Kimberly Aime is a full-time freelance writer and avid blogger. She has taught in the technology field for four years, first as a technical writer at Epic Systems and most recently as a technical trainer for Dean Health Systems. In between these stints, she attended graduate school at Ohio State University and University of California Santa Barbara. Throughout her graduate work, she taught various theatre classes including theatre history, Asian theatre and acting. She has studied Social Media through Mediabistro’s Social Media Boot Camp and has worked in social media in the non-profit sector as well as to market her writing. Her blog, Badger Girl Learns to Cook at learntocookbadgergirl.com has gotten her two book deals: Homemade Snacks and Pantry Staples, a cookbook featuring her recipes and healthy philosophy which will be available in May 2013 through Penguin Books and a cookbook for a local Madison restaurant available Fall 2013. You can follow her on Twitter @Bdgergrl and like her Facebook page, Badger Girl Learns to Cook. Kimberly's new UW Madison course Creating an Online Presence will be available soon via the UW Madison Continuing Studies website.
Bridget Birdsall is an author, artist and teacher. She has taught creative writing, literature, poetry and playwriting at Edgewood College and Madison College. She also served as a Visiting Artist at local Madison high schools and as a Graduate Assistant at Vermont College of the Fine Arts. Despite a life-long struggle with dyslexia, Bridget made a mid-life decision to pursue her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Marge Chandler Scholarship from the international foundation that supports women writers, A Room of Her Own (AROHO). In 2009, she was also a finalist for their $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award. Her YA novel August Atlas, is seeking a publisher under the representation of the Jonathan Lyon’s Literary Agency, it received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Institute’s First Page Contest. Ordinary Angels took first place, then went on to become her debut novel. Bridget recently joined the UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies team, where she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to help other writers get their words out in the world.
Anne Greenwood Brown
Anne Greenwood Brown is the author of the YA novel Lies Beneath, and its sequels Deep Betrayal and Promise Bound (coming 2014). Anne’s creative non-fiction has been featured in Use Your Words: A Mother’s Writing Guide, and she is a guest blogger on the popular writers’ website Writer Unboxed. She is represented by Jacqueline Flynn of Joëlle Delbourgo Associates. You can follow her on Twitter @AnneGBrown and on her Facebook writer’s page.
Tanya Chernov earned her BA in English from the University of Puget Sound and holds an MFA from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Writers Workshop. A Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee and author of A Real Emotional Girl, she currently serves as the poetry and translations editor for the Los Angeles Review. Tanya lives and writes in Seattle with her dog, Mona, though the roots of her heart remain firmly planted in Wisconsin. Go Packers!
Christine DeSmet is a writing teacher at UW-Madison Continuing Studies where she mentors writers of novels, screenplays, plays, and short fiction. She directs the “Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Retreat,” June 13-17, 2013, and the UW’s annual fall workshop/retreat, “Weekend with Your Novel,” Nov. 8-10, 2013. This year will see the debut of First-Degree Fudge, the first book in her Door County Fudge Shop Mystery Series, for editor Danielle Perez at New American Library/Penguin. Christine’s agent is John Talbot, The Talbot/Fortune Agency. Her other work includes Spirit Lake, a romantic suspense novel, and a series of humorous romantic mystery short stories set in Moonstone, Wisconsin, appearing in two volumes: Mischief in Moonstone, and Men of Moonstone, both from Whiskey Creek Press. Christine is a past winner of the Slamdance Film Festival and optioned that screenplay to New Line Cinema. Her stage play, “Climax!”a—bout a struggling writer,—was a top-ten finalist in a Wisconsin Wrights New Play Contest. She's a member of: RWA; Writers Guild of America, East; Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum; Sisters in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Jewels of the Quill. You can find more about her writing and new series at www.christinedesmet.com.
Mary Driver-Thiel holds a B.A. in Fine Art and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Her short stories have appeared in various literary journals, most recently Alfie Dog (alfiedog.com), Epiphany (epiphmag.com), and Halfway Down the Stairs (halfwaydownthestairs.net). She is a member of Off Campus Writers’ Workshop and The Writers, and she is founder and facilitator of Forest Writers’ Group in Lake Forest. Driver-Thiel lives in the Chicago area with her husband and Woki, the Wonder Dog. The World Undone is her first novel; currently, she is working on the sequel.
Killian Heilsberg is an independent writer/director with a background in acting, theatre, musical theatre, narrative, and experimental film. She is an Artist-in-Residence and a member of the Writing Faculty at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy in Chicago. She has excelled in writing for all mediums, writing and producing animation, researching persistent virtual environments, and creating web content. She is currently working with writers and students to produce sustained multimedia webisodic programming. Killian writes short stories, essays, blogs, game stories, screenplays, children’s musicals, and has a novel in her desk drawer that may one day get dusted off again for another go. Her film “Positation” is making the rounds in film festivals and she has written and is currently producing her next film “Six Swans.”
Danielle Jackson is a senior publicist at Sourcebooks, and the lead publicist for the Sourcebooks Casablanca romance fiction imprint. She graduated cum laude with an English degree from Bradley University, and has been with Sourcebooks for 5 years. Danielle loves everything about books, and continues to learn as much as she can about the publishing industry. Danielle has been invited to speak about book PR and Marketing at many local and national conferences, including the Romance Writers of America National Conference, the RT Booklovers Convention and the Evanston Writers Workshop among others. An eclectic reader, Danielle reads everything from historical romance to literary fiction to biographies. You can follow her on Twitter @SourcebooksCasa for updates on Sourcebooks’ romance novels.
Julie Tallard Johnson
Julie Tallard Johnson is an author, creative consultant, speaker, and licensed psychotherapist. She has kept journals since the age of 16 and is the author of 10 nonfiction books. She inspires others to follow their creative nudges and has worked as a psychotherapist for over thirty years, and as a creative consultant (mostly for writers) for the past fifteen years. Her first book was published in 1989 by Doubleday and in 2001 her title, The Thundering Years, sparked a new imprint at Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. She has received many positive reviews and awards for her books including three Roundtable awards, Best Youth book from New York Library, and the Independent Book award for best multicultural book for youth for The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for Teens (His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote a piece for this book). Her Teen Psychic: Developing Your Intuitive and Spiritual Powers book received a Star Review in Publisher’s Weekly and remains one of her most popular books with young readers. Julie has also written numerous articles for local papers, does a regular feature for Astrogirl magazine, and sends out a popular bi-monthly e-newsletter: Monthly Musings for Writers & Spiritual Pilgrims. She is presently finishing up her next adult book: The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are, Destiny Books, 2013. Her first novel is expected to arrive on the reading lists in 2014!
Mike Kern is an instructional designer for UW-Madison Continuing Studies where he develops online courses in a variety of formats. He used to be a Web and interactive media specialist for public broadcasting where he led the development of the first interactive digital TV programs used in public school classrooms. And as a curriculum designer at American Family Insurance, he designed online learning simulations while his avatar was busy designing interactive learning environments in Second Life. Previously, he ran his own multimedia production company, The Training Studio.
Ron Kuka (MFA, University of Iowa) has been the Creative Writing Program Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over 20 years. His stories had appeared in Iowa Journal of Literary Studies, Toyon, and Pavement. His teaching has been recognized with the Chancellor’s Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Jeffrey Kurz During his seven-year tenure as an acquisitions and production executive for both Miramax Films and its more commercial subsidiary, Dimension Films (which he help create with Co-Chairman Bob Weinstein), Jeffrey Kurz was involved in such varied and diverse films as Neil Jordan’s Academy Award-winning “The Crying Game,” Alex Proyas’ “The Crow,” Atom Egoyan’s “Exotica,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Mimic,” Chris Eyre’s “Smoke Signals,” Kevin Spacey’s “Albino Alligator,” and John Carpenter’s highly successful “Halloween” series. And he has worked with a wide range of talented filmmakers and writers—from Bryan Singer and the Wayans Brothers to Clive Barker and Wes Craven. Current projects as a writer include an untitled Vin Diesel comedy for Vin Diesel’s One Race Films. Kurz is involved in several Midwestern arts organizations, including Milwaukee Film (Production Consultant; Collaborative Cinema Mentor); Film Wisconsin (Board of Directors); and The University of Wisconsin-Madison (Communication Arts Partners Committee). He also teaches screenwriting and film producing and distribution at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has lectured about both Hollywood and independent film industries at UW-Madison and Northwestern University, among other schools.
John (Jack) Lehman
Jack Lehman is the founder and original publisher of Rosebud, a national magazine of short stories, poetry, and illustration for people who enjoy good writing. He is the literary editor of the Wisconsin People & Ideas as well as managing partner of Zelda Wilde Publishing and editor/publisher of Lit Noir magazine. Lehman was a finalist for the Wisconsin Poet Laureate position in 2004 and again in 2008. Dramatic readings of his plays, A Brief History of My Tattoo, The Jane Test, The Writer’s Cave, and The Last Day of the Sixties have been presented in Milwaukee, Madison, and Saint Petersburg, Florida. His collections of poetry include Acting Lessons, Shrine of the Tooth Fairy, Dogs Dream of Running, Shorts: 101 Brief Poems of Wonderand Surprise, To the Movies, and The Village Poet. His latest nonfiction books are America’s Greatest Unknown Poet: Lorine Niedecker Reminiscences, Photographs, Letters and Her Most Memorable Poems and Everything is Changing: How to Gain Loyal Customers and Clients Quickly. John grew up in Chicago but for the last 20 years he has lived with his wife, Talia Schorr, their four dogs, and six cats in Rockdale, the smallest incorporated village in Wisconsin.
Christopher Mohar has been the recipient of a Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, The Southwest Review’s McGinnis Ritchie Award for Fiction (2010), and the 2011 The Journal’s Annual Short Story Contest prize. Christopher has taught fiction at two UWs (Seattle and Madison) and in a men’s correctional facility. In past lives he has been a metallurgical engineer, a busboy, and a legal assistant’s assistant. Some of his recent work can be found in Creative Nonfiction, LIT, Gastronomica, DIAGRAM and the anthology New Stories from the Midwest (Indiana University Press).
Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for a number of years, most notably as an intern for director Randal Kleiser, as a Sony Pictures studio liaison working directly with major Film/TV productions, and then as a script reader/story analyst for Sony Pictures. He is currently a represented and working screenwriter with many studio meetings under his belt (Sony, Disney, WB, Universal, Dreamworks, etc.), a development deal with Lions Gate, and recent studio writing assignments, one of which was produced as a miniseries and is awaiting U.S. distribution. Ken relocated back to Wisconsin with his family to raise his sons close to family.
Jodell Sadler, author of Picture Book Lunch: 20 Delicious Pacing Tools for Writing Picture Books to Wow, earned her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Hamline University, 2009, and recently launched her own agency: Sadler4Kids Literary. She also works as an adjunct at the University of Phoenix, Rasmussen College, and teaches English one-on-one at the Clinton Community School District. She hosts Picture Book Pacing, Editing, and Avoiding Burnout Tutorials with Writer’s Digest, teaches a variety of online writing workshops, serves as the BOOK LOOK columnist for the SCBWI-Illinois.org “The Prairie Wind” newsletter, and is available to speak at conferences and events. A reviewer for ChildrensLit.com, she is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). For more information, visit PictureBookLunch.com.
Laurie Scheer is former vice president of programming for WE: Women’s Entertainment. She has worked as an assistant, d-girl, and producer for ABC, Viacom, Showtime, and AMC-Cablevision. Having years of development experience within the hallowed halls of networks, studios, and production companies, Laurie knows how to analyze manuscripts and scripts as they enter the competitive media marketplace. She has also been involved in producing series for the web, a film for a video game, and other digital based forms of entertainment. Laurie has been an instructor at numerous universities, including Northwestern, UCLA, American University, and Yale. She is the author of Creative Careers in Hollywood, and her DVD How to Pitch and Sell Your Screenplay has been a perennial favorite at screenwriting events. As a professional speaker, she has appeared at annual conventions for NAB, NATPE, Reel Screen, WIFV, FTX West, the Willamette Writers Conference, and she is the Pitching Coach for the annual NATPE Pitchfest. She has served as a judge for numerous screenplay competitions, film festivals, and the International Emmys. In 2008 she was commissioned to co-create the Broadcast Curriculum for Tribeca Flashpoint Academy of Media Sciences in Chicago. She is currently an Associate Faculty Associate/Writing Mentor with UW Madison’s Continuing Studies Department where she critiques writers’ works, conducts numerous online and in-person courses, and directs the annual Writers’ Institute. Her current interest is in exploring ways to preserve good storytelling within the 21st-century multiplatform marketplace and sharing her new writing manual The Meta Link with writers in-person, online, and worldwide.
Kashmira Sheth writes picture books, middle grade novels, and young-adult fiction. Her first novel, Blue Jasmine (Hyperion Books for Children), received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and her historical fiction, Keeping Corner (Hyperion Books for Children), received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association Honor Award. Her picture books, My Dadima Wears a Sari (Peachtree Publishers) and Monsoon Afternoon (Peachtree Publishers), were notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Monsoon Afternoon also received the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association Honor Award. All six of her books have been selected for “Choices,” Cooperative Children's Book Center's annual best-of-the-year list. Kashmira’s first chapter book, The No Dogs Allowed Rule, came out in September 2012. She has a picture book, Tiger in My Soup, forthcoming in spring 2013. She has two additional picture books under contract (Peachtree Publishers). Kashmira has taught at Chautauqua Institution in NY and is a faculty member of the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.
Heather Shumaker is the author of It’s OK not to Share … And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (Tarcher/ Penguin, 2012). She began writing professionally as a UW-Madison graduate student writing radio scripts for Earthwatch Radio, and her publications include New York Post, Organic Gardening, Parenting, Pregnancy and others. She lives in Traverse City, MI where she also writes fiction in the early dawn hours before her kids wake up. She’s a frequent speaker on writing and parenting topics, and blogs at Starlighting Mama.
Angela Voras-Hills earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts- Boston, where she taught creative writing, coordinated the Breakwater Reading Series, and served as Managing Editor of Breakwater Review. She has been awarded the Martha Collins Prize in Poetry and a fellowship from the Writers’ Room of Boston. Most recently, her work has been published in Kenyon Review Online, Cimarron Review, and Barnstorm, among others. She’s currently working on a collection of poems, co-faciliating workshops through the Writers in Prison Project, and blogging at Trying to Be One Person.