Meet the publishing experts who can give your writing career a boost.

Writer’s Digest’s 90+-year history as the go-to resource for writers means we can attract the most knowledgeable, inspiring and helpful editors, literary agents, writers and publishing experts to share their expertise with you.
Check back often to see our growing list of speakers. And be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates!
Nina Amir [More Info]
Inspiration-to-Creation Coach/ Author/Coach/Editor/Speaker
CopyWright Communications
Nina Amir, Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires writers to create the results they desire--publishable and published products and careers as writers and authors specialist. She is the author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer's Digest Books), and a seasoned journalist, nonfiction editor, proposal consultant, blog-to-book coach, and book and author coach with more than 33 years of experience in the publishing field.
Additionally, she is a popular speaker on topics related to publishing and writing and the regular writing and publishing expert on the Dresser After Dark radio show. The founder of Write Nonfiction in November, she writes five blogs, including Write Nonfiction NOW! and How to Blog a Book, and has self-published 10 short books. Also a popular human potential and spiritual writer and speaker, in all she does Amir encourages people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results.
Porter Anderson [More Info]
Journalist/Critic/Writer/Speaker in Publishing
Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) is a career journalist whose venues have included three of Time Warner’s CNN networks, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Observer, D Magazine, the Tampa Tribune, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and other media.

Anderson’s roles in newspapers, magazines, network television, and online network news have included critic, reporter, editor, managing editor, news anchor, content coordinator and senior producer. Anderson’s weekly Porter Anderson Meets column appears in the The Bookseller magazine in Lon­don on Fridays.

Anderson writes the weekly Thursday column Writing on the Ether for Virginia Quarterly Review digital editor and national publishing analyst Jane Friedman.

Cara Bedick [More Info]
Senior Editor
Harlequin Nonfiction
Cara Bedick is a Senior Editor at Harlequin Nonfiction. She acquires for their all non-fiction list in the categories of health & wellness, lifestyle, cookbook, and memoir. She edited Chef Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby’s Vedge, which was named one of the best cookbooks of 2013 by the Washington Post, Cooking Light, Entertainment Weekly, and Yoga Journal. She is currently working with New York Times bestselling author Kimberly Snyder C.N. on The Beauty Detox Power, due out in Spring 2015. Tweet your favorite green smoothie recipe to her @CaraBedick
Millicent Bennett [More Info]
Senior Editor
Simon & Schuster's Free Press
Millicent Bennett is a Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster's 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. 
Harlan Coben [More Info]
New York Times bestselling Author
With over 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last six consecutive novels, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world.  His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released in paperback, and the second in the Mickey Bolitar series, SECONDS AWAY, was released on September 18th. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE has been turned into the commercial and critical smash hit French film of the same name, starring Francois Cluzet and Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. To see the trailer, click here and for stills and to see Harlan appearing in the film, visit our gallery page. The movie is now available in DVD and Blu-Ray. An American/Hollywood remake is in the works.

Lisa Cron [More Info]
UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Lisa Cron is the author of WIRED FOR STORY: THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO USING BRAIN SCIENCE TO HOOK READERS FROM THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE (Ten Speed Press), and her video tutorial Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story can be found at She has worked in publishing at W.W. Norton, as an agent at the Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency, as a producer on shows for Showtime and CourtTV, and as a story consultant for Warner Brothers and the William Morris Agency.
Her passion has always been story, and she currently works as a story coach helping writers, nonprofits, educators and journalists wrangle the story they're telling onto the page. Since 2006, she's been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

April Eberhardt [More Info]
Literary Agent
April Eberhardt Literary
After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, April Eberhardt joined the literary world as head reader for Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine, followed by five years as an agent with two San Francisco-based literary agencies. She holds an MBA from Boston University in Marketing and Finance, a BA from Hamilton (Kirkland) College in Anthropology and French, and a CPLF degree from the University of Paris. She represents clients worldwide, and divides her time between San Francisco, New York and Paris.

A self-described "literary change agent," April Eberhardt founded her own agency in order to assist and advise authors as they navigate the increasingly complex world of publishing. As readers and publishers choose among the many ways literature is being delivered in the new millennium, authors need a literary agent who understands both the traditional and electronic marketplaces, along with the evolving options for agent-assisted independent publishing.
Jon Fine [More Info]
Director of Author & Publisher Relationships
Jon Fine is director of Author and Publisher Relations for, coordinating outreach to the author and publishing communities, including the company’s grant program which supports a diverse range of not-for-profit author and publisher groups (

Prior to joining, he served as VP and Associate General Counsel for Random House, Inc., where he directed legal affairs for the Alfred A. Knopf division as well as for Random House of Canada. Jon previously served as Senior Media Counsel at NBC, handling content and associated issues for NBC News, Saturday Night Live, MSNBC, CNBC and other divisions; as counsel at King World Productions for Inside Edition and other “reality-based” programming. He is a graduate of Cornell University and of the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a native New Yorker, who now lives in Seattle.

Hugh Howey [More Info]
Wool Series
Hugh Howey is the author of the award-winning Molly Fyde Saga and the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Wool series. His Wool series became a sudden success in the fall of 2011. Originally just a novelette, the demand from Amazon reviewers encouraged Howey to expand the story, resulting in a bestselling omnibus that has spent months in the Amazon top 100, been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film.
Entertainment Weekly, Variety and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Simon & Schuster published a trade edition of Wool in March, 2013.
Larry Kirshbaum [More Info]
Senior Literary Agent
Waxman Leavell Literary Agency
Larry Kirshbaum is a senior agent with the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. Over his lengthy career in publishing, he has worked as a Vice President and Publisher for Amazon Publishing, founder of LKJ Literary Management and CEO of Time Warner Book Group.

Kristen McLean [More Info]
Book Futurist, CEO
Kristen McLean is a book futurist, consumer zoologist and idea omnivore. She is also the founder & CEO of Bookigee, a Miami-based company that develops groundbreaking tools and innovative analytics to help the $28B book publishing industry meet the digital future.

Their first product, WriterCube, helps authors discover their audience & marketing opportunities. Additionally, she is the co-chair of O’Reilly Media’s Author (R)evolution Day project, and she speaks nationally and internationally about the future of authorship, books and publishing. When Kristen isn’t building her company or speaking about the future of publishing, she’s on the prowl for great coffee and interesting conversation.
Jacquelyn Mitchard [More Info]
Author/Editor in Chief
Merit Press
Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (but second by a long shot, the author insists that it must be said.)

The Deep End of the Ocean was critically acclaimed, a New York Times bestseller, won several awards, and was chosen as the first novel in the book club made famous by Oprah Winfrey. It was later transformed into a feature film produced by and starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

All of Mitchard’s novels have been bestsellers, including The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity, Twelve Times Blessed, The Breakdown Lane, Cage of Stars, Still Summer, No Time to Wave Goodbye and Second Nature. Mitchard has also written seven novels for young adults, the most recent being What We Saw at Night.  Mitchard recently became the Editor in Chief of Merit Press, a new young adult imprint, for which she’ll be taking pitches during the Writer’s Digest Conference Pitch Slam.

A longtime journalist, Mitchard is a contributing editor for More magazine. With an MFA in Creative Writing, she has taught at Fairfield University and Southern New Hampshire University.

Paula Munier [More Info]
Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist
Talcott Notch Literary Services
Paula Munier, Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, boasts broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside.
She began her career as a journalist, and along the way added editor, acquisitions specialist, digital content manager, and publishing executive to her repertoire. She most recently served as the Director of Innovation and Acquisitions for Adams Media, where she headed up the acquisitions team responsible for creating, curating, and producing both fiction and nonfiction for print, eBook, eShort, and direct-to-eBook formats. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, humor, pop culture, health & wellness, cooking, self-help, pop psych, New Age, inspirational, technology, science, and writing. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She’s currently VP of that organization.)

Paula has also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she’s an active member of Sisters in Crime. A well-published journalist, author, copywriter, and ghostwriter, Paula has penned countless new stories, articles, essays, collateral, and blogs, as well as authoring/co-authoring more than a dozen books, including FIXING FREDDIE, 5-MINUTE MINDFULNESS, and A MISCELLANY OF MURDER.
Gina Panettieri [More Info]
Literary Agent
Talcott Notch Literary
Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch Literary) represents a full range of adult and children's fiction and nonfiction, with a particular interest in young adult fantasy, young adult realistic fiction, middle-grade humor, adult mystery and thriller, women's fiction, cookbooks, memoir, history, popular science, parenting, true crime and health and fitness.
Chuck Sambuchino [More Info]
Writer's Digest Books
Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and a writer.
He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits two annual resource guides—the Guide to Literary Agents and the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Chuck’s first humor book, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack (, was released in 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest, USA Today, the New York Times and AOL News. His second humor book, Red Dog / Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political (July 2012) has been featured by Political Wire and the Huffington Post. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog ( is one of the biggest blogs in publishing. In addition, Chuck has written two other writing-related titles, is a freelance editor, and was recently included in a FORBES Top 10 list of "Social Media Influencers: Book Publishing."
Phil Sexton [More Info]
Writer's Digest
Phil Sexton is the Publisher of Writer’s Digest. For more than 25 years, he has worked in the book business, serving in numerous roles, including Vice President of Sales for F+W Media, Sales Director of Adams Media, Director of Merchandising for United Magazine Company and – perhaps most importantly – Independent Bookseller.
He is the author of A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS, LEGENDS OF LITERATURE, and THE WRITER’S LAB. He is also the co-author of THE WRITER’S BOOK OF MATCHES. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the much loved (and sorely missed) literary journal Fresh Boiled Peanuts.
Dani Shapiro [More Info]
Still Writing and Devotion
Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of three memoirs: Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life (2013), Devotion (2010), and Slow Motion (1998); and five novels: Black & White (2007),Family History (2003), Picturing the Wreck (1995), Fugitive Blue(1992), and Playing with Fire (1992).

Her newest memoir Still Writing—a meditation on the artistic process and searching look at her own creative life—is both a lodestar for aspiring scribes and an eloquent memoir of the writing life. More Magazine wrote, "Part passionate primer, part benediction, this is Shapiro's love letter to a discipline, and to the colleagues, students and readers who share its rigors and rewards." In Devotion, Shapiro explores her spirituality—with the help of a rabbi, a yogi, and a Buddhist–prompted by her son's questions about God, mortality, and the afterlife, giving us an insightful and penetrating memoir that thousands of readers have identified with. Devotion is the subject of an hour-long conversation between Oprah and Shapiro aired on Oprah's show Super Soul Sunday (October 2013). Shapiro's first memoir, Slow Motion, details the tumultuous life of her early twenties, and the rebirth she experienced in early adulthood, Shapiro’s work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized.

She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Cheryl St. John [More Info]
Among her achievements, which include over fifty published books in both contemporary and historical genres, Cheryl St.John has received multiple Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and four RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker. Her best-selling book WRITING WITH EMOTION, TENSION & CONFLICT is available from Writers Digest.