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Mally Becker thought she'd be clearing trails when she volunteered at the Morristown National Historical Park but found herself, instead, assigned to sift through one of the Park's collections of old documents. That's where she found an indictment for the Revolutionary War-era crime of traveling to New York City "without permission or passport." That curious crime became the spark for her Revolutionary War historical mystery series, which has been twice nominated for the mystery writing community’s prestigious Agatha Award.

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Her series features George Washington’s two least likely spies, young widow Becca Parcell and former British POW Daniel Alloway. Kirkus Reviews called her debut novel, The Turncoat’s Widow, "A compelling tale...with charming main characters,” and her most recent mystery, The Counterfeit Wife, “A riveting and unpredictable crime drama that also works as an affecting love story.” She is at work on The Paris Mistress, the third installment in the series, which will be published by Level Best Books in early 2024.


A member of the board of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Mally was an attorney until becoming a full-time writer. She teaches at The Writers Circle Workshops in Summit, interviews other authors for the Historical Novel Society’s website, and shares her monthly Guns, Knives & Lipstick podcast with three other female crime writers.


Bridget Smith has been an agent at JABberwocky Literary Agency since 2019, where she represents fiction for children and adults with an emphasis on SFF, historical fiction, and rom-coms. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Brown University with a BA in anthropology in 2010. After graduation, she interned at Don Congdon Associates, worked at a secondhand bookstore, and read submissions for In 2011, she started as an assistant at Dunham Literary, and she remained there as an agent for nearly eight years.

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In her spare time, she runs, knits, plays Irish fiddle, and co-hosts the publishing podcast Shipping & Handling.


BJ Ward’s most recent book is Jackleg Opera (North Atlantic/Random House). His poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The Normal School, Painted Bride Quarterly, The New York Times, The Sun, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. The recipient of two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, he grew up in Warren County and co-founded the Creative Writing degree program at Warren Community College, where he has directed the Visiting Authors Series for the last 24 years. He

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now lives in Hunterdon County with his wife, son, and two cats. His website is

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Roma Panganiban graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in English and Psychology before embarking on a postgrad program in Modern and Contemporary Literature & Culture at the University of York (UK), a writing internship in Nicaragua, academic tutoring in the suburbs of New Jersey, and business management for a theatrical costume studio in Manhattan. She began her publishing career at The Gernert Company before joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2019, working with critically acclaimed, award-winning writers

across the adult and children’s markets; her own list focuses on literary & upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction (adult and select YA/MG) by marginalized writers. Roma is a member of the American Association of Literary Agents (AALA) and an ambivalent Twitter user (@romapancake). She lives in Brooklyn and on the internet

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As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. His recent novels include the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers selection Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press, 2020), You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, 2021), and the anthologies Battle of the Bands (Candlewick, 2021) and First-Year Orientation (Candlewick, 2023), both co-edited with award-winning author Lauren Gibaldi.

In 2022 Abrams published Jagged Little Pill: The

Novel, which was written in collaboration with Alanis Morissette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaptation of the Grammy and Tony award winning musical.

His next book, With or Without You, a rom-com about two teens working in rival cheesesteak trucks, publishes this November with Inkyard Press.


His other books include the IndieBound bestseller The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk), the Inked duology (Bloomsbury), and The Girl and the Grove (Flux). His writing has sold into nine languages.


A lifelong lover of writing and books, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kean University in English, and a Master’s in English from Arcadia University, where he currently mentors MFA students. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and son, and enjoys video games, pop punk, and crying over every movie.

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Sharona Wilhelm has written and published forty-five books as Tarah Scott. She is both traditionally published and self-published. Sharona has won several literary awards, including the Daphne du Maurier’s unpublished romantic suspense category for Dangerous Liaisons, coauthored with Evan Trevane. Sharona has taught writing and has freelanced as an editor for fifteen years. She founded Scarsdale Publishing in 2016, a full-service press with a strong commitment to diversity in fiction. Sharona lives in Westchester County, NY.

For her keynote address, Sharona will talk about the writer’s place in the fast-paced publishing world. She will touch upon the differences in small and large presses, and self-publishing, as well as diversity and Queer fiction. She will also discuss the all-important differences in freelance editors and publishing house editors.

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