Presenters and Instructors

Presenters for the 2019 workshop to be finalized
and listed here as soon as possible.

Thank you.


Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 11.19.49 AM.pngUSA Today best-selling author Don Bruns is the author of three mystery series. His first novel, Jamaica Blue was championed by author Sue Grafton and became the cornerstone for his Caribbean series. His second series, the Stuff series, involves two twenty-four year old private detectives in Miami. The books have been praised for their humor, their compelling story lines and the characters. A starred review in Booklist compares the novels to Mark Twain’s Huck Finn.

Bruns’s newest series, the Quentin Archer mysteries, involves a New Orleans homicide detective and a voodoo practitioner who team up to solve crime in the Big Easy. Read about the series here.

Bruns is a musician, songwriter, advertising guru, painter, cook, stand-up comic and novelist who has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up.

At the 2019 Tampa workshop, Don will be teaching on how to write great mystery/thriller, and also critiquing manuscripts for attendees in the genres of mystery, thriller, suspense, and crime.


Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 9.25.53 AM.pngCheryl Hollon writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living the dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art in the small studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Cheryl is Past President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, and belongs to International Thriller Writers. Find all of Cheryl’s books here.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, she will be teaching on time management for writers.


Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 9.59.08 AM.pngErik Deckers is the owner and President of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing agency.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, Erik will be teaching on social media & author branding, and he is also critiquing manuscripts as an add-on element for attendees.

Erik co-authored Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (Pearson, 2nd. ed. 2012), No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Pearson, 2011), and The Owned Media Doctrine (Archway Publishing, 2013). He also helped write Twitter Marketing For Dummies. He is currently writing a fifth book. Find all his books here.

Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a published writer for more than 27 years. He has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years, and is published in 10 newspapers around Indiana. He is also an award-winning playwright, both for stage and radio theatre.

Erik frequently speaks about blogging and social media, especially as it relates to personal branding, small business marketing, crisis communication, and citizen journalism. Erik is a graduate of Ball State University with a B.S. in Philosophy and an M.A. in College Student Personnel Administration. He is married with three children, and lives in Orlando, FL.


Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 1.56.38 PM.pngLorna Hollifield is a published Southern fiction author. Her first novel is Tobacco Sun.

At the 2019 Tampa workshop, Lorna is offering critiques for manuscripts, and also teaching on how to write Southern fiction.

Lorna is represented by Kimberly Whalen of Whalen Literary. She is a former officer with the South Carolina Writers Association. Learn more about Lorna at her website.

Lorna was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but now enjoys the island life outside of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Kimsey, and two mutts, Scarlet and Daisy.

She’s been an author from the time she could speak, always spinning yarns for anyone who would listen. She began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, before finally deciding to pursue her dream of publishing fiction. Tobacco Sun is her first novel, and she’s delighted to share it with the world, When Lorna isn’t writing fiction, she enjoys blogging about writable women at


Screen Shot 2019-01-05 at 11.10.44 PM.pngKelly Coon is the YA author of GRAVEMAIDENS (Delacorte Press/Random House Fall ’19 and ’20).

At the 2019 Florida event, she will be teaching on how to write great middle grade and young adult, and will also be doing critiques for young adult manuscripts. Lastly, she will also be teaching on SF/F worldbuilding.

Kelly Coon is an editor for Blue Ocean Brain, a member of the Washington Post Talent Network, a former high school English teacher, ACT test prep book author, and a wicked karaoke singer in training. She adores giving female characters the chance to flex their muscles and use their brains, and wishes every story got the happy ending she’s living near Tampa with her three sons, dashingly handsome husband, and a rescue pup who will steal your sandwich.


Screen Shot 2018-12-24 at 9.06.54 AMKimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary, and a co-coordinator of the 2019 Florida Writing Workshop.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, she is teaching on memoir writing. (She will not be taking pitches.)

A graduate of Skidmore College and Boston University’s Book Publishing Program, Kimiko worked within Shambhala Publications and Harvard Common Press before becoming a literary agent. She partners with aspiring and published authors alike, enjoys well-worn library books, and is always up for a game of Scrabble. She loves projects that reimagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and anything with elements of magical realism. She represents memoir writers.


Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 2.35.22 PM.pngMarisa A. Corvisiero is the founder of Corvisiero Literary. Marisa seeks creative stories with developed plots and rich characters with unique voices.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, Marisa is teaching on publishing options today, getting an agent, picture book writing, and romance writing. (She will not be taking pitches.)

During the few years prior to starting her own agency, Marisa worked with the L. Perkins Agency, where she learned invaluable lessons and made a name for herself in the industry. She is also a Literary Consultant, Speaker, Author and an Attorney practicing law with a focus on Corporate Law and Estate Planning in New York City.

Ms. Corvisiero is also the founder of The Corvisiero Law Practice, P.C. Since the law firm’s inception, it has achieved incredible success and growth, and continues on its high-speed trajectory towards excellence. The firm now provides assistance in a number of practice areas as a comprehensive package of legal services for existing and new clients.

Ms. Corvisiero has held positions in several law firms and companies since 1995 in different capacities. In such positions, she has attained the knowledge and experience necessary to properly and dynamically represent her clients. These stellar firms and companies include Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP, a top global law firm; Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP, a white shoe boutique law firm; and Avaya, Inc., a fortune 500 telecommunications company among several distinguished others.

Ms. Corvisiero received her Bachelors in Business Administration in International Business and Marketing from Hofstra University in 1995, where she was the President of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Chapter, and the President of the Pre Law Society during her last year. Ms. Corvisiero received her Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law in 2000, and earned Pace University School of Law’s prestigious International Law Certificate for her studies in International Law. During her legal studies, she held several Board positions on the Student Bar Association, where she was also the Treasurer of the Environmental Law Society, the Chair of the Social Committee, and the Co-Editor of the Pace University School of Law Year Book in 1999 and 2000.

Ms. Corvisiero is licensed to practice in New York State, and has been in good standing for the duration of her admission to the Bar. She belongs to the New York City Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and has some working knowledge of Portuguese and Japanese.


Screen Shot 2019-01-20 at 12.58.37 PM.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent with D4E0 Literary.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, she is taking one-on-one pitches from attendees, and also teaching on plotting, pacing, & structure.

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.

“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.”


Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 2.38.25 PM.pngCricket Freeman is a literary agent with The August Agency.

At the 2019 Florida workshop, she is teaching on nonfiction book proposal writing, and also taking pitches from attendees.

A fan of the intricate story operating on multiple levels, Cricket enjoys untangling literary Gordian knots, whether historical crime thrillers, narrative memoirs, contemporary creative nonfiction, or anything in-between.

​After years as a business owner engaged in sales and marketing, she redirected her creativity toward the writing business, freelancing for magazines (more adventure than money) and business clients (more money than adventure).

For too long a time she slaved as the editor-in-chief of a national, full-color, glossy trade magazine, overseeing design, ad sales, editorial, and staff – and still writing 1100 damn-fine words a day, day after day, for print. As a result, she tends to measure her writing credits by the pound.

Along the way Cricket intertwined her business experience, art and humanities education, and writing skills to establish Possibilities Press to support small book publishers with writing, editing, design, and production services. Ever the entrepreneur, a decade later she shifted her focus exclusively to literary representation and in 2001 founded The Christina Pechstein Agency, later changing the name to The August Agency LLC. In 2014 she founded, an innovative network of writers’ resources supporting literary and literacy charities. Then just a few months later she established August Words Publishing, specializing in unique books by exceptional authors for select readers. Then in 2017 came a life-long dream of an inspiring retreat for writers, August Words House.

Cricket is a popular speaker and instructor at writers conferences and workshops because of her straightforward style. Writers appreciate that she’s been closely involved in every phase of a book’s life in the past three decades: from its conception as a tug in the back of a writer’s brain; through the explosive creative writing of it; to the painful editing, exacting design, and printing; then down to the distribution and marketing. With more than twenty years as a writing instructor, from conference talks to community education workshops and community college classes, she makes sure everyone enjoys a unique learning experience and leaves with their questions answered.


Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 2.41.12 PM.pngKaitlyn Johnson is an Associate Agent & Intern Supervisor at Corvisiero Literary.

At the 2019 Florida event, Kaitlyn is meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches, and also teaching a class on the Agent-Author relationship.

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. As well as being a junior agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, K. Johnson Editorial, and has worked as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, and a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

She represents a variety of middle grade and young adult genres, as well as some adult.

Her favorite authors/books include the following: Cornelia Funke (Inkheart series); Michael Buckley (Undertow series); John Green (more Looking for Alaska, less An Abundance of Katherines); Gayle Forman (Just One Year and Just One Day); Lois Lowry (The Giver series); Scott O’Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Her favorite TV shows are Doctor Who, Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly, basically the nerdier the fandom the better.