Laura Stanfill is a novelist, an award-winning journalist, and the publisher of Forest Avenue Press. Publishers Weekly designated her as a 2017 Star Watch honoree. She founded the Main Street Writers Movement, and she is represented by Laurie Fox of the Linda Chester Literary Agency.
Chip MacGregor is the president of MacGregor LIterary, Inc., a full-service literary agency with agents in various parts of the country. Chip has been working in the publishing industry for more than three decades, and made his living as a freelance writer and editor for several years. He is the author of numerous books, including a couple of bestselling nonfiction titles, and formerly served as a publisher with the Time-Warner Book Group. He began working as an agent twenty years ago, and has represented hundreds of titles. The authors he represents have won numerous writing awards, and their books have been on all the bestseller lists — New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Amazon, etc. Twelve years ago he began his own literary agency, and over the past ten years he has consistently been one of the busiest literary agents in the United States. He works with both fiction and non-fiction titles, but the majority of the business he is currently doing is non-fiction. Chip has an undergraduate degree from Portland State University, a master’s from Biola University, did doctoral work at the University of Oregon, and post-doc work at Oxford University. A well-known speaker at writing conferences and via online writing sites, he lives on the Oregon coast.
The 2018 Oregon Literary Arts Writer of Color Fellow, Reema Zaman is an award-winning author, speaker, and actress. Her work has been published in Harper’s Bazaar, The Rumpus, Narratively, SHAPE, VIDA, and elsewhere, and her debut memoir, I Am Yours, is forthcoming, April 2019, through Amberjack. She teaches “Democratizing Success” and “Voice as Muscle” at Lidia Yuknavitch’s acclaimed Corporeal Writing Center, and “Me Too, Now What: Healing and Rising for Survivors and Allies” at yoga studios throughout the country. For more, www.reemazaman.com.
Rachel Noorda is currently a full-time instructor in PSU’s Book Publishing program, where she teaches a variety of courses, including Book Editing and Book Marketing. While completing her PhD in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, Rachel co-founded an educational children’s publishing house, ThunderStone Books. ThunderStone Books is a small press focused on curriculum-aligned fiction and nonfiction that can be used in the classroom, with a mission to create fun books that make kids want to learn. Primarily, ThunderStone Books currently publishes picture books and middle grade, focusing on themes of science, mental health, and language learning. Books from ThunderStone include bilingual Chinese and English picture book adaptations of Journey to the West, a wordless picture book about depression, and a graphic novel about superheroes and chemistry. Rachel is currently the editorial director of the press, and she enjoys developing relationships with authors and taking part in the wonderful process of shaping a story.
Allen Cunningham is the author of several novels, including the #1 Indie Next Pick The Green Age of Asher Witherow (his 2004 debut, published by Unbridled Books when he was 26), and an experimental biographical novel about Rainer Maria Rilke entitled Lost Son (Unbridled Books, 2007), which The Oregonian named among its Top Ten Books of the Year. Cunningham’s new novel Perpetua’s Kin will appear in September. Eleven years in the making, Perpetua’s Kin moves across several generations and much of North America, from the eastern U.S. in the 1820s, through an American south embroiled in the Civil War, to the remote west of the 1880s, and finally to World War II San Francisco. “With Perpetua’s Kin,” says Eowyn Ivey, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Snow Child, “Cunningham once again demonstrates he is one of the bravest and most talented novelists writing today. His prose sings with a rare kind of poetry, even as the story sweeps you along with its dark mystery and heartbreaking tension. With each page we gain the greatest gift of fiction: an insight into our own trembling humanity.” Cunningham is the recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship, two Oregon Arts Commission Fellowships, and residencies at Yaddo. His work has appeared in many national and regional literary outlets including The Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, Tin House, Alaska Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, The Timberline Review, and Oregon Humanities Magazine. The founding editor of the award-winning independent literary press Atelier26 Books and a contributing editor for Moss literary journal, Cunningham is a guest lecturer in the Pan European MFA Program and teaches creative writing at Literary Arts and elsewhere.
Richard Pope is the executive director of The People’s Colloquium, a community nonprofit based in Portland Oregon that offers free education in the arts and humanities. In his role, he’s organized writer’s workshops for over 6 years; during this time, he’s personally worked with over 400 writers, including those of different backgrounds, publication experiences, education levels, and intentions. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Richard lectures on the topics of philosophy, experimental literature, and western Buddhism, and writes novels that combine his interests. To find out more about Richard, The People’s Colloquium, its writing workshops, and other educational offerings, please visit PeoplesColloquium.org.
Evan Morgan Williams is the author of Thorn: Short Stories, winner of the 2013 Chandra Prize at BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). The book received several honors after publication, including a gold medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards. The book was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. In 2018, Williams released a second volume, Canyons | Older Stories, in a limited print run, available privately.
Williams has published over forty stories in such magazines as Witness, Antioch Review, (The) Kenyon Review, and ZYZZYVA. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and has taught in a public school for over twenty five years. He has held a Writers in the Schools residency and an AWP Writer to Writer mentorship. His work was anthologized in Best of the West 5 (Norton) and in MAKE X: A Decade of Literary Art (Featherproof Books). His story in Weber: the Contemporary West earned the magazine’s annual prize for best work of fiction.
Williams’ work has been featured at the Lane Literary Guild’s Windfall Reading Series, the Nye Beach Writers Series, Ars Poetica Visiting Writer Series, Mountain Writers, Plonk Reading Series, and Sacramento’s Stories on Stage: works of fiction read by actors. He has been the subject of interviews on Late Night Library, Farsickness Journal, Antioch Review, The Fourth River, and elsewhere.
Williams is currently at work on a novel, a neo-noir set in Los Angeles during the early 1980s. While writing the novel, Williams has more or less sequestered himself from the writing community. In essence, his writing group of six has been his community. Write to Publish 2018 marks his emergence into the bright light of day.
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.
Emily Suvada was born in Australia, where she studied math and astrophysics. Her interest in science and technology never waned, particularly her fascination with genetic engineering and what it means to be human. Emily’s deepest passion has always been books, and though she always loved to write, she didn’t truly find her voice until she combined this passion with her love of science. Emily’s debut novel, THIS MORTAL COIL, was crafted as the kind of book she loves most–fast-paced action with a healthy dose of futuristic tech and a horrifying virus. THIS MORTAL COIL has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, as well an Aurealis Award, and appeared on LITA’s list of Excellence in YA SciFi in 2017. It is published by Simon Pulse/S&S, and its sequel, THIS CRUEL DESIGN, is forthcoming in October 2018. Emily lives in Portland, OR, with her husband, and spends most of her free time reading, writing, and watching Star Trek.
Tony Wolk is a writer, a needlepointer, a teacher, a parent to five daughters, out-Learing King Lear by two. Fortunately, none of them is plotting his death. If it’s not obvious, he teaches Shakespeare, as well as his beloved, Dante Alighieri. And Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, Philip K. Dick. These days mostly he’s with the Freshman Inquiry program. After his classes students may be the worse for wear, but, as Billy Pilgrim would say, “So it goes.”
Wolk also taught a course called Lincoln and Literature during the year of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. As a text he included his Abraham Lincoln, A Novel Life, which along with its sequels Good Friday and Lincoln’s Daughter (strangely Wolk is also he father to Lincoln’s daughter) constitutes a series called “Lincoln Out of Time.” Those three books having recently graduated into the world of electronics. All thanks to PSU’s Ooligan Press.
What else is relevant about Wolk? Well, just today as he and I were bicycling home from downtown Portland to his home in Irvington, damn! but the Broadway Bridge suddenly was in drawbridge mode. Wolk, who as a boy was a shy young fellow, struck up a conversation with a fellow cyclist. “You know,” he said, “when I first started riding to and from Portland State I would see no other cyclists, neither on the road nor on campus.” “Not true these days,” said the fellow cyclist. Wolk’s quip: “They owe it all to me!”
What else about Wolk? His fascination with mathematics. He has a unique solution to the even-number magic square conundrum; and a strong hypothesis to explain the puzzle of Albrecht Durer’s world famous etching, Melencolia. Lastly he was born on St. Olaf’s Day, the patron saint of Norway.
Kathlene Postma’s poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art have appeared in Hawaii Review, Willow Springs, Zyzzyva, Los Angeles Review, Passages North, Iron Horse Review, Red Rock Review, Cha: Asian Review and other magazines. Her work has been cited in Best American Travel Writing and performed for radio at the Furnace Series in Seattle. A professor of creative writing at Pacific University in Oregon, she co-edits Silk Road Review, a literary magazine with a global perspective. She is currently at work on a collection of adult fairy tales entitled The Keys to Her Own Kingdom. The stories explore healing through storytelling and art. More about Kathlene Postma and her work here: http://kathlenepostma.com
Kait Heacock likes to think of herself as a literary organizer; she builds community around books as the Pacific Northwest editor for Joyland, on the advisory board of the Mineral School artist’s residency, and as the publicist for Dottir Press. Her debut short story collection, Siblings and Other Disappointments, is available now. Her fiction has appeared in Esquire Russia, Joyland, KGB Bar Lit Mag, Portland Review, Tin House, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Her nonfiction has appeared in Bustle, Crab Creek Review, DAME, Largehearted Boy, Literary Hub, The Millions, and The Washington Post. Her work has received support from the Montez Press summer residency at Mathew Gallery and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Joe Biel is a self-made, autistic publisher who draws origins, inspiration, and methods from punk rock. He is the founder/manager of Microcosm Publishing and co-founder of the Portland Zine Symposium. Over the past 22 years he has sold millions of books and has been featured in Time Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Utne Reader, Portland Mercury, Oregonian, Broken Pencil, Readymade, Punk Planet, Profane Existence, Spectator (Japan), G33K (Korea), and Maximum Rocknroll. He is the author of eight books including People’s Guide to Publishing: Building a Successful, Sustainable, Meaningful Book Business. joebiel.net
Elly Blue is a writer and bicycle activist living in Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Grist, Bicycling Magazine online, Bitch Magazine, BikePortland, The Magazine, and Momentum, among other publications. She has been featured on Democracy Now!, in the Oregonian, and on Oregon Public Broadcasting. Along with Joe Biel, she is co-producer and director of Groundswell, a series of movies about people using bicycling to make their communities better and a co-owner of Microcosm Publishing.
Jessie Glenn attended Reed College and Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Designing her own degree, she crafted a perfect platform to build a book publicity company in the churning environment of social media expansion and the explosion of small presses following the emergence of Amazon distribution and the ebook. A one year stint sub-contracting for Amazon Publishing as a book publicist gave Jessie singular insight into Amazon Publishing and over a decade working with small, medium and large traditional publishers contributed to Jessie’s remarkably well-rounded understanding of the 21st century publishing industry. Jessie’s publicity work has been highlighted in Poets & Writers Magazine, Annie Jenning’s EliteWire, AWP, and numerous “Ask the Expert” articles. She is a judge for the IndieReader Discovery Awards, Rising Star awards and started a secret society for artists in Portland, Oregon. A well-known member of Portland’s vibrant writer’s community, Jessie teaches a Master’s level book publicity class for Portland State University’s Masters in Publishing degree. She has also published short non-fiction in the NYT, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Salon and elsewhere.
Jennifer Zaczek is a former in-house managing editor with extensive copyediting, proofreading, and project management experience. She’s worked in an editorial capacity at newspapers, literary journals, and two publishers. Now she freelances full-time for traditional publishers and independent authors. She copyedits and proofreads both fiction and nonfiction and has worked with award-winning and best-selling authors. A Florida native, 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 an Independent Publishing Consultant who works with authors, publishers, and agencies to create high-quality books and results-oriented marketing plans.
Robyn believes finishing a manuscript is not the end. It’s the beginning. She loves helping authors create books that stand out, and connecting the right readers with them.
Robyn has more than 10 years of experience in the book publishing industry, working with best-selling, self-published authors and well-established publishing houses. She has edited and marketed books about beer, business, design thinking, fine art, functional nutrition, leadership, management, motherhood, and technology—just to name a few.
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.
Learn more at www.robyncrummerolson.com.
Rachel Lulich is a freelance developmental and line editor. She founded her own business, Broken Top Editing, in 2014, specializing in inspirational romance for the Christian Book Association market, and middle grade fiction. Books Rachel has edited have won or been finalists for the Carol Awards, the Cascade Awards, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and others. In addition to her areas of specialization, Rachel edits nonfiction, speculative fiction, blogs, and marketing and website copy. Rachel is also a freelance and creative writer. She blogs at The Fifth Sola, has a stage play entering production this spring, and was twice published in Clarinet News magazine. She has contributed to Western Seminary’s Women’s Center for Ministry newsletter, self-published a book of poems, and crafts marketing and social media copy for a Nashville-based singer/songwriter. Rachel holds a master’s degree in Book Publishing from Portland State University, and is an Air Force veteran. Visit her website, www.brokentopediting.com, for more information.
Finn J.D. John is an instructor at Oregon State University, where he specializes in trans-media storytelling and commercial fiction, particularly the “pulp fiction” of the early 20th century. He operates the daily Offbeat Oregon History and weekly Von Junzt Library of Forgotten Worlds podcasts, narrates audiobooks, and is a founder of Pulp-Lit Productions, a boutique trans-media publishing house located in Corvallis. He can be reached via Twitter at @PulpLit or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whitney Edmunds Swann’s first historical romance novel, The Price of Perfection, was published in 2014 by Beaten Track Publishing under Jaclyn Edmunds. She then promptly applied for PSU’s master’s in Book Publishing and completed her degree in 2017, becoming a freelance editor in addition to romance writer.
Always a fan of romance novels, Whitney strives to be a part of the changes happening within the genre. She writes strong, independent heroines who choose to drive their own fates in a period when that wasn’t the easiest thing for a woman to do. Whitney has another regency era romance in the works and has decided to branch out into fantasy romance as well.
PITCH TO A PROFESSIONAL PARTICIPANTS
Forest Avenue Press publishes literary fiction and the occasional memoir from its headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Publisher Laura Stanfill was named a 2017 Star Watch honoree by Publishers Weekly.