The 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop: March 7, 2020

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 events in Atlanta, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writing event in Atlanta, GA on March 7, 2020.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (200 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop!

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel (north central suburbs). In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s agent and editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency)
  • literary agent Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Pamela Harty (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary)
  • literary agent Beth Marshea (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Caroline George (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • literary agent Ali Herring (Spencerhill Associates)
  • literary agent Sally Apokedak (The Apokedak Literary Agency)
  • literary agent Tessa Emily Hall (C.Y.L.E. Literary)
  • and probably more to come.

By the end of the day, you will have all the tools you need to move forward on your writing journey. This independent event is organized by coordinator Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops, with administration from the Broadleaf Writers Association.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 2020 — at the Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel, 111 Perimeter Center W, Atlanta, GA 30346. (770) 396-6800.

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THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (MARCH 7, 2020):

What you see below is a quick layout of the day’s events. The topics below are mostly set, but subject to change. You can see a more detailed layout of the day’s classes on the Schedule Page here.

Please Note: There will be 2-3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day, so you will have your choice of what class you attend at any time. The final schedule of topics is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location.

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30

1. The Nice Girl’s Guide to Creating Conflict. This workshop will give you strategies for creating both kinds of conflict for your characters as well as hints for how you can take that conflict to another level.

2. Industry Report: What Publishers Want in Today’s World. This workshop will educate writers on the current publishing industry and provide tools to assist their publication efforts. Attendees will leave feeling encouraged and equipped.

3. Out of This World Writing: Tips on Speculative Fiction (Science Fiction and Fantasy). Learn how to create intense believable worlds that allow for fantastic events. In this class, you’ll learn the basics of combining plot structure, world building and character development to create truly extraordinary writing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 1.44.34 AMBLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

1. Characters: The People of Your Story. This workshop will discuss templates you need to develop characters as well as the concept of character arc and change. These include profiling, psychological frameworks, and the to show character arc and change.

2. Master-Pitch Theatre: How to Successfully Pitch/Query an Agent. Your pitch is a performance. Whether you deliver it in person or on the printed page. Literary agent Katharine Sands shows you how to hone the on-page elements and in-person aspects of the pitch to create the actual script you will use at the conference, and beyond.

3. Romance 101. Have you always wanted to write a romance but didn’t know where to start? This workshop will include the basics of writing a romance novel including tropes, industry terminology, and how to find an agent or editor.

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest. This is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission.

2. Picture Books: From Opening Line to Published Manuscript. To get your picture book published, there are many dos and don’ts you need to know as a writer. If you attend this session, feel free to bring your picture book manuscript for potential live feedback.

3. How to Sell a Nonfiction Book. This session is completely devoted to nonfiction that is not memoir. So if you are trying to create an awesome nonfiction book proposal, this presentation is for you.

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Platform, Product & Promotion: Understand Your Unique Position as an Author. This course taught by bestselling will help authors make decisions, such as should whether to traditional publish or self-publish; what areas they should focus their creative and marketing efforts on; and much more.

2. Chapter One: How to Start Strong and End Strong. In this workshop, we will explore what it takes to write the best first chapter. We will review examples from classic and contemporary literature. Be prepared to write. There are brief writing exercises in this session.

3. Ask an Author Anything. Get the inside scoop on the publishing industry as this panel of traditionally published authors dish on what it’s like working with literary agents, publishers and more. Ask the questions you want and get the answers you need.

(What you see here is a quick layout of the day’s events. See a full layout of the day’s sessions, with detailed descriptions, on the official Schedule Page here.)

BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00

1. Essential Elements of Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels: How to Use Plot and Character to Sell Your Young Adult or Middle Grade Book. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to make readers care about your characters and keep turning pages all the way through the book.

2. Self-Publishing: Top 10 Ways To Get It Right. From book cover design to getting your ISBN, this note-taking session will take you through the top 10 ways to self-publish your first book the right way.

3. How to Write and Sell Great Mysteries, Thrillers, and Crime Fiction. This presentation will teach you how to keep readers—including agents and editors—turning pages late into the night.

SESSIONS END: 5:00

At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore for a short while to sign any books for attendees.

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

Screen Shot 2019-10-29 at 9.32.43 AMPamela Harty is a literary agent with The Knight Agency.Pamela has placed hundreds of titles in a broad range of categories, including; health, parenting, southern history, African-American interest, business, motivation, romance, young adult, children’s, middle grade, and Christian living. Learn more about Pamela here.

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 3.39.35 PMNicole Resciniti is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. She is seeking: Happily-ever-afters are a must for romance. Mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece. Currently also on her wish list: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in young adult. Learn more about Nicole here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.” Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist. New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience. Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept. “A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.” Learn more about Leah here.

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.pngErica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.” Learn more about Erica here.

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.44.08 AMKatharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Katharine is seeking all types of fiction, memoir and nonfiction. Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed. Learn more about Katharine here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking mainstream/commercial fiction, family sagas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. For young adult, she seeks contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Beth is also starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. Learn more about Beth here.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 3.00.24 PM.pngCaroline George is a literary agent with CYLE Literary Elite. She acquires many genres of fiction, including: all subgenres of middle grade and young adult. For adult fiction, she seeks historical, women’s, mystery, thriller, romance, Christian/inspirational fiction, literary fiction, and mainstream fiction. Regarding nonfiction, she hopes to acquire YA and MG nonfiction, self-help, inspirational, and projects with unique hooks. (She no longer seeks picture books, crime, horror, or adult science fiction and fantasy. In nonfiction, she no longer seeks memoir.) Learn more about Caroline here.

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.46 PM.pngAli Herring is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. She is seeking commercial young adult and middle grade (espescially sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, Southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots. Learn more about Ali here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.27.21 AMSally Apokedak is a literary agent with The Apokedak Literary Agency. She represents picture books (author-illustrators only, please), middle grade books, young adult, adult inspirational / Christian fiction, and nonfiction. In MG, she loves boy-centric books, science, boys who go on adventures, boy geniuses, and fantasies. In YA, fantasy is her favorite, and if there’s romance, she loves it even more — though she is open to a variety of YA. In terms of nonfiction (for adults or children), she seeks devotional books, Christian living, science for young children, and biography. But you may try her on anything. Lastly, she seeks fantasy and romantic suspense for the adult inspirational market. Learn more about Sally here.

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 9.54.16 PMTessa Emily Hall is a literary agent with Cyle Young Literary Elite. She is searching for young adult and middle grade (specifically contemporary, issue-driven fiction, YA romance, historical, and speculative fiction). She especially enjoys stories in these genres that have a compelling premise and authentic teen/tween voice. Other genres she considers include Christian Living, devotional, children’s picture books, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, literary fiction, new adult, and contemporary Christian/inspirational women’s fiction. Learn more about Tessa here.

 

        More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.

These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.

(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings, and pricing/detail is explained below.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2020 ATLWW and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 2019, registration is now OPEN.

Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents or editors in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.) If they wish, attendees are free to sign up for multiple 10-minute pitch sessions at $29/session — pitching multiple individuals, or securing 20 minutes to pitch one person rather than the usual 10. Here are four quick testimonials regarding writers who have signed with literary agents after pitching them at prior Writing Day Workshops events. (Our bigger, growing list of success stories can be seen here.)

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 11.11.29 AM.png“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing
Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.”
– literary agent Joanna Mackenzie of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.47.54 PM.png“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann]
from the Michigan Writing Workshop!”
– literary agent Sara Mebigow of KT Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 12.56.10 PM“I signed author Stephanie Wright from
the Seattle Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.07.44 PM“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I
met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.”
– literary agent Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary

Screen Shot 2016-10-16 at 2.54.50 PM.png“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.”

– literary agent Adriann Ranta of Foundry Literary + Media

Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the day’s instructors. (This rate is a special event value for Atlanta Writing Workshop attendees only.) Registrants are encouraged to take advantage of the specially-priced critique, so they can send out their query letter with confidence following the workshop. Also, if you are meeting with an agent at the event, you’re essentially speaking your query letter aloud to them. Wouldn’t it be wise to give that query letter (i.e., your pitch) one great edit before that meeting?

Add $89 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel. Spaces with faculty for these critiques are very limited, and participating attendees get an in-person meeting at the workshop. Options:

  • Thriller, science fiction, suspense, action, war, historical fiction, romance, and nonfiction: Faculty member Bob Mayer, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, southern fiction and young adult: Faculty member Sally Kilpatrick, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Suspense, mystery, crime, thriller: Faculty member Kimberly Belle, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Literary fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, women’s fiction, memoir, humor: Faculty member Ricki Schultz, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.
  • Picture books: Faculty member Reem Faruqi, a published author, will get your work in advance, critique your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Picture books should be 1,000 words, maximum, and can or cannot include illustrations.
  • Romance, suspense, general fiction, short stories: Faculty member Nicki Salcedo, a published writer, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your story, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting.

How to pay/register — Registration is now open. Reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com, and she will provide specific instructions for payment and registration to get you a reserved seat at the event. Payment is by either PayPal or check. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Atlanta workshop specifically.

REGISTRATION:

Because of limited space at the venue (Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel), the workshop can only allow 200 registrants, unless spacing issues change. For this reason, we encourage you to book sooner rather than later.

Are spaces still available? Yes, we still have spaces available. We will announce RIGHT HERE, at this point on this web page, when all spaces are taken. If you do not see a note right here saying how all spaces are booked, then yes, we still have room, and you are encouraged to register.

How to Register: The easy first step is simply to reach out to workshop organizer Brian Klems via email: WDWconference@gmail.com. She will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The ATLWW will send out periodic e-mail updates to all registered attendees with any & all news about the event. Because Brian plans different workshops, make sure you note that you’re inquiring about the Atlanta workshop specifically.

Refunds: If you sign up for the event and have to cancel for any reason at any time, you will receive 50% of your total payment back [sent by check or PayPal]. The other 50% is nonrefundable and will not be returned, and helps the workshop ensure that only those truly interested in the limited spacing sign up for the event. (Please note that query editing payments and manuscript editing payments are completely non-refundable if the instructor has already edited your work.)

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Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Atlanta Writing Workshop.

 

 

Get to Know a Literary Agent in Attendance: Beth Marshea of Ladderbird Agency

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 2.39.57 PM.pngBeth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Agency.

At the 2020 Tampa workshop, she will be taking pitches from attendees, and also teaching a speech.

Beth founded Ladderbird Literary Agency with the intention of bringing diverse stories tot the forefront. She has a long love of literature, but found herself disappointed by the homogeneity of canonical work. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in literature, Beth earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration and decided to merge her passions and create her own agency. Beth is passionate about writing that pushes genres and boundaries and challenges the reader to accept a new point of view.

 

What she’s looking for:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden histories. or weird histories, and issue-driven books.

Her first love is and always will be literary fiction, where she’s looking for work with unusual settings or work that involves clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism. Think: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, The Vegetarian by Han Kang, and anything by Haruki Murakami.

Adult fiction:

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction: Multi-gen family sagas (ideally multicultural) meets cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+).

Women’s Fiction: Smart, sharp, and funny, especially centered around F/F relationships, friendship or romantic,

Literary Fiction: Work with unusual settings and/or involving clever plots and dynamic characters that bring to light new perspectives on old ideas. Particular areas of interest are stories set in Mexico or Central America. In addition, she’s especially fond of magical realism.

Mysteries: Beth loves unusual settings and prefers cozies,

Thrillers: Work about anything other than rich suburban women.

Fantasy: Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters.

Science Fiction: Near future; unusual tech; not focused around the US.

Kidlit:

Young Adult: Contemporary (friendship stories; found family; non-US based settings) mysteries (high stakes), thrillers (stories with big twists; no unreliable narrators), fantasy (character-driven and really original).

Beth is starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books. In middle grade, she’s looking for fun, compelling characters that deal with real problems that middle schoolers face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. In picture books, she’s dying to find books with really cute hooks like “The Day the Crayons Quit,” or nice messaging like “Not Quite a Narwhal.” She’d love to find a book that brings parents and kids together with language simple enough for a young child to read, but engrossing enough for and adult to enjoy.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ali Herring of Spencerhill Associates

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 6.33.40 PM.png Ali Herring is an assistant literary agent with Spencerhill Associates.

A former magazine associate editor, Ali has a diverse background in communications and editing. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Berry College in 2001, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Ali is excited to find new voices and build great relationships within the writing community.

She is seeking commercial young adult and middle grade (espescially sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, Southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots.

For middle grade: commercial MG with a humorous/witty voice, likable protags and awesome sidekicks; meaningful, realistic situations built around great plots (think Wonder); and uplifting, relatable, empowering stories for girls.

She’s a voracious reader of sci-fi, but not a huge fan of superheroes, vampires (except for Edward), witches, erotica or anything overtly dark.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 3.39.35 PMNicole Resciniti is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Nicole has been listed by Publishers Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW’s 2012 Agent of the Year. She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level.

Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent?

She is seeking: Happily-ever-afters are a must for romance. Mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece. Currently also on her wish list: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in young adult.

Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Like Mary Sue, Nicole taught in the public school system and has worn many hats before heeding her calling to become a literary agent–for which she will forever be indebted to agency founder Mary Sue Seymour. “I have the best job in the world. I read for a living and make author’s dreams come true.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 3.10.25 PM.pngErica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management.

Erica represents a wide variety of authors for both children and adults, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas.

Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry for the last seven years. Before coming to Aevitas she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency.

Based in New York, Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.

“For middle grade, my interests span all genres, from contemporary to mystery to fantasy. I love quirky, funny stories and main characters who are misfits (and proud of it). I’m especially on the lookout for eerie horror (like Coraline) and really unique magic.”

“For young adult, I am a lover of all genre fiction, especially fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. I love stories based off of mythology, folklore, and obscure fairy tales, and novels that cross genres. I’m especially on the lookout for stories inspired by classic literature/ballet/opera, mysteries and thrillers with unreliable narrators, and books that play with structure to tell a story in a really unique way.”

“In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh.”

“Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”

“That said, I’m probably not the best for projects involving the following:

Serious literary fiction
Vampires/werewolves/zombies
Serious family drama
Intergalactic war/alien invasions
Dead pets
Erotica
Manic Pixie Dream Girls
Instalove.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 11.44.03 AMKatharine Sands is a literary agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency in New York City.

She is the author of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent’s Eye and has been a guest speaker on writing and publishing for Poets and Writers, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, UCLA, New York University, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Katharine is seeking all types of fiction, memoir and nonfiction. Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed. Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books including fiction, memoir and non-iction. Among the books she represents are: The Apothecary’s Curse, by Bram Stoker Award nominee Barbara Barnett; and Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir by Lisa Smith that was featured by People as Notable Nonfiction.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Leah Pierre of Ladderbird Literary

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 12.43.24 PM.pngLeah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

A Texas native, Leah moved to the east coast to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Leah spends her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people. When not in the company of fictional characters, Leah hangs out with friends and family, cooks, and catches up on movies and TV shows.

She is seeking: “I am looking for diverse and unique work that is faced paced, that I will not be able to put down, and will leave me on the edge of my seat. As much as I pretend to hate them, I do love a good plot twist and a shocking ending. I love stories with a complex cast of characters and I am a sucker for camaraderie, banter, and the tight-knit, family-like group of friends trope.”

Adult novels: romance (ideally interracial), fantasy with elements of myth and legends, historical fantasy/fiction, social-justice-inspired espionage/heist.

New adult novels: romance, coming-of-age, finding one’s identity, F/F friendship, the college experience as well as the post-college experience.

Young adult novels: Fantasy with elements of myth and legend (lesser know myths/legends i.e. Middle Eastern), Meet-Cute/Coming-of-age that involves romance and self-discovery/self-love, Contemporary, realistic and raw family-centered novels, mysteries and thrillers (unreliable narrators are okay), fairy-tale retellings, and a good heist concept.

“A lot of what I am looking for does overlap, so please use your best judgement when submitting. If you’re not sure, give it a try.”