Authors, agents, and publishers to speak at Pocono Writers Conference

Speakers will review and critique work for attendees in special break-out sessions


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  • Clockwise from top left: Kate Moretti, Ian Randal Strock, Michael A. Ventrella, William Reeves, and Damon Suede



— The fifth annual Pocono Writers Conference is a great opportunity for area writers to hear accomplished authors, agents, and publishers speak on aspects of the writing craft. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at Hughes Library (Eastern Monroe Public Library), Stroudsburg.

The conference is free but since space is limited, registration is required.

Speakers will host break-out sessions during which they will review and critique work for the attendees. The fee to enroll in these sessions is $20 per session. To register visit poconoliarsclub.wordpress.com.

This year’s group of speakers includes:

Kate Moretti, the New York Times Bestselling author of four novels and a novella, including "While You Were Gone," "Binds That Tie," and "Blackbird Season." Her first novel, "Thought I Knew You," was a New York Times bestseller. "The Vanishing Year" was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards Mystery/Thriller category for 2016 and was called “chillingly satisfying.” (Publisher’s Weekly) with “superb” closing twists (New York Times Book Review). She lives in Pennsylvania in an old farmhouse with her husband, two children and no known ghosts. Her lifelong dream is to find a secret passageway. Visit her at katemoretti.com. Her topic at the conference will be: Marketing Made Simple(r).

William Reeves joined the Virginia Kidd Agency in Milford in 2014. Marveling at all the literature contained within the walls at “Arrowhead,” he told the assistant at the time that he would soon be taking his job. He did just that. Working his way up from assistant, to associate agent, to agent, it didn’t really hit him that he was working at quite possibly the coolest place in the world until he found himself eating dinner with some of the folks from Tor — and comparing pocket knives with Gene Wolfe. Although he loves many different facets of science fiction and fantasy, he would never have realized it if it weren’t for his Grandpa introducing him to Star Wars and Michael Crichton in fifth grade. His topic will be: Why You Need an Agent (and How NOT to get one).

Ian Randal Strock is the owner and publisher of Gray Rabbit Publications/Fantastic Books. He previously worked for Baen Books, edited manuscripts that were later published by Alyson, Doubleday, and Padwolf, and has extensive magazine publishing and editing experience (including stints at Artemis, Analog, Asimov’s, Absolute Magnitude, Science Fiction Chronicle, KISS, The Daily Free Press, and more. As a writer, his books have been published by Random House and Carrel Books, while his short fiction has appeared in Analog and Nature. Full details on Ian can be found on IanRandalStrock.com. His topic at the conference will be: Turning Your Manuscript Into a Book: Traditional, Small Press, or Self-publishing.

Damon Suede, though new to romance fiction, has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com. His topic at the conference will be: Building Character.

Michael A. Ventrella is a Stroudsburg writer with three novels so far, the most recent being "Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President." He edits the “Tales of Fortannis” anthologies as well as the “Baker Street Irregulars” anthologies, co-edited with New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry. At his web page (MichaelAVentrella.com), he interviews writers and editors and gives advice for the starting writer. He will introduce the program and host the Q&A panel discussion closing the program.

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