[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS]
Joanna Mackenzie is a literary agent with Nelson Literary.
She is seeking: “I’m looking for the epic read that, at its center, beats with a universal heart. In particular, I’m drawn to smart and timely women’s fiction, as well as absorbing, character-driven mysteries and thrillers – both, ideally, with a little edge. I have a weird obsession with, what I call, ‘child in jeopardy lit’ and can’t get enough kick-ass mom heroines. On the YA side, I’m interested in coming-of-age stories that possess a confident voice and characters I can’t stop thinking about.”
“I owe my love of books to the librarian of my childhood bookmobile, who, after I had worked my way through The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High, lifted the velvet rope and let me in to the grown-up section, where I discovered V.C. Andrews. And to my father, who gifted me Cat’s Cradle, Wuthering Heights, and One Hundred Years of Solitude for my 15th birthday. In 2002, I got my start in publishing at a Chicago-based literary agency and while there, I successfully placed numerous manuscripts that have gone on to become critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling novels. I love working with authors who embrace the full publishing process (read: love revisions) and am committed to the stories my clients want to tell both with the words they put on paper, as well as with the careers they build. Originally from Poland, and by way of Canada, I’m all about narratives that deal with the themes of identity and the immigrant experience as well as those that delve into all aspects of the relationships that make us who we are – parents, siblings, best friends, and first love.”
Sarah Louise Gorman is currently a script/literary with literary agency Cyle Young Literary Elite.
At C.Y.L.E., she is the resident screenwriting specialist and deals with all the agency’s screenplays and TV pilots. She also manages the screenwriting-focused client submissions, client relationships, networking, and pitching. Sarah takes screenwriting pitches and, occasionally, novel pitches. The only novels she’s interested in is middle grade novels (any type).
Sarah is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and writing student, studying professional writing and screenwriting through Taylor University, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and UCLA. Winner of eight Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Sarah has won recognition for novels, flash fiction, short stories, essays, poems, drabbles, and portfolio work. Most recently, she received the Brimstone Fiction Editor’s Choice Award for her novel Iniquity and 3rd place in the Jerry B. Jenkins Short Story Contest.
Emily Clark Victorson is the co-founder and publisher of Allium Press of Chicago.
After receiving degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Michigan, Emily moved to the Chicago area, where she has lived for over twenty-five years. Prior to starting Allium Press, she worked as a librarian, historian, and book designer for such organizations as the Newberry Library, the Chicago History Museum, and History Works, Inc.
Allium Press was founded in 2009 as a small, independent press and
publishes literary fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, middle grade, and
young adult fiction — all with a Chicago connection.
Anna Michels is an editor with Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark. Unfortunately, she can no longer attend the conference.
Dan Cramer is a literary agent with Flannery Literary.
He is seeking:
- PB with great rhythm (no rhyming)
- Middle grade — Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
- Young adult Contemporary (Rom-coms), Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Historical Fiction
- New adult Contemporary, Thrillers, Historical Fiction (protagonists should be in college or college aged)
He is not seeking nonfiction.
“My love of reading started when I was young with The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved that I could escape into a world where magic and adventure existed. That love of books grew and has followed me into adulthood. Some of my best friends and greatest loves, through the years, have been fictional characters. They have inspired and motivated me in almost every facet of my life, from my first career as a Forensic Scientist with the FBI to an Associate Literary Agent with Flannery Literary. While I love all books, my heart beats for Children’s Literature for many reasons, but the main reason is Children’s Literature, from Picture Books to Young Adult Novels, is fearless. These books and their authors are not afraid to tackle tough topics, to celebrate diversity, or bring awareness to issues that others would turn their backs on. Children’s Literature never ceases to surprise me with its fortitude. I live in Burr Ridge, Illinois with my husband and two rescue dogs, Timmy and Zoe. When I’m not reading, I enjoy the outdoors, horror movies, and baking (and I’m definitely not imagining I’m on the Great British Bake off… I’m totally doing that). Now for the boring stuff: I have two undergraduate degrees from West Virginia University: Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Psychology. I have two graduate degrees from Benedictine University: MBA and MS Management and Organizational Behavior.”