Our past Pittsburgh Writing Workshop events were successes — thank you to all who attended! The PWW conference has happened multiple times before, and we at Writing Day Workshops have loved connecting writers and literary agents,and seeing so many success stories from our events.
We are not certain exactly when the next Pittsburgh / Southwest Pennsylvania event will happen (and whether it will be online vs, in person). That said, if you’d like to attend a writers conference in 2023, we have both in-person conferences as well as online events coming up in 2023 to suit your needs. For our online writers conferences, anyone can attend from anywhere. Each event has great instructional classes and 30-40 attending literary agents! Don’t let your location stop you from connecting with publishing professionals and furthering your writing journey. Details:
If you have questions, or want to register for any 2023 writers conferences, either online events or in-person events, contact us (Brian Klems) at WritingDayWorkshops@gmail.com and we are happy to assist. Writers can sign up for more than one event. If you and several people from your writing group all want to register together, ask us about a group discount.
All online classes are recorded and sent out to attendees afterward, so you can study the instruction and enjoy the experience. All virtual pitches are one-on-one with literary agents seeking writers, and done over Zoom (though phone is also an option). Thanks, all, and we hope to see you in 2023 at an event!
After successful 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021 events in Pittsburgh,Writing Day Workshopsis excited to announce The 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop — an online “How to Get Published” writing event on December 10, 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 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop!
This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on December 10, 2022. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome. And even though this is the “Pittsburgh” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually.
This event is designed to squeeze as much into one day 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 onsite to give feedback and take pitches from writers, as well. This year’s 2022 PWW agent faculty so far includes:
literary agent Sera Rivers (Speilburg Literary)
literary agent Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary)
literary agent Paul Levine (Paul Levine Literary)
literary agent Leticia Gomez (Savvy Literary)
literary agent Jon Michael Darga (Aevitas Creative Management)
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 ofWriting Day Workshops.
THIS YEAR’S SESSIONS & WORKSHOPS (DECEMBER 10, 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 theofficial Schedule Page here.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2022
9:30 – 10:30: Writing the Young Adult Novel: How to Create Stories and Characters with Authenticity. Learn how to tap into the reality of being a teenager and create voices, characters, and plots that are emotionally resonant.
10:45 – 11:45: Opening Pages That Lead to Yes. In this session, we’ll explore what agents are looking for in your opening pages and how to craft evocative beginnings that get your full manuscript read.
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.
2:45 – 3:45: The Hybrid Author: Using Both Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing for Success. Self-published (indie) authors are becoming traditionally published, while traditionally published authors are going indie. But can authors truly do both? And if so, how?
4:00 – 5:00: Query Like a Pro. This class, taught by a literary agent, examines how to write an awesome query letter that gets agent attention and requests to see more of your writing.
Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with Saturday sessions. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change and updates:
Carlisle Webber is a literary agent at Fuse Literary. Carlisle is looking for: high-concept commercial fiction in middle grade, young adult, and adult. If your book is fresh and exciting, tackles difficult topics, reads like a Shonda Rhimes show, or makes readers stay up late turning pages, she’s the agent for you. Diverse authors are encouraged to submit their fiction. Within the genres she represents, Carlisle is especially interested in stories by and about people of color; with both visible and invisible disabilities and illnesses; who are economically disadvantaged; who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer; or who are members of religious minorities. Pitch her: Middle grade (any genre), Young adult (any genre), thriller, mystery, suspense, horror, women’s fiction, and popular/mainstream fiction. Learn more about Carlisle here.
Leah Pierre is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary Agency. Leah is exclusively looking for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander voices with or without LGBTIQA+ intersectionality—basically anyone underrepresented and/or marginalized. Those writers should pitch her picture books, Young Adult/Crossover/Adult (many genres), romantic meet-cute, coming of age, mystery, gothic, thriller, suspense, fantasy. She is not seeking middle grade, dystopian, legal or spy thrillers, and nonfiction. Please no cliche romances where the plot is centered around cheating, parental disapproval, or high school drama. Learn more about Leah 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.
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. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality and memoirs.Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.
Jon Michael Darga is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Jon represents titles across a diverse range of genres, and represents both nonfiction and fiction. He is most interested in voice-driven pop culture writing, nonfiction histories that re-cast the narrative by emphasizing unexpected or unheard voices, and both adult and young adult commercial fiction that features diverse casts and new stories. He is not looking for genre fiction.Learn more about Jon here.
Sera Rivers is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. She represents picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and is actively seeking stories by authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+, and other underrepresented and marginalized identities. She is especially looking for: graphic novels by author/illustrator creators only; MG/YA —horror; psychological thrillers; speculative fiction, (no high fantasy); LGBTIA+ romance; tough topics. Select picture books—historically excluded stories; tough topics; horror (author/illustrator only for horror). She does not represent adult fiction/nonfiction.Learn more about Sera 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.
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.
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 kind of projects she seeks 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.
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.
Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris.Learn more about Maria here.
Erica Bauman [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”Learn more about Erica here.
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.
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.
Ann Rose is a literary agent with Tobias Agency. She is seeking all kinds of young adult fiction; she loves stories with heart & humor, strong characters that stand up for their convictions, thrillers, and stories that deal with the issues kids face today. She seeks middle grade across all genres, especially ones that push the boundaries. For adult fiction, she wants swoony romances (any level but erotica), very light sci-fi or fantasy, fresh retellings, heartwarming contemporaries, unique voices, diverse perspectives, vivid settings, and stories that explore tough topics.Learn more about Ann 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.
Regina A. Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She specializes in Historical, whether in Young Adult, Women’s Fiction and Romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, studying Theatre and History, Cate currently lives in Nashville with her children. Learn more about Cate 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 (virtual) 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.)
$149 — Base price for registration to the 2022 PWW and access to all workshops, all days. (You also get 10 additional free pre-recorded webinars on writing and publishing.) As of fall 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 storiescan be seen here.)
“I met my client, Alison Hammer, at the Writing Workshop of Chicago and just sold her book.” – literary agentJoanna Mackenzieof Nelson Literary
“Good news! I signed a client [novelist Aliza Mann] from the Michigan Writing Workshop!” – literary agentSara Mebigowof KT Literary
“I signed author Stephanie Wright from the Seattle Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKathleen Ortizof New Leaf Literary
“I signed an author [Kate Thompson] that I met at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop.” – literary agentKimberly Browerof Brower Literary
“I signed novelist Kathleen McInnis after meeting her
at the Chesapeake Writing Workshop.” – literary agentAdriann Rantaof Foundry Literary + Media
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Chuck Sambuchino, one of the workshop’s organizers. (This rate is a special event value for Pittsburgh 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:
Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult: Faculty member Shelli Johannes, a former agent turned publishing coach, 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. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.
Women’s fiction, contemporary/mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, and memoir: Faculty member Kimiko Nakamura, a literary agent and writing coach, 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.
Mystery, thriller, general fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction: Faculty memberTara 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 15 minutes sometime before the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes before or after the meeting.
Children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult, memoir, historical fiction, general fiction of almost any kind: Faculty member Eve Porinchak, a former agent turned publishing coach, 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. Children’s picture books should be 1,000 words maximum, and can or cannot have illustrations.
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 Pittsburgh workshop specifically.
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 PWW 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 Pittsburgh 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.)
Thank you for your interest in the 2022 Pittsburgh Writing Workshop.
In 2007, Sera joined SCBWI when her best friend insisted that Sera belonged in the kidlit world. She now attends SCBWI conferences and workshops every year. She’s volunteered for the New England chapter since 2012, co-directing NESCBWI’s 2017 and 2018 annual spring conferences. In 2009, after immersing herself in the kidlit community, she decided to pursue her passion—a career in the children’s book industry. She went back to college, earning her bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism Studies from the University of Massachusetts and her master of fine arts degree in Writing for Children, with a concentration in young adult novels, from Simmons University. Her young adult memoir THE WICKED ONES won the 2016 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award.
Sera worked in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s graphic novel imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. As Avenue A’s acquiring and managing editor, she worked with new and established children’s book writers and illustrators to create picture books and middle grade novels. She loved helping writers and illustrators hone their craft to produce their best work. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready.
Sera represents: picture books through young adult novels, including graphic novels, and is actively seeking stories by authors and illustrators who identify as BIPOC, LQBTQIA+, and other underrepresented and marginalized identities. She is especially looking for: GN by author/illustrator creators only; MG/YA —horror; psychological thrillers; speculative fiction, (no high fantasy); LGBTIA+ romance; tough topics. Select PB—historically excluded stories; tough topics; horror (author/illustrator only for horror). She does not represent adult fiction/nonfiction.
Sera holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She worked as an editor in educational publishing for seven years and launched Avenue A Books, a children’s book imprint at Center for Responsive Schools. Now, as an agent, Sera provides editorial feedback to help clients get their manuscripts submission ready. At this time, Sera only accepts queries through referrals, conferences, and pitch events. Check out her full MSWL and status updates at SeraRivers.com.
“I represent both fiction and nonfiction writers for the adult market. For fiction, I am especially interested in working with writers of crime (suspense, thrillers, horror, and mysteries); bookclub fiction or upmarket commercial fiction (including women’s fiction, historical, grounded speculative or grounded sci-fi). I’m drawn to novels with vivid voices and strong emotions and I’m a passionate advocate for all voices. And for nonfiction, I am interested in working with food writers, writers on culture, and true crime writers.”
Based in Boston, a few of her clients and their projects include Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf ’19); Hannah Kirshner’s Water, Wood, and Wild Things (Viking ’21), Cambria Brockman’s Tell Me Everything (Ballantine ’19), and Wanda M. Morris’s All Her Little Secrets (Morrow, ’21). A few of Galvin’s client’s projects have been optioned by A24 and Netflix.
Prior to joining Aevitas, Galvin was executive editor at the multimedia publisher America’s Test Kitchen, where she led a team that produced dozens of landmark cookbooks. Galvin was also an editor at Houghton Mifflin, a restaurant cook, and ran a bed-and-breakfast in Maine.
Emily S. Keyes is a literary agent with Keyes Agency. Emily is the Founder of Keyes Agency, LLC. She was an Agent at Fuse Literary from 2013 to 2021. She has represented many award-winning titles mainly (but not exclusively) in the realm of children’s literature. She loves finding and nurturing new talent, as well as reading and representing projects that will get readers excited to go to the bookstore. Emily is actively searching for all kinds of children’s literature, as well as select adult projects in genre fiction—so long as it’s not “serious” literature. She is searching for authors and illustrators who will be her coworker for a long career.
Previously she worked at the L. Perkins Agency as a contracts manager and associate agent. Before that, she was a Contracts Administrator at Simon & Schuster for five years. In 2008, she graduated from New York University’s Center for Publishing. Emily lives in Brooklyn but she can usually be found spending too much time on the internet. For a better idea of who she is and what she represents, follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.
Natanya Wheeler is Director of Digital Rights & Literary Agent at Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Natanya is looking for literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction. She is particularly interested in books that help us understand our world. She’s looking for multicultural voices, psychological thrillers, suspense, book club fiction, romance, and humorous fiction. She loves to find new writers and does not shy away from debut talent. For nonfiction, Natanya is interested in authors with strong platforms who write about nature, the human mind, women’s issues, or animals.
Alice Speilburg is a Literary Agent and founder of Speilburg Literary. Alice has worked in book publishing for more than a decade. She is a member of the Association of American Literary Agents (formerly the AAR) and represents narrative nonfiction and commercial fiction. Her first editing gig was on the news desk of her college daily, and she is still drawn to compelling nonfiction stories, especially those written by journalists, that deepen our understanding of culture and society. In fiction, she loves a complete immersion read that takes her to another world through the eyes of unconventional characters. Alice previously worked at John Wiley & Sons, and Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. She has worked with bestselling and award-winning authors, literary and professional societies, and branded content. She spends her weekends hiking with her husband and two sons.
She represents women’s fiction, crime fiction, some fantasy (specifics below), historical fiction, mystery, thriller, action/adventure, and horror. “In fiction, I’m looking for stories that sidestep into history, magic, mystery, horror, or adventure. My favorite sub-genres are feminism, narrative nonfiction, and upmarket genre fiction.” She would love to see Historical Fiction that reimagines factual events, especially crimes or mysteries; Women’s Fiction that oscillates between modern and historical perspectives; Historical Fiction that sidesteps into magic; Fantasy based on American folklore, earthy and magical; Fantasy that contains mythical elements; Adventure Fantasy with fresh and unique magic; Police Procedural Mysteries that are grounded in both a unique investigator and an evocative setting; and Psychological Thrillers that border on horror with smart female protagonists.
She enjoys nonfiction in the areas of History, Journalism, LGBTQ, Pop Culture, Psychology, Science, Travel, and True Crime. “In nonfiction, I’m looking for cultural narratives, microhistory, nature, and pop science written by journalists and academics. I’d love to see more nonfiction proposals, so even if you think your nonfiction project is not quite what I’m looking for, please send it over so that I can take a look.” She’d love to see Pop Science Narratives that inform some particular quirk of our human nature or the world around us; Pop Science Narratives that tie closely with political discussions regarding the environment, social issues, etc.; Nonfiction Narratives that weave history or science through memoir; Nonfiction narratives that focus on the intersection of two — perhaps unlikely — subjects; Journalistic Narratives that focus on a specific place, thing, or circumstance to show something about our culture at large.
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Laura Crockett is a literary agent with TriadaUS. Laura is interested in a variety of YA and adult fiction. She’s a character-driven reader seeking voice-y narratives and compelling stakes. She’s always interested in diversity in all of its forms across all of the genres above.
In YA, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (romcoms, fierce feminists, strong family/friendship dynamics, light-hearted and humorous, interesting jobs/hobbies, hopeful), historical (original, accessible, unique, uncharted areas of female and/or non-Western history), and fantasy (fractured fairytales, culturally-influenced folklore, historically-inspired, elemental magic, lush world-building). Some favorite titles include Fangirl, When Dimple Met Rishi, Royals, Dumplin’, The Lie Tree, Shadowfell, The Star-Touched Queen, Outrun the Moon, Prisoner of Night & Fog, The Bird and the Blade, A Madness So Discreet, Walk on Earth a Stranger, Jackaby, and Hunted.
In adult fiction, she is interested in fantasy (inspired by historical/cultural events and folklore, in-depth world-building and authentic characterizations, ensemble casts and solo protagonists, epic and low), historical fiction (spotlight on feminism, STEM, spies and code-breaking, non-Western and little-known eras, parallel narratives), and women’s fiction (romcom, millennial-driven, slice of life, compelling obstacles and moral dilemmas). Some favorites include The City of Brass, Uprooted, Daughter of the Forest, Priory of the Orange Tree, Kings of the Wyld, Queen of Blood, In Another Time, A Secret History of Witches, The Winter Witch, Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Familiars, Shadow on the Crown, The Alice Network, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Ayesha at Last, A Window Opens, Kate Morton, Abby Jimenez, Mhairi McFarlane, and Sophie Kinsella.
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.
Paul has sold more than 250 fiction and nonfiction books.
As an entertainment lawyer, Levine has written the legal contracts for several books adapted as movies-for-television. With over thirty-seven (38) years of experience in the entertainment and book industries, Levine is one of the few lawyers on the West coast who also understands the world of book publishing; as such, he is able to act as both literary agent and publishing attorney for his clients.
Erica represents a wide variety of authors for both children and adults, including acclaimed YA author Andrew Auseon and Broadway performer Tiffany Haas.
Erica is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked in the publishing industry for the last seven years. Before coming to Aevitas she worked at Spectrum Literary Agency.
Based in New York, Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.
“For middle grade, my interests span all genres, from contemporary to mystery to fantasy. I love quirky, funny stories and main characters who are misfits (and proud of it). I’m especially on the lookout for eerie horror (like Coraline) and really unique magic.”
“For young adult, I am a lover of all genre fiction, especially fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. I love stories based off of mythology, folklore, and obscure fairy tales, and novels that cross genres. I’m especially on the lookout for stories inspired by classic literature/ballet/opera, mysteries and thrillers with unreliable narrators, and books that play with structure to tell a story in a really unique way.”
“In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh.”
“Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.”
“That said, I’m probably not the best for projects involving the following:
Serious literary fiction Vampires/werewolves/zombies Serious family drama Intergalactic war/alien invasions Dead pets Erotica Manic Pixie Dream Girls Instalove.”