Save on Early-Bird Registration and Speakers Announced for Writers’ Conference on Oct. 17-18th in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, MI –The Quit Whining Start Writing 2014 Writers’ Conference will be held at Grand Valley State University’s L. William Seidman Center, downtown campus in Grand Rapids, on October 17-18th, 2014. The conference is geared toward authors (beginner to published), and will connect writers of all levels, editors, agents, marketing and PR professionals. A full day of workshops will take place on Saturday from 9am – 5pm, featuring experienced speakers on a variety of publishing and writing topics. An opening reception on Friday will be held from 6pm – 8pm featuring Keri Topouzian, author of The Perfect Armenian.

Registration is open and limited to the first 200 attendees. Early-bird registration features a $25 savings (and an entry to win a free Kindle) that will run through August 18th for $150. The fee includes the Friday evening reception and the Saturday conference and luncheon. Regular registration begins on Sept. 1st, with the fee at $175.

A keynote and more than 15 group sessions will be led by authors, editors, creative writing professionals, designers, publishers and marketing representatives. The conference speakers and sessions have been announced.

Sue Silverman, author of The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew; Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction; and, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, which won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction.

Brian Jud is the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns). This is the ultimate do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities. He also wrote Beyond the Bookstore (a Publishers Weekly® book), a primer on non-bookstore marketing.

Marc J. Sheehan is the author of two poetry collections, Greatest Hits from New Issues Press and Vengeful Hymns from Ashland Poetry Press. His short story “Objet du Desir” won the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Contest sponsored by the public radio program Selected Shorts.

Denise Hill is the editor-in-chief of, an online resource for writers and readers, and the Associate Professor of English at Delta College. She has expertise in publishing and professional writing, including grant writing, interviewing, review writing, freelance, and new media writing.

Mark Vorenkamp will speak on the changing publishing climate and how e-books and the printed page can coexist in the future. He is a writer, e-book developer, and President of Inklings Writers Guild. Over 50 e-book projects have been completed under his guidance.

Carol Finke teaches writing at a community college in northern Michigan and served as editor of the national literary journal Controlled Burn from 2007 through 2012. A Hopwood winner at the University of Michigan and a Hogrefe Fellow at Iowa State University, her short stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in True North Georgetown Review, and other journals in print and online.

Cari Noga wrote her first novel, Sparrow Migrations, as part of National Novel Writing Month in 2010. The tale of five characters connected by 2009’s “Miracle on the Hudson” plane crash, the book about those events was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Peter Jeff is the author of Leadership Mints for Busy Leaders, 101 Ideas to Freshen Your Leadership Breadth. He is also the author of a personal leadership book on goal setting, Get a GRIP on Your Dream. For more please see his blog:

Patricia (Trish) Harris has organized several exhibitions focused on intersections between literature and visual art. She is a curator, writer, teacher, artist, and teaches writing at Delta College. She is currently the curator for the transmedia Remaking Moby-Dick Project and edits the literary journal Pea River Journal.

Laura R. Holmes is the co-owner of FineLine Creative, a lakeshore-based marketing and advertising boutique. In 2013, the firm celebrated its 10-year anniversary and was named a finalist in the Top Women Owned Businesses Award by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. Laura is also a travel writer, blogger and she published her first book in 2012, a collection of travel stories called, I’ve Gotta Pack. For book and blog visit:

Tricia L. McDonald is the CEO of Splattered Ink Press and has a hands-on approach to guiding others in the writing process. Her Life With Sally book series are compilations of stories chronicling life with her miniature bull terrier. Her latest book Quit Whining Start Writing: A Novelist’s Guide to Writing will help writers put away the excuses and get the writing done.

Kim Bode is the principal of 834 Design, an award-winning communication, strategy, event planning, social media and media relations firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a speaker, Kim has presented on social media strategy, engagement, measurement and policy for organizations like Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs and the Michigan Association of CPA’s.

Melanie Hooyenga is the young adult author of Flicker Fracture, her second book in the series has been published and is getting rave reviews  She began writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to .that age group. She calls Michigan home now and balances writing with a graphic design day job.

Keri Topouzian is author of The Perfect Armenian. He will be discussing his book with Val Lego at the Friday evening reception. He is a physician who practices in Grand Rapids and Detroit and published his novel in 2010. His historic fiction account is based on his grandparents flight from genocide, who hailed from Armenia, immigrating to the US in the early 1900’s.

The conference goal is to help budding and experienced authors tell their stories, find their voice and learn how to publish and market their books and projects. For more information, visit the website at

Registration is available online at