2017 Broadleaf Writers Conference Speakers

2017 Broadleaf Writers Conference Keynote: Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, Summer Rental, Deep Dish and Hissy Fit.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years. The last ten years of her career were spent as a features reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins Publishers. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by eleven more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

Mary Kay Andrews’ first cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook, published by St. Martin’s Press, goes on sale May 2. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels. In between cooking and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

Confirmed Speakers

Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels that have been translated into a dozen languages. She has won SIBA’s novel of the year, twice won the Georgia Author of the Year, and twice been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize.

Colleen Oakley’s debut novel Before I Go was a People Magazine Best New Book Pick in January 2015, an Us Weekly “Must” Pick, and a Publisher’s Lunch Buzz Book. Formerly the senior editor of Marie Claire and editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness, Colleen’s articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Her second novel, Close Enough to Touch, hit the shelves in April 2017.

Ricki Schultz is the author of Mr. Right Swipe, published June 2017 by Grand Central Press. A teacher, speaker, editor and writer, Ricki earned a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.


Frank Reddy is the author of Eyes on the Island, a novel recently published by Fiction Advocate. As a veteran journalist, he writes freelance articles for a wide range of mostly Atlanta-area publications, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curbed Atlanta, What Now Atlanta, Creative Loafing, Atlanta Magazine, Gainesville Times and Gwinnett Daily Post. He has won multiple awards from the Associated Press and Georgia Press Association for business writing, feature writing, and hard news coverage.

JD Jordan an award-winning designer, design educator, and historian. When he’s not operating the design agency, J+E Creative, he’s working a scuff thriller and a sequel to his debut novel, Calamity.


Michael Morris is the best-selling author of the award winning novel, A Place Called Wiregrass, and Slow Way Home, named one of the best novels of the year by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Publishers Weekly named his latest novel, Man in the Blue Moon, a best book of 2012. A finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, Morris’s essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. He holds an MFA in Fiction and Playwriting from Spalding University.

A self-described late-bloomer, Susan Sands began writing on her fortieth birthday. Her first Southern women’s fiction title, Again, Alabama, was published a mere eight years later, with the second, Love, Alabama, and her latest, Forever, Alabama, following closely behind. She now creates stories about the quirky characters and fascinating relationships that are uniquely Southern.

Soniah Kamal is a Pushcart Prize nominated essayist and fiction writer. Her debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Her novel Marriageable Material: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan is forthcoming. Soniah’s work is or will appear in The New York Times, Tedx, The Guardian,  Catapult, The Missing Slate, BuzzFeed, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Huffington Post, Literary Hub, The Rumpus, The Normal School, ArtsATL and more.

Laurel Snyder is the author of many books for children.  Her most recent titles include Orphan Island, Charlie and Mouse, and The Forever Garden.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she also sometimes writes essays and poetry for adults.  Find her online at laurelsnyder.com or follow her on Twitter @laurelsnyder.

Terra Elan McVoy is the author of eight novels for young people, including This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker, and the Edgar Award finalist Criminal. She spends her time as a bookseller at Little Shop of Stories, as a program director for the AJC Decatur Book Festival, and answering fan mail for Captain Underpants. She has taught both adults and young people in a variety of courses, including the Yale Writers Workshop, Smith College Young Women’s Writing Workshop, The Atlanta Young Writers Institute, and Agnes Scott College’s Agnes Writes program, among others. You can learn more about Terra and her books at http://terraelan.com.

Literary Agents

2017 Broadleaf Writers Conference Keynote Literary Agent: Peter Miller

Peter Miller has been a literary and film manager for several decades and is President and CEO of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, Inc. (previously PMA Literary & Film Management Inc. of New York). He has represented more than 1,500 books, including twenty three New York Times bestsellers. In addition, his company has had twenty three movies produced that he either managed, developed or executive produced, and currently has many film and television projects in development. Three of those films produced have been nominated for Emmy Awards: Goodbye, Miss Fourth of JulyA Gift of Love; and Helter Skelter. In addition, Peter Miller has a number of film and television projects currently in active development, with some nearing production, in association with Warner Bros. Features and Paramount/DreamWorks and other producers and production companies.

Known in both the publishing world and Hollywood as the “Literary Lion”, Peter Miller regularly attends colleges, universities, writing conferences, Book Expo America, the London International Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Peter Miller has established contacts nationally and internationally with publishers, writers, writers’ groups and the media. For more information, view Peter’s numerous videos on You Tube.


Check back soon for more additions!

*speaker list subject to change