Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dawn Michelle Hardy of Serendipity Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.19.32 PM.pngDawn Michelle Hardy is a literary agent with Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting.

Dawn sticks to nonfiction. She likes memoir writers who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals and educators in a variety of fields, an engaging and outspoken cultural critic, pop-culture, sports or music enthusiast with a “hip” idea from an untold vantage point. Creatives who use art as activism. She wants to hear from loud millennials, women, and multicultural voices looking to better the world through their writing.

Dawn has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention. She has dual roles in the book publishing industry as both publicist and literary agent. She founded Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency in 2004. Additionally, in 2011 she joined Serendipity Literary Agency where she aids in shaping the careers of platformed writers. Some of her clients at Serendipity include Jean McGianni Celestin, co-writer of the upcoming Nat Turner biopic The Birth of a Nation, Kent Babb, Washington Post sports writer and PEN Literary Award finalist for Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, Clay Cane, entertainment editor at BET.com and director of Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church.

As a publicist she works with both fiction and nonfiction authors including New York Times bestseller D. Watkins, author of The Beastside: Living and Dying While Black in America, Tia Williams, former magazine beauty editor and author of The Perfect Find and Clint Smith award-winning poet, Ted Talk conference speaker and contributor to The New Yorker.

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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.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dan Cramer of Flannery Literary

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 11.54.10 PMDan 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.”

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 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.