heartland writers archive

1998 Heartland Writers Conference Speakers

Agents and Editors

  • Caitlyn Dlouhy
  • Christy Fletcher
  • Jennifer Jackson
  • Melissa Jeglinski
  • Ricia Mainhardt and A.J. Janschewitz
  • Alice Orr
  • Joe Veltre
  • Kim Waltemyer

Caitlyn Dlouhy

HWG is delighted by the return of Caitlyn M. Dlouhy, one of the most popular speakers at our 1996 Conference. Ms. Dlouhy is an editor with the Laura Geringer Books imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books, where she edits Picturebooks, Young Adult novels, books and cassette packages, interactive cd-rom packages, and novelty merchandise.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments, Ms. Dlouhy will present a workshop on "The Life Cycle of a Book", an inside look at what it takes to get a book from manuscript to finished product at Laura Geringer.

Christy Fletcher

Agent Christy Fletcher from the Carol Mann Agency represents a broad spectrum of nonfiction manuscripts, including Popular Culture, Health, Inspirational, Biography, and Narrative Nonfiction. She also represents Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction, and Commercial Fiction (but no category fiction, ie., romance, historical, mystery, etc.).

Participating in the Heartland Writers Conference for the first time, Ms. Fletcher will conduct Group Appointments and present a workshop on "Publishing Trends", an examination of what's hot and what's not in the publishing industry.

Jennifer Jackson

A specialist in commercial novel-length fiction at the Donald Maass Literary Agency, agent Jennifer Jackson handles Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Science Fiction and Fantasy. She is actively seeking new clients for the Agency, which represents over one hundred authors of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, and other types of commercial Fiction.

Ms. Jackson will present an interactive workshop on identifying your genre and targeting your market in her seminar, "Ready, Aim, Fire!" She will also conduct Group Appointments.

Melissa Jeglinski

Melissa Jeglinski
is an Editor for both Silhouette Books and Steeple Hill, where she acquires Contemporary Category and Contemporary Inspirational Romances.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments, Ms. Jeglinski will present a workshop on "Writing for the Inspirational Romance Market," providing valuable information on what's selling and how to submit projects to Steeple Hill, the newest publisher of contemporary inspirational romance.

Ricia Mainhardt and A.J. Janschewitz

The agenting team of Ricia Mainhardt and her husband, A.J. Janschewitz, of the Ricia Mainhardt Literary Agency, represent manuscripts in all areas of fiction and nonfiction, including Children, Young Adult, and all categories of genre fiction. According to Ricia, the agency is "happy to read any book that is ready for sale," and the agency's submission guidelines are outlined in the companyís website: www.Ricia.com.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments at the 1998 Heartland Writers Conference, Ricia and A.J. will present "Captain Hook Rules," an interactive workshop that invites the participants to bring the first page of an unpublished work in progress and have it critiqued by the agents and other workshop participants. (This workshop will be repeated if demand is sufficient.)

Alice Orr

The 1998 will mark the third year that Manhattan-based literary agent and author,Alice Orr, of Alice Orr Agency, Inc., has participated in the Heartland Writers Conference. Now in her 10th year of agenting, this former fiction editor represents writers of Women's Popular Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, and commercial Nonfiction.

This year, Alice will present workshops on "Getting Agented from the Inside Out" and "Nonfiction Publishing at the Millenium: How to Optimize your Chances of Selling Nonfiction Today." She will also conduct Group Appointments and participate in the Heartland Festival of Books Autographing.

Joe Veltre

Joe Veltre
is an Assistant Editor at St. Martin's Press, where he edits the Dead Letter Paperback Mystery program, Thrillers, Suspense and various other works of commercial Fiction and Nonfiction.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments, Mr. Veltre is scheduled to present the seminar, " The Good, the Bad, and the Rejected," a look at query letters and manuscript submissions that impress an editor -- and those that don't.

Kimberly Waltemyer

Kimberly Waltemyer
is an Associate Editor at Berkley Publishing Group, where she edits and continues to look for strong fresh voices in Single Title Westerns, Mysteries, and Young Adult (series only) novels. In addition, Ms. Waltemyer acquires romances for Berkley's "Haunting Hearts" line of lighthearted ghost stories; the time travel line, "Time Passages;" and contemporary and historical romances featuring magical characters.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments, Ms. Waltemyer will present a workshop on "Writing to Sell."

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Hollywood Studio Executive

  • Christopher Vogler

Christopher Vogler

HWG is delighted to welcome special guest Christopher Vogler, studio executive and author of the popular "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters."

An experienced Hollywood story consultant, Christopher currently serves as Director of Development for Fox 2000, a feature film division of 20th Century Fox. There, he assisted in the development of COURAGE UNDER FIRE, ONE FINE DAY, INVENTING THE ABBOTS, VOLCANO, and the upcoming THE THIN RED LINE. He has also worked for Warner Bros., Columbia, United Artists, and Disney, where he helped develop THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, AND HERCULES.

In addition to conducting Group Appointments for attendees with screenplays for live action feature films of all genres, Mr. Vogler will present a two hour workshop entitled, "Myth Adventures: The Storyteller's Journey," which explores the most ancient and dependable principles of drama as well as the latest concepts in Hollywood storytelling.

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Special Guests

  • Julie Tetel Andresen
  • Steve Falcone
  • Lucy Zahray

Julie Tetel Andresen

After establishing a following in the commercial marketplace with fourteen historical novels of Adventure, Mystery and Romance, author Julie Tetel Andresen began a successful Studio Publishing venture. Her company, Helix Books, is a member of The Author's Studio, the first community of small presses dedicated to offering quality leisure fiction direct to consumers via Internet sales and traditional retail outlets.

In her two hour seminar, "Studio Publishing: What is it? Why do it?" Julie will discuss what is involved in publishing and marketing your own books.

Steve Falcone

Special guest Steve Falcone has written, taught, and performed in the Southern Illinois area for years. An Associate Professor of English at John A. Logan College, Steve also serves as the faculty editor of "Expressions," the college literary magazine, and is co-founder of Lunium Wunders, a local literary publication.

Steve joins the HWG Conference Staff this year to conduct a series of one-on-one critiques with entrants in the Poetry division of the Great Beginnings Writing Competition. (All entrants in the Poetry contest will have an appointment scheduled automatically at the time their entries are received, and will pick up their appointment cards at the Registration Desk on Thursday, June 4.)

Luci Zahray

Luci Zahray
is a registered Pharmacist with a Masters Degree in Toxicology fromTexas A&M University. A fan of the mystery novel since childhood, she has combined her vocation with her avocation to tell hundreds of people how to kill someone. Using her personal collection of poisons as props, Luci has presented programs to writers groups throughout the midwest and Canada, including Dark & Stormy in Chicago, Magna Cum Murder in Muncie, Bouchercon in Toronto, and the MWA Chicago Chapter.

Luci's two hour seminar, "Behold! Here Poison," is an introduction to applied toxicology from the point of view of the novelist, including types of poisons, dosage, mode of exposure, and their effects on victims of literary murders.

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  • Connie Bennett
  • Edward R. Close
  • Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Boni Heck
  • Donna Julian
  • Michael A. Kahn
  • Bobbi Smith
  • Harry Spiller
  • Jeanie Stewart
  • Mark Sumner
  • Robert Vaughan

Connie Bennett

Connie Bennett,
author of 21 contemporary and historical romances, returns to the Heartland Writers Conference for her eighth year as a speaker, and also serves on the Conference Steering Committee. Twice nominated for the prestigeous Rita Award from Romance Writers of America and winner of the Romantic TimesLife Achievement Award for Best Romantic Mystery in 1990, Connie is anxiously awaiting the July release of her latest Harlequin Superromance, HIS BROTHER'S BABY.

In addition to her ongoing contributions to the organization of this Conference, Connie has served two terms as Guild president. She also conducts a series of full day and weekend seminars, What a Novel Idea, on plotting the popular fiction novel. Her workshop this year is "Line by Line," a hands-on exercise in the mechanics of manuscript editing.

Edward R. Close

Nonfiction author Edward R. Close is a Registered Professional Hydrologist. His technical and scientific papers and articles have appeared in numerous professional journals, and he has written four books: THE BOOK OF ATMA, Libra Publishers, Inc., New York, 1977; INFINITE CONTINUITY, C&C Publishing, California, 1990; TRANSCENDENTAL PHYSICS, Paradigm Press, Missouri, 1997; and THE SEARCH FOR CERTAINTY, a completed manuscript that is currently in colleague review.

Ed's workshop topic at the 1998 Conference is "Creating Your Own Success," a guide to overcoming roadblocks, smashing stereotypes, and achieving the success of your dreams.

Boni Heck

Conference Coordinator Boni Heck released her first Romance novel, SOUTHERN RAPTURE, with Zebra Books in February 1993. Since then, she has maintained an active career as a writer and as a speaker at writers conferences. In addition to her membership in the Heartland Writers Guild, Boni is also a past president of the Missouri Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Boni's most recent novel, a contemporary romance entitled ABANDONED HUSBAND, is currently under consideration at Harlequin Superromance.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton
is the national bestselling author of numerous short stories and 9 novels in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Mystery genres. She authored the acclaimed ANITA BLAKE series, and her most recent book, BURNT OFFERINGS, is a May '98 release from Ace.

In this, her second Heartland Writers Conference appearance, Laurell will present a seminar on "Putting Reality into Your Genre Fiction."

Donna Julian

Under her own name and the pseudonyms Jillian Grey and Jayme Cristol, Missouri author Donna Julian has written nine Women's Fiction novels and garnered awards that include a Romantic Times trophy for Best Contemporary, the Colorado Excellence Award, the Crystal Rose from the Missouri Romance Writers, and a coveted nomination for the Romance Writers of America Rita Award. Her most recent novel is SECRETS AND SISTERS, a March '98 release from Penguin/Putnam.

This will be Donna's first appearance at the HWC, where she will offer her insights on writing the "Big Book" in her seminar entitled "So You Want to Write a Blockbuster!"

Michael A. Kahn

Michael A. Kahn
is the author of five Suspense Mystery novels. His first, GRAVE DESIGNS, was released by Signet in 1992. Publisher's Weekly has praised Kahn's novels for their "intelligent, breezy dialogue and clever plotting," and describes his latest, SHEER GALL, as "an intricate, suspenseful story."

A trial attorney and father of five, Michael will share his often humorous insights on fitting a writing career into a busy schedule in his workshop, "Finding the Time and the Will to Write."

Bobbi Smith

Bobbi Smith
is the bestselling, award winning author of 25 historical romance novels, and has also participated in four short story collections. Since her first publication in 1982, Bobbi has, to date, over 4.5 million books in print. Her current historical is THE LADY AND THE TEXAN, the fourth book in her series, "Women Who Were Ahead of Their Times." OUTLAWS LADY will be released in May '98 by Leisure Books.

A speaker at the very first Heartland Writers Conference, Bobbi joined the Guild immediately and has been a valued member ever since. In this, her eighth year as a staff member, Bobbi is administrating the Great Beginnings Writing Competition and will present the Saturday Luncheon Keynote Address, an informative and entertaining history of paperback books from dime novels to mass market.

Harry Spiller

Harry Spiller
is the author of five Nonfiction books on Military History. Two books, DEATH ANGEL and SCARS OF VIETNAM, were inspired by his experiences as a Vietnam veteran and deliverer of death messages to families of those killed in the war. His latest release, PRISONERS OF NAZIS, was released in November, 1997, and his fifth book, AMERICAN POWs IN KOREA, will be released in 1998.

Harry is a member of the Heartland Writers Guild and this year serves as Conference Publicity Director. His seminar, "Getting the Most out of Interviews," will present valuable insights into gathering research data using face-to-face interviews and detailed surveys.

Jeanie Stewart

Jeanie Stewart
is an award winning author of three Young Adult books. Her first, ELIZABETH'S HEARTBREAK, was released in the Francine Pascal Sweet Valley University series in March 1997. Since that time, she has authored two more books in the series, OUT OF THE PICTURE, which was released in October 1977, and GOOD-BYE ELIZABETH, an April '98 release.

A long-time member of the Heartland Writers Guild and currently serving as its President, Jeanie entered and won awards in the Great Beginnings Writing Competition on her way to becoming a published novelist. She graciously credits a portion of her success to the knowledge she gained and contacts she made at Heartland Writers Conferences. 1998 marks her first year as a speaker, and she will share her insights into writing for the young adult market in her workshop, "You're Never Too Old to Write Young."

Mark Sumner

The author of 19 books spanning genres from Mystery to Fantasy to Young Adult, writer Mark Sumner was honored to be a preliminary nominee for the covetedNebula Award last year, and has also been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. His most recent publication is EXTREME ZONE 7 from his Young Adult series published by the Archway imprint of Pocket Books.

This is Mark's second appearance as a Heartland Writers Conference speaker. He will offer his insights on the advantages and disadvantages of writing outside "the box" in his workshop, "Blending Genres."

Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan
published his first book 38 years ago and has since authored more than 300 novels under his own name and 26 pseudonyms. This includes the best-sellingAmerican Chronicles series.

Last year Robert, who is known to his many friends and writing colleagues as Dick, moved from his native Sikeston to Texas, where he continues to meet with commercial success. He currently has a book out titled RANGE WARS from St. Martin's Press, and has two other books under contract with that publisher. In addition, he is under contract from Berkley to write three novelizations for the WILD, WILD WEST, a new series based on the popular Television Series and soon-to-be-made feature film.

In this, his eighth year as a Conference speaker, Dick will share his insights on getting published and staying that way in his workshop, "Publishing is a Crap Shoot: How to Load Your Dice."

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