Your 2021 Conference Committee

Don Carey
Chair

Don Carey is an author and project manager currently living in Kansas. He writes both Contemporary Realism and Science Fiction Adventure. Don has long been fascinated by human nature, and loves trying to understand the thoughts and motivations of those around him. That interest has served him well as he writes stories about his “imaginary friends.” His day job involves writing computer programs, which is almost the same as writing fiction, but with a lot more semicolons.

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Traci Hunter Abramson
Co-Chair

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write more than twenty bestselling novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists and seven-time Whitney Award winner. When she’s not writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and five children, preferably on a nice quiet beach somewhere. She also enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.

Emily Bleeker
Emcee

Emily Bleeker is the best-selling author of five novels with her sixth forthcoming in July 2021. Combined, her books have reached over 1.5 million readers. She is a three-time Whitney Award finalist, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and was recently listed as one of the top 100 Kindle authors “of all time.” And her first novel, Wreckage, is optioned for a pilot on ABC.

Emily lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her four kids and a growing menagerie of animals. Between writing and being a mom, she attempts to learn guitar, sings along to the radio (loudly), performs on the House Team of a local improve troupe, and embraces her newfound addiction to running.

Tamara Heiner
Faculty

Tamara lives in Arkansas with her husband and four children, two crazy boys and two pretty little princesses. 
She is the author of the young adult suspense PERILOUS series (DELIVERER, PERILOUS, ALTERCATION, and PRICELESS), INEVITABLE, LAY ME DOWN, and the Cassandra Jones saga. Her non-fiction book about the Joplin tornado came out in May, 2014. You can find out more about what she's writing and catch deleted scenes from her books on her blog at: http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com.

Danyelle Ferguson

Special Guests

Danyelle Ferguson is the author of the award-winning Indulgence Row series. Her first newspaper article was published when she was in sixth grade. Since then, her articles, nonfiction books, and novels have been published world-wide. 
When she isn't writing, you can find Danyelle in the school carpool lane, at marching band events, organizing church girls camp, or serving in the community. She and Mr. Ferguson are raising four munchkins in their much-loved Kansas home. You can stalk her online at www.DanyelleFerguson.com

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Brian Eastman

AV and Community Outreach

Brian Eastman writes speculative fiction for young adults.  He is a
pilot who retells the love of flying not with propellers and aluminum
wings but with magic and feathered wings, no gasoline required.  His
flights over remote areas of the western United States are brought
into his stories and gives his characters and readers an airborne view
of life with wings.
Brian is a Missouri native and spent months traveling through exciting
story locations in the US, Australia, and Asia while instructing
pilots and mechanics on avionics and gathering ideas for plot and
settings.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation and currently lives
in rural eastern Kansas and flies, maintains, and designs avionics
systems for aircraft with a bit of Blacksmithing on the side.

Lisa Swinton
First Chapter and Mini Contests

Award-winning author Lisa Swinton loves romance, travel, Disney, Jane Austen, and tidying up, not necessarily in that order. When she's not writing and being a mom, you might find her singing onstage.

Sarah Lynne John

Thursday Workshops

Sarah Lynne John is a collector of life experiences. A few items in her collection include sky-diving over Hawaii, sampling escargot in Paris, cliff jumping in Utah, paragliding over the Alps, and even eating fruitcake in Siberia.

As you can see, many of her adventures involve heights and food. When she can’t travel to a new thrilling adventure, she does so vicariously through her characters on the page. Along with a rush of adrenaline, her work often explores science, the beauty of the natural world, and family relationships.
Before turning to writing fiction full-time, Sarah’s many careers involved picking Bear Lake raspberries, planning weddings, writing news stories, producing technical videos, designing print and digital media, shooting tourism photography, lobbying state legislators, planning swanky events, and schmoozing film and commercial executives. Follow her at sarahlynnejohn.com

Sammie Trinidad

Social Media

Sammie Trinidad is a proud Slytherin and a "Filipina Wonder Woman”. Having fallen in love with writing at the age of nine, she dabbles in many genres but especially favors fantasy, magical realism, creative non-fiction, contemporary, and short fiction. Her short stories have been published in the League of Utah writer anthology as well as the Eagle Con anthology. The three T's are important to her: traveling, tacos, and time with family.