2013 MWW Faculty
Hank Phillippi Ryan — award-winning mystery novelist and on-air investigative reporter for NBC affiliate
John Gilstrap — New York Times bestselling novelist of ten thrillers
Barbara Shoup — author of seven novels, 2-time winner of ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Colleen Coble — inspirational romantic mystery novelist with more than 2 million books in print
Matthew Clemens — collaborator with Max Allan Collins, penning 17 thriller/mystery novels
D.E. Johnson — historical mystery author of one of 2012′s Best Crime Novels
Roxane Gay — novelist and short story author, co-editor of Pank magazine
Jane Friedman — web editor for Virginia Quarterly Review, e-media and publishing visionary
Lou Harry — author or co-author of 25 books
Hank Nuwer — nonfiction author
Dennis Hensley & Holly Miller — faculty for Manuscript Makeovers
John M. Cusick — Greenhouse Literary
Amanda Luedeke — MacGregor Literary
Victoria Marini — Gelfman Schneider Literary
Sarah LaPolla — Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Brooks Sherman — FinePrint Literary Management
Gary Hensley — accountant/tax specialist
2013 Faculty Bios
Hank Phillippi Ryan is an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News on WHDH-TV, the NBC-affiliate station for Boston, Massachusetts. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, she attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, and also studied abroad at the International School in Hamburg, Germany. Ryan joined WHDH-TV in 1983 as a general assignment reporter. In 1989, she was named principal reporter for the station’s investigative unit. Ryan has won 28 Emmy Awards and 12 Edward R. Murrow Awards for her investigative and consumer reporting. Her first published novel, Prime Time, won the Agatha Award for best new mystery of 2007. Her follow-up mystery, Face Time, was published in 2008 (and re-issued in 2009) and was a Book Sense Notable Book. Both books feature Boston investigative reporter Charlotte “Charlie” McNally and are published by MIRA Books. Air Time (MIRA/Sept 2009), the third in the series, was an Agatha Award nominee for Best Mystery of 2009, as well as a 2010 Anthony Award nominee for Best Paperback Mystery. The fourth in the series, Drive Time (MIRA/Feb 2010), received a starred review from Library Journal, saying it “places Ryan in the same league as Lisa Scottoline”. It also received a nomination for “Best Paperback Original” at the 2011 Anthony Awards. Her newest thriller, the bestselling The Other Woman (Forge/Sept 2012), is an Indie Next GREAT READ, chosen as a Best Book of 2012 by Suspense Magazine, and an RTBR Reviewers Choice nominee for Best Mystery/Suspense novel of 2012.
John Gilstrap is The New York Times bestselling author of ten thrillers, including High Treason (August, 2013), Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Six Minutes to Freedom (nonfiction), Scott Free, Even Steven, At All Costs, and Nathan’s Run. Four of the books were Literary Guild selections. His novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. John has also adapted four bestselling novels for the big screen: Red Dragon (uncredited) from the Thomas Harris novel, for Dino DeLaurentiis Productions, Word of Honor (from the Nelson DeMille novel, for Dino DeLaurentiis Productions); Young Men and Fire (from the Norman Maclean book, for Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures/Warner Brothers); and Nathan’s Run (from his own novel, also for Warner Brothers). He is currently signed to write the screen adaptation for Six Minutes to Freedom for Sesso Entertainment. A former firefighter and EMT, John holds a master’s degree in safety engineering from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Please visit www.johngilstrap.com.
Barbara Shoup is the author of seven novels and the co-author of two books about the creative process. Her young adult novels, Wish You Were Here and Stranded in Harmony were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. Vermeer’s Daughter was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults. She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Council, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award. Currently, she is the executive director of the Writers’ Center of Indiana. Her most recent novel is An American Tune. Visit her at www.barbarashoup.com.
Bestselling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com.
A collaborator with Max Allan Collins, the pair has penned seventeen TV tie-in novels including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Dark Angel, Bones, and Criminal Minds. Twilight Tales published the pair’s collected short stories in My Lolita Complex and Other Tales of Sex and Violence. They have also authored a pair of thrillers You Can’t Stop Me and No One Will Hear You for Kensington. Look for What Doesn’t Kill You in 2013.
D.E. (Dan) Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood but had to hit his midlife crisis to get serious about it. His first novel, a historical mystery entitled The Detroit Electric Scheme, was published in 2010 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books. The Detroit Electric Scheme was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Crime Novels of the Year and also won a 2011 Michigan Notable Book Award. Motor City Shakedown, the sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, was named one of the Top 5 Crime Novels of 2011 by The House of Crime and Mystery, called “extraordinarily vivid” by The New York Times, and won a 2012 Michigan Notable Book Award. Dan’s third book, Detroit Breakdown, was published in September, 2012 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books. It was named to the best crime novels list for 2012 by multiple publications. Book four, The Detroit Shuffle, continuing the adventures of Will and Elizabeth into the world of political corruption, will be published in fall 2013 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books.
Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Illinois University, is the author of the novel Ayiti, and maintains an active online presence via Twitter and her blog. She also blogs for the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and the Rumpus. She’s the co-editor of the print and online magazine Pank.
Jane Friedman is the web editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, a literary journal that has won more National Magazine Awards than any quarterly magazine in the nation. Before joining VQR, Jane was a full-time assistant professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati and former publisher of Writer’s Digest. She has spoken on writing, publishing, and the future of media at more than 200 events since 2001, including LitFlow Berlin, South by Southwest, the Whidbey MFA residency, BookExpo America, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Jane has more than a decade of hands-on experience in using new media and technology to engage and grow both online and offline communities. Her expertise has been featured by NPR’s Morning Edition, Publishers Weekly, Reddit, GalleyCat, IBPA Independent, and PBS, among many others, and she has consulted with organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund in San Francisco. An active blogger for more than a decade, Jane’s current blog was named one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers in 2011-2012. Her presence on Twitter (170,000+ followers) is often cited as a model for those seeking to use social media effectively. Jane is the author of The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations (April 1, 2011), as well as the Beginning Writer’s Answer Book (Writer’s Digest, 2006). Her articles and creative work have appeared in Writer’s Market, Writer’s Digest, the anthology Drinking Diaries (Seal Press, 2012), 3 A.M. Magazine, The Formalist, The Evansville Review, UE Magazine, plus dozens of other publications and websites. She has a BFA in creative writing from the University of Evansville (Ind.) and a MA in English from Xavier University.
Lou Harry is the author or co-author of more than 25 books including The High-Impact Infidelity Diet: A Novel, Creative Block, and Kid Culture and has written for over 50 publications including Variety, Writer’s Digest, The Sondheim Review and TheatreWeek. He serves as Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal (www.ibj.com/arts) and appears weekly on Fox59 and WIBC. His most recent work includes The Biggest Trivia Book Ever and the hit interactive play Going…Going…Gone. His goal is to write something for every category of the Dewey Decimal System.
Hank Nuwer is best known for his four young adult and adult books on the topic of hazing in society—including High School Hazing. He teaches journalism at Franklin College, Indiana but speaks on hazing at schools such as Oregon, Kenyon College, Maine, Toronto, Cornell, Chico State, Dartmouth, Michigan and Stetson. He also speaks on the art of nonfiction storytelling at writer conferences. Nuwer also has written To the Young Writer, a book for young adults on the business of writing as seen through the eyes of well-known authors; it was a New York Public Library 2002 award winner for Best Books for Young Adult readers. Other books for youngsters include a biography of Jesse Owens and books on football, baseball, sports scandals, steroids, and recruiting in sports. His journalism has appeared in Harper’s, Outside, Fraternal Law, The Nation, Toronto Globe & Mail, Montreal Standard and Boston Magazine.
Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is a contributing editor for Writers’ Journal and the author of eight textbooks on writing, including How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It. He has written 51 books, including Millennium Approaches (Avon), Uncommon Sense (Bobbs-Merrill), and Money Wise (Harvest House). He directs the professional writing major at Taylor University. His 3,000 freelance articles have appeared in Reader’s Digest, Success, People, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and Downbeat, among dozens of others.
Holly Miller is an editor with The Saturday Evening Post and co-author of Feature & Magazine Writing. She and Dennis Hensley have collaborated on four novels and three nonfiction books. Holly’s byline has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest and TV Guide. She is the author of 14 fiction and nonfiction books. She has won awards from the Associated Press, Society of American Travel Writers and Society of Professional Journalists.
Their Thursday interactive Intensive Session Manuscript Makeover is designed for those fiction and nonfiction writers who are ready to take a quantum leap forward in enhancing their writing skills. Participants will submit the first 10 pages of a manuscript in progress. The instructors will edit and critique these pages and display them (anonymously) to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, the instructors will lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as enhancing dialogue, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time. This session is limited to the first 20 people to register. Mail the first 10 pages of your manuscript by JUNE 15 to Jama Bigger (Midwest Writers Workshop), c/o The E.B. & Bertha C. Ball Center, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.
John M. Cusick is an agent with Greenhouse Literary, representing middle-grade and young adult fiction. His young adult novel Girl Parts was released by Candlewick Press in 2010, and his follow-up Cherry Money Baby will be published in 2013. John is also a founder and managing editor at the literary magazine Armchair/Shotgun, and a regular speaker and presenter at writers’ conferences around the world. He lives in Brooklyn.
Amanda Luedeke is an agent with MacGregor Literary. One of her defining skills as an agent is her understanding of marketing and promotions. Before agenting, Amanda worked as a social media marketer and a copywriter at a marketing agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There, she worked with Vera Bradley, Peg Perego, Benjamin Moore, and other major national clients. Amanda represents CBA and general market literary fiction, romance, paranormal romance, women’s fiction, YA, science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, African American fiction, and non-fiction of all genres.
Victoria Marini is the newest member of the Gelfman Schneider literary agency. Victoria can be found on twitter and online at www.victoriamarini.com which includes her blog, client list, query updates and more. She began taking on clients in 2010, and she has begun to build her own client list which includes literary fiction, commercial fiction, pop-culture non-fiction, and young adult. She is very interested in acquiring engaging Literary fiction and mysteries / suspense, commercial women’s fiction (romantic suspense, sci-fi, fantasy), and Young Adult (contemporary, sci-fi/fantasy, thriller and horror ). Above all, she is looking for anything with an engaging voice, compelling narrative and authentic characters.
Sarah LaPolla is an associate agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. She studied creative writing at Ithaca College, and has an MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School. She joined Curtis Brown, Ltd. in 2008 as the assistant to the foreign rights department, and became an associate agent in 2010. Sarah represents both adult and YA fiction. For adult books, she is looking for literary fiction, urban fantasy, magical realism, mystery, literary horror, and has a soft spot for short story collections. On the YA side, she welcomes contemporary/realistic fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, mystery, and horror. No matter what age the intended audience, Sarah tends to be drawn to voice-driven narratives, strong female protagonists, and complex characters. Sarah runs a literary blog called Glass Cases (http://glasscases.blogspot.com) and can be found on Twitter at @sarahlapolla.
Brooks Sherman is a literary agent with FinePrint Literary Management, a full-service literary agency based in New York City. He is on the lookout for adult fiction that runs the gamut from literary and upmarket to speculative (particularly urban/contemporary fantasy rooted in realistic settings, horror/dark fantasy, and magical realism), as well as historical and crime fiction. On the children’s side, he is seeking middle grade novels of all genres (but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), and is open to YA fiction of all types except paranormal romance. He would especially love to get his hands on a dark and/or funny contemporary YA project. Recent sales include Emma Trevayne’s CHORUS (Running Press Kids, March 2014) and FLIGHTS AND CHIMES AND MYSTERIOUS TIMES (S&S Books for Young Readers, Summer 2014), and author/illustrator Sam Garton’s picture book I AM OTTER (Balzer + Bray, May 2014), and novelist Sean Ferrell’s debut picture book I DON’T LIKE KOALA (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, TBA). Brooks is specifically seeking projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot lines; he particularly enjoys flawed (but sympathetic) protagonists and stories that organically blur the lines between genres. Stories that make him laugh earn extra points. Recent favorites include GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, DEFENDING JACOB by William Landay, LUCKY BASTARD by S.G. Browne, THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachmann, THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM by Christopher Healy, THE END GAMES by T. Michael Martin, THE THIEVES OF MANHATTAN by Adam Langer, and HORNS by Joe Hill. You can find him on Twitter at @byobrooks.
Gary’s sessions will focus on the Business Side of Writing. His articles have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writers’ Journal, Christian Communicator and several other professional publications. He will cover the business and tax aspects of your career as a professional writer/author. His experience includes working for national and local CPA firms, the Michigan Department of Treasury as an auditor, and as a tax consultant for the Ford Motor Company. As a self-employed accountant/tax consultant, he was enrolled to practice before the IRS for 20 years. He holds both Bachelor and Master of Business Administration degrees from Saginaw Valley State University.
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