Who’s Who for the TAZ 2016 Writer’s Conference

   Bonnie BONNIE BUDZOWSKI    brings a “Get it Done!” perspective as she coaches clients to use their expertise to write powerful, business-boosting books—and leave a legacy in the process.  Bonnie is principle of InCredible Messages and past Managing Editor of Speaker magazine. Bonnie’s tools include her proprietary S.C.O.R.E. Method to Write with Less Stress and More Success, based on years of research as well as experience with coaching clients.  Bonnie’s is author of two books and the self-guided course, How to Write the Book of Your Dreams.

Tom Costello, with his wife Francine, opened Word Association in 1996, long before there were thousands of internet publishers all competing to capitalize on the sudden interest in self-publishing. He began college as a business major but then quickly switched to English when he discovered he could spend all his time reading great books. Tom went on to get his PhD and taught literature and writing courses at Northwestern University.

In 1980, Tom and Francine quit their jobs in Chicago and moved to Pennsylvania and opened a bookstore. t. Although their store was popular among the locals, they realized early on that books alone were not enough. They first added a copying service and a resume service and soon realized there was a need in their area for quality high speed printing. They hired a graphic designer and a press operator—within two years the bookstore had morphed into a busy print shop.  By the year 2000 they were publishing a hundred titles a year. And the business has continued to grow.

“Working and talking with writers, reading and editing their books, helping them to market their books, riding the ebook revolution—it’s fun and satisfying,” Tom says. “It’s a great time to be in the book publishing business.


  joyce jkf2015aJOYCE FAULKNER is an author, co-author, ghostwriter, book designer, graphic artist, and publisher. She has been writing for over fifty years and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work. She has published in a variety of genres including creative nonfiction, humor, technique, history, historical fiction,  and thrillers. She first studied writing as an art form at the University of Arkansas in 1966. She holds degrees in Engineering Science, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and has an MBA. Her business experience in the natural gas industry includes many years as an engineer, supervisor of Gas Supply, and Manager of Information Services. She ended her career as Director of eCommerce for Consolidated Natural Gas. She has also been part-owner of Red Engine Press for more than a decade and is a former President of Military Writers Society of America. 

 Sharon FlakeKEYNOTE SHARON FLAKE. With millions of books in print, Sharon G. Flake has earned an international reputation as one of the top children and young adult authors in the field.  Her breakout novel The Skin I’m In, established her reputation as a must-read author with middle and high school students, as well as  teachers, parents,and librarians.  Flake has penned nine novels, including Unstoppable Octobia May, and her first picture book, You Are Not A Cat.  Her work has been translated into French, Korean, Italian and Portuguese. 


    FC Diana FletcherDIANA FLETCHER is the author of the International Bestseller, Happy on Purpose Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy for Women, revised and expanded edition. Diana is the Stress Reducing Expert Life Coach and author of five other books on self-care. She is a contributing writer to the Michigan magazine, Kudos and many online sites. She is an advocate for women and an anti-human trafficking activist. She publishes her blog at www.thoughtsbydiana.com


   neil haleyNEIL HALEY, CEO of Total Tutor, has been working with children for more than 12 years. His experience includes: Classroom Teacher; After School Program Director;  Behavior Specialist; Educational Advocate; Developmental Therapist, SAT Prep Coach; and Practicum Supervisor. Total Tutor is an international kindergarten through college tutoring and consulting company, providing educational advocacy, behavior therapy, autism consulting, home school consulting, all subject tutoring, and SAT/ACT/GRE tutoring. Neil is also the affable host of The Total Education Network, which is heard and viewed in over 80 countries, syndicated on 120 stations, with over 2.5 million listeners and viewers per week. Neil is also the host of the Total Celebrity Show, interviewing international stars, authors, and athletes on both his radio and TV shows. Neil also works as a social media/branding coach for many recognizable names, and he is also an entrepreneur. In his earlier life, Neil was a professional wrestler. Neil is currently working on his first book and he regularly contributes as a writer to UK Health magazine, Forest of the Rain Productions, My Town Tutors, and other online magazines. Neil graduated from LaRoche College with a B.S. in History and obtained his M. Ed. at Duquesne University. He is married to Jennifer and the proud father of five children.The Total Education Network airs shows 7 days a week on Blogtalkradio

www.blogtalkradio.com/totaltutor CEO, Producer, Host, Coach, Advocate, and Consultant. Connect with Neil: Facebook Neil S. Haley; Twitter @totaltutor; LinkedIn Neil S. Haley; Pinterest Neil Haley, Google + Neil Haley; Periscope @totaltutor ; Instagram Neil Haley


     Katherine heartKATHERINE F.H. HEART, GPC, M.ED. is an author who has built a successful writing business. Her publications have included creative nonfiction articles, books and a blog over the past 25 years. She wrote extensively in her employment as a nonprofit training manager and technical writer for a psychology consulting firm before launching her freelance writing career 15 years ago.  In 2005, Katherine started Heart Resources, LLC to offer full-service grant writing, consulting and training. Between business projects, she authored a psycho-spiritual memoir, TELLINGS: From Wound to Wellspring (Outskirts Press, 2008). Katherine’s next book Grantepreneur: The Grant Writer’s Career Action Plan evolved from presenting Grant Writing as a Career seminars to people with an interest in this field. Katherine has earned national credentials as a professional grant writer and grant trainer. She has discovered a wonderful way to earn a living and make a difference through her greatest passion: writing.


  Ann HowleyANN HOWLEY is the author of a humorous, coming-of-age memoir called Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad, which won a 3rd Place Prize at the 2014 Authors Zone Book Awards. She is a regular contributor to Pittsburgh Parent Magazine and her articles appear in publications nationwide, including skirt! Magazine, Bicycle Times Magazine, the LA Reader, Clever Magazine and the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette.


   Dalil   DALEL KHALIL is author of the TAZ award-winning book, FROM VEILS TO THONGS: An Arab Chick’s Survival Guide to balancing One’s Ethnic Identity in America, a Colbert-like take on living in the cross-fire of the conservative Arab and liberal American cultures.  Her book was included in the 2013 Carnegie International Exhibit because it was found on the streets of Cairo, one month before the revolution.  Dalel has traveled extensively throughout the world and worked for 3 of Pittsburgh’s top radio stations as a broadcaster. She lectures on cross-cultural understanding and has written 2 Op-Eds for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette regarding Syria. www.dalelkhalil.com


   LAROSA-302_editedDENISE LAROSA is the founder, host and CEO of Mom Talk with Denise LaRosa, LLC, a multimedia platform designed to motivate, inspire and inform mothers along their journey in motherhood. Denise utilizes her parenting experiences and background as an elementary educator to bring mothers invaluable information and resources on parenting through her podcast, blog and workshops. A devoted wife and mother of two precious girls, Denise is also an elementary school teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in dance (Magna cum Laude) from Radford University in 2003 and graduated from Carlow University in 2008 with a Master of Education degree in elementary education.Empty Shoes is Denise’s first children’s book. She plans to write many more for you to enjoy.

Learn more about Denise and stay connected at www.momtalkdenise.com


  Gina  GINA MAZZA is the author of -Everything Matters, Nothing Matters: For Women Who Dare to Live With Exquisite Calm, Euphoric Creativity and Divine Clarity

Gina Mazza is well known as a publishing consultant, freelance journalist, author of 3 nonfiction books, book editor, ghostwriter, marketing / branding specialist, and all around word provocateur and creative alchemist. She views her work not just as a vocation and path of service, but as a sacred merging with the Creator. Gina loves to help others imagine, unfold and clarify their creative expressions. She has much to contribute to the panel today, as she has decades of experience with both traditional publishing and self-publishing.

Learn more at www.ginamazza.com  and www.creativeonemarketing.com


   Monyok, Michael Bio 2016MICHAEL MONYOK is an attorney at Meyer Unkovic & Scott who focuses his practice on intellectual property matters, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.  Michael assists his clients in protecting their valuable intellectual property, licensing their work, and when needed, enforcing their intellectual property rights in court.  Examples of Michael’s work include obtaining a royalty payment for a client whose musical composition was used without his permission in a national television advertising campaign, preventing the unauthorized release of a copyrighted work maintained as a trade secret, and advising a client on the terms of an agreement used in a joint project.  In addition to his legal practice, Michael has authored several articles on intellectual property topics for publications such as the Post-Gazette and The Legal Intelligencer.  Michael is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is a member of the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association and the The Q. Todd Dickinson Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.

   bonitaBONITA  LEE PENN is a Creative Writing/Poetry candidate in Lesley University’s MFA Program. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Professional Writing from Carlow University where she also received several writing awards. Her writing has appeared in Blackberry: a magazine and Linden Avenue Journal online, Voices from the Attic Anthology, Three Rivers Run Deep-Pittsburgh Poets, The Critical Point, Crossing Limits Anthology of African American and American Jews Poetry. She is an active participant in poetry readings throughout the City. She is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing group; facilitator of the Umbra/Pittsburgh Writers Workshop and also managing editor of the Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine. Founder and organizer of the Soul Pitt Media’s “Meet the Authors” event. She is an avid reader who was born and raised in Sewickley and presently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


 Adam Reger PhotoADAM REGER is a Pittsburgh-based editor, writer, and teacher. He has worked as a proofreader and copy editor at a number of publications, and has been a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor for most of the last decade. He teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. The author of U.S. Navy Pirate Combat Skills, a humor book, his short stories have appeared in a STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, by award-winning author Dede Faltot Rittman. Available at www.dederittman.com  and Amazon.com and Kindle

   dede picDEDE RITTMAN is a 37 year veteran English/ Theater teacher, with 2 years in the Penn Hills School District, and 35 years in the North Allegheny School District, where she also was Varsity Head Boys’ Golf Coach for 33 years, directed the spring musical and talent shows, worked with student council, and contributed to numerous district initiatives. Dede sat on the board of the North Allegheny Foundation, and served the WPIAL Golf Committee, the Women’s Golf Association of Western PA, the West Penn Golf Association, and many other groups.  She was a PA TOY semi-finalist in 2011, the year she had to retire when her husband, Scott, was dying from stage four colon cancer. Dede completed her book and it was published in September, 2014. Point Park University and Thiel College are using the book, and Dede is now accepting speaking engagements around the country, with some focusing on education, and some on motivation. A popular topic is The Three C’s for Classroom Success: Confidence, Communication, and Creativity. Always a positive person, Dede writes a weekly blog for teacher inspiration at www.bunnyteacher.blogspot.com.  She is a guest blogger for Teachers.net, My Town Tutors, Educator Help, and others. Dede is the Co-host of The Total Education Q and A Show, which is heard around the world on 120 stations in 80 countries, and a Producer for The Total Education Network.  Dede is a regular guest writer for Forests of the Rain, a weekly panelist on Teacher Talk Live at www.teachcow.com; and Dede has presented webinars for WIZ IQ and The Learning Liaisons. Dede has just signed a multi-book contract with Tate Publishing for her new series of children’s books, beginning with GRADY GETS GLASSES.

Dede graduated with a B.S in Secondary English from Edinboro University and attended graduate school at Pitt.

Connect with Dede: dederittman@gmail.com ; TWITTER @dederittman; LinkedIn Dede Faltot Rittman; Google + Dede Rittman;  Facebook Dede Faltot Rittman and Rittman Rules; Pinterest Rittman  Publishing; Tumblr The Bunny Teacher; Periscope @dederittman; Instagram dede_rittman   412-613-3805 number of national publications. She earned an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh.


    DoritSassonWeb-768x627    DORIT SASSON, the creator of Giving Voice to Your Story website, broadcasts weekly for her podcast Giving Voice to Your Courage where she features interviews with authors, entrepreneurs and basically anyone with a courageous story.  She is the author of the upcoming debut memoir Accidental Soldier A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces.

Blogging instructor, How to attract the right readers online by blogging through Wow! Women on Writing-Memoir Writing Instructor-Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Sasson is transparent about sharing her vulnerable journey of combining motherhood, writing, and blogging and promotion over at her website, “Giving Voice to Your Story.” She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post

 FC JulieAnn SullivanJULIE ANN SULLIVAN, now known as the Attitude Enhancer, works with organizations that want to create a workplace environment where people are productive, engaged and appreciated.  She is the Founder of Learning Never Ends, a company whose purpose is to create a more positive culture, one person at a time.  Her focus is to produce the Best Place to Work through research based innovative approaches to employee engagement and company culture.  She has a diverse educational background which includes a BA in Psychology and an MBA in Accounting.  She was a CPA and spent decades in the financial and corporate world.  Her client list includes McDonalds, Highmark, Bayer US and Duquesne University

Julie Ann is an accomplished author and professional speaker, trainer and Inspired Leadership Coach .  She is a  professional member of the National Speakers Association and Past President of the Pittsburgh chapter.

In 2016 she launched the Mere Mortals Unite podcast show where super powers are revealed with amazing guests to enhance the lives of her audience at work and in life.  Her hosting style has created a forum for her guests to share their own experiences and her listeners to find great value.

For additional information, visit www.JulieAnnSullivan.com





Full day conference September 10, 2016—Author Awards Ceremony , October 20, 2016