Speakers

Professor Richard Sykes
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Professor Richard Sykes

Rick Sykes is the Assistant Director of the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. His career includes 17 years in television news serving in various on-air and management positions in mid-size and top ten markets. He spent six years as a senior manager in a major market public relations agency and for the past 17 years, Sykes has been a tenured faculty member in the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts. In addition to his administrative duties as Assistant Director, Sykes oversees a student-produced nightly newscast that airs in three counties and more than a dozen communities in mid-Michigan. He has published several articles on student media and served on number panels at the national level. Sykes has also presented papers at a 2005 Oxford Round Table Conference in Oxford, England and a 2008 Public Relations Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. A winner of numerous industry awards, Sykes was honored with Central Michigan University’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.

Tracy Beckerman
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Tracy Beckerman

Tracy Beckerman writes the syndicated humor column, LOST IN SUBURBIA® which is carried by over 400 newspapers nationally. Combined with her blog by the same name, which is syndicated to over 250 websites, Lost in Suburbia reaches up to ten million readers weekly.

Tracy has made frequent TV and radio appearances speaking about motherhood and how to be a cool mom in the ‘burbs, including The Today Show on NBC, Good Day Dallas, Fox 5 Morning News DC, Good Day New York, WGN News Chicago, The CBS Early Show, LX New York, Better TV, The Balancing Act, and CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, as well as many satellite radio and print interviews. She also has performed stand-up at The Comic Strip Live in NYC, and other venues, and has spoken about humor writing and syndication at numerous industry conferences, schools and women’s events.

She was selected as America’s Top Blogger by The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television and contributes to Huffington Post Comedy, Blogher.com, and BuzzFeed.Tracy is the author of the recently released humor book, “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs.” (Perigee Books, 2013). She is also the author of the book, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the ‘Burbs” (Cold Tree Press, 2008), and is a contributor to the humor compilations, “See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World’s Most Harried Moms,” and “Fifty Shades of Funny.”

She is the Vice-President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. She is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism and Women Symposium.

Prior to her life as a humor columnist, Tracy was a writer and producer in the television industry, creating award-winning TV and radio scripts for such clients as Lifetime Television, WCBS-TV, CBS and NBC. Her honors for writing include The Erma Bombeck Global Humor Writers Award, a Writer’s Guild of America award, several International Film and Television awards, and a New York Emmy®.

Tara Beagan
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Tara Beagan

We are so excited and honoured to announce that Tara Beagan will be joining us for the Windsor International Writers Conference, 2016! A Ntlakapamux and Irish “Canadian” theatre artist, she co-founded ARTICLE 11 with theatre artist and great love, andy moro. Tara is a playwright, actor, director, dramaturg, workshop facilitator, public speaker and producer. She is a member of the advisory board for Canadian Theatre Review and the Aboriginal Liaison for the Toronto Centre NDP riding association. Tara served as artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts (NEPA) from Feb ’11 to Dec ’13. She also served at NEPA as a co-artistic associate (Sept 2010 to Jan 2011 when she became AD), playwright-in-residence (the 2009/2010 season, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts), guest mentor to the Animikiig writers (formerly Young Voices) and community liaison (Feb 2005 to Dec 2005.) As well as at NEPA, Tara has been playwright-in-residence at the National Arts Centre and Cahoots Theatre. She was one of four writers in residence at the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s prestigious Berton House for the 2014/15 season – river freeze up shift. Work has brought her to UnSpun, Urban Curvz, Tarragon, Nightwood, Factory, Crate Productions, Caravan Farm, Theatre North West, Theatrefront, Theatre Centre, Theatre Passe-Muraille, KICK Theatre, the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Praxis Theatre, mysterious entity, Western Canada Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Saskatchewan Native Theatre, Persephone and more. Tara has also been nominated for the prestigious Dora Mavor Moore award (with one win), the K.m. hHunter award, and a Betty Mitchell award. In everything that Tara does, she puts her heart and soul into it and represents her ancestors and family beautifully.

Yale Strom
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Yale Strom

Yale Strom is a brilliant writer/researcher and is the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of Klezmer and Roma music and history. Strom’s klezmer research was instrumental in forming the repertoire of his klezmer band, Hot Pastromi, based in New York and San Diego. Since 1981, he has composed original New Jewish music that combines klezmer with Khasidic melodies, as well as Rom, jazz, classical, Balkan, Arabic and Sephardic motifs. In 2006, he was appointed artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University. Prior to this Strom taught at New York University.

Strom has directed eight award-winning ethnographic documentary films, and written twelve books including his new book “SHPIL! THE ART OF PLAYIING KLEZMER” for those who want to learn how to play klezmer. Yale was awarded a Creative Catalyst Grant from San Diego. He will compose a classical string quartet and a jazz quartet based upon folk melodies from two of San Diego’s newest immigrant groups: the Somalians and the Chaldeans.

Andrew Pyper
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Andrew Pyper

Andrew Pyper is the author of seven internationally bestselling novels, including most recently The Damned and The Demonologist, the latter winning the International Thriller Writers Award. The Damned and The Demonologist are both in development for major motion pictures. His previous books include The Killing Circle (a New York Times Crime Novel of the Year) and Lost Girls (a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award). He lives in Toronto. www.andrewpyper.com

Brian Henry
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Brian Henry

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.
Read reviews of Brian’s weekly classes and Saturday workshops here.

Carol McAdoo Rehme
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Carol McAdoo Rehme

An award-winning author, editor and ghostwriter from Loveland, Colorado. Carol publishes prolifically in the inspirational market. In addition to authoring seven gift books, she has compiled anthologies for a number of publishers including Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC, Health Communications Inc. and Publishers International Ltd. Carol coaches writers, teaches workshops, and presents at writing, storytelling and educational conferences. Her most recent releases include Finding the Pearl: Unstoppable passion, unbridled success, recipient of the 2013 first place award in nonfiction from CAL, and Fundamentally Female, an award-winning art book that made its debut in the 2013 swag bags at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. A passionate advocate for the frail elderly, Carol has been active in the longterm care industry for three decades. She founded and directed Vintage Voices Inc, a nonprofit agency that provides engaging, interactive arts programs in 54 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and dementia units across Northern Colorado. This model garnered interest from around the world and was awarded several coveted grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Lev Raphael
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Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael is a prize-winning pioneer in American Jewish Literature who’s been compared by The Washington Post to Philip Roth, Kafka, and John le Carré. Raphael is the author of twenty-five books in genres from memoir to mystery that have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Widely anthologized in the U.S. and England, he’s done hundreds of talks and readings from his work on three different continents.

Lev’s fiction and creative non-fiction are taught at colleges and universities across North America, and the Michigan State University Library Special Collections has purchased his literary papers for their Special Archives. Lev was the book reviewer for three public radio stations in Michigan and a reviewer for the Detroit Free Press. He also hosted his own radio show where he interviewed Salman Rushdie, Erica Jong and many other authors.

Currently, he blogs about books, art, culture, and politics for The Huffington Post and you can him Lev on the web at www.levraphael.com.

Marcia Fine
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Marcia Fine

Spending her formative years in South Florida, the only child of New York expatriates with a penchant for the Bohemian lifestyle, Marcia Fine’s best friend was a good book. At Florida State University, she majored in English, teaching high school while working toward a Masters Degree in English Education with a Certificate of Concentration in Women’s Studies. In 2000 Marcia pursued her dream of writing, completing two satires about life and society in Scottsdale, Arizona. After completing the third of her Jean Rubin social satires, Stressed in Scottsdale, she wrote Paper Children: An Immigrants Legacy. Her novel, The Blind Eye is a sweeping historical novel about two women searching for themselves, their religion and their identities. Marcia went through the traditional agent/publisher experience for her first novels and has now self-published her latest books. www.marciafine.com marcia@marciafine.com

Nick Cutter
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Nick Cutter

Nick Cutter is the pen name of a Canadian writer. He has written three books: The Troop, The Deep, and The Acolyte. A fourth, tentatively titled Little Heaven, will be released in June 2016. Nick lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

Suzette Martinez Standring
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Suzette Martinez Standring

Suzette Martinez Standring is a syndicated columnist with GateHouse Media. She is the award winning author of The Art of Column Writing and The Art of Opinion Writing, which took a First Place in the 2015 New England Book Festival. She won First Place for Multimedia and Online Blogs in 2013 for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. She has published spirituality, lifestyle, humor and opinion columns in various publications.

Visit: www.readsuzette.com

Twitter: @Suzette_Stand

email: suzmar@comcast.net

Kelly Fordon
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Kelly Fordon
Kelly Fordon’s work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle and various other journals. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, one of which won the Standing Rock Chapbook Award. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, published by Wayne State University Press in 2015, was chosen as a Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist as well as a Michigan Notable Book. It has also received a Bronze Medal for the short story from the IPPY awards. She works for the Inside Out Literary Arts Project in Detroit where she lives with her husband and children.

Visit: www.kellyfordon.com