PITCH YOUR BOOK TO A LITERARY AGENT:
These one-on-one meetings at the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind. More 2023 agents to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open. We have seen many, many writers sign with agents after connecting after our conferences.
Jennifer Carlson is a literary agent with Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. Jennifer has been agenting since 1997. Previously, she worked at Henry Dunow Literary Agency and Harold Ober Associates. She works with narrative nonfiction writers and journalists covering current events and ideas and cultural history, as well as literary and upmarket commercial novelists. On the children’s side, her clients are primarily young adult and middle grade fiction writers. She is not currently looking for new picture books or YA fantasy. Learn more about Jennifer here.
Erin Casey Westin is a literary agent with Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency. Erin is open to all kid lit age groups, from picture books through YA, and is particularly drawn to work that shows the author’s world- and character-building ability. She wants to believe wholeheartedly in the world of the book, whether the setting is familiar or fantastic. She wants to see authentic, thoughtful representations of all people so that every kid can find a book that speaks to them. Learn more about Erin here.
Claire Harris is a literary agent with P.S. Literary Agency. Claire is acquiring both fiction and nonfiction projects for adults. She’s actively seeking projects that shine a spotlight on people, places, and events that are often overlooked or not given the attention they deserve. In fiction, she’s looking for adult rom coms, contemporary fiction, psychological thrillers, select horror, and cozy mysteries—all for millennial audiences, specifically. Claire is happiest when reading manuscripts with unexpected endings or new twists on classic genre tropes. For nonfiction, Claire is seeking a range of projects, including lifestyle guides, pop culture celebrations, pop psychology, cultural criticism, humor, true crime, essay collections, and illustrated books for adults. Learn more about Claire here.
Elizabeth Schleisman is an associate editor with Beaming Books. Elizabeth is seeking a range of kidlit and children’s books. In picture books, she seeks fiction and nonfiction. In middle grade and young adult, she is seeking nonfiction submissions only (no fiction). She is also open to all types of board books. Beaming Books publishes high-quality children’s books that help kids thrive in every part of who they are–emotionally, socially, and spiritually. With topics ranging from self-esteem to kindness, ethics, and faith, our books are designed to spark the imagination and equip kids and families to live full and flourishing lives, together. Learn more about Elizabeth here.
Savannah Brooks is an agent with KT Literary. Savannah represents all types of children’s books as well as adult contemporary/commercial fiction, romcoms, thrillers/mystery/suspense, and horror. She’s especially interested in stories that teach her something new, add to a larger sociopolitical conversation, and highlight underrepresented identities and cultures. In kidlit, she seeks picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult fiction, and also young adult nonfiction (from authors with platforms). Learn more about Savannah here.
Catherine Hedrick-Armstrong is a literary agent with The Purcell Agency. A prolific reader of many genres, Cathie represents young adult fiction, contemporary and historical romance, upmarket women’s fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. She deliberately keeps her client list small to give her authors the attention each deserves. Cathie looks for manuscripts that catch her attention within the first few pages. If you can evoke an emotional response in the opening pages—make her laugh out loud, cause her pulse to race, make her cry—you’ve got a winner. Cathie is never interested in Science Fiction or High Fantasy in any genre; however, fantasy with paranormal/supernatural elements, if absolutely grounded in the real world, can be a good fit. Learn more about Catherine here.
Laura Zats is a literary agent with Headwater Literary. (Note: Concerning the 10-minute “pitch” appointments at the event, Laura’s agency handles these opportunities in a specific way. In her own words: “Headwater, as a policy doesn’t do traditional pitch sessions, but we DO perform consultations, where we meet with anyone and answer questions & give feedback, rather than just give a yes/no.”) Laura represents young adult books, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, literary fiction with speculative elements, and select contemporary and historical fiction. “I particularly love to work on books that appeal to readers of different genres or subgenres—if you’re pitching something that crosses multiple areas of my list, I want to see it!” Learn more about Laura here.
Michael Croy is a literary agent with Northstar Literary. Michael is interested in acquiring general/mainstream fiction – stories told with heart and humor that have a strong sense of place with characters you quickly cheer for (or against!). Recent fiction favorites like Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison, When All is Said by Anne Griffin or The Bear by Andrew Krivak. On the narrative nonfiction side he is looking for thoughtful pop culture commentary, or cultural history, think Valeria Luiselli’s powerful Tell Me How It Ends, or Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties, or This Woman’s Work by Sinead Gleeson and Kim Gordon. Sports biographies that are less about sport and more about personal struggles to overcome political, cultural, or physical hurdles – think of Path Lit By Lightning: The life of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss. Learn more about Michael here.
Meg Gaertner is a senior editor with Flux and Jolly Fish Press. She is seeking young adult works in all genres and voices. In young adult, she is happy to consider contemporary, science fiction, historical fiction, horror, thrillers, mystery, contemporary fantasy, genre-blending stories, “out-of-the-box” stories that combine social commentary with a killer voice and a fresh premise, diversity representation, and more. Learn more about Meg here.
Deidra Purvis is the acquisitions editor for Free Spirit Publishing, the leading publisher of books to support young people’s social-emotional learning and wellbeing. She’s looking for new board books, picture books, as well nonfiction books for kids and teens. She gravitates toward books about books such as environment appreciation, social-emotional learning, health & wellness, and stories that portray important stories and explore the truths of pain and joy from historically underrepresented voices. Learn more about Deidra here.
ADDED ONLINE PITCHING: To ensure that writers have a robust and diverse lineup of agents & editors to pitch, 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop attendees will have the ability to also pitch literary agents at the Writing Day Workshops *online* event that follows the 2023 MWW on our event calendar.
That event is the 2023 Online Writing Workshop of San Francisco, April 14-15, 2023, which will have 30-40 agents taking one-on-one Zoom virtual pitches.
This means that 2023 MWW attendees can have access to pitching all those online WWSF agents — pitches still at $29 each — without being a formal registrant for the online April 2023 WWSF. (That said, if you want to formally register for the WWSF and have access to all classes and panels, let us know, as there is a discount for confirmed Minnesota attendees.)
If you are interested in this added pitching opportunity, the first step is to get formally registered for Minnesota. Following the MWW one-day conference on March 25, 2023, we will be in touch with all MWW attendees and ask them if they want to partake in pitching online agents at the 2023 WWSF (April 14-15). At that time, you can communicate your pitch requests and purchase meeting time.
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More 2023 agents/editors to be announced as they are confirmed. You can sign up for pitches at any time, or switch pitches at any time, so long as the agent in question still has appointments open. You can pitch as many agents & editors as like you wish.
These one-on-one meetings are an amazing chance to pitch your book face-to-face with an agent, and get personal, individual feedback on your pitch/concept. If the agent likes your pitch, they’ll request to see part/all of your book — sending you straight past the slush pile. It also gives you an intimate chance to meet with an agent and pick their brain with any questions on your mind.
(Please note that Agent/Editor Pitching is an add-on, separate aspect of the day, for only those who sign up. Spaces are limited for these premium meetings.)