KEYNOTE: Dana Trocker, Director of Marketing, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster
Dana Trocker began her career at Macmillan Publishers working in paid events for the in-house speakers bureau. In 2013, she joined the Simon & Schuster marketing team where she planned and executed campaigns for bestselling fiction and non-fiction titles. She later joined Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, in 2018 as Director of Marketing, where she oversees a team of marketing professionals. She has worked with authors such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alice Hoffman, Chris Cleave, Jennifer Weiner, Kate Morton, William Kent Krueger, Brad Thor, Lisa Jewell, Nina Riggs, Samin Nosrat, Lisa Halliday, Susan Orlean, and Bob Dylan. She holds a bachelors in Creative Writing and Literature from UC Santa Cruz, a masters in Book Publishing from Portland State University, and is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Deborah Hopkinson is the award-winning author of more than fifty-five books for children and teens, including picture books, middle-grade historical fiction, and nonfiction. She has won two Oregon Book Awards for Courage & Defiance and Keep On!; the Green Earth Book Award for Follow the Moon Home; two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards; and a Sibert Honor for Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. Her 2020 titles include the picture book Mindful Day; the nonfiction title We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport; and a picture book on Frances Perkins, the first female secretary of labor. Deborah worked full time in higher education fundraising until 2014. She recently sold a middle-grade novel entitled The Plot to Kill the Queen: A Mystery in Three Acts, set in Shakespeare’s time. Deborah lives in West Linn.
Kyle Sullivan is a Portland-based author and publisher. In 2015, he co-founded Hazy Dell Press, an award-winning and internationally distributed children’s book publisher that produces grown-up-friendly children’s books promoting empathy, inclusiveness, and imagination. Kyle has written eight children’s titles, including Monster ABC; Get Dressed, Sasquatch!; The Cyclops Witch and the Heebie-Jeebies; Hobgoblin and the Seven Stinkers of Rancidia; and the forthcoming middle-grade chapter book Zombie, Or Not to Be. Kyle has an MA in English literature from the University of British Columbia and a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington.
Kim Hogeland is an acquisitions editor at Oregon State University Press, where she works on books in Indigenous studies, environmental studies, and Pacific Northwest history and culture. Before coming to Oregon, Kim worked at University Press of Kansas, University of California Press, and Heyday Books.
Editing Experts Panel: Sarah Breeding, Editor at Best Friends Publishing Services
Sarah Breeding has worked in publishing for the last twelve years, editing for Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, the University of Minnesota Press, and Yale University Press, among others. In 2017, she started Best Friends Publishing Services, where she offers developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading services to authors, nonprofits, and publishers. Before that, she was a managing editor and project manager for Macmillan Language Learning in Miami, Florida. There she worked on elementary- to college-level projects for the international English-language teaching market. When she is not editing, she enjoys swimming, weight lifting, and the outdoors.
Poetry Publishing Workshop and Poetry Publishing Panel: KMA Sullivan, Publisher at YesYes Books
KMA Sullivan is the author of two poetry collections: Inclined to Riot (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) and Necessary Fire (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award. Her poems and essays have appeared in Boston Review; The Rumpus; Southern Humanities Review; Forklift, Ohio; The Nervous Breakdown; The Offing; Diode; and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies in creative nonfiction and poetry at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and Summer Literary Seminars. She is the coeditor in chief of Vinyl and the publisher at YesYes Books.
KMA received an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech; in earlier years she earned degrees in philosophy from Trinity College and Boston College and raised five children with her partner of thirty-five years. She is also the co-founder of YesYes Healing Garden, an acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinic in Portland, OR.
KMA believes in the power of art and literature to improve the lives they engage.
Lynn Otto holds an MFA in creative writing/poetry from Portland State University. Her work has appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, Raleigh Review, Sequestrum, and other journals, and her book Real Daughter won a Unicorn Press First Book Prize. Otto was a 2015–2016 resident associate at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina and has given readings and workshops in the US, Canada, and France.
Robyn Crummer-Olson has more than 10 years of experience in book publishing, working with best-selling, self-published authors and in well-established publishing houses. She has edited and marketed books about beer, business, design thinking, fine art, functional nutrition, leadership, management, motherhood, technology, and travel—just to name a few. Before working in book publishing, she was a marketing and advertising copywriter and content strategist. She currently teaches Book Marketing and Publishing for Writers classes at Portland State University, and she coaches authors on manuscript development, book project management, and book marketing and publicity. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Women’s Studies from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and a master’s degree in Writing with a specialization in Book Publishing from Portland State University.
Erika Schnatz is a doodler and designer who lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and the cutest (and least well-behaved) dog in the world. By day, she works at Image Comics as a production artist on the design and layout of single-issue comics, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers. In her free time, she creates comics and illustrations and occasionally sells her art at comic and zine events in the Pacific Northwest. She likes making things that are colorful, humorous, and a little weird. Erika is a former Oolie and a voracious reader and is particularly fond of the cover she designed for Rhythm in the Rain.
Creators and Comics Panel: Terry Blas, Illustrator and Writer
Terry’s art has appeared in the comics Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Adventure Time. He has written multiple issues of Steven Universe and Rick and Morty.
His first graphic novel, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, is a murder mystery set at a weight-loss camp. Dead Weight was named by YALSA as a 2019 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers.
His second graphic novel, Hotel Dare, is a sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventure work with a visually Mexican aesthetic.
His third graphic novel, Lifetime Passes, was just announced in the New York Times as one of Abrams’s titles for their new graphic-novel line, Surely Books.
Jason Gurley’s best-selling self-published novel, Eleanor, was acquired by the Crown Publishing Group and reissued in 2016. It has since been translated into German, Turkish, and Portuguese. His debut young adult novel, Awake in the World, was published in February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press. Among his other books are Greatfall, The Man Who Ended the World, and the fiction collection Deep Breath Hold Tight. Jason’s short stories have appeared in Lightspeed Magazine and the anthologies Loosed upon the World and Help Fund My Robot Army!!! Jason lives and writes in Scappoose, Oregon, and can be found at www.jasongurley.com.
The Author’s Journey Panel: Dede Montgomery, Author
Dede Montgomery is a sixth-generation Oregonian whose family ties have instilled in her a deep connection to the land and a curiosity about life in early Oregon and the stories, good and bad, that lie there. In her 2017 memoir, My Music Man, she explores the jumbled path of forgiveness, reconciliation, courage, and gratitude through the memories and stories stirred after her father’s death. Dede’s first novel, Beyond the Ripples, was released in 2019. Both of her books are published by Bedazzled Ink Publishing. She also actively blogs on Musings about Life in Oregon. Dede was a 2019 Oregon State Capitol Foundation Speaker Series presenter, sharing My Music Man stories on Oregon’s birthday. During the day, she works at Oregon Health & Science University in worker safety, health, and well-being research and education.
Writing in the spirit of adventure and happy endings, Cindy Hiday has won numerous honors, including first place in the Kay Snow Awards for Fiction from Willamette Writers. Her 2014 title Father, Son & Grace is a five star Readers’ Favorite and a local book club choice. Cindy draws inspiration from the beautiful state of Oregon, where she lives with her husband and four-legged friends. When she isn’t hard at work on her next novel, or mentoring the latest group of writing talent as a part-time instructor for Mt. Hood Community College, Cindy enjoys hiking, gardening, and traveling.
Like all young professionals, Taylor Thompson has a few things she’s obsessed with: coffee, dogs, Harry Styles, Twitter, and . . . books! She got her BA in English from Texas State University; after that, she attended PSU’s master’s in book publishing program. During her time in school, she worked as an acquisitions manager for Ooligan Press while also balancing her job as a literary agent. Her love of stories led her to Wattpad, which eventually led her to her post-grad dream job in NYC with Radish Fiction, a digital publisher that specializes in serialized content based on immediate reader feedback. You can read her research on social storytelling on PDX Scholar, and you can find her rambling online on Twitter and Instagram @taylormegon.
Allison is a writer, dancer, and community organizer. As development director of Write Around Portland, Allison secures the funding necessary to support Write Around Portland’s creative writing and publishing program.
With a unique community-based publishing model, Write Around Portland expands access to publishing within prisons, social service agencies, hospitals, and schools. Write Around Portland has published fifty-five anthologies featuring more than six thousand emerging writers from underrepresented communities.
Allison serves as the alumni chair of PechaKucha Night Portland and supports organizations focused on social action through art, LGBTQ rights, and womxn and girls. In their spare time, Allison can be found adding hearts, stars, and rainbows to things.
Josuee Hernandez is the vice president of The People’s Colloquium, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing free, communal education in the arts and humanities for those who are otherwise not able to access them. As vice president of the board, Josuee has, since 2016, helped organize The People’s Colloquium from a small number of dedicated dilettantes critiquing each other’s writing into an organization hosting seminars and workshops for multiple artistic disciplines and revealing the myriad of publishing options available to budding artists. Besides being an organizer, Josuee is also an active member of the Colloquium; find him on Tuesday evenings either workshopping submissions or facilitating discussions on politics, culture, and philosophy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in English literature from Portland State University. He has lived in the Portland area (nearly) his entire life. Find him on Twitter @joesway4.
Multimedia Storytelling Panel: Jenka Soderberg, web/new media coordinator at KBOO Community Radio
Jenka Soderberg is the web/new media coordinator at KBOO Community Radio. She studied international affairs at Georgetown University and peace studies at the Bancaixa Institute for Justice and Peace in Spain. She joined KBOO in 2007 as the news director after helping to organize Indymedia centers around the world to provide an open publishing platform for activists. At KBOO, she helped develop a curriculum and training schedule for the news staff, volunteers, and other station employees. She trained hundreds of volunteers in the news-production process, deadlines, the basics of writing, writing for radio, how to research source material, and how to conduct interviews. In 2010, Soderberg was selected as a Knight Fellow in Journalism at Stanford University, where she spent the year developing a tool for mobile news submission and verification. In 2011, she was honored as the Joan Cook Fellow by the Journalism and Women Symposium. Her focus continues to be on the dismantling of the capitalist structures that hold society in a state of continuous war and on empowering communities to take action for their own self-determination.
Joe Biel is a self-made autistic publisher and filmmaker who draws origins, inspiration, and methods from punk rock. He is the founder and CEO of Microcosm Publishing and cofounder of the Portland Zine Symposium. He has been featured in Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly, the Art of Autism, Utne Reader, The Oregonian, Broken Pencil, Punk Planet, Bulletproof Radio, Spectator (Japan), G33K (Korea), and Maximum Rocknroll. He is the author of A People’s Guide to Publishing: Build a Successful, Sustainable, Meaningful Book Business; Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life and Business with Aspergers; Manspressions: Decoding Men’s Behavior; Make a Zine; The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting; Proud to be Retarded; Bicycle Culture Rising; and more. He is the director of five feature films and hundreds of short films, including Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post–Critical Mass Portland; $100 & A T-Shirt; and the Groundswell film series. The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy described Biel as “not trained in pedagogy.” He lives in Portland, Oregon, and his work can be found at joebiel.net.