Monday, December 5, 2016

Meet the JUDGES! PitchMAS 2016

Introducing 2016's #PitchMAS 
participating agents and editors!

Logo Awesomeness courtesy of S.P. McConnell

Don't forget that we often have a dozen or more agents and editors who pop onto the #PitchMAS hashtag during the Twitter  pitch party (this year on 12/16), but are unable to participate on the blog pitch portion of PitchMAS, so their names are not listed here.  
We love our ninja agents and editors, especially when they pop in and surprise us!



Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary: Kevan Lyon is a founding partner of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. With over 25 years in the publishing business, including over 10 years as a literary agent and 17+ years on the wholesale, retail and distribution side of the business, Kevan brings an informed and unique perspective to her work with clients. Her background on the buying and retail side of publishing affords her helpful insight into what types of books will sell and how to market them. Kevan holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Kevan handles women’s fiction, with an emphasis on commercial women’s fiction, young adult fiction and all genres of romance. Kevan works with her authors to help them realize their dreams of being published and to build a long term career as a writer, and strives to partner with her clients on all phases of the publishing path. Authors on Kevan’s list span a broad range of genres in women’s fiction including historical fiction, mystery, literary, commercial fiction and all genres of romance. She loves to be swept away by a captivating story and fresh narrative voice.
Kevan represents numerous NYT, USA Today and internationally bestselling authors including Marie Force, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Jamie McGuire, J. Kenner, Laura Kaye, Jennifer Probst, Kristen Proby, Shelley Noble, Laura Griffin, Jennifer Robson, Molly McAdams, Katie McGarry and Jennifer McQuiston, among others.
For more information on the agency and their client list, visit their web site at, visit their Facebook page, or follow Kevan on Twitter!
  • Wishlist: Kevan is looking for Women’s fiction of all types, with an emphasis on contemporary and historical women’s fiction. Stories that may be seen as “book-club” type fiction, as well as suspense, thriller etc.

Heather Flaherty, The Bent Agency: Heather Flaherty grew up in Massachusetts, between Boston and the Cape, and started working in New York City as a playwright during college. After much country hopping and some work in editorial, Heather became a YA and Children’s Literary Scout, consulting with foreign publishers and Hollywood regarding what the next big book will be. As an Agent, she's thrilled to grow authors for that same success. @HeddaFlaherty
  • Wishlist: Currently, she's looking for authors of Middle-Grade and Young-Adult fiction, as well as select Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction projects. For YA, she’s looking across all genres (SFF to Contemporary, bright to dark), and loves an excellent and authentic teen voice. For MG, she's looking for more realistic stories (either contemporary or period), about coping, coming-of-age, or situations seen through the eyes of a young person. In Adult, she leans towards upmarket fiction, female-centric thrillers, commercial women’s fiction, as well as humor and pop-culture non-fiction and teen memoir.

Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary: Laura Zats is an agent at Red Sofa Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and young adult fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and erotica. She loves books that feel like old friends and stories that expand her understanding of the world. Laura is also one-half of Print Run, a publishing podcast. 
  • Wish List: spunky and/or poignant middle grade (particularly with science and adventure!), YA of all types, untraditional romance with high heat, and fresh-feeling science fiction and fantasy that pass the Bechdel Test. Laura is particularly interested in geeky, feminist, and diverse books, with an emphasis on #ownvoices.

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.
  • Wish List: I’m looking for YA and adult fantasy and science-fiction, or contemporary stories that have some strong geeky or magical elements. I’d especially love heist stories or stories starring LGBTQ ladies. 

Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group: Mark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department. Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on in Overall Deals and other categories. 
  • Wish List: Fiction: Mystery/Crime, Thriller, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Literary. Children’s: YA, MG, Graphic Novels, Picture Books. Non-Fiction: Pop Culture, Humor, Illustrated, History/Politics, Current Affairs, True Crime, Narrative, Celebrity Memoir, Lifestyle, Health, Biography

Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency: Nicole has been listed by Publisher's Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW's 2012 Agent of the Year. She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level. Do you have the next project to feed her book addiction? A smart, tight read she won’t be able to put down? A signature voice she’ll fight to represent? Romance, mainstream suspense, thrillers, mysteries, YA, NA, MG, picture books, nonfiction, cookbooks, and inspirational novels are welcome. A consummate science geek and card-carrying Mensa member, Nicole would love to find the next great science fiction/fantasy novel or action/adventure masterpiece. 
  • Wish List: High concept middle grade, any kind of romance, thrillers, and really fresh voices in YA.

Jennifer Wills, The Seymour Agency: Jennifer has five years’ experience in some of the publishing industry’s leading literary agencies.  She worked with publishers around the world as an assistant in Trident Media Group’s huge foreign rights department, and with domestic publishers as an assistant at Writers House (where, incidentally, she began her career as an intern). 
She joined the Seymour Agency in April 2016, where she has quickly moved up the ranks to Associate Agent.  Jennifer has always loved helping fledgling authors become NYT bestsellers and she’s ready to be a relentless champion for her own clients’ work.  You can find her @WillsWork4Books on Twitter.
  • Wish List: Jennifer is particularly interested in a wide range of picture books and cookbooks, with a soft spot for author/illustrators of sweet and wacky picture books, and cookbooks with mouth-watering recipes of the health conscious, budget friendly or celebrity chef variety.  For fiction, she’s also interested in middle grade and YA with a sci fi/fantasy, horror/suspense, or contemporary bent, and upmarket women’s fiction with a sense of humor. On the nonfiction side, narrative nonfiction and memoir are also welcome.  If your manuscript has a great hook, a distinct voice, and can make her laugh out loud or ugly cry (or, even better, both), she’d love to see it.
Julie Gwinn, The Seymour Agency: Julie Gwinn, currently a literary agent with The Seymour Agency, has more than a decade in Christian publishing including serving as marketing manager then Fiction Publisher for B&H Publishing Group and Marketing Manager for Abingdon Press.
Prior to joining the publishing industry, Gwinn has more than 20 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and public relations. She uses her previous experience to aid her authors at every phase of their publishing plan.
She lives in Nashville, TN, with her husband and two children and also enjoys freelance editing, and DIY projects around the house.
  • Wish List:  Julie is seeking True Crime, Suspense/Mystery, and Contemporary Romance.

Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS: Lauren comes to TriadaUS with a background in literary scouting and editorial consulting. She has a sharp editorial eye, and is passionate about author advocacy.
  • Wish List: In MG, she’s drawn to heartfelt contemporaries, exciting adventures, contemporary fantasy and magical realism, as well as light sci-fi. In YA, she’d love to find authentic teen voices in any and all genres. She is especially fond of fantasy and sci-fi, contemporary stories with a hook, and anything with a feminist bent. 
In Adult, Lauren is seeking commercial fiction, particularly female-driven psychological thrillers, and immersive literary fantasies. She is also interested in female-driven upmarket fiction (especially if it's funny or has a touch of magical realism!) and unique non-fiction with an existing platform. She's particularly hungry for counter culture books, cocktail books with a twist/theme, or narrative nonfiction with a unique hook. Whatever the age category or genre, Lauren is passionate about finding diverse and underrepresented voices. 

Moe Ferrara, Bookends Literary:Becoming a literary agent was fitting for the girl who, as a small child, begged her dad to buy her a book simply because "it has a hard cover." Growing up, she had a hard time finding YA books outside of Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine, and instead tackled Tom Clancy or her mom's romance novels. Though her career path zigzagged a bit—she attended college as a music major, earned a JD from Pace Law School, then worked various jobs throughout the publishing industry—Moe was thrilled to join the BookEnds team in May of 2015 as a literary agent and the subsidiary rights director.

  • Wishlist: Creepy MG a la Coraline; YA Horror, YA Retellings, M/M or M/F erotic romance

Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary: ABIGAIL SAMOUN was an in-house children’s book editor for over ten years, working on a wide range of projects, from board books to young adult novels. Her books received such honors as the CCBC Charlotte Zolotow award, the New York Public Library Ezra Jack Keats award, and the Pura Belpre. In 2011, Abigail made the transition from editing to agenting, co-founding Red Fox Literary with Karen Grencik. She is the author of several children’s books, including What’s In Your Purse? (Chronicle Books, 2014) and the Little Traveler board book series  (Sterling Publishing). Abigail likes to organize her library according to which authors would get along well together (the Brontes next to George Elliot, Lois Lowry next to Margaret Atwood). Abigail lives in Sonoma, California with her entomologist husband, a chihuahua, a gaggle of chickens, and two rambunctious little boys. Visit
  • Wish List:  I'm an anglophile so anything British (particularly Victorian) captures my attention. THE SECRET GARDEN was one of my favorite books as a kid. I also like Gothic stories, ghost stories with a fresh approach, contemporary fantasy, a heart-stopping thriller, or a concept-driven, psychological horror story that really gets under your skin (like Caroline Cooney's THE FOG trilogy). I'd love to find a middle-grade that's set in its own strange, fantastical world, like A Series of Unfortunate Events or any of the Roald Dahl books. For YA, I'm on the look-out for a romance about two social misfits who have an "us-against-the-world" outlook. I'd also love a historical YA that doesn't feel dusty or distant, but really steeps you in the time and place and where the characters feel vital and intimate. I was born in France so I have a soft spot for European settings, particularly Paris. My tastes are fairly eclectic, but I do have a hard time really falling in love with sci-fi or futuristic stories. The three principal things I look for are good storytelling, a fresh approach, and a care and respect for language. 
Pam Howell, D4EO Literary,Pam Howell started her literary career as an assistant to an agent in early 2012. By April Pam was promoted to Associate Agent. In her first two years as an agent, Pam brokered 24 deals, with such publishers as Knopf, Scholastic, NAL, ACE, Grand Central, and others. 

She joined D4EO in June 2014, where she will continue to build her list. She has a passion for genre fiction as well as children's lit.

  • Wishlist:
      Middle Grade - all genres
      YA - all genres
      Adult - Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Terrie Wolf, AKA Literary Management: Terrie Wolf has been at AKALM for past seven years. Prior positions in publishing, international media, and government provided the groundwork for connections in print, television and film. She represents the nation’s largest independent line of coloring and activity books for adults and several top-selling mystery and thriller authors. The agency is honored to focus on the whole enchilada when it comes to career building and multi-platform opportunities for our diverse list of clients and their endeavors. You can find her: and @aka_terrie

  • Wish List: 

Adult: Mystery, Thriller and SuspenseChildren’s: Remember the books that made you think, dream, and dare? Those are the ones I want to introduce to the world. I’m less concerned about genre, but exited to see your story, hear your voice and relish your words.  Nonfiction: Activity books other than coloring books. Pop culture.
Rena Rossner, The Deborah Harris Agency: Rena is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars Program, where she double-majored in poetry and non-fiction writing. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin and holds an MA in History from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She worked at bookstores in four countries, has written extensively for The Jerusalem Report and The Jerusalem Post, and worked in PR, grant-writing, and website development at The Jerusalem Foundation. She is a writer of both fiction and poetry as well as the author of the cookbook EATING THE BIBLE, which has been translated into five languages.
  • Wish List: Rena is interested in representing Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction in all genres, Adult Literary and Contemporary Fiction especially Upmarket Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction and Thrillers. She is also actively seeking Young Adult, Middle Grade and Picture Books.


Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks: Deb Werksman has been at Sourcebooks for the past eighteen years, before which she had her own publishing company. She is the editorial director of romance fiction and acquires single title romance in all subgenres. Sourcebooks publishes 6-8 romance titles per month, in print and ebook formats simultaneously. We are the country's largest woman-owned independent publishing house. We're known for our sales and marketing, as well as our focus on building authors' careers.
  • Wish List: Single title romance in all subgenres: paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, contemporary, erotic romance with: *a main character the reader can relate to * a love interest she can fall in love with * an imaginative, credible world gets created into which the reader can escape * a hook we can sell within 2-3 sentences * a career arc for the author (in other words, this book begins a series or begins a career that we can build)

Becky Herrick, Sky Pony Press: Becky has recently joined Sky Pony Press as editor after many years in editorial at Scholastic. She is originally from Ohio, attended the University of Michigan, and now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and cat. Becky is interested in YA, middle grade, and chapter books in most genres.
  • Wish List: I tend to like books on the lighter side, which often means high-concept, commercial stories. I am actively seeking diverse characters, authors, and stories. My wish-list includes: Fun, contemporary friendship and coming-of-age stories. Contemporary romance (YA only). Fresh/unexpected and accessible fantasy and magic. Quirky mysteries with a relatable narrator. Humorous stories with a great voice.

Kisa Whipkey, REUTS Publications: Kisa Whipkey is a freelance editor, a dark fantasy author, a martial arts demo team expert, and a complete sucker for Cadbury Mini-eggs. She's also the Acquisitions & Editorial Director for YA/NA publisher, REUTS Publications. She developed a passion for storytelling at a young age and has pursued that love through animation, writing, video game design, and demo teams, until finally finding her home in editing. She believes in good storytelling, regardless of medium, and applauds anything featuring a snarky lead character, a complicated narrative structure, and brilliant/uncommon analogies. Currently, she lives in the soggy Pacific Northwest with her husband and plethora of electronics.
Her personal blog--featuring sarcastic commentary on all things storytelling--is located at Or connect with her via Twitter: @kisawhipkey. And, of course, to learn more about REUTS Publications, please visit
  • Wish List: At heart, I am and always will be, a fantasy fan. So for now, I'm on a mission to find some truly thrilling additions to the genre. My forte is dark fantasy, and I adore anything with a multi-layered, intricate narrative that keeps me on my toes. Adventure and a dash of romance are always a plus, but to wow me, I'll need stellar world-building, fresh twists on the standard tropes, beautifully crafted language, and characters who grip me emotionally and refuse to let go. I'm looking YA/NA in any of the following sub-genres:

Dark High/EpicSword & SorceryMagic RealismSteampunkRomantic ContemporaryUrbanFairy Tale/MythologyMeta-fantasyScience FantasySome of my all-time favorite books include Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Fire by Kristin Cashore, The Rose Master by Valentina Cano, Shapechangers by Jennifer Roberson, and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I would love to find something that has an original fairy-tale feel paired with elements of classic literature like Jane Eyre, or Pride and Prejudice. Diverse cultures and settings are also a plus, as I believe that fantasy--and literature in general--should be infused with more of that. REUTS Publications, as a company, is open to any genre of fiction in the YA & NA categories. So I'll be scoping out anything that falls under those headers, regardless of whether or not it matches my personal wish list.

Lisa Gus and Andrew Buckley, Curiosity Quills PressAt Curiosity Quills Press, we believe a book is a portal to another world, a break from reality that frees both mind and spirit. We want to bring a little piece of that magic to every life we touch with the written word. W. Somerset Maugham once said, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” Everyone needs a place where they can relax, become another person, travel to a different realm. Welcome to CQ Press :)
  • Wishlist: We’d like to see some crazy good ethnic mythology stories (Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, etc.), magical realism, and solid alternate universe stories. Also unique thriller/psychological horror and some unique historical fiction. Primarily seeking upper MG and up.

Kate Brauning, Entangled Publishing: Kate is a senior acquiring editor at Entangled Publishing and an author of young adult fiction (How We Fall, Merit Press). Kate acquires YA, NA, and adult fiction across Entangled’s imprints. She’s especially interested in funny/charming or dark YA, and high-concept stories with literary writing, regardless of genre. In adult fiction, she’s looking for small-town or community-driven romances with clever or hilarious meet-cutes, and romance-driven women’s fiction. Authors Kate has worked with include Lydia Kang, Ingrid Paulson, Julie Hammerle, Tristina Wright, Erica Cameron, MK Meredith, and Golden Heart finalist Kimberly Bell. In her spare time, she makes three-tier cakes, hunts down new music, and reads just about everything. Kate can be found on Twitter (@KateBrauning) and runs the group publishing blog Publishing Hub.
  • Wish List: Light YA sci-fi set on Earth in modern-day with a strong romance. Sweet to spicy adult romance that revolves around clever and unusual meet-cutes, especially with strong setting and a strong community feel. Bonus points for LGBTQ+. Adult romantic suspense, especially featuring hackers. Adult international espionage and CIA/FBI thrillers with heat. NA romance with a unique twist we haven't seen before. A sweet, sports-centric romance for our Bliss imprint, like FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS meets SWEET HOME ALABAMA. Fluffy, light hearted YA paranormal romance (comp to Gail Carriger) for our Crave imprint. YA of any genre with a big-hook, high-concept plot and gorgeous writing.

Mackenzie Walton, Carina Press: Since entering the publishing world in 2007, Mackenzie Walton has edited a number of New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors. She joined Carina Press as a freelance editor in 2016. When not working, she likes to read, listen to podcasts, paint her nails, and take way too many photos of her pets. You can follow Mackenzie on Twitter @mackenziewalton.
  • Wish List: I’m open to romance in all subgenres (excluding inspirational), and am particularly interested in LGBTQ, paranormal, contemporary, erotic, and historical in any time period/setting, as well as urban fantasy and mystery. I especially love reading diverse casts, opposites-attract couples, intricate world-building, and strong, authentic dialogue with distinct character voices.

Good luck and HAPPY #PitchMAS, one and all! 


Tam & Jessa

1 comment:

  1. HAPPY #PitchMAS
    blimey this is quite the prolific posted blog you have here. i had no idea.
    haha is it wrong that i'm secretly hoping everyone on this list wants me to query them.