Get to Know an Editor in Attedance: Emily Clark Victorson of Allium Press

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 12.09.01 AM.pngEmily 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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jen Karsbeak of Fuse Literary

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.36.50 PMJen Karsbaek joined first Larsen Pomada Literary Agency, then Fuse Literary Agency (formerly named Foreword Literary) in 2013.

Jen now acts as an agency scout to find exciting and talented writers for the agency’s current agents. She is happy to take pitches on behalf of the agency for the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, mainstream/upmarket fiction, women’s fiction, middle grade, new adult, young adult, and literary fiction. The agency also seeks books by and about people from marginalized perspectives, such as LGBT people and/or racial minorities.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelly Van Sant of D4EO Literary

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 4.21.15 PM.pngKelly Van Sant is a literary agent with D4EO Literary.

Kelly has nearly a decade of experience in the publishing industry. She cut her teeth in New York working at esteemed literary agencies such as Writers House and Harold Ober Associates, where she developed an eye for compelling, emotionally resonant stories, honed her editorial skills, and soon grew adept at contract vetting and negotiation. After relocating to Minnesota, Kelly joined Llewellyn Worldwide as their Contracts Manager across all three imprints and then moved to Quarto Publishing Group where she led the contracts department. She is a teaching artist at the Loft Literary Center, and also blogs about the publishing industry at Pub(lishing) Crawl and co-hosts their weekly podcast. She recently joined D4EO and is actively building her client list.

“I am seeking middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction across all genres, including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices and inclusive narratives.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tracy Brennan of Trace Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 5.27.10 PM.pngTracy Brennan is a literary agent with Trace Literary Agency.

In fiction, she seeks women’s fiction, chick lit, psychological thriller, crime, commercial mainstream fiction, literary fiction, mystery, historical, suspense, and romance. In nonfiction, she seeks business, communications, health and wellness, history, politics, and true crime.

The agency began by introducing Irish authors to the US market, but now seeks to hear from writers everywhere. Over the past ten years the agency has earned a reputation for finding and launching new writers from Ireland, the UK and the US, placing them with Harper Collins, Harper Impulse, Skyhorse, Poolbeg, Parthian & Endeavour Press.

“We represent leading writers and experts in many fields covering a wide range of genres. We are committed to negotiate the best deals for our authors,  dedicated in helping them through all stages of publishing on their journey to become bestsellers.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary Agency

dawn-1313Red Sofa Literary is the celebration of the quirky, eclectic ideas in our exciting literary community.  Realizing that the best ideas come via engaging conversations and over good coffee, while sometimes relaxing in a colorful lounger.

Established by literary agent Dawn Frederick, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency,  she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency in 2002 (before Red Sofa Literary was established).

In addition to her literary agent duties, she extensively volunteers with her local library system, while still finding time to spend quality time on her “wheels.”

She carries a B.S. in Human Ecology, and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution.  “Not only do I know what people like to read and are currently  reading;  I also have the experience of  working one-on-one with authors, book distribution centers, and literary organizations.”

Dawn Frederick’s Representative Categories:

  • Young Adult – Fiction, Nonfiction
  • Middle Grade – Fiction, Nonfiction
  • Biography — Historical, media-related, political—no personal memoirs
  • Creative Nonfiction — It needs to be smart, with noticeable platform, and highly commercial.
  • Graphic Novels — No manga please.
  • History – Books that will engage the commerical reader.  ex: Michael Beschloss
  • Humor – I loved The Zombie Survival Guide, How to be a Villain, and Yiddish with Dick and Jane.
  • Pop Culture – Especially Americana, and anything quirky
  • Social Issues/Current Affairs—Women’s Studies, GLTB Studies, Social Sciences, and more.
  • Sports — Less mainstream, more extreme sport, ex: Roller Derby
  • Women’s Narratives – chicklit nonfiction, Latina, African-American, and more.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary

Screen shot 2016-05-16 at 5.47.13 PM.pngLaura Zats is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary.

Laura seeks young adult fiction, especially contemporary, middle grade contemporary/adventure, adult fantasy and science fiction (loves non-traditional settings, fast-paced storytelling, anthropological elements, and smart humor; no high fantasy) romance and erotica (especially contemporary; please no vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or mermaids).

Get to Know Writing Day Workshops Coordinator Jessica Bell

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 12.15.26 AM.pngJessica Bell is the executive coordinator of Writing Day Workshops, which organizes one-day writing conferences. These events take place mostly in the U.S., but can happen elsewhere.

If Jessica could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she spends most of her time in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a 30-something Australian contemporary fiction author, award-winning poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

She started as a poet, drawing from her musical background and etching her thoughts and feelings into verse. Those stanzas soon turned into sentences and paragraphs, and eventually into published books. Her literary voice is said to overflow with “lyrical descriptions, unique metaphors, tight dialogue, and an abundance of sensory detail.” She has also been told she has the ability to take a seemingly ordinary three-chord type story and turn it into a main stage event.

In addition to her novels about unique dysfunctional families, poetry collections, and her best-selling pocket writing guides (Writing in a Nutshell series), she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, Writer’s Digest, and the anthologies 100 Stories For Queensland and From Stage Door Shadows, both released through Brisbane, Australia’s, eMergent Publishing.

One of Jessica’s proudest moments was when, in November 2013, her poem, Sugar (which was published in a poetry anthology called Women’s Work, edited by Libby Hathorn) was broadcast on ABC National Radio’s Poetica program.

Jessica Bell is the Publisher of Vine Leaves Press, and she makes a living as a Book Cover Designer for indie authors, and an editor/writer for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

As of October 2016, she is the singer of Keep Shelly in Athens.

To see a list of awards click here.