Publishing Pros Attending the 2020 Washington Writers Conference

It’s with sadness that we announce the 2020 Washington Writers Conference is canceled. Please read the full announcement here. Contact us at [email protected] with questions.


Naren Aryal is CEO and publisher of Mascot Books/Amplify Publishing, one of the fastest-growing and most respected hybrid publishing houses. 

Kevin Atticks is publisher at Apprenctice House, the nation's first entirely student-managed book publisher, based at Loyola University Maryland.

Bonnie Benwick is a freelance editor, writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She worked for 39 years as a journalist, spending the majority of her career at the Washington Post. She retired in July 2019 as deputy Food editor/recipe editor. She wrote the weekly "Dinner in Minutes" recipe column for 12 years and contributed to several series of monthly food-related features for the Washington Post Magazine. Her efforts won honors from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals, among others. She teaches cooking classes and assists in food photography/styling instruction in the Washington area, and continues to speak about food journalism to local and national groups, with a particularly keen interest in all facets of recipe writing.

Amy Collins is the founder of Bestseller Builders and president of New Shelves Books. Collins is a trusted expert, speaker, and recommended sales consultant for some of the largest book and library retailers and wholesalers in the publishing industry. She is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and, in the last 20 years, Amy and her team have sold over 40 million books into the bookstore, library, and chain-store market for small and midsized publishers. She is a columnist for and a board member of several publishing organizations and a trusted teacher in the world of independent publishers. Follow her on Twitter at @NewShelvesBooks.

Therese Doucet is the publisher at Strange Violin Editions and author of the 2020 historical fantasy novel The Prisoner of the Castle of Enlightenment.

Evelyn M. Duffy has been editing in the Washington, DC, area for over 12 years. She is a full-time, in-house researcher, transcriber, and editor for journalist Bob Woodward and has assisted with his five most-recent bestsellers. Evelyn provides developmental editing through Open Boat Editing, where she especially enjoys working with first-time authors, genre writers, and journalists. Through her boutique editing service, the Proofread Bride, she specializes in proofreading wedding materials (a niche where a typo can really ruin a day). Evelyn has a degree in English and creative writing from George Washington University and lives in DC with her wife and cat. Please connect with her on Twitter at @_EvelynMDuffy.

Christina M. Frey, J.D., is co-executive of the Editorial Freelancers Association and a developmental/line editor and literary coach for writers, influencers, and select small presses. Christina specializes in helping both novice and experienced writers develop and refine their authorial voice.

Ally E. Machate is on a mission to make great books happen and help authors reach more readers. A bestselling author and expert publishing consultant, Ally has served both small and “Big Five” publishers, including Simon & Schuster, where she acquired and edited books for the Touchstone and Fireside imprints. Her client list includes authors publishing with such companies as Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Rodale Inc., Chronicle Books, Kaplan Publishing, Sourcebooks, Sunrise River Press, and Hay House, as well as independently published bestsellers. Ally leads a diversified team of professionals who specialize in helping serious authors fulfill their dreams of publishing success, which includes teaching them how to effectively and efficiently write, publish, and sell more books. Get free gifts and learn more at

Katherine Pickett (POP Editorial Services LLC) is a 20-year veteran editor with professional training in fiction and nonfiction, and traditional and indie publishing. She is the author of the award-winning book Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro. Her articles have appeared on Publishing Perspectives,, Writer Beware, IBPA Independent, and elsewhere.

Rose Solari is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, The Last GirlOrpheus in the Park, and Difficult Weather, the one-act play "Looking for Guenevere," and the novel A Secret Woman. She has lectured and taught writing workshops at many institutions, including the University of Maryland, College Park; St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland; the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University; and Oxford University’s Centre for Creative Writing in Oxford, England. Rose’s awards include the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, an EMMA award for excellence in journalism, and multiple grants. In 2010, she co-founded Alan Squire Publishing, an independent literary press that publishes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.