Virtual MWW20 Faculty

  • Sarah Aronson – author of young adult novels, a middle grade series, and picture book
  • Tracy Clark – author of the Cass Raines PI series, her novel, Broken Places, was nominated for a Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, an Anthony Award for Best Debut Novel and a Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel
  • Sarah Domet – author of the The Guineveres, voted one of the Best Books of 2016 by Southern Authors and included on Bustle’s list of 2016’s best debut novels; also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel
  • Kelcey Parker Ervick – award-winning author of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a hybrid work of biography, memoir, and art about a Czech fairy tale writer
  • Lori Rader-Day – Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of The Lucky One (February 2020), Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour 
  • Carol Saller – author of children’s books and contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Nick Werner – award-winning 20-year career in journalism
  • Jamie Thomas – director of operations at Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago


  • Matthew Clemens – co-author with Max Allen Collins of the Reeder and Rogers thriller series, plus 17 TV tie-in novels
  • Larry D. Sweazy – award-winning author of 14 mystery and western novels, and over 80 nonfiction articles and short stories

Support Midwest Writers Workshop by purchasing all author books through Amazon Smile!


Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three stand alone novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe, a young MG series, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017-2019) as well as the picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker.

When Sarah is not writing or reading (or cooking or riding her bike), she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, social action, and of course, sparkle power! She loves working with other writers in one of her classes at  the amazing Highlights Foundation or Writers on the Net ( She currently serves as PAL coordinator for SCBWI-Illinois–and the SCBWI-IL initiative, Read Local. Warning: She overuses exclamation points. When she gets really excited, she makes funny faces and talks with her hands. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Tracy Clark

Tracy Clark is the author of the Cass Raines PI series. The series, set in Chicago, features ex-homicide cop turned PI Cassandra Raines, a hard-driving African-American gumshoe who works the mean streets of the Windy City dodging cops, cons, killers and thugs.

Her debut novel, Broken Places, made Library Journal’s list of the Best Crime Fiction of 2018 and was short listed in the mystery category on the American Library Association’s 2019 Reading List. CrimeReads also named Cass Raines Best New PI of 2018. The novel also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, a rave from Kirkus Review, and was nominated for a Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, an Anthony Award for Best Debut Novel and a Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel.

Her second Cass Raines novel, Borrowed Time, released in May 2019. Book three, What You Don’t See, releases May 2020.

A native Chicagoan, Tracy roots for the Cubs, the Sox, the Bears, the Blackhawks, the Chicago Shy and the Chicago Fire equally. She is member of Sisters in Crime and Sisters in Crime Chicagoland, Mystery Writers of America Midwest and International Thriller Writers. She is also a member of the Bouchercon National Board and secretary of her MWA local chapter.

Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet is the author of The Guineveres, originally released from Flatiron Books/Macmillan in October 2016. It received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal along with praise from O Magazine, People, Elle, Real Simple, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times Book Review. Southern Living voted it one of the Best Books of 2016 by Southern Authors and Bustle included it on their list of 2016’s best debut novels. She is also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel, and her short fiction and nonfiction have been published and anthologized in numerous places. Sarah holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from The University of Cincinnati, and she currently teaches in the creative writing program at Ball State University.

Kelcey Parker Ervick

Kelcey Parker Ervick is the author of three award-winning books: The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a hybrid work of biography, memoir, and art about a Czech fairy tale writer; Liliane’s Balcony (Rose Metal Press), a novella set at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater; and the story collection For Sale By Owner (Kore Press).

She is co-editor, with Tom Hart, of the forthcoming Field Guide to Graphic Literature: Artists and Writers on Creating Graphic Narratives, Poetry Comics, and Literary Collage, which Rose Metal Press will publish in 2021.

She has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Her stories, essays, and comics have appeared in The Believer, The Rumpus, Colorado Review, Passages North, Quarterly West, Booth, Notre Dame Review, The Common, and elsewhere. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and teaches creative writing at Indiana University South Bend.

Lori Rader-Day

Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of The Lucky One (February 2020), Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She lives in Chicago, where she is co-chair of the mystery readers’ conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and the national president of Sisters in Crime. [Support Midwest Writers Workshop by purchasing The Lucky One with Amazon Smile! Click here.]

Her short fiction has been published in Ellery Queen Mystery MagazineTimeOut ChicagoCrab Orchard ReviewFreight Stories, and in the anthologies Dia de los Muertos (Elektrik Milkbath Press), Unloaded 2 (Down and Out Books), and Murder-a-Go-Go’s (Down and Out Books). Bestselling author Jodi Picoult chose her story as the grand prize winner of Good Housekeeping’s first fiction contest in 2010.

She studied journalism at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, twice—but eventually gave in to her dream and studied creative writing at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Now a resident of Chicago for almost twenty years, she has a favorite deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati’s) and is active in the area’s crime writing community. She is also the current national president of Sisters in Crime, a proud member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, and co-chairs with publicist Dana Kaye Murder and Mayhem in Chicago, a one-day mystery readers’ conference.

Carol Saller

Carol Saller is a longtime contributing editor to The Chicago Manual of Style and writes for Fiction+ at the CMOS blog. She has also worked as an acquiring editor in children’s book publishing (Cricket Books). Her own books include The Subversive Copy Editor and several award-winning books for children. Honors for her YA novel Eddie’s War include Kirkus Reviews Best 2011, Bankstreet Best 2012, Chicago Public Library 2012 Best of the Best Fiction for Teens, and a nomination for the 2014–15 Maryland State Black-Eyed Susan Award.

Jamie Thomas

Jamie Thomas is the director of operations at Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago, Illinois. She has worked in bookstores for over twenty years and has previously held roles as a bookseller, buyer, inventory and merchandising supervisor, and store and office manager. She served on the American Booksellers Association’s Indies Introduce committee in 2017, has been part of the Indie Bookstore Day exclusives curation committee, and has been awarded a James Patterson Holiday Bookseller Bonus twice. She has been a panelist at both BookExpo and the ABA’s Children’s Institute in discussions about trends in children’s books and category management. She is currently beginning the query process of her first novel, which is in part set in (where else?) a bookstore.

Nick Werner

Nick Werner registered for his first high school journalism class for the sole purpose of sitting next to a girl he liked.

She dropped the class before day one and began dating his twin brother.

Thankfully, things got better from there. He fell in love with journalism instead, attracted to the suspense of covering developing stories, the camaraderie of a newsroom, and the opportunity to affect change. Over an award-winning 20-year career, he has worked at two newspapers, has written for magazines that include the Ball State Alumni magazine, Outdoor Indiana and Travel IN, and authored a hiking guide.

He currently works in Ball State University Marketing & Communications as a content strategist and writer. He loves to tell stories of students and alumni beating odds and overcoming obstacles on the path to success.

Nick lives in Muncie with his wife, Gail, and their two children. He long ago forgave his brother but has yet to adequately thank the young woman who unknowingly kickstarted his career.



Matthew Clemens

Matthew Clemens and his collaborator, Max Allan Collins, have penned 17 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 the Reeder and Rogers thrillers You Can’t Stop Me, No One Will Hear You, What Doesn’t Kill HerSupreme Justice, Fate of the Union, and Executive Order. 

Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy (pronounced: Swayzee) is the award-winning author of fourteen mystery and western novels, including See Also Proof: A Marjorie Trumaine MysteryA Thousand Falling CrowsVengeance at Sundown, and The Rattlesnake Season. He won the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award for Best Short Fiction in 2005 and for Best Paperback Original in 2013. Larry is also a two-time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction for two books in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series–which is returning in 2020. He was nominated for a Derringer award in 2007, and was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana literary competition in 2010, and won in 2011. He also won the inaugural Elmer Kelton Book Award in 2013. Larry has published over eighty nonfiction articles and short stories. He is also a freelance indexer and has written back-of-the-book indexes for over nine and fifty hundred books in twenty-one years, which served as inspiration for the Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series. Larry speaks and teaches at writing workshops across the country. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana with his wife, Rose, two dogs and a cat, and is hard at work on his next novel.


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