How to Research and Interview

Carmack Community Room

Great research is the backbone of great writing, nonfiction and fiction alike. If you're stuck on where to start or can't figure out how to make details come alive, join our panel of experienced researchers to learn the art of this vital craft  Get tips on getting the most out of interviews, maintaining a balance of truth and creativity, and using library tools for your research needs.

Register once (appreciated but not required) for the entire Writers Conference and come and go as you please. Separate registrations are required to attend any of the Critique Sessions. Check out the Writers Conference schedule at a glance or search our online calendar for in-depth descriptions.

Lisa Wade McCormick is an award-winning journalist and children's book author. She is currently the investigative producer at WDAF Fox 4. McCormick has also written 18 non-fiction books for children. During her career, McCormick has worked as an investigative producer at KCTV in Kansas City, and as a newspaper reporter for The Greeley (Colorado) Daily Tribune and The Independence Examiner. Her stories have won numerous awards, including the prestigious 2016 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting, two Emmy Awards, and the I.R.E. Medal for Outstanding Investigative Reporting. McCormick also worked as an Economic Crime Investigator for the Johnson County, Kansas, district attorney's office, and as a Press Aide for the Missouri Attorney General's Office. She and her family live in Kansas City. McCormick often visits schools and libraries with her Golden Retriever, who is a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.). The goal of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve children’s literacy skills by giving them the opportunity to read to therapy dogs. 

Elizabeth C. Bunce has written historical fantasy for kids set in an 18th century woolen mill, a Renaissance city at war, the Russian underworld, and a Victorian murder trial. She loves nothing more than to add curious details uncovered in her research to her books (sarcophagus is from the Greek for "flesh-eating"), and once read a Hungarian dictionary for fun. Somehow this has not prevented her books from achieving state and national recognition, including three Kansas Notable Books Awards, the William C. Morris Award for a YA Debut, and Oprah's Book Club selections. A native Midwesterner, Elizabeth lives near Kansas City and can tell you more than you want to know about cicadas. Find her online at

Bryan Voell is the Local Arts Librarian with the Johnson County, KS Library. Originally from Mundelein, Illinois, he has worked in a variety of libraries for twenty years. He runs the Listen Local blog among many other wonderful local arts projects.