Featured Speakers

NERD LIT is the theme of the second Marianne D. McComb Biennial Conference on Creative Writing, to be held on March 2-3, 2018. Find out more about our 2018 Featured Speakers/Panelists:

Ben PercyBenjamin Percy (keynote) is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, comics writer, and screenwriter whose most recent book, the techno-horror thriller The Dark Net, was released in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His previous books include the novels The Dead LandsRed Moon, and The Wilding; two collections of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk; and a book of essays on genre and writing craft, Thrill Me. He is the writer of DC Comics’ monthly Green Arrow and Teen Titans series as well as Dynamite’s James Bond 007. His work has earned numerous accolades and awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories, Best American Comics, and 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories.


Tiffany KnoellTiffany Knoell is an Instructor in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University with research interests in animation, film and culture, American mass media, science fiction, and temporal tourism. Her recent research on topics such as Doctor Who fandoms and participatory culture, classic movie monsters in Warner Bros. animation, and 20th century media hybridity has been presented at the National Film and History Conference, the National Popular Culture Association Conference, and Oxford University’s 7th Global Conference on Monsters and the Monstrous; her work has appeared in the recent critical anthologies Dynamics and Interconnections in Popular Culture and The Monster Imagined: Humanity’s Re-Creation of Monsters and Monstrosity.



Aiesha LittleAiesha Little is a writer, cosplayer, and co-founder of the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance, an organization which connects fans of, and champions speculative works by, African American and African diasporic creators working in genres of sci-fi, comics, Afrofuturism, steampunk, and sword & soul. She is a founding member of the steampunk cosplay group Airship Ashanti, which promotes multiculturalism and diversity within the steampunk and cosplay communities and supports numerous non-profit and philanthropic causes including Relay for Life, WordPlay Cincinnati, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Her articles and interviews on steampunk, cosplay, and nerd culture have appeared in such venues as Cincinnati MagazineBLKBOARD, and New World Comics’ “Comics Empower” project.



Geoffrey GirardGeoffrey Girard is a writer of suspense, historicals, and dark speculative fiction whose most recent novels Mary Rose, a supernatural thriller inspired by a classic ghost story by J.M. Barrie, and Truthers, a YA speculative-thriller set in the murky world of 9/11 conspiracies, were published in 2017. His novels Cain’s Blood and Project Cain were released simultaneously for the adult and YA markets, respectively, in 2013, with Project Cain earning a Stoker Award nomination for "Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel.” Girard’s short fiction has appeared in anthologies including Writers of the FutureApex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith, and his debut collection of his short fiction, first communions, was released by Apex Books in May 2016.