Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: 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.

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Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Anna Michels of Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 12.21.06 AM.pngAnna Michels is an editor with Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark.

Fiction interests: Commercial 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 cozy, historical, and crossover literary—think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger), psychological suspense, and literary thriller.

Nonfiction interests: Memoir by writers who connect the events of their lives to readers through incredible storytelling; smart practical nonfiction with a unique hook and prescriptive elements; gift books with a strong hook and graphic elements (including humor and inspiration); history (narrative and quirky reference).

She is not seeking: Romance, YA, children’s books, or poetry.

Some favorite books and authors she didn’t publish: The complete works of David Foster Wallace, Donna Tartt, Ann Patchett, and Jane Hamilton. Wild by Cheryl Strayed, On Writing by Stephen King, Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Tina P. Schwartz of The Purcell Agency

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 11.47.30 PM.pngTina P. Schwartz is a literary agent and the founder of The Purcell Agency.

She seeks young adult fiction and women’s fiction. Within these two genres, she looks for contemporary/realistic stories, coming-of-age tales, sports tales, stories of family and friendship, and LGBTQ stories. She is also open to YA nonfiction.

Tina admits to being a reluctant reader as a child. In fact, she says she is still very picky when it comes to choosing a book, and isn’t afraid to judge one (at first) by its cover!
Ask her kids, and they won’t believe you! They’ll tell you her nose is constantly in a book, or staring at her Kindle Fire, her iPad mini, or even reading manuscripts on her phone! When not reading manuscripts, marketing website, social media, or industry blogs, you can find Schwartz on her laptop enjoying her own writing time.

Schwartz is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alexandra Weiss of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 10.35.49 AM.png[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS FOR 2019!]

Alexandra Weiss is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

Within young adult, the genres she is most interested in representing include realism, science fiction, and fantasy – but also stories that include magic (think The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) are her favorite, as are stories that include space and science. She loves stories that include diverse and risk-taking subjects, including culture, race, sexuality, and identity.

She also seeks all types of adventurous, silly, and out-of-the-box children and middle grade books. Books with or without pictures intrigue her, and she is most interested in a character-driven story and big plot to explore.

Concerning adult fiction, she is looking for strong literary voices that take the notion that every story is a love story to new levels.  She seeks interested in complex relationship stories that surround something bigger. Alexandra is open to most adult genres, but heavy mystery, horror, or thriller stories are not for her. 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 she looks for.

Alexandra is a Books Writer for Bustle.com and PR Manager for a Chicago circus. She previously worked as an Acquisitions Editor for an award-winning anthology and holds a BFA in Creative Writing and Publishing from Columbia College Chicago.

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Grace Menary-Winefield of Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 9.32.05 AM.pngGrace Menary-Winefield is an associate editor with Sourcebooks and Sourcebooks Landmark.

Fiction interests: Commercial/mainstream fiction that explores unique, sometimes even fantastical concepts (such as Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel or The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell). She seeks diverse stories in both historical and contemporary settings.

Nonfiction interests: Quirky self-help books with a great hook and wide appeal; smart nonfiction with unique explorations of history.

Gift books: Entertainment pop culture books, both novelizations and nonfiction tie-ins; gift books (text and illustration) that inspire and entertain.

She is not seeking romance, thriller/mystery, health books, or cooking.

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.