Cherry Weiner has been a successful literary agent for more than 25 years. She lives within driving distance of the heart of the publishing world — New York City. Cherry is a devoted champion for dozens of clients and is always seeking new authors with great book ideas. Cherry will speak on Friday morning about the industry, how she sees it evolving, and what kind of books she’s looking for. Then for the rest of the week-end she will take pitches.
Daniela Rapp has been an editor at St. Martin’s Press since 2003 after stints in the performing arts and the agenting world and considers herself an omnivore when it comes to reading and books. This is reflected in her rather eclectic list of projects, which ranges from literary and commercial fiction, pet and humor books, to serious narrative nonfiction titles.
Pat Carr has a B.A. and M.A. from Rice, a Ph.D. from Tulane, and sixteen published books, including the Iowa Fiction Prize winner, The Women in the Mirror, and the PEN Book Award finalist, If We Must Die. She’s published over a hundred short stories in such places as The Southern Review, Yale Review, and Best American Short Stories. Her latest short story collection, The Death of a Confederate Colonel, a nominee for the Faulkner Award, won the PEN Southwest Fiction Award, the John Estes Cooke Civil War Fiction Award, and was voted one of the top ten books from university presses for 2007 by Foreword Magazine. She’s won numerous other awards, including a Library of Congress Marc IV, an NEH, the Texas Institute of Letters Short Story Award, an Al Smith Literary Fellowship, and a Fondation Ledig-Rowohlt Writing Fellowship in Lausanne, Switzerland. She’s taught creative writing and literature in numerous universities across the South, has conducted writing workshops from Santa Fe to New York, and in August taught the Civil War novel at New York’s Chautauqua Institute. Her writing text, Writing Fiction with Pat Carr appeared from High Hill Press in 2010, and her memoir, One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life, also published in 2010 by Texas Tech University Press, was a finalist for both the Willa Cather Award and the PEN Southwest Non-fiction Award. Her novella, The Radiance of Fossils, is scheduled to appear from the Main Street Rag Press in the summer of 2012.
Considered a literary gem by many, Vining was appointed Arkansas Poet Laureate by Governor Mike Huckabee in 2003 for her many contributions to the literary arts. Though the post has no specific obligations, Vining feels that it is “important to promote within the community a greater appreciation of poetry”. Her focus thus far has been with pre-school and elementary classrooms. “From an early age, I loved the challenge of finding words that rhymed, and I take great pleasure in giving that joy to young children.”
Dianna Graveman holds a master’s degree in writing from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has taught both graduate and undergraduate writing students at several area colleges and universities. Her work has been included in many print and online publications and has won nineteen writing awards. A former elementary and middle school teacher, Dianna has also coauthored four regional histories and has been employed as an editor and as a training designer for several St. Louis companies, including Enterprise Holdings, Graybar Electric, and Dale Carnegie & Associates. In 2011, Dianna launched 2 Rivers Communications & Design.
Booklist has called Johnny D. Boggs “among the best western writers at work today.” He has won the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America six times: for the novels Camp Ford, Doubtful Cañon, Hard Winter, Legacy of a Lawman and West Texas Kill, and the short Story “A Piano at Dead Man’s Crossing.” His novels Ten and Me, The Hart Brand, Northfield, Killstraight and South by Southwest, and his short story “The Cody War” earned Spur finalist honors. He also won the Western Heritage Wrangler Award in 2004 for his novel Spark on the Prairie.