The editors and agents below have provided the genres they are seeking to acquire or represent, in their own words, and often identify specific genres they are not seeking, to decrease ambiguity. In addition to reading this information, you also should review their agency/publisher websites, do an Internet search for interviews with them and/or what other agents, editors, and authors have written about them, and make sure you’re a good fit with their tastes and attitudes.
Every conference, a few participants are disappointed because they paid to get a critique from, and/or make a pitch to, an agent or editor who isn’t interested in their genre. This occurs because the participants did not read these descriptions–don’t be like those people! Read the agents and editors’ bios carefully, research them, and select accordingly. Also, if you want a manuscript critique and a pitch (or two of one/both) be sure you select a different agent/editor for each activity. Don’t waste your money by seeing the same person for a manuscript critique as well as a pitch, since they both serve the same purpose: to introduce the agent or editor to you and your work. With the manuscript critique, you get the added value of receiving that individual’s feedback about your writing; it doesn’t make sense to also pitch that individual about the same book, because you can ask at the end of your critique whether that person is interested.
What if you have two different book projects? It’s still a risk to pitch the same agent or editor from whom you’re getting a critique (or getting two critiques or two pitches with the same person), because if this person is interested in the first book project, she or he will want to focus on that one with you rather than tackle two projects simultaneously. If that person is not interested in the first one, there’s a likelihood she or he won’t be interested in the second one either. So, as you’re reading the descriptions below, please consider as many individuals as possible rather than setting your sights on just one. During the registration process, you will see who has spots remaining for each activity and can choose accordingly. That record of open spots is updated every time someone registers. For your convenience, however, we’ve included a summary of openings below as of the date indicated.
What if you have a self-published book you want to pitch and/or get a sample critiqued? Some agents and editors are open considering a self-published work for traditional publishing. You night see a note about this in one or more bios below. However, many industry professionals prefer to only consider never-published manuscripts so they don’t have to deal with copyright issues and other matters. If you have a self-published work you want to pitch but aren’t sure whether the agent(s)/editor(s) you have in mind would be receptive, contact Atlanta Writers Conference Director George Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will ask for you.
NOTE: Once all critique and pitch spots are filled, you can still get on a waitlist for the agents/editors you want. There is no charge for waitlist spots, so there is no risk in registering for one; if a spot opens for you due to another participant’s cancellation, you will be informed by e-mail and will pay for the activity at that time.
See the bios below for complete details about the editors and agents and what they are seeking to acquire or represent, respectively. At the bottom of each bio is a note about whether that editor or agent has spots open for manuscript critiques and/or pitches or has a waitlist. Contact Atlanta Writers Conference Director George Weinstein at email@example.com if you would like recommendations about which guests who are a good fit for you and your work have the shortest waitlists.
Annie is seeking to acquire the following nonfiction categories:
– Narrative nonfiction in any of these areas: social history, cultural history, and investigative journalism
She also is seeking literary voice-driven fiction.
Annie drawn to anything with a powerful emotional heart and a strong sense of story.
If Annie is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Annie; waitlist spots are available.
Jennie is seeking to acquire:
– Women’s fiction: she loves strong, layered female characters in historical settings, also twisty, psychological stories, and fun, flirty chick-lit.
– Romance: historical romances and flirty romantic comedies are currently what she’s looking for in this genre.
– Young Adult (YA): she is a fan of fantastical world building and page-turning plots in genres like fantasy and science fiction, but also loves a cute, contemporary YA romance.
– Cozy mystery: She is looking for quirky characters, with a fun mother/daughter relationship, and a touch of romance along with the mystery.
If Jennie is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation. However, for any romance submissions, she can work with the author directly for e-book only publication.
All spots for manuscript critiques are full for Jennie, but waitlist spots are available. She has one open pitch spot.
Sylvan is seeking to acquire:
– Young Adult (YA) across genres, including queer and diverse YA
– Upmarket book club fiction
– Select queer romance (a sort of passion-project for her)
– Feminist & millennial nonfiction
– Pop culture/humor
– Select memoir with a high-concept hook
Depending on the project, if Sylvan is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she is open to working directly with the author or could provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
All spots for manuscript critiques are full for Sylvan, but waitlist spots are available. She has open pitch spots.
Melissa Danaczko became a literary agent after more than a decade of publishing experience, most recently as Senior Editor with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
On the fiction side, Melissa is actively seeking:
– Psychological suspense
– Women’s fiction
She doesn’t represent romance, sci-fi, fantasy, horror/paranormal, western, or thrillers. However, she is open to blending in elements of any of these within the genres she is actively seeking. She also does not represent Young Adult, Middle Grade, or children’s books.
For non-fiction, Melissa represents narrative non-fiction and science. She doesn’t represent memoir, current affairs, lifestyle, prescriptive/how-to, inspiration, religion, or humor.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Melissa; waitlist spots are available.
Mike is actively seeking:
– Thrillers/suspense – he’d love to find a good military or spy thriller
– Fantasy – he is especially seeking epic fantasy
– Science fiction
– Book club fiction
– Mainstream/general fiction
– Women’s fiction
– Some romance
– Some literary fiction
– Some horror
– Some historical fiction
The only adult fiction categories he really would NOT represent are paranormal, urban fantasy, and short fiction.
He is open to anything but doesn’t have much experience with board books or chapter books. For picture books, he prefers author-illustrators as opposed to authors only.
Mike is open to anything EXCEPT memoir, religion, and cookbooks.
Topics he is seeking include:
– Narrative nonfiction
– Politics/Current Affairs
– Pop Culture
– True crime
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Mike; waitlist spots are available.
– Sophisticated Middle Grade (MG)
– Magical realism/urban fantasy MG/Young Adult (YA)
– Anything with a tight-knit ensemble cast
– Secret societies
– Unreliable narrators
– Smart psychological or supernatural suspense/mystery for any age
– Teen noir à la Brick
– Witty literary fiction (that borders on absurd/surreal)
– Period fiction but not historical fiction–there is a difference!
– While she’s not drawn to fictionalizing actual history/historical characters, historical fantasy (like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) is something she’d LOVE to see.
– (Folk) witches/psychics
– Clueless-esque 90s/teen movie updates of classic stories
– Nonfiction history/archaeology
– Books that teach her about some new craft or technology or course of study
– Formats that are specific to the story and give it its own context
– In all of the above, she appreciates diversity, wordplay and considered and thorough worldbuilding
She also might like: Pop culture and humor.
Alyssa is NOT interested in: romance, women’s fiction, erotica, high fantasy (swords and sorcery-style) or the aforementioned historical fiction.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Alyssa; waitlist spots are available.
Priyanka is seeking to acquire the following fiction categories:
– Science fiction
– Women’s fiction
– Historical fiction
– Magical realism
She is especially looking for diverse voices, unique settings, rich world-building (in Sci-Fi/Fantasy), stories that explore relationships (families/friendships/romances) in an emotional, multilayered way, and characters that run away with her heart.
If Priyanka is interested in participants’ manuscripts, for the most part she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation. However, if she were interested in acquiring a manuscript for either the Avon or Harper Voyager digital first line, then she would work directly with the author.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Priyanka; waitlist spots are available.
Paul S. Levine “wears two hats”–he is a lawyer and a literary agent. Paul has practiced entertainment law for over 35 years, specializing in the representation of writers, producers, actors, directors, composers, musicians, artists, authors, photographers, galleries, publishers, developers, production companies and theatre companies in the fields of motion pictures, television, interactive multimedia, live stage, recorded music, concerts, the visual arts, publishing, and advertising. In 1996, he opened the Paul S. Levine Literary Agency, specializing in the representation of book authors and the sale of motion picture and television rights in and to books. Since starting his literary agency, Paul has sold over 100 fiction and non-fiction books to at least 30 different publishers and has had many books developed as movies-for-television and feature films.
Paul represents all sorts of adult, young adult, and children’s fiction, except horror and fantasy. The non-fiction he represents tends to be commercial: self-help, how-to, relationships, memoirs, health, women’s issues, pop culture, new age, and business. For both fiction and non-fiction books, his biggest successes have been with authors who originally self-publish their books and then wish to have their books republished by a major publishing house.
He also represents books which are adapted for the film or television screen, and associated screenplays or teleplays based on those books.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Paul; waitlist spots are available.
Patricia is seeking:
– Women’s fiction
– Literary fiction
– Historical fiction set in the 20th century
– Middle Grade (all genres)
– Young Adult (all genres)
She is not particularly fond of adult science fiction or fantasy–although she is seeking these genres in YA and MG–or political thrillers.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Patricia; waitlist spots are available.
Amber is drawn to fiction that hits the sweet spot of being both literary and commercial. Beautiful sentences are a plus, but a smart, atmospheric, and compelling story with a unique voice is the perfect mix. She would love to acquire fiction that is socially aware, contemporary, edgy, satirical, or humorous. She’d also like to acquire some cross-genre stories, as well as traditional genre fiction, specifically in women’s fiction, psychological thrillers/suspense, horror, magical realism, and mysteries. Own Voices and diverse perspectives in regards to race and ethnicity, sexuality, and gender are also really important factors in the books she’d like to publish. She is a Native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx and enjoys drawing, art, music, fashion, activism, dancing, traveling, reading, and writing.
She is not interested in historical fiction, science fiction, romance, erotica, heavy fantasy, cozy mysteries, memoirs, erotica, Middle Grade or YA.
If Amber is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Amber; waitlist spots are available.
Whitney acquires mostly on the Young Adult side, across all genres.
In addition, she acquires some titles in each of the following adult fiction genres:
– Science fiction
If Whitney is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Whitney; waitlist spots are available.
Eric is seeking the following:
– Young Adult (YA): All genres. He has a soft spot for YA contemporary that’ll make him cry, diverse sci-fi/fantasy, and genre-blending titles.
– Adult Science fiction and fantasy: He loves very voice-driven SF/F, like Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, Cherie Priest, or Fran Wilde. He’s not the right agent for epic stuff, though.
– Commercial & Literary Fiction: He loves it, but it has to be kinda weird. Give him some genre-blending.
– Thrillers/mysteries that touch on surprising current events.
– Non-Fiction: He’s super interested in cookbook projects, essay collections, and memoir from platformed authors. If you have a food blog or regularly write essays for places, he hopes you’ll consider him.
He has posted a manuscript wish list on his site as well: http://ericsmithrocks.com/mswl/
Eric is specifically NOT looking for:
– Middle Grade
– Picture books
– Angel & demon love stories, Heaven vs. Hell stories
– Epics far over 100k+
– Thrillers about terrorism.
– Horror novels (though he does like YA horror)
– Anything comped to Lovecraft
– Commercial fiction about sports (except he will consider YA sports)
– Non-fiction on sports or politics
Note: he’ll also happily take pitches for everyone at his agency, so if something isn’t among his interests but falls into their interests (i.e., Maria at P.S. likes Middle Grade and picture books, Kurestin LOVES epic long fantasy novels), he can share the query or manuscript sample if it’s good, so consult the P.S. Literary Agency website above.
All spots for manuscript critiques and pitches are full for Eric; waitlist spots are available.
Please contact George Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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