Register to attend the 2015 S.B. Writers Conference

Be regular & orderly in your life…so that you may be violent & original in your work. – Gustave Flaubert

- Lisa Lenard-Cook

From Our Blog

SwirlPanels and Panelist Bios

2015 Panels will Include:

June 8 • Nonfiction
June 9 • Agent/Editor Panel
June 10 • Mystery Panel
June 11 • First Book Panel
June 12 • Building Your Author Platform Panel


Nonfiction Panel
Monday, June 8th at 4 PM

Moderated by Susan Miles Gulbransen

Nonfiction has often been called the "bread and butter" of the publishing industry. Writers, whether they are supplementing their income by contributing to magazines or pursing a full-time career as a journalist, can engage in many forms of nonfiction writing. This panel will cover the how-tos of writing for magazines, newspapers, and online media. Panelists TBA.


Agent/Editor Panels
Tuesday, June 9th at 4 PM

Moderated by Fred Klein and Marla Miller

Agents and Editors will discuss querying etiquette, finding the right agent/editor, tips on attracting an agent, also, what should the writer know before becoming a client, or “writer bewares”. They will also touch on trends and changes in the marketplace, the future of publishing as they see it, and how the role of the agent/editor has evolved. 

Look for Agent/Editor bios on the Advance Submissions & Agents page


Mystery Panel
Wednesday, June 10th at 4 PM

Every story starts with a mystery: how, why, when, or who? Whether it be the mystery of the human heart or an unsolved murder, solving that mystery is often what keeps readers engaged. We'll hear from mystery writers on plotting, character, and seemingly genre-specific tricks that can be applyed to all forms of fiction and nonfiction. Panelists TBA.


First Book Panel
Thursday, June 11th at 4 PM

Moderated by Lorelei Armstrong

This panel focuses on the excitement, the investment, and the trials and tribulations of a being first time novelist. What would you have done differently had you only known? Panelists, whether working with a major publishing house or small press, will discuss their experiences throughout the publishing process: agents, editors, publicity, book signings, and reviews. Panelists include:


Ara Grigorian

Ara Grigorian is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from University of Southern California where he specialized in marketing and entrepreneurship. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children’s television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn’t) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later). Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories targeted to adult and new adult readers. His debut novel, Game of Love, will be published May, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press.


Trey Dowell

Trey Dowell brought the first twenty pages of a sci-fi/thriller novel called Aphrodite Way to the SBWC in 2011. A year later, he brought the completed manuscript to SBWC and won a prize in the fiction category, which softened the blow of hearing an agent say “I just don’t get it” during his first-ever pitch session. Luckily, another agent did “get it,” and the following year, Simon & Schuster bought that manuscript to be part of a new imprint: Simon451—a speculative fiction imprint named in honor of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Dowell’s debut novel, retitled The Protectors, was one of four titles that officially launched the Simon451 line in October of 2014. He graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he now resides—working feverishly on his next novel.



Building Your Author Platform Panel
Thursday, June 12th at 4 PM

Moderated by Marla Miller

Whether you are published or unpublished, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the waterfall of opportunity and possibility in today’s world of online media. Panelists will discuss the multimedia tools available for promoting your writing and yourself as an author, tips on building an audience, and how to find a balance between writing and your online presence. Panelists TBA.