PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT OR EDITOR:
These one-on-one meetings at the 2020 Writing Workshop of Chicago are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind. More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
Beth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking mainstream/commercial fiction, family sagas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. For young adult, she seeks contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Beth is also starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. Learn more about Beth here.
Emmy Nordstrom Higdon is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. For YA and adult fiction: “While atmospheric stories with lots of plot twists are my favourites, I’m eager to read literary fiction, feminist thrillers, book club, #OwnVoices, millennial, dark fantasy, paranormal horror, contemporary Gothic, and magical realism.” For YA and adult nonfiction, “my interests include memoir, deep dive journalistic accounts, investigative true crime, activism, essay collections, and progressive political and social commentary. Learn more about Emmy here.
Kerry Sparks is a literary agent with Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. With a love for all these mediums of storytelling, she gravitates toward books that have a cinematic feel or visual element that lend to film or television adaptation. She primarily represents fiction, with a specific focus on novels for teens and young adults but regardless of age is always on the hunt for books that combine a solid hook and great writing and that have an undeniably fresh yet relatable voice. She also represents a select list of nonfiction writers. Learn more about Kerry here.
Alicia Clancy is an editor with Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon. Lake Union Publishing seeks absorbing works of contemporary and historical fiction for voracious readers. This includes literary fiction, mainstream fiction, upmarket / book club fiction, historical fiction, contemporary/domestic suspense, and women’s fiction. Learn more about Alicia here.
Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.” Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist. New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept. “A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.” Learn more about Leah here.
Lindsey Smith is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. Lindsey is interested in cookbooks, lifestyle, health, pop culture, gender issues, self-help, true crime, and current events. She is especially interested in podcast-to-book ideas, journalists who specialize in specific research, and cookbooks that have a niche and/or narrative voice. Please do not pitch diet books. Lindsey is excited to work with first-time authors as well as those who are established. She is seeking nonfiction only, specifically prescriptive nonfiction that is compelling, and voice-driven, with the ability to shed light on a topic that might be unknown. She especially loves projects and people that bring humor to serious situations. Learn more about Lindsey here.
Dan Cramer is a literary agent with Flannery Literary. He is seeking: picture books with great rhythm, fiction and nonfiction (no rhyming please); middle grade adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy; young adult contemporary (rom-coms), science fiction, dystopian, historical fiction, and thrillers; and LGBTQIA+ themes. Learn more about Dan here.
Chrysa Keenon is a literary agent with CYLE Literary. She is seeking: For adult novels, she seeks humorous romance, LGBTQ+ romance, and low fantasy. In young adult, she seeks humorous/lighthearted contemporary romance, fantasy LGBTQ+, diverse romance, magical realism, and stories about characters from marginalized backgrounds. She also will consider fairytale retellings/spinoffs and middle grade fantasy. Learn more about Chrysa here.
Alice Speilburg is the founding literary agent of Speilburg Literary Agency. She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics.” In fiction, she represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics on her agent page), upmarket genre fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror. Learn more about Alice here.
Emma Hintzen is an assistant editor at Sourcebooks. Emma is seeking: Kids’ nonfiction (board books, picture books, and middle grade) that is commercial and entertaining for both kids and parents, offers a unique perspective, gives voice to people and topics that are underrepresented in kid lit, or hits a unique or overlooked need. Learn more about Emma here.
Kerstin Wolf is a literary agent with D4EO Literary. She is seeking a wide variety of middle grade books, including fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, horror, and graphic novels. She is seeking a wide variety of young adult books, including fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, historical with magical elements, some steampunk, “geeky” contemporary romance, and graphic novels. For new adult and adult fiction, she seeks fantasy, women’s fiction, and romantic stories. Learn more about Kerstin here.
Stacy Abrams is the editorial director of Entangled Amara and Entangled Teen, the two print imprints of Entangled Publishing. In teen fiction, she is seeking contemporary coming-of-age/romance, contemporary mystery/thriller, trope-driven short romances (particularly those set in high schools), romantic comedies, and accessible fantasy or paranormal. In adult fiction, she seeks contemporary romance (specifically weddings, cowboys, holiday, babies), political thrillers, and literary women’s fiction (particularly “ripped from the headlines” issues). Learn more about Stacy here.
Alexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking beautifully written young adult fiction (realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but stories that include magic, space, or science are not for her). She loves coming-of-age tales; stories that explore culture, race, sexuality, and identity; and literature from diverse and underrepresented voices. She represents all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children’s picture books and middle grade books. In adult fiction, she is “open to most genres, but category romance, or heavy mystery/horror/thriller stories are not for me. Books that are written in or include uses of uncommon formats (uses of letters, screenplay, photos, poetry, or collection of short stories or essays) is another unique quality I look for.” Learn more about Alexandra here.
Emily Clark Victorson is the co-founder and publisher of Allium Press of Chicago. 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. Learn more about Emily here.
Anna Michels is an associate editor at Sourcebooks. She is seeking commercial/mainstream literary fiction with interesting settings and a strong narrative voice (such as Burial Rites by Hannah Kent and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman); mystery (particularly historical and crossover literary—think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger) and psychological suspense; and memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling. She can take pitches on behalf of other Sourcebooks editors for young adult books, adult romance, and nonfiction gift books. Learn more about Anna here.
Alyssa Roat is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She is seeking: any kind of young adult (but especially fantasy and speculative), middle grade fiction (any kind), fantasy, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, unique historical fiction, all kinds of children’s picture books (nonfiction or STEM elements are great), some nonfiction (large platform only), occasional Christian titles, and a rare thriller/mystery/suspense. Learn more about Alyssa here.
Jonathan Westmark is an editor at Albert Whitman & Company. Early in his career, he bounced between a fashion media publisher in New York and literary presses in Minnesota before finding his home in children’s publishing. He acquires fiction and nonfiction in the following categories: picture Books, early readers, chaoter books, middle grade (contemporary, historical), and young adult (all genres). Learn more about Jonathan here.
Stephanie Hansen is a literary agent and founder of Metamorphosis Literary. Stephanie enjoys prose that flows as smoothly as poetry, unforgettable plot twists, and well-rounded characters. She is actively acquiring thrillers (YA & Adult). She is also on the hunt for the following on behalf of her fellow Metamorphosis agents: #OwnVoices, picture books (STEAM), middle grade (STEAM), young adult (contemporary, mystery, & SFF), romance (any kind), adult science fiction & fantasy. cozy mystery, women’s fiction, LGBTQ+, literary fiction, and nonfiction (stories rooting for the underdog). She is most interested in fiction with unexpected antagonists. (She is representing her agency in replacement of Mark William Norby, who was previously scheduled but is no longer attending.) Learn more about Stephanie here.
More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings.)