Editors & Agents

For the May 5-6, 2023 Atlanta Writers Conference, the editors and agents below have provided, in their own words, the genres they are seeking to acquire for publication (in the case of acquisition editors) or represent to publishers (in the case of literary agents)–and they often identify specific genres they are not seeking as well, to decrease ambiguity. Please pay attention to these details to avoid wasting your time and money! In addition to reading this information, you also should review their agency/publisher websites, do an Internet search on them–their manuscript wish lists, Twitter/Instagram feeds, 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.

PLEASE NOTE: All guest agents and editors will be in-person at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel. If any of them switch to virtual participation, we will update this page and inform the attendees who selected that individual.

At every conference, a few participants are disappointed because they paid to get a critique from, or make a pitch to, an agent or editor who isn’t interested in their genre. This usually occurs because the participants did not read these descriptions. Again, 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) (and add a third critique and/or pitch after you register by contacting Conference Director George Weinstein at awconference@gmail.com) 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 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 they will indicate on their written critique whether they’re interested in receiving your partial or full manuscript.

What if you have two different book projects? It’s still a risk to pitch the same agent or editor you’re getting a critique from (just as it’s a risk to get two critiques or do two pitches with the same person), because if this person is interested in the first book project, they 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 chance they 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 you can choose accordingly. That record of open spots is always up-to-date.

What if you have a self-published book you want to pitch and/or for which you want to get a sample critiqued? If agents and editors are open considering a previously self-published work, you will see this noted in their bios below. Be aware that most industry professionals prefer to only consider never-published manuscripts so they don’t have to deal with copyright issues, previous marketing, and other problems that already-released books present.

ALSO NOTE: At the bottom of each editor/agent bio, we indicate if manuscript critique and/or pitch spots are full and waitlists are available. 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 email and will pay for the activity at that time. If you want to put your name on any waitlists, you must register for those just like any other activity–please go to the Registration page and use the Cvent system link provided there to do so.

If you can’t travel to the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel due to COVID-19 or another reason, you can indicate on your registration that you want the virtual option, to participate via Zoom in any online meeting with the guest agents and editors you select for manuscript critiques and/or pitches as well as the randomly assigned agents/editors for the query letter critique activity. Due to the ever-increasing expense of the audio-visual equipment and personnel involved and the ever-dwindling number of virtual participants, we are only offering these agent/editor meetings via Zoom (thus, the workshop, Q&A panels, and free educational sessions will only be available to in-person participants).

See the bios below for complete details about the editors and agents and what they are seeking to acquire (for editors) or represent (for agents). 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 awconference@gmail.com to request recommendations about which ones have the shortest waitlists.

William Burleson

William E. Burleson, Publisher and Executive Editor, Flexible Press In-person at hotel

https://www.flexiblepub.com/

William (Bill) Burleson is first a writer himself. His eclectic, award-winning work includes nonfiction, fiction, copious short stories, uncounted essays and features, and a play. In addition to one book of non-fiction, his writing has appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and literary journals. He also teaches fiction writing for adult education in Minneapolis public schools. As a frustrated novelist himself, Bill knows quite well the challenges authors face in getting published and believes strongly that a supportive community can bring out the best in writers and their work.

In that spirit, in 2017 Bill, along with a passionate group of fellow authors, founded Flexible Press. Flexible Press is dedicated to supporting authors, communities, and mission-driven non-profits through story. At first their efforts focused on anthologies dedicated to not only bringing forth new voices but also supporting a variety of non-profits whose missions aligned with the spirit of the press. Since then, in addition to special cause-driven projects, the press has published four novels a year, with a dual focus of discovering new authors while supporting the community. For the latter, a portion of the profits from all books go to relevant nonprofits.

While the cause-driven nature of Flexible Press is embedded in the press’s DNA, everyone involved believes that it all must start and end with excellent, well-crafted literature.

What Flexible Press is seeking:

  • Literary and upmarket novels

Flexible Press is NOT accepting:

  • Genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, mystery, etc.)
  • Short story collections
  • Nonfiction

Bill and Flexible Press welcome authors of all ages and resumes. The press is hungry for work from members of traditionally underrepresented communities including BIPOC and LGBTQ+, as well as rural, immigrant, and other often marginalized communities. Flexible Press especially embraces writing from the middle of the country with a strong sense of place. Most of all, Flexible Press loves books—and authors—with something to say.

Flexible Press accepts only unpublished manuscripts and does not accept previously self-published work; however, if portions of a novel have appeared in other publications as short stories, that is acceptable.

Flexible Press is interested in working closely with authors and doesn’t accept submissions from agents. 

Bill’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Margaret Danko

Margaret Danko, Agent, Irene Goodman Literary Agency In-person at hotel

https://www.irenegoodman.com/

Originally from the heart of the South, Margaret Danko received her BA from Oberlin College before pursuing an MFA from Temple University. While there, she climbed the ranks to become an editor of TINGE Magazine, publishing fiction, essays, and poetry. She worked as a freelance editor and media consultant before taking on agenting through the Paper Over Board division of IGLA. A lover of the dark, the quirky, and the fantastical, Margaret has a keen eye for projects that take unexpected turns or are told from unusual perspectives.

Margaret is actively looking for attention-grabbing voices especially:

  • Historical fiction with a dash of magical realism
  • Literary and upmarket suspense and horror
  • Spooky contemporary YA/YA-Adult Crossover
  • Narratives with a deep sense of place and history
  • Quirky and heartwarming family stories
  • Rom-coms full of charm and whimsy.

She is also interested in nonfiction in these areas:

  • Humor
  • Lifestyle
  • New age and general spirituality
  • Illustrated books for adults
  • Popular science especially in environmental and human sciences
  • Mental health/wellness
  • True crime that challenges established conventions
  • Select cooking projects with an emphasis on new takes on tradition, especially within the Latine diaspora.

She does not represent Middle Grade, picture or board books, or erotica.

Margaret will only consider self-published work if it has been substantially revised since its initial publication. Otherwise, she prefers unpublished work.

Margaret’s manuscript sample critique spots are full, but a waitlist is available. She has open pitch spots.

Kimberly Davis

Kimberly Davis, Director, Madville Publishing In-person at hotel

https://madvillepublishing.com/

Kimberly Parish Davis is the director and founder of Madville Publishing. She sometimes teaches English composition, creative writing, and technical writing, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a BA from Columbia College-Chicago in Arts and Entertainment Media Management. She spent five years on the editorial staff of Texas Review Press. Her personal website is KPDavis.com.

She is seeking fiction, nonfiction, and poetry per the following:

Full-length novels and short story collections in the following genres:

  • Literary fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Satire
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Fantasy
  • Experimental

Nonfiction:

  • Creative nonfiction, personal essay and memoir.
  • Stories of extraordinary lives, well-told and stories of ordinary lives, well-told. She watches for unique points of view, and a deep connection to place. She is of the belief that if we can understand others, we can heal the world, and a good dollop of humor goes a long way to enticing her to read any story.

Poetry:

  • Full-length poetry collections (of 68-112 pages).
  • Subjects may include absolutely anything. This is where Madville entertains spirituality and introspection, political comment, social comment, environmental concerns.

She is less interested in poetry about romantic love or grief.

DO NOT SEND pandemic stories; DO NOT SEND travelogues—Eat, Pray, Love sank that ship. NO SELF-HELP, and NO OVERT RELIGION or SPIRITUALITY (this comes into some stories naturally, but it should not be the focus of the book

Kimberly can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

She has no preference between working directly with writers or working with a literary agent who represents a writer.

Kimberly’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Sarah N Fisk headshot

Sarah N. Fisk, Literary Agent, Tobias Literary Agency In-person at hotel

https://www.thetobiasagency.com/

Sarah N. Fisk (they/them) is a former mechanical engineer who made the switch to publishing in 2011. They have worked in the publishing industry as an editorial assistant, author’s assistant, publicist, and art director. Sarah is a former Pitch Wars mentor, board member, and Agent Liaison. They host the podcast Queries, Qualms, & Quirks and are one of the founding members of Disability in Publishing. More info is available at www.sarahnfisk.com

Sarah represents the following fiction genres:

  • Middle Grade (all genres)
  • Young Adult (all genres)
  • Adult science fiction
  • Adult fantasy
  • Adult romance

Particular interests include: atmospheric fantasies; speculative mysteries; books that challenge societal norms-especially gender norms; personal interest in stories featuring queer characters, characters with disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, or mental health challenges; great or complicated sibling relationships; small town or Midwestern settings; intriguing villains; mysteries woven into other genres; characters Sarah can’t get out of their head; smart heroines; con artists who are not men; books that are compulsively readable; romances with a lot of sexual tension.

Not for Sarah: pregnancy or baby-based storylines, hardcore horror, stories that center around who gets to rule an empire, stories that center around sexual assault or have on-the-page rape scenes, military sci-fi, portal fantasies, graphic novels, any adult genres not listed above.

While considering self-published work is not a hard no, to take on a previously published book it essentially has to be one of the best books Sarah has ever read in their life. If you have something new, please submit that instead.

Sarah’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Alice Fugate

Alice Fugate, Associate Agent, Joy Harris Literary Agency In-person at hotel
https://www.joyharrisliterary.com/

Alice Fugate is an associate agent at the Joy Harris Literary Agency in New York City, where she’s worked since 2021. She moved to New York City to attend the Columbia Publishing Course before starting her career in publishing at Trident Media Group, where she worked for 2.5 years supporting Alyssa Eisner Henkin and working with her roster of clients. Originally from Atlanta, she is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, with a B.A. in English Literature and a concentration in Creative Writing. As an undergraduate she conducted research and wrote for the Mike Curb Institute for Music, competed on the varsity track and field team, and spent a summer studying English literature in London. Alice is a member of the American Association of Literary Agents (AALA).

Alice works primarily in the children’s book space, across all formats and genres.

She also enjoys working on very select adult projects, including:

  • Stories about the American South
  • Historical fiction
  • Works that explore faith, religion, history, music, or nature (these categories/themes are also ones she loves to see in children’s literature submissions)

Alice is most looking for picture book author-illustrators, picture book writers who are not illustrators, and middle grade manuscripts, but she is open to other projects and age groups as well. She’s drawn to literary or well-written commercial projects that have a classic but fresh feel with distinctive, surprising voices from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. She loves animal fables, fairy tale retellings, comedies of manners, adventure tales, stories set in other countries and culture, regional stories from the US, heartfelt contemporary, especially if they explore the importance of place, the natural world, spirituality, and faith, and narrative nonfiction. In everything, Alice looks for wit and whimsy.

Some specific projects Alice likes and/or wants:

  • Millennial nuns! YA, adult, F or NF: inspired by this article: https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/millennial-nuns/She would want it to include the nuns who went on to join the convent, not just the ones who decided not to, so we can see all the different perspectives…
  • Epistolary novels
  • She prefers her YA to be a little more sophisticated–almost crossover to adult
  • She prefers her fantasy, especially middle grade and YA, to be grounded in this world or at least be a portal fantasy
  • For animal fables: though she loves mice and dogs, let’s try to introduce new and interesting animals into the cannon, please! There are so many to choose from!
  • A kids’ or teens’ guide to world religions (illustrated?)
  • A modern, updated AUNTIE MAME kind of story, that is more PC without losing the irreverent humor and fun—perhaps from an unexpected point of view in the story (an adult novel that’s an ode to Mame came out in May 2021—THE GUNCLE, a very fun book—but she’s still open to something in this vein)
  • She adores Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris’s THE LOST WORDS/THE LOST SPELLS and Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s WOLRD OF WONDERS and would love to see more nature writing for kids that are this whimsical and celebratory (also open to adult works like these)
  • In a similar vein–wouldn’t it be fascinating to have a modern-day MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH? There are SO many possibilities here!
  • YA romance that involves a love SQUARE (If you’ve seen or read FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, you’ll know that she had three men after her, which was way more exciting than the traditional love triangle, and with a YA there could be any number of gender combinations and all sorts of mischief and mayhem)
  • Historical YA that takes place during one of the dictatorships in Chile or Argentina
  • Nuanced explorations (fiction or nonfiction) of the complexities of the American South, but she also wants to learn more about other parts of the USA too! She thinks it’s important that there are stories about all the different regions of our country that celebrate, critique, and explore the nuances of what it means to be from these places and to exist in them. Place matters!
  • A walking/running story like LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK or like parts of CAMILLA by Madeleine L’Engle, but NOT set in New York City. What about Vancouver? San Francisco? Charleston? What about a story that is basically Forrest Gump’s cross country run but from his perspective and where the main action occurs while he’s running?
  • Rhode Island is such a dreamy little state–she’d love a story set there
  • LIFE OF PI for middle grade or YA — she’d love to see a story where the main character engages in this kind of cosmic questioning with such honesty and humor

Things Alice is not a great fit for:

  • Aliens, outer space, hardcore sci-fi…
  • Vampires, werewolves, paranormal romance (she is of the Twilight generation but not a fan)
  • Horror stories (okay with light MG horror, but more spooky than true horror)
  • Novels in verse (occasionally she can be convinced otherwise, but very rarely)
  • Dystopian/Apocalyptic
  • Stories set in NYC—she loves it, it’s great, but there are so many NYC stories already…
  • Gross or slapstick humor

Alice can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Alice’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Saint Gibson

Saint Gibson, Literary Agent and Subsidiary Rights Manager, Speilburg Literary In-person at hotel

https://www.speilburgliterary.com/

Saint Gibson is a Sunday Times bestselling author and literary agent. She currently lives in Boston with her partner and two spoiled cats.

She is seeking the following:

  • Adult romance: romcoms, erotic romance, and historical romance. She would love to work with marginalized voices.
  • Adult speculative fiction: Saint is especially excited about gothics, science fantasy, contemporary fantasy, and fantasy romance.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Saint’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Rachel Gilmer

Rachel Gilmer​​, Assistant Editor, Sourcebooks In-person at hotel

https://www.sourcebooks.com/

Rachel Gilmer is an assistant editor at Sourcebooks, acquiring genre fiction for Sourcebooks imprints Casablanca and Poisoned Pen Press. She is looking for adult commercial fiction in romance, women’s fiction, horror, and thriller, and particularly loves high-concept hooks that she hasn’t heard before or that take a fresh angle and make a classic trope feel new. She especially likes stories that incorporate strong friendships and whose world-building brings her into the fold.

For romance and women’s fiction, she is currently seeking:

  • Light paranormal romance, especially paranormal romantic comedy
  • Historical romance, particularly Regency and Victorian
  • Contemporary romance/romantic comedy
  • Gothic romance—something deeply atmospheric with an authentic sense of place
  • Steamy romance
  • Uplit, feel-good women’s fiction
  • Magical realism

For horror and thriller, she is seeking:

  • Hauntings, ghost stories, supernatural/speculative elements
  • Feminist horror, especially projects that aren’t centered on mothering/parenthood
  • Complex relationships and/or family dynamics (family saga)
  • Psychological suspense/thrillers
  • Domestic thrillers
  • Though not a required element, Rachel especially enjoys atmospheric horror that ends on an uplifting note. She loves stories that feel emotional and cathartic but are not overly violent—she prefers ghosts to gore. Projects that confront and/or process emotions through the lens of horror or that tackle the darker sides of things people face (such as memory loss, parenthood, grief, etc.), would be of particular interest.

Rachel will consider self-published work, but it must have a solid sales track and author will need to provide sales data.

She works with authors directly as well as through literary agents.

Rachel’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Ashley Hearn Headshot

Ashley Hearn, Acquisitions Editor, Peachtree Publishing – In-person at hotel

https://www.peachtreebooks.com/

Ashley Hearn is an acquisitions editor at Peachtree Publishers, where she acquires for the YA imprint Peachtree Teen. In its first season, Peachtree Teen books earned ten starred reviews, three Indie Next selections, two Indies Introduce selections, and launched a New York Times and Indie bestseller in Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White. When she steps away from her desk, she can be found wandering the North Georgia mountains, swinging longswords at her HEMA fencing club, or haunting a local coffee shop. Find her on Twitter @AshleyHearn or Instagram @_AshleyHearn.

Ashley is seeking ALL genres of young adult fiction.

She is especially interested in the following YA genres:

  • Light fantasy
  • Magical realism
  • Genre-bending speculative fiction
  • Character-driven contemporary fiction
  • Humorous voices
  • Historical novels, with a special affinity for stories that offer a strong sense of place and time

In addition, Ashley will do critiques and respond to pitches for ALL genres of middle grade fiction, too, including chapter books. For those projects she thinks will be a good fit for the publisher, she will refer the writers to her colleagues who acquire MG fiction so they can consider the work for publication.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Ashley has no preference between working directly with writers or working with a literary agent who represents a writer.

Ashley’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

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Colin Hosten

Colin Hosten, Editor, Woodhall Press In-person at hotel

https://www.woodhallpress.com/

Colin is a former children’s book editor who worked on titles by authors such as Rick Riordan and Melissa de la Cruz during his time at the Disney Book Group. He then pivoted to digital children’s media production, before eventually co-founding Woodhall Press. He has a graduate degree in Publishing from NYU, as well as an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Fairfield University. Colin has written or co-authored seven children’s books of his own.

In fiction, Colin is seeking:

  • Fantasy
  • Young adult
  • Modern Romance, especially same-sex stories

In nonfiction, he is always on the hunt for the following:

  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Memoir
  • Essay collections (a sense of humor is a plus!)
  • Socio-political commentary

Colin will consider previously published or self-published work.

He is happy to work with unagented authors.

Colin’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Ismita Hussain

Ismita Hussain, Agent, Great Dog Literary In-person at hotel

https://greatdogliterary.com/

Ismita is a Georgia native and graduate of Emory University, where she studied Human Health and Italian. During college, she also worked for various Atlanta area hospitals in departments ranging from neonatal to geriatric care. In her Desi household, she grew up speaking Bangla, Hindi, and Urdu. Ismita is a founding member of Disability in Publishing and currently serves as their External Relations Lead. She is also a part of the Literary Agents of Change Mentorship Program 2022 cohort.

Some of her favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Perrotta. Her client list and more about Great Dog Literary can be found on www.greatdogliterary.com. You can also find her on Twitter @ismita_h.

Ismita considers manuscripts in the following fiction genres:

  • Literary fiction
  • Upmarket fiction
  • Short story collections
  • Thriller/suspense
  • Young adult fiction
  • Young adult romance

In nonfiction, she is seeking:

  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Cookbooks
  • Memoir
  • Young adult nonfiction

Ismita is especially drawn to fiction with a Southern setting, gritty realist writing, and any books that explore health or disability. Ultimately though, she’s a sucker for writing with a great sense of humor.

She is not the right agent for horror, adult romance, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, prescriptive nonfiction, self-help, diet books, graphic novels, poetry, or any children’s literature meant for an audience younger than YA.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Ismita’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Rachel Kowal

Rachel Kowal, Managing Editor, Soho Press In-person at hotel

https://sohopress.com/

Rachel Kowal is the managing editor at Soho Press, where she has worked for the last ten years. Before that, she worked in the basement of the Strand Bookstore and dabbled in public radio. When not reading for work or fun, she enjoys running, sewing, moviegoing, and listening to podcasts about reality television. She lives in a strange part of Brooklyn that has lots of Victorian houses and fireflies in the summer.

Rachel edits books that fall under the Soho Crime umbrella (mysteries/thrillers, etc.). She likes to be surprised when reading. In particular, she is drawn to books with:

  • Amateur sleuths
  • Police procedurals that have more of a domestic element to them (what’s going on in the detective’s personal life?)
  • Cozy mysteries with a bite (not too cozy!)
  • Dark humor, word play, fun/zippy/sarcastic dialogue
  • Older characters who are up to no good
  • Odd couples/pairs/duos forced to team up
  • Younger characters who are trying to figure things out
  • Unreliable narrators
  • Weird twists or character quirks (love a good case of mistaken identity)
  • Books by POC/LGBTQIA+ authors

Think fun, oddball mysteries featuring antiheroes or would-be underdogs. Some favorite non-Soho authors: Muriel Spark, Nabokov, Clarice Lispector, Dasa Drndić, Magda Szabó, V-era Pynchon.

She is not interested in historical books or military/espionage plots (unless they aren’t very technical) or books written from the POV of serial killers.

Rachel will also do manuscript sample critiques and take pitches for genres her Soho Press colleagues are seeking and refer writers to them when she thinks there’s a good fit:

  • Bold, voice-driven literary fiction
  • Literary horror
  • Mysteries/thrillers/espionage/noir/crime (historical and contemporary, including things in translation) – especially books set abroad and books with series potential
  • YA novels of all genres (especially by POC or LGBTQIA+ authors)
  • Sci-fi with a crime flavor

Soho Press almost never publishes nonfiction (with the rare exception of a memoir or essay collection), and they definitely never publish poetry, MG/picture books, and other genres not named above.

Rachel will consider self-published work, and Soho Press has occasionally published these in the past (of course the author would need to remove any self-pub listings online).

She works with authors directly as well as through literary agents.

Rachel’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Roma Panganiban

Roma Panganiban, Agent, Janklow & Nesbit Associates In-person at hotel

http://www.janklowandnesbit.com/

Roma Panganiban graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in English and Psychology before attending the University of York (UK) for postgraduate studies in Modern and Contemporary Literature & Culture. She worked at a cupcake bakery, a travel website, a tutoring center, and a theatrical costume studio before beginning her publishign career as an intern at The Gernert Company. She joined Janklow & Nesbit in 2019, working with writers across the adult and children’s markets. Roma is a member of the American Association of Literary Agents (AALA) and an ambivalent Twitter user (@romapancake). She lives in Brooklyn.

Roma’s taste leans literary, but she is open to a broad range of adult fiction, including novels and story collections that embrace genre elements—speculative, historical, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy—as well as those that defy categorization altogether. She values prose that is thoughtful, clear, clever, and beautiful; compelling, idiosyncratic voices; and fresh, unexpected perspectives, particularly those of writers from underrepresented communities.

She’s open to surprises, but is NOT likely to enjoy fiction that incorporates any of the following:

  • Intergenerational family drama
  • Inexplicable existential malaise
  • Military or police
  • Hereditary monarchy
  • Body horror
  • Talking animals
  • The frontlines of war
  • Satire about race, gender, or sexuality
  • Writers writing about writers

In children’s fiction, Roma prefers more high-concept, plot-driven middle grade and more introspective, character- and voice-driven young adult, especially featuring protagonists who don’t often see themselves as the main character. Her interest is piqued by narratives about second-generation or third-culture kids; school stories with an edge; enemies-to-friends relationships; and smart, weird kids who are competitive or obsessive in some way. Across children’s fiction categories, she seeks out books for kids and teens who aren’t white, cis, straight, male, neurotypical, allosexual, able-bodied, beautiful, middle-class, Americans, or any of the many things they’re taught are “normal” and good—books that allow young readers to better understand each other, themselves, and the world around them.

Roma does NOT represent:

  • Picture books
  • Early readers
  • Graphic novels
  • Poetry
  • Violent true crime
  • Romance
  • High fantasy
  • Cozy mystery
  • Westerns
  • Military, political, or medical thrillers
  • Trauma memoirs

In nonfiction, Roma is looking for books involving original research or new analysis that reorient the way we see the world, as well as creative nonfiction that feels intimate, idiosyncratic, and/or wryly funny.

Her specific areas of interest include:

  • Memoir
  • Journalism
  • Cultural history
  • Science
  • The arts
  • Pop culture
  • Current events
  • Food writing
  • Essay collections

She can only consider previously unpublished manuscripts.

Roma’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Meg Reid

Meg Reid, Director, Hub City Press In-person at hotel

https://www.hubcity.org/publishing

Meg Reid is the Director of Hub City Press in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she finds and champions new and overlooked voices from the American South, including Carter Sickels, Drew Lanham, Ashley M. Jones, and Anjali Enjeti. An editor and book designer, her essays have appeared online in outlets like DIAGRAM, Oxford American, and The Rumpus. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she served as Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Ecotone, and worked for the literary imprint Lookout Books. She was a Publishers Weekly Star Watch 2021 Honoree.

Meg acquires Hub City Press publishes work about the South and by those who live in the South within these categories:

  • Literary fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Poetry
  • Regional interest books about the South

Within these areas, Hub City is able to champion a diverse range of authors whose books often don’t fit into the commercial publishing landscape. They get a lot of books that were tough sells in New York because they show a different, unexpected view of the region. Novels like Over the Plain Houses and The Magnetic Girl offer feminist reimaginings of historical eras.

Nonfiction like Flight Path: A Search for Roots beneath the World’s Busiest Airport and A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South, edited by Cinelle Barnes complicate our understanding of the historical and modern South. While Meg loves memoirs, they need to engage with some aspect of our larger culture or environment (think art, nature, music, food, farming) to be a truly successful Hub City project.

The poetry she acquires, written by poets like Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley M. Jones and New Orleans adoptee poet Tiana Nobile, often focuses on identity and belonging from the POVs of lesser-heard Southerners. In the past 24 months, Hub City has published poetry from working-class, queer, white, Black, Latinx, Gullah Geechee descent, and Korean American voices.

She is not seeking genre fiction and does not acquire individual poems or short stories/novellas.

Hub City Press acquires books directly from writers but also works with agents.

She can only consider previously unpublished manuscripts.

Meg’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Sara Rodgers

Sara Rodgers, Associate Editor, Graydon House/HarperCollins In-person at hotel

https://www.harpercollins.com/pages/graydonhousebooks

Sara Rodgers is an Associate Editor at Graydon House. Based in Toronto, Sara has a bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Concordia Montreal, and graduated with high honors from Centennial’s publishing certificate program. She has read for agents, edited for small presses, and contributed to the growing field of EPUB accessibility as a content certifier. When she isn’t reading or editing, Sara can be found writing, watching cheesy musicals, or putting her art degree to good use and getting her hands dirty.

Sara is looking for the following:

  • Book club-worthy upmarket fiction that skews commercial
  • Historical fiction from diverse perspectives
  • Twisty, gripping thrillers with surprising endings
  • Light fantasy or gothic elements and/or magical realism
  • Quirky, female-driven fiction
  • Juicy dramas
  • Sweeping love stories
  • Feminist takes on old tropes
  • Voices from underrepresented groups

She loves stories that keep her guessing, voice-y narratives, and immersive, atmospheric settings.

Sara is NOT looking for erotic fiction; relationships with huge power imbalances; gore/body horror; bleak, grim fiction; straight, non-diverse romcoms; religious fiction; or nonfiction.

She can only consider previously unpublished manuscripts.

Sara can work directly with authors or through agents if she wants to acquire a project.

Sara’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Reagan Rothe

Reagan Rothe, Black Rose Writing In-person at hotel

https://www.blackrosewriting.com/home

Reagan Rothe is the creator and owner of Black Rose Writing, an indie press in Texas, the host of the Heard it Through the Rosevine podcast, and a fellow published author. He is an Amazon Ad ninja, serves on Ingram’s Publisher Advisory Board, and is a Social Media Certified Professional. Rothe has contributed to IBPA’s Independent, NetGalley Insights, and other literary channels.

Reagan is seeking the following in fiction and nonfiction:

FICTION GENRES:

  • Children’s picture/chapter books
  • Christian
  • Coming-of-age
  • Contemporary
  • Family saga/drama
  • Fantasy
  • Graphic novel
  • Historical
  • Horror/Supernatural
  • Humor
  • LGBTQ+
  • Literary
  • Mainstream/Commercial (incl. magical realism)
  • Middle Grade
  • Mystery/Crime
  • Romance
  • Science fiction
  • Southern
  • Speculative fiction/myths & fairy tales
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Upmarket commercial/Book club
  • Women’s fiction
  • Young Adult

NONFICTION TOPICS:

  • Business/leadership/law
  • Cooking/food/cookbooks
  • Current events/politics/social commentary
  • Health/diet/wellness
  • History/biography
  • Humor
  • Memoir
  • Pop culture
  • Self-help/relationships
  • Science
  • Spiritual/inspirational/religious
  • Sports
  • Women’s issues

He will consider previously self-published work, but it does already raise the bar.

Reagan works with authors directly as well as through literary agents.

Reagan’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Kristen Terrette headshot

Kristen Terrette, Literary Manager, Martin Literary & Media Management In-person at hotel

https://www.martinlit.com/

Kristen is a literary manager building her list featuring titles in middle grade, young adult, female-driven crime thrillers, occasional horror, and faith-based books.

She has a BA in Early Childhood Education and MA in Theology and Religious Studies which led her into children’s ministry for many years. Eventually, her lifelong love of books and authors drew her back to her original dream of entering the publishing world. Kristen is a multi-published author and freelance writer. She’s held such positions as the Blog Manager for a national women’s ministry and the Social Media Manager for a publishing house. All these components landed her a spot in the coveted Writers House Intern Program. There, she received valuable hands-on agenting and publishing experience which she brings into her new position.

Kristen has long been a voice for diversity. She’s written extensively on topics of racial reconciliation and unity and is a facilitator of groups around these topics in her church. In all her focused genres, she welcomes books with BIPOC or disabled main characters and diverse friendships. She believes books change people in all the best ways and that every child should see themselves in the pages. Kristen hearts #kidlit! Follow her on Twitter: @KTerrette.

Kristen is looking for the following:

Middle Grade (All subgenres except science fiction): She would love to see books tackling themes like abandonment, bullying, loneliness, comparison, divorce, and body image but done so by instilling hope, growth, and healing. Send her the creepy, horrifying, supernatural, fantastical, historical, and contemporary. She is ready to see it all.

Young Adult (All subgenres except science fiction): Kristen’s background in writing YA and her extensive reading in this genre has given her a great love and understanding of it. Grab her attention within the first couple of pages. Send her books with first loves, unique friendships, interesting and/or challenging family dynamics, and hard-hitting subject matter (race relations, suicide, abuse, divorce, etc.) but leave her with a satisfying (not necessarily happy!) ending.

In Adult Fiction, Kristen is looking for very specific genres/subgenres only:

Faith-Based Fiction: This includes all sub-genres: Historical, Romance, Suspense, Thriller, and Women’s Fiction. Kristen loves a good redemption or forgiveness story, a historically accurate saga, a clean and beautiful, yet realistic love story, or a memoir that has her crying and laughing within the span of a few pages. Surprise her with the beauty of God’s grace.  

Women’s Crime Thriller: Kristen loves a good thriller with a woman main character, so send her the smart, tough, and brave lady crime solvers. If she can’t figure out what’s going to happen next or what the ending will be, you’ve gotten her attention.

Occasional Horror: Think old-school Michael Crichton here. She does not like possessions or ghost stories unless there’s a twist like The Sixth Sense.

Faith-Based Non-fiction: This includes memoirs and a fresh Bible study or devotional book that goes deeper.

Kristen is not a good fit for ANY science fiction (even in MG or YA), books with any political agenda, extremely foul-mouthed characters, or gratuitous sex scenes.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Kristen’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

 

Antoinette Van Sluytman

Antoinette Van Sluytman, Agent, Irene Goodman Literary Agency In-person at hotel

https://www.irenegoodman.com/

Antoinette is a junior agent, writer, freelance illustrator/fine artist, graphic designer, poet, martial artist, and history enthusiast during her free time. She is a member of the AALA and volunteers at the African Diaspora Museum & Research Center in San Diego, and at writing nonprofit organization WriteHive, as an outreach coordinator, artist professional in residence, and diversity ally. She considers herself an entrepreneurial scholartist who advocates for countering literary hegemony through speculative radicalism and diverse narratives within art and writing.

Antoinette is interested in all genres of speculative fiction, specifically:

  • Cosmic horror
  • Dark fantasy
  • Epic fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Historical fiction

Antoinette maintains special interest in adult projects but is also open to select young adult and graphic novels. In general, she loves atmospheric and lyrical prose that challenges narrative conventions, ambitiously immersive worlds inspired by different cultures, morally gray and dysfunctional but lovable characters with fun dynamics, and new takes on old tropes. She is drawn to complex philosophical/psychological themes across all genres.

Some general themes she enjoys are adventures, antiheroines, quirky concepts you might find in an anime, dark fantasy, and anticolonialism. In historical fiction she’s interested in finding stories inspired by non-western mythologies or about the untold stories of female heroines around the world such as Tomoe Gozen, Queen Amanirenas, or Sayyida-Al-Hura.

Please do not send her military fiction or fae/vampire/elemental magic fantasy.

Some favorite books of hers are BLACK SUN, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, and DEATH NOTE.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Antoinette’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Jade Wong-Baxter

Jade Wong-Baxter, Agent, Frances Goldin Literary Agency, Inc. – In-person at hotel

https://www.goldinlit.com/

Jade Wong-Baxter joined the agency in 2021. She previously worked for three years at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents as a junior agent and foreign rights associate. A graduate of Vassar College, Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. Among her interests are adult literary/ upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities. Some of her other areas of interest include magical realism, memoir, cultural criticism and Asian-American history.

Specifically, Jade is seeking these fiction genres:

  • Coming-of-age
  • Contemporary
  • Family saga/drama
  • Historical
  • Horror/Supernatural – not genre horror, but will do upmarket/literary
  • Humor
  • LGBTQ+ upmarket, women’s fiction, and literary
  • Literary
  • Mainstream/Commercial (incl. magical realism)
  • Short story collection
  • Southern
  • Speculative fiction/myths & fairy tales — not genre speculative, but will do upmarket/literary
  • Suspense
  • Upmarket commercial/Book club
  • Women’s fiction

In nonfiction, Jade is seeking the following:

  • Cooking/food – food narratives but not generally straight cookbooks
  • Current events/politics/social commentary
  • Essay collection
  • Health/diet/wellness – not prescriptive
  • History/biography
  • Humor
  • Memoir
  • Narrative nonfiction / journalism
  • Pop culture
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Women’s issues

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Jade’s manuscript sample critique and pitch spots are open for registration.

Questions?

Please contact George Weinstein at awconference@gmail.com.

Ready to register?

View the Registration page for instructions.

3 thoughts on “Editors & Agents

  1. Wouldn’t miss it. A great opportunity to meet and greet those on the forefront of everything books.

  2. What an awesome opportunity to network with such a collective group of talented professionals.

  3. The 2017 Writers Conference was a great and informative experience. I will never miss another conference. Both editors and agents were informative and motivating.

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