Presenters & Instructors

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


Jennifer Johnson-Blalock founded HYPHEN Editing in 2017. She was previously a literary agent at Liza Dawson Associates, where she sold works of women’s fiction, young adult fiction, and narrative nonfiction to major publishers. Jennifer has also worked as an agent’s assistant at Trident Media Group.

At the 2023 PWW, Jennifer is offering virtual add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

Jennifer graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before working in publishing, she practiced entertainment law and taught high school English and debate.

Jennifer started HYPHEN because she believes that in a rapidly changing publishing industry, the smartest thing authors can do is to put forth the best possible version of their work. With her experience in New York publishing and knowledge of effective teaching practices, Jennifer can help writers do just that. 


Suzanne Mattaboni is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer of women’s fiction and horror. She’s a podcaster, Newsweek Expert Forum contributor, and former Newsday reporter. Her 2022 debut novel Once in a Lifetime is the winner of a Pencraft award and a Paris Book Festival award.

Suzanne has been published in Seventeen, The Huffington Post, Mysterious Ways,, Motherwell, and Child. Her work has appeared in anthologies including the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, Pizza Parties and Poltergeists, the Scars anthology, and the upcoming new wave “fanthology” Howard Jones – We’re In This Together. Suzanne is a past winner of Seventeen magazine’s Art and Fiction Contest and a National Council of Teachers of English Award, and was named one of Lehigh Valley Business’ “Women of Influence” in 2022. She won honorable mention in the 2018 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and was named a finalist in the 2018 New Millennium literary awards. She was editor for the 2021 Writes of Passage anthology, which hit #17 in Amazon’s anthology category and won a first place designation from the BookFest Awards.

At the 2023 PWW, Suzanne is teaching a class. She is also coordinating the day’s volunteers from the local PennWriters chapter.


Julie Eshbaugh is a published novelist. She lives with her husband and fur babies in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

At the 2023 PWW, Julie is teaching. She is also offering add-on in-person critiques for attendees.

Early on, she focused her artistic energies on filmmaking and online video. Julie made two short films and spent several years producing a web series for teens that became an early YouTube hit and received several honors from the Webby Awards. Julie’s latest YA fantasy, Crown of Oblivion, was released by HarperTeen in November 2019. She is also the author of Ivory and Bone, (HarperTeen 2016) and its sequel, Obsidian and Stars (HarperTeen 2017.)

Julie is a member of the group writing blog Pub(lishing) Crawl. You can also add Julie on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.


S.Z. Estavillo is a writing coach, social media instructor, and former literary agent.

At the 2023 PWW, she is virtually critiquing manuscripts as an add-on for conference attendees.

She has a master’s degree in television, radio, and film and a bachelor’s degree in film. She has also worked with studios and agencies critiquing manuscripts and greenlighting film screenplays.

“My specialty is directing content from concept through completion. I have extensive professional writing experience that marries well with content direction, management, strategy, and social media marketing. The content creation, production process, and utilizing social media for marketing are what I absolutely love to do. I not only direct, write, create multi-media and social content for companies but also in my free time because it is my passion.”


Gregory Frost is the author of Shadowbridge–an ALA Best Fantasy Novel pick. He is an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. His latest novel, Rhymer, set in 12th century Scotland, is the first in a three-book series, just out from Baen Books in June 2022.

At the 2023 PWW, Gregory is teaching a class. He is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

His collaborative SF short story with late author Bill Johnson, “Boomerang,” (their 3rd together) is in the May/June issue of Asimov’s Magazine. Frost has won an Asimov Readers Award (with Michael Swanwick) and been a finalist for Best Novel and/or Best Short Story for the World Fantasy, Stoker, Nebula, Hugo, James Tiptree, International Horror Guild and Theodore Sturgeon Awards.

He taught the Fiction Writing Workshop at Swarthmore College for eighteen years, and is a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club.


Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.40.30 PM.pngGabrielle Prendergast is the bestselling author of numerous books for children and teens. She is the author of many books for kids (young adult, middle grade, and picture books).

She studied at the University of New South Wales in Australia, at San Francisco State University and the University of British Columbia. After years of working in the music industry, in social welfare, and the film industry, Gabrielle began writing books when she became a mother, so she could work from home. Her books have received nominations for the White Pine Award, the Canadian Library Association Award, the Vancouver Book Prize and several other honors. She won the BC Book Prize for her YA sci-fi Zero Repeat Forever and the Westchester Award for her YA novel in verse Audacious. Born in the UK and both an Australian and New Zealand citizen, Gabrielle now lives in East Vancouver in a permanent state of “under-construction”.

At the 2023 PWW event, she is offering virtual critiques for attendees as an add-on element for attendees.


Lindsey Smith is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary.

At the 2023 PWW, Lindsey is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitch meetings.

Lindsey Smith got her start in the publishing industry as an author. After her own publishing success, she started working with other writers to help launch their books and shape their careers. To date, Lindsey has worked with over 1,000 authors and negotiated book deals even before becoming an agent. Her unique perspective helps shape her passion for the industry and her role as an advocate for her clients.

Formerly a publicist and hailing from the world of self-publishing, Lindsey understands the importance of branding, and she works with each client not only to sell a book but to build a career.

Lindsey is excited to work with first-time authors as well as those who are established. She is seeking nonfiction only, specifically prescriptive nonfiction that is compelling, and voice-driven, with the ability to shed light on a topic that might be unknown. She especially loves projects and people that bring humor to serious situations.

Lindsey is interested in cookbooks, lifestyle, health, pop culture, gender issues, self-help, true crime, and current events. She is especially interested in podcast-to-book ideas, journalists who specialize in specific research, and cookbooks that have a niche and/or narrative voice. Please do not send diet books.


Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, with a love for young adult books, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction.

At the 2023 PWW, Eric is teaching a class. He is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitch meetings.

He’s worked on award-winning and New York Times bestselling titles, and began his publishing career at Quirk Books. A frequent blogger, his ramblings about books and the publishing industry regularly appear on Book Riot, Paste Magazine, and Publishing Crawl. He also occasionally writes books when he finds the time, like his latest, Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press).

Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), middle grade, and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of non-fiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, middle grade, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas.


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

At the 2023 PWW, Michelle is teaching a class. She is also meeting with attendees for one-on-one pitch meetings.

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.