2019 Conference Tentative Schedule

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Check-in and Walk-in Registration Open
Conference programs and appointment schedules will be available for registered participants upon check-in.

8 am–5 pm

Preconference Workshops

9–11 am

Appointment Tables Open
If editors and agents have openings, additional appointments can be scheduled for a fee. Changes are not permitted.

11:30 am–6 pm

Lunch Break

11:45 am–12:45 pm

Welcome by College of Extended Studies, SDSU
Introductions by Erin Quinn, Best-selling Author and Conference Director
Opening Session Speaker

1–2 pm

Breakout Sessions

2:15–3:15 pm

Breakout Sessions

3:30–4:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

4:45–5:45 pm

Opening Night Mixer

6–7:30 pm

Breakout Session

7:30–9 pm

Friday, February 1, 2019

Check-in Open

7:30 am–5 pm

Continental Breakfast

7:30–8:30 am

Appointment Tables Open
If editors and agents have openings, additional appointments can be scheduled for a fee. No new appointments scheduled after 10 am. Changes are not permitted.

7:30–10 am

Keynote Speaker

8:30–9:30 am

Breakout Sessions

9:45–10:45 am

Breakout Sessions

11 am–12 pm


12:15–1:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

1:45–2:45 pm

Breakout Sessions

3–4 pm

Breakout Sessions

4:15–5:15 pm

Reception for all conference participants and faculty.

5:30–7 pm

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Continental Breakfast

7:30–8:30 am

Information Table Open Conference evaluation drop-off.

8 am–12 pm

Keynote Speaker

9–9:50 am

Conference Choice Awards Presentation

9:50–10:15 am

Breakout Sessions

10:30–11:30 am

Lunch break

11:45 am–12:45 pm

Breakout Sessions

12:45–1:45 pm

Breakout Sessions

2–3 pm

Closing Comments and Farewell — Best-selling Author and Conference Director, Erin Quinn

3:15–4:45 pm


2019 Program

Coming Soon


2019 Speakers

Coming Soon


Past Keynote Speakers


Past Speakers


JenniferCoburnJennifer Coburn

Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today best-selling author of six novels and the mother-daughter travel memoir We’ll Always Have Paris. She has published articles in the Washington Post, Newsday, Mothering, and dozens of regional and national of newspapers and magazines. Coburn is also a public relations consultant who helps develop social and traditional media strategies to heighten visibility for authors and their work. She loves to travel, read, overeat, and sob foolishly while watching American Idol (et. al.) auditions.


Katie DelahantyKatie Delahanty

Katie Delahanty is a fashion designer turned novelist and author of The Brightside Series. She holds a B.A. in communication studies from UCLA and a professional designation in fashion design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic recession-induced career shift forced her to start her employer’s lingerie blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she wrote it as a fictional serial. Two entries per week, two years, and thousands of character tweets later, she ended up with a three-book deal. Believe, the third book in the series, will release in October, 2016.


Debra DeyanDebra Deyan

Debra Deyan is a 26-year veteran producer of audiobooks and owner of Deyan Audio, the world’s largest independent producer of audiobooks, working for over 30 publishers. She has won numerous awards including five Grammys, 11 Grammy nominations, countless Audies, Odyssey Carnegie and Earphone awards. Deyan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from the APA in 2013 for her efforts in helping pioneer the audiobook industry. She owns two Los Angeles recording studios, a video game/interactive toy venture, and co-founded an institute which teaches audiobook narration and production. She serves on the board of directors of the ALS Association Golden West Chapter.


Kathi DiamantKathi Diamant

Kathi Diamant is an author, speaker, teacher, broadcaster, and adjunct professor at San Diego State University, where she teaches writing and directs the SDSU Kafka Project, the search to find the lost last work of Franz Kafka. Her critically acclaimed, award winning biography, Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant, has been published in the U.S. and U.K., and in translations in Spain, France, Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, Albania, Turkey, and Czechoslovakia. Diamant has presented her book internationally since 2003, taught writing classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU since 2008, and currently teaches workshops for authors through Authorpreneurs™.


Scott FarrellScott Farrell
Scott Farrell is the director of the Chivalry Today historical martial arts educational program; teaching artist with Intrepid Theatre Company’s "Shakespeare For A New Generation" educational tour; and author of hundreds of books, articles, essays, and short stories published in print and online all over the world.


Sheri FinkSheri Fink

Sheri Fink is an inspirational speaker, a No. 1 best-selling author, an award-winning entrepreneur, and the creator of The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink brand. She writes books that inspire and delight kids of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem. All five of her children’s books have become No. 1 best sellers, including The Little Rose which was a No. 1 Amazon best seller for over 60 weeks. Her debut novel, Cake in Bed, is a contemporary romance that empowers women to be their authentic selves and not settle for less than they deserve in life or in love. Discover more about her at SheriFink.com.


George GaldorisiGeorge Galdorisi
George Galdorisi has written 12 books published by mainstream publishers, including The New York Times best-seller Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor; and the novelization of the Relativity Media film, The Kissing Sailor, which proved the identity of the two principals in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph. His latest project, with St. Martin’s Press, is a rebooted Tom Clancy’s Op-Center series. Four Tom Clancy’s Op-Center books are either published or in production: Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire, Scorched Earth, and Dark Zone. Galdorisi’s last three novels: Act of Valor, Out of the Ashes, and Into the Fire, are New York Times best sellers.


Neal GriffinNeal Griffin
Neal Griffin is a 27-year veteran of Southern California law enforcement and graduate of the FBI National Academy where he studied forensic science and police ethics. His debut novel, Benefit of the Doubt, published by Forge, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Booklist wrote, “Boasts the creepy, dangerous feel of the film Cape Fear.” His latest novel, A Voice from the Field, features the return of Detective Tia Suarez, who Publishers Weekly call “a decent cop trying to do her duty.” Joe Hartlaub of Bookreporter wrote “Neal Griffin is the real deal.”


Marjorie HartMarjorie Hart

New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Hart, is the former chairman of the Fine Arts Department at the University of San Diego, a professional cellist, and author of Summer at Tiffany. She lives in San Diego, California.


J.A. JanceJ.A. Jance

J.A. Jance is a top-10 New York Times best-selling author who has spent the last 30 years writing more than 50 books in four separate series — the J.P. Beaumont mysteries, the Joanna Brady mysteries, and the Ali Reynolds mysteries along with five inter-related thrillers featuring the Walker Family.

She is also the author of a volume of poetry, After the Fire. Born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona, she and her husband divide their time between homes in Tucson, Arizona, and Bellevue, Washington.


Kim JonesKim Jones
Kim L. Jones is a 30-year intelligence, security, and risk management professional with expertise in information security strategy; governance and compliance; security operations; and risk management. A sought-after speaker and industry thought leader, Professor Jones is a former chief information security officer who has built, operated, and/or managed information security programs within the financial services, defense, health care, manufacturing, and business outsourcing industries. Jones holds a bachelor’s in computer science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a masters’ in information assurance from Norwich University. He also holds the CISM and CISSP certifications.


Leslie JonesLeslie Jones
Award-winning and RITA®-nominated author Leslie Jones writes military romantic suspense because she loves sexy alpha heroes and strong heroines. She is grateful to the men and women of our armed forces for their dedication and sacrifice. She draws on her 11 years as an Army intelligence officer as she writes. She’s lived in Alaska, Korea, Belgium, Germany, and other exotic locations (including New Jersey). She now resides permanently in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her books can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and HarperCollins Publishers. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at LeslieJonesBooks.com.


Asa KeefeAsa Keefe
Asa Keefe is a patrol officer with the San Diego Police Department. Prior to joining the PD, he served five years in the United State Marine Corp infantry, three of them as a scout sniper. He is an expert on weapons and tactics and will bring 16 years of experience along with a weapons display.


Sherrilyn KenyonSherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a New York Times and international best-selling author — a regular at the No. 1 spot. With legions of fans known as Menyons (thousands of whom proudly sport tattoos from her series and who travel from all over the world to attend her appearances), her books are always snatched up as soon as they appear on store shelves. Since 2003, she had placed more than 75 novels on The New York Times list in all formats including manga and graphic novels.

Current series are: Dark-Hunter, Chronicles of Nick, Deadman’s Cross, Lords of Avalon, and The League. Her books are available in over 100 countries where eager fans impatiently wait for the next release. The Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures, while Dark-Hunter, Lords of Avalon and The League are being developed for television.


David LarsonDavid Larson

An award-winning former Fortune 500 marketing executive, David Larson has penned fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, nonfiction (memoir/biography and how-to), screenplays, and songs. His biography, The Last Jewish Gangster, has been optioned to develop into a TV series. Current projects include ghostwriting two biographies/memoirs, the second true-story tome of The Last Jewish Gangster, and completing the fictional five-part series of The Jennings Papers (West: Journey Across the Plains and Mr. Meeks, His Life and Times). He’s a staunch believer in creating unique voices and finding new ways to tell compelling stories.


Jason LautenschlegerJason Lautenschleger

Following careers as a musician and app developer, Jason Lautenschleger is currently the director of development for Adam Levine’s 222 Productions at Universal Studios. In addition to creating TV shows, he serves weekly as co-host of the Creative Confidants podcast and daily as co-creator of Game Night in a Can. This fall, he will be releasing his first book, the workplace memoir My Life Is in That Phone.


Jonathan MaberryJonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling author, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, and comic book writer. He writes in multiple genres including: suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, action, and steampunk, for adults and teens.

His works include the Joe Ledger thrillers, Rot & Ruin, Vault of Shadows, X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate, and Captain America. He writes comics for Marvel, Dark Horse, and IDW. He is also the editor of several high-profile anthologies including The X-Files, V-Wars, Out of Tune, Baker Street Irregular, Nights of the Living Dead, and Scary Out There. Several of his works are in development for movies and TV, and there is a table-top board game based on his novels and comics.

Maberry is a popular workshop leader, keynote speaker, and writing teacher. He lives in Del Mar, California. Find him online at JonathanMaberry.com.


Bob MayerBob Mayer

Bob Mayer is a New York Times Best-selling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret and the feeder of two Yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had more than 60 books published including the No. 1 series Time Patrol, The Green Berets, Area 51, and Atlantis. Born in the Bronx, having travelled the world (usually not tourist spots), Mayer now lives peacefully with his wife (and collaborator), and said labs.


Susan McBethSusan McBeth

Susan McBeth has a decade of experience working with authors, publishers, publicists, agents, and readers. Her experience and creativity led her to develop Adventures by the Book™, a dynamic brand of literary events and travels, as well as AuthorPreneurs™, offering a host of entrepreneurial support services to help authors connect with readers. She is a contributor to Everyday Book Marketing, has been featured on NBC San Diego, KPBS, Reading with Robin Radio, Women’s Radio, and in The San Diego Union-Tribune, and San Diego Magazine. She is a facilitator for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU, a member of Writing Women, and sits on the KPBS One Book, One San Diego committee .


Barry McLaughlinBarry McLaughlin

Barry McLaughlin loves games so much that he’s been on 10 game shows, including winning the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right. He writes commercials for a living, but please don’t hold that against him. Oh, and his house burned down when he was a baby. True story. (Did he make it out alive? We’ll never know ...)


Rachel MooreRachel Moore

Rachel Moore, MA, MFTI, holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She worked as a newspaper copy editor for 14 years, most recently as a member of The San Diego Union-Tribune staff that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. Moore shifted careers in 2010 and is now a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern, seeing clients in private practice at the Therapeutic Center for Anxiety and Trauma in San Diego. Her specialty is helping writers, artists, and musicians overcome creative anxiety. Her website is RachelMooreCounseling.com.


Gina MulliganGina Mulligan

Gina L. Mulligan began her writing career more than 20 years ago as a freelance journalist for national magazines. Her short stories have appeared in Star 82 Review and Storyacious, were performed at Stories on Stage Sacramento, and were included in the anthology Not Your Mother’s Book ... on Dogs. She’s won awards from the Abilene Writers Guild, San Francisco LitQuake, and the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition. Mulligan is the author of two historical novels, Remember the Ladies and From Across The Room.


P.J. OchlanP.J. Ochlan

P.J. Ochlan is a multiple award-winning narrator of more than 200 audiobooks, a number of which he has also produced. His acting career spans 30 years and has included Broadway, the New York Shakespeare Festival, critically acclaimed feature films, and television series regular roles. He has worked with countless icons including Jodie Foster, Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, and Garry Marshall. As an instructor, Ochlan is the founder of DrDialect.com and works as a dialect and performance coach for film, television, stage, and voice-over for audiobooks. He is the co-founder of the Deyan Institute in Los Angeles and has taught from coast to coast at conferences and universities.


Jennifer PooleyJennifer Pooley

Since 2010, Jennifer Pooley has been an independent book editor based in Los Angeles, and also represents novelist Katie Delahanty through the Bent Agency. Previously, she spent 12 years in the New York City book world with HarperCollins Publishers, where she was most recently a senior editor acquiring for imprints William Morrow and Harper Perennial. In 2006, she discovered Marjorie Hart’s New York Times bestseller, Summer at Tiffany, at the SDSU Writers’ Conference and bought the book based on the opening pages she received at Hart’s SDSU advance reading appointment — a publishing fairy tale come true. Find her online at JenniferPooley.com and @jenniferpooley.


Penny SansevieriPenny Sansevieri

Penny C. Sansevieri, founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an adjunct professor teaching self-publishing for NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative social media/internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of 14 books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity. For more information, visit AMarketingExpert.com.


Sharon SkinnerSharon Skinner

Sharon Skinner holds a B.A. in English, an M.A. in creative writing, and a poetic license. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and serves as the regional advisor for SCBWI Arizona. She is the author of two middle-grade novels, The Nelig Stones and Mirabella and the Faded Phantom; a young adult series that includes The Healer’s Legacy and The Matriarch’s Devise; and a variety of poetry and short fiction. Her debut picture book, currently under contract, is dedicated to her debut grandchild. Learn more at sharonskinner.com.


Justin SloanJustin Sloan

Justin Sloan has written on such video games as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. His novels include Falls of Redemption, Allie Strom and the Tenth Worthy, and Teddy Bears in Monsterland. After five years in the Marines, Sloan studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins and screenwriting at the UCLA.


RL StineR.L. Stine

R.L. Stine is one of the best-selling children’s authors in history. In July 1992, Scholastic introduced his Goosebumps book series with Welcome to Dead House. These many years later, Goosebumps is now one of the best-selling children’s series of all-time — with more than 350 million English-language books in print, plus an additional 50+ million international copies in 32 languages. The Goosebumps series made R.L. Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity (and Jeopardy answer).

His other popular children’s book series include Fear Street (recently revived with all new books, thanks to pleas from fans on Twitter), Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Rotten School. Other titles include: It’s The First Day of School Forever, A Midsummer Night’s Scream, and his first picture book, with Marc Brown — The Little Shop of Monsters.

The Goosebumps TV show was the number-one children’s show in America for three years. The episodes can still be seen on Netflix. More recently, R.L.’s anthology TV series, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, won the Emmy Award three years in a row as Best Children’s Show. A Goosebumps feature film starring Jack Black was released from Sony/Columbia Pictures & Scholastic Media in October 2015.

R.L. Stine lives in New York City with his wife Jane, an editor and publisher. You can connect with him on Twitter @RL_Stine, and Facebook. For more information, visit RLStine.com and scholastic.com/goosebumps.


Jeniffer ThompsonJeniffer Thompson

Jeniffer Thompson is a publishing consultant and author branding expert. She is the founder and principal at Monkey C Media, a leading book services firm specializing in book design, author websites, and Internet marketing strategy. She is also an author and speaker and serves on the board of Publishers and Writers of San Diego, an IBPA affiliate. Thompson has more than 20 years’ experience in publishing and would love to help you navigate your publishing journey. Read her marketing blog at JenifferThompson.com and learn more about her company at MonkeyCmedia.com


Jeff ThurmanJeff Thurman
During a 26-year career as a special agent with the FBI, Thurman worked a wide variety of areas of criminal investigation, including bank robberies, fugitives, human trafficking, narcotics, and forensic crime-scene investigations. Prior to joining the FBI, he served eight years in the Army as a field artillery forward observer and helicopter pilot. Now retired, he lives in the San Diego area.


Ken WaltherKen Walther
Ken Walther served 27 years in the CIA as a technical operations officer involved in clandestine operations on five continents and in 102 countries. His group was the operational component of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, building and deploying what is typically referred to as "spy gear." Prior to the CIA, Walther was in the Army Security Agency where he spent three years in Southeast Asia as a tactical SIGINT operator. After the agency, he retired in Las Vegas and formed the first sub-surface laser engraving company, putting 3-D images inside crystal and other transparent materials. He is now co-founder of an anti-human trafficking organization called Awareness is Prevention. His next project is to write books on some of the more interesting operations run against terrorists, espionage personalities, narcotics warlords, and other targets of U.S. government interest.



Past Panels & Breakout Sessions Have Included

  • How to Write an Effective Hook
  • So, You Want To Be A Writer? (Beginners)
  • AuthorPreneurs Panel
  • From the Page to the Studio: Transforming Your Book into an Audiobook
  • Author Marketing Secrets: How to Authentically Connect with Your Readers through Social Media & Beyond
  • Adapting Your Book for Television or the Big Screen
  • Game Night in a Can: Literary Madness
  • The Original Idea: The Heart of Your Story and Key to Selling Your Book and Conflict: The Fuel of Your Story
  • Outlining and Plot: The Events of Your Story
  • Point of View: The Voice of Your Story
  • Self-Publishing — What Are Your Options?
  • E-pub, POD and the Future of Publishing for the Writer
  • Unlocking Writer’s Block
  • Getting Your Query Through the Slush Pile from Someone Who’s Done it Twice
  • Writing Historical Fiction in a Modern World
  • The Business of Books: What You Need to Know about the Publishing Industry
  • Super Fans — The Secrets to Selling More Books
  • Middle-Grade Fiction: How Does My Story Fit and Where?
  • Picture Books as Mentor Texts: Using Successful Picture Books to Guide How You Tell Your Story
  • Picture Books: The Complete Story
  • Inside/Out: Emotion and Sensory Detail in Middle-Grade and Children’s Fiction
  • The Multimedia Writer
  • Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing
  • From Company Blog to Three-Book Deal
  • An SDSU Fairy Tale
  • The Art of the Book Pitch: Sell It Face-To-Face with a Killer Pitch
  • Ask the Experts: FBI, CIA, Police, Military, and Weapons Q & A
  • The Shape of Things to Come
  • Panel: The View from the Top: Lessons Learned and Everyday Challenges from Two No. 1 NYT Best-Selling Authors
  • Panel: Writing for Children and Young Adults
  • Panel: The Author/Agent Relationship
  • How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal That Catches an Agent’s Eye
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People in Genre Publishing
  • Secrets of the Nonfiction Market
  • How Authors Go From Fingers on Their Keyboards to Dollars in Their Bank Accounts