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 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.

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. 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) 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 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 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 get a sample critiqued? If agents and editors are open considering a previously self-published work for traditional publishing, 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 and other problems that already-released books present.

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–please go to the Registration page and use the Cvent system link provided there 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmelia Appel, Assistant Literary Agent, Triada US

http://www.triadaus.com/

Amelia joined Triada after previously assisting at McIntosh & Otis, Inc. and Writers House.

Amelia is seeking young adult and adult fiction and adult nonfiction.

For adult fiction, she is most interested in:

  • Literary fiction
  • Mystery
  • Thriller
  • Upmarket women’s fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Horror

Projects with a smart, distinct voice, a fantastic setting to jump into, and/or a witty protagonist are all up her alley.

For Young Adult fiction, she is particularly interested in stories with a savvy protagonist and a slightly dark tone that deal with serious coming-of-age issues.

She is NOT looking for romance novels.

For adult nonfiction, she is primarily looking for:

  • Creative/narrative nonfiction
  • Humor
  • Sports
  • How-to
  • Pop culture
  • True crime

Amelia is NOT seeking memoir.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

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

Sarah BlumenstockSarah Blumenstock, Associate Editor, Berkley/Penguin Random House

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/

Since 2016, Sarah has acquired for the Berkley imprint of Penguin Random House. Prior to that, she handled subsidiary rights for Penguin and served in numerous capacities at several literary agencies.

Sarah is currently seeking:

  • Romance in the following categories:
    • Historical
    • Victorian
    • Regency
    • Contemporary
    • Romantic comedy
    • Western
    • Diverse voices across all genres
  • Women’s fiction in the following categories:
    • Historical
    • Contemporary
    • Book club
    • Magical realism
    • Diverse voices across all genres

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If Sarah is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she is willing to work with authors directly but might refer the author to an agent, depending on the situation.

Sarah’s manuscript critique spots are full, but a waitlist is available. She has open spots for pitches.

Lucy ClelandLucy Cleland, Literary Agent, Kneerim & Williams

https://kwlit.com/

Lucy is a literary agent and the dramatic rights manager at Kneerim & Williams, where she has spent six years working with both new and established authors on a range of projects from groundbreaking “big idea” nonfiction to fiction and children’s titles. A Southern transplant to Boston from Atlanta, Lucy graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College where she studied English and studio art.

Lucy represents a variety of genres in young adult fiction and adult fiction and nonfiction, united by strong writing, appealing narratives, and high-concept content. In fiction, she’s particularly seeking:

  • Young adult (YA)
  • Contemporary upmarket, genre-leaning commercial fiction for adults:
    • Speculative fiction
    • Science fiction
    • Fantasy
    • Thriller
    • Suspense
    • Mystery
    • Historical

For YA, she’d love to find a fresh and frightening Black Mirror-esque speculative or sci-fi hook, or a contemporary with a crackling voice and maddening love-triangle.

For adults, she’s dying to see a nail-biting mystery centered around a black female detective set in the South, or a historical drama that puts a feminist twist on a vivid cultural moment. She’s also a fan of family sagas, unruly heroines, romantic tension, Southern settings, sharp wit, diverse protagonists, and high-heart-rate plots.

She does NOT represent romance.

Lucy also represents adult nonfiction, including:

  • History
  • Literary narrative nonfiction
  • High-end self-help
  • Pop culture
  • Select children’s and middle grade nonfiction projects that nourish curiosity

In all topics and genres, she’s actively looking for #OwnVoices material, diverse authors, and LGBTQ+ perspectives.

She will only consider unpublished manuscripts.

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

Matthew DaddonaMatthew Daddona, Editor, Dey Street Books, HarperCollins Publishers

http://deystreet.harpercollins.com/

Matthew Daddona began his career at Plume, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where he acquired Last Night in the OR and Luke Skywalker Can’t Read, among other titles. At Dey Street, he has published the Indie bestseller The Trump Survival Guide and the New York Times bestsellers What Does This Button Do? by Bruce Dickinson and From the Outside by NBA hall-of-famer Ray Allen. Matthew is also a freelance writer and poet, a poetry submissions reader for Slice Magazine, and the co-host of a Manhattan-based reading series “Kill Genre.”

Matthew is seeking nonfiction in the following areas:

  • Memoir
  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Journalistic nonfiction
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Pop culture
  • Travel and adventure

He can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If Matthew is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, he will provide a referral to a literary agent so the participant can obtain a representative to handle contract negotiations.

Matthew has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Arielle DatzArielle Datz, Agent, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency

https://www.dclagency.com/

Arielle started as an intern at Dunow, Carlson, & Lerner in 2011. She then worked in the foreign rights department at WME, followed by 2 years at the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. She returned to DCL full-time in 2015.

In fiction, Arielle is seeking:

  • Upmarket
  • Literary
  • Commercial
  • Young adult

She prioritizes plot and voice and shies away from quiet, introspective narratives. She enjoys some speculative and magical realism elements when employed expertly – for example, she likes the writing of Ben H. Winters, Salman Rushdie, and Emily St. John Mandel. Arielle also likes literary thrillers (not straight thrillers like James Patterson, but more like Gillian Flynn).

To give you some comparative titles, to see if any are a good fit with your work, here are some novels Arielle really enjoyed (and wishes she’d represented): Circe by Madeline Miller, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder, The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, and The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. She likes it when well-developed characters are thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and she doesn’t mind a little weirdness, but it has to be grounded in the real when possible.

She also is tentatively open to more literary, voice-driven Young Adult (YA) – think Eleanor & Park, I’ll Give You the Sun, or Dumplin’, but nothing for a readership younger than YA.

In nonfiction, Arielle is interested in:

  • Unconventional memoirs from singular voices (think Priestdaddy or Educated)
  • Essay collections
  • Narrative nonfiction, with a focus on underrepresented voices
  • Feminism
  • Pop culture
  • Sociology

Arielle does NOT generally represent historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, or romance, and she has an aversion to war narratives, particularly those surrounding Vietnam and the World Wars.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

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

Rachel DiebelRachel Diebel, Assistant Editor, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Publishers

https://us.macmillan.com/

As a young person growing up in a rural town, Rachel discovered the power of reading at an early age. Not only did books transport her to other, more exciting locations, but they provided her with the language, communication, and writing skills necessary to excel in academics. She continued to pursue her love of reading and talking about literature at Pacific Lutheran University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and minors in printing and publishing arts, communications, and women’s and gender studies. She is now pursuing her master’s degree in publishing at Pace University in New York City.

In adult fiction, Rachel is seeking:

  • Historical
  • Women’s fiction (commercial/light and upmarket/book club)
  • Romantic comedy

Young Adult Fiction:

  • Fantasy, particularly historical fantasy or contemporary fantasy/magical realism
  • Contemporary
  • Thriller
  • Romantic comedy
  • Mystery/suspense

Please do NOT send her:

Nonfiction, middle grade, chapter or pictures books, horror, science fiction, or adult literary fiction.

Rachel can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she can work directly with the writer or she can work with an agent if the participant has a representative to handle contract negotiations.

Rachel has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Melissa EdwardsMelissa Edwards, Literary Agent, Stonesong

http://stonesong.com/

Melissa Edwards joined Stonesong as a literary agent in August 2016. Previously, she was a literary agent at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency, where she managed the foreign rights for a 40-year backlist. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School, Melissa began her career as a litigation attorney before transitioning into publishing. She is a tireless advocate for her clients and a constant partner during the publication process and beyond.

Melissa also acts as a contract consultant for authors and agents under the business MLE Consulting. She can be found on Twitter @MelissaLaurenE, where she often tweets her active Manuscript Wishlist requests under #MSWL.

Melissa represents authors of children’s fiction, adult commercial fiction, and select pop-culture nonfiction. She is looking for:

  • Sweet and funny picture books
  • Warm and timeless middle grade fiction
  • Accessible young adult fiction
  • Fast-paced thrillers and smart women’s fiction for adults

She is NOT the best choice for horror, memoir, or historical fiction.

Melissa can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

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

Wendi GuWendi Gu, Associate Agent, Janklow & Nesbit Associates

https://www.janklowandnesbit.com/

Wendi started her career in publishing as an intern at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and began working as a literary assistant after graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Creative Writing. She has a hands-on, editorial approach to agenting. You can find her tweets at @wendilulugu.

She represents fiction and nonfiction for children and adults.

For children’s fiction and nonfiction, she is seeking the following categories, with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience:

  • Picture books in fiction and nonfiction
  • Middle grade
  • Young adult

Wendi likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan. For illustration, she enjoys elegant and eclectic color palettes, and looks for nuanced character expression and dynamic composition. She is very interested in unconventional illustration mediums like cut paper and photo illustration.

She is always on the lookout for nonfiction picture book biographies on little-known heroes in history.

Wendi also represents adult titles in:

  • Literary fiction
  • Nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations

Wendi can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Wendi has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Saritza HernándezSaritza Hernández, VP & Sr. Literary Agent, Corvisiero Literary Agency

https://www.corvisieroagency.com/

Saritza is known as the first literary agent to represent authors in the digital publishing landscape. She is the leading literary agent in digital publishing deals, according to Publishers Marketplace. A geek with a passion for all things Star Wars, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, her love of great storytelling is what has driven her work in the publishing industry for the past 15 years. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book and audiobook obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup (or several) of strong Cuban coffee while escaping into worlds and stories from all walks of life. With a passion for romance and a strong advocate of the LGBT community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and Adult genre fiction as well as numerous nonfiction topics.

​Her client titles include: Lambda Literary Finalist and NYPL Book of the Year 2017, Dreadnought by April Daniels, Guyliner by j. leigh bailey, Even Odds by triple RITA-Award nominee Elia Winters, and bestselling gay romance author Tara Lain.

In genre fiction, Saritza is seeking:

  • Romance in all subcategories, with particular interest in sweet romances for young adult and adult markets
  •  Erotica/erotic romance with diverse main characters
  •  Women’s fiction with a diverse cast, with particular interest in #OwnVoices work by women of color
  • Science fiction/fantasy in all subcategories, with particular interest in space opera, light sci-fi, historical fantasy set in a period outside of Regency/Victorian, and urban or contemporary fantasy featuring characters from marginalized communities
  • Horror, with particular interest in middle grade and young adult: think Get Out, Us, or A Quiet Place but for the children’s market
  • Mystery, with particular interest in cozy mystery and hardboiled detective novels
  • Thriller/suspense, with particular interest in young adult with a focus on psychological thrillers that really mess with your head: think Gone Girl and A Killer’s Mind
  • Graphic novels in all subcategories, with particular interest in middle grade and young adult horror graphic novels

In nonfiction (where a strong platform is required), she is seeking:

  • Narrative nonfiction with a humorous bent: think Girl, Wash Your Face
  • Cooking books (not cookbooks)
  • Humor
  • History (particularly outside WWII era)
  • Parenting

Saritza is particularly interested in more diverse work, by #OwnVoices authors, in genre fiction and nonfiction.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Saritza has open manuscript critique and pitch spots.

Thomas HoelerTom Hoeler, Associate Editor, Del Rey Books, Penguin Random House

http://www.randomhousebooks.com/

Tom is looking for adult commercial and literary crossover titles across:

  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Speculative fiction

While he’s open to submissions from all relevant sub-genres of these, he’s particularly interested in space opera, high-concept fantasy, and military science-fiction. In all cases, Tom is looking for rich, engaging characters with defined and unique voices.

He is also particularly interested in vibrant new perspectives and underrepresented experiences in science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction.

Tom is NOT looking for nonfiction at this time, nor middle grade or young adult titles, though he’s open to titles with crossover potential into adult fiction.

He can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If Tom is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, he will provide a referral to a literary agent so the participant can obtain a representative to handle contract negotiations.

Tom’s manuscript critique spots are full, but a waitlist is available. He has open pitch spots.

Tamara KawarTamara Kawar, Agent Trainee, ICM Partners

http://www.icmpartners.com/

Tamara is a lover of books, games, anime, and comics, and is building her list at ICM.

She’s looking for Young Adult (YA) and adult fiction in the following categories:

  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Historical fiction

In addition, she wants graphic novels for all ages and across genres.

Tamara is especially excited about seeing #ownvoices stories featuring underrepresented and queer characters.

She will consider unpublished manuscripts or works that have been published online for free.

Tamara’s pitch spots are full, but a waitlist is available. She has open spots for manuscript critiques.

Tiara KittrellTiara Kittrell, Assistant Editor, Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins Publishers

http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Home/ChildrensImprints.aspx

Tiara has been a member of the Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins team since 2017. She is currently looking to acquire the following in fiction and nonfiction:

  • Picture books
  • Middle grade (MG)
  • Young adult (YA)

Within those kid-lit categories, her interests span a wide range of genres including:

  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Action/Adventure
  • Contemporary realistic
  • Thrillers
  • Magical realism

She has a big ole soft spot for genre hybrids, stories that subvert their genres, and #ownvoices stories representing people of historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Tiara is particularly drawn to lyrical picture books; literary MG and YA novels with a strong voice; commercial MG and YA fiction with a compelling hook; funny MG tales; emotionally resonant MG and YA stories; family and friendship MG and YA stories; and moody, unreliable, or messy protagonists.

She is willing to consider previously self-published manuscripts.

Tiara also is willing to work directly with an author rather than directing them to an agent.

Tiara has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Loan LeLoan Le, Assistant Editor, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster

http://www.simonandschusterpublishing.com/atria/

Loan is looking for:

  • Quietly sharp literary fiction (Anne Enright, Jennifer Egan, Julian Barnes)
  • Historical fiction (The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield)
  • Psychological thrillers (I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid)
  • Food-for-thought nonfiction that focuses on a topic that isn’t normally explored or ruminated, such as Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust (history of walking) or The Field Guide to Getting Lost; she also loves nonfiction that has personality too, like Mary Roach’s works

Loan is drawn to stories that have misfit characters, dark and psychological atmospheres, and a blend of reality and the unreal (Himself by Jess Kidd, The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper, The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler). She does not like novels featuring trouble-in-paradise marriages; aimless millennials; unnecessary gore; and callous characters with no redeeming quality.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If Loan is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she would likely refer the author to an agent.

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

Megha MajumdarMegha Majumdar, Associate Editor, Catapult

https://catapult.co/

Megha Majumdar is Associate Editor at Catapult, where she works on both books and the Catapult magazine. She grew up in India and studied anthropology at Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

Megha is seeking:

  • Literary fiction
  • Artful narrative nonfiction, including:
    • Memoir
    • Reportage/journalism
    • Science
    • Food
    • Travel
    • Cultural history

For fiction, she loves international voices and settings, stories and novels from the margins or with social justice stakes that respond to current events, politics, or climate change.

In nonfiction, she loves writing that includes a personal angle but opens up onto some form of research or reporting.

She can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If Megha is interested in acquiring a participant’s manuscript, she would likely refer the author to an agent, but will handle this on a case-by-case basis.

Megha has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Kelli Martin
Credit: Jessica Wood Photography

Kelli Martin, Agent, Wendy Sherman Associates

https://www.wsherman.com/

Kelli Martin began her book publishing career over twenty years ago. She started at Simon & Schuster and rose up the editorial ladder at HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Amazon Publishing. At Amazon Publishing, Kelli served as the launch editor and public face of Montlake Romance and was Executive Editor at Lake Union (general fiction imprint).

Throughout her editorial career, Kelli built a list of successful authors and breakout books in romance and commercial fiction. Now, as an agent at Wendy Sherman Associates, Kelli is passionate about building the agency’s romance program and representing a wide variety of commercial fiction.

Kelli is seeking:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Romantic suspense
  • Love stories
  • Romantic comedies
  • Domestic suspense and psychological thrillers
  • Family dramas
  • Friendship dramas
  • Beach reads
  • Women coming-into-their-own/personal transformation stories

She is NOT looking for historical romance or paranormal/fantasy romance.

Kelli can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Kelli’s manuscript critique spots are full, but a waitlist is available. She has open spots for pitches.

Chris WernerChristopher Werner, Senior Editor, Amazon Publishing

https://amazonpublishing.amazon.com/

Prior to joining Lake Union Publishing, Chris worked on the Kindle Books team and spent several years as an editor for Montlake Romance, where he worked on Jamie Beck’s bestselling St. James and The Cabots books and Elisabeth Naughton’s RITA-winning Deadly Secrets series. He has also served as a senior editor at SagaCity Media, where he led online editorial, in addition to writing and editing all things connected to food and arts.

Chris edits historical and contemporary book club fiction, including bestselling authors Sonja Yoerg, Kelly Harms, Kerry Lonsdale, Victoria Helen Stone, and Olivia Hawker, among others. He is particularly drawn to:

  • Twentieth-century historical fiction
  • Domestic/psychological suspense
  • Upmarket family dramas
  • Voice-driven/quirky light women’s fiction

He is currently NOT seeking historical fiction set during the world wars, literary fiction, or domestic/psychological suspense that is too gritty in nature.

He can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

While the majority of authors he works with are agented, Chris is open to working with unagented authors.

Chris has open spots for manuscript critiques and pitches.

Questions?

Please contact George Weinstein at awconference@gmail.com.

Ready to register?

View the Registration page for instructions.

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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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