Steven Barnes
Guest of Honor
Steven Barnes is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning novelist and screenwriter who is the creator of the Lifewriting™ writing course, which he has taught nationwide. He recently won an NAACP Image Award as co-author of the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series with actor Blair Underwood and his wife, Tananarive Due.
Beth Meacham
Special Guest Editor
Editor at Tor Books, Beth has edited many major works including Ender’s Game, Blood Music, and Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials.
Kathya Alexander
Playwright - Actor - Author
Kathya Alexander is a writer, actor, storyteller, and teaching artist. Her poem, Naa Naa, appears in Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace. She won the WRAP Award, Youth Arts Award, and the CityArtist Award from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and her play, David and Jonathan, was featured at STG’s Nights At The Neptune. Her play, HomeGoing, was chosen for Freehold’s New Plays Festival, Mahogany Project's Festival, and for residency at Hedgebrook's Women’s Writer's Retreat. She was playwright for Intiman Theater's Rough Eagle's Project, and her play, Black To My Roots, won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Eilis Flynn
Eilis Flynn s an American author of four fantasy romance novels for the publisher, Cerridwen Press. She also has written for DC Comics using the name Elizabeth M. Smith.
Ross Murker
Ross Murker will MC the Readerfest bookfair. His skills in public speaking and being heard over the roar of crowds make him the perfect choice for this role. Also, he's a nice guy.
Candice Montgomery
Candice Montgomery is an LA transplant now residing in Seattle. By night, she writes YA lit about Black teens across all their intersections. By day, she teaches dance and works in the land of early childhood Deaf education. Her debut novel, HOME AND AWAY, is forthcoming from Page Street Publishing/Macmillan, Fall 2018. It is the goal of her stories to interrogate the spaces of race, love, the body, gender and sexuality, all while being a witness of life.
Dr Asao Inoue
Professor & Researcher

Asao B. Inoue is Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Director of University Writing and the Writing Center, and the Program Chair of the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication. He also has been a member of the Executive Board of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. Among his many articles and chapters on writing assessment, race, and racism, his article, “Theorizing Failure in U.S. Writing Assessments” in RTE, won the 2014 CWPA Outstanding Scholarship Award. His co-edited collection, Race and Writing Assessment (2012), won the 2014 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for an edited collection. His book, Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing for a Socially Just Future (2015) won the 2017 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Book Award for a monograph and the 2015 CWPA Outstanding Book Award. In November of 2016, he guested co-edited a special issue of College English on writing assessment as social justice, and has a co-edited collection, Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and The Advancement of Opportunity (2018). Additionally, he is completing a book on labor-based grading contracts as socially just writing assessment.

Sonia Lyris

Sonia Orin Lyris is the author of The Seer — a novel about vision, power, and identity. Read chapter one here.

  • The Rochi DeckA 54-card deck for gambling and divination, from the Seer Saga, book two. Rochi beta deck, rules, and history, hereRochi was designed in collaboration with Cheapass Games, creator of Patrick Rothfuss’s Tak.
  • Touchstone“: a story in The Seer universe, free to fans of my work, courtesy of  publisher, Baen Books.

Where to get The SeerAmazonBarnes & NobleBaen BooksUniversity BookstoreElliot Bay & your local library.

Elizabeth Guizzetti
Author, Illustrator, Comic Books

Elizabeth Guizzetti is a multi-taltented illustrator and author best known for her demon-poodle based comedy, Out for Souls & Cookies. She is also the creator of Faminelands and Lure and collaborated with authors on several projects including A is for Apex and The Prince of Artemis V.

She enjoys exploring different aspects of creativity and writes science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, Other Systems, was a 2015 Finalist for the Canopus Award for excellence in Interstellar Fiction. Her short work has appeared in anthologies such as Wee Folk and The Wise and Beyond the Hedge. Between long projects, she works on a ten-part novella series, The Chronicles of the Martlet, following the life of an elfin assassin turned necromancer just for funsies.

Guizzetti lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs. When not writing or illustrating, she loves hiking and birdwatching.

Find out more about her work at or follow her on Twitter @E_Guizzetti

Zig Zag Claybourne

Zig Zag Claybourne wishes he’d grown up with the powers of either Gary Mitchell or Charlie X but without the Kirk confrontations (anybody not getting those Trek references gets their scifi cred docked three points). His work has appeared in Apex Magazine, Vex Mosaic, Alt History 101, FlashShot, The Reverie Journal, Stupefying Stories, The City: A Cyberfunk Anthology, UnCommon Origins, Rococoa: The Sword & Soul/Steamfunk Anthology, and others. His latest novel is The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan. More at

Abie Ekenezar
Actor, Singer, Cosplayer

bie Ekenezar is an actress, singer and “Cosplayer” living in Seattle, WA with an extensive background resume and has been in the entertainment industry professionally with IMDB credits in just two years. Abie came on board with the agency Big Fish Northwest to work with the next generation of professional TV and Film professionals on Strowlers, a fantasy film project that was recently released by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment.

Prior to this, Abie graduated in Computers Science at Montclair State University but that wasn’t enough. She also decided to get a Minor in Musical Theatre because of her love for the arts. Abie started singing from the crib and while working on her Bachelor’s at Montclair, she also auditioned and was accepted into the Seton Hall University Choir where they toured along the East Coast and Internationally in Quebec, Canada.

Years later, Abie went to her first Convention in Seattle, which was Penny Arcade and fell in love with the costumes and game play. At this moment, she realized that at her next convention she would do it all herself. Emerald City Comicon debuted her first character as, Turanga Leela from Futurama in 2012. She later found her passion for the character of cosplay and got into the film industry, being in such projects as Grimm, Man In The High Castle, Librarians, Portlandia and even Z-Nation, filmed in Spokane, WA.

Abie has recently completed multiple projects with Blue Forge Films and two current projects that are currently in Post Production to be released in 2018.

Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. Editing grew out of her love of the craft of writing. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series.

In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Lately she ventured into Steampunk as Julia Verne St. John.

If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Or you can follow her on Facebook as Phyllis Irene Radford, or on twitter @radford_irene25 You can also read advance copies of new books on Irene’s Patreon Account:

Robyn Bennis

Robyn Bennis is a writer and biologist living in Madison, WI, where she has one cat, two careers, and an apartment full of dreams.

She has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, being so preoccupied with whether she could that she never stopped to think if she should, and systems integration.

She is the author of the Signal Airship Series from Tor Books and wrote her debut novel, The Guns Above, within sight of the historic Hangar One at Moffett Airfield.




Julianna Hinckley, Jeffrey Cook,  Candice Montgomery, Eilis Flynn

And Many More to Come!

For more information, please email