Register to attend the 2014 S.B. Writers Conference

Find the distinctive voices of your characters and then allow them the freedom to lead you through your story.

- Walter Dallenbach

Swirl2014 Speakers


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Jane Smiley

Saturday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Jane SmileyJane Smiley is a novelist and essayist. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her latest novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.

She has contributed to a wide range of magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times, Harper's, The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, The Guardian, The Nation, Real Simple, and Playboy, and she regularly blogged for The Huffington Post between 2005 and 2008.

In addition to novels for adults, she has written several works of nonfiction, including Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, a history and anatomy of the novel as a form, and The Man Who Invented the Computer, an account of the complex and sometimes amazing circumstances that led to one of  the most important inventions of the 20th century. She has also published five volumes of her horse series for young adults, "The Horses of Oak Valley Ranch".


Maile Meloy

Sunday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Maile MeloyMaile Meloy grew up in Helena, Montana, and now lives in Los Angeles. Her first book for young readers, The Apothecary, was a New York Times bestseller and won the 2012 E.B. White Award. She is also the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, and the story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2009 by The New York Times Book Review and one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and

Meloy’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and other publications, and she has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two California Book Awards, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2007, she was chosen as one of Granta’s 21 Best Young American Novelists. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Slate, Sunset, and O.

Caitlin Rother

Monday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Caitlin RotherCaitlin Rother, a New York Times bestselling author, has written or co-authored nine books: Her latest, I'll Take Care of You, as well as Lost Girls, Poisoned Love, Dead Reckoning, Body Parts, Twisted Triangle, Deadly Devotion, Naked Addiction, and My Life, Deleted. Rother, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for nineteen years before deciding to write books full-time. Her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She has done dozens of media appearances as a crime expert on Nancy Grace, the Jay Thomas Show, Investigation Discovery, E!, the Oxygen Network, Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record, XM Radio, America at Night, CSPAN and various PBS radio and TV affiliates. Rother works as a book doctor, publishing and research consultant, and teaches narrative nonfiction writing at UCSD Extension and San Diego Writers, Ink in San Diego, CA.

Mark Childress

Tuesday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Mark ChildressMark Childress, a native of Monroeville, Alabama, is the author of seven novels: A World Made of Fire, V for Victor, Tender, Crazy in Alabama, Gone for Good, One Mississippi, and Georgia Bottoms, as well as three books for children. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday Review, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and other international publications. Tender, a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection, was a national bestseller and named to several Ten Best lists. Crazy in Alabama, a featured selection of the Literary Guild, was published in fifteen languages and appeared on many national and international bestseller lists. It was also named Book of the Year by London’s The Spectator and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. One Mississippi and Georgia Bottoms were New York Times bestsellers. Childress also wrote the screenplay of the film Crazy in Alabama directed by Antonio Banderas for Columbia Pictures, an official selection of the Venice, San Sebastian, and New Orleans Film Festivals. He lives in Key West, Florida, where he is writing his eighth novel and a film project.

Laura Moriarty

Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Erin L. CoxLaura Moriarty earned a degree in social work before returning for her M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. She was the recipient of the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and is now a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. Her debut novel, The Center of Everything, was published in 2003 by Hyperion Press, followed by The Rest of Her Life, and While I'm Falling. The Chaperone, a Jazz Age novel published by Riverhead in 2013, was a New York Times bestseller and USA Today #1 Hot Fiction Pick. 

She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and is at work on her next novel.