AWW 2023 Faculty Bios

Michelle McGill Vargas is an author. At the 2023 Alabama event, she is offering add-on (virtual) manuscript critiques for attendees.

“I am writer of speculative historical fiction, flash fiction, and short fiction. I’ve published in The Lutheran Witness, Splickety Magazine, The Copperfield Review, and Typehouse Literary Magazine. I’ve also contributed at Short Fiction Break and Noir Expressions.

“I’m currently represented by the amazing Melissa Danaczko of Stuart Krichevsky Literacy Agency, Inc. I pay the bills as a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing. I’m a member of Highland Writers Group, Valparaiso Writers Group, served as vice-president of the Indiana Writer’s Consortium and chair of its 2016 Steel Pen Conference, and am currently on the board of Midwest Writers.”

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Gabrielle Prendergast is a writer, teacher and designer. She is the author of many books for kids (young adult, middle grade, and picture books). She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. In 2018 she won the BC Book Prizes Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and toured the province as part of the BC Book Prizes Tour. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Award and the CLA Award.

Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award, the Myrca Award and the Vancouver Book Award. Her most recent book is the YA sci-fi Zero Repeat Forever, which won the 2018 BC Book Prizes’ Sheila A Egoff Award.

At the 2023 Alabama event, she is teaching on writing young adult and middle grade, and also writing picture books. She is also offering add-on (virtual) critiques for attendees.

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Kimiko Nakamura is a literary agent with Dee Mura Literary, representing YA and adult titles within the genres of contemporary, literary, historical, and women’s fiction. In the categories of non-fiction she specializes in cookbooks and memoir.

At the 2023 online AWW, Kimiko is offering add-on virtual manuscript critiques for attendees. (She is not taking pitches.)

A graduate of Boston University’s Book Publishing program and Skidmore College, Kimiko has called the publishing industry home since 2006. From production to sales she’s worked within publishing houses to release new titles and foster backlist profits. As an agent, she uses this diverse background to assist her clients with all stages of publication, and well beyond.

Kimiko works with aspiring and established authors alike. She loves projects that reimagine what’s possible, characters with something (or nothing) to lose, unique viewpoints, trailblazing heroines, and cookbooks she can read like the Sunday morning paper.

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Joel Brigham is the founder of Brigham Editorial, a fiction-editing service that has helped writers find agents and agented authors prepare for submission and publication.

He also is an editorial consultant for The Purcell Agency, a literary agency based out of Chicago, Illinois. As an author, he writes YA contemporary fiction and has two books on submission, both represented by agent Tina P. Schwartz.

He also edits content for Basketball News and spent 12 years covering the NBA as a senior sportswriter for HoopsWorld and Basketball Insiders. He has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and a master’s degree in English Education and has taught high school English for 18 years.

At the 2023 online AWW workshop, he is offering add-on virtual critiques for attendees.

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Kayla Brown comes from a family of detectives, including a grandfather who filled her childhood with true crime stories she learned not to repeat at daycare.

She’s had stories and poetry published in Dewpoint Literary Magazine, Sojourn Literary Magazine, The Moonlit Road, and her serialization, “Royal Street,” will be published in The Dark Sire Literary Magazine throughout 2023.

Her first crime novel is currently on submission and won the grand prize for the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts New Writers Contest 2021. She is proudly represented by Steven Hutson at WordWise Media, and she writes for the popular book blog, https://coupleofbeesread.com.

At the 2023 Alabama Writing Workshop, Kayla is giving a presentation on everything you need to know after you’ve landed your agent and you’re off on submission.

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