- Guidelines for Making Appointments
- How to Purchase Additional Appointments
- Appointments by Literary Genre
- Editors & Agents
The SDSU Writers’ Conference offers two distinct opportunities — Advance Reading Appointments and Consultation Appointments — to meet one-on-one with top editors and agents to go over your work and get specific advice about how to take your project forward. You must have registered and paid conference fees before you can sign up for appointments. Please review agent and editor biographies and their specific literary genres before requesting your appointments.
Advance Reading Appointments
These one-on-one, 10-minute appointments with editors and agents require that you submit one copy of the first 10 pages of your manuscript to be read in advance. These appointments are best suited for more experienced writers.
Deadline: Fees must be paid and manuscript pages and must be received no later than Jan. 7, 2019. No Advance Reading Appointments will be scheduled after the deadline has passed. If submissions have been sent, but fees have not been paid by the deadline, your submission will be considered late and not accepted.
A completed submission consists of:
- Conference registration fees
- Appointment fees
- Appointment form(s)
- The first 10 pages of your manuscript (typed, double-spaced, with your name and page number on each page)
These one-on-one, 10-minute appointments with editors and agents provide the opportunity to get feedback and generate interest in your manuscript. If desired, you may bring a one-page synopsis with you to the appointment; however, Consultation Appointments are intended for conversation about the viability, marketability, or quality of your idea or synopsis — there is no advanced reading involved.
Deadline: Fees and Appointment Form(s) must be received by Jan. 28, 2019.
If Consultation Appointments are available after the deadline, you may purchase a session at the conference on Thursday, and up to 10 am Friday. There are no guarantees that appointments will be available after the Jan. 28 deadline. Please do not send manuscript pages or synopsis. You may bring them to your appointment if desired.
A completed submission consists of:
- Conference registration fees
- Appointment fees
- Appointment form(s)
Important Appointment Notes
- Late submissions will not be accepted.
- Payment of fees alone will not reserve any appointments. We must also receive your appointment form(s) and, your first 10 manuscript pages for Advance Reading Appointments.
- Missed appointments will not be rescheduled or refunded.
- You’ll receive your appointment schedule when you check in at the conference.
- Login to your Student Account
- Select My Account
- Under the My Academics drop-down menu, select: Current Courses
- In Actions select Buying Options on the last icon on the far right
- Select the type of appointments (advanced readings limited to 2) and enter the number of appointments (limit is a total of 5 between consultations and advanced readings per participant)
- Select Checkout to finalize the process
Children’s Picture Books
Children’s Middle Grade
Women’s Fiction/Romance (all genres)
Children’s Picture Books
Children’s Middle Grade
Whether your goal is to learn what agents look for in writers, how to improve your writing skills, how to develop market awareness, or create a proposal that will attract editors and agents, this conference is designed for you to learn what you need to succeed.
Betsy Amster is president of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. Before opening her agency, she spent 10 years as an editor at Pantheon and Vintage. She has been described in the Los Angeles Times as “a dogged prospector of … literary talent” and celebrated in the American Society of Journalists and Authors newsletter for her “no-nonsense style and whimsical sense of humor.” Her clients include Los Angeles Times bestsellers María Amparo Escandón and Joy Nicholson, Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Sandi Ault, James Beard Award-winning baker Kim Boyce, historian Margaret Leslie Davis, research psychologist Elaine N. Aron, and MacArthur fellow and urban farmer Will Allen.
Presenting: 10 Ways to Make Yourself Attractive to Agents
Jenny Bak is the editor of James Patterson’s books for young readers, and also acquires stories that reflect the JIMMY mission to create books that inspire a lifelong love of reading in children. Recent projects include Patterson’s Middle School and Maximum Ride series, the #1 New York Times bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper, the IndieBound MG hit How to Be a Supervillain, the picture book Big Words for Little Geniuses, and one of 2018’s most anticipated YA novels, Girls of Paper and Fire. Prior to joining JIMMY, Jenny worked at Egmont UK in London, as well as at Penguin and HarperCollins in New York.
Tamar Brazis is the editorial director of Viking Children’s Books. Previously, she concentrated on picture books for nearly 15 years at Abrams Books for Young Readers. Some of her titles include the Caldecott Honor-winning and Coretta Scott King Award-winning Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Bryan Collier, the #1 New York Times bestseller Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie, Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and David Shannon, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky and Isabelle Arsenault, and the bestselling I Am Yoga/I Am Peace series by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds.
Jenny Chen joined Crooked Lane in 2017 by way of internships with Writers House, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. She obtained dual BA/MA degrees in English literature, graduating with highest honors, in 2016. Now she works on all stories criminal, with debut and critically acclaimed best-selling authors alike. With an affinity for all things macabre, Jenny is on the hunt for stories that challenge and explore the resiliency of the human spirit. She is particularly interested in the fraught natures of intimate relationships, especially of that between parent and child. She wants nuanced villains, small town sheriffs, stories about missing/murdered indigenous women, and has a known weakness for stories set in cabins in the woods, and eerie dolls and wells. She’s looking for a twisted story about home.
Before finding her way to publishing, Taylor Curtin worked as a wardrobe stylist and personal assistant, fetching red carpet gowns and coffee in one, semi-frenzied swoop (think: The Devil Wears Prada). This, as it turns out, was not her calling. Curtin”s lifelong love affair with books found life after an internship at Writers House and she hasn”t looked back since. She is now actively acquiring clients at Union Literary where she is on the lookout for young adult, new adult, upmarket, and literary fiction as well as graphic novels.
Jessica Faust founded BookEnds Literary Agency because of a love for discovering new books and her desire to bring them to readers. More than 15 years later she is still seeking out books in mystery, suspense, thriller, women’s fiction, and upmarket and literary fiction. In addition to building her own list, Faust has been working hard to build BookEnds into an agency for everyone. BookEnds now has 10 agents representing a range of nearly all genres in fiction and nonfiction for adults and children of all ages. When she’s not representing her clients or building BookEnds, Faust likes to cook, read, travel, watch kids sports, and laugh with friends. She also tweets under @BookEndsJessica.
Presenting: What Can You Expect from the Author-Agent Relationship
Lori Galvin started her publishing career in the manuscript editing department at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, then later moved to America’s Test Kitchen where she edited many landmark cookbooks. Moving to the agency side allowed her to expand her expertise into fiction and other types of nonfiction. Among her book deals, she sold Cambria Brockman’s thriller Tell Me Everything in a two-book deal to Ballantine (Netflix has optioned the film rights) and Hannah Kirshner’s travel memoir, Foreign Woman Works in Sake Bar, to Viking.
Emily Graff joined Simon & Schuster in April 2012. She previously worked as an editorial assistant at Penguin Press. Recent and forthcoming titles include The New York Times bestseller How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell; The New York Times bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat; I Can and I Will by Gina Rodriguez; and a novel based on the popular podcast Limetown. She is acquiring books across genres, including literary and upmarket commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, food, and memoir. She graduated with honors from Harvard College and serves on the Young Lions committee, a group of young professionals who are committed to advancing the work of the New York Public Library. In 2015, she was selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s Star Watch honorees.
Karen Grencik became a literary agent because of a man she admired. She wanted the world to know his story. In 2001 she accomplished her goal when Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan, written by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White, was published by Holiday House. Many other award-winning titles followed. In June 2011, Grencik joined forces with ex-Random House editor Abigail Samoun to open Red Fox Literary, LLC, a boutique agency that specializes in children”s books for all ages. Grencik, Samoun, and Red Fox Literary have ranked at the top of the Children’s Book Dealmakers lists for the past five years.
Jen Gunnels is an editor at Tor Books, where her authors include L. E. Modesitt Jr., Sue Burke, and Emily Devenport. Before coming to Tor, she was a drama critic and theater editor for the Hugo-nominated New York Review of Science Fiction, and a contributing editor for performance for the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction online. She has written numerous essays and critical articles on science fiction. In 2014, Gunnels co-edited with Erin Underwood, Geek Theater, a collection of science fiction and fantasy plays.
Before joining Saga Press in 2013, Joe Monti worked in the industry for 18 years as a literary agent, editor, buyer, and sales rep. Since starting with Saga, he has been a finalist for the World Fantasy and Hugo Award for his editorial work. Monti’s authors have won the National Book Award, the Hugo, the Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a Michael L. Printz Award. Monti has a preference for strong narratives, whether they’re in fantasy, horror, or science fiction; commercial or literary.
Paula Munier is a literary agent, writer, and teacher who’s published several books, including the bestselling Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, Writing with Quiet Hands, and the acclaimed memoir Fixing Freddie. The first novel in her mystery series, A Borrowing of Bones, debuted from Minotaur of St. Martin’s Press in September 2018. In her fabulous day job as senior literary agent and content strategist for Talcott Notch Literary, she represents many great writers. Munier’s specialties include crime fiction, women’s fiction, upmarket fiction, MG and crossover YA, high-concept SFF, and nonfiction.
Presenting: The Second Draft Deep-Dive: Revising to Sell
Dana Newman is a Los Angeles-based independent literary agent representing authors of practical and narrative nonfiction (memoir, business, health/wellness, pop culture, lifestyle, current affairs, sports, food) and literary and upmarket fiction. She’s also a transactional and intellectual property attorney, focusing on publishing law, contracts, copyrights, trademarks, and licensing. Newman is a member of the California State Bar and the Association of Authors’ Representatives, and holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco. Information about her agency and law practice is online at dananewman.com.
Monica Odom is an agent at Liza Dawson Associates, where she represents a variety of nonfiction, literary and upmarket fiction, and illustrators. She earned her master’s in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from New York University in 2014, and has a B.A. in English from Montclair State University. She was also schooled in bookselling and event coordinating at her local indie, Watchung Booksellers. She loves to see a personal project turn into something original and surprising, and is committed to the expansion of diversity and inclusivity in the publishing industry.
Helen Richard is an associate editor at Putnam, looking to acquire literary and book club fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, psychological and domestic suspense, memoir, and select narrative nonfiction, with a particular love for stories set in nature, small towns, or the American West. She also loves literary page-turners with a rich sense of place and “voicey” characters, or writers who open up closed-off communities and characters in a universal way. Richard has edited PEN Center USA Literary Award winner Siobhan Fallon; genderqueer activist Jacob Tobia; and novelists including Camille Perri, Robert Hillman, Lindsay Starck, and Anne-Marie Casey.
Ariel Richardson is an editor in children”s at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She primarily edits board books, picture books, and formats/novelty, working on titles such as Bunny Slopes, This Is How We Do It, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, and Masha and Her Sisters. She loves books with a global perspective, books about religious literacy and intersectionality, books that celebrate the power of the imagination, and books that push the boundaries of traditional bookmaking. She’s a children’s bookseller in her spare time, and has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College.
Angela Rinaldi has held editorial and management positions at NAL, Bantam Books, and Pocket Books. She started the book publishing program for The Los Angeles Times, has been on the board of PEN, and is currently on the membership committee for the Association of Authors’ Representatives. She is seeking fiction — literary, commercial and upmarket women’s. For nonfiction, her interests are in the areas of narrative nonfiction, memoir, business, health, lifestyle, parenting, cooking, food and travel, psychology, and relationship. She does not represent screenplays, poetry, westerns, fantasy, horror, science fiction, techno or spy thrillers, self-published books, or books on politics or religion. For further information, go to www.rinaldiliterary.com.
BJ Robbins established her Los Angeles-based agency in 1992 after a multi-faceted career in book publishing in New York, first in publicity at Simon & Schuster and later as marketing director and then senior editor at Harcourt. Her agency represents quality fiction, both literary and commercial, and general nonfiction, with a particular interest in narrative history, memoir, biography, pop culture, sports, medicine and health. Clients include New York Times best-selling authors and award-winning writers such as J. Maarten Troost, James Donovan, John Hough Jr, Max Byrd, Nafisa Haji, Renee Swindle, Stephen Graham Jones, and Deanne Stillman. For further information, go to BJRobbinsLiterary.com.
Ann Rose is one of Prospect Agency”s newest agents, but she isn”t new to publishing. Not only has she penned two published novels, Road to Eugenica and Not Innocent, but over the last few years has been working and mentoring with literary agents in various capacities. Everything she has experienced, from editorial work to the magic of finding the perfect match between author and editor, has strengthened her resolve to join this wonderful profession. Now she”s thrilled to be building her own list and is actively seeking clients ready to grow amazing careers with her. Rose”s perfect manuscript is a character-driven story that isn”t afraid to push boundaries. She also loves an unlikeable character
Presenting: Quelling Your Query Conundrums
Zoe Sandler joined ICM Partners in October 2011, and spent her first years working for and learning from veteran agent Esther Newberg. She is actively building her own list of author clients, a mix of fiction and nonfiction, books for kids and for adults. Her nonfiction is focused in the areas of science, the environment, food policy, medicine, social justice, and anything about our relationship with the natural world. She likes her adult fiction dark and voice-driven, primarily within the crime and suspense categories. For middle grade and YA fiction, Sandler is drawn to quirky humor and voice-driven contemporary novels. Prior to joining ICM, she spent three years at an academic press in North Carolina, after graduating from McGill University in Montreal with a B.A. in English Literature and Hispanic Studies. She was born in England, raised in Southern California, and is delighted to call New York City home.
Alexa Stark is a literary agent at Trident Media Group where she represents a range of literary and upmarket fiction as well as nonfiction. In fiction, she is particularly drawn to literary debuts with a unique voice and perspective, character-driven suspense and thrillers, stories about dysfunctional friendships and families, fiction that delves into the surreal, and edgy coming-of-age stories. In nonfiction, she is drawn to narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, voice-driven essay collections, popular science, psychology, and women’s issues. Raised in New York City, Stark earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University.
Erin Quinn is a New York Times best-selling author who writes dark paranormal romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called "riveting," "brilliantly plotted" and "beautifully written" and have won, placed or showed in numerous awards. Go to ErinQuinnBooks.com for more information or follow Erin on Facebook or Twitter.