Presenters & Instructors

(IMPORTANT MARCH 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 MWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, 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 phone. Learn all details about the new April 25 MWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)

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Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 8.45.10 PMChelsea Bobulski is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in history. Her debut novel, The Wood, was called, “a provocative debut” by School Library Journal.

She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, daughter, and dog. Her sophomore YA novel, REMEMBER ME, was published by Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan on August 6, 2019.

At the 2020 Michigan workshop, Chelsea is teaching sessions on publishing YA/MG novels as well as best strategies for finishing your book. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 10.32.35 AM.pngSteven Piziks was born in Saginaw, Michigan, but he moved around a lot. Currently he lives with his family near Detroit. He’s also lived in Wisconsin and Germany, and has spent extensive time in Ukraine.

At the 2020 Michigan conference, he is teaching a class and offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

So far, he’s written more than two dozen novels and over fifty short stories and essays. Since he was born with a last name no one can reliably spell or pronounce, he usually writes under the pen name Steven Harper. When not writing, he plays the folk harp, lifts weights, and spends more time on-line than is probably good for him.

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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 coordinator of the 2020 Michigan Writing Workshop. At the event, he is teaching a class and also offering query critiques as an add-on element 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 2019-05-29 at 10.26.27 AMBibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

At the 2020 Michigan event, Bibi is teaching on query letter writing. She is also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture books, as well as Commercial and Upmarket Fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the Adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mysteries and Thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.”

Bibi manages subsidiary rights for the agency in addition to her duties as an agent and general office manager.

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Screen Shot 2020-01-16 at 8.21.36 AMSarah Zettel (aka Darcie Wilde) is an award-winning, bestselling, multi-genre author based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Across her 30+ year career, she’s written 35 novels, most recently A MOTHER’S LIE and AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW, the third in her Rosalind Thorne mystery series (written as Darcie Wilde). See all of her books here.

When not writing, Sarah cooks, hikes, embroiders and still moms her son, even though he is heading off to college real soon now.

At the 2020 Michigan conference. Sarah is teaching three different speeches.

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Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 10.06.28 AM.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent with The Janczuk Literary Agency (formerly with D4E0 Literary).

At the 2020 Michigan workshop, Weronika is teaching a class on plotting, and taking one-on-one pitches from attendees.

Weronika (pronounced like Veronica) broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school workshop that placed me with former young adult editor Brian Farrey at Flux (now North Star), a small imprint in Minnesota, where she pulled, from the slush pile, the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist. She then moved on to intern with Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency, and Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. From 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU, she worked with Bob Diforio and sold an array of projects. Weronika’s parents immigrated from Poland to Canada, where she was born. “I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; and now I reside in New York City, NY. I studied at New York University’s Gallatin School, where I finished a self-designed degree in the philosophy of the human person. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, Sudoku, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries. I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors. I queried my first project when I was 13, and have never queried again, tinkering in silence, perfecting craft, with my current project a science fantasy.

She is seeking:

“I am not, and have never been, a single-genre reader. I am eager only for the best-told stories, building out a list of talented novelists and writers in these genres:”

  • young adult
  • fantasy & sci-fi
  • literary fiction
  • commercial fiction
  • women’s fiction
  • romance
  • crime, mystery & thrillers
  • memoir
  • nonfiction (innovative ideas & research; projects with a potential for social & cultural impact, etc.)

“Human nature fascinates me, and I am drawn to stories that share the rawness and truth of what is and what is possible. I love beautiful writers, worlds, characters; smart, quirky and genre-bending stories. I love underdogs, and stories about characters that rise above limitations. I love romance, whether genre- or element-wise, that is visceral in its rawness. I love dark contours, intense in their immediacy, and world-building that catches your breath with its precision and distinctness.

“I am very much a reader that likes to be challenged, and expanded; very carefully constructed projects, which reveal a writer’s capacities, are most often those that awaken my heart and mind. I would prefer to work with writers eager to grow in their skill as novelists and build long-term, sustainable careers.

“I will not consider middle grade, children’s, or picture books, nor am I the right agent for illustrators or graphic novels.”

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Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.28.47 AM.pngCyle Young is a literary agent and founder of CYLE Literary Elite.

At the 2020 Michigan event, he is teaching a class and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.

Cyle is seeking:

  • YA, middle grade, and chapter books
  • genre fiction, especially romance
  • love stories
  • speculative (sci-fi and fantasy)
  • easy readers, picture books and board books
  • nonfiction (parenting, leadership, ministry, and self-help)
  • movie and screenplays (specific details at cyleyoung.com) 

Cyle is a multiple-genre award-winning author. Winner of more than twenty writing awards, he considers himself a “binge writer” and routinely scribes 30,000 words in a weekend. His book Belly Buttons and Broken Hearts released with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in 2013.

Cyle finds great joy in writing and loves to bounce between crafting epic high fantasy tales, helpful non-fiction parenting books, and getting lost in the melodic rhythm of children’s poetry. He serves as managing editor of almostanauthor.com, a website devoted to helping aspiring writers become published authors, and is also a monthly contributor to the parenting website, just18summers.com, and the writing website, thewriteconversation.blogspot.com.

You can learn more about what genres Cyle is aquiring by visiting his website at cyleyoung.com.

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Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 1.04.57 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 Michigan 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.

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Screen Shot 2019-12-11 at 6.20.01 PMWhen Reem Faruqi taught second grade, her favorite time was “Read Aloud” time. Originally an elementary school teacher, Reem stopped teaching to stay at home with her daughters. Now, her favorite time is watching her daughters read their own books.

At the 2020 Michigan event, Reem is teaching a class on picture books. She is also doing PB critiques for attendees.

Of Pakistani origin, she moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, when she was 13 years old. Reem based her first award-winning children’s book Lailah’s Lunchbox on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States.

She has two new books projected for 2021, Amira’s Picture Day (Holiday House 2021) and I Can Help. (Eerdmans 2021). Currently, she is working on a middle grade novel. Reem also works as a photographer at ReemFaruqi Photography and a Scheduler for the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Atlanta.

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Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 9.23.32 PMOlivia Cole is author of the adult series PANTHER IN THE HIVE and a Young Adult series, including books A CONSPIRACY OF STARS (2018) and AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS (2019).

Her essays have been published at Bitch Media, Real Simple, the LA Times, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Gay Mag, and others.

Olivia is the creator and curator of the all-women science-fiction themed art show KINDRED. She teaches creative writing at the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. Her book A CONSPIRACY OF STARS has been recognized as a choice for the 2019 LITA-Excellence in Young Adult Science Fiction Notable List and 2019 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year.

At the 2020 Michigan workshop, Olivia is teaching a speech on dialogue.