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Scheduled Speakers


RENE GUTTERIDGE Novelist, Screenwriter


Rene Gutteridge is a novelist and screenwriter, who has published 24 novels and works as head screenwriter for Skit Guys Studios.  Her movie SKID won Best Oklahoma Feature at DeadCenter Film Festival, and her novel My Life as a Doormat was adapted by Hallmark into a movie entitled Love’s Complicated.  She resides in Moore, OK with her husband and kids, where she enjoys being a goofball.


An Introduction to Screenwriting

In this informative session, Rene will cover the basics of screenwriting such as, how screenwriting works, what screenwriters do, and formatting. 

Writing Fiction Synopsis and Proposals

Synopses and proposals are difficult, period. In this session, Rene will share her approach to getting a whole proposal together. 



Marlon S. Hayes is a writer, essayist, poet, publisher, and novelist from Chicago, Illinois. He is also a full-time truck driver, travel expert, and weekend grill master. 

His credits include magazines, anthologies, short story collections, blogs, and novels. He writes in most genres and is constantly finding new ways to get his creations published, whether by doing it himself or with traditional presses.


His work can be found on Amazon. Follow him at Marlon's Writings on Facebook and at


Finding Fearlessness—The Journey from There to Here

Marlon is a strong believer in not putting all of one's eggs in the same basket. His talk will be full of the lessons he has learned along the way He will discuss his evolution as a writer, sharing tips and tricks every scribe should have in their toolbox. Fighting one's own doubts and insecurities is a common problem. Finding one's fearlessness is the only solution.  


Humorist/Family Lawyer


Shel Harrington is a humorist who writes for a (chronologically!) mature audience at and has over 495,000 followers on her smile-inducing Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce Facebook page.


In her alternative life, Shel is a seasoned Family Law attorney who writes and speaks about how to put her out of business by doing marriage better. She is the author of books, Over 50, Defined – Words Just For Us That Aren’t in the Dictionary . . . Yet! and Over 50, Even More Defined.


Not Your Mama's Marketing - Creative Ways to Market Your Book 

The word marketing shouldn't make us cringe and conjure up images of paying for ads or chasing down reviews. This session is chock full of strategies and ideas which will inspire you to get creative with your marketing plan whether your book is out in the world or snugged up on your computer awaiting its debut. Who knew marketing could be so fun?

Looking for Laughs in All the Write Places

Humor is not just for comedy writing. It is a valuable tool which can be used to enhance all genres. Whether you are going for full-out funny, an amusing character, witty dialogue, or a little levity for a serious topic, the specific strategies presented for injecting humor into your writing will be the go-to instruments on your writing tool-belt. 


Social Media 

Samantha Keating is the social media manager for The Wild Rose Press, Inc. She has a demonstrated history in increasing organic reach, engagement, followers, and website traffic. Recently, she has grown the publisher’s posts on Instagram by 300% and created the company’s TikTok account that has generated over 42,600 likes. 


Keating has created and presented both online and in-person workshops to teach authors the use of social media for book promotion. Recently, she presented at conferences for the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association in Seattle, Washington and for the Chicago Writers Association in Chicago, Illinois, discussing everything from Twitter to TikTok trends. Keating’s energy, enthusiasm, and perceptiveness of what draws a reader or viewer in make her a popular member of the team. 


As well as the social media manager, Keating is also an active member of the editorial team at The Wild Rose Press, helping in acquisitions and in the final stages of manuscripts before publication. Her love of stories and research continues through to her spare time, where she can be found reading from the bestsellers lists and ensuring she is always up to date on what’s trending in the publishing world. 


Follow her on The Wild Rose Press Facebook at  

Twitter - @wildrosepress   

Instagram – @thewildrosepress   

TikTok - @thewildrosepress


Cracking the Social Media Code

Samantha will show how a minimum amount of time is needed to still have a strong social media presence while maximizing the amount of time you can be writing.

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Kim Horner McCoy grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. For more than twenty years, she was a university adjunct instructor in Missouri and Kansas. Her poems have appeared in Georgetown Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Mid-America Poetry Review, The Little Balkans Review, The Flint Hills Review, Louisiana Review, and most recently in The Midwest Quarterly. Her first chapbook, This Bony Cabinet, appeared in summer 2021 from Finishing Line Press. Albert Goldbarth declared those poems to be both “sly” and “gorgeously orchestrated.” You can find her on Facebook at Kim Horner McCoy Poet / Kim Horner McCoy.


The Poetic Object 

From Robert Pinsky’s “Shirt” to A.E. Stalling's “Glitter” to Arthur Sze’s “The Opal,” manufactured objects anchor many, many poems whose arguments and observations reach both deeply and widely into the social/political context we all share. Alas, in our increasingly virtual world, it’s easy to lose touch with the material one, leaving our poems boringly abstract and generic. However, if we give selected objects the concentrated attention a poem requires we can endow the fabricated, the constructed, the shiny or worn or broken object with symbolism that will provoke emotion in the reader. 


NoteTo get the most out of this workshop session, participants should bring writing materials/laptops and a manufactured object (or a photo of it) and be prepared to give it some concentrated attention and formal treatment.



Children's Author, Teacher, Novelist

Darcy Pattison is a Children’s book author and indie publisher DARCY PATTISON writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Five books have received starred PW, Kirkus, or BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, three Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book (CA Reading Assn.), two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, an Arkansiana Award, and the Susannah DeBlack Arkansas Children’s History Book award. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature. Her books have been translated into ten languages.


Always active, before her tenth birthday, she (almost) climbed the Continental Divide, turning back at the last twenty yards because it was too steep and great climbing shoes hadn’t been invented yet. She once rose a bicycle down a volcano in Bali, Indonesia and has often hiked the Rockies. She recently hiked New Zealand’s backcountry for a taste of Kiwi life, and then strolled the beaches of Australia. On her bucket list is kayaking the Nā Pali Coast of Hawaii and eating curry in Mumbai.



Learn the secrets of writing a successful fiction or nonfiction children's picture book. We'll look at how to choose popular topics, vocabulary levels, fitting into the school curriculum, and answer the pesky question, "Who is the real audience for this book?"



Learn the strategies of successful publishing using print-on-demand printing and ebooks to deliver great fiction or nonfiction to your readers. Bring your books to market with confidence that you'll make a profit.

Handout for Darcy's Sessions 
1. Writing Children's Picture Books- click here
2. Indie Publishing- click here

Young Adult Author

Ginny Myers Sain is the author of DARK AND SHALLOW LIES (2021) and SECRETS SO DEEP (2022), both from Razorbill Books/Penguin Teen. Her debut novel, DARK AND SHALLOW LIES, hit both the New York Times Bestseller List and the Independent Bookstore Bestseller List as well as winning the 2022 CRYSTAL KITE award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (Texas and Oklahoma Region) and the WHIPPOORWILL BOOK AWARD, which is given to recognize books honestly reflecting the complexity and diversity of rural life. 


Although she comes from a long line of writers, her first love has always been the theatre. She has a degree in theatre and has spent most of her career teaching acting and directing plays and musicals. ​Ginny's roots are deep in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but she currently lives in St. Cloud, Florida, with her teenage son and a wild goldendoodle puppy named Magnolia. When she is not working in the theatre or writing, you're likely to find her listening to true crime podcasts, taking pictures of alligators, eating tacos, traveling to spooky places, or hanging out at Walt Disney World. 


How Actors and Directors Use Physical Action...And How Writers Can Steal Their Techniques

Learn how theatre artists use physical action on stage to heighten tension, underscore important moments, deepen characterization, reveal relationships, and ground scenes in reality. Then get tips for applying those same stage techniques to your writing. 


 Keeping It Real: Writing Believable YA Dialogue  

Nothing pulls a reader into your story faster than really engaging and well-written dialogue. Voices that sound authentic and conversations that have the ring of truth immediately bring your characters to life on the page. When you're writing for young adults, that sense of authenticity is doubly important. Teens can spot bad dialogue a mile away, and nothing puts them off a book faster than young characters who sound all wrong. If your young adult dialogue is too immature or too stiff or too contrived or too cliched or too filled with short-lived slang, you've lost your reader almost immediately. But how does an adult write believable teen dialogue? In this workshop, New York Times Bestselling Author, Ginny Myers Sain, will share tips and exercises for creating realistic teen characters who speak from the heart. 

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Owner, Editor, The Wild Rose Press

Rhonda Penders is Editor-in-Chief of The Wild Rose Press. She and her business partner, RJ Morris, opened their publishing house in 2006 and continue to be the sole owners today. TWRP, as it is affectionately nicknamed, is a traditional publisher and works with authors of adult fiction and YA. They do not work with children’s books, poetry or memoir. 

In addition to being a home for traditionally published authors around the world, The Wild Rose Press also offers a la carte services to help for authors who wish to self publish. 

Penders has been on both sides of the query process and brings a special touch of compassion to authors. She believes that publishing is a team effort between the author, the editor, and the publisher. She has worked as a small town newspaper reporter, a confessional magazine writer, and is a published romance author. She enjoys talking with authors about their work and answering questions they have about the publishing process. Follow TWRP on Facebook at 

Twitter - @wildrosepress 

Instagram – Thewildrosepress


Where Does Your Story Start? 

In this interactive session, Rhonda will give gentle critiques on where your story needs to start. Attendees are to bring two, double-spaced, printed pages with them. She will keep them anonymous and read them in the session, then discuss if the story has a strong beginning or where it might be better to start. 


Senior Editor Youth Large Print for Thorndike Press, A Cengage Company

Tiffany Schofield, a University of Maine graduate, joined Thorndike Press in 1999. She currently manages Thorndike’s Youth Large Print program. 


Tiffany oversees the editorial process of acquiring large print rights from Trade publishing houses to 156 middle-grade and young adult novels annually, and 120 adult fiction projects for Thorndike’s large print western, romance, and women’s fiction lists. 


When Tiffany isn’t working, she’s either reading a good book, cuddling with her Goldendoodle dogs, or both. 


Learn more about Thorndike Press and Youth Large Print— 


The Secret of Showing Instead of Telling to Strengthen Your Manuscript 

This workshop will offer discussion, insights, and tools on how to elevate your writing style, develop your characters with action and engage your readers to keep those pages turning.

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