(IMPORTANT JUNE 2020 UPDATE: The 2020 TWW is now an Online Conference to keep everyone safe, spread out over two days August 8-9. There is much more to say about this, but immediately you should understand 1) This will be easy and awesome, and online conferences we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback, 2) You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and 3) We are keeping all aspects of the event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Skype or Zoom or phone. Learn all details about the new August 8-9n TWW Online Conference here and what everything means.)
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PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one meetings at the 2020 Toronto Writing Workshop 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. More 2020 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.
Stephanie Winter is an associate agent at P.S. Literary. Her experiences of living and traveling in and around Europe have left her eagerly devouring upmarket, fantasy, and nonfiction genres that make new worlds and perspectives come alive. Stephanie particularly appreciates strong characters who bend stereotypes, genders, and more. Stephanie is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. Within fiction, she’s actively seeking diverse and inclusive representation in Upmarket, Commercial, Historical, and Women’s Fiction, in addition to urban and magical fantasies, cozy mysteries, dramatic comedies, light romances, and genre-bending narratives. Within nonfiction, she’s interested in Humor, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Memoir, cultural or event-based History, select Dessert Cookbooks, LGBTQ+ narratives, and essay collections. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Jemiscoe Chambers-Black is an associate literary agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Jemiscoe is currently building her client list in the middle grade, YA, and adult categories. In middle grade, Jemiscoe is most interested in contemporary manuscripts. They can focus on hard themes, but she enjoys those that also weave in humor, whimsy, adventure, and wonder. She’s also open to fantasy, which can include paranormal, low fantasy, and magical realism. Horror, mystery, and graphic novels are also of interest. In YA, Jemiscoe would love to see romance, especially rom-coms. Give her all the love stories in whatever form they come! She loves contemporary fiction that deals with friendship – its joys and struggles. She would also like to see fantasy (except high fantasy), mystery and horror. In the adult space, Jemiscoe is looking for romance. It can range from sweet to steamy, but she is not interested in erotica or historical romance. She is also open to psychological thrillers, mysteries, friendship stories, strong power-women stories, or laugh-out-loud stories. Jemiscoe loves literary fiction with beautiful prose and a strong cast of characters. She would also like to see adult fantasy (except high fantasy). Jemiscoe is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices and stories in all the above categories. Learn more about Jemiscoe here.
Laurel Symonds is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I am seeking young adult and middle grade fiction with a special interest in contemporary and fantasy-with-a-twist. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial whereas my middle grade tastes can skew more literary and I’m especially interested in middle grade that might lend itself to illustration. For picture books and graphic novels, I am especially seeking authors-illustrators who bring a unique vision. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I am interested in art in all mediums, but especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective. I am not the right fit for “issue” books, rhyming texts, or overly sentimental stories. In every category, I am seeking voices that have previously been underrepresented and stories that have been overlooked.” Learn more about Laurel here.
Becky LeJeune is a literary agent with Bond Literary Agency. Becky is actively building her client list, and is interested in cookbooks and YA and adult submissions in the following genres: horror, mystery/suspense/thriller, historical fiction, sci fi, fantasy, and general fiction. She enjoys plot driven narratives with unique settings, strong world building, and well-developed characters. Learn more about Becky here.
Dan Cramer is a literary agent with Flannery Literary. He is seeking: picture books with great rhythm, fiction and nonfiction (no rhyming please); middle grade adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy; young adult contemporary (rom-coms), science fiction, dystopian, historical fiction, and thrillers; and LGBTQIA+ themes. Learn more about Dan here.
Lindsay Leggett is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. Lindsay is focused on young adult, middle grade, and children’s books with unique, engaging, and diverse world’s and unforgettable characters. Within these kidlit realms, she would like to see horror, thriller, magical realism, fantasy, science fiction, LGBTTQIA+, #ownvoices. Learn more about Lindsay here.
Nicole Payne is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. “I am mainly looking for young adult, new adult and adult novels. They have a special place in my heart. However, if the writing and story is amazing, I’ll always make exceptions so don’t hesitate to pitch it. As an agent at Golden Wheat Literary, we accept both spiritual and secular books. As long as your manuscript’s elements can all be true without any part of God’s Word needing to put aside or be discounted, it is acceptable for submission. In general, what I look for is romance, romantic comedy, mysteries, contemporary, suspense, thriller, speculative fiction and science fiction and fantasy. These can fit any of the age categories I’ve mentioned. I don’t have a preference there. I always have to have a strong male and female hero/heroine or one who becomes strong as they evolves. It really grinds my teeth when I read books where the leads can’t seem to do anything for themselves. Both Secular and/or Christian themes welcome.” Learn more about Nicole 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.
Beth Marshea is a literary agent and the founder of Ladderbird Literary. She is seeking mainstream/commercial fiction, family sagas, literary fiction, women’s fiction, RomComs (especially LGBTQ+), mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction. For young adult, she seeks contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Beth is also starting to acquire a very select list of middle grade and picture books, Learn more about Beth here.
Amy Giuffrida is an associate agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary. She is seeking many different types of middle grade and young adult books. In adult fiction, she likes horror novels as well as romance / chick lit / rom coms. In nonfiction, “I am looking for powerful stories from diverse voices, including cookbooks that highlight family stories or ancestral anecdotes. I also love pop culture and am always searching for that fun book that gives us the scoop. In all age categories, if you have a unique perspective on an old theme…send it to me! I am especially interested in underrepresented and diverse voices. All people need to see themselves in the characters on the page, so send me LGBTQIA, POC, #OwnVoices stories.” Learn more about Amy here.
Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in young adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), and literary and commercial fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of nonfiction, he’s interested in cookbooks, pop culture, humor, essay collections, and blog to book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.
Carlie Webber is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. She represents fiction in the genres of: young adult, middle grade, new adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, suspense, romance. She does not want to rep picture books, easy readers, poetry, scripts or curriculum nonfiction. She no longer seeks nonfiction (or memoir) of any kind. Learn more about Carlie here.
Em Lysaght is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is looking for queer fiction — queer fantasy, sci-fi, and graphic novels for all age ranges. She seeks genre-blending commercial queer fiction in young adult, middle grade, adult fiction, and graphic formats. She does not seek nonfiction. Learn more about Em here.
Jessica Watterson is a literary agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Jessica is always on the hunt for new and diverse projects, and is most interested in all genres of romance. She’s drawn to fun, fresh voices, and character driven stories that keep a reader turning the page needing to know what happens next. Independent heroines are a must, in addition to well realized heroes who aren’t alpha-holes. She also loves Women’s Fiction that concerns itself with elements of life that can greatly change one’s perspective and outlook on cultures and experiences. Jessica is also open to select Cozy Mysteries that feature fun and independent heroines that can take what life throws at them with aplumb and a bit of humor. On the YA side, she is looking for just about anything in the contemporary sphere, and of course a bit of romance thrown in is never a bad thing in her opinion. She is also interested in select author illustrated picture books that capture the fun and joy of reading between adults and children. Learn more about Jessica here.
Rae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2020 Toronto event, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of her co-agents. Her co-agent Kiana Nguyen is seeking the following: contemporary romances like Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole, adult sci-fi that feels like “Black Mirror,” and psychological thrillers. In YA, she’s looking for thrillers and contemporary that’s queer, POC, or features a mystery. Co-agent Caitlin McDonald is seeking the following: all science fiction & fantasy fiction for adult, YA, and MG, especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history; genre-bending or cross-genre fiction, and stories that examine tropes from a new angle; diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding. Learn more about Rae here.
Bibi Lewis is a literary agent with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. She is seeking: “I am currently looking for young adult, middle grade, and picture books — as well as commercial and upmarket fiction. In all genres I am looking for contemporary realism, fantasy, mysteries, historicals and lots of humor. I have a soft spot for heists and sleuths (and would especially love to see a new YA Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars!) as well as twisty thrillers. On the adult side, I am looking for anything smart, sharp and witty — but specifically for romance, women’s fiction, mysteries and thrillers. Well-developed characters are a must. I always welcome diverse narratives, including but not limited to LGBTQ or minority voices.” Learn more about Bibi here.
Savannah Brooks is a literary agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Savannah is primarily interested in acquiring middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She’s interested in books that focus on friendship, conflicting identity, and the theme of truth and is always drawn in by a protagonist venturing into a realm where society says they don’t belong (think swapping gender norms). Characters with weird obsessions are a weird obsession of hers—teach her strange new things, and she’s yours. She’s all about magical realism, mythology, and modern retellings but isn’t the best fit for high fantasy or science fiction. Mostly, she’s invested in representing the diverse world in which we live and would like to see that reflected in a cast of characters. Learn more about Savannah here.
Kelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency. Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies. Learn more about Kelly here.
Lizzie Poteet is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Lizzie is always looking for a good love story. She loves classic romance tropes, strong dialogue, sassy heroines, witty banter, and good old fashion romance. She’s actively seeking inspirational romance, cozy mystery, new adult romance, young adult (no speculative), romantic suspense, historical and contemporary romances, and loves anything with a happy ending. Learn more about Lizzie here.
Lori Steel is a literary agent at Raven Quill Literary Agency. She represents fiction for all young readers from picture books to young adult and is actively building her list in all kidlit genres except horror. Across all age groups and genres, Lori seeks stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope, and illuminate the shared human experience. Learn more about Lori here.
Catherine Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. Though her reading tastes are somewhat eclectic, Catherine is especially drawn to issue-driven Young Adult and New Adult fiction, ranging from the heart-wrenching stories of kids trying to navigate the difficult hallways of their high schools to the heartbreaking, yet empowering, stories of overcoming the odds when life throws you a curve ball. In the New Adult category, she can’t get enough of Jamie McGuire’s Maddox Brothers series, and anything written by Colleen Hoover or Rachel Van Dyken. She is not interested in science fiction or fantasy in YA or NA. Learn more about Catherine here.
Eva Scalzo is a literary agent with Speilburg Literary. Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of Romance, as well as science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fiction. Fun fact: “My name is not pronounced with a long E sound. I’m of Puerto Rican, Lebanese, and Spanish descent.” Learn more about Eva here.
Emmy Nordstrom Higdon is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. For YA and adult fiction: “While atmospheric stories with lots of plot twists are my favourites, I’m eager to read literary fiction, feminist thrillers, book club, #OwnVoices, millennial, dark fantasy, paranormal horror, contemporary Gothic, and magical realism.” For YA and adult nonfiction, “my interests include memoir, deep dive journalistic accounts, investigative true crime, activism, essay collections, and progressive political and social commentary. Learn more about Emmy here.
Kimberly Brower is a literary agent and the founder of Brower Literary. She is interested in: commercial and upmarket fiction, with an emphasis in general/book club fiction (specifically books that involve complex relationships, ones with moral ambiguity plots is a plus), women’s fiction and romance. However, she is always looking for books that she wants to stay up all night reading, unable to put them down, regardless of what genre an author classifies it as. She loves stories that bring her into a world she doesn’t want to leave and characters that have strong character arcs. She also can never say no to an epic love story. Learn more about Kimberly here.
Jessica Schmeidler is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. She is seeking: general/mainstream fiction, mystery, romance, suspense/thriller, fantasy, science fiction, young adult and middle grade, religious nonfiction, children’s picture books, and Christian fiction. Golden Wheat Literary was founded in an effort to help connect Christian writers with the vast market of both Christian and secular publishers. To that end, the manuscripts that are accepted do not need to be overtly Christian, but must exist within the realities of Christian faith. If your manuscript’s elements can all be true without any part of God’s Word needing to step aside or be discounted, it is acceptable for submission/pitch. Learn more about Jessica here.
Stephany Evans is a literary agent at Pande Literary. For more than twenty-five years, Stephany has represented nonfiction writers in the areas of health and wellness, spirituality, lifestyle, food and drink, and sustainability, running and fitness, memoir and narrative nonfiction. She also represents a range of women’s fiction, from literary to upmarket commercial, to romance, as well as crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers), and the occasional literary or commercial novel not aimed at a female market. She is looking for fine, accomplished writing, whether the work is by a first time or established author. She loves to be told a great story! Learn more about Stephany here.
Cecilia Lyra is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. Cecilia is actively seeking literary and commercial adult book club fiction that feature diverse, layered characters and unexpected plot twists. Women’s fiction is her favorite genre. Cecilia is also looking for unique and compelling narrative nonfiction and memoirs such as the works of Esther Perel, Roxane Gay and Tara Westover. She is particularly passionate about representing under- or misrepresented voices and stories that contribute to a larger cultural conversation. Learn more about Cecilia here.
Carly Watters is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Carly is currently acquiring both fiction and nonfiction. In terms of fiction, she is seeking women’s fiction, upmarket adult, commercial adult, domestic suspense, literary mystery & thrillers, historical, contemporary romance, and smart book club fiction. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for pop science, business, psychology, cookbooks, unique memoirs, lifestyle (health, wellness, relationships, parenting), narrative, and platform-based nonfiction (must have demonstrable expertise and a quantifiable market). Learn more about Carly here.
Olga Filina is a literary agent with The Rights Factory. She is seeking: For fiction, she seeks commercial, contemporary, historical, crime, middle grade, young adult, romance, mystery, and thriller. For nonfiction, she seeks business, lifestyle, and memoir. She especially enjoys books that will set her book clubs or fire, and YA/MG with memorable characters. Learn more about Olga here.
Michelle Richter is a literary agent with Fuse Literary. Michelle is seeking suspense, mystery, psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, women’s fiction, book club fiction, young adult mystery & thriller, and select contemporary YA. She’s eager to find mystery/thriller/suspense with complex lead characters who are women, LGBTQ, or people of color. Underrepresented voices and #ownvoices in fiction always welcome. Learn more about Michelle here.
Vicki Selvaggio is a literary agent with Storm Literary (formerly with Jennifer De Chiara Literary). She is currently looking for lyrical picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction, new adult, mysteries, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, narrative nonfiction, and adult fiction. Vicki is especially drawn to middle grade and young adult. “I especially love thrillers and all elements of weird, creepy stuff. If it’s out of the box, and it will make me think and think, long after I’m done reading, send it to me! On the flip side, I yearn for books that make me laugh, cry and wonder about the world.” Learn more about Vicki here.
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. Literary. She is seeking young adult and middle grade with a speculative flair, some adult romance, and some adult historical. She is also sometimes interested in children’s picture books (especially nonfiction or with STEAM elements), nonfiction & memoir with a strong platform, some books for the religious market with a strong platform. She is not interested in: nonfiction that doesn’t have a strong platform, erotica, poetry, or new adult (YA crossover is fine). Learn more about Hope here.
Michael Carr is a literary agent with Veritas Literary. Michael is seeking: historical fiction, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction of all stripes. Learn more about Michael here.
More 2020 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings.)