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2015 conference keynote and featured speakers

ANDRE DUBUS III Thursday Night Keynote Speaker

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Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times “Notable Book” selection, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice”, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”.

Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

J.A. JANCE Friday Night Featured Speaker (panel presentation)

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J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, as well as four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Brisbee, Arizona, Jance and her husband live in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.


NANCY KRESS Friday Night Featured Speaker (panel presentation)

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She began writing in 1976 and in '91 received her Hugo and first Nebula Award for her novella, Beggars in Spain, which she later expanded into a novel. Although she began by writing fantasy, Nancy currently writes science fiction, most usually about genetic engineering. She teaches regularly at summer conferences, and is a "Fiction" columnist for Writer's Digest. Her work has been translated into Swedish, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Japanese, and Russian, and Klingon, none of which she can read.


ELIZABETH BOYLE Friday Night Featured Speaker (panel presentation)

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Elizabeth Boyle has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as "page-turners." Since her first book was published in 1996, she's won the RWA RITA Award and a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award and saw her last five titles become USA Today best sellers.

She resides in Seattle with her husband and two small sons, or "heroes in training" as she likes to call them.


KEVIN O'BRIEN Friday Night Featured Speaker (panel presentation)

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Kevin continues to turn out New York Times bestselling thrillers, and his books have been translated into fourteen languages. His latest nail-biter, Unspeakable (2013) about which RT Book Reviews said, “O’Brien expertly ratchets up the suspense…Great characters and a truly baffling story make this his best book to date.” His latest thriller is set to release this May, Tell Me You're Sorry. Kevin is on the board of Seattle 7 Writers (, a collective of bestselling, award-winning authors, dedicated to supporting literacy, writing and education. He’s currently burning the midnight oil at work on his 16th novel.


GERRI RUSSELL Friday Night Featured Speaker (panel presentation)

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Gerri Russell has done it all when it comes to writing; she’s worked as a broadcast journalist, newspaper reporter, magazine columnist, technical writer and editor, instructional designer, which all finally led her to follow her heart’s desire of being a romance novelist. Gerri is the award-winning author of six novels and one novella. In her spare time, Gerri is a living history re-enactor with the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire. A two-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award and winner of the American Title II competition sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and RT BOOKreviews Magazine, she lives in Bellevue, Washington with her husband and children.


BILL KENOWER Sunday Featured Speaker

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You’ve spent the conference connecting with other writers of all genres and experience levels; you’ve connected with teachers, agents and editors, and publicists. Now it is time to connect once more to your confidence, to the only thing that can truly sustain you through rejection letters, rewrites, complicated plots, and unruly characters. Author magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Bill Kenower has been inspiring published and unpublished writers  for years with his interviews, daily blogs, workshops, and lectures. This morning he will put aside talk of marketing, craft, and query letters and instead focus on why we write. No amount of craft or marketing savvy will help us when we have forgotten this, and nothing will propel us further down our writing journey when we remember it.

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1/12/2016 » 3/15/2016
2016 Winter Quarter Fiction Course: Write Your Story

7/28/2016 » 7/31/2016
2016 PNWA Conference

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