The editors and agents below have provided the genres they are seeking to acquire or represent, in their own words, and they 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 one or two manuscript critique(s) and pitch(es) 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, because 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 (just as it’s a risk to get 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.
What if you have a self-published book you want to pitch and/or get a sample critiqued? If agents and editors are open considering a self-published work for traditional publishing, you will see this noted in their 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 problems that publicly released books present. If you have a self-published work you want to pitch or get critiqued 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: At the bottom of each editor/agent bio, we will indicate if manuscript critique and/or pitch spots are full–but waitlists are available–or are closed because a deadline has passed. 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. If spots are full for all the editors and agents who are a good fit for you and your work, contact Atlanta Writers Conference Director George Weinstein at email@example.com to request recommendations about which ones have the shortest waitlists.
Rebecca Aronson, Assistant Editor for Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Rebecca is seeking:
- For Picture Books, she’s seeking quirky or witty picture books, but she is willing to look at any participants’ work and refer them to a colleague at her imprint if the picture book is a better fit for them.
- For Middle Grade: contemporary, magical realism, mystery, voice-driven fantasy and science fiction, heavily illustrated graphic novels, and narrative nonfiction
- For Young Adult: contemporary, magical realism, voice-driven fantasy and science fiction, psychological thriller, and graphic novels
She particularly loves strong literary voices, unique narrative structures, a touch of the surreal, quirky humor, emotional intensity, and blending of genres.
If Rebecca is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
Currently, manuscript critique spots are full for Rebecca, but a waitlist is available. She has open pitch spots.
Linda Camacho, Literary Agent for Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
Linda Camacho graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Communication and has seen many sides of the industry. She’s held various positions at Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Writers House literary agency, and Prospect Agency. She’s done everything from foreign rights to editorial to marketing to operations, and somewhere in between all that (and little sleep), Linda received her MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Now an agent at Gallt & Zacker Literary, Linda is seeking middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction across ALL genres (upmarket, women’s fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical, horror, literary, commercial, book club, mystery, thriller, suspense, etc.). Diversity of all types welcome!
She’s also seeking select picture book and graphic novel writer-illustrators.
Linda is NOT seeking nonfiction of any type.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Linda, but waitlists are available.
Nicole Counts, Assistant Editor for One World, an imprint of Random House
Nicole edits poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, so she’s seeking a variety of things!
When it comes to fiction Nicole tends to love realistic fiction. She loves place-based narratives, strong characters that feel intensely real, and/or an unknown/forgotten history that the narrative is putting on full display:
- Literary fiction (literary fiction that features People of Color is on her wish list)
- Contemporary/realistic fiction
- Women’s fiction
- Magical realism/fantastical elements (a blend of literary & fantasy)
- Speculative fiction
- Short stories
- Place-driven fiction
Also, though her expertise lies in adult books, she would be very open to young adult fiction.
With nonfiction, she has edited a wide range, but gravitates towards:
- Essay collection
- Narrative nonfiction that is character-driven.
For poetry, it’s really the theme of the collection that draws her in.
The main things Nicole looks for in every book are strong characters, a narrative that is being propelled forward by some sort of tension, and for all the books she publishes to have underlining themes of either trying to understand a systematic problem, trying to address it or “solve” it to some extent—she tends to be moved the most by books that have some sort of social or historical commentary—or are emotionally vulnerable with the goal of helping the reader understand their own emotions.
Nicole does NOT edit mystery/thrillers, romance, comics, cookbooks and children’s books.
If Nicole is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Nicole, but waitists are available.
Megan Hogan, Associate Editor for Simon & Schuster
Megan is seeking to acquire the following in nonfiction: narrative nonfiction, history, culture, popular science, psychology, and memoir. She especially enjoys books that are badass, counterintuitive, dark, or hilarious.
In fiction, she’s looking for literary fiction, upmarket mystery and noir, intellectual thrillers, historical fiction, and anything charmingly nerdy or queer.
If Megan is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she is open to working directly with the authors or providing references to agents for representation.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Megan, but waitlists are available.
Sarah Landis, Literary Agent for Sterling Lord Literistic
Before joining SLL in 2017, Sarah worked as an editor for fifteen years, holding roles at G.P. Putnam Son’s, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Over the course of her career, she has had the pleasure of editing many talented authors including the likes of: Jodi Lynn Anderson, Kasie West, Claudia Gray, Michael Buckley, Eileen Cook, Erin Summerill, and Megan Shepherd. She graduated with BA in English from the University of Virginia.
Sarah is seeking Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction in the following genres:
- Magical Realism
- Southern voices
- High-concept plots
- Grounded sci-fi
- Mysteries & Thrillers
- Romantic comedies
Currently, manuscript critique spots are full for Sarah, but a waitist is available. She has open pitch spots.
Anna Michels, Senior Editor for Sourcebooks, Inc.
Anna is acquiring in the following categories:
- Mystery (traditional, police procedural, cozy, historical, crossover literary—think Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger)
- Literary thriller, suspense, and psychological suspense
- Book club fiction that hits the sweet spot between commercial and literary
- Near-historical fiction (1850-onward)
- Prescriptive nonfiction (parenting, personal development)
- Narrative history in the vein of The Boys in the Boat or topical narrative nonfiction like The Doggie in the Window
She is NOT acquiring children’s books, young adult, romance, poetry, or screenplays.
Anna is happy to work directly with authors and equally happy to refer them to an agent if that’s the path they’d prefer to take.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Anna, but waitlists are available.
Christopher Morgan, Editor for Tor/Forge
As an editor for both the Tor and Forge imprints, Chris is always on the lookout for fun, commercial fiction that you can’t put down. Specifically, he is currently looking for military and epic fantasy, near-future science fiction, and thrillers, as well as anything that can make him laugh. He also is seeking Southern gothic, a good Western, or a fast-paced spy thriller.
If Chris is interested in acquiring a manuscript, he can recommend agents to the author or work with her/him directly, depending on the author’s preference.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Christopher, but waitlists are available.
Sam Morgan, Literary Agent for Foundry Media LLC
A lifelong fan of nerd culture, Sam was raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in Communications: Media Studies and Production. He moved to New York City after graduating and soon thereafter began his agenting career at the Jabberwocky Literary Agency. He has worked with many genre writers including Brandon Sanderson, Charlaine Harris, and Jack Campbell and is actively building his client list.
Sam’s top genre interests are:
- Science Fiction
- Humorous commercial fiction
Secondary interests (where he’ll happily take pitches and do manuscript critiques but his tastes are far more limited than the ones above):
Sam does NOT represent Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Picture Books.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Sam, but waitlists are available.
Monica Odom, Literary Agent for Liza Dawson & Associates
Monica is seeking nonfiction by authors in the following categories:
Advice/Relationships, Self-help/Self-Reflection, How-To, Crafting/Creativity, Food and Cooking, Humor, Pop Culture, Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty, Biography, Memoir, Narrative, Business, Politics and Current Affairs, History, Science, and Social Studies (including topics of: identity, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, civil rights and social justice).
She is also seeking literary fiction and upmarket/book club fiction. Monica does not represent genre fiction.
In addition, Monica is seeking Illustrators with demonstrable platforms, preferably author/illustrators, working on nonfiction, graphic memoirs, or graphic novels.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Monica, but waitists are available.
Abby Saul, Literary Agent and Founder of The Lark Group
Abby is currently seeking adult fiction in these genres: literary, mystery/thriller/suspense, historical, and women’s. She is open to almost any storyline as long as the writing is smart and compelling, but is particularly a sucker for dark secrets, crumbling mansions, nostalgic grownups, and charm (in settings, characters, or writing).
For historical fiction, she is open to manuscripts set in any time period, from prehistoric to twentieth century, but she is especially looking for less-explored eras (e.g., WWII books are NOT for her right now), and would love something set “between the wars” or in some other overlooked but vibrant period.
Her favorite sub-genres include: amateur sleuth mystery, cozy mystery, crime fiction, domestic suspense, commercial upmarket/book club fiction, psychological thriller, family saga, and upmarket women’s fiction.
She is also willing to hear about literary nonfiction but is seeking that only sparingly.
Abby tends not to like magical realism, political/CIA thrillers with lots of running and explosions (Jack Reacher is not for her), or books where the protagonist could be described as a “dude” (male protagonists are fine—just no dudes).
Check out her Twitter (@BookySaul) for #mswl (Manuscript Wish List) updates.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Abby, but waitists are available.
Brooks Sherman, Literary Agent for Janklow & Nesbit Associates
After graduating from Vassar College with a B.A. in Drama, Brooks Sherman worked for several years in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Los Angeles) before joining the Peace Corps and spending two years stationed in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Upon returning to the United States, he set his sights on the publishing industry, starting in 2011 as an assistant at FinePrint Literary Management and working his way up to literary agent, moving to the Bent Agency in 2014, and joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2017. His clients include #1 New York Times-bestselling and award-winning authors, including Atlanta Writers Conference success story Becky Albertalli.
Brooks is currently seeking the following fiction genres:
- Picture Books: author/illustrators
- Middle Grade: realistic fiction, fantasy, humor, nonfiction
- Young Adult: realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller, nonfiction
- Adult: fantasy, speculative thriller, horror
NOTE: Brooks will be traveling extensively in April 2018, so he wants those selecting him for a manuscript critique to submit their work to Conference Director George Weinstein by March 23, 2018, if possible.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Brooks, but waitists are available.
Anne Speyer, Editor for Ballantine Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Anne is currently seeking exclusively fiction: fresh, original-feeling mystery/suspense/thrillers, commercial and upmarket general fiction, women’s fiction, and book club fiction.
She is particularly drawn to narratives that put the spotlight on voices or perspectives that aren’t often heard; stories featuring complex, compelling women; and human stories with a slight speculative or magical element to them. Plot is an important element — good characters and good writing are, too, of course, but for Anne there has to be a good story to tell first and foremost.
If Anne is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.
Manuscript critique and pitch spots are full for Anne, but waitists are available.
Please contact George Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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