Presenters and Instructors

(IMPORTANT JUNE 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 CWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on (new date!) December 5, 2020. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, and online conferences we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of the event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about the (new date) December 5 CWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)


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 2020 Chesapeake Writing Workshop, Tara is meeting 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.

———————————

Screen Shot 2020-02-01 at 2.33.03 PME.J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so the left side can walk.

Her award-winning fantasy series Chronicles of the Third Realm War, starting with Royal Palm Literary Award Book of the Year Mud (#1), Tides (#2), and Sparks (#3), as well as the prequel Rain (#0). (See all her books here.) When she isn’t writing fiction, E. J. is a regular contributor to DIY MFA and BookRiot, and co-hosts the Fantasy+Girl Podcast.

E.J. is also a platforming expert with more than 10 years’ experience at PR and marketing firms and has served as a regular contributor to leading blogs including BookRiot, DIY MFA, and more.

At the 2020 DC event, E.J. is teaching a class on writing sci-fi and fantasy, and also doing critiques as an add-on element for attendees.

—————————

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 1.31.06 AMRicki Cardenas is the author of two humorous women’s fiction novels, Mr. Right-Swipe (2017) and Georgia Author of the Year finalist Switch and Bait (2018), both published by Grand Central (Hachette) under the name Ricki Schultz.

She’s currently working on a Young Adult series. Among other publications, she has contributed to Writer’s Digest Books, and she is also a freelance editor. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and she’s taught English for most of her adult life. She lives in Atlanta now with her husband and two beagles, and her writing is represented by Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

At the 2020 event, the popular Ricki will be critiquing manuscripts for many different categories.

—————————–

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.pngKelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency. At the 2020 DC event, she is teaching on query letter writing.

Kelly is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves.

Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.

—————————–

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 6.54.33 PMLori Steel is a literary agent at Raven Quill Literary Agency. For the 2020 event, she is teaching on voice writing.

Lori joins Raven Quill as an agent after working with young readers’ literature for more than a decade. Her experience runs the gamut from school librarian to freelance editor to intern/assistant with two kidlit agencies. She holds bachelor’s degrees in history and education, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She represents fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list in all kidlit genres except horror.

Across all age groups and genres, Lori seeks stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope, and illuminate the shared human experience.

More specifically, for MG/YA, Lori is interested in representing contemporary stories that address socio-economic disparity, immigration, mental illness, and personal journeys of self-discovery. She would love to see meticulously researched historical fiction that flips conventional interpretations and extends the conversation—as well as with narrative non-fiction that illuminates a little-known slice of history or unique perspective. For fantasy, she finds it hard to resist folklore-inspired tales and earthy world building. In all genres, she has a soft spot for story settings that seep off the page, unconventional story structure, and verse novels.

For Picture Books, Lori will consider manuscripts that are crafted with spare text, play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. She is searching for whimsical, lyrical, surprising, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again.

Raven Quill Literary Agency was established in 2020 by founder, Jacqui Lipton, to represent children and young adult writers. We provide individually tailored and dedicated representation for creators of books that share new messages, create a sense of joy and wonder, and make a difference in the world.

———————————

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.08.20 AMLatoya C. Smith is a literary agent and founder of LCS Literary Services. At the 2020 DC event, she is teaching on working with an agent.

She is seeking:

Fiction

  • High-concept women’s fiction
  • Romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, LGBTQ, erotic, inspirational, paranormal)
  • High-concept thrillers and horror
  • Comedy

Nonfiction (platform/market-based)

  • Memoir
  • How-to/Advice
  • Relationships
  • Health/Wellness
  • Politics/Current Events /History

Latoya started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods at Teri Woods Publishing while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. She graduated Cum Laude from Temple in August of 2005. She then attained a full-time position at Kensington Publishing in March of 2006. In October 2006, Latoya joined Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group.

For the span of her eight years there, Latoya acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and nonfiction, to digital romance and erotica. She was featured in Publishers Weekly and USA Today, as well as on various author, book conference, and book blogger websites. In early 2014, she appeared on CSpan2 where she contributed to a panel discussing the state of book publishing. From August 2014 to February 2016, Latoya was Executive Editor at Samhain Publishing where she acquired short and long-form romance and erotic fiction. She is the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year, 2017 Golden Apple for Agent of the Year, and the 2017 Literary Jewels Award for Editor of the Year. Latoya provides editorial services and literary representation through her company, LCS Literary Services.