Posted on

2020 Conference Mentoring Opportunities

2020 Textbook & Academic Authoring ConferenceEarly registration is now open for TAA’s 33rd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in San Diego, CA this June! This event is always an incredible opportunity to network with authors from a variety of disciplines and to learn about the latest trends, best practices, and industry changes.

In addition, conference-goers have the opportunity to sign up for 15-minute sessions with experienced members who are serving as mentors in ten topic areas of interest. Mentor registration will open on April 1st, but a preview of the topics and associated mentors is below.

Academic Writing Productivity, & Project Management Strategies

After being a tenured professor at Texas A&M University, Erin McTigue started her own business, The Positive Academic, through which she mentors and coaches academics in writing and productivity, as well as runs workshops. While at Texas A&M, she co-directed a university-wide writing support program and developed an academic writing course for international students. Erin is widely published, has won teaching and mentoring awards, and continually aims to bring a lightness of spirit to the weight of academia.

Academic Writing Strategies

Wendy Laura Belcher is professor of African literature in Princeton University’s departments of Comparative Literature and African American Studies. She worked as a freelance copyeditor for many years, then served for eleven years as the managing editor of a peer-reviewed journal in ethnic studies at UCLA, and has personally taught hundreds of graduate students and faculty about writing for publication. Her best-seller Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (University of Chicago Press 2019) has helped thousands to publish their important work.

Author Royalties

Juli Saitz, CPA, is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting Group. She leads the contract and royalty compliance practice at Ankura and has extensive experience serving clients including several textbook authors as well as multi-national corporation licensors. Her work in this area includes developing and implementing royalty compliance programs and performing audits of licensees around the world. Juli has helped authors and corporate clients recover millions of dollars in asserting their audit rights related to licensed copyrights, trademarks and patents. She is focused on the publishing industry’s shift to electronic content delivery methods and adaptive learning platforms.

Richard Wessler is a Senior Director at Ankura Consulting Group, affiliated with the New York, NY office.  He has over 20 years of experience in the Higher Education publishing market in matters related to author royalty calculations, intellectual property compliance and Accounting/Finance analysis and reporting.

Journal Article & Academic Book Authoring, Faculty Writing Group Strategies

Dannelle D. Stevens, Professor Emerita at Portland State University, is the co-author of four books. For the last five years she has been the Portland State Faculty-in-Residence for Academic Writing where she initiated the highly successful Jumpstart Faculty Writing Program. Her fifth book, Write more, publish more, stress less! Five key principles for creative and scholarly writing was released in 2018.

Marketing Strategies for Textbook & Academic Authors

John Bond has worked in scholarly publishing for 30 years. He served as chief content officer for a major scholarly publisher. He now heads up Riverwinds Consulting and advises on book and journal related topics with authors and organizations about strategies for creating and disseminating quality content. For more information, see and

Marketing Your Works / Writing Productivity

Meggin McIntosh, Professor Emerita (University of Nevada, Reno), now known as The PhD of Productivity, is an author, coach, and workshop leader. Through her coaching business, Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., she works with overwhelmed academics who would prefer to be overjoyed, instead. Meggin has been called “an educational treasure” and has won every teaching award for which she was eligible at the University (locally, state-wide, and regionally). Her mission is inspiring joyful work.

Publishing Contracts and Copyright 

Brenda Ulrich is an intellectual property attorney who focuses on publishing, higher education, copyright and trademark law. Brenda represents authors negotiating and interpreting publishing agreements, agency agreements, and joint author agreements.  She also advises colleges and universities on the development and implementation of intellectual property policies, navigating copyright questions related to teaching and scholarship, as well as managing and defending college and university trademark portfolios.  She is a partner in the law firm of Archstone Law Group PC.

Publishing, Media, and Copyright Matters

Steve Gillen teaches Electronic Media Law at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Steve worked for nearly 20 years in publishing prior to entering private practice in the middle 1990’s. He is presently a partner at Wood, Herron & Evans (a 145-year-old Cincinnati law firm focused on intellectual property) where he concentrates his practice on publishing, media, and copyright matters. Steve is a long-time member of the TAA Council and a regular speaker at TAA conferences. He is also the author of Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts and coauthor of Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide.

Textbook Authoring, Working with Publishers

An Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Chicago State University, Michael Sullivan has been writing textbooks for more than 35 years and currently has 15 books in print. Sullivan has authored or coauthored over 100 textbooks, including subsequent editions, in Calculus, Precalculus (including College Algebra and Trigonometry), Finite Mathematics, and Business Calculus. His publishers include Pearson Education, John Wiley & Sons, and Macmillan (W H Freeman and Bedford, Freeman & Worth, high school publishers).

Your Author Brand (blogs, podcasts, etc.) / Textbook Authoring

Kevin Patton is an award-winning professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology (A&P). He has a podcast and several blogs about teaching and writing, including A member of the TAA Council of Fellows, Kevin currently serves as TAA Vice President/President-Elect and conference committee chair. Besides teaching undergraduate A&P, he also teaches in a graduate program that trains college instructors of anatomy and physiology.

For more information on the other sessions or to register for the 2020 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, visit TAA reserves the right to rearrange the schedule or cancel or replace any session as circumstances require.

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.