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BIO : Rick Ollerman is the author of five novels: Turnabout, Shallow Secrets, Truth Always Kills, Mad Dog Barked, and No Bad Days, as well as the non-fiction collection Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals: Essays on Crime Fiction Writer from the ’50s Through the ’90s. He also edited and contributed to Paperback Confidential, a book containing 132 short bios about writers from the paperback original era through the present, and is currently the editor of DOWN & OUT: THE MAGAZINE. He’s done an anthology for Stark House Press, and another called Blood Work in honor of the late MWA Raven Award winning Gary Shulze. Two of of his short stories appeared in anthologies last year, Waiting to be Forgotten and Windward: Best New England Stories 2016. A regular speaker and panelist at conferences across the country, he can be reached at http://www.ollerman.com.

PRESENTING : Creative Wordplay: Using Dialogue and Exposition to Advance Plots and Scenes in Challenging and Extraordinary Ways



BIO : Robin Stevens Payes is the author of Edge of Yesterday, a serial science fiction story and interactive web platform designed to blow your mind, tap your creative juices, and learn what truths our stories are telling us in IRL. She works with teens through the Maryland Writers Association teen clubs, Girls in Technology, and the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.

PRESENTING : What Our Stories Can Teach Us about What’s Real


Dee Romito -square

BIO : Dee Romito is an author and former elementary teacher. Her middle grade books include The BFF Bucket List, No Place Like Home, and co-authored Best.Night.Ever, with Postcards from Venice (Aladdin/S&S) and her debut picture book, Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Little Bee Books), to follow in 2018. She blogs about writing at WriteforApples.com and is Co-Advisor of Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writers and Illustrators. While she does her best to be a grown-up most of the time, giggling with her BFFs is still one of her all-time favorite things. You can visit her website at DeeRomito.com.

PRESENTING : Scrivener for Beginners



BIO : Janet Ruck retired from the federal government, and transitioned into a second career as a career coach. She is the co-author of two federal job search books: Guide to America’s Federal Jobs and Find Your Federal Job Fit. Her goal for writing is to help others achieve success and satisfaction in their careers. Her website planagreatlife.com focuses on job satisfaction through the pursuit of purpose and passion. She has also ventured into writing humorous memoir. She blogs at geezergoddess.com.

PRESENTING : The Retired Writer



BIO : Bernard Schaffer is an author and veteran police detective. His hardcover novel THE THIEF OF ALL LIGHT will be published August 2018, by Kensington Publications

PRESENTING : The Reality of Emergency