Skip to main content MCC Crescent Shape Search rss Facebook Twitter Youtube chevron pointing down


Literary Festival Writing Contest

Confirmed Attendees for 2016 MCC-Longview Literary Festival

Keynote Speakers: Latino Writers Collective

The Latino Writers Collective (LWC) is a group of Latino writers living and working in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Through bi-weekly meetings and critiques, the Collective helps hone and polish the work of its members for publication. In addition to creative support, the Collective organizes and coordinates projects for the larger community, including the Primera Página Reading Series, to showcase national and local Latino writers and provide role models and instruction to Latino youth.

The LWC’s mission is to foster an environment where the voices of Latino students, blue collar workers, professionals, and homemakers can finally be heard, contributing their experience and vision to the larger Kansas City community.  Visit their website at:

Attending Authors

J.R. Boles:  J.R. Boles is a fantasy and fiction author currently hanging her hat in the Heartland. When not writing, she and her husband spend their free time chasing after their fearless daughters and rescue pup. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a degree in English and American University Washington College of Law. Find her books at

Erin Bolton:  Erin Bolton is an organizer and champion of creative people. She received a degree in Art History from the University of Kansas and currently works in fundraising for an osteopathic medical school. Previously she worked as the multicultural coordinator for the Spencer Museum of Art and in marketing and sales at Andrews McMeel Publishing. A long-time lover of speculative fiction and fantastical art, she has organized literary related events or programming at The Writers Place, the Longview Literary Festival, and ConQuest, KC’s local sci-fi/fantasy convention. While living the suburban dream (plus 1 kid, minus 1 dog), her true desire is to travel the world as the book fairy.

John Brage:  Author John Brage is an attorney who lives in Kansas City.  He is the author of The Protocols of Uma and Blinding Sky, the first two books in his Journeyers' Tale trilogy (science fiction).  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and going fishing.  He is a long-time (and suffering) fan of both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Mizzou Tigers.

 M.C. Chambers:  M.C. Chambers writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Shapers’ Veil, is published by Hadley Rille Books. Other stories published by Hadley Rille Books include Silk and Velvet in the anthology Renaissance Festival Tales, an award-winning science fiction story, Visual Silence, in the anthology Return to Luna, and Uno por Cada in Hadley Rille Book’s anthology Ruins ExcavationShe is a member of the NobleFusion writers’ group since 1998 and is a frequent participant at ConQuesT KC, the Longview Community College Literary Festival, and Inklings’ Wordstock festival. She has completed three workshops with best-selling author Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés on reclaiming and nurturing the creative spirit. Chambers is now working on a second novel and several shorter works. She is also a flutist, a mother of five, and a variable print programmer.

Robert Christiansen:  Robert Christiansen was born in Las Vegas in 1977. At the age of 3 his family moved to the small town of Pahrump.  At only a few months old, Robert's parents took him to see Star Wars in the theater. He then spent most of the next two decades enjoying the view of the stars from the desert floor.  Robert now lives north of Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and four energy-filled sons.  Between spending time with his family and working full time, he manages to put pen to paper on occasion.  The results can be found in his published books and on his blog.

W.D. County:  W.D. County (Dave) loves writing and reading science fiction and horror. He’s knowledgeable in science and technology, both from an academic perspective (double major in physics and philosophy) and experience (as a nuclear reactor operator on a ballistic missile submarine and later developing custom software for the federal government).  His publication credits include a top-ten finish in the 79th annual Writers Digest competition, two stories in Spinetingler magazine, and stories in three anthologies: Speedloader, Pulp Ink 2, and the Aesthetica magazine 2014 Creative Writing Annual. My indie-published novel Sammi received an honorable mention at the 2014 London Book Festival, and is getting great reviews on Amazon. 

Laura Croston:  Laura Croston is a writer and editor who received her BA in English from UMKC in 1994 and her MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2009. She currently works as an instructional designer and technical writer who specializes in translating concepts between highly specialized technical wizards (programmers, engineers, chemists, etc.) and the rest of us normal folk. She lives in a ridiculously suburban neighborhood outside of Kansas City with her dog, Starbuck (named for both the Melville character and Dirk Benedict’s handsome rogue, though much love to Katee Sackhoff). When she’s not writing or crushing an author’s dreams with her editorial pen, you can find her playing pub trivia with her regular team of miscreants, killing pixelated enemies, rolling dice with far too many sides, or continuing her search for the city’s best pecan pie.

Sherri Dean:  Sherri Dean was born both late AND backwards, which explains a lot. The bulk of her work is available through Yard Dog Press as a writer and illustrator. Her latest story, co-written with Bill D. Allen of YDP fame is "Clay Allison and the Haunted Head," a weird western/horror story in the anthology Six Guns From Hell. Her illustrated work, is due out this Fall in "It's the Great Bumpkin, Cletus Brown and Other Stories" written by Kathy Turski. Sherri collects, among other things, non-fiction vampire books, commands armies of flying monkeys and is easily distracted by shiny objects. She likes presents, will autograph almost anything and welcomes emails at

Sean Demory: Sean Demory is a Kansas City-based author and founder of Pine Float Press, a small press specializing in short, immersive genre fiction. His work ranges from backwoods horror to alternate-history science fiction and has been recognized by Locus Magazine, The Year's Best Horror and the Horror Writer's Association.

Jim Doering:   Award-winning author Jim Doering’s stories have appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine, Meat For Tea, Punchnel’s, Mad Scientist Journal, The Daily Palette, Prime Number Magazine, Blue Monday Review, the anthologies The Salmagundi and Affinity, and other publications. He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizenominations and a Queens Ferry Press Best Small Fictions Award nomination. He is the author of Sacred and Profane: and other Stories. His second collection, The Spaces Between, will be released in 2017. He serves as Executive Editor of Blue Monday Review.

Bryn Donovan:  I have an MFA in Creative Writing and experience at teaching at a university. I've also taught workshops at The Writers Place. I've published two novels with two different publishers as well as a novella that's part of a collection. I'm also the author of a popular writing reference book, Master Lists for Writers, and I write cards and gift books in my day job as Master Writer at Hallmark Cards.

J. R. Frontera:  J. R. Frontera‘s love of science fiction and fantasy originated with her early exposure to the worlds of Star WarsStar TrekLord of the Rings, and Dune. Exploring the potential and pitfalls of future or fantastical worlds is a temptation she’s just never been able to resist. She lives in rural Missouri with her husband, son, and a random assortment of four-legged friends. She writes mostly speculative fiction with a side of love story, but dabbles in a bit of everything else, including children's stories and poetry. She co-founded the writing group known as The Wordwraiths and is partner in their publishing imprint, Wordwraith Books. You can find out more about her and her books at, and more about The Wordwraiths at

Edwin Frownfelter:  Edwin Frownfelter has been a practicing attorney for 38 years.  He works in professional licensing with the Office of the Missouri Attorney General and writes a newsletter with a subscription list of 71,000 for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.  He is the author of one independently published novel, Ghost Writer.

Karin Gastreich: Karin Rita Gastreich lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, she has wandered forests and wild lands all over the world, but most often in the tropics. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance.  In addition to “The Silver Web Trilogy”, Karin has published short stories in the publications “World Jumping”, “Zahir”, “Adventures for the Average Woman”, and “69 Flavors of Paranoia”. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency. You can visit Karin at

Stephanie Hansen:  Stephanie received her Master’s in 2008, and she’s currently beefing it up with a Creative Writing Specialization. She represents predominately YA SF/F but has a secret addiction for thrillers. While these are her favorite, she handles everything fiction from children’s picture books to adult mystery. Previously an editor for Mind’s Eye Literary Magazine, she joined Metamorphosis July 2016. She is actively looking for new authors. To query Stephanie, please address her in your initial email.

Jennifer Haskin:  Jennifer Haskin is a portrait artist who lives in Olathe, Kansas and does contract childcare work. She is a member of Saavy Authors, Missouri and Nebraska Writing Guilds. She won the Young Author’s award two years in a row, and has had poems published in school magazines, Lodestar, Inklings and Read. Her debut novel, The Key of F, was just named a winner in the Ink & Insights literary contest of 2016. In the summer you can find her in a backyard pool with her five children and all their friends, dreaming of her next cruise. She has stories that need to be told to the world. or

Kurt Heintz:  Kurt Heintz is a writer and media artist from Chicago. His memoirs of the origins of slam poetry first went on the web in 1994, and continued at such venues as AWP (Chicago, 2012; with fellow panelists Louis Rodriguez and Sharon Mesmer) and NPF (Orono, Maine, 2012, with Tara Betts and Paul McComas). He was a technical consultant for the Electronic Literature Organization (, shot and directed Patricia Smith’s first poetry video (1994), and was a founder of the National Poetry Video Festival (Guild Complex, 1991). He is an active presence among Chicago’s diverse writers today.

Kristin Helling:  Kristin Helling enjoys stories with a journey- whether it’s a journey across the globe, a journey through space, or a journey of finding ones self. She writes Adult fiction thrillers, as well as children stories. On the side, she also has a love for Creative Nonfiction shorts and travel narratives. She received her BA in English-Writing from Park University (Parkville, MO) with an 18-hour minor in Psychology. Her debut novel CAPSULE, published under Wordwraith Books, can be found on Amazon, KDP, Nook, Ibooks, and Kobo. Kristin is married to a photographer, and lives outside of Kansas City with their two hairy children, a husky and a mini sheltie. She co-founded the writing group known as The Wordwraiths and is partner in their publishing imprint, Wordwraith Books. You can find out more about her and her books at, and more about The Wordwraiths at

Lindsey Martin-Bowen:  Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s “Bonsai Tree Gone Awry” in her second poetry collection, Inside Virgil’s Garage (Chatter House Press 2013) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The book was also a runner-up in the 2015 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Her third collection, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison (in chapbook form) was a semi-finalist in theQuillsEdge Press 2015-2016 Chapbook Contest. McClatchy Newspapers named her
first collection, Standing on the Edge of the World  (Woodley Press) one of the Ten Top Poetry Books of 2008. Writer’s Digest gave her poem “Vegetable Linguistics” an Honorable Mention in the Non-rhyming Poetry category of its 85th Annual Writing Competition. Paladin Contemporaries released three of her novels, the latest, Rapture Redux. Her poems have run in New Letters, I-70 Review, Thorny Locust, Amethyst ArsenicBare Root Review, Coal City Review, Flint Hills Review, Rockhurst Review, ten anthologies, and other literary magazines. She taught at UMKC 18 years and teaches at MCC-Longview. In another life, she was a full-time reporter (The Louisville Times in Colorado, The Johnson County SUN) and magazine editor (Modern Jeweler Magazine, The National Paralegal Reporter). She holds MA and Juris Doctor degrees.

Kristin McTiernan (Uptown Authors):  Kristin McTiernan was born the daughter of a career military man and spent her childhood bouncing from one country to another. Her love of writing surfaced early, and upon discovering the double threat of comic books and Star Trek in middle school, Kristin spent the majority of her spare time creating new worlds and interesting people to populate them.  Following in her parents’ footsteps, Kristin enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and, upon her discharge three years later, settled into a life pursuing her love of words. She achieved her bachelor’s degree in English from Emporia State University in her home state of Kansas and works as a corporate records manager to support her writing addiction. With the successful publication of “Sunder”, Kristin is feverishly working on the next two books of the trilogy, bringing to life a dystopian America settled by Spaniards and corrupted by technology

Steven Francis Murphy:   Steven Francis Murphy is a lifelong Missourian with the exception of his four years in the United States Army as a communications specialist.  If going to Operation Desert Storm and a year in Korea wasn't enough to teach him better, he joined the Kansas Army National Guard and served an additional two years before hanging up the salad suit.  Within the science fiction community he is known for his military consultancy to Australian novelist John Birmingham.  Since 2005 he has consulted on seven of Mr. Birmingham's novels with more in the pipeline to include the Axis of Time Trilogy, the Without Warning Trilogy, and a new trilogy about monsters due to be released in March 2015.  Mr. Murphy's tasks include basic matters such as selecting the right weapon for the right job, to more complex matters involving American History, culture, and in some case, the law.  Also, if you need a dirty, seamy, nasty cesspit for a scene, Mr. Murphy can do that as well.  Mr. Murphy is a published writer himself, selling to the British science fiction magazine Interzone and to the American publication Apex Magazine.  Tearing Down Tuesday placed fourth in the 2007 Interzone Reader's Poll and received an honorable mention in Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction, 25th Edition.  The Limb Knitter also received an honorable mention in Mr. Dozois' 26th Edition the following year.  When he isn't trying to find that elusive third short story sale he can be found wandering the halls of Longview looking for a history class to teach. 

Carlos Perez: Carlos Perez has a M.A. in English from the University of Missouri—Kansas City (a professional writing degree in screenwriting and playwriting) and a B.F.A. in Speech and Theatre from Avila University.  His recognized stage plays include Caught Between Two Worlds, published by Dramatic Publishing, Folktales for Fun, published by Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., and The Other Side licensed by YES Plays.  Carlos’ latest stage play In Hyding, an adaptation of the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, recently received a staged reading at the Monster Box Theater in Waterford, Michigan, while the screenplay version of the same play was named a semi-finalist in the 2016 London Table Read My Screenplay Competition.  His original play, Two Good Reasons received the second place award the in the 2016 William Faulkner Literary Competition, and his original play Cleansing Acts placed in the 2015 William Faulkner Literary Competition as well, making him a winner two years in a row.  A full production of Cleansing Acts premiered at the 2013 LaBute New Theatre Festival in St. Louis, Missouri by the St. Louis Actors’ Studio, and was named winner of the Riverfront Times newspaper’s Best of 2013 Stage Plays. Carlos’ produced screenplays as a writer-for-hire include: 666 The Ritual, Don’t Go in the Cellar, Monster: The Prehistoric Project, and Vamps and the City.  He’s also received recognition in the following 2016 screenwriting competitions:  the Holly Shorts Film Festival, the TeaDance Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Q1 Short Film Production Fund Competition, the Screenplay Festival, Rebel Seed Film & Script for the Adapted Screenplay Competition, the ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Competition, and the ScreenCraft TV Pilot Competition.  His published short story collections include: Tales from a Disturbed Mind, School Days, and 24 Tales to Pass the Time.

 J.L. Reichman:  J. L. Reichman, author of Under the Roses, The Dying Season, and Summer of Fire. I grew up on a farm in southeast Kansas. After earning a B.S. and M.S. in Education from what is now UCM, I taught in Green Ridge, MO, before transferring to Lee’s Summit where I taught language arts for thirty years. Eight of those years I served as department chairman. Quite active in the Lee’s Summit NEA, I held many offices, established the association newsletter Summit Up and twice served as association president. I co-owned a retail business in south Kansas City with my husband and joined the local business association where I served as treasurer, organized the Martin City St. Pat’s Parade for six years, and was elected president. Having been an avid reader all my life, I ventured into novel writing twenty years ago and belong to a writers’ group in Lee’s Summit.   

Carl Rhoden:  Carl Rhoden was born and raised in Kansas City. He holds an MA and MFA and served as the Associate Editor of the Colorado Review for two years. He has taught literature and composition at Western State College and Colorado State University and has studied with the poets David Ray and Charles Simic, to name a few. For four years, he coordinated the Borders Second Sunday Poetry Series in Overland Park. He has published poems in literary journals since the mid-1970s, and in 1988, he won the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association Award for Poetry. His poetry has appeared in Rockhurst Review, Kansas City Star, Coal City Review, Review, Thorny Locust, The Same, and I-70 Review.

Susan Satterfield:  Susan Satterfield is the author of a number of published short stories and poems including “The Lady Killer” and “Sweet Teddy” which appeared in an anthology entitled Small Bites. Her Yard Dog stories include “What Goes Around” (Flush Fiction) and “A Bad Case of the Munchies” (I Should Have Stayed in Oz).   Her poem entitled “The Hunger:  A Zombie Poem” was published by Costcom.  Her latest sale is entitled “Stranded at the Gates of Hell,” which was published in June 2016 in the anthology Flush Fiction II.   Currently, Susan teaches online, hybrid, and traditional courses including composition, creative writing, and Introduction to Literature at MCC-Longview Community College.  She lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with her family including dogs and an ornery.

 Aisha Sharif:  Aisha Sharif is a Cave Canem fellow who resides in Shawnee, Kansas, a suburb that borders Kansas City, Missouri.  And in many ways, much of her poetry and nonfiction addresses the politics of “bordering identities.”  As an African American Muslim woman, her work explores how racial, gender, and religious identities align, separate, and blend. Her poem, “Why I Can Dance Down a Soul Train Line…” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. Aisha’s poetry has also appeared in Rattle, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, and Calyx.  She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Indiana University, Bloomington and her BA in English from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.  She currently teaches English at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dennis Young (Uptown Authors):  Dennis Young’s writing experience began in the third grade and has continued since. Once through the grueling trials of school (grade, high, and college, surviving all with a flourish) he found an outlet for his imagination in the world of fanzines and fan literature.  Working in the international construction trade, he found outlets in technical writing, business periodicals, and other professional works for over 30 years.  In the 2005 he began writing The Ardwellian Chronicles, and in 2007 published his first book, “Secret Fire”. This was followed by “Dark Way of Anger” in 2009, “Secrets of the Second Sun” in 2010, “Kaanan’s Way” in 2012, and “Blood Secret” in 2016. His mantra is “Working on The Ardwellian Chronicles and Hope I Live Long Enough to Finish”.  With stories of family relationships and blood-oaths taking precedence over all, The Ardwellian Chronicles offer stirring tales and challenges to test the mettle of the bravest souls and spirits.

Confirmed Groups Attending

The Dead Horse Society 

The Dead Horse Society is a group of speculative fiction writers (science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and their many sub-genres) who live and meet in the Kansas City area...Missouri and Kansas.  Website:

Lit Fantastic

Lit Fantastic is a creative services group that aims to nurture creative writing spirits through education and collaboration. We hold workshops, provide editorial services, and offer publishing and reading platforms to aspiring fiction authors – with special emphasis on those who write science fiction, fantasy, and horror – from teens through adults. 

Summit Scribes – Writers Group (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)

The Summit Scribes is a writers group for all ages and for all types of writers. The meetings are held in Lee's Summit, a SE suburb of Kansas City, MO. Meeting attendance is typically 12 to 15. Annual dues are $24.  The monthly meetings include a writing exercise, then writers read from what they have written or from an ongoing work and those present comment about the work. Three or four times a year, the program is a published author who speaks about their work and how they write and get published.  Between monthly meetings, all members (nearly 100) receive several emails containing writing related information.

True Colors 

The Longview True Colors club brings lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students and straight allies together to meet new people, hang out and have fun in a safe and supportive environment. We coordinate both social and educational programs to foster a positive and realistic image of the LGBTQ community, and to ensure all students at MCC-Longview experience a welcoming and affirming learning environment. True Colors brings together students of different sexual and gender identities to fight homophobia on campus and in the community. By raising awareness of different sexual and gender identities, linking homophobia with other oppressions and advocating for equal treatment for all students, our organization will help create a school environment free of homophobic, sexual, verbal, and physical harassment.

Advisor: Jennifer Fenton at 816.604.2208

Last Modified: 10/17/16