Crossroads Writers Conference

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended the 2013 Crossroads Writers Conference. We had an amazing group of registrants, of guest writers, of organizers and volunteers. We couldn't have enjoyed ourselves more without breaking a few laws. Stay tuned for news about the 2014 conference at and



      • Adam Torchia
      • Screenwriter, Story Editor, Intergalactic bounty hunter.
      • Adam has been the Assistant Story Editor at Universal Pictures for 16 years, managing Universal's Story Analysts and working on all Universal films from GLADIATOR to FAST 6, to BRIDESMAIDS. A screenwriter, Adam sold his script STRANGE MAGIC to Alcon Entertainment and his screenplay THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR to Universal Pictures with WANTED's Timur Bekmambetov and Marc Platt producing. Adam is represented by Benderspink and has multiple projects across genres set up with various high-profile Hollywood producers. A native of Los Angeles who graduated with a BFA in film studies from Cal State University at Northridge, Adam is also the proud owner of two Australian Cattle Dogs (one whom is even an actor!).

      • AJ Hartley
      • New York Times Bestseller
      • This British-born, world-traveling New York Times and USA Today best-selling author says, "I write the stories I feel like I have to tell." That's why he writes in many genres:  mystery/thriller (the Deborah Miller or Thomas Knight books), fantasy (about "a smart-mouthed young actor called Will Hawthorne"), historical fiction (his adaptation of Macbeth), and young adult novels (Darwen Arkwright series). 

      • Annabelle Carr
      • Editor at Savannah Magazine, freelancer
      • Raised by artists on both sides of the Mason/Dixon line, Annabelle has made a fun-filled career out of toying with regional identity and playing dress-up with words.  With an interdisciplinary BA in narrative arts from Davidson College and an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University, this intrepid “editrix” launched and edited a series of niche lifestyle magazines before making herself at home in coastal Georgia as the editor of Savannah magazine, Savannah Homes and Savannah Weddings.  She freelances for other lifestyle magazines such as Garden & Gun and Departures; writes short fiction, and spends her spare time teaching other writers what editors want.  Annabelle draws daily inspiration from the salt marsh, the saw palmetto—and the occasional Dark ‘n’ Stormy.

      • Anthony Grooms
      • Writer, two-time Lillian Smith Prize winner and co-founder of the Ga. Writers Assoc.
      • Tony Grooms, a former professor at Macon State College and the co-founder of the Georgia Writers Association, is the author of the short story collection "Trouble No More" and the novel "Bombingham." The two-time Lillian Smith Prize winner now teaches creative writing at Kennesaw State University.

      • Bernice McFadden
      • National Bestselling Author, struggling optimist, dreamer, beach nut, empty nester, flaneur....100% woman.
      • A Brooklyn native and resident, Bernice McFadden is the author of seven critically acclaimed, award-winning bestselling novels; including the classics "Sugar" and "The Warmest December," which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and was lauded as "Searing and expertly imagined" by Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison. Her latest is "Gathering of Waters," a novel that conjures the time, setting and heartbreak of the murder of Emmett Till.

      • Carrie Howland
      • Agent, Donadio and Olson
      • Carrie joined Donadio and Olson in 2005. In addition to her own clients, she handles both first serial and audio rights for the agency, as well as working with foreign rights and permissions. She also oversees the internship program at Donadio and Olson. Carrie represents literary fiction and non-fiction as well as young adult fiction. This will be her second year at Crossroads. Follow her on Twitter at @ECarrieHowland

      • Christina Ranallo
      • Writing Coach
      • Christina is the owner of Pen Paper Write and this year she's back to Crossroads by popular demand.  Through workshops, studios, the support of an ever-growing writers group (900 members) and personal coaching, she is dedicated to moving writers on a steady path toward publishing. Learn more at

      • David Iserson
      • screenwriter, YA novelist
      • David Iserson works as a film and television writer (Fox's New Girl, Saturday Night Live, NBC's Up All Night, and Showtime's United States of Tara). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, her terrifying collection of taxidermy, and their dog, Dr. Bacon (who is alive). Firecracker is his first novel.

      • Delilah S. Dawson
      • Writer, Archeryist, Horse Enthusiast
      • Delilah S. Dawson is a novelist with Pocket, Pocket Star, and Simon Pulse. Her fiction includes WICKED AS THEY COME, WICKED AS SHE WANTS, two e-novellas, and a story in the CARNIEPUNK anthology. Her first YA, a creepy Savannah paranormal called SERVANTS OF THE STORM is out in 2014, as is her third book in the BLUD series, WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT. Her e-novella FOLLOW ME BOY, based on the Shadowman Comic from Valiant, was part of the commissioned author launch of Amazon Kindle Worlds. She's an Associate Editor at and and a native of Roswell, GA. This will be her second year at Crossroads. Follow her on Twitter at @DelilahSDawson.

      • Erick Erickson
      • Editor-in-chief, radio host, Fox News contributor
      • Formerly a lawyer, Erick Erickson is the Editor-in-Chief of, the most widely read right-of-center blog on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. In addition to running RedState, Erickson is a Fox News contributor after spending three years at CNN and hosts an eponymous radio show on WSB of Atlanta, GA. He has also appeared on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

      • Jackson Pearce
      • YA Author of "Sisters Red" and "Sweetly"
      • Jackson Pearce began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since. Her latest novel, "Cold Spell," comes out in November. 

      • Judson Mitcham
      • Poet Laureate of Georgia
      • Best known as the official Poet Laureate of Georgia, Judson is also a two-time winner of the Townsend Prize for Fiction and a two-time Georgia Author of the Year. His work is marked by deep examinations of basic human themes within the specific landscape of the Peach State.

      • Kat Zhang
      • YA Novelist, Contributing Writer
      • Kat is the author of "What's Left of Me" and her next novel, "Once We Were," will be released in September 2013, just a couple of weeks before the conference starts. She's also a contributing writer for Learn more about her at

      • Kelly Whiddon
      • Award-winning poet and Crossroads Co-Founder
      • Kelly Whiddon is the author of The House Began to Pitch, winner of the 2012 Adrienne Bond Poetry Award. Kelly's also a former president of the Crossroads Writers Conference and a former president of the board of directors for the Georgia Writers’ Association. She received earned her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the Florida State University and has published poetry in Crab Orchard Review, Poetry International, Meridian, Spoon River Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Slipstream. Her work has been anthologized in Writing on Napkins at the Sunshine Club: An Anthology of Poets Writing in Macon, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume V: Georgia

      • Kevin Coval
      • Def Jam Poet, founder of Louder Than a Bomb
      • Kevin is the author of numerous poetry collections and chapbooks. In his early twenties, Coval founded “Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival,” now one of the largest youth gatherings on the planet, recently the subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name. Coval currently serves as Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, the non-profit home of Louder Than a Bomb, and numerous other youth writing and hip-hop programs. His latest, "Schtick: Jewish Assimilation and Its Discontents," was released in April by Haymarket Books. Follow him on Twitter at @kevincoval and on Facebook at

      • Kristin Luna
      • writer of travel and lifestyle
      • Travel and lifestyles writer Kristin Luna started her career at Newsweek, going on to work in house at Time Inc., Wenner Media and Conde Nast in New York. Five years ago, she went freelance full time, penning a dozen guidebooks for Frommer’s and contributing for Southern Living, Forbes Traveler, Travel Channel, Robb ReportRedbookUSA Today and countless others; explored more than 100 countries; and built up a successful six-year-old travel blog, Camels & Chocolate, which was a three-time Bloggie winner before being retired to the Hall of Fame. 

      • Lauren Morrill
      • YA Author, Roller Derby Gal and Crossroads Organizer
      • Lauren is not only a Crossroads organizer (and Roller Derby gal), but she's also the author of Meant to Be, a "very funny and swoony" YA novel. We think you should buy it. She's currently hard at work on a second YA contemporary novel, Being Sloane Jacobs, which hits shelves on January 7, 2014.

      • Lauretta Hannon
      • the Cracker Queen returns
      • Lauretta Hannon is the author of The Cracker Queen--A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life (Gotham Books, April 2009) and has been a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Since 2000 she has also been known for her Georgia Public Radio stories, many of which celebrate strong, authentic Southern women (Cracker Queens). Her memoir became a Southern Indie Bestseller three weeks after its release and in 2010 was named one of the Top Twenty-Five Books All Georgians Should Read by the Georgia Center for the Book.

      • Nathan Edmondson
      • Writer of Comics, Crossroads' secret weapon
      • Nathan created OLYMPUS with Christian Ward, THE LIGHT with SURROGATES artist Brett Weldele, and the Eisner Nominated WHO IS JAKE ELLIS? with artist Tonci Zonjic as well as its follow up WHERE IS JAKE ELLIS?. He currently pens the ongoing series THE ACTIVITY with artist Mitch Gerads and was the writer for the DC Comics “New 52″ title GRIFTER and Marvel Comics’ ULTIMATE IRON MAN. Edmondson is also the writer on Ubisoft’s SPLINTER CELL: ECHOES graphic novel. 

      • Sarah Domet
      • Sarah Domet’s fiction and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in Talking Writing, New Delta Review, Cincinnati Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Potomac Review, Harpur Palate, and Many Mountains Moving.  She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature and fiction from the University of Cincinnati.

      • Shawn Durham
      • Journalist, Novelist, Poet
      • Shawn Durham is a journalist by trade and the author of the novel, "The Broke Brothers' Revolution" (@thebrokebrosrev). A native of Macon, Shawn now lives in Washington, D.C., and is touring the country in support of his new novel. 

      • Tim Regan-Porter
      • Director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism
      • Director, Mercer's Center for Collaborative Journalism. Cofounder, Paste; creator, Paste mPlayer.

Friday, October 4

1:00PM Welcome & Keynote by Delilah Dawson
1:30PM - 2:15PM Breakout Block 1
Room A: Writing Stories About Ordinary People - Ed Grisamore
Room B: Freelancing - Annabelle Carr
Room C: Never Say No: Building a Portfolio in the Gig Economy - Rhett Thomas
2:30PM - 3:15PM Breakout Block 2
Room A: If Writing is Easy, You Ain't Doing It Right - Joe Kovac
Room B- The Writer/Editor Collaboration - Marc Jolley
Room C: Writing Stories That Will Sell - Nathan Edmondson
3:15PM - 4:15PM Breakout Block 3
Room A: Digital Storytelling - Tim Regan-Porter
Room B: Fiction Writing & Promotion - Shawn Durham
Room C: Getting Past the Gatekeeper, How to Get Your Work Noticed by an Agent - Carrie Howland
6:00PM - 8:00PM Author's Avenue: Readings, Signings, Music. & More in Downtown Macon
8:30PM - 10:00PM Social Hour for Authors & Storyteller Deluxe Ticket Holders

Saturday, October 5

7:30AM Registration Opens
8:30AM - 9:15AM Opening & Welcome
8:45AM - 9:15AM Author Meets Agent: A Conversation with Cat Scully and Carrie Howland
9:30AM - 10:15AM Breakout Block 1
Room A: Revising Your Teenage Voice – Lauren Morrill
Room B: Advice from a Writing Coach – Sarah Domet
Room C: The 7 Questions That Will Revolutionize Your Writing – Lauretta Hannon
Room D: Fiction Panel: Bernice McFadden, Cate Noble and Anthony Grooms
Room E: Poems from the Oblique Lexicon – Judson Mitcham
10:30AM - 11:15AM Breakout Block 2
Room A: Young Adult Fiction – David Iserson
Room B: Making History Live – Anthony Grooms
Room C: Poetry – Kevin Coval
Room D: The Writing Life Panel : Carrie Howland, Sarah Domet, Emilie Bush and Marc Jolley
Room E: Writing Stories That Sell – Nathan Edmonson
11:30AM - 12:15PM Breakout Block 3
Room A: Making the Most Out of Murder and Mayhem – Barry Reese
Room B: How to Build Your Story – Margaret South
Room C: Freelancing Is Out, Entrepreneurship Is in – Kristin Luna
Room D: Young Adult Fiction Panel: David Iserson, AJ Hartley, Jackson Pearce, Kat Zhang and Lauren Morrill
Room E: Fiction Writing Tips – Cate Noble
12:15PM - 2:00PM Lunch in Mercer Village with Authors & Guests
2:15PM - 3:00PM Breakout Block 4
Room A: The Not-So Gentler Sex: How to Write Women. And Sex. – Delilah Dawson
Room B: Literary Agent Q&A – Carrie Howland
Room C: Young Adult Fiction – Jackson Pearce
Room D: Freelance Panel: Kristin Luna, Annabelle Carr, and Leila Regan-Porter
Room E: Writing Poems That Get Published – Kelly Whiddon
3:15PM - 4:00PM Breakout Block 5
Room A: Writing in Multiple Genres – AJ Hartley
Room B: Graphic Novels with Rhett Thomas
Room C: Writer vs. Studio with Adam Torchia
Room D: Journalism & New Media Panel: Erick Erickson, Tim Regan-Porter and Adam Ragusea
Room E: 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author (Even Lazier Edition) – Delilah Dawson
4:15PM Breakout Block 6
Room A: Planning the YA Trilogy with Kat Zhang
Room B: Storytelling in the Digital Age – Erick Erickson
Room C: Anatomy of a Book with Emilie Bush
Room D: Screenwriting Panel with David Iserson and Adam Torchia
Room E: Trusting the Voice: the Art of Listening, Writing and Living – Bernice McFadden
5:00PM - 6:00PM Author Book Signing

Sunday, October 6: VIP Roundtables for Storyteller Deluxe

9:00AM - 9:30AM Welcome & Breakfast
9:00AM - 12:00PM
9:30AM - 12:00PM Guests who purchase Storyteller Deluxe package will be joining our authors for one-on-one roundtable sessions, where you can ask questions, discuss projects, and work on pitches with professionals in the field.
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Ticket Type Price Quantity
Storyteller Deluxe

You want a little more out of your Crossroads weekend, so you get everything that comes with the Pen & Paper package (full access to the conference talks and panels, lunch and swag bag) plus the new Crossroads T-shirt and that VIP badge for the after-hours mingling and special sessions. And we'll take care of the ticketing fee. These are limited to 50 ticket-holders to keep it cozy.

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Pen & Paper

You just want the basics, right? Get to the Wordy South, get your Crossroads on and get back to writing. Well then, this your package. You'll get full access to the conference's talks and panels, a lunch voucher and a swag bag. Most importantly, you'll get to connect (or reconnect) with some of the coolest writers on the planet, including those who think you're one of the coolest writers on the planet. If you have a special code, don't forget to use it!

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Short Story

This is the Saturday ONLY ticket, which could be perfect for people who don't have the time for our Friday and Sunday sessions. Or maybe, you're new to Crossroads and just want to dip your toes in the warm, welcoming water of our friendly lil' conference. This ticket gets you into all the daytime sessions on Saturday but doesn't include the lunch voucher so you're on your own there. But, as budget-friendly options for getting your Crossroads on, this is hard to beat.

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