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Donald Maass - Agent, Donald Maass Literary Agency

Donald Maass is the founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009) , The Breakout Novelist (2011) and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012).

He will lead BONI workshop participants through practical writing exercises that plumb depths of character, raise stakes both public and personal, add plot layers, heighten sense of time and place, strengthen point of view and voice, deepen themes, transform openings, and develop the brainstorming skills that produce consistently original stories.

Donald Maass has helped many mid-list and genre authors transform their careers. His thirty-plus years of experience can help you, too. 


Lorin Oberweger - Director/Owner, Free Expressions

Lorin is a highly sought-after independent book editor and ghostwriter with almost twenty-five years experience in publishing. Her company, Free Expressions, offers writing seminars nationwide with literary agent Donald Maass and others, as well as the acclaimed Novel Crafting Retreats--intensive story development weekends for writers in all genres of fiction.

Lorin’s students and clients have millions of books in print and have been published by imprints of HarperCollins, Random House, Penguin, Scholastic, and other mainstream and independent presses. They have also gained representation with some of the industry’s leading literary agents.

Along with New York Times bestselling author Veronica Rossi, Lorin is the author of the New Adult series, BOOMERANG, REBOUND, and BOUNCE published by Harper/William Morrow.


Brenda Windberg - Editor, Free Expressions

Brenda has been on the staff of Free Expressions since 2002. In addition to her work as staff editor and speaker at the Breakout Novel Intensive Workshops and at the Writers Retreat Workshops, Brenda has worked in publishing for more than a dozen years—both as editor and as an accomplished freelance writer, whose articles have won numerous awards.

Her work has been featured in such publications as PARENT GUIDE, HARTFORD TIMES PRESS, FLORIDA HEALTHCARE NEWS and many others.  Her fiction is represented by Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger.


Eric Elfman - Author / Editor, ElfmanWorld

Eric Elfman is an American writer interested in Science Fiction, Fantasy, UFOs and paranormal events. He is the author of 12 books for middle-grade and young adult readers, including the first book of the Accelerati Trilogy, TESLA'S ATTIC, which he co-wrote with Neal Shusterman. The second book in the trilogy, EDISON'S ALLEY, will be released in February 2015. Among Elfman's other books are ALMANAC OF ALIEN ENCOUNTERS, ALMANAC OF THE GROSS, DISGUSTING, AND TOTALLY REPULSIVE, and VERY SCARY ALMANAC.  He is also author of several The X-Files novelizations.

For the past decade, Elfman has been on the faculty of the Big Sur Children’s Writers Workshop, sponsored by the Henry Miller Library and directed by Andrea Brown. Elfman has also presented writing advice at the Ventana Sierra Advanced Writing Workshop in Carson City, NV, directed by author Ellen Hopkins, and at the SCBWI San Francisco North-East Bay Writing Conference.

Also a private writing coach, Elfman has worked with New York Times bestselling author Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky), award winning author Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado), Barry Wolverton (Neversink), and soon-to-be-published Stacey Lee (Under a Painted Sky), and many other writers.


Jason Sitzes - Author / Editor

Jason Sitzes has been a professional writer and editor for over 15 years after receiving a BA in creative writing from Univ of Tenn. Once in the corporate publishing field, he went freelance in the city of New Orleans, to Louisville, and currently in Austin, TX. Jason is the director and an instructor of the renowned Writers Retreat Workshop (WRW now in its almost 30th year). His nonfiction work includes features with artists such as Louis C.K., Paula Poundstone, Dick Gregory, Mother Falcon, Dean Koontz, the late Michael Palmer, Ayelet Waldman, Jennifer Cruise, Robert Klein, and many others. 

Jason has written award-winning short stories, ghostwritten with fabulous personalities, finished several novels (none to his satisfaction), worked with dozens of top agents in NYC and the west coast, edited more manuscripts (some well published, some not) than his mind can recall, and thanks to BONI workshops, WRW, and other workshops, has worked 1-1 with hundreds of manuscripts and writers coast-to-coast, ‘across the pond’, and into Australia. He’s led numerous classes and develops more courses for writers as his insight into current (and future) writing challenges evolve.

In his personal life, Jason has a beautiful family in Austin, is barreling through yet another novel, always developing a screenplay or two, reading, editing, story-developing with brilliant writers, and probably right now watching college basketball.


Roman White - Director/Writer

Working with such artists as Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood, Roman has been nominated for eleven Emmy awards and has taken home three in addition to winning a 2009 MTV Music Video Award for Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me as well as being named 2007/2008 Director of the Year along with numerous other industry honors for his directing, special effects work in television and film. He most recently directed new videos for Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Kristin Chenoweth. His music video for Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” was also just voted Number One Video of the Decade!

Passionate about storytelling, Roman has completed two novels and is currently working on his most recent, BRAVO MARX, an epic coming of age tale that will be the first in a proposed series.