This page will be updated as more faculty members are confirmed
for the 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles.
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. “
James 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.
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.”
Rachelle Gardner is literary agent and owner of Gardner Literary, representing fiction and nonfiction.
At the 2023 WCLA, she is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees one-on-one for pitches.
She works in the Christian market (CBA) as well as the general market, and is considering new clients for both.
In fiction she’s looking at novels of 75,000 to 100,000 words in the following genres: contemporary women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, historical, YA and YA fantasy including fairy tale retellings with a unique approach.
NOT looking at adult fantasy, sci-fi, or literary fiction.
Rachelle is looking at a wide variety of nonfiction, but please note, she can’t sell it unless you have a platform. If you have begun developing a following, bring her your nonfiction!
She is especially interested in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney.
At the 2023 WCLA, he is teaching and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one meetings.
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.
Antoinette Van Sluytman is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Antoinette is a junior agent and Natalie Lakosil’s assistant. She is also a writer, freelance illustrator/fine artist, graphic designer, poet, martial artist, and history enthusiast during her free time with a bachelors in Graphic Design and Interactive Media. She is a member of the AALA and MDI committee, and volunteers at the African Diaspora Museum & Research Center in San Diego, and at writing nonprofit organization WriteHive, as an outreach coordinator, artist professional in residence, and diversity ally. She considers herself an entrepreneurial scholartist who advocates for countering literary hegemony through speculative radicalism and diverse narratives within art and writing.
Antoinette is interested in all genres of speculative fiction, specifically cosmic horror, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, sci-fi, in addition to historical fiction. Antoinette maintains special interest in adult projects but is also open to select YA and graphic novels.
At the 2023 WCLA, Antoinette is speaking and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches
Zabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.
At the 2023 WCLA, he is teaching a class and also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.
Zabé joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in August 2018, after previously interning at the agency and at Inklings Literary, and serving as a Publications Assistant at IOP Publishing. He graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a dual degree in biology and English. An avid reader and writer, his non-literary interests include running, travel, and finding the perfect dim sum.
To learn about all the genres and categories he seeks, please see his agent page here.
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.
Brian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of WritersDigest.com. He is current the director of Writing Day Workshops.
He is the co-coordinator of the 2023 Writing Conference of Los Angeles. At the event, he is teaching.
His blog during his tenure there, The Writer’s Dig—which covered everything writing and publishing—was one of the largest blogs in the writing community.
Brian’s first book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Guide to Raising Daughters (Adams Media) was released in 2013. It received high-level buzz and praise from some of the funniest writers alive, including Dave Barry and Bruce Cameron. Brian is also a proud graduate of the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, a husband, softball infielder, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls.