The Sixth Annual Publish & Promote Your Book Conference

Contact

E-mail

914.395.2205

Conference attendee
Conference attendees
Conference panelists
Conference attendees
Conference panelists

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College is pleased to announce its sixth annual Publish and Promote Your Book Conference! This comprehensive publishing conference for serious writers will be held at Sarah Lawrence College, located in Bronxville, New York, just 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan and easily reached via the Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal.

Highlights of the conference include: a talk by this year’s guest author Sophie McManus; a series of interactive panel discussions with prominent New York City literary agents and major publishing house editors; a Q&A with a public relations and social media expert, a networking lunch with panelists (new this year); and the rare opportunity to pitch your book directly to agents and editors. Writers who have registered for the conference will have the option to discuss their work with two agents/editors of their choice for 10 minutes each.

Would you like to practice your pitch and receive guidance to help you draft it? Consider signing up for one of our Prepare Your Pitch Workshops that take place before the conference. These sessions fill up very quickly so sign up early! Registration for a Prepare Your Pitch session requires an additional fee. More information is below.

Guest Author: Sophie McManus

sophie_mcmanus.pngSophie McManus is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Unfortunates, which is a Barnes & Noble 2015 Great Writers Discover Award Finalist, was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, long listed for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and named a notable book or must-read by The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Paste, and Time Out (New York) among others. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, O, Tin House, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Saltonstall Foundation, and the Jentel Foundation. Born in New York City, she received her BA from Vassar College and her MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Conference Details

Prepare Your Pitch Workshops

Want to practice your pitch and receive guidance to help you draft it? Sign up for one of our Prepare Your Pitch workshops that take place before the conference. These sessions fill up very quickly so please sign up early! Registration for a Prepare Your Pitch session requires an additional fee.

You can also receive feedback on the first page of your manuscript at How to Win an Agent with Your First Page on Wednesday, June 5th. Register online

Agent Panelists

Cynthia Manson, Cynthia Manson Literary Agency | Moderator

Cynthia Manson is a well-known and respected literary agent who represents a number of bestselling authors in a variety of genres. She graduated from Scripps College for Women in Claremont, CA. Manson has worked in both magazine and book publishing including Sterling Lord Literary Agency, Putnam, Bertelsmann, Scientific American, and Advertising Age Magazine. She is well connected to the Hollywood community and has brokered numerous deals in the book to film and television market.

Caroline Eisenmann, Frances Goldin Literary Agency

Caroline Eisenmann joined the agency in 2017. She previously spent four years at ICM Partners building a list in literary and upmarket fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, Caroline is particularly drawn to novels that engage with social issues, stories about obsession, and work that centers around intimacy and its discontents. Her nonfiction interests include deeply reported narratives (especially those that take the reader into the heart of a subculture), literary memoir, cultural criticism, essay collections, and history and biography with a surprising point of view. Her clients include Brandon Hobson, Kyle Chayka, Linda Rui Feng, Amanda Goldblatt, Peter Kispert, Kate Wagner, and James Gregor. Authors represented by Caroline have won the Pushcart Prize, received a NEA Writing grant, and appeared on the shortlist for the National Book Award in Fiction.

Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency

Sarah joined Bradford Literary Agency in 2013 after working in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown Ltd. Sarah received her MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School in 2008 and has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ithaca College. Sarah primarily represents Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction in a variety of genres, as well as select Adult upmarket contemporary fiction, women’s fiction or rom-com, literary horror, and speculative fiction. In MG and YA, she is seeking literary fiction, sci-fi, “low”/contemporary fantasy, horror, rom-com, and mystery. Sarah tends to be drawn to stories that don’t shy away from the darker side of adolescence and often feature characters who defy the odds.

Regardless of age demographic or genre, Sarah would like to see more hope and humor, even in the darkest of stories. She is especially interested in diverse casts of characters and in authors who shine a light on voices that have been historically underrepresented. Sarah’s authors tend to reflect larger themes within a character-focused story that, whether overtly or subtly, challenge the status quo. Sarah is not looking for nonfiction, picture books/early reader chapter books, inspirational/spiritual novels, category romance, or erotica.

Lori Perkins, L. Perkins Agency

Lori Perkins is the Publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books and the Publisher of RomanceDailyNews.com, a daily online romance magazine. She was a founding partner and Editorial Director of Ravenous Romance and has been a literary agent for 30 years. She is also a published author and was an adjunct professor at N.Y.U.'s Center for Publishing. Perkins is President of L. Perkins Agency, which has 5 agents on staff and has foreign agents in 11 countries and its own film agent in L.A.

Riverdale Avenue Books is an award-wining hybrid book company with 11 imprints publishing pop culture, erotic romance, erotica, LGBTQ, horror, science fiction and fantasy and sports, which publishes a book a week. In 2014, Riverdale Avenue Books received the Bi-Writers Association Publisher of the Year Award in 2014 and the Silver Award from the Independent Publishers Association for the novel Playing by the Book by Chris Shirley. Their Bronze Award-wining #MeToo anthology made #1 on Amazon’s Feminist Theory best-seller list and is now a course-adopted title in gender studies programs.

Perkins has had 7 books on the NY Times best-seller list including HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson, which made the New York Times best-seller list for 7 weeks and THE HUNGER GAMES COMPANION by Lois Gresh. Perkins is the author of FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY published by Ben Bella Books.  She is also the author of four books -THE CHEAPSKATE'S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT; How to Throw Fabulous Parties on a Budget, which was excerpted in Redbook and Family Circle Magazines; THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GETTING A LITERARY AGENT, which was chosen by Amazon as one of the top 100 books on writing; and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO WASHINGTON D.C. and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO NEW YORK. She has also written numerous articles on publishing for Writer's Digest and Publisher's Weekly. Perkins has edited twenty-five erotica anthologies, including HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, a Zombie Romance anthology, which was published by St. Martin's Press. The New York Chapter of Romance Writers of America named her Literary Agent of the Year in 2010. She is a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences and conventions from romance to kink and attend approximately 13 conferences a year.

Tina Pohlman, Union Literary

Tina Pohlman has worked as an editor and publisher in New York for more than twenty years, most recently as EVP, Publisher at Open Road Integrated Media. She has acquired and edited a wide range of critically acclaimed and bestselling authors over the course of her career, including Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist and John Henry Days), Patrick deWitt (Ablutions: Notes for a Novel), and Christine Schutt (All Souls) in fiction, and Temple Grandin (Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals) and Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Adventures in Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius) in nonfiction. Favorite books she hasn't published in the past ten years include: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, Gregory Berns’s How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, and Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Tina loves discovering distinctive new voices in fiction and memoir and is always on the lookout for academics in the fields of animal behavior and neuroscience who can write for a popular audience.

Editor Panelists

Caitlin Alexander | Moderator

Caitlin Alexander has been editing books for more than fifteen years. She spent much of that time at Random House, where she acquired and edited New York Times bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction. She continues to edit bestselling and award-winning books as a freelance editor.

Peter Borland, Atria Books & Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Peter Borland, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Atria Books & Washington Square Press / Simon & Schuster, Inc. joined Atria in 2004 after serving in various editorial roles at Dutton and Ballantine. At Atria, he acquired A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller, as well as Mr. Backman’s subsequent bestselling novels, including My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartown, and Us Against You. Other novelists on his list include Isabel Allende, Joseph Kanon, Thomas Keneally, William Kent Krueger, and Sean Penn. His nonfiction books include My Love Story by Tina Turner, Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi, I’m Over All That by Shirley MacLaine, iGen by Jean Twenge, and History of a Suicide by Jill Bialosky. A graduate of Haverford College, he is also an Adjunct Instructor at NYU’s School of Professional Studies where he teaches the Introduction to Book Publishing class in the fall semester.

Sally Howe, Simon & Schuster Publishing, Scribner, Associate Editor
Sally Howe works with Valerie Steiker and Kathy Belden and joined Scribner in the spring of 2016. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her upcoming titles include Savage Appetites by Rachel Monroe, Love’s Warriors by James Romm, and An Elegant Woman by Martha McPhee. She’s interested in voice-driven literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, particularly in the realms of race, gender, sexuality, mental health, and contemporary and internet culture.
Alexis Logan, Grand Central Publishing HBG USA , Senior Editor

While the majority of Alexis Logan’s list is romance, she is also excited about psychological suspense and women’s fiction. Alex also loves romantic suspense and small-town contemporary romance.

Helen Richard, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Editor

Associate Editor Helen Richard joined Putnam in 2014. Hungry to find book club and literary fiction, psychological and domestic suspense, memoir, and feminist, historical, or cultural narrative nonfiction, she has a keen interest in literary page-turners with a rich sense of place, and in narratives that open up unexpected characters or closed-off communities. She has edited novelists including PEN Center USA Literary Award winner Siobhan Fallon, Australian National Biography Award winner Robert Hillman, Camille Perri, Lindsay Starck, and Anne-Marie Casey, alongside topical memoirists like Jacob Tobia and Sasha Sagan. She previously held positions at Other Press and Viking/Penguin, after getting her start in bookselling at the Boulder Book Store and the Tattered Cover Book Store in Colorado.

Recently published and upcoming projects include The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by award-winner Robert Hillman, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by nonbinary activist Jacob Tobia, The Truants by Kate Weinberg, and For Small Creatures Such as We: Finding Wonder and Meaning In Our Unlikely World by Sasha Sagan.

Public Relations & Marketing Guest Speaker

Elena Stokes, Partner and Founder Wunderkind PR

Elena founded Wunderkind PR, works closely with publishers, authors, PR agencies, and communications companies to carefully tailor book publicity plans to produce the best possible results.

This past year Wunderkind PR celebrated a decade of working with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors including Ernest Cline,  Kaira Rouda, Peter James, Dr. Wendy Suzuki, Andy Weir, the Maurice Sendak Foundation, Dr. Wendy Suzuki, Adam Mansbach (You Have to F&*king Eat),  and many more, as well as bestselling movie/TV tie-in properties such as Dumplin’, starring Jennifer Aniston, The Martian, Ready Player One, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Roald Dahl centennial, Star Wars, and Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge.

Elena arrived at Tor and Forge Books, Macmillan, after working for The Fulbright Commission in London and writing advertising copy for New York area radio. Elena worked at Macmillan for over a decade and during her last five years at Macmillan, she served as Director of Publicity for the Tor, Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen, Paranormal Romance and Seven Seas Manga imprints. She has worked extensively with many different genres including science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, horror, women's fiction, westerns, and non-fiction titles. As Publicity Director, Elena created and directed publicity strategies for some of the bestselling authors in publishing including Dune authors Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson and #1 New York Times bestselling Wheel of Time series author Robert Jordan. She also worked closely with high profile authors such as Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, fashion icon Elsa Klensch, and meteorologist Bill Evans. Elena graduated magna cum laude from The Johns Hopkins University and has her Masters degree in Linguistics and Anthropology from New York University.

Pitch-Takers

MIRIAM ALTSHULER, DEFIORE & COMPANY

Miriam Altshuler began her career at Russell & Volkening and in 1994 established her own agency, which she ran for twenty-one years until she joined DeFiore and Company in 2016. DeFiore and Company represents a wide range of award-winning and bestselling authors of fiction and nonfiction, including writers of children’s literature. Miriam represents both adult fiction and nonfiction and children’s books. Her clients of adult literature include Jill Santopolo (New York Times and international bestselling author of The Light We Lost), Elizabeth Rosner (Survivor Café), Marja Mills (New York Times bestselling author of The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee), , Adina Hoffman (Sacred Trash), Andrew Carroll (New York Times bestselling author of War Letters), Maya Lang (The Sixteenth of June), Alice Lichtenstein (Lost), Jennifer Murphy (I Love You More), Dr. Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight), Harriet Brown (forthcoming Shadow Daughter: A Memoir of Estrangement), Arlene Stein (Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity), and former New York Times columnist Alina Tugend.

Miriam’s taste in children’s books focuses on middle grade and young adult literature. Her clients include the late Walter Dean Myers (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature during 2012 and 2013) and National Book Award Finalist, Leslie Connor.  Her clients’ work has appeared in such publications as The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Paris ReviewVirginia Quarterly Review, and other notable publications, and have received numerous awards and honors, including the National Book Award Finalist, the Windham Campbell Prize, the Los Angeles Times Finalist, The Michael L. Printz Award, Barnes & Noble Discover Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

MATT BELFORD, DAVID BLACK AGENCY

Matt Belford joined the David Black Agency in 2017 after previously working at the Aaron M. Priest Agency. He received his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University. From there, he went on to get his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Emerson College. Matt loves all things science fiction and fantasy and accepts his nerd status readily. When he’s not in the office, you can find him with a craft beer and book somewhere in New Jersey. Some of Matt’s favorite reads include: The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin, The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

PETER BORLAND, ATRIA BOOKS & WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS/SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC.

Peter Borland, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Atria Books & Washington Square Press / Simon & Schuster, Inc. joined Atria in 2004 after serving in various editorial roles at Dutton and Ballantine. At Atria, he acquired A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller, as well as Mr. Backman’s subsequent bestselling novels, including My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartown, and Us Against You. Other novelists on his list include Isabel Allende, Joseph Kanon, Thomas Keneally, William Kent Krueger, and Sean Penn. His nonfiction books include My Love Story by Tina Turner, Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi, I’m Over All That by Shirley MacLaine, iGen by Jean Twenge, and History of a Suicide by Jill Bialosky. A graduate of Haverford College, he is also an Adjunct Instructor at NYU’s School of Professional Studies where he teaches the Introduction to Book Publishing class in the fall semester.

ALICIA BROOKS, LITERARY AGENT, THE JEAN NAGGAR LITERARY AGENCY

Alicia Brooks began her career over twenty years ago in book publishing as an editorial assistant at Penguin USA. She worked her way up to an assistant editor position at Nan A. Talese/Doubleday where she worked with noteworthy authors, including Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, and Ian McEwan. Alicia then made the transition to an editor position at Picador/St. Martin’s Press. As an agent at The Jean Naggar Literary Agency, she is looking for Memoir, Narrative Nonfiction, Self-Help, Pop Culture, Literary Fiction, Commercial Fiction, YA Fiction, Mystery/Crime, and Historical Fiction. Alicia is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in English and Philosophy and has a Master's Degree in the Teaching of English from Columbia University.

PENELOPE BURNS, GELFMAN SCHNEIDER / ICM PARTNERS

Penelope Burns is the newest member of Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. She came to the agency as an intern after graduating from Colgate University and attending the Denver Publishing Institute in 2012. Currently, Penelope is building a list of her own and represents Doug Cornett (Childrens), Alyssa Wees, and international rights for Kevin Wignall's, When We Were Lost, and audio rights for Fiona Neill's, The Betrayal, among others. She is interested in Literary and Commercial fiction and non-fiction, as well as a variety of Young Adult and Middle Grade.

STEPHANIE DELMAN, GREENBURGER ASSOCIATES

Stephanie Delman joined Sanford J. Greenburger Associates in early 2012. She represents a spectrum of authors who write for the adult market, with a focus on fiction: literary/upmarket, psychologically propulsive suspense, near-historical fiction, and genre-bending, literary narratives that contain elements of surrealism, magic, or sci-fi. In non-fiction, Stephanie is currently seeking longform reportage that reads like fiction, true crime, and expert accounts of dark and far-flung corners of the world. Stephanie favors #ownvoices, diverse perspectives, and feminist narratives. A graduate of Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars program, Stephanie considers herself a “hands-on” agent and is eager to work with debut authors who are serious about their craft. Her list of clients includes Julia Fine, Jennie Melamed, Amy Feltman, Catherine Lowell, Madeline Stevens, Katie M. Flynn, Amanda Litman, and Monet Thomas. Her authors have written for publications including The New Yorker, Tin House, and The New York Times; they’ve won or been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Chicago Review of Books Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction, the Steinbeck Fellowship, the Marianne Russo Award, and more.

CAROLINE EISENMANN, FRANCES GOLDIN LITERARY AGENCY

Caroline Eisenmann joined the agency in 2017. She previously spent four years at ICM Partners building a list in literary and upmarket fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, Caroline is particularly drawn to novels that engage with social issues, stories about obsession, and work that centers around intimacy and its discontents. Her nonfiction interests include deeply reported narratives (especially those that take the reader into the heart of a subculture), literary memoir, cultural criticism, essay collections, and history and biography with a surprising point of view. Her clients include Brandon Hobson, Kyle Chayka, Linda Rui Feng, Amanda Goldblatt, Peter Kispert, Kate Wagner, and James Gregor. Authors represented by Caroline have won the Pushcart Prize, received a NEA Writing grant, and appeared on the shortlist for the National Book Award in Fiction.

BRENNA ENGLISH-LOEB, TRANSATLANTIC AGENCY

Brenna English-Loeb comes to TLA after working for several years at Janklow & Nesbit Associates and Writers House, where she had the pleasure of working with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors across multiple genres. At TLA she’s excited to grow her list of speculative and suspenseful fiction in both YA and adult, as well as adult nonfiction, in collaboration with senior agents. 

Raised on an eclectic blend of Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett and Ursula K Le Guin, Brenna has always gravitated to unique stories with a strong point of view. She is specifically looking for works of YA and adult science fiction, fantasy, and suspense, as well as some adult literary fiction. She loves space operas, myth and fairy tale retellings, survival stories, epistolary novels, and heists. She also has a soft spot for stories that blend multiple genres and for works by and about underrepresented groups and identities. Aspects of a work that are sure to catch her eye include: evocative atmospheres, character-driven plots, a sense of adventure, and narratives that reveal a deep knowledge of a particular subject. She also loves old tropes made new again, unreliable narrators, and power imbalances. For nonfiction, Brenna is looking for serious, groundbreaking sociological work that holds our culture up to the magnifying glass. She also loves accounts of historical events and people that deserve to be better known, as well as unusual and influential object histories.

CHERISE FISHER, WENDY SHERMAN ASSOCIATES, INC.

Cherise Fisher began her career in publishing as the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Dell Publishing a month after graduating from Yale University. Over the course of her twenty-five-year career, she worked as an acquiring editor at Simon & Schuster and the Editor-in-Chief of Plume. As an agent, she is interested in working with novelists who have several compulsively readable yarns in their head and are committed to perfecting their craft as storytellers. She will advocate for memoirs that uncover the diversity of human experience and take on non-fiction writers who are experts on a variety of topics such as personal development, health and sexuality, racial identity, Christianity and spirituality, diet and fitness, African American history, and pop culture. Her intention is that all the books she helps bring into the world are relevant, enduring, and help readers maximize joy and productivity in their lives.

SALLY HOWE, SIMON & SCHUSTER PUBLISHING, SCRIBNER, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Sally Howe works with Valerie Steiker and Kathy Belden and joined Scribner in the spring of 2016. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her upcoming titles include Savage Appetites by Rachel Monroe, Love’s Warriors by James Romm, and An Elegant Woman by Martha McPhee. She’s interested in voice-driven literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, particularly in the realms of race, gender, sexuality, mental health, and contemporary and internet culture.

NICOLE JAMES,  CHALBERG & SUSSMAN

Nicole James joined Chalberg & Sussman as an agent in December 2013. Previously she was the Foreign Rights Director as well as an agent at The Aaron Priest Agency, where she sold international and New York Times bestselling and brand name authors including David Baldacci, Robert Crais, Greg Iles, and Philip Caputo. Primarily focused on commercial fiction and nonfiction, Nicole is drawn to plot-driven novels with relatable characters and addictive pacing—whether she's reading a white-knuckle thriller, a breezy beach read, an intense family drama, or a thoughtful young adult novel. Nicole is always on the lookout for psychological suspense, upmarket women’s fiction in the vein of Emily Giffin or J. Courtney Sullivan, and thrillers. On the nonfiction side, Nicole enjoys uplifting female-driven memoir, upmarket self-help (like The Happiness Project), and hip lifestyle books (like Amy Sedaris's I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence).

Her clients include the thriller authors Jorgen Brekke, a #1 international bestseller, and Ben Coes, New York Times bestselling author of the Dewey Andreas series, along with young adult authors such as Diana Harmon Asher, author of Sidetracked, Nick Burd, winner of The American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award for The Vast Fields of Ordinary; Johan Harstad, author of 172 Hours on the Moon; and Arne Svingen, winner of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Best Young Adult Literature Prize for  The Ballad of a Broken Nose. Nicole also represents select nonfiction, including the memoir A Life Everlasting: The Extraordinary Gift of Thomas Ethan Gray by Sarah Gray, as well as dog celebrity and social media star Manny the Frenchie's Art of Happiness.

 SARAH LAPOLLA, BRADFORD LITERARY AGENCY

Sarah joined Bradford Literary Agency in 2013 after working in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown Ltd. Sarah received her MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School in 2008 and has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ithaca College. Sarah primarily represents Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction in a variety of genres, as well as select Adult upmarket contemporary fiction, women’s fiction or rom-com, literary horror, and speculative fiction. In MG and YA, she is seeking literary fiction, sci-fi, “low”/contemporary fantasy, horror, rom-com, and mystery. Sarah tends to be drawn to stories that don’t shy away from the darker side of adolescence and often feature characters who defy the odds.

Regardless of age demographic or genre, Sarah would like to see more hope and humor, even in the darkest of stories. She is especially interested in diverse casts of characters and in authors who shine a light on voices that have been historically underrepresented. Sarah’s authors tend to reflect larger themes within a character-focused story that, whether overtly or subtly, challenge the status quo. Sarah is not looking for nonfiction, picture books/early reader chapter books, inspirational/spiritual novels, category romance, or erotica.

ALEXIS LOGAN, GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING HBG USA

As a bookseller at Borders (remember them?) on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, I did not yet have the dream to come work in New York City but I have always loved sharing my favorite books. Now I am grateful to help create stories in the genres that I used to be handselling. While I’m always on the lookout for intriguing fiction of any kind, I acquire primarily in the areas of women’s fiction, thrillers and psychological suspense, and romance. I have edited titles by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Iris and Roy Johansen, Angela Marsons, K.L. Slater, Laura Elliot, Sheryl Browne, Shalini Boland, Jill Shalvis, Heidi McLaughlin, R.J. Prescott, Shirley Jump, Debbie Mason, Hope Ramsay, Annie Rains, Melinda Curtis, Erin Nicholas, Megan Erickson, Kristen Callihan, Cynthia Eden, V.K. Sykes, and Katie Lane.

It’s always a special thrill to discover a new author and be part of their success. That’s why I’m so excited about Girl Last Seen, Nina Laurin’s thriller debut, which has spent over 90 weeks on the Bookscan bestseller list. I’m looking forward to introducing #1 Italian bestselling author Federico Moccia to US women’s fiction readers next year. And I’m immensely proud of my romance authors who have garnered five RITA awards, romance publishing’s highest honor.

I earned a journalism degree from Northwestern, attended the University of Chicago Publishing Program, and worked at Random House before joining Grand Central Publishing.

ASHLEY LOPEZ, WAXMAN LITERARY AGENCY

Ashley Lopez joined the Waxman Literary Agency in 2015. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a founder and the Managing Editor of Pigeon Pages Literary Journal. Ashley is looking for literary and young adult fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and cultural criticism. Most importantly she seeks authors with a strong point of view and an eye for language.

AYESHA PANDE, AYESHA PANDE LITERARY

Ayesha Pande has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. Before launching her boutique agency, Ayesha was a senior editor at Farrar Straus & Giroux. She has also held editorial positions at HarperCollins and Crown Publishers. She is a member of AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives), PEN, the Asian American Writer’s Workshop and the Women’s Media Group. She has attended numerous writing conferences and has taught college level courses in editing. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University. Among her many wonderful clients are National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi, PEN/Bingham Prize winner Danielle Evans, PEN/Bellwether Prize winner Lisa Ko, NYT Bestseller Shilpi Somaya Gowda and PEN/Hemingway finalist Patricia Engel. Her interests are wide-ranging and include literary as well as popular fiction, young adult, women’s, African-American and international fiction. She is also seeking authors of nonfiction, including biography, history, popular culture, cultural commentary, and memoir. She is particularly drawn to distinctive, original voices.

LORI PERKINS, L. PERKINS AGENCY

Lori Perkins is the Publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books and the Publisher of RomanceDailyNews.com, a daily online romance magazine. She was a founding partner and Editorial Director of Ravenous Romance and has been a literary agent for 30 years. She is also a published author and was an adjunct professor at N.Y.U.'s Center for Publishing. Perkins is President of L. Perkins Agency, which has 5 agents on staff and has foreign agents in 11 countries and its own film agent in L.A.

Riverdale Avenue Books is an award-wining hybrid book company with 11 imprints publishing pop culture, erotic romance, erotica, LGBTQ, horror, science fiction and fantasy and sports, which publishes a book a week. In 2014, Riverdale Avenue Books received the Bi-Writers Association Publisher of the Year Award in 2014 and the Silver Award from the Independent Publishers Association for the novel Playing by the Book by Chris Shirley. Their Bronze Award-wining #MeToo anthology made #1 on Amazon’s Feminist Theory best-seller list and is now a course-adopted title in gender studies programs. Perkins has had 7 books on the NY Times best-seller list including HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson, which made the New York Times best-seller list for 7 weeks and THE HUNGER GAMES COMPANION by Lois Gresh. Perkins is the author of FIFTY WRITERS ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY published by Ben Bella Books.  She is also the author of four books -THE CHEAPSKATE'S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT; How to Throw Fabulous Parties on a Budget, which was excerpted in Redbook and Family Circle Magazines; THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GETTING A LITERARY AGENT, which was chosen by Amazon as one of the top 100 books on writing; and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO WASHINGTON D.C. and THE EVERYTHING FAMILY GUIDE TO NEW YORK.

Lori has also written numerous articles on publishing for Writer's Digest and Publisher's Weekly. Perkins has edited twenty-five erotica anthologies, including HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE, a Zombie Romance anthology, which was published by St. Martin's Press. The New York Chapter of Romance Writers of America named her Literary Agent of the Year in 2010. She is a frequent speaker at writer’s conferences and conventions from romance to kink and attend approximately 13 conferences a year.

TINA POHLMAN, UNION LITERARY

Tina Pohlman has worked as an editor and publisher in New York for more than twenty years, most recently as EVP, Publisher at Open Road Integrated Media. She has acquired and edited a wide range of critically acclaimed and bestselling authors over the course of her career, including Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist and John Henry Days), Patrick deWitt (Ablutions: Notes for a Novel), and Christine Schutt (All Souls) in fiction, and Temple Grandin (Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals) and Arika Okrent (In the Land of Invented Languages: Adventures in Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius) in nonfiction. Favorite books she hasn't published in the past ten years include: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, Gregory Berns’s How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, and Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Tina loves discovering distinctive new voices in fiction and memoir and is always on the lookout for academics in the fields of animal behavior and neuroscience who can write for a popular audience.

HELEN RICHARD, G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS, EDITOR

Associate Editor Helen Richard joined Putnam in 2014. Hungry to find book club and literary fiction, psychological and domestic suspense, memoir, and feminist, historical, or cultural narrative nonfiction, she has a keen interest in literary page-turners with a rich sense of place, and in narratives that open up unexpected characters or closed-off communities. She has edited novelists including PEN Center USA Literary Award winner Siobhan Fallon, Australian National Biography Award winner Robert Hillman, Camille Perri, Lindsay Starck, and Anne-Marie Casey, alongside topical memoirists like Jacob Tobia and Sasha Sagan. She previously held positions at Other Press and Viking/Penguin, after getting her start in bookselling at the Boulder Book Store and the Tattered Cover Book Store in Colorado. Recently published and upcoming projects include The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by award-winner Robert Hillman, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by nonbinary activist Jacob Tobia, The Truants by Kate Weinberg, and For Small Creatures Such as We: Finding Wonder and Meaning In Our Unlikely World by Sasha Sagan.

 

Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast
Heimbold Visual Arts Center

9:00 a.m. Welcome from Pat Dunn, director of The Writing Institute
9:15 a.m. Agents Panel
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Editors Panel
11:30 a.m. Public Relations Guest Speaker Elena Stokes, Partner and Founder Wunderkind PR
12:15 p.m. Networking luncheon for attendees, panelists, and guests
1:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
2:30 p.m. Wrap up by Pat Dunn
2:45 p.m. Pitch sessions begin