Presenters and Instructors

Presenters for the 2020 workshop to be finalized
and listed here as soon as possible. Thank you.


Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 11.31.33 AMEva Talmadge is a graduate of the fiction MFA program at Hunter College and the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Florida. She has twice been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, where she won the first-ever Rona Jaffe Foundation/MacDowell fellowship, and has received fellowships to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Ucross Foundation as well.

At the 2020 DC workshop, Eva is offering manuscript critiques as an add-on element for attendees.

After seven years as a literary agent with Harold Ober Associates and the Emma Sweeney Agency, she left agenting to freelance as an editor and writer.


Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 11.37.40 AMJennifer Handford is a published novelist.

At the 2020 DC event, she will be teaching classes and also critiquing manuscripts as an add-on element for attendees.

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Jennifer Handford now lives in the Washington, DC, area with her husband and three children. A first-place finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2010, her first novel DAUGHTERS FOR A TIME was published in 2012. People magazine hailed it as “a wrenching, resonant debut about infertility, cancer and adoption. Grab your hankies.” In 2014, ACTS OF CONTRITION was published. THE LIGHT OF HIDDEN FLOWERS is Jennifer’s third novel and was released in November of 2015. She is currently busy at work on her fourth book.


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 2020-02-19 at 10.35.45 PMShannon O’Neill is a literary agent with Ross Yoon Literary.

At the 2020 DC event, she is teaching on nonfiction book proposal writing. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.

Shannon is a literary agent who helps thought leaders, public personalities, and current and recovering journalists and academics bring their book ideas to life. In her fifteen years as a developmental editor, book doctor, and publishing consultant she worked with writers at every stage: idea generation, proposal writing, manuscript composition, and published book. She continues to work with her clients through the full life cycle of a project.

Shannon seeks nonfiction books that inform, intrigue, and inspire: areas of special interest include current affairs, popular science, history, memoir, and psychology.

She also seeks literary fiction that reveals the inner workings of complex characters or offers a fresh look at a seemingly familiar time, place, or situation.

Shannon is a cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and earned a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. A Washington DC native, in her post-college years she was able to fulfill her tweenage dream becoming a bookseller at landmark indie bookstore Politics & Prose. She has taught writing and publishing courses in a variety of venues and to audiences ranging from first year American University students to retired diplomats. She now lives in the Maryland suburbs with her family where she enjoys logging long miles on the C&O Canal towpath.