Editors & Agents

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.

At 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 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 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 likelihood 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 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 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, most industry professionals prefer to only consider never-published manuscripts so they don’t have to deal with copyright issues and other problems that already-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 awconference@gmail.com and he will ask for you.


NOTE: At the bottom of each editor/agent bio, we 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 email and will pay for the activity at that time. If you want to put your name on any waitlists, you may register for those–please go to the Registration page and use the Cvent system link to do so.


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 awconference@gmail.com to request recommendations about which ones have the shortest waitlists.


Madelyn BurtMadelyn Burt, Literary Agent for Stonesong

Madelyn Burt joined Stonesong in May 2015. She looks forward to building long-lasting, collaborative relationships with her authors, and is interested in a wide variety of manuscripts.

Madelyn is seeking the following in adult fiction:

  • Mysteries
  • Crime: especially capers/heists
  • Thrillers & Suspense: psychological and domestic with a unique perspective
  • Espionage: particularly featuring female protagonists
  • Historical: especially stories that focus on something other than war/battle

Madelyn is seeking the following in Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction:

  • Fantasy: especially that takes cue from myths and folklore
  • Mysteries
  • Contemporary
  • Magical Realism
  • Strong, relatable voices
  • Diverse perspectives

She is also seeking historical nonfiction.

Madelyn’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Emma CarusoEmma Caruso, Assistant Editor for Penguin Random House


Emma is seeking to acquire the following categories in fiction and nonfiction:


In fiction, she is seeking:

  • Smart, upmarket commercial women’s fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Political fiction
  • Multi-generational stories
  • Multi-cultural, diverse voices
  • UK, Celtic voices
  • Quirky, distinctive, heartwarming voices


In nonfiction, she is seeking:

  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Memoir
  • Pop culture
  • Smart true crime
  • Anything with a human element, thread, or voice to illuminate the true story


If Emma is interested in acquiring participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.

Emma’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full but waitlists are available.


Alicia ClancyAlicia Clancy, Acquisitions Editor for Lake Union Publishing/Amazon Publishing


Prior to acquiring fiction titles for Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing, Alicia was an assistant editor for nearly four years at St. Martin’s Press.


Alicia is seeking the following in fiction:

  • Women’s fiction (both upmarket and commercial)
  • Book club fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Psychological and domestic suspense
  • Occasional literary fiction projects with strong commercial appeal (think George Saunders, Meg Wolitzer, Jesamyn Ward, Alice McDermott, and Jennifer Egan)

If Alicia is interested in participants’ manuscripts, she would give the author the choice  of whether to do the contract with her directly or seek an agent for representation and negotiation.

Alicia’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Elizabeth CoppsElizabeth Copps, Literary Associate for Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.


Elizabeth is currently seeking the following genres of fiction:


On the adult side:

  • Thrillers and mysteries with a psychological bent along the lines of ARE YOU SLEEPING by Kathleen Barber and SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt
  • Historical fiction, particularly set in locations other than the U.S. such as PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee and THE ABSOLUTIST by John Boyne
  • Women’s fiction that navigates the complexities (and absurdities) of relationships such as THE GLITCH by Elisabeth Cohen and SOCIABLE by Rebecca Harrington
  • Issue-driven, contemporary fiction such as THE MARS ROOM by Rachel Kushner and SING UNBURIED SING by Jesmyn Ward


On the children’s side:

  • Contemporary Middle Grade and Young Adult
  • She would also love to see more magical realism in the vein of THE RIVERMAN by Aaron Starmer and THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton.


In general, she is drawn stories that are timeless, thought provoking, and discussion spurring. She wants to see characters who are brimming with personality and burst off the page. Extra points to works that feature quirky or humorous personalities, smart dialogue, and startling plot twists.

Elizabeth is NOT seeking:

  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Memoir
  • Picture books

Elizabeth’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Chelsey EmmelhainzChelsey Emmelhainz, Senior Editor for Crooked Lane Books


Senior Editor Chelsey Emmelhainz joined Crooked Lane Books in 2017 by way of HarperCollins Publishers and Arcade Publishing. Her clients include ITW Best First Novel finalists LS Hawker and E.Z. Rinksy; Laurie Petrou, winner of the 2016 Half the World Global Literati Award; Andy Davidson, a 2017 Bram Stoker Award Finalist; and bestselling thriller author Carey Baldwin.

Chelsey’s list focuses on contemporary upmarket suspense, mystery, and crime fiction featuring elevated writing and compelling, high-concept conflicts with crossover potential. Chelsey is especially interested in culturally diverse voices (including Own Voices authors) and concepts involving coming-of-age, family dysfunction, and toxic friendships. She loves all things dark, gritty, and macabre and would love to see projects with a sophisticated supernatural twist or horror bent.

Subgenres of interest include: small-town suspense, amateur sleuths, kidnapping, serial killers, psychological/domestic suspense, speculative fiction, magical realism, and horror/supernatural thrillers.

She is NOT looking for: cozy mysteries, international thrillers, espionage, PIs, noir, or romantic suspense.

If Chelsey is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she would work with them directly. Crooked Lane Books does not require authors to have representation.

Chelsey’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Erica GonzalezErica Gonzalez, Associate Editor for Penguin Random House



Erica is seeking to acquire the following categories in fiction and nonfiction:


In fiction, she is seeking:

  • Historical fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Upmarket genre fiction, including mystery, thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and romance
  • Women’s fiction
  • Multi-cultural and diverse voices

In nonfiction, Erica is seeking:

  • Memoir
  • Narrative nonfiction


If Erica is interested in acquiring participants’ manuscripts, she would provide references to agents for representation and negotiation.

Erica’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full but waitlists are available.


Melanie IglesiasMelanie Iglesias, Assistant Editor for Atria Books | Washington Square Press/Simon and Schuster


Melanie is seeking adult fiction and adult nonfiction in the following categories:

In fiction:

  • Upmarket (sweet spot between Commercial and Literary)
  • Commercial
  • Speculative (accessible Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Alternate History)
  • Women’s fiction
  • Diverse voices/perspectives (Latinx, LGBTQ+, People of Color, etc.)
  • Literature in Translation

In nonfiction:

  • Memoir
  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Popular culture


She is NOT interested in the following fiction genres:

  • Romance
  • Thriller
  • Mystery & Suspense

Also, she is NOT interested in these nonfiction topics:

  • Cooking
  • Dieting
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Self-Help

If Melanie is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she would refer them to a literary agent.

Melanie’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Vedika KhannaVedika Khanna, Editorial Assistant for William Morrow|Custom House, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers



In fiction, Vedika is seeking:

  • Literary coming of age
  • Speculative fiction
  • LGBTQIA fiction
  • Historical fiction (in particular medieval historical fiction and historical fiction that takes place outside the Western world)
  • Graphic novels
  • Dark fantasy that plays with tropes
  • Magical realism
  • Mythology/folklore

In nonfiction, she is seeking:

  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Memoir
  • Historical nonfiction that focuses on a specific person or event


If Vedika is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she would refer them to a literary agent.

Vedika’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Jessica KirklandJessica Kirkland, Founder, Kirkland Media Management

Jessica possesses a unique skill set as an agent, which includes a strong command of sales, marketing, and creative development. She loves discovering new talent and identifying stories that have the capacity to change the world. Her outside-the-box thinking and keen business sense have allowed her to excel in the publishing industry and emerge as a champion for traditional and hybrid authors. With her eye always on the big picture, Jessica represents fiction and non-fiction clients who continue to thrive in an ever-changing publishing environment.

She graduated with honors from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Marketing. She is a popular conference speaker where she teaches on publishing trends, marketing, blogging, and the writer’s journey. She has been an agent for almost seven years, and was named Agent of the Year in 2016 by American Christian Fiction Writers.

Kirkland Media Management provides representation for U.S. and Canadian authors, working in partnership at every level from project concept to completion. They pursue the best creative talent and mine broad opportunities for their authors across all media formats—books, TV, film, e-books, and audio. Jessica is looking for strong stories that encourage, equip, challenge, and change, in fiction and nonfiction.

Fiction (Jessica is really open to all genres of fiction except those specified at the bottom of her listing. Projects she’s particularly enthusiastic about now include the following):

  • Romantic Comedy
  • Contemporary Romance (sweet/clean)
  • Historical Romance
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Crime
  • Historical
  • Speculative
  • Literary
  • Upmarket/Book Club
  • Women’s
  • Christian/inspirational



  • Memoir
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Christian-living
  • Cookbooks
  • Special interest topics: parenting, pet memoirs, humor, motherhood, health, politics, cultural issues, prophecy, current events


Please note that Jessica is NOT looking for: Children’s/Middle Grade/Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Devotionals, Short Stories, Erotica, or Poetry.

Jessica’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Sara MegibowSara Megibow, Literary Agent for KT Literary


Sara is actively seeking the following areas of fiction:


  • Middle Grade novels = absolutely all sub-genres

         – Check out THE DOOR TO THE LOST by Jaleigh Johnson and WHAT GOES UP by Wen Baragrey as examples of her taste

  • Young Adult novels = absolutely all sub-genres

          – Check out THE WEIGHT OF ZERO by Karen Fortunati and AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS by Margaret Rogerson

  • Romance novels = absolutely all sub-genres

          – Single-title and novella-length, stand alone and series, historical, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, historical…anything! Check out LOVE GAME by Maggie Wells and THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY by Roni Loren

  • Fantasy for the adult market = absolutely all sub-genres

          – Check out THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER by K Arsenault Rivera, TRAIL OF LIGHTNING by Rebecca Roanhorse, and THE LAST SUN by K.D. Edwards as examples

  • Science fiction for the adult market = absolutely all sub-genres

          – Check out A RED PEACE by Spencer Ellsworth and MASS EFFECT by Jason Hough as examples.

For additional resources about Sara, her clients, and recent sales, see the KT Literary website and:

Publishers Marketplace (for clients, sales, info)

Manuscript Wishlist

Pinterest board of Science Fiction/Fantasy authors/books

Pinterest board of MG/YA authors/books

Pinterest board of romance authors/books

And on Twitter: @SaraMegibow

Sara is NOT seeking picture books, chapter books, memoir, nonfiction, self-help, literary fiction, commercial fiction, or mystery/thriller.

Sara’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


John RudolphJohn Rudolph, Literary Agent for Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC


John Rudolph joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2010 after twelve years as an acquiring children’s book editor.

For young readers, he is seeking:

  • Picture book author/illustrators
  • Middle grade
  • Young adult
  • Nonfiction authors

For adults, he is actively looking for:

  • Narrative nonfiction, especially in music, sports, history, popular science, “big think,” performing arts, health, business, memoir, military history, and humor
  • He also will consider commercial and literary fiction except for the genres noted below

John is NOT interested in prescriptive nonfiction (cookbooks, diet, how-to, gardening, etc.) or science fiction, fantasy, or romance fiction.

John’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Lauren SpiellerLauren Spieller, Associate Literary Agent for TriadaUS Literary Agency


Lauren is seeking Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) fiction, as well as select Adult fiction and nonfiction. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about representing writers from traditionally marginalized communities.

In MG, she’s drawn to:

  • Heartfelt contemporaries
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Exciting adventures


In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres, though she is especially fond of:

  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Contemporary stories with a strong hook
  • Anything with a feminist or intersectional bent


In Adult, Lauren is seeking:

  • Psychological thrillers
  • High concept science fiction and fantasy
  • Female-driven upmarket fiction (especially if it’s historical, feminist, funny, or involves a touch of magical realism)
  • She is also open to unique nonfiction with an existing platform.

Lauren is NOT looking for the following categories: romance, women’s fiction, military science fiction, or memoirs.

Lauren’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.


Cherry Weiner-thumbnail with credit to RENA MASONCherry Weiner, Founder, Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

Cherry Weiner has been agenting since 1977. She started out by handling science fiction, fantasy, and horror. She now handles nearly all genres of adult fiction–including all the different categories of romance, mystery, Westerns, science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, horror, thriller, suspense, adventure, crime, historical, mainstream, literary, upmarket/book club, women’s,  and any other fiction genres EXCEPT children’s/Middle Grade/Young Adult and erotica. She also does not represent poetry or nonfiction.

For those who select her for the Pitch activity, she prefers that those participants have a completed manuscript to talk about, and, if not, then that they are willing to finish it before submitting it to her, if she requests it. For those who select her for the Manuscript Critique activity, a completed manuscript is not necessary for this meeting with her.


Cherry’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are full, but waitlists are available.



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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