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2017 Conference Faculty


Write On The River is thrilled to welcome to Wenatchee a brilliant, esteemed and world-class faculty for our 2017 Write On The River Conference. Offering years of expertise in a variety of writing fields, a bevy of honors and accolades, and a proven enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge and expertise, this year’s presenters are sure to inspire, inform, and bring your writing to the next level.

Click Here to learn about our 2017 Conference Workshops!

Steven Barnes – Sunday Intensive Workshop Presenter

Steven Barnes is a New York Times bestselling writer, teacher, and martial artist with over three million words in print. He has written for such television shows as Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Andromeda and Stargate SG-1.  He has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula, and Cable Ace Awards, and has won the Endeavor award and with his wife Tananarive Due won the NAACP Image award.  His “A Stitch In Time” episode of The Outer Limits won an Emmy (best supporting Actress Amanda Plummer).  He and his family  live in Southern California with his family. His Revolutionary Writing class is designed to teach artists to speak with the kind of authentic voice that not only sells books…but inspire and change society.  www.createthenarrative.com

Scott Driscoll – Saturday Double Session Presenter

Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor (the University of Washington, Educational Outreach award for Excellence in Teaching in the Arts and Humanities 2006). He holds an MFA from the University of Washington and has been teaching creative writing for the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education for twenty years.
Driscoll makes his living as a writer and teacher. While finishing Better You Go Home, a novel that grew out of the exploration of the Czech side of his family—Driscoll kept busy freelancing stories to magazines, both commercial and literary. His short stories and essays have been published extensively in literary journals and anthologies, including Image Magazine, Far From Home (a Seal Press anthology), Ex-Files: New Stories About Old Flames (a Context Books fiction anthology featuring high-profile writers such as Jennifer Egan, and Junot Diaz), The Seattle Review, Crosscurrents, Cimarron Review, and others. Better You Go Home was selected as the Foreword Reviews First Book Contest winner, March 2014. Driscoll has been awarded nine Society of Professional Journalists awards, most recently First Place in the Western U.S. in 2014 for arts and entertainment reporting, and including best education reporting and general reporting.

DongWon Song – Literary Agent

DongWon Song is an agent at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency representing science fiction, fantasy, YA, science, food, and pop-culture. Previously, he was an editor with Orbit. He has also worked as a digital bookseller for ebook startup Zola Books where he was the head of product for the ecommerce and ebook apps. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Click here to learn about our new agent format for this year’s conference!


Janet Buttenwieser’s work has appeared in The Rumpus, Under the Sun, Potomac Review, The Pinch, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her memoir, GUTS, was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Publishing Lab Prize and will be published by Vine Leaves Press in 2018. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was a finalist for Oregon Quarterly’s Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest, and won honorable mention in The Atlantic Student Writing contest, the New Millennium Writings Award and the Artsmith Literary Award. She holds an MFA from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Visit her at janetbuttenwieser.com


Paula Marie Coomer is a poet, novelist, sometimes food writer, and a writer of short fictions. The daughter of over two hundred years of Kentucky Appalachian farmers and mixed-blood heritage, she lived most of her childhood in the industrial Ohio River town of New Albany, Indiana. Ms. Coomer is the author of five books of literary prose and poetry, including her newest novel, Jagged Edge of the Sky, as well as the food memoir, Blue Moon Vegetarian and follow-up cookbook, Blue Moon Vegan. Other books include a novel based on her years as a public health nurse for the Indian Health Service, Dove Creek, and Nurses Who Love English, poems about the years following 9/11. Ms. Coomer holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho and for many years taught in the English Department at Washington State University. She lives near the mouth of Hells Canyon in southeast Washington State, where she coaches writers and organizes retreats and has completed work on a third novel.

DanGemeinhartDan Gemeinhart’s debut middle grade novel, The Honest Truth, was published by Scholastic Press in 2015. It was a NYT Editor’s choice, an Indie’s Next Selection, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and has been published in over 10 other countries. His second novel, Some Kind of Courage, was published in January 2016, and received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Booklist. His third novel, Scar Island, was released in January 2017. He worked for 13 years as an elementary teacher-librarian in Wenatchee and lives in Cashmere with his wife and three young daughters. He has a passion for children’s literature and loves sharing that passion with other writers.

Tod Marshall was born in Buffalo, NY.  His first collection of poetry, Dare Say, was the 2002 winner of the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Poetry Series. He has also published a collection of his interviews with contemporary poets, Range of the Possible (EWU Press, 2002), and an accompanying anthology of the interviewed poets’ work, Range of Voices (2005).  These volumes include interviews with and poems by Robert Hass, Li-Young Lee, Robert Wrigley, Brenda Hillman, Dorianne Laux, Kim Addonizio, Ed Hirsch, Dave Smith, and others. In 2005, he was awarded a Washington Artists Trust Fellowship. His second collection of poetry, The Tangled Line (Canarium Books, 2009) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.  His most recent collection, Bugle, was published by Canarium in 2014 and was the 2015 winner of the Washington State Book Award. In 2015, he was awarded the Humanities Washington Award for creativity and service.  
He lives in Spokane, Washington, and teaches creative writing and literature at Gonzaga University where he is the Richard and Ann Powers Endowed Chair in the Humanities.  From 2016-18, he is serving as the Washington State Poet Laureate.

TrishMcCallanTrish McCallan is the author of the Red-Hot SEALs series. A Romance Writers of America honor roll alumni, she is also a three-time finalist for the RITA award. A full-time author, to date she has sold over 450,000 copies of her books.



Heather Ryan earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon in 2006. Her nonfiction and fiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, the Southern Humanities Review, NPR, and Salon, among others. Her short story “Girl Emerges from Landscape” was a nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016. Heather is also an English faculty member at Wenatchee Valley College, and is working on a dystopian YA novel called Bait. She also frequently writes about her life as a single parent and writer. She has a deep love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, knitting, and spending time with her giant dog Effie.


Anthea Lawson Sharp is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fantasy (as Anthea Sharp) and historical romance (as Anthea Lawson). She began her career as a traditionally published author in historical romance, but after selling two books to the New York publishing industry, her contract was not renewed and she was left without a publisher. Since 2011 she has been successfully self-publishing. She branched out into a second pen name writing YA Fantasy, hit the USA Today bestseller list multiple times with each pen name (and without the backing of a publisher), sold over 300,000 copies of her books worldwide, and is now making a good living as a midlist author. Anthea is delighted to share her journey and what she’s learned on the self-publishing road, including busting some myths along the way (like why she had no platform coming from traditional publishing into indie). In addition to independently publishing, Anthea is a hybrid author, selling her short fiction into traditional markets for fun and profit (but that’s a whole other workshop). Find out more by visiting https://antheasharp.com/ and http://anthealawson.com/ and following Anthea on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AntheaSharp

Derek Sheffield’s book of poems, Through the Second Skin (Orchises, 2013), was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award and the Washington State Book Award. His poems have also appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and Orion, and were given special mention in the 2016 Puschart Prize Anthology. His awards include the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Li-Young Lee, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, and a Special Mention in the 2016 Pushcart Anthology. He teaches poetry and ecological writing at Wenatchee Valley College, serves as poetry editor of Terrain.org, and lives with his family in the foothills of the Cascades near Leavenworth, Washington.

Wendy Call has served as writer-in-residence at Hugo House, Hedgebrook, Harborview Medical Center, North Cascades National Park, Seattle University, and twenty other institutions. She co-edited the craft anthology Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide and wrote No Word for Welcome: The Mexican Village Faces the Global Economy, winner of Grub Street’s 2011 National Book Prize for Nonfiction. She also works as a freelance editor, helping memoirists and novelists complete and polish their manuscripts. Her essays, reportage, memoir, and translations of poetry and short fiction (from Spanish) have appeared in more than fifty publications in eight countries. Her translation of Mexican fiction has been supported by grants from 4Culture, Ragdale Foundation, and Seattle CityArtist Program. Her most recent project is Sqebeqsed Stories, a digital, literary map of Seward Park, the old growth forest near her home in Seattle. She has taught memoir and fiction writing at New College of Florida, Goddard College in Vermont, writers conferences across the country, and, currently, at Pacific Lutheran University.