August 13-16, 2020
New York City

Abby L. Vandiver

Abby L. Vandiver is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of more than twenty-five books. Abby is an hybrid author, penning novels and short stories as both a self and traditionally published author. Writing as Abby Collette, she has a new cozy mystery from Penguin Berkley, A Deadly Inside Scoop (May 2020).

Former lawyer and Economics professor, Abby will be 2020 member of the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau. She is a member of SinC National and Guppy Chapter, and Alpha Kappy Alpha Sorority. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio and in her spare time enjoys teaching writing and publishing workshops at local libraries around the state and spending time with her grandchildren.

Learn more at her website

Jessica Strawser

Favorite Writing Tip: It depends on what day you ask me! But in the thick of a draft or a revision, I think my favorite advice comes from Patricia Cornwell: To treat your writing like a relationship, not a job.

Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You—a Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick—and Not That I Could TellBook of the Month selection now new in paperback. Her third novel, Forget You Know Mewhich garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named a PopSugar best of the season in February 2019 (all from St. Martin’s Press). Her next novel, tentatively titled Everything Worth Anything, is forthcoming in early 2021.

Strawser spent a year as a literary ambassador and community writing mentor when she was named 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other fine venues.

She tweets @jessicastrawser, enjoys connecting on Facebook, and Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor, and keynotes frequently at book clubs, libraries, writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.

Mark Shatz

Mark Shatz is the author of a top-selling humor writing book, Comedy Writing Secrets (3rd ed). As an award-winning professor at Ohio University-Zanesville, he teaches psychology, stress management, and humor writing. Dr. Shatz is a popular public speaker with extensive experience working with writers, including presentations at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Learn more at and

Susan Shapiro

Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor is the bestselling author/coauthor of 12 books her family hates including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List & the inspiring writing guide The Byline Bible. She freelances for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & NY Magazines and lives in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular “Instant Gratification Takes Too Long” classes at The New School, NYU, and in private workshops & seminars. 

You can follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet and Instagram at @Profsue123

Tariq Shah

Tariq Shah, born and raised in Illinois, writes fiction and poetry, and has work appearing or forthcoming in Jubilat, Heavy Feather Review, No, Dear Magazine, ANMLY (fka Drunken Boat), Gravel, BlazeVox, and other publications. From 2007-2009, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, and he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, where he now teaches. His chapbook, heart assist device, was a finalist for the 2019 no, dear/small anchor press chapbook series. Whiteout Conditions is his first novel.