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2017 Conference Faculty


Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She's the co-founder of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer's Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane's essays have been published in anthologies by Seal Press, Milkweed Editions, and McPherson & Co. She has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018). 


Stephanie Pitts is an editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. Prior to joining the team at Putnam, Stephanie worked at Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. She once pulled a darling picture book manuscript, Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, out of the slush pile. It published to four starred reviews and was named an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Book. Some recent projects include the middle grade novels My Brother’s Shadow and Not as We Know It, both by Tom Avery, and the picture book Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph by Lucy Margaret Rozier and illustrated by Leo Espinosa.


Nicole Resciniti has been listed by Publisher's Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country and named ACFW's 2012 Agent of the She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors take their career to the next level. Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent?

HEA’s are a must for romance. Mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece. Currently on her wish listhigh concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in YA.

PAUL LUCAS         

Paul started representing authors at Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 2011 after serving time in the legal department. He represents a broad swath of non fiction, including travel, nature, science, political, history and financial; as well as upmarket, science fiction & fantasy and thrillers on the fiction side. Clients include Robert Baer, Porter Fox, Brooke Borel, Phillipe Girard, R.A. Salvatore, Katherine Arden, James Islington and 3rd most famous Benjamin Schwartz on the internet. He loves when captivating writing and wonderful stories meet, especially when the combination appears in a blind query in his inbox. He likes snow and has mixed feelings about long walks on beaches.


Always an adventurer in life as well as writing, best-selling author Cherry Adair moved halfway across the globe from Cape Town, South Africa to the United States. She settled in beautiful San Francisco, where she started what eventually became a thriving interior design business. "I loved being a designer because it was varied and creative, and I enjoyed working with the public." A voracious reader when she was able to carve out the time, Cherry found her brain crowded with characters and stories of her own. "Eventually," she says, "the stories demanded to be told." 

Cherry writes five to seven hours a day, six days a week. When asked why she chooses to write romantic suspense, she says, "Who says you can't have adventure and a great love life? Of course if you’re talking about an adventurous love life, that's another thing altogether. Actually I write romantic suspense with adventure because I like to entertain and nothing keeps readers happier than a rapid pulse with a happy ending."

KRIS FARMEN         

Kris Farmen is a surfer, writer, and historian. He was born in Alaska and grew up both in a house in Anchorage and in various wall tents and plywood shacks in the bush. He has lived most of his life in Alaska, except for a two year residence in Adelaide, South Australia. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, and his first novel, The Devil’s Share, is currently available from McRoy & Blackburn. His literary influences include Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jim Harrison, Peter Carey, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Flanagan, Italo Calvino, Jack London, Peter Matthiessen, and Cormac McCarthy, among many others.

Kris travels a lot, but the closest thing he has to a permanent home is his homestead cabin on the lower Kenai Peninsula.


Lizbeth Meredith is an Anchorage-based writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in psychology. She has worked as a domestic violence advocate and a child abuse investigator, and with at-risk teens as a juvenile probation supervisor.

Lizbeth published Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters, a 2017 IPPY Award silver medalist for memoir/personal struggles. She published When Push Comes to Shove: How to Help When Someone You Love is Being Abused on Amazon and Nook, and is a contributor to A Girl’s Guide to Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson.You can contact her at or on Facebook at or on Twitter at Lizbeth Meredith@LizbethMeredith.

JIM MISKO         

James A. Misko was born and raised in Ord, Nebraska in the midst of the Great Depression. After WWII his family moved to Oregon where he graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in Human Development and where he met and married his wife, Patti. 

In 2003 he began full time writing. FOR WHAT HE COULD BECOME was his first novel. His second novel, THE MOST EXPENSIVE MISTRESS IN JEFFERSON COUNTY came out in 2007, THE CUT OF PRIDE, in 2011, AS ALL MY FATHERS WERE in 2014. And his latest novel, THE PATH OF THE WIND, was published in 2017. He is currently working on TOMORROW IS MY DAY, a novel about the first white settlers in the Coachella Valley, in California.

            Jim and Patti live in Alaska during the summer and California during the winter.  


Barbara Lavallee has lived in Alaska since 1970, when she moved here to teach art at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. Her experience there enabled her to see village life through the eyes of students; the result is an idealized, stylized imagery  that celebrates the joy, resilience, and hard work that characterizes the lives of Alaskans.


Karen Kiely is a lifelong Alaskan who has never lived in an igloo and doesn’t know anyone who has. Her current project started out as a standalone contemporary romance but has become a series due to minor characters gone rogue. Once upon a time, Karen’s alter-ego was paid for the privilege of selecting all fiction for her public library. In her spare moments, she reads, travels, and hopes the Chicago White Sox will win another World Series in her lifetime.


Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught for twenty years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering at her local library. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


Colleen is a retired Air Force officer and engineer, an author of YA fantasy, and an associate agent and PR manager at Inklings Literary Agency.


Tam Linsey also writes paranormal fantasy romance as Tamsin Ley, penning worlds full of sexy heroes who don’t know they need a mate - that is, until they meet the woman they can’t resist. The romance is sizzling hot, a surprise twist waits around every corner, and the stories will never leave you hanging. You can learn more about her romance writing at


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