Presenters & Instructors

This page will be updated as more faculty members are confirmed
for the 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.

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S.Z. Estavillo is a writing coach, social media instructor, and former literary agent.

At the 2023 WCLA, she is critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for conference attendees. Unlike other critique options, S.Z. will be at the event and offering her critique consultations in person.

She has a master’s degree in television, radio, and film and a bachelor’s degree in film. She has also worked with studios and agencies critiquing manuscripts and greenlighting film screenplays.

“My specialty is directing content from concept through completion. I have extensive professional writing experience that marries well with content direction, management, strategy, and social media marketing. The content creation, production process, and utilizing social media for marketing are what I absolutely love to do. I not only direct, write, create multi-media and social content for companies but also in my free time because it is my passion. “

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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 2023 WCLA workshop, he is critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for attendees.

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Brittany Thurman is a published author of children’s books. See all her books here.

At the 2023 WCLA, 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.”

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Laura Biagi is a freelance editor with 14 years of experience in editing and agenting adult fiction, memoir, young adult fiction, and children’s books. Previously, she was a Literary Agent with the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, where she turned her clients’ books into New York Times bestsellers, including the bestselling YA Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian.

At the 2023 WCLA event, she is available for add-on virtual manuscript critiques.

Laura holds an MFA from the University of Houston and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Southeast Review, a Whiting Award finalist. She has been published in TriQuarterly Magazine, was previously Fiction Editor with the literary magazine Gulf Coast, and is obtaining her PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She has taught numerous novel-focused writing workshops in addition to workshops on how to get published, how to write query letters, and how to get an agent. As a freelance editor, she brings the insight of a prior agent, a current editor and publisher, and an author steeped in the knowledge of craft to the table. She is particularly savvy with character, plot, and pacing and channels her experience into thorough, deep-dive edits that consider every facet of your work to launch your writing to the next level and fulfill your vision for your book.