Speakers

nino-ricci-windsor-international-writers-conference-2014

Nino Ricci

Nino Ricci is the internationally acclaimed writer of Lives of the Saints and several other novels. His recent biography Pierre Elliott Trudeau is part of Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series and his most recent novel is The Origin of Species, which earned him his second Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Mr. Ricci has been appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to literature.

By the Numbers: 1 miniseries, based on his Lives of the Saints trilogy and starring Sophia Loren & Kris Kristofferson 1 miniseries, based on his Lives of the Saints trilogy and starring Sophia Loren & Kris Kristofferson 1 Honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Windsor 6 lifetime achievement awards· 7 books, including 5 internationally acclaimed novels and a biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau 9 Best Book lists, including the New York Times and England’s Times Literary Supplement 10 juried international awards· 14 academic appointments 14 languages into which his books have been translated 18 countries in which they have been published over 150 weeks that his books have appeared on bestseller lists

Naomi RagenNaomi-Ragen-Windsor-International-Writers-Conference-2014

Naomi Ragen is the author of ten international bestsellers including Jephte’s Daughter, Sotah, The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, The Covenant, and most recently, The Sisters Weiss. Her play, Women’s Minyan, which explores the oppression of women under the guise of religion, continues to garner awards since its premier in Israel’s National Theatre in 1999. 

 Born in New York City, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. An award-winning advocate of gender equality and human rights, her e-mails reach thousands, and have become a force to be reckoned with in the war against anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda.

Elliot-Grove Raindance Keynote speaker windsor international writers conference 2014Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove founded Raindance International in 1991 and the Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007. He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 (1997) was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America…

In 2013 he relaunched the production arm: Raw Talent with the cult film director Ate de Jong. Their first venture was the psychological thriller Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. finished November 2013. He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year. Read articles by Elliot Grove. Raindance offers a Postgraduate Film Degree – MA/MSc Film via Negotiated Learning, which is ideal postgraduate independent film degree for someone on-the-go. The program can be full- or part-time, international online or London-based, with a fully flexible choice of filmmaking subjects. Raindance has also a collaboration with The New Global Renaissance School of Creative Media, which offers a four-week intensive film course that can be additionally accompanied by an internship. The program offers hands on experience and the foundation needed to create film projects, through writing, directing, and shooting a film short in four weeks.  Students have a choice of taking the four-week intensive in two locations: Florence, Italy or Los Angeles, California. After successfully completing the intensive course, students placed in a six month internship in their area of interest in either Italy or Los Angeles.

Ron-Silliman--windsor-international-writers-conference-2014Ron Silliman

Ron Silliman was born in Pasco, Washington, in 1946, and raised in Albany, California, north of Berkeley. He attended San Francisco State University, Merritt College, and the University of California at Berkeley between 1965 and 1970, but left in his senior year during the Vietnam War to perform alternate service as a conscientious objector to the draft.

While still in college, Silliman had poems accepted by many of the more traditional journals of the 1960s, including Poetry, TriQuarterly, Poetry Northwest and Southern Review. By the time he published his first book, Crow, in 1971, however, he had become part of a group of Bay Area poets that later became known as the founders of Language Poetry. Others in the group included Robert Grenier, Barrett Watten, Rae Armantrout, David Melnick and, as the decade progressed, Clark Coolidge, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Bernstein, and Bob Perelman.  Silliman’s anthology, In the American Tree (1986), remains a primary resource for readers interested in this literary movement. His book of talks and essays, The New Sentence (1987), is reflective of Language Poetry’s interest in critical self-examination. The book’s title essay became synonymous with a resurgence of the prose poem, especially in longer formats. S Throughout the 1970s, Silliman worked in activist positions in non-profit organizations working with prisoners and inner city low-income neighborhoods. After teaching at San Francisco State University, the University of California at San Diego, and New College of California, Silliman became the director of development for the California Institute of Integral Studies, a position he held for several years before taking over as executive editor of The Socialist Review, one of the leading activist journals that emerged in the 1960s.  Since 1974, Silliman has been working on a single poem, entitled Ketjak. The title is taken from a Balinese chant performed by a circle of over one hundred men that reenacts a battle from ancient Sanskrit epic the Ramayana. Silliman’s Ketjak project is composed of four works: The Age of Huts, Tjanting, The Alphabet, and Universe. With the exception of the book-length poem Tjanting (1981), each of the other projects is also a compilation of texts. Ketjak is also the title of his book-length prose poem published in 1978, which serves as the first section of The Age of Huts, and marked Silliman’s emergence as a force in post-avant poetics.  Among his over twenty books of poetry are Crow (1971); ABC (1983); Paradise (1985), which received the Poetry Center Book Award from San Francisco State University; What (1988); Xing (1996); and Woundwood (Cuneiform Press, 2004). He is also the author of a memoir, Under Albany (2004), which was named a book of the year by Small Press Traffic. About Under Albany, the poet Charles Bernstein has said: “This constructivist memoir provides an exquisitely rich exploration of the relation of context to reference, subtext to meaning, back story to presented experience, and composition to poetics. All of Silliman’s work unravels and reforms in this exemplary and exhilarating act of attention, recollection, and reflection.”  In 2002, Silliman’s interest in critical discourse by and for poets led him to create one of the earliest weblogs on the subject of poetry. Within three years, Silliman’s Blog had received over 500,000 visitors for its daily examination of poetry, the arts, and contemporary society. Silliman is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, and the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He has received a Pushcart Prize and been included twice in the Best American Poetry anthology series. Today, Silliman is a principal analyst with Gartner, Inc., the largest IT research organization in the industry. Since 1995, he and his family have resided in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Gordon-Kirkland-Windsor-International-Writers-Conference-2014Gordon Kirkland

Kirkland began writing a weekly humour column for newspapers in 1994. He maintained the column until moving on to other literary pursuits in 2007.  His books include Justice Is Blind – And Her Dog Just Peed In My Cornflakes (1999, Harbour Publishing) and Never Stand Behind A Loaded Horse (2004, Thistledown Press.)

In order to maintain a regular publishing schedule, Kirkland turned to the services of AuthorHouse, in order to self-publish each of his next three books, When My Mind Wanders It Brings Back Souvenirs in 2005, I Think I May Be Having One OF Those Decades in 2006, and I May Be Big But I Didn’t Cause That Solar Eclipse in 2007. He published his 6th book, Holly Jolly Frivolity in December 2009, to coincide with his holiday stage show of the same name. Each of his first three books received the Stephen Leacock Award of Merit for Humour as finalists for the Leacock Medal. His latest book is his first full-length novel, Crossbow, a mystery with darkly comedic overtones. In September 2011 he released his next novel, The Plight Before Christmas, a story about the disasters that befall a family during the holiday season in the early 1960s. Between his books, syndicated column, and numerous articles for consumer and trade magazines, Kirkland has amassed several thousand publication credits.

Michael GreyeyesMichael-Greyeyes--windsor-international-writers-conference-2014

Michael Greyeyes is Plains Cree from the Muskeg Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. He is an actor, choreographer and director, who first began his career with the National Ballet of Canada. Recent works include Passchendaele (feature film), The Threshing Floor (a dance work he co-choreographed with Santee Smith), Triptych (a short film broadcast nationally on Bravo!), and The Journey (Pimooteewin), a new opera work he directed with music by Melissa Hui and libretto by Tomson Highway.

He completed his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University and graduated at the top of his class in May 2003.

Michael is a graduate of The National Ballet School in 1984, he went on to apprentice with The National Ballet of Canada before joining the company as a full Corps de Ballet member in 1987. After three years, he left the National Ballet to join the company of choreographer Eliot Feld in New York City. He retired from dancing in 1994.
He is Plains Cree. His father is from the Muskeg Lake First Nation and his mother is from the Sweetgrass First Nation, both located in Saskatchewan, Canada.

William-R-Sykes windsor-international-writers-conference-2014Professor Richard Sykes

Rick Sykes is the Assistant Director of the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.  His career includes 17 years in television news serving in various on-air and management positions in mid-size and top ten markets.

He spent six years as a senior manager in a major market public relations agency and for the past 17 years, Sykes has been a tenured faculty member in the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts. In addition to his administrative duties as Assistant Director, Sykes oversees a student-produced nightly newscast that airs in three counties and more than a dozen communities in mid-Michigan. He has published several articles on student media and served on number panels at the national level. Sykes has also presented papers at a 2005 Oxford Round Table Conference in Oxford, England and a 2008 Public Relations Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. A winner of numerous industry awards, Sykes was honored with Central Michigan University’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.

Carol-McAdoo-Rehme-windsor-international-writers-conference-2014Carol McAdoo Rehme 

An award-winning author, editor and ghostwriter from Loveland, Colorado. Carol publishes prolifically in the inspirational market. In addition to authoring seven gift books, she has compiled anthologies for a number of publishers including Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC, Health Communications Inc. and Publishers International Ltd. 

Carol coaches writers, teaches workshops, and presents at writing, storytelling and educational conferences. Her most recent releases include Finding the Pearl: Unstoppable passion, unbridled success, recipient of the 2013 first place award in nonfiction from CAL, and Fundamentally Female, an award-winning art book that made its debut in the 2013 swag bags at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. A passionate advocate for the frail elderly, Carol has been active in the longterm care industry for three decades. She founded and directed Vintage Voices Inc, a nonprofit agency that provides engaging, interactive arts programs in 54 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and dementia units across Northern Colorado. This model garnered interest from around the world and was awarded several coveted grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Tracy-Beckerman-windsor-international-writers-conference-2014Tracy Beckerman

Tracy Beckerman writes the syndicated humor column, LOST IN SUBURBIA® which is carried by over 400 newspapers nationally. Combined with her blog by the same name, which is syndicated to over 250 websites, Lost in Suburbia reaches up to ten million readers weekly.

Tracy has made frequent TV and radio appearances speaking about motherhood and how to be a cool mom in the ‘burbs, including The Today Show on NBC, Good Day Dallas, Fox 5 Morning News DC, Good Day New York, WGN News Chicago, The CBS Early Show, LX New York, Better TV, The Balancing Act, and CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, as well as many satellite radio and print interviews. She also has performed stand-up at The Comic Strip Live in NYC, and other venues, and has spoken about humor writing and syndication at numerous industry conferences, schools and women’s events. She was recently selected as America’s Top Blogger by The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television and appears on the show regularly.  She contributes to Huffington Post Parents, Aiming Low, Blogher.com, and The Balancing Act. Tracy is the author of the recently released humor book, “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs.” (Perigee Books, 2013). She is also the author of the book, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the ‘Burbs” (Cold Tree Press, 2008), and is a contributor to the humor compilations, “See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World’s Most Harried Moms,” and “Fifty Shades of Funny.” She is the Vice-President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation, a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. Prior to her life as a humor columnist, Tracy was a writer and producer in the television industry, creating award-winning TV and radio scripts for such clients as Lifetime Television, WCBS-TV, CBS and NBC. Her honors for writing include The Erma Bombeck Humor Writers Award, a Writer’s Guild of America award, a CLIO, International Film and Television awards, and a New York Emmy®.

Dr. Eva OlssonEva-Olsson-windsor-international-writers-conference-2014

The outbreak of World War II plunged Eva into the heart of the Holocaust: concentration camps, slave labour factories, disease, and the deaths of millions, included most of her family. Eva’s strong faith in God and in herself has enabled her to maintain a positive focus throughout the rest of her life. For 50 years she remained silent about her experiences during the Holocaust, partly out of denial and partly out of fear it might happen again.

Since 1996 Eva has been speaking about her life in over 3000 schools, churches, meeting halls, conferences, colleges and universities, and over one-and-a-half million individuals throughout Canada, in the hope that people who hear her story will know that it is possible to survive the worst that life has to throw at them. The response has been overwhelming. Thousands of letters from students have confirmed her hope that telling her story could make a difference in their lives. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, community organizations, and schools have honoured Eva for her work on behalf of a more peaceful and tolerant world. Eva received an Honorary Doctorate from Nipissing University, North Bay Ontario in June 2005 and is a recipient of the Order of Ontario. In September 2008, Eva was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. An author and widely acclaimed public speaker, Eva makes presentations throughout Canada and the United States at public schools, colleges and universities, about tolerance, compassion and the consequences of hate and bullying. In 2007 Eva was invited to speak at the Institute of Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. Her national bestselling book titled, Unlocking the Doors: A Woman’s Struggle Against Intolerance, was released in 2001. Her second book, Remembering Forever: A Journey of Darkness and Light and a documentary film, Stronger Than Fire: The Eva Olsson Story, were released in the fall of 2008. Her third book, which she co-authored with her son Jan, is titled Every Step of the Way. It is also a national best seller. The book is available in an audio book format.

Professor Jan OlssonJan-Olsson-Windsor-International-Writers-Conference-2014

Jan Olsson has been an elementary and secondary teacher, a high school department head in physical and health education and student services, and a secondary vice-principal and principal. Jan is co-founder of Schools That Shine with Character, a national character education conference organized by Huntsville High School.In 2010 he was selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership.Jan completed his Masters of Character Education at the University of San Diego in 2008.

He has spoken internationally on topics related to character education and leadership. His work has included presentations at The University of San Diego, Penn State University, the University Council for Education Administration in New Orleans, and to various school districts.Jan’s specific interests include moral development and ethics in administration, modelling affective communication and group decision-making, creating safe and inviting physical environments for learning and creating a positive organizational climate.Keep it Simple, Make it Real: Character Development Grades 6 – 12 is his first book, which was published by Corwin Press in California in June of 2009. His second book, Every Step of the Way, co-authored with Eva Olsson, was published in the spring of 2011. Jan currently teaches Human Development and Ethics and Professionalism at Georgian College in Orillia Ontario.

Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-ChevallierConstance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier

Both attended Douglass College (Rutgers University) in the 1960s and have been friends and working partners ever since. They have both lived in France for over 50 years, teaching literature and American civilization and writing English grammar and other books for French speakers.In the 70s, they both studied and got degrees in linguistics, one at the university of Vincennes, and the other at Nanterre, in Paris, hubs of new thinking in language and social science. 

 Both had long and active teaching careers at Sciences Po. Notable among their publications have been a series of grammar books (ex: My English is French); a video series, Magic English, for Disney, to teach children English; Focus on American Democracy, explaining the American system of government, and several French cookbooks on American food.All along, they have been translating from French to English: social science, art, and feminist writings. Feminism and politics, as well as knowledge of France and its culture, led them to the translationinto English of Le Deuxième Sexe, by Simone de Beauvoir, published in Great Britain in 2009 and in the United States in 2010 (Random House Group). This work has led to invitation to speak in Australia, India, Canada and over in 50 institutions and universities in the United States.

William Bruce Cameron

William Bruce Cameron (born 1960 in Petoskey, Michigan) is an American humor columnist. Cameron is best known as the author of the best-selling self-improvement book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which was later adapted into the short-lived ABC sitcom that aired between 2002 and 2005. His book, 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter, was released in 2008, and already had a Hollywood movie deal before its publication, with 89 Films and Wendy Finerman, producer of The Devil Wears Prada.

Cameron is also the author of How to Remodel a Man, which was excerpted in the August 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and was the subject of the November 1, 2005 Oprah Show. His novel, A Dog’s Purpose, was published July 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates.

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