Formatting and alignment of authors in \maketitle

I am in the process of creating a LaTeX template for a conference submission, and up until now I've been working only with the anonymous submissions. Now I need to create the "camera-ready" version, which means I need to add authors to the document.

The template is based on article.cls, with some tweaks to meet the font and formatting specifications. The following image contains the examples from the Word template for the conference:

Basically, I need to be able to bold the author's name (which could I suppose be done manually in the document rather than in the template) and more importantly: divide the authors into two columns, with an optional centered last column with an odd number of authors. The font size of the author block corresponds to my \LARGE defined in the class file.

Are there any packages that facilitate this type of conditional formatting, either in a document, or in a .cls file? How can I use those packages to achieve the formatting I require?

• – Gonzalo Medina Aug 21 '15 at 14:54
• @GonzaloMedina Thank you for the package recommendations. Any direction for how to use those to achieve what I'm looking for. I don't think authblk fits what I need, but titling might. I've looked at the documentation, but don't really understand how to bend it to my will. – Ryan Aug 21 '15 at 15:43

Better late than never.

Redefining a bit of stuff should get you what you want.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\usepackage{titling}
\usepackage{array}
\preauthor{\begin{center}
\large \lineskip .75em%
\begin{tabular}[t]{>{\centering\arraybackslash}p{.45\textwidth}}}
\postauthor{\end{tabular}\par\end{center}}
\makeatletter
\renewcommand\and{%                  % \begin{tabular}
\end{tabular}%
\hfill
\begin{tabular}[t]{>{\centering\arraybackslash}p{.45\textwidth}}}%   % \end{tabular}
\makeatother
\begin{document}
\title{This is a story of great friends}
\author{Wombat \\ Australia \and
Capybara \\ Brasil \and
Mara \\ Patagonia \and