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 a degree in biology and psychology from UCLA, Eve has lived all over the planet, including third-world countries, and spent much of her time in and out of prison—as a creative writing teacher and advocate for teen inmates. Eve serves as an aid worker in Tijuana orphanages and quenched her thirst for all things literary as a former agent with the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency in Los Angeles.

A former medical student, child welfare social worker, and first grade teacher, Eve grew up on a steady diet of Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of, inspiring a lifelong desire to dissect complex true crime stories in pursuit of truth. She writes stories featuring youth she feels have been underrepresented in children’s literature, such as those born into gang life, the abandoned, the incarcerated, and war refugees, who—ironically—have the most fascinating tales to tell.


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.