Miriam Altshuler

Miriam Altshuler began her career at Russell & Volkening and in 1994 established her own agency, which she ran for twenty-one years until she joined DeFiore in 2016. She focuses primarily on literary and book club fiction, narrative nonfiction, and children’s literature. Among the novelists she represents are Jill Santopolo, (bestselling author of The Light We Lost), Elizabeth Rosner, Jenny Fran Davis (Dykette), Donna Freitas (The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano and memoir, Consent), Jennifer Murphy, and the late Robb Forman Dew. Her nonfiction authors include Leila Philip (author of Beaverland), Maya Lang (author of the New York Times Editors’ Pick What We Carry: A Memoir), Andrew Carroll (bestselling author of War Letters), Adina Hoffman (winner of an inaugural Windham Campbell prize), Dr. Sue Johnson (clinical psychologist and bestselling author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense), Harriet Brown, and Phil Zuckerman. Miriam also represents authors of middle grade and young adult literature, including National Book Award Finalist Leslie Connor, Lambda Award winner Alex Sanchez, and the late Walter Dean Myers, who served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Miriam is particularly interested in finding emerging and underrepresented voices, and she loves reading and representing books that focus on diversity and explore the experiences of people of color.

Photo: Cynthia DelConte

Michael V. Carlisle

Michael Carlisle, a founder of InkWell Management, has been involved with the Community of Writers for many years. His fiction and nonfiction client list includes prize-winning as well as debut authors. A former director of the Association of Author’s Representatives, a not-for-profit organization of independent literary and dramatic agents, Michael is an active member of PEN. He directs the Nonfiction Program of the Community of Writers and serves on the Board of Directors.  http://inkwellmanagement.com/staff/michael-v.-carlisle

Mary Melton

Mary Melton is an award-winning writer, editor, and podcaster based in Los Angeles who runs an editorial consultancy firm, Smakdab. The former editor-in-chief of Los Angeles magazine, where she garnered 12 National Magazine Award nominations and three wins, she now serves as Editorial Director at the design-strategy firm Godfrey Dadich Partners and as Editor-at-Large for Alta Journal, the award-winning quarterly publication about California and the West. She is a producer and correspondent on the WorkLab podcast from Microsoft and launched the California Book Club, a monthly interview series with prominent writers of the West, for Alta Journal. marymeltonla.com [NF/M]

Photo: Bryan Derballa

Maceo Montoya

Maceo Montoya is an author, visual artist, and educator who has published books in a variety of genres, including four works of fiction: The Scoundrel and the Optimist, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, You Must Fight Them: A Novella and Stories, and Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces. Montoya has also published two works of nonfiction: Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essays, and Chicano Movement for Beginners, which he both wrote and illustrated. Montoya is a professor of Chicana/o Studies and English at the University of California, Davis where he teaches courses on Chicanx culture, literature, and creative writing. He is the editor of the literary magazine Huizache and lives in Woodland, CA. [F/NF]

Photo: Alejandra Pérez

Tara Parsons

Tara Parsons is the Vice President, Deputy Publisher for the East Coast imprints of the HarperOne Group at HarperCollins Publishers. She is responsible for overseeing the marketing departments for four of the HarperOne Group’s imprints: Amistad, HarperCollins Español, HarperVia, and Martin Luther King Jr. Library. In addition, Tara acquires and edits her own list of titles. Her recent books include Jenna Book Club Pick Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding, Indies Introduce Pick and Andrew Carnegie shortlisted Greenland by David Santos Donaldson, and Indie Next and Amerie Book Club Pick Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda. She currently serves on the Board of Words Without Borders and works as an Adjunct Professor at NYU. Prior to HarperCollins, Tara worked as Editor-in-Chief of Touchstone Books at Simon & Schuster and Editorial Director of Fiction at Amazon Publishing.

Geoff Shandler

Geoff Shandler is the former editor in chief of Little, Brown and a former editorial director at HarperCollins. A stay-at-home dad since Covid hit, he has been independently editing books published by Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and W.W. Norton. He began his publishing life in 1993 at Random House, and among the authors he has edited since are John le Carré, Sarah Perry, Jonathan Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell, Mary Gabriel, Karina Longworth, Luis Alberto Urrea, William Least Heat-Moon, Bob Spitz, J. Wallace Nichols, Wendy Pearlman, David W. Brown, Brian Castleberry, Nathan Englander and John Markoff. He still edits on paper. (Hermitage 510 tipped pencils and Tombow Sand 510A erasers, if you’re curious.) He was a judge for the 2022 Whiting Awards and has served as a grant evaluator for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born in New Mexico, he went to school in New Haven, worked in New Hampshire, lived in New York, and now resides in New Jersey. 2023 will be his third time participating in the Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshops.

Peter Steinberg

Peter Steinberg was an agent at Fletcher & Company until its 2023 purchase by the the Hollywood talent agency United Talent Agency (UTA). Now he is an agent at UTA. He has represented numerous New York Times bestsellers (including three #1 New York Times bestsellers) and clients have been nominated for or awarded Edgars, The Pulitzer Prize, The Story Prize, The Paris Review Discovery Prize, PEN/Faulkner and National Book Awards. Most recently, The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont was selected for Reese’s Book Club, and The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. His list includes narrative non-fiction, commercial and literary fiction, memoir, self-help, history, pop culture, humor, and sports. Several of his authors have had their books made into major motion pictures, including Towelhead and I Love You Phillip Morris. Steinberg is a graduate of NYU film school and worked briefly in the film business prior to becoming a literary agent.

Andrew Tonkovich

Andrew Tonkovich edits the West Coast literary magazine Santa Monica Review, and well as the new online literary arts quarterly Citric Acid. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, OC Weekly, Ecotone, Fautline, Juked, ZYZZYVA and Best American Nonrequired Reading. With Lisa Alvarez he edited Orange County: A Literary Field Guide, and is the author of the fiction collections The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fulfillment in the Noughties and Keeping Tahoe Blue and Other Provocations. He is the founding editor of the Community of Writers’ online journal The OG Quarterly.

Photo Credit: Brett Hall Jones

Oscar Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor at ZYZZYVA, a recipient of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize in 2022. His writing has been published in Stranger’s Guide, Freeman’s, The Believer, Literary Hub, and other publications. He lives with his family in San Francisco.

Photo credit: Jessi Tran