This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2023 Writing Workshop of San Francisco.
Keir Alekseii is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency.
At the online 2023 WWSF, Keir is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
Keir is an educator and anti-GBV activist born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island country in the West Indies. Keir is a writer, gamer, lover of folklore, and former research scientist. As a neurodivergent, queer woman of color, Keir is invested in discovering engaging work with similar representation, and is passionate about creating space for voices not often recognized. She is especially interested in stories from BIPOC who are born and raised in the Global South.
Keir is seeking YA & Adult SFF and YA contemporary. She is ONLY open to receiving queries from writers who identify as belonging to a marginalized or underrepresented group such as (but not limited to) BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, ND, folks who speak English as a second language, and DIS people.
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 2023 WWSF, 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.
Jennifer Chen Tran is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management.
At the online 2023 WWSF, Jennifer is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
With over a decade of experience in publishing, Jennifer is passionate about nurturing and championing authors and their creative lives. She represents a wide range of talent, including journalists, physicians, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, chefs, and graphic novelists, among others.
Prior to joining Folio, Jennifer was a literary agent at several west-coast literary agencies and served as Of Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is an attorney in good standing in New York and California.
Recent nonfiction titles Jennifer represented include Stuart Palley’s memoir Into The Inferno; 101-year old physician and mother of holistic medicine Dr. Gladys McGary’s The Well-Lived Life: A Centenarian Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Any Age; Kate Oliver’s The Modern Caravan; contributing cartoonist for The New Yorker and BuzzFeed, artist Natalya Lobanova’s Everyone is Awful, a debut collection of darkly humorous comics; and clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk’s Living in the Moment.
Recent fiction titles Jennifer represented include author Kristen Kiesling’s The Harrowing, a YA graphic novel about a psychic teen girl who is forced to use her powers to track down killers, until she discovers her boyfriend is her next target; Lily Quan’s middle-grade novelization of Disney-Pixar movie Turning Red; and Rebecca Kelley’s contemporary novel No One Knows Us Here.
Jennifer is an editorial agent who believes in the art of collaboration and works closely with her authors from concept, to proposal, to publication, and beyond. As a person of color and daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Jennifer is committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented and marginalized communities. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a lasting positive social impact on the world – books that illuminate, entertain, and inspire.
Trai Cartwright, MFA, is a 25-year entertainment industry veteran and creative writing and business development specialist. She teaches, produces, and writes screenplays and novels.
At the 2023 online WWSF workshop, she is teaching a class.
While in Los Angeles, she was a screenwriter, independent film producer, and story consultant and development executive for HBO, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and New Line Cinema. She was the Assistant Director of Leonardo DiCaprio’s online endeavors and the Manager for 20th Century Fox’s Mobile Studios. Trai currently teaches creative writing, screenwriting, and producing for Western State Colorado University, Denver University and CU Denver, conferences and cons, and one-on-one as a development and story editor. She is the screenwriter of Secret Ellington, and producer of docu-web series Hidden Tigers, and short film Sundown Road.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary.
At the online 2023 WWSF, Eva is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
Eva was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother’s collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she set a goal to someday finish reading them all on top of her already massive TBR.
Eva has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles. She has been with Speilburg Literary since 2013, and started accepting clients in 2017. Eva is a member the AALA (formerly AAR), RWA, and SCBWI.
In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance (all subgenres but inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction.
Fun Fact: My name is not pronounced with a long E sound. I’m of Puerto Rican, Lebanese, and Spanish descent.
Kelly Thomas is a literary agent with Serendipity Literary.
At the online 2023 WWSF, Kelly is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
Kelly brings seventeen years of sales and business expertise to the literary world as a champion for writers. Kelly is a Certified Copy Editor who has a Bachelor’s degree in English (Literature) from Pace University. She is an associate member of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) and a member of the Editorial Freelance Association. Prior to joining Serendipity, she provided manuscript analysis for the D4EO Literary Agency. She is a panelist for the New York Women in Film & Television’s (NYWIFT) ‘The Business of Adaptations Panel’ program and a trainer for the ‘Next Bestseller Workshops.’ Kelly has participated in Pitch Slams for writing conferences, including ThrillerFest, Crimebake, and The Writer’s Digest Conference. She has sat on ‘Ask the Agent’ panels for the AWP Conference and Writing Barn’s ‘Courage to Create’ program and a ‘First Pages Critique’ panel for the Carnegie Center for Literary and Learning’s Books-in-Progress Conference. Kelly is a published poet with publications in Tales for the Disenchanted (2008) and Penumbra Art & Literature (2015). She has served as an editor for the literary arts magazine Pen & Brush and as a writing coach for the academic consulting company Brattlestreet. Kelly works as a freelance editor and ghostwriter in her free time.
Beth Marshea is a literary agent and is the owner of Ladderbird Literary Agency. She has a BA in Literature and a Masters in Business Administration and is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring more diversity into publishing and beyond. Outside of agenting, Beth teaches writing in her local community with a focus on bringing reluctant writers and readers into the magical world of books. She relentlessly searches for more ways to encourage writers to create stories that matter! Outside of books, she loves the outdoors, all things water related, and has a strong attraction to abstract art.
At the online 2023 WWSF, Beth is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
In all areas Beth would like to see more works from disabled writers, LGBTQIA+ writers, Black writers, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, and all other groups who do not regularly get to see their stories in print. She would love to see more Non-binary and Ace representation across categories.
Beth loves deeply character driven stories that showcase joy, resilience, love, clever twists, exciting moments of action, thought provoking concepts, and really anything that can make her get deep into her emotions.
Gabrielle Prendergast is a writer, teacher and designer. She is the author of many books for kids (young adult, middle grade, and picture books). She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. In 2018 she won the BC Book Prizes Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and toured the province as part of the BC Book Prizes Tour. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Award and the CLA Award.
Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award, the Myrca Award and the Vancouver Book Award. Her most recent book is the YA sci-fi Zero Repeat Forever, which won the 2018 BC Book Prizes’ Sheila A Egoff Award.
At the 2023 WWSF event, she is teaching, and also offering critiques for attendees as an add-on element.
S.Z. Estavillo is a writing coach, social media instructor, and former literary agent.
At the 2023 online WWSF, she is critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for conference attendees.
She has a master’s degree in television, radio, and film and a bachelor’s degree in film. She has also worked with studios and agencies critiquing manuscripts and greenlighting film screenplays.
“My specialty is directing content from concept through completion. I have extensive professional writing experience that marries well with content direction, management, strategy, and social media marketing. The content creation, production process, and utilizing social media for marketing are what I absolutely love to do. I not only direct, write, create multi-media and social content for companies but also in my free time because it is my passion.”
Anna Harrington is A USA Bestselling and RITA nominated author of spicy Regency romances.
At the 2023 WWSF, Anna is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
Anna fell in love with historical romance—and all those dashing Regency heroes—while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She has published award-winning books with Hachette, St. Martin’s Press, and Sourcebooks, and her novels have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, French, and Japanese. Anna loves to travel, fly airplanes, and ballroom dance, and when she isn’t busy writing her next novel, she can usually be found in her garden. She loves all things chocolate and tea, is a Doctor Who fanatic, and hopes to one day use her oven for something other than shoe storage.
James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories.
He’s the best-selling, Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of ten novels, co-owner of The Rubart Writing Academy, and an audio book narrator. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. See all of his books here.
At the 2023 online SF workshop, he is critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for attendees.
Denise McConduit is a published Children’s Book Author. At the 2023 online WWSF, she is offering add-on 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.
Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary, representing YA and adult titles within the genres of contemporary, literary, historical, and women’s fiction. In the categories of non-fiction she specializes in cookbooks and memoir.
At the 2023 online WWSF, Kimiko is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees. (She is not taking pitches.)
A graduate of Boston University’s Book Publishing program and Skidmore College, Kimiko has called the publishing industry home since 2006. From production to sales she’s worked within publishing houses to release new titles and foster backlist profits. As an agent, she uses this diverse background to assist her clients with all stages of publication, and well beyond.
Kimiko works with aspiring and established authors alike. She loves projects that reimagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper.
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.
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.
At the 2023 online WWSF workshop, he is offering add-on query critiques for attendees.