Presenters and Instructors

This page will be updated as more faculty members are
confirmed for the 2023 Atlanta Writing Workshop.



New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne (see her website here) is a Chinese American author who wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner.

At the 2023 Atlanta conference, Livia is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

She is the author of the MIDNIGHT THIEF (An Indies Introduce New Voices selection) and ROSEMARKED (A YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee), as well as the picture book I DREAM OF POPO, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.


Broadleaf Writers Association Founder & Executive Director Zachary Steele is the author of four novels, including The Weight of Ashes, nominated for Georgia Author of the Year in 2021, and Perfectly Normal (July 2023).

He has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Publishers Weekly, Writer’s Magazine, Shelf Awareness and City Lights with Lois Reitzes on NPR.

Currently, he is hard at work on The Fallen Hero, the first in a series of fantasy novels. You can follow his ramblings on writing and life at

At the 2023 in-person ATL workshop, Zachary is teaching a speech.


Gilly Segal is a published novelist.

At the 2023 ATLWW, she is teaching speeches and also offering add-on critiques for attendees.

Gilly grew up in Florida and now calls Georgia home. She is co-author of the New York Times bestselling, NAACP Image Award nominated I’m Not Dying with You Tonight, as well as the Sydney Taylor Notable Book Why We Fly. Her forthcoming novel, Captain Marvel: Shadow Code, is due out in May of 2023.

In her other life, she is Chief Legal Officer for a group of advertising agencies. When not writing, Gilly enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning, exploring Decatur with her three kids, and sampling flavors of French macarons. Visit for more.