Our 2020 WDW conferences for Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tampa have all been cancelled. Sorry about this news, but it’s for the best because of safety. That said, many of the attending literary agents to these three conferences have responded and said they are willing to still take one-on-one personal pitches — via phone or Skype or Zoom, etc — from attendees this spring.
If you were set to attend any of those three 2020 WDW conferences and want to either move your registration in full to the 2021 event, or transfer your credit to either of our April 25 teleconferences — The Seattle Writing Workshop, or the Michigan Writing Workshop — then you can keep your 2020 pitches and use them on any agents attending either of the online events I just mentioned, or the growing list below (not just ones from the specific event you signed up for, but rather any open agent listed).
Be in touch with me (Chuck Sambuchino) at email@example.com to discuss any next steps or ask questions.
(Keep in mind this list below will grow over April as we add new remote agents who want to be part of everything we’re doing. Also, because these three cancelled conferences — LA, SD, Fla. — were all in May, logically we will schedule pitches with these listed agents below either in early May sometime, or on the online conference weekend (for Seattle and Michigan) of April 25).
Katherine Wessbecher is a literary agent with Bradford Literary Agency. In middle grade and young adult, historical fiction and fantasy have been favorites since she 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. She’s drawn to stories that push readers to question their assumptions of the world. Her favorite picture books are the kind that make both kids and grown-ups laugh. Inventive premises, twist endings, and quirky characters are all good ways to pique her interest. Katherine is looking for upmarket adult fiction that straddles the literary and commercial divide. Books that inspire her list run the gamut from Where’d You Go, Bernadette to Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. She loves unexpected takes on familiar stories and flawed yet endearing characters. Katherine is actively seeking adult and juvenile narrative nonfiction—particularly projects that highlight stories the history textbooks left out. In the same vein, she’d love to work with nonfiction graphic novel projects like John Hendrix’s The Faithful Spy. Learn more about Katherine here.
Eric Smith is a literary agent with P.S. Literary. Eric is seeking: Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction projects. He’s actively seeking out new, diverse voices in Young Adult (particularly sci-fi and fantasy), New Adult, 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.
Kelly Van Sant is a literary agent with Red Sofa Literary. She says, “I am seeking middle grade, young adult, and very limited women’s fiction across all genres — including fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical, and contemporary. I love character-driven stories with intricate plots, and am always drawn to explorations of friendship and found family. I am especially interested in #ownvoices, inclusive narratives, and diverse writers.” Learn more about Kelly here.
Lesley Sabga [SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character driven plots. She is actively acquiring middle grade sci-fi & fantasy, and young adult sci-fi & fantasy. For adult fiction, she seeks fantasy, sci-fi, dark and twisty suspense / thrillers featuring strong female protagonists, classic happily-ever-after romance, or a good mystery. She is also interested in acquiring narrative nonfiction. Learn more about Lesley here.
Jennifer Wills is a literary agent with They Seymour Agency. Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety. For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and young adult with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome. If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it. Learn more about Jennifer 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.
Rachelle Gardner is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency. For adult fiction, she seeks submissions in both the general and Christian markets — for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, family saga, historical, legal, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and romance. For nonfiction, she seeks both Christian market and general market projects: memoirs, home life, current affairs, health & diet, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, self-help, women’s and issues. Platform is important, so be sure to highlight it in your pitch. She occasionally looks at devotionals. Learn more about Rachelle 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.
Lynnette Novak is a literary agent at The Seymour Agency. Always looking for own voices, diversity, and LGBTQ. She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. In adult fiction, she seeks thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy). In young adult fiction, she seeks thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and contemporary. In middle grade fiction, she seeks fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, mystery, contemporary, horror, and humor. In children’s fiction, she seeks picture books (non-rhyming preferred). Learn more about Lynnette here.
Cate Hart is a literary agent with Harvey Klinger Literary Agency. She specializes in historical, whether in young adult, women’s fiction and romance, or narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to oft-forgotten stories of the past and underrepresented voices, and especially personal to her is unexplored Southern history and culture. She also loves high-concept fantasy in YA and Adult fiction. Cate seeks the following nonfiction categories: narrative, history, film, TV, theatre, pop culture, and music. She also seeks the following fiction genres: historical, commercial, women’s fiction, romance, fantasy, mystety, psychological thriller, middle grade, and young adult. Learn more about Cate.
Dawn Frederick is a literary agent and founder of Red Sofa Literary. For fiction, she seeks middle grade and young adult. In nonfiction, she seeks biography (historical, media-related, political—no personal memoirs); narrative nonfiction (it needs to be smart, with noticeable platform, and highly commercial); graphic novels (no manga please); commercial nonfiction history; humor; pop culture; social issues / current affairs, sports, and women’s narratives. Learn more about Dawn 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 L. Joy is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency. In fiction, he seeks character-driven commercial fiction in mystery/crime/suspense/thriller (including graphic novel script format; stories that transcend genre and have the potential to attract a wider audience (aka: upmarket fiction); new perspectives – #OwnVoices, race, gender, LGBTQ, or sub-culture – different POVs, obstacles and outcomes. In nonfiction, he seeks authors with good platform writing art, music, pop-culture or sub-culture topics, including positive mental and physical health for artist; true crime; and business self-help (ow to survive and keep positive while starting a business, running a business or working a high-pressure job). Learn more about Micheal 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.
Tara Gilbert [SOLD OUT FOR ALL EVENTS] is a jr. literary agent with Corvisiero Agency. At the 2020 LA conference, she is taking pitches on behalf of herself as well as co-agents. Personally, she is seeking all kinds of young adult and middle grade, adult sci-fi, adult fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary fiction, and romance. On behalf of co-agents, she will take pitches for historical novels, women’s fiction, mainstream/general fiction, and children’s picture books. Learn more about Tara here.
Steven Hutson [SOLD OUT FOR ALL EVENTS] is a literary agent and the founder of Wordwise Media Services. He is seeking: Steven is open to any genre except picture books, short stories, and poetry. That means he is seeking historical fiction, literary fiction, mainstream/upmarket fiction, thriller, suspense, crime, mystery, romance, young adult fiction, middle grade fiction, science fiction, women’s fiction, and fantasy. He also will take pitches for memoir. Get to know Steven 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.
Sherry Robb is a literary agent and founder of The Robb Company. In her own words: “Book development and selling books to publishers has been my main focus my whole professional life. Over the years I have launched the publishing careers of over 300 writers. My main interests are: psychological thrillers/suspense, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, and how-to nonfiction books (any subject if the writer is an expert in the field of her/his choice). Another, more subtle desire is to find novels that have a unique and/or quirky voice even if the story line is unusual — or a story we have heard but told in a different way.” Learn more about Sherry here.
Rae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2020 LA 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.
Annie Bomke [SOLD OUT FOR SEATTLE] is a literary agent and the founder of Annie Bomke Literary Agency. She is looking for adult and YA fiction and nonfiction, including commercial and literary fiction, upmarket fiction, mysteries (from hilarious cozies to gritty police procedurals and everything in between), historical fiction, magical realism, women’s fiction, psychological thrillers/suspense, literary/psychological horror, self-help, business, health/diet, cookbooks, memoir, relationships, current events, true crime, psychology, prescriptive nonfiction, and narrative nonfiction. She’s a sucker for locked room mysteries, books set in the Victorian era, books about evil children, and unreliable narrators. In any genre, she is looking for character-driven stories. She is especially interested in books that feature diverse characters. Learn more about Annie here.
Courtney Miller-Callihan [SOLD OUT FOR SEATTLE] is a literary agent and founder of Handspun Literary. She is always looking for stories she can’t stop reading. For adult fiction, Courtney represents mainstream/upmarket fiction (including historical fiction and women’s fiction), romance (all subgenres except inspirational), mystery novels, and speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy). 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.
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, and 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.
Ben Miller-Callihan is a literary agent with Handspun Literary Agency. His interests include: humor, young adult and middle grade novels, science fiction & fantasy (especially decolonial SF/F), cookbooks, mainstream-ish fiction a la David Mitchell and William Gibson, and anything food-related. Learn more about Ben 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.
Kaitlyn Johnson is a literary agent with Corvisiero Literary. She is seeking upper middle grade, young adult, new adult romance, fantasy works (yes, that very much includes urban!) and time travel, romance (erotic elements OK), historical fiction (anything other than Henry VIII, Shakespeare, American Civil War, Greek gods/myths), contemporary (can grab her attention only if the concept is unique and well executed, LGBT welcome in all noted genres. Learn more about Kaitlyn 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 adult sci-fi and fantasy, and romance in all genres, including edgy romantic suspense, contemporary, and paranormal with a fresh twist. Learn more about Amanda 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.
Emma Sector is a literary agent with Prospect Agency. She is seeking: “I’m open to middle grade and young adult of all types, but I’m especially drawn to fantasy adventure, magical realism, and historical fiction. I love picture books with big ideas and few words and chapter books with quirky, vibrant characters. Learn more about Emma 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.