Scheduled Speakers

Key Note Speakers

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Jodi Thomas


With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 50 novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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Linda Apple

Linda 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. She has taught workshops across the Midwest and East coast of the United States and in the United Kingdom. She also tells her stories through fiction. Her books, Women of Washington Avenue and Avalee’s Gift, are the first two books in her Moonlight Mississippi series. She is currently working on book three. In addition to writing, she is also a motivational speaker. Her desire is to encourage, affirm, nurture talent, and equip people in order to help them achieve their goals and follow their dreams. (Nonfiction)

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