Mary Bleckwehl has spent her career promoting literacy and the love of learning. She holds a Masters Degree in Educational Management from Lesley University and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Wartburg College. She has taught for over 20 years and has held administrative positions in higher education in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Minnesota. Bleckwehl grew up in a large farm family with few books in the home. She quickly learned when she began school that both magic and knowledge blossomed in words and enthusiastically grabbed every opportunity to read and write. Bleckwehl is a parent of three young adults and lives in Northfield, Minnesota with her husband. Since becoming a published author in 2011, she has presented to over 75,000 students. Her legacy is to offer inspiring stories that will outlast her. Bleckwehl writes for children but believes every age gleans knowledge and appreciation for others through middle grade and picture books.Read More
Elizabeth Oness is a poet and fiction writer who lives on a biodynamic farm in Southeast Minnesota. Her poems and stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review, and other magazines. Her stories have received an O. Henry Prize, a Nelson Algren Award, and the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize.
Her books include Articles of Faith, Departures, Twelve Rivers of the Body (Gival Press Novel Award 2007), Fallibility (Many Voices Award -New Rivers Press 2008), and Leaving Milan (Brighthorse Books Novel Award 2014).
Oness directs marketing and development for Sutton Hoo Press, a literary fine press, and is a professor of English at Winona State University.Read More
Leanne M. Benson is an author and illustrator of her premiere book, The Lion of Tupungato. Designing a book cover along with illustrations are important tools she uses to fully tell her stories. She received her Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She has enjoyed working to empower young people through several programs and projects, including more than a decade in the English Secondary Language (ESL) Program in the public-school system, as an Art Adventure volunteer, as well as coordinator, and high school student services secretary in Prior Lake. In 2008, she and her husband moved to Minnesota Bluff Country.Read More
Kathryn Sullivan writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. She started writing science fiction and fantasy not long after she had finished reading all of the books in her father’s reading collection. Stories about girl agents defeating alien bad guys and tales of wizards’ apprentices looking for forgotten treasure filled school notebooks alongside her regular homework. Any place and any object is at risk of appearing in her stories – the river bluffs surrounding Winona, MN, where she lives, can become the windswept cliffs of an alien planet or the deep mysterious woods of a fantasy tale. She is owned by a large cockatoo, who graciously allows her to write about other animals, as well as birdlike aliens.Read More
Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the suspense-thriller Castle Danger. His new novel, Straight River, is the prequel to Castle Danger and the first book of a planned trilogy. Norbury grew up in the Twin Cities and earned a B.S. in Music Education at the University of Minnesota. He is a local and national member of Sisters in Crime and is also a member of Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and Support for Indie Authors (SIA). He advocates for independent bookstores and promotes indiebound.org to book buyers. A volunteer Big Brother since 2000, Norbury donates a portion of all book sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota. During golf season in Minnesota, he works on perfecting his golf game, an impossible dream but also a good excuse to get out of the office. He lives in Owatonna, Minnesota with his wife and golf clubs.Read More
A writer since elementary school, Julie Holmes has had short stories published in small press magazines such as The Galactic Citizen and Fighting Chance. A student of bestselling author Christine DeSmet, Julie won the 2014 Critique My Novel contest with a manuscript she workshopped at UW-Madison’s Continuing Education Write-By-The-Lake Retreat. After graduating from the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Thief River Falls Technical College, she worked for a commuter airline at both Detroit’s Wayne County Airport and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Beyond aviation, she spent sixteen years as an IT professional, and now works as a technical writer for a software company. Holmes is a member of both the national Sisters in Crime (SinC) writers’ organization, and the local Twin Cities SinC chapter. An empty-nester, she lives on a small hobby farm in south central Minnesota with her husband. Holmes is represented by Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing.Read More
Lisa M. Bolt Simons has published 38 nonfiction children’s books, mostly with Capstone; two more will be published in 2020. She’s also published four middle grade “choose your path” novels as well as an adult history book. Simons has been the recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers in Children’s Literature Honorable Mention, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, an MNSCBWI Writing Mentorship, and a Shabo Award for Children’s Picture Book Writers through The Loft Literary Center. A wife to a fellow reader and a mom of boy/girl twins, Simons also loves to scrapbook and travel when she can.Read More
Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, sexy-sweet contemporary romance. Her strong, fun, and funny characters don’t mind poking at societal norms even while finding their ways home to family and love. Her novels have won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart and been nominated for the organization’s prestigious RITA award. Selvig shares life in Minnesota, where her first book series is set, with her husband Jan, an Arabian gelding named Jedi, a Quarter horse named Largo, and two human grandchildren. Her four-legged grandbabies, of which there are over 30, include two goats, three alpacas, a mammoth-eared donkey, two miniature horses, a pig, and multiple dogs, cats, and regular-sized horses. In her spare time she loves to hike, quilt, read, and horseback ride.Read More
Richard Robbins was raised in Southern California and Montana and has lived continuously in Minnesota for 35 years. He studied as an undergraduate with Glover Davis and Carolyn Forché at San Diego State University and as a graduate student with Richard Hugo and Madeline DeFrees at the University of Montana. He has published six full-length books, including The Invisible Wedding, Famous Persons We Have Known, The Untested Hand, Radioactive City, and Other Americas. His Body Turn to Rain: New & Selected Poems was published in Lynx House Press’ Northwest Masters Series. Over the years, he has received awards and fellowships from The Loft, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America. From 1986-2014, Robbins directed the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University Mankato, where he continues to direct the creative writing program. In 2006, he was awarded the Kay Sexton Award for long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota.Read More
Priscilla Paton writes the Twin Cities Mystery Series set in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Where Privacy Dies was published in 2018 and Should Grace Fail will be released in 2020. Paton grew up on a dairy farm in Maine. She received a B.A. from Bowdoin College, a Ph.D. in English Literature from Boston College, was a college professor, and taught in Kansas, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Minnesota. She has also published a children’s book, Howard and the Sitter Surprise, and a scholarly book on New England poets and artists, Abandoned New England. She lives with her husband, a descendent of Norwegian immigrants, in Northfield, Minnesota, and participates in regional community advocacy and literacy programs.Read More