Presenters and Instructors

Presenters for the 2021 workshop to be finalized
and listed here as soon as possible.

Thank you.


 

Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent at Transatlantic Literary.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, she is teaching a class and meeting with writers for one-on-one virtual pitches.

“As I build my client list, I will be co-agenting with senior literary agents at Transatlantic.

“I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks.

Adult and Young Adult fiction: “I like books I can read on a beach vacation — fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. For reference, my faves include Kevin Kwan, Alisha Rai, N.K. Jemisin, Philippa Gregory, Nicola Yoon, Marie Lu, and Elizabeth Wein. I do not represent literary fiction, mysteries or thrillers.”

Middle Grade and younger: “I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least one human character. My faves include Jason Reynolds, Dan Santat, Dav Pilkey, and Christopher Paul Curtis. I do not represent picture books.”

Nonfiction: “At this time I am accepting non-fiction proposals by referral only.”

Léonicka Valcius was that kid who got in trouble for reading past her bedtime… and while the teacher was talking… and while crossing the street. In 2011 she was able to turn this obsession into an actual career, much to her mother’s relief.

After completing the publishing program at Centennial College, Léonicka interned at HarperCollins Canada before working at Scholastic Book Fairs Canada for nearly 4 years as a book buyer and marketer. She then joined the Online and Digital Sales team at Penguin Random House Canada where she sold ebooks and audiobooks. Léonicka is eager to draw from these experiences to return to her original passion: working with writers.

As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the first Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of colour is the core of Léonicka’s career. She brings this same mandate to her work at Transatlantic. As Assistant Agent, Léonicka will be working closely with Senior Agents with whom she will be co-agenting new clients.

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Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 9.00.28 PMJames L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories.

He’s the best-selling, Christy Book of the Year, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of ten novels, co-owner of The Rubart Writing Academy, and an audio book narrator. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. See all of his books here.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, he is teaching on mystery & thriller & suspense writing, and also critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for attendees.

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Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, she is teaching a class and meeting with writers for one-on-one virtual pitches.

Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction picture books. She has her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from Simmons College (now University) and serves on the national advisory board of the Mazza Museum, the world’s largest collection of original artwork by children’s book illustrators.

Charlotte is drawn to children’s literature and art for all ages—board books through young adult, but especially picture books—as well as select adult nonfiction biographies and memoirs.

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Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.49.28 PMAmber Royer is the author of the high-energy comedic space opera Chocoverse series (Free Chocolate, Pure Chocolate). Her fiction is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

At the 2021 online FL conference, Amber is offering critiques for attendees as an add-on element.

She teaches enrichment and continuing education creative writing classes for teens and adults through both the University of Texas at Arlington and Writing Workshops Dallas. She is the discussion leader for the Saturday Night Write writing craft group. She spent five years as a youth librarian, where she organized teen writers’ groups and teen writing contests. In addition to two cookbooks co-authored with her husband, Amber has published a number of articles on gardening, crafting and cooking for print and online publications.

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Gordon Warnock is a literary agent founding partner at Fuse Literary, serving as a literary agent and Editorial Director of Short Fuse Publishing. He brings years of experience as a senior agent, marketing director, editor for independent publishers, publishing consultant, and author coach. He frequently teaches workshops and gives keynote speeches at conferences and MFA programs nationwide. He is an honors graduate of CSUS with a B.A. in Creative and Professional Writing.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, he is teaching a class and meeting with writers for one-on-one virtual pitches.

With a zest for fresh, new voices and a deep love of the classics, Gordon actively seeks out both the timely and the timeless. In that spirit, he establishes involved, long-term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres.

“I’m looking for large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. I prefer to work with socially-responsible books that raise new issues or illuminate common issues in new ways. I love books with strong charity tie-ins and celebrities coming together to promote a good cause on a large scale.”

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Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, she is teaching a class and meeting with writers for one-on-one virtual pitches.

Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling.

Amaryah began her career at the Laura Gross Literary Agency in 2009 and, prior to that, she worked as an Editorial Assistant at various academic research foundations, including the Tauber Institute, where she edited books for Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Amaryah earned a BA at McGill University before coming to the United States to pursue graduate studies in American History. She completed an MA at Ohio University’s Contemporary History Institute and a PhD at Brandeis University, and currently serves as Co-President of the Boston chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

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Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 11.40.52 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 2021 online FL 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.

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Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 2.06.14 PMEve Porinchak is an author, as well as a former literary agent.

At the 2021 online FL workshop, Eve is teaching a class on revision, and offering critiques for 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.