Liesa Abrams is Executive Editor at Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, where she edits primarily middle grade and tween fiction as well as select teen novels. Her projects include Brandon Mull’s #1 New York Times bestselling Beyonders series, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Dork Diaries series. She has a special affinity for fantasy and action/adventure such as Lisa McMann’s The Unwanteds series, James Riley’s Half Upon a Time series and the debut Keeper of the Lost Cities from Shannon Messenger. As a comics geek, she particularly enjoys working on books that bring in some comics elements such as Alan Silberberg’s Sid Fleischman Award winning Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze. Her teen novels at Simon & Schuster include Mindi Scott’s powerful Live Through This and perennial bestseller Christopher Pike’s thriller Witch World.
Stacy Abrams started in the publishing industry in 2002, most recently leaving a seven-year stint at Bloomsbury Publishing’s children’s division to join the Entangled team. Stacy has edited such award-winning and high-caliber YA authors as Jessica Warman, Tracy Deebs, Alex Scarrow, and Michelle Rowen, among many others, and her books have earned starred reviews from all the major review journals. In addition to editing, she has been a freelance copy editor for several major New York publishing houses. She earned her Bachelor’s in English at Northwestern University and currently resides in New York City with her husband and too-cute puppy. Find her on Twitter at @StacyAbramsEdit.
Stacy loves working on contemporary teen stories, even if they have a supernatural bend. Some of her favorite projects she’s edited have been Jessica Warman’s Between (contemporary ghost/murder mystery story), Tracy Deebs’s Tempest series (mermaid paranormal romance), and Loretta Ellsworth’s In a Heartbeat (dual narratives from the POV of an organ donor and recipient). She’d love to see more psychological thrillers, unique paranormal creatures, time travel, gritty across-the-tracks romances, or a historical set in the twentieth century. In the adult genre, Stacy loves light contemporary romances, ripped-from-the-headlines thrillers, friendship stories, and suspense. She doesn’t tend to lean toward vampires, zombies, adult historicals, or high-heat levels—though if any one were done in just the right way, she wouldn’t say no!
Sarah Dotts Barley is an Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she edits primarily middle grade and teen fiction. Some of the authors she’s lucky to work with are Georgia Byng, Holly Cupala, Donna Freitas, Gwendolyn Heasley, Geraldine McCaughrean, and Joyce Carol Oates. A few recent titles she’s had a hand in are DEAR BULLY: 70 AUTHORS TELL THEIR STORIES; Rachel Carter’s first in a trilogy SO CLOSE TO YOU; and Joyce Carol Oates’s newest teen novel, TWO OR THREE THINGS I FORGOT TO TELL YOU. Her favorite book as a child was THE SECRET GARDEN. Her favorite books she’s read this year are THE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE by Michelle Cooper and BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore. (It’s a year for third books in series.) Before coming to Harper, Sarah worked in editorial at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and in sales at Random House Children’s Books. She tweets @The_SDB.
Meredith Barnes is a Digital Marketing/Publicity maven for Soho Press, specifically their Young Adult (coming 2013) and Literary Fiction lines, as well as a habitual defector (ex-Texan, ex-lit agent). She specializes in comprehensive media campaigns, especially focusing on viral (read: free) marketing and author platform consultation and development. Always a bit of a nomad, her reading tastes range from literary fiction to young adult to science fiction to pizza cookbooks—and she’s helped sell all of these at one point or another. Above all, Meredith believes empowered, involved authors are key to creating custom campaigns for each and every book.
Soho Press is an independent book publisher based in New York City since 1986, publishing literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and international crime fiction.
Danielle Barthel attended the Denver Publishing Institute after realizing at a very early age that working with books was what she was meant to do. She interned at Writers House before becoming the literary assistant at Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation. When her agency changed hands and became New Leaf Literary and Media, Inc. this past June, she was thrilled to be a member of the team turning over that new leaf.
Rhoda Belleza received her BA in English and Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Post-graduation, she wandered up and down the West Coast, stopping in almost every city along the way. Fortunately, none of them fit quite right. She finally found a home in Brooklyn – where she lives, breathes, and eats fiction. She is the editor of Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance, published by Running Press.
Before becoming an assistant editor at Paper Lantern Lit, she was a copywriter, barista, shuttle driver, and writing instructor. She loves to feel the seasons change and is currently in a co-dependent relationship with her bicycle.
Sarah Davies was a children’s publisher in London for more than 25 years before moving to the USA in 2007 to launch the Greenhouse Literary Agency. Based in Washington DC and London, the Greenhouse exclusively represents authors of children’s and YA fiction and is not only transatlantic but also unusually international in outlook.
In her publisher incarnation Sarah worked with authors such as Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Philip Pullman, Sharon Creech, Karen Cushman, and Carol Hiaasen. As an agent she represents and has guided to success many debut writers, including NYT Bestseller Brenna Yovanoff, Sarwat Chadda, whose debut DEVIL’S KISS was a B&N Top 20 YA novel of 2009, Megan Miranda, Tricia Springstubb, Lindsey Leavitt, Jeyn Roberts – and many more publishing in 2012 and beyond.
She is open to all genres within MG, tween and YA (she doesn’t currently seek debut picture book texts), but is looking for a great idea matched by writing craft. More than anything, she wants to see something she’s never seen before!
A member of AAR, Sarah has been a fiction editor half her life, and has a wealth of editorial and senior-management experience. She works closely with writers to reach an optimum submission point and then aims to provide strong ongoing career guidance. Sarah says, ‘Everything I’d most like to tell you about the Greenhouse is in its name. It’s where writers grow!’ www.greenhouseliterary.com
Catherine Drayton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Law from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Law from University of New South Wales. She worked as a copyright and defamation litigator in Sydney for four years before moving to the United States in 1995. She had a brief stint as a literary scout and then joined Arthur Pine Associates in 1998. She currently works for Inkwell Management, where she represents both fiction and non-fiction writers and has had considerable success with books for children and young adults. Her clients include New York Times bestselling authors and a number of internationally successful writers. She represents Markus Zusak, John Flanagan, Becca Fitzpatrick and Beth Hoffman, amongst many others.
Mollie Glick is a literary agent at Foundry Media (www.foundrymedia.com)
After graduating from Brown University, Mollie began her publishing career as a literary scout, advising foreign publishers regarding the acquisition of rights to American books. She then worked as an editor at the Crown imprint of Random House, before switching over to “the other side” and becoming an agent at JVNLA (The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency) in 2003. She joined the Foundry Media team in September, 2008. Mollie’s list includes literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and a bit of practical non- fiction. She’s particularly interested in fiction that bridges the literary/commercial divide, combining strong writing with a great plot, YA, and non-fiction dealing with popular science, medicine, psychology, cultural history, memoir and current events. She’s very hands-on, working collaboratively with her authors to refine their projects, then focusing on identifying just the right editors for the submissions. Some of her recent sales include New York Times bestseller Jonathan Evison’s WEST OF HERE to Algonquin, Rhonda Riley’s ADAM HOPE to Ecco, Dr. Tracy Alloway’s THE NEW IQ to The Free Press, Josephine Angelini’s STARCROSSED series to Harper, and Gennifer Albin’s CREWEL to Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.
In addition to her work as a literary agent, Mollie also teaches classes on non-fiction proposal writing at Media Bistro and The Grotto, and her instructional articles on non-fiction proposal writing and query letter writing have been featured will be featured in Writers Digest.
Katie Grimm joined Don Congdon Associates in 2007. In addition to maintaining her own client list, she acts as business manager. She focuses on vivid literary fiction, transportive historical fiction, up-market women’s fiction, cohesive short story collections, and lurid mysteries & thrillers with exotic or historical settings. In young adult, she is actively seeking both contemporary and fantastical high-concepts with a touch of romance. In middle grade, she looks for heart and humor with a strange or creepy twist. Most importantly, she is hooked by fiction with emotional resonance and longevity, and in her opinion, this requires an authentic voice, relatable characters, and a twisting plot that keeps her intrigued. For non-fiction, she is looking for narrative non-fiction about history, popular science, off-beat topics, and counter-culture. She is a member of SCBWI and serves on the AAR Program Committee.
Lexa Hillyer received her BA in English from Vassar College in 2002 and began her editorial career at HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2003, working on books by New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, Rachel Vail, Maureen Johnson, Hailey Abbott and others.
While at Harper, she was on the editorial panel for the inaugural HarperTeen fanlit contest, launched the First Kisses series and the Running Horse Ridge series, and was on the judging panel for the Ursula Nordstrom Prize for Fiction.
Lexa joined Penguin’s Razorbill imprint in 2007, where she acquired and edited approximately twenty teen novels including The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, the Possessions series by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder, The Extraordinary Secrets of April May,& June by Robin Benway and New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement. She left Razorbill in 2010 to launch Paper Lantern Lit, a boutique literary development company. She received her MFA in poetry from the Stonecoast Program for Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine in 2010, and was the recipient of Tusculum Review’s Inaugural Poetry Prize as well as the Brick & Mortar Review First Prize in Poetry.
Heather Howland began editing in the legal, industrial, and technical sectors eight years ago while working as a Production Manager. Before joining the Entangled family, she worked as a freelance editor and as the acquisitions editor of a small romance publisher. She now edits popular authors such as USA Today bestseller Cari Quinn, Amy Andrews, and Laura Kaye, as well as up-and-coming authors Tonya Burrows, Leah Rae Miller, and Katee Robert. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and psychology, and regularly teaches craft workshops for various organizations. Find her on Twitter at @HeatherHowland.
She loves scintillating category reads with a healthy dose of humor, as well as dark paranormal worlds, quirky sci-fi, cyberpunk, biopunk, flirty contemporary romance, unexpected fairytale retellings, and lighthearted comedies in both the adult and young adult genres. While she’ll look at anything with a fantastic voice, Heather generally avoids cozies, urban fantasy, historical, hard sci-fi, high fantasy, shifters, zombies, and Plain Jane heroines.
Leah Hultenschmidt is a Senior Editor at Sourcebooks, where she acquires young adult fiction for the Fire imprint and adult romance for the Casablanca imprint. You can read more about Leah here or find submission guidelines here.
Michelle Humphrey has been an agent at the Martha Kaplan Agency since 2011, after working as an assistant at Sterling Lord Literistic and ICM. She represents picture books and middle-grade and young-adult fiction. Her clients include Caroline Starr Rose (May B), Kekla Magoon (37 Things I Love), and Denise Jaden (Losing Faith). She is particularly interested in non-fiction picture books, and would love a murder mystery for teens.
Emily Keyes is Contracts & Foreign Rights Manager at the L. Perkins Agency as well as an acquiring agent. She is passionate about YA and teen novels, therefore acquiring in that area. In addition, Emily is looking for a wide-range of commercial fiction including women’s fiction, contemporary romance, fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and historical. Emily is actively expanding her client list and open to submissions.
As a Contracts Administrator at Simon & Schuster, Inc. and a writer for “The World Almanac for Kids,” Emily forged her knowledge of many aspects of publishing, bringing that experience to her current position. She is a graduate of the NYU Publishing program and, incidentally, an expert on all things “Sweet Valley.”
Peter Knapp joined the Park Literary Group in July 2011, where he has had a chance to work with many of the agency’s bestselling authors in all stages of the publication process. Prior, he was a story editor at Floren Shieh Productions for two years, consulting on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based film companies, including CBS Films. He is an avid reader of young adult and middle grade fiction, frequently trading book recommendations with his nine-year-old sister. Having graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Art History, Peter maintains a healthy interest in the visual arts, particularly with animation and kinetic art. He currently lives in Brooklyn.
Sarah LaPolla began at Curtis Brown in 2008, working with Dave Barbor and Peter Ginsberg. Sarah is interested in literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction, literary horror, and young adult fiction. She loves complex characters, coming-of-age stories, and strong narrators. Sarah graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Writing and English, and went on to receive her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.
Daniel Lazar is a senior agent at the Writers House literary agency. He represents a wide range of fiction and non-fiction for adults and kids, including (on the children’s book side): NYT bestselling author Rachel Renee Russell’s DORK DIARIES series; NYT bestselling author Rachel Hartman’s SERAPHINA; NYT bestseller and Newbery Honor SAVVY by Ingrid Law; Amy Igantow’s POPULARITY PAPERS; Jason Shiga’s MEANWHILE; and the upcoming TIMMY FAILURE by Stephan Pastis. Dan focuses primarily on middle grade and YA, and especially loves (but is not limited to) funny books, illustrated books and books about weird kids in small towns. Query letters + First page pages by regular mail or email: Dlazar@Writershouse.com
Martha Mihalick is an editor at Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. In her more than ten years there, she has worked with many acclaimed authors and artists. Martha acquires books for children and teens of all ages, from picture books to young adult novels. Recent books she has edited include the Morris Award and Andre Norton Award finalist The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and its sequel The Crown of Embers, Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, Breathe by Sarah Crossan, Entwined by Heather Dixon, and The Last Apprentice series, among others. She’s on twitter as @marthamihalick and her website is marthamihalick.com. Check out what’s happening at Greenwillow Books at greenwillowblog.com.
Anita Mumm joined Nelson Literary Agency in early 2010 and is the first reader for all submissions coming in through the slush pile. As NLA’s talent scout, she presents and takes pitches from writers at conferences across the country. Mumm has picked a number of exciting new authors for the company, including Stefan Bachmann, whose debut novel The Peculiar (September 2012) sold in a major auction to Greenwillow/HarperCollins; Jennifer Shaw Wolf, author of the edgy young adult novels Tigerseye (Walker, 2012) and Shards of Glass (Walker, 2013); and Monica Trasandes, author of the gripping literary novel Broken Like This (November 2012). Anita received a B.A. in linguistics and French from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois. She taught English and creative writing to international students in the U.S., France, and China before joining the publishing industry. Mumm is thrilled to bring her love of language, books, and cultures to her work at Nelson Literary Agency.
Molly O’Neill is an Editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books. She edits both literary and commercial projects—everything from picture books to middle grade to young adult novels. She seeks vivid stories, original voices, and manuscripts with a strong sense of place—in short, the kind of books that keep readers thinking and imagining, long after the last page. Books that she’s acquired as an editor include Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT trilogy; the YA sci-fi INSIGNIA trilogy by S. J. Kincaid; Nola Buck and Sarah Jane Wright’s picture book A CHRISTMAS GOODNIGHT; Bobbie Pyron’s award-winning middle grade A DOG’S WAY HOME; and the forthcoming middle grade DESTINY, REWRITTEN, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice.
Molly’s been in children’s books for nearly a decade: before becoming an editor (her absolute dream job!), she worked on the Marketing/Publicity side of the industry, first at Clarion Books and then at HarperCollins. She blogs about editing, publishing, art, and life at www.10blockwalk.blogspot.com and tweets at @molly_oneill.
Kathleen Ortiz is the Director of Subsidiary Rights and an agent for New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She sells audio, translation and digital rights for the agency, and has an intimate list of clients, including Jaime Reed (THE CAMBION CHRONICLES / KTeen), Sarah Fine (SANCTUM / Marshall Cavendish, Oct ’12 and FACTORY GHOST / McElderry Books, S&S, Winter ’14) who also writes as S.E. Fine (SCAN / Putnam for Young Readers, Fall ’13), and animator, Dan Haring (Blue Sky Studios, TANGLED). She is an active member of AAR.
Kathleen is interested in all genres of YA but is especially interested in a story set within another culture (think YA version of MEMOIR OF A GEISHA or BLOOD DIAMOND) or a psychological thriller. She is not interested in picture books, chapter books or younger middle grade stories.
When she’s not reading or selling rights, she’s usually found in her apartment, trying her best not to burn food while experimenting with client Bree’s list of delectable recipes (BakedBree.com). You can find her on Twitter @KOrtizzle, on her blog, kortizzle.blogspot.com or on Publisher’s Marketplace (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/KathleenOrtiz/)
Lara Perkins is an Assistant Agent and Digital Manager at Andrea Brown Literary. Lara jointly represents select clients together with Senior Agent Laura Rennert, with a focus on picture book, middle grade, and young adult children’s fiction. Lara has a B.A. in English and Fine Arts from Amherst College and an M.A. in English Literature from Columbia University. She has been on faculty at various California writers’ conferences, including Book Passage and the Big Sur Writers’ Conference.
Cheryl Pientka always wanted to work in books, but the communications major she chose as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware did not steer her into the book publishing world. Instead, she spent her 20s working at trade magazines and for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. and New York. After pursuing an MS in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she decided to start all over again as a part-time assistant in a literary agency and has been happily involved in book publishing for 11 years. She is currently the subsidiary and foreign rights director and an agent with Jill Grinberg Literary Management and is especially interested in children’s, YA and adult women’s fiction and narrative non-fiction. A few notable clients include Christopher Healy (THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM series, Harper Collins 2012, 2013, 2014), Katie D. Anderson (KISS & MAKE UP, Amazon Children’s Publishing 2012), and Sarah Smiley (DINNER WITH THE SMILEYS: 1 Deployed Dad, 3 Sons, 52 Guests to Fill His Seat at the Family Dinner Table, Hyperion 2013).
Jennifer Rofé handles children’s fiction projects at Andrea Brown Literary Agency ranging from picture books to young adult. Middle grade is Jennifer’s soft spot and she’s open to all genres in this category, especially the tender or hilarious. She is always looking for fresh and distinct voices; stories that simultaneously tug at her heartstrings and make her laugh out loud; and “adorkable” heroes. As for YA, Jennifer is drawn to contemporary works; dramatic or funny romance; and urban fantasy/light sci-fi. She’s especially interested in mind-blowingly smart projects that are layered, complex, and unexpected, and she appreciates big, developed worlds. In terms of picture books, early readers, and chapter books, she is interested in character-driven projects and smart, exceptional writing.
Holly Root is a literary agent with the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency, where she represents authors of commercial adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as novels of all sorts for young adult and middle grade readers. Prior to joining WLA in 2007, Holly Root worked at the William Morris Agency and Trident Media Group.
As an Assistant Editor at Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, Sara Sargent acquires picture books through YA and has worked with New York Times bestselling authors Candace Bushnell, Mo Willems, and Doreen Cronin as well as exciting debut authors Sangu Mandanna and Rosamund Hodge. She is particularly interested in middle grade and YA in the following genres: horror, psychological thriller, contemporary realism, fantasy, sci-fi, myth and fairy-tale re-imaginings, and magical realism. Her favorite books include 13 Reasons Why, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and Before I Fall. You can find Sara on Twitter @Sara_Sargent.
Alycia Tornetta is an assistant editor at Entangled Publishing, where she works with Stacy Cantor Abrams on YA and adult romance books. She previously interned at Hodder Children’s Books of Hachette UK, Penguin Press UK, Octopus Books, and D4EO Literary Agency. You can follow her on Twitter at @weechagirl.
After teaching high school English for several years, Suzie Townsend started publishing at FinePrint Literary Management in January 2009 and worked her way up from intern to agent. Now an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, she represents adult and children’s fiction. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she’s specifically looking for romance (historical and paranormal), and fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy). In Childrens’ she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects (especially something akin to the recent movie SUPER 8). She’s an active member of AAR, RWA, and SCBWI.
She’s interested in strong characters and voice driven stories: she’s particularly keen on strong female protagonists, complex plot lines with underlying political, moral, or philosophical issues, and stories which break out of the typical tropes of their genre. Some of her favorite novels (that she doesn’t represent) are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Jeaniene Frost’s Vampire Huntress series, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series.
She drinks too much diet orange soda, has a Starbucks problem (those soy chai lattes are addictive), and lives in New York with two dogs who know that chewing on shoes is okay but chewing on books is not.
Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg joined Larsen Pomada as an Associate Literary Agent in 2012 to represent young adult and middle grade children’s book authors, and adult romance authors. Over the past four years Pam has become one of the top YA book bloggers in the country at Bookalicious.org. She also partners her blog with Hicklebee’s, a children’s bookstore in San Jose, CA.
Pam writes supernatural YA and MG fiction and is represented by Laurie McLean, also of Larsen Pomada Literary Agents. She lives in the Bay Area of California with her Dutch husband, two children–a boy and a girl the perfect set–a Jack Russell terrier, a bull dog puppy, and a small guinea pig. It is her greatest dream to own a menagerie.
Joanna Volpe has been a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, an editorial assistant with independent publisher Blue Martin Publications, an assistant and junior agent at FinePrint Literary Management and a full-time agent with Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, all before starting her own company: New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She has worked on a number of exciting projects, including Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF, Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone, Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, Sandy Williams’ Shadow Reader series, Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly and Sarah Frances Hardy’s picture book, Puzzled by Pink. For a full list of the New Leaf projects, go here. What she is most excited for right now is working with her amazing team at New Leaf. The company is off to a strong start, and they are looking to sign on more wonderful talent!
Alison Weiss is an Assistant Editor at Egmont USA. As a kid, it was not unusual to find her huddled under the covers on a Saturday morning with a stack of books rather than downstairs watching cartoons. Reading and writing have always been passions, but sharing that passion with others wasn’t always as easy. That is until she found the children’s publishing world.
Alison has been with Egmont for over four years. During that time she’s been fortunate to work with debut authors and multi-award winning, alike. She’s been part of the editorial team on projects by Christopher Myers, Walter Dean Myers, Tony Abbott, Penny Warner, and Todd Strasser, and has worked with authors including Kristina McBride, Mike A. Lancaster, Lindsay Eland, Glenn Dakin, Kristin Clark Venuti, Aimee Ferris, and Lynn Kiele Bonasia.
Roseanne Wells joined JDLA as an associate agent in 2012. Previously with the Marianne Strong Literary Agency, she has also worked as a proofreader and a special sales and editorial assistant. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with degrees in Literature and Dance. An avid reader, Roseanne discovered her passion for book publishing during her internship at W. W. Norton, and she approaches agenting as a writer’s advocate, editor, and partner. She is also an arts reviewer for PlayShakespeare.com and a volunteer for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in Soho, NYC.