Presenters and Instructors for the 2022 Online
Pittsburgh Writing Workshop
Jessie Hilb is a published young adult novelist.
At the 2022 online PWW workshop, she is teaching on how to craft a young adult novel.
Jessie’s debut novel, The Calculus of Change, released in February 2018. It has received critical acclaim from Kirkus, The School Library Journal, Booklist, and the Jewish Book Counsel. She lives in boulder Colorado with her 2 children, 2 cats, a dog, and a goldfish.
Jessie is a Writing Day Workshops success story, having found her literary agent at a previous Colorado Writing Workshop.
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 PWW, Kimiko is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees. (She is not taking pitches.)
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.
Shelli R. Johannes is the author of 18 books (out and forthcoming). She is the coauthor (with Kimberly Derting) of the popular CECE LOVES SCIENCE series and PENNY (An Engineering Tale of the Fourth Pig). In addition to her tween and teen novels, she is also the author of the THEO THESAURUS series and SHINE LIKE A UNICORN. Her new chapter book in Chelsea Clinton’s “She Persisted” series on FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE comes out in March 2023. See all her kids books here and all her teen novels here.
At the 2022 online PWW, Shelli is teaching a speech on how to utilize both traditionally publishing and self-publishing. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
Shelli can often be found on highways and country roads saving strays and other jaywalking critters or volunteering with animal conservation groups. After earning a master’s to follow her passion of writing.
She lives in Atlanta with her own pack of unicorns: a British husband, two teens, two Goldendoodles, one sassy bird, and the many loud characters that “live” in her head. Shelli is addicted to exclamation points, puns, unicorns, and anything sciencey. You can always count on her to laugh at her own jokes, at least once.
Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency.
At the 2022 online PWW, Kat is teaching a class. He is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one virtual pitches.
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. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.
Eve Porinchak is an author, as well as a former literary agent.
At the 2022 online PWW workshop, Eve is offering add-on manuscript critiques to attendees.
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.
Angie Hodapp is the Director of Literary Development for Nelson Literary.
Angie is director of editorial and literary development for current clients. She holds BA in English education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute. The author of Do You Need a Literary Agent?, she loves helping authors improve their craft and business savvy.
At the 2022 online PWW conference, she is teaching class on writing awesome first pages.
Tara Yilmaz 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 Pittsburgh 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.
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 PWW workshop, he is teaching a class and doing add-on query critiques for attendees.