2023 CWW Faculty Bios

Swati Hegde is a desi adult romance and YA author. By day, she’s a mindset coach and freelance editor. She is also a self-proclaimed coffee shop enthusiast who lives in Bangalore, India, and can usually be found at the nearest café with a hot mug of tea.

At the 2023 CWW, Swati is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

Swati is represented by Rachel Beck at Liza Dawson Associates. Her debut romantic comedy novel MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is out 2024 from Ballantine Bantam Dell, Penguin Random House.

“I write funny romance novels featuring strong heroines, sweet-as-honey heroes, and happily-ever-afters that will make you tear up and laugh all at once. Oh, and did I mention they’re all desi characters? I live in Bangalore, India, and my writing always centers people like me living in my home country. Right now, I’m working on MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, my desi romantic comedy out 2024 from Random House, ft. an aspiring matchmaker heroine, a pub owner hero, and tons of mis-matchmaking and misunderstandings.” See her website here.


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 CINCYWW, 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. 


Shelli R. Johannes is the author of 18 books (out and forthcoming). She is the coauthor (with Kimberly Derting) of the popular CECE LOVES SCIENCE series and PENNY (An Engineering Tale of the Fourth Pig). In addition to her tween and teen novels, she is also the author of the THEO THESAURUS series and SHINE LIKE A UNICORN. Her new chapter book in Chelsea Clinton’s “She Persisted” series on FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE comes out in March 2023. See all her kids books here and all her teen novels here.

At the 2023 CINCYWW, Shelli is offering add-on manuscript critiques for attendees.

Shelli can often be found on highways and country roads saving strays and other jaywalking critters or volunteering with animal conservation groups. After earning a master’s to follow her passion of writing.

She lives in Atlanta with her own pack of unicorns: a British husband, two teens, two Goldendoodles, one sassy bird, and the many loud characters that “live” in her head. Shelli is addicted to exclamation points, puns, unicorns, and anything sciencey. You can always count on her to laugh at her own jokes, at least once.


Jeri Fay Maynard is the author of a variety of books (children, YA, Adult, Independent Comic) but they all have one thing in common- STORY!

All her works take the reader deep into the world of her imagination filled with characters who feel real and are facing difficult choices. She invites you to join the journey!

Make sure you check out Octavia and the Bug Problem (Pen It Press), Panda Girl (Amazon), Wolfe (FreeStyle Komics) and Taijitsu Gates (FreeStyle Komics) as well as a variety of short stories in anthologies including Café Macabre 2 with Leah McNaughton Lederman (editor/publisher).


Wendy Vogel is a veterinarian, board game designer, cancer survivor, and marathon runner.

She’s the author of 2022’s gothic horror novel Trouble the Water (Journalstone), along with sci-fi horror The Risen (Outland Entertainment), sci-fi series Horizon Alpha (Future House), and the romantic fantasy Stones of the Seven series as Allison Rook.

A former president of Cincinnati Fiction Writers, she is represented by Alice Speilburg of Alice Speilburg Literary Agency. At the 2023 CINCYWW, Wendy is a speaker / presenter.

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