Presenters and Instructors

Presenters for the 2019 workshop to be finalized
and listed here as soon as possible. Thank you.


Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 11.53.39 PM.pngLisa Jakub is a writer, speaker, writing teacher, traveler, yoga teacher, and wife. She also makes really good spinach gnocchi.

At the 2019 D.C. workshop, Lisa is teaching on memoir writing, and also critiquing manuscripts for attendees.

Lisa began her acting career at the age of four in Toronto, Canada. For the next eighteen years, she worked consistently in the film industry in Los Angeles, in projects that ranged from Hollywood blockbuster to cutting room floor. At the age of 22, Lisa realized that there must be more to life than premieres and pretending to be other people. She left the industry, got married, and lived happily ever after in our own version of a Hollywood ending.

Her memoir, You Look Like That Girl: A Child Actor Stops Pretending and Finally Grows Up, is the story of growing up in the film industry and making the decision to leave in search of some peace. Her second book, Not Just Me: Anxiety, depression, and Learning to Embrace Your Weird, is a hopeful, entertaining, enlightening look at the root causes of anxiety, the latest research on mood disorders, and ideas for how we can all live authentically with more peace, power, and purpose. Part memoir, part journalistic exploration—this book reminds all of us that we are not alone.

Lisa’s writing has appeared in Newsweek,, Huffington Post, Yoga Magazine, US Magazine, Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog, Vanichi Magazine, ASPCA, and Hello Giggles. I’ve appeared on the Today Show, HuffPost Live, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, and CBC.


Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.16.11 PMChuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelance editor, best-selling 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.

At the 2019 D.C. conference, he is teaching many courses on getting published, and critiquing attendee query letters.

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.


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

At the 2019 workshop, Eve is offering critiques for attendees, and teaching on multiple subjects.

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.


Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 2.12.12 PMMoe Shalabi is a Palestinian-American author, neuroscientist, and linguist. He has written multiple manuscripts and short stories, one of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

At the 2019 DC conference, he will be critiquing manuscripts for attendees.

He was formerly a junior literary agent at Talcott Notch Literary. He was also mentored by Neil Connelly, author of Into the Hurricane and The Miracle Stealer as part of the competitive AWP mentorship program, maintains stable connections with literary agents in the field, and is a frequent attendee of writing conferences. He currently works as a linguist in Washington D.C. and when he’s not at work, he’s immersed in his own writing or outlining new projects.


Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 4.55.58 PMCharis Michaels believes a romance novel is a very long, exciting answer to the question: “So, how did you two meet?” She loves to answer this question with different characters each time she writes a book. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a large trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties.

Charis the author of many Regency historical romance novels.

At the 2019 DC workshop, Charis is teaching on romance writing, and also doing critiques for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 10.00.06 AMChristina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters.


Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives in Virginia with her husband and daughter.

At the 2019 DC conference, Christina is teaching on writing great young adult & middle grade novels, and also doing critiques for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 2.32.48 PMAnne Clermont is the author of the novel LEARNING TO FALL. At the 2019 DC workshop, she is teaching on point of view for fiction writers. She is also offering critiques.

Anne is both an unlikely author and an obvious one. Running a 75-horse equestrian center with her husband, while raising two young daughters, didn’t leave much time for reading novels, let alone writing them. But there was something about living in the mountains of the San Francisco Bay Area and the magic of horses that has inspired her – not just then, but ever since her first trail ride at the age of sixteen – to write down her unique perspective on the world. Born in Kraków and raised outside of Toronto, Anne holds a Baccalaureate in Science degree with specialized honors in Animal Biology from the University of Guelph in Canada, and an MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Once she realized her passion, Anne pursued her first writing via The Writing Salon in San Francisco with wonderful teacher Karen Bjorneby, and continued under the mentorship of best-selling author, Ellen Sussman of French Lessons. She has workshopped with Robert Goolrick of The Reliable Wife; Jacquelyn Mitchard of The Deep End of the Ocean; and Maria Semple of Where’d You Go Bernadette.

Anne now devotes her time to writing and designing websites for international clients via her company, Bookish Media. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two children, and an array of animals.


Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 4.29.39 PMArt Taylor is a fiction writer, book critic, and university professor.

At the 2019 DC workshop, he is teaching on writing awesome thriller & mystery, and offering critiques to attendees.

Art is the author of On the Road With Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories (Henery Press, 2015), winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and a finalist for both the Anthony and the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. His short stories have appeared in magazines and journals including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Barrelhouse, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, and North American Review. His short fiction has won several of the major awards in the mystery field, including the Edgar Award, three Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, two Macavity Awards, and three consecutive Derringer Awards, among other honors. His work has also appeared in the annual Best American Mystery Stories anthology, and he edited Murder Under the Oaks: 2015 Bouchercon Anthology, winner of the Anthony Award for Best Anthology or Collection.

A native of Richlands, N.C., Art is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. American Studies) and also holds an M.A. in English/creative writing from N.C. State University and an M.F.A. in Fiction from George Mason University, where he now teaches creative writing, literature, and composition and works as assistant director of Mason’s Creative Writing Program. For more than a dozen years, he also coordinated marketing for the annual Fall for the Book Festival.

A member of Mystery Writers of America since 1996, he is currently on the board of MWA’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter and an at-large board member for MWA National. A long time member of Sisters in Crimes, he has also been vice-president of SinC’s Chesapeake Chapter and continues to serve on its board. Other memberships include: International Thriller Writers, the Crime Writers’ Association, and the National Book Critics Circle.

He is married to the writer Tara Laskowski. They have one son.


Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 5.15.21 PM.pngZabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Zabé joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency after previously interning at the agency and at Inklings Literary, and serving as a publications assistant at IOP Publishing. He graduated from Cornell University with a dual degree in biology and English. An avid reader and writer, his non-literary interests include running, travel, and finding the perfect dim sum in his home city of Washington D.C.

At the 2019 DC conference, he is teaching on worldbuilding for science fiction & fantasy writers, and also taking one-on-one pitches from attendees.

He represents a large variety of genres and categories. To see them all, click on his agent bio page here.