Trai Cartwright

Trai Cartwright, MFA, is a 25-year entertainment industry veteran and writing and producing specialist. She is a screenwriter, producer, and teaches screen and TV writing, arts entrepreneurship, and production management at UC Center, University of Denver’s MA professional creative writing program, and at Western State University’s low residency MFA program.

Trai spent fifteen years in Los Angeles working in Business Development and as a Studio Development Executive who consulted on thousands of screenplays for HBO, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, and New Line. 

Trai was on the producing team for three independent movies (Dinner Rush, Offshore, Trap). She was assistant director of Leonardo DiCaprio’s online ventures, the Hollywood liaison for a massively multi-player online role-playing game company, and was the Manager of Fox Mobile Studios for 20th Century Fox. As a screenwriter, four of Trai’s screenplays were optioned to Academy and Emmy award-winning producers.

Upon moving to Colorado in 2008, Trai began her career as an educator across the state. She has taught creative writing (fiction), screenwriting, and producing at nearly a dozen Colorado colleges, as well as for dozens of writers conferences, writers workshops, and film organizations. 

She recently finished her tenure as the President of Women in Film and Media Colorado. (

In 2016, Trai produced her first Colorado-based feature (Stadium Anthems). She is currently the screenwriter on Secret Ellington (2016 semifinalist in the Nicholl Fellowship, Big Break, and Special Honor in the Screencraft Public Domain contests), produced the short film Sundown Road and Hidden Tigers, a docu-series for Red Unicorn Films.

Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen runs the 5-Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge, an online event that has helped thousands of authors understand the complex machine that is Amazon Ads. He’s also a USA Today Bestselling author, the co-host of The Sell More Books Show, and the CEO of Best Page Forward, an author copywriting agency. His books have sold 100,000+ copies. You can learn more about Bryan at

Mark Coker

Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to empower writers to self-publish and distribute ebooks.  Today, Smashwords has grown to become the world’s leading distributor of self-published ebooks representing over 140,000 authors and small independent presses around the world that publish and distribute over 550,000 books with Smashwords.  Mark is an outspoken advocate for self-published authors, a contributing columnist for Publishers Weekly, and the host of the popular SMART AUTHOR podcast where he teaches evergreen best practices to help authors publish ebooks with pride, professionalism and success.  Mark blogs at  Follow Mark on Twitter @markcoker.

Liz Colter

Liz Colter has followed her heart through a wide variety of careers including draft-horse farmer, field paramedic, Outward Bound instructor, athletic trainer, and roller-skating waitress, among other curious choices. She is a two-time Colorado Book Award winner in Science Fiction/Fantasy and her short stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies. She writes contemporary and dark fantasy as L. D. Colter and epic fantasy as L. Deni Colter.

Michelle Dotter

Michelle Dotter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Dzanc Books, a nonprofit literary publisher. She earned a degree in Creative Writing from Colorado College before beginning her editing career with MacAdam/Cage Publishing in San Francisco. Before coming to Dzanc, she also worked with MP Publishing, Cameron + Company, Once Magazine, and myriad independent authors across all aspects of the editing process, from content and copy edits to proofreads. She has worked with New York Times bestselling authors, along with winners of the National Book Award, the Whiting Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and recipients of other honors. Michelle works out of Colorado, where the first three books on her shelf are CMoS, The Subversive Copy Editor, and the hilarious O Thou Improper, Thou Uncommon Noun.

John Gilstrap

John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of 21 thrillers, including Hellfire, Total Mayhem, Scorpion Strike,Final Target, Friendly Fire, Nick of Time, Against All Enemies, End Game, Soft Targets, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom. Prior to the beginning of his writing career, John served 15 years in the fire and rescue service.

Four of John’s books have been purchased or optioned for the Big Screen.  In addition, he has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris.  

A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution.  Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, weapons systems, hazardous materials, and fire behavior.  John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is a bestselling crime writer whose books are published in 51 countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the author of the new series of Hercule Poirot continuation novels, commissioned by Agatha Christie’s family – the latest of which, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, is published on 20 August 2020. Sophie is also a poet who has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award, a self-help writer and creator and host of the podcast How To Hold A Grudge. She is Course Director of the University of Cambridge’s new master’s degree in Crime and Thriller Writing, and the founder of the Dream Author coaching programme for writers. She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.


USA Today and #1 Denver Post bestselling author Carter Wilson has written six critically acclaimed, standalone psychological thrillers, as well as numerous short stories. He is an ITW Thriller Award finalist, a four-time winner of the Colorado Book Award, and his novels have received multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. His latest novel, The Dead Girl in 2A, was released in July 2019 from Poisoned Pen Press. Carter lives in Erie, Colorado in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted…yet.

LS Hawker

LS Hawker is the author of the thrillers THE DROWNING GAME, BODY AND BONE, END OF THE ROAD, and THE THROWAWAYS. THE DROWNING GAME is a USA Today bestseller and finalist in the ITW Thriller Awards in the Best First Novel category. Her novels have been translated into eight languages.

Visit to view book trailers, listen to her podcast with daughter Chloe, The Lively Grind Cafe, and read about her adventures as a cocktail waitress, traveling Kmart portrait photographer, and witness to basement exorcisms.


Stuart Horwitz

Stuart Horwitz is an independent editor and ghostwriter who founded the editorial assistance firm Book Architecture ( He is the author of three books about writing and publishing, including Blueprint Your Bestseller (2013, Penguin/Perigee). His memoir is forthcoming, on the themes of escape and forgiveness. Essays of his have appeared widely, including in the books Wide Awake Every Week, Hindsight 20/20, and The Good Men Project, as well as on the TODAY show’s website. By the time you read this, Stuart and his family will have landed in North County San Diego after 18 years in Rhode Island.

Rachel Howzell Hall

Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the bestseller and Lefty Award-nominated They All Fall Down (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister with James Patterson, which was included in the New York Times bestseller The Family Lawyer. She is currently on the board of directors for the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in Los Angeles.  Her next novel And Now She’s Gone will be published in September 2020.