This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2023 San Diego Writing Workshop.
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 SWW workshop, he is critiquing manuscripts (virtually) as an add-on for attendees.
S.Z. Estavillo is a writing coach, social media instructor, and former literary agent.
At the 2023 SWW, she is critiquing manuscripts as an add-on virtual option for conference attendees.
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.”
Stephanie Storey is a published novelist. (See all her books here.)
At the 2023 SDWW, Stephanie is teaching. She is also offering add-on in-person critiques for attendees.
Stephanie’s debut novel Oil and Marble, hailed as “tremendously entertaining” by The New York Times, has been translated into six foreign languages. Storey is also the author of Raphael, Painter in Rome, which came out in April 2020 in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death.
Storey has a degree in Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and attended a PhD program in Art History, before leaving to get an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and has studied art in Italy and been on a pilgrimage to see every Michelangelo on display in Europe.
Storey has also been a national television producer for nearly twenty years in Los Angeles for shows including Alec Baldwin on ABC, Arsenio Hall for CBS, and Emmy-nominated The Writers’ Room on the Sundance Channel.
When not writing novels, producing television, or advocating for other artists, Storey can usually be found with husband Mike Gandolfi — an actor and Emmy-winning comedy writer — traveling the world in search of their next stories… Well, except during the pandemic when they were both sheltering in place and writing their next stories.
Denise McConduit is a published Children’s Book Author. At the 2023 SWW, she is offering add-on virtual critiques for attendees.
See all of her kidlit books here.
Denise lives in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of jazz and other unique customs like Mardi Gras, Jazz Festivals, and Debutante balls. Denise grew up in a large family of thirteen children. As a child she used to entertain her siblings by reading and putting on plays. She began writing poetry at an early age and then studied art. Her first magazine article was published in 1982 in Black New Orleans magazine. Later she had articles published in Essence Magazine and the New Orleans Tribune magazine. She currently writes a weekly column for the Times Picayune newspaper focusing on the recovery of her neighborhood after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Preserving cultural traditions through family stories is important to Denise. It’s how she grew up and it’s what she passes on. Her first book, “D.J. and the Zulu Parade” is about the adventures of her son, “D.J” when he rode in a Mardi Gras Parade. That book led to two other stories about the intrepid boy: “D.J. and the Jazz Fest” and “D.J. and the Debutante Ball”. McConduit feels that writing culturally rich books are essential because it’s important for children see themselves in literature.
Her newest book is titled, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read. In this book young readers will meet Robbie, a stubborn little boy who doesn’t like to read. His wish is granted when a magic sorcerer removes the words from everything and that’s when his world gets topsy-turvy! He soon learns that life without reading is nothing to wish for! Denise often advises aspiring young authors, “Do you have any interesting or funny characters in your family? If you do, you may want to write a story about them. I did!”
McConduit has four children, Crishelle, Monique, Erika and D.J. It was her son D.J.’s experience as a page in the Zulu Parade that gave her the idea for the first book in the series. Denise has always been an avid reader and writer. Her personal mission is to write fun and meaningful stories for children.
Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary.
She is co-coordinator for the 2023 San Diego Writing Workshop and the onsite facilitator. At the event, she is also teaching.
Carlisle refused to major in English in college because she didn’t think there was anything fun to read on the required lists. No Stephen King? No R.L. Stine? No thanks! After college, she took her love of commercial, YA, and middle grade fiction to the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Sciences. She worked as a public librarian for years before deciding to move to the business side of publishing. She attended the Columbia Publishing Course and holds a Professional Certificate in Editing from UC-Berkeley.
Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you.
Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Take a look at her manuscript wish list. But if you don’t write exactly what’s on her list, don’t worry! She’s happy to look at any work that falls into the categories she represents.
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 2023 SDWW, Kimiko is offering add-on virtual 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.
Tammy Kaehler is a writer, editor, project manager, and mystery author—as well as a racing fan and an appropriately enthusiastic cat lady.
Mystery readers and racing insiders alike have praised the five books in her award-winning Kate Reilly Racing Mystery Series, which follows a young woman driver as she competes in races, advances in her career, and solves crimes in the racing world. (See all her books here.)
At the 2023 SDWW, Tammy is teaching a class. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.
One of Tammy’s recent creative endeavors is writing creative backstories for a local rescue’s adoptable cats and kittens. She’s also working on turning those stories and her experience fostering kittens into a new cozy mystery series.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney.
At the 2023 SDWW, Paul is meeting with attendees for one-on-one meetings. He is also teaching a speech.
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.
Ben Miller-Callihan is a literary agent at Handspun Literary Agency.
At the 2023 SDWW, he is teaching a class. He is also meeting with attendees one-on-one for pitches.
Ben (he/him/his) joined Handspun Literary Agency as an agent in 2019, after working behind the scenes since the agency’s founding in tech support and bookkeeping roles, as well as more than a decade teaching high school English.
His interests include humor, YA, fantasy and speculative fiction (especially decolonial sci-fi and fantasy), crossover fiction a la William Gibson and Erin Morgenstern, the macabre (for all ages), off-the-beaten-path folklore, Deaf culture and community, and anything food-related. Writers from historically excluded communities are especially welcomed.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky (B.A., English), and New York University (M.A., English Education), he lives in San Diego with his human, canine, and kitchen appliance families.
He is not currently accepting early reader or picture book submissions.
Annie Bomke is a literary agent with Annie Bomke Literary Agency.
At the 2023 SDWW, Annie is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitch meetings.
Annie is a literary agent with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. Her books include Gus Moreno’s critically acclaimed literary horror novel This Thing Between Us, the Macavity Award winning Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver, and People magazine pick Double Exposure by Ava Barry. Her interests span a range of genres—from hard-nosed business books to otherworldly historical novels. Authors have called her the pH test for good writing, and a bedrock for literary quality control.
Annie has loved the publishing industry since her position as an Editorial Assistant at Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola.
She represents a wide variety of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction.
Annie spends her free time reading, going for walks in the park, and dancing. Her favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Tana French, and Paul Auster.
Jesse Leon is the author of I’M NOT BROKEN, a memoir from Penguin Random House.
At the 2023 SDWW, Jesse is teaching a speech on memoir writing.
Jesse is a motivational speaker, certified executive coach, consultant to philanthropy and social impact investors, and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Jesse received his Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley and Master’s Degree from Harvard University. I’M NOT BROKEN is an NPR Best Book of the Year, one of the Best Books of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Book Scrolling, and Jesse is the 2022 San Diego Writer’s Festival Memoirist of the Year Award recipient.