be produced by Talking Horse Theatre of Columbia, Missouri, in February of 2018.  He has also published two books of poetry, and two books of haiku, and teaches playwriting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Breakout Session: 11 - 11:50am

"Principles of Dramatic Writing for Playwrights and Fiction Writers--or anybody else"

Breakout Session: 11-11:50am

Nani Fudge

Nani Fudge

Saturday Morning Keynote Speaker


As the child of an Army Bandmaster, Nani grew up in many places, and continues to grow up, mostly, under duress.  Her family consists of 1 husband of 34 years, 4 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, and 7 grandchildren.  For the past 30 years, Nani has been employed by MU, and for the past 5 years, she’s been speaking to groups on campus.  She’s on task to finish her book entitled “My Diary” (an epic literary work spanning 4 generations over 56 years, so far) which has received a 5-star rating by absolutely everyone who’s read it!  She can usually be found reading on her porch, or swimming in her lake.

Saturday Morning Keynote: 9:15-9:45am

Linda Kasten

Literary Agent - Loiacono Literary Agency

Linda Kasten, an author and agent with Loiacono Literary Agency, returns to the Show Me Writers Masterclass for another exceptional weekend, having acquired two engaging manuscripts from previous attendees and a third in the works. Passionate about taking readers on fictional and emotional journeys, she not only represents authors, she has completed four novels of her own in the thriller and romance suspense categories.

Earning an English/literature degree with minors in creative writing and journalism, she found writing fiction provided more freedom than writing facts after a long stint as staff writer and then editor of her college newspaper. She’s also been known to test her copywriting skills creating brochures and ads for various businesses and nonprofits.

Enjoying her new career as a literary agent, even though she admits she feels guilty about having this much fun, she continues to build her author list and reviews manuscripts in several genres: thriller/suspense, mystery, romance, adventure, alternative history, cozies, and mainstream fiction.


Author website: LindaKasten.com.

Agency website: http://llallc.net

What is Linda Looking?

Linda is interested in finished manuscripts. If you attend Linda's pitchfest, and wish to send a query to Loiacono Literary agency you may do so at a later date. Make sure to mention "ShowMe Writers Masterclass" in the subject line of your email. You can the submission guidelines on the agency website at  http://loiaconoliteraryagency.com/submission-guidelines/.

Sunday Morning Session, 10-10:50am -

Organic Characterization

One of the disappointing fiction elements agents commonly encounter in reviewing manuscripts is poorly developed characters. Unless a reader can connect with a character’s emotional journey, plot alone cannot save a manuscript. In this small informal gathering of 12-15 attendees, we will explore techniques an author can incorporate to draw upon his fictional setting, action, reactions, etc., using an organic method to breathe life into a story's characters.



Breakout Session, 10-10:50am  - "Organic Characterization"

Ted Mathys

Ted Mathys

Breakout Session Speaker

Ted Mathys is the author of three books of poetry, Null Set (2015), The Spoils (2009), and Forge (2005), all published by Coffee House Press. The recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, his work has appeared in American Poetry Review, BOMB, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and now lives in Saint Louis, where he teaches at Saint Louis University and co-curates the 100 Boots Poetry Series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

His website is www.tedmathys.com.


Breakout Session: 10-10:50am

"How Poems End." In this session we will explore the various ways in which poems achieve a sense of completion, with particular focus on the pressure that many readers and writers place on endings. We'll discuss the advantages and challenges of poems that cumulate toward a terminus; poems that meditate back on an opening conceit; and poems that do all manner of things in between. Participants may bring one poem with them to workshop.

Breakout Session: 10:00-10:50am
"How Poems End"
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-Save the Cat
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: 10:00-10:50am
"Getting Hooked and Keeping Up the Pace"
Breakout Session: 3:10-4:00pm-
Dayne Sislen

Dayne Sislen

Breakout Session Speaker

Picture books and chapter books are Dayne Sislen’s Passion. Illustrating for children has been a dream of hers for as long as she can remember. As a child, she spent hours mesmerized by the images in picture books. As an adult, she loves being part of the process that brings this enchanting world to children and their caregivers. 

Dayne spent the greatest part of her career as an award-winning graphic designer and art director in advertising and marketing. She also taught Graphic Design and Illustration at Maryville University before she decided to specialize in illustrating children’s books and products. 

She is now working on her ninth illustrated book. Dayne loves working with both self-publishing authors and traditional publishers. Her experience working with print on demand providers as well as independent printers and publishers helps the self-publishing authors she works with get the best results. Visit her website at http://DayneSislenDesign.com.

Breakout Session: 10-10:50am

Self-Publishing a Children's Book? Learn How to Find and Work With an Illustrator.
Learn about the unique challenges of self-publishing a children's book. How to find an Illustrator. How much do they cost? Finding a budget-friendly illustrator. How can an illustrator help me through the self-publishing maze?

Breakout Session: 10:00-10:50am "Self-Publishing a Children's Book? Learn How to Find and Work With an Illustrator"

Comments are closed