Speakers and Presenters

We are now accepting proposals for GEOCON 2020

Proposal Form

This year we will give special attention to proposals from presenters who offer engaging and interactive workshops that offer attendees the opportunity to talk about and work on their craft, how-to business and platform building workshops that arm attendees with useful information/tools they can use to advance their writing career and longer in-depth presentations covering such topics as genre, book design, essay writing, article writing and submission…

GEOCON NETWORKING DINNER: Our special networking dinner with Cooper’s on the Creek is back! Join us from 5:30pm-8pm for a 5280 recommended burger bar, hors d’oeuvres, and get to know
presenters, authors, and GEOCON attendees!  $30.00 in advance / $35.00 weekend of *price includes food and gratutity, bar tabs not included* TICKETS

BEHIND THE SCENES LITERARY TOUR OF LOUIS DUPUY’S HOTEL DE PARIS: EXCLUSIVE OFFERING FOR ATTENDEES OF GEORGETOWN INDIE-CON. See out-of-printand first edition books collected by philosopher and social rebel Louis Dupuy (1844-1900), a former journalist who worked in London, New York, Denver, and mining camps in the High Country. Dupuy’s collection, once described as the “finest library in Colorado,” features over 2,600 printed items including rare maps, periodicals, histories, biographies, religious works, reviews, and books about women’s issues, home keeping, and anatomy. Authors include Alcott, Byron, Coleridge, Darwin, Dickens, Dumas, Flaubert, Hugo, Moliere, Shakespeare, Stevenson, Tennyson, Voltaire, and Wordsworth.
Tickets $10
Friday, June 28, 2019 • 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM TICKETS
Saturday, June 29, 2019 • 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM TICKETS

Registration now open!

2019 Keynote Speakers


Erika T. Wurth

Keynote Speaker Erika T. Wurth

Erika T. Wurth’s publications include a novel, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, two collections of poetry, Indian Trains and One Thousand Horses Out to Sea, and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. Her novel You Who Enter Here is forthcoming from SUNY.

A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Boulevard, The Writer’s Chronicle, Waxwing and The Kenyon Review. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver.

Buckskin Cocaine (2017) is a wild, beautiful ride into the seedy underworld of Native American film. These are stories about men maddened by fame, actors desperate for their next buckskin gig, directors grown cynical and cruel, and dancers who leave everything behind in order to make it, only to realize at thirty that there is nothing left. Poetic and strange, Wurth’s characters and vivid language will burn themselves into your mind, and linger.

You Who Enter Here (forthcoming) Matthew has grown up in hell. His father is gone, and his mother drinks and hooks up with men who abuse Matthew and his sister. He finally decides to hit the streets of Farmington to get away and to drink himself to death—in his mind, his destiny. He meets Chris, who saves him, takes him home, cleans him up, gets him sober, and initiates Matthew into one of Albuquerque’s Native American gangs, the 505s. The 505s have been around for generations. They now sell heroin, and it’s their subservience to the Mexican gangs that has allowed them to survive. However, Chris decides that his little Native American gang deserves to be as big as the Mexican gangs in Albuquerque, bringing in new business from deep inside Indigenous communities in Mexico. Then, Matthew falls in love with Chris’s girlfriend. Matthew’s story is one of terrible darkness, but also, unexpected beauty and tenderness.

Go to Erika’s website for more information.


David Hicks

Keynote Speaker David Hicks

David is the author of the debut novel, White Plains, published by Conundrum Press in 2017, and a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards (2018). Excerpts from the novel have been published as short stories in Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, Specs, Saranac Review, and South Dakota Review, along with other stellar journals. David and his wife Cynthia live in Colorado, with his adult children Stephen and Caitlin close by.

He is a professor at Regis University, where he also co-directs the Mile-High MFA program. He is represented by Victoria Skurnick of the Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.

David Hicks grew up in Harrison, NY (about ten miles north of the Bronx) and attended Nazareth College of Rochester (BA), Saint Bonaventure University (MA), and NYU (PhD). He has been an English professor for many years, but in his forties he decided to stop writing about writers and start being a writer himself.Since then, he has published many short stories and written White Plains, published by Conundrum Press in 2017. He is currently hard at work completing a new novel, called The Gospel According to Danny.

White Plains Flynn Hawkins is a graduate assistant at a prestigious university, on his way to greatness and wisdom. But in the aftermath of 9/11, Flynn leaves his unhappy marriage and beloved children, resigns his teaching position and heads west, only to get lost in his guilt in the mountains of Colorado. When he ends up stuck overnight in a snow drift during a blizzard on the Continental Divide, he realizes he needs to remake himself into the kind of man his children need him to be.Go to David’s website for more information.


Erika Krouse

erika krouse 2mb copy
Keynote Speaker Erika Krouse

Erika Krouse is the author of two books of fiction: Contenders (novel) and Come Up and See Me Sometime (stories). Two new books are forthcoming with Flatiron Books/Macmillan: Tell Me Everything: Memoir of a Private Eye, and Save Me: stories. Erika’s work has previously been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire.com, Ploughshares, One Story, Granta.com, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Erika teaches fiction and mentors for the Book Project at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.

Contenders (2015): “Nina was a thief, technically, although she never defined herself that way. Stealing was sponsorship. Fighting was the passion.” Street-fighter Nina Black lives by her fists in Denver, stealing wallets and taking advantage of men who try to take advantage of her. This symbiosis is upended when one of her marks, a cop and MMA comeback contender, wants his wallet—and his dignity—back. Avoiding retribution is difficult enough alone, but it becomes impossible once Nina gets unexpected custody of an orphaned eight-year- old niece she didn’t know existed, accompanied by her long-lost (and ever-vigilant) childhood flame, Isaac. When the situation implodes, only one person can help Nina earn back her life, and prepare her for the fight that might end it.

Go to Erika’s website for more information.

A. M. Watson

“Finding a Voice for Your Story-Creating and Marketing Indie Audiobooks”

 Move over books on tape! Digital technology and internet distribution channels give indie authors an opportunity to create and publish professional-quality audiobooks on Audible, iTunes, Findaway, and other media platforms. From attracting vocal talent to your first download, A. M. Watson will discuss the process of creating and marketing an audiobook, including contract terms and conditions, royalty structures, marketing options, and distribution rights. 

A. M. Watson’s debut novel, Infants of the Brush: A Chimney Sweep’s Story, is narrated by Michael Troughton, a UK based film, television, and voice actor who is the son of Patrick Troughton, the second Dr. Who.

A. M. Watson is a teacher, attorney, and author whose soul awakens in libraries, courtrooms, bookstores, museums, and historic places. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University and Master of Science in Legal Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. A. M. Watson will always consider Victor, Colorado home. Infants of the Brush: A Chimney Sweep’s Story is A. M. Watson’s debut novel. Learn more about A. M. Watson at https://redacrepress.com/am-watson-1.

Laurie Marr Wasmund

“Don’t Go Down That Rabbit Hole: Painless Historical Research”

The whole world is available to you on the Internet, but most professional writers recommend that you start your research journey much closer to home. In this session, we’ll talk about the wealth of specialized material that you can access both in your local community, local library, and through specific domains on the Internet.

LAURIE MARR WASMUND holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Denver. She has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and community college writing instructor, most recently at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado. She has also presented numerous writing workshops in Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Cimarron Review, Weber Studies, and South Dakota Review, and her articles on Colorado history have been published in True West and Old West. She has written four novels: My Heart Lies Here, A Novel of the Ludlow Massacre; Clean Cut, A Romance of the Western Heart; and the first and second books in the White Winter Trilogy, To Do Justice and To Love Kindness, which chronicle America’s involvement in the First World War and the aftermath in the 1920’s. For more information about Laurie go to https://lostranchbooks.com.

Jim Ringel

“Writing Action: A Deep Read of 5 pages from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian”

Writers benefit from reading masters of the trade. Action scenes can often be tricky for writers to manage. My goal is that by the end of the session, writers will have another tool for analyzing and writing more impactful action scenes in their work.

Jim Ringel writes the Lama Rinzen mysteries, a series of Buddhist mysteries wrapped inside a murder mystery set somewhere in Colorado in one of the six Buddhist realms. In each book and each realm, Lama Rinzen must solve a crime and learn the realm’s lesson so he may progress along his path to enlightenment.

Jim is a Buddhist practitioner who credits meditation with helping him see the world as a wonder. His previous works include the novel Wolf, a “sales-werewolf” mystery in which vanquished dogs return to seek their revenge in the vicious world of corporate sales.

Jim writes the Writing Like a Buddha blog (www.WritingLikeaBuddha.com) and lives in Boulder, Colorado. You can also follow Jim’s writings about Buddhism at http://www.jimringel.com.

Jerry Fabyanic

“The Successful Table”

Millions of books are published annually. Many are through big publishing houses. But not mine. I am either self-published or with a small publisher. Which means that after all the hard work of moving my work to print, my most important job is marketing…myself and my book. At book and other fairs, I have table space. What are the elements that lead to successful sales? How do I approach it? Set it up? 

The workshop will be interactive. It will explore the range of table selling from display and presentation to group dynamics, setting, environment, and “uncontrollables.” Participants will tap into and draw upon personal and their cohorts’ experiences. They will share learned expertise on what works and what doesn’t work.

Jerry Fabyanic is the author of Sisyphus Wins. He lives in the historical mining town of Georgetown in Clear Creek County, Colorado. Jerry is a retired English and social studies teacher, blogger, featured columnist of the Clear Creek Courant, and host of The Rabbit Hole on KYGT-FM on which he interviews Colorado authors on the Writers Talk segment. Jerry has run seven marathons, climbed thirty-four of Colorado’s 14ers, and loves carving the bumps through the powder and timber of Mary Jane’s Eagle Wind territory.

As a life-long learner and student of life, Jerry has embraced Joseph Campbell’s principle that one’s life journey begins when one says yes to it. He has learned that once having said yes, there is no turning back. 

You can learn more about Jerry and his work on his websites: https://www.jerryfabyanic.com/ and https://www.bighornbookclub.com/ on which Jerry hosts the Writers Talk author interviews. You can contact Jerry at jerry@jerryfabyanic.com

Jules Marie

“40 Tips to Help You Write an Award-Winning Book”

In this dynamic session, you’ll hear from a seasoned journalist who reads hundreds of fiction and non-fiction stories yearly in dozens of categories for various book award competitions and knows a gem when she reads one. What does it take for your story to be a diamond-in-the-rough? Why does one book score a 98 and one a 75 or one receives an 8.8 and another a 7? Get an insider’s scoop on the industry standards used to select books for an award. Learn how to avoid common writing, editing, design, technical and publishing pitfalls and ways to showcase your story in the midst of your genre. Attending to what seems like tiny details will help garner a higher score.

Jules Marie is a seasoned journalist who judge’s books for the vibrant independent publishing community; including the IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, New York City Midnight, Colorado Book Awards and Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). She’s the owner of 33 Words–and is a digital marketing manager and publicist for numerous independent authors and companies in Colorado. For more information about Jules go to https://www.33words.us.

Traci Jones

“Teenage Angst: Writing YA”

What’s the difference between a true YA novel and an adult book with a teen character? What are the basics of writing YA? What can you write about? How do you begin crafting a true YA novel? Learn what the rules and tropes of YA are, and how to use them to write a true novel for teens.

Born in Monmouth, Illinois to Ada Groff and former Senator Regis Groff, Traci was raised in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from East High School, Ms. Jones attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Ms. Jones returned to Colorado to attend the University of Denver where she earned a MS in Advertising. Ms. Jones then worked in marketing for two years in the Chicago area, before returning to Denver to work as an Account Executive at an area advertising agency. 

Mrs. Jones was reminded of her love for writing and began working towards earning a Creative Writing Certificate at the University of Denver. One of those courses led to the writing and completion of her first book, Standing Against the Wind. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG) in 2006, Standing would win the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award in 2006, a national award that is occasionally awarded to new authors. Two more books with FSG followed in 2010 and 2011, Finding My Place and Silhouetted by the Blue. 

In 2018 she signed with Metamorphosis Literary Agency and is represented by Patty Carouthers.

In 2016 she joined the faculty of the Mile Hi MFA in Creative Writing program at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where she teaches young adult fiction. For more information about Traci go to http://www.traciljones.com.

Ingrid Pyka

“The $1 Million Dollar Hello”

How do you meet the right people to produce and sell your book? How can you let everyday conversations transform into powerful collaborations? What are the best ways to get the networking results you’ve been looking for? Find and make opportunities for you and your book sales just through $1 Million Dollar Hello networking and activating the right searches – for you.

Dr. Ingrid Pyka is a veterinarian-turned-executive business consultant whose passion is to empower success into the hands of the individual through simple, common sense and efficient systems.

In less than a year, Dr. Pyka transformed $100,000 monthly losses in a large non-profit into positive cash flow by simplifying processes. She has successfully brought entrepreneurs in front of big dollar investors through targeted connections. A multi-award winning publisher, Ingrid was honored with presidency for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, an author/publisher group for which she still holds a significantly supportive role. Ingrid can be seen on international stages, television and radio, continually sharing her multi-million dollar strategies to make more sales, improve profits and… make your job easier!

Ingrid shares her methods in her recent book “Stop! Step Back & GROW: The 3 Keys to Long-Term and Repeatable Success” and has also developed a unique all-in-one calendar-planner system designed to accomplish on-target goals.

Author of Gold! Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies

Ian Neligh

“Hardboiled Writing: Unleashing your inner investigative journalist”

Learn the tools to add real-world detail, nuance and credibility to your writing from long-time investigative reporter and editor Ian Neligh, author of Gold! Madness Murder and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies and Spurred West: Thrilling real-life tales of the old (and new) Wild West. Many best-selling authors use time-tested journalistic methods and interview styles to ground their own writing in reality, adding believability to their work and dialogue. Neligh will share a newspaper reporter’s tricks of the trade to get inside information from police departments, coroner’s offices and more.

Ian Neligh has won many state and national journalism awards for his writing and reporting including first place for online in-depth reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, first place for investigative reporting from the Colorado Press Association, he has also won numerous awards for his humorous writing. As a journalist, Neligh has flown airplanes, been dog sledding, horseback riding, run with burros, dressed up as mascots, taken part in Civil War reenactments, climbed mountains, investigated corruption, interviewed mayors, senators, governors and famous film directors – all on deadline.

He developed his passion for storytelling growing up in Colorado where around the family dinner table he learned a good story must be captivating – and if possible hilarious.

More than anything Neligh enjoys finding and telling a good story and often that has brought him to the strangest of places including crime scenes, jails, avalanches, gold mines, alligator farms and ghost towns. For more information about Ian go to http://www.ianneligh.com.

Mario Acevedo

Craft of Genre Fiction: More than Tropes

What do you need to nail a great story in genre fiction? What are the critical elements of genre fiction? What makes genre fiction different from literary fiction? Are there tropes you need to include? And if so, what are they? So many questions, for sure. In this session we’ll review and discuss what rules you’ll need to consider and which you can break. The workshop will include a writer’s prompt to help you dig into the craft of your work-in-progress.

Mario Acevedo is the author of the national bestselling Felix Gomez detective-vampire series, most recently Steampunk Banditos: Sex Slaves of Shark Island, and the YA humor thriller, University of Doom. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. His work has won an International Latino Book Award and a Colorado Book Award. Mario serves on the writing faculty of the Regis University Mile-High MFA program and Lighthouse Writers Workshops. He is the editor of the anthology Blood and Gasoline, from Hex Publishers. Mario lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. For more information about Mario go to http://www.marioacevedo.com.

Developmental Editor Writing Coach

James Persichetti

Developmental Editor

Writing Coach


Meeting with a mentor is highly recommended throughout your writing process. Persichetti is happy to share his experience and answer any questions you might hve regarding the editing process or his day to day work. 

Opportunity is exclusive to GEOCON badge holders. Slots are 15 minutes for $20.00. You may only sign up for one session per badge. Invitation email will be sent to registrants soon.


My goal as an editor is to understand your vision for your book and help you make the story the best it can be. Writing is a collaborative process, but ultimately it comes down to what you, the author, want for your story.

I worked for over three years as a submissions reader and foreign rights coordinator at Nelson Literary Agency, one of the top agencies in the industry. I read over 1,200 query letters a month and saw firsthand what makes or breaks a submission, which books sold for big money, and which books didn’t quite measure up. I want to use my knowledge of story craft and what I learned about the industry to help authors hone their craft and get closer to achieving their publishing dreams.

I have presented workshops on story craft and structure at major writing conferences. I’m a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. When I’m not writing or editing, I love to learn foreign languages, play board games, and try to find the best flour-to-egg ratio for fresh pasta. 

See website for more: https://www.losthateditorial.com/ We hope you can make it!Cheers,Georgetown Heritage Center & Cultural Arts Program