This page will be updated as more faculty members are confirmed
for the Fall 2023 Online Writing Workshop of Chicago.
Anjanette Barr is a Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc. She has been working in various branches of the writing and publishing world for over a decade, and being an agent is the perfect way to synthesize her interests and talents.
At the online Fall 2023 Online WWOC, Anjanette is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
She spent the pandemic earning a certificate in Literary Representation from UCLA Extension. She also holds a B.A. in Japanese Studies from William Jewell College.
Michelle McGill Vargas is an author. At the Fall 2023 online Chicago event, she is offering add-on virtual manuscript critiques for attendees.
“I am writer of speculative historical fiction, flash fiction, and short fiction. I’ve published in The Lutheran Witness, Splickety Magazine, The Copperfield Review, and Typehouse Literary Magazine. I’ve also contributed at Short Fiction Break and Noir Expressions.
“I’m currently represented by the amazing Melissa Danaczko of Stuart Krichevsky Literacy Agency, Inc. I pay the bills as a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing. I’m a member of Highland Writers Group, Valparaiso Writers Group, served as vice-president of the Indiana Writer’s Consortium and chair of its 2016 Steel Pen Conference, and am currently on the board of Midwest Writers.”
Swati Hegde is a desi adult romance and YA author. By day, she’s a mindset coach and freelance editor. She is also a self-proclaimed coffee shop enthusiast who lives in Bangalore, India, and can usually be found at the nearest café with a hot mug of tea.
At the Fall 2023 online WWOC, Swati is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
Swati is represented by Rachel Beck at Liza Dawson Associates. Her debut romantic comedy novel MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is out 2024 from Ballantine Bantam Dell, Penguin Random House.
“I write funny romance novels featuring strong heroines, sweet-as-honey heroes, and happily-ever-afters that will make you tear up and laugh all at once. Oh, and did I mention they’re all desi characters? I live in Bangalore, India, and my writing always centers people like me living in my home country. Right now, I’m working on MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, my desi romantic comedy out 2024 from Random House, ft. an aspiring matchmaker heroine, a pub owner hero, and tons of mis-matchmaking and misunderstandings.” See her website here.
Jaimie Engle writes award-winning stories with a magic touch in books, tv, film and comics. With more than a dozen published books, she is a seasoned storyteller who has taught at national conferences, state libraries, and local schools on writing, publishing, and marketing books. In 2021, she began writing for film & television and sold her first feature film JUST JAKE with distribution deal through UPTv Faith & Family Network. She novelized the book and sold it to Vinspire Publishing.
Several of her TV scripts, based off her published work, are in shopping agreements and development with several major producers and networks. Her script MARSHAL LAW caught the eye of the producer of “The Stand” and “Thinner” and was also adapted into a comic book published by KOOL ENGLE PRESS. More about both through her monthly newsletter via the website below.
When not telling stories, Jaimie spends time with her husband, watcher her oldest son on the stage and cheers on her youngest son’s high school football.
At the Fall 2023 online WWOC, Jaimie is teaching a class.
Shelli R. Johannes is the author of 18 books (out and forthcoming). She is the co-author (with Kimberly Derting) of the popular CECE LOVES SCIENCE series and PENNY (An Engineering Tale of the Fourth Pig). In addition to her tween and teen novels, she is also the author of the THEO THESAURUS series and SHINE LIKE A UNICORN. Her new chapter book in Chelsea Clinton’s “She Persisted” series on FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE comes out in March 2023. See all her kids books here and all her teen novels here.
At the 2023 online WWOC, Shelli is teaching a class. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
Shelli can often be found on highways and country roads saving strays and other jaywalking critters or volunteering with animal conservation groups. After earning a master’s to follow her passion of writing.
She lives in Atlanta with her own pack of unicorns: a British husband, two teens, two Goldendoodles, one sassy bird, and the many loud characters that “live” in her head. Shelli is addicted to exclamation points, puns, unicorns, and anything sciencey. You can always count on her to laugh at her own jokes, at least once.
Diana Giovinazzo is the co-creator of Wine, Women and Words, a weekly literary podcast featuring interviews with authors over a glass of wine. Diana lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and menagerie.
She is a published author of historical fiction. See all her books here.
At the 2023 online WWOC, she is teaching classes, and also offering add-on virtual manuscript critiques.
You can find Diana on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @dianagauthor.
Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.
At the Fall 2023 Online WWOC, Leah is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitch meetings.
If you are interested in learning about what genres and types of books Leah seeks, see her agent page here.
Leah graduated from Rosemont College with a B.A. in English and History and soon after became an agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. She then went on to receive her M.A. in Publishing from her alma mater. Leah likes to spend her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people.
A Texas native, Leah briefly moved to the East Coast to attend Rosemont College to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Not long after graduating with her B.A. in English and History, Leah found an agency home at Ladderbird Literary Agency where she has grown to become a Senior Agent. Leah has since gone on to pursue and receive her M.A. in Publishing from her alma mater. And having accomplished her dream of working in publishing, she moved back to Texas to begin her next adventure and continue searching for the next PB, YA, or Adult project that will hook her (or make her cry). Leah likes to spend her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than
people. But when not in the company of fictional characters, she likes to crochet, travel,hang out with friends and family, and catch up on the movies and tv shows she is always behind on.
Her projects include forthcoming books from H.D.Hunter, Ravynn K. Stringfield, Kay Sohini Sen, a number of IP projects, and more! She is a tenacious advocate for BIPOC writers and is always looking for ways to bring more diverse intersectionality to the publishing industry.
She is the author of several books published by Montlake. See all her books here.
Bardsley’s column I Brake for Moms has appeared in the Everett Herald every week since 2012. She also writes young adult paranormal romance under the pen name Louise Cypress. When Bardsley is not writing books or camping with her Girl Scout troop, you can find her walking from her house to the beach every chance she gets.
She is represented by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Literary Agency. At the Fall 2023 Online WWOC, Jennifer is teaching, and offering add-on in-person manuscript critiques for attendees.
Chuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelance editor, bestselling book author, and former longtime staffer for Writer’s Digest Books. For many years he edited the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog was one of the largest blogs in publishing, and he wrote the platform guidebook CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM.
At the Fall 2023 online WWOC, Chuck is giving a speech.
His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, was optioned by Sony Pictures. Chuck’s books have been mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Variety, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, New York magazine, and many more media outlets.
He is a successful freelance editor of queries, synopses, and manuscripts—seeing dozens of clients get agents or book deals following his consultations/edits. He loves meeting new writers.
Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com. He is current the director of Writing Day Workshops.
He is the coordinator of the Fall 2023 online Writing Workshop of Chicago. At the event, he is offering add-on query critiques for attendees.
His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community.
Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely girls.