heartland writers archive

2002 Conference Speakers


Doris BoothDoris Booth
Doris Booth is editor-in-chief and owner of Authorlink.com and of Authorlink Press. She was an award-winning newspaper editor for 11 years and also owned a Dallas-based advertising and marketing agency. Her book, Writer’s Handbook of FAQs (Authorlink Press) was released in 2001. Authorlink.com showcases and markets ready-to-publish manuscripts to the publishing industry. Authorlink Press publishes trade paperback originals and reprints, primarily in true crime/criminology, women’s fiction, and a wide range of nonfiction and biographies. Appearing at the Heartland Writers Conference for the second time, her workshop is What Editors Really Want: That Mysterious Element Called "Voice".

Brad CrawfordBrad Crawford
Brad Crawford is editor at Writer’s Digest Books and Betterway Books and former editor at Writer’s Digest magazine, where he specialized in freelance markets and reported on contract issues and writing scams. He has worked as a copy editor and newspaper reporter and edits books on writing, genealogy, photography, and business/time management. Originally from Saint Louis, he lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is his first appearance at the Heartland Writers Conference. His workshop is Breaking Into the Magazine Market: Submitting Your Articles for Publication.

Steve Wilson
An editor with McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers since 1991, Steve Wilson coordinates the acquisitions program for an annual list of 220 titles and is involved in all facets of this scholarly and reference publisher's editorial operations. He handles manuscript proposals in all subject areas within McFarland's list and serves as managing editor of the twice-yearly Journal of Information Ethics. His personal interests include Southern literature, woodworking and automotive history. He is participating in the Heartland Writers Conference for the second time, his workshop is The Case for Serious Nonfiction.


Bob Robison
Bob Robison of Nashville, Tennessee, is originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, went to Central High School and holds a master’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University. He previously worked in the music industry prior to becoming a literary agent. He has been an agent for more than 25 years and represents most genres (men’s adventure, westerns, murder mysteries, some romance, some inspirational). Some of Bob’s authors include Chet Hagan, who produced NBC News; Barry Sadler (Battle of the Green Beret) and Ralph Compton, one of the top western writers in the world today.

Katharine Sands
Katherine Sands is a New York literary agent with the Sarah Jayne Freymann Literary Agency, a media management firm. Her mandate is to publish books in a broad range of categories, from commercial fiction and nonfiction (including popular culture, beauty, lifestyle, home arts, entertainment and cookbooks) to serious nonfiction (psychology, social thought, history and health-related topics) to the more eclectic (popular reference, self-improvement, travel, humor and spirituality. She represents a wide variety of recent and forthcoming books and gives seminars on the subjects of writing and publishing. She has been a guest speaker and panelist for writing forums such as the American Society of Journalists and Authors (New York), The Writing Center (New York), The Boston Center for Adult Education, The Write Business (Rhode Island), and the Williamette Writers’ Conference (Oregon). She has served as an auditor for the Literature Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. Her book reviews have appear in The New York Times Book Review, AudioFile and Publishers Weekly.

Sue Yuen
New York agent Sue Yuen handles only commercial adult fiction for Susan Herner Rights Agency, where she has worked the past 12 years in book agenting. A graduate of New York University, she holds an MS in biology as well as an MA in fine arts and classics. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked for more than 10 years in editorial and contract positions for commercial book publishers.


Shirleen SandoShirleen Sando
Shirleen Sando is President and Marketing Director of Skyward Publishing in Dallas, Texas. This Southeast Missouri native is also the founder of Living Healthy Foods and the author of Beyond Low-Fat Baking: Cancer Fighting Foods for the Millennium. Shirleen is Vice President and an active member of the Heartland Writers Guild. Her workshop is Niche Marketing: Increasing Your Book Sales.

Virginia Gholson Messer
Virginia Gholson Messer is Publisher at Eakin Press in Austin, Texas. She represents historical fiction (adult and children’s reading levels 4-6), nonfiction history, Civil War, and Southwest Studies. Her workshop, entitled Small Press Publishing: An Author’s Alternative to New York, reveals how small and regional presses offer new opportunities to authors of all kinds.


Julia LawrenceMarilou Clark ShanerMarilou Clark Shaner
and Julia Lawrence

Marilou Clark Shaner and Julia Lawrence will be presenting a workshop entitled Inside the Crime Lab. Shaner has been a practicing attorney for 20 years and works as a public defender. She is an active member of the Heartland Writers Guild.Lawrence has a master’s degree in forensic science. She worked for the Illinois State Police for 14 years and has set up a crime lab as well as worked in one. She will graduate from Southern Illinois University Law School in 2002.


Connie BennettConnie Bennett
Connie Bennett, author of 20 contemporary and historical romances returns to the Heartland Writers Conference for her 10th year as a speaker. She was twice nominated for the prestigious Rita Award from Romance Writers of America and winner of the Romantic Times Life Achievement Award for Best Romantic Mystery. Two years ago, Connie started her own web design and desktop publishing company, Silver Moon Designs (www.affordablewebpages.com), and she still conducts a series of full-day and weekend seminars on plotting the popular fiction novel. Her workshop topic is What the Heck is a Plot Point?

Vicki Cox
Vicki Cox of Lebanon, Missouri, is the author of Rising Stars and Ozark Constellations and Profiles of Courage, Ingenuity and Success (Skyward Publishing, Dallas); They Died Too Young: Diana, Princess of Wales (Chelsea House); and Women Who Win: Marion Jones (Chelsea House). She is a freelance feature writer of nearly 500 profiles in numerous publications including the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Christian Science Monitor, American Profile Magazine, Today’s Christian Women, Western Horseman, American Cowboy, Grit Magazine, the Memphis Flyer, Mobile Register and newspapers in 14 states. She is an adjunct professor for Drury University teaching Culture of the Ozarks. She is a multiple Missouri Writers Guild winner in categories including best newspaper story, best magazine story, best essay and best juvenile book. Her workshop topic is Always Shave Your Legs and Other Tips on Freelancing.

Don DonaldsonDon Donaldson
Since 1968, Don Donaldson has been a faculty member at the U. of Tennessee Medical School, where he has published dozens of papers on wound healing and taught microscopic anatomy to over 5,000 medical students. For many years, writing as D. J. Donaldson, he has authored a mystery series for St. Martin's press that features protagonists Andy Broussard, Chief Medical Examiner for New Orleans, and Kit Franklyn, a psychologist who works for Broussard as a suicide investigator and psychological profiler. More recently, writing as Don Donaldson, he has produced two medical thrillers, Do No Harm and In the Blood, which were published by the Berkley division of Penguin Putnam. He will present a workshop on Structuring the Thriller.

Diana FoxDiana Fox
An award winning screenwriter and published author of three books, Diana Fox started her writing career with a weekly, humorous newspaper column and has sold articles, short stories and photographs to a variety of magazines. She teaches creative writing and time management classes and is pursuing a BA in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. She works full time as a financial analyst for Kellogg Company and is working on several writing projects, including how-to books, a mystery series, screenplays and short stories. A returning Heartland Writers Conference speaker, her topic is Screenwriting Tips and Techniques.

‘Fog’ Gilbert
Poet “Fog” Gilbert grew up near Yankee Stadium but calls Carbondale, Illinois, home since he first began attending Southern Illinois University in 1968. He has self-published five books of poems under the pseudonym “jacob erin” and has had more than 70 of his poems published in journals and magazines since he began writing seriously in the 1980s. “Fog” now teaches poetry workshop at John A. Logan College. This is his third appearance at the Heartland Writers Conference. His topic is Meet Me at the Typewriter at Sundown.

Charlotte HubbardCharlotte Hubbard
While she was a school librarian and English teacher, Charlotte Hubbard started selling confessions to such magazines as True Confessions and Secrets. She has sold more than 70 stories and moved into book-length fiction with her first historical romance, Colorado Captive, in 1991. In 1997, she opened a writing and editorial service, Novel Possibilities, which offers writing instruction and manuscript critiques. Writing as Melissa MacNeal, she is the author of three Black Lace novels and a serialized erotic romance online. Her topic is The Ins and Outs of Erotica. She lives in Jefferson City, Missouri, with her husband, Neal, and her Border collie, Kelly.

Rob Simbeck
Rob Simbeck is a widely-known writer of great versatility. His recent books include Daughter of the Air (Atlantic Monthly Press) and Tennessee State Symbols (University of Tennessee Press reprint). His magazine articles, on topics ranging from business to astronomy, have appeared in scores of publications, including Field & Stream, Guideposts, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, American Songwriter, Birder’s World, and Country Journal. Rob is a contributor to American Country Countdown, a syndicated radio show. He has also written press bios for entertainers. This is his second appearance at the Heartland Writers Conference. His workshop is on Sellable Nonfiction.

Bobbi SmithBobbi Smith
Bobbi Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 historical romance novels and has also participated in five short story collections. Since her first publication in 1982, Bobbi has, to date, over 5 million books in print. Eden, (December 2001) and Lone Warrior (July 2002) are her latest additions to a prolific career. A speaker at the first Heartland Writers Conference and a guild member, Bobbi is in her 10th year as a staff member and second year as director of the “Great Beginnings” Writing Competition. Her workshop is...

Harry SpillerHarry Spiller
Nonfiction author Harry Spiller, who is serving his second consecutive term as conference coordinator, is the author of nine books, including the regional bestseller Sheriff and Vietnam: Angel of Death. His recent books include Pearl Harbor: I Was There and Vietnam POWs, released by McFarland & Company. He is also the author of numerous true crime short stories. A former U.S. Marine and sheriff, Harry is an associate professor in criminal justice at John A. Logan College in Illinois. His workshop is on Crime Scene Processing.

Jeannie StewartJeanie Stewart
Jeanie Stewart is a longtime member of HWG and has twice served as its president.She is also a member of SCBWI. Her first book, Elizabeth’s Heartbreak, in Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley University series, was published in 1997. Since then she has written five more romances and two thrillers for the series. Last year she completed two novels, Ten Book Summer and Davy’s Disaster, to be released later this year as part of an educational series for reluctant readers. Her workshop is Writing for Children and Young Adults.


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