Speakers

cherrie woods

Mark Craemer

Author

Mark Craemer was born and raised in Chicago suburbs named after parks and fields and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1979. Taking a break from higher education, Mark rode a bicycle across the United States twice before completing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Oregon. He earned a living in diverse ways, including as a bartender, laborer, taxi driver, public relations officer, freelance writer and photographer, and 16 years in marketing roles in high tech companies. Mark earned a master’s degree in applied behavioral science in 2007 and now offers leadership coaching and organization development services through his company Craemer Consulting. His first book, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, was published in 2020. I Remember Clifford and Other Stories is his first book of fiction, which he self-published in 2021. Mark lives in Seattle with his family.

Visit Mark online at https://craemerconsulting.com/.

hank wallace

Hank Wallace

Trainer
Hank Wallace will show you how to be “concise as news, precise as law.”  A Columbia Law School graduate, Hank was a government reporter for New Jersey’s Middletown Courier and Red Bank Daily Register, and the assistant director of law-school publishing for Matthew Bender.  He wrote the FCC’s plain-language newsletter and newswriting tips for the Radio Television Digital News Association.  As a volunteer, he’s shown Washington high-school students how to write their college-entrance essays “like the news.”  Learn more about Hank at hankwallace.com.
mildred stokes

Mildred Stokes

Author
Mildred M. Stokes has succeeded with two published works. The first is a story devotional titled Romancing the Beautiful Divine. The second is a book of original poetry titled I Can Hear You Better With My Glasses On!

Most recently, Mildred is progressing towards completing a 3-volume story set in the genre of children’s book writing. She combines music and the wonders of nature to fuel her meditation and literary pursuits.

cherrie woods

Morgan Talty

Author

Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. He received his BA in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and his MFA in fiction from Stonecoast’s low-residency program. His story collection Night of the Living Rez is forthcoming from Tin House Books (2022), and his work has appeared in Granta, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize, Talty’s work has been supported by the Elizabeth George Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts (2022). Talty teaches courses in both English and Native American Studies, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing. Talty is also a Prose Editor at The Massachusetts Review. He lives in Levant, Maine.

marcy arlin

Marcy Arlin

Author, Instructor

Marcy Arlin’s speculative fiction publications include Daily Science Fiction, Diabolical Plots, perihelionsf.com, Kaleidocast podcast, Plays about Reproductive Freedom, Man.In.Fest Journal of Experimental Theatre. She has written reviews for the NY Review of Science Fiction, blogged on the Clarion newsletter, and been a producer/director/actor for Kaleidocast’s Seasons1 & 2. She studied SFF with Kij Johnson, Andy Duncan and Chris McKitterick at the Kansas CSSF and at the Writers’ Institute (Andre Aciman), NYC.

Other publications include Czech Plays: 7 New Works and articles on Eastern European Theatre in Slavic & Eastern European Performance. She received the OBIE for Theatre as Artistic Director of Immigrants’ Theatre Project and teaches theatre at City University of New York. Marcy is a member of the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers and is a Fulbright scholar to Romania and the Czech Republic.

Photo Credit: Lynn E. Cohen Koehler

cherrie woods

Steve & Dawn Woodburn

Authors

This is Steve & Dawn’s first foray into the world of children’s books with an idea that literally came to them out of the blue. Dawn has worked for 35 years in the corporate world using her organizational and marketing skills with an international electrical products distribution company. Steve worked on-air in radio for 20 years before transitioning into the world of branding and promotional products. They started Marvelous Moosey Adventures in 2018 after hitting on the idea of creating a moose with blue hooves whose story is a reminder that it’s O.K. to be different. Why do you want to be like everyone else? Be you. Be yourself and understand it’s your differences that make you unique and marvelous. They’ve created a plush Moosey, wrote a children’s book with his backstory and developed interactive packaging called his Moosecase® that looks like an old-time suitcase with games inside along with 172 hoof print stickers. They’re using their combined experiences to develop and build a brand from scratch to touch the hearts of children of all ages.

Gerri Bohanan

Yoga Instructor, Author
After being a teacher for over 30 years, I wanted to teach Laughter Yoga instead of academics. I became certified in Laughter Yoga Leadership by some wonderful and excellent leadership trainers, Bill Power and Alexa Drubay, in Pennsylvania in December 2017. I started teaching Laughter Yoga nationally and internationally in 2018.

Most people who participated loved Laughter Yoga and the way I creatively taught it. I loved that the Calamba Bayside National High School in the Philippines gave me an Appreciation Award certification. That encouraged me to move forward and learn more about Laughter Yoga. I became certified as a Laughter Yoga Teacher by an amazing and encouraging master, Robert Rivest, in August 2018.

Visit me online at https://laughteryogawithgerri.com.

 

joe holt

Joseph Holt

Author, Instructor
Joseph Holt’s writing has appeared in The Sun, The Saturday Evening Post, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. He graduated from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he also received an AWP Intro Journals Award in fiction. Originally from South Dakota, Holt has taught at Catapult, the Loft Literary Center, the American College of Norway, and the University of Minnesota. He now serves on the MFA faculty at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Holt is an active marathoner and host of North Star Nugs, a radio show featuring jam band music. His website is holt.ink.
rachel slaughter

Rachel Slaughter

Author, Doctor

Dr. R. A. Slaughter  (Doc) earned her doctoral degree in Cognitive Studies in Reading at Widener University. Her dissertation explores multicultural literature in private schools through the lens of Critical Pedagogy. Two of her books include the textbook Turning the Page: The Ultimate Guide for Teachers to Multicultural Literature, and the workbook companion Turning the Page: A Guide to Securing Multicultural Literature for Schools both published by Rowman & Littlefield.

An expert in multicultural literature and an international speaker, Dr. Slaughter will present her research on multicultural literature at the “22nd European Conference on Literacy” organized by the Federation of European Literacy Associations, in Dublin, Ireland. As part of Dr. Slaughter’s mission to annihilate illiteracy, Doc has created Literacy University, a 501(c)3 organization devoted to providing premium literacy resources to families for free. 

To contact with Dr. Slaughter, visit DrRachelSlaughter.com.

rachel slaughter

Suzanne Bowman Williams

Author, Retired Teacher

Suzanne Bowman Williams enjoyed teaching elementary school students in Southern California for over 30 years. There she presented the story behind her first book, It All Started in Africa. This nonfiction picture book was released in 2021 and was illustrated by her granddaughter, Evelynn Jeanette.

The dual purpose of this work is:

  • To share a journey through generations of African Americans over the course of history
  • To empower and equip children with an awareness of the fascinating power of making wise, courageous choices for the benefit of present and future generations

Now living the freelance/retired life in Central Arizona with her husband/advisor, she enjoys presenting multicultural, motivational tales on the local radio station as well as in classrooms both in person and virtually. Suzanne also is actively engaged in a variety of creative projects, including the annual “Grand Camp” with the grandkids. Besides crafting stories and studying family history, historic sites, cultures, and people, spending time with her family is what she considers her greatest blessing.

Connect with Suzanne at https://suzannewilliamsauthor.com/

rachel slaughter

Rynesha Clark

Author, Illustrator

R. L. Clark writes and illustrates her own books based on real-life experience with her own children, thus inspiring her to write and draw relatable stories in order to connect with other families. Rynesha believes that that a passion for art and a love for children equals unforgettable memories, laughs, adventures, and quirky comedy.

rachel slaughter

Caleb Tankersley

Author

Caleb Tankersley’s story collection Sin Eaters won the 2021 Permafrost Book Prize and was recently published by University of Alaska Press. He is also the author of the chapbook Jesus Works the Night Shift. His writing can be found in CarveThe Cimarron ReviewPuerto del SolSycamore Review, and other magazines. He is the Managing Director for Split/Lip Press and lives near Seattle.

rachel slaughter

Kate Wood

Avid Reader

Kate grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and has since lived in New York City, where she earned a BFA from NYU, and Los Angeles, where she spent some time pursuing a career in sitcom writing and almost never went to the beach. She currently resides in Baltimore.

In her free time, Kate enjoys reading, writing, running, and hanging out with her cats. In 2019 she ran a 5k in every state in the US. She is a software engineer.

rachel slaughter

Sabrina N. Henry

Author, Former Educator, Entrepreneur

I am Sabrina Henry and I’m originally from Jamaica. I am the 3rd of 5 siblings. I have 4 children total and have been married for 16 years. Three of my children were born in 3 different countries. In my past life I was an educator who also had experience teaching in several countries. A few years ago, I switched career paths to take on the titles of entrepreneur, author, and project manager. I love and enjoy researching and cooking new recipes or creating my own. Traveling is another favorite thing of mine. I enjoy writing, and so far I’ve self-published 6 books (2 of which are for adults). I keep myself busy by caring for our younger children, tending to my businesses, planning trips, traveling, writing, etc. This is a short synopsis about me, but you will learn more as we indulge in our conversations.

kerry dolan

Kerry Dolan

Author

Kerry Dolan won the 2021 Juniper Prize for Fiction for her debut story collection Safe Places, forthcoming in Spring 2022. Dolan has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell, Ucross Foundation, VCCA, Millay Colony, and elsewhere, and her work has received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize, won the Writers at Work Prize, and been a finalist for the New American Fiction Prize. Dolan’s stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines, including Quarterly WestGreensboro ReviewRobert Olen Butler Prize Stories, and others. She received her MFA from Cornell University, where she won the Andrews Award in fiction. A native of Brooklyn and former resident of San Francisco, she currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is working on a novel.

More information about Kerry Dolan can be found on her website at https://www.kerrydolan.net

kerry dolan

Donna Ledbetter

Author, Founder of Short Story Book Club

Donna Ledbetter is an author and the founder of Short Story Book Club. She happily dedicates portions of her free time to fostering access to knowledge and learning opportunities for everyone, especially when it comes to fostering a love of reading for the entire family.

kerry dolan

Taylor García

Author, Columnist

Taylor García (he/him/his) is the author of the novel, Slip Soul (Touchpoint Press, 2021), and the short story collection, Functional Families (Unsolicited Press, 2021). In addition to his books, García has published several short stories and essays in numerous journals, and is a weekly columnist at the Good Men Project. He holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University Oregon. García is a multi-generational Neomexicano originally from Santa Fé, New Mexico now living in Southern California with his family.

kerry dolan

Kimberly Lawson

Author, Public Speaker, Chief Operating Officer

Kimberly Lawson is a TedX Speaker, International Bestselling Author, Bestselling Publisher, and a Fractional C.O.O. Kimberly began writing at the age of six, her latest work The Amazing Adventures of Kimmie became a number one new release on Amazon in two separate categories within a few days of its release. As a Fractional C.O.O. Kimberly helps small businesses avoid roadblocks in their business model, ensuring they stay on track strategically and operationally by providing guidance expertise, and executive-level leadership. Through her company Lawson Learning Academy, LLC Kimberly also provides support through training, business consultations, and evaluations for small businesses, school systems, corporations, and nonprofits. Lastly Kimberly is a member of the board of directors for Nic’s Kicks charity. Though Kimberly wears many titles, mom is the title she is most proud to possess.

kerry dolan

Jessica B. Woods

Librarian

Jessica B. Woods is a librarian at the Catonsville Branch of Baltimore County Public Library where she serves as the Teen Engagement Coordinator. Prior to coming to public libraries, she taught High School English in Anne Arundel County for 13 years and was a nominee for AACPS Teacher of the Year in 2009. In 2019, she was named a finalist for the BCPL Staff Merit Leadership Award. She has served on statewide book award selection committees, such as the Maryland Blue Crab Award, the Maryland High School Black-Eyed Susan Award, and Capitol Choices, which uses the expertise of librarians from Maryland, DC, and Virginia to select quality books and audiobooks for Children and Teens. When she’s not reading, she enjoys visiting theme parks with her husband, Ryan, and running after their puppies, Clint and Cleo.

kathy anderson at short story fest

Kathy Anderson

Author

Kathy Anderson is the author of the short story collection, Bull and Other Stories (Autumn House Press, 2016), which won the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize, was longlisted for The Story Prize, and was a finalist for Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year, and Lambda Literary Awards. Her home is in Philadelphia, PA, where she is working on a second collection and a novel. To connect: kathyandersonwriter.com

kate folk at short story fest

Kate Folk

Author

Kate Folk has written for publications including The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineGrantaMcSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and Zyzzyva. She’s received support from the Headlands Center for the Arts, MacDowell, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Recently, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University. She lives in San Francisco. Out There is her first book.

kate folk at short story fest

Otis Sprow

Author

Otis Sprow is a native of Baltimore. After graduating from Cornell University with BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering, he furthered his education at George Washington University (MBA) and went on to a career with the Ford Motor Company. After retiring, he began a lifelong passion for creating. In 2020, he self-published his first book of poetry (over 600 pages) which deals with a wide variety of subject matter. Regardless of the subject of the poem, he is known for creating strong mental images via craftmanship of language.

kate folk at short story fest

Lydia Conklin

Author

Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship from Emory University, work-study and tuition scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, the James Merrill House, and elsewhere. Their fiction has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Paris Review, One Story, and VQR. They have drawn cartoons for The New Yorker and Narrative Magazine, and graphic fiction for The Believer, Lenny Letter, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Last year they served as the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Fiction at the University of Michigan and they are currently an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Vanderbilt University. Their story collection, Rainbow Rainbow, will be published in May 2022 by Catapult in North America and Scribner in the UK.

Precious Carson

Author, Motivational Speaker

Precious Carson is a 28 year old writer, and upcoming motivational speaker who wrote her first collection of poems tilted, Mind, Body, Soul. Her work focuses on trauma, mental health awareness, abuse, femininity, loss, and awareness of self. Poems are her way to express herself in the most intimate way possible and describes it as “being able bring all of her internal baggage to a bond fire and burn it with every poem written.”

Melanie J. Stroman

Author, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker

Melanie J Stroman is a best-selling author and mother of 3 beautiful, smart, professional women. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker.

CeCe Dawson

Author

Cece Dawson is a New York native and budding author who has dedicated 15 years of her life to honing her craft. Her expertise lies in the world of romance novels, with one foot in reality and the other in science fiction.Using her psychology background and her rich, vibrant experiences from attending various conventions, Cece dives deep into understanding her readers’ psyche.

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