2014 SPEAKERS

Presenting Speakers scheduled for the 2014 Conference:

Shannon Janeczek attended Eastern Michigan University, where she majored in Creative Writing and Linguistics, and Emerson College, where she earned a Masters in Book Publishing. During the day, she works for a library database provider, blogging about book-related products and marketing to librarians. At night, however, she dons a cape and mask and becomes the fearless leader of PublishSavvy, working with authors on book editing, proofreading, formatting, and distribution.

Erin Janda Rawlings is an adjunct professor at Walsh College where she teaches Social Media Strategy for Business. She is also a Social Media Community Manager at Hay There Social Media.  Erin is a mother to her young son and daughter, who supply her with plenty of thought-provoking issues, which she processes at her personal blog, Mommy on the Spot. She is a freelance writer, and her work can be found on Detroit News MichMoms parenting blog, The Mother Company and Huffington Post. Erin can also be seen on Local 4 Live in the D Moms Panel and Parenting Tips Segments.

Lisa Howard is a cookbook author who also works with print magazines, online publications, and culinary marketing firms. Her first cookbook, Healthier Gluten-Free, was published this summer by Fair Winds Press. Along with being a food writer and recipe developer, she also educates audiences about nutrition and cooking through her engagements as a culinary speaker and cooking instructor. Feel free to stop by www.theculturedcook.com any time to browse through Lisa’s recipes and culinary tidbits.

Steven Harper Piziks’ novels include, In the Company of Mind and Corporate Mentality, both science fiction published by Baen Books. Writing as Steven Harper for Roc Books, he has produced The Silent Empire series. He’s also written books based on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and The Ghost Whisperer, as well as the movie novelization Identity. His numerous short stories have appeared, among other places, in all but one of Esther Friesner’s Chicks in Chainmail anthologies and in all of her humorous suburban fantasy anthology. He is currently producing The Clockwork Empire steampunk trilogy for Ace Book.

Becky Repp, BFA, ARM, and co-founded Mock Turtle Press. She co-leads a team that produces high-quality, critically-acclaimed books, the award-winning American Road magazine, and various contracted works (documentaries, web sites, brochures, etc.). Since 2002 Rebecca Repp has served as the General Manager for American Road magazine–a glossy publication devoted to promoting and communicating the joys of traveling America’s scenic and historic back roads. American Road magazine is distributed nationally and internationally by Disticor Distribution and is available in fine bookstores including Barnes and Noble, Hastings, Books-A-Million, etc. Repp was recently elected to the board of directors for the National Scenic Byway Foundation.

R.J. King, for more than 20 years,  has generated award-winning coverage as editor and co-founder of DBusiness magazine and as a business writer at The Detroit News. Mr. King has written more than 5,000 articles and interviewed hundreds of business owners, CEOs, entrepreneurs, scholars, artists, and politicians. He also attends 200-plus corporate and charitable events annually. In his new book, Passport to the Corner Office, Mr. King shows you how to achieve success in the corporate, civic, and political worlds. The book also offers a Corporate Resource Guide that covers business etiquette skills, successful networking tips, a formal dining guide, and a comprehensive listing of what to tip a maître d’, a manicurist, an executive driver, and dozens of other service providers.

Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle, The Florida Review, The Windsor Review, The Montreal Review and various other journals.  Her poetry chapbook, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2011 Standing Rock Chapbook Contest. Her new poetry chapbook, Tell Me When It Starts to Hurt, was published by Kattywompus Press in April 2013. She works for the Inside Out Literary Arts Project in Detroit. She received her MFA in fiction writing from Queens University. Garden for the Blind, her collection of linked stories, will be published by Wayne State University Press in May 2015.

Karrie Waarala’s – work has appeared in journals such as Iron Horse Literary Review, PANK, The Collagist, Southern Indiana Review, and Vinyl. She is the poetry editor for the museum of americana and holds an MFA from University of Southern Maine. Recipient of the 2012 Pocataligo Poetry Prize, a Best of the Net finalist, and a multiple Pushcart nominee, Karrie has also received critical acclaim for her one-woman show, LONG GONE: A Poetry Sideshow, which is based on her collection of circus poems. She really wishes she could tame tigers and swallow swords.

Debbie Leveski has a Master’s in Arts with a Concentration in Instructional Education from Central Michigan University and decades of experience in writing of all sorts for profit and non-profit businesses and from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.  In 2006 Ms. Leveski left the corporate world and started her own business, The Virtual Office of Debbie Leveski, LLC, where she is a Virtual Assistant and assists business owners with various tasks and writing projects that go beyond the normal realm of freelance writing.  Ms. Leveski is also a freelance writer for the Oakland Press and the Downriver Profile Magazine. Published Articles

Satori Shakoor –  is an artist, social entrepreneur, a producer and veteran of live performance. She has achieved international acknowledgments for her accomplishments as a produced playwright, published writer, award-winning actor, standup comedienne, television comedy writer and a Moth mainstage storyteller and host. In 2012, Satori Shakoor created The Secret Society Of Twisted StorytellersⓇ, a curated live storytelling event that features storytellers and performing artists from the greater Detroit area of which she curates, produces and hosts. TSSOTS is a Knight Foundation grantee. In 2014, TSSOTSⓇ expanded and became a licensed production of The Society for the Re-Institutionalization of Storytelling, a Michigan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of which she is the Executive Director.

Lynne Cobb –  is a metro Detroit freelance writer who has had articles, essays and op-eds published in The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Metro Parent Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine and Guideposts. A relatively new blogger on the scene, Lynne’s Blog Posts have been featured on sites such as Midlife Boulevard, Vibrant Nation and BlogHer. Her busy life as a military spouse and mom provides enough fodder to keep her busy writing about the joys and struggles of life’s changes. Additionally, Lynne is writing a memoir, and she is a freelance Social Media adviser for small businesses.

Jessica Watson –  is the mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. When she’s not doing the minivan shuffle she’s homeschooling her kiddos and cooking things they won’t eat. She blogs with her heart on her sleeve at Four Plus an Angel and is the co-director and producer of Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit. Her writing appears on sites such as Huffington Post, Parade Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Mamalode and SheKnows.com. Jessica’s first children’s book will be published this fall.

Please Note: All events take place in the Oakland Center of Oakland University (2200 N Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309). Use parking lot 2 and walk south (opposite the pond) for the shortest distance into the Oakland Center. In addition, use parking lot 1 (the big lot off Squirrel Road) and walk east toward the building. The Oakland Center is positioned between the lots and the Clock Tower. Look for Bright Yellow Signs. The Oakland Center is #13 on the Campus Map.

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