Push to Publish 2022

DATE: October 8-9, 2022

Whether you are an established writer or just getting started, this event will provide valuable resources you can use to get your work in print and online. Highlights include:

  • Pitch your work to agents: Meet agents who will review and offer feedback on your work (bring up to 5 pages of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to review and discuss)
  • Learn how to increase your chances of getting published
  • Discuss the latest writing trends with professionals in the community
  • Get great marketing and networking tips to break into the competitive world of publishing

Contact: Email push2publish@gmail.com or philadelphiastoriesevents@gmail.com.

 

Click Here To Register

 

 

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

 

WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2022
TIME: 10am-5pm ET
LOCATION: Drexel University, Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Philadelphia, PA

 

*The agenda is subject to change. We will be adding speakers as they are confirmed.

 

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON PITCH FEST.
CLICK HERE FOR SPEAKER & AGENT BIOS.

 

10:00-11:00: Keynote Speaker: Camille Acker

Camille Acker is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Training School for Negro Girls published by The Feminist Press in 2018. She grew up in Washington, D.C and holds a B.A. in English from Howard University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. Her writing has received support from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Voices of Our Nations Arts, and Millay Colony for the Arts, among others.

 

11:15-12:15 Session I

Breakout I: Panel: Tips for Submitting to Magazines & Journals: This panel of editors will share their advice on how you can submit your work to literary magazines and journals to better your chances of getting published. They can answer any questions you have regarding reading fees, themed issues, writing contests, and more. The session is geared to short story writers and essayists.

Panelists: Trish Rodriguez (Philadelphia Stories), Katie Budris (Glassworks), more to be announced

Breakout II: Workshop: Query Letter Basics: Join local author and literary agent Eric Smith for a discussion surrounding query letters! Whether you’re working on fiction or non-fiction, this chat will cover best practices for crafting the perfect pitch, and go over the elements that tend to stress authors out the most (comparative titles, platform, hooks, pitch length), and will give a primer on how to research the right agent for you.

Presenter: Eric Smith (P.S. Literary)

Breakout III: Panel: Publishing Path Pros & Cons: Traditional vs Hybrid vs Self Publishing: How do you decide which publishing journey is right for your book? This panel will review the publishing options, including a new option called “hybrid publishing,” which is not traditional publishing, it’s not self-publishing, but it’s a little bit of both and it may just be the answer to some of publishing’s biggest problems.

Panelists: Autumn Konopka, KJ Grow, more to be announced

Moderator: Julia MacDonnell

 

12:15-1:15 LUNCH BREAK

 

1:15-2:15 Session II 

Breakout I: Panel: Strategies for Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writers: This panel will discuss how to distinguish urban, paranormal, historical and epic fantasy from one another, as well as review formulas and approaches to each. The panel will also cover avenues for publishing and marketing.

Panelists: Catherine Stine, Gregory Frost, more to be announced

Breakout II: Workshop: Marketing Magic: Whether we like it or not publishing is a business. Publishers produce books they think will sell. Their number one priority is to make money. If we understand the business and the marketing side of publishing it can greatly increase our chances of being noticed by the top agents and publishers as well as increase our chance for success. Marketing Magic will provide you with simple, creative, and budget-friendly marketing ideas, the importance of and how to create a marketing plan, a press release, and a press pitch.

Presenter: Doreen McGettigan

Breakout III: Panel: Tips for Submitting to Contests: Short story, poetry, and book prizes can be a wonderful venue to get your work published and recognized. This panel will discuss a range of opportunities available to writers attempting to place stories and manuscripts in contests, and include tips for making your work stand out.

Panelists: Nathan Alling Long, Kerry Dolan, more to be announced

 

2:30-3:30 Session III 

Breakout I: Panel: Submitting Book Manuscripts: This panel of editors will share their advice on how you can polish your book manuscript to a state sufficient for publishers and agents.

Panelists: Keith Kopka, Rob Wright (Able Muse Press), more to be announced

Breakout II: Workshop: Developing the Perfect Pitch: Your pitch is a performance, whether you deliver it in person or on the printed page. Literary agent Katharine Sands reviews how to hone the on-page elements and in-person aspects of the pitch to create the actual script you can use to pitch agents at wiring conferences and beyond.

Presenter: Katharine Sands (The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency)

Breakout III: Panel: Writing for Children & YA: This panel will discuss the unique Children’s and Young Adult markets and offer tips for writing for a younger audience and submitting to agents and publishers seeking work.

Panelists: Diana Rodriguez-Wallach, Christine Kendall, I.W. Gregorio, more to be announced

 

3:45-5:00 Session IV

Panel: Meet the Agents & Publishers: This panel of agents and publishers will share their tips for finding the right agent/publisher and selling your work. This interactive panel will include plenty of time for Q&A so you can get an insider’s perspective on the publishing market today.

Panelists: Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), Katharine Sands (The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency), Leslie Zampetti (Dunham Literary), more to be announced

 

 

PITCH FEST (VIRTUAL)

 

*You DO NOT need to buy a Push to Publish pass to participate in Pitch Fest.

Our virtual Pitch Fest program (formerly our “Speed Date” event) takes place on Sunday, October 9th, 11am – 3pm ET, the day after our Push to Publish Conference. There, attendees will have the opportunity to have a one-on-one 15-minute meeting with literary agents. Writers need only bring 5 pages of their work, a query letter, and their “elevator pitch,” and they’ll meet in a private Zoom room with the agent of their choosing. We strongly recommend that attendees who take part in Pitch Fest have a completed or nearly completed manuscript ready for querying. 

Location: Zoom 

When: Sunday, October 9, 11am – 3pm EDT

Cost:$40 per meeting

Agent Meeting Times (ET): 11:00am – 11:15am; 11:30am – 11:45am; 12:00pm – 12:15pm; 1:00pm – 1:15pm; 1:30pm – 1:45pm; 2:00pm – 2:15pm; 2:30pm – 2:45pm

NOTE: We will NOT be sending work in advance to agents. Writers can share their work by sharing their screen or sending a shareable Google Doc or Microsoft Sharepoint link with the agent in their Zoom meeting.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PITCH MEETINGS.

 

 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

 

Push to Publish Conference Pass (Saturday, October 8th): $95 (Students, Seniors (65 & over) $85). 50% off for Partners.

*Our Push to Publish Conference will take place in person at Drexel University, Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Philadelphia, PA. The day will include panels, workshops, and speakers. Attendees are free to register for both Pitch Fest and Push to Publish or attend each event separately.

Click Here To Register

 

Pitch Fest Meeting (Sunday, October 9th): $40 per meeting. (Recommended for attendees with complete or nearly-complete manuscripts ready for querying.)

*Pitch Fest will take place virtually via Zoom. The day will include pitch sessions with literary agents. Attendees are free to register for both Pitch Fest and Push to Publish or attend each event separately.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PITCH MEETINGS.

 

 

PRE-CONFERENCE EVENT: MASTER CLASS

Master Class with Camille Acker: Free to Be You: Writing Your Authentic Story: No matter the genre, it can be hard for a writer to access their most authentic voice. The influence of a favorite writer, the books on the bestseller lists, and cultural obsessions can all crowd out the story a writer is truly meant to tell. So how does a writer quiet all the other voices so they can hear their own? In this four hour Masterclass, participants will be given exercises, sample readings, and practical writing advice to help them leave with a better sense of their own voice. A question and answer session will also give participants a chance to ask specific advice about their individual writing projects.

Where: TBD

When: Friday, October 7, 2022

Fee: $95 (Students, Seniors $85). 50% off for Partners.

 

*REGISTRATION OPENING SOON!*

 

 

Thank you to our sponsors!

 

 

Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio

Supporting writers in the development of their individual voices and the practice of their craft.

 

Philadelphia Writers Workshop

Creative Writing Workshops and Editing Services

 

Rosemont College

Rosemont MFA in Creative Writing & MA in Publishing Programs

 

Drexel University

Drexel MFA in Creative Writing

 

 

PUSH TO PUBLISH 2022 BOOKSELLER

VISIT HARRIETT’S BOOKSHOP

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR SPEAKER & AGENT BIOS.


 

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

 

*We will be adding more speakers as they are confirmed.

 

Camille Acker

Camille Acker is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Training School for Negro Girls published by The Feminist Press in 2018. She grew up in Washington, D.C and holds a B.A. in English from Howard University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. Her writing has received support from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Voices of Our Nations Arts, and Millay Colony for the Arts, among others. Keynote Speaker

Katie Budris

Katie Budris holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University and a BA in English from Hope College. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Mid-Bloom (2021) and Prague in Synthetics (2015), both from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in literary journals including After Hours Press, The Albion Review, Border Crossing, Deep Wild Journal, From the Depths (Haunted Waters Press), Kelsey Review, Our Time Is Now, Outside In, Philadelphia Stories, River and South Review, Temenos Journal, Yellow Medicine Review, and the anthology Crossing Lines (Main Street Rag). Currently, Katie is a Senior Lecturer in the Writing Arts Department at Rowan University where she serves as Program Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Writing and as Editor in Chief of Glassworks literary magazine. She lives in South Jersey with her husband, Chris, and their two English Mastiffs, Harper and Winnie. Learn more at: http://www.katiebudris.com. Panel: Tips for Submitting to Magazines & Journals

Kerry Dolan

Kerry Dolan won the Juniper Prize for Fiction for her debut collection of stories, Safe Places, published in 2022. A fellow of MacDowell, the Millay Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and elsewhere, Dolan’s stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize, and been a finalist for the New American Fiction Prize. Dolan completed her MFA at Cornell University, where she won the Andrews Award in fiction. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is working on a novel. Learn more at kerrydolan.net. Panel: Tips for Submitting to Contests

Gregory Frost

Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy

GREGORY FROST (Shadowbridge/Lord Tophet–anALA Best Fantasy Novelpick) is an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Currently, he is at work on a three-book project, Rhymer, set in 12th century Scotland, and a supernatural western, Devil’s Draw, set in the Kansas Territory of the 1850s. His collaborative SF short story with late author Bill Johnson, “Boomerang,” will be out early next year in Asimov’s Magazine. Frost’s previous collaborative work, with Michael Swanwick, “Lock Up Your Chickens and Daughters, H’ard and Andy Are Come to Town,” won an Asimov Readers Award in 2015. His novels and short stories have been finalists for the World Fantasy, Stoker, Nebula, Hugo, James Tiptree, International Horror Guild and Theodore Sturgeon awards. He taught the Fiction Writing Workshop at Swarthmore College for eighteen years. Panel: Strategies for Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writers

I. W. Gregorio 

I. W. Gregorio (she/her) is a practicing surgeon by day, award-winning YA writer by night.  Her debut novel, NONE OF THE ABOVE, was finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award and a 2015 Publishers Weekly Flying Start. It has also been banned by the Leander, TX School District, and is on the infamous “Krause List” that Texas Rep. Matt Krause worries “might make students feel discomfort.” Her second novel, THIS IS MY BRAIN IN LOVE, was an Amazon Best Book and won the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award. She is proud to be a board member of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, and is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Panel: Writing for Children & YA

KJ Grow

KJ Grow is the General Manager at KN Literary Arts and has 18 years of book publishing experience, which includes New York City-based sales positions at Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House. She is a graduate of both the Columbia Publishing Course and the Yale Publishing Course. Most recently she was the VP of Sales & Marketing and then Publisher at Shambhala Publications. Her reading interests are far-ranging and include business & leadership, memoir, nature, politics, social change and social justice, and literary fiction. KJ has also done stints as an independent bookseller and event planner, a NYC public school teacher and has worked on an organic farm. She lives and plays in Yarmouth, Maine with her partner and two black cats. Panel: Publishing Path Pros & Cons: Traditional vs Hybrid vs Self Publishing

Christine Kendall

Christine Kendall is the author of two middle grade novels, The True Definition of Neva Beane (Scholastic, 2020) and Riding Chance (Scholastic, 2016). She was honored to have Riding Chance nominated for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens. Christine’s short fiction has appeared in numerous publications. She is an active member of the literary community having served as a juror for the New York City Book Awards from 2019 to 2022. She also co-hosted and curated the award winning reading series Creative at the Cannery in Philadelphia from 2018 – 2021. Panel: Writing for Children & YA

Keith Kopka

Keith Kopka is the recipient of the Tampa Review Prize for his collection of poems, Count Four (University of Tampa Press, 2020). His poetry and criticism have recently appeared in Best New Poets, Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, The International Journal of the Book, and many others. He is also the author of the critical text, Asking a Shadow to Dance: An Introduction to the Practice of Poetry (GRL 2018) and the recipient of the International Award for Excellence from the Books, Publishing & Libraries Research Network. Currently, he’s a Senior Editor at Narrative Magazine and the Director of the low-res MFA at Holy Family University in Philadelphia. Panel: Submitting Book Manuscripts

Nathan Alling Long

Nathan Alling Long’s work appears on NPR and in over a hundred publications, including Tin House, Glimmer Train, Witness, Story Quarterly, and The Best of Micro Fiction 2020. His collection, The Origin of Doubt, was a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist, and his current manuscript, The Empty Garden, was a semi-finalist for the Iowa Fiction Award. He has won or placed in a number of international contests, including The Love Reading Story Award, Glimmer Train Very Short Story Award, The Open Road Fiction contest, and the Norton Girard Short Story Award.  He lives in Philadelphia, teaches at Stockton University, and can be found at https://blogs.stockton.edu/longn/.  Panel: Tips for Submitting to Contests

Julia MacDonnell

Julia MacDonnell has published two novels with traditional publishers – Mimi Malloy, At Last! with Picador, the literary imprint of Pan-Macmillan and A Year of Favor with William Morrow & Co., an imprint of Harper Collins. Her first short story collection, The Topography of Hidden Stories was published last year by Fomite, an independent publisher in Vermont. The collection just won the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award for short stories. Her website is www.juliamacdonnell.com.  She is currently completing a reported memoir, The Girl I Kept to Myself. She is a former nonfiction editor for Philadelphia Stories. Panel: Publishing Path Pros & Cons: Traditional vs Hybrid vs Self Publishing, Moderator

Doreen McGettigan

Doreen started her writing career as a feature writer for Philadelphia area newspapers. She is a ghostwriter, speaker, author, and award-winning blogger. As the President of Intrepid Marketing Inc. Doreen consults and coaches on all things writing, publishing, and marketing. She is the Board President of Family Promise, a national organization supporting homeless families with the goal of permanent, sustainable housing, and is on the board of advisors for Fem City Philadelphia. The Stranger in My Recliner is the true story of an 83-year-old homeless woman Doreen’s husband brought home one night. They cared for her in their home for three years. (Republished fall 2021). Her first book, Bristol boyz Stomp is the true story of the random road rage murder of her brother, musician David Albert. Realize Your Writing Dreams/Tips on all things Writing, Publishing and Marketing was released in Spring 2020. Doreen lives in Delaware County with her husband, John. Workshop: Marketing Magic

Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is a multi-published author of young adult novels. Her most recent, Small Town Monsters, is a YA Latinx horror novel that published in September 2021 through Random House. Her next YA Horror, Hatchet Girls, comes out Fall 2023 through Delacorte. Additionally, Diana is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix Series (Entangled Publishing). The first book in the series, Proof of Lies, has been optioned for film and was chosen as a finalist for the 2018 International Thriller Awards for Best Young Adult Novel. Additionally, Bustle listed Diana as one of the “Top Nine Latinx Authors to Read for Women’s History Month.” Diana is also the author of a trilogy of YA contemporary Latina novels (Kensington Books). The first book, Amor and Summer Secrets, placed second at the International Latino Book Awards for Best Young Adult Novel. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, two children, and two cats. Panel: Writing for Children & YA

Trish Rodriguez

Trish Rodriguez is the fiction editor for Philadelphia Stories. Trish lives, reads, and writes in Media, PA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College where she teaches in the Rosemont Writers’ Studio. Her writing has been published in Awakened Voices and Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine. She has served as managing editor for Rathalla Review and is also the prose editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine. Panel: Tips for Submitting to Magazines & Journals

Katharine Sands

NOTE: PITCH FEST AGENT

Katharine Sands is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books including fiction, memoir and non-fiction. Among the books she represents are: The Apothecary’s Curse, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2017 in the First Novel category by Barbara Barnett; and Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir by Lisa Smith that was featured by People Magazine as Notable Nonfiction. Workshop: Developing the Perfect Pitch; Panel: Meet the Agents & Publishers

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a Young Adult author and literary agent living in Philadelphia. An agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on award-winning and New York Times bestselling books. In his author life, his recent novels include Don’t Read the Comments, You Can Go Your Own Way, and his latest, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, written in collaboration with Alanis Morrisette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glenn Ballard. Workshop: Query Letter Basics; Panel: Meet the Agents & Publishers

Catherine Stine

Catherine Stine a USA Today bestselling hybrid author of urban, paranormal and historical fantasy. Her Witch of the Wild Beasts won second prize in the Valley Forge PA Romance Writers Sheila Contest. Her first novel, Refugees with Delacorte earned two New York Public Library Best Books. Her Fireseed YA sci-fi series earned an Indie Notable. She lives in New York, and grew up in Philadelphia. Before writing novels, she was a working artist, showing in galleries, and she sees writing as painting with words. She attends many author events and keeps an active media presence on TikTok and IG. She’s a member of SFWA and RWA. Learn more at catherinestine.com. Panel: Strategies for Fantasy and Sci-Fi Writers

Rob Wright

Rob Wright, a former member of the International Cinematographer’s Guild, now serves as associate fiction editor to the magazine Able Muse. Hehas been awarded three Fellowships in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He was a finalist in the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. He has published fiction, reviews, and poetry in the magazines Able Muse, Angle, The Guardian, Big City Lit, The Evansville Review, Measure – a journal of poetry, Rattle, String Poet, and the Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts. His collection of poetry, Last Wishes was published by Able Muse Press in February, 2021. He recently was awarded the Frost Prize for Metrical Poetry and was honored to give a reading at the home of Robert Frost in Derry, New Hampshire. Panel: Submitting Book Manuscripts

Leslie Zampetti

NOTE: PITCH FEST AGENT

Leslie Zampetti joined Dunham Literary in 2016, having previously interned at The Bent Agency. A writer and former librarian, Leslie has a perspective from both sides of the query letter. Tops on her wish list right now are upmarket romance with a twist on familiar tropes & characters and mysteries for all ages – but particularly YA and middle grade. Panel: Meet the Agents & Publishers

 

 


 

PITCH FEST – AGENTS

 

*We will be adding more agents as they are confirmed. To register for a pitch meeting with an agent, click the button below their profile.

 

Kendyll Drilling

Kendyll Drilling is a Literary Agent Apprentice at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kendyll has been reading since the age of three, and she has never lost her appetite for reading. She never planned on pursuing literature as a career, but after an accident left her paralyzed, she decided it was in her best interest to focus on something that has always made her happy. This path led her to freelance editing manuscripts and going to college for a dual degree in English Literature and European History. Knowing her options would be limited due to her condition, she is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work with the team at Corvisiero Literary Agency.

SEEKING: Kendyll is mostly interested in fiction for all ages (middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult), and will review each project submitted to her equally. She is especially hoping to find some underrepresented voices and bring them to the forefront. For all age groups, Kendyll enjoys:

  • Fantasy and Magical Realism
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Folklore and Fairytale Retellings, especially those that may not be as well known
  • Mythology
  • Historical Fiction (especially before the 20th century)
  • Immersive and well-researched (but still easy to follow and understand) science fiction
  • Thrillers with harrowing twists and turns
  • True crime stories 
  • Anything with time travel
  • Own Voices narratives
  • Multi-POV narratives
  • Stories with the topics of mental health and disability

Click Here To Register

       

Zoe Aline Howard

Zoe is a literary agent at Howland Literary. After working with Howland Literary and Lookout Books while earning her BFA in Creative Writing and Certificate in Publishing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Zoe Howard is now building her own list of adult literary fiction and adult nonfiction. Zoe is also a literary publicist at Pine State Publicity. More than anything, Zoe is drawn to writing that lingers—on language, on character development, on the subtleties of character relationships, on place, on a niche subjects—and makes the details discovered there pop. 

SEEKING: Adult literary fiction and nonfiction. In adult fiction, she looks for voice-driven stories that subvert reader expectations of their subject matter. She is especially interested in off-putting and unashamed characters, women breaking social expectations, LBGTQ+ characters, grounded magical realism and speculative elements, and insular settings (small towns, amusement parks, summer camps). In adult nonfiction, Zoe looks for narrative nonfiction, memoir, and essay collections that blend personal narratives with research. Her niche interests include internet culture, celebrities, pop culture, religion/spirituality, para-social relationships, material culture, and the relationships between people and the places they inhabit.  

Click Here To Register

       

Sarah Khalil 

Sarah Khalil is a literary agent and editorial associate to Katherine Flynn at Kneerim & Williams. Sarah joined the agency in 2018 while pursuing her master’s degree in Publishing & Writing at Emerson College. Prior to that, she worked for several years in trade publishing and legal environments in Boston and Beirut, Lebanon, where she graduated with High Distinction from the American University of Beirut with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in History. In Boston, she has worked at Beacon Press and the IP law firm Sennott, Williams & Rogers.

SEEKING: She is seeking serious narrative nonfiction and with an eye towards social, economic and environmental justice; pop/cultural criticism and histories; cross-cultural narratives; and writing from Caribbean, MENA, Muslim and LGBTQIA+ creators; all deeply explored by experts—academics, journalists, and those with lived experiences and something important to say about them. Big ideas, radical thought, and propulsive writing are the cornerstones of her taste. She is also seeking select fiction in the same space.

Click Here To Register

       

Emmy Nordstrom Higdon

Emmy (they/them) holds a PhD in justice-oriented social work with a focus on critical animal studies. They are a member of the planning team for the Festival of Literary Diversity, a faculty member at the Manuscript Academy, and a literary agent at Westwood Creative Artists. They are a queer, trans, and non-binary colonizer based in Tkaronto (Toronto, Ontario). Emmy lives with their partner, a Deaf Dalmatian named Pavot, two formerly feral Maine coon cats, Whisper and Willow, and their collection of plants, informally nicknamed The Leafy Bois. They keep busy with vegan cooking, thread painting embroidery, crochet, wholesome video games, snail mail, their sticker collection, and… obviously, reading.

SEEKING: I grew up on fantasy novels and 90’s kidlit horror like Bunnicula and Goosebumps. I primarily represent authors of upmarket fiction and narrative nonfiction, across age ranges. I specialize in identity-driven stories based on lived experience, particularly from LGBTQ2S+ and disabled or chronically ill authors. You know that feeling when you have to go somewhere, and you’re reading, and you have to close the book, but it is just the tiniest bit physically painful to do it? That’s my aim, with every book that I have a hand in. I want it to be just a little bit devastating to put down. Murder is my comfort read. For more details about what kinds of queries I am seeking, please visit my Manuscript Wishlist page. I prioritize queries from trans and/or non-binary, Black and/or BIPOC, and/or disabled authors. My clients can be found on social media as the #SpineSquad.

Click Here To Register

       

Maggie Sadler

After five years of literary scholarship, Maggie Sadler is motivated to deepen her knowledge of literature from the industry perspective as the Literary Agent Apprentice at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Maggie earned her joint degree in Comparative Literature and English in 2016 from the University of St Andrews, a historical university tucked away in a tiny windswept Scottish town along the North Sea. A sea sprite at heart, Maggie returned to the North Atlantic coast to earn her Master’s in Literary Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2019. The intricate, vivid, and deep-rooted folk traditions Maggie encountered in both Scotland and Newfoundland further enriched her literary interest in folklore, mainly the seafaring lore intrinsic to small North Atlantic communities.

SEEKING: Maggie will evaluate every manuscript with sensitivity and a desire to uplift up-and-coming writers. However, she is especially interested in finding unorthodox narrative voices that possess subtle, yet insightful perspectives married with an unexpected and lyrical use of language. Maggie enjoys adult fiction, new adult and young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. She is not a good fit for thrillers, especially stories inspired by true crime, military/political fiction, science fiction, humor or satire, or commercial romance. Visit her wishlist for more information.

Click Here To Register

       

Katharine Sands

NOTE: SPEAKER

Katharine Sands is a literary agent at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Katharine has worked with a varied list of authors who publish a diverse array of books including fiction, memoir and non-fiction. Among the books she represents are: The Apothecary’s Curse, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award 2017 in the First Novel category by Barbara Barnett; and Girl Walks Out of a Bar, a memoir by Lisa Smith that was featured by People Magazine as Notable Nonfiction.

SEEKING: Katharine likes books that have a clear benefit for readers’ lives in categories of food, travel, lifestyle, home arts, beauty, wisdom, relationships, parenting, and fresh looks, which might be at issues, life challenges or popular culture. When reading fiction she wants to be compelled and propelled by urgent storytelling, and hooked by characters. For memoir, femoir, and himoir, she likes to be transported to a world rarely or newly observed.

Click Here To Register

       

Sydnie Thornton

Sydnie Thornton is a literary agent at Irene Goodman Literary Agency. A native Memphian, Sydnie majored in English Literature at Rhodes College. Every summer, she escaped the Memphis heat to intern at various NYC agencies and eventually joined IGLA in 2021. She does not miss the humidity. She does miss her dog. On the weekends, you can find her baking or curled up with hot chocolate and a good book. She’s taking on select co-agenting projects with Barbara Poelle.

SEEKING: Sydnie is interested in YA across all genres: fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary that leans literary, as well as thrillers with upmarket qualities and distinctive characterization. As for the adult side, Sydnie is actively looking for transportive, complex historical fiction and whimsical contemporary fantasy. Regardless of genre, she’s very likely to connect with manuscripts that bridge the YA/Adult divide. She’s also eager to champion any book that prominently features disability representation.

Click Here To Register

       

Kathryn Willms

Kathryn Willms (she/her) is an associate agent at The Rights Factory, representing adult non-fiction and select adult fiction. Kathryn has over 12 years of professional writing, editing, and management experience. Since 2017, she has run Kwill Communications, an editorial firm specializing in educational and academic work. Prior to this, she was vice-president and senior editor at Colborne Communications, and publisher of the hybrid Iguana Books. She holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

SEEKING: Kathryn is currently focused on building her nonfiction list in narrative nonfiction, cultural and social investigations, history, sports, nature/environmental topics, lifestyle, and food and drink. However, as a generalist who simply likes “good books”—and great stories—she’s open to a variety of genres. She is particularly interested in manuscripts with a unique voice, topic, or point of view that change or challenge the way we see the world, and she is actively seeking authors whose voices have traditionally been under-represented in publishing. The books that most capture her enthusiasm are ambitious, unconventional, and joyous.

Click Here To Register

       

Leslie Zampetti

NOTE: SPEAKER

Leslie Zampetti joined Dunham Literary in 2016, having previously interned at The Bent Agency. A writer and former librarian, Leslie has a perspective from both sides of the query letter. Tops on her wish list right now are upmarket romance with a twist on familiar tropes & characters and mysteries for all ages – but particularly YA and middle grade. 

SEEKING: A memorable voice combined with characters who create a compelling plot through their actions is a must. For children’s books, Leslie represents picture books through young adult. For adults, Leslie is seeking both fiction and narrative nonfiction, though not politics, political thrillers or inspirational stories.

Click Here To Register