2018 CWA Writers Conference Speakers


Cat Writers Conference? Don’t snicker–your cats won’t like that. And whether your passion is cats, dogs, historical fiction, or sky diving with umbrellas, the same writer-icity nuts and bolts apply. That’s why our annual CWA Writers Conference welcomes anyone interested in writing and publishing. Hey, many of us publish in a variety of genres beyond kitty-centric topics. We’ve even had (shhhhh!) DAWGS attend the event!


You can’t miss, when you have CWA Writers Conference Speakers like these. including a celebrity Keynote Speaker here. Mee-wow!


Adventure Cats and Cat Training: What Cat Writers Need to Know (Saturday, June 9, 10:15)

Janiss Garza
Janiss runs a popular blog & FitCat Publishing. Will her therapy cat, Sparkle be at the conference, too?

Presented by Janiss Garza

Cat writers need to stay on the cutting edge of cat behavior and training so they can offer information about feline enrichment and human-cat relationships. Now, more than ever, people want their cats to be part of their lives, to travel and go places with them. They love having cats that perform tricks and that are outgoing and confident. While most people think of dogs when it comes to therapy pets, there is actually a great need for therapy cats in hospitals and other facilities. This session will focus on all the new ways people (and potential readers) are thinking about cats, and how writers can approach this growing and colorful topic in their writing. Learn more about FitCat Publishing here.

Research: First, Last, and Always (Friday June 8, 10:15)

Arden Moore
Professional pet journalist & multi-published nonfiction author, Arden Moore also teaches pet first aid. Click her name to learn more.
Amy Shojai
Amy Shojai is a professional blogger & multi-published nonfiction & fiction author.

Panel Presentation by Amy Shojai, Arden Moore, Patricia Fry (others TBA)

Research is not a chore; it is fun and inspiring! Research not only gives your work credibility, but it leads writers, like detectives, into finding obscure facts that can lead to new ideas and directions in their fields.

patricia fry
Patricia Fry is a multi-published nonfiction & fiction author who has researched her for for 45+ years.

This session will focus on how important research is to a writer–whether producing blogs, articles, nonfiction books or novels. Our superstar panel will discuss how they conduct their research and give tips and tricks on how we can incorporate vetted research into everything we write.





Cat Photography Made Simple (Friday, June 9, 3:45)

Presented by Rick Reichenbach

Eye-catching images add much to an article or book, but cats are hard to photograph; or so the common wisdom holds. It is a rare cat that will hold a pose while you fetch your camera and fiddle with the settings, and you can’t just tell kitty to turn his head a bit more toward the light or straighten his shoulders. But these challenges do not mean that cats are difficult to photograph. Rather they suggest that you should listen to your cat and photograph him doing something he wants to do. This session will teach participants how to capture engaging images by turning kitty’s routine, habits and natural instincts to their photographic advantage. Learn more about Rick here.

The Hybrid Author: Publishing Print, Ebooks & Audio (Friday, June 8, 3:45)

Amy Shojai
Amy Shojai has published more than 30 books (first “traditionally” and now “indie”) in print, hardcover, Ebook & Audio. She’s with Karma-Kat, one of her furry muses.

Presented by:  Amy Shojai

Publishing has changed, and there are many paths today to success. Authors no longer need an agent or New York publisher to become successful–but it still takes work! This session covers the options available, with some down-and-dirty insider tips for DIY print books (with illustrations), Ebooks, and audio titles. Learn more about Amy’s publishing work here.



Changing the World Through Fiction (Friday, June 8, 2:00):

7 (plus 1) techniques to effectively promote your point of view

Mollie Hunt & Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partners

Presented by:  Mollie Hunt

Today, society calls for more from a fiction writer than a fluff-piece. It is our obligation as writers to bring light to the causes and conflicts of our world. This session will cover methods that even the coziest of writers can implement to gently present their values within their story. Find out more about Mollie & her books here.


Brand Yourself! Presenting a Unified Image Online (Friday, June 8, 10:15)

Presented by: Lynn Thompson
How’s your online image? This session walks authors and bloggers through building an integrated digital marketing program that incorporates a website, blog, videos, wikis, social media platforms, and email marketing. You will also learn how to optimize your website and drive traffic to your site using social media. So join us for an interactive session and walk out with your very own marketing plan! Learn more about Lynn here.

#Storytelling Methods That Work for Your Brand – Both Online and Off! (Saturday, June 9, 10:15)

Presented by: Lea-Ann Germinder

Storytelling has become a popular method to get a message across in both traditional and digital media channels. In this session, Lea-Ann Germinder will give concrete examples of what works and what doesn’t based on both her national campaign work and her own #PowerofPink initiative. Find out more about Lea-Ann’s story here.


  1. Latest trends in both social and traditional media.
  2. Concrete tips on how to get the most out of traditional media.
  3. Concrete tips on how to get the most out of social media.
  4. Go to Resources.