Presenters & Instructors

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

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 10.53.36 AMA former first grade teacher and school librarian, Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 168 traditionally published children’s books, with a focus on reaching reluctant readers.

At the 2019 TN workshop, she she will be teaching on creating awesome characters, and the business of writing. She is also doing critiques for attendees.

Her first book, co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots became The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series with sales of over 42 million. The Narwhal Problem is the newest in Debbie’s Mermaid Tales multi-cultural series from Simon and Schuster.

Debbie has lived in many states, but now resides in a log cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. She visits schools around the world and speaks to adults at conferences about writing for children. She also recently hosted a Facebook Live video series called Writing Comes Alive, which is available free on



Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 3.23.45 PM.pngBrian A. Klems (@BrianKlems) is the former online editor of 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 April 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.

Along with teaching at the 2019 event, Brian is offering query critiques for attendees.


screen shot 2019-01-20 at 11.26.38 amJessica Burkhart is the author of the best-selling 20-book Canterwood Crest series with over 1 million copies in print in multiple languages. The first book in the Canterwood series, TAKE THE REINS, published in 2009 when Jess was 22 years old. Her other works include the four-book Unicorn Magic series and the stand-alone YA novel WILD HEARTS. She made her editorial debut with Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles, which is an anthology about mental health. The anthology includes essays from Maureen Johnson, Melissa Marr, and Ellen Hopkins, among others.

Jess has presented at multiple conferences often as keynote speaker. She’s spoken at the Tallahassee Writers Conference, Chattanooga’s YA-hoo Fest, Oklahoma Writers Federation Conference, Missouri Writers Guild Conference, the Target Children’s Stage at the Decatur Book Festival and Book Expo America. Tweet her @JessicaBurkhart.

At the 2019 Tennessee Writing Workshop, Jessica will be teaching on Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction as well as publicity and marketing for writers. She is also offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.


Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 11.22.38 PM.pngRobert McClure read pulp fiction as a kid when he should have been studying but ultimately cracked down enough to obtain a B.A. in criminology from Murray State University and a law degree from the University of Louisville. He gained his first glimpses into the criminal mind while working with the justice system in college and still cannot avert his eyes.

He is now an attorney and writer who lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky. His novel Deadly Lullaby was a finalist for the 2015 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Original eBook.

His short stories have appeared in Hardboiled, Thug Lit and Plots With Guns, and his first published story, “Harlan’s Salvation,” seen in MudRock Stories & Tales, placed in the “Other Distinguished Stories” category of Best American Mystery Stories 2005. His story “My Son,” originally published in Thug Lit, Issue 28, was one of twenty reprinted in Best American Mystery Stories 2009.

At the 2019 TN workshop, he is teaching on writing mystery & thriller, and doing critiques for attendees.


Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She specializes in historical, whether in young adult, women’s fiction and romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. Cate seeks the following nonfiction categories: narrative, history, film, TV, theatre, pop culture, and music. She also seeks the following fiction genres: historical, commercial, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult. 

At the Nashville event, Cate will be teaching a course on writing and publishing Historical Fiction.


Caroline GeorgeCaroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite.

At the 2019 workshop, she is teaching on pitches and query letters.

She is a generalist, and seeks many genres of fiction, including: picture books, middle grade contemporary, middle grade sci-fi/fantasy, YA contemporary, YA sci-fi/fantasy, historical, women’s, mystery, thriller, romance, adult science fiction and fantasy, Christian/inspirational fiction, horror literary fiction, and mainstream fiction.

Regarding nonfiction, she likes memoir, inspirational, self-help, and socially relevant titles.

Caroline commits her time and energy to telling stories in their many forms. As a Belmont University graduate with a double-major in publishing and public relations, Caroline aims to pursue a career committed to helping authors, publishers and organizations project their stories to their publics. She spends her time blogging, writing for various magazines and authoring young adult fiction books (her current publications include “The Prime Way Trilogy” and “The Vestige”). She considers herself a not-so-southern Georgia peach, coffee-junkie, bona fide goofball and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.”


Weronika Janczuk is a literary agent with D4E0 Literary.

At the 2019 workshop, she will be teaching on plotting and pacing, and also meeting with writers for one-on-one pitches.

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.”

“Human nature fascinates me, and I am drawn to stories that share the rawness and truth of what is and what is possible. I love beautiful writers, worlds, characters; smart, quirky and genre-bending stories. I love underdogs, and stories about characters that rise above limitations. I love romance, whether genre- or element-wise, that is visceral in its rawness. I love dark contours, intense in their immediacy, and world-building that catches your breath with its precision and distinctness. I am very much a reader that likes to be challenged, and expanded; very carefully constructed projects, which reveal a writer’s capacities, are most often those that awaken my heart and mind. I would prefer to work with writers eager to grow in their skill as novelists and build long-term, sustainable careers.”


Screen Shot 2019-07-25 at 8.26.28 PM.pngSusan Eaddy writes picture books and plays with clay in her attic studio. She is the SCBWI’s Midsouth Regional Advisor. She’s been a judge for the Audies for 11 years, was an art director for 15, and has won 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. Her books include Eenie Meenie Halloweenie (Harper Collins, 2020), Poppy’s Best Paper and Poppy’s Best Babies (Charlesbridge), My Love for You is the Sun, and Papa Fish’s Lullaby.

Her clay artwork appears regularly in Babybug, Ladybug, Click, and Spider magazines. She’s on the SCBWI Bologna Team and has done school visits all over the world, including in Taiwan, Brazil, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the U.S.!

At the 2019 event, Susan will be teaching a course on picture book writing and publishing.