PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These (virtual) one-on-one meetings at the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent (via Zoom or phone), 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. More 2022 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.
Tess Callero is a literary agent with Europa Content. “I am actively on the hunt for genre YA and adult fiction as well as nonfiction projects. I am specifically looking for YA romance and thriller/suspense. I love a unique setting (boarding schools, small towns, international adventures). Please do not query me with sci-fi/fantasy or horror. On the adult side, I love smart, twisty psychological suspense. I’m also looking for fun and engaging contemporary rom com – think anything by Sally Thorne. I’d especially love a story that takes a young female narrator in a familiar setting and tells readers something new about the experience.” Nonfiction: cookbooks, food narrative, pop culture, science, investigative journalism, business, social justice and anti-racism, humor. Learn more about Tess here.
Lori Steel is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. “For all projects, I seek stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope and change, and illuminate the shared human experience. More specifically for YA, I would love to find a fresh take on fantasy tropes, contemporary stories that flip conventional scripts, unexpected historical and/or historical fantasy mash-ups that disrupt entrenched notions. I like middle grade contemporary, historical, and fantasy fiction stories that demonstrate deep understanding of readers’ age, voice, and growing awareness of themselves and the world around them is paramount. For Graphic Novels, I’m looking for writer-illustrators crafting accessible contemporary and select nonfiction stories. For Picture Books, I’m eager to find writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art, creators who play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. Nonfiction stories that surprise and instill a sense of wonder are always welcome. Whimsical, lyrical, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again always top the list.” Learn more about Lori here.
Stefanie Molina is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Across the board, she is extremely passionate about increasing representation for BIPOC communities in publishing, and has a soft spot for stories about mixed people of color. She’s also invested in increasing representation for other marginalized populations, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+ folks, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, and people who are neurodiverse. She is seeking picture books, especially “stories that tell the experiences of growing up as a person of color, especially as a mixed person of color. I’d also love retellings of traditional folktales from all cultures.” In middle grade and young adult, she seeks historical fiction and fantasy that explores diverse experiences and cultures; funny, deep, and heartfelt coming-of-age stories; fantasy and all its subgenres; solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk. In adult fiction: diverse romcoms, especially starring people of color and featuring interracial relationships between people of color, and/or starring LGBTQIA+ folks with an emphasis on bi and pan rep; cozy mysteries; steamy thrillers; fantasy and all its subgenres; historical fiction and fantasy that explores diverse experiences and cultures; solarpunk, hopepunk, and silkpunk. In nonfiction and memoir: deeply moving memoirs and business/personal development by people of color. She is also looking for cookbooks and baking books that make rich culinary traditions accessible while keeping them authentic, especially those with recipes that have been passed down through generations. Learn more about Stefanie here.
Sarah N. Fisk is a literary agent with Tobias Literary Agency. Sarah represents all genres in Middle Grade (all genres) and Young Adult (all genres) as well as adult science-fiction, fantasy, speculative, and romance. Particular Areas of Interest include atmospheric fantasies, speculative mysteries, books that challenge societal norms, especially gender norms, personal interest in stories featuring queer characters, personal interest in characters with disability, neurodiversity, and much more. Learn more about Sarah here.
Kristina Pérez is a literary agent with Zeno Literary. She is seeking: Young Adult (retellings with a twist, light sci-fi, theatre geek stories, rom-coms, novels in verse, chilling ghost stories, vampires, historical, nonfiction YA); Middle Grade (fantasy, historical, novels in verse); Adult fantasy novels, romance novels, science fiction novels. Nonfiction: “I am primarily looking for current affairs, cultural history, and popular science. If you’re an academic who can write like a journalist, I want to hear from you.” Seeking history/contemporary political books about China / SE Asia, feminist criticism, cultural history projects, and pop science books. Learn more about Kristina here.
Rachel Beck is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates. Specifically, she’s looking for: Upmarket/book club women’s fiction; Light-hearted millennial fiction or contemporary romance (a beach read, but with plenty of heart that might make you go from laughing to crying in an instant); Domestic suspense (character-driven, psychologically intense reads); Contemporary young adult (no fantasy, but she is primarily drawn to heavy, issue-driven YA that goes after topics such as mental health, sexual assault, eating disorders, abuse, trauma, suicide, LGBTQ issues, dealing with death/grief, etc.); Select nonfiction—feminist material; career/business/personal growth books with new focus points; extreme underdog, survival, accomplishment, or rising-from-poverty type stories; select health and wellness books (especially mental health, eating disorders, any rare or underrepresented conditions, Alzheimer’s/memory—she’s especially interested in the condition known as HSAM, Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory); books about football/the NFL; marathoner/triathlete memoirs; parenting books that bring something new to the conversation; books that explore cult life or extreme religion; 9/11 survival stories; anything about Anne Frank; Anything set in the South, particularly New Orleans/the Cajun region of southern Louisiana. Learn more about Rachel here.
Kortney Price is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. “I work primarily on children’s books — stories from board book up through young adult. My tastes in stories are pretty broad, but here’s a rundown of what I’m most excited about seeing in my inbox. I am committed to building a list that reflects the diversity of our world and so I am passionate about diverse representation in the books I work with. I would love to see a vast array of characters and own voices writers writing them. Because of my experience working with the special needs community, I’m especially excited for books featuring all of those uniquely special brains or bodies that don’t operate like everyone else’s.” Kortney seeks all ages of children’s nonfiction and fiction, including picture book, graphic novel, early reader, middle grade, young adult. Learn more about Kortney here.
Lizzie Poteet is an acquisitions editor with Harper Muse. She was formerly an agent at The Seymour Agency. She is seeking: “I am actively acquiring in the Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Southern Fiction spaces with some openness to inspirational fiction as well.” Learn more about Lizzie and what she seeks here.
Annalise Errico is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. Annalise is looking for more queer, BIPOC representation across the board, especially in romances that give Happily Ever Afters to complex and palpable characters. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction centering in on women’s stories and queer stories, such as: true crime with a feminist lens; memoirs that focus on identity; or alternative formatting. In fiction, she seeks romance, mystery, thriller, commercial, women’s, contemporary, and new adult. In young adult fiction, she seeks historical, graphic novels, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and contemporary. Learn more about Annalise here.
Jill Marr is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Jill is looking for fiction and nonfiction by BIPOC and Latinx writers, disabled persons, and people identifying as LGBTQ+, among others. She is interested in commercial fiction, with an emphasis on mysteries, thrillers, and horror, book club, and historical fiction. She is also looking for nonfiction by authors with a big, timely, smart message as well as historical projects that look at big picture issues. Jill is looking for non-fiction projects in the areas of current events, science, history, narrative non-fiction, sports, politics, health & nutrition, pop culture, humor, music, and very select memoir. Learn more about Jill here.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Stephanie Winter is a literary agent at P.S. Literary. Stephanie is acquiring: adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction, in addition to Graphic Novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. For young readers, Stephanie loves a good adventure story, light SFF, and STEAM topics. In the adult space, she appreciates all sorts of fiction but particularly enjoys Rom-Coms and Thrillers (located outside the home) and LGBTQ+ stories that bring joy. Stephanie also acquires select nonfiction in all age groups, with a soft spot for projects that blend illustration with information on culturally relevant topics. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Sandy Lu is a literary agent with Book Wyrm Literary. She is actively looking for new and exciting voices. In fiction, she seeks literary and commercial fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, family saga, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction, history, biography, science, business, psychology, pop culture, and food writing. Sandy especially loves historical fiction and anything dark, twisted, or with a supernatural bent. In nonfiction, she’s looking for projects that can make connections about different topics in an unexpected way, explicate complex research for a general audience, introduce the reader to cutting-edged science or previously little known historical facts and figures, teach us new ways to think or clever skills that can improve our daily life, and expand our knowledge and understanding of the world—past, present, and future. Learn more about Sandy here.
Michael Carr is a literary agent with Veritas Literary. With a strong background in editing and writing, Michael enjoys teaching at workshops and conferences to help develop emerging writers. He is fluent in Spanish and speaks conversational French. Before joining Veritas, Michael had professions as diverse as programming simulators for nuclear submarines and owning an inn in Vermont. He is seeking: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Nonfiction of all stripes. Learn more about Michael here.
Audrey Crooks is an Associate Agent at Trident Media Group. She is seeking literary fiction, speculative fiction, story collections, international works, and upmarket and genre fiction with a literary bent. She is drawn to smart, character-driven stories with a sense of humor and style. She welcomes the surreal and is excited by fiction that explores gender, language, identity, built and natural environments, and/or systems of power in creative and compelling ways. For nonfiction submissions, Audrey is looking for memoir, narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, and human-centered journalistic deep-dives, with particular interests in food and dining, fashion, nightlife, dance, the cultures of the contemporary Middle East, and the American South. Learn more about Audrey here.
Nephele Tempest is a literary agent with The Knight Agency. “I’m currently seeking submissions in the following genres: women’s contemporary or historical fiction; contemporary or historical single-title romance; adult real-world or secondary-world fantasy; adult science fiction. In all categories/genres, I am looking for stories featuring: Underrepresented characters/diverse POVs, whether by gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.; #ownvoices stories; found families; strong sibling relationships, especially sisters or large families; excellent world building; fish-out-of-water stories; “new” settings, places that have not been overdone; strong writing/prose, distinctive voices, new twists on familiar tropes, and/or high concepts; strong hooks; smart characters who demonstrate blind spots/flaws/their humanity. Learn more about Nephele here.
Erica 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 rom-coms, 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.
Cindy Bullard is a literary agent with Birch Literary. In adult fiction, I’m looking for sweet romance (with happy endings), traditional mysteries (standard PI, classic detective or cozy), crime, police procedural, thriller, and suspense. I prefer stories with low levels of sensuality and/or violence. In children’s fiction, I’d like to see middle grade and YA (sweet, quirky, mystery, cozy). I’m not one for heavy or serious topics. In nonfiction, I love books about nature (kids and adults), memoir, self-help, and personal narrative. Learn more about Cindy here.
Zoe Howard is a literary agent with Howland Literary. Zoe represents adult fiction and nonfiction. Zoe is seeking adult literary and upmarket fiction, and would especially love to see underrepresented voices and places, LGBTQ+ narratives, magical realism, and characters breaking away from archetypes and conventions. In nonfiction, Zoe is seeking narrative nonfiction, memoir, and expert-driven nonfiction about internet culture, music, relationships, religion/spirituality, and true crime. “I am most interested in writing that seeks to break trends: the lyricists writing prose, the southerners writing about the convenience stores and coastal edges of their south, the non-traditional narrators of fiction, and so on.” Learn more about Zoe here.
Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.
Kat Kerr is a literary agent with Donald Maass Literary Agency. Kat feels strongly about supporting programs like We Need Diverse Books and is passionate about creating space in this industry for those from historically marginalized communities. She is actively seeking to grow her client list and is particularly hungry for magical realism, literary leaning speculative and science fiction, women’s fiction, YA works with a lot of heart, and narrative nonfiction with something to say. In fiction, she seeks literary, upmarket, women’s, rom-coms, multicultural, speculative, magical realism, family saga, young adult, and select sci-fi and fantasy. In nonfiction, she seeks narrative nonfiction and journalistic nonfiction tackling current affairs and social justice issues, particularly covering topics of racism, immigration, LGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, and poverty. She also represents select biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Kat here.
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Rachelle Gardner is literary agent and owner of Gardner Literary. She works in the Christian market (CBA) as well as the general market, and is considering new clients for both. In fiction she’s looking at novels of 75,000 to 100,000 words in the following genres: contemporary women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, historical, YA and YA fantasy including fairy tale retellings with a unique approach. Rachelle is looking at a wide variety of nonfiction, but please note, she can’t sell it unless you have a platform. If you have begun developing a following, bring her your nonfiction! She is especially interested in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Learn more about Rachelle here.
Leticia Gomez is a literary agent and the founder of Savvy Literary. At the present time, Savvy Literary Agency is interested in reviewing compelling and commercially viable book proposals and manuscripts written in English or Spanish. Fiction areas of interest: adventure, chick lit, fantasy, historical, humor, multicultural, mystery, paranormal, romance, young adult, and middle grade. Nonfiction areas of interest: advice/relationships, biography, cooking, diet, health, history/politics/current affairs, how-to, humor, lifestyle, memoir, parenting, religion/spirituality and true crime. Learn more about Leticia here.
JL Stermer is a literary agent and founder of Next Level Lit. Fiction: adult & YA, contemporary, upmarket, commercial: family stories, coming-of-age, rom-coms, general fiction that is giving readers a new perspective on a world they already know OR a peek into a world they wish they knew. Nonfiction: prescriptive, narrative, memoir: style & fashion, art & culture, mental health, spirituality, self-help, sports, humor, pop culture/business/science/tech, social justice, human rights, feminist issues, men’s issues, projects that are on the leading edge of important conversations we are having today. Queer, neurodivergent, POC, and all underrepresented voices are always welcome! Learn more about JL here.
Tori Sharp is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She is ONLY open to middle grade novels as well as children’s graphic novels. “As a graphic novelist myself, I am eager to represent stunning, playful, diverse, and important comics for kids in elementary through high school. I love comics that are heartfelt and gestural, and I tend to like art styles that look animated and soft, but bright. I am also currently looking for upbeat middle-grade manuscripts that make readers think about the world around them in a new way—especially fantasy, high-concept fiction, and memoirs. I gravitate toward stories that are simultaneously silly and sincere. I am looking for clearly defined magic, intimate stakes, and clever twists that I won’t be able to stop thinking about.” Learn more about Tori here.
Paul S. Levine is a literary agent and the founder of Paul S. Levine Literary. He is also an attorney. His fiction interests include adventure novels, mainstream fiction, mysteries, romance, thrillers, and women’s fiction. His nonfiction interests include business/commerce, pop culture, how-to, self-help, politics/law, relationships, and sports. Learn more about Paul here.
Laura Stone is a literary agent with Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She is seeking: Romance (Amish, Contemporary, Regency, Suspense, Historical); Mystery & Crime (Cozy, Detective, Whodunit , Gentleman Thief, Legal Thrillers, Capers/Heist, Private Investigator, and Historical); Action / Adventure / Thriller (Spy/espionage thrillers, Artifact (religious, alien, historical); Alien encounters/invasions, Natural disaster); Fantasy (Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic, Epic, Heroic, Magical realism); Young Adult (Post-apocalyptic, Dystopian, Fantasy); Middle Grade (Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Action/Adventure). Learn more about Laura here.
Regina A. Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Martin Literary Management. Regina is a literary manager currently accepting queries for true crime, memoirs, picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, cookbooks, and lifestyle artisan books. The work she hopes to accomplish as a literary manager is to help writers, as well as author-illustrators, think through their projects, see multiple opportunities where perhaps they don’t readily exist and help shape their work into successful books. Ultimately, she looks forward to championing great ideas. Learn more about Regina here.
Charlotte Wenger is a literary agent in the Boston area with Prospect Agency. Prior to joining Prospect, she was an associate editor at Page Street Kids, where she acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction picture books. Charlotte is drawn to children’s literature and art for all ages—board books through young adult, but especially picture books—as well as select adult nonfiction biographies and memoirs. Learn more about Charlotte here.
Rebecca Eskildsen is a literary agent at Writers House. “I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. In middle grade, I’m looking for a range of fiction, from fun adventure stories to contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories, but also some lighthearted fun! Give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh – I’ll like them) and your funny, slow-burn romances. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories.” Learn more about Rebecca here.
Ella Marie Shupe is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. In adult fiction, she is seeking: mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. In young adult, she is seeking thriller, suspense, mystery, detective, and historical. “I am always looking for #OwnVoices authors. I love fast-paced stories that keep me on the edge of my seat.” Learn more about Ella Marie here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.
Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. The company was established in 1989, and handles film, television, and book writers, as well as selling film and television rights for books and life-rights. Concerning what he seeks, Ken is a generalist, and represents adult fiction and nonfiction of all types. He does not want pitches for children’s books or novels of any kind. Learn more about Ken Sherman here.
Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Literary Agency. “As a Literary Agent with Belcastro Literary Agency, I am accepting submissions for Upper MG, as well as Young Adult and Adult. I’d love more LGBTQ+ storylines in all genres and ages (especially bi, ace, and trans voices!). I’m also very much looking for more main characters living with mental health issues or disability.” Kaitlyn also seeks graphic novels for all ages. She does not want picture books or nonfiction. Learn more about Kaitlyn here.
More 2022 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.)