Get to Know a Publisher in Attendance: Liz Pelletier of Entangled Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 6.49.25 PM.pngLiz Pelletier is the publisher of Entangled Publishing.

She is taking pitches for adult romance, YA romance, and mainstream adult thrillers.

Liz co-founded Entangled Publishing in 2011. Over the past ten years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a bestselling romance publisher, with more than 18 NYT bestsellers and 71 USA Today bestsellers. Her out-of the-box approach to everything from pricing strategies to marketing to editorial allows Entangled to be both disruptive and agile within a dynamic publishing landscape. You can find her on Twitter at @Liz_Pelletier.

 

Get to Know a Literary Scout in Attendance: Jori Hanna of CYLE Literary Elite

Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 6.36.24 PMJori Hanna is a writer and editor from Denver, Colorado. She is a literary scout for CYLE Literary Elite.

As a literary agent, Jori personally seeks/represents suspense novels of any kind. But she is also acting as a literary scout for all of CYLE Literary Elite’s agents. That means she is happy to take pitches for picture books, board books, chapter books, middle grade (any kind), young adult (any kind), science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, romance, historical, women’s, Christian fiction, literary fiction, and mainstream fiction. In nonfiction, her agency seeks devotionals, self-help, inspirational, and parenting.

Ever since she started reading in the second grade, Jori has loved books and the writing process. She attended Taylor University for a B.S. in Professional Writing and discovered a love for suspense, crime, thrillers, and mysteries. She enjoys anything that allows her to pretend she could be a spy (such as a weapons class at the dojo she where she studied Karate, excuses to dress up and meet people, and random facts that may never be useful in normal, everyday life). Jori is passionate about helping others achieve their highest potential.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Shari Maurer of Stringer Literary

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 8.14.26 PMShari Maurer is a literary agent with Stringer Literary.

Shari graduated from Duke University with a degree in English, and later studied Dramatic Writing at NYU. Following a stint at The Children’s Television Workshop on international productions of “Sesame Street,” she published both novels and non-fiction, and worked as a writer and editor. Shari has also written Parenting & Lifestyle columns for several websites. A mother of three, she lives in New York with her husband.

She is seeking: For fiction, she seeks young adult and middle grade (all kinds), new adult, children’s picture books, romance, and women’s fiction. In nonfiction, she seeks kidlit YA and MG (including biography), narrative nonfiction, parenting, biography, and memoir.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Nikki Terpilowski of Holloway Literary

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 10.07.42 AM.pngNikki Terpilowski is a literary agent and founder of Holloway Literary.

After receiving a B.A. in English, Nikki worked in the marketing communications field for several years as a writer and editor. Deciding she wanted to align her professional career with her lifelong passion for reading and writing, she interned at the Elaine English Agency based in Washington, DC, and then moved into literary management, representing a small group of women’s fiction and romance writers, that has expanded to include a list of YA, literary, historical, southern, mystery and thriller authors. Nikki loves all types of fiction, but is particularly interested in finding fresh Southern voices and ethnically and culturally diverse fiction. Books she’s represented have been nominated for RITA awards, RT Book Review top picks, Starred Publishers Weekly reviews, bestsellers, and Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees.

When she’s not working or wrangling her three sons, she enjoys traveling to the beach, mountains and all historical sites in between.

Nikki is currently accepting pitches for:

  • Southern fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Young adult
  • Women’s fiction
  • Literary fiction
  • Mysteries
  • Thrillers
  • Romance – Contemporary, historical and romantic suspense
  • Cozy mysteries – Written in the vein of Ellery Adams, Eva Gates, Amanda Flower, Bailey Cates, Leslie Budewitz,, with book, food and beverage (wine, beer, coffee, tea, etc.), gardening/herbs, historical society/museum themes or magical realism.
  • Science Fiction – Including Afrofuturist fiction, written in the vein of Nnedi Okorafor and Octavia Butler
  • African-American – Fiction of all types that explore the African diaspora or African-American experience in a new or interesting way that goes beyond a focus on racism or oppression.
  • Nonfiction related to mindfulness, healthy eating (Paleo, gluten-free, etc.), regional/ethnic/fusion cookbooks, foodie subjects, travel, alternative simple living, i.e. homesteading, minimalism, etc, interesting self-help (personal and professional), military experiences, Civil War, Southern living, etc.
  • Key words that interest Nikki in pitches: North Carolina, Virginia, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, Outer Banks, Napa, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Antartica, Mars, African-diaspora, Caribbean, African-American, Gullah, Native American, Indian, Japan, Food, Wine, Coffee, Beer, Bakery, Farms, Civil War, Revolutionary War, Southern, Mountains, Beach, Magical Realism, Spies, Espionage, DARPA, Treasure, Secret Histories, Aliens, Military, Conspiracy, Organic, Mindfulness, Yoga.

Do Not Pitch:

  • Stories that focus on chronic illness or dying
  • Erotica
  • Graphic horror (light elements of horror are acceptable)
  • Stories with graphic sex scenes
  • Police procedurals
  • Stories in which children are abused
  • Stories that explore sexual abuse and its effects
  • Stories in which racism or discrimination are the focus (unless it is historical non-fiction)
  • Fiction set in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Stacy Testa of Writers House

Screen Shot 2020-06-14 at 6.06.10 PMStacy Testa is a literary agent at Writers House.

She is seeking: “I am seeking literary fiction and upmarket women’s fiction, particularly stories with international settings, unique subcultures, historical hooks, magical realism, unusual narrators, and/or strong, empowered women. On the nonfiction side, I am interested in representing remarkable memoirs, humor writing, essay collections, narrative nonfiction, history, investigative journalism, true crime, and prescriptive titles with strong platforms. Broadly speaking, I am drawn to anything with vivid characters, an interest in social justice, a compelling narrative voice, and/or a great sense of humor. I do not represent children’s books, including YA.”

“I joined Writers House in 2011 as the assistant to a senior literary agent, and have been building my own client list since 2013. I like to think, though, that my publishing career began as a wee bookworm, when I used to stay up late reading under the covers with a flashlight because I simply couldn’t part ways with a book, even to sleep. In many ways, I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since. There’s truly nothing quite as magical as losing yourself in a great story – when your own wants and needs become entirely secondary to those of the characters and voices on the page. As an agent, I am drawn to projects that do just that: pull me in and refuse to let go. If you think your book fits that bill, I’d love to hear from you.”

As a young agent with space on my list and decades of agenting ahead of me, I am looking to develop long-term partnerships with new authors. I intend to work with all of my clients for many, many books to come, and to advocate for and advise them every step of the way. Please know that I am a highly editorial agent, so if you aren’t interested in collaborating on that level, we might not be the best fit. I respect creative autonomy, of course, but I believe it’s important to have an open mind when it comes to editorial feedback.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 4.55.13 PM.pngLesley Sabga is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character driven plots. She is actively acquiring middle grade sci-fi & fantasy, young adult sci-fi & fantasy, and adult sci-fi & fantasy. She is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves a classic happily-ever-after romance or curling up with a good mystery. She is also interested in acquiring narrative nonfiction.

Since graduating from The University of Kentucky (Go Cats!) and obtaining her Editorial Certification from The University of Chicago, Lesley has worked as an editorial intern and freelancer for multiple publishing houses. She’s also been working for The Seymour Agency since 2014.

When she is not rescuing animals or searching for her next debut author, Lesley is a constant occupant at local bookstores in Colorado Springs and is a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado.

Get to Know an Agent Assistant in Attendance: Rose Friel of Maria Carvainis Agency

Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 3.01.09 PMRose Friel has been the agency assistant at Maria Carvainis Agency for one year. She is thrilled to be participating in the conference — taking pitches on behalf of agents Maria Carvainis and Elizabeth Copps. That means Rose will be receiving pitches for submissions in all fiction genres excluding fantasy, science fiction, and children’s picture books. The agency also considers select memoirs and popular nonfiction queries.

“I have been the assistant to Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc. for one year after four years of agency work in both the United States and United Kingdom. I hold both a Bachelors in English Literature and Communication Studies from Villanova University, and a Masters in Publishing from London College of Communication.”

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jemiscoe Chambers-Black of Andrea Brown Literary

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 3.02.14 PMJemiscoe Chambers-Black is an associate literary agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Jemiscoe is currently building her client list in the middle grade, YA, and adult categories.

In middle grade, Jemiscoe is most interested in contemporary manuscripts. They can focus on hard themes, but she enjoys those that also weave in humor, whimsy, adventure, and wonder. She’s also open to fantasy, which can include paranormal, low fantasy, and magical realism. Horror, mystery, and graphic novels are also of interest.

In YA, Jemiscoe would love to see romance, especially rom-coms. Give her all the love stories in whatever form they come! She loves contemporary fiction that deals with friendship – its joys and struggles. She would also like to see fantasy (except high fantasy), mystery and horror.

In the adult space, Jemiscoe is looking for romance. It can range from sweet to steamy, but she is not interested in erotica or historical romance. She is also open to psychological thrillers, mysteries, friendship stories, strong power-women stories, or laugh-out-loud stories. Jemiscoe loves literary fiction with beautiful prose and a strong cast of characters. She would also like to see adult fantasy (except high fantasy).

Jemiscoe is especially open to BIPOC and LGBTQ voices and stories in all the above categories.

Before joining the ABLA family, Jemiscoe worked for over a decade in film and television as an Assistant Director. She has a BA and MFA in creative writing in fiction, working with mentors Wiley Cash, Jo Knowles, Marcus Burke, and Richard Adams Carey. She has also been a freelance editor and writing tutor for over five years, and contributed to the online literary magazine ​The Assignment. Jemiscoe lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, three kids, and two cats.

You can find Jemiscoe on Twitter @Jemiscoe.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.18.29 PM.pngRachelle Gardner is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency.

For adult fiction, she seeks submissions in both the general and Christian markets — for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, family saga, historical, legal, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and romance.

Fiction projects should be 75,000 to 110,000 words.

For nonfiction,she seeks both Christian market and general market projects: memoirs, home life, current affairs, health & diet, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, self-help, women’s and issues. Platform is important, so be sure to highlight it in your pitch.

She occasionally looks at devotionals

She is not looking for: fantasy, sci-fi, children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult books, poetry, cookbooks, screenplays, novellas, short stories, or graphic novels.

“As a literary agent, I’ve negotiated 200+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 100 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers. I’ve been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays I’m lucky to do my work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.”

“Besides publishing: Just out of college, I spent five years at Fox Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles. My bachelor’s degree is in Communications, and I later did graduate studies in Psychology at Pepperdine University in Malibu. When I’m not working, you can usually find me out hiking the local trails, riding my bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 7.47.54 AM.pngBecky LeJeune is an associate literary agent with Bond Literary.

Becky is an associate agent at Bond Literary Agency, a Denver-based agency run by Sandra Bond. Prior to joining the agency, Becky spent time working as a bookseller, a freelance cookbook editor, and an acquisitions editor for a small, regional press. She is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute.

Becky is actively building her client list, and is interested in cookbooks and YA and adult submissions in the following genres: horror, mystery/suspense/thriller, historical fiction, sci fi, fantasy, and general fiction. She enjoys plot driven narratives with unique settings, strong world building, and well-developed characters.

Find her on Twitter here.