From cultivating ideas to making the sale, this track speaks to both new writers and those close to publication. We discuss all important aspects of this profession from craft — character, plot, voice, dialogue — to the business of how to find an agent and what to expect from your editor.

FACULTY

Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford

Fiction

Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His bestselling follow-up, Songs of Willow Frost, was praised by Pat Conroy: “Ford is a first-rate novelist. With his new book, he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears.” His work has been translated into 34 languages. He’s still holding out for Klingon (that’s when you know you’ve made it).

Conference note: Jamie Ford is available for seven short critiques.

CJ Box

CJ Box

Fiction

C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum. The novels have been translated into 27 languages. Open Season, Blue Heaven, Nowhere To Run, and The Highway have been optioned for film and television. Over ten million copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

Conference Note: CJ Box will be a featured speaker. He will not be doing critiques.Photo by Michael Smith.

Alyson Hagy

Alyson Hagy

Fiction

Alyson Hagy is the author of seven books including the story collection Ghosts of Wyoming (Graywolf Press, 2010) and the novel Boleto (Graywolf Press, 2012). Her newest novel, Scribe, will be published in 2018. Hagy’s work has been published in a number of journals and magazines, including Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Idaho Review, Drunken Boat, and the New York Times Magazine. Hagy has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. Her short stories have been awarded a Nelson Algren Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and been included in Best American Short Stories. Hagy currently lives in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches at the University of Wyoming. Recent interests include collaborations with visual artists, advocacy for land grant universities, hiking, snowshoeing, and stealthy fly-fishing

Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills

Fiction

Kyle Mills is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fifteen political thrillers. He recently took over writing the Mitch Rapp series for the late Vince Flynn and has also contributed books to a series created by Robert Ludlum. He initially found inspiration from his father, the former director of Interpol, and still draws on his contacts in the intelligence community to give his books such realism. Avid outdoor athletes, he and his wife have lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for over twenty years.

Marni Jackson

Marni Jackson

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction

Marni Jackson is a Toronto writer who has won numerous National Magazine Awards for her humour and social commentary. Her writing has appeared in publications that include Rolling Stone, Outside, the London Sunday Times, The Walrus, Utne Reader and Brick magazine. Pain: The Science and Culture of Why We Hurt (Random House, 2002) was nominated for the Writers’ Trust Pearson Nonfiction prize. The Mother Zone (Random House, Vintage Editions) was a Canadian bestseller. This memoir had a sequel of sorts in her second book about family culture, Home Free: The Myth of The Empty Nest (Dundurn). In 2016 she made her fiction debut with a collection of interlocking stories called Don’t I Know You?, published by Flatiron Books in NY. “The result is magic,” said reviewer Marissa Stapley in the Globe & Mail.

Tim Sandlin

Tim Sandlin

Fiction

Tim Sandlin is a novelist and screenwriter. His novels include Sex and Sunsets, Western Swing, Honey Don’t, Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty, Rowdy in Paris and the GroVont Quartet, including his newest novel, Lydia. Movie credits include the Showtime original Floating Away, based on Sorrow Floats, and Skipped Parts, a TriMark film. He is also a contributor to the New York Times Book Review and has judged several writing competitions, including the Western States Book Awards.

John Byrne Cooke

John Byrne Cooke

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction

John Byrne Cooke’s latest book is On The Road With Janis Joplin, his memoir of road managing Joplin from her first national tour through Europe, Woodstock, and Festival Express 1970. Publishers Weekly called the book "poignant and important...the most thorough exploration written about Joplin’s life." John won a Spur Award for his first novel, The Snowblind Moon. He is the author of two more historical novels, South of the Border and The Committee of Vigilance. He created and wrote the documentary series Outlaws and Lawmen for the Discovery Channel. His first book of nonfiction, Reporting The War: Freedom of the Press from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism, was published in 2007.

Mark Hummel

Mark Hummel

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Editor | Poetry

Mark Hummel is a novelist, essayist, editor, and writing teacher. His work has regularly appeared in a variety of literary journals including The Bloomsbury Review, Dogwood, Fugue, Talking River Review, Weber: The Contemporary West, and Zone 3. He is the author of the novel In the Chameleon’s Shadow and the story collection Lost and Found and is the editor of the nonfiction magazine bioStories. He lives in Montana’s Flathead Valley.

Patti Sherlock

Patti Sherlock

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Young Adult

Patti Sherlock‘s latest book, A Dog for All Seasons, St. Martin’s, 2010, describes her years with Duncan, a border collie who helped her on an Idaho sheep farm and saw her through many cycles of change. Sherlock has written two other nonfiction books and three novels for young adults. Letters from Wolfie, Penguin-Putnam, which won numerous awards, told the story of a 13-year-old boy who volunteered his dog to be a scout dog during the Vietnam war. Her other books are Taking Back Our Lives, a meditation book, Some Fine Dog and Four of a Kind, Holiday House, and Alone on the Mountain, Doubleday, which chronicled the life of western shepherds.

Catherine McKenzie

Catherine McKenzie

Fiction

Catherine McKenzie is the bestselling author of numerous books with one word titles such as Spin and Hidden. Her latest release is Fractured, a novel about a neighborhood gone wrong that Publishers’ Weekly called a "gripping thriller." She also recently released the companion novel, The Murder Game under the pseudonym, Julie Apple, who is also the protagonist in Fractured. Catherine lives and writes in Montreal, Canada, and looks forward every year to returning to Jackson Hole. She is at work on her eight novel.

Tina Welling

Tina Welling

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction

Tina Welling is the author of Writing Wild: Forming A Creative Partnership With Nature, and the novels Crybaby Ranch, Fairy Tale Blues, and Cowboys Never Cry. Her essays have been published in Shambhala Sun, The Writer, Body & Soul, and other national magazines, as well as six anthologies. she conducts writing and journaling workshops internationally and is a creative energy coach. Welling resides in Jackson Hole.

Lise McClendon

Lise McClendon

Fiction

Lise McClendon is the author of novels and short fiction, starting twenty years ago with The Bluejay Shaman, a mystery about a Jackson Hole art dealer. She wrote three more in that series, plus other series and stand-alone novels. She writes thrillers as Rory Tate — PLAN X is the latest — and runs Thalia Press. With four well-seasoned writers she co-wrote a dark, comic novel about a killer chef: Beat Slay Love. Her latest novel, The Things We Said Today, is the fourth in her Bennett Sisters Mysteries. She runs the pre-conference workshop for novelists with Deborah Turrell Atkinson. Lise lives in Montana.

David Riley Bertsch

David Riley Bertsch

Fiction

David Riley Bertsch, a native of Pittsburgh, graduated from Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Since 2009 he has lived in Jackson, Wyoming, where he is a professional fly-fishing guide. He is the author of Death Canyon and River of No Return, the first installments in the Jake Trent novels, set in Jackson Hole.

Deborah Turrell Atkinson

Deborah Turrell Atkinson

Fiction

Deborah Atkinson weaves the legends and folklore of Hawaii into suspense-filled contemporary crime fiction. Atkinson lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a member of Sisters in Crime, Authors Guild, and Mystery Writers of America. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, University of Iowa Writers’ Summer Workshop, and a recipient of the University of Hawaii’s Meryl Clark Award for Fiction. Her books include Primitive Secrets, which is the introduction to the Storm Kayama series, The Green Room, which was a Book Sense Notable pick, Fire Prayer, and Pleasing the Dead.

Susan Marsh

Susan Marsh

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction

Susan Marsh lives in Jackson, Wyoming. With degrees in geology and landscape architecture and a lifelong interest in creative writing, she has combined her interests into a body of work that explores the relationship of humans to the wild. Her work has appeared in journals that include Orion, North American Review, and Fourth Genre, and in many anthologies. Her books include her award-winning novel War Creek, A Hunger for High Country, Cache Creek: A Trailside Guide to Jackson Hole’s Backyard Wilderness, and Saving Wyoming’s Hoback.

Tiffanie DeBartolo

Tiffanie DeBartolo

Fiction

Tiffanie DeBartolo is the author of two novels (God-Shaped Hole which will be released in a new edition in May and How To Kill A Rock Star) and one film ( Dream For An Insomniac). She is also the founder of Bright Antenna Records and the ShineMaker Foundation. In her spare time, Tiffanie is a traveler, poet, chef, runner, yogi, hiker, biker, sister, friend, lover, dreamer and style icon. U2 has been her favorite band for over three and a half decades and she swears that everything she knows about life, love, faith, hope and philanthropy she learned from Bono. She is currently working on her third novel.

Shawn Klomparens

Shawn Klomparens

Fiction

Shawn Klomparens is the author of the novels Jessica Z and Two Years, No Rain. He studied English literature and geological sciences at Ohio University before moving to Wyoming

Deanna Neill

Deanna Neill

Fiction

Deanna Neil is the award-winning author of The Land of Curiosities, a young adult, historical fiction trilogy about Yellowstone. She also penned Time For Parks, an illustrated children’s book, and co-founded of The EcoSeekers, an independent publishing company to engage kids with the outdoors. Her books garnered 12 awards including a Nautilus, Benjamin Franklin and Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, and the 2015 Living Now Evergreen Medal, commemorating “world-changing books published since the year 2000.” Time Magazine for Kids named Neil a 2008 "Hero for the Planet.” Her play Fracturing, an adaptation of Ibsen‘s Enemy of the People was produced Off-Off-Broadway, in universities, and workshopped at Jackson Hole’s Off Square Theatre. As a journalist, Neil worked for the Air America Radio network, NPR, KCET and blogged for the Huffington Post.

Deborah Garner

Deborah Garner

Fiction

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer, with credits including The Boston Globe and Country Discoveries magazine. In 2004, the fiction bug bit her, resulting in The Paige MacKenzie Mysteries: Above the Bridge, The Moonglow Cafe, Three Silver Doves, and Hutchins Creek Cache. A standalone, Cranberry Bluff, led to The Sadie Kramer Flair Mysteries: A Flair for Chardonnay, and A Flair for Drama. Christmas novellas include Mistletoe at Moonglow and Silver Bells at Moonglow. A member of Sisters in Crime, she divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.