About the Presenters

The day is guided by these inspirational individuals (see biographies at bottom of page) 

Patricia McNairPatricia Ann McNair

Opening Session - Listen Deep—On Distraction and Resonance 
Workshop: Writers’ Road Trip

Anne-Marie OomenOomen

 Workshop: Do You Hear Voices?

Teresa ScollonScollon

Workshop: Say What You See

StanderAaron Stander 

General Session: Publishing Tales from the Trenches

ShumakerHeather Shumaker

Workshop: Writing the Renegade Book Proposal  

tyeLesley Tye 

Workshop: Cinematic Writing: Crafting a Screenplay That’s Worth Reading




General Session: Publishing Tales from the Trenches




Workshop: Writing and Connecting: A Blogging Workshop




Philip Hartigan is a UK-born artist and writer now living in Chicago. His multimedia is fueled by personal narrative and has been exhibited extensively in the UK and the USA. Hartigan is adjunct faculty in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago, and his writing on art and culture can be found on his blog, Praeterita, and in the online publications Hyperallergic.com and Time Out-Chicago.

Mardi Link, author of Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm, studied at MSU and Queens University of Charlotte. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, a tree planter, a seamstress, and a tournament pool player. Her two true crime books about infamous Michigan murders, When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore’s Secret were on the Heartland Bestseller List and Isadore’s Secret was named a Michigan Notable Book. Mardi’s essays have been widely published. 

Anne-Marie Oomen is author of two memoirs, Pulling Down the Barn and House of Fields, both Michigan Notable Books, An American Map, and a collection of poetry, Uncoded Woman. She has written several plays including the award-winning Northern Belles and Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern, 2012 winner of the CTAM contest.  She adapted the meditations of Gwen Frostic for Chaotic Harmony, a choreopoem.  She is founding editor of Dunes Review, former president of Michigan Writers, Inc., and serves as instructor of creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy, ICCA Writer's Retreat, and Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College, MA.

Patricia Ann McNair teaches in the Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she received a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year. McNair’s story collection, The Temple of Air, was named The Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award and the Society of Midland Authors Finalist Award.

Teresa Scollon, MFA, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the author of To Embroider the Ground with Prayer. She serves on the board of the writers’ collective Michigan Writers and works as a poet, essayist, editor, and teacher in Traverse City. She maintains a blog on reading poetry.

Heather Shumaker, M.S., writes fiction and nonfiction for adults and children.  She began writing professionally in 1996 and is the author of  It’s OK Not to Share: and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids (Tarcher/Penguin 2012).  Other publications include the New York Post, Parenting, Organic Gardening, and Traverse.  Heather also writes life histories for nonprofits and individuals and offers book proposal consulting.

Aaron Stander has taught English and trained writing teachers as a career. In 2000 he and his wife left college teaching positions and moved permanently to Traverse City. His first novel was  Summer People, a mystery set in Northern Michigan. A sequel, Color Tour, was released in 2006. Four mystery novels have followed: Deer Season (2009), Shelf Ice (2010), Medieval Murders (2011), and Cruelest Month (2012). He is also the author of numerous articles, stories, poems, and reviews, and host of Michigan Writers on the Air  on Interlochen Public Radio.

Lesley Alicia Tye, MFA  is a writer and instructor of screenwriting and film studies at Interlochen Center for the Arts.  She has taught screenwriting seminars for Michigan Writers and TCFF’s film school, and her panel exploring screenplays as literature was accepted to the 2013 AWP Conference. Previously she worked in Los Angeles with a range of production credits in film and television. She has written several feature length screenplays, was co-writer for the television pilot “Devin’s Chronicles” and while at USC received the Stephen C. Gentry Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Her flash fiction has been published in the anthology Bite from Trachodon Publishing.

Browse Classes
By Category