top of page




Jane Friedman has spent nearly 25 years working in the book publishing industry, with a focus on author education and trend reporting. She is the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2023. Her latest book is THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal. In addition to serving on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, she works with organizations such as The Authors Guild to bring transparency to the business of publishing.

Since 2001, Jane has delivered keynote talks across the globe, including the Writer’s Digest annual conference, Stockholm Writers Festival, San Miguel Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World. She’s also served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund, and is currently a board member at The Facing Project. And for a while she even flirted with academia, holding positions as a professor of writing, media, and publishing at the University of Cincinnati and University of Virginia.

In her spare time, Jane writes creative nonfiction, which has been included in the anthologies Every Father’s Daughter and Drinking Diaries. If you look hard enough, you can also find her embarrassing college poetry.

For more information on Jane, please visit her website:


Keynote Topic: Thinking Beyond the Book (part 1 & 2)

Before the arrival of the Internet, writers had few options for building a career that didn’t involve working with a traditional publisher or writing and selling more articles and books. But nowadays, there are so many potential paths to visibility, earnings, and publication that most writers are confused about what direction to take—and now also live with the burden and opportunity of interacting with or reaching readers directly. What if the print book now represents an advanced stage of an author's career, rather than the first step? New models are emerging for storytellers and authors, across all genres and categories, and they are fueled by direct author-reader interaction. Jane discusses the changes underway, and how writers can adapt no matter what the future holds.




Jeff Shaara is the New York Times-bestselling author of Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy begun by his father, Michael Shaara, with the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Killer Angels. With over seven million copies of his books in print, Jeff Shaara is considered one of the grand masters of military fiction. His World War II series includes The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, and The Rising Tide. Shaara has also written To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers.


In 2012, Shaara returned to the Civil War with A Blaze of Glory, followed by A Chain of Thunder, The Smoke at Dawn, and The Fateful Lightning—all New York Times best sellers. In  The Frozen Hours, Shaara brings readers to the front lines of the Korean War and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Through researching memoirs, collections of letters, and diaries Shaara takes on the voices of the generals, the foot soldiers, and even of the Chinese commander, bringing to life the events of the battle through the eyes of the characters.

His latest books, To Wake the Giant and The Eagle’s Claw, are part of a gripping new series set in World War II’s Pacific theater. Shaara tackles a well-known story and creates a well-researched and evenhanded portrayal of the events that changed the direction of the Pacific War.

Each of his carefully researched books bring to the page a new way to experience military fiction driven by engrossing historical characters. In his engaging lectures, both in-person and virtually, Shaara details the attention and research it takes to write his critically acclaimed works.


A descendant of Italian immigrants, Shaara was born in 1952 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in criminology. He lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Keynote Topic: History Through Storytelling

In this engaging lecture, Jeff Shaara discusses his work writing historical fiction, and the intense research needed to bring to life each and every historically-based character. His presentation will include references to his latest book about Teddy Roosevelt, and upcoming stories. He will also discuss the writing process in the second session. 

bottom of page