Get updates and additional information about WDC

Nina Amir [More Info]
Nonfiction Editor, Consultant, Book Blogger, Author - CopyWright Communications
Nina Amir, Your Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires writers to create the results they desire--publishable and published products and careers as writers and authors. Amir inspires writers to combine their purpose and their passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results.
The author of the forthcoming book, How to Blog a Book: How to Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books, April 2012), Amir is a nonfiction editor, consultant, and writing, book, blogging, and author coach with more than 33 years of experience in the publishing field; she offers these services through her company, CopyWright Communications. She also is the founder of Write Nonfiction in November, a yearly writing challenge accompanied by a blog. She writes four other blogs, including Write Nonfiction NOW! and How to Blog a Book, and two national columns and speaks weekly about writing and publishing on the popular radio show, Dresser After Dark.
Amir holds a BA in magazine journalism from Syracuse University with a concentration in psychology. Amir has edited or written for more than 45 local, national and international publications on a full-time or freelance basis producing hundreds of articles. Her essays have been published in five anthologies, and she has self-published nine short books, including the popular workbook How to Evaluate Your Book for Success.
As a book editor, Amir also has a proven track record. One of her clients' books (Enlightened Leadership) was self-published and then purchased and re-released verbatim by Simon & Schuster (Fireside); the book has sold over 230,000 to date. Another (Radical Forgiveness) won the 1998 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award (Inspirational category), went on to sell over 115,000 copies, and recently was purchased by Sounds True. Her clients' proposals regularly get them contracts with agents as well.
A popular speaker and workshop leader at California Writer’s Club branches, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and other West Coast writing events, Amir serves on the board of her local chapter of the California Writer’s Club (South Bay Writers), as well as being a mentor for its Publishing Pathways program. She is also a member of the Bay Area Independent Publisher’s Association (BAIPA) and the San Francisco chapter of the Woman’s National Book Association (WNBA).
Amir lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California with her husband.
Paula Balzer [More Info]
Paula Balzer is the author of Writing & Selling Your Memoir (Writer’s Digest Books/July 2011). During her career as a literary agent she worked with New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins, Oscar-award winning writer of Juno, Diablo Cody, American Idol judge Randy Jackson and the creator of “pastafarianism,” Bobby Henderson. Paula is the home design blogger for New York Family Magazine, and also writes articles on home design and parenting for their print magazine. She has also written for Modern Bride, Writer’s Digest Magazine and the popular Brooklyn parenting blog She teaches memoir writing classes and workshops in northern New Jersey.
Chris Baty [More Info]
Chris Baty founded National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 1999, and has overseen the event's growth from 21 participants into a global literary marathon where 300,000 writers produce nearly three billion words of fiction every November. More than 100 published novels got their start in NaNoWriMo, including Sarah Gruen's Water for Elephants and Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.
Chris is the author of No Plot? No Problem! (Chronicle Books) and the co-author of the hot-off-the-presses Ready, Set, Novel workbook (Chronicle Books). In addition to his work as a speaker, Chris works as a freelance writer—his pieces have appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, and Afar Magazine. Chris has been revising a long-suffering YA novel for five years, and hopes it will see the light of day soon. In the meantime, he drinks a lot of coffee.
Millicent Bennett [More Info]
Senior Editor
Millicent Bennett is a Senior Editor at Free Press, where she acquires the majority of the imprint's fiction, as well as select nonfiction, including memoir, history, and biography. Her Free Press authors range from the Swedish crime-writing phenomenon Camilla Läckberg to recent PEN/Hemingway winner Brando Skyhorse. Some of her upcoming fiction in 2012 will be Frances Greenslade's Shelter, Anuradha Roy's The Folded Earth, Morgan McCarthy's The Other Half of Me, Katie Kitamura's Gone to the Forest, and Marjorie Celona's Y. Before joining Free Press, she spent three years at Random House, working on a number of distinguished projects in both fiction and nonfiction, among which were David Remnick's New Yorker anthology series, Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin, Jon Meacham's American Lion, and a forthcoming novel, Enchantments, by Kathryn Harrison. Millicent began her career first at Knopf and then at Ecco, and over the years she's had the honor of working with several of her literary heroes, including Russell Banks, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, E.L. Doctorow, John Irving, Pete Dexter, and Gay Talese
Dan Blank [More Info]
Founder, We Grow Media
Dan Blank is the Founder of where he helps writers build their author platforms and publishers grow their online communities. He offers training courses and personal consulting, and has worked with large publishers and hundreds of writers. He has spoken at publishing events such as BookExpo America, Writers Digest Conference, Romance Writers of America Annual Conference, Association of Writers & Writing Programs, James River Writers, and many others. You can find him on Twitter at @DanBlank or via his blog at
Eric Butterman [More Info]
Eric Butterman is a freelance writer and teacher who’s written for more than 50 publications, including Glamour and His articles have allowed him to do everything from chat with Venus Williams about her killer serve to find out Action Film Director John Woo would actually love to direct a musical. His students have credited his courses with helping them sell an article for as much as $4,000 and make four-figure deals before the course was even over. Butterman concentrates on using actual pitches that sold as examples and taking you through an understanding of every step that goes into succeeding in writing–including negotiating deals and how to turn one assignment into many. He’s been a freelance instructor for, The Editorial Freelancers Association and In addition, he’s lectured at NYU and Harvard.
Karen Cooper [More Info]
Karen Cooper has worked in publishing for nearly 20 years. She began her career as a marketing manager at Penguin Group USA, then moved on the Element Books, Family Education Network, and eventually F+W Media where she held the role of Group Marketing Director. In 2008, she took on the role of publisher for Adams Media, home of Knock ‘Em Dead, the “Everything” series, and Why Men Love Bitches. Adams publishes more than 200 titles annually.
Donya Dickerson [More Info]
Senior Editor
Donya Dickerson is a Senior Editor in the Business and Finance Group at McGraw-Hill in New York City, where she has acquired books in management, leadership, sales, marketing and other business topics for nearly 10 years. Recent acquisitions include The Zappos Experience by Joseph Michelli,  Discover Your CEO Brand by Suzanne Bates, and Brand Turnaround by Karen Post.
Rob Eagar [More Info]
CEO, WildFire Marketing
Rob Eagar is the CEO of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He is the author of the upcoming book to be published by Writer’s Digest in June, 2012 entitled, “Sell Books Like Wildfire.”

Rob has worked with numerous publishers and trained over 400 authors. His client list includes consulting projects for several New York Times bestselling authors, including Dr. Gary Chapman, Lysa TerKeurst, and Wanda Brunstetter. Rob is also a successful author who has appeared on the CBS Early Show, CNN Radio, the Los Angeles Times, and the ABC Family Channel.

For more information about Rob Eagar and his consulting services for authors and publishers, call 1-800-267-2045, email:, or visit:
April Eberhardt [More Info]
Adult commercial and literary fiction, particularly contemporary urban fiction, ironic family dramas and realistic midlife tales, often with a twist, preferably involving strong female characters.
Barry Eisler [More Info]
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
Diana Fox [More Info]
Seeks general fiction, romance, fantasy, science fiction, young adult (all genres), historical fiction, thrillers and graphic novels. For nonfiction, she seeks history, mind/body/spirit, biography, and popular culture.
Scott Francis [More Info]
Content Editor
Scott Francis is an Editor for Writer's Digest. He edits the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market annual, among other books, and is the author of Monster Spotter's Guide to North America, co-author of The Writer's Book of Matches, and a founding editor of Fresh Boiled Peanuts: A Literary Journal. He blogs at
Jane Friedman [More Info]
Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest who now teaches e-media full-time at the University of Cincinnati. She has spoken on writing, publishing, and the future of media at more than 200 events since 2001, including South by Southwest, BookExpo America, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Her expertise has been featured widely, by sources such as NPR's Morning Edition, Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, PBS, The Huffington Post, and Mr. Media. She maintains a blog at, which enjoys 20,000 unique visits every month, and her presence on Twitter is often cited as a model for those seeking to use social media effectively.

Jane consults with a range of nonprofits, businesses, and creative professionals, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Work Fund, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Find out more at
Don Fry [More Info]
Independent Writing Coach
Don Fry, an independent writing coach, has taught over 10,000 professional writers worldwide to write better. He believes that authors should transcend their writing teachers and develop their own writing processes, based on magnifying their strengths and changing their weaknesses. While heading the writing and ethics faculties at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, he systematized writing coaching techniques. Don also demystified the concept of voice, the readers’ illusion that a person speaks to them through the text. He has published 17 books on medieval literature and newspaper writing and editing, and he writes novels for fun. Writer’s Digest will publish his new book, “Writing Your Way: Creating a Writing Process That Works for You,” in March 2012.
Jeff Gerke [More Info]
Founder and Publisher, Marcher Lord Press
Jeff Gerke has been called the de facto gatekeeper of Christian speculative fiction. After writing his own speculative fiction and spearheading the launch of a fiction imprint dedicated to Christian speculative fiction at a major Christian publishing company, Jeff branched out on his own to launch Marcher Lord Press, an Indie publishing house whose several major awards lend credence to its claim of being the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction.  
Jack Heffron [More Info]
Jack Heffron’s writing has won numerous awards and appeared in dozens of magazines and literary journals. He was a founding editor of Story magazine, which twice won the National Magazine Award. He currently teaches in the journalism program at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of the bestselling book of writing instruction, The Writer’s Idea Book, recently re-released in a 10th Anniversary Edition.
Michelle Howry [More Info]
Senior Editor
Michelle Howry has worked at Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, since 2007 specializing in commercial nonfiction. Her books include the New York Times bestsellers THE NEW ATKINS FOR A NEW YOU, pint-sized Hollywood diva Kristin Chenoweth’s autobiography A LITTLE BIT WICKED, and the BRO CODE franchise of books (with more than 1 million copies in print). She has also held senior editorial positions at Grand Central Publishing and Perigee/Penguin.

Michelle acquires platform-driven practical nonfiction in areas such as self-help, personal finance, psychology, relationships, and health, including books like: BEYOND THE SLING, a real-world guide to Attachment Parenting by Mayim Bialik (aka TV’s “Blossom”); OUR BODIES, OURSELVES, the classic women’s health series; and PALEOISTA, a women-only guide to the popular Paleo diet.
A.J. Jacobs [More Info]
A.J. Jacobs is the editor at large at Esquire magazine and the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including: THE KNOW-IT-ALL (a chronicle of reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z) and THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY (about following the hundreds of rules in the Bible). His next book, DROP DEAD HEALTHY comes out in April. He has written for The New York Times, New York magazine and, most proudly, Dental Economics magazine. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show and CNN, among others. He is a frequent contributor to NPR. He writes about culture, politics and fatherhood for Esquire.

Christina Katz [More Info]
Christina Katz is the author of three books from Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Workout, Get Known Before the Book Deal, and Writer Mama. Her writing career tips and parenting advice appear regularly in national, regional, and online publications. A “gentle taskmaster” over the past decade to hundreds of writers, Christina’s students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, and increase their creative confidence over time. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. A popular speaker on creative career growth, Christina presents for writing conferences, literary events, MFA writing programs, and libraries. She is the creator and host of the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, her daughter, and far too many pets. Learn more at
Mary Kole [More Info]
Associate Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Mary Kole is an Associate Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She came to literature from a writer's perspective and started reading at ABLA to see what it was like "on the other side of the desk." She quickly found her passion there and, after a year of working behind the scenes, officially joined the agency in August 2009. In her quest to learn all sides of publishing, she has also worked at Chronicle Books and earned her MFA in creative writing at the University of San Francisco in 2010. At this time, Mary is only considering food books, food memoirs, cookbooks, adult literary fiction, and, for the children's market, young adult and middle grade fiction and truly exceptional picture books from authors, illustrators, and author/illustrators. She prefers upmarket premises with literary spark and commercial appeal. Her favorite genres are character-driven fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, thriller, horror, adventure, humor, contemporary/realistic, romance and mystery. Her clients include Karsten Knight, Bethanie Murguia, Lindsay Ward, Emily Hainsworth, John Krause, Dianna Winget, and more. She has spoken extensively, nationally and internationally, for organizations like Writer’s Digest and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the 2012 edition of the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market from Writer’s Digest Books. She operates the Andrea Brown East office from Brooklyn, NY, and blogs at, which has been named one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest Magazine for two years running.
Meg Leder [More Info]
Meg Leder is Senior Editor at Perigee Books, an imprint of Penguin Group. Her list is all nonfiction, and includes creativity, humor, quirky craft guides, popular reference, and more. She is the co-author of The Happy Book and the forthcoming titles The Secret Me Book and For Us, By Us.
Benjamin LeRoy [More Info]
Benjamin LeRoy is the Publisher of Tyrus Books, a division of F+W Media known for its crime and dark literary fiction. He was also the founder and Publisher of Bleak House Books. He lives in Madison, WI where he listens to a lot of music, watches plenty of baseball, and works on his own writing.
Donald Maass [More Info]
A literary agent in New York, Donald Maass’s agency sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas. He is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004) and The Fire in Fiction (2009). He is a past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.
Keith Ogorek [More Info]
Senior Vice President Global Marketing, Author Solutions
Keith brings a unique set of experiences to his role as Senior VP of Global Marketing. He has held positions in banking, product development and as a creative director for a multi-national ad agency. He has also authored two indie published books, A Clear View and Eli the Stable Boy, which gives him a view of the business as an author. He has been a presenter at BEA’s DIY Publishing Conference, the San Francisco Writers Conference, AARP and The American Library Association Writer’s Conference. He also has been a webinar presenter on the Author Learning and Writer’s His blog is followed by those who want to stay abreast of major changes or events impacting indie authors.
Holly Payne [More Info]
Novelist/Screenwriter/Writing Coach
Holly Payne is an internationally published novelist, screenwriter and writing coaching living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent novel, Kingdom of Simplicity, based on a true story of forgiveness, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book from a new press, received a Marin Arts Council Grant and was recently translated into Dutch and Chinese. It is the grand prize winner for the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Payne is also the author of The Sound of Blue and The Virgin’s Knot, her debut novel published in nine countries and selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book and a Border’s Original Voices book. Payne is the founder of Skywriter Books, a publishing consultancy and independent press and Skywriter Ranch, an annual writing retreat. She received a MFA from University of Southern California and has served on the faculty of the Academy of Art University, California College of the Arts and Stanford. In 2009, University of Richmond honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Her forthcoming novel is an epic, medieval coming-of-age story involving Sufi mysticism.
Jesse Potash [More Info]
Jesse Potash is the founder of PUBSLUSH Press ( – a social, full service publisher that lets readers decide what books get published, and for every book sold donates a book to a child in need. Jesse hails from a financial services background but has worked additionally across a wide array of industries including publishing, fashion, and advertising. Jesse also serves on the board of directors for the PUBSLUSH Foundation, which is committed to supporting children’s literacy initiatives worldwide. He is a native New Yorker, yogi, boxer, and avid traveler.
Chuck Sambuchino [More Info]
Author, Editor Guide to Literary Agents
Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and a writer. He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS ( as well as CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (, was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest, USA Today, the New York Times and AOL News. The film rights were recently optioned by Sony and director Robert Zemeckis. His first book was writing-related: the third edition of FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT (2009). Besides that, he is a produced playwright, magazine freelancer, husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.
Brent Sampson [More Info]
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing business. In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list. A prolific writer and engaging speaker, Brent is an active participant and member of several leading publishing and writing associations nationwide, including The Independent Book Publishers Association and The Small Publishers Association of North America. Brent also serves on the board for the Education and Literacy Foundation.
I.J. Schecter [More Info]
IJ Schecter is an award-winning author, celebrated humorist, and acclaimed ghostwriter. He is the author of two current bestsellers, Slices: Observations from the Wrong Side of the Fairway (John Wiley & Sons) and 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less (F+W Media), and the ghostwriter behind top business books like Championship Selling: A Blueprint for Winning with Today’s Customer. IJ is also a regular contributor to leading publications throughout the world, from Today’s Parent to Today’s Bride, Maxim to Men’s Exercise, National Geographic to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and a senior writer for popular sports website
IJ has written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of writing topics, from how to kill off useless characters to valuable writing lessons one can learn from toddlers. His “15 Ways You Know You Were Born to Write,” originally published in Writer’s Digest, is one of the most popular writing-related pieces on the Internet. He speaks frequently to writers’ groups and at writing conferences, including the Las Vegas Writers Conference and the Surrey International Writers’ Conference.
IJ is also a highly sought communications strategist, with clients spanning the globe, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Hallmark and Fisher-Price. His Writer’s Digest webinars, such as “Breaking Into Corporate Writing” and “How to Use Social Media to Promote Yourself and Your Writing,” are among the most frequently requested.
James Scott Bell [More Info]
JAMES SCOTT BELL is the bestselling author of Deceived, Try Dying, Watch Your Back and many other thrillers. Under the pen name K. Bennett, he is also the author of the Mallory Caine zombie legal thriller series, which begins with Pay Me in Flesh. Jim served as fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine, to which he frequently contributes, and has written three bestselling craft books for Writers Digest Books, including the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure.
Phil Sexton [More Info]
Publisher and Community Leader Writer's Digest, F+W Media, Inc.
Phil Sexton is the publisher of Writer’s Digest. Over more than 20 years in the book business, he has served in numerous capacities, including Vice President of Sales for F+W Media, Sales Director of Adams Media, Director of Merchandising for United Magazine Company and Independent Bookseller. He has sold to Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon and most every other major book retailer and wholesaler. He is the author of A Picture is Worth 1000 Words and Legends of Literature.
Kate Travers [More Info]
Digital Marketing Manager, F+W Media, Inc.
Kate Travers is Digital Marketing Manager at F+W Media, Inc. Kate began her career in publishing 10 years ago at HarperCollins Publishers as editor before making the jump to marketing. Before joining F+W Media, Kate worked as a private consultant specializing in marketing, digital media, PR, and brand strategy with publishers, authors and literary organizations. She has held positions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Literary Ventures Fund and powerHouse Books. Kate serves on the Literary Council of The Brooklyn Book Festival where she is Chair of the Marketing and Publicity Committee and is a member of the Women’s Media Group.
John Willig [More Info]
Primarily interested in prescriptive and narrative nonfiction: business and financial investing topics, health, sports, history, true crime, science, reference, careers and personal growth categories.