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2012 SPEAKERS & TOPICS

 

EDITORS & AGENTS

Betsy Amster
Joy Azmitia
Loretta Barrett
Anne Bensson
Amanda Bergeron
Annie Bomke
Kat Brzozowski
Sarah Cantin
Stacy Creamer
Dawn Dowdle
Melissa Frain

Dawn Michelle Frederick
David Fugate

Anne Hawkins
Jenna Johnson
Erika Imranyi
Elizabeth Kracht
Emily Krump
Terra Layton
Allison Lorentzen
Taylor Martindale
Devin McIntyre

Penny Nelson
Toni Plummer
David Pomerico
Angela Rinaldi
B.J. Robbins
Sara Sciuto
Peter Senftleben
Meghan Stevenson
Gordon Warnock
Kent D. Wolf
Michelle Wolfson
Maya Ziv

 

SCREENWRITERS

 

WRITING EXPERTS INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

 

SUCCESS STORIES

 

keynote

JACK GRAPES • keynote speaker

KEYNOTE: THE ACCIDENTS OF GENIUS

Jack Grapes is an award-winning poet, actor, playwright, teacher, editor and publisher. He's received several Fellowships in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his play, CIRCLE OF WILL, ran for several years in Los Angeles, winning theatre-critics' awards for Best Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor. The play was revived last summer and garnered rave reviews again, with critics calling it "the cleverest original work seen in years" and "an intelligent piece of theatre which peers into the very foundations of drama itself." For the last 20 years, Jack has edited and published ONTHEBUS, a nationally acclaimed literary journal that the Los Angeles Times said was "destined to be a major aftershock in American literary history." Jack is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, and his most recent book, A TIME TO SING, A TIME TO DANCE, was praised by numerous critics, including Sally Kalson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who wrote: "Grapes has been called an everyman of poetry because his work cuts to the bone of basic human truth without the pretense that characterizes much of what passes for contemporary poetry. Gentle and merciless, funny and brutal, Jack is a twentieth century Diogenes, searching for the honest man within himself." His book, METHOD WRITING, based on the concepts he's developed in his writing classes over the last 35 years, is due for publication this year. Jack is also working on several non-fiction books, all due for publication this coming year: HOW TO READ LIKE A WRITER, THE TENDER AGONIES OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI, and ETHERIZED UPON A TABLE, a history of modern poetry from Homer to the present. Jack lives in Los Angleles with his wife Lori, and his son Joshua.

He will conduct consultation appointments
OTHER TOPICS:
Finding the Deep Voice via The Transformation Line gives the writer a basic technique that can be used in a multiplicity of ways to bring depth and authenticity to your writing. Learning to "massage" your transformation lines is a powerful approach to finding your deep voice, and it is the deep voice, not clever writing, that separates your work from all the others and makes it distinct.

The Secrets of Image/Moment: Writers tend to focus on their "story," but great writers use this basic concept to bring their writing to life and create indelible scenes. Once you learn how to manipulate your "image/moments," you will write like a master and swim like a bird.

The Dreaded Association Exercise: Banned by the Geneva Convention as an extreme method of torture, the Dreaded Association Exercise will activate your writing with subjective effects that only the greatest writers know how to use. Not for the squeamish or faint at heart.

My Story Is Boring: If that is true--and it is for everyone, since story by its very nature is boring--what can you do to rescue your story and make it spring off the page into the reader's mind and heart. Exercise and carrots is one answer. The other answer is to use the basic secrets of Method Writing. This and a snake-bite kit is all you need to venture forth into the wilderness of the creative process.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JACK'S OTHER TOPICS, CLICK HERE
An intro to Jack Grapes vimeo.com/7777167
keynote

MARK COKER • keynote speaker

KEYNOTE: The New World of Publishing

This talk will examine the 5 big trends affecting the future of publishing, and reveals why there has never been a better time to be an author.

Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to change the way books are published, marketed and sold.
swlogo
Mark is co-author along with his wife, Lesleyann, of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the behind-the-scenes world of daytime television soap operas. It was Mark's experience trying to get Boob Tube published that inspired him to start Smashwords. He believes Smashwords holds the promise to make publishing more enriching for authors, readers and publishers.
In the three years since its launch, Smashwords has grown to become the leading ebook distributor serving indie authors, small presses and literary agents.  Over 30,000 authors from around the world have published more than 80,000 books at Smashwords.
In June, 2010, The Wall Street Journal named Mark one of the "Eight Stars of Self-Publishing."
With Mark's previous startup, BestCalls.com, which he launched in 1999, he helped level the playing field for small stock market investors, who at the time were denied access to the earnings conference calls of publicly traded companies. His work with BestCalls, as a champion for fair disclosure, was a catalyst for the SEC’s ground breaking Regulation FD. BestCalls was acquired in 2002 by Shareholder.com and was owned and operated by the Nasdaq Stock Exchange up until 2010.
In addition to Mark's work with Smashwords, since 1993 he has owned Dovetail Public Relations, an award-winning Silicon Valley PR firm that specializes in representing technology startups.
Mark is a long time angel investor and advisor to technology and media startups. He currently serves on the advisory board of GetQuik, a provider of restaurant order automation technology and services.  Mark previously served on the advisory board for Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of open source textbooks.
Mark is a contributing columnist for the Huffington Post, where he writes about ebooks and the future of publishing. You can find his previous columns here.
Mark is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in marketing.
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/markcoker
Blog:  http://blog.smashwords.com
FAQ: https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq
He will conduct consultation appointments
Areas of interest
Self-publishing
Writing & publishing

Keynote: The New World of Publishing
This talk will examine the 5 big trends affecting the future of publishing, and reveals why there has never been a better time to be an author.

Workshop #1: Introduction to Indie Ebook Publishing
This session provides an information-packed primer on how to produce, price, publish, distribute and sell an ebook.

Workshop #2: The Secrets of Successful Ebook Publishing
This session examines the best practices of the most commercially successful ebook authors. What does it take (beyond luck) to hit the bestseller lists?

Workshop #3: Live Demo - How to Publish an Ebook at Smashwords
This session provides a live demonstration of how to format an ebook for Smashwords, and then how to upload and manage it. Smashwords is the world's largest ebook publishing and distribution platform for indie authors. Over 33,000 authors around the world collectively publish and distribute over 90,000 ebooks through Smashwords.

 

Editors & Agents

Betsy Amster • President • Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises

Betsy Amster is president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. Before opening her agency in 1992, she spent ten years as an editor at Pantheon and Vintage. She has been described in the Los Angeles Times as “a dogged prospector of…literary talent” and celebrated in the American Society of Journalists and Authors newsletter for her “no-nonsense style and whimsical sense of humor.” Her clients include Dr. Wendy Mogel, New York Times bestselling author of THE BLESSING OF A B MINUS and THE BLESSING OF A SKINNED KNEE (Scribner); Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Sandi Ault, author of WILD INDIGO and three other titles in the “Wild” mystery series (Berkley Prime Crime); Los Angeles Times bestseller Maria Amparo Escandon, author of ESPERANZA’S BOX OF SAINTS (Scribner) and GONZALEZ & DAUGHTER TRUCKING CO. (Crown); James Beard Award-winning baker Kim Boyce, author of GOOD TO THE GRAIN: BAKING WITH WHOLEGRAIN FLOURS (Stewart, Tabori & Chang); and MacArthur Fellow and urban farmer Will Allen, author of the forthcoming THE GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION (Gotham).

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

HOW TO WRITE QUERY LETTERS THAT WORK
Agents receive a blinding number of queries every week. The best way to get their attention is to write an outstanding query letter. Come to this on-the-spot critique session and learn how to solicit solid interest in your work. We’ll discuss basic principles of effective query-letter writing for both fiction and non-fiction, look at some successes and failures, and then turn to as many participants’ query letters as possible in the time that remains.


Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Literary fiction
Women’s Fiction
Mysteries and Thrillers (quirky)

NON-FICTION:
Cooking and Gardening
Design
Health
Memoirs
Narrative Nonfiction
Parenting
Popular Culture
Psychology
Self-Help
Travelogues
Women's Issues

 

Joy Azmitia • Junior Literary Agent • Russell & Volkening, Inc. - Literary Agency

Joy Azmitia is a junior literary agent at Russell & Volkening, Inc. She began her career in publishing as an intern at Russell & Volkening, and later at Writer’s House. In October of 2007, she landed a job at Russell & Volkening, as an assistant to President and Senior Agent, Timothy Seldes. She is acquiring new clients in the areas of literary fiction, dark, edgy women’s fiction, or women’s fiction with a generous splash of romance. She also represents non-fiction in the areas of spirituality, pop-culture and humor, history, and food and wine. Her clients include New York Times Bestselling author James Conaway, Tibetan Buddhist Lama Shyalpa Rinpoche, Mike Padilla, Rob House, Peter Hannaford, Julia Eichelberger, Kali Van Baale, and Jeff Metzger. In conjunction with Timothy Seldes, she has also worked with Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, and other authors such as Jayel Wylie, Kyoko Mori, Eric Burns, and Mike Mewshaw.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Asian-American Fiction
Chicklit
Humorous Fiction
Latina/Latino Fiction
Literary Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Romance – Full Length Contemporary
Short Stories
Urban Fantasy
Women’s Fiction


NON-FICTION:
Animals
Biography
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Environment/Nature
Humor
Inspirational
Memoirs
Motivation
Pets
Popular-Culture
Spirituality
Travel
True-Crime
Women’s Issues

CHILDREN'S
Children’s Fiction and Non-fiction
Young Adult


Loretta Barrett • Literary Agent • Barrett Books

Loretta A. Barrett is a literary agent and president of Loretta Barrett Books, Inc. (www.LorettaBarrettBooks.com) in New York City, which she founded in 1990. Prior to establishing her own agency, Loretta Barrett was editor-in-chief of Anchor Books and vice president and executive editor at Doubleday. She is a member of the Association of Authors Representatives, and has representation in every major foreign market. She represents a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including best-selling authors Raymond Arroyo, Betty White, Ray Kurzweil, Mark Nepo, and Mariah Stewart. Other clients include Chaz Bono, astronomer Phil Plait, minister and spiritual writer Wayne Muller, and novelists Theresa Rebeck and Laura Van Wormer.

Loretta Barrett is a founding Board Member and the secretary of Reading Is Fundamental, the oldest and largest children’s and family non-profit organization in the United States. Also, she is an active member of the Trustees Council of Penn Women at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as of Women’s Media Group, a New York based non-profit association of women who have achieved prominence in various fields of media.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:
Mock Auction - The Selling of a 'Big' Book


Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Suspense and Thrillers
Contemporary Romance
Romance - Paranormal
Romance Suspense
Urban Fantasy
Women’s fiction


NON-FICTION:
2010 categories:
Animals
Biography
Current Affairs
Environment/nature
Historical nonfiction
Popular Culture
Psychology
Self-Help
Social Issues
Spirituality
Women's Issues


CHILDREN'S
Young Adult

 

Anne Bensson • Associate Editor • Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press

Anne is passionate about crime fiction, from classic mysteries to suspense and thrillers, which she acquires and edits for Thomas Dunne Books/Minotaur Books. Her recent acquisitions include riveting hardboiled page-turner Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder, the forthcoming gothic suspense novel Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster, and a new fun-filled cozy mystery series following small-town spice shop proprietress Piper Prescott by Gail Oust. Anne also loves finding beautifully-written, original, and unputdownable historical and general fiction. She is especially enthusiastic about projects with fast-paced plotting, a strong narrative voice, and vibrant, jump-off-the-page characters, no matter the genre. Anne graduated from Harvard College, where she worked as an editor and managing editor for the Let’s Go travel guide series.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION
Historical Fiction
Humorous Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Mysteries
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers


NON-FICTION
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Current Affairs
Family Stories
France
Historical Nonfiction
Humor
Memoirs
Narrative Nonfiction
Pets
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Travel
Wedding/Reference
Women's Issues

Amanda Bergeron • Assistant Editor • HarperCollins

Amanda Bergeron, Assistant Editor, joined William Morrow/Avon in 2008 and works with a wide range of fiction. She is looking for thought-provoking women's fiction that straddles the line between literary and commercial; romance of all subgenres for both Avon and digital-first imprint Avon Impulse; and historical fiction. She enjoys developing new talent and is seeking projects that explore female friendships, life issues, cultural narrative, and fascinating/significant eras. Recent and upcoming titles include Barnes and Noble Discover Pick When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt, Target Breakout Book Salting Roses by Lorelle Marinello, The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees, and A Town Called Valentine by Emma Cane. Amanda will do Advanced Reading and Consultation Appointments.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Historical Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multi-Cultural fiction
Romance - Full Length Contemporary
Romance - Full Length Historical
Romance Paranormal
Women’s Fiction

Annie Bomke • President • Annie Bomke Literary Agency

Annie Bomke is a literary agent. Prior to founding her own literary agency, Annie Bomke spent eight years at Margret McBride Literary Agency, where she worked with internationally bestselling authors such as Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson, John Assaraf, John David Mann, and Bob Burg. She has edited a wide range of projects—from hard-nosed business books to otherworldly historical novels. Authors have called her the pH test for good writing, and a bedrock for literary quality control.

Annie has loved the publishing industry since her position as an Editorial Assistant at Zoetrope: All-Story, a literary magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola. She explored her love of books managing Alcala Gallery, an art gallery and rare bookstore, and even had a brief stint as a technical writer for a Department of Defense contractor.

She has worked on a wide variety of genres, but she is most passionate about character-driven literary fiction, thrillers, narrative nonfiction, philosophy, and psychology.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

WHAT EVERY GREAT NOVEL NEEDS
In this session, we'll discuss the components every novel needs to create a winning story that readers can't put down. We'll examine the elements of a novel, including characters, tone, setting, pacing, and language.

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Historical Fiction
Horror Novels
Humorous Fiction
International Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers

NON-FICTION:

Biography
Business and Careers
Celebrity and Media Tie-ins
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Current Affairs
Family Stories
Grief and Loss
Health
Historical Nonfiction
How-To
Humor
Memoirs
Multicultural Issues
Narrative Nonfiction
Philosophy
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Psychology
Relationships
Self-Help
Travel
True Adventure
True Crime
Women's Issues
Writing and Publishing

 

Kat Brzozowski • Assistant Editor • Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press

Kat Brzozowski is an assistant editor at Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press. She has had extensive experience at literary agencies and has interned at Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc, Writers House, and Foundry Literary + Media. Her current list includes Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen, the first in a new mystery series featuring a Santa Barbara PI who finds herself entangled in a twisted conspiracy among the city’s elite, The Devil’s Odds by Milton T. Burton, a Texan historical mystery set in the 1940s involving the New Orleans mafia, and the third book in Malaysian author Shamini Flint’s mystery series, featuring cranky but effective Inspector Singh. She is looking for young adult books, especially contemporary fiction with a strong female protagonist (especially if it has a dark side); mysteries, suspense, and thrillers; horror; sci-fi; and paranormal (preferably sans vampires). Ultimately, for young adult fiction, she looks for a strong voice and a plot always keeps the reader moving forward. She is also looking for adult fiction in the areas of mystery, suspense, thrillers, and smart women’s fiction (she is also open to literary fiction if the writing is truly terrific). In addition, Kat is interested in narrative nonfiction that has something new to say, as well as pop culture books with a wide appeal.

She will conduct Advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Mysteries
Suspense & Thrillers
Women’s Fiction
Literary Fiction


NON-FICTION:
Popular culture
Narrative Nonfiction


CHILDREN'S
Young adult

Sarah Cantin • Associate Editor • Atria Books

Sarah Cantin is an Associate Editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Her recent acquisitions include Ten Girls to Watch, a debut novel by Charity Shumway, and The Little Book of Diet Help by Kimberly Willis, PhD. As the associate to VP and Senior Editor Greer Hendricks, Sarah has assisted with many of Atria’s commercial women’s fiction authors, including Jennifer Weiner, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, Lauren Weisberger, Sarah Pekkanen, and Lisa Tucker. She has also worked on a broad range of nonfiction titles in the same capacity, including several books by the popular children’s cookbook author Annabel Karmel, and Wear This, Toss That!, a beauty and style guide from a Today show fashion correspondent, Amy E. Goodman.
Sarah is originally from New England, and earned her BA and MA in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She is looking for fresh, up-market commercial women’s fiction, and smart, savvy non-fiction: beautiful writing, crystal-clear voices, and well-paced and plotted narratives
She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Women's fiction
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers
historical fiction
family stories
international fiction


NON-FICTION:
Cooking/food
Lifestyle
Memoirs
Relationships
Popular culture
Travel
Narrative non-fiction (women’s issues)

Stacy Creamer • VP, Publisher • Touchstone Fireside, Simon & Schuster

Stacy Creamer is Vice President and Publisher of Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She has edited a diverse and high-profile list of books that includes New York Times bestsellers such as Lauren Weisberger’s THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA; Elizabeth Edwards’ SAVING GRACES and RESILIENCE; Kurt Eichenwald’s CONSPIRACY OF FOOLS; Lance Armstrong’s IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE, EVERY SECOND COUNTS, and COMEBACK 2.0; and Rick Springfield’s LATE, LATE AT NIGHT. In 2009, a book she edited—SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME—won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. Titles she will soon publish include GNR bass Duff McKagan’s memoir IT’S SO EASY (and other lies), Billy Idol’s memoir DANCING WITH MYSELF, and Goosebumps author R.L. Stine’s adult horror novel RED RAIN. Creamer’s Touchstone imprint publishes Philippa Gregory, J.A. Jance, and Bethenny Frankel, among many others. She will do Advanced Readings and Consultation Appointments and present a topic TBA

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Historical Fiction
Horror Novels
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Paranormal Fiction
Romantic Suspense
Suspense and Thrillers
Women’s Fiction
Women in Jeopardy
Women’s Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Animals
Biography
Celebrity and Media Tie-ins
Current Affairs
Narrative Nonfiction
Popular Culture
Self-Help

Dawn Dowdle • Agent • Blue Ridge Literary Agency, LLC

Dawn Dowdle is the Owner and Literary Agent of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, LLC (www.blueridgeagency.com) in Virginia, which she founded in 2009. Prior to establishing her own agency, Dawn Dowdle was a freelance copy editor. She represents a wide range of fiction and children's fiction. She started her agency to help authors, especially new authors. One of her goals with her agency was to be more responsive and approachable by authors. Recent publications include: The Armageddon Chord by Jeremy Wagner, The Bear in a Muddy Tutu by Cole Alpaugh, Rae of Hope by W. J. May, Storm's Interlude by Vonnie Davis, Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne and Murder Half Baked by Kathleen Delaney. She now has two interns and a Rights Director affiliated with her agency. Instructions for querying are on the Web site.

Dawn Dowdle also facilitates a local writers' group and participates in several writing conferences. In her down time, she reads mysteries and enjoys a close relationship with her family.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Christian Fiction
Fantasy
Henlit
Mysteries
Paranormal Fiction
Romance--Full Length Contemporary
Romance--Full Length Historical
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Suspense
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction
Women in Jeopardy
Women's Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers


CHILDREN'S
Children's Picture Books & Illustrations
Children's Chapter Books
Middle Grade Fiction
Young Adult Fiction
NOTE:
Additional Areas of Interest not on your list: Time Travel, Steampunk

Melissa Frain • Associate Editor • Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen (Macmillan)

Melissa Frain is an editor for Tor Books, where she specializes in young adult fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary fantasy. Her authors include Lisa Desrochers, Kendare Blake, Rachel Caine (anthology), Kristen Simmons, and Susan Krinard. She is currently looking for strong new voices in YA and contemporary fantasy. Well-drawn characters are a must, and a great romantic element is always a big plus. She would love to see more teen fantasy along the lines of Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING and FIRE or beautiful contemporary stories with a fantastical twist, like Alice Hoffman’s PRACTICAL MAGIC.

Tor Books is the world’s leading publisher of science fiction and fantasy. Winner of the Locus Award for Best SF Publisher for the past 20 years in a row, Tor is the publisher of numerous bestsellers including Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, as well as Orson Scott Card’s beloved classic Ender’s Game.

Tor’s imprints include Tor Books (SF and fantasy), Forge Books (mainstream fiction including thrillers, mysteries, and women’s fiction), and Starscape and Tor Teen (books for young readers).

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Contemporary Fantasy
Historical Fantasy
Paranormal - Romance
Urban Fantasy


CHILDREN'S
Young Adult fiction (especially paranormal)

Dawn Michelle Frederick • Literary Agent & Owner • Red Sofa Literary

Dawn Frederick is the Owner & Literary Agent of Red Sofa Literary, established in 2008. Red Sofa Literary is a celebration of the quirky, eclectic ideas in our publishing community. Dawn’s previous experience reflects a broad knowledge of the book business; with over a decade of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; an editor for a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency. In addition to Dawn’s “life of books,” she is an active volunteer and advocate within the Twin-Cities nonprofit community, while still finding time to don her skates for the Minnesota RollerGirls. Dawn Frederick carries a B.S. in Human Ecology and a M.S. in Information Sciences from an ALA accredited institution. “Not only do I know what people like to read and are currently reading; I also have experience working one-on-one with authors, publishers, book distribution centers, readers, and literary organizations.”

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Agent 101 So you’ve got a great book idea, what do you need to do to get it published? The next step would require finding a literary agent. How does one accomplish this task? In Agent 101, Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary will discuss the steps, the necessary preparation, and what to expect during the Agent Query process. There will be a short Q&A afterwards.

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Paranormal Fiction
Query Letters (YA/MG fiction and nonfiction for all ages)
Urban Fantasy


NON-FICTION:
Celebrity and Media Tie-ins
How-To
Humor
Journalism
Narrative Nonfiction
Photography
Popular Culture
Reference
Social Issues
Sports
Writing and Publishing


CHILDREN'S

Middle Grade Fiction and Nonfiction
Young Adult

David Fugate • President • LaunchBooks Literary Agency

David Fugate, President & Founder of LaunchBooks Literary Agency, has successfully represented more than 1,000 books to over 40 different publishers that have generated in excess of $16 Million for authors. He represents a wide range of non-fiction aimed at a broad audience.

David represents authors such as Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous hacker and author of the New York Times bestseller Ghost in the Wires (Little, Brown); Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity (Perigee) and the forthcoming The $100 Startup (Crown); Christopher Steiner, former Senior Writer for Forbes and the author of $20 per Gallon (Grand Central), as well as the forthcoming Quant World (Portfolio); Kevin Poulsen, News Editor at Wired, on his book Kingpin (Crown); Alexis Madrigal, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, on his book Powering the Dream (Da Capo); Jonathan Watts, the China correspondent for the UK Guardian and author of When a Billion Chinese Jump (Scribner); Brian Chen, formerly of the New York Times, on his book Always On (Da Capo); Jon Jeter, the two time Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Flat Broke in the Free Market (W.W. Norton); Gina Keating, author of the forthcoming Netflixed (Portfolio); Gina Trapani, author of Upgrade Your Life (John Wiley & Sons); Douglas Gayeton, author of SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town (Welcome Books); Robert Vamosi, author of When Gadgets Betray Us (Basic Books); Jackie Hooper, author of the forthcoming The Things You Would Have Said (Hudson Street Press), and many others.

David got his start in publishing more than 18 years ago handling submissions and doing project development for the Margret McBride Literary Agency, which represented bestselling authors such as Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, authors of The One Minute Manager and Who Moved My Cheese? and Victor Villaseñor, author of Rain of Gold.

He will conduct consultation appointments.

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

NON-FICTION:
Adventure
Biography
Business and Careers
Celebrity and Media Tie-ins
Computers and Technology
Current Affairs
Environment/Nature
Health
Historical Nonfiction
How-To
Humor
Memoirs
Men's Issues
Narrative History
Narrative Nonfiction
Nature & Outdoors
Parenting
Pets
Politics
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Psychology
Reference
Science
Social Issues
Sports
True Adventure
True Crime
Visions of the Future

Anne Hawkins • Senior Literary Agent • John Hawkins & Associates, Inc

Anne Hawkins: is a senior literary agent with John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery suspense, thrillers and historicals and a wide variety of non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, natural history, medicine, and women’s and family issues. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives. Website: jhalit.com

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:
LET'S MAKE A DEAL, THE INS AND OUTS OF SELLING A BOOK


Area of Interest:
FICTION:
African-American Fiction
Asian-American Fiction
Historical Fiction
International Fiction
Latina/Latino Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction
Women in Jeopardy
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers


Non-Fiction:
Animals
Biography
Current Affairs
Environment/Nature
Gender Issues
Historical Nonfiction
Nature and Outdoors
Narrative Nonfiction
Politics
Popular Science
Reference
Social Issues
True Adventure
Women's Issues

Jenna Johnson • Senior Editor
• Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Hardcovers
& MARINER PAPERBACKS

JENNA JOHNSON, Senior Editor for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcovers and Editorial Manager for Mariner paperbacks, concentrates on literary fiction, especially international, historical, and women's; memoir; and narrative nonfiction, with an interest in food, animals, cultural and religious history, and biography. Recent titles include: We the Animals, Pigeon English, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell, James Beard Winner Save the Deli by David Sax, Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas, and the bestselling paperback Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards. She also works with Kent Meyers, Young-ha Kim, Tony D'Souza, Matthew Amster-Burton, Gina Ochsner, Richard Wilbur, and Steve Earle.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments


Area of Interest:
FICTION:
International Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Womens Fiction

NON-FICTION:
Animals
Biography
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle (Food)
Memoir
Multicultural Issues
Narrative Nonfiction
Popular Culture
Religion (Religious History)

Erika Imranyi • Senior Editor • MIRA Books/Harlequin

Erika Imranyi is a new senior editor at MIRA Books, a division of Harlequin, where she is actively building a list of breakout debut and upmarket commercial women’s fiction. Prior to working for Mira, she spent almost a decade at Dutton, an imprint of the Penguin Group, editing a wide range of commercial fiction and nonfiction. Erika is most interested in discovering and championing fresh new voices and original stories with mainstream appeal. Some of her bestselling and award-winning authors have included Jenna Blum, Rachel Simon, Lauren Willig, Rainbow Rowell, Allie Larkin, and Eric Jerome Dickey. Upcoming novel acquisitions include The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall, an evocative and emotional coming-of-age story, and Face of the Earth by Paula Treick DeBoard, about the disappearance of a girl in a farm community and a family caught at the center of small-town scrutiny.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Family stories
Historical fiction
Literary fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Romantic Comedy
Women’s fiction
Women’s literary fiction
Women in jeopardy
Women’s mystery suspense and thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Family stories
Memoirs
Narrative nonfiction
Women’s Issues

Elizabeth Kracht • Literary Agent • Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Elizabeth Kracht joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist and writer.

Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books.

Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice or that offers wisdom for contemporary living. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by urban and multicultural themes and loves settings that are characters unto themselves.

In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed and quirky yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves voice- or adventure-driven memoir, and other nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:

Adventure
African-American Fiction
Asian-American Fiction
Chicklit
Family Stories
Graphic Novels
Frontier Fiction
Graphic Novels
Henlit
Historical Fiction
Horror Novels
Humorous Fiction
International Fiction
Latina/Latino Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Men's Adventure
Military Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Paranormal Fiction
Query Letters
Romantic Suspense
Romantic Comedy
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction
Women's Literary Fiction
Women in Jeopardy
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers

NON-FICTION:
Celebrity
Current affairs
Health
How-to
Humor
Inspirational
Memoir
Men's issues
Multicultural issues
Pets
Pop culture
Relationships
Sexuality
Spirituality
True crime
Women's issues

CHILDREN'S
Young Adult

Emily Krump • Associate Editor • William Morrow - HarperCollins Publishers

Emily Krump is an Associate Editor at William Morrow who edits both fiction and nonfiction. She has worked on a large array of projects, but is most passionate about smart, commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction that focus on family and relationships. Recent and upcoming titles include Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman, Love Lies Bleeding by Jess McConkey, Power Blind by Steven Gore, The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley, and The Nightingale Floors by Dana Sachs.


She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Chicklit
Family Fiction
Historical Fiction
Humorous Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Mutlicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Romantic Suspense
Suspense and Thrillers
Women’s Fiction
Women’s Mysteries Suspense and Thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Historical nonfiction
Inspirational nonfiction
Memoir
Narrative nonfiction

Terra Layton • Assistant Editor • St. Martin’s Press

Terra Layton, Assistant Editor, joined St. Martin’s Press in 2007. A graduate of NYU’s Masters of Science in Publishing program, she is actively seeking fresh and original voices in young adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as up-market women’s literature and narrative nonfiction. Her forthcoming acquisitions include GLITCH, the first in a gripping sci-fi young adult series set in a world where technology controls emotion, and DREAM WALKER, a young adult series about a secret society that fights nightmares.

For young adult fiction, she is especially interested in high-concept commercial stories, fiction with a unique supernatural element or magical realism, coming-of-age stories, psychological thrillers, and horror. For contemporary YA, she looks for an unforgettable voice and a well-paced story that is either dark and gritty or lyrical and emotional. She has a soft spot for offbeat characters and imaginative settings, and a little bit of romance is always a huge plus.

Terra is also looking for smart women’s fiction on the edge of literary and commercial, especially stories with strong characters, large sprawling families, mysterious secrets, and beautiful settings. She is also interested in fresh, well-written narrative nonfiction that provides a new understanding of the way the world and human beings work, particularly in the areas of memoir, unusual histories, pop science, and pop culture.

Above all, Terra is looking for stories in which a whole world, whether real or imagined, completely comes to life. She lives in New York with her husband and a house full of books.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Historical Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Women's Fiction


NON-FICTION:
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Family Stories
France
How-To
Memoirs
Narrative Nonfiction
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Psychology
Relationships
Travel

CHILDREN'S:
Young Adult

 

Allison Lorentzen • Editor • Penguin Books

Allison Lorentzen edits literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, including memoir, reportage, humor, pop culture, history, and biography. Allison began her editorial career at HarperCollins, where she published the paperback original nonfiction titles Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, Sara Marcus’s Girls To The Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, and Catherine Price’s 101 Places Not to See Before You Die, as well as working with Annie Dillard, Daniel Mendelsohn, Peter Hessler, and William Boyd, among many others. Her upcoming books from Penguin and Viking include two debut novels--The Office of Mercy by Ariel Djanikian and Benjamin Lytal's The City I Wanted--as well as journalist Wayne Biddle's nonfiction project, A Field Guide to Radiation. Allison has also been on the editorial staff of n +1 since its founding in 2004, and now serves as an advisory editor for the magazine.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Literary Fiction

NON-FICTION:
Biography
Current Affairs
Environment/Nature
Family Stories
Historical Nonfiction
Humor
Narrative Nonfiction
Politics
Popular Culture
Travel
True Adventure
True Crime
Women's Issues

Taylor Martindale • Literary Agent • Full Circle Literacy

Taylor Martindale is a new member of Full Circle Literary, actively acquiring primarily young adult fiction and adult fiction projects. She began agenting with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, and prior to that, was the submissions coordinator at Bliss Literary Agency. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary, where she studied English and Hispanic Studies. Taylor is looking for young adult fiction across all sub-genres. She is interested in finding unique and unforgettable voices and characters that stay with you long after a story has finished. For contemporary YA, she would like to find both the uplifting/romantic stories and gritty, harsh stories about the darker side of teen life. She loves working with multicultural projects that teach teens about other people’s lives – both at home and abroad. In paranormal/fantasy/urban fantasy, she is looking for new and intriguing concepts with characters who truly manage to make their worlds alive and engaging. She is also interested in select children’s picture books, light YA sci-fi and women’s fiction. More than anything, Taylor is looking for character-driven stories that bring the world vividly to life (whether it’s fantasy or not), and voices that refuse to be ignored.

When not working, Taylor can be found traveling, cooking, spending time with loved ones, or (surprise!) lost in a good book.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments


Area of Interest:
FICTION Women's fiction (contemporary, multicultural, historical fiction)
Multicultural fiction
Historical Fiction
Science Fiction (Young Adult)

NON-FICTION
multicultural
Narrative Non-fiction


Children's
Young Adult (*ALL areas and sub-genres -- dark, romantic, contemporary, fantasy/paranormal, multicultural, non-fiction and science fiction)
Middle Grade (all areas)
Children's Picture Books and Illustrations
Teen Non-fiction

Devin McIntyre • President • The McIntyre Agency

Devin McIntyre is President of The McIntyre Agency. Before opening his own agency in 2010, he spent eight years at Mary Evans Inc. literary agency, where he developed his own client list and handled foreign rights, working with such bestselling and award-winning authors as Michael Chabon, Abraham Verghese, Ayelet Waldman, Ronald C. White, Vendela Vida, Charles D’Ambrosio, Thomas Beller and Robert Ferrigno. Prior to joining the ranks of the publishing industry, his feats included: growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduating from Brown University with a degree in English.

Devin represents a broad range of authors, but focuses particularly on literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, practical nonfiction, sports, pop culture, humor, and graphic novels. The writing he likes best could be described as: fresh, smart, vibrant, savvy, voice-driven, incredible, outstanding, electric, beautiful, really fresh, and/or fantastic.

He will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments


Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Asian-American Fiction
Graphic Novels (including non-fiction and memoir)
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Suspense/Thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Graphic Non-fiction
How-To/DIY
Humor
Memoirs
Multicultural issues
Narrative Nonfiction
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Sports


penny Nelson • Literary Agent • Manus & Associates Literary Agency

Penny Nelson is an agent with Manus & Associates Literary Agency and is looking for non-fiction titles tackling current events, social issues, lifestyle trends, self-help, natural sciences, sports, and very selectively--memoirs.

Penny brings to her her authors many years in both publishing and in the media. She got her radio start at NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and went on to become an award winning public radio producer and host. In 2002, Penny turned her producing skills towards publishing and joined the team at Manus & Associates as a literary agent. Along with agenting, Penny remains on staff at the NPR affiliate KQED in San Francisco.

In addition to broadcast work, Penny has done on stage author interviews for the San Francisco’s City Arts and Lectures Series and for San Francisco bookstores. In the 90's she collaborated with Publishers Weekly Magazine to launch an internet radio program discussing the business of book publishing and book selling.

Penny offers her clients a strong sense of what the current reading public wants, what the media wants, and how to capitalize on what new trend is right around the corner. And, she believes sincerely that any topic can be made fascinating with amazing writing and storytelling skills, with a solid platform, and a savvy strategic approach.

A sampling of books and authors Penny represents includes: Where War Lives by Pulitzer prize winning journalist Paul Watson (Rodale), The Jesus Machine by Dan Gilgoff (St.Martin's Press), The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine (Hyperion), Total Engagement by Byron Reeves and Leighton Read (Harvard Business School Press), The Best New York Sports Arguments by Peter Handrinos (Sourcebooks), The Anger Solution and The Half-Lived Life by John Lee (Da Capo and GPP), Se Habla Dinero by Lynn Jimenez (Wiley), The Biker's Guide to Business by Dwain Deville (Wiley), What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do? by Jane Angelich (Simon & Schuster), Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks by Grover Cleveland (West Publishing), The Introvert's Manifesto by Sophia Dembling (Perigee), The Speaker's Bible by Judy Carter (St. Martin's Press), The Practicing Mind by Tom Sterner (New World Library), and Will Puberty Last My Whole Life? by Rob Lehman and Julie Metzger (Sasquatch Books).

Prior to working in the media and publishing, Penny worked in zoos and was involved in scientific research projects with major universities and with the Smithsonian Institution. She worked for years with great apes in language acquisition research and studied tropical bats, rats, and other nocturnal critters when such expertise was in demand and would guarantee exotic travel!

Penny has a degree in anthropology and international studies from Macalester College.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

The Do's and Don'ts of Getting an Agent What are agents looking for in a query letter and book proposal... and what should you avoid doing at all costs! Find out the key ingredients for making it past the slush pile and onto an agent's author list

The 21st Century Book Proposal The key elements necessary for creating a non-fiction book proposal that will sell in today's marketplace.

Area of Interest:


NON-FICTION:
Current Events
Journalism (the work of journalists and academics) Lifestyle (trends)
Memoirs (specific)
Natural sciences
Politics (political events)
Self-help
Social issues
Sports
 

Toni Plummer • Editor • Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press

Toni Plummer is an Editor at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, where she acquires fiction and nonfiction. She is always on the lookout for talented new authors and is especially interested in crime fiction and mysteries, including cozies, thrillers, private eye novels, police procedurals, and historical mysteries. She is also looking for women’s fiction, from contemporary, humorous novels to sweeping, heart-wrenching family epics. Some of her authors include New York Times bestselling author Vikas Swarup, Anthony Award-winning author and Edgar finalist Sophie Littlefield, California Book Award winner Michael Jaime-Becerra, RITA Award winner Caridad Ferrer, and Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, finalist for the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship and winner of two Go on Girl! Book Club awards.

Toni is also the latest winner of the Miguel Mármol Prize, given for a first work of fiction by a Latino author, and the author of the story collection The Bolero of Andi Rowe (Curbstone Books). She is a fellow of the Macondo Foundation, an association of socially-engaged writers.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Chicklit
Crime fiction
Historical fiction
Humorous fiction
International Fiction
Latino/Latina Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Mysteries
Science Fiction
Suspense and Thrillers
Women’s Fiction
Women’s Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Latino American Issues
Memoir
Narrative Nonfiction
Relationships
Self-Help
Sexuality
True Adventure
Women’s Issues


CHILDREN'S
Young adult

David Pomerico • Assistant Editor and Transmedia Producer • Del Rey.Spectra

David Pomerico has been in publishing for four years after two highly useful stints at Washington University in St. Louis and NYU for grad school. As an associate editor at Del Rey and Spectra, he not only acquired and edited original fiction, but also helped with the Star Wars publishing program and worked on a few media tie-in projects (such as Transformers, Penny Arcade, and the video game Rage). Some of the authors he’s worked with include Darin Bradley, Chris Wooding, Michael Reaves, David J. Williams, CL Anderson, and Ari Marmell. He loves action-packed fantasy and science fiction, but reads pretty much every genre for pleasure, including romance novels aimed at teenage girls (long story). In addition to editing, David is a part of the Random House Worlds intellectual property development team, and is one of the voices of Del Rey and Spectra's social media initiatives, including Twitter (@delreyspectra), Facebook (Del Rey Spectra and Star Wars Books), and our science fiction and fantasy blog, Suvudu.com. Basically, he has the best job in the world, and is very grateful for it.

He will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Self-Publishing or Self-Denial: A Traditional Publisher’s Views
An open discussion about traditional, big house publishing versus self-publishing.

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Fantasy
Science Fantasy
Urban Fantasy




 

Angela Rinaldi • Literary Agent • The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency

Angela Rinaldi is a literary agent and president of The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency. The agency was founded in 1994. Prior to starting the agency she was Executive Editor at NAL and Bantam Books, Senior Editor at Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster) and started the book publishing program for The Los Angeles Times. She has been a member of the Literature Panel for the California Arts Council in addition to the board for PEN and the membership committee for AAR. She represents both fiction and non-fiction including the eight million copy bestseller Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson (Putnam). Other titles on her list include Calling In The One, Katherine Woodward Thomas (Crown), Quirky, Yes -- Hopeless, No by Dr. Cynthia Norall (St. Martin’s), Before Your Pregnancy, Amy Ogle and Dr. Lisa Mazzullo (Ballantine), Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Dr. Joseph Parent (Doubleday), From Seed to Skillet by Jimmy Williams and Susan Heeger (Chronicle), Blood Orange and The Good Sister by Drusilla Campbell (Grand Central Publishing), Blind Spot by Stephanie Kane, The Starlite Drive-in by Marjorie Reynolds (Morrow), Fine Food and Fine Beer by Schuyler Schulz (Skyhorse), Somebody Else’s Twin by Dr. Nancy Segal (Prometheus). She is actively seeking novelists writing literary fiction that can cross over into the commercial arena, commercial fiction, upmarket women's fiction, rich and compelling family dramas, suspense, mysteries and contemporary YA with crossover appeal. In the non fiction category she is looking for authors writing in the areas of narrative non fiction, memoir, science, business/career , sports, health, pregnancy and childbirth, parenting, lifestyle, cooking, food and travel narratives, psychology and relationship .

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:



Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Literary fiction (with commercial crossover)
Mainstream fiction
Multicultural
Mysteries
Women's fiction
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers


NON-FICTION:
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Business and Careers
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Femoir
Health
Journalism
Memoirs
Narrative non fiction
Parenting
Popular Science
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Pyschology
Relationships
Sports
Travel
Women's Issues


CHILDREN'S
Young adult (with crossover appeal)

 

B.J. Robbins • Literary Agent • BJ Robbins Literary Agency

BJ Robbins opened her Los Angeles-based literary agency in 1992 after a multifaceted career in book publishing, starting in publicity at Simon & Schuster and later at Harcourt where she was Director of Marketing and then Senior Editor. Her agency represents fiction such as James D. Houston’s Snow Mountain Passage and Bird of Another Heaven, John Hough, Jr.,’s Seen the Glory and The Last Summer, Nafisa Haji’s The Writing on My Forehead and The Sweetness of Tears, CBS TV Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson’s Between the Bridge and the River, and Eduardo Santiago’s Tomorrow They Will Kiss. In nonfiction, she has a particular interest in memoir, biography, history, pop culture, sports, travel/adventure, medicine, and health. Nonfiction clients include J. Maarten Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Getting Stoned with Savages, Lost on Planet China), James Donovan (A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn, and the upcoming Blood of Heroes), co-host of Emmy-winning “The Doctors” Dr. Lisa Masterson's memoir, Paper Dollhouse, LA Times columnist Chris Erskine (Man of the House), Tim Madigan (I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers), Dr. Pamela Nagami (The Woman with a Worm in Her Head and Bitten) and Roger Love (Set Your Voice Free and Love Your Voice). A member of AAR and PEN USA, she has led workshops at UCLA Extension, UC Irvine, and at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:



Area of Interest:
FICTION:
African-American
Asian-American
Historical
Latina/Latino
Multicultural
Mysteries
Literary Fiction
Query Letters


Nonfiction:
Biography
Celebrity and Media Tie-Ins
Health
Historical nonfiction
Journalism
Memoirs
Narrative nonfiction
Popular Culture
Psychology
Queries
Sports
Travel
True Adventure
Writing and Publishing

Sara Sciuto • Literary Agent • Full Circle Literary, LLC

Sara is a new member of Full Circle Literary. A recent graduate of University of California San Diego, Sara also completed literature coursework at NYU. Before joining Full Circle, she gained valuable experience working on film and foreign rights with the Taryn Fagerness Agency. Sara is actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult, in particular, dystopian, science fiction, fantasy, and unique paranormal. She also enjoys contemporary stories with a strong, authentic voice (but no chick-lit, please). She has a particular soft spot for anything in the Deep South (sweet contemporary to dark paranormal), gritty contemporary, utilitarian dystopias or dystopian thrillers, anything with international locales or period settings (think flappers or "Mad Men"), and anything with artistic themes. Sara is also looking for standout picture books, especially those with a quirky or humorous narrative. She's also considering select nonfiction in the areas of craft, design, how-to, lifestyle, and pop culture. Currently, she is NOT considering any adult fiction (all genres).

Her great passions in life are travel and good food - and good books, of course, but that goes without saying! While she's always cultivating new obsessions, her latest are photography and sailing.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments


Area of Interest:

CHILDREN'S
Children's Picture Books and Illustrations
Children's Chapter Books
Middle Grade Fiction and Nonfiction
Young Adult

Peter Senftleben • Assistant Editor • Kensington Publishing

Peter Senftleben is an assistant editor at Kensington Books, where he is cultivating his varied and distinguished list. He joined Kensington in 2006 after sharpening his editorial skills and red pencil while working at literary agencies. A graduate of Tulane University with a degree in chemical engineering and math (yes, math), Peter occasionally indulges the numbers side of his brain with a challenging Sudoku puzzle or by baking, but he can more often be seen watching trashy television shows.

Peter is currently acquiring many types of fiction and is often drawn to quirky, offbeat projects with distinctive voices (like The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival by Ken Wheaton), stunning writing (see any of T. Greenwood’s novels or Yield by Lee Houck), realistic characters (read Closer to Fine by Meri Weiss), and stories that will make him LOL (literally), cry in public, scare the bejeezus out of him, or engage him so deeply that he skips meals. He does not want to see anything with terrorists of any kind.


He will conduct Advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

The Foundations of Fiction: Everything You Need to Know to Write a Solid Novel
Some of the most common reasons for rejection are some of the most basic mistakes, like tense, point of view, conflict, characters, and dialogue. In this workshop, I’ll go over all of the fundamentals of writing a story, focusing on the elements I often see misused, botched, or ignored in submissions. I’ll touch briefly on the basics that every writer needs to know and remain aware of as they write their novel, and give specific examples and tips of how to avoid getting caught in these traps. A question and answer session will provide writers in the audience with the opportunity to get my advice on problems they frequently find themselves encountering.

*Not only for first-time writers! I see many submissions—from newbies, from agents, from published writers—with the same mistakes that keep them from selling.

A Very Query Workshop
In a fun, informal, and interactive environment, I’ll review anonymous query letters with attendees, providing my feedback and constructive criticism on format, content, etiquette, etc. of the query letter and submission process. I’ll open to floor to questions—no questions are stupid if you want to know the answer. Writers should come with an unsigned query they feel is polished and ready to send out, or one with which they’re not having success, though they should also feel free to come, observe, and learn. I’ll try to get to as many as I can in the time allotted.

Area of Interest:
FICTION
Gay Fiction
Humorous Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Mysteries
Paranormal Fiction
Romance - Full Length Contemporary
Romance - Full Length Historical
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Suspense
Suspense and Thrillers
Urban Fantasy
Women's Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers

CHILDREN'S
Young Adult

Meghan Stevenson • Associate Editor • Hudson Street Press / Plume

Meghan has been at Hudson Street Press and Plume since 2008. Her list mixes “descriptive prescriptive” and narrative nonfiction. She loves to work on books that help people change and improve their lives through the application of specialized research, from science-based prescription (WHY WOMEN NEED FAT, January 2012) to the application of academia to everyday life (THE DYSLEXIC ADVANTAGE, August 2011.) She is especially eager to acquire in pop science, psychology, and health/wellness. On the narrative side, Meghan loves unusual subjects and hooks, as well as authors with a touch of self-deprecation and a strong sense of humor. Upcoming books in this vein include AM I A JEW? by former Harper’s magazine editor Theodore Ross (September 2012) and MAN OF WAR, a comedic attempt at relearning history by re-enacting bloodless battles by author Charlie Schroeder (June 2012.)

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:



Area of Interest:

NON-FICTION:
Animals
Biography
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle (Food Narratives)
Environment/Nature
Family Stories
Gay Issues
Gender Issues
Grief and Loss
Health
Historical Nonfiction
How-To
Humor
Inspirational
Journalism
Latino-American Issues
Memoirs

Motivation
Multicultural Issues
Narrative Nonfiction
Native-American Issues
Parenting
Pets
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Psychology
Relationships
Self-Help
Social Issues
Spirituality
Sports
Travel
True Adventure

Gordon Warnock • Senior Agent • Andrea Hurst Literary Management

 
Gordon Warnock, Senior Agent with Andrea Hurst Literary Management, combines industry knowledge with a sharp editorial eye and experience as a college-level tutor to provide friendly and respectful aid with polishing manuscripts and book proposals. He is a frequent teacher and speaker in the literary community at events such as the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, the AWP national conference and bookfair, and the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program.

With a zest for fresh, new writing and a deep love of the classics, Gordon always has his eye out for works which will not only thrive in the current market but will also withstand the test of time, bringing joy to readers for years to come. In that spirit, he seeks to establish involved, long term working relationships with talented and dedicated authors of many genres.

He will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Why this is the best time to be a writer: Taking advantage of the modern publishing world with Gordon Warnock, Senior Agent at Andrea Hurst Literary Management
With the tools available to you today, publishing is not so much a question of if, but of how. Learn how to make the options work for you while avoiding scams, time wasters and other common pitfalls.

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Commercial Fiction

NON-FICTION:
Animals
Business and Careers
Celebrity and Media Tie-ins
Cooking/Food/Lifestyle
Current Affairs
Domestic Violence
Environment/Nature
Femoir
Gay Issues
Gender Issues
Health
How-To
Humor
Inspirational
Memoirs
Men's Issues
Narrative Nonfiction
Pets
Politics
Popular Culture
Queries
Self-Help
Sexuality
Social Issues
Visions of the Future
Women's Issues
Writing and Publishing
CHILDRENS
Contemporary YA (no vampires)
 

Kent D. Wolf • Literary Agent • Global Literary Management

With fifteen years of publishing experience--ranging from editorial to subsidiary rights to agenting—Kent Wolf brings an informed and balanced perspective to the table. He loves a good story, whether it's memoir or fiction, and delight in shepherding a project from proposal to finished book. Recent successes include CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH by Alison Arngrim and OOGY THE DOG ONLY A FAMILY COULD LOVE by Larry Levin, both New York Times Bestsellers. Kent is a full member of the Association of Authors' Representatives.

He will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
International Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Multicultural Fiction
Women's Fiction
NON-FICTION:
Animals
Business
History
How-To
Memoir
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Social Issues
Travel

Children’s Fiction and Non-fiction
Young Adult

Michelle Wolfson • Literary Agent • WOLFSON Literary AGENCY

Michelle Wolfson is a literary agent and founded Wolfson Literary Agency, LLC in December 2007. She is actively seeking authors of commercial fiction and nonfiction, particularly in the following areas. In fiction: young adult, mainstream, mysteries, thrillers, suspense, Bromance. She is drawn to projects with a standout voice and strong interesting characters. Michelle holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from New York University. Before founding her own agency, she spent four years at other literary agencies and several years working outside of publishing, first in nonprofit and then in finance, and she brings the skills she learned in these areas, plus a lifetime love of reading, to the table as an agent.

Recently and soon to be published books include New York Times bestseller Kiersten White’s last in the Paranormalcy trilogy, ENDLESSLY (HarperTeen, Summer 2012) and MIND GAMES (HarperTeen, Winter 2013); New York Times bestseller Mark Divincenzo’s sequel to BUY KETCHUP IN MAY AND FLY AT NOON: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go There by Mark Di Vincenzo (Harper Perennial, Fall 2012); IN A FIX by Linda Grimes (Tor, Summer 2012) TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini (Simon Pulse, Fall 2012); PIVOT POINT by Kasie West (HarperTeen, Winter 2013); WHEN YOU WERE HERE by Daisy Whitney (Little, Brown, Winter 2013); MAKING WAVES author Tawna Fenske’s BELIEVE IT OR NOT and MAD CRUSH (Sourcebooks, March and September 2012) and GETTING DUMPED (Coliloquy); BLIND SPOTS: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success by Alexandra Levit (Berkley, Fall 2011);

For the latest agency news as well as submission guidelines, please visit the company website at www.wolfsonliterary.com
She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:

FICTION:
Fantasy
Humorous Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Mysteries
Paranormal Fiction
Romance - Full Length Contemporary
Romance - Full Length Historical
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Suspense
Suspense and Thrillers
Urban Fantasy
NON-FICTION:
Health
How-To
Humor
Memoirs
Narrative Nonfiction
Parenting
Popular Culture
Popular Science
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Psychology
Relationships
Self-Help
CHILDREN'S FICTION & NON-FICTION
Young Adult

Maya Ziv • Associate Editor • HarperCollins

Maya Ziv came to Harper in 2008 from Brandt & Hochman Literary Agency, and works on a range of fiction and nonfiction. She is looking for literary fiction with commercial appeal with a focus on women’s fiction; dark suspense (with a possible speculative twist); YA crossover; and narrative nonfiction, including memoir. Recent and upcoming titles include An Educated Woman by Elizabeth Percer, Louise Doughty’s Whatever You Love (Shortlisted for the Costa Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize), and Everything We Ever Wanted, the adult novel from Sara Shepard, bestselling YA author of the Pretty Little Liar series and The Lying Game.

She will conduct advanced reading and consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Area of Interest:
FICTION:
Family Stories
Horror Novels
Humorous Fiction
Literary Fiction
Mainstream Fiction
Paranormal Fiction
Romantic Comedy
Short Stories
Suspense and Thrillers
Women's Fiction


NONFICTION:
Historical Nonfiction
Humor
Memoirs
Narrative Nonfiction

 

SCREENWRITERS

 

PETER DESBERG & Jeffrey Davis • • • • • ScreenwriterS

 
One out of every 150 people in America bought a copy of a joke book that Peter Desberg has written. Unfortunately, Scholastic sold the most popular one for $1 each, so he still has to work. Counting his five joke books, he has had twenty books published. In addition to this lucrative writing career, he is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the area of stage fright. He has worked with many top stand-up comedians, who are regularly confronted with massive cases of flop sweat. He also has been moonlighting as a full professor at California State University Dominguez Hills for over thirty years.

He has done extensive research on the psychology of humor and is a frequent consultant to business presenters on how to use humor persuasively. No stranger to media, for ten years he hosted his own cable TV show on technology. In the areas of humor and stage fright, he has done many radio and television interviews and is frequently quoted in national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, the Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, and Cosmopolitan. He has to be a humor expert because he has a daughter who is about to turn twenty-one.

Jeffrey Davis's earliest memories are of sitting around the writers' table at Nate & Al's Delicatessen, where his father and his comedy writer cronies gathered over corn beef and Doctor Brown's Cream Soda, told war stories, and tried to fix third acts. He began his own career writing jokes for Thicke of the Night. Among his situation comedy credits are Love Boat, House Calls with Lynn Redgrave, Give Me a Break, Diff'rent Strokes, and Night Court. He has also written for such shows as America's Funniest People, America's Funniest Home Videos, and Small Wonder, and has had film projects developed by Bette Midler's All Girl Productions, among others.

He has written documentaries for A&E, Discovery, and the National Geographic Channel, and written a variety of corporate and informational videos. His plays have been produced in New York and Los Angeles. His most recently published play is Speed Dating 101. He is the Screenwriting Department Chair and associate professor of film and TV writing at Loyola Marymount University. His one night of stand-up at the Comedy Store convinced him that he should stay permanently seated at his desk.


Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis will conduct consultation appointments


TOPICS:

Topic #1:
I Wrote, I Worried, I Pitched: (Pitching Comedy Scripts) 
Writers will learn tactics to hone their pitch and perform it fearlessly by learning to manage their stage fright. The presenters include insights from their book, “Show Me The Funny” interviews with Hollywood's greatest comedy writers…creators of iconic sitcoms and movies from Gilligan’s Island to There’s Something About Mary. This presentation helps comedy writers better pitch their material by overcoming pitch panic.
 
Topic #2:
Comedy writing techniques
Comedy writers need three skills to ply their craft: creating jokes, integrating them into stories and scripts and coping with frustration. This presentation will deal with two of these skill sets.
Joke Creation – We will present a model for creating jokes that progress from identifying a topic all the way to writing punches. The model places a great deal of attention to creating setups…the most difficult part of joke creation. Throughout the history of comedy, straight men have always received higher pay than their funny men. There’s a reason for this. We will present many examples and encourage the audience to participate at each stage so that their learning will be experiential.
Creating Comedy Scripts – This section of the presentation will not deal with Three Act structure and the basics of screenwriting. We will focus on tips and techniques that are specific to writing comedy scripts. After they have learned to create jokes, we will point out how often jokes can get in the way of a good script and are often disposable.
Topic #3:
SHOW ME THE FUNNY: CREATING COMEDY IN REAL-TIME
When traditional interviewers ask artists how they create they are actually asking; “How did you create?”  In our research for the book, Show Me The Funny, A Seat At The Writers’ Table with Hollywood’s Top Comedy Writers, we asked our subjects, 28 celebrated professionals, to take the same loose premise and develop it any way they wanted; with no rules, no boundaries and no limits. Which is just as well, they’re writers not accountants. They wouldn’t have followed our rules anyway.
This presentation will focus on the results we obtained centering on how comedy writers work at developing characters, conflict and story within the arc of an interview. By giving all the writers the same starting point we are able to identify some commonalities, but the real payoff is that we see unique solutions to the same problem from writers from the golden age of TV to Everybody Loves Raymond to There’s Something About Mary. And it all happens in real-time.  For example: taking a standard sitcom idea and darkening it and describing hostile vs. loving conflict. During the presentation we will show many examples of the varying devices they use to develop story.
We will also present Hollywood stories and tricks of the trade, which came out of these sessions that we believe, are a result of the process-based interview.
 

 

 

WRITING EXPERTS INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

Q. Lindsey Barrett

Q. Lindsey Barrett is graduate of the two-year Fiction Writing Program at the University of Washington, and received her MFA from Vermont College.
She teaches writing workshops, served as three-time short fiction contest judge then chair of the Novel category of Pacific Northwest Writers Conference's writing contest, is a reader for the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize and the Katherine Patterson Prize for YA & Children’s Writing, and is a submission reader for the literary journal Hunger Mountain.

She reviews books for Los Angeles Review and for BookPage. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in regional and national journals and magazines including Drunken Boat, Spindrift Art & Literary Journal, Author, and Cosmopolitan magazine. An excerpt of her novel-in-progress A Cooler Than Hot Place was selected for publication in New Voices.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

1. WRITING SEX, HOW EMBARRASSING!

You’re not a prude, so why is crafting a sex scene without the titillation of juvenilia, yet less explicit than erotica so difficult? Learn how to walk the tightrope of the seemingly-requisite sex scene without falling into the pit of pornography, finding your balance between the sterility of a clinician, and the flowery description of a romance novel.

2. SO YOU HAVE A DRAFT, NOW WHAT?

A haphazard approach to revising your manuscript is more madness than method. In this class, you will learn a structured system of revision to take your work, whether short story, memoir or novel, from that first draft to the final polish, ready to find its home in the world. You'll also learn a strategy for making progress on your next book, while finishing your current manuscript.

3. WRITING FOR THE (White-Hot) TEEN MARKET

More publishers than ever are adding the YA category to their list and agents are actively seeking books written for teens that steer clear of the saturated vampire sector. That is because sales are increasing each year in the white-hot YA category at a time when overall book sales are down. Learn how to craft a compelling read for today's teens, what you need to know about pacing and plotting, and what distinguishes YA from children and adult titles. You can succeed in this thriving category!

4. NO-SAG STRUCTURE

Learn how to build your novel or memoir on the five-scene scaffold to avoid the dreaded sagging middle and ensure an emotionally resonant conclusion. We’ll also discover how using the three-act structure of screenwriting to create your memoir or novel's plot keeps the reader enthralled.

5. LAYERED, NUANCED, ORIGINAL: CRAFTING CHARACTERS

Do you long to create characters who stay with your readers after they’ve finished your book? What makes for memorable characters? Learn techniques to create well-rounded, fully drawn characters, whether fictional or real life people, who will make readers care, then keep readers thinking and talking about them.

6.CREATING A WRITING LIFE

You get your book out there in the world, royalties gradually build to a decent revenue stream, the publisher gives you an advance to live on while you write your next book, and voilà: an author is born. Oh that is so 20th century. In an evolving publishing landscape, successful writers are cobbling together careers with bits of virtual twine and digital duct tape. Create a new kind of writing life by emulating the new-millennium masters.

7. AN INTERACTIVE LOOK AT CRAFTING MEMORABLE AND EFFECTIVE STORY OPENINGS

– We’re all aware of the importance of hooking the reader quickly—in this workshop, an award-winning writer, contest judge and literary journal submission reader will offer feedback on your first lines, while giving tips for all writers on how to seduce your reader with a dynamic first line, first paragraph, first page. If you wish to bring your opening paragraph to share – no more than half a double-spaced page – we’ll weave feedback on as many as time allows into the discussion.

MARK COKER • CEO • SMASHWORDS.COM

KEYNOTE: The New World of Publishing

This talk will examine the 5 big trends affecting the future of publishing, and reveals why there has never been a better time to be an author.

Mark Coker founded Smashwords in 2008 to change the way books are published, marketed and sold.
swlogo
Mark is co-author along with his wife, Lesleyann, of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the behind-the-scenes world of daytime television soap operas. It was Mark's experience trying to get Boob Tube published that inspired him to start Smashwords. He believes Smashwords holds the promise to make publishing more enriching for authors, readers and publishers.
In the three years since its launch, Smashwords has grown to become the leading ebook distributor serving indie authors, small presses and literary agents.  Over 30,000 authors from around the world have published more than 80,000 books at Smashwords.
In June, 2010, The Wall Street Journal named Mark one of the "Eight Stars of Self-Publishing."
With Mark's previous startup, BestCalls.com, which he launched in 1999, he helped level the playing field for small stock market investors, who at the time were denied access to the earnings conference calls of publicly traded companies. His work with BestCalls, as a champion for fair disclosure, was a catalyst for the SEC’s ground breaking Regulation FD. BestCalls was acquired in 2002 by Shareholder.com and was owned and operated by the Nasdaq Stock Exchange up until 2010.
In addition to Mark's work with Smashwords, since 1993 he has owned Dovetail Public Relations, an award-winning Silicon Valley PR firm that specializes in representing technology startups.
Mark is a long time angel investor and advisor to technology and media startups. He currently serves on the advisory board of GetQuik, a provider of restaurant order automation technology and services.  Mark previously served on the advisory board for Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of open source textbooks.
Mark is a contributing columnist for the Huffington Post, where he writes about ebooks and the future of publishing. You can find his previous columns here.
Mark is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, where he received his B.S. in marketing.
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/markcoker
Blog:  http://blog.smashwords.com
FAQ: https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq
He will conduct consultation appointments
Areas of interest
Self-publishing
Writing & publishing
Keynote: The New World of Publishing
This talk will examine the 5 big trends affecting the future of publishing, and reveals why there has never been a better time to be an author.
Workshop #1: Introduction to Indie Ebook Publishing
This session provides an information-packed primer on how to produce, price, publish, distribute and sell an ebook.
Workshop #2: The Secrets of Successful Ebook Publishing
This session examines the best practices of the most commercially successful ebook authors. What does it take (beyond luck) to hit the bestseller lists?
Workshop #3: Live Demo - How to Publish an Ebook at Smashwords
This session provides a live demonstration of how to format an ebook for Smashwords, and then how to upload and manage it. Smashwords is the world's largest ebook publishing and distribution platform for indie authors. Over 33,000 authors around the world collectively publish and distribute over 90,000 ebooks through Smashwords.

Scott Farrell • Director • Chivalry Today Educational Program

Scott is a contributing author to the books Living A Life Of Value (2006: Values of the Wise Press) , and Martial Arts And Philosophy (2010: Open Court Press). His short story "A Midsummer Night's Steam" is included in the forthcoming anthology Steampunk Shakespeare, which will be released by Flying Pen Press in summer of 2012. Scott is the author of two self-published books, We Are Not Amused, Sir Guillaume! (2001) and Here Comes The Reign, Sir Guillaume! (2003, iUniverse), both of which are collections of his own award-winning humorous essays on his 25 years as a historical re-enactor.

Scott is also the author of a YA fantasy series, The Chronicles Of Silence (www.ChroniclesOfSilence.com), based on a historical legend of a girl who becomes a Knight of the Round Table,

Scott Farrell is the founder and director of the Chivalry Today Educational Program (www.ChivalryToday.com), and gives dozens of presentations every year at schools, libraries and camps dressed in armor, playing the role of King Arthur and introducing young readers to the legends of Knights of the Round Table. On his award-winning Chivalry Today podcast, heard by more than 6,000 listeners worldwide, he explores the history, literature and philosophy of the code of chivalry with a variety of authors, interpreters and educators.

Scott is also a widely published freelance author, focusing primarily on issues chivalry, ethics, medieval history and education. His articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, including Men Today, Renaissance Magazine, Medieval History, Military History Quarterly, Word San Diego, San Diego Family, Bellabama, The Informant and Police. Before shifting careers to become an author and independent educator in 2001, Scott spent 15 years as a professional journalist and magazine editor, working as editor of four nationally distributed trade and consumer titles, including Successful Opportunities (National Publications) and Guns Magazine (Firearms Marketing Group).

He will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

Your Website Is Out Of Date:
Creative On-Line & Social Media Promotional Strategies For Writers

Press kits and book-signing appearances were (not so long ago) about the only promotional options available to an author. Today, authors have blogs, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, Twitter, and a growing number of other tools to publicize their books, find their audience, and build their platform. These high-tech media can be powerful allies - if you are prepared to use them effectively. Just having a website to promote your book isn't enough any more!

In this presentation, self-published author, journalist, and editor Scott Farrell will detail methods and strategies for using current and emerging social, on-line media for promoting your book, building an audience of readers, networking with authors and agents, and building and establishing your expertise as an author in just about any field or subject (fiction or non-fiction). Attendees will review practical examples of promotional strategies from other successful authors, as well as Scott's own experiences.

Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani • Author

 
Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani is the author of four books: The Comiserator is in Persian, Sky of Red Poppies is her first English novel, The Moon Daughter will be released in 2012 and her satirical memoir, Drill, Fill & Bill, awaits its turn and the right time! She is currently working on another novel titled The Basement.

Following decades of life in Chicago, where she taught at Northwestern University while practicing pediatric dentistry, Zoe moved to California in 2000 to be a full-time writer. She lives in San Diego with her husband and close to their three children. Her work has won several awards, including first place in California Stories 2005, San Diego Book Awards 2004. Her articles have appeared in multiple magazines. Sky of Red Poppies won second place at this year’s San Diego Book Awards and is now a One Book, One San Diego for 2012.

Zohreh serves on the board of San Diego Writers, Ink and is an active member of the Iranian-American Writer’s Association.

A lifelong poet/writer, Zoe also enjoys painting. The cover art of Sky of Red Poppies is a sample of her work and it came second in Benjamin Franklin Awards for book cover/fiction.
She will conduct consultation appointments
TOPIC
The Little Book That Could
A frequent participant in the SDSU Writer's Conference, Zoe Ghahremani knows the hopes, dreams and struggles of a new writer.  Her novel Sky of Red Poppies – once pitched in these halls – is now selected for 2012 One Book, One San Diego.  She is proof that, with conviction and perseverance, the distance between you and success may be as short as the space between your seat and the podium

JACK GRAPES • AUTHOR


KEYNOTE
THE ACCIDENTS OF GENIUS

Jack Grapes is an award-winning poet, actor, playwright, teacher, editor and publisher. He's received several Fellowships in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his play, CIRCLE OF WILL, ran for several years in Los Angeles, winning theatre-critics' awards for Best Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor. The play was revived last summer and garnered rave reviews again, with critics calling it "the cleverest original work seen in years" and "an intelligent piece of theatre which peers into the very foundations of drama itself." For the last 20 years, Jack has edited and published ONTHEBUS, a nationally acclaimed literary journal that the Los Angeles Times said was "destined to be a major aftershock in American literary history." Jack is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, and his most recent book, A TIME TO SING, A TIME TO DANCE, was praised by numerous critics, including Sally Kalson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who wrote: "Grapes has been called an everyman of poetry because his work cuts to the bone of basic human truth without the pretense that characterizes much of what passes for contemporary poetry. Gentle and merciless, funny and brutal, Jack is a twentieth century Diogenes, searching for the honest man within himself." His book, METHOD WRITING, based on the concepts he's developed in his writing classes over the last 35 years, is due for publication this year. Jack is also working on several non-fiction books, all due for publication this coming year: HOW TO READ LIKE A WRITER, THE TENDER AGONIES OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI, and ETHERIZED UPON A TABLE, a history of modern poetry from Homer to the present. Jack lives in Los Angleles with his wife Lori, and his son Joshua.
He will conduct consultation appointments
AREAS OF INTEREST:

POETRY
WRITING & PUBLISHING
OTHER TOPICS:
Finding the Deep Voice via The Transformation Line gives the writer a basic technique that can be used in a multiplicity of ways to bring depth and authenticity to your writing. Learning to "massage" your transformation lines is a powerful approach to finding your deep voice, and it is the deep voice, not clever writing, that separates your work from all the others and makes it distinct.

The Secrets of Image/Moment: Writers tend to focus on their "story," but great writers use this basic concept to bring their writing to life and create indelible scenes. Once you learn how to manipulate your "image/moments," you will write like a master and swim like a bird.

The Dreaded Association Exercise: Banned by the Geneva Convention as an extreme method of torture, the Dreaded Association Exercise will activate your writing with subjective effects that only the greatest writers know how to use. Not for the squeamish or faint at heart.

My Story Is Boring: If that is true--and it is for everyone, since story by its very nature is boring--what can you do to rescue your story and make it spring off the page into the reader's mind and heart. Exercise and carrots is one answer. The other answer is to use the basic secrets of Method Writing. This and a snake-bite kit is all you need to venture forth into the wilderness of the creative process.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JACK'S OTHER TOPICS, CLICK HERE
An intro to Jack Grapes vimeo.com/7777167
 

ANGELA HUNT

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 120 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

With the recent completion of her doctorate in theology, Angela admits to being fascinated by animals, medicine, unexplained phenomena, and “just about everything.” Books, she says, have always shaped her life.

Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. Readers may visit her web site at www.angelahuntbooks.com and write her at Angie@angelaelwellhunt.com.

She will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

1. X-Ray Your Plot . . . make sure the structure is sound. Using a highly visual method, Angela Hunt provides a simple way to figure out where the "bones" of your story are supposed to go. Learn how to dissect and assemble a novel's plot structure in a few easy steps.

2. Evoking Emotion The most memorable novels move us emotionally, and in this seminar we learn how to use devices that tug at the heartstrings. How to use devices found in other media to improve emotional responses to your own writing.

3. In the Beginning . . . . . . you establish a contract with your reader as to genre, point of view, tense, voice, and skill level. Consider your epigraph, your first line, your first scene. Is your beginning as strong as it could (and should) be? Angela Hunt analyzes the all-important beginning of your book.

4. Shortcuts to Deep Characterization How to use a popular personality inventory to flesh out your characters in minutes. Have you taken the Myers-Briggs Personality tests? Learn how this popular inventory can give you a head start in character creation.

5. Keys to Longevity in the publishing business. After writing for 30 years and traditionally publishing 121 books, Angela Hunt gives ideas as to how to survive as a long-term writer.

6. The Novel: Truth as Metaphor What is a novel? If it's not true, why do we work so hard to create it? Exploring the truth all novels contain, and what those truths say about the author.

7. When OCD is a gift: Practical pointers to Sharpen up your Manuscript through Rigorous Self-Editing Learn how to manage your time more effectively, eliminate your "weasel words," and sharpen your memory in order to make the most of your twenty-four hour days.

8. You Have All You Need Thinking about writing as a career but feeling ill-equipped? You have more tools at your disposal than you realize. Angela Hunt reminds us that life experience has already given us lots to discuss and share with readers--we only have to find a new appreciation for it.

M. Louisa Locke

M. Louisa Locke received her PhD in History from U.C.S.D in 1982, writing a dissertation on women who worked in the cities of the far west in the late 19th century. Locke has recently retired from over twenty years as a professor of U.S. history and women’s history for San Diego Mesa College and has embarked on a second career as an author of historical fiction. After thorough research into the new opportunities offered by ebooks and self-publishing, Locke decided to independently publish. Her first two books in a planned series of historical mysteries set in Victorian San Francisco, Maids of Misfortune and the sequel, Uneasy Spirits, are best-sellers in the historical mystery category on Kindle. Locke blogs frequently on self-publishing (see her blog) and is a featured contributor to the main site for independent authors, Publetariat. Locke is the vice chair of the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative and a founding member of the Association of Independent Authors. Locke is working on several short stories and the third book in her series, tentatively entitled, Bloody Lessons.

She will conduct consultation appointments
TOPICS:

Session One: Self-Publishing - A New Gateway to being a Successful Author In the past two years the publishing industry has undergone a radical transformation, and this session will detail the ways in which technological innovations in ereaders, ebooks, eretailers, and print on demand have opened up new opportunities for authors to become successful through self-publishing. Locke will describe how self-published authors have been able to use their sales to get traditional publishing contracts, supplement their traditional publishing income, and make a living as completely independent self-published authors.
Session Two: Self Publishing – Eight Tips on selling Ebooks on Amazon
This session will discuss what steps an author can take to ensure that his or her work maximizes the opportunities available for selling ebooks on Amazon, from making sure the cover shows up well on-line and the work is priced competitively to using the browsing categories in Amazon to effectively connect with potential readers. This session will be of use to any author, agent, or editor who wants to make sure the books they promote sell well on Amazon.com.

Bob Mayer

NY Times bestselling author Bob Mayer has over 50 books published. He has sold over four million books and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way concept which he translates into Write It Forward: a holistic program teaching writers how to be authors. He is also the Co-Creator of Who Dares Wins Publishing, which does both eBooks and Print On Demand, so he has experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing.

Born in the Bronx, Bob attended West Point and earned a BA in psychology with honors and then served as an Infantry platoon leader, a battalion scout platoon leader, and a brigade recon platoon leader in the 1st Cavalry Division. He joined Special Forces and commanded a Green Beret A Team. He served as the operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and with Special Operations Command (Special Projects) in Hawaii. Later he taught at the Special Forces Qualification Course at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, the course which trains new Green Berets. He lived in Korea where he earned a Black Belt in Martial Arts. He’s earned a Masters Degree in Education.

Bob draws on all of these experiences to write his novels and his nonfiction books, including WHO DARES WINS: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear & Succeed; The Novel Writer’s Toolkit: A Guide To Writing Great Fiction; and Write It Forward: From Writer to Successful Author. His novels include the bestselling Area 51 books and collaborations with Jennifer Crusie. His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists. His last release, The Jefferson Allegiance, was released independently and reached #2 overall in sales on Nook.

Bob has presented for over 1,000 organizations both in the United States and internationally, including keynote presentations, all day workshops, and multi-day seminars. He has taught organizations ranging from Maui, to Whidbey Island, to San Diego State University, to the University of Georgia, to the Romance Writers of America National Convention, to Boston SWAT, the CIA, Fortune-500, Microsoft, the Royal Danish Navy Frogman Corps, Microsoft, Rotary, IT Teams in Silicon Valley and many others. He has also served as a Visiting Writer for NILA MFA program in Creative Writing. He has done interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, PBS, NPR, the Discovery Channel, the SyFy channel and local cable shows. For more information see www.bobmayer.org.
He will conduct consultation appointments
TOPICS:
1. Introduction to Write It Forward: From Writer To Successful Author: For both fiction and non-fiction authors, a over-view workshop that focuses on educating writers how to be authors. Write It Forward is a holistic approach encompassing goals, intent, environment, personality, change, courage, communication and leadership that gives the writer a road map to become a successful author. Many writers become focused on either the writing or the business end; Write It Forward integrates the two, especially in the rapidly changing world of digital publishing.

2. Platform, Product & Promotion: Understand Your Unique Position as an Author: A writer can easily be overwhelmed by all the well-meaning advice given by experts, industry professionals and even other authors. The reason for this is that every single writer is in a different place and has to figure out their own position and point of view with which to boil down all the information into intelligence (useable information). If you consider these three variables, with a sliding scale from ‘none’ to ‘the best’, you end up with an infinite variety of authors. This will help you make decisions such as should you traditional publish or self-publish, what areas you should focus your creative and marketing efforts on and much more.

3. E-pub, POD and the Future of Publishing for the Writer. Publishing is changing exponentially, not linearly and today's writer must be aware of these changes in order to succeed. This workshop is designed to help authors navigate through the latest information on various forms of publishing options. Traditional, ePublishing, Print on Demand, self-pub, vanity, and more. We will cover the advantages and disadvantages all these venues to help you, the writer, decide what's the best choice for you and your work. This is not a nuts and bolts tech class, but a strategic concept of the future of publishing and what it means to writers. We will discuss numbers, royalties, formats, and lessons learned in all areas.

4. Self-Publishing--What really are your options? Published author considering publishing your backlist? Unpublished author considering self-publishing? This workshop will look closely at self-publishing distribution channels from what kind of file you will need to upload your eBook to various options you have in creating the files. We will also discuss all the various platforms such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Smashwords and what are the best strategies to getting your book up for sale. We will discuss doing it yourself, outsourcing and team-building options. Authors have more options today than ever before, but the process can be overwhelming. While this is not a step-by-step technical class, the workshop is designed to give you enough information to make informed decisions on how to get your eBook on all formats possible.

5. Beyond the eBook uploaded—how do you sell it? It’s easier than ever to ‘publish’ a book and there are many out there who will take your money to do it for you. Also, there are many out there offering boilerplate ‘marketing’ plan for your book. But what is the reality? How did we go from selling 347 eBooks in January 2011 to selling over 100,000 in July of the same year? What techniques and tricks of the trade did we learn through experience? This workshop will help you develop marketing strategies for yourself as an author and for your books. We will look at various social media outlets, Google and Facebook ads, and other ways you can help widen your reach as an author.

6. Informal discussion session on traditional publishing, e-publishing, self-publishing and the future of publishers, authors, bookstores, on-line retailers and the format of the book itself.

 

Scott McGaugh

Scott McGaugh is the marketing director of the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego, the most-visited floating ship museum in the world. After attending the SDSU Writers Conference in 2002, he has since published six nonfiction books, including two in 2011: USS Midway: America’s Shield and Battlefield Angels, Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan. Television appearances include the History Channel, Travel Channel and Discovery Channel, among others. Prior to becoming marketing director, he was a co-owner of two of San Diego’s largest marketing communications agencies and is a former community newspaper publisher. His writing has appeared in more than 125 publications and he has more than 25 years’ marketing experience. (www.scottmcgaugh.com)

He will conduct consultation appointments

TOPICS:

From Proposal to Publication: Lessons Learned in Effective Research and Writing
Scott McGaugh, the author of six nonfiction books, will share tips and techniques on how he organizes his research, assembles wide-ranging research notes, and how those notes efficiently evolve into a polished manuscript. This presentation will focus on the “heavy lifting” of nonfiction writing: the research and writing essential to the publisher’s acceptance and to the success of the book.

Life After the Publication Date: Marketing As a Part of Your Book’s Research
If you start promoting when your book is published, you’re late! Scott McGaugh, the author of six nonfiction books, begins his marketing plan the day he initiates each book’s research, sometimes up to three years prior to publication. With 25 years’ marketing experience he will share how he builds an effective marketing plan from the potential readers’ perspective.

 

Louella Nelson

A former president of Orange County, CA, RWA and coordinator of a past RWA national conference, Louella Nelson is the author of five romance novels, short stories, a novella, as well as award-winning trade magazine editorial features, articles, and technical reports. She has conducted successful author promotion and has been a guest on radio and television talk shows; she has ledwriting retreats and has taught writing courses at the University of California, Irvine Extension (current), Orange Coast College (current), California State University, Fullerton Extension, and Learning Tree University. Many of her students are agented, published, and award-winners. Lou received the 2010 UC Irvine Extension Distinguished Instructor Award. She is at work on a textbook for writers.
She will conduct consultation appointments
TOPICS:
Sizzling Scenes: Setting, Scene Goal, and Sensory Details
Your scenes will sizzle after this hands-on workshop with author and writing instructor Louella Nelson, whose novels have been credited with realistic and richly detailed scenes. Filled with tips and strategies for designing scenes with all the elements the pros use, the seminar focuses on creating scenes with rich settings, drama based on character desire, momentum through character motivation, period or era clues, and effective use of emotion. In addition to viewing and deconstructing the opening of a contemporary film, participants use a fill-in chart to construct a scene for their novel. The detailed organizer covers author scene goal, character scene goal, what stands in the way, who’s on stage, a sensory table, the weather, and much more. An extensive definitions list and how to use the chart most effectively help you control what is most important in scene planning
Fast-Track Plotting: Your Book Plotted in One Hour
New and seasoned writers will come away from this hands-on experience with a dramatic plot for a current or future project
The mysterious, magical world of plotting a novel, short story, or nonfiction book opens to you through this hands-on workshop experience. Bring your story idea to the meeting, and author and writing instructor Louella Nelson will guide you as you develop, step-by-step, the major turning points of your new or current novel project .
Drama breathes life into your story as you decide on the tension-filled opening hook; the conflict-deepening scenes of Inciting Incident, pinches, and disaster; the high-stakes decisions that thrill readers; the darkness-into-light arcing of character in the Crisis; the physical and emotional battles that force characters to dig deep for courage; and the critical pay-off scene that satisfies even the most well-read reader.
Genius Plotting Part One - PLOTTING A BOOK IN UNDER ONE HOUR
Grab a cup of java and bring your pencil. Author and writing instructor Louella Nelson will walk you through all key aspects of plot and character arc and show you how to blend both stories. You’ll learn how to find your character’s wound and identify the crazy thinking that keeps them from attaining their story goals, and when you’ve taken away everything of meaning and they have nowhere else to turn, you’ll know exactly how to complete the internal arc of change. A dynamic external story means mastering set-ups and payoffs, pushing out of reach attainment of character goals, writing dramatic turning points that ratchet up tension, giving the central character the courage to confront the opposing force and win the love interest, and giving the reader a satisfying ending. As the workshop progresses, you’ll fill out a form that dovetails all elements of the external and internal story—a plot-on-a-page you can follow to write the book. The handouts are explicit and detailed, so all you have to worry about is jotting down the key elements of your story as Louella guides you step by step.
With your newfound plotting genius, you can make readers stay up all night with your forthcoming book and be late for work the next morning. That’s the job of any good novelist, right?
Genius Plotting Part Two - DOVETAILING PLOT & CHARACTER ARC IN UNDER ONE HOUR
Grab a cup of java and bring your pencil. Author and writing instructor Louella Nelson will walk you through all key aspects of plot and character arc and show you how to blend both stories. You’ll learn how to find your character’s wound and identify the crazy thinking that keeps them from attaining their story goals, and when you’ve taken away everything of meaning and they have nowhere else to turn, you’ll know exactly how to complete the internal arc of change. A dynamic external story means mastering set-ups and payoffs, pushing out of reach attainment of character goals, writing dramatic turning points that ratchet up tension, giving the central character the courage to confront the opposing force and win the love interest, and giving the reader a satisfying ending. As the workshop progresses, you’ll fill out a form that dovetails all elements of the external and internal story—a plot-on-a-page you can follow to write the book. The handouts are explicit and detailed, so all you have to worry about is jotting down the key elements of your story as Louella guides you step by step.
With your newfound plotting genius, you can make readers stay up all night with your forthcoming book and be late for work the next morning. That’s the job of any good novelist, right?
 

Yvonne Nelson Perry • EDITOR / AUTHOR•

Hawaiian-born and raised, Perry is the author of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND, a collection of short stories set in a timeless Hawai’i. Kirkus Reviews called it “a meeting of Jorge Luis Borges and Joseph Campbell”; the book sold-out after being promoted on radio and television throughout the Islands. Second collection due in 2012. Over fifty pieces of her work have appeared in various literary journals, magazines and anthologies. One story used as a teaching tool in San Diego City schools, another published in Illinois’ new English literature schoolbooks. For nine years, Perry participated in Long Beach’s Author Festival, a program that put a living author in each of their ninety-four schools; California Arts Council sent her into San Diego schools to introduce the craft of fiction writing. Member of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, Perry received their coveted Odin Award for her many outstanding contributions to writers in San Diego County. An ongoing judge of unpublished novels in San Diego Book Awards’ annual competition, Perry founded the Almost Free Writers Conference in Balboa Park for SDBA. A craft of writing instructor in the western states and Hawai`i and a fiction workshop leader at the world-class Santa Barbara Writers Conference for sixteen years, Perry is a working editor and writer.

TOPICS:
1. ESTABLISH A PATTERN, THEN TWIST IT
Have you established parallel construction? Read aloud a limited number of double-spaced pages in this session. Where can you twist it?
2. POWER WRITING: WRITE TO A STATEMENT
In this session, read aloud your pitch. Does it need a kick-start?
3. GET THE NAME OF THE DOG
Specific details appeal to the senses. Read aloud limited number of double-spaced pages in this session. Do you need more details?
4. FICTION IS WRITTEN IN SCENES
The scene is the basic unit of narrative fiction. It can be witnessed, invented or remembered. Are you empowering your writing scene by scene? Read aloud a limited number of double-spaced pages. Have you written your work in scenes?
5. CUT BIG, THEN SMALL
Brevity comes from selection, not compression. Read aloud a limited number of double-spaced pages. Used a penknife when you should have used a machete?
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO CLIMB THE LADDER OF ABSTRACTIONS
Learn when to show, when to tell and when to do both. The ladder of abstractions, one of the most useful tools a writer can use, has been adopted and adapted hundreds of ways to express meaning. Read aloud a limited number of double-spaced pages to see how sure-footed you are on your ladder.
7. BE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE
Read aloud a limited number of double-spaced pages of your work. Receive tips on when and how your character’s behavior should or shouldn’t be passive-aggressive.
8. FORESHADOW __________AND __________.(Filled in during session)
Know when and where to plant clues. Read aloud limited number of double-spaced pages. Learn steps good writers follow to compose any piece of writing.
9. CHOOSE NUMBER OF ELEMENTS WISELY
Use language of one, two, three or four. During this session, read aloud limited number of double-spaced pages. Have you chosen number of elements with a purpose in mind?
10. OWN THE TOOLS OF YOUR CRAFT
A writers’ conference is the time to learn more about the craft of creative writing. Read a limited number of double-spaced pages of your work and receive a critique from your peers. Listen closely to their comments, both platitudes and praises. We’ll share mantras before we depart. Mine is: Be a storyteller -- hook with curiosity, hold with suspense.

 

 

SUCCESS STORIES

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Natalie Fischer & Monique Domovitch

Agent Natalie Fischer would like to announce that she met Monique Domovitch (w/a Carol Ann Martin) at the 2010 conference during a pitch session. She read a Moniques' writing sample and found her voice to be so incredibly captivating that she requested to see the full manuscript. A few months later, Natalie signed Monique, and, a year after that, sold Monique's debut mystery series to Penguin/NAL! The story involves a burnt-out exec who opens a small-town weaving shop and turns amateur sleuth after finding killer clues in the patterns.

aMY ROBBINS & BETH BRUSt AND amy ogle

At the conference in 2008, I met Beth Brust who was writing a book with Dr. Cynthia Norall an expert treating children with  Asperger's Syndrome. Quirky, Yes Hopeless, No Practical Tips  to Help Your Child with Asperger's Syndrome Be More Socially Accepted was sold to St. Martin's and published in 2009.  The editor who acquired was Alyse Diamond who also at the 2008 conference.
At an earlier conference, I met Amy Ogle, a registered dietitian conducting preconception workshops and Dr. Lisa Mazzullo, an OB GYN.  They were writing a book for prospective parents to conceive the healthiest baby possible.  I sold it Ballantine.  It's in its second revision and has become classic with over 60,000 copies in print.
The Angela Rinaldi Literary Agency

KELLY SONNACK & HEATHER LEIGH

I met Heather Leigh at the San Diego Writers Conference. She had a one-on-one critique with me, where she presented her picture book manuscript, HEY, LITTLE BABY and asked for specific feedback. It was clear from our first meeting that she was dedicated to revising it to make it as strong as possible. When she submitted her revision to me after the conference was over, she’d followed a lot of my suggestions and I took her on as a client. We later sold it to Simon and Schuster’s Beach Lane imprint, and the book will come out in 2012. - Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Kelly Sonnack
Andrea Brown Literary Agency

JILL MARSAL & JULIE BAWDEN-DAVIS

I met Julie Bawden-Davis at the San Diego Writers’ conference, and we discussed her project Fairy Gardening.  She shared her proposal with me, and I gave her feedback and following the conference signed her for representation.  After a few back and forth revisions, the project was ready to market.  We sold her book Fairy Gardening to Skyhorse, and it will be published in 2012.  Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Fairy Gardening by Julie Bawden-Davis and Beverly Turner reveals the secrets to designing, planting, accessorizing and caring for your own small corner of the world.  By following seven simple steps, you will learn to think like a designer and create a tiny, enchanting landscape that will last for many years and inspire child-like wonder in everyone you share it with!  Whether you’re new to fairy gardening or have held a longstanding fascination with the hobby, this book contains a wealth of ideas to stir up Lilliputian flights of fancy.

Jill Marsal - Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Kat Brzozowski & Karen Keskinen

I met Karen Keskinen at the 2011 San Diego Writers’ Conference (the first one I attended!) where she pitched me an edgy mystery set in Santa Barbara, California. It sounded great, and I asked Karen to send me the first three chapters, which I received a month later. When I had a chance to read the full manuscript, I knew that there was something truly special there. I recently acquired her first book, BLOOD ORANGE, as well as the second book in the series, for publication by Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books. I’m so happy I met Karen at the conference, and I’m thrilled to be working with her.

Scott McGaugh • Marketing Director • USS Midway Museum•
"I Have This Idea for a Book..."


In 2002 I decided to attend the San Diego State University Writers' Conference, almost on a whim and inspired by a contemplated book about the historic USS Midway aircraft carrier's unprecedented 47 years of service. No one had written such a book and I was in contact with dozens of Midway's captains, officers, sailors, and archival record keepers as part of a team that was converting the retired carrier into a future museum. Although I had written all my life (public relations, small-town journalism), I knew nothing of the publishing world and was more than a little intimidated after reading several how-to books.
Attending the writer presentations was encouraging. They seemed like normal people, most of them with day jobs! Then I started listening more closely as to how they wrote. Copious notes, plus tapes of their presentations proved invaluable. For weeks thereafter I reviewed all what I had heard as if preparing for a mid-term test. I still have those notes.
But perhaps the best thing I did was prepare long and hard for the brief "speed-dating" sessions that were available with a limited number of literary agents. It was much like writing the first paragraph of the PR stories I had written: grab the reader's (or agent's) attention in less than three sentences...or else. I secured three appointments. Truth is, I bungled the first two by stumbling through my rapid-fire presentation. The third time, the agent seemed distracted but asked for a proposal in the mail. Yikes! I had given almost no thought to the details behind my sexy pitch, but quickly put something together (hoping I could deliver on some of the specifics). Honestly, I trusted my instincts and relied on what I had learned about proposals at the conference. That proved to be the start of my book-writing career.
BJ Robbins sold Midway Magic to CDS Books and it debuted in 2004. (It topped out at 20,000 copies.) That was followed by a self-published book, Midway Memories, which was purely photo/souvenir in nature for the USS Midway Museum's gift shop. As a former weekly newspaper owner, I had a good idea of what it took to produce a publication. (It just reached the 40,000 mark and is going strong.) As friends and colleagues became aware of my book-length writing ability, I was commissioned to write two books: a private biography, Tough as Cypress, and The Life and Times of Owen Wister in Jackson Hole. (Wister inspired America's fascination with the western genre with his novel, The Virginian, more than 100 years ago.)
Then in 2011, a quirk of fate led to two more books being published by different publishers. Agent Scott Mendel sold Battlefield Angels, Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan to Osprey Publishing. Another agent specializing in the young adult market, Neil Salkind, sold USS Midway: America's Shield to Pelican Publishing. In short, the SDSU Writers' Conference became my personal portal to working with three literary agents and publishing six books over the ensuing nine years. Now I'm working on the first biography of Jonathan Letterman, a pioneering Civil War surgeon who became known as "The Father of Battlefield Medicine."
In retrospect, the conference got me started on two parallel paths: how to begin realizing a life's dream of writing a book and, equally important, the realities of finding literary agents, working with them, and understanding what to expect.
Of course, the heavy lifting comes in the day-to-day commitment of researching, questioning, note taking, writing, polishing, and then doing it again and again, from one draft to the next, in the belief it will prove worthy for an agent and publisher. It's a tortuous and immensely rewarding path, one that began at the San Diego State Writers' Conference.

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Updated: JANUARY 2012