PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one meetings at the 2021 Michigan 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 2021 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.
PITCH AN AGENT OR EDITOR:
Jennifer Unter is a literary agent with The Unter Agency. “We are interested in seeing quality fiction and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in memoir, food/cooking, nature/environment, biography, pop culture, travel/adventure, true crime, politics and health/fitness. Additionally, we are looking for all types of children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, and young adult).” Learn more about Jennifer here.
Jaidree Braddix is a literary agent with Park & Fine Literary and Media. Although Jaidree focuses on nonfiction (see specifics below), she informed the conference that she is open to meeting with attendees who write fiction, specifically if the attendee wants feedback on their pitch, rather than to actually submit work. Her nonfiction interests range from serious nonfiction that dives deep to illuminate important issues, to buzz-worthy and mission-driven narratives that have the potential to influence the national conversation. She is committed to helping authors turn their assets—be they courageous ideas, foundations for social good, academic studies, health and fitness programs, popular blogs, or Instagram followings—into compelling proposals and noteworthy books. Learn more about Jaidree here.
Nicole Payne is a literary agent with Golden Wheat Literary. Nicole is currently hoping to find: Young Adult historical romance set in the Middle East; Young Adult literary fiction about love, family and hope and will make me ugly cry; Women’s Fiction involving a Rosie the Riveter influenced story; Adult contemporary about a cut-throat fashion industry and the romance that shouldn’t be a priority over creativity; Adult Action and Adventure that centers around elderly women putting down knitting needles and picking up nunchucks. Both Christian and secular themes welcome. Learn more about Nicole here.
Susana Alvarez is a literary agent with Park & Fine Literary. As first-generation Mexican-American, she is especially drawn to and excited to reflect multicultural experiences and perspectives. Her interests range from narrative nonfiction, where she has a penchant for memoirs, to voice-driven Journalism, cultural commentary, big idea society-moving books, to the health and wellness industry; particularly among women and under-represented communities. Outside of nonfiction, her love of the literary world first arrived through the great American novel, which evolved into a passion for fiction rooted in themes of: the self, coming of age, complex human relationships, and multi-generational stories against the backdrop of multiple nations and cultures. Learn more about Susana here.
Samantha Wekstein is a literary agent with Thompson Literary. In young adult, she loves creative and epic fantasies, but she is also drawn to realistic stories with multi-dimensional female characters. She is always interested in elevating diverse voices, particularly through feminist narratives. She is seeking middle grade of all stripes, but especially stories that deal with themes of friendship, adventure, or encountering tragedy for the first time. She is also on the lookout for whimsical, meaningful, and funny picture books. On the adult side she is drawn to commercial voices in romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. Learn more about Samantha here.
Stephanie Winter is a literary agent at P.S. Literary. Stephanie is acquiring: adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade fiction, in addition to Graphic Novels. She’s actively seeking titles with diverse and inclusive representation that offer smart, culturally aware, and enriching narratives. For young readers, Stephanie loves a good adventure story, light SFF, and STEAM topics. In the adult space, she appreciates all sorts of fiction but particularly enjoys Rom-Coms and Thrillers (located outside the home) and LGBTQ+ stories that bring joy. Stephanie also acquires select nonfiction in all age groups, with a soft spot for projects that blend illustration with information on culturally relevant topics. Learn more about Stephanie here.
Jennifer Herrington is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. “I am actively building my list in the middle grade, YA, and adult categories. I am looking for character and voice-driven books that I connect with on an emotional level. I want a book that makes me laugh or cry and extra points for both! I’m especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ stories and voices in the mentioned categories. In Adult fiction I’d like to see: romance with a fresh twist, a sports romance, dark paranormal romances (with gritty vamps, wolves, or witches), romantic comedy, romantic suspense, mysteries and thrillers that keep me up all night, and science fiction & fantasy. Learn more about Jennifer here.
Amaryah Orenstein is a literary agent with Go Literary. Amaryah has always loved to read and provide (oftentimes unsolicited) editorial advice and, as a literary agent, she is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. She is particularly drawn to narrative nonfiction and memoir but enjoys any book that connects the reader to its characters and evokes thought and feeling. Learn more about Amaryah here.
Katherine Wessbecher is a literary agent with Bradford Literary. Katherine is looking for children’s books (picture books through YA), upmarket adult fiction, and narrative nonfiction for all ages. In MG and YA, historical fiction and fantasy have been favorites since Katherine was young. But more than genre, she’s looking for the kinds of stories that transport her: to the past, an imagined world, or a perspective wholly different from her own. Her favorite picture books are the kind that make both kids and grown-ups laugh. In adult fiction and nonfiction, Katherine is looking for upmarket adult fiction that straddles the literary and commercial divide. Katherine is actively seeking adult and juvenile narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Katherine here.
Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric has a love for young adult books, literary fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and non-fiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), Middle Grade, and Literary and Commercial Fiction (again, loves sci-fi and fantasy, but also thrillers and mysteries). In terms of non-fiction, he’s interested in Cookbooks, Pop Culture, Humor, Middle Grade, essay collections, and blog-to-book ideas. Learn more about Eric here.
James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I’m looking for both literary and commercial adult fiction. In literary fiction, I’m specifically drawn to visceral honesty coupled with a dark sense of humor. In commercial fiction I’m looking for horror, mystery, and thrillers. My favorite books have distinct and memorable voices that grab the reader’s attention, and a narrative gravity that permeates every action in the story.” Pitch him literary fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, horror, humor, young adult, and short story collections. Learn more about James here.
Amanda Leuck is a literary agent with Spencerhill Associates. Amanda is currently seeking strong, character-driven stories with an unforgettable voice. She’s looking for literary and commercial YA, select sci-fi and fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal with a fresh twist. Among other things, she is excited about YA fantasy based in mythology across cultures; historical novels that spark my need to know more; characters with disability, chronic illness or mental illness – that doesn’t necessarily drive the plot; and #ownvoices. Learn more about Amanda here.
Reiko Davis is a literary agent with Defiore and Company. Reiko’s interests are varied, but she is particularly drawn to narrative journalism on the topics of pop culture, science/psychology, and current events as well as memoir that focuses on social justice, issues of race and gender, and the history and experiences of women and people of color. For fiction, she’s primarily looking for upmarket and literary novels, specifically set in contemporary times. She loves young, underrepresented voices, magical realism, and voice driven coming-of-age stories. On the children’s side, she’s actively looking for YA and middle grade projects that aren’t afraid to tackle big questions or important emotional truths, and do so through remarkable storytelling, humor, and heart. Right now she’s especially on the lookout for middle grade nonfiction projects (STEM focused, DIY, inspirational, activist driven, historical) and for adult rom com. She’d also love to connect with promising writers of short fiction with a strong initial publication record with magazines/literary journals who are now at work on a story collection and/or a debut novel. Learn more about Reiko here.
Darlene Chan is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. Darlene is interested in stories by and about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), women’s fiction, chick lit, crime fiction, young adult novels. In nonfiction, she is actively seeking pop culture books, and books on film and the entertainment industry. Learn more about Darlene and what she seeks 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.
Nikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary. She seeks Southern fiction, historical fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance (contemporary, historical and romantic suspense), cozy mysteries, science fiction (including Afrofuturist fiction), and African-American fiction of all types. For nonfiction, she seeks books related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, and Southern living. Learn more about Nikki here.
Jess Dallow is a literary agent with Brower Literary. She is seeking: contemporary thrillers and mysteries in YA. In Adult, she is looking for small town romance, rom-coms, domestic suspense, and book club fiction. She would love to see diverse characters and #ownvoices within these genres. Jess has always had a love for books, especially those that feature child psychopaths, platonic friendships between men and women, a romance that makes her heart beat faster, and serial killers. Learn more about Jess here.
Cecilia Lyra is an associate agent at P.S. Literary representing adult fiction and nonfiction. In terms of nonfiction, Cecilia is seeking Psychology, Pop Culture, Science, Business, and Lifestyle from experts in their fields with an original angle, as well as compelling memoirs—both long-form and memoir-in-essays. As for fiction, Cecilia is passionate about voice-y Literary Fiction and fast-paced Commercial Fiction. She adores reading about dysfunctional families from the point-of-view of a morally ambiguous protagonist. Books that are centered around feminist issues have a special place in her heart. Above all else, Cecilia is looking for a story she can’t put down. Learn more about Cecilia here.
Literary agent Courtney Miller-Callihan is a literary agent and founder of Handspun Literary Agency. She is always looking for stories she can’t stop reading. For adult fiction, Courtney represents only the following: mainstream fiction (including historical fiction and women’s fiction), romance (all subgenres except inspirational), mystery novels, and speculative fiction. For nonfiction, Courtney represents work targeting all age groups (children and adults). Though she will consider nonfiction on any topic, work that deals primarily with issues of religion or spirituality is unlikely to be a good fit. Learn more about Courtney here.
Ben Miller-Callihan joined Handspun Literary Agency as an associate agent in 2019. He spent more than a decade teaching high school English, and is now actively building his client list. His interests include humor, young adult and middle grade novels, speculative fiction (especially decolonial science fiction and fantasy), mainstream-ish fiction a la David Mitchell and William Gibson, and anything food-related. Learn more about Ben here.
Emmy Nordstrom Higdon is a literary agent with Westwood Creative Artists. Emmy is seeking: “I grew up on fantasy novels and 90s kidlit horror like Bunnicula and Goosebumps. I represent authors of literary, upmarket, and commercial fiction, and narrative nonfiction, for adults and young adults. I specialize in character-driven #OwnVoices projects that are devastating to put down, particularly from the LGBTQ2S+ and disability communities. Murder is my comfort read. I prioritize queries from trans, Black or BIPOC, and/or disabled authors. Learn more about Emmy here.
Cortney Radocaj is a literary agent with Belcastro Agency. As a member and advocate of both the LGBT and neurodiverse communities, Cortney adores seeing works that celebrate and normalize these experiences, particularly in YA. She is seeking: young adult, new adult, and adult. She is looking for LGBT (particularly F/F), neurodiversity, fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, mythology/fairytale retellings, gothic, paranormal, contemporary, horror, and magical realism. Learn more about Cortney here.
Brenna English-Loeb is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. She is specifically looking for works of YA and adult science fiction, fantasy, mystery and suspense. She loves grounded space operas, rare myth and fairy tale retellings, nature survival stories, epistolary novels, and heists. She also has a soft spot for stories that blend multiple genres and she is always looking for works by underrepresented groups and identities. For nonfiction, Brenna is looking for serious, groundbreaking sociological work that holds our culture up to the magnifying glass. She also loves accounts of historical events and people that deserve to be better known, as well as unusual and influential object histories. Learn more about Brenna here.
Erica Bauman is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Erica is currently focused on representing a wide range of authors across middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction, as well as some select narrative nonfiction projects. She is most interested in novels that straddle the line between literary and commercial, imaginative tales with a speculative twist, fearless storytellers that tackle big ideas and contemporary issues, and working with and supporting marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity. “In adult, I gravitate towards stories that have a commercial premise and beautiful writing. I love voice-driven, witty romcoms, historical novels (especially mysteries), and light SFF and magical realism. I’m on the lookout for books starring nerds, and stories that make me laugh. Across all age ranges and genres, I’m eager to support and work with marginalized authors and stories that represent the wide range of humanity.” Learn more about Erica here.
Tessa Emily Hall is a literary agent for CYLE Literary. She seeks young adult fiction (all kinds and genres) for Illuminate YA Fiction publishing. Learn more about Tessa here.
More 2021 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.)