Click on the presenter’s name for more information

Morning Welcome Address

Amanda Harrison Keighley

Amanda Harrison Keighley spent four years at the Rochester Hills Public Library and has recently taken a new position with the Detroit Institute of Arts, acting as a liaison for Oakland County. Amanda volunteers at the Older Persons’ Commission doing Meals on Wheels and volunteers for Paws for Reading at the library, with her therapy dog. She serves on Rochester’s City Beautiful Commission and on the CMNtv Board.

Conference Speakers

Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael has published twenty-six books in many genres: memoir, mystery, advice for writers, essays, literary fiction, historical fiction, supernatural fiction, short story collections, psychology, biography, and self-help for adults and children.  Lev’s books have been translated into fifteen languages and he’s done hundreds of invited readings and talks on three continents. www.LevRaphael.com

Brenda Meller PhotoBrenda Meller is a self-proclaimed “ambassador” of LinkedIn, national speaker, and the Chief Engagement Officer at Meller Marketing, which provides marketing and social media support for individuals and businesses, specializing in LinkedIn. She has been leveraging social media to propel her personal and professional efforts for over ten years. www.mellermarketing.com

Amy Zander

Amy Zander owns Zeedia Media, a marketing agency in Lansing, Michigan where she works with businesses in a variety of industries on their content and social media marketing. She firmly believes that “Words Matter” and all great marketing must start with great words. Amy grew up in Rochester and when she isn’t writing you can find Amy camping, reading, hiking, or baking.  www.ZeediaMedia.com

David Stricklen

In a former life, David Stricklen was an airport police chief with 30 years in law enforcement. After retiring, David went all in on his creative side. He wrote a series of three sought after MG fantasy adventure books. His new release entitled Ripley Robinson and the Worm Charmer is a Kirkus recommended review. David is the Michigan SCBWI indie coordinator and Shop Talk Coordinator. www.Blackwaterpond.com

Danielle BernockDanielle Bernock is an international, award-winning independent author and speaker. She chose to self-publish her first book Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals, to protect her story. Finding satisfaction and empowerment as an independent, she’s gone on to pen A Bird Named Payn, Love’s Manifesto, and her new book Because You Matter: How to Take Ownership of Your Life so You Can Really Live. www.daniellebernock.com

Don StaleyDon Staley is a #1 best selling author, coach and speaker who has written seven books (several of which are best sellers). Don has co-author two more books with icons like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Bob Proctor. His passion is sharing powerful ideas and strategies with his students and clients and supporting them to get over the hurdles and roadblocks so they too can know the thrill and excitement of being an author. www.DonStaley.com

Jennifer BaumJennifer Baum is founder and publisher of Scribe Publishing Company, an award-winning small press located in Michigan. She is active within the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) and served on MIPA’s executive board from 2015-2018. She is also the current chair of the Midwest Book Awards, presented by MIPA. For more information, visit www.scribe-publishing.com.

Kelly Rinne is the owner of Spectrum Audiobooks and an accomplished narrator with almost 100 titles produced to date in multiple genres. Detroiters may remember her from her time on WRCJ FM, as the “Voice of Michigan Opera Theater” or her many promos for DPTV the PBS station in Metro Detroit. She holds a BA from Wayne State and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music. www.spectrumaudiobooks.com.

Theresa Falzone HeadshotTheresa Falzone is an award-winning journalist, editor, and editorial/publishing consultant, with more than 30 years in local media. Most recently, she was director of custom content for Michigan.com, a division of Gannett/USA Today. She is a founding member and treasurer of Michigan Sisters in Crime, the state chapter of Sisters in Crime, a national organization for crime writers and fans.

Literary Agents

Carrie HowlandCarrie Howland founded Howland Literary, LLC in 2018 after thirteen years as an agent, most recently at Empire Literary. She represents adult literary and upmarket fiction, narrative and prescriptive nonfiction, memoir, and select children’s books. In her spare time, Carrie is very involved in dog rescue and is an active member of the Junior League. www.howlandliterary.com

Cassie Mannes Murray

Cassie Mannes Murray is an Assistant Agent at Howland Literary, while earning her MFA at UNCW in Creative Nonfiction, and currently designs for ​Ecotone and Lookout Books. At ​Raleigh Review​, she is the Book Review Editor, and Social Media Coordinator. She has been supported by Kenyon Writers Workshop, and the Sarah Morton Fellowship. Her essays have appeared in Passages North and The Rumpus. She is working on a lyric essay collection about girlhood in the South. www.howlandliterary.com

Panel Moderators

Lisa HowardLisa Howard is a freelance writer and editor who works with print magazines, online publications, individual businesses, and marketing firms. Her cookbooks, The Big Book of Healthy Cooking Oils and Healthier Gluten-Free, are available anywhere books are sold. Feel free to stop by www.TheCulturedCook.com any time to browse through Lisa’s recipes and culinary tidbits.

Sonya JulieSonya Julie creates freelance content for print and digital publications about health, fitness, spirituality, lifestyle, travel, and community. Publications include Michigan Sports Edge and Rochester Media. She facilitates workshops, creates jewelry, and is currently writing her memoir. A passionate believer in creative growth, Sonya enjoys encouraging people to find their inspiration.

Michael Dwyer Michael Dwyer is a freelance writer and managing editor with Rochester Media. He has published hundreds of articles in local newspapers and in national print magazines. Michael writes about local lifestyle, Michigan travels, and worldwide destinations. In 2008, he founded Rochester Writers, an organization that supports writers with contests, conferences, networking, and more.

View the full schedule of events

Attendees will be able to choose one presentation per session time at the conference. Schedule could change without notice – Rochester Writers reserves the right to add, subtract, or substitute any of the presentations and speakers. Thank you.

Please Note: All events take place in the Oakland Center of Oakland University (2200 N Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309). Use parking lot 1 (P1) and walk East for the shortest distance into the Oakland Center. The Oakland Center is positioned between the parking lot and the Clock Tower. Look for Bright Yellow Signs. The Oakland Center is #13 on the Campus Map.