Meet The Judges (9.15.20)

Meet the Judges

Literary Manager & Producer Marilyn R. Atlas,
of Marilyn Atlas Management

Marilyn has long been committed to diversity and portrayal of strong female protagonists. She’s the producer of the HBO Sundance winning film “Real Women Have Curves” and “The Choking Game” on Lifetime, among other films. Marilyn also produced several plays including the award winning “To Gillian on her 37​th​ Birthday” (Ashman Menken), “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater,” as well as “Detained in the Desert” at the Guadalupe Theater in San Antonio, among other plays. She has spoken at numerous writers’ conferences throughout the US and Europe. She’s currently developing projects based on diverse characters such as the Gary Phillips crime books, the award-winning middle school book series, “The Code Busters Club” for television, a limited series in conjunction with Maten, a Chinese-based production company, and a TV project based on the manuscript, Trouble With Dreamers. She is the co-author of a relationship-based, screenwriting guide called Dating Your Character (Stairway Press, Fall 2016).

Publishers David LeGere and Colin Hosten
of Woodhall Press

David LeGere is a publishing professional with over twelve years of experience in the US, specializing in the trade nonfiction, gift, and outdoor markets. He has worked with a vast network of industry professionals and published hundreds of titles, ranging from recent celebrated nonfiction like Fast Funny Women , a hilarious collection of nonfiction essays edited by Gina Barreca with notable contributors like “Judge Judy” Sheindlin, Susan Shapiro, and Fay Weldon, to award-winning fiction like The Astronaut’s Son, Foreword Indie Award winner and CT Book Prize finalist by Tom Seigel. He holds multiple degrees in writing and publishing, and he is also a dedicated English professor. For more information visit him at or

Colin Hosten is a writer and teacher with a diverse professional background that includes children’s book publishing and digital media. He is also a former Councilmember and current at-large member of the Board of Education in the City of Norwalk, Connecticut. Colin graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, and his work has appeared most recently in such outlets as The Essay Review , Essay Daily, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Spry Literary , Thought Catalog , OUT Magazine , and the Brevity blog. Originally from Trinidad, he studied English Literature at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, before earning his first graduate degree, in Publishing, at NYU. After eight years in Editorial at the Disney Children’s Book Group, Colin shifted gears to become a lecturer in the undergraduate Core Writing program at Fairfield University. He is also a partner at the publishing start-up, Woodhall Press. He continues to freelance as a children’s book writer and editor.

Publicist Steve Rohr
of Lexicon Public Relations

Steve is a widely-recognized Communication expert, bestselling author, TEDx speaker and the Show Publicist for the Academy Awards. As a Communication expert, Steve has made over a hundred TV, radio and other media appearances in the US, Canada and UK. He is a contributor to Backstage magazine, the premiere career resource for actors and performers. Steve co-authored the bestselling how-to book “Scared Speechless: 9 Ways to Overcome Your Fears and Captivate Your Audience”, which won a 2016 Foreword Reviews “Book of the Year” Award. A Canadian/American, Steve divides his time between Los Angeles and Toronto.

Literary Agent Ken Sherman
of Ken Sherman & Associates

Ken is president of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency ( The company was established in 1989 and handles book, film, television, and stage writers as well as selling film, television, and stage rights for books and life-rights. An agent for more than twenty years, Ken has accumulated an impressive list of clients, present and past including a few estates, with notable names such as David Guterson, Anne Perry, Franz Kafka, Willa Cather, John Updike, Starhawk, and Eleanor Roosevelt. He has taught and lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount University, both in New Orleans and Los Angeles, The Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference, the American Film Institute, The San Francisco Writers Conference, The Maui Writers Conference, The Kauai Writers Conference, The University of Oklahoma, The Santa Fe Writers Conference, The La Jolla Writers Conference, The Novelists, Inc. Conference in San Diego, The Chautauqua Institute, The Aspen Institute, the Aspen Summers Words Writers Conference, and The Eugene International Film Festival, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Creative Strategist and Publicist Ben Tanzer
of HEFT Creative Strategies


Ben Tanzer , Principal, HEFT Creative Strategies, is an Emmy-award winning coach, creative strategist, podcaster, writer, teacher, and social worker who has been helping nonprofits, publishers, authors, small businesses, and career changers tell their stories for 20 plus years. He is the author of the soon-to-be-re-released short story collection UPSTATE and several award-winning books, including the science fiction novel Orphans and the essay collections Lost in Space: A
Father’s Journey There and Back Again and Be Cool – a memoir (sort of). He also a lover of all things book, taco, Gin and street art .