2018 Speakers

Here are the speakers for “Make Your Own Luck,” Communication Central’s 13th annual Be a Better Freelancer® conference. Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet, learn from and interact with renowned colleagues in all aspects of editorial freelancing! For a PDF with speaker info, click here.

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Victoria Brzustowicz

Victoria Brzustowicz (www.VictoriaBCreative.com) is an award-winning painter, illustrator, graphic designer and website creator. She is affiliated with the Printmaking & Book Arts Studio of Flower City Arts Center (formerly Genesee Center for the Arts), where she teaches drawing and linoleum block printing. 

Brzustowicz has extensive ad agency experience and is principal of Victoria B Creative, with design experience that runs the gamut from print to digital and whatever is needed to tell a clients story. She is a co-founder and chair of the Greater Rochester Plein Air Painters.

In addition to her freelance work, Brzustowicz is the director of marketing and communications for the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and serves on the marketing committees of several not-for-profits

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April Michelle Davis

Writer and editor April Michelle Davis (www.editorialinspirations.com) is an expert in macros, Word and business-organizing resources.

April Michelle Davis is the social media marketing expert for the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, chapter coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and past-chair and website administrator for the Mid- & South-Atlantic chapter of the American Society for Indexing. She has published two books through the EFA, A Guide for the Freelance Indexer and Choosing an Editor: What You Need to Know, and a young-adult novel, A Princess in Disguise.

Davis is a lifetime member of the American Copy Editors Society and a contributing member of the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network.

She has a master of professional studies degree in publishing from George Washington University;  a bachelor of arts degree in English from Messiah College; and certificates in editing (University of Virginia), book publishing (University of Virginia) and professional editing (EEI Communications).

Before starting Editorial Inspirations in 2001, Davis worked as an assistant editor at the National Society of Professional Engineers and a program assistant for the American Prosecutors Research Institute.

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Ann Kellett

Ann Kellett (www.annkellettediting.com) has been writing and editing for almost 30 years and is the author of an upcoming e-book, A Freelancer’s Guide to Working with Difficult Clients. She specializes in copyediting and developmental editing of book-length manuscripts and in ghostwriting memoirs, speeches and other text in the client’s voice (including writing for three presidents of Texas A&M University and three chancellors of the Texas A&M University System). She also writes and edits for university faculty, staff and administrators at teachingresearchandservice.com.

Kellett received an administrative Fulbright grant to Japan, participated in what is now Leadership Women and won the Writers’ Police Academy Golden Donut short story contest. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Hendrix College and master’s degree and PhD in higher education administration from Texas A&M.


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Pamela Hilliard Owens

Through her three publishing-related businesses (Detroit Ink Publishing, Writing It Right For You and Your Business Your Brand Creatively), Pamela Hilliard Owens works with solo professionals, creative freelancers, and businesses and corporations throughout the USA, Canada and 12 other countries, with satellite offices in Dubai, UAE, and Birmingham, England.

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Ally E. Machate

Ally Machate (www.thewritersally.com and www.allymachate.com) is the founder of the Writer's Ally, an award-winning business that offers professional editorial and educational services to authors, agents and publishers. She is also a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning author and experienced consultant who loves using her experience and insider knowledge of the industry to lead serious authors toward publication. Since 1999, she has supported countless authors on their publishing journeys and takes pride in serving as their books' best ally.

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Dick Margulis

Dick Margulis (www.dmargulis.com) focuses on thoughtful editing, appropriate design, expert production and comprehensive project management for publishers of all sizes. He learned to set type at an early age and has been studying and practicing typography ever since.

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Chris Morton

Chris Morton (www.isntthatwrite.com) has been a B2B/B2C author, editor, proofreader, graphic artist, publisher, instructor, speaker and guerrilla-style self-promoter for over 25 years, and is a valued resource for colleagues seeking to enhance their online presences, especially on LinkedIn.

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Brenda Siler

Brenda Siler is a Washington, DC-based former corporate communicator who is forging new paths as a successful freelance writer. She has been
published in mainstream media, trade journals and industry guidebooks and has led communications programs in national associations and nonprofits including AARP, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and UNCF-the United Negro College Fund. She is an IABC Fellow, the highest honor of the International Association of Business Communicators.

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Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

Your host, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, started Communication Central to serve and bring together colleagues at all stages of their freelance careers. She is the author/publisher of “Get Paid to Write: Getting Started as a Freelance Writer” and author of the EFA’s “Freelancing 101: Launching Your Editorial Business.” She presents webinars and in-person sessions on freelancing, the basics of editing and proofreading, websites for freelancers, and related topics for the EFA, Writers and Books, and other professional organizations.

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Adrienne Montgomerie

Adrienne Montgomerie (@SciEditor) has been marketing her freelance services for more than 20 years. She launched her business in the middle of cottage country, landing some of the largest publishing clients in Canada. Specializing in nonfiction, she has expanded her client list to include individuals, businesses, NGOs and small presses in Canada, the U.S. and the UK. She has only ever met three clients in person. Montgomerie is a nationally certified copyeditor who has been editing educational materials for more than 20 years and teaching other editors since about 2012 for universities and professional organizations. She is a columnist for Copyediting’s blog and newsletter, a frequent instructor for the EFA and Copyediting, and author of the Editing in Word 2016 self-study workbook.

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Nancy Marriott

Nancy Marriott (www.nancymarriott.com) has been a freelance book editor, co-author and coach for non-fiction and fiction popular books for more than 20 years. The more than 50 titles she has edited since 1997, include several best sellers. Her niche is transformative nonfiction, including personal growth, spirituality, inspirational/self-help memoirs, alternative medicine, and mind/body/spirit genres. She began her editing career at Viking Press, was a medical editor at UC San Francisco, and taught writing to ESL students at Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. Today, she works directly with authors to assist them in both traditional and self-publishing, and is cofounder of the Editorial Arts Academy, an online/live, classroom/community for training freelance book editors.

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Susannah Noel

Susannah Noel (Noeleditorial.com), the cofounder of the Editorial Arts Academy, has copyedited and proofread books, websites, corporate communications and academic journals for more than 20 years. She now focuses exclusively on fiction and nonfiction trade books for traditional publishers, particularly Macmillan, and independent authors. She is also a developmental editor and line editor who works with independent authors.

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Chris LaForest

Chris LaForest balances the best of both worlds, treading lightly in the mindsets of the 20th century and stepping boldly into the millennium as a thought leader. He is a lifelong veteran of commission sales who has received top sales rep awards for every position he has held in electronics, insurance, home services, construction and consulting. He has also held positions in front line management and directorial leadership in the corporate sector. LaForest has led a diverse life, growing up in poverty, traveling the USA in a van, serving overseas in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer and playing jazz trumpet for a garage band. He tries to learn from every experience and translate it into a valuable tool for others.