Presenters & Instructors

More presenters and critique personnel listed as they
are confirmed
for the 2020 event.


Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 6.30.59 PMJulie Hyzy is a New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels and many short stories. (See all her books here.)

At the 2020 Chicago workshop, she is teaching on plotting your novel, settings & sidekicks, and how to write awesome mystery novels.

She is also critiquing manuscripts as an add-on element for attendees.

Julie has won the Anthony, Barry, Phobos, Lovey, and Derringer awards for her fiction. Known best for her White House Chef and Manor House Mysteries, Julie has returned to the darker side of writing with her most recent thriller Virtual Sabotage.


Screen Shot 2020-01-06 at 7.02.26 AMJessica Burkhart is the author of the best-selling 20-book Canterwood Crest series with over 1 million copies in print in multiple languages. The first book in the Canterwood series, TAKE THE REINS, published in 2009 when Jess was 22 years old. Her other works include the four-book Unicorn Magic series and the stand-alone YA novel WILD HEARTS. She made her editorial debut with LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles, which is an anthology about mental health. The anthology includes essays from Maureen Johnson, Melissa Marr and Ellen Hopkins among others.

Jess has presented at multiple conferences often as keynote speaker. She’s spoken at the Tallahassee Writers Conference, Chattanooga’s YA-hoo Fest, Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference, Missouri Writers Guild Conference, Tennessee Writing Workshop, the Target Children’s Stage at the Decatur Book Festival and Book Expo America. Tweet her @JessicaBurkhart.

At the 2020 Chicago conference, Jessica will be teaching on Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction as well as publicity and marketing for writers. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.