#HNS2023 Agents and Editors

At the 2023 Conference, 14 fabulous agents and editors are offering virtual and/or in person meetings with authors.  

In addition to pitch sessions, conference attendees can attend a query-letter critique session in which they can get expert advice from agents and editors on honing their query letters as they pursue publication. Conference attendees are able to sign up for pitches and/or query-letter critique sessions when registration opens on February 15, 2023.

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 will meet with authors in 2023.

Agents and Editors Taking Virtual Pitches

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.


Shannon Hassan, an agent at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for more than 15 years. She represents authors of upmarket historical, book club, and suspense fiction, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. Recent/forthcoming historical novels on her list include, for adults: THE LUNAR HOUSEWIFE by Caroline Woods (Doubleday), THE CALL OF THE WRENS by Jenni L. Walsh (Harper Muse), HORSES OF FIRE by A.D. Rhine (Dutton), and for kids: INDIGO AND IDA by Heather Murphy Capps (Lerner) and OVER AND OUT by Jenni L. Walsh (Scholastic). She enjoys a range of eras and looks for historical stories with a fresh perspective and big hook.


Viola Hayden joined Curtis Brown in January 2020, having spent the previous six years as an editor. She’s keen on novels that reflect the complexities of the female experience. Stories structured differently like One DayThe Heart’s Invisible Furies and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are wonderful, but crucially they are substance over style. She loves a good mind-bending crime or suspense novel and lastly, the ultimate escape: historical fiction. Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series is magnificent, as are Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Bridget Collins’ The Binding. She is not looking to represent science fiction, fantasy, horror, short stories, poetry or books for children and young adults. 


Justin Nash has a history degree and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of London. He taught history for a number of years before becoming an agent and is an experienced historical researcher. Justin enjoyed teaching any period from the Ancient World to the present day. He has edited WW2 historical biographies for publication and is writing a multi-period historical non-fiction book. He dreams about walking in the Himalayas and is enjoying learning to play the classical guitar (a lifetime ambition). Justin loves a vivid sense of place and time in fiction. He is open to all locations and periods. Justin continues to look for gripping character-led historical fiction in the crime, adventure, thriller and book club areas. He is also interested in historical fiction that includes fantasy, mythology, or gothic elements.


Imogen Pelham is a London literary agent and has worked at Marjacq since 2015. She represents literary, book-club, and stand-out commercial fiction, as well as non-fiction which looks at serious subjects in innovative ways. Her authors include Annie Garthwaite (Cecily), multi-prize-listed Yara Rodrigues Fowler, and bestselling Kassia St Clair. Imogen is drawn to historical fiction which centers around strong, interesting characters—particularly real figures who have been overlooked or characters who illuminate sections of society not given a contemporaneous voice. Rather than historical fiction being an escape to the unfamiliar, Imogen wants the familiar: history which reminds us of our enduring humanity. She is interested in stories from all over the world, and from international authors—but in order to feel like the best agent for an author based in the US, the book would need to not be set in the US or have the US as its primary market.


Harriette Sackler is an Agatha Award-nominated short story writer. She is a co-publisher and editor at Level Best Books, which publishes mystery, thriller, and crime fiction short stories and novels. Harriette has been a member of the Malice Domestic Board of Directors for over twenty years. As Grants Chair, she has a unique opportunity to encourage and support writers on the road to publication. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime (National, Guppies, and Chesapeake), Crime Writers’ Association, Historical Novel Society, and Short Mystery Fiction Society, among others. Level Best Books is interested in acquiring historical mysteries and thrillers, both standalone and series, for our Historia imprint. Connect with Harriette at harriettelevelbestbooks@comcast.net and on Facebook.


Paige Wheeler is currently president and owner of Creative Media Agency, Inc. She was one of the founders of Folio Literary Management, LLC, as well as a former television agent and book editor. She’s worked in publishing since 1991 and has been representing authors for most of her career. She’s been fortunate to represent many successful books, including New York Times bestsellers and USA Today bestsellers, as well as international and local bestsellers. Her background in book editing has enabled her to collaborate with authors to help shape a project, and her experience as a television agent has been useful in getting a number of projects made into movies. She’s currently looking to acquire women’s fiction, romance, mysteries, and thrillers. She especially loves upscale fiction that tells a unique story. She’s attracted to a story if it has a high concept and a fresh, unique voice.  Some historical novels that may resonate are A Fire Sparking by Julianne MacLean and Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence. 


Agents and Editors Taking Live Pitches and/or Offering Live Query-Critique Groups

Amy Durant is co-Founder and Editorial Director at Sapere Books in England, United Kingdom. Sapere Books is a digital-first publishing house that launched in 2018 with a focus on genre-strong titles that appeal to both a UK and US readership. Amy is a passionate reader of anything she can get her hands on, but she is currently looking for submissions for Sapere Books’ historical fiction list and is particularly keen to sign books in a planned series and in these historical sub-genres: war & military fiction (especially naval fiction and aviation fiction); Tudor fiction; Medieval fiction; sagas; and historical mysteries. She is also very keen to hear from writers of colour. (Pitches only)


Danielle Egan-Miller, literary agent and president of Browne & Miller Literary Associates, has sold hundreds of books during her career, with an emphasis on adult fiction including historical and women’s historical fiction. Her roster includes many New York Times bestselling authors and numerous prize- and award-winning writers including winners of the Canadian Governor General’s Award, the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Colorado Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, the Western Spur Award, the Willa Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, the RITA Award, and the Christy Award. She is a member of the AALA and The Author’s Guild.


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.


Shannon Hassan, an agent at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, brings a depth of business and editorial experience to her role as agent, having worked in publishing and law for more than 15 years. She represents authors of upmarket historical, book club, and suspense fiction, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. Recent/forthcoming historical novels on her list include, for adults: The Lunar Housewife by Caroline Woods (Doubleday), The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh (Harper Muse), Horses of Fire by A.D. Rhine (Dutton), and for kids: Indigo and Ida by Heather Murphy Capps (Lerner) and Over and Out by Jenni L. Walsh (Scholastic). She enjoys a range of eras and looks for historical stories with a fresh perspective and big hook.


Amelia Hester of Dragonblade Publishing is an independent, interdisciplinary scholar turned editor and consultant: In other words, she’s an elusive creature who now haunts the ivory tower. (They’ve even put salt, garlic, and silver at their thresholds.) Her doctorate focused on vice and crime during the long nineteenth century and used a vernacular photographer’s oeuvre as a case study. But when life upended her plans to be A Proper Academic, she returned to her story-crafting roots. Possibly because of her training in art history and dramaturgy, she’s keen on gothic undertones in both reality and fiction . . . but her propensity for the dramatic is tempered by her penchants for underdogs and love stories. Interested in genre-blending (e.g., historical mysteries with heavy romantic elements), historical rom-coms (think Gail Carriger, etc.), queer historical romances, non-titled/non-aristocratic heroes, and this one is more of an open invitation—work from disabled and/or neurodivergent authors.


Marcy Posner has spent a lifetime in books. After a brief stint as a librarian, she moved on to publishing, working first on the editorial side before making the jump to agenting. After 12 years at William Morris Agency and 5 years at Sterling Lord Literistic, she arrived at Folio Literary Management. Editorial skill and a deep knowledge of the publishing industry sets her apart from many of her colleagues. When she works with her authors, she takes an editorial approach, looking to strengthen each manuscript as much as possible. She brings to bear all the institutional memory she possesses, knowing which editors and which publishing houses have a penchant for a certain subject, a different voice, or a particular kind of author. For historical fiction, she’s open to most genres including mystery, thriller, and romance, but would prefer stories set within the last 100 years.


Photo by Iden Ford. Verena Rose is the chief financial officer and acquisitions editor for Level Best Books and, as their representative, Verena is a member of the Crime Writers Association (CWA) and the Crime Readers Association (CRA). While she loves all mystery subgenres, she has a preferred fondness for the historical mysteries. In addition to her other duties at Level Best Books, she is now hosting a new podcast: Sunday Tea with V at the Hystery Chronicles. She is also the Anthony Award winning co-editor of Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible. In addition to serving as Chair of Malice Domestic, Verena is also a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime-National, the Historical Novel Society, and the Jane Austen Society of North America. Verena would be interested in acquiring historical mysteries, series or standalone, in most time periods, but would be particularly interested in Ancient, Victorian, Civil War and the World War eras. You can contact her at verenalevelbestbooks@gmail.com or our submission form at www.levelbestbooks.us.


Rayhané Sanders is a literary agent at Massie & McQuilkin, based in New York. She started her career at Newsweek Magazine before moving to book publishing at Penguin Group USA. She began her agenting career at WME and has been an agent at MMQ for nine years. Her interests include literary, historical, and upmarket book club fiction; narrative nonfiction; and memoir. Her fiction clients include Lidia Yuknavitch, Te-Ping Chen, Janet Beard, Amulya Malladi, and more. She likes projects that are voice-centered and site-specific and is particularly interested in fresh voices telling stories we haven’t heard before. She is fond of stories concerned with immigration, race, sexuality, and cross-cultural themes. Rayhané is a member of the Association of American Literary Agents (formerly AAR). As an independent book editor, Rayhané offers a wide range of editorial and consulting services to help emerging authors polish their work.


Mitchell Waters joined Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents in 2019, having previously worked at Curtis Brown for twenty-four years. He represents a diverse list of authors of fiction and nonfiction for adult and young adult markets. In fiction, Mitchell represents a wide array of literary and commercial fiction, including mysteries, thrillers and suspense, crime, family sagas, LGBTQ+, historical fiction, humor and satire, multi-cultural narratives, upmarket women’s fiction, and YA (primarily realistic). He has a keen interest in historical fiction and historical/literary mysteries/suspense in particular, while literary fiction with a strong plot and upmarket women’s fiction is also on his wishlist. He is drawn to voice-driven narratives that are both dark and humorous and he is seeking the next epic LGBTQ+ love story. He would also like a contemporary Middlemarch, but does not like novels about writers.