Register to attend the 2015 S.B. Writers Conference

Hook with curiosity, hold with suspense. And, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

- Yvonne Nelson Perry

From Our Blog

SwirlPanels and Panelist Bios

2015 Panels will Include:

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


Below is our list of 2014 panelists. Check back for our 2015 panelists!

Historical Writing Panel
Sunday, June 8th at 4 PM

Moderated by Barnaby Conrad III

Just like when writing fantasy or science fiction, historical writers are tasked with creating a world other than the one we know now. How do you fill in the gaps of research? What are the guidelines for navigating the relationship between history and fiction? Panelists will discuss research, capturing period dialogue, and world building. Panelists include:


Selden Edwards

Selden Edwards

Selden Edwards, who grew up in Northern California, spent a 40-year career in education, first as an English teacher, then headmaster. In 2008, the novel he had been writing and rewriting, through countless rejections over a period of thirty years, was suddenly bought by a major publisher. The Little Book went on to become a bestseller, which was for him a long-time aspiring writer’s unbelievable dream. In 2012, his second novel and a sequel, The Lost Prince, was released to similar acclaim. Selden is a great Barnaby Conrad fan and attended SBWC in the early days.


Karin Finell

Karin Finell

Karin Finell emigrated from Berlin to California, and majored in English at UCLA, leaving with an M.A. Barnaby Conrad advised, "Write what you know." And she did.Good-bye to the Mermaids: a Childhood Lost in Hitler's Berlin, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2006. The press also published, Broken Butterfly; My Daughter's Struggle With Brain Injury, in October 2012. She taught “Writing Your Pain: Grief and Transformation,” at Adult Ed SBCC from 2000 to 2005. 

Karin has been published in German and U.S. newspapers and several anthologies. She has spoken at Book festivals, and in numerous schools and universities regarding her WWII book. 


Lawrence H. Levy

Lawrence Levy

Lawrence H. Levy graduated from Cornell University, where he discovered his love for the creative arts. It first took shape in the form of acting, and he studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater for two years. Six years later, after forgettable roles in numerous stage, film, and TV productions, Larry decided to try his hand at his secret passion—writing.  He was fortunate enough to sell his first script and has been a working writer in TV and Film ever since, winning the Writers Guild of America Award for a Seinfeld script and garnering two Emmy nominations. Second Street Station is his first novel, and it has truly been a labor of love, bordering on obsession. The voluminous amount of research only increased his fascination with the period and the people. 

Larry lives in Los Angeles with his incredibly wonderful wife Fran (She didn’t force him to say it. He actually did it on his own). His son Joshua, an exceptional athlete who competed in the high Jump for U.C.L.A., currently works in Branding. His daughter Erin is also a writer.  She’s an Emmy Award/Writers Guild Award winner and Supervising Producer on the TV show Mad Men.  Larry swears he tried to talk his children out of going into show business. He may have failed at that, but he’s very proud of them.


Rebecca Rockwell

Rebecca Rockwell

Rebecca Rockwell has a passion for the American West and its famous figures; subjects of her historical novels include Jesse James, the Dalton Gang and Bill Doolin. Her first novel The Outlaw's Wife was published in 2008, and her second, the Dalton Gang novel In The Shadow of Death Alley, was published in September of 2011. Her third novel, The Last Desperado, based on the life of Wild Bunch leader Bill Doolin, was released in November of 2013 and was awarded an Honorable Mention from the 2014 Eric Hoffer Awards for Independent Books in the category of commercial fiction. She is honored to have her second novel available for sale in the gift shop of the Dalton Defenders Museum in Coffeyville, Kansas, and she is proud to be a member of Western Writers of America (WWA). By day, Rebecca is the Practice Manager of local veterinary clinic Santa Barbara Pet Hospital, but she’s grateful to be able to pursue her passion for writing in her free time. She is currently working to co-author the memoirs of Hollywood Stunt Coordinator (and Santa Barbara resident) Mickey Gilbert, and plans to have another historical western in the works later this year.


Agent/Editor Panels
Monday, 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


Working with an Editor Panel
Tuesday, June 10th at 4 PM

Moderated by Jervey Tervalon

Writing a book is a solitary effort for most us, but at a certain point in the publishing process we will need or be required an editor. What questions should a writer ask before agreeing to work with an editor? What should the editor know about the writer? Also, when and how do you disagree respectfully? Panelists will share their experiences working together on everything from copyediting to plotting. 


Jervey Tervalon

Jervey Tervalon

Jervey Tervalon received his MFA from UC Irvine and was the Remsen Bird Writer in Residence at Occidental college. He is the director of the Literature for Life Project and the literary director of LitFest Pasadena. He is the author of five books including the bestselling Dead Above Ground and Understanding This for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voice’s Award. Born in New Orleans, he now lives in Altadena, California and teaches at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. His new suspense novel, Monster’s Chef, was released this June.


Liz Stein — editor with Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

Liz Stein

Liz Stein began her publishing career at Penguin in 2008 and is currently an associate editor for Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Liz has acquired books for the Putnam, Amy Einhorn, and Plume lists and is also looking to find books for the Berkley list. Liz seeks novels that are beautifully written with a strong narrative voice and have interesting, memorable characters. She is particularly drawn to fiction that bridges the literary-commercial divide and has a soft spot for quirky characters, unreliable narrators, stories with a psychological twist, coming-of-age stories, and high concept fiction that will resonate with book clubs. On the nonfiction side, Liz is drawn to adventure stories, health/fitness, pop psychology, and memoir. Liz has also been working with Brian DeLeeuw’s as editor of his second novel, forthcoming Spring 2015.


Brian DeLeeuw — author of In this Way I was Saved, and Liz Stein's client

Brian DeLeeuw

Brian DeLeeuw is a novelist and screenwriter. His first novel, In This Way I Was Saved, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2009, with versions published or forthcoming in the U.K., Germany, France, and South Korea.  His second novel is forthcoming from Plume/Penguin in Spring 2015. He is currently writing and developing a number of film projects in the horror, thriller, and science fiction genres. Brian graduated from Princeton University and received his MFA in Fiction from The New School. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, he worked in Brooklyn as an editor for Tin House magazine.


Paul Fedorko — agent with N.S. Bienstock

Paul Fedorko

Prior to joining Bienstock, Paul was a literary agent at Trident Media Group, ran The Paul Fedorko Agency, and spent more than 20 years as a publishing and marketing executive at Bantam Doubleday Dell, Simon & Schuster and William Morrow. Having built his career on both the publishing and literary agency sides of the book business, Paul brings expertise working directly with established authors, new writers and personalities on both fiction and nonfiction projects. In general, he is looking for fiction ranging from World War II thrillers and British-type mysteries to contemporary mysteries featuring a female PI, plus any fiction set in New York in the 40's or 50's. He would also like to see young adult and adult contemporary fiction, and little-known true stories, except true crime. Paul is also the longtime agent of Shari Shattuck, author of the forthcoming novel Invisible Ellen.


Shari Shattuck — author of Invisible Ellen, and Paul Fedorko's client

Shari Shattuck

Shari Shattuck has more than two hundred television shows, films, mini-series, movies of the week, and commercials on her acting resume. She has performed most of Shakespeare’s major female roles on stage as well as a host of other characters, including the lead role in a hit production of Cabaret. Shari has also written and directed for the stage. Variety’s rave review of her play, In Progress, said, “Shattuck’s delightfully romantic comedy not only displays her talent as a stage performer, but also as a writer.” Her many years of acting and directing all contributed to her sense of drama, comedy and story as a novelist. 

Her first book, Loaded, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the Best of 2003. She has since published five novels, and Invisible Ellen will be released June 3rd, her first hardcover, and audiobook which she will perform herself. She has also co-produced the film Redemption, with her husband, executive produced Scream at the Devil, in which she also stars at a woman tortured by schizophrenia, due for release in 2014. She lives in the National Forest above Los Angeles. 


First Book Panel
Wednesday, June 11th at 4 PM

Moderated by Lorelei Armstrong

This panel focuses on the excitement, the investment, and the trials and tribulations of a 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:


Ava Dellaira

Ava Dellaira

Ava Dellaira is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She believes Love Letters to the Dead (FSG, released April 2014) began when she bought her second album ever—Nivana’s In Utero—which she listened to on repeat while filling the pages of her journal. She currently lives in Santa Monica, California, where she works in the film industry and is writing her second novel.


Teddy Steinkellner

Teddy Steinkellner

Teddy Steinkellneris the author of two middle-grade novels, Trash Can Days: A Middle School Saga, and its sequel, Trash Can Nights: The Saga Continues, which will be released by Disney-Hyperion on July 15th. He graduated from Stanford University in 2011 and has taught improv and creative writing at both Stanford and UCSB.




Mac Talley

Mac Talley

Mac Talley was born in New York City, went to many schools, and was a literature major. His father was an editor, and his mother was a businesswoman and writer, so he was surrounded by books from an early age. He has been a professional painter and musician, and has taught music for many years. Talley wrote weekly columns for the Carmel Valley Sun newspaper in the late 1990’s, as well as The Rogue Voice out of San Luis Obispo from 2007 to 2009. He won two awards at Santa Barbara Writers Conference in 2006 and 2007 for fiction in the horror/sci-fi/fantasy category. He has had two short stories published in Iconoclast magazine. Talley’s dystopian near-future thriller Yesterday We Forget Tomorrow was published under his penname, Max DeVoe Talley, by Damnation Books this past May. He is currently working on a book of interrelated stories that mix music history, fiction, fact and fantasy. He lives in a guarded compound on a rocky isle off the South Coast of California.


Carole Wells

Carole Wells

Carole Wells began working as an actor in films, television, and theater at twelve years old. She starred in the series, National Velvet and Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats, and has appeared in ten motion pictures, including Funny Lady with Barbra Streisand. Recently, she appeared in the 2013 documentary film Femme, about helping women all over the world.

In 1977, Carole was on the hijacked JAL flight leaving India. She and the other passengers were held captive for five days. This experience changed her life and she became dedicated to helping others. While touring the world singing opera for royalty and presidents, she promoted awareness and helped to raise funds for handicapped children and orphans. Carole’s charity involvement includes being the President of the Las Floristas Children’s Charities and President of Hollywood High School Alumni Association, which gives college scholarships. Both the City and County of Los Angeles have honored her with their Humanitarian Award. Carole wrote Amberella to help young women cope with difficult circumstances. She is working on her next book, Doheny Road, about her jet set life as Carole Wells-Doheny.


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 include:  


Carla King

Carla King

Carla King is an author, journalist and publishing geek. Since 1994, Ms. King has been an adventure travel writer and self-publishing expert. Her business, Self-Publishing Boot Camp, provides workshops, courses, and consulting on every aspect of self-publishing for everyone from one-book authors to emerging publishing empires. “My mission is to save writers lots of time and money spent in experimentation, bad choices, and dead ends by recommending a path suited to you using the most effective processes and the most reputable providers,” says King. She stays current with new technologies, products, and services and her boot camp workshop is offered at several conferences throughout the country.


Lisa Angle

Lisa Angle

Lisa Angle earned a master’s degree in Computer Based Education from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While in SLO she served two terms as President of NightWriters and taught creative writing at Cuesta College. Lisa won First Prize in a CWC short story contest and Honorable Mention in Byline magazine’s First Chapter of Novel Contest. Writers Digest choose her website Angle on Writing as one of the 101 best sites for writers in 2005. Currently she co-produces the talk show Literary Gumbo with host Fred Klein. She’s President of the Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara, and a national board member of the Association for Women in Communications. Lisa's company, Ninety Degrees Media, is the ‘right Angle’ for helping you promote you and your books with websites, video, and social media.


Adam Gomolin

Adam Gomolin

Adam Gomolin is a cofounder and General Counsel at, a crowdfunded-publishing startup based in San Francisco. He attended Wesleyan University for undergraduate, Berkeley for graduate school in public policy, and Hastings for law school, where he graduated with honors. He practiced securities and appellate law prior to joining Inkshares. Adam is also an avid writer, since his youth. His writing has been published in major newspapers and during his tenure in the San Francisco mayor's office, he wrote speeches for Mayor Newsom. During and subsequent to law school, he was represented at a top Los Angeles agency as a screenwriter. Adam's mission at Inkshares is to build a service that incorporates the best parts of the legacy-publishing process while providing a delightful experience and maximizing royalties for authors.