Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the novels Once Upon a River, a National Bestseller, and Q Road. Her critically-acclaimed short fiction collections include American Salvage, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Women and Other Animals, which won the AWP prize for short fiction; , and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (Autumn 2015). Her story “The Smallest Man in the World” was awarded a Pushcart Prize and her story “The Inventor, 1972″ was awarded the 2009 Eudora Welty Prize from Southern Review. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. www.bonniejocampbell.com

Karrie WaaralaKarrie Waarala’s work has appeared in journals such as Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, The Collagist, Southern Indiana Review, and Vinyl. She is the poetry editor for the museum of americana and holds an MFA from University of Southern Maine. Recipient of the 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Prize, a Best of the Net finalist, and a multiple Pushcart nominee, Karrie has also received critical acclaim for her one-woman show, LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, which is based on her collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords.

Dani Schnakenberg is a speaker, technical blog mentor and blogging business expert. She offers a variety of graphic design, blogging security and maintenance services at danischnakenbergstudios.com. She loves simplifying her big family life with her veteran husband, and her gluten-free, baseball loving family.

Dorene O'BrienDorene O’Brien, a fiction writer and teacher, has won the Red Rock Review Mark Twain Award for Short Fiction, the New Millennium Fiction Award and the international Bridport Prize. She is the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and her stories have appeared in the Connecticut Review, Madison Review, the Chicago Tribune, the Montreal Review, Detroit Noir and others. Voices of the Lost and Found, her short fiction collection, won the USA Best Books Award in Fiction. She is currently writing a novel featuring fossil hunters in Ethiopia. Visit her at www.doreneobrien.com

Alice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012, bringing with her the editorial and business expertise she had developed in previous publishing positions, at John Wiley & Sons and at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She is currently building her client list and represents a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Relocated from New York City and Michigan, Alice now lives in her home state of Kentucky. For more info about her agency and for submission guidelines, please visit the agency website: www.SpeilburgLiterary.com

Carrie PearsonCarrie Pearson, an award-winning children’s book author, is originally from Hillsdale and now lives in Marquette on the sandy shore of Lake Superior. A former early elementary teacher and business development officer, her focus is now on creating and sharing memorable books and helping others navigate the children’s book industry. She is a ten year active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is the co-Regional Advisor for Michigan. She has been the recipient of two SCBWI awards including a WOOP (Work of Outstanding Promise) for her latest project – a nonfiction picture book about the world’s tallest tree. Visit Carrie’s website www.carriepearsonbooks.com to learn more about SCBWI, her books, and her school, library, and conference presentations.

Cindy KitchelCindy Kitchel has been in book publishing for 25 years, focusing on managing large brands such as For Dummies, Betty Crocker, and Better Homes and Gardens. During her career she has worked on nearly every aspect of book editorial from copy editing and production to text development and author acquisition and contract negotiation. Companies she has worked for in both New York City and the Midwest include Macmillan, Pearson, Viacom, Simon & Schuster, Wiley, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Linda AngerLinda Angér is the owner of The Write Concept, Inc., a marketing communications company. Her clients have included DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Valeo Corporation, The Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation, HAVEN, The Royal Park Hotel, Whole Bubble Thinking (Brisbane, Australia), Hanek Book Design (NYC), and hundreds of small businesses. Her business writing has been featured in Black Engineer Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, MultiCultural Law Journal, and online business magazines. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in national publications such as Mused-the Bella Online Journal, Still Crazy Magazine, and the Almost Touching Anthology. She is an active member of two Toastmasters Clubs, and a popular speaker on topics ranging from Speaking Skills for Writers to Finding the Joy in Adversity.

Zilka JosephZilka Joseph was nominated twice for a Pushcart and won a Zell Fellowship, the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship and a Hopwood award from the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Quiddity, Review Americana, Gastronomica, Cutthroat, Cheers To Muses: Works by Asian American Women and in many other anthologies. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America and a Pushcart prize respectively. Her new book Sharp Blue Search of Flame will be published by Wayne State University Press in April 2016. She is a writing coach and editor and teaches creative writing in Ann Arbor and in Metro Detroit.  www.zilkajoseph.com

Hillary RettigHillary Rettig is the author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block (Infinite Art, 2011), a bestseller in Amazon’s productivity and time management categories. She lives in Kalamazoo.


Lisa HowardLisa Howard works with print magazines, online publications, and culinary marketing firms. She is the author of two cookbooks, Healthier Gluten-Free and The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils. Along with being a food writer and recipe developer, she also educates audiences about nutrition and cooking through her engagements as a culinary speaker and cooking instructor. Feel free to stop by www.theculturedcook.com any time to browse through Lisa’s recipes and culinary tidbits.

Please Note: All events take place in the Oakland Center of Oakland University (2200 N Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309). Use parking lot 2 (P2) and walk south (opposite the pond) for the shortest distance into the Oakland Center. In addition, use parking lot 1 off Squirrel Road (P1) and walk east toward the building. The Oakland Center is positioned between the lots and the Clock Tower. Look for Bright Yellow Signs. The Oakland Center is #13 on the printable version Campus Map. Rochester Writers reserves the right to add, subtract, or substitute any of the presentations and speakers.