johngroganJOHN GROGAN discovered his interest in writing at a young age and pursued his passion at Central Michigan University, majoring in English and journalism. He worked as a  journalist and columnist for many years. Grogan’s first book, Marley &  Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, brought him fame, spending 76  weeks on the bestseller list. His acclaimed first book was made into a major  motion picture in 2008. That same year he also published his second book, The  Longest Trip Home: A Memoir, which grapples with the intersection of themes  like family and identity. Grogan, his wife Jenny, and their three children live  in eastern Pennsylvania with their Labrador retriever Woodson. He continues to  write full-time.

Literary agent ELIZABETH KRACHT of Kimberley Cameron & Associates is anScreen Shot 2014-01-08 at 1.09.00 PM authority on how to get published, and instructs writers through numerous conference appearances as well as instructional online boot camps. She is based in San Francisco, and represents literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers, mysteries, and young adult novels. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves voice—or adventure-driven memoir, and other nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.

joecliffordJOE CLIFFORD writes from experience. He spent a decade on the streets before getting back on track to make writing his life. Clifford lives in California with his wife, Justine, and their sons.

Joe Clifford is acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. He is the author of several books, including Junkie Love, Lamentation, and December Boys, as well as editor of Trouble in the Heartland: Crime Stories Based on the Songs of Bruce Springsteen. Joe’s writing can be found at www.joeclifford.com.


officialpicPAUL CUCLIS is a freelance article writer and published short story writer, as well as the organizer for this retreat. Formerly, Paul worked as an assistant editor for the “1966 Journal of Creative Nonfiction,” and a journalist for “The World of Chinese,” magazine based in Beijing, China, where he wrote on travel, culture, and culture clash. His fiction work has appeared in the “Vine Leaves Literary Journal,” and Tranquility Publishing’s “Tales of Tremendous Tragicide” 2014 anthology.  Currently, Paul works as the Communications & Outreach Manager for the Houston Mayor’s Office of Trade & International Affairs.

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