Editors & Agents

For the May 7-9, 2021 Atlanta Writers Conference, the editors and agents below have provided, in their own words, the genres they are seeking to acquire (in the case of acquisition editors) or represent (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.

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 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 your registration by contacting 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 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 just like any other activity–please go to the Registration page and use the Cvent system link provided there to do so.

Due to COVID-19, our guest agents and editors will be making phone calls to the participants who selected them for manuscript critiques and/or pitches as well as the randomly assigned participant/agent and editor matchups for the query letter critiques.

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.

Caroline Bleeke, Senior Editor, Flatiron Books/Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

https://us.macmillan.com/publishers/flatiron-books/

Caroline Bleeke is a senior editor at Flatiron Books. Her authors include Angie Cruz, Charlotte McConaghy, Neel Patel, Nina LaCour, Jenny Lee, Margarita Montimore, Saraciea Fennell, and many others. Bleeke previously worked at Alfred A. Knopf and holds a Master’s degree in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature.

She acquires literary and upmarket commercial fiction, with an emphasis on underrepresented voices, innovative structure and style, stories that urgently address the issues of our time, writing with a strong sense of place, and heart. Specifically, she is seeking the following:

  • Literary fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Speculative fiction
  • Coming-of-age stories
  • Family sagas
  • Retellings of classics

She doesn’t acquire sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or mysteries/thrillers.

Caroline can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in a participant’s project, she would refer the author to an agent.

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

Laura Brown, Editor, Park Row Books/Harlequin/HarperCollins Publishers

https://www.harpercollins.com/

Laura Brown began working at HarperCollins in 2013 and joined Park Row Books in 2018. She has worked with national bestselling and award-winning authors, whose books have graced the cover of the New York Times Book Review, have been named a B&N Discover Pick, Library Reads Pick, and Costco Pennie’s Pick. Laura is drawn to exceptional writing from unique and underrepresented voices, with a propulsive plot, strong emotion, and cast of unforgettable characters.

Laura is seeking the following:

  • Literary fiction with popular appeal
  • Upmarket women’s fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Domestic thrillers
  • Narrative nonfiction

She does not acquire prescriptive or heavily designed nonfiction, or genre fiction such as romance, horror, or science fiction.

Laura can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in a participant’s project, she would refer the author to an agent.

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

Jennifer Chen Tran, Literary Agent, Bradford Literary Agency

https://bradfordlit.com/

Jennifer Chen Tran is an agent at Bradford Literary, having joined in September 2017. She represents both fiction and nonfiction. Originally from New York, Jennifer is a lifelong reader and experienced member of the publishing industry. Prior to joining Bradford Literary, she was an Associate Agent at Fuse Literary and served as Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer understands the importance of negotiation in securing rights on behalf of her authors. She counsels her clients on how to expand their platforms, improve on craft, and works collaboratively with her clients throughout the editorial and publication process. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a positive social impact on the world—books that also inform and entertain.

As a person of color and second-generation daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Jennifer is very interested in diverse writers and #ownvoices from underrepresented/ marginalized communities. As a former art major, Jennifer is also eager to grow her list of illustrators and actively looking for graphic novel projects, in both MG and YA. She believes that visual literacy is increasingly important in our interconnected world and that graphic novels help reluctant readers become voracious readers.

In adult fiction, she also wants to see strong and conflicted characters who are not afraid to take emotional risks, stories about multi-generational conflict, war and post-war fiction, and writing with a developed sense of place. Basically, surprise her!

In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her perspective on a variety of topics, but that also dive deep into worlds unseen. Books like EVICTED by Matthew Desmond and MAID by Stephanie Land are examples of the type of nonfiction she is looking for. Additionally, Jennifer is always interested in cooking, lifestyle, health, parenting, and business titles that present the author’s expertise and are instructive without being pedantic. Teach her something new and you will pique her interest!

For fiction she is looking for:

  • Contemporary fiction/women’s upmarket fiction
  • Select Young Adult (must have a distinct voice); she is especially keen on YA graphic novel, YA contemporary and YA horror
  • Select Middle Grade
  • Graphic novels and visually driven projects

For nonfiction she is looking for:

  • Narrative nonfiction (biography, current affairs, medical, investigative journalism, history, how-to, music, pop culture, travel)
  • Cookbooks and culinary projects
  • Lifestyle (home, design, beauty, fashion)
  • Business books (social entrepreneurship, female and/or minority-led businesses, and innovation)
  • Select memoir with an established platform
  • Parenting
  • Relationships and psychology
  • Mind, body, spirit
  • Children’s nonfiction (pop science, famous historical figures, creativity, cooking)

Jennifer can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Jennifer’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Priya Doraswamy, Founder/Agent, Lotus Lane Literary

https://lotuslit.com/

Priya Doraswamy’s love for books, people, and background in law makes her career as a literary agent the perfect fit for her passions and talents. Priya enjoys working with publishers and writers from around the world. Although physically in New Jersey, her work hours are zone-free. She does admit to occasionally losing track of time zones and waking a writer with an early morning phone call.  Priya is drawn to all genre of fiction and nonfiction.  Prior to her agency career, she was a practicing lawyer in New Jersey.  Originally from Bangalore, India, Priya immigrated to the New York area many moons ago.  For a period of time she relocated with her family to Singapore, and there, began her career as a literary agent.  She founded Lotus Lane Literary in May 2013 and continues her journey with writers and publishers.

Priya is currently seeking the following:

  • Upmarket contemporary women’s fiction
  • Romcoms
  • Literary fiction
  • Mystery/thriller/crime
  • Historical fiction centered around American women heroes in all walks of life
  • True crime nonfiction

Priya can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Priya’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Jessica Errera, Agent, Jane Rotrosen Agency

https://www.janerotrosen.com/

Jessica has been with JRA since 2014. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she spent four years cheering on the Tar Heels and a few fantastic months interning with Algonquin Books.

Jessica is looking to expand her list in the following areas:

  • Commercial women’s fiction with a fresh and fun hook
  • Contemporary romance/romcoms
  • Light thriller and suspense
  • Historical fiction
  • All genres of young adult (especially diverse stories and graphic novels)
  • Anything that might be called a beach read.

She is not the right match for nonfiction projects, poetry, police procedurals, romantic suspense, military thrillers, or picture books.

Jessica can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Jessica’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Sam Farkas, Agent & Foreign and Subsidiary Rights Associate, Jill Grinberg Literary Management

https://jillgrinbergliterary.com/

Sam Farkas grew up in South Jersey and attended the College of William & Mary, where she received her B.A. in History and English. Upon graduation, she moved to New York to intern with Maria B. Campbell Associates, where she discovered her love for collaborating with agents and publishers around the world. She worked in the subsidiary rights department at Penguin before she joined the JGLM team in 2018. She handles foreign rights for all JGLM authors while gradually building her own client list.

In Adult fiction, Sam is looking for the following:

  • Upmarket fiction of all stripes
  • Historical
  • Fast-paced, high-concept speculative thrillers that make her heart race
  • Lyrical and immersive fantasy
  • Single-title romance that simmers

She is open to Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction of all genres, and she has a special fondness for thoughtful contemporary, often with a speculative twist; historical with modern sensibilities; fantasy with morally gray protagonists and complicated character dynamics; and the very strange and the very funny.

Sam will also consider select picture books.

She is not the right agent for political or legal thrillers, police procedurals, epic fantasy, cozy mysteries, Christian fiction, satire, erotica, or paranormal romance.

Sam can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Sam’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Emily Forney, Associate Agent, BookEnds Literary Agency

www.bookendsliterary.com

Emily Forney is an associate agent at BookEnds Literary. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis on YA literature and genre fiction, so she is a sucker for all things fantasy and magic. Emily worked in editorial roles for literary magazines, journals, and digital prints before finding her home at BookEnds and she uses her past experiences to work as an editorial agent. She was a 2020 Publishing Fellow with the LA Review of Books and actively writes about identity, Blackness, and pop culture. She’s especially proud of her list of middle grade authors and is constantly looking to uplift BIPOC authors who explore stories about identity and culture through children’s stories.

The following is the list of fiction genres Emily is seeking:

In Young Adult (YA) fiction —

  • Contemporary
  • Historical fiction (no war stories)

In Middle Grade (MG) fiction —

  • Contemporary
  • Historical
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Literary

In adult fiction —

  • Magical realism
  • Spooky and paranormal
  • Commercial women’s fiction
  • Commercial chick lit
  • Fantasy
  • Strong commercial literary fiction

She is also interested in nonfiction picture books.

Emily can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

Emily’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Mark Gottlieb, Literary Agent, Trident Media Group

https://www.tridentmediagroup.com/

Mark Gottlieb is a prominent literary agent working at book publishing’s leading literary agency Trident Media Group in New York City. He has ranked highly among literary agents across the industry for overall number of deals and other individual categories. While at Trident Media Group, Mark Gottlieb has represented New York Times bestselling authors as well as major award-winning authors. He has optioned and sold numerous books to production companies and studios for film and TV adaptation. Mark Gottlieb greatly enjoys working with authors to help manage and grow their careers with the resources available at Trident Media Group. In addition to having worked at the company’s Foreign Rights Department, he also ran the company’s Audiobook Department. Utilizing his drive and intuition for discovering talented writers, he is currently expanding his client list of authors. As a literary agent he looks forward to bringing authors to the largest possible audience.

Mark is seeking the following:

For fiction he is focused on debut novels in upmarket, literary, and all genres of commercial fiction.

For nonfiction he is focused on all platform-driven nonfiction topics.

For children’s books, he is open to debut middle grade, young adult, graphic novels and writer-illustrator picture books.

Mark is not looking for self-published or previously published books.

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

Miranda Hill, Assistant Editor, Ace/Berkley Publishing Group at Penguin Random House

https://www.penguin.com/publishers/berkley/

Miranda Hill is an assistant editor whose interests lie in acquiring commercial speculative fiction, horror, fantasy, and mystery titles. After beginning her publishing career at McGraw-Hill Higher Education in 2015, Miranda joined the publishing team at Berkley in 2016. Some of her recent and upcoming titles include The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J. Hackwith, The Dead Season by Tessa Wegert, and  A Pairing to Die For by Kate Lansing.

Miranda is currently interested in acquiring the following fiction genres, along with subgenres that she particularly enjoys:

  • Mystery (cozy, historical, contemporary)
  • Science Fiction (especially speculative near-future thrillers)
  • Fantasy (contemporary, low fantasy, fables and fairy tale retellings, magical realism, historical, paranormal, portal)
  • Horror (gothic, paranormal, psychological, supernatural)

The only strong dislikes she has in terms of genre are women’s fiction and military science fiction, but otherwise she is open to whatever the authors have to pitch!

Miranda can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in a participant’s project, she would refer the author to an agent.

Miranda’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Lara Jones, Associate Editor, Atria/Emily Bestler Books/Simon & Schuster

https://www.emilybestlerbooks.com/

Lara Jones is an Associate Editor at Emily Bestler Books, an imprint of Atria and Simon & Schuster, where she has worked since 2015. Previously, she held editorial positions at Europa Editions and Scholastic. Raised in Portland, Oregon, Lara is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and Seattle University, where she studied English and Italian.

Lara is currently acquiring upmarket women’s fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, upmarket suspense/mysteries, memoir, true crime, and pop culture. Please see below for details:

Upmarket women’s fiction:

  • Rom coms with a fresh voice or perspective, or with a strong hook like One Day in December by Josie Silver or The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • Novels about female friendship like Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
  • Multigenerational stories about grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters…

Upmarket commercial fiction:

  • Book club fiction like Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  • Novels with a slight fantasy or magical realism element like Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
  • Historical novels focused on forgotten figures like The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
  • Novels set in the Pacific Northwest like Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • Novels with dark suburban secrets like Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Upmarket mysteries/suspense:

  • Procedurals like Tana French’s Dublin Murder series or Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series
  • Modern Golden Age mysteries like Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murder, or Lucy Foley’s The Guest List
  • Psychological suspense like The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
  • Gothic novels like Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger or Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Memoir:

  • Memoirs from strong female voices like All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung and The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
  • Memoirs related to adventure or nature like On Trails by Robert Moor

True Crime:

  • Historical or forgotten crimes like The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
  • Narrative true crime like I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara and Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

Pop Culture:

  • Humor or satire of current trends like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • Books based on podcasts or from podcast stars like Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  • Oral histories of cultural touchstones like The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene

Lara can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in a participant’s project, she would refer the author to an agent.

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

Colleen Oefelein, Associate Literary Agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

http://www.jdlit.com/

Colleen Oefelein is an associate agent at New York’s Jennifer De Chiara Literary agency. Also an author of YA and memoir, she’s been featured in People Magazine, on Inside Edition, and on 20/20 with Chris Cuomo. A retired Air Force officer, she holds a BS in chemical engineering/biotechnology and a separate BS in German, both from Penn State. Colleen lives in Alaska with her husband, son, and boerboel. A former 911 call taker and dispatcher for Alaska troopers, she has a soft spot for veterans and law enforcement families. She represents picture books, middle grade (MG), young adult (YA), and adult books in many genres.

In summary, Colleen is currently seeking the following (but more details below):

  • Romance (YA and Adult)
  • Thriller (MG, YA, Adult)
  • Suspense (MG, YA, Adult)
  • Contemporary (MG and YA)
  • Re-tellings (MG, YA, Adult)
  • Low Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal  (MG, YA, Adult)
  • Picture Books with humor

What she is looking for in detail:

Colleen loves plot-driven, commercial stories with unforgettable characters and gritty character dynamics. She adores writing that has a great cadence and natural rhythm, which like a dance, flows and stutters in a gorgeous motion that worms into her brain and reverberates there for days.

She loves a fresh premise (or a fresh twist on a familiar story line) coupled with a strong, genuine voice. Just plain weird is right up her alley, and dark, quirky characters make her sit forward. Clean writing with plenty of white space and story-telling full of subtle nuances that give her brain room to imagine will pique her interest. She likes a strong hook. Make her laugh, gasp, sigh, smile, sit forward, hold her stomach, or read through her fingers on page one, please.

Cliffy chapter endings are perfect for Colleen and she prefers characters who take a book by the balls and yank it forward. An antagonistic protagonist, an unreliably evil villain, flawed characters, and antiheroes are definitely her favorites, as is a high-adrenaline plot. She loves anything unexpected, dark, edgy, weird, funny, or so wrong it’s right.

She is weary of politics, school shootings, dragons, vampires, faeries, and werewolves, and she usually doesn’t enjoy high fantasy, sword and sorcery, lyrical tales, heavy/spacey sci-fi, literary fiction, or women’s fiction.

Lastly, she enjoys working with authors who show social media savvy and who haven’t alienated one half of the nation or the other with intolerance.

Picture Book: Colleen is looking for fun, funny, adventurous, or touching stories with that magical mix of novel simplicity and a surprise ending that will have her 6-year-old asking to read it over and over. Her favorites are THE KISSING HAND, THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON, PARTS, the THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A… series, the LLAMA LLAMA series, and the PIGEON series.

Middle Grade (MG):  She is looking for mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, low fantasy, and paranormal, all with a thread of subtle or not-so-subtle humor.

For both Young Adult (YA) and Adult:  ROMANCE PLEASE! Also, in YA, she badly wants a Faust retelling. In general, for both YA and adult fiction, send her unusual re-tellings and heart-rending love stories, harsh and sobering contemporary, romantic suspense, romance (in all subgenres except erotic), mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, comedy, low fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, and anything  fast-paced.

Colleen is considering only unpublished manuscripts.

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

Sarah Ried, Assistant Editor, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins Publishers

https://www.harpercollins.com/

Sarah Ried acquires fiction and nonfiction for Harper and Harper Perennial. Her interests include fiction and nonfiction that cover topics of identity, race, gender, family, geography, and culture. She is particularly interested in writers from and stories about marginalized communities. Titled include Twisted: The Tangled History of Black Hair Culture by Emma Dabiri, Raceless by Georgina Lawton, American Cheese by Joe Berkowitz, Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend by Ben Philippe, Mama Bear by Shirley Smith, and the graphic novel Barely Functional Adult by Meichi Ng.

In fiction, Sarah is seeking the following:

  • Contemporary
  • Family saga/drama
  • Graphic novels
  • Humor
  • LGBTQ+
  • Mainstream/commercial
  • Science fiction
  • Speculative fiction

In nonfiction, Sarah is seeking the following:

  • Essay collection
  • Memoir
  • Social commentary
  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Historical nonfiction
  • Humor

Sarah can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

If she is interested in a participant’s project, she would refer the author to an agent.

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

Kate Roddy​, Assistant Editor, Sourcebooks

https://www.sourcebooks.com/

Like most people in publishing, Kate Roddy has been a bookworm her whole life. As a kid, her nose was always stuck in one installment or another of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and her love of books continued to grow into adulthood. In undergrad, she studied Business Management, English, and Creative Writing, and then she went to graduate school to get a Master of Professional Studies in Publishing. Her all-time favorite novel is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, and her favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. Recent books that she’s read and loved are I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reed, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman, and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.

One of the more important things an editor does for an author is to be the book’s champion! She loves her job because she gets to be part of the process of putting fantastic new books into the world. That’s really all she wants to do.

In fiction, Kate is seeking the following:

  • Contemporary fiction (especially stories with strong female characters, compelling emotional hooks, and page-turning drama)
  • Thrillers
  • Mystery/crime
  • Coming-of-age
  • Anything spooky
  • Anything with a strong commercial hook or book-club appeal

In nonfiction, Kate is seeking the following:

  • Narrative nonfiction with broad appeal
  • Women-driven nonfiction
  • Smart and unique prescriptive nonfiction with a witty voice
  • Humor
  • College reference and study aids that both inform and engage readers

Currently, Kate is not looking for romance, YA or children’s books, cozy mysteries, science fiction, graphic novels, travel, or westerns.

She will consider previously self-published manuscripts.

If Kate is interested in acquiring a manuscript, she is happy to work directly with author.

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

Nikki Terpilowski, Founder/Senior Literary Agent, Holloway Literary
www.HollowayLiteraryAgency.com

Holloway Literary was established in 2011 and is home to Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Globe & Mail & iBooks UK  best-selling author Kimberly Belle, Amazon US & UK best-selling author, Katie Oliver, USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns and BlackSouthernBelle.com’s Michiel Perry. After achieving a B.A. in English and Marketing, with a minor in creative writing and a graduate degree in international relations, Nikki Terpilowski—who has been a bookworm from way back—decided she wanted to learn more about the publishing industry.

She interned in the industry while working in marketing communications and then established Holloway Literary in 2011. You can find her @AWomanReading on Twitter and Instagram discussing her favorite topics: books, wine, beer & whiskey, history, travel and southern living.

Nikki is seeking the following in fiction:

  • Romance (diverse, contemporary, and historical, especially Regency)
  • Women’s fiction (especially beach reads and magical realism)
  • Young adult (especially fantasy and science fiction)
  • Southern fiction
  • Historical fiction (especially Civil War and Revolutionary war eras)
  • Traditional mystery
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Literary

In nonfiction, Nikki is seeking the following:

  • Health and wellness
  • Culinary
  • Mindfulness
  • Heirloom skills
  • Alternative living, i.e. minimalism, homesteading, etc.

Nikki will consider unpublished manuscripts as well as previously published or self-published manuscripts if they are not currently available for sale in any format.

Nikki’s manuscript critique and pitch spots are open and available.

Abby Walters, Agent, Creative Artists Agency

https://www.caa.com/

Abby Walters is an Agent in the Books department at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Walters is based in the New York office, and works across all departments to create publishing opportunities for the agency’s clients.

She began her career at Random House as a publicity assistant working on campaigns and fan events for such bestselling authors as Trevor Noah, Jodi Picoult, Emily Giffin, and Lee Child. She joined CAA in 2017 as an assistant in the Publishing arm of the Books department to help conceptualize and execute multi-city book tours for clients, including President-elect Joe Biden, Jenna and Barbara Bush, and Reese Witherspoon, among others. Since completing CAA’s Agent Trainee Program in 2018, she has gained experience in all areas of CAA’s Book department, including Film/TV Rights, Podcasts, and Publishing. She was promoted to agent in 2020.

In summary, Abby is currently seeking the following in fiction (but more details below):

  • Literary fiction
  • Upmarket commercial fiction

Abby is most interested in literary fiction but is also actively looking to acquire upmarket commercial fiction. Her fiction taste aligns with her nonfiction interests. She is especially drawn to stories that explore the intersection of culture and technology (including speculative fiction), coming of age, intense, complicated friendships, the nuances of motherhood and how it informs a woman’s identity, and the quest for self-optimization. She gravitates toward stories that hinge on an outsized relationship with another person like On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong or an obsession with remedying oneself like The Answers by Catherine Lacey and My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh. She’s also fond of works that rely on group dynamics and dependencies to create conflict and drive plot like A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. She tends to want an element of romantic love or exploration of intimacy especially if it creates a challenge to cultural heritage, racial and/or self-identity like that seen in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and Elif Batuman’s The Idiot. In the more commercial books she considers, she appreciates a level of humor and voice that offers subtle commentary on unfolding antics and behavior like Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette or, more recently, Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is in Trouble. At this time, she’s actively looking for a story that explores a platonic friendship between two men that’s somehow twisted, complicated or significant in a manner we more often associate with female friendships.

In summary, Abby is currently seeking the following in nonfiction (but more details below):

  • Narrative nonfiction
  • Memoirs
  • Self-help

Abby is most interested in narrative nonfiction and memoir. On the narrative side, she tends to read and acquire from writers with a background in journalism. She loves to journey through an unknown world or subculture and is especially drawn to books that explore broader cultural or historical ideas through a single group or event like Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker and Bad Blood by John Carreyrou.  Additionally, Walters loves to learn about new ideas in science and technology especially as they relate to mind body connection and personal and/or societal well-being. Recent favorites in this category include How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, Breath by James Nestor, and The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

Abby also loves a good memoir and gravitates toward late coming-of-age stories centered around identity exploration that employ a quiet, lyrical style like Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply, Saeed Jones’s How We Fight for Our Lives, and Bill Hayes’s Insomniac City. She’s also fascinated with personal stories that explore our relationship with work and work culture like Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb, as well as narratives that explore motherhood’s influence on a woman’s identity like Sheila Heti’s Motherhood and mental and physical health especially as it relates to women’s issues like Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. She’s actively looking for a memoir that explores fertility issues and how the struggle to conceive impacts the psyche and relationships.

She is also happy to read and consider submissions in the self-help category. She’s most interested in self-help books firmly based in science like Atomic Habits by James Clear and Grit by Angela Duckworth, but also enjoys the occasional narrative-driven read that straddles the line between memoir and self-help like Glennon Doyle’s Untamed and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Topics that interest her most in this category include friendship and relationship building, creativity philosophy, and the deconstruction of limiting beliefs or ideas we accept as truths.

Abby can only consider unpublished manuscripts.

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

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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