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Rappahannock Writers Conference: Speakers and Panelists

Virtual Rappahannock Writers Conference: Building Up Writers

Speakers & Panelists

Traci Hunter Abramson

Traci Hunter Abramson, Keynote Speaker

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program.

After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years.

She has written more than twenty-five bestselling novels and is a five-time Whitney Award winner.

Traci Hunter Abramson Books

Bill Blume

Bill Blume, Author

Bill Blume's love for the written word started in high school with comic books and novels like Frankenstein and Dragonflight.

Gidion's Hunt, the first book in his YA vampire hunter series, was first published in 2013.

He's worked as a 911 dispatcher for almost two decades and served as a board member for James River Writers.

Dawn Brotherton

Dawn Brotherton, Author/Publisher

Dawn Brotherton is the Global eBook award-winning romance author of Untimely Love.

She’s written 9 books including two mysteries and a series of middle grade fiction.

She is also a retired Air Force colonel and professional speaker, as well as the founder of independent publishing house, Blue Dragon Publishing, LLC, where she has helped over 30 authors realize their dreams.

Tracy Causley

Tracy Causley, Author

Author Tracy Causley grew up zig-zagging the country before landing in Germany for seven years.

Inspired by her early foreign travel adventures she obtained an MFA degree in art history from Savannah College of Art and Design.

She now writes award-winning historical fiction and lives in Northern Virginia with her daughter and comic-creator husband Sean Causley.

Paige Edwards

Paige Edwards, Author

Longtime Stafford resident Paige Edwards is an award-winning romantic suspense author who thinks the color turquoise is almost as great, but not quite, as See’s Candy.

When she’s not writing, you can find her shooing deer out of her garden, biking battlefields, or kayaking on the lake.

Elizabeth Ferris

Elizabeth Ferris, Author

Elizabeth Ferris is a writer, editor, and teacher in Richmond, Virginia.

She teaches for the Studio School at the VMFA, Richmond Young Writers, and Life in 10 Minutes, where she is the executive editor of Life in 10 Minutes Press.

She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte and a reader for Qu Literary Magazine.

Elizabeth is the co-editor of the anthology Unspoken: Writers on Infertility, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth (Life in 10 Minutes Press, October 2020).

William LJ Galaini

William LJ Galaini, Author

Having lived up and down the East Coast, William Galaini finally settled outside of Washington,DC after a charming stream of career failures that ranged from the hospitality business to the military.

The influences that echo in his writing include role-playing games, classic literature, world history, and his personal experience.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, Author

Chris Jones is a three-time Virginia Press Association award-winning editor and journalist, author, and ghostwriter.

He enjoys helping authors develop their books and uses his graphic design and branding background to educate authors on marketing and self-promotion as it relates to their book business success.

Judy Kelly

Judy Kelly, Author

An award winning author, Judy Kelly’s Blessings and Curses, was in the ten Most Popular novels at Frankfort, Sharjah and Guadalajara International Book Fairs, 2018.

Her first novel, That Ever Died So Young, was a finalist in the Somerset Literary, Contemporary Fiction Award 2014.

She’s an adjunct professor at Montgomery College.

Wendy Latella

Wendy Latella, Screenwriter

Wendy Latella is a multi-award winning Writer and Director of Film and Television with over 20 years professional experience in the entertainment industry. 

She is a proud Army Wife and Mom of two boys.

M.E. Maki

M.E. Maki, Author

Mary E. Maki grew up in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York where her first two Caitlyn Jamison mysteries are set.

The third and fourth books in the series are set in Virginia.

Mary is a member of Sisters in Crime, Fredericksburg’s Old Town Sleuths, CRRL’s Memoir and Fiction Critique writing groups, and several genealogical societies.

James Noll

James Noll, Author

James Noll is an author, a producer, and a teacher from Fredericksburg, VA.

He writes horror, science-fiction, and post apocalyptic novels.

He also produces his own audiobooks and has branched out into film production.

Rick Pullen

Rick Pullen, Author

Thriller novelist Rick Pullen is an award-winning investigative reporter and magazine editor.

He was a member of the FOLIO 100 - the 100 most influential people in magazine publishing - and a finalist for 2015 Editor of the Year.

His first novel, Naked Ambition, was a bestseller, followed by its sequel, Naked Truth and a standalone, The Apprentice.

David Anthony Sam

David Anthony Sam, Poet

David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife, Linda.

His poetry has appeared in over 90 publications and six collections are in print including Dark Fathers (2019).

Sam teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College and serves as Regional VP of the Virginia Poetry Society.

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins, Poet

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet and writer who taught in community colleges for more than a decade.

Her tanka and Celtic bardic verse have been published extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America.

She is the author of The Language of Bones and With No Bridle for the Breeze.

Kathy Smaltz

Kathy Smaltz, Poet

Kathy's poems are published in several journals and anthologies.

She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from George Mason University and is a teacher. 

A VCCA fellow, Smaltz served as Prince William County’s Poet Laureate, 2016-2018.

Her first poetry collection, Pieces, was released by Piedmont Press in September, 2019. 

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