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Speakers

Alisa Bowman [More Info]
Alisa Bowman is a senior health editor at a publishing company in Emmaus, Pa. Before becoming a full-time editor, she spent nearly 17 years working as a freelance ghostwriter and book collaborator. Seven of her authored and co-authored books have made the NY Times bestseller list and sold millions of copies. She has written for a variety of national publications and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America,” and many national shows.
 
Joanne Cleaver [More Info]
Joanne Cleaver is a content strategist and communication consultant who designs and manages large research and editorial projects. Media outreach and media mentions are integral to many of her clients’ success.
 
Beverly Gray [More Info]

Beverly Gray, who once developed 170 low-budget features for B-movie maven Roger Corman, has surveyed the entertainment industry for the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter. She is the author two showbiz biographies, Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers (now in its 3rd edition) and Ron Howard: From Mayberry to the Moon . . . and Beyond. Her blog, “Beverly in Movieland,” covers movies, moviemaking, and growing up Hollywood-adjacent. In celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary, Algonquin has just published Beverly’s latest book, Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How “The Graduate” Became the Touchstone of a Generation.

 
Dawn Jackson Blatner [More Info]
Dawn Jackson Blatner is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports dietetics. Dawn is the nutritionist for the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, a food and nutrition blogger with Huffington Post, and a nutrition expert on the advisory board of SHAPE Magazine. She is the author of two books: The Flexitarian Diet, ranked a top plant-based diet by US News & World Report and her newest book is called The Superfood Swap. Dawn recently starred in (and won!) the hit primetime ABC television show called, My Diet Is Better Than Yours and is the host of a new lifestyle television show called S.E.E. Chicago. Dawn received Lifetime Television’s “Remarkable Woman Award” for her work in the field of nutrition and has over 15 years experience working with clients to super-charge their health. She is the creator of the Nutrition WOW blog & weekly eblast, which just got ranked top nutrition blog by Health magazine. She is a trusted expert appearing regularly in local and national media outlets such as The Today Show and Good Morning America Health and she creates recipes for national publications such as Vegetarian Times, Yoga Journal and Fitness Magazine. Dawn has worked as the dietitian for Lifetime Television, Wild Oats healthfood store, The Chopping Block cooking school, exclusive beauty spas, DePaul University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute. She was a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for 9 years. When she’s not traveling the world sharing her nutrition philosophy, you can find Dawn in her hometown of Chicago…at a farmers market feeling up produce for freshness, in the kitchen testing out new recipes or jogging to pop music. She lives with her handsome husband Chris and part-time shih tzu, Mr. Nuts. Her website, DawnJacksonBlatner.com, is packed with resources focused on real food, more fun and no b.s. for people who want to eat right & feel awesome.
 
Kelly K. James [More Info]

Kelly K. James is an experienced ghostwriter, author, and content creator who’s ghosted/coauthored more than a dozen books for clients, including Small Changes, Big Results (with Ellie Krieger, R.D.). The former attorney specializes in health/wellness, fitness, and nutrition subjects, and lives with her family outside Chicago. She’s the author of Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More(Second Edition.) 

 
Cindy Kuzma [More Info]
Cindy Kuzma is a Chicago-based journalist with a specialty in fitness and health, a contributing editor at Runner’s World magazine, and co-author of Superfood Swap: The 4-Week Plan to Eat What You Crave Without the C.R.A.P. by Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D.N. (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). She earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has spent the past 15 years writing for national print and online publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, espnW.com, VICE, SELF, Outside, Prevention, and USA Today magazines. She also contributes audio reporting to The Runner’s World Show and Human Race, podcasts produced by Runner’s World, and is the producer and co-host of #WeGotGoals, a podcast by Chicago-based aSweatLife.com. You can find her online at www.cindykuzma.com or on Twitter or Instagram @cindykuzma.
 
Grace Menary-Winefield [More Info]
Grace Menary-Winefield joined the Sourcebooks editorial team in 2015. Previously, she worked with Little, Brown Book Group’s Piatkus imprint after interning at both Pan Macmillan and Palgrave Macmillan in London. In her current role as Associate Editor she concentrates primarily on nonfiction, and particularly enjoys narrative history, personal development, self-help, science, and gift titles (both illustrated and text-only). She acquires very few fiction projects, but loves to champion new mainstream directions in science-fiction and fantasy. She believes wholeheartedly in her publisher’s motto: “Books change lives.”
 
Leah Nicholson [More Info]

Leah Nicholson started at Jenkins Group in 2002 as the text director where she oversaw all book editorial and text design. In 2007 she became the book production manager, supervising the production aspects of all custom book publishing at Jenkins Group. For each of the company's projects, Leah directs a wealth of talented designers, editors, writers and printers in their day-to-day activities. Over the last ten years, Leah has cultivated a talented pool of award-winning ghostwriters from multiple genres. She greatly enjoys the process of matching authors with the perfect writer.

Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Professional Writing from Grand Valley State University.

 
Marcy Posner [More Info]

I have spent a lifetime in books. I started out with a brief stint as a librarian, but found it a bit too staid, so moved on to publishing. My first job was at Pinnacle Books where as assistant to the President I was given a book to edit the third week of my employment. I then moved on to Rodale Press and then Salem House where I helped bring British books to the US, finally moving up the publishing ladder to Pantheon’s Associate Publisher, where I worked with some of the major cultural icons of our time, including Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel, Matt Groening and Art Spiegelman. After fifteen years on the editorial side of the business, I made the jump to agenting – spending twelve years as at the William Morris Agency as an agent and as Vice President and Director of Foreign Rights; five years as president of my own agency; five years at Sterling Lord Literistic as an agent and Director of Foreign Rights; and I’m now here – and very happy – at Folio. Editorial skill and a deep knowledge of the publishing industry sets me apart from many of my colleagues. When I work with my authors, I’ll focus editorially on how to make the book as strong as it could be – whether that book be terrific women’s fiction or an extraordinary YA debut (or any of the other categories I represent). During that process, I’m able to bring to bear all the institutional memory I possess, knowing which editors and which publishing houses have a penchant for a certain subject, or a different voice, or a particular kind of author. My clients include Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Kelly, New York Times bestseller Sheri Reynolds, autism advocate Christina Adams, Kristi Cook, Christopher Grant, Gretchen Kelley, Jerri Corgiat, former baseball pitcher Bob Tewksbury, and Marbles: The Brain Store among others.

 
Tara Richter [More Info]
Tara Richter is the President of Richter Publishing LLC. She specializes in helping aspiring authors write their non-fiction story in 4 weeks & publish a book in order to become an expert in their industry. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, Daytime TV, FOX, SSN, Channel 10 News, USA TODAY, Beverly Hills Times and radio stations all over the world. Richter Publishing has published many Amazon Best Selling books including Anthony Amos & celebrity entrepreneur, Kevin Harrington, Shark from ABC’s “Shark Tank” with their joint book, “How to Catch a Shark."