Presenters & Instructors

This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2019 Cleveland Writing Workshop.

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.37.03 PM.pngJacqueline Lipton is a literary agent with Storm Literary Agency, law professor, and the director of Authography LLC, a company dedicated to helping authors and artists with legal and business issues.

She writes fiction and law books, and holds an MFA in fiction writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts as well as a Ph.D. in law from Cambridge University. She loves reading and writing speculative fiction and is the mother of three children and (apparently) three cats. She has written over half a dozen academic legal books, and her new book, LAW & AUTHORS: A LEGAL HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS is forthcoming from University of California Press.

At the 2019 workshop, she is teaching on copyrights, contracts and legal issues for writers. She will also be meeting with writers one-on-one to take pitches.


Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of 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 April 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.

Along with teaching at the 2019 event, Brian is offering query critiques for attendees


Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 12.04.00 PM.pngD.M. Pulley lives just outside Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, two sons, and a dog named Hobo. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a professional engineer, rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures.

Pulley’s structural survey of a vacant building in Cleveland inspired her debut novel, The Dead Key, the winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She is also the author of The Buried Book and The Unclaimed Victim. Her latest historical mystery, No One’s Home, is due out September 1, 2019.

At the 2019 Cleveland event, D.M. will not only be teaching a course on mystery/crime/thriller/suspense writing, but she will also be critiquing manuscripts for attendees.


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Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary).

Victoria A. Selvaggio comes to Storm Literary Agency as a Literary Agent and Partner. Previously with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, she was drawn to the publishing scene first as an author. As a prior Regional Advisor for SCBWI Northern Ohio, Victoria’s desire to help writers and illustrators reach their publications goals inspired her to become an agent.

With over twenty-five years as a business owner, Victoria is excited to help grow the agency’s client base with talented writers and illustrators, while also helping build the agency from within with motivated agents who possess the same ideals, literary interests, goals, and approaches to the industry.As a frequent presenter at conferences, library events, contests, etc., Victoria is always interested in meeting writers and illustrators, and hearing about unique projects! While Storm Literary is primarily a children’s book agency, Victoria will be accepting pitches for new adult and adult projects from conference attendees.

She is seeking: “I am currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, adult fiction but find I’m especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.”

At the 2019 Cleveland conference, she is teaching on picture book writing. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.



Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 9.45.14 PMRicki Schultz is the author of two humorous women’s fiction novels, Mr. Right-Swipe (2017) and Switch and Bait (2018), both published by Grand Central. Among other publications, she has contributed to Writer’s Digest Books, and she is a freelance editor.

At the 2019 Cleveland event, she is doing manuscript critiques, and speaking on revision and self-editing.

Ricki earned a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to writing, she has molded the minds of tweens & teens as a middle school and high school teacher in both the CLE and the ATL—and she also spent a year teaching writing and communications at the college level.

She lives in Atlanta now with her husband and beagle, and her writing is represented by Barbara Poelle of Irene Goodman Literary Agency. 


Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 5.58.12 PM.pngDonna MacMeans sold her first fiction novel at auction with three New York publishers bidding on the rights to release it. She was in her early fifties at the time, having already built a practical career around taxes and accounting – not writing. However, the moment she read a novel by a New York Times best-selling author and declared “I can do better than that,” she became seduced by the fascinating world of characters, intrigue, romance and the discovery of “invisible” writing. She’s never looked back.

Many things have changed since that whirlwind auction. The publishing industry made seismic changes with the introduction of independent publishing. MacMeans has published six novels traditionally with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random and indie-published three novels and numerous novellas and short stories. While known for her historical romance, she also writes paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and time-travel.

At the 2019 Cleveland event, she is teaching on romance writing, and publishing options. She is also critiquing manuscripts for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 11.59.43 AM.pngDee Garretson’s first middle grade adventure was released in 2010 from HarperCollins. Since then she has published an additional middle grade with the company, three young adult books, both historical and science fiction, with Macmillan and Month9 Publishing, eight chapter books for the Boxcar Children series with Albert Whitman & Company and has self published middle grade, young adult and adult fiction. Her books have been Junior Library Guild selections, a Scholastic book club selection and nominated for numerous state awards lists. She has two more young adult books scheduled to be released in August of 2019 and January of 2020.

Dee lives in Cincinnati with her family. At the 2019 Cleveland she will be giving a session on Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. She will also be critiquing manuscripts for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.25.31 PMSteve Bein (pronounced “Bine”) is a philosopher, traveler, translator, and award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy.

His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Interzone, Writers of the Future, and in international translation. His Fated Blades novels have been met with critical acclaim. Find all of his published speculative fiction on Amazon here.

At the 2019 Cleveland workshop, Steve will be teaching on how to write great science fiction and fantasy. He will also be critiquing sci-fi and fantasy manuscripts for attendees.


Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 12.41.18 AM.pngBethany Morehead is a jr. literary agent with Hartline Literary.

At the 2019 Cleveland conference, she is teaching on query letter writing, and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.

She is seeking: children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, young adult fiction, women’s fiction, romantic fiction, and speculative fiction (sci-fi and fantasy).

Bethany is also a quirky millennial and award-winning author. She is deeply in love with Jesus, her hubby, and puppy. You will find her sipping on sweet tea sharing her deepest feelings with a pen to paper, rather than speaking them. Though introverted, she loves meeting and connecting with new people-especially while playing “nerd-tastic” board games.



Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 9.19.21 PM.pngDorit Sasson is the author of Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces (She Writes Press), a memoir finalist in the USA Today Best Book Awards.

At the 2019 Cleveland event, Dorit will be critiquing nonfiction manuscripts in the categories of memoir, self-help, how-to, and narrative nonfiction.

The memoir is Sasson’s story of how she dropped out of college and volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces in an effort to change her life—and how, in stepping out of her comfort zone and into a war zone, she discovered courage and faith she didn’t know she was capable of. The first memoir to share a female immigrant’s experience with serving in the Israel Defense Forces, Accidental Soldier is the powerful account of one woman’s journey to become her own person.