In Partnership with Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences
DATE: October 7-8, 2023
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/editors
- 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: For questions or concerns, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON CONFERENCE.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON PITCH FEST.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON PRE-CONFERENCE EVENTS.
CLICK HERE FOR SPEAKER OR AGENT & EDITOR BIOS.
WHEN: Saturday, October 7, 2023
TIME: 8:30am-4pm ET
LOCATION: Drexel University, Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, 3245 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
*Agenda is subject to change. Speakers will be added as they are confirmed.
CLICK HERE FOR SPEAKER BIOS.
8:30-10:00: Registration/Book Sale & Breakfast: Lobby
On-site registration, book sales, and a continental breakfast will be available in the lobby.
10:00-11:00: Opening Keynote: Oindrila Mukherjee: Room 106
Oindrila Mukherjee is Associate Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University. She has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida. Prior to joining Grand Valley, she was the Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from Inprint Houston and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a regular contributor to the Indian magazine Scroll.in where she created a series called Bottom Shelf about forgotten or little known books with an Indian connection. Her debut novel, The Dream Builders, was published earlier this year by Tin House Books in the US, Scribe Publications in the UK and Australia, and Harper Collins in India. Her shorter work has appeared in Salon, Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere. She grew up in India, and now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
11:15-12:15 Session I
Breakout I: Workshop: Scriptwriting: Room 106: Want your amazing story to become an amazing film? Review best scriptwriting practices and find out what you need to know if you’re adapting a screenplay from a novel.
Facilitator: Sara McDermott Jain
Breakout II: Panel: Pathways to Growing a Writers’ Community: Room 104: Writing might be a solitary activity, but it shouldn’t always be that way. Explore various ways to get away from the desk and meet with other creatives.
Speaker: Elijah Pringle
Moderator: Sarah Van Clef
Breakout III: Panel: Writing for Children & Young Adults: Room 108: 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: Jess Callans, Eric Bell, Charles Bush
Moderator: Celesté Cosme
12:30-1:30 LUNCH BREAK
1:45-2:45 Session II
Breakout I: Panel: Research Techniques in Storytelling: Room 104: Storytelling often requires extensive research to expand your setting, characters, and plot. This panel will explore techniques to weave research into your work to create more expansive stories.
Panelists: J.C. Todd, Megan Hicks
Moderator: Celesté Cosme
Breakout II: Panel: Music and Memory: Room 106: Music affects both what we write and how we write. Here, authors in different genres discuss music as a source of inspiration as well as a tool to help shape or organize writing.
Panelists: Ashley M. Coleman, Maria Ceferatti
Moderator: Carla Spataro
3:00-4:00 Session III
Breakout I: Panel: Writing Wellness and Grief: Room 106: This panel will discuss techniques for writing about sensitive topics honestly and with care for the writer’s (and reader’s) well-being.
Panelists: Michael Paul Thomas, David P. Kozinski
Moderator: Rae Pagliarulo
Breakout II: Workshop: Writing Reviews: Room 104: Do you love books but don’t know how to write about them? This Reviews Workshop will provide a step-by-step guide to writing, reading, and reviewing books for magazines, publishing agencies, and publishers that could support your love for books and also give you opportunities for publication!
Facilitator: Sarah Van Clef
Breakout III: Panel: Chapbook to Manuscript: Room 108: The chapbook is often a poet’s first publication. Hear several poets discuss the chapbook and its relationship to a full-length collection. How are these similar and how are these unique forms?
Speaker: Liz Chang
Moderator: Courtney Bambrick
CANCELED — 4:15-5:00: Closing Keynote: Kirwyn Sutherland
Kirwyn Sutherland is a Clinical Research Professional and poet who makes poems centering the black experience in America. He was one of 5 poets to represent the Philadelphia Pigeon Poetry Slam Team at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland California in 2015. Kirwyn’s work has been published in American Poetry Review, Cosmonauts Ave., Blueshift Journal, Voicemail Poems, APIARY Magazine, FOLDER, The Wanderer and elsewhere. Kirwyn has served as Editor of Lists/Book Reviewer for WusGood magazine,poetry editor for APIARY Magazine and is a Watering Hole fellow. Kirwyn has a chapbook, Jump Ship, on Thread Makes Blanket Press.
*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 8th, 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 an agent/editor. 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/editor of their choosing. We strongly recommend that attendees who take part in Pitch Fest have a completed or nearly completed manuscript ready for querying.
When: Sunday, October 8, 11am – 3pm ET
Cost:$40 per meeting
Pitch 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
*Kristina Marie Darling has nonstandard meeting times and is available for afternoon sessions.
NOTE: We will NOT be sending work in advance to agents/editors. Writers can share their work by sharing their screen or sending a shareable Google Doc or Microsoft Sharepoint link with the agent/editor in their Zoom meeting. Writers may register for multiple pitch meetings with different agents/editors. Refunds for this event will not be issued after Thursday, October 5th. We will be closing registration Friday, October 6th at 3pm EDT.
Push to Publish Conference (Saturday, October 7th)
Push to Publish Pass With Lunch (includes boxed lunch that includes sandwich, chips, cookie, and water): $110 (General Admission), $100 (Students/Seniors – 65 & over), $50 (Drexel University Students/Partners)
Push to Publish Pass Without Lunch: $95 (General Admission), $85 (Students/Seniors – 65 & over), $42.50 (Drexel University Students/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. On-site registration will be available at our Push to Publish Conference.
Virtual Pitch Fest Event (Sunday, October 8th)
Cost: $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 agents/editors. Attendees are free to register for both Pitch Fest and Push to Publish or attend each event separately. Writers may register for multiple pitch meetings with different agents/editors. Refunds for this event will not be issued after Thursday, October 5th. We will be closing registration Friday, October 6th at 3pm EDT.
Master Class with Oindrila Mukherjee: The Power of Place
All stories happen somewhere. From Middle Earth to Mars, from New York to Narnia, setting has always been an essential part of fiction. Whether the setting is real or imagined, it is our objective as writers to invite readers into the world of our story and hope they stay for a while. Besides coming alive through vivid descriptions, setting can perform several important functions such as revealing character, creating conflict, and advancing the plot. When writing about real places, it is important to think about ethical issues surrounding their portrayal. In short, place is a promising and potent tool at our disposal. In this class, participants will read excerpts from published works, complete short writing prompts, discuss challenges they may face, and learn techniques to use the places they know well – or don’t know at all – more effectively in their fiction.
*Space is limited – only 15 spots available. Lunch is not included.
Where: Conference Room, The Study at University City, 20 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
When: Friday, October 6, 2023, 1pm – 4pm ET
Fee: $75 (General Admission), $65 (Students/Seniors – 65 & Over), $35 (Partners)
Marguerite McGlinn Fiction Contest Reading & Dinner
We hope you can join us to celebrate the winners of the 2023 Marguerite McGlinn Short Story Contest at this dinner and awards reception. A ticket includes a cocktail reception, dinner, and author readings. Cost is $45 for general admission and $25 for students/event partners. Purchase your ticket here by Wednesday, October 4th. Not able to join us? Please consider a donation to Philadelphia Stories here to help us keep the magazine in print and free!
Where: Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
When: Friday, October 6, 2023, 6pm – 9pm ET
Fee: $25 (General Admission)
ABOUT THE CONTEST
This is an annual national short fiction contest that features a first place $2,500 cash award and invitation to an awards dinner; a second place cash prize of $750; and a third place cash prize of $500. The winner stories will be published in the print issue of Fall of Philadelphia Stories. The Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction is made possible by the generous support of the McGlinn and Hansma families. We especially encourage writers from underrepresented groups and backgrounds to send their work.
Thank you to our sponsors!
CLICK HERE FOR SPEAKER OR AGENT & EDITOR BIOS.
*Speakers will be added as they are confirmed.
Courtney Bambrick loves serving as poetry editor at Philadelphia Stories. Her poetry is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, and has appeared in New York Quarterly, Beyond Words, Invisible City [where her poem “Chicken” was nominated for Best of the Net], The Fanzine, Philadelphia Poets, Apiary, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Mad Poets Review, and Certain Circuits. Her chapbooks have been semi finalists and finalists in contests for Iron Horse and Pavement Saw, but are still looking for presses to call home. She teaches writing at Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls campus in Philadelphia. Panel: Chapbook to Manuscript, Moderator
Eric Bell (he/him) is the author of ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and ALAN COLE DOESN’T DANCE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2018), two middle grade novels about a gay seventh grade boy dealing with bullies, crushes, the power of art, and coming out. The first book was nominated to the Rainbow Book List for LGBTQ Books for Children and Teens. The books have also been translated into multiple languages. Eric is also featured in the queer middle grade short story anthology THIS IS OUR RAINBOW: 16 STORIES OF HER, HIM, THEM, AND US (Knopf). Eric is a teacher of writing classes, a virtual workshop leader, a freelance editor and writing coach, and an employee at a library. He lives and writes in Pennsylvania. Panel: Writing for Children & YA
Charles A. Bush lives in Philadelphia where he attended Cabrini University before honing his craft at the University of Oxford. In addition to writing young-adult novels, he spends far too much time obsessing over all things Marvel, has long run out of places to store his mountains of books, and dreams of someday debating literature with Rory Gilmore. In addition to receiving the 2022 Moonbeam Gold Medal for Young Adult Fiction and being selected by the New York Public Library as “One of the best YA books of 2022,” his debut young-adult novel, EVERY VARIABLE OF US, has been featured in publications like Teen Vogue “25 Books by Black Authors We Can’t Wait to Read in 2022,” BookRiot, The Nerd Daily, and The School Library Journal. Panel: Writing for Children & YA
Jess Callans (they/them) is an author, educator, and aspiring librarian located outside of Philly, where they live with their partner, kids, and dog. They are currently an MFA candidate at Rosemont College. Their debut middle-grade novel OLLIE IN BETWEEN comes out early 2025. Panel: Writing for Children & YA
Liz Chang has published four collections of poetry. The two most recent (Animal Nocturne, 2018 Moonstone Press and Museum of Things, 2023 Finishing Line Press) were chapbooks. She received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and works as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Moravian University in Bethlehem, PA. She also translates poetry and has written prose that has been published internationally. Panel: Chapbook to Manuscript
Maria Ceferatti is an award-winning composer and educator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Catholic University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Her video, If Blind Kids Ruled the World, won the inaugural Cinema Without Sight Festival in Los Angeles, CA., and she was nominated for an Ovation Award for Education from the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Maria teaches general music at St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments and instructs private piano and violin lessons at Holy Child Academy. She is the Artistic Director of Acting Without Boundaries, Jr. where she collaborates with young actors on writing and performing original musicals, and she is the Music Director of AWB, Sr. As a writing teacher, Maria instructs creative writing classes for adults at Main Line School Night and presents workshops for children with the Young Writers’ Day Program. Maria also leads a weekly online early-morning creative writing workshop for adults called The Breakfast Club. Panel: Music and Memory
Ashley M. Coleman
Ashley M. Coleman is a writer, author, and music industry executive. While working in the music industry for more than ten years, she also wrote for Essence.com, The Cut, Apartment Therapy, and GRAMMY.com, among others. Her debut novel Good Morning, Love was released in June of 2022. Recently, she was named a 2023 Torch Literary Arts retreat inaugural fellow. In 2017, she launched a community for Black writers and writers of color entitled Permission to Write. Panel: Music and Memory
Celesté Cosme has been teaching high school English for 18 years. She received her MFA from Rosemont College. She is the CNF editor at Philadelphia Stories. Her essays and stories appear in Pangyrus, South Florida Poetry Journal, (Mac)ro(Mic), ROVA, and Shotgun Honey. You can follow her on Twitter @celestemaria or read her works on celestecosme.com. Panel: Writing for Children & YA, Panel: Research Techniques in Storytelling, Moderator
Megan Hicks has been telling stories professionally for about 40 years. 13 of those years were spent as a professional librarian. Five of those years were spent in a Masters program for creative writing. Her recording, What Was Civil About That War, was named a finalist for The Audies and received a Parents Choice Silver Award in the “older teen audiences” category. She lives in Rose Valley, PA where she and her husband host a monthly storytelling series. www.meganhicks.com Panel: Research Techniques in Storytelling
David P. Kozinski
David P. Kozinski has two full-length books of poems. The original manuscript of I Hear It the Way I Want It to Be (2022, Kelsay Books) was a finalist for the Inlandia (California) Institute’s Hillary Gravendyke Prize. Tripping Over Memorial Day was published by Kelsay in 2017. His chapbook, Loopholes, won the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. Kozinski is the Resident Poet at Rockwood Park and Museum near Wilmington, Delaware. He was the 2018 Delaware Division of the Arts Established Professional Poetry Fellow and was named Mentor of the Year by Expressive Path, a non-profit that fosters arts participation for youth. Kozinski serves on the boards of the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center and the Eastern Shore Writers Association, as well as the editorial board of Philadelphia Stories magazine. Panel: Writing Wellness and Grief
Sara McDermott Jain
Sara McDermott Jain is the international bestselling author of the thriller Wolves at Night, a produced and award-winning screenwriter, and a lauded instructor. She is the creator of the Book to Script Course and has worked with over 75 authors and numerous production companies in adapting books for the screen. She is also the founder of PRINDIE, the Princeton Independent Film Festival (2015-2022), and the current director of the Neumann Inspires Film Festival at Neumann University, where she also teaches screenwriting. Workshop: Scriptwriting
Oindrila Mukherjee is Associate Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University. She has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida. Prior to joining Grand Valley, she was the Creative Writing Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from Inprint Houston and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a regular contributor to the Indian magazine Scroll.in where she created a series called Bottom Shelf about forgotten or little known books with an Indian connection. Her debut novel, The Dream Builders, was published earlier this year by Tin House Books in the US, Scribe Publications in the UK and Australia, and Harper Collins in India. Her shorter work has appeared in Salon, Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere. She grew up in India, and now lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Opening Keynote Speaker
Rae Pagliarulo (she/her) is the Associate Editor of Hippocampus Magazine and has published poems, articles, and essays with Full Grown People, the Manifest-Station, r.kv.r.y quarterly, Bedfellows, the Brevity Blog, and more. She is the co-editor of Getting to the Truth: The Craft and Practice of Creative Nonfiction (2021), and by day, she works as a consultant, helping Philadelphia nonprofits to achieve their missions through strategy and fundraising. Panel: Writing Wellness and Grief, Moderator
Elijah B. Pringle, III is an internationally published American poet from Philadelphia, PA. His works appears in several international anthology: Compagnia de’ Colombari’s Whitman on Walls, 99 Poets for the 99 Percent, Selfhood, Moonstone Poetry Ink 25th Anniversary Anthology, and Aquarius Press critical acclaimed anthology on the continuation of the Black Arts Movement – Black Fire This Time. Overall, he has appeared in nearly 40 anthologies and journals since the turn of this century. Constantly evolving and exploring, he has maintained a voice that consistently reveals his keen insight into the “human experiment”, as he would say. Panel: Pathways to a Growing Writers’ Community
Carla “C.J.” Spataro directs the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in Publishing programs at Rosemont College and is a founding partner of Philadelphia Stories. She is an award-winning short fiction writer. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies including Taboos & Transgressions, Iron Horse Literary Review, december, Sequestrum, and Exacting Clam. Her debut novel, MORE STRANGE THAN TRUE, is forthcoming from Sagging Meniscus Press in June 2024. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College and a Master of Music from Michigan State University. Panel: Music and Memory, Moderator
Kirwyn Sutherland is a Clinical Research Professional and poet who makes poems centering the black experience in America. He was one of 5 poets to represent the Philadelphia Pigeon Poetry Slam Team at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland California in 2015. Kirwyn’s work has been published in American Poetry Review, Cosmonauts Ave., Blueshift Journal, Voicemail Poems, APIARY Magazine, FOLDER, The Wanderer and elsewhere. Kirwyn has served as Editor of Lists/Book Reviewer for WusGood magazine,poetry editor for APIARY Magazine and is a Watering Hole fellow. Kirwyn has a chapbook, Jump Ship, on Thread Makes Blanket Press. Closing Keynote Speaker
Michael Paul Thomas
Michael Paul Thomas has been teaching creative writing at the university level for 30 years. A graduate of Hamilton College and Syracuse University’s prestigious MFA program, Michael has worked as the founding editor of Salt Hill Literary magazine, as a literature professor, and also as a consultant for public school teachers in teaching writing practices throughout upstate New York and the metropolitan area.As Director of Monmouth’s Center for the Arts Visiting Writers Series, Michael hosted, interviewed and facilitated workshops with major American and international writers including, Joyce Carol Oates, Marlon James, Amitav Ghosh, Caryl Philips, Hanif Abdurraqib, Nick Flynn, Robert Pinsky, Natasha Tretheway and Mary Karr. A recipient of the Raymond Carver Prize in Poetry and a NJ State Council on the Arts Fellowship, his poems have been published recently in Reel Verse: Poems about the Movies (Knopf), 5AM, Slice Magazine, The Greensboro Review, Connotation Press, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Great River Review, Hotel Amerika, Columbia Poetry Review, and Navigation 2 Nowhere. His research and teaching of the Confessional poets inspired an essay, “American Poetry and the Art of Confession: Dylan, Lowell & Bishop” accepted at the first “World of Bob Dylan Symposium” held in 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Panel: Writing Wellness and Grief
J. C. Todd’s recent work addresses war trauma and women: Beyond Repair (2021), a special selection for the Able Muse Press Poetry Book Award and nominated for the Ainsfield-Wolf Book Award, and The Damages of Morning (Moonstone Press, 2018), finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Micropress Award. Winner of the 2016 International Literary Award in poetry and highly commended in the 2022 National Competition of the Poetry Society of UK, she has held fellowships from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Bemis Center and has published poems in Beloit Poetry Journal, Full Bleed, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. She offers workshops through Rosemont Studio and Murphy Writing of Stockton University www.jc-todd.com Panel: Research Techniques in Storytelling Panel
Sarah Van Clef
Sarah Van Clef is a poet and memoirist from South Amboy, New Jersey. Her lyrical essays and poems have been featured in the Local Gems NJ Bards Literary Anthology, SoupCan Magazine, The Monmouth Review, and others. She holds an M.F.A in Creative Writing with a concentration in creative nonfiction from Monmouth University and is currently the Reviews Editor for Philadelphia Stories. Sarah is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of English at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College as well as the Founder of The Social Writerly; a virtual creative community platform that fosters support to any artist at any point of their creative journey. When Sarah is not teaching or writing, you can most likely find her walking along the beaches of the Jersey Shore, watching the NY Rangers, or singing in her band, The Cellar Dwellers. Workshop: Writing Reviews; Panel: Pathways to a Growing Writers’ Community, Moderator
*We will be closing registration Friday, October 6th at 3pm EDT.
Lauren Albury * SOLD OUT *
Lauren is an Associate Agent with Holloway Literary. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in English from The College at Southeastern, Lauren interned with FinePrint Literary Agency in New York City. Prior to becoming a literary agent, Lauren was with Holloway Literary for two years as an intern and literary assistant. She lives in Raleigh, NC.
SEEKING: Lauren is seeking Southern, Historical, Women’s, Literary, and Upmarket Fiction.
Micah Brocker * SOLD OUT *
Micah Brocker has spent the last five years in the business world helping entrepreneurs and artists fulfill the financial and legal knowledge needed to succeed. It has been her lifelong dream to foster careers for all artists, in particular authors and screenwriters. At Corvisiero Literary Agency, she is interested in fostering her client’s careers from the start and building their businesses with them. Located in Seattle, WA, you can find her hiking or running in the rain when she is not indoors reading with her trusty cat at her side.
SEEKING: In both film and novels, she is interested in YA contemporary stories that deal with messy relationships and issues that can help young adults put words to their experiences. She is also looking for YA science fiction and urban fantasy that provide an escape while still helping us connect to the everyday troubles of growing up. In adult fiction, she loves women’s fiction and upmarket fiction that deals with burdensome secrets, messy relationships, and a character with a deep desire to change their life, the world etc., especially with a psychological, sci-fi, or romantic twist!
Jenniea is a queer Black woman who believes there is always something to learn from a book; for some projects, you have to be a bit more open-minded. She loves to work on projects that address healing generational trauma through moments of love, joy, and strength. She has honed her knowledge of book buying, merchandising, and selling in her 10 years of working in bookstores. And after years of teaching ESL, Jenniea found her revitalized passion for books and decided to venture into the publishing world. Soon after; Jenniea found herself home at New Leaf on Joanna’s team, eager to uplift and amplify marginalized voices. When she is not between the pages of a book, Jenniea can be found binging mystery documentaries and animation.
SEEKING: She is interested in Horror, Speculative, Thriller, Fantasy, and Romance across middle grade to adult. She is not interested in espionage and historical. For more information on Jenniea’s projects and her wishlist, visit her here.
Jennifer Chevais * SOLD OUT *
Jennifer is an Assistant Agent at The Rights Factory and is actively building her client list. Besides being a life-long wordie, Jennifer’s publishing experience includes freelance acquisition reading and translating for a French publisher.
SEEKING: Jennifer is currently building her list of authors specialising in fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but she also has a soft spot for thrillers, upmarket fiction, memoir, graphic novels, and many more.
Kristina Marie Darling
Kristina Marie Darling serves as Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press & Tupelo Quarterly. She is the author of thirty-nine books. An expert consultant with the U.S. Fulbright Commission, and a twice-awarded Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Darling’s work has also been recognized with three residencies at Yaddo, where she has held the Martha Walsh Pulver Residency for a Poet and the Howard Moss Residency in Poetry; nine residencies at the American Academy in Rome, where she has also served as an ambassador for recruitment; and several grants, fellowships, and artist-in-residence positions. She has taught at Yale University, the American University in Rome, and the New School, and has been an invited speaker at the United States Embassy and The Betsy, a four-star hotel on Miami’s iconic Ocean Drive.
SEEKING: She is interested in works of fiction in experimental/hybrid forms, poetry, and nonfiction.
*Kristina has nonstandard meeting times and is available for afternoon sessions.
Aurora Fernandez * SOLD OUT *
Aurora Fernandez is an Associate Agent at Trident Media Group. She joined the agency in 2021 as an assistant to Robert Gottlieb. Before joining Trident, Aurora was an intern at Simone Garzella International Book Scouting and attended the Columbia Publishing Course. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Political Science from Wellesley College and spent a year studying at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University.
SEEKING: She is currently looking for women’s fiction, romance, and upmarket fiction. On the commercial end, she loves books that feature swoon worthy romance, strong female friendships, and witty dialogue. For upmarket books, she is especially drawn to books with complicated female dynamics, moral dilemmas with no clear cut answer, unexplored perspectives of historical moments, and, of course, a unique hook backed by great writing. And anything involving mythic retellings or witches will definitely catch her eye! While Aurora’s interests mainly lie in fiction, she is open to nonfiction submissions. For nonfiction submissions, Aurora is looking for memoirs, narrative nonfiction, personal development, forgotten moments in history, and microhistories. Particular topics that interest her are pop culture, modern dating, mental health, folktales, women’s health, and true crime.
CoCo Freeman * SOLD OUT *
CoCo is a graduate of Bard College with a B.A. in Written Arts. Before joining The Linda Chester Literary Agency, she worked for Tom Yoon Productions developing projects and editing existing material. She is very happy to have entered the world of her first love, books.
SEEKING: CoCo is looking for smart adult commercial fiction in a variety of genres, Young/New Adult, Middle Grade and select picture books.
Kara Grajkowski * SOLD OUT *
As a child, I remember trips to the post office with my mom, Michelle Grajkowski, multiple times a week to fill our minivan trunk with tons of white USPS bins for her new (super cool) literary agency. The bins would end up in the dark, scary, basement room next to our playroom. I always wondered what secrets were typed in mom’s manuscripts… Years later, as I scanned through the library of mom’s published books in a different dark, scary room in our basement, I fell in love with the secrets that I was learning with every page I turned. Now, as an adult, I have become obsessed with bringing secrets out of the basement library and into my (very colorful) elementary classroom library. When I am not teaching fractions and key details, you can find me singing, trying new restaurants, exploring with my corgis, Momo & Georgie, or finding the best bargains. If you are ready to bring your secrets into the world with me (preferably into well-lit, not-so-scary rooms), query me at 3 Seas Literary Agency.
- Contemporary Middle Grade Fiction
- Contemporary YA Fiction
Cole Hildebrand * SOLD OUT *
Cole Hildebrand is a literary agent at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. He began his publishing career as an Assistant Editor at YesYes Books, going on to become Managing Editor for the press, whose list includes award-winning authors such as Ocean Vuong, Elizabeth Acevedo, Justin Phillip Reed, Danez Smith, Michael Wasson, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, and many others. He joined JVNLA in 2021, working alongside agency President Jennifer Weltz, and is now building his list, seeking adult literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and select poetry, with a particular interest in queer voices.
SEEKING: In fiction, he is looking for contemporary literary and experimental work, and is open to novels that blur genre elements in surprising or unconventional ways, incorporating the surreal, lightly speculative, and horrific. Overall, he is drawn to character and voice driven stories that play with form and narrative structure, written with stylistically distinctive, immersive prose and evocative imagery. He loves books that explore subversive territories with an off-beat or absurd sense of humor, books with characters that behave badly, but in a way that is endearing, and books that deftly unearth the intricacies of interpersonal relationships. Additionally, he’s always looking for books that grapple with the myriad devastating effects of global capitalism and its historical roots.
In non-fiction, he is seeking narrative and/or investigative work that blends personal, cultural, political, and historical threads–books that engage with radical thought, queer history, art, pop culture, environmental studies, and mental health. He is also interested in memoirs with unconventional narrative and formal structures, and well-researched accounts of understudied historical movements or figures. For more information on Cole’s interests, please visit his Manuscript Wish List page.
Morgan Hughes * SOLD OUT *
Morgan Hughes grew up in the midwest before relocating to Texas as soon as she turned eighteen. There, she attended Texas Tech University and earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English literature. Morgan was previously an intern and Agency Assistant at Pippin Properties before joining FinePrint Literary in 2023 as an Associate Agent. She currently lives in Texas with her husband and their dog.
SEEKING: She is seeking Middle Grade and YA fantasy / adventure with a particular interest in graphic novels. She is also interested in YA, New Adult, and Adult romance. She loves unique narratives, strong voices, and impressive world-building, but is also drawn to small town vibes and sports settings. She is currently not seeking picture books, science-fiction, thrillers/mysteries, or nonfiction.
Ginger Hutchinson * SOLD OUT *
Ginger is a literary agent at Movable Type Management. Ginger was raised in rural Florida amidst a rambunctious family and massive system of natural springs; all its pre-historic creatures and people who often seem odd to outsiders are regular characters in the story she carries through life. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies, she went on to become Wesleyan University’s Kim Frank Fellow of Creative Writing, building upon years of experience as an editor in publication, workshop and teaching environments. Ginger embraces the power of storytelling to connect each of us with a sense of purpose, community and appreciation of one another’s unique way of navigating the world.
SEEKING: Ginger is actively building her client list, with a focus on debut authors writing high quality commercial and literary fiction with archetypal themes. She’s seeking fiction that’s written with curiosity and compassion for its characters, a strong sense of place and narrative momentum. She is especially interested in women’s fiction, Southern perspectives, and stories that explore complex relationships and identity.
Lawrence Knorr is the Founder and CEO of Sunbury Press, Inc., the Pennsylvania-based traditional trade publisher in business since 2004. Sunbury Press has published over 1000 titles by over 500 authors under 15 different imprints and dozens of categories (fiction and nonfiction). Lawrence is the author or co-author of over 30 nonfiction books, mostly history and biography. He holds a BA in Business/Econ, an MBA in Finance and Operations, and is currently working on a PhD in History.
SEEKING: Sunbury Press is seeking works in biography, memoir, history, historical fiction, occult, horror, literary fiction, sports, and business.
Elizabeth Pratt * SOLD OUT *
Originally from Michigan, Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford. She lives on the Upper East Side, where she constantly obsesses over the many dogs (on the street and in strollers) and enjoys eating a lot of good food. Elizabeth began her career at The Wylie Agency, working with renowned and debut authors of literary fiction and narrative non-fiction. Following her career at Wylie, she worked in media at Universal McCann helping to manage a corporate client’s multi-million-dollar media budget. She currently works as a literary agent at Park & Fine alongside Celeste Fine, supporting bestselling nonfiction and fiction authors. She brings a sharp editorial eye to her projects, tailoring each experience to that author’s particular needs.
SEEKING: Elizabeth is looking for fiction and nonfiction from diverse perspectives and emerging voices that takes something familiar and turns it on its head, recounts history from a different point of view, sheds light on something previously unnoticed, or makes us think about the world in a different way. Of particular interest to her are intergenerational family sagas, historical fiction, books with surreal elements, and deep dives into the inner workings of human relationships.
Annie Romano * SOLD OUT *
Annie Romano earned her B.A. in English from Boston College and worked for eighteen years in special education before shifting direction to pursue a career in the publishing industry. She completed an internship with Anna Olswanger of Olswanger Literary, and in September 2021 she started working as a literary associate with the Olswanger Literary Agency. She also works part time as a bookseller in an indie bookstore, writes fiction for adults and children, and is the author of two traditionally published picture books.
SEEKING: Annie is seeking adult fiction and select narrative nonfiction. In adult fiction, she enjoys contemporary rom-com, upmarket and commercial fiction, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers/suspense, crime dramas, mystery, and historical fiction. She enjoys literary fiction so long as there is a discernible structure/plot. (She is not the best fit for stories focused on an emotional or sensory journey—beautiful as the writing may be—if the storyline is vague or absent.) Annie adores stories with humor, well-done ensemble casts, and plots that deliver the unexpected. She’s not a match for science fiction but is open to stories with light elements of fantasy. She welcomes diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ+ and underrepresented ethnicities/cultures. In narrative nonfiction, areas of interest include true crime (i.e., The Trial of Lizzie Borden, by Cara Robertson) and unique windows into history (i.e., Mudlark, by Lara Maiklem). She is not considering children’s/YA projects at this time.
Shannon Snow * SOLD OUT *
Shannon Snow worked in finance and marketing for 18 years before turning to her childhood first love… books and writers. She started her publishing career in 2018 and then joined Creative Media Agency, Inc. as an Associate Agent in 2020. She holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature, and also manages the Audio rights department for CMA.
SEEKING: Shannon has a very eclectic reading taste. She looks for books that have a unique angle, and authors that have a wonderful, engaging voice that makes her want to read a sentence again and say “wow” just because of how you worded something. Characterization is a top draw for her because if she can’t connect to a character, she can’t fully engage with a story. So, she’s looking for vivid, well-developed characters. She absolutely loves when an author can make her laugh, make her pull out her tissue box, or just make her feel emotion in general. She is actively acquiring right now and looking to build up her list. She is looking for Adult and Young Adult fiction in almost every category. Check out her Manuscript Wishlist for specifics.