Presenters and Instructors

This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2021 North Carolina Writing Workshop.

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E.J. Wenstrom is a published author. At the 2021 online NCWW, she is offering manuscript critiques as an add-on element for attendees.

By day, E.J. is a content marketing and public relations expert. By early early morning, she’s a speculative fiction author.

She writes dark speculative fiction for adults and teens, including Royal Palm Literary Awards’ Book of the Year, Mud, the first novel in her Chronicles of the Third Realm War series, and her young adult debut Departures, releasing in August 2021.

When she isn’t writing fiction, E. J. Wenstrom is a regular contributor to DIY MFA and BookRiot, and co-hosts the FANTASY+GIRL Podcast.

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Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.40.52 PM.pngTara Bailey is the founder and CEO of Bailey Publishing House.

Tara founded Bailey Publishing House, LLC in 2016. She serves as Chief Executive Officer and Senior Editor.

At the 2021 online NCWW Writing Workshop, Tara is meeting virtually with writers for add-on manuscript critiques.

Tara is a ghostwriter and author of Dracula of the West Side and Number Seven (2018). She’s the author of the dark comedy play, “Deadbeat” (2017). The play premiered on May 21, 2018 at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, downtown Pittsburgh. The production was produced by Wali Jamal Abdullah and directed by Kim El.

She was the featured speaker at the Celebration of Reading in June 2017 and Pittsburgh’s Write On: Black Book Expo in November 2017. Along with speaking at book festivals, BPH hosts an annual writers workshop. She’s been a featured guest on WAMO 100 radio programs and Soul Pitt Quarterly wrote an article about her company in Summer 2017 edition. In addition to her commitment to BPH, she is also Editor-in-Chief for a personal care home monthly magazine in Pennsylvania.

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Alex Barba has experience as a fiction editor, literary agent, book scout, script doctor, and magazine and nonprofit editor. At the 2021 online NCWW, she is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

“For the majority of my career I’ve worked on YA and romance stories – first love, love denied, coming-of-age, friendships and adventures, and spicy feminist romance. My main area of expertise is in young fiction fiction in the following genres: contemporary/realistic, rom-com, contemporary (“low”) fantasy, and paranormal fantasy.

What I’m most passionate about is helping to make a good story even better. I enjoy working with writers who are looking to take their work to the next level. I bring a thorough, careful eye to each project and enjoy working with authors in all manner of developmental stages.

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Sheri Bestor is a former literary agent, now an author and editor.

At the 2021 online CWW, she is performing add-on kidlit manuscript critiques for attendees.

An award-winning author, Sheri has 10 books published with another three soon to be released. She has published in a myriad of genres, with the body of her work geared for children.

She has experience as a literary agent and owns a writing services business. Sheri is passionate about supporting writers of all levels on their path to publication. With over two decades of experience and an inspirational approach, she looks forward to helping you with your manuscript.

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Elizabeth Kracht is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates.

At the 2021 online NCWW, Elizabeth is teaching a class and also meeting writers through one-on-one virtual pitches.

Elizabeth joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.

Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors to build their careers.

Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice, and is thematically layered. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by multicultural themes and characters and is drawn toward strong settings.

In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, historical, and crossover YA. In nonfiction, she is interested in high concept, health, science, environment, prescriptive, investigative, true crime, voice- or adventure-driven memoir, sexuality, spirituality, and animal/pet stories.

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Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary.

At the online 2021 NCWW, Stephanie is teaching a class and also meeting with writers through one-on-one virtual pitches.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London.

Stephanie is primarily acquiring across three pillars: adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. In fiction, she particularly enjoys Commercial and Upmarket projects (Rom-Coms, Thriller/Suspense, etc.) that offer millennial and/or queer-affirming perspectives. In nonfiction, she’s on the hunt for Pop Culture, Cultural Criticism, millennial Business and Finance, Narrative Nonfiction, How-To, and Lifestyle projects. Overall, she’s looking for stories that will engage with and change the way we view the world around us.

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Jill Marr is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

At the 2021 online NCWW, Jill is teaching a class and also meeting writers through one-on-one virtual pitches.

She graduated from SDSU with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in history. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 20 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, as well as book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces, and promotional features for television.

After writing ad copy and features for published books for years, she knows how to find a project’s “hook” and sell it.

Jill is looking for fiction and nonfiction by BIPOC and Latinx writers, disabled persons, and people identifying as LGBTQ+, among others. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, and horror, book club, and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors with a big, timely, smart message as well as historical projects that look at big picture issues. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of current events, science, history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir.

Please note that Jill is specifically not interested in: YA, children’s books, sci-fi, screenplays, poetry, novellas or anything involving unicorns.

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Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency.

As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult.

I love seeing contemporary from voices not already flooding our bookshelves, perspectives that not everyone can claim to be familiar with. I want fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal from non-American/non-European myths and legends, concepts relevant to the culture and plot. I’m more into ghosts/vampires rather than werewolves, but always open to being surprised. Give me historical from places we never hear of, battles and events and changes that shifted world views yet never feature in mainstream discussions. Reading of people completely unlike myself, in places I’d love to explore and learn of, captivates me.

I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). Dying for MG with first crushes. People just being people and living life and not necessarily focusing on being forced to explain themselves. I love enemies-to-lovers and blind dates and rival romances. I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.

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Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com.

He is the co-coordinator of the 2021 online Carolina Writing Workshop. At the event, he is offering query critiques as an add-on 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.

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Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.16.11 PMChuck 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.

Chuck is the lead coordinator for Writing Day Workshops. At the 2021 online Carolina workshop, he is teaching a class.

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Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 2.06.14 PMEve Porinchak is an author, as well as a former literary agent.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, Eve is teaching two classes.

Since earning degrees in Biology and Psychology from UCLA, Eve has lived all over the planet and spent much of her time in and out of jail – as a creative writing teacher for teen inmates. A former agent with Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, Eve also attended medical school, served as a social worker with foster youth and homeless populations, and taught everything from first grade to college courses.

Eve writes stories featuring youth she feels have been underrepresented in children’s literature, such as those born into gang life, the abandoned, and the incarcerated who – ironically – have the most fascinating tales to tell. Her first book, the critically acclaimed ONE CUT – a haunting nonfiction story with a juvenile justice bent – launched Simon and Schuster’s new young adult true crime line, Simon True.

 

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