Zibby Owens

Zibby Owens is an author, publisher, indie bookstore owner, award-winning podcaster, and CEO. Zibby founded what became Zibby Media in 2018 with her award-winning podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, which now has more than 10 million downloads.

The company (dubbed “the Zibby-verse” by the L.A. Times) has since grown to include the publishing house Zibby Books, the magazine Zibby Mag, a virtual and in-person book club Zibby’s Book Club, the podcast network Zibby Audio, the education platform Zibby Classes, community events and Zibby Retreats, and a writing community. She recently opened an independent bookstore Zibby’s Bookshop in Santa Monica, CA.

Zibby was celebrated as “New York’s Most Powerful Book-fluencer” by New York Magazine. She’s a regular contributor to “Good Morning America” and other print and broadcast outlets – and loves recommending books.

A lifelong reader and writer, Zibby is the author of the memoir Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature, the children’s book, Princess Charming, the editor of two anthologies, and the upcoming debut novel Blank (March 2024).

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School, Zibby lives in New York (and L.A.) with her husband, Kyle Owens of Morning Moon Productions, and her four children. Follow her on Instagram @zibbyowens where she tells it like it is.


William J. McGee

“A Tale of Two Tales”

McGee was born in New York City and received an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Among other pursuits, he represents travelers as a consumer advocate for American Economic Liberties Project; taught undergraduate and graduate Creative Writing for ten years; worked in airline flight operations management; served in the US Air Force Auxiliary; and was an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist, and Editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter.

He is developing AirFear, a scripted television drama. McGee lives in Connecticut and is also a father.


Cydney Bittner

“Working With an Illustrator”

Cydney Bittner is a children’s and fantasy illustrator based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. in Studio Art and Illustration & Animation from Marymount Manhattan College in 2021. Her illustration credits include Libby the Ladybug Learns Helpfulness by Carly Furino, George the Alligator Finds a Home by Margaret Sansom, The 7 Days: A Classic Nursery Rhyme Made New by Deborah Burns, and Bella the Buck-Toothed Ballerina by Amanda Montoni. When she’s not illustrating books or painting fantasy scenes, Cydney also works as an art instructor. In her experience teaching, she has seen firsthand the importance of imagination; she strives to create art that nurtures that critical part of the human psyche.  

website: cydneybittner.myportfolio.com

instagram: @cydneybittnerart

Wilnona Marie

“The Mystery of Self-Publishing”

Wilnona is an, are awarded poet and member of The And I Thought Ladies. The And I Thought Ladies also have novels in romance, women’s fiction, and noire mystery. 

She is a co-founder of 25 Hottest Authors Magazine & The And I Thought Literary Magazine, as well as the Thoughtful Book Festival. In early 2020 they served as judges on the scholastics writing and arts award.

The pair have turned their writing career into a media empire.  Ranging from the written word to starring a reality show about authors which aired on channel 18 in four markets, as well as Amazon. They are principals in the Documentary 

Create, Aspire, and Inspire as well as How to Become a Lady? These shows share a place under the AITL umbrella along side the four podcast and the Inspirational Women in Literature Media and Journalism Awards.

D. C. Gomez

“Wide or Kindle Unlimited”

D. C. Gomez is an award-winning USA Today Bestselling Author, Podcaster, motivational speaker, and coach. Born in the Dominican Republic, she grew up in Salem, Massachusetts. D. C. studied film and television at New York University. After college, she joined the US Army and proudly served for four years. 

D. C. has a master’s degree in Science Administration from Central Michigan University, as well as a masters in Adult Education from Texas A&M-Texarkana University. She is a certified John Maxwell Team speaker and coach, as well as a certified meditation instructor from the Chopra Center. 

One of D. C.’s passions is helping those around her overcome their self-limiting beliefs. She writes non-fiction as well as fiction books, ranging from Urban Fantasy to Children’s Books. 

To learn more about her books and her passion, you can find her at: 

Website: www.dcgomez-author.com 

Brooke Warner

“Hybrid Publishing”

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Write On, Sisters!, Green-light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and three books on memoir. Brooke is a TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster (of “Write-minded” with co-host Grant Faulkner of NaNoWriMo), and the former Executive Editor of Seal Press. She writes a regular column for Publishers Weekly.

Erika Lance

“The Right and Wrong Ways to Get Published”

Erika Lance is a writer of horror, suspense, Sci-fi and a little fantasy. She has been many things in this life, but she is most proud of being a nerd before it was cool. Growing up in the 80′ s and 90’s she will tell you, finding another female D&D player was rare.

She is also the CEO of 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. and Accomplishing Innovation Press. She is also the host of the Drinking With Authors podcast and the co-host of Eerie Travels podcast.

Erika fell in love with the horror while watching Elvira and Dr. Paul Bearer on Saturday afternoon TV and was hooked. She believes that life is an adventure and it is built on the things you do, the people you surround yourself with and most of all the things you create.

She loves to create worlds and stories. Finding that not all stories have happy endings.





Insta – @authorelance & @drinkingwithauthors

Theresa Bakken

“Audiobook Ambassadors”

Theresa is an Emmy Award winning journalist. She brings warmth and wit to every project and is often cast in Cozy. She also shines in armchair travel, loving language and accent work. Her Texas roots easily come out in southern storytelling. And, she brings her love of audiobooks to the Desideratum Podcast with insightful author conversations produced around sections of their audiobooks. She records from her home studio in Colorado, where she lives with her husband, her honey bees, and a small barn full of feathered and wooly friends. Her three grown children inspire, encourage and remind her that each chapter in life builds on the last and opens new doors. 



Valerie Willis

“Picking a Publishing Path”

Valerie Willis is the COO at 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc., an expert digital typesetter, co-host to Drinking with Authors Podcast, and an award-winning Fantasy Paranormal Romance author. Her works include a workbook series, Writer’s Bane, starting with Research and Formatting 101, and novels inspired by mythology, superstitions, legends, folklore, fairy tales, and history such as in her The Cedric Series. Many have experienced her hosting workshops or being a guest speaker at events where she shares her expertise in publishing, novel writing, research for fiction, worldbuilding, character development, book design, reader immersion, foreshadowing, and more. 

Website: www.WillisAuthor.com

Instagram: @WillisAuthor

Facebook: facebook.com/ValerieWillisAuthor

Twitter: @Valerie_Willis

TikTok: @willisauthor

Natalie Obando

“Authentic Voices”

Natalie Obando is a graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in journalism emphasizing public relations and a minor concentration in creative writing. For nearly two decades, she’s worked in the world of books as a book publicist. Natalie is the founder of Do Good Public Relations Group and the author of How to Get Publicity for Your Book. She is the current national president of the 105 years old non-profit, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), overseeing all eleven chapters across the nation. As the first Latina president of the national organization, her goal has been promoting diversity in publishing via strategic grassroots efforts. She is also the founder of the grassroots organization, Women of Color Writers Podcast and Programming. Her dedication to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the book world led her to found and chair Authentic Voices—a four-month long program that immerses people from marginalized communities in a master class of writing, editing, marketing, and publishing.

Natalie has spoken at some of the most well-regarded literary conferences in the industry including the The West Coast Writers Conference, the Central Coast Writers Conference, Publishers Group West Conference, as well as conferences that focus on diversity in publishing such as Centering on the Margins.

Always looking to amplify BIPOC writers and create community and discussion around diversity in publishing, she recently joined the Ladderbird Literary Agency team. As a literary agent, she hopes to further usher BIPOC writers into careers as authors.

Instagram: @wocwriters

Website: www.womenofcolorwriters.com