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Conference Instructors

Jessica Day George
Traci Hunter Abramson
Don Carey
Jessica Flory
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JESSICA DAY GEORGE

keynote speaker, young adult, & middle grade author

Jessica Day George is the award-winning, bestselling author of sixteen fantasy books- and counting! All of her books are for middle grade or teen readers, and all of them contain the word “dragon” at least once. A BYU graduate armed with a very lucrative BA in Humanities and Comparative Lit, plus a minor in Scandinavian Studies, she is fully employable as a museum docent or . . . someone who writes books about dragons. She has one husband, one dog, and three children. She likes books, dark chocolate, movies, books, small dogs, Disney vacations, books, and knitting.

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TRACI HUNTER ABRAMSON

contemporary suspense & romance author

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, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She has written more than forty best-selling novels and is a seven-time Whitney Award winner.

Twitter, Instagram, & TikTok: @traciabramson https://www.facebook.com/tracihabramson/

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DON CAREY

contemporary realism & science fiction author

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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JESSICA FLORY

fantasy & science fiction author

I am a ya fantasy/science fiction author. My debut, Oceans of Sand, is coming out June 2023. I have studied extensively the craft of writing and would love to share that knowledge with others! Helping writers fulfill their dreams is a passion of mine.

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TAMARA GRANTHAM

fantasy & new adult romance author

Tamara Grantham is the author of more than twenty books and novellas, including many multi-
award-winning fantasy novels for middle-grade through adult readers. Several of her novels
launched as #1 bestsellers on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some of her awards include
two first place Rone awards, a Praiseworthy award, and a finalist in the Realm Makers Awards. Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita,
Kansas. When she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels and watching every
Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.

Jessica Guernsey

JESSICA GUERNSEY

middle grade fantasy& adventure author

Jessica Guernsey writes Fantasy and Sci-Fi short stories. With a degree in Journalism from BYU and a Masters in Publishing from WCU, her work is published in magazines and anthologies. By day, she crushes dreams as a slush pile reader for multiple publishers. During NaNoWriMo, Jessica is a Municipal Liaison for the Utah::Elsewhere Region. Frequently, she can be found at writing conferences. She isn't difficult to spot; just look for the extrovert. While she spent her teenage angst in Texas, she now lives on a mountain in Utah with her family.

Discover more at jessicaguernsey.com.

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STACEY LEYBAS

kidlit author

Stacey Leybas writes kidlit ranging from picture books to middle grade fiction. She has a BS in Recreation Management from BYU and now teaches music classes. She is a loyal Arizona sports fan, a compulsive family picture-taker, and a theoretical world traveler. She lives in Kuna, Idaho with her husband and five kids.

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GREGG LUKE

suspense/thriller author

Gregg Luke grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. He pursued his education in Natural Sciences at SBCC, UCSB, and BYU. He completed his schooling at the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy—including a rotation in the Utah Poison Control Center. He currently practices clinical pharmacy in Logan, Utah.
Gregg has been a voracious reader and a prolific writer since childhood. He has been published in Skin Diver, Destiny, and New Era Magazines. His suspense novels include The Survivors, Do No Harm, Altered State, Blink of An Eye, Bloodborne, Deadly Undertakings, The Death House, The Healer, Infected, The Hunter’s Son, Insidious, and Plague, six of which were Whitney Award finalists.

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MATTHEW J. OLSON

fantasy & science fiction author

Matthew is the author of 6 novels, 4 collections of short stories, and 2 other short stories. He is Kansas born and raised and enjoys many aspects of its outdoors including hunting, fishing, and photography. He also holds jobs at ACEware Systems and K-State Athletics.

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ROBBIN PETERSON

romance, & regency historical author

I have been writing for almost 15 years and attending conferences for about that long. My first book “Going Home” won first place in the storymakers general fiction first chapters contest in 2010. My second book “Conviction” was a Whitney award finalist in 2019. I hold a bachelors degree in English Literature from Utah State University. Other books I’ve written: The 13 Days of Girls Camp, and accepted for publication through Covenant to come out 2024, Regency romance “Finding Jane Fairfax,” first book of a series.

Brandy L. Prettyman

BRANDY PRETTYMAN

poet & author

Brandy L Prettyman is a writer, singer, painter, mother, Army veteran, and coffee snob. A professional jack-of-all-trades, Brandy earned a Bachelor in Business Administration and spent the last decade (maybe it’s longer, but let’s not make this awkward) writing poetry and working on her debut novel. Brandy lives and works from home in Papillion, Nebraska, and like to spend her spare time with her trusty four-legged sidekicks Mary Puppins, Spidie, and Muffin. Most days she can be found drinking a large latte at her writing desk, frantically writing her thoughts down in verse before they disappear.

Andy Garcia-Ruse

ANDY GARCIA RUIZ

picture books, young adult, & non-fiction author

Andy is a SAG-AFTRA Audiobook Narrator based in Kansas City. Andy is a retired mental health therapist, graduate-level professor, and speaker for dozens of conferences and workshops nationwide. As a former Director of Business Development, Andy managed a large team and specialized in personal branding, marketing, and social media content creation. She is also an author of a children’s picture-book series, a "How-To" e-book, and debut YA novel. Andy’s combined experience enables her to help others learn a different perspective of the business. When she’s not narrating or writing, she’s spending time baking, crafting, or homesteading with her husband, daughter, fur babies, and plants.

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JON-MICHAEL RUTTER

playwright & author

I have a bachelor's degree in Classical Greek, a master's degree in Applied Mathematics, and I now work as a software developer and data scientist. I've also taught math at the high school and university levels and served with Teach For America for two years. My wife and I own and operate a children's theatre, where we direct and produce ten plays a year, four of which are our originals. I've written five novels, and over thirty plays of various lengths (from one-acts to full length productions). I'm a father of four boys and I live in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Emily (E.B.) Wheeler

E.B. WHEELER

historical fiction author

E.B. Wheeler grew up in Georgia and California. She attended BYU, majoring in history with an English minor, and earned an MA in early modern history with an emphasis on British religion and popular belief, as well as an MLA in historic and cultural landscapes, from Utah State University. Her first novel, The Haunting of Springett Hall, won the 2015 Gold Quill award from the League of Utah Writers for best YA fiction, and her adult novels Born to Treason and No Peace with the Dawn (with co-author Jeff Bateman) won the Silver Quill and Gold Quill awards in 2016. Born to Treason was a 2016 Whitney Award finalist in historical fiction. She was also the League of Utah Writer’s 2016 Writer of the Year. She’s a member of SCBWI and LDStorymakers.

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ELLIE WHITNEY

writing tutor, freelance editor, & nonfiction author

Since the age of three, Ellie Whitney has been addicted to reading, so a master’s degree to teach high school English seemed a natural fit. She graduated summa cum laude and received a perfect score on the Praxis, the national teacher qualification exam, for literature, language, and composition. After teaching for over ten years, she has spent the last seven as a writing tutor and freelance editor. Her work has appeared in various local, state, and national publications. Currently, Ellie lives in Virginia with her wonderful family, two Japanese bobtails, and several stashes of dark chocolate.

Tamara Grantham
Jessica Guernsey
Stacey Leybas
Gregg Luke
Matthew J. Olson
Robbin Peterson
Brandy Prettyman
Andy Garcia Ruiz
Jon-Michael Rutter
EB Wheeler
Ellie Whitney

Virtual Conference Instructors

Dr. Trina Boice
Jessie Cal
Katherine Cowley
Ali Cross
Danyelle Ferguson
Maria Hoagland
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DR. TRINA BOICE

author coach & author

Dr. Trina Boice is a #1 best-selling author of 31 books and was named the California Young Mother of the Year in 2004. She teaches at BYU-I and Arizona College of Nursing, in addition to creating online courses for professional development at LifelongLearningEducation.com. She’s a movie critic at Movie Review Mom.com and has a daily podcast called “Daily Inspirational Quote Hosted by Trina Boice”. She’s an author coach at FromBook2Business.com If she told you what she really did she’d have to kill you.

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JESSIE CAL

romance & suspense author

Jessie Cal is a USA Today bestselling author with over eighteen romance and suspense novels. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching courses on writing, plotting, and much more. She works with both independent and traditionally published authors, helping them to make their books as best as they can be.

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KATHERINE COWLEY

historical fiction author

Katherine Cowley read Pride and Prejudice for the first time when she was ten years old, which started a lifelong obsession with Jane Austen. Her debut novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Mary Bennet spy series continues with the novels The True Confessions of a London Spy and The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception. Katherine loves history, chocolate, traveling, and playing the piano, and she has taught writing classes at Western Michigan University. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and three daughters.

Ali Cross

ALI CROSS

young adult fantasy & science fiction author

Ali Cross is a happiness enthusiast and believer in hope and magic. A USA Today bestselling author, motivational speaker and story development coach, Ali writes young adult fantasy and science fiction as Ali Archer, and Christian romantic suspense as Ali Noble.

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DANYELLE FERGUSON

romance & non-fiction author

Danyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first newspaper article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books. She’s grateful every day to work in her dream jobs – author, editor, and nurturing her readaholic tendencies.
She grew up surrounded by Pennsylvania’s beautiful Allegheny Mountains. Then lived for ten years among the majestic Wasatch Mountains. She is currently experiencing mountain-withdrawal while living in Kansas with her husband and four angels-in-training. She enjoys reading, writing, dancing in the kitchen, and the occasional long bubble bath to relax from the everyday stress of being “Mommy.”

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MARIA HOAGLAND

contemporary romance author

Maria Hoagland writes about hearts, homes, and happily ever afters. Known for her fun and flirty sweet romance and women's fiction, Maria's novels make great book club choices. She's published more than twenty books, including two Whitney Award finalists, and has no plans to stop writing any time soon. She is a member of the Storymakers Guild and Indie Author Hub, recently served as the Chair for the Storymakers board of directors, and is on the 2022 Storymakers Writers Conference committee. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University and lives in Idaho.
When Maria is not working at her computer, she can be found combing used furniture stores or remodeling houses with her husband. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals at high volumes.

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CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG

fantasy, romance, & contemporary romance

Charlie N. Holmberg is a Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author of fantasy and romance fiction, and writes contemporary romance under C.N. Holmberg. She is published in over 20 languages, has been a finalist for a RITA award and multiple Whitney awards, and won the 2020 Whitney for Novel of the Year for Adult Fiction. Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, and owns too many pairs of glasses. She currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.

Victorine Lieske

VICTORINE LIESKE

contemporary romance, & romcom author

Victorine self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6-week run on The New York Times best-selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine's first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Bestselling books list in January 2015. When she’s not writing, she’s watching swoony Korean Dramas, or making something with her extensive yarn collection.

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M.A. NICHOLS

sweet historical romance, & fantasy author

Born and raised in Anchorage, M.A. Nichols is a lifelong Alaskan, though she did take a hiatus for a few years in Utah to get a fancy university education. Currently, she writes sweet historical romance and fantasy, but as a lover of many genres, she'll eventually write in more. For more information, visit her website at www.ma-nichols.com.

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SHARON D. TWEET

fantasy & science fiction author

Sharon got her first taste of writing fiction as a homeschooling mom with a NaNoWriMo project for her kids. That project led to another and an eventual foray into indie publishing. With 3 books to date, there are many more on the horizon. Sharon was married for almost 22 years before being widowed in 2018; she has 2 two grown boys, 2 aging dogs, and a passion for encouraging a love of scripture and a closer walk with the Lord through written fiction.

Charlie Holmberg
Victorine Lieske
MA Nichols
Sharon D. Tweet
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