Previous Speakers

Image of 2019-Jodi Picoult

2019-Jodi Picoult

#1 NYT bestselling author

Image of 2018-Lee Child

2018-Lee Child

Author of the "Jack Reacher" series

Image of 2017-Sandra Brown

2017-Sandra Brown

Author of 67 New York Times bestsellers

Image of 2016-Craig Johnson

2016-Craig Johnson

Author of the Walt Longmire series

Image of 2015 - Brad Meltzer

2015 - Brad Meltzer

Bestselling author of fiction, non-fiction, advice, children's and comic books.

Image of 2014 - Scott Turow

2014 - Scott Turow

No one writes a better mystery suspense-LA Times

Image of 2013 - Carl Hiaasen

2013 - Carl Hiaasen

America's finest satirical novelist

Image of 2012 - James Patterson

2012 - James Patterson

The only author to have five hardcover novels debut at #1 in one year

Image of 2011 - Nicholas Sparks

2011 - Nicholas Sparks

New York Times #1 bestselling author with 15 books to his name and six blockbuster movies based on his books

Image of 2010 - Charles Johnson

2010 - Charles Johnson

National Book Award Winner for "Middle Passage"

Image of 2009 - Neil deGrasse Tyson

2009 - Neil deGrasse Tyson

2009 - Neil deGrasse Tyson the host of Nova Science Now and the author of nine books including "Pluto Files" and "Death by Black

Image of 2008 - Boone Pickens

2008 - Boone Pickens

Author of "The First Billion is the Hardest"

Image of 2007 - James Bradley

2007 - James Bradley

son of Iwo Jima flag raiser John Bradley, & author of the New York Times #1 bestseller "Flags of Our Fathers"

Image of 2006 - Michael Wallis

2006 - Michael Wallis

Route 66 author and authority, consultant for Pixar's "Cars" and voice of the sheriff

Image of 2005 - Frank Deford

2005 - Frank Deford

author of fourteen books, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, NPR commentator, and HBO Real Sports correspondent.

Image of 2004 - Billie Letts

2004 - Billie Letts

Where the Heart Is, featured in the Oprah Book Club, was the basis of the 2000 movie of the same name.

Image of 2003 - Ken Burns

2003 - Ken Burns

An award-winning filmmaker and author, best known for his epic documentaries, The Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz.

Image of 2002 - S.E. Hinton

2002 - S.E. Hinton

Author of The Outsiders, basis of the Frances Ford Coppola movie of the same name

Image of 2001 - Oliver Sacks

2001 - Oliver Sacks

Author of Awakenings, basis of the Academy Award-nominated movie of the same name

Image of 2000 - William Bernhardt

2000 - William Bernhardt

Author of the Award-winning "Justice Series"

Image of 1999 - Doris Kearns Goodwin

1999 - Doris Kearns Goodwin

Author of "No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt"

Image of 1998 - Judith Viorst

1998 - Judith Viorst

Beloved children's book author, poet and author of the best selling "Necessary Losses"

Image of 1997 - William F. Buckley Jr.

1997 - William F. Buckley Jr.

Author, advisor, columnist, and founder of the National Review

Image of 1996 - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

1996 - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Internationally-known author of "Slaughterhouse Five"

Image of 1995 - Baxter Black

1995 - Baxter Black

Cowboy poet and author of Hey, Cowboy Wanna Get Lucky?

Image of 1994 - Andrei Codrescu

1994 - Andrei Codrescu

Romanian-born writer and National Public Radio commentato

Image of 1993 - Tony Hillerman

1993 - Tony Hillerman

Author of the best selling Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee mystery series

Image of 1991 - Michael Wallis

1991 - Michael Wallis

Award-winning reporter and author of Route 66: the Mother Road