Kate Ristau is an author, folklorist, and the executive director of Willamette Writers. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington post, and she is the author of the middle grade series, Clockbreakers, and the young adult series, Shadow Girl. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in a house in Oregon, where they found a sword behind the water heater and fairies in the backyard. You can find her online at Kateristau.com.
As the owner of Luminare Press, Patricia Marshall has helped hundreds of authors successfully navigate self-publishing. She has a thorough knowledge of the bookmaking process and enjoys sharing her knowledge, enthusiasm, and love of publishing with authors across the country. Patricia has a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, and a certificate in Digital Journalism from Media Bistro in New York. She is a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild and the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, and is active in civic events. Patricia also serves as board chair for Wordcrafters in Eugene, a literary non-profit that provides writing education for students through Writers in the Schools and adults through classes, workshops and conferences.
Tawny Johnson’s long career in the world of publishing—reaching back to 1979—has given her the unique ability to recognize relevance and marketability. Her diverse experience in the industry has included advertising and marketing, publicity, bookstore management and international licensing.
Tawny is currently a Senior Literary Agent for D. C. Jacobson and Associates and serves as Senior Proposal Development Consultant for both ECPA and AuthorTalk™. Tawny frequently speaks around the country encouraging and informing writers about the intricacies of the book publishing industry and the importance of a killer proposal.
Tawny holds a bachelor’s degree in Theology with a minor in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies. She is a native Oregonian, and at any given moment can find her counting the days when she returns with her family to her “happy place” — Nantucket Island.
Rachel Werner is the Content Marketing Specialist for Taliesin Preservation—a National Historic Landmark and the home, studio, school, and 800-acre estate of Frank Lloyd Wright. She is also 2019 guest faculty at The Highlights Foundation; a 2016-17 national WomenRide4Change Ambassador; a 2018 We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist; and a 2017 World Food Championship judge. Formerly the digital editor at BRAVA (a Wisconsin-based publication created by women for women), she enjoyed overseeing culinary, arts, style and live event coverage while working in the media in addition to previously having contributed print, photography and video content to Madison Magazine, Entrepreneurial Chef, Hobby Farms Magazine and Urban Farm. She eagerly awaits presenting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Writer’s Institute and “Write to Publish” at Portland State University, both taking place this April, on digital marketing and social media strategy for writers.
Val Gryphin lives and works in the Pacific Northwest where she writes and works on her plans for world domination. Editor-In-Chief of Typehouse Literary Magazine, she enjoys reading submissions of all types, and the variety of pieces she reviews always keeps her on her toes. You can visit her at valgryphin.com, and Typehouse at typehousemagazine.com/.
Patrick McDonald founded Overcup Press in 2011 with his wife, Rachel Bell, after graduating from Portland State University with a Masters in Publishing. Their titles include books about art, travel, food and drink, architecture and design, and some books for the kids. This spring Overcup will publish its first book of literary non-fiction: Volcanoes, Palm Trees and Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i, by Liz Prato. Overcup is a home-based business overseen by two cats named Cooper and Dee Dee.
Taylor Thompson climbed the ladder from reader to literary agent, sticking her nose into any book she could get her hands on! She’s dreamed of working in publishing ever since she was a kid, and is excited to work with authors to fulfill their dreams. While she reads all across the board, her heart soars when she reads a great YA or MG manuscript. She’s particularly interested in books with a strong, fresh voice, and books that take tropes and flip them on their head. Some of Taylor’s favorite YA books are Emergency Contact, Leah on the Offbeat, This Mortal Coil, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, and The Cruel Prince. Her favorite MG titles include the Percy Jackson series, the Gallagher Girls series, Coraline, and (of course) Harry Potter. After getting her BA in English at Texas State University, Taylor moved to Portland, OR to pursue a MA in Book Publishing at Portland State. When she’s not reading or working with authors, she spends her time writing YA fiction and watching workplace sitcoms. Find her on all social media @taylormegon.
Jennifer Zaczek has worked in an editorial capacity at newspapers, literary journals, and two publishing companies. A former in-house managing editor, she now freelances full-time, copyediting and proofreading both fiction and nonfiction for traditional publishers and independent authors. She received her BA in Creative Writing with a minor in Magazine Journalism from the University of Central Florida. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the owner/editor of Cypress Editing and a collaborative editor with Indigo Editing & Publications.
Robyn Crummer-Olson is a book marketing expert with more than 10 years working with authors, start-ups, agencies, and publishers to create high-quality books and results-oriented marketing plans. Robyn’s marketing and publishing expertise includes book project development, marketing strategy, author platform and branding, copywriting, metadata, and paid social media. She has edited and marketed books about beer, business, design thinking, fine art, functional nutrition, leadership, management, motherhood, and technology. She has a BA in Communication and Women’s Studies from Southwestern University and an MA in Writing and Book Publishing from Portland State University. She teaches book marketing and book publishing courses at Portland State University.
Kyle Sullivan is a Portland-based author and publisher. In 2015, he co-founded Hazy Dell Press, a children’s book publisher that produces grown-up friendly children’s books promoting empathy, diversity and imagination. Hazy Dell Press titles can be found at hazydellpress.com and in bookstores all over the world. Kyle has written seven children’s titles including the award-winning Monster ABC; Get Dressed, Sasquatch!; The Cyclops Witch and the Heebie-Jeebies; and the forthcoming early chapter book Hobgoblin and the Seven Stinkers of Rancidia. Kyle has an MA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia and a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington.
Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses (Coffee House Press 2016) and the novella The Warren (Tor.com 2016). He has also recently published Windeye (Coffee House Press 2012) and Immobility (Tor 2012), both of which were finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann’s Tongue.He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, Manuela Draeger, and David B. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship, and of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has been translated into Czech, French, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Persian, Russia, Spanish, Slovenian, and Turkish. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts.
Dennis Stovall is the retired founding director of the Publishing Program and Ooligan Press. He has been a professional writer and publisher for most of the past forty years. With Linny Stovall, he founded Media Weavers and Blue Heron Publishing. Among authors he’s published are Ursula Le Guin and Chuck Palahniuk. With Linny, he received the Literary Arts Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award. He has served as a director of Literary Arts and done two Fulbright Specialist Program assignments in Europe on publishing education. He continues his work in the field through consulting, book design/typography, and occasional teaching assignments. His early writing career focused on ghostwriting memoirs, but included writing on any nonfiction subject that he wanted to know more about. He has traveled the West doing workshops on behalf of the arts commissions of the several states. Dennis has also made a living as a miner, steelworker, teamster, crane operator, and construction worker. He has completed training as a construction foreman and supervisor. He grew up in The Dalles and was graduated in Political Science from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. He’s now completing novels he began in the late 1970s.
Since 2017, Renee Yama has co-owned and managed marketing for Hazy Dell Press—an independent publishing company based in Portland focusing on children’s books that promote empathy, diversity and imagination. Prior to entering the publishing industry, Renee spent over ten years in marketing working at creative and public relations firms. She’s additionally the co-founder of Cyclops—a creative agency that lends the same storytelling and illustration talent of Hazy Dell Press to community-oriented and socially beneficial organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from the University of Dayton.
Dory Athey is a marketing and special sales associate for the independent publishing group that includes Catapult, Counterpoint Press, and Soft Skull Press. Her work on behalf of these presses includes academic outreach, title management, bookseller and librarian outreach, and oversight of a robust internship program out of the Portland, OR office. She has been lucky to call Utah, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon home and currently lives in Hood River, OR. Read more here.
Jessie Carver is a writer and editor who lives in Portland, Oregon, but grew up on a farm in the borderlands of New Mexico. In 2011 she received her master’s in writing from Portland State University, where she now teaches in the Book Publishing program. Jessie has copyedited many books and magazines, including Bitch magazine (2010 to the present), What About the Rest of Your Life by Sung Yim (2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist), The End of My Career by Martha Grover (2016 Oregon Book Awards finalist), and Life Begins at Incorporation by Pulitzer Prize finalist Matt Bors. Her fiction has been published in literary journals that include Hobart, Entropy, and Watershed Review; her poems were included in the poetry anthology Love Is the Drug & Other Dark Poems; and she co-authored the nonfiction book Rethinking Paper & Ink: The Sustainable Publishing Revolution.
Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, artist, editor/publisher, designer, and scholar. She is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the apocalypse, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Contributing Editor at Fanzine, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Portland State University. She can be found online at http://janicel.com.
Kevin Sampsell has been a bookseller for twenty-one years, a small press publisher for over twenty-five years as Future Tense Books, and an organizer for many literary events in the northwest. Recent fiction and essays of his have appeared in Joyland, Longreads, Paper Darts, Hobart, The Collagist, and elsewhere. He is the author of the memoir, A Common Pornography (Harper Perennial), the novel, This Is Between Us (Tin House), and other books. Visit kevinsampsell.com for more info on all his work.
Adam O’Connor Rodriguez is an editor, writer, and teacher based in Portland, Oregon. He works as Senior Editor of Hawthorne Books and teaches editing in the master’s in publishing program at Portland State University.
Adam O’Connor Rodriguez