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.

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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. 

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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 online TNWW, Shelli is teaching a speech on how to utilize both traditionally publishing and self-publishing. She is also 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.

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