Agents & Editors

Here’s the great line-up of Agents and Editors for our conference in June 2019. When you register for the conference, you can choose to meet with any of the Agents and Editors who will be holding one-on-one pitch sessions with conference attendees.

Bess CozbyBESS COZBY is an editor at Tor/Forge books, where she is actively building her list with a focus on historical fiction for adult, young adult and middle grade audiences. On the adult side, Bess is also seeking suspense and women’s fiction with a literary feel. For YA and MG, she also would love to find fun, fast, or nail-biting thrillers and contemporary novels with a high-concept hook. A few things she is particularly interested in: fame and its effects on people, sibling dynamics, American history, and philosophy. An element of romance is always a plus. The intersection of commercial, heart-warming, and surprising is where she is building her list.

Melissa DanaczkoMELISSA DANACZKO is an agent with Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. She recently became a literary agent after more than a decade of publishing experience, most recently as Senior Editor with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

As an editor, Melissa developed books that became New York Times bestsellers (including a #1 Bestselling title), appeared on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and received or were nominated for honors including The National Book Critics Circle Award, The Man Booker Prize, The PEN/Bingham Prize, The Baily’s Women’s Prize, The Giller Prize, The Governor-General’s Literary Award, the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35, The Journey Prize, and The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.

As an agent, Melissa now represents literary and commercial fiction, and gravitates towards plot-driven novels with a fresh perspective, energetic writing and deep sense of place.

Amanda JainAMANDA JAIN is an agent with Bookends Literary. She came by her love of reading honestly, inheriting it from parents who always had books close to hand. She began her career in publishing at W. W. Norton, where she spent seven years before pursuing a master’s degree in history of the decorative arts. She rejoined publishing shortly thereafter at Inklings Literary Agency and is excited every day to encounter new writers and their stories.

Amanda currently reps adult romance, mystery, women’s fiction, and upmarket fiction, with a special emphasis on historical fiction in all genres. She also represents narrative nonfiction, especially projects exploring the literary world, art history, material culture, archaeology, food history, or social history. She loves projects with a strong sense of place and those that create a completely immersive world. She is particularly interested in books that add something important to the conversation, that explore stories we haven’t yet heard, and that introduce new voices to our reading experience.

Amanda currently lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and two kids. When she’s not reading, she likes to cook, root for the Cubs, and spend as much time outside as she can.

Rachel Kahan (2)RACHEL KAHAN joined William Morrow as an Executive Editor in 2012, after many years as a Senior Editor at Putnam. A passionate advocate for commercial fiction, she has published numerous national and international bestsellers, including The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, and The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams, as well as the #1 non-fiction bestseller Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Historical fiction her favorite genre as a reader and she has published numerous big names in the genre, including Kate Mosse, CW Gortner, Jack Whyte, Rosalind Miles, Sarah McCoy, Lauren Willig, and Beatriz Williams.

Kahan has also been a guest lecturer on publishing topics at Columbia University, Duke University, New York University, the College of William and Mary, Claremont-McKenna College and the City University of New York. She speaks frequently at writers’ conferences and book festivals in the US and overseas.

kevan-lyon-for-web-site-200x300KEVAN LYON is a literary agent and partner with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.  She has more than 20 years in the publishing business, including 11+ years as a literary agent and many years on the wholesale, retail and distribution side of the business, Kevan brings an informed and unique perspective to her work with clients. Her background on the buying and retail side of publishing affords her helpful insight into the challenging world of retail bookselling and distribution.

Kevan handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction, historical and contemporary fiction, young adult and all genres of romance. Her list includes many NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors such as; Jennifer Armentrout, Marie Force, Laura Kaye, Stephanie Dray, Shelley Noble, Jennifer Probst, Jennifer Robson, Laura Griffin, and many top selling historical novelists including Kate Quinn, Renee Rosen, Jeanne Mackin, and Alix Rickloff. Kevan works with her clients to help them realize their dreams of being published and to build a long-term career as a writer. The Marsal Lyon Literary Agency strives to partner with their clients on all phases of the publishing path. When not reading clients’ work or obsessively monitoring email, Kevan loves to walk near the beach with her 4-legged office mates.

For more information on the agency and their client list, visit their web site at

Kate Seaver photoKATE SEAVER is an Executive Editor at the Berkley Publishing Group. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined Berkley in 2005. She acquires commercial women’s fiction and has a particular love for historical fiction. Chanel Cleeton, Sara Donati, Kerri Maher, Alyson Richman and Stephanie Marie Thornton are some of the historical fiction authors she edits. Favorite books on her shelf are The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Kate is always looking for talented and innovative new authors.

headshot (1)JODI WARSHAW is an executive editor at Lake Union Publishing whose bestselling acquisitions include Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde, From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon, and The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie. Prior to joining Amazon Publishing in 2011, Jodi worked in publishing on both coasts, starting out as an intern at Alfred A. Knopf. After a few years as managing editor of the Quarterly literary magazine, she moved to San Francisco, where she became executive editor at Chronicle Books, working on pop culture and lifestyle titles. A native of the Seattle area, she’s happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest, although she takes every opportunity she can to travel far and wide. She has a life goal to see at least one-third of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. (She has about two hundred to go.)

Paige WheelerPAIGE WHEELER is one of the top agents of commercial fiction, having worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. After stints in editorial and television, her unique knowledge gives her the perspective required to fully manage the intellectual property rights of her clients, including domestic print, as well as foreign, film, and audio rights. Her wealth of experience demonstrates her dedication to maximizing her clients’ potential by being their advocate and growing their careers. Paige loves to represent commercial and upscale fiction, as well as the mystery, thriller, psychological suspense, and romance genres. She also represents narrative and prescriptive nonfiction by authors with a significant platform and new ideas. Paige is ultimately looking for unique stories, fresh voices, and unexpected twists.

Paige is proud to represent both bestselling as well as award-winning authors, and she has launched the career and built the brand for many New York Times, USA Today, Agatha, Rita, Shamus, and other notable award winning and top selling clients. She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR), the Women’s Media Group (WMG), and the Authors Guild, as well as Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Mystery Writers of America (MWA). She can be found online at