ONLINE: Writing Day Workshops plans both in-person and virtual/online conferences. The 2023 CWW is an Online Conference, on March 3-4. Online events are easy and awesome, and the virtual events we’ve done thus far have received wonderful feedback. You do not have to be tech-savvy to do this, and understand we are keeping all aspects of a traditional in-person event, including one-on-one agent & editor pitching, which will now be done by Zoom or phone. Learn all details about what it means to have a writers conference online.)
PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one meetings at the 2023 Chesapeake 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 2023 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.
Lauren Hall is a literary agent with Folio Literary. Lauren is a literary agent, executive producer, and multiple #1 New York Times bestselling writer who comes alongside incisive thinkers and writers to bring ideas to life. “I am looking for commercial nonfiction, pop culture, pop-science/psychology, cultural criticism, memoir, humor, lifestyle, cookbooks, health and wellness, essay collections, illustrated/gift books, underrepresented voices, and select literary, upmarket, and historical fiction.” Learn more about Lauren here.
Maria Alcantara is a literary agent with Arthouse Literary Agency. Maria is looking for New Adult upmarket fiction, either character-driven or plot-driven. She loves to cozy up with a good mystery full of complicated characters and page-turning plot twists. If these novels are contemporary with Millennial leads then that’s even better. Maria is also looking for women’s contemporary or commercial romance and horror with inclusive voices of Latinos and the LGBTQ community. Maria loves reading stories of marginalized voices in modern-day settings that are relatable and swoonworthy. She also loves reading whirlwind escapist stories à la Emily in Paris. Learn more about Maria here.
Alec Shane is a literary agent with Writers House. On the nonfiction side, Alec would love to see humor, biography, history (particularly military history), true crime, “guy” reads, and all things sports. In fiction, Alec is looking for mystery, thrillers (though he’s experiencing terrorist fatigue at the moment), suspense, horror, historical fiction, literary fiction, and middle grade and young adult fiction. Learn more about Alec here. Learn more about Alec here.
Kaylee Zou is a literary agent with Williamson Literary. What the agency represents: Nonfiction: history, sports, science, environmental, biographies, travel, culture, adventure, educational, motivational (i.e. work that informs or inspires social change or advocates for women and BIPOC). Give thought to your author platform and develop a strong marketing section for your book proposal. Adult Fiction: upmarket, contemporary, literary, and commercial; character-driven women’s fiction, book club fiction, domestic suspense, adventure, international, upbeat, feel-good, dark and dangerous, fiction with fantastical elements or magical realism, poignant social commentaries, humor, satire, new takes on old tropes. Pitch us writing that sings rather than tells, take us on an emotional journey, build vivid scenes for us, craft strong voices and unusual and unforgettable settings (we love stories where place is a character too). Any subject is welcome. Learn more about Kaylee here.
Bethany Fulk is a Literary Agent at Holloway Literary. She represents young adult and middle grade books. In Middle Grade, she is seeking: fantasy (all types), paranormal, mystery, adventure stories, retellings (myth, folklore, legends, fairytales), and friendship stories. In Young Adult, she is seeking: diverse fantasy (especially drawing on underrepresented voices/myths/worlds/places/etc), historical fiction/fantasy, paranormal, spies/heists, Gothic/horror (more suspense, less gore), retellings (myth, folklore, legends, fairytales), and rom-coms. Learn more about Bethany here.
Keir Alekseii is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. Keir is seeking young adult and adult science fiction & fantasy, as well as young adult contemporary. She is only open to receiving queries from writers who identify as belonging to a marginalized or underrepresented group such as (but not limited to) BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, ND, folks who speak English as a second language, and DIS people. She has a fondness for disaster bi/pan characters, being one herself, and appreciates seeing diverse representations of queerness. She’d also love to read more books with nonbinary characters and love that runs deep even without a romantic element (yes, that means aro characters and stories with friendships that don’t turn romantic are welcome). Learn more about Keir here.
Renee C. Fountain is a literary agent, publishing industry veteran, a reviewer for Kirkus and New York Journal of Books, and a book scout for The CW Network. She is the president of Gandolfo, Henlin and Fountain Literary. Renee is looking for all types of adult and YA fiction and nonfiction. She prefers: thrillers, horror/dark fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, humor, science fiction, pop culture, memoirs, and narrative/commercial. Learn more about Renee here.
Eric Smith is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency, with a love for young adult books, literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Eric is eagerly acquiring fiction and nonfiction 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.
Laura Southern is a literary agent with Wolf Literary Services. In adult, she is looking for fantasy, science fiction, and horror with lush worldbuilding and voice that vibrates off the page. She’s a fan of villains, setting as character, and stories that dive headfirst into the weird or strange. Romcoms and fantasy romcoms with sharp, witty prose are also high on her list, as well as upmarket fiction with off-beat premises. As a Texan native, Laura has a soft spot for narratives set in the South, particularly when told from diverse perspectives and featuring LGBTQ+ narrators. In young adult and middle grade, Laura is interested in speculative fiction across any subgenre, as well as select contemporary fiction. Laura loves the fae, talking/magical animals, marching band, new twists on quest narratives, genre-blending, found family, mythological retellings, and dragons. Additionally, Laura is looking for memoir and narrative nonfiction. She’d especially like to work with scientists, journalists, and other experts writing on animal and nature conservation. Learn more about Laura 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.
Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a longtime agent at Union Literary. She is seeking: absorbing reads; character-driven literary / mainstream / upmarket novels with care to language. She adores narrative nonfiction, too, as well as story collections, cookbooks, and memoirs. Jenni is drawn to distinct voices, engaging storytelling, and insight into the human condition. She works closely with clients on each step of the publishing process, and on their career as a whole, including handling film and television, foreign, and magazine sales. Learn more about Jenni here.
Darlene Chan is a literary agent with Linda Chester Literary Agency. Darlene is interested in stories by and about BIPOC, women’s fiction, literary fiction, chick lit/rom-com, crime fiction, pop culture, narrative nonfiction, and nonfiction books on film and the entertainment industry. She’s not seeking: sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, family saga, children’s/YA or screenplays that have been turned into novels. Learn more about Darlene here.
Rick Lewis is a literary agent at Martin Literary Management. Rick represents authors of Graphic Novels with Illustrators (he grew up reading and loving them) as well as speculative fiction titles in the Adult and YA categories, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism. Rick is looking for novels that feature complex, realistic characters in highly imaginative worlds. Give him genuine emotions and meaningful struggles, but also at least a touch of science, magic, or the supernatural that captures the imagination while illuminating the real world. Learn more about Rick here.
Rachelle Gardner is literary agent and owner of Gardner Literary. She works in the Christian market (CBA) as well as the general market, and is considering new clients for both. In fiction she’s looking at novels of 75,000 to 100,000 words in the following genres: contemporary women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, historical, YA and YA fantasy including fairy tale retellings with a unique approach. Rachelle is looking at a wide variety of nonfiction, but please note, she can’t sell it unless you have a platform. If you have begun developing a following, bring her your nonfiction! She is especially interested in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ authors. Learn more about Rachelle here.
Kiele Raymond is a senior literary agent with Thompson Literary Agency. She is seeking: bold new voices in literary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her list includes critically acclaimed and award winning writers such as Lee Matalone, Tana Wojczuk, Ari Braverman, Peace Adzo Medie, Nichole Perkins, Destiny O. Birdsong, and Candice Wuehle. Learn more about Kiele Raymond here.
Jared Johnson is a literary agent with Olswanger Literary. “My fiction is also a bit all over the place. I have a strong interest in speculative fiction, especially when those stories don’t feel the need to explain the “why” of the speculative elements. I also love mystery and thriller with main characters who simply find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m also hoping to add some thought-provoking upmarket horror to my list. I am also a huge fan of genre-bending stories that have upmarket or literary elements to the writing.” In Nonfiction he seeks: “My list is fairly broad at the moment. I am looking for narrative-driven books. I am drawn to popular cultural topics (music, fashion, biography, science, history) with an academic approach. I especially love projects that engage with current social issues, ones that address the origins of cultural values, especially in matters of race, gender and sexuality, religion, and language” Learn more about Jared here.
Eva Scalzo is a Literary Agent with Speilburg Literary. In Adult Fiction, Eva represents Romance novels (all subgenres except inspirational) and Science Fiction/Fantasy novels. She also represents all subgenres of Young Adult Fiction. She is interested in submissions from diverse authors. Learn more about Eva here, as well as her specific interests and what is seeking from writers.
Lori Steel is a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. “For all projects, I seek stories with authentic, unforgettable voices that reflect the diverse world we inhabit, instill the possibility of hope and change, and illuminate the shared human experience. More specifically for YA, I would love to find a fresh take on fantasy tropes, contemporary stories that flip conventional scripts, unexpected historical and/or historical fantasy mash-ups that disrupt entrenched notions. I like middle grade contemporary, historical, and fantasy fiction stories that demonstrate deep understanding of readers’ age, voice, and growing awareness of themselves and the world around them is paramount. For Graphic Novels, I’m looking for writer-illustrators crafting accessible contemporary and select nonfiction stories. For Picture Books, I’m eager to find writer-illustrators who craft stories with spare text and rich art, creators who play with structure, utilize collusion to engage participation, and don’t underestimate young readers. Nonfiction stories that surprise and instill a sense of wonder are always welcome. Whimsical, lyrical, and/or humorous stories that young readers will beg to read over and over again always top the list.” Learn more about Lori here.
Jennifer Chen Tran is a literary agent at Folio Literary Management. For nonfiction: narrative or memoir (with a platform) that sheds light on an unseen corner in society or history. Prescriptive non-fiction with practical takeaways, cookbooks with a unique angle or narratives centered on culinary life (see David Chang’s Eat a Peach), lifestyle titles (see Kate Oliver’s The Modern Caravan), humorous or visually-driven projects, and business books that read like memoir. Big idea books that shift how we perceive or navigate the world. For fiction: middle-grade and Young Adult with heart and humor or visually-driven elements (see Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky), contemporary fiction that braids together issues of social significance and identity (see Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek). Learn more about Jennifer here.
Reeves Hamilton is a literary agent with Vertical Ink Agency. Reeves Hamilton is a twenty-plus year veteran of the publishing industry. As an agent, he will specialize in science fiction, broadly defined as hard Sci-Fi and space opera, but also as Sci-Fi-adjacent and genre-bending upmarket commercial fiction. He is not seeking adult fantasy or young adult fiction. Learn more about Reeves here.
Mary C. Moore is a literary agent with Kimberley Cameron & Associates. She reads widely and enjoys all fiction genres, but especially likes bookclub fiction with light speculative elements, female detective stories, whimsical middle-grade, and young adult that explores identity and culture. Mary does not represent nonfiction (including memoir), picture books, or self-published projects. Learn more about Mary here.
Leticia Gomez is the editorial director for Kensington Books and Dafina. Leticia is the Editorial Director for Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp., which focuses on high-quality fiction and nonfiction that centers on race, identity, and its impact on our experiences. Dafina’s carefully curated list is a home for dynamic stories that innovate and amplify voices too long ignored through books that entertain, challenge, and inspire. Launched in 2000 as the first African-American imprint, Dafina has led the market for more than twenty years in highlighting voices of color. Leticia is actively seeking to acquire multicultural fiction and nonfiction of all genres, including literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery, and narrative nonfiction of all genres with a focus on authors of color (BIPOC) hailing from all walks of life, as well as specific nonfiction projects for marginalized communities. In addition to her role at Kensington, Leticia is a prominent literary/film/television agent who specializes in bringing culturally diverse voices to the forefront. Savvy Literary is now an industry leader specializing in Self-help, Narrative Non-fiction, Memoir, True Crime, Spiritual/Inspirational, Political/Current Affairs, Suspense/Thriller, Family Drama, and the Young Adult market. Championing the work of minority writers continues to be a top priority for the agency. Learn more about Leticia here.
Zabé Ellor is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. He represents middle grade in various genres and young adult novels in all genres. In adult fiction, his first love is science fiction & fantasy. He is also looking for commercial and upmarket contemporary fiction, especially projects that contain elements of literary mystery and thriller, or voice-driven projects that would make a fun beach read. He is interested in graphic novel projects for all age groups. In nonfiction, he wants proposals for books about science and history that teach and entertain in equal measure. “If you want to dive deeply into an intriguing quirk of our world—and can do so with voice, wit, and an eye for the human—I want to see your proposal! As a former evolutionary biology/Renaissance literature major, my interests are wide, but I’ll always be interested in projects about fossils. Show me your platform and your passion for the subject. Also, Diversity is incredibly important to me. I strongly encourage marginalized authors to self-identify, if they are comfortable, especially if their identity is related to their project.” Learn more about Zabe here.
Laurel Symonds is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I represent young adult and middle-grade fiction, and I have a special interest in contemporary, historical fiction, and genre-blending fantasy. I look for engaging voices, commercial hooks, and immersive worlds. My YA tastes are pretty commercial but my middle-grade tastes can skew more literary, and I’m especially interested in middle-grade that might lend itself to illustration. I also represent picture books, graphic novels, and other illustrated work, and I am open to new clients who are both authors and illustrators. My tastes are diverse, ranging from sophisticated to quirky to gently humorous. I especially appreciate a smart use of color and perspective. Additionally, I represent select nonfiction for children and young adults, especially projects about STEM or history with age-appropriate hooks and series potential.” Learn more about Laurel here.
Ariana Philips is a literary agent with Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. In adult fiction, she is interested in literary and commercial fiction, particularly upmarket women’s fiction, family sagas, stories with unique family dynamics, and historical hooks. She is drawn to gritty stories that have a strong authentic voice, a well-crafted plot, and carefully developed characters. She’s also seeking smart and funny romantic comedies, both for the adult and YA market. In nonfiction, she is interested in a wide range of narrative and prescriptive nonfiction with a strong platform. Specifically, she’s on the hunt for pop culture, popular history and science, lifestyle, travel, humor, illustrated gift books, true crime, sports, social issues, and literary memoirs. She is also interested in cookbooks, food narratives, and culinary histories from around the world. She loves to find new talent and work with her clients to develop strong proposals. In the YA category, she is interested in contemporary books with a strong hook and voice. She wants stories that will make her cry and laugh—sometimes at the same time. Learn more about Ariana here.
Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. Michelle is seeking to work with adult fiction authors in the following genres: Commercial, Historical, Humor, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Women’s Fiction. Sub-genres: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural, Psychological Thrillers, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense. She is also on the lookout for narrative nonfiction, biographies, self-help/spirituality and memoirs. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.
Caroline Trussell is a literary agent with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She is seeking: Romance (especially romantic comedies, enemies to lovers, and fake dating); Fantasy (particularly magical realism and urban fantasy); Young Adult (contemporary romance and mental health driven storylines); Middle Grade (with lots of heart and that discusses tough topics in an age appropriate way); In any genre, stories that feature dynamic characters with non-visible disabilities and/or mental illness. Learn more about Caroline here.
James Mustelier is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I’m looking for a range of commercial and literary fiction and nonfiction. In all genres (but particularly in literary fiction) I prize economical prose, complex characters, steadily building tension, narrative gravity, and the momentary relief of dark humor, even (or especially) amid dire circumstances. In commercial fiction I’m looking for compact horror and mysteries with big hooks and intricate plotting. In sci-fi and fantasy I’m drawn to stories that are grounded in reality and have high stakes that touch on contemporary issues — more speculative fiction and alternate histories than high fantasy or space opera. In nonfiction I’m looking for books that give me a vivid look into subcultures and events I might not otherwise have had the chance to explore. In young adult and middle grade I’m interested in epic fantasy, grounded sci-fi, and irreverent retellings of fairy tales, classic myths, and historical events. I’m specifically seeking stories written from diverse perspectives that draw from underrepresented cultures.” Learn more about James here.
Sarah N. Fisk is a literary agent with The Tobias Agency. Sarah loves books that challenge societal norms, especially gender norms. They have a personal interest in stories featuring queer characters or characters with disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, or mental health challenges. They are interested in Young Adult fiction of all genres as well as Adult Romance. They especially enjoy anything under the speculative fiction umbrella and high-concept contemporary or historical stories with a strong hook. Hardcore horror is probably not right for them. Sarah is on the lookout for young adult and middle grade of all genres, adult romance, and adult science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. No hardcore horror. Learn more about Sarah here.
Pam Gruber is a literary agent with Irene Goodman Literary. Pam is looking for adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction with literary voices and commercial hooks. She is particularly interested in layered fantasy, speculative fiction, fantastical realism, rom-coms, and coming-of-age stories with a twist. She is also open to middle grade and YA graphic novels, as well as select narrative non-fiction on lesser-known subjects. Pam would not be the best fit for prescriptive nonfiction, anthologies, potty humor, paranormal, or erotica. Learn more about Pam here.
Rae Loverde is an agent assistant at Donald Maass Literary Agency. At the 2023 WDW online events, she will be acting as a literary scout — taking pitches at the workshop on behalf of one or multiple co-agents at her agency. Her co-agent Cameron McClure is seeking the following: projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing. She’s up for anything speculative, and is interested in seeing science fiction and fantasy, mystery and suspense, horror, and projects with multi-cultural, international, environmental, and LGBTQIA+ themes. Learn more about Rae and her co-agents here.
More 2023 agents/editors 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. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.
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.)