Karen O’Connor

Karen O’Connor is an award-winning writer and a professional speaker. She has also been a writing instructor for workshops, conferences, University of California extension programs, and the Learning Annex.

      Her writing credits include more than 55 books for children and adults. Recent titles are The Beauty of Aging (Regal Books, 2006); Addicted to Shopping and Other Issues Women Have with Money (Harvest House, 2005); Gettin’ Old Ain’t for Wimps (Harvest House, 2004); and Help, Lord! I’m Having a Senior Moment (Servant Publications, 2002).

       Ms. O’Connor received Writer of the Year Award in 1997 from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild and the Mount Hermon 2002 Special Recognition Award for Excellence in Writing. Her book, Basket of Blessings, won Best Book of 1998 from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild. When Spending Takes the Place of Feeling (Thomas Nelson, 1992) garnered her an appearance on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show and the 700 Club, and was nominated for the 1992 Gold Medallion Award sponsored by the National Evangelical Publishers Association.

      Her writing has also appeared in national magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Seventeen, The Lookout, Sunday Digest, and The Writer.

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Bill Pippin

At age 19, when Bill Pippin sold his first short storya historical Westernto the magazine Savage, he knew writing would be his lifes work.

      In the early 1970s he worked for the Famous Writers School before embarking on a full-time freelance career, supporting his family by churning out short stories for magazines like Mike Shaynes Mystery Magazine, Jaguar, Rascal, Best for Men, Mens Digest, and Cavalier, as well as Modern Romances, True Story, and True Confessions. More recently, hes written articles and essays for Writers Digest, Field & Stream, Readers Digest, and Newsweek.

      Mr. Pippins historical book about a wild and woolly Pennsylvania railroad-logging town, Wood Hick, Pigs-Ear & Murphy, was published by Jostens and reprinted in 1989.

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Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Phyllis Edgerly Ring has written more than 900 published articles in several dozen magazines that include Yankee, American Profile, Christian Science Monitor, Hope, Ms., Liguorian, Elan, American Visions, Northeast Outdoors, and The World & I

      A regular contributor to Family Digest and Baby Years, Ms. Ring writes for many parenting magazines on issues of family life and health.  Online publication credits include iParenting, Militarylifestyle, NeighborhoodNews, and Myria.

      Ms. Ring spent six years as features editor for a New Hampshire newspaper group, and was awarded first place two years consecutively in the feature-writing category of the New Hampshire Press Association’s annual competition. She was also a 2002 recipient of the Media Excellence Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators.

      In addition to nonfiction, Ms. Ring has also published stories and articles for children that have appeared in Pockets and Brilliant Star magazines, and her picture book, Jamila Does Not Want A Bat in Her House, is forthcoming from Brilliant Books.



Its great to have feedback from someone who has been a writer in the real world. My coachs comments so far have been encouraging. With two small children at home I have found your program extremely beneficial. I can work at my own pace at my own leisure. The information is easy to understand and helpful. Im enjoying it immensely.

                                       —Tonya Campbell, Cool, CA


Mary Rosenblum

Praised in Locus reviews during the early part of her writing career as “one of the finest new writers to appear in the last several years,” Mary Rosenblum went on to publish nearly 40 short pieces and 3 novels in the science fiction genre.

      Her science fiction novels, The Drylands (1993), Chimera (1993), and The Stone Garden (1994), were released by Random House/Del Rey. Synthesis and Other Virtual Realities (1996), a hardcover collection of her short fiction, was published by Arkham House. Her latest novel, Horizons, was released in 2006 from Tor Books.

      The Rachel O’Connor mysteries (written as Mary Freeman’), Devils Trumpet (1999), Deadly Nightshade (1999),  Bleeding Heart (2000), and Garden View (2002), were released by Putnam/Berkley. 

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Books under Mary Freeman pen name

Lynda Sandoval

Lynda Sandoval is the award-winning author of 20 books in a variety of genres, including women’s fiction, young adult fiction, and nonfiction. Her novels have won or been nominated for 34 national awards, including the Holt Medallion, the National Readers’ Choice, the Write Touch Readers’ Award, the Beacon, the Golden Quill, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Laurie, the Rising Star, the CRW Award of Excellence, and the Lorie Grand Prize.

      Her breakout novel, Unsettling (HarperCollins/Rayo, 2004), sold two days after her agent sent it to HarperCollins. The New York Post called it “crisp, imaginative, and hilarious,” and Publishers Weekly referred to the characters as “complex and pleasingly unpredictable.”

      Ms. Sandoval has been profiled in Writer’s Digest, People en Español, the Denver Post, and Catalina, and interviewed on nationally syndicated radio shows. She regularly speaks at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. and has presented workshops for the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention and local book groups.

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My instructor manages to make me feel as though hes my closest friend and that my success is his prime goal. I didnt expect this kind of support.

                                       —Mary Helen Cornell, Queens, NY


Leigh Shaheen

Leigh Shaheen (who writes under the pseudonym Leigh Haskell), has six books to her credit. Her titles include Crystal Fire (Berkley-Jove, 1984), Silver Dawn (New American Library, 1985), Starlit Seas (Digest Publishing, 1986), Earthly Delights (Digest Publishing, 1987), The Paragon Bride (Signet Regency, 1989), and The Vengeful Viscount (Signet Regency, 1990).

      Ms. Shaheen is a member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and the Ohio Published Authors League. She is also the founder and past president of the Womens Fiction Writers Association, and has written and edited its newsletter.

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Connie Shelton

When Connie Shelton’s first mystery, Deadly Gamble (Intrigue Press), was published in 1995, the Albuquerque Journal called it “an impressive debut mystery.” The following year, Library Journal described her next book, Vacations Can Be Murder (Intrigue Press, 1995), as “a good selection for all collections.”

      Her Charlie Parker series, currently ten strong, has been published in hardcover and paperback. The two most recent books in the series are Obessions Can Be Murder (2006) and Balloons Can Be Murder (2005), which was a finalist for Foreword magazines Book of the Year Award in the mystery category.

      Besides writing the Charlie Parker mysteries, Ms. Shelton is an award-winning essayist and short story writer. She founded and operated her own publishing company for five years. Her work has been published in various anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul.

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The fact that I could work at my own pace, in my own home, attracted me to you. My instructor's responses are so personal! It is amazing the things he picks up.

—John Lindholm, Harrisburg, PA


Lynne Smith

Three-time RITA Award nominee Lynne Smith, writing primarily as Lynn Michaels, has published 16 books for Avon, Dell, Fawcett, Harlequin, and Ballantine. Two were Regencies written as Jane Lynson; one was a paranormal romantic suspense written as Paula Christopher.    

      Ms. Smith’s latest release, Marriage By Design (Ballantine, 2006), was described by Fresh Fiction as “a great mystery with a perfect blend of romance and danger. Michaels writes with fun and flair.” It was named a Top Pick by Romantic Times magazine.

      Her other books include Honeymoon Suite (Ivy Books, 2005), called “…a well-told romp that will delight fans of Jenny Crusie’s Bet Me” by Booklist; and Mother of the Bride (Ivy Books, 2002), which won a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance of 2002. Publishers Weekly described it as a “humorous romantic comedy [that] warms the heart with its zany yet believable characters and snappy dialogue.”

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Books under Jane Lynson pen name

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Lori Soard

Lori Soard is the author of eight books and more than a thousand articles and short stories. Her most recent title, The Elixir (Amber Quill Press, 2005), received rave reviews from Coffee Time Romance and Huntress Reviews, which called the book “a medical thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover.” Her novels through Five Star, including Housebreaking a Husband (2002) and The Lipstick Diaries (2004), compelled readers to vote her the Romance Club’s “Rising Star.”

      Ms. Soard also has numerous articles and short stories to her credit, which have appeared in publications such as Cobblestone, FACES, Woman’s World, Outlook in Higher Education, Executive Update, and various anthologies. She won the prestigious EPPIE award, and was voted favorite author at Preditors and Editors, an Internet resource for writers.

      In addition to writing, Ms. Soard is a radio talk show host on Internet-streamed Blase Skip Radio, Global Talk Radio, and Science Fiction Network, with her show Ready for Romance. She is co-founder of World Romance Writers, an organization dedicated to romance literature and its authors, and she served on the national board for Romance Writers of America. 

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Linda Triegel

Linda Triegel’s first foray into publishing began as a writer, with a short story that appeared in Yankee magazine. At about the same time, however, she discovered her affinity for editing, and spent five years as an editor of the New Book of Knowledge.

      Her first novel, a Regency romance called My Lord Guardian (Walker & Company, 1982), was published under her pen name, Elisabeth Kidd. Kirkus Reviews described it as “airy and easy…with more frolics and quips than most of the genre.”

      She subsequently completed eight more romances under her Elisabeth Kidd pen name. Lady Lu (Walker, 1990) was described by Booklist as a “highly entertaining, intelligent romance [that] stands above the crowd…a satisfying story.”

      In addition to books, Ms. Triegel has published numerous travel articles and newspaper features, as well as a long-running theater review column for her hometown newspaper. She has also taught literature at the college level and participated in writers workshops in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She continues to freelance as an editor.

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Your program has also helped dramatically (and unexpectedly) in work-related writing such as flyers, letters, reports and proposals.

                                       —Indra Sena, High Falls, NY


Robert E. Vardeman

A popular and prolific writer, Robert E. Vardeman is the author of more than 90 novels spanning many genres, and the ghostwriter of more than 80 additional titles.

      Using the pen names Karl Lassiter and Cliff Garnett, Mr. Vardeman has written numerous epic westerns, mysteries, and action adventure titles, including the Peter Thorne mysteries and three books in the action/adventure series, TalonForce (New American Library/NAL, 2000/2001).

      Science fiction offerings include Alien Death Fleet (Zumaya Publications, 2007) and Ruins of Power (ROC, 2003). He also wrote the original Star Trek novels, The Klingon Gambit (Simon & Schuster, 1981) and Mutiny on the Enterprise (Simon & Schuster, 1983). Mr. Vardeman’s short fiction collection, Stories from Desert Bob’s Reptile Ranch (Popcorn Press, 2007), contains 22 stories spanning the horror, humor, science fiction, and fantasy fields.

      Mr. Vardeman is a former vice-president of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He is also an original member of the informal group First Fridays, founded in 1979 by mystery writer Tony Hillerman.

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Sydell Voeller

Sydell Voeller’s short pieces have appeared in Country Woman, Cat Fancy, Guide, RV Life, Total Fitness, and Nature Friendplus many more publications. Her novels for teenagers and adults have been published by Silhouette, Bantam, Avalon, and Cora Verlag (a German publisher), and recently she has pursued the world of electronic publishing with Hard Shell Word Factory and New Concepts Publishing.

      Recent books by Ms. Voeller include A House Divided (Five Star Expressions, 2006), An Unlikely Dad (Avalon, 2005), and Summer Magic (Hard Shell Word Factory, 2004). In addition to Fisherman’s Daughter (Hard Shell Word Factory, 1998), her other books available in digital and trade paperback format are: Sandcastles of Love (New Concepts Publishing, 2000) and Skateboard Blues (Hard Shell Word Factory, 2000).

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The school has always been more than helpful. I feel that I can call with any question. I received such insight on how to make my manuscripts better that my third assignment was published in a magazine. I also have more confidence, and am not afraid to contact people on the phone about future articles.

                                       —Lesia R. Moore, Vasant, VA


Ernest Volkman

Ernest Volkman joined Newsday, the Long Island daily newspaper, as a full-time reporter, beginning a 13-year career that included stints as an editorial writer, copy editor, and national editor. In his spare time he wrote freelance articles for markets ranging from the New York Times to Omni.

      In 1976, Mr. Volkman left daily journalism and became a freelance writer. Over the next two decades, he wrote 11 nonfiction books and several hundred magazine articles, many of them dealing with organized crime and espionage. His most recent titles include Spies (Wiley) and Espionage (Wiley). Gangbusters was released by Faber in 1998.

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Carolyn Wheat

Carolyn Wheat’s first mystery, Dead Man’s Thoughts (St. Martin’s Press, 1983; Dell, 1984; Berkley Prime Crime, 1996), was nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America.

      A practicing lawyer at the time, she based her series detective, Cass Jameson, on her own life as a defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. Five books followed, and the fourth, Mean Streak (Berkley Prime Crime, 1996), which Kirkus Reviews called “dazzlingly plotted,” was also nominated for an Edgar.

      Ms. Wheat’s short stories have also won awards and critical acclaim. “Accidents Will Happen” (Malice Domestic 5, Pocket Books, 1996) won both the Agatha and Macavity awards. “Love Me for My Yellow Hair Alone” (Marilyn: Shades of Blonde, Tor Books, 1997) won the Shamus award. Her single-author collection of short stories, Tales Out of School (Crippen and Landru, 2000), was nominated for an Anthony Award.

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Patricia Windsor

Patricia Windsor has compiled an impressive record of success, having published 17 novels. Diving for Roses, a Library Journal starred selection, was chosen by the New York Times as one of 12 outstanding books of the year for teenagers.

      Many of Ms. Windsor’s novels are mysteries: The Sandman’s Eyes (Delacorte, 1985) won an Edgar Allan Poe award, and The Hero (Delacorte, 1988) was given the highest rating by Voice of Youth Advocates. The Christmas Killer (Scholastic, 1992) was also nominated for an Edgar.

      Ms. Windsor’s latest novel is a thriller called Nightwood (Delacorte, 2006). Her series on mystery writing was published in Once Upon a Time in 1999, and her short stories have appeared in Seventeen and other magazines all over the world.

      Ms. Windsor is listed in Gale’s Something about the Author (volumes 30 and 78), available in the reference section of public libraries.

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Larry Wood

American Newspaper Boy published Larry Woods first story in 1974, a description of the experiences he had while delivering newspapers. Since then he has written more than 150 articles and short stories for Americas Civil War, Wild West, Western Digest, Readers Digest, True West, and numerous regional and local publications such as Missouri Life, Farmland News, Rural Electric Missourian, and the Ozark Mountaineer, in which 31 of his articles on local history have appeared.

      In 2000, Hickory Press published Mr. Woods nonfiction book entitled The Civil War on the Lower Kansas-Missouri Border, and another historical nonfiction book is scheduled for publication.

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