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From Our Blog

Agent/Editor Panels

Tuesday, June 20 at 4:00 p.m.

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. 

In El Cabrillo 

Moderator: Fred Klein 
Amy Cloughley - Kimberley Cameron & Associates
Julie Hill — Julie Hill Literary Agency in Del Mar
Toni Lopopolo — Toni Lopopolo Literary Management
Ken Sherman — Ken Sherman & Associates
BJ Robbins — BJ Robbins Literary Agency in North Hollywood 

In Vista III

Moderator: Michael Larsen 
Annie Bomke — Annie Bomke in San Diego
Paul Fedorko — N.S. Bienstock, Inc.
Eric Myers — Myers Literary Management
Patricia Nelson — Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Angela Rinaldi — The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency

New Book Panel: 4 Authors Celebrate 4 Forms of Writing

Wednesday, June 21 at 4:00 p.m. Signing at 5-6:00 p.m.

Moderator: Lorelei Armstrong
1. Nonfiction: Write! Find the Truth in your Fiction — Gerald DiPego
2. Fiction: Faith Countryman — Lori Hartman Gervasi
3. Essay collection: Eat Live Love Die — Betty Fussell
4. Poetry: Antidote for Night — Marsha de la O

Gerald DiPego

Gerald DiPego Gerald DiPego is a prolific working author with 5 novels and 33 produced screenplays among his credits. His most recent film, Words & Pictures, staring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, was released in 2014. In 2015, his play, 154 and Paradise, had an eight-performance booking at Santa Barbara’s Center Stage. He has also taught at writing conferences around the country in order to share what he loves to do. Everything he learned in 45 years of professional creative writing has been poured into Write! Find the Truth in your Fiction. So when he gives advice on writing, it makes sense to pay attention. There are chapters that bring you from that first moment of inspiration to the end of your short story, novel, screenplay or stage play. The book is a conversation with all the people who want to be professional creative writers. 

Marsha de la O

Marsha de l O

Marsha de la O’s latest book, Antidote for Night, won the 2015 Isabella Gardner Award and was published by BOA Editions. Her first book, Black Hope was awarded the New Issues Press Poetry Prize and a Small Press Editors’ Choice Award. Her work is anthologized in Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Pacific Coast Poetry Series), as well as Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals (Ballantine), Saying What Needs to Be Said (Solo Press), Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California (Greenhouse Review Press), and the poetry workshop handbook, One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form (Lynx House Press). She was the recipient of the 2014 Morton Marcus Poetry Prize. De la O lives in Ventura, California, with her husband, poet and editor, Phil Taggart. Together, they produce poetry readings and events in Ventura County and are also the editors and publishers of the literary journal, Askew.

Lori Hartman Gervasi

Lori Hartman Gervasi

Lori Hartman Gervasi worked on-air and behind the scenes as a television journalist for ABC News and Channel 9 News in Los Angeles for 10 years. She is a black belt in karate and the author of the nonfiction book, Fight Like a Girl…and Win: Defense Decisions for Women (St. Martin’s Press). Faith Countryman is her first novel (Waterfall Press). She has appeared on NBC Television’s Weekend TODAY and in an article for The New York Times. You can learn more about Lori by visiting her website at


Betty Fussell

Betty Fussell

Best known for her book, The Story of Corn, Betty Fussell is the author of 12 books, ranging from biography to cookbooks, food history and memoir. Her essays on food, travel and the arts have appeared in scholarly journals, national magazines and newspapers over the past 40 years. She has lectured throughout the country from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art to Iowa's State Fair. Her many awards include the IACP's Jane Grigson Award, Food Art's Silver Spoon Award, James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award and Who's Who in Food & Beverage. She has taught food writing, food history and food preparation at universities, colleges, culinary schools and cooking stores across the United States and in Mexico. Her memoir, My Kitchen Wars, was performed in Hollywood and New York as a one-woman show by actress Dorothy Lyman. Her most recent book is Eat, Live, Love, Die: Selected Essays, published in 2016 by Counterpoint Press. She is completing a second memoir titled How to Cook a Coyote: A Manual of Survival.

Navigating the Amazon: Building Your Author Platform

Friday, June 23 at 4:00 p.m.

Moderator: Marla Miller

Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews Jason Matthews writes fiction and nonfiction. He teaches self-publishing and works with writers all over the world. His books have been translated into 8 languages, and his video courses have been viewed by students in 125 countries. His self-publishing video courses are available at Lynda, Amazing and Udemy educational sites.

Jason has reached #1 sales ranking on Amazon in multiple categories, including desktop publishing, for his guide, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks. He has written more than 500 blog posts with over 3,000 followers. His Facebook group for authors has over 2,000 members.

Gail M. Kearns

Gail M. Kearns Gail M. Kearns began her career in publishing in 1995 after working over 20 years in the motion picture industry as a production coordinator and development executive. For the next years Gail helped dozens of authors shape their books for publication. Currently, she is president of To Press and Beyond, a full-service book shepherding agency that guides projects from inception to completion, providing a wide range of services including ghostwriting, copywriting, writing for the web, and implementing innovative plans for marketing and PR.

Books of all genres shepherded by To Press & Beyond have garnered such awards as the prestigious IPPY, the Benjamin Franklin Award, Foreword’s BOTYA, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, USA Best Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Her publishing consulting has taken her throughout the U.S. and abroad. She and her team have over 30 years of combined experience in the book trade and a skilled understanding of the indie publishing landscape. 

Lisa Angle

Lisa Angle Lisa Angle of Ninety Degrees Media is the ‘right Angle’ to help you write and sell your stories with websites, video, and social media. She earned a master’s degree in computer-based education from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While in SLO she worked as marketing director for the SLO Museum of Art and taught creative writing at Cuesta College. Writers Digest choose her website Angle on Writing as one of the 101 best sites for writers. She’s chief technology officer for Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network and assistant marketing director for the Ojai Film Festival.

Lida Sideris

Lida Sideris Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer, and all-around book enthusiast. She writes soft-boiled mysteries and was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship award for her first novel, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters. She is that rarity among authors who actually enjoys book marketing. Some might even say she's addicted to book promotion. She's appeared at numerous writers conferences, book stores, libraries and wineries, and can be heard on podcasts and radio shows from coast to coast. Lida lives in Santa Barbara with her family, rescue dogs, and a flock of uppity chickens.