This page will be updated as more faculty members are confirmed
for the 2023 Writing Workshop of Chicago.
Michelle McGill Vargas is an author. At the 2023 Chicago event, she is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees, and the meetings are in person at the event.
“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.”
Laura Biagi is a freelance editor with 14 years of experience in editing and agenting adult fiction, memoir, young adult fiction, and children’s books. Previously, she was a Literary Agent with the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, where she turned her clients’ books into New York Times bestsellers, including the bestselling YA Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian.
At the 2023 online WWOC event, she is available for add-on (virtual) manuscript critiques.
Laura holds an MFA from the University of Houston and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Southeast Review, a Whiting Award finalist. She was previously Fiction Editor with the literary magazine Gulf Coast and is obtaining her PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She has taught numerous novel-focused writing workshops in addition to workshops on how to get published, how to write query letters, and how to get an agent. As a freelance editor, she brings the insight of a prior agent, a current editor and publisher, and an author steeped in the knowledge of craft to the table. She is particularly savvy with character, plot, and pacing and channels her experience into thorough, deep-dive edits that consider every facet of your work to launch your writing to the next level and fulfill your vision for your book.
Denise McConduit is a published Children’s Book Author. At the 2023 online WWOC, she is offering add-on (virtual) critiques for attendees.
See all of her kidlit books here.
Denise lives in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of jazz and other unique customs like Mardi Gras, Jazz Festivals, and Debutante balls. Denise grew up in a large family of thirteen children. As a child she used to entertain her siblings by reading and putting on plays. She began writing poetry at an early age and then studied art. Her first magazine article was published in 1982 in Black New Orleans magazine. Later she had articles published in Essence Magazine and the New Orleans Tribune magazine. She currently writes a weekly column for the Times Picayune newspaper focusing on the recovery of her neighborhood after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Preserving cultural traditions through family stories is important to Denise. It’s how she grew up and it’s what she passes on. Her first book, “D.J. and the Zulu Parade” is about the adventures of her son, “D.J” when he rode in a Mardi Gras Parade. That book led to two other stories about the intrepid boy: “D.J. and the Jazz Fest” and “D.J. and the Debutante Ball”. McConduit feels that writing culturally rich books are essential because it’s important for children see themselves in literature.
Her newest book is titled, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read. In this book young readers will meet Robbie, a stubborn little boy who doesn’t like to read. His wish is granted when a magic sorcerer removes the words from everything and that’s when his world gets topsy-turvy! He soon learns that life without reading is nothing to wish for! Denise often advises aspiring young authors, “Do you have any interesting or funny characters in your family? If you do, you may want to write a story about them. I did!”
McConduit has four children, Crishelle, Monique, Erika and D.J. It was her son D.J.’s experience as a page in the Zulu Parade that gave her the idea for the first book in the series. Denise has always been an avid reader and writer. Her personal mission is to write fun and meaningful stories for children.
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 2023 in-person 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 little girls.