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.


Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary.

At the 2023 in-person ATLWW, Michelle is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees one-on-one for pitches.

An educator for over 20 years, Michelle is also a published author, writing professionally as Michelle Lindo-Rice for Mira and Harlequin Special Edition and Zoey Marie Jackson for Harlequin Love Inspired. She has earned educational degrees from New York University, SUNY at StonyBrook, Teachers College Columbia University and Argosy University.

“I look forward to bringing adult fiction and select non-fiction of new authors work out there, especially BIPOC and underrepresented authors. I am also a content editor and love developing and working with new authors to help them hone their craft. I am looking for stories with strong character arcs and hooks. Intriguing plot lines that keep me up at night until I get to the last page. Romances that make my heart swoon, thrillers that keep me guessing and heartwarming, uplifting tales. Stories about sister friends, mother-daughter relationships. Stories with themes of friendship, forgiveness, love and second chances. I have a soft spot for fellow educators who are writers and for stories featuring educators. I also am looking for those who want to write category romances – I also love Amish romances!”

Fiction: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Women’s Fiction.

​Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense.

Nonfiction: Biography, True Crime, Self-Help, Relationships, Cookbooks, Narrative, Spirituality, select Memoirs.


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.


Literary agent Kat Kerr joined Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2019. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in English in 2009 and is drawn to literary and commercial voices within the adult and YA markets, as well as adult nonfiction.

At the 2023 in-person ATLWW, Kat is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees one-on-one for pitches.

Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities.

She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say.


Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of He is current the director of Writing Day Workshops.

He is the coordinator of the 2023 in-person Atlanta Writing Workshop. At the event, he is offering add-on query critiques for attendees.

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 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.


ahAnna Harrington is A USA Bestselling and RITA nominated author of spicy Regency romances.

At the 2023 ATLWW, Anna is teaching a speech. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

Anna fell in love with historical romance—and all those dashing Regency heroes—while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She has published award-winning books with Hachette, St. Martin’s Press, and Sourcebooks, and her novels have been translated into multiple languages including Italian, French, and Japanese. Anna loves to travel, fly airplanes, and ballroom dance, and when she isn’t busy writing her next novel, she can usually be found in her garden. She loves all things chocolate and tea, is a Doctor Who fanatic, and hopes to one day use her oven for something other than shoe storage.