Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Dana Newman of Dana Newman Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 8.34.12 PM.pngDana Newman is a literary agent and the founder of Dana Newman Literary.

She is seeking: “On the fiction side, we consider a very selective amount of literary fiction and women’s upmarket fiction. We look for character-driven stories written in a distinctive voice that are emotionally truthful.

“We are interested in practical nonfiction (business, health and wellness, psychology, parenting, technology) by authors with smart, unique perspectives and established platforms who are committed to actively marketing and promoting their books.

“We love compelling, inspiring narrative nonfiction in the areas of memoir, biography, history, pop culture, current affairs/women’s interest, social trends, and sports/fitness. A favorite genre is literary nonfiction: true stories, well told, that read like a novel you can’t put down.”

Dana Newman Literary was founded by Dana Newman in 2010. Prior to becoming a literary agent, she worked for 14 years as General Counsel for Moviola and its affiliates, Paskal Lighting and Magnasync Corporation. With years of experience working in the entertainment and communications technology industries during the digital revolution in film editing and audio recording, Dana enthusiastically embraces new technologies and ideas about how books will be created, distributed and experienced. Dana combines her professional insight, educational background (B.A. in Comparative Literature from U.C. Berkeley, J.D. from University of San Francisco), and a lifelong love of reading to her role as a literary agent. She regularly attends writers’ conferences and speaks frequently on legal issues for authors (including publishing contracts, collaboration agreements, and copyright). Dana Newman Literary works with Judy Klein of Kleinworks Agency on handling clients’ foreign rights sales. She works as a co-agent with Phyllis Parsons of The Parsons Company, Inc. in connection with speakers and film/TV rights.

In addition to her work as a literary agent, Dana is also Of Counsel at Raines Feldman LLP, where she focuses on business and legal advising, negotiating and drafting contracts, intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks), licensing and publishing law. She has extensive experience with publishing and literary agency agreements, and also does pre-publication legal review of manuscripts. Her specialty is helping creative entrepreneurs and authors achieve their goals, and she’s represented a wide variety of clients in entertainment, media and business. She wrote “Copyright Grants: as Powerful as Kryptonite?” published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and co-authored the chapter on Technology and Intellectual Property Rights in the book Emerging Companies Guide: A Resource for Professionals and Entrepreneurs, Second Edition (American Bar Association 2011).

Dana is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and the California State Bar.

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Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Steve Hutson of Wordwise Media Services

Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 8.27.37 PM.pngSteven Hutson 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.

Steven is a native of Los Angeles, a child of the sixties, and a storyteller almost from birth. After several years of freelance editing and directing a writers’ conference, he branched out as a literary agent in early 2011.

He has placed his clients’ works with Dutton, HarperCollins, Tyndale, David C. Cook, Hachette, Writer’s Digest Books, Harlequin, and others.

Steve lives in the High Desert of Southern California with his wife, Ruth.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Anne Tibbets of D4EO Literary.

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 5.12.36 PM.pngAnne Tibbets is a literary agent with D4EO Literary (formerly Red Sofa Literary).

She is seeking:

  • Adult science fiction: “Give me your dystopia, your utopia, your bloody, bomb-ridden, and gun-blazing shoot ‘em ups with hearts of gold and threads of hope. Earth bound or in space. Bring on your new planets and aliens of all sorts. I’m not afraid of grit, but I do detest sexism. Blow my socks off.”
  • Adult and young adult fantasy: “Give me your twist on magic, urban or high fantasy. Give me a unique kingdom or city to conquer, and I will be your greatest champion. Bonus points if female driven.”
  • Adult thrillers: “Innovative thrillers only. Can’t stress this enough. ‘Just say no’ to alcoholic detectives investigating dead girls. Give me something fresh and well researched. Historical a plus. No redemptive Nazi plots. Anything else? Bring it on.”
  • Adult and young adult horror: “I want demons, ghosts, ghouls, vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, or just really awful human beings – perhaps not all at once. Think early Stephen King mixed with Gillian Flynn. Scare me. Make me sleep with the lights on and marvel at your creepy word choice. My soul is ready.”

Anne is the author of multiple science fiction novels and a former screenwriter. In her free time, Anne watches television, reads, games, and participates in a myriad of “Old Lady” hobbies. She can be found on Twitter @AnneTibbets.

Tips For Pitching Your Book at the 2020 Writing Conference of Los Angeles

If you are coming to the 2020 Writing Conference of Los Angeles (May 2, 2020), you may be thinking about pitching our agent-in-attendance or editor-in-attendance. An in-person pitch is an excellent way to get an agent excited about both you and your work. Here are some tips (from previous instructor Chuck Sambuchino) that will help you pitch your work effectively at the event during a 10-minute consultation. Chuck advises that you should:

  • Try to keep your pitch to 90 seconds. Keeping your pitch concise and short is beneficial because 1) it shows you are in command of the story and what your book is about; and 2) it allows plenty of time for back-and-forth discussion between you and the agent. Note: If you’re writing nonfiction, and therefore have to speak plenty about yourself and your platform, then your pitch can certainly run longer.
  • Practice before you get to the event. Say your pitch out loud, and even try it out on fellow writers. Feedback from peers will help you figure out if your pitch is confusing, or missing critical elements. Remember to focus on what makes your story unique. Mystery novels, for example, all follow a similar formula — so the elements that make yours unique and interesting will need to shine during the pitch to make your book stand out.
  • Do not give away the ending. If you pick up a DVD for Die Hard, does it say “John McClane wins at the end”? No. Because if it did, you wouldn’t buy the movie. Pitches are designed to leave the ending unanswered, much like the back of any DVD box you read.
  • Have some questions ready. 10 minutes is plenty of time to pitch and discuss your book, so there is a good chance you will be done pitching early. At that point, you are free to ask the agent questions about writing, publishing or craft. The meeting is both a pitch session and a consultation, so feel free to ask whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing.
  • Remember to hit the big beats of a pitch. Everyone’s pitch will be different, but the main elements to hit are 1) introducing the main character(s) and telling us about them, 2) saying what goes wrong that sets the story into motion, 3) explaining how the main character sets off to make things right and solve the problem, 4) explaining the stakes — i.e., what happens if the main character fails, and 5) ending with an unclear wrap-up.