PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one online/virtual (Zoom) meetings at the 2023 Florida 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.
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 (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.) 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.
Ramona Pina is an associate agent at BookEnds Literary. She is interested in carving a space for and elevating underrepresented voices. Fantasy, magical realism, sci-fi, paranormal romance, horror, and a spin-off of villain retellings are her favorite genres. In YA and Adult fantasy, give her a character-driven, and fast-paced adventure that disrupts societal norms! She’s also hoping to see more Sci-Fi that focuses more on fiction and less on technology while still showcasing how to build a better world. If you have a SF/F that is slightly different from this, she’s open to being pleasantly surprised. Learn more about Ramona here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 (grounded sci-fi or fantasy), 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.
Kristy Cambron is a literary agent with Gardner Literary. In fiction, she seeks: Fiction for the CBA (Christian market) or clean fiction for general market — contemporary women’s fiction (especially BIPOC and diverse voices), romance (closed-door), rom-com, suspense and romantic suspense, historical and historical romance, YA and YA fantasy (including steampunk and fairy tale retellings with a unique approach; YA requires a strong platform). In nonfiction, she seeks: CBA (Christian market) all Christian living topics; Bible studies (adult and teen girls); gift books and devotionals (with a strong platform); select general market projects on hearth/home living, travel, art/faith topics (with a strong platform). Learn more about Kristy 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.
Kate Davids is a literary agent with Arc Literary Management. Kate is looking for nonfiction projects, particularly practical nonfiction, in cooking, personal finance, business, pets/animals, gardening, mental health, and new age. She also enjoys history books that delve into interesting subcultures, like anime or tabletop RPGs. In fiction, Kate has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy that has great action and world building that leverages real world cultures or histories. She loves fiction that represents diverse cultural backgrounds in their settings and characters. For children’s books, Kate is looking for titles that can help both parents and their children explore the world together. This includes bi-lingual books and books about travel and multi-culturalism. She also likes a good laugh and an “aww” moment or two. Learn more about Kate here.
Adrian Shirk is an agent at Drift(less) Literary. She is seeking: I represent long-form literary fiction (novels, novellas, autofiction, or linked short stories) and first person-driven narrative nonfiction (memoir, essay collections, reportage, special areas of research where the author is present in the text, e.g. not objective or scholarly). I also consider self-help or how-to books on subjects in which the author has had a significant amount of personal or professional experience. I’m especially interested in working with under-represented voices and stories, especially women and nonbinary folks, working class authors (or authors with working class backgrounds), LGBTQ+, and writers of color. I occasionally consider some genre (horror) or speculative fiction (sci-fi), but only if the stories and themes are somewhat socially-engaged (think, Octavia Butler, Ursula Leguin, Margaret Atwood). Learn more about Adrian here.
Kelly Thomas is a literary agent with Serendipity Literary. Kelly considers herself a generalist who is drawn to lyrical writing and strong voices. She is interested in nonfiction (narrative nonfiction, memoirs, true crime, self-help, business, travel writing, photography, medical, STEM, psychology, health and fitness, music, food & drinks, cooking) and adult fiction (psychological thrillers, suspense, comedies). She enjoys working with musicians, television personalities, athletes, and other pop culture figures to help translate their stories or expertise onto the page. She also represents children’s books including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. The truth is often stranger than fiction, so Kelly is actively looking for the next great true crime manuscript with a murderous and methodical plot. Learn more about Kelly here.
Lily Dolin is a literary agent with United Talent Agency. Lily represents clients in both fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, she is drawn to dark and offbeat humor, gripping narratives, strong commercial hooks, and nuanced female perspectives. She is not looking for historical fiction or thrillers. Short story collections are welcome. For nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs that are funny, outrageous, shocking, emotional, or all of the above. She also enjoys true crime and pop culture, and is interested in deeply researched histories about overlooked figures, as well as narrative nonfiction surrounding topics of education, climate change, and social justice. Wishlist: Upmarket, book club fiction, dark fiction, literary fiction, true crime, memoir, essay collections, select mystery. The next Mona Awad or Alexandra Kleeman! Learn more about Lily here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] Jane Chun is a literary agent with Janklow & Nesbit. For fiction, she is seeking commercial, upmarket, and literary works in both adult and MG/YA about the search for and rebuilding of identity, diaspora, family and community, and examinations of power in relationships. She is also looking for fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction that delve into sharp social commentary and have meticulous worldbuilding and settings that don’t feel like Western Europe. For historical fiction, she likes hidden histories and anything that is set in a time or place she’s not familiar with or focuses on a community that has been often overlooked if it’s a time/place she knows. In terms of nonfiction, she is looking for memoirs, essay collections, and narrative nonfiction with a nuanced, intersectional approach and similar themes to her interests in fiction. She also is interested in books about food, travel, pop culture, and cultural criticism that dive deeply and thoughtfully into culture and traditions. In addition to traditional prose, she is very interested in graphic novels and nonfiction. She is looking for stylistically engaging, unique art that feels either nostalgic without being derivative or fresh and boundary-pushing. Learn more about Jane 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.
Regina Bernard-Carreno is a literary agent with Ladderbird Literary. She is currently open to: Middle Grade and Young Adult graphic novels that are fun and interesting and actively looking for these types of projects that deal specifically with coming of age experiences. Rom Com graphic novels in Young Adult are also welcome. She is open to limited picture book projects by BIPOC author-illustrators only. Please do not send her any rhyming manuscripts. She would really like to see picture books that deal with diverse cultures, people, and experiences. While not open to YA prose/novels, she would like to see MG or YA novels in prose from BIPOC creators that deal with international issues and cultures. In adult fiction: She is only looking for historical projects that deal with Caribbean and American slaves and their narratives. She would also accept a BIPOC rom-com a la Terry McMillan. In nonfiction, she loves a solid book about wellness (think herbs and aromatherapy), cookbooks that have a fresh take and a solid platform. She also loves work around social justice issues and matters that are contemporary and where the author has some agency around solutions and critical ideas about how a particular social injustice could be examined and possibly rehabilitated. Learn more about Regina 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.
Eve Adler is a literary agent at Red Fox Literary. “I’m an agent at Red Fox Literary, where I represent board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books. I’m actively building my list, and welcome submissions in the 0-12 age range, especially from author-illustrators. I’m drawn to stories that make kids feel comforted, loved, and understood; to diverse voices; to ideas that break the mold; to projects that meet kids where they are developmentally; and to books that expand kids’ worlds while helping them understand their own.” (No young adult please.) Learn more about Eve here.
Shannon Snow is a literary agent with Creative Media Agency. In adult fiction, she seeks: All romance fiction (including paranormal or magical realism) and all its sub-genres; Contemporary romance that can be cute, steamy, etc.; Historical romance (I have a warm fondness for medieval, and historicals set in ancient times/place such as Rome, Greece, or Egypt; Thrillers; Psychological; Speculative Fiction like science fiction or fantasy (especially with a touch, or a lot, of romance); Fantasy (A touch of romance is great!); Soft to Medium Fantasy stories a la David Eddings, or Margaret Weiss/Tracy Hickman; Mythological stories or retellings; Science FictionSpace Operas are a favorite but I love it all; Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic (Is the world ending? Let me see!); Horror (think more eerie/creepy rather than monsters). She also seeks many types and genres of young adult fiction. Learn more about Shannon here.
Claire Draper is a literary agent with The Bent Agency. “I am building my list with a collection of very queer books for kids of all ages, including graphic novels, picture books, middle grade, and young adult. And then I embarked on books for adults, when I decided to return to my favorites with particularly queer memoir, queer romance novels, and select adult nonfiction. For all the books I work with, I prefer to work with queer creators and BIPOC creators, and strongly encourage those creators to send me their work. Regardless of genre, age, or subject, I like lighthearted, emotional, hopeful, adventurous reads. I am largely genre-agnostic, but I do prefer books with a fast pace, high stakes, and strong emotional development for the main character(s). I do not want to see books from authors writing identity-based books not of their own identity.” Learn more about Claire here.
Michelle Jackson is a Literary Associate with Olswanger Literary. (Please note Michelle is taking her pitches fro this event on Sunday May 14, a day after the other agents.) 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. Learn more about Michelle and her interests here.
Gordon Warnock is a literary agent and Partner with Fuse Literary. In nonfiction: Gordon seeks large-platform projects in which the book represents something bigger than the book itself, of which you are the expert, the one best fit to bring it to the page. He enjoys Memoir and Biography, Food, Graphic and Illustrated Nonfiction, Essays on Social Issues, Pop-Science, Pop/Punk/Geek Culture, Self-Help, Historical Narrative, Humor, How-To, Business and Career. In fiction: High-Concept Suspense, Book Club Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Verse Novels for YA and MG, and Graphic Novels for Adults, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Learn more about Gordon here.
Rachel McCain is a literary agent with Gold Dust Literary. “I accept nonfiction, adult fiction, YA fiction, and children’s literature (fiction or nonfiction). I do not accept romance, erotica or religious/spiritual. I love nonfiction with a historical element (think Show Me a Hero). I absolutely love nonfiction stories that are unknown and/or overlooked. Dark and gritty stories are especially welcome (think Random Family and Grand Central Winter.) In regards to fiction, I would love to find the next Alice Walker or James Baldwin. I would love something set in New York. I also love YA fiction with series potential – think Goosebumps, Babysitter’s Club, The Princess Diaries. I am looking for the next Meg Cabot and R.L. Stine. For children’s literature, I want something with diverse and unique characters.” Learn more about Rachel here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] Anjanette Barr is a Literary Agent at Dunham Literary, Inc. Anjanette has an eclectic reading taste and a love for literature that “baptizes the imagination” (C.S. Lewis) and begs to be shared. She loves genre and popular fiction with substance, and literary and nonfiction titles infused with living ideas that leave readers with a new desire to immerse themselves in the subject matter. This could look like an historical fiction that uses captivating detail and relatable characters to bring times-gone-by to life, or it could be a SF/F world that highlights virtues like empathy and self-sacrifice. A romance set in a place so vivid she feels she’s traveled there and wants to take up the protagonists hobbies will definitely get her attention. In nonfiction she is looking for well-researched biography written in beautiful literary prose, popular science and other disciplines titles that make lay-people enchanted and invested in topics previously over their heads, and memoir with the ability to connect diverse readers. She’s also interested in books that shed light on poverty and justice in a new way. She prefers picture books that are winsome and pleasant to read aloud. Particular interests of Anjanette’s are the exploration of culture, history, faith, myth, fine arts, and nature. Learn more about Anjanette here.
Ismita Hussain is a literary agent with Great Dog Literary. “I am seeking literary fiction, health-related non-fiction, YA, and short story collections. Some of my favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Perrotta. I am especially drawn to fiction with a Southern setting, gritty realist writing, and any books that explore health or disability. Ultimately though, I’m a sucker for writing with a great sense of humor.” A Little More About What I’m Looking For: Satire, and humorous fiction that comes with a message or reveals a truth about people/society; Retellings of classic stories that haven’t been redone to death and that provide a twist or a fresh new take; Narrative nonfiction that discusses medicine or health in a way that is accessible and well researched; Nonfiction that makes the reader see their body in a different way; Cookbooks that explore a niche ingredient/theme and cookbooks that tell a story; Quirky and visually stunning coffee table books. Learn more about Ismita here.
Shannon Lechon is a literary agent with Azantian Literary Agency. She is looking for middle grade fiction and young adult fiction. In adult fiction, she is looking for literary books with a speculative element (grounded sci-fi or fantasy) that feel lush and magically possible. She is also interested in manuscripts that incorporate elements of myth, especially if they are from underrepresented cultures or give voice to figures often forgotten. She is looking for mysteries and thrillers. Speculative horror is a massive favorite of hers. For graphic novels, Shannon is looking for young adult fantasy that is grounded in our world (right now, she is only interested in taking on author/illustrators). She is interested in select adult nonfiction proposals. She’s looking for memoirs about specialized careers and experiences, as well as proposals on medicine, trauma, wildlife, nature, and mental health. Learn more about Shannon here.
[SOLD OUT OF PITCH APPOINTMENTS] 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 (fantasy, science fiction, etc.) 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.
Léonicka Valcius is a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Areas of interest: “I am eager to work with people of color, including (but not limited to) trans people, disabled people, religious minorities, and queer folks. In adult fiction and young adult fiction, I like books I can read on a beach vacation — fun commercial fiction, romance that ranges from sweet to steamy, otherworldly fantasy, and sweeping historical fiction. In middle grade and younger, I love humur, adventure, and make believe. I also enjoy stories about children navigating their changing relationships with family and friends. As the founder of #DiverseCanLit and the first Chair of the Board of the Festival of Literary Diversity, serving readers and writers of color is the core of Léonicka’s career. Learn more about Léonicka here.
Elisa Moles is a literary agent with Painted Fire Literary Agency. She is seeking: Especially interested in upmarket fiction. “In one word, what defines fantastic fiction narrative? Consequences. Consequences give structure. And stories with cohesive and creative structures, true to each writer’s background and voice, stand the test of time beyond the trendy topics and gimmicks of the day. I especially love psychologically complex characters. I’m looking for distinctive and compassionate voices who are telling organically unexpected stories in a wide variety of styles and genres. Surprise me.” Please do not pitch: nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, middle grade, YA, graphic novels, screenplays, westerns, horror, nihilist, or erotic work. No previously self-published works please. Learn more about Elisa here.
Justin Brouckaert is a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management. Justin is interested in literary fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction, and select illustrated and prescriptive works. In fiction, he is most interested in novels that are driven by flawed, magnetic characters; novels with innovate structures; novels that engage with the wide world of sports; and novels that are set in the Midwest. In nonfiction, he is most interested in memoirs that offer access to exclusive places and experiences, as well as reported narratives that shed light on under-represented people and communities. Learn more about Justin here.
Michelle Richter is a Senior Literary Agent at 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 especially eager to find suspense and psychological thrillers with complex lead characters. BIPOC, LGBTQ, and disabled voices in fiction always welcome. Michelle loves unreliable narrators, stories of family secrets, friendships, and sibling relationships. Learn more about Michelle 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.
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.
Gabbi Calabrese currently serves as an editorial assistant for Sourcebooks, where she works on books for kids of all ages. She is seeking: “I am interested in picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction of all genres except historical fiction, as well as adult romance, thrillers, and horror. I would love to see work in the YA/adult crossover space as well as graphic novel pitches. I am particularly interested in books by marginalized voices.” Learn more about Gabbi 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); 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.
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. 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.)