Virtual event is January 14-17, 2021

"Where TIARAS are mandatory and reading our good books is the ONLY rule!"


The 2021 Girlfriend Weekend Zoomathon Slumber Party Book Club Convention is scheduled for January 14-17, 2021. All attendees, including featured authors, presenters, special guests, and keynotes are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Please note that Zoom meeting links will be posted and sent to each paid individual attendee’s registered email early morning prior to the launch of each day’s events and are not to be shared. At the conclusion of the event, each paid attendee will be given access to all panels and keynotes, which will be recorded, so that participants can watch GFW in its entirety at their leisure. Later in 2021, segments will be made public on Kathy L. Murphy’s Pulpwood Queen Channel on Youtube.


OFFICIAL PROGRAM: CURRENT AS OF 1/11/2021. Check the website for the most up-to-date information.




1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m CST Author/Playwright David Valdes will be giving an Author Workshop on Writing. Three Little Words: Write Your Story in Any Genre

Join me for a hands-on workshop to jumpstart your story idea, using character, conflict, and motion–the three words at the heart of every novel, memoir,  creative nonfiction book, play, or movie script. We’ll play with all three concepts in writing exercises and leave with the core of a new narrative in mind. This workshop is appropriate for all levels, whether it’s your first story or your fortieth!


Bio: David Valdes is the author of three nonfiction books (Homo Domesticus, A Little Fruitcake, and The Rhinestone Sisterhood), as well as two young adult novels, Revengers and Spin Me Right Round (coming from Bloomsbury in 2021). An award-winning playwright, he is the author of more than 20 plays which have been produced coast to coast, including The Mermaid Hour and Full Code. He has written columns for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and Medium. He teaches writing at both Tufts University and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and lives outside Boston with his teenage daughter.


The Pulpwood Queen Presents:

2:15 p.m. CST Jeannette Brown “The Illusion of Leaving: A Novel”

2:30 p.m. CST Joy Ross Davis “The Madwoman of Preacher’s Cove: A Novel” 

3:00 p.m. CST llene English “Hippie Chick: Coming of Age in the ‘60s”

3:15 p.m. CST Steven Manchester “The Menu”

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. CST Isla Morley “The Last Blue: A Novel” and “Come Sunday: A Novel”

4:00 p.m. CST Jess Montgomery “The Widows”, “The Hollows” and “The Stills”

4:15 p.m. CST Richard Schwartz with Wendy Carter “Pearl River Mansion: A Novel”

4:30 p.m. CST Mary Helen Sheriff “Boop and Eve’s Road Trip: A Novel” and “Bookish Road Trip!”

4:45 p.m. CST Steve Wiegenstein “Scattered Lights”

5:00 p.m. CST Marci Henna “When We Last Spoke” and “What Lies Ahead” in her Fireside series.  

6:00 p.m. CST Kim Harwanko, author of “Novel Women,” moderates a panel of her Just Between Friends Book Club Members, who helped author their first book “Novel Women” and its sequel to be announced.

7:00 p.m. CST Meet-and-Greet the Authors Slumber Party!  Introducing all the authors in honor of the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s philanthropic endeavors.  Our authors donate personal items and more, many autographed to do an Author Auction with ALL proceeds to go to the Pat Conroy Literary Center!  Let’s celebrate!

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8:30 a.m. CST A Royal Welcome to our IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STORY-themed Girlfriend Weekend Zoomathon Slumber Party Book Club Convention from The Pulpwood Queen KATHY L. MURPHY, CEO and Founder of The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation; author of “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life” and her latest book “The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years” edited by Susan Cushman (published by Brother Mockingbird); and Director of Acquisitions for Lucid House Publishing.

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Book Club Comedian Marilyn Simon Rothstein “Husbands and Other Sharp Objects” and “Lift and Separate” with NEW book to be announced. 

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Author Janet Skeslien Charles of “The Paris Library: A Novel” joins us from Paris, France, courtesy of Simon & Schuster Publishing.

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Author Mary Morris “All the Way to the Tigers: A Memoir”

10:45 a.m – 11:00 a.m CST Author Boo Walker “An Unfinished Story: A Novel” reports in from Spain!

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Author Reavis Z. Wortham “Hawke’s Fury: A Sonny Hawke Thriller”

11:30 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker/ Editor at Grand Central Publishing, Author Lauren Marino of “Bookish Broads: Women Who Wrote Themselves into History” and “What Would Dolly Do?”

12:00 Noon CST Keynote Speaker Author, Adriana Trigiani “The Shoemaker’s Wife: A Novel”

12:30 CST Lunch Intermission 

1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Author Cary J. Broussard, Founder of the Cinderella to CEO Awards “From Cinderella to CEO: How to Master the 10 Lessons of Fairy Tales to Transform Your Work Life” 

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. CST Moderator Susan Peterson of Sue’s Reading Neighborhood and her featured authors: 

     Barbara Davis “Last of the Moon Girls”

     Jax Frey “The Gumbeaux Sistahs” and”Gumbeaux Love: A Novel”

     Marjorie Herrera Lewis “When the Men Were Gone: A Novel”

     Deborah Mantella, “My Sweet Vidalia: A Novel”

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST Moderator Shari Stauch of Main Street Reads and her featured authors: 

     Scott Boyer “Temple of Eternity: Book 2 Bobby Ether Series” and Bobby Ether and The Jade Academy: Book 1 Bobby Ether Series”

     Joe Palmer “A Mariner’s Tale: A Novel”

     Ruthie Landis “Acting Lessons for the Living: Play the Scenes of Your Life with Intention, Presence, and Pure Potential: Living, Acting and Enneagram Master Class”

     Gregory Enrich Phillips “A Season in Lights: A Novel in Three Acts”

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST Author/Blogger Eileen Harrison Sanchez “Freedom Lessons” of Prose and the Pandemic moderates this authors panel: 

     Meryl Ain “The Takeaway Men: A Novel”

     Johnnie Bernhard “Sisters of the Undertow: Novel”

     Mandy Haynes “Sharp as A Serpent’s Tooth: Eva and Other Stories” and “Walking the Wrong Way Home”

     Debra DiFulvio Thomas “Luz: A Novel”

     Valerie Taylor “What’s Not Said”

5:00 p.m. CST A MIGHTY BLAZE Keynote Speaker/ Author Caroline Leavitt “With or Without You: A Novel”

5:30 p.m. CST A MIGHTY BLAZE Keynote Speaker/ Author Jenna Blum “The Lost Family: A Novel” and “Those Who Save Us: A Novel”

6:00 p.m. CST Intermission 


Author/Publisher/Moderator Echo Montgomery Garrett, co-publisher Lucid House Publishing with her authors’ panel (15 minutes each):

Connor Judson Garrett and Kevin N. Garrett “Spellbound Under the Spanish Moss: A Southern Tale of Magic” (the first of a trilogy)

     Marilyn Kriete “Paradise Road: A Memoir”

     G. Claire “Dreaming in a Time of Dragons”

     Andrea Faye Christians “Suspension: A Novel”

     Joseph Marshall III “The Cowboy and the Indian: A Novel”

     Tamra McAnally Bolton “The Art of Story Keeping: Saving History – One Family at a Time”

     Douglas Thompson with Echo Montgomery Garrett “Knock! Knock! Lessons Learned and Stories Shared – A Ride Along with Sales Superstar Douglas Thompson”

KEYNOTE Vince Spinnato with Mickey Goodman “My Pursuit of Beauty: A Cosmetic Chemist Reveals The Glitz, The Glam, and the Batsh*t Crazy” (30 minutes)

8:30 p.m. CST TGIF Slumber Party celebrating and sharing our favorite books with a strong sense of place that inspire future dreams of literary travels.  Share your story!


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9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. CST KEYNOTE SPEAKER/Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center Jonathan Haupt with Holland Perryman, the center’s intern and a published writer, give a presentation on Pat Conroy’s reverence for teaching.

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CST Moderators Annie McDonnell of The Write Review joined by Chris (CC) Humphreys present:

     Michelle Cox “A Child Lost: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel Book 5”

     Bette Lee Crosby “A Million Little Lies: A Novel”

     Claire Fullerton “Little Tea: A Novel”

     Laura Kemp “Evening in the Yellow Wood”

     Nola Nash “Crescent City Moon: Book 1″ and “Crescent City Sin: Book 2”

     Patricia Sands “Drawing Lessons: A Novel”

     Diane Zinna “The All-Night Sun: A Novel”

11:30 a.m. CST Keynote Speaker Julie Perkins Cantrell, author of “Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town” and four award-winning, bestselling novels including her debut “Into the Free,” shares the story behind the story of her TEDTALK.

12:00 Noon Intermission

12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Author Michael Farris Smith of “Nick: A Novel”

1:00 pm to 1:30 p.m. CST Keynote Speaker Johnnie Bernhard, author of “Sisters of the Undertow: A Novel” reveals the story behind the story of her TEDTALK. 

1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST Keynote Speaker/Actress Mary Deese Hampton speaks about her husband/actor, film director James Hampton’s book “What? And Give Up Show Business?”

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST Cooking demonstration by author Juliette Kobani Hagglund “Raising A Healthy Eater: Quick and Easy Recipes for Babies, Toddlers and Kids.”

The Pulpwood Queen Presents Authors:

3:00 p.m. CST Stephanie Chance of “Mamma Mia: Saints, Sinners, & Escapades” and her Decorate Ornate Tours, the Official Tour Guide to Italy and Beyond of The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Reading Nation. 

3:15 p.m. CST Sara Dahmen “Copper, Iron, and Clay: A Smith’s Journey”

3:30 p.m. CST Richard Fifield “The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton”

3:45 p.m. CST Carolyn Haines “A Visitation of Angels”

4:00 p.m. CST Pamela Fagan Hutchins, of “Switchback,” the first in the Patrick Flint series, and also the Host of Wine Women and Writing!

4:15 p.m. CST R.J. Lee “Cold Reading Murder”

4:30 p.m. CST Leslie Lehr “A Boob’s Life: How America’s Obsession Shaped Me…And You”

4:45 p.m CST Judithe Little “The Chanel Sisters”

5:00 p.m. CST J.L. Oakley “The Quisling Factor”

5:15 p.m. CST Kathleen M. Rodgers “The Flying Cutterbucks: A Novel”

5:30 p.m. CST Rebecca Rosenberg “Champagne Widows: Veuve Clicquot and Napoleon”

6:00 p.m. CST Intermission 

6:30 p.m. CST AWARDS. Award presenters include past recipients of The Doug Marlette Award Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff Literary Agency; 2019 Pulpwood Queen Book of the Year Author Jesse Montgomery; and 2019 Bonus Book of the Year Author Michael Farris Smith. These distinguished literary figures conduct the Awards Presentation to the following:

2020 Pulpwood Queen Bonus Book of the Year to Kim Michele Richardson “The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel”
2020 Pulpwood Queen Book of the Year to Leila Meacham “Dragonfly: A Novel”
Special Presentation: THE DOUG MARLETTE AWARD presented to an individual for the Lifetime Achievement of Promoting Literacy to Annie McDonnell of The Write Review!


Silent Auction winners announced. The auction site can be accessed at ,  Bids will be accepted between noon on Jan. 14 and end at 6:00 p.m. Jan. 16 CST. All proceeds go to The Pat Conroy Literary Center and all your winning bid item(s) will be shipped to YOU with the cost of shipping and handling added to the cost based on the item(s) you win.


Remarks from KATHY L. MURPHY, who will announce the theme for 2022 Girlfriend Weekend event and conclude the presentation of 2021 International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guys Official Book Selections Authors! Congratulations to all of those whose work garnered the Pulpwood Queen Kathy L. Murphy’s 2021 Official Seal of Approval out of more than 600 books that were submitted.


8:00 p.m. CST Breathless Bubbles & Books Slumber Party! Bring your Breathless Bubbles, BYOB, and join the fun! Trivia!  Giveaways of books, Breathless Wines ornament, or have a Breathless Wine Cocktail named for you or your book! Come dressed as your favorite book or story-themed character and you may be one of the winners. Each participant will be able to tell their story.  It’s all about the story!


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An Inside Look at the State of Publishing Today


11:15 a.m. EST, 10:15 a.m. CST, 9:15 MST, 8:15 PST. Senior Pastor Henry G. Brinton, author of “City of Peace,” of the Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia, leads a worship service. His sermon entitled “Unexpected Calls,” is based on God calling Samuel to lead in 1 Samuel 3:1-19. Here is the link to the church’s YouTube page:

Following the Worship Service is an Intermission for Sunday Lunch/Dinner.

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CST, Kathy L. Murphy in conversation with Special Guest Robert Gray, editor of Shelf Awareness, the online publisher insider daily blog on the book publishing world.

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST, Carol Fitzgerald of The Book Reporter interviews bestselling author Cassandra King Conroy “Tell Me A Story: My Life with Pat Conroy”

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff Literary Agency gives a talk on the landscape of publishing today from a top New York literary agent’s perspective.

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST Annie McDonnell of The Write Review speaks on the importance of book reviews and how to secure them.

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST Author Douglas Thompson of “Knock! Knock!: Lessons Learned and Stories Shared – A Ride Along with a Sales Superstar Douglas Thompson” gives authors advice on how to craft the perfect elevator pitch for their books.

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pulpwood Queen Kathy L. Murphy discusses her new partnership with Kristine “Hall Ways" Hall, of Lone Star Literary Life, and their shared mission of getting great books in the hands of great readers.

5:00 p.m. CST Publisher Echo Montgomery Garrett gives a presentation on the story behind her writer-centric, bespoke Lucid House Publishing along with Director of Acquisitions Kathy L. Murphy; Co-Publisher/ Co-Founder Connor Judson Garrett; Director of Design and Technology Jawad Mazhir; YouTube Hostess and Translator Kristel al Issa; and Emmy-nominated screenwriter Jeanette Collins, who wrote the screenplay for “Spellbound Under the Spanish Moss.”




Information in this program may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control. All annual book club memberships and the fee for the virtual 2021 Girlfriend Weekend are NON- REFUNDABLE and FINAL. Our official hashtag is #PQGirlfriendWeekend for social media posts.

Official website:


Contact: Kathy L. Murphy, CEO and Founder of The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation and Girlfriend Weekend. Email: 


Official Book Seller: Shari Stauch of Main Street Reads is our official independent book seller for this event. Please support independents and order our Official 2021 Book Club Selections from her site: 

Main Street Reads also carries picks from 2019 and 2020. All members of International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guys, who order books through Main Street Reads are entitled to a 10 percent discount. Identify yourself as a member of the biggest meeting-and-discussing book club in the world, our International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation.


For Media Only: For urgent requests, please contact Echo Montgomery Garrett at and she will provide phone contact information for Kathy L. Murphy.