The 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop: Nov. 11-12, 2022

Screen Shot 2016-12-25 at 10.34.26 PM.pngAfter successful 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 events in San Diego, Writing Day Workshops is excited to announce The 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on November 11-12, 2022. (Writers are welcome to attend virtually from everywhere and anywhere.)

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 online “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 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop!

ONLINE: The 2022 SDWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on November 11-12, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

WHAT IS IT?

This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on November 11-12, 2022. In other words, it’s two days 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. And even though this is the “San Diego” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually. Our WDW writers conferences have helped dozens of writers find literary agent representation — see our growing list of success stories here.

This event is designed to squeeze as much into two days of learning as possible. You can ask any questions you like during the online classes, and get your specific concerns addressed. We will have literary agents online to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2022 SDWW agent & editor faculty so far includes:

  • literary agent Michael Carr (Veritas Literary)
  • literary agent Lori Steel (Red Fox Literary)
  • literary agent Jill Marr (Sandra Dijkstra Literary)
  • literary agent Rebecca Eskildsen (Writers House)
  • literary agent Ella Marie Shupe (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Zoe Howard (Howland Literary)
  • literary agent Ken Sherman (Ken Sherman Associates)
  • literary agent Annalise Errico (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Michelle Jackson (Olswanger Literary)
  • literary agent Kristina Pérez (Zeno Agency)
  • literary agent Kortney Price (Belcastro Agency)
  • editor Lizzie Poteet (Harper Muse)
  • literary agent Rachel Beck (Liza Dawson Associates)
  • literary agent Stefanie Molina (Ladderbird Literary)
  • literary agent Audrey Crooks (Trident Media Group)
  • literary agent Laura Stone (Blue Ridge Literary)
  • literary agent Sarah N. Fisk (Tobias Literary)
  • literary agent Nephele Tempest (The Knight Agency)
  • literary agent Regina A. Bernard-Carreno (Martin Literary Management)
  • literary agent JL Stermer (Next Level Lit)
  • literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
  • literary agent Kat Kerr (Donald Maass Literary)
  • literary agent Tess Callero (Europa Content)
  • literary agent Stephanie Winter (P.S. Literary)
  • literary agent Cindy Bullard (Birch Literary)
  • literary agent Tori Sharp (Jennifer De Chiara Literary)
  • literary agent  Rachelle Gardner (Gardner Literary)
  • literary agent Charlotte Wenger (Prospect Agency)
  • literary agent Eva Scalzo (Speilburg Literary)
  • literary agent Amaryah Orenstein (Go Literary)
  • literary agent Sandy Lu (Book Wyrm Literary)
  • literary agent Erica Bauman (Aevitas Creative Management)
  • literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson (Belcastro Agency)
  • literary agent Kelly Peterson (Rees Literary)
  • and more agents 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 coordinators Chuck Sambuchino and Brian Klems of Writing Day Workshops.

EVENT LOCATION & DETAILS:

ONLINE: The 2022 SDWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on November 11-12, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (NOVEMBER 11-12, 2022):

What you see below 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.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: Examining the Paths of Successful Authors. In this class, a literary agent teacher will share a large survey she did of successful authors — sharing their blunt advice, stories, and feedback regarding what they did right, what they wish they did better, and when they believe they had a little luck on their side.

10:45 – 11:45: The Art of the Query Letter. Writing a great query letter is an art and a science, and this workshop examines the core elements every strong query letter has, and how to add that extra pizzazz that will capture the attention of an agent or editor.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: Voice — and How to Hone Yours. One of the most common and yet elusive feedback given to writers is that a novel “lacks voice.” But what does that mean? In this session, literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson discusses writing styles and things to avoid that strip a writer’s voice or bog down the prose. 

2:45 – 3:45: Every Word Counts: Crafting Successful Twitter Pitches. During this workshop, attendees will learn information about specific events, guidelines, and hashtag tips; go over important story elements that can be helpful to include in a Twitter pitch; and give you the opportunity to practice writing and sharing your own pitch tweets.

4:00 – 5:00: An Agent’s Tips on Writing Thriller & Mystery. In this class you’ll learn what you’ll need to know about the thriller and mystery market including: what is hot in the suspense market now, the do’s and don’ts of writing intense fiction, and more.

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2022

9:30 – 10:30: Finding the RIGHT Agent: How to Maximize Your Query’s Potential. This interactive workshop will teach you strategies and show you resources to find the best agents for you and your work.

10:45 – 11:45: Improve Your Craft — How to Show, Not Tell. This session removes all mystery surrounding this oft-quoted phrase by providing concrete examples and giving you actionable tips and writing practices that you can apply to improve your own work daily.

11:45 – 1:15: Break

1:15 – 2:30: “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest, with participating literary agents and editors. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” 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. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention.

2:45 – 3:45: Open Agent Q&A Panel. Several attending literary agents will open themselves up to open Q&A from SDWW attendees. Bring your questions and get them answered in this popular session.

4:00 – 5:00: Keys to Writing Great Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. In this session, a children’s book editor will discuss the tips and tricks for making middle grade and YA novels great.

Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:

(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.)

Agent & Editor Pitching: All throughout the day.

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PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.51.01 PM.pngLeticia 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.

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 1.37.27 PMPaul 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.

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, and pricing/detail is explained below.)

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PRICING:

$189 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2022 SDWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10+ additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of early 2022, 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. There is no limit. Here are 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 workshop’s former instructors. (This rate is a special event value for San Diego 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:

  • Middle grade and young adult fiction: Faculty member Madeline Smoot, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Memoir, children’s picture books, adult fiction of any kind, young adult, middle grade: Faculty member Shirin Leos, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting. If you submit a picture book, it must be 1,000 words or fewer (can have illustrations or not).
  • Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty member Tara Yilmaz, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 10 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • Fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction — in adult, young adult, or middle grade. Also adult thriller and YA & MG contemporary: Faculty member Sean Fletcher, a writing coach and author, will get your work in advance, critique the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you online (Zoom, etc.) or by phone for 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss his thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
  • More critique options possibly forthcoming.

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

REGISTRATION:

ONLINE: The 2022 SDWW is an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, on November 11-12, 2022. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) Online events are easy and awesome, and the online events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)

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. He will pass along registration information to you, and give instructions on how to pay by PayPal or check or credit card. Once payment is complete, you will have a reserved seat at the event. The SDWW 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 San Diego 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 or CC refund]. 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 started edited your work.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 4.10.21 PM

Thank you for your interest in the 2022 San Diego Writing Workshop.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Annie Bomke of Annie Bomke Literary Agency

Annie Bomke is a literary agent with Annie Bomke Literary Agency.

Annie has over a decade of experience helping authors succeed. Her books include Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver, winner of the Macavity Award for Best First Novel, and nominated for a Lammy Award, Strand Critics Award, Barry Award and Anthony Award, and the Barnes & Noble bestselling Poppy McAllister cozy mystery series by Libby Klein. She has edited a wide range of projects—from hard-nosed business books to otherworldly historical novels. Authors have called her the pH test for good writing, and a bedrock for literary quality control.

Annie has loved the publishing industry since her position as an Editorial Assistant at Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola. She explored her love of books managing Alcala Gallery, an art gallery and rare bookstore, and even had a brief stint as a technical writer for a Department of Defense contractor.

She represents a wide variety of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, psychology, and narrative nonfiction.

Annie spends her free time reading, going for walks in the park, and dancing. Her favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Tana French, and Paul Auster.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Emily Williamson of Williamson Literary

Emily Williamson is a literary agent and the founder of Williamson Literary.

In adult fiction she is looking for lyrical prose, stories with unique settings, adventure, international, fantasy/sci-fi or science inspired, magical realism. For children’s, she seeks stories that talk up to kids, that inspire and build confidence with cleverness and humor. Prefers middle grade over YA; no picture books. Nonfiction interests: history, sports, science, environmental, narrative, and a solid author platform. Currently looking for science or adventure/travel narratives in the vein of books such as Shadow of the Silk Road or The Sports Gene.

Williamson Literary is a small but vibrant and actively engaged literary agency in Baltimore, Maryland.

Emily is a native of New Jersey, graduated from American University (BA Anthropology) in 1997 and Johns Hopkins University (MA Writing) in 2012. She began her editing career in 2011 with Chrysalis Editorial* in Washington, DC. In 2016 she founded Williamson Literary, driven by the desire to help great writers achieve their publishing goals.

As a writer, she understands the investment of time and heart it takes to follow this challenging path. It is the core of Williamson Literary—to support the careers of dedicated writers who deserve to see their ideas and imaginings realized. Williamson Literary is also about building relationships: agent-author, agent-publisher, author-publisher.

In the past, Emily spent 13 years as an archaeologist traveling all over the US and abroad in search of many things…sometimes finding nothing. It is this varied, nomadic past that has influenced her own writing and her particular interests as an agent. Emily does other things. She is a painter (see Twitter page). She loves the outdoors, cuts her own firewood, and plays fantasy football. She’s one of those annoying people who can’t eat gluten; she binge-watches Netflix shows; loves to travel; and her preferred clothing season is Autumn.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Em Lysaght of Ladderbird Literary

Em Lysaght is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary.

​Em is a queer ex-classicist based in Oakland, CA. She is looking for queer fantasy, sci-fi, and graphic novels for all age ranges. Outside of agenting, she draws comics about queer monsters being friends and travels the globe scoping out stationary stores.

She holds an B.A in Comparative Literature from Occidental College, a publishing certificate from NYU, an MLitt in Ancient Greek Monsters from The University of St Andrews in Scotland, and a handful of college credits from art schools across the US.

She is seeking:

She is looking for genre-blending commercial queer Fiction in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities.

She wants:

  • Rich and subtle world building like Wilder Girls or The Mortal Engine series
  • Normalized trans and non-binary existence in worldbuilding, like the Tales of the High Court series
  • Shamelessly manga and fanfic inspired stories like Foxhole Court
  • Silk punk, Asian attitudes, historical revision that doesn’t think Europe invented the world (Socrates was born after Confucius died! Genghis Khan was a contemporary of King John! Guns were being used in China before the English invented longbows!)
  • Reworking myth and gods and their influence, like The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and American Gods
  • Sexy, dark, magical horror, like the Hexslinger series
  • Queer romance with high stakes, like Lord of the White Hell
  • Middle Grade protagonists who cry and fail and try anyways, like How to Train Your Dragon
  • F/F romance, friendship, and intersectional girl gangs against the world
  • Ride-or-die friendships and high stakes, like The Raven Cycle

She does NOT want:

  • Nonfiction
  • Genre fiction that perpetrates the racist, colonial, imperialistic, sexist, ableist tropes of the past
  • Non-intersectional representation; no victories at the expense of another group
  • Precocious (read: bratty) MG protagonists
  • Low stakes, excessive realism

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Latoya C. Smith of Arthouse Literary Agency

Latoya C. Smith is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency.

In fiction, she seeks high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror, romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet), comedy / romantic comedy, and young adult (no SF/F). In nonfiction, she is strictly seeking platform and market-based books in the areas of memoir, how to, advice, relationships, health, wellness, politics, current events, history, sports, pop culture, and business.

“Having worked for corporate New York publishing houses, independent and boutique presses, and with self-published authors, I have a well-rounded knowledge of book publishing with a core network of relationships with authors, literary agents, and other publishing professionals. I graduated Cum Laude from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in African American Studies. I have been featured in Publishers Weekly, Forbes, and USA Today, as well as on various author, book conference, and book blogger websites. I am the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple Award for Editor of the Year, the 2017 RWA Golden Apple Award for Agent of the Year, and the 2017 Literary Jewels Award for Editor of the Year. In early 2014, I appeared on CSpan2 where I contributed to a panel discussing the state of book publishing.”

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

Beth Marshea is a literary agent at Ladderbird Literary.

​Beth is the owner and Lead Agent at Ladderbird Literary Agency. She has a BA in Literature and a Masters in Business Administration and is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring more diversity into publishing and beyond. Outside of agenting, Beth, teaches writing in her local community with a focus on bringing reluctant writers and readers into the magical world of books. She loves the outdoors and is also a certified lifeguard.

She is seeking:

For added emphasis, in all areas Beth would like to see more works from disabled writers, from LGBTQIA+ writers, from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern, and all other groups who do not regularly get to see their stories in print. She would love to see more non-binary representation across categories as well.

Across categories she would love to see more works that show joy in marginalized communities.

Adult nonfiction wants:

Beth is actively seeking narrative nonfiction centering around cultural phenomena, hidden or weird histories, issue-driven books, and books that offer new ways to look at spiritualism, witchcraft and paganism.

She is not a good fit for books on the Judeo-Christian religions.

Adult fiction wants:

Literary Fiction- She is looking for work with exceptional voice and beautiful style, unusual settings, and works that involve clever plots with dynamic characters. She wants to see work that brings to light new perspectives on old ideas. Of particular interest are multi-generational stories that show family dynamics, stories centered around found family or friendship, Currently she is especially interested in seeing works by and about BIPOC communities, especially Latinx and Indigenous writers.

Mainstream/Commercial Fiction- She’d love to see more multicultural Meet-Cutes/RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), Family Drama, stories about friendships of any kind, work that is light and fun, but emotionally poignant.

Mysteries- Would love to more atmospheric mysteries with a twist. It might be an unusual setting, or simply written from BIPOC perspective to give this genre a new voice.

Thrillers- She loves a thriller that really keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing! She’s particularly looking for thrillers set outside of the United States. She does not love thrillers that feature violence towards women as their main plot.

Fantasy- Books that are fast-paced with wonderful (ideally non-European) characters. She’d love to see more dark fantasies based on non-European folklore, especially Latinx (new imaginings of El Cucuy, El Sombrerón, Duendes, etc…)!

Science Fiction- She really wants grounded Sci-Fi with characters that are engrossing, tight plots, and really beautiful voice. She prefers stories set near future, featuring unusual tech, that are not focused around the US. She’s not the best candidate for a space opera or any military Sci-Fi.

Young Adult wants:

Contemporary- She is very actively looking for stories about found family, the difficulties of friendship, LGBTQIA+ Rom Coms, anything that is really poignant and pulls at your heart strings, especially if it is set outside of the U.S.

Mysteries/Thrillers- Stories with high stakes and complex friendships stretched thin. In YA, Mysteries/Thrillers of almost any kind are appealing as long as they are emotionally focused and bring a new point of view. She is not a fan of the unreliable narrators, but is a huge fan of group heists.

Fantasy- Very similar to Adult Fantasy, she prefers dark folkloric tales, but is very glad to have a happy ending! Tales that feature friendships rather than romance as their base and really dig in to the full emotions of that particular love and struggle.

Middle Grade wants:

She’s looking for contemporary stories that have fun, compelling characters dealing with real problems that Middle School kids face: friendship, divorce, gender identity, budding feelings of attraction or a lack of those feelings, feelings of isolation, and found family stories. She’s also interested in Fantasy that explores similar themes. Books she’s loved are: Lalani and the Distant Sea, Wonder, Pet, and Lily and Dunkin

Picture Book wants:

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 an adult to enjoy.

 

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kaitlyn Johnson of Belcastro Agency

Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency.

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. A literary agent for Belcastro Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, Strictly Textual. Kaitlyn started her literary journey as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston, and has been agenting since 2016. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

Some of Kaitlyn’s favorite books: Cornelia Funke (Inkheart series); Michael Buckley (Undertow series); John Green (more Looking for Alaska, less An Abundance of Katherines); Gayle Forman (Just One Year and Just One Day); Lois Lowry (The Giver series); Scott O’Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Her favorite tv shows are Doctor Who, Buffy, Supernatural, Firefly, basically the nerdier the fandom the better.

WISH LIST

For Upper MG:

  • Fantasy (high, urban, or magical realism)
  • Contemporary
  • light Sci Fi
  • Horror or Paranormal (more creepy dolls, ghosts, and curses, less blood and guts)
  • Historical

For Young Adult:

  • Fantasy (high, urban, or magical realism)
  • Contemporary
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Historical
  • Paranormal (ghosts, witches, and vampires if unique; open to new legends/creatures)

For Adult fiction (and new adult):

  • Fantasy
  • light Sci Fi
  • Historical
  • Contemporary Romance/Rom-Com

“For all ages, I really want historical that focuses on perspectives and places not in the mainstream. Give me legends, myths, events, battles that aren’t the everyday titles we see all the time. I’m not huge on retellings unless it’s in-depth and really makes me dig to figure out what story we’re rediscovering. I also really want more LGBTQ+ storylines and mental health themes and love stories where the people are just PEOPLE and it doesn’t have to be expressly about an issue.”

Kaitlyn is NOT accepting

– Nonfiction
– Chapter or picture books
– Thriller/suspense/mystery
– Romantic Suspense
– Novellas, poetry, or short story collections
– Storylines heavily dependent on religious motives/events/themes
– Storylines heavily dependent on sexual/physical/drug abuse

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lori Steel of Red Fox Literary

Lori Steel is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary.

Lori began her career in young people’s literature first as an educator and school librarian, and later as a freelance editor and writing instructor. She is also a writer and earned an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. As a Red Fox Literary Agent, Lori approaches her work from these diverse industry experiences and perspectives. She’s a long-time member of SCBWI and ALA, and passionately believes all readers deserve equal access to stories, no matter their age.
 
Lori’s clients include both debut and award-winning authors, and she continues to seek diverse perspectives, literary approaches, and unique story experiences to add to her list. Lyrical language, compelling settings, and stories told with heart are areas of particular interest in any genre/audience. 
 
Originally from the Washington DC area, Lori has also called Appalachia and England home. When not at her desk, you can often find her plotting her next travel adventure, testing out a new recipe, or pottering in her Washington DC garden with her English husband and their secret-agent pup sidekick, Juice. 

She is seeking:

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’m always on the look-out for genre-bending writing in the vein of A.S. King!

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.

Themes/ideas/atmospheres that intrigue me:

  • Nonfiction picture books about ecology/environmentalism written from unusual perspectives
  • Regional setting/voices
  • Found families
  • Endearing meet-cute stories
  • Musical motifs
  • Verse, multiple POV and/or interpolated/mixed media novels
  • Setting as character and/or antagonist
  • In all seriousness: Stories that are important and extend the conversation.

I’m NOT the right agent for:

  • Horror of any kind
  • YA Nonfiction
  • Hard sci-fi
  • Didactic, overly sentimental, and message-driven books
  • Stand-alone board books, early readers, and chapter books
  • Boarding school settings
  • Vampires, werewolves, zombies
  • Stories devoid of hope
  • Rhyming PBs in the vein of Seuss or Silverstein

Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Lizzie Poteet of Harper Muse

Lizzie Poteet is an acquisitions editor with Harper Muse. She was formerly an agent at The Seymour Agency.

After several years at St Martin’s Press/Macmillan working as an editor, she made the move out of NYC and editorial and to Nashville and agenting. Now she is an editor again.

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.”

A hopeless romantic, she’s eternally grateful she found a way to channel her immense feelings about feelings into a legitimate job where swooning is considered a job skill. A spitfire from an early age, she once tried to write a series of book reports in high school on Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Julie Garwood. It did not go over well. Lizzie’s addiction to romance only grew from there, which explains why she decided to study abroad at the University of St. Andrews in college. Just on the off chance she would fall back in time and meet her own warrior soul mate. Sadly, she didn’t and now lives in a yellow cottage with green shutters with her dogs, Mr. Darcy and Miss Dashwood, where she watches a lot of TV. You can follow her on Twitter @lizziepoteet