Sharon M. Draper http://sharondraper.com/index.asp
Dr. Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator, accomplished writer, and humanitarian.
As an educator she has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, Ohio Teacher of the Year, Ohio's Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, and has received the Governor's Educational Leadership Award, NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award, a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. In the last two years she was named Ohio Pioneer in Education by the Ohio State Department of Education, and given the Jeremiah Ludington Memorial Award by the Educational and Media Association, the Beacon of Light Humanitarian Award, as well as earned the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University. She is the recipient of the Dean's Award from Howard University School of Education and the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award.
As a writer, she is a New York Times bestselling author (multiple times; one title was listed for nine consecutive weeks), a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, was chosen as one of only four authors in the country to speak at the National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C, and represented the United States in Moscow at their Book Festival. Her book Copper Sun has been selected by the US State Department and the International Reading Association as the United States novel for Reading Across Continents. Other awards (some won more than once):
Sharon M. Draper is a humanitarian—She has been honored at the White House six times. She travels extensively, encouraging and motivating teachers and students worldwide. She has worked all over the United States, in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam. She has been a guest on television and radio programs throughout the country, discussing issues of literature, reading, and education. She is an accomplished public speaker who addresses educational and literary groups of all ages, both nationally and internationally. She is a member of the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. Closer to home, she’s an active participant in the YWCA of Cincinnati, a Cincinnati YWCA Woman of Achievement, and a Top Ladies of Distinction. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and a golden retriever named Honey.
Amanda Luedeke http://macgregorliterary.com/about-us/amanda-luedeke/
A Literary Agent with MacGregor Literary, Amanda made her living as a social media marketer and copywriter before transitioning to publishing. She has worked with Vera Bradley, Brecks, Peg Perego, Benjamin Moore and other major national clients. Amanda represents literary fiction, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, African American romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction, fantasy, horror, YA, Nonfiction, and Christian titles.
Diana Flegal http://www.hartlineliterary.com/diana_flegal.html
Diana Flegal is a Literary Agent with Hartline Literary Agency and recently moved to Asheville NC. from Pittsburgh, Pa where she worked 6 years as Editorial Assistant to Joyce Hart, owner and CEO of Hartline Literary Agency. Hartline Literary Agency represents fiction and non-fiction books to leading mainline and inspirational publishers. Diana is seeking to add both established and promising authors to her list of clients. Diana represents fiction of all genres, but is not interested in titles that would conflict with the Christian Worldview. In fiction, she is currently looking for Women’s fiction and formula romance titles. She will entertain YA Fantasy titles, but only if they are of outstanding quality. Non-fiction titles written by authors with well established platforms are always considered.
Jane Friedman http://janefriedman.com/
Jane is the web editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), a multiple National Magazine Award winner, based at the University of Virginia. She oversees all online content as well as online marketing/promotion. She was previously the publisher of Writer’s Digest and professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati. Jane has more than a decade of hands-on experience in using new media and technology to engage and grow both online and offline communities, and has been blogging for an audience of creative professionals since 2001. Her presence on Twitter (160,000+ followers) is often cited as a model for those seeking to use social media effectively. Her website (JaneFriedman.com) was named one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers in 2011/2012.
Bob Hostetler http://www.bobhostetler.com/
Bob Hostetler is an award-winning writer, editor, pastor and speaker. His thirty books have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices) and the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. He has held many positions including magazine editor, freelance book editor, and foster parent to ten boys (in addition to raising two children. Bob is popular and in-demand speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats.
Emma Carlson Berne http://emmacarlsonberne.com/
Emma writes Children’s and YA books including Never Let Go and Still Waters. She has been interviewed on National Public Radio and reviewed by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, Barnes & Noble Review, and Library Media Connection. Emma grew up in Ohio, attended college in Wisconsin, and graduated with an MA from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She currently lives in Cincinnati where she continues to write and speak as she raises her family.
Nancy Pinard http://nancypinard.com/
Nancy is the author of two novels, Shadow Dancing and Butterfly Soup. Her short stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Thema, Dos passos Review et al, and have been anthologized by The Paper Journey Press and Spinster’s Ink. Her novel in manuscript, Sandwalk, a fictional biography of Charles Darwin’s family life is currently being shopped to editors. Nancy earned an MFA at Queens University and has taught fiction at Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton Lifelong Learning Institute, and at the Antioch Writers Workshop where she has served on the board and faculty recruiter. She is a popular presenter at Mad Anthony and a mentor to the Mad conference committee.
Sandra Gurvis http://www.sgurvis.com/
Sandra is the author of fifteen books, two which are novels, and hundreds of magazine articles. Careers for Nonconformists was a selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club. Her books have been featured on "Good Morning America," "CBS Up to the Minute," "ABC World News Tonight," in USA Today and in media across the country. Her newest nonfiction titles are Ohio Curiositiies and Paris Hilton: A Biography. Her second novel, Country Club Wives, is available as an ebook on Kindle and Smashwords. Her numerous bylines include Country Living, Ohio Jewish Chronicle, and Cat’s Meow anthology. She has written about the Vietnam War and speaks about the 1960s and writing. She taught adult nonfiction at Long Ridge Writers’ Group and has been the recipient of residencies, fellowships, and grants. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and has certification from the American Medical Writers Association.
Judge Charlie Pater (Butler County Common Pleas Court)
Part patriot, part civics teacher, and all about justice, Judge Pater will share his expertise regarding jury selection. Conference attendees will be interviewed as if they belong to a group of prospective jurors as Judge Pater shares the pre-courtroom drama of real life. Charlie Pater grew up in Hamilton and was educated in its public schools, where he excelled as a student and athlete. Judge Pater entered the profession of law later in life. He taught and coached many years in the New Miami and Hamilton public schools. In his forties, after having attended Chase Law School at night, Mr. Pater became an assistant prosecutor and established a private law practice. He started his judicial career in 1997 as magistrate of the Butler County Probate Court. Judge Pater was elected to his current position in 2002, then re-elected in 2008.
Dr. Wanza Jackson (Former Warden)
Dr. Wanza Jackson will clue us in on what it’s really like inside a penitentiary that houses violent offenders serving long sentences. Hear her inside information about the prison community from the perspectives of the inmates, staff, and volunteers, as well as what really happens on death row. She will share stories of adaptive behaviors, adjustments and finally, stories of those who somehow managed to rise above. Former warden at Dayton Correctional Institution and Warren Correctional Institution, Dr. Jackson now serves as Religious Services Administrator, where she provides central leadership in coordination of all religious programs within the agency, including planning and directing the ministry for offenders on Death Row and their families.
Det. Greg Spanel (Warren County Drug Task Force)
A “local boy done good,” Greg Spanel graduated from Middletown High School, then Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan where he studied Criminal Justice. He is currently employed with the Warren County Drug Task Force for the last three years as an undercover agent (no picture, please) and in law enforcement for the last six and a half. Greg plays baseball, maybe not as well as he used to but in a fast pitch wood bat league. He and his wife are happily expecting their first child.
Ofc. Rick Smith (Regional Terrorism Early Warning Group)
Officer Rick Smith began his career in public service working as a Firefighter/EMT. He continued working while attending the University of Cincinnati and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. Upon graduation Rick joined the Cincinnati Police Department. After several years as a Patrol Officer he joined the Mounted Patrol and later became a Neighborhood Liaison Officer. He is currently assigned to the Cincinnati Regional Terrorism Early Warning Group – Fusion Center. In his spare time he enjoys going to baseball and hockey games and enjoys collecting sports memorabilia.
Frank Smith (Ohio Polygraph Institute)
Mr. Frank Smith, Ohio Polygraph & Associates, is still seeking the truth because “in God we trust. All others we polygraph.” He will bring to life stories from the news about cases long thought unsolvable. After serving 36 years with the Butler County Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Frank Smith sort of retired because all he really did was change titles. He is part of Ohio Polygraph & Associates and his team supports police departments from all over the eastern part of the country. They conduct polygraph tests and then research and solve cold cases. And if that isn’t enough, as an ordained minister, he can marry you, too.