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2023 Conference Faculty



Author and Literary Agent, P.S. Literary     

Eric Smith is a literary agent and Young Adult author from Elizabeth, New Jersey. As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books.

His recent novels include the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers selection Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press, 2020), You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, 2021), and the anthologies Battle of the Bands (Candlewick, 2021) and First-Year Orientation (Candlewick, 2023), both co-edited with award-winning author Lauren Gibaldi.

In 2022 Abrams published Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, which was written in collaboration with Alanis Morissette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaptation of the Grammy and Tony award winning musical.

His next book, With or Without You, a rom-com about two teens working in rival cheesesteak trucks, publishes this November with Inkyard Press.



Agent, Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc

Anjanette Barr is a Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc. She has been working in various branches of the writing and publishing world for over a decade, and being an agent is the perfect way to synthesize her interests and talents. Anjanette lives in beautiful Juneau Alaska with her family of six. She represents authors across all age categories and most genres, and her wish list can be found at and



Editor, Little Bigfoot (Sasquatch Books)

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and a lifelong book lover, Christy Cox has been working with authors and in publishing for over two decades. She acquires and edits children’s books for the Little Bigfoot imprint of Sasquatch Books, a small regional press based in Seattle. She is interested in fiction and non-fiction children’s books with content that has regional ties to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, especially projects that explore and capture the natural wonder of the region and celebrate the diverse population that lives there. She’s always on the lookout for richly illustrated board books and picture books that will spark curiosity and engage the imagination of young readers and their families. She loves collaborating with authors and illustrators in the art of bookmaking.


Editor, Arctic Circle USA 

Dale Madden was born and raised in Hawaii, pre-Statehood, in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. He has spent his career in the development of dozens of companies stretching across real estate development, property management, publishing, printing & product development (with more than 30,000 products) in hundreds of categories in the Madden Corporations portfolio. Madden is a single shareholder, with corporate offices in Hong Kong, China, Honolulu, Hawaii (and throughout the Islands), as well as Los Angeles, California and Anchorage, Alaska.

The Company’s focus in the publishing field includes more than 1,000 children’s books. The Hallmark of The Madden Corporation's publishing is "Educational, Entertaining, and full of Life learning experiences."

The Creations of The Madden Corporation, are inspired by Dale’s travel experiences, which includes 76 countries, and ALL 7 Continents.


Editor, Author and Ghostwriter,  Erick Mertz Writing

Erick Mertz is a novelist, ghostwriter and editor born and raised in the glorious Pacific Northwest. He studied English and Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. Prior to his career as a writer, he worked as a case manager and self-determination advocate for community based people with developmental disabilities. He started ghostwriting in 2005 after placing as a semi-finalist in the Nichols Fellowship for screenwriting and has since worked on countless screenplays, memoirs and novels for clients across he world. In 2018 he started his self-publishing journey, publishing the first book in his “Strange Air” series of paranormal mysteries. Learn more at


Editor, The HEA Club

Jessica Snyder is a romance editor, author coach, and host of The HEA Club, a community for romance authors. Her clients, who range from New York Times-bestselling authors to pre-published writers, appreciate her combination of honesty, kindness, snark and market knowledge to support their career growth. She leverages a background that includes more than three decades of romance reading, ten years working in the publishing industry, military service and a lifelong love of language to help romance authors happily ever after.



Adventure; romance; spunky, kick-ass heroines; hunky, take-charge heroes; a dash of humor… Elizabeth Allyn-Dean writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy stories that blend these elements to get to a happily ever after. From the first time she lost herself in a fantasy novel in her self-built treehouse, Elizabeth knew she wanted to be an author. After a detour into the world of archaeology, she returned to her true love--writing. Elizabeth still enjoys losing herself in a good book, as well as exploring her artistic side, gardening, beachcombing for interesting treasures, indulging her inner nerd, and playing with her two dogs and cats. For the last twenty years, she has called Alaska home, enjoying the adventures, gorgeous scenery, and fascinating people and places it offers. Learn more at


Toya Brown is an Alaskan poet returning from hiatus after getting her daughter off to Brown University. Her work can be found in different publishing’s like Alaska Women Speak and Alaska Humanities Forum magazine. She was approached by Forum to write an article and was given concept control. She constructed an interview with her daughter where she crafted the questions and layout interjecting their poetry between dialogue for the magazine ("Writing is not a Passive Act"), and she was a panelist for Alaska Writers Guild's discussion on "Writing While Black" in February of 2021.


Christa Looney's contemporary romance series is slated to debut this year. She enjoys writing romantic suspense, historical, and entertaining contemporary romances with strong female characters and the perfect match for their mate. She writes both series and stand-alone novels from her home office located in Alaska, where she lives with her husband and their Labradoodle, Jake, who is always curled up nearby.


Lynn Lovegreen is a longtime Alaskan. After twenty years in the classroom, she retired to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering for her local library. Her young adult historical fiction is set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at


Na Mee is an Asian American poet and creative nonfiction writer. She has received fellowships from Kundiman, Aspen Words, and The Loft Literary Center, and is a 2023 Tin House Summer Workshop alum. She is an Alaska Literary Award and three-time Rasmuson Foundation Award recipient, and she received Honorable Mention for the Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes prize. Her work is forthcoming in Diode and The Rumpus, and has been published in several books including Freeman's: Change (Grove Atlantic) and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press).

As a teaching artist she works with all ages and all groups. She specializes in working with communities on the margins (e.g. treatment centers for teens, incarcerated women, transracial adoptees, etc), focusing on the healing and liberating aspects of poetry. She has taught and presented from conferences to prison classrooms for 13 years. She lives on Lingít Aaní (aka Juneau, Alaska) where she is raising a hilarious teenage son and a pack of sweet animals.


John Messick is a writer, teacher, and father who has also worked building hiking trails, fighting wildland fire, and shoveling snow in Antarctica. Since moving to Alaska in 2010, he has lived in Fairbanks, Homer, Ketchikan, and Soldotna, where he still lives with his spouse, Mollie, their two children, and a pair of aging sled dogs.

He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Writing at Kenai Peninsula College, where he teaches composition and creative writing.

John earned his MFA at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2013. He has written for numerous news outlets and literary journals, including Rock & Sling, Tampa Review, Nowhere magazine, The Miami Herald, Anchorage Daily News, and more. He was awarded the 2013 AWP Intro Journals Prize in nonfiction and a 2022 Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. Compass Lines is his first book.


Neva Post grew up in a log house in Interior Alaska where she walked uphill both ways to school at temperatures of negative forty Fahrenheit with only the aurora borealis to light her way. At least, that’s how she remembers it. She’s equally happy on a snowy trail or coaxing vegetables to grow in her garden during the long Alaskan summer days. When she’s not waxing skis or chasing voles out of her cabbage, she’s at her computer. Neva’s novels include paranormal elements–she can’t help it–with smart and dependable characters who always get their HEA.


Hailey Staker is a military Public Affairs specialist and the author of the Urban Fantasy novel The Fury’s Light, which debuted in 2019. Hailey holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is the winner of various military writing awards, including the 2022 Military Writer of the Year for the Pacific Air Forces. She currently resides in the frigid state of Alaska with her husband Bridger, daughter Adilynd, and their dog Barrett.


Krysta Voskowsky is a memoirist and Certified Author Coach specializing in author marketing, platform development, and branding specifically for the writers of Alaska. Recipient of the Champlain College Astral Travel Writer Award and co-founder of Creativitea Alaska, her work has been featured in Liminus Literary & Art Journal, Eating Well Magazine, Willard & Maple, and Spry Literary Journal. Krysta holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Krysta lives in Palmer, Alaska with her partner and their dog Ted, under the benevolent rule of a cat named Benjamin.


Alaska author, Dan L. Walker, was raised on the Kenai Peninsula, and Dan has more than thirty years in Alaska education and was named Teacher of the Year for Alaska in 1999. Walker has guided and motivated writer from kindergarten to prison inmates. A son of homesteaders, Walker has published in Last Frontier Magazine, Alaska Magazine, Cirque Literary Journal, and the Journal of Geography. His debut novel, Secondhand Summer, was published in 2016 by Alaska Northwest Books. Walker’s memoir, Letters form Happy Valley uses family letters to tell the story of the Walkers’ journey to homestead in the last frontier. Walker lives and writes in Seward, Alaska. Back Home, the sequel to Secondhand Summer was released in April 2021. The final Chapter in his Sam Barger story is due out this fall.


Relishing opportunities to create worlds of adventure, romance, and horror, C.G. Williams' research has led to interesting places, experiences, and wonderful friends. C.G. Williams found it very beneficial to be raised in a large family that valued learning and intellectual pursuits. Finding music, film, books, culture and science, informing creative work to house ideas, emotions, and ideologies. Writing has been an expansive journey, helping C.G. Williams to understand the world within and without.





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