Annual conference 2020

Literary Agents

Agents will be featured on panels, available for networking at lunch, and will offer critiques and pitch opportunities on both Saturday and Sunday. Critiques for the first 10 pages from a work in progress will be available for $60. Agent pitches are $20 each (first pitch free for MWA members).

Pitch and critique signups are available during registration. These opportunities sell out fast, so don't wait too long to register and sign up. If you are only attending one day of the conference, be sure to select an agent who will be present that day. You may not sign up for a pitch or a critique for a day you are not registered for the conference.

Please review agent profiles below and research each agent and agency (visit agency websites, twitter,, online interviews, etc.) to find agents who would be a good fit for your work. Agents are listed according to the day they will be attending.

If the agent you are interested in is sold out, you may add your name to a waiting list in case something becomes availability. To do so, please send email to Amy Kaplan at [email protected] with the agent's name and whether you are looking for a critique or pitch. Please know that openings are unlikely, but we will notify wait list people on a first-come first-served basis should something become available.

* Availability Updated 9 PM, Monday, March 2 *

Saturday, March 28

Megan Barnard, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Megan Barnard is an associate agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. She has worked as an editor and copywriter and spends most of her free time shuffling her towering stacks of books around so they don’t kill her or her husband.

She’s currently only looking for adult fiction and non-fiction. For fiction she’s interested in: historical fiction; women’s fiction; literary and upmarket fiction (with a solid commercial hook); family sagas; thrillers (light on gore, heavy on psychological suspense); and historical fantasy. She’s also interested in narrative non-fiction, particularly books that combine nature writing and memoir. She does not represent: romance, erotica, epic fantasy, SF, children’s books, short stories, screenplays, or poetry collections. [Critiques sold out. Pitches available.]

Hannah Brattesani, Friedrich Agency

Hannah Brattesani was born and raised in Scotland. Since joining the Friedrich Agency in 2019, after stints at Emma Sweeney Agency and Folio, she has continued to build her adult fiction and non-fiction list, gravitating towards literary and upmarket books. In fiction she is looking for an offbeat sense of humor, a dark bent and – if we’re getting down to specifics - stories from the frontline of climate change, the wellness industry, own voices, and graphic novelists. She enjoys narrative nonfiction that invites her into a community or reframes familiar subjects in surprising ways, and popular science with a strong narrative. Hannah also works with performative poets who are active in their respective scenes. [Critiques sold out. Pitches available.]

Ellen Goff, HG Literary

Ellen graduated from The University of Chicago with a BA in English, a minor in Cinema and Media Studies, and a focus in Creative Writing. Ellen has worked everywhere from The White House under the Obama administration to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At HG Literary, Ellen's list consists of YA writers and illustrators. She is also a member of HG Literary's foreign rights team. 

Ellen is interested in all genres and formats of YA (and crossover NA), especially anything spooky, historical fiction, and graphic novels. She has a soft spot for Shakespeare as well as southern gothic stories that remind her of her home state of Kentucky. 

Aimee Ashcraft: Brower Agency

Originally from Ohio, but educated in Kentucky, New York, and France, Aimee Ashcraft is an associate agent at Brower Literary & Management. She’s obsessed with stories that explore history and human nature in new and surprising ways. She lives in Brooklyn with two goofy cats.  

For her wish list, she’s always looking for fascinating historical fiction and historical fantasy. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a favorite, as is PACHINKO and pretty much anything by Geraldine Brooks. She loves upmarket and literary fiction from original perspectives featuring intriguing, complex women. CIRCE, EROTIC STORIES FOR PUBJABI WIDOWS, MILKMAN, and AMERICANAH come to mind. She’s also always game for a good ghost story, or anything that delves into the darker side of humanity and doesn’t shy away from speculative elements. [Critiques and pitches sold out.]

Marlo Berliner: Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency

Marlo Berliner is an award-winning Young Adult author, freelance editor, and bookseller. She joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in March 2018 as an editorial intern after having completed a previous internship with The Bent Agency. Now she is actively building her list as an associate agent. She is a member of SCBWI, RWA, NJ-RWA, and YA-RWA. Prior to her career in the publishing world, Marlo was an accounting manager for a Fortune 500 company. She holds B.S. degrees in Economics and Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. 

She believes the best stories have both compelling characters and tight, emotionally involving plotlines. If your writing can translate emotion to the page and give her a visceral reaction of humor, fear, joy, sadness, intrigue, or romance, then she will keep turning pages. For picture books she is seeking submissions primarily from author-illustrators, though she will consider select text-only submissions. For Middle Grade and Young Adult she is interested in ALL genres, with particular emphasis on adventure, fantasy, thriller, suspense, mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, speculative, and romance. For Adult she is interested in all genres of Romance, except inspirational and erotic, as well as historical romance from the 1900's and forward. She is open to women’s fiction, mystery, thriller, and suspense. For more details go to [Pitches and critiques sold out.]

Bibi Lewis: Ethan Ellenberg Agency

Bibi Lewis joined the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency in 2014 as an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager. She is actively building her list in both children's and adult. A New York City native, she is a fierce lover of the New York Pulic Library.

For children’s books, she is interested in picture books and chapter books as well as middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction. She gravitates towards realistic stories and enjoys magical realism but is not the best agent for high fantasy or science fiction. On the adult side, she is looking for commercial and upmarket women's fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries and thrillers. In all ages, she is excited to read more projects from marginalized voices. [Pitches and critiques sold out.]

Gina Panettieri: Talcott Notch Literary Services

Gina Panettieri is the founder of Talcott Notch Literary Services and has worked in publishing for more than 30 years. She represents an eclectic list of authors ranging from retired covert operators to heads of major medical schools to stay-at-home mom/writers and self-help gurus. She is a generalist and is open to both adult and juvenile fiction and nonfiction. Some of her recent titles include the WSJ-bestselling Tier One thriller series by Andrews & Wilson, Garden State Gangland by Scott Deitche, Blind Search by Paula Munier, and More Than One Way Home by Leslie Eckford and Amanda Lambert.

She is especially eager to see: MG and YA #OwnVoices books featuring underrepresented populations, including neurodiverse, economically-challenged and POC; women's fiction about little-recognized female contributions to history and major events; complex, dark mysteries and thrillers with flawed protagonists; fun pop science/medical/history (think Drunk History or Why Do Men Have Nipples?); bookclub fiction about female friendships and siblings. [Critiques and pitches sold out.]

Latoya C. Smith: LCS Literary

Latoya C. Smith

Latoya C. Smith is an award-winning editor and literary agent. She has been featured in Publishers Weekly and USA Today, as well as on various author, book conference, and book blogger websites. Latoya provides editorial and consultation services as well as representation through her company, LCS Literary Services.

In fiction, Latoya is looking for: high-concept women’s fiction; high-concept mystery, thriller and horror; Romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, historical, LGBTQ, paranormal, sweet); Comedy / Romantic Comedy; and Young Adult Fiction. Latoya is looking for platform/market-based non-fiction in the areas of: Memoir, How-to/Advice, Relationships, Health/Wellness, Politics/Current Events/History, Sports, Pop-culture, Business. [Pitches sold out. One critique available.]

Samantha Wekstein: Thompson Literary Agency

Samantha Wekstein attended the University of Maryland, College Park and received a B.A. in English. Go Terps! She now lives in NYC with her husband and dog. After internships with Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and Rowman & Littlefield, she began her career in 2013 at Writers House LLC. She then briefly worked as an assistant at The Agency Group (now UTA) before returning to Writers House for the next 5.5 years where she began supporting the CEO, and then the Founder, before becoming an agent. She’s been lucky to work with a variety of best-selling and award-winning authors across all genres. She joined TLA in 2019 where she’s excited to grow her list.

In YA, she loves creative and epic fantasies in the vein of Sarah J. Maas or Leigh Bardugo. But she is also drawn to realistic stories with multi-dimensional female characters like those of Rainbow Rowell, Julie Murphy, and Melina Marchetta. She is always interested in elevating diverse voices, particularly through feminist narratives. She is seeking middle grade of all stripes, but especially stories that deal with themes of friendship, adventure, or encountering tragedy for the first time. Her favorites are Sharon Creech, Shannon Hale, and Gail Carson Levine. She is also on the lookout for whimsical, meaningful, and funny picture books by author/illustrators. On the adult side she is drawn to commercial voices in Romance, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy.  [Critiques and pitches sold out.]

Andrew Lampack — Peter Lampack Agency

Andrew Lampack was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in English and interned at Simon & Schuster before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in film and television production for six years. He returned to New York and joined the Peter Lampack Agency in 2002. In addition to literary representation, he has also negotiated a number of theatrical rights deals based on existing client’s work.

Andrew is currently looking for: Commercial and literary fiction as well as non-fiction by recognized experts in a given field. He is not looking for: Horror, Westerns, Science Fiction, Romance, and Children’s Books. Agency clients include: Patrick Foss, Michael Levine & Laura Kavanau-Levine, Dr. Richard Cytowic, Clive Cussler, Gerry Spence and J.M. Coetzee among others. [Pitches sold out. One critique available.]

Sunday, March 29

Bobby O'Neil: Fine Print Literary

Bobby began his publishing career as an assistant at William Morris Endeavor, after taking on internships in both publishing houses and literary agencies. After two years at WME, he moved to Folio Literary Management where he worked in foreign rights. In 2019 he joined FinePrint as an Associate Agent and is currently developing his client list.

Bobby is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction across the board ranging from the grounded to the fantastic. In adult fiction, he is primarily interested in fantasy and speculative fiction that push the conventions of the genre, and character-driven commercial fiction. For nonfiction, he loves a strong narrative and is especially partial to memoir and historical. He is drawn to powerful voices and unique points of view that tell the stories from underrepresented communities. 

Caitlin McDonald: Donald Maass Literary Agency

Caitlin McDonald joined DMLA in 2015 and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents adult and young adult speculative fiction, primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on feminist theory/women’s issues and pop culture. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Her wishlist includes: YA with a strong voice, geeky queer romcom, a fun historical mystery a la Miss Fisher, high fantasy with lady knights and/or political intrigue (not looking for dystopian right now) dark or quirky (but not slapstick) MG voices and morally complex protagonists—think Artemis Fowl, The Bartimaeous Trilogy, or Fly By Night; non-Eurocentric fantasy settings and mythological inspirations or retellings; science fiction with unexpected settings, like the all-underground location of The Luminous Dead; literally anything with heists and found families; diversity of all kinds, including (but not limited to) race, gender, sexuality, and ability, in both characters and worldbuilding. [Critiques sold out. Pitches available.]

Saritza Hernandez: Corvisiero Literary Agency

Saritza Hernandez is the VP/Sr. Literary Agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency and known as the first literary agent to represent authors in the digital publishing landscape. While continuing to seek traditional publishers for her authors, Saritza is the leading literary agent in digital publishing deals, according to Publishers Marketplace.

A geek with a passion for all things Star Wars, Star Trek, and Harry Potter, her love of great storytelling is what has driven her work in the publishing industry for the past 17 years. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book and audiobook obsession, Saritza enjoys a steaming cup (or several) of strong Cuban coffee while escaping into worlds and stories from all walks of life. With a passion for romance and a strong advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and Adult genre fiction.

She is looking for upmarket women’s fiction and romance in adult and young adult, as well as horror, science fiction/fantasy, mystery/thriller/suspense and graphic novels. [Critiques sold out. New pitch opportunities available.]

Rosie Jonker: Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency

Rosie Jonker has been with the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency for five years. She is a wide-ranging reader, and she is seeking a wide variety of books to represent. In addition to growing her own list, she manages contracts and foreign rights for the agency, which has given her valuable opportunities to learn about global book market and how writers can reach readers worldwide. As of this writing, her client Matt Kracht’s book THE FIELD GUIDE TO DUMB BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA has been an IndieBound Bestseller for over 30 weeks and is a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist.

Her wish list includes: elevated mysteries like Tana French’s IN THE WOODS or Christobel Kent’s THE DAY SHE DISAPPEARED; high-concept but plot-driven fiction, preferably with a mystery element, like Lauren Beukes’ THE SHINING GIRLS or Octavia Butler’s KINDRED; gothic pastiche like Sarah Waters’ THE LITTLE STRANGER or Charles Palliser’s THE QUINCUNX; historical fiction (particularly about periods, people, and places that haven’t already been written about extensively) like Julie Otsuka’s THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC or Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE; true crime that is (crucially) not ghoulish or prurient, like Michelle McNamara’s I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK; fun, informative nonfiction that focuses on odd or obscure subcultures, or on unwritten stories from history, like Jim Paul’s CATAPULT or Geoff Manaugh’s A BURGLAR’S GUIDE TO THE CITY.

LARA LEA ALLEN: The Lotts Agency

Lara Lea Allen is an acquiring agent at The Lotts Agency with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. Lara began her career in foreign rights, before becoming a literary agent. She retains her interest in travel, and keeps an eye towards international rights in all she does.

Across all genres, Lara is looking for speculative and historical fiction, romantic comedies, and atmospheric magical stories—particularly featuring magic or mythology from non-Western traditions not usually highlighted. Lara likes romantic comedies that feature enemies-to-lovers, or forbidden romances with lots of banter, as well as historical and mythological/fairy tale retellings, particularly lesser-known variations of those. Lara is a sucker for gothic novels, and would love to see unique variations on these themes. Her tastes bend towards gothic horror, or well-told ghost stories without a lot of gore, and mysteries with fun and interesting locations or settings, or time periods. She is also fond of novels set in unexpected locales and for settings that feel like characters themselves. Lara is also looking for stories of interesting and independent historical women—explorers and adventurers like Isabella Bird, Octavie Coudreau or Ida Laura Pfeiffer, artists like Lavinia Fontana and Rosa Bonheur, or pirates like Grace O’Malley. A YA or MG based on any of these would be particularly welcome.

Leslie Zampetti: Dunham Literary, Inc.

For children’s books, Leslie seeks middle grade and young adult novels, especially mystery and contemporary. Historical fiction set in the recent past, novels in verse, and off-the-beaten path romances are on her wish list. For picture books, Leslie wants unusual true tales, biographies of unsung heroes and heroines, or stories that show everyday diversity to mirror under-represented readers and open windows to others. She is drawn to books about Florida, baseball, and kids with book smarts and big hearts.

For adult fiction, Leslie is interested in literary mysteries, upmarket romance and women’s fiction, and historical fiction from lesser-known eras and places. For nonfiction, Leslie finds narrative nonfiction that straddles the boundaries between crime, memoir, and literature especially appealing. An armchair adventurer, Leslie enjoys experiencing wild places and extreme challenges from the comfort of her chair. [Critiques sold out. New pitch opportunities available.]

Jeff Ourvan: Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

An agent with the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, Jeff heads the Agency’s book-to-film efforts and represents both fiction and nonfiction authors. He’s also a licensed attorney, published author, writing instructor, and founder of The WriteWorkshops, which are intensive in-person and online writing workshops. Recently sold nonfiction titles include NORCO ’80, by Peter Houlahan; A BUBBLE IN THE SUN, by Christopher Knowlton; and THE FORMULA, by Tatsha Robertson. Recently sold works of fiction include A ROMAN RHAPSODY, by Sara Alexander, and THE WEIGHT OF THE HEART, by Susana Aikin. Jeff’s own most recently authored work is THE STAR-SPANGLED BUDDHIST. 

Jeff is interesed in narrative nonfiction, true crime, science, sports, history, parenting; Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction and nonfiction; and genre fiction, including romance, historical, sci-fi, thriller and mystery. [Critiques and pitches are sold out.]


Agent Panels

SATURDAY: What Makes a Great Query Letter?

Query letters are the gateway to getting an agent to represent your work. Our agent panel will discuss what makes a great hook, what needs to be included in a query, and what annoys them in the letters they receive.

Bring a query letter to the conference and it might be selected to have our expert panelists provide live feedback.

SUNDAY: The First Page: How to Get an Agent’s Attention

A panel of our guest agents will discuss what they look for when they read the first page of a book. Topics will include the importance of the opening sentence, how much needs to be included in the first page, and what to avoid in that important introduction.

Bring a sample first page and it may be selected for a live critique by our panel of experts.


Register Now to reserve a pitch or Critique spot!

JOIN MWA            Register for brain to bookshelf 2020