Presenters & Instructors

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


Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 12.59.28 PM.pngRati Mehrotra is a published author of speculative fiction (sci-fi and fantasy.)

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, Rati will be teaching on writing awesome science fiction & fantasy world-building, and also critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for attendees.

Rati is represented by Mary. C. Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates and published by Harper Voyager US. Her first book Markswoman was published in January 2018 and the sequel is scheduled for March 2019. She also enjoys reading and writing short stories.

A few of her favorite writers are Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Sofia Samatar, N. K. Jemisin, Jack Vance, Neil Gaimam, Gene Wolfe, Patricia A. McKillip, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling (who can’t love Harry Potter?) and – yes – Jane Austen.


Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.54.27 AM.pngStephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, she is teaching on voice in writing, and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.

She first joined the agency as an intern before becoming the agency’s relations assistant. Stephanie is a dedicated bookseller who holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto in English Literature and a M.A. in English: Issues in Modern Culture from University College London.

Her experiences of living and traveling in and around Europe have left her eagerly devouring upmarket, fantasy, and nonfiction genres that make new worlds and perspectives come alive. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders, and more.

Stephanie is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Within fiction, she’s actively seeking diverse and inclusive representation in Upmarket, Commercial, Historical, and Women’s Fiction, in addition to urban and magical fantasies, cozy mysteries, dramatic comedies, light romances, and genre-bending narratives. Within non-fiction, she’s interested in Humor, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Memoir, cultural or event-based History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and essay collections.


Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 1.57.06 PM 1.pngWeronika Janczuk is a literary agent with D4E0 Literary.

Weronika (pronounced like Veronica) broke into publishing in 2009, through a high school workshop that placed me with former young adult editor Brian Farrey at Flux (now North Star), a small imprint in Minnesota, where she pulled, from the slush pile, the lovely Out of the Blue by Holly Schindler, which received a starred review in Booklist. She then moved on to intern with Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management, Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency, and Mary Kole, formerly with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. From 2010-2011, as an undergraduate at NYU, she worked with Bob Diforio and sold an array of projects. Weronika’s parents immigrated from Poland to Canada, where she was born. “I grew up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota; and now I reside in New York City, NY. I studied at New York University’s Gallatin School, where I finished a self-designed degree in the philosophy of the human person. I love Earl Grey tea and lattes, Sudoku, rivers, and pierogi with blueberries. I am also a writer, as are many other agents and editors. I queried my first project when I was 13, and have never queried again, tinkering in silence, perfecting craft, with my current project a science fantasy.

She represents many genres of fiction and nonfiction.

At the 2019 Toronto conference, she is teaching on plotting techniques, and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.




Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 10.31.55 AM.pngAmanda Sun is a published YA author and proud Nerdfighter.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, Amanda is teaching on how to write awesome middle grade & young adult fiction, and doing critiques for attendees.

Amanda is the author of the Paper Gods series, a YA Fantasy set in Japan about dangerous drawings coming to life. She also wrote HEIR TO THE SKY, which was nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel of 2016. She has contributed to several award-winning anthologies, including the Asian SF/F anthology WHERE THE STARS RISE, STRANGERS AMONG US, THE SUM OF US, TESSERACTS FIFTEEN, and SHADES WITHIN US.

Many of her novels and short fiction have been Aurora Award nominees and Junior Library Guild selections, as well as Indigo Top Teen Picks and USA Today features. When not reading or writing, Sun is an avid cosplayer and crafter. She has a degree in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, and will happily write your name for you in Egyptian hieroglyphs if you ask.


Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.16.11 PMChuck Sambuchino (@chucksambuchino) is a freelance editor, best-selling book author, and former longtime staffer for Writer’s Digest Books. For many years he edited the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and the CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET.

At the 2019 Toronto conference, he is teaching many courses on getting published, and critiquing attendee query letters.

His Guide to Literary Agents Blog was one of the largest blogs in publishing, and he wrote the platform guidebook CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK, was optioned by Sony Pictures. Chuck’s books have been mentioned in Reader’s Digest, USA Today, the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Variety, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, New York magazine, and many more media outlets. He is a successful freelance editor of queries, synopses, and manuscripts—seeing dozens of clients get agents or book deals following his consultations/edits. He loves meeting new writers.


Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 1.47.25 PM.pngCarly Watters is a literary agent with P.S. Literary.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, she is teaching on writing nonfiction book proposals, and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.

Carly is currently acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. In terms of fiction, she is seeking women’s fiction, upmarket adult, commercial adult, domestic suspense, literary mystery & thrillers, historical, contemporary romance, and smart book club fiction. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for pop science, business, psychology, cookbooks, unique memoirs, lifestyle (health, wellness, relationships, parenting), narrative, and platform-based nonfiction (must have demonstrable expertise and a quantifiable market).

Carly began her publishing career in London at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen’s University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Since joining PSLA in 2010 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents at PSLA. Representing debuts and bestsellers, Carly is drawn to: emotional, well-paced fiction, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in; and platform-driven nonfiction.

Carly is actively looking for: For fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket and commercial fiction, world Literature, smart Women’s Fiction and Book Club books, Literary Thrillers, LGBT; and nonfiction in the Health, Wellness, Cookbook, Narrative, Lifestyle, Memoir, Humor, Pop Science, Pop Psychology and Business categories.



Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 9.31.22 PM.pngCarolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, she will be teaching on writing awesome mystery & thriller, and also critiquing manuscripts for attendees.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.


Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 3.39.20 PM.pngCecilia Lyra is a literary agent with The Rights Factory.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, she is teaching on finding inspiration as a writer.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University and is completing a graduate certificate in publishing. In 2016, she bid adieu to her life as lawyer and professor of law to become a writer and literary agent. She blames this heretical career move on her nine-year-old-self, who was bitten by the reading bug and began to dream of the day when she would work with books.

Cecilia is actively seeking literary and commercial adult Book Club fiction that feature diverse, layered characters and unexpected plot twists. She adores writers such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Liane Moriarty and Elin Hilderbrand. As a feminist, Cecilia loathes the term women’s fiction—it’s just fiction—but, for the purposes of clarity, that is her favorite genre. Cecilia is also looking for unique and compelling narrative nonfiction and memoirs such as the works of Esther Perel, Roxane Gay and Tara Westover. She is particularly passionate about representing under- or misrepresented voices and stories that contribute to a larger cultural conversation.

When she isn’t devouring novels—or dessert—Cecilia can be found drinking wine, writing her own novels, and snuggling with Babaganoush, her adorable English bulldog. Do not send her a manuscript where the dog dies—Cecilia can’t handle it. Cecilia does not accept submissions for children’s books, middle-grade, YA, or fantasy.



Joyce Grant is a children’s author, editor and freelance journalist. At the 2019 Toronto conference, she is teaching on picture book writing, and also critiquing picture books for attendees.

She’s written two middle grade novels about baseball, and three picture books:

  • Sliding Home (2018, Lorimer)
  • Tagged Out (2016, Lorimer)
  • Gabby (2013, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, illustrated by Jan Dolby)
  • Gabby: Wonder Girl (2016)
  • Gabby: Drama Queen (2013)
  • Learn more about her books here.

“I am also co-founder of the website Teaching Kids News (, which offers free daily kid-friendly news, and I talk to kids about “how to avoid fake news.” I’m passionate advocate of children’s literacy through my blog Getting Kids Reading ( Follow me on Twitter @JGCanada and @teachkidsnews. I am a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, which offers a program that gives discounts to schools hiring TWUC authors. Click here for details about my workshops and click here for details about applying for TWUC’s Ontario Authors in the Schools Program to get discounted rates. I am represented by Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.”


Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.57.13 PM.pngLéonicka Valcius is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, she is teaching on romance writing, and meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.

“I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks.

“In adult and young adult fiction, I like fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. I do not represent mysteries or thrillers.

“In adult nonfiction, I like narrative nonfiction that explains complex issues through the lens of a personal story. I am also seeking books that straddle the self-help/lifestyle line (#selfcare #liveyourbestlife) and the self-help/business line (#productivityhack #riseandgrind).

“For middle grade and younger, I love humour, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. I strongly prefer books with at least one human character.”



Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 2.06.14 PMEve Porinchak is an author, as well as a former literary agent.

At the 2019 Toronto workshop, Eve is offering critiques for attendees. Unlike the other critiquers at the 2019 TWW, Eve will not be at the event on Aug. 17. Instead she will be doing her critiques with attendees via phone or Skype, and will email her formal notes/critiques.

Since earning degrees in Biology and Psychology from UCLA, Eve has lived all over the planet and spent much of her time in and out of jail – as a creative writing teacher for teen inmates. A former agent with Jill Corcoran Literary Agency, Eve also attended medical school, served as a social worker with foster youth and homeless populations, and taught everything from first grade to college courses.

Eve writes stories featuring youth she feels have been underrepresented in children’s literature, such as those born into gang life, the abandoned, and the incarcerated who – ironically – have the most fascinating tales to tell. Her first book, the critically acclaimed ONE CUT – a haunting nonfiction story with a juvenile justice bent – launched Simon and Schuster’s new young adult true crime line, Simon True.


ZtuK1lJt_400x400.jpegNita Pronovost is the editorial director at Simon & Schuster Canada.

At the 2019 Toronto event, she is teaching on revision and how to get your work ready for an agent. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitches.

Nita is Vice President, Editorial Director at Simon & Schuster Canada. Previous to that, she was a senior editor at Penguin Random House Canada. Past and present bestselling fiction authors include Ruth Ware, Santa Montefiore, Paula Hawkins, Linwood Barclay, Joy Fielding, Amy Stuart and Iain Reid. Past and present nonfiction bestselling authors include musicians Alan Doyle and Tegan and Sara, comedians Russell Peters and Gerry Dee, poet Rupi Kaur, artist Robert Bateman, astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, TV personality Kevin O’Leary, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin, and former U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman.

Genres she will accept pitches in: women’s commercial fiction (thrillers, generational sagas, domestic dramas), historical fiction, hard-hitting memoirs (usually female-led, hard-hitting emotional dramas about interesting lives lived), pop-culture nonfiction.