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2017 speakers

2017 conference keynote and featured speakers

Natalie BaszileNATALIE BASZILE Thursday Night Keynote Speaker

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 Natalie is the author of Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” fame, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Oprah’s television network. Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Lenny Letter, O, The Oprah Magazine, The, The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie lives in San Francisco.




Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair Friday Night Featured Speaker

(panel presentation)

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Cherry Adair has garnered numerous awards for her innovative action-adventure novels, which include White Heat, Hot Ice, On Thin Ice, Out of Sight, In Too Deep, Hide and Seek, and Kiss and Tell, as well as her thrilling Edge trilogy: Edge of Danger, Edge of Fear, and Edge of Darkness, and her bestselling Lodestone series. A favorite of reviewers and fans alike, she lives in the Pacific Northwest.

  deb calett

Deb Caletti   Friday Night Featured Speaker

(panel presentation)

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Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include The Nature of Jade, Stay, The Last Forever, Essential Maps for the Lost, and Honey, Baby Sweetheart, winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Award. Her books for adults include He’s Gone, The Secrets She Keeps, and What’s Become of Her, coming in 2017.

Gregg Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz Friday Night Featured Speaker

(panel presentation)

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Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 novels, most recently, THE NOWHERE MAN. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 30 languages. He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios (including the upcoming THE BOOK OF HENRY), and written, developed, and produced television  for various networks.  Gregg resides in Los Angeles. 


Donald Maas

Donald Maass Friday Night Featured Speaker

(panel presentation)

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Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York in 1980. His agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas.  He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996),Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009) , The Breakout Novelist (2011) and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012).  He is a past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.
 Christopher Vogler

Christopher Vogler Friday Night Featured Speaker

(panel presentation)

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Christopher Vogler is an internationally known and highly sought-after Hollywood development executive who has worked for Disney, Warner Bros., Fox and many other major studios and production companies. As a veteran story consultant for major Hollywood film companies and a respected teacher of filmmakers and writers around the globe, his book The Writer's Journey has become an international best seller and a true classic. The Writer's Journey explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling in a clear, concise style that's made it required reading for movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, scholars, and fans of pop culture all over the world. He has influenced the screenplays of movies from THE LION KING to FIGHT CLUB to THE THIN RED LINE and most recently wrote the first installment of RAVENSKULL, a Japanese-style graphic novel. A native of St. Louis and a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he served in the Air Force as an officer, and made documentary films on the military space program before doing graduate work at the University of Southern California film school. He started work in the film industry as a story analyst for 20th Century Fox and other major studios. He was part of the animation story staff at Disney while THE LION KING, ALADDIN, HERCULES, and MULAN were being developed. His book The Writer's Journey grew out of a short memo he wrote while at Disney. Recently he has consulted on films such as 10,000 BC, HANCOCK, I AM LEGEND, Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER, and the 2010 remake of the KARATE KID.

 Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni Friday Night Panel Moderator

(panel presentation)

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed and New York Times Best Selling Author of the David Sloane series, The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm,  Murder One and The Conviction. He is also the author of the best-selling stand alone novel Damage Control as well as the nonfiction expose, The Cyanide Canary.

Dugoni’s books have been likened to Scott Turow and Nelson DeMille, and he has been hailed as "the undisputed king of the legal thriller” by The Providence Journal and called the "heir to Grisham’s literary throne.”  Bodily Harm and Murder One were each chosen one of the top five thrillers of 2010 and 2011, respectively. Murder One was also a finalist for the Harper Lee Award for literary excellence.  My Sister’s Grave, released October 2014 will be the first in the Tracy Crosswhite series. Visit his website at, email him at, and follow him on twitter @robertdugoni.







Donn T is a Singer, songwriter and actress, Donn T is thrilled to continue her family’s artistic legacy in Philadelphia. Performing in Japanese Azeteroids, Donn T returns to the stage in this compelling drama. Her newest release 1004 Characters arrives, summer  2017. Additionally, Donn T makes her literary debut in the anthology, Behind the Song (Sourcebooks), Fall 2017.  

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2018 PNWA Conference

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