2017 MWW Faculty

AUTHORS:

John Gilstrap – bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave thriller series; two of the first three in the series were nominated for ITW’s prestigious Thriller Award, and for Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award

Jess Lourey – author of the Lefty-nominated Murder-by-Month mysteries and Rewrite Your Life

Becky Albertalli – author of the award-winning young adult novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (now in film production from Fox 2000 Pictures) and The Upside of Unrequited

Angie Thomas – author of the young adult novel The Hate U Give

Mike Mullin – author of the young adult Ashfall Series

Mardi Jo Link – author of the memoirs The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance and Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass On a Northern Michigan Farm

Ruth McNally Barshaw – author and illustrator of children’s books including the Ellie McDoodle diaries

Nina Sadowsky – screenwriter, producer, adjunct faculty at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts program, and author of romantic psychological novel Just Fall

Amy Reichert – author of women’s fiction The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, Love, Luck & Lemon Pie, and The Simplicity of Cider

Melissa Marino – author of women’s fiction, So Twisted

Dee Romito – author of middle grade novel, The BFF Bucket List, and guru for Scrivener writing software

Bronwen Dickey – contributing editor at The Oxford American and the author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon

Ashley Ford – essayist, co-editor of the anthology with Roxane Gay, and featured opening writer on Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl book tour

Brenda Drake – author of young adult novels and creator of #PitchWars Contest

Rena Olsen – author of thriller novel The Girl Before

Matthew Clemens – co-author with Max Allen Collins of the Reeder and Rogers thriller series

Holly Miller – nonfiction writer and author of Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes

AGENTS:

Roseanne Wells, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Monica Odom, Bradford Literary Agency

Brooks Sherman, The Bent Agency

Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Eric Smith, P.S. Literary

EDITORS:

Terri Bischoff, Acquisitions Editor at Midnight Ink

Lauren Smulski, Assistant Editor at Harlequin/Harper Collins

Jessica Strawser, Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest,  the author of Almost Missed You

INDUSTRY EXPERTS:

Jane Friedman – 20 years in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers

Dana Kaye – Dana Kaye Publicity, author of Your Book, Your Brand

Carol Topp, Certified Public Accountant – author of eleven books including Business Tips and Taxes for Writers

 

BIOGRAPHIES

AUTHORS:

John Gilstrap

John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of Friendly Fire, Nick of Time, Against All Enemies, End Game, Soft Targets, High Treason, Damage Control, Threat Warning, Hostage Zero, No Mercy, Nathan’s Run, At All Costs, Even Steven, Scott Free and Six Minutes to Freedom.  Four of his books have been purchased or optioned for the Big Screen.  In addition, John has written four screenplays for Hollywood, adapting the works of Nelson DeMille, Norman McLean and Thomas Harris.  He will co-produce the film adaptation of his book, Six Minutes to Freedom, which should begin filming in 2017. A frequent speaker at literary events, John also teaches seminars on suspense writing techniques at a wide variety of venues, from local libraries to The Smithsonian Institution.  Outside of his writing life, John is a renowned safety expert with extensive knowledge of explosives, weapons systems, hazardous materials, and fire behavior.  John lives in Fairfax, VA.

Jess Lourey

Jess Lourey (rhymes with “dowry”) is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing “a splendid mix of humor and suspense.” Jess also writes sword and sorcery fantasy, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, and magical realism, literary fiction, and thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft’s 2014 Excellence in Teaching fellowship, and a sought-after workshop leader and keynote speaker who delivered the 2016 “Rewrite Your Life” TEDx Talk. When not teaching, reading, traveling, writing, or hanging out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story. Salem’s Cipher, the first book in her thrilling Witch Hunt Series, hit stores September 2016, and Rewrite Your Life, which walks readers through the process of transforming personal experience into page-turning fiction, releases May 2017.

Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and – coming soon — The Upside of Unrequited.  She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children and teens. Currently, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta, where she spends her days writing books for teens. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University. Her debut young adult novel, The Hate U Give, will be published by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins on February 28, 2017.

Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. His debut novel, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association. He is represented by Kate Testerman of kt literary.

Mardi Jo Link

New York Times bestselling author Mardi Jo Link has published five books of nonfiction, including the memoir, Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm (Knopf, 2014). She studied journalism at Michigan State University and worked as a police and general assignment reporter, before receiving her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her latest book, The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance, is a personal history of the female friendship that inspired eight very different women to make a pilgrimage to a remote northern island every October for more than a quarter century. Mardi’s personal essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Beyond, Terrain, the Bellingham Review, and Traverse Magazine, among other places. Bootstrapper has been optioned for film by Academy Award-winning actress, Rachel Weitz. Mardi is the mother of three grown sons and lives with her husband in Northern Michigan.

Ruth McNally Barshaw

Ruth McNally Barshaw is the author and illustrator of the Ellie McDoodle Diaries, a six-book highly-illustrated middle grade novel series with Bloomsbury, is illustrator of the picture book Leopold the Lion for Sleeping Bear Press, and is author of several short stories for Amazon Rapids. She received her first sketchjournal from a prescient art teacher at age 15, and has been keeping journals ever since. She’s worked as an illustrator since her freshman year at Michigan State University, and now lives in Lansing, Michigan, where she writes, paints, reads, plays harmonica, and celebrates visits from her kids and their kids. She and her author husband Charlie travel extensively doing school visits and presentations. She is currently working on a number of picture book and middle grade projects. See her work at www.ruthexpress.com.

Nina Sadowsky

A New York City native, Nina R. Sadowsky is an entertainment lawyer (in recovery) who has worked as a film and television producer and writer for most of her career.  Just Fall, published by Ballantine in March 2016 is her first novel, and is now in development as an original series for STARZ. She has written numerous original screenplays and adaptations and done rewrites for such companies as The Walt Disney Company, Working Title Films, and Lifetime Television.  Sadowsky also wrote, directed and produced the short film, “The First Year’s A Bitch,” a darkly funny take on the first year of marriage, starring Christine Taylor and John Livingston, which was featured in numerous film festivals, and which won the award for best editing at the New York Short Film Festival.

She served as President of Production for Signpost Films, a film financier and foreign distributor, where she worked on such projects as the Academy Award nominated “The House of Sand and Fog,” starring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley. Prior to joining Signpost, she served as President of Meg Ryan’s Prufrock Pictures for over five years. During her tenure, Prufrock landed first look feature deals with Fox 2000 and Castle Rock Entertainment and an overall long-form television deal with Polygram/Universal Television.

Sadowsky served as executive producer for the hit film “The Wedding Planner,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey for Intermedia and Sony, produced “Desert Saints,” an independent film starring Kiefer Sutherland which premiered on Cinemax, produced the supernatural thriller, “Lost Souls,” which marked the directorial debut of Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminsky for New Line Cinema, produced the telefilm “Northern Lights,” starring Diane Keaton for The Disney Channel, and served as executive producer for the animated half hour comedy pilot, “Quints” for UPN.  She also produced “Jumpin’ at the Boneyard” starring Tim Roth, Jeffrey Wright and Samuel L. Jackson for executive producer Lawrence Kasdan and Twentieth Century Fox, which was featured in the Sundance, Montreal and Torino film festivals.

She is also currently serving as adjunct faculty at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts program, teaching both writing and producing. Her students have been the recipients of many awards and accolades including best scripted series at the College Television Awards and inclusion in the Cannes Film Festival Shorts Corner. Sadowsky is also currently serving as a mentor for the Humanitas Prize’s New Voices Program, and is a member of Humanitas’ Woolfpack, an organization of women writers, directors and showrunners. Sadowsky graduated cum laude from Connecticut College with a major in dance and a minor in creative writing, and in the top 10% of her class from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as Articles Editor for the Arts and Entertainment Law Journal.

Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert loves to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature, spent eight years in the technical writing mines, and currently serves on her local library’s board of directors. Her debut, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake (Gallery, 2015), was called “clever, creative, and sweetly delicious” by Kirkus Reviews. Her second book, Luck, Love & Lemon Pie, was released in 2016., and The Simplicity of Cider comes out in May 2017.

Melissa Marino

Melissa Marino writes contemporary romance, books filled with love along with sprinkles of humor. She is a full-time writer, part time storm trooper collector, and can often be found baking treats in the middle of the night as she plots her next book. Her stories blossom from the best city in the world and home of her heart, Chicago, where she currently lives with her family. When she’s not writing, she can be found watching Friends reruns, perfecting her cupcake frosting swirl and hunting for the perfect red lipstick. She is delighted to be a Midwest Writers alumni. Her debut, So Twisted (Grand Central) was released in November 2016, followed by So Screwed (March 2017) and So Wicked (May 2017), a romance series that is a combination of sweet, steam, angst, and always ends with a happily ever after.

Dee Romito

Dee Romito is a former elementary teacher and middle-grade author of The BFF Bucket List, with future releases No Place Like Home, co-authored Best.Night.Ever, and The Italy List (Aladdin/S&S). She blogs about writing at WriteforApples.com, is Co-Advisor of her local writing group, and is a big-time Scrivener fan. You can visit her website at DeeRomito.com.

 

Bronwen Dickey

Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at The Oxford American and the author of Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016). Her writing has also appeared in Best American Travel Writing 2009, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Outside, Slate, Garden & Gun, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications, and she has appeared as a featured guest on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and All Things Considered. In 2009 she received a first-place Lowell Thomas Award in travel journalism and a residency grant from the MacDowell Colony. She lives in North Carolina.

Ashley Ford

Ashley C. Ford lives in Brooklyn by way of Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a writer, editor, and public speaker. Currently, she is writing a memoir (among other things), and co-editing the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture with Roxane Gay. Ford has written or guest-edited for The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, I-D, Lenny Letter, Matter, Design*Sponge, and various other web and print publications. She’s spoken at SXSW, Earlham College, Girls Write Now, and was a featured opening writer on Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl book tour. Ford has been the recipient of a writing residency from Hedgebrook, and is the co-founder of The Lulu Fund. She teaches writing at The New School and Catapult.Co. Her website is AshleyCFord.Net.

Brenda Drake

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Rena Olsen

Rena Olsen is an author of adult thrillers who believes in healthy amounts of pizza and sarcasm. When she’s not saving the world as a licensed therapist, she’s exploring alternate realities on the page, filling the cheering section for friends, and pretending to be an adult. She lives and works in Des Moines, Iowa, with her two beloved house plants. Her debut novel, The Girl Before, is available from Putnam (Penguin/Random House).

Matthew Clemens

Matthew Clemens and his collaborator, Max Allan Collins, have penned 17 TV tie-in novels including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, Dark Angel, Bones, and Criminal Minds. Twilight Tales published the pair’s collected short stories in My Lolita Complex and Other Tales of Sex and Violence.  They have also authored the Reeder and Rogers thrillers You Can’t Stop Me, No One Will Hear You, What Doesn’t Kill Her, and Supreme Justice, Fate of the Union for Thomas & Mercer. The next Reeder and Rogers thriller, Executive Order, will be released in 2017.

Holly Miller

Holly Miller is an award-winning author, co-author or ghostwriter of 15 books, including four novels, three how-to’s, and a bestselling textbook. She is a contributing editor to two national magazines, has more than 2,500 published articles and short stories to her credit, and annually serves as a judge for a national fiction-writing competition.  She annually teaches at workshops from California to Cape Cod.

AGENTS:

Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Jennifer Laughran joined Andrea Brown Literary Agency in 2007 after a long career as a bookseller, buyer and event coordinator. Always on the lookout for sparkling YA and middle grade fiction with unusual and unforgettable characters and vivid settings, she loves funny books, thrilling books, romantic books, books that make her cry, and all-around un-put-downable books… and her true favorites are all of the above.  Some clients include author-illustrators like Giselle Potter, Don Brown, Raul the Third and Phoebe Wahl; middle grade authors like Daniel Pinkwater, Kate Messner, Alex Gino and Linda Urban; YA authors like Erin Jade Lange, Paula Stokes, Karen Rivers and Ellen Emerson White, among others. (All of them, of course, geniuses!) She does not rep “grown-up books”.

Monica Odom, Bradford Literary Agency

Monica Odom is an agent at Bradford Literary Agency, where she represents nonfiction by authors and illustrators with demonstrable platforms in the areas of pop culture, science, history, business, social issues, race, feminism, illustration/art/design, food/cooking, humor, travel/adventure, self-help/self-reflection, and DIY/crafting/how-to, for all ages but primarily adult. In nonfiction, she loves to see a personal project turn into something original and surprising.

Monica also represents select fiction — primarily literary fiction and upmarket commercial fiction for adults — but is open to literary/upmarket commercial Middle Grade and YA with a particular appeal to her taste (see her Manuscript Wish List for more details on taste). In fiction, she likes to see original storytelling, incredible voice, compelling characters, and a vivid, detailed setting. If there’s a strong sense of narrative tension, that’s a plus. Monica is also looking for graphic novels and picture books, but only by author/illustrators. She does not represent genre fiction. Monica is serious about the fact that We Need Diverse Books and is looking for authentic representation of all characters. She enjoys working closely with her clients to fine-tune manuscripts and develop proposals, and helping guide those clients throughout future projects and their publishing careers.

Brooks Sherman, The Bent Agency

Brooks Sherman represents picture books, fiction for young adult and middle-grade-readers, select literary and commercial adult fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of humor, pop culture, and narrative nonfiction. Prior to joining The Bent Agency, Brooks worked as a literary agent at FinePrint Literary Management and in the managing editorial department of Henry Holt and Company. He is a hands-on, editorial agent who delights in developing projects with his clients before bringing them to the attention of publishers. Before starting his career in publishing, Brooks spent several years working in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Hollywood), and two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa. Having bounced around all over the world, he’s delighted to be back in Brooklyn—although he looks forward to his next Transylvanian backpacking expedition with great anticipation!

Brooks is seeking projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot lines. Stories that make him laugh earn extra points! His interest in adult fiction runs the gamut from literary to speculative (particularly contemporary fantasy rooted in realistic settings, horror, and magical realism), as well as historical and crime fiction. On the children’s side, he’s looking for middle grade fiction of all genres (but particularly fantasy adventure and contemporary), humorous projects from author-illustrators, and young adult fiction of all types except paranormal romance. He would especially love to get his hands on a creepy and/or funny contemporary young adult project.

Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Jessica Sinsheimer has been reading and campaigning for her favorite queries since 2004. Now an agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, she’s known for #MSWL, ManuscriptWistList.com, #PubTalkTV—and for drinking far too much tea. Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding picture books, YA, MG, upmarket genre fiction (especially women’s/romance/erotica, thrillers, mysteries) and—on the nonfiction side—psychology, parenting, self-help, cookbooks, memoirs, and works that speak to life in the twenty-first century. She especially likes highbrow sentences with lowbrow content, smart/nerdy protagonists, vivid descriptions of food, picture books with non-human characters, and justified acts of bravery. You can follow her on Twitter at @JSinsheim.

Eric Smith, P.S. Literary

Eric Smith is an associate literary agent with P.S. Literary, and spent several years working at Quirk Books before joining the agency. He’s actively seeking out YA in all genres, sci-fi, fantasy, and unique non-fiction. Some of his recent sales include These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips (HarperTeen, 2017), Swimming Lessons by Samira Ahmed (Soho Teen, 2018), Pax Novis by Erica Cameron (Entangled Teen, 2018), and Eat Your Feelings by Lindsey Smith (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).  When he isn’t busy representing books, he sometimes writes them. His books include The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk Books, 2013), Inked (Bloomsbury Spark, 2015), and Branded (Bloomsbury Spark, 2017). He writes for sites like Book Riot, Barnes & Noble’s blogs, and Paste Magazine. His writing has sold into eight languages. You can find him at www.ericsmithrocks.com and on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks.

Roseanne Wells, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Roseanne Wells joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales/editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer’s advocate, editor, and partner. She is a member of SCBWI and a volunteer for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho, NYC. You can find her on Twitter @RivetingRosie.

EDITORS:

Terri Bischoff

Terri Bischoff joined Midnight Ink as Acquiring Editor in October 2009.   She leads all editorial directions and creates the seasonal lists.  She has dramatically increased the number of titles per season, publishing between 36 to 40 titles per year, as well as expanded the type of crime fiction MI has published. Terri has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both mysteries and in bookselling, particularly as book buyer and reviewer.  She has worked at Kramer Books in Washington, DC, and more recently, Terri owned and operated Booked for Murder Mystery Bookstore in Madison, WI.

Lauren Smulski, Assistant Editor at Harlequin/Harper Collins

Lauren Smulski holds a Master’s Degree in Publishing from Pace University. She began her career in publishing as an Editorial Assistant at Harlequin in 2013, working on the MIRA and HQN imprints. In 2015, Lauren joined Harlequin TEEN as an Assistant Editor, and quickly acquired debut YA authors Laurie Forest (The Black Witch, May 2017), Amanda Foody (Daughter of the Burning City, August 2017), Gregory Scott Katsoulis (All Rights Reserved, August 2017), and Kaitlyn Sage Patterson (The Diminished, February 2018) for the program, in addition to Zenith (July 2017) by #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. Lauren also still edits adult fiction for MIRA, including The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock (August 2017).

Jessica Strawser, Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest

By day, Jessica Strawser is the editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, Almost Missed You, forthcoming in March 2017 from St. Martin’s Press and another stand-alone novel to follow in 2018. And by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. She blogs at WritersDigest.com and elsewhere (if you’d like a guest post, contact me!), tweets fairly regularly @jessicastrawser (please do say hello), enjoys connecting on Facebook, and speaks at writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.

INDUSTRY EXPERTS:

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She’s worked with or served a diverse range of organizations and publications, including the Virginia Quarterly Review, Writer’s Digest, Publishers Weekly, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Last fall, The Great Courses released her 24-lecture series on how to get published. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017). Her essays have been published in collections from Milkweed Editions, McPherson & Co., and Seal Press, among others. Find out more at JaneFriedman.com.

Dana Kaye – Dana Kaye Publicity

Dana Kaye is a veteran publicist, social media pro, and brand manager. In 2009, she founded Kaye Publicity, Inc., a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment. Known for her innovative ideas and knowledge of current trends, she coaches her clients on how to identify and establish their unique personal brands. Kaye is also the author of Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales, published by Diversion Books, and founder of Branding Outside the Box, an online platform that coaches users on how to establish their personal brands.

Carol Topp, CPA

Carol Topp, CPA (TaxesForWriters.com) is an author and accountant who converts tax rules and business language into clear, easy-to-understand English. She has authored eleven books including Business Tips and Taxes for Writers. In addition, she is a contributing author to Writers Digest’s 2015 Writers Market and the Writers Guide to Self  Publishing. Carol has also published several magazine articles, hosts a podcast, DollarsAndSenseShow.com and hosted “Starting a Micro Business,” a public television program based on one of her books. Carol lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband where she enjoys walking, traveling, good conversations with friends, and books!