At the 2021 Conference, eight fabulous agents and editors offered meetings with authors.
In addition to pitch sessions, query-letter critique sessions in which authors can get expert advice from agents and editors on honing their query letters as they pursue publication were also offered. Conference attendees were able to sign up for pitches and/or query-letter critique sessions when registration opened on February 15, 2021.
Please see our “Tips and Etiquette for Perfect Pitches and Quality Queries” for best practices on meeting with agents and editors at the conference.
Here are the agents and editors who met with authors in 2021.
Amanda Bergeron is an Executive Editor at Berkley where she acquires commercial fiction. She works with bestselling historical novelists such as Stephanie Dray, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Renee Rosen, Erika Robuck, and Amy Belding Brown, to name a few. Before joining Berkley in 2016, Amanda spent eight years at William Morrow where she edited New York Times and USA Today bestsellers like The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, and Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson. She’s originally from Maine, and received her degree in Print & Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College. In historical fiction, she is especially interested in 18th, 19th and 20th century-set novels featuring strong women and multi-generational narratives, and is seeking a diversity of voices and stories. She’s drawn to richly emotional novels that spark conversation.
Amy Elizabeth Bishop joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret as a literary agent in 2015 after interning for them in 2014. DG&B was founded in 1994 by Jane Dystel, and is a dynamic, full-service literary agency boasting an impressive client list and a sterling reputation. Some of her recent and upcoming titles include The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller, A Dirty Year: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in Gilded Age New York, by Bill Greer, The Silence of Bones by June Hur and The Girl Explorers: How a Group of Adventurous Women Trekked, Flew, and Fought for Human Rights Around the World by Jayne Zanglein. She represents a wide variety of adult upmarket and literary fiction, narrative and prescriptive nonfiction, as well as select YA. In historical fiction, she is looking for female-driven narratives, non-Western European settings, and untold perspectives. You can find her on Twitter at @amylizbishop.
Laura Bradford established the Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. Her recent sales include books placed with Penguin Random House, Grand Central, Harlequin, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Sourcebooks, Disney-Hyperion, and many others. She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is a Romance Writers of America-recognized agent. She continues to actively build her client list and is currently seeking manuscripts in the following categories: romance (historical, romantic suspense, category, contemporary, erotic), speculative fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, young adult, upper middle grade, illustration, as well as some select non-fiction. In historical fiction, she is specifically looking for: commercial voices, especially woman-centered stories; unusual and classic time periods and settings; multi-generational narratives; and #OwnVoices.
Melissa Danaczko is an agent at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. Before becoming an agent, she was Senior Editor with the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. As an editor, Melissa developed books that became New York Times bestsellers and received or were nominated for honors including The National Book Critics Circle Award, the Man Booker Prize, and the PEN/Bingham Prize. Melissa gravitates towards plot-driven novels with a fresh perspective, energetic writing, bold characters, and deep sense of place. In terms of historical fiction, Melissa loves a strong emotional core, but also has a taste for the dark and strange. It’s a big plus if the work taps into the cultural climate in some way, and she is particularly eager to represent more #ownvoices authors in this genre.
Mark Gottlieb is a prominent literary agent working at leading literary agency Trident Media Group in New York City. He has ranked highly among literary agents across the industry for overall number of deals and other individual categories. While at Trident Media Group, Mark represented New York Times bestselling authors as well as major award-winning authors. He has optioned and sold numerous books to production companies and studios for film and TV adaptation. Mark greatly enjoys working with authors to manage and grow their careers with the resources available at Trident Media Group. In addition to having worked at the company’s Foreign Rights Department, he also ran the company’s Audiobook Department. He is currently expanding his client list of authors. As a literary agent he looks forward to bringing authors to the largest possible audience. With respect to historical fiction, he’s particularly interested in World Wars I and II and the Victorian period. (Note: Mark Gottlieb is taking pitches but is NOT doing query-letter critiques.)
Cate Hart joined Harvey Klinger in 2019 after 5 years with another agency. Established in 1977 by its eponymous founder, Harvey Klinger, the agency has been among the leading literary agencies in adult and children’s books. Its interests cross many fields in fiction, nonfiction, and middle grade and young adult fiction by new and established authors. Cate specializes in historical, whether middle grade or young adult, women’s fiction and romance, and narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to forgotten stories, especially from underrepresented voices. She is especially excited to see: fresh perspectives and voices in historical for MG and YA; women’s historical fiction beyond WWI and WWII; dual timelines; everything gothic; family sagas and buried secrets; historical romance and romcom outside of Regency period; and nonfiction history and biography.
Emily Sylvan Kim is a literary agent and the president of Prospect Agency that she founded in 2005. Emily loves taking a holistic approach to agenting, working with her authors to build sustainable careers and partnering with every major publisher. She’s committed to making sure her authors maximize all opportunities for each title, including foreign rights and audio rights. With a focus on romance, contemporary and historical women’s fiction, young adult fiction and a select number of non-fiction, she gravitates towards titles by and for women and girls. Emily loves historical fiction because it can entertain and educate. She is looking for stories that illuminate little known aspects of the past and introduce inspiring historical figures and help readers understand the role women played in history. Some of her clients include Piper Huguely and Julia Kelly. Emily loves drinking tea, taking walks, and having long talks with her clients on the phone–and more recently on Zoom.
Kevan Lyon is a literary agent and partner with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency with more than 20 years in the publishing business, including 12+ years as a literary agent and many years in the wholesale, retail, and distribution business. She thus brings an informed and unique perspective to her work with clients. Her fiction list includes NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Kate Quinn, Natasha Lester, Stephanie Dray, Kerri Maher, Jennifer Probst, Jennifer Robson, Laura Griffin and may others. Kevan works with her clients to help them realize their dreams of being published and building a long-term career as a writer. Kevan handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction and historical fiction. 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, visit the agency website at www.MarsalLyonLiteraryAgency.com or their Facebook page, or follow Kevan on Twitter. (Note: Kevan Lyon is NOT taking pitches but is doing query-letter critiques.)
Tessa Woodward is Executive Editor at Harper Collins. She edits a wide array of historical fiction, women’s fiction, and romance. Her women’s fiction titles range from historical fiction hits like New York Times bestselling author Kate Quinn’s The Huntress, Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning, Caroline by Sarah Miller, and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown, to contemporary favorites like Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev, as well as book club hits If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman and You and Me and Us by debut author Alison Hammer. On the historical side, she recently acquired the forthcoming The Night Portrait by Laura Morelli and Kaia Alderson’s Soldier Girls. On the romance side, she edits authors across all genres, including the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers Tessa Dare, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Maya Rodale. She is looking for more women’s historical fiction with strong characters, especially from diverse voices.