Johnny D. Boggs has been praised by Booklist magazine as “among the best western writers at work today” and is one of the few authors to have won both the Western Heritage Wrangler Award and Spur Award for his fiction. True West magazine has named him the Best Living Fiction Writer in its Best of the West Awards. READ MORE.



Dusty Richards was an award winning western author, with over 100 published novels under his name and pseudonyms. His awards include two Spurs, best book of the year Wrangler Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum, a Will Roger’s Medallion Award for best western book of the year, and True West Magazine readers voted him the best living western fiction writer. READ MORE.

Linda Apple(Conference Chair) Linda Apple believes everyone has a story and that these stories matter. They are the thread that weaves humanity together and helps us to understand others. Her personal experience stories have been published in sixteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and she has two books, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter and Writing From Your Soul, that teach others to write their stories.  READ MORE

Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. He wrote four original Indiana Jones novels for Lucasfilm, the novelization for the epic miniseries Into the West, and has won the Spur Award three times. He’s the author of the Ophelia Wylde paranormal mystery series and the Hellfire Canyondark western trilogy. He’s a professor at Emporia State University, where he teaches a graduate course on Mark Twain, and is also the director for the Center for Great Plains Studies. He’s just completed a narrative nonfiction book on the Arkansas River for the University Press of Kansas, and is working on an investigative biography of Mark Twain’s official biographer and literary executor Albert Bigelow Paine. 

Tiffany Schofield  from Five Star, a division of Gale Cengage Learning, is one of those editors who wears a dozen hats. Five Star is a rising star in publishing. They do library editions with their parent company, Cengage, but Five Star itself is seeking westerns, romances, young adult…and several other popular genres. Tiffany says not to be nervous, but to pitch your book to her so that she can see the passion you have for the story. If you show that you care about your story, she'll no doubt care of about it too.

Clarissa  (Chrissy)  Willis President: has been writing since she was five years old. She is the author of 19 non-fiction books and many more articles and curriculum projects. As a keynote speaker she has presented workshops in 48 states and four foreign countries.  She served on the OCW Board from 1986-2009. READ MORE