Presenters for the 2017 North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference

Keynote Speaker: Steve Wasserman
Steve Wasserman Keynote speaker Steve Wasserman is publisher and executive director of Heyday Books, based in Berkeley. He is former editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review and past publisher and editorial director of Hill & Wang, an imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and former editorial director of Times Books/Random House. A principal architect of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, he has also served on both the nonfiction and fiction nominating committees of the Pulitzer Prize. As literary agent, he was a partner of Kneerim & Williams LLC, representing numerous authors, including the late Christopher Hitchens, Placido Domingo, and Linda Ronstadt. He is a consulting editor to Yale University Press.
Erick Mertz
Erick Mertz Erick Mertz is a 1994 graduate of the University of Oregon in English and Comparative Literature. After fifteen years working in advocacy and program management for community based adults with developmental disabilities, he stepped out as a free-lance editor, ghost-writer and screenwriter. Currently, he lives in an old house in Portland, Oregon with his wife and son. He publishes articles about music, food and baseball. He also writes poetry. He is working on The Strange Air, his debut work of fiction.
Caroline Gill
Caroline Gill Caroline Gill: After attending UCLA and Northern Illinois University for her MFA, MA, Caroline taught at both the Design Institute of San Diego and at Southwestern Community College in San Diego. Living among the giant redwoods of Northern California continues to feed her creative spirit. Author of several urban fantasy novels, she recently completed the Flykeeper Chronicles, a YA magic realism series. Currently, she is writing Kildrake, a Vampire Hunter Horror series as well as Waypoint Warriors, a science fiction/space opera novella.
Roy Parvin
Roy Parvin Roy Parvin is the author of two books of fiction, The Loneliest Road in America: Stories and In the Snow Forest: Three Novellas. His work has been widely anthologized and included in the Best American Short Stories. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts in Literature, a Broadloaf Fellowship and the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in fiction. His novella, “Menno’s Granddaughter,” was adapted by the French movie director Claude Miller for the movie Voyez Comme Ils Dansent which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Rome Film Festival.
Julie Christine Johnson
Julie Christine Johnson Julie Christine Johnson is an award-winning author of two novels, In Another Life (Sourcebooks, 2016) and The Crows of Beara (Ashland Creek Press, 2017). Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals and anthologies. She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs. Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state, where she hikes, bikes, writes, teaches writing workshops, and offers story/developmental editing and writer coaching services.
Phil Taggart
Phil Taggart Phil Taggart has three collections of poetry. His latest is Rick Sings (Brandenburg Press). He served for nine years as the Poetry Editor of Art Life, and is currently editor and publisher of Askew with Marsha de la O and Friday Gretchen. Phil runs a weekly poetry reading at the EP Foster Library in Ventura. Phil presently teaches television production for El Camino High School at Ventura College. In 2009, Phil was named “Champion of Mental Health” by the Turning Point Foundation. This was in part because of his work in bringing awareness of homelessness and mental illness to the community at large, through his poetry, photography and video work specifically through Rick Sings. He grew up in South Whittier and lives in Ventura, California with his wife Marsha de la O. Phil is Ventura County’s Poet Laureate.

To view the schedule of workshops offered by the presenters above,
including details of each of their workshops,
please proceed to the Schedule page


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California Bay Laurel (myrtle) - image courtesy J.M.Renner
California Bay Laurel (myrtle) - image courtesy J.M.Renner