Home > Our Events > 2016 Writer’s Conference Recap — Workshop Descriptions & Speakers

2016 Writer’s Conference Recap — Workshop Descriptions & Speakers

A big thank you to all of you who attended our Writer’s Craft Conference this past July 23, 2016. The Women Who Write writing conference gets better every year, and our recent conference was one of our best! To get an idea of the topics explored and the speakers who presented, please review the complete 2016 Writer’s Craft Conference overview below. Much was learned and a good time was had by all. It is the intention of Women Who Write to hold our annual writer’s conference every July. Check back in Spring 2017 to learn more about what we will have in store for you in 2017.



2016 Women Who Write Writers Speakers’ Biographies

Tori-Murden_McClure“A Pearl in the Storm”

Keynote speaker Tori Murden McClure is the President of Spalding University in Louisville. Tori also served six years as the vice president for External Relations, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs at Spalding. She has worked as chaplain of Boston City Hospital, policy assistant to the Mayor of Louisville, director of a shelter for homeless women, and with boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali. Tori is best known as the first woman and first American to row unassisted and solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was the first woman and first American to travel via land to the geographic South Pole. The accomplished mountaineer completed major climbs on several continents and is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska and Kenya. Tori is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Masters in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, a juris doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, and a Masters of Fine Arts in writing from Spalding University. Her book A Pearl in the Storm was published by Harper Collins. She is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Tori and her husband, Charles, known as “Mac,” reside in Louisville.


Ann-DAngeloTrue Crime: It Will Keep You Up At Night”

Ann DAngelo is a licensed Kentucky attorney with an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Louisville and a juris doctor from Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Twenty years as an attorney combined with a lifelong passion for history have served Ann well in researching and writing the tragic story of Brigadier General Henry Denhardt and Verna Garr Taylor. Her first book, Dark Highway: Love, Murder, and Revenge in 1930’s Kentucky is the true story of a powerful state politician and two murders that shocked Kentucky and garnered international attention in 1936 and 1937.


Nancy Gall-ClaytonLet’s Write A Play”

Nancy Gall-Clayton is an award-winning playwright whose work has been on stages at nearly 100 venues in 25 states and three continents. She belongs to the Dramatists Guild, International Centre for Women Playwrights, Southeastern Theatre Conference, and the Cherokee Roundtable.



Tracy-Coffee-GayleCreating Characters”

Tracy Coffee Gayle, author of Tilt- A-Whirl and Valerie, Jean & Me, is a lifelong Kentuckian, teacher, wife, and mother of four. “Sometimes who we were, who we are, and who we’ll someday become don’t ever shake hands.” In her second novel, Tracy demonstrates her talent at creating memorable, relatable characters with as many layers as an onion. Some of those layers and secrets are deliciously and unexpectedly revealed at precisely the right moment as the story unfolds. Her vivid descriptions and cultural references provide a skillfully crafted trip down memory lane for those who were children in the 70s.


Ann-Gabhart“Writing Across the Genres: Historicals to Cozy Mysteries”

Ann Gabhart is the bestselling author of many novels, including 2015 Selah Book of Year winner Love Comes Home and her popular Shaker novels. Ann also writes about family life, love, and mysteries in small Kentucky towns like where she grew up. Ann and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren and enjoy country life on a farm near that small town.


Kevin-GibsonBalancing a Writer’s Life: Disproportionate Distractions & Dedication”

Kevin Gibson is a Louisville-based freelancer who writes about everything from food to entertainment to beer. In his 25 years as a professional writer, he has won numerous journalism awards but does not know where most of them are located. He co-hosts a local radio show and plays in the Uncommon Houseflies band. Kevin is author of The Liberation of Crystal Hill (2011), Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft (2014), Crohn’s Disease: A Memoir From the Toilet (2015), and 100 Things to Do in Louisville Before You Die (2016).


Lori-MooreTravel Adventures and Travel Writing”

Dr. Lori Moore is an award-winning author and professor who does not take herself too seriously and believes her greatest gift is to be silly. A public speaker and consultant, Lori has four graduate degrees in business. Lori, her husband, and their cat, Grady, live in Louisville. An avid traveler, she has explored much of the globe, finding and bringing silliness to all places.


Molly-Harper-White“Humorous Dialogue: Adding Snap and Snark to Any Plot”

Molly Harper White is the author of more than 20 paranormal and contemporary romance titles. She is known for her award-winning Half-Moon Hollow vampire series set in Kentucky. Molly worked for six years as a reporter and humor columnist for The Paducah Sun. Her reporting duties included covering courts, school board meetings, quilt shows, and once, the arrest of a Florida man who faked his suicide by shark attack and spent the next few months tossing pies at a local pizzeria. Molly lives in western Kentucky with her family.


 Maureen-Morehead“When, Where and How I Write a Poem”

Dr. Maureen Morehead is a poet who lives in Louisville. She’s published several books, three with Larkspur Press and was named Kentucky’s Poet Laureate for 2011-2012. She teaches how to write poems for Spalding University’s Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.



Robyn-Davis-Sekula_web“Using Social Media to Promote Your Writing”

Robyn Davis Sekula is a public relations, marketing, and social media consultant and speaker who lives in the Louisville area. She primarily consults with organizations and businesses in communication, social media, public relations, and marketing and speaks on social media, communication, and branding. Her clients include law firms, national-level non-profits, small businesses and government entities. The former journalist is President of the Society of Professional Journalists, Louisville Pro Chapter, and is Membership Chair of the national SPJ organization. She is a mother of three girls, a CrossFit enthusiast, a traveler, and a music junkie.


Virginia-Smith“Myth Busters: What I’ve Learned About a Career in Writing”

Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of 30 novels and over 50 articles and short stories. She has also illustrated a children’s book. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-taking suspense. Virginia’s books have received many awards, including two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit. The first book in the Tales of the Goose Creek B&B series, The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade, is a finalist for the prestigious Bookseller’s Best Award.


Take a Chance on Freelance: Turn Writing Into Publication”

Selene-PhillipsJournalists share freelance experiences and how writers might turn words into a profitable venture. Dr. Selene Phillips moderates this session and is the director of Women Who Write and a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe nation in Wisconsin. Her poem, “i miss Lac du Flambeau” won the Women Who Write International Contest, appearing in Calliope 2013: The 20th Anthology. Yukhika-latuhse? published her poem “ceremonial death dance.” As a professor in the department of communication at the University of Louisville, she teaches writing, journalism, communication, and Native American studies. She holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University and a master’s from Indiana University’s School of Journalism. She belongs to the Native American Journalists Association, and worked with UNITY: Journalists of Color, an alliance of Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous journalists. Selene performs Chautauquas as Sacagawea and Mary Todd Lincoln and was a television news anchor, a radio and television news reporter and producer. Selene ice skates and has loved to write since kindergarten.

Wesley-KerrickWesley Kerrick has always been an analytical thinker and truth seeker. Wesley has a passion for the power of words and is a journalist at heart. He is a staff reporter at The Spencer Magnet, a weekly newspaper in Taylorsville, Ky., where he covers Spencer County schools, court proceedings, and general news. He writes a weekly business feature story for Louisville’s The Voice-Tribune, a society magazine, where he has been a contributor since 2013. He has worked for Business First, a weekly newspaper and website, as a freelancer and a reporter. He graduated from the University of Louisville in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. Wesley loves to learn about fascinating places, business, legal or financial terminology, but mostly importantly about people.

Carrie-VittitoeCarrie Vittitoe is a lifetime Louisville resident. She attended Bellarmine University for her undergrad and graduate degrees and has been a certified teacher since 2000. In 2006, she began her blog, Mood-Disordered Mama,, which helped keep her sane for nearly a decade. In 2010, she began freelancing for Today’s Publications. In between writing and raising her three children, she works as an English teacher at Educare, a local cottage school, and as a substitute teacher for JCPS.


Kenny-WootenKenny Wooton joined Yachts International in 2013 as editor-in-chief. His 30-year career began in newspapers. His vocation and lifelong passion for boats and boating converged in 1987 at Soundings and Soundings Trade Only where he was a staff writer and copy editor. He moved to Boating as the associate technical editor and then to Yachting where he spent 11 years as senior editor, executive editor, and editor-in-chief. In 2003, he served as executive editor of ShowBoats International and as the U.S. editor of The Superyacht Report. Prior to his current position, he worked as a freelance writer and editor specializing in superyachts and luxury lifestyle topics. He splits his time between his home in Louisville and the Yachts International office in Fort Lauderdale.


“A Feast of Nonfiction: Food and Garden Writing for Those Who Eat”

Tomese-ButhodTomese Buthod is a native of Oklahoma and has lived in Louisville for 18 years. Her professional life was spent in various health care administrative positions, mostly for Medicare and Medicaid until she retired eight years ago. In her post-office-working life, she had the pleasure of indulging two of her great passions, vegetable gardening and cooking. She became active as a master gardener with Jefferson County Cooperative Extension and started writing food and gardening columns in local farmer market newsletters. The introduction in 2010 of Edible Louisville Magazine came at a great time, allowing Tomese to share her love of fresh delicious food with even more people.


Sarah-FritschnerSarah Fritschner is the coordinator of Louisville Farm to Table, a Metro Louisville program that works with Kentucky farmers to increase Louisville’s $3 billion food market. She works with Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky Expo Center, the University of Louisville, and others to bring Kentucky food to a broad base of consumers. Since 2011, she brokered more than $3 million in sales for foods grown in Kentucky. She was the food editor of The Courier-Journal for 24 years and worked at the Washington Post and Florida Times-Union. Through her journalism career, she worked with local farmers to develop and promote Louisville-area farm markets. She was the instigator of the Ohio Valley Harvest Festival in the late 1990s, which paired restaurateurs with farmers to promote urban-rural relationships. She writes about local food for Edible Louisville Magazine and Kentucky Living. She is the author of four cookbooks, including Derby Start to Finish: The Ultimate Guide to Derby Menus, Recipes and Entertaining.

Janeen WicheJeneen Wiche is a farmer and writes a column for the Bluegrass Edition of Edible Louisville Magazine and a weekly farm and garden column published in Kentucky and Southern Indiana community newspapers. She produced weekly farm and garden television segments, and in 2010, co-hosted WFPL’s “HomeGrown,” a radio show on horticulture and agriculture. Jeneen earned a bachelors from Kalamazoo College and a masters in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. The award-winning professor teaches American Indian Studies and food studies at the University of Louisville, including food and body politic, addressing the evolution and consequences of industrial food systems. Janeen and her husband, Andy Smart, live in western Shelby County on the 20-acre Swallow Rail Farm. They cultivate herbaceous and woody plants, an orchard, a nut grove, fruits, vegetables, a tall grass prairie, chickens for meat and eggs, and lamb from a flock of Katahdin sheep. The farm is certified Animal Welfare Approve.


From Concept to Cookbook: Lessons Learned While Writing a Book by Committee 

Three Women Who Write members share their committee experiences producing the cookbook, Heritage Recipes from the Speed Family & Friends: Honoring the 200th Anniversary of Farmington Plantation (working title), as a fundraiser for Farmington Historic Plantation. They explain conception, challenges, and lessons to fundraising books for schools, churches, and nonprofits. They address how recipe testers were organized, the recruitment of well-known contributors, legal issues, editing and publishing.

Margaret-Peggy-GrimesMargaret Grimes (Peggy) is a long-time member of Women Who Write, contributing to three editions of the Calliope anthologies and a former Women Who Write associate director. She is published author of the memoir Summer Tales, Memories of a Southern Girl in Yankee Land, and has contributed to other publications. She is active in the writing community, serving on the founding committee of the Kentucky Women’s Book Festival, which is celebrating its tenth year.


Susan-E-LindseySusan E. Lindsey is a writer, book editor, and speaker. Her Louisville-based company, Savvy Communication LLC,, provides a range of editing and services to authors and publishers. Several of her essays and short stories have been published, including a series of author profiles in The Highlander Neighborhood Monthly. The former director of Women Who Write is working on a historical nonfiction book.


Cheri-PowellCheri Powell walked the Camino de Santiago twice and was inspired to write and self-publish Seven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago. In 2010, she started R. C. Linnell Publishing to offer publishing services to help other authors see their books in print. She successfully marketed her Camino book to a worldwide audience and compiled her techniques into Marketing Your Book Using the Internet. Cheri has an undergraduate degree in marketing and an MBA. She traveled and lived abroad, volunteered for the Peace Corps in Africa, and taught English as a second language in Belize and Mexico. She lives with her husband, Rick, and cat, Sadie, in Louisville.


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