Agents and Editors in Attendance

PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:

These one-on-one virtual Zoom pitch meetings at the online 2022 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 2022 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. We have seen many, many writers sign with agents after connecting after our conferences.

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Rena Rossner is a Literary Agent with The Deborah Harris Agency. Rena is interested in representing: Literary and Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Horror, and Science Fiction and Fantasy. She has a particular love for novels in verse. She accepts queries for Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade and Picture Books projects and also works with illustrators. “You will steal my heart if there is some kind of Middle Eastern, Israeli, or Jewish setting, theme, or character, in any genre, but those are certainly not the only types of books I represent.” Learn more about Rena here.

Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. In young adult as well as adult fiction, she is seeking some fantasy, romantic meet-cute stories, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries, psychological thrillers, fairy tale retellings, espionage/heist, historical fiction and fantasy, social justice inspired stories, romance (ideally interracial or at least something out of the ordinary). In new adult fiction, she seeks romance (again, interracial or at least something out of the ordinary), coming of age, F/F friendship, and books about the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Learn more about Leah here.

Julia Byers is a literary agent with the Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Julia is enthusiastic about working with authors of children’s fiction, spanning picture books through YA, and looks forward to taking on new clients. She is seeking young adult fiction (“I’ll read pretty much anything, as long as it has a strong voice, tight plotting, and a great sense of humor”); middle grade fiction (“I generally tend toward books with a lot of heart, especially humorous mystery and adventure stories”); and picture books (“I prefer fiction, but otherwise my tastes are very open”). “Across all age groups, a priority is working with underrepresented voices. I’m especially interested in stories with incidental diversity, rather than issue-driven books, and happy (or at least bittersweet!) endings.” Learn more about Julia here.

Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric has a love for young adult books, literary fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and non-fiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), Middle Grade, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of non-fiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, Middle Grade, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.

Nephele Tempest is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. “I’m currently seeking submissions in the following genres: women’s contemporary or historical fiction; contemporary or historical single-title romance; adult real-world or secondary-world fantasy; adult science fiction. In all categories/genres, I am looking for stories featuring: Underrepresented characters/diverse POVs, whether by gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.; #ownvoices stories; found families; strong sibling relationships, especially sisters or large families; excellent world building; fish-out-of-water stories; “new” settings, places that have not been overdone; strong writing/prose, distinctive voices, new twists on familiar tropes, and/or high concepts; strong hooks; smart characters who demonstrate blind spots/flaws/their humanity. Learn more about Nephele here.

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights. Concerning what he seeks, Ken is a generalist, and represents adult fiction and nonfiction of all types. He does not want pitches for children’s books or novels of any kind. Learn more about Ken Sherman here.

Debbie Alsdorf is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. Debbie acquires adult nonfiction projects that speak to real life and is looking for proposals in these categories: Christian Living with a bent toward spiritual growth and lifestyle change, Devotionals, Mental Health, Ministry-related, Inner healing and recovery, Health, Marriage and family, Blended family and step-parenting, Lifestyle (décor, home, diet, food), Purpose and identity, Leadership, and Discipleship. Learn more about Debbie here.

Julie Stevenson is a literary agent with Massie McQuilkin Literary Agents. Julie represents literary and upmarket fiction, suspense, memoir, graphic novels, narrative nonfiction, young adult fiction, and children’s picture books. She is drawn to powerful storytelling in these categories and looks for unforgettable characters, an authorial command of voice, a strong sense of narrative tension, and stories that explore the depths of human experience, particularly the many facets of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, social justice, and regional backgrounds. Julie specializes in editorial development of both fiction and nonfiction projects and values the creativity and collaboration of the agent-author relationship. Learn more about Julie here.

Cortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. As a member and advocate of both the LGBT and neurodiverse communities, Cortney adores seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. She is seeking: young adult, new adult, and adult. She is looking for LGBT (particularly F/F), neurodiversity, fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, mythology/fairytale retellings, gothic, paranormal, contemporary, horror, and magical realism. Learn more about Cortney here.

Daniel Cramer is a literary agent and founder of Page Turner Literary. “While I love all books, my heart beats for children’s literature for many reasons, but the main reason is children’s literature 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.” Daniel is seeking picture books (no rhyming please, anything goes for fiction, STEM nonfiction), middle grade (horror, contemporary, adventure, historical, nature guide nonfiction), young adult (horror, contemporary, retellings, historical, romance, nonfiction cookbooks/STEM), graphic novels (horror, contemporary, historical, retelling, mythology), chapter books and early readers (any fiction, nonfiction STEM and historical bios), and diverse voices. Learn more about Daniel here.

Leslie Truex is a literary agent with Blue Ridge Literary Agency. In fiction, she seeks contemporary romance, romantic comedies, romantic suspense, romantic mystery, paranormal, fantasy romance, new adult romance, YA romance, and YA fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks business books, marketing, fitness, success-oriented self-help, and writing/publishing. Learn more about Leslie here.

Ali McDonald is a literary agent with 5 Otter Literary. In twelve years as an international literary agent, Ali has represented many award-winning and bestselling authors and illustrators. Specializing in children’s and young adult literature, she works on projects ranging from concept and novelty books, board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, and graphic novels, to middle grade, young adult, and new adult fiction and nonfiction. Learn more about Ali here.

Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.

Susan Nystoriak is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. As an agent with Golden Wheat, her main focus is on Adult Fiction. Susan is seeking: Susan is seeking authors who write for the Adult readership. RomCom’s, Women’s Fiction, and Mystery/Crime are high on her list! She is drawn to lighter themes, and humor is a plus. She represents authors who word-weave wonderful tales, and whose characters pursue their passions. She is not seeking children’s books of any kind. Learn more about Susan here.

James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I’m looking for both literary and commercial adult fiction. In literary fiction, I’m specifically drawn to visceral honesty coupled with a dark sense of humor. In commercial fiction I’m looking for horror, mystery, and thrillers. My favorite books have distinct and memorable voices that grab the reader’s attention, and a narrative gravity that permeates every action in the story.” Pitch him literary fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, horror, humor, young adult, and short story collections. Learn more about James here.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 6.06.26 PM.pngRae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At 2022 online events, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of her co-agents. Her co-agent Cameron McClure represents a small and select group of authors and specializes in fiction. She is especially looking for projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing. She’s up for anything speculative, and is interested in seeing science-fiction and fantasy, mystery and suspense, horror, and projects with multi-cultural, international, environmental, and LGBTQIA+ themes. Some of Cameron’s clients include Robert McCammon, Robert Jackson Bennett, Ada Palmer, Micaiah Johnson, Jonathan French, S.B. Divya, Molly Tanzer, Andy Marino, Ruthanna Emrys, and Amy Alko. Learn more about Rae here.

Zoe Howard is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Zoe represents adult fiction and nonfiction. Zoe is seeking adult literary and upmarket fiction, and would especially love to see underrepresented voices and places, LGBTQ+ narratives, magical realism, and characters breaking away from archetypes and conventions. In nonfiction, Zoe is seeking narrative nonfiction, memoir, and expert-driven nonfiction about internet culture, music, relationships, religion/spirituality, and true crime. “I am most interested in writing that seeks to break trends: the lyricists writing prose, the southerners writing about the convenience stores and coastal edges of their south, the non-traditional narrators of fiction, and so on.” Learn more about Zoe here.

Anna Michels is the Editorial Director of Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press. In nonfiction, she seeks: A wide variety of prescriptive and narrative nonfiction across categories. Smart, practical nonfiction with a unique, commercial hook and prescriptive elements in self-help, parenting, psychology, health and wellness, and more—particularly books that champion marginalized voices and that will change hearts and minds. On the narrative side: history, true crime, compelling deep dives into fascinating topics, and memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling. I have a personal weakness for travel books and outdoors-related content. In fiction, she seeks: Crime fiction (everything from cozies to thrillers), including crossover literary (think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger) and anything that fans of Tana French, Louise Penny, or Laura Lippman would devour. Learn more about Anna here.

Kortney Price is a literary agent with Raven Quill Literary Agency. “I work primarily on children’s books — stories from board book up through young adult. My tastes in stories are pretty broad, but here’s a rundown of what I’m most excited about seeing in my inbox.  I am committed to building a list that reflects the diversity of our world and so I am passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. I would love to see a vast array of characters and own voices writers writing them. Because of my experience working with the special needs community, I’m especially excited for books featuring all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s.” Kortney seeks all ages of children’s nonfiction and fiction, including picture book, graphic novel, early reader, middle grade, young adult. Learn more about Kortney here.

Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.

Maria Vicente is a Senior Literary Agent and Advisor at P.S. Literary representing bold and innovative books for kids, teens, and curious adults. “I welcome and encourage submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creators whether or not your story is considered #ownvoices.” She is seeking young adult fiction (contemporary, magical realism, horror, mystery, thriller, and light fantasy—just to name a few); middle grade fiction (all genres), chapter books with strong series potential, picture books by author-illustrators, kidlit nonfiction projects for readers of all ages (including smart essay collections and illustrated gift books); and kidlit Graphic Novels for all age categories. Learn more about Maria here.

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.03 AM.pngAmy Levenson is the founding literary agent of Blue Heron Literary. She represents: mainstream literary and commercial fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, and cookery. She is actively seeking nonfiction, especially with topics in heath and nutrition, cookbooks, lifestyle and popular culture. She is especially drawn to new trends or new takes on old favorites, strong voice and dynamic platforms, and is always susceptible to a good solid tug on the heart strings. Learn more about Amy here.

Amy Stern is a literary agent with Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Amy works with clients who write and illustrate all kinds of children’s literature, from picture book through young adult, in poetry, prose, and graphic formats. “I enjoy a little bit of everything, and constantly surprise myself with what I want to take on; I don’t think of myself as someone who’s a big fan of romance or high fantasy or historical fiction, for example, but I can think of several examples of each that really worked for me that I wouldn’t want to rule out. That said, if you have a historical fantasy romance, I’m probably not your best bet. I got my masters degree in children’s literature and I’m passionate about the idea that even the funniest, most lighthearted stories deserve to be taken seriously. If you think of children’s books as something easy to write or illustrate, we probably won’t be a good match.” Learn more about Amy here.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.

Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.

Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.

Ian Shea is a literary agent with Maximus Literary. “My preferred genres are science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery/thriller, dystopian futures, and contemporary LGBTQ+ stories. I tend to lean towards YA and adult novels. I’m not currently looking for middle-grade or picture books. I’m open to both debut authors and writers who’ve been previously published.” He also seeks adventure stories and coming-of-age tales. Learn more about Ian here.

Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency. “As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult. I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.” Kaitlyn also seeks graphic novels for all ages. She does not want picture books or nonfiction. Learn more about Kaitlyn here.

Mary DeMuth is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. Mary is looking for: Adult nonfiction Christian living titles, particularly those with a bent toward spiritual growth, Devotionals, Discipleship-oriented books, Accessible theological books (think N.T. Wright), Books about the US church as well as the global church, Health-related topics, Mental health issues, Trauma-related recovery, Habit research, Design books, and Leadership/business/productivity ideas. She is not acquiring any fiction, YA, or children’s books. Learn more about Mary here.

Dana Newman is a literary agent with Dana Newman Literary. “We are interested in practical nonfiction (business, health and wellness, psychology, parenting, technology) by authors with smart, unique perspectives and established platforms who are committed to actively marketing and promoting their books. We love compelling, inspiring narrative nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, pop culture, current affairs/women’s interest, social trends, and sports/fitness. A favorite genre is literary nonfiction: true stories, well told, that read like a novel you can’t put down. On the fiction side we consider a very selective amount of literary fiction and women’s upmarket fiction. We look for character-driven stories written in a distinctive voice that are emotionally truthful.” Learn more about Dana here.

Laura Stone is a literary agent with Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She is seeking: Romance (Amish, Contemporary, Regency, Suspense, Historical); Mystery & Crime (Cozy, Detective, Whodunit , Gentleman Thief, Legal Thrillers, Capers/Heist, Private Investigator, and Historical); Action / Adventure / Thriller (Spy/espionage thrillers, Artifact (religious, alien, historical); Alien encounters/invasions, Natural disaster);  Fantasy (Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic, Epic, Heroic, Magical realism); Young Adult (Post-apocalyptic, Dystopian, Fantasy); Middle Grade (Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Action/Adventure). Learn more about Laura here.

 

        More 2022 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.)