We will update this Speaker page as time progresses.
Stephanie Winter is a literary agent at P.S. Literary.
At the online 2022 MWW, Stephanie is teaching a class and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.
She first joined the agency as an intern before becoming the agency’s relations assistant. Stephanie holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and an M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London. She is looking for diverse, inclusive voices in fiction and graphic novels for adults and young readers. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders, and more.
Stephanie is acquiring: adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction, in addition to Graphic Novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. For young readers, Stephanie loves a good adventure story, light SFF, and STEAM topics. In the adult space, she appreciates all sorts of fiction but particularly enjoys Rom-Coms and Thrillers (located outside the home) and LGBTQ+ stories that bring joy. Stephanie also acquires select nonfiction in all age groups, with a soft spot for projects that blend illustration with information on culturally relevant topics.
Chuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelance editor, bestselling 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. 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.
Chuck is the lead coordinator for Writing Day Workshops. At the 2022 online Michigan workshop, he is teaching a class and doing add-on query critiques for attendees.
Tara 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 2022 online Michigan Writing Workshop, Tara is meeting virtually 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.
Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency.
At the 2022 online MWW, Katt is teaching a class and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.
Kat joined Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2019. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in English in 2009 and is drawn to literary and commercial voices within the adult and YA markets, as well as adult nonfiction. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say.
Literary and Upmarket Fiction:
Kat is drawn to strong, character-driven works with rich, literary prose. She loves books that make her think and have a strong emotional pull.
For the commercial market, Kat is looking for high concept, voice-driven works with a close POV and well-developed, distinct characters.
Select Science Fiction and Fantasy
Women’s Fiction and Rom-Coms
YA (all genres)
Narrative nonfiction and journalistic non-fiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty
Select biographies and memoirs
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney.
At the 2022 online MWW, Paul is teaching a class. He is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction.
His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports.
Paul has sold more than 250 fiction and nonfiction books.
As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over thirty-seven (38) years of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.
Rachelle Gardner is a literary agent and the founder of Gardner Literary.
At the 2022 online MWW, Rachelle is teaching classes. She is also taking one-on-one pitches from attendees.
As a literary agent since 2007, Rachelle has negotiated 300+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 200 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers.
She’s been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays she feels lucky to work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
When she’s not working, you can usually find her out hiking the local trails, riding her bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.
She is seeking:
“I represent NONFICTION books for the Christian market (CBA) as well as for the general market, and we are accepting queries for both.
“If you’re writing nonfiction, we can’t really sell it unless you have a sizable platform. If you don’t, you may want to pursue smaller publishers on your own — you don’t need an agent. Only pursue an agent if you have a platform and want to work the medium to large publishers.
“We’re interested in:
- Next generation voices in the faith community
- Books about the intersection of faith and culture
- Deconstructing and reconstructing faith; asking hard questions about faith
- Books by BIPOC authors; books that grapple with racial issues, LGBTQ+ issues, and all social issues
- Deeper spirituality and prayer books
- Books about animal conservation, animal sanctuaries, and animals that help people
- Feminism and women’s issues
- Memoirs about any of the above — must be well-written and the author should have a platform.
- Family life — interested in really unique and/or extraordinary takes on parenting and family, whether it’s memoir or self-help
- Devotionals with depth, originality, and a definable audience
- Gift books: journals, guided journals, gifty devotionals; other gift-type books for occasions such as graduation
She is NOT seeking:
— Short stories
— Graphic novels
— NO children’s, middle grade, or YA books
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary.
At the 2022 online MWW, Kelly is teaching a class and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.
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.
Kelly is excited to be expanding her client list and finding new authors who have a strong story to tell.
Shirin Leos is the author of 20 children’s books, the best-known of which is Ruby’s Wish, an Ezra Jack Keats Award winner. Her successful debut had Publishers Weekly include her on a list of “new authors to watch;” several years and two feature articles later, she made it to their front cover as the founding goose of Goosebottom Books. You can see all her books here.
At the 2022 online MWW, Shirin is giving a speech. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
When Shirin is not writing, she is an editor, writing coach, and writing retreat leader. She has been dubbed a “tiger editor” independently by two of her clients, because she gives tough developmental edits. (They did come back!)
For those who don’t like tough, there are her writing retreats. These are three- or five-night stays in beautiful and secluded surroundings, with all meals catered, and libations poured every evening when participants gather to share our work and receive feedback. There is nothing, Shirin believes, like writing in community. These few days can be the most productive of the year.
Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary, representing YA and adult titles within the genres of contemporary, literary, historical, and women’s fiction. In the categories of non-fiction she specializes in cookbooks and memoir.
At the 2022 online MWW, Kimiko is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
A graduate of Boston University’s Book Publishing program and Skidmore College, Kimiko has called the publishing industry home since 2006. From production to sales she’s worked within publishing houses to release new titles and foster backlist profits. As an agent, she uses this diverse background to assist her clients with all stages of publication, and well beyond.
Kimiko works with aspiring and established authors alike. She loves projects that reimagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper.
Alex Barba has experience as a fiction editor, literary agent, book scout, script doctor, and magazine and nonprofit editor. At the 2022 online MWW, she is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
“For the majority of my career I’ve worked on YA and romance stories – first love, love denied, coming-of-age, friendships and adventures, and spicy feminist romance. My main area of expertise is in young fiction fiction in the following genres: contemporary/realistic, rom-com, contemporary (“low”) fantasy, and paranormal fantasy.
What I’m most passionate about is helping to make a good story even better. I enjoy working with writers who are looking to take their work to the next level. I bring a thorough, careful eye to each project and enjoy working with authors in all manner of developmental stages.
At the online 2022 MWW, Brittany is teaching a class. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
“I have always had an affinity for stories told by my grandmother. Those same stories hold space in my writing today. My love of writing comes from my love of reading. As a kid, I could not get enough of going to bookstores and libraries.
“I am a former children’s specialist, and I am dedicated to ensuring children’s literature truthfully reflects the world in which we live. I hold an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where I studied Dramatic Writing. I hold a BA from Kingston University, London, England, where I studied theater.
“I’m not sure how many books I’ve read as a children’s specialist, but I estimate hundreds of stories to thousands of kids across the City of Bridges. Currently, I reside in my hometown of Louisville, KY. You may find me biking along the waterfront, enjoying a musical or play, hanging out with my family, grilling in the backyard or snuggled up with a good book.”