Meet Our 2020 Speakers

This list will continue to grow as we get closer to our March 2nd, 2020 Conference start date, so check back often for updates, and be sure to register!

Alexa Bigwarfe - Conference host

Women in Publishing Summit Host, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, Publisher, Champion of Women

Alexa Bigwarfe is an author, speaker, and publisher. Her writing career began as a therapeutic journey after her infant daughter passed away at 2 days old. Her debut book, Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother, launched an unexpected career in publishing and author coaching. Her most recent book, Ditch the Fear and Just Write It! is a guide to help female entrepreneurs who know they want to write a book but need the push to get started. The Women in Publishing Summit is her third online summit for writers, but the first focused solely on women.

Brooke Warner - KeyNote Speaker

CEO, She Writes Press

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-light Your BookWhat’s Your Book?, How to Sell Your Memoir, the co-editor of The Magic of Memoir the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Her most recent book, Write On, Sisters! shines light on how women writers face not only ever-present historical and social challenges but also their own self-limiting beliefs and how women’s writing is often less valued than men’s writing. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing. She is the former Executive Editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and

Kathy Meis - Gold Sponsor

Founder & CEO of Bublish

Kathy Meis is the founder and CEO of Bublish, the world’s first complete publishing platform with built-in marketing. Authors can write, promote, publish and track their work—all from one dashboard. Kathy has been a writer and editor for more than twenty-five years, working for such iconic editorial brands as CBS and Forbes, Inc. A sought-after expert on the topics of independent publishing, author branding, book marketing and disruption in the publishing industry, Kathy has spoken at Book Expo America, San Francisco Writers Conference, Women in Media, ALLi’s Indie Author Fringe conference, Women in Publishing, GrubSteet, PubSmart, AuthorYOU, and IndieRecon, among others.

Lisa Lepki - Silver Sponsor

Head of Marketing and Editor of the ProWritingAid Blog

Roshanda Pratt

Storyteller & Live Video Strategist

Roshanda Pratt is a digital media pioneer empowering brands to tell their compelling story. As a storyteller and live video strategist she utilizes her 20 years experience in the television news industry to transform, teach, and train brands to amplify their voice and monetize their story on social media through live video. Recently, she authored an Amazon best seller, CEO of Live Video, a step-by-step guide on how to engage and convert your live audience.  Roshanda is considered a vocal champion for entrepreneurs who can no longer remain silent about their brand. She and her husband, Jacobee are creating beautiful stories with 4 children in South Carolina. 

Diane Lasek - Bronze Sponsor

SVP, ListenUp IndiePub

Diane promotes the audiobook production and distribution services that ListenUp offers to the indie arena. She enjoys providing information and guidance to indie authors and publishers and implementing strategies that help authors gain more listenership and success with their audiobooks. Diane has had a long career in content creation, marketing and distribution and for the last five years she’s been busy building the platform for ListenUp. Visit the website at

Michelle Vandepas - Bronze Sponsor

Co-Founder, GracePoint Matrix Publishing

Michelle Vandepas is the nation’s leading expert for entrepreneurs, personal development experts and quantum healers who want to share what they’ve learned with the world by becoming an author. She is the co-founder of GracePoint Matrix Publishing, the gold standard in concierge publishing. She is also an esteemed TEDx speaker and TEDx Speaker Coach.

Lucy Briggs

Marketing Manager, BookBaby

Lucy Briggs is a social media and email marketing specialist with 5+ years of marketing and content strategy experience. She has worked with both start-ups and leading brands in a number of industries including retail, news media, self-publishing, the sports industry, and the music industry.

As Marketing Manager at BookBaby, Lucy is responsible for our email programs, both marketing and transactional communications, and oversee our social media promotions and paid advertising.

In February 2018, she co-authored “The Marketing Plan Blueprint,” a step-by-step workbook on how to create a marketing plan for entrepreneurs. Published by BookBaby, it is available worldwide on Amazon here:

Desiree Peterkin Bell

CEO, DPBell & Associates

Desiree Peterkin Bell is a best-selling author, seasoned and award-winning political and brand strategist, speaker, and advocate who seeks to lead movements, not moments - that advance the rights of women everywhere. As President and CEO of the public affairs firm, DPBell & Associates, she has over 20 years of experience serving as a trusted advisor to an elite roster of clients, including several of America’s most notable mayors and world leaders. After lending her brilliance toward the success of powerful men for much of her career, today, she operates in her purpose despite her change in position, to champion causes designed to amplify the voices of women of color and other marginalized communities. Desiree believes that in order for women to advance, they must no longer be silenced, and she is fully committed to curating spaces where their stories can be told. 

Linda Radke

Publisher / Publishing Consultant

Linda F. Radke is the president of Story Monsters LLC and publisher of Story Monsters Ink® magazine. For more than 34 years, she has been ahead of the game in producing and marketing award-winning books for all ages. Clients and the media describe Radke as an industry leader in creativity, innovation, and customer service. She has received numerous publishing, public relations, and marketing awards, including being named “Book Marketer of the Year” by Book Publicists of Southern California. Tireless in her efforts of helping authors make their dreams a reality, Radke’s motto is, “You can’t compromise on quality. Do it right or don’t do it all!” Radke’s foray into publishing began with a desire to print a how-to book to complement the household employment agency she owned. For Radke, teased on more than one occasion about having “printer’s ink in her veins,” the experience of publishing the book was exhilarating, which prompted her to change careers without looking back. In 1985, Radke launched Five Star Publications, Inc. She went on to add marketing and publicity services, networking opportunities, and special event coordination with the goal to help deserving authors achieve visibility.

Joan Dempsey

Author & Retreat Leader

Joan Dempsey is the award-winning of author of “This Is How It Begins: A Novel,” and was named as one of “5 More Writers Over 50” to watch by “Poets & Writers” magazine. An experienced writing teacher, Joan offers exclusive Gutsy Great Novelist Writing Retreats on the coast of Maine, specifically designed for women working to finish their novels.

Amy Collins

Founder, New Shelves

Amy Collins is the President of New Shelves Books, one of the best-known book sales and marketing agencies in the US. Collins is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. She is a USA TODAY and WALL STREET JOURNAL bestselling author and in the last 20 years, Amy and her team have sold over 40 Million books into the bookstore, library, and Chain store market for small and midsized publishers. She is a columnist for and a board member of several publishing organizations and a trusted teacher in the world of independent publishers.

Maria Dismondy

Publisher at Cardinal Rule Press

Award-winning author and founder of the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press, Maria Dismondy inspires and educates others in the book industry. Her background in early education and research enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. When Maria isn’t working, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children. Find out more at

Angela J. Ford


Angela J. Ford is an award-winning blogger, co-founder of Indie Author Lifestyle, and author of the International Best Selling epic fantasy series: The Four Worlds. She’s passionate about helping authors and creatives do more work they love by helping them with websites and marketing. You’re most likely to find her with her nose in a book and a cup of coffee in hand.

Kathryn "Kiffer" Brown

Founder of Chanticleer Reviews and Media, LLC

Kathryn (Kiffer) Brown is CEO and co-founder of Chanticleer Reviews and Chanticleer Int’l Book Awards (The CIBAs) that Discover Today’s Best Books. She is also the co-producer of On Word Talks with Storytellers video blog and podcast that feature storytellers, storymakers & gamers, film producers, and other creatives. She founded Chanticleer Reviews in 2011 to help authors to unlock the secrets of successful publishing and to enhance book discoverability. Her enlightening and educational Chanticleer blog posts tackle branding, book covers, distribution, audiobook production, book promotion, SEO & meta-data, engaging readers and building a fanbase, editing processes, book production, the ever-important publishing checklists, and much more. Chanticleer reviews audiobooks, digital books, and print books along with interactive books and then promotes the reviews digitally, in print, in social media, and with direct customized emails.

Eileen Cook


Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. She’s a frequent speaker at conferences around the world. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. In 2018 she won the John Spray award for the best mystery in Canada for her novel The Hanging Girl/One Lie Too Many. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell. Her most recent book, Build Better Characters, is a writing guide designed to help writers make their characters leap off the page.

Fauzia Burke

Author, President of FSB Associates, Co-Founder of Pub Site

Fauzia Burke, author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors, is the founder and president of FSB Associates an online book publicity firm, co-founder of Pub Site a platform for building author websites, and a consultant and coach for authors who need help navigating the book marketing and publicity landscape. Before starting FSB, she worked for Henry Holt and John Wiley. Fauzia has promoted books by authors such as Alan Alda, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Melissa Francis, S. C. Gwynne, Mika Brzezinski, Charles Spencer and many more. She is based in San Diego, CA.

Steff Green

Author, speaker, and publishing coach

Steff Green is a USA Today bestselling author, speaker, publishing coach, and heavy metal maiden – and she wants to help you rock your author career. Under her pen name Steffanie Holmes, she’s self-published more than 35 novels of the paranormal, gothic, dark, and fantastical. Steff received the 2017 Attitude Award for Artistic Achievement, and was a finalist for a 2018 Women of Influence award. Her books are enjoyed by thousands of readers all over the world. Legally-blind since birth, Steff has dealt with rejection her whole life. Steff is a popular speaker about self-publishing and author career planning, and she’s also the founder of Rage Against the Manuscript ( – an online community and resource to inspire you to tell your story, find your readers, and build a badass writing career.

Sasha Simmons

Speaker, Author, Podcast Host

Sasha R. Simmons is a Speaker, Writer and SevenThirtyOne Podcast Host, who is committed to teaching people how to create their lives! Sasha’s mantra is that anyone can achieve anything; it is simply a matter of “how bad” they want it! Sasha is the founder of SpeakLife, LLC., a member of Toastmasters International, and Immediate Past President of the Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals. Sasha holds a Master of Public Health from the University of North Florida and is the author of 20 Major Keys to Establish Your Own Greatness.
Much of Sasha’s inspiration stems from her own life. As a child, she was raised in an economically challenged community and oppressive religious institution causing her to encounter many difficult situations. Though faced with seemingly impossible challenges, she was determined to conquer the cycle of poverty that plagued her family. While studying at New York University, Sasha tapped into a power that taught her the formula for designing the life you want. With a clear vision and much resilience, Sasha is on a mission to empower, elevate, and encourage all to take charge of their lives and Never Stop at No!

Kris Kennedy

Author & Founder of Romance Writing Lab & Romance Writers Summit

Kris Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling author & founder of Romance Writing Lab & Romance Writers Summit. She teaches writing craft and practices it too, writing historical & contemporary romance.

Miranda Gargasz


Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer from northeast Ohio. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, “The Christian Science Monitor” and “The Huffington Post.”  In 2014, she published “Lemonade and Holy Stuff,” a collection of personal essays. In 2016, she published “Plus Size Mama: An overweight mom gets real about weight loss,” a memoir about her struggles with an endocrine disorder that affects 1 in 10 women, and most never know they have. Her essays have been published in several anthologies, including “Lose The Cape: Never Will I Ever (and Then I Had Kids!).” Her debut novel, “Haunting Suspicion,” sold out within the first hour of her author signing at Barnes & Noble. Her current novel, “Dragonfly,” hit the shelves October 29, 2019. The sequel to “Haunting Suspicion,” entitled “Haunting Grounds” will be published in Spring 2020.

E. Danielle Butler

CEO of EvyDani Books

E. Danielle Butler is a mompreneur with an affinity for writing and the arts. She believes in the power of words and the magic of imagination. Danielle published her first book, Mood Swing: 21 Days to Peace, Joy & Freedom of Mind in 2014. Since then Danielle’s published works have expanded to include the creation of a children’s book series inspired by her own two children, The Adventures of Zoe & Zachary and a devotional for mothers, Thoughts & Prayers for the Postpartum Mom. Danielle is also the founder of EvyDani Books, an independent publishing and communications agency. She has helped support the release of more than a dozen titles and assists independent authors in navigating their PR and marketing journeys.  An acclaimed conversation catalyst, Danielle is recognized as an energetic thought provoker with a passion for sharing knowledge. Through writing and speaking she shares messages of hope, purpose and empowerment. Danielle embraces a personal mission to produce content that provokes change and inspires action. Danielle is a certified personal development coach. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Master of Management, she brings a unique perspective to all she approaches. Her professional background includes nearly two decades in performing arts instruction, more than five years as a classroom teacher, and years of nonprofit administration. Danielle resides in Atlanta with her husband and children. When she’s not taking in the sights and sounds around the city, she can be found enjoying great food.

Stacey Aaronson

CEO, The Book Doctor

Stacey Aaronson is a lifelong grammar nerd and lover of language who practically came out of the womb with a book in her hand. Her gift for polishing the harmony of the written word, as well as her expertise in graphic and book design, led her to establish The Book Doctor Is In, a one-stop-shop for self-publishing authors. As “The Fulfiller of Publishing Dreams,” Stacey takes writers by the hand and transforms their manuscripts into books of excellence—from top-notch editing and proofreading to engaging, audience-targeted cover and interior design—rivaling or exceeding a traditional house publication. A trusted book production partner for some of the most accomplished coaches, educators, entrepreneurs, and writers of inspirational nonfiction and memoir—several of whom have been finalists or won notable book awards, including a 2015 IPBA Benjamin Franklin award in the category Best New Voice: Nonfiction—Stacey has produced over 50 books from cover to cover, and has designed over 100 distinct interiors for novels, memoirs, middle-grade fiction, various specialty nonfiction, and academic language books. She is the author of the blog, The Self-Publishing Scoop, and is a layout artist for She Writes Press.

Shayla Raquel

Editor, Author, Marketer

An expert editor, best-selling author, and book marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 400 books and has launched several Amazon best sellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, “The Rotting” (in Shivers in the Night), The Suicide Tree, and The 10 Commandments of Author Branding. In her not-so-free time, she acts as organizer for the Yukon Writers’ Society, volunteers at the Oklahoma County Jail, and obsesses over squirrels. She lives in Oklahoma with her dogs, Chanel, Wednesday, and Baker.

Tamara Woods


Tamara Woods doesn’t spend her time sipping on Mai Tais on the beach. In fact,  by living in Hawaii, she’s found that she’s more of a mountain person than a beachy one. Must be her West Virginia roots. Maybe that’s why there’s such a strong call to small towns and country living in her books whether they’re women’s literature or cozy mysteries. She likes to talk about writing and books on her YouTube channel. She hosts a weekly Twitter called #writestuff where writers talk about writing. And she is consistently working on the next novel. She’s a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.

Nina Amir

The Inspiration to Creation Coach, author, Certified High Performance Coach, and Author Coach

Nina Amir is known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach. As one of 800 elite Certified High Performance Coaches working around the world, she helps her clients Achieve More Inspired Results. The only Certified High Performance Coach® working specifically with writers, she helps all types of creators get from the light-bulb moment to the realization or their dreams without letting anything get in the way of that goal. Nina is also an Author Coach who supports writers on the journey to successful authorship. She has authored three traditionally published books for aspiring authors, How to Blog a BookThe Author Training Manual, and Creative Visualization for Writers, as well as a host of self-published books and ebooks, including the Write Nonfiction NOW! series of guides. She has had 19  books appear on the Amazon Top 100 List and as many as six of her books on the Authorship bestseller list at the same time. Nina is the founder of the Nonfiction Writers’ University, the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Author of Change Transformational Programs. She also created a proprietary Author Training curriculum and Author Career Planning program. For more information, visit

Lois Strachan

Author, speaker, disability advisor, blogger, podcaster and sometime rock musician

When Lois Strachan became blind at the age of 21 she realized she had a choice – to go home and give up, or to go out and see what life still had to offer her as a blind person living in a sighted world.
Lois is an author, speaker, blogger, accessible travel podcaster, disability consultant and sometime rock musician who uses her story to demystify blindness and show the world that disability does not mean inability. She is the author of a series of illustrated children’s books, “The Adventures of Missy Mouse” which help children understand that a visually impaired person is simply a ‘normal’ person who uses different techniques to accomplish tasks. Her inspirational memoir, “A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘Ordinary’ Life in an Extraordinary Way” will shortly also be available as an audio book
In 2015 Lois was awarded a Tributes Excellence Award in the category of education and literature.
Lois lives in Cape Town South Africa with her husband and a houseful of dogs, one of whom is her guide dog, Fiji.

Caroline Topperman

Writer and Entrepreneur

Caroline Topperman is a European-Canadian writer, entrepreneur, dancer and world traveler. Born in Sweden, raised in Canada, on a whim she recently spent four and half years living in Poland. With a great passion for experiencing different cultures she is always up for new adventures and is willing to try anything. This has allowed her to work in the beauty, fashion, automotive and real estate industries. She has also owned a Pilates studio frequented by A list celebrities, professional athletes, business owners and everyone in between. Caroline speaks fluent English, Polish and French and has even found a way to communicate with her playfully -mischievous dog, Pixie. Caroline’s new book, Tell Me What You See, is a visual writing prompt book for both aspiring and established writers.

Laura Lyles Reagan

Author and CEO of Heart 2 Heart Parents and Creative Alignment Consulting

Laura Reagan, MS is a sociologist and a parent and teen relationship coach. Her book, How to Raise Respectful Parents is an award-winning Amazon bestselle. She frequently conducts parent workshops supported by grant funding. Prior to being an author, Laura had a 25 year career in non profit management and youth development. As a result, she became successful in grant writing, winning over $65,000,000 in funding for non-profits, school districts and now, authors, coaches and social artists.  

Deanna Leah

Foreign Rights Literary Agent

Deanna Leah, founder and owner of HBG Productions, began her work in publishing during the 1990s with MB Media, publisher of Magical Blend and Natural Beauty and Health magazines. Consequently, she developed an eye for design and honed her skills at discerning quality literature and effective marketing. In 2002, Deanna started HBG Productions, dedicated to personalized and caring representation for authors in the mind-body-spirit genre. Priding itself on individualized author support and focused marketing efforts, HBG Productions promotes books for a better world with themes such as Alternative Health, Spirituality, Self Help, Children’s Literature and more. Attending book fairs worldwide, HBG presents authors’ works to publishers from around the globe, securing translation rights in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Russia, and more. Contact [email protected]

Carla King

Founder, Self-Pub Boot Camp

Carla King is an author, book coach, and the founder of Destination Published, an online destination for authors who need help navigating the publishing journey. She also runs the Self-Publishing Boot Camp series of books, workshops, and online courses. Her comprehensive Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors is now in its fourth edition and her obsessively-updated Consumer’s Guide for Self-Publishers (free!) is a gift to authors who need to know which companies are reliable and trustworthy. She is the Independent Publishing Director at the San Francisco Writers Conference, and has written for Bowker’s Self-Published Author, BookWorks, PBS MediaShift. Carla hosts a podcast at to interview the people who make tools, products, and services for self-publishers.

Kate Frank

Business Coach & Ghostwriter

Authors who want to maximize the impact of their expertise hire Kate Frank as their business coach. While most business coaches focus on motivating their clients to implement best practices to grow their business, Kate helps authors expand the scope of their expertise using the most powerful, time-proven method of being seen as an authority. Everyone believes the person who “wrote the book” on any given topic is the undisputed expert. Being an author separates you from all your competition and leads to massive profit potential.

Joy E. Rancatore

Author, Editor, Publisher

Joy E. Rancatore is an Indie Author and the owner of Logos & Mythos Press in the Greater New Orleans area. She entered the professional writing world at age sixteen with a small-town weekly newspaper where the editor consistently ran her byline as Joe E. Over the years, Joy has written for newspapers, magazines and blogs, worked in public relations, web design and customer support and freelanced as a writer, editor and photographer. She writes fiction, nonfiction and everything between. She is the author of Any Good Thing, 2019, and Plus One Year More, 2020, co-author of Finders Keepers: A Practical Approach to Find and Keep Your Writing Critique Partner, 2019, and a contributing author to The Crux Anthology, 2018. In addition to her publishing roles, Joy is a blogger, speaker, teacher, editor for fellow Indie Authors and co-host of QWERTY Writing Life Podcast.

Meagan (Mea) Smith


Meagan (Mea) Smith co-authored Finders Keepers: A Practical Approach to Find and Keep Your Writing Critique Partner (2019) alongside her own critique partner, Joy E. Rancatore. Mea and Joy co-host QWERTY Writing Life podcast where they explore how creativity fits in everyday life. She speaks to audiences on the topics of creative writing, embracing creativity, nurturing critique partnerships, and writing through grief. Mea has studied the writing craft for over a decade and has a Master’s in English. Outside of her latest release, Mea’s nonfiction works focus on the writing craft and life lessons delivered with kindness, humor, and honesty. She believes love doesn’t deter hateful things from happening, but it always conquers them. Because of this, she creates fictional content tinted with hope. Mea prefers her tales set in contemporary and/or fantastical places, and her poetry is based on a true story. Always.
Mea lives in a wooden house on a hill and trips over a multitude of cats while parenting her two rambunctious boys. 

Kirsten Oliphant

Author & Podcaster

Kirsten Oliphant has her MFA in fiction and is the author of over fifteen books in several genres. She hosts the popular Create If Writing podcast for authors who want to sell more books without being smarmy.

Kathrine Farris

Owner, Consultant, and Strategist

Kathrine is a highly motivated entrepreneur who values technology and education as a means to improve marketing, operations, effectiveness, and efficiency. She enjoys using her skills and sharing her knowledge to improve the businesses and lives of her clients. In July of 2017, she recieved the Optimization and Testing Specialist certification from Digital Marketer. In April of 2012, she became certified in Professional Virtual Speaker Support. Kathrine lives and operates out of beautiful Southern Maine (USA). Where she has over 17 years of experience in technology, marketing, administration, and managerial operations. Her experience includes customer service, retail sales, finance, education, non-profits, and (of course) small business. Her background is well-rounded including; formal training and education, employment training, and hands-on participation in various organizations and events.

Carissa Magras

Author, Editor, Publisher

While serving as the Marketing Director for a multi-million dollar company, doing work for the White House, Smithsonian, Ford Estate, and more, Carissa spent her days off in coffee shops writing with author friends. Those writing sessions quickly turned into “Book Marketing with Carissa” sessions, and before long she handed in her resignation and founded Readers On Demand as a way to help authors everywhere get their books out of boxes, onto people’s shelves, and into their hearts. After successfully helping authors skyrocket their email lists and book sales for almost three years on her own through the Readers On Demand Workshop, she passed the torch to Alexa Bigwarfe, allowing Carissa more time to focus on her own books while still helping writers achieve their goals. You can find her Permission to Thrive, helping high-performers overcome hidden trauma that’s getting in the way of who they desire to be and what they want to achieve.

Lynn Whitbeck

CEO, Petit2Queen

Lynn Whitbeck is the founder and CEO of Petite2Queen. Building on her 30 year successes and experiences as Vice President of Business Development and COO of direct consumer technology start-ups, Lynn transitioned to executive consulting providing strategic expertise for the development and management of client programs. With this real-world background, Lynn brings marketing, sales, business development, and operations management cross-sector experience to Petite2Queen. She dedicates herself to delivering tangible and sustainable tools and insights to women, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn’s goal is to share the lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.

Kristi Dosh

CEO, Guide My Brand

Kristi Dosh is a publicist who founded Guide My Brand to work with entrepreneurs and nonfiction authors to establish themselves as experts in their niches and become more visible for their expertise through opportunities such as guest blogs, podcast interviews, public speaking engagements, feature articles and media appearances. Kristi is her own best case study, beginning her career as a corporate attorney and used a combination of blogging, social media, public speaking and media appearances to become a nationally-recognized expert on the business of sports. She left the corporate world to work for such outlets as Forbes and ESPN, and today she works with busy entrepreneurs and nonfiction authors who want to become experts themselves and step into the spotlight so they can grow their businesses. You can visit her website at and join her free, private Facebook group, The Visibility Workshop.

Daphne James Huff

Author & Co-Founder of Writer Mom Life

Daphne James Huff is the pen name of a writer mom who spends her days as an HR professional and trained executive coach, and her nights and weekends as a podcaster, runner, and yogi. She can sing all the songs in “The Pirates of Penzance” from memory and distrusts people who enjoy raisins in their cookies. You can find more about her books on her author website – – and hear her chat with other writer moms over at Writer Mom Life – the podcast and online community created by and featuring indie author moms. You can also follow WML on Twitter (@WriterMomLife) and Instagram (@WriterMomLifePodcast).

Belinda Griffin

Founder, SmartAuthorLab.Com

Belinda Griffin is a Book Marketing Strategist, Author Publicity Expert and Tim Grahl Certified Book Launch Coach. She teaches entrepreneurs, experts, speakers and fiction writers how to launch and market their books in a way that achieves results.  Belinda’s worked with trade and self-published writers including Nick Duerden, author of The Smallest Things: On the Enduring Power of Family, Alexandra Amor, award-winning author of Cult, A Love Story and David Lowe, bestselling author of The Innovation Revelation. Passionate about helping authors reach their ideal readers through authentic relationship building, Belinda was the Reader Relationships expert for BookWorks and has been featured on numerous websites for writers, such as The Creative Penn, The Book Designer, Kindlepreneur, Write To Done, and The Alliance of Independent Authors. She is also a contributing author to Writers’ & Artists’ Guide to Self-Publishing: How to edit, produce and sell your book (out April 2020). You can find Belinda online at or in her favourite indie bookshop.

Melody Owen

Chief Storyteller

Melody Owen is a professional storyteller, writing coach and editor. She tells stories to entertain, connect and empower. She helps others tell their stories to empower them and change the world. She is dedicated to making the world a better place one story at a time.

Jodi Brandon


Jodi Brandon has more than 20 years’ experience in book publishing. After graduating from Elizabethtown College (PA) with BAs in professional writing and business administration, she began her career in New York City on staff at William Morrow (now part of HarperCollins), and later moved to book packager Smallwood & Stewart and ultimately to niche publisher Career Press. In 2001, after relocating from New York to Philadelphia, Jodi launched her freelance editing business, with a specialty in non-fiction books. Jodi’s passion these days is working with independent nonfiction authors readying themselves for self-publication as an editor and a writing/publishing coach.

Kasie Whitener

Author And Founder of Clemson Road Creative

Dr. Kasie Whitener is a professional writer and university lecturer. She hosts a weekly radio show called “Write On SC,” and a weekly Tweet Chat for writers (#wschat). She has delivered workshops on writing for Pat Conroy Literary Center, Winter Wheat Festival, the SC Book Festival, and the Fairfax County Public Library. Her first novel, After December, was published by Chrysalis Press in 2019. She’s President of Clemson Road Creative, a board member with the SC Writers Association, and the Richland County Chairperson for the SC Libertarian Party. She enjoys golf with her husband, Charlie, and swaps stories with her daughter, Hollie (11).

Annalisa Parent

CEO, Date With the Muse

Annalisa Parent helps writers to finish, publish and sell their novels. She owns and operates Date with the Muse, LLC, which helps storytellers to publish traditionally at the highest level possible. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline” has been lauded by multiple New York Times bestselling author John David Mann as “brimming over with invaluable practical writerly wisdom…her love of life—pours out of every paragraph. Read her book. It will infuse joy into your days and make you a better writer.” Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live for her novels, CBS, Associated Press and Korean Broadcast Systems, as well as many internationals podcasts, radio programs, writing conferences and workshops. 

JoEllen Nordström

Word Wizard & Professional Grammar Police

JoEllen Nordstrom is a professional editor, podcaster, entrepreneur, mama, and digital nomad. She is the founder of which has helped over 35,000 authors in just the past decade. JoEllen’s professional editing services company boasts hundreds of successfully published authors, bestsellers, and research publications. They assist fiction, nonfiction, academic research and business authorities with editing for traditional, independent, and hybrid publishing. First Editing transforms writers into authors. JoEllen’s company has the inside knowledge to help you successfully edit and prepare for your publishing journey. Become an authority in your genre.  JoEllen’s podcast provides insightful interviews with step-by-step tips from writing industry authorities. She helps you Write, Edit, Publish, and Launch your book to success with proven strategies from proven experts.  Personally, Jo has been successfully managing her online businesses now for two decades while also creating her large family and traveling the world simultaneously. She is passionate about helping other women succeed in their lifestyle design and is eager to share her life experiences (the best and the worst) during the Women In Publishing Summit. 

Meet Our Workshop Facilitators

Nina Thomas - Socially Nina

“Socially Nina” Thomas is a digital marketing consultant, video marketing strategist and the CEO and founder of Learned It Online, an online training hub for small businesses, and the “not-so-tech-savvy” entrepreneur.  SUPERPOWER: Providing “not-so-tech-savvy” small business owners and their teams’ skills needed to succeed, shine and scale. Oh, and her strategy sessions are legendary. Nina’s marketing strategies, along with processes and workflows, allow small businesses to save money, save time and increase sales. 

Shelly Longenecker


Shelly is the founder and author of Dinner for a Dollar where she explains how she feeds her family a simple, allergy-friendly, whole food diet with loads of fruits and veggies for $1 per person per meal. Shelly is a wife and mother of 4. When her son was diagnosed 10 years ago with several food allergies, she felt completely overwhelmed, believing the myth that she had to spend a fortune on food and all day in the kitchen to feed her family safe, whole foods. She couldn’t find anything on the market that taught her how to eat a simple, allergy-friendly whole food, veggie-forward diet on a tight budget, so she created her own system that ticked all these boxes and turned it into a book to share with the world. She has a passion for helping others slash their whole food budgets and get out of the kitchen and on with their lives.

Shelly wrote the book and launched her company in 4 months – all while going through a complete kitchen remodel and wrangling 4 kids. She can’t wait to share with you about the mindset and work habit that allowed her to pull this off – all while working on a tight budget.

Na'ima B. Robert

Author and Founding Editor of SISTERS

Na’ima B. Robert has been telling stories and helping other women tell theirs for over 15 years. She is the award-winning author of the bestseller, ‘From My Sisters’ Lips’ and founding editor of ‘SISTERS’, the magazine for fabulous Muslim women. Her historical novel, ‘Far from Home’ earned her a Muslim Writers Award and the Children’s Africana Book Award in Washington. Recognised for her contribution to diversity in children’s literature, her acclaimed children’s books include ‘Ramadan Moon’ and ‘Going to Mecca’ and the YA novels, ‘Boy vs Girl’ and ‘She Wore Red Trainers’. Her books have been selected as ‘A’ Level texts and studied at university level. She trains and mentors writers as part of the Muslimah Writers project.

Laurie McLean

Literary agent & director of the San Francisco Writers Conference

Laurie McLean spent 20 years as the CEO of a multi-million dollar marketing agency and 8 years as an agent/senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents before co-founding Fuse Literary in 2013 with her business partner Gordon Warnock. At Fuse Lit Laurie specializes in middle grade, young adult and adult genre fiction. Laurie is also the Director of the San Francisco Writers Conference, in its 17th year, and co-founded two ePublishing companies: for romance, and Ambush Books for tween and teen books (acquired by Short Fuse Publishing in 2015). Find out more at and on Twitter @FuseLiterary and @AgentSavant.

Raewyn Sangari

Unicorn Virtual Assistant

With soul talks, girl dates and coffee fueling her soul, Raewyn is a unicorn virtual assistant for high-vibe heart-centered female entrepreneurs. Finding the perfect client match is an important part of running her business smoothly. She enjoys helping other virtual assistants and entrepreneurs to find their perfect match.

Erin Casey

Author and Director of The Writers' Rooms

Erin graduated from Cornell College in 2009 with degrees in English and Secondary Education. She decided to expand upon her teaching knowledge by leading writing sessions at first for the Iowa Writers’ House and now for The Writers’ Rooms. She attended the Denver Publishing Institute in 2009 and has been a recruiter ever since. She is the Communications and Student Relationships Manager at The Iowa Writers’ House and the Director of The Writers’ Rooms, a non-profit corporation that provides a free, safe environment for all writers.  She’s also a devoted bird mom.  When not volunteering and working, she’s querying her LGBT YA fantasy story, posting urban and regular fantasy on patreon, and sharing her literary journey on Instagram and twitter.  She released her first book, The Purple Door District, in December 2018. Her next book, Wolf Pit, came out in December 2019.

Pascale Kavanagh

Author and Creativity Coach

Pascale Kavanagh combines the unlikely pursuits of spiritual counseling, creativity coaching, and authoring steamy romance novels into a beautifully messy life. Ultimately, all her work is about strengthening resilience, transforming suffering, and keeping it all sexy. She has published six novels and a slew of stories and articles. Her past includes stints as an MIT-trained engineer, biotech executive, professional dancer, yoga teacher and business owner, and entrepreneur.  These days, her favorite titles are author, guide, and hot mama.
You can find Pascale’s guidance on resilience and grace at, a portal for love, laughs, and words that feel like a hug. For the real steamy stuff, saunter over to

Anne Rainbow

ScrivenerVirgin, RedPen Mentor

Anne Rainbow is a successful and highly respected writer, teacher and mentor. Although Anne calls herself the ScrivenerVirgin, she is now recognised as a Scrivener expert. Her blog, ScrivenerVirgin, encourages all writers to use this sophisticated writing tool, which can take an author from blank page to self-published book. Her website is also the door to RedPen through which Anne offers online training for writers in self-editing, marketing and self-publishing. For a few students at a time, this provides access to her RedPen Mentoring scheme, where Anne helps writers to achieve their writing dreams. Anne’s ebook Editing the RedPen Way: 10 Steps to Successful Self-editing aims to eliminate editing overwhelm and provide a structured approach to editing. Also also hosts writing workshops, manuscript review groups, and writing retreat weekends.

Rachel Whitbeck

Director of Content at Petite2Queen

Rachel Whitbeck is the Director of Content at Petite2Queen. She is working towards her PhD in Sociology at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Rachel uses her experience in writing, editing, and research to develop content that appeals to and is reflective of the diverse millennial woman. Learn more at

Suzanne Brown

Suzanne Brown empowers companies to become more balance-friendly and professional working moms to create the work-life balance they crave. She is a TED speaker and has been featured in major publications such as TIME, Forbes, Working Mother, Reader’s Digest, Shape, and Prevention. She’s a mom, wife, consultant, speaker, strategist, avid international traveler, and award-winning author.

Lindsay Ford

Author and Illustrator

Lindsay Ford is a weird boss mom with a natural knack for rhyming that she finesses nicely into a collection of next generation books; for kids and adults alike. Her Awkward + Awesome book series pushes boundaries and breaks stigmas and includes titles like: Tommy Tutu, The Granny That Never Got Old, and forthcoming books like:  The Big Bike Bamboozle, Ugly Food and Things We Can’t Unsee: How to Talk To Your Kids About Pornography.

Nicole Roberts Jones

Purpose to Paycheck Expert

Nicole Roberts Jones is uniquely gifted at one thing – drawing out what’s best in YOU and helping you take your Brilliance to The Bank. A veteran of the entertainment industry, Nicole worked in Talent Management and Casting before shifting her talents to help others Bankroll Their Brilliance.  She now works with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of income from what they already know in order to build an empire from their expertise. Additionally, Nicole works with corporations to assure their executives and middle managers push their internal edge, and step into the true power of their gifts and talents at work. Her clients have included the Steve Harvey World Group, Dell EMC, McDonalds, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lisa Nichols and Motivating the Masses, Coach Diversity Institute, the BOSS Network and Working Mother Magazine to name a few. Nicole is also a nationally recognized transformational speaker, purpose to paycheck expert and best-selling author of four books, the most recent being Find Your Fierce. She lives with her husband in a suburb of Boston, MA, consulting, writing and creating breakthroughs for her clients.

Altovise Pelzer

Founder of the World Voice League & Host of The #SpeakEasy Podcast

Altovise Pelzer unmutes the voice of women who are ready to speak up about the things that have kept her silent for way too long. She is an award-winning empowerment speaker and founder of the World Voice League. Altovise also hosts The #SpeakEasy Podcast where she empowers authors and speakers with hot topics and candid interviews.  Altovise is the Visionary Author for the #1 Best Selling book “A Stage of Their Own: More than a Movement.” She is also a contributing author to the #1 Best Selling book “Speak Up! The Ultimate Guide to Dominate I’m the Speaking Industry.” World-renowned speaking legends Dr. George Fraser and Les Brown wrote the Foreword and Afterword for the book.  Homelessness and molestation affected Altovise. She hit a turning point in her personal life after decades of being silent about her molestation story even after finding out her girls were molested. This was the catalyst for her decision to motivate women to “Leverage their life’s circumstances” by learning to love and use their voice.

Becky Kopitzke

Author and Writing Coach

Becky Kopitzke is the author of three traditionally published books including her latest release, The Cranky Mom Fix: Get a Happier, More Peaceful Home by Slaying the “Momster” in All of Us. She is a proud grammar geek, literature enthusiast, marketing buff and natural encourager. As a professional writing coach, editor, veteran blogger and freelance copywriter, Becky possesses a full spectrum of knowledge spanning both sides of the publishing industry. She is passionate about working with writers at all levels to help them strengthen their writing skills, hone their message, understand the steps to publishing, and develop an air-tight book proposal.

Becky and her husband Chad pursue their entrepreneurial dreams from home offices in northeast Wisconsin, where they share precious space with their two daughters, tables stacked with homework and slime supplies, and a puppy named Prophet. Find Becky online at

Michelle Cornish


After spending almost 20 years in the public accounting industry, Michelle sold her accounting practice to spend more time with her family and pursue her dream of writing. In 2017, she published Keep More Money, a guide to help business owners find a trustworthy accountant. Realizing that she wanted to write fiction, in 2018, Michelle published Murder Audit, her debut novel and book one in the Cynthia Webber financial thriller series. Michelle also writes children’s books with her sons under the pen name AJ Kormon. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Michelle in small-town Canada cartooning and losing to her kids at Uno!  

Wendy Barlin

Speaker, Business and Personal Financial Strategist

Wendy Barlin is more than an accountant. Her expertise is advising people to better manage their business with financial and operational strategies, time and resource analyses and income tax planning. Her professional experience spans more than 20 years in service based industries as diverse as entertainment, medical/dental, franchises and the professional services industry. Wendy and her team provide a full range of advisory services, accounting, bookkeeping and income tax compliance services. Wendy is committed to her clients’ success. Whether developing strategic operational plans, negotiating with banks or vendors, analyzing cash flow or projecting income taxes, she ensures that all financial decisions lead to greater profits. A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Wendy graduated with a double major in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Cape Town. During a one year break spent backpacking around the world in search of her dream, Wendy fell in love with the sparkle of the City of Angels and decided to make her home here. Wendy is a frequent speaker at conferences and association meetings and is also a member of the California Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Meet Our Panelists

{Live} Why You Need a Team




Alexa Bigwarfe

Author and Publisher; Host of the Women in Publishing Summit

Raewyn Sangari

Unicorn Virtual Assistant

Nancy Cavillones

Author Assistant & Lead Assistant to the Women in Publishing Summit

Live Panel: Latina Voices


Liliana Lopez


Dr. Edith Treviño

Dr ET Author

Panel: Book Design



Michelle Argyle


Tamara Dever

Founder, TLC Book Design

Margaret Cogswell

Owner-Lead Designer MCD

Panel: Publishing



Karen Schober

Self Publishing Specialist & Author

Kate Stead

Director of Marketing Operations, Old Mate Media

Jenn Thompson

Author and Owner of IABE

Diane Windsor

Publisher, Motina Books

Panel: Mindset



Zvezdana Rashkovich

Meditative Writing Coach

Dr. Nicki Steinberger

Health Psychology Coach, Author, Speaker

Unstoppable Tracy

Lorna Fergusson

Founder of Fictionfire Literary Consultancy, Author, Speaker, Editor and Coach

Panel: Editing



Alexandra Uth

President, Loomis & Lyman, Inc

Audrey Hodge


Kate Johnston

Writing Coach & Editor

Judy Mohr

Writer, Editor & Online Platform Consultant

Panel: Writing a Powerful Memoir



Keri Mangis

Author, Speaker & Podcast Creator

Shahira Niggin Qudrat

Author and Speaker

Panel: Money and Time



Deb Meyer

Author of Redefining Family Wealth and owner of WorthyNest

Vickie Gould

Strategic Storytelling Coach, Best Selling Author and Speaker

Tamika Sims

Chief Creative Officer of Get Write With Tamika

Monica Miller

Author and Blogger

Panel: Writing Tips



Dawn Mena

Book editor & Self-publishing Specialist

Jamie Beth Cohen

Author and Storyteller

Autumn Birt

Author and Co-Creator of Am Writing Fantasy

Ruth L. Synder

Book & Creativity Coach

{Live} What We’ve Learned About Book Launches



Raewyn Sangari

Unicorn Virtual Assistant

Stacey Ducker

Book Marketing Expert

Sarah O'Dell

Virtual Assistant

Nancy Cavillones

Author Assistant and Lead Assistant to Women in Publishing Summit

{Live} Closing Panel




Natasha Carlow


Angela Hosking

Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Coach, CEO of Her One Tribe, LLC.

Keri T. Collins

Children's Book Author

Sylvia Hubbard

Romance Novelist