Contracts and News
New York Pitch Conference Faculty
Workshop Leaders and Director
Publishing House Editors
Ibrahim Ahmad is senior editor at Akashic Books. He has acquired and edited dozens of titles for the completely independent Brooklyn-based company, which is dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction, upmarket/general fiction, fantasy (YA and adult), crime fiction, and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers. Akashic's enduring commitment to seek out and publish fresh voices is reflected by the diversity and eclecticism of the twenty-five or so books released annually by the company. In addition to its regular publishing program, Akashic hosts a number of other imprints including the Little House on the Bowery experimental fiction line; Chris Abani's Black Goat poetry imprint, which seeks to provide a proportional representation of female, African, and other non-American poets; and the Akashic Noir Series, showcasing original short crime fiction from around the world.
Corinna Barsan is a senior editor at Grove Atlantic, acquiring literary fiction and narrative nonfiction in the areas of social and cultural history, memoir, and investigative journalism. Authors she works with include American novelists Michelle Hoover, Bonnie Nadzam, Margaret Wrinkle, and Alice LaPlante; international writers Yan Lianke, Kenzaburo Oe, Andrea Molesini, and Gustavo Faveron Patriau; and nonfiction writers Rob Spillman and Bryan Denson. She is drawn to unconventional voices and unexpected stories that are thought-provoking, culturally nuanced, and emotionally weighted. Previously she worked at Other Press and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
An editor at Del Rey Books (Random House Publishing Group) Mike is currently acquiring science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and thrillers. He loves genre fiction in any form, and his favorite books are the ones with a well-realized world, iconoclastic characters, and new twists on well-loved themes and ideas. Mike has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Kevin Hearne, Jason M. Hough, Pierce Brown, Richard K. Morgan, Alan Dean Foster, Matthew Stover, Ted Kosmatka, and newcomer Alan Smale, among many other talented authors.
Rebecca Brewer is an associate editor at Penguin Random House for Ace. She specializes in science fiction and fantasy, which has been a lifelong passion. She started her career at the Science Fiction Book Club before moving to Ace. Her list includes such esteemed authors as Emma Newman, Daniel J. Older, Charles Stross, S.M. Stirling, Genevieve Cogman, and Christina Henry, among others.
Kat is an associate editor at St. Martins. She interned at the Maria Carvainis Agency, Foundry Literary + Media, and Writers House. She looks for non-fiction by authors with a great platform, like Joe Zee, creative director of ELLE magazine. She is working with R.L. Stine on reviving his young adult "Fear Street" series, which has sold more than 80 million copies around the world. She is seeking contemporary novels, general or upmarket, both light and dark, as well as mystery, suspense, or thrillers, and YA that exposes readers to new points of view.
Jackie Cantor is an Executive Editor at The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin. Prior to joining Berkley in August 2005, she was a Vice President and Executive Editor at Bantam Dell, where her list included a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction titles in all formats. She is proud to have discovered the New York Times bestselling authors Diana Gabaldon and Eloisa James. Other major authors whose work she has acquired include John Grisham, John Lescroart, and Hope Edelman (MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS). At Berkley, her list includes the nationally bestselling authors Kate Furnivall (THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE, THE WHITE PEARL), Kate Quinn (MISTRESS OF ROME, EMPRESS OF THE SEVEN HILLS), Laura Brodie (THE WIDOW'S SEASON, ALL THE TRUTH), Lucy Dillon (LOST DOGS AND LONELY HEARTS, WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS) and Lucy Ferriss (THE LOST DAUGHTER).
An Executive Editor at Penguin, Tom has worked in publishing for over twenty years in publishing. His specialties are general fiction, category fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and just about any high-concept marketable tale. Authors he has worked with include Tom Clancy, Ed McBain, Clive Cussler, W.E.B. Griffin, and Jack Higgins.
Bess Cozby works as an Associate Editor at
Tor/Forge books. Bess is actively building her fiction list and seeking adult, young adult (YA), and middle grade (MG) titles. For adult, YA, and MG, she would love to find high quality, commercial historical fiction featuring a character modern readers can follow into a time and place they don’t know. On the adult side, Bess also is seeking mysteries, thrillers, and women’s fiction with a literary feel. For YA and MG, she also would love to find fun, fast, or nail-biting thrillers and contemporary novels with a high-concept hook. A few things she is particularly interested in: fame and its effects on people, sibling dynamics, the American Revolution, and philosophy. An element of romance is always a plus. She moved to New York City in 2010, after earning a BA in English and Philosophy, to create a writing life outside the classroom.
Brendan Deneen is a former development/production executive for Scott Rudin and Bob & Harvey Weinstein (Miramax/Dimension Films/Weinstein Company), and a former literary and film manager, where he closed dozens of publishing and movie deals. Deneen is currently an Editor at Thomas Dunne Books (a division of St. Martin's Press/Macmillan), where he also launched a film division (Macmillan Films' first project, TEMPEST, was pre-empted by Summit Entertainment, producers of the TWILIGHT movies, and Deneen is an Executive Producer on that film). Additionally, he teaches Writing for Film & Television at Hunter College, teaches How To Write Young Adult Novels for MediaBistro.com, and is also independently producing a number of film and television projects. He is looking for high concept projects in a variety of genres including science fiction and YA fantasy, mysteries, suspense and thrillers, and just about anything that sounds fresh and commercially viable.
Claire Eddy is a Senior Editor at Tor Forge Books and has been with the company for close to thirty years. Starting in the science fiction and fantasy field, she has worked with Jacqueline Carey, Juliet Marillier, Jane Yolen, and Jack Vance; as well as newcomers Beth Bernobich and Ian Tregillis. In addition, she also does projects in the historical, thriller and mystery fields, working with Carole Nelson Douglas, Sharan Newman, and newcomers such as Tony Hays.
Michaela Hamilton, executive editor at Kensington, acquires and edits commercial fiction including thrillers, mainstream mysteries, cozy mysteries, women's fiction, true crime, platform-driven memoirs, and nonfiction and fiction involving animals. Highlights of her publishing career include DONNIE BRASCO by Joseph D. Pistone, SMALL SACRIFICES by Ann Rule, JFK HAS BEEN SHOT by Dr. Charles Crenshaw, and AN UNEXPECTED GRACE by Kristin von Kreisler.
Peter Joseph is an executive editor at Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press, where he acquires fiction and nonfiction. His nonfiction list covers narrative nonfiction, memoirs, biographies, nature, science, history, politics, and humor. His fiction list includes literary, general fiction, crime, and historical novels. He has edited notable and bestselling authors such as Patrick J. Buchanan, Senator Robert Byrd, Mayor Buddy Cianci, Dario Fo, Steve Guttenberg, Steve Hamilton, Robert Littell, Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer, William Shatner, Wilbur Smith and Senator Arlen Specter. With Anne Hillerman, he co-founded the annual Tony Hillerman Prize for debut mystery set in the Southwest.
Executive Editor Lyssa Keusch acquires primarily commercial fiction for the William Morrow/Avon imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Her main focus is on rich, textured, thought-provoking commercial women's fiction, contemporary upmarket or historical fiction, and high-concept thrillers, mysteries and suspense. She has launched the careers of New York Times bestselling authors James Rollins and Julia Quinn, with whom she is thrilled to continue to work. Among her other authors are New York Times bestsellers J. A. Jance, Jefferson Bass, Samantha James, and Elizabeth Boyle, award-winners Jamie Freveletti, Sean Chercover, Robin Burcell, and Mary Daheim, and international bestsellers Kathryn Fox and Glenn Cooper. While her list is generally comprised of commercial fiction, she enjoys editing the occasional narrative nonfiction project as well, keeping an eye out for books in which the reader learns something fascinating, on topics ranging from popular science and nature to history to cultural explorations to memoir.
Allison Malecha is an assistant editor at Grove Atlantic, working on a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Her experience includes both editorial and publicity at Grove Atlantic which focuses on literary/upmarket fiction, serious nonfiction, works in translation, and literary mysteries and thrillers, and works closely with Otto Penzler on his Mysterious Press imprint. She has a B.A. in comparative literature from Columbia University.
Karyn Marcus is a Senior Editor at the flagship imprint of Simon and Schuster. Acquiring both fiction and nonfiction, Karyn's interests are varied: she looks for voice-driven upmarket fiction, well-paced suspense, memoir, and narrative nonfiction about science, health, and culture. Among the fiction titles she has worked on are THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion, WOOL by Hugh Howey and THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A. Harrison.
April Osborn is an Associate Editor at St. Martin's Press looking for smart psychological suspense, memoirs with a sharp sense of humor, and literary novels with a fresh, contemporary voice, like Amp'd by Ken Pisani: a hilariously irreverent and irresistibly charming novel about a man who returns to his childhood home to recover after his arm is amputated and falls in love with a voice on the radio. Her current obsession with John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" also has her on the hunt for new voices in issue-driven narrative nonfiction and popular science.
Liz is now an Assistant Editor at St. Martins Press and is always looking for a story that will keep her on the edge of her seat, whether it's a hot romance or a chilling mystery. She loves strong heroines, sharp banter, and humor. She is actively seeking genre romance, YA, cozy mystery, and prefers stories with happy endings--and bad guys who get their comeuppance. A couple of her recent acquisitions include an edgy, emotional romantic suspense, THE STRONGEST STEEL by Scarlett Cole, and a sexy historical romance set in Scotland all about revenge called THE BEAST OF CLAN KINCAID.
Michelle Richter is now an agent at Foreword Literary Agency. A former editor, she has worked with bestselling authors including Tom Perrotta, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, and Ian K. Smith, MD and with authors well-known in other media such as Paul Anka; Albert Brooks; and Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian on fiction and on nonfiction topics. She's seeking book club fiction, literary and high-concept general fiction, and well-crafted women's commercial fiction, as well as thrillers and mysteries, specifically amateur sleuth, police procedurals, and smart cozies. She loves memoir and biography: the subjects don't have to be famous people but do have to have a story that needs to be told. She also has a soft spot for books in and about Boston/Massachusetts, Ireland, and Russia. Michelle has a Masters of Science in Publishing from Pace University.
Peter Senftleben is an Assistant Editor at Kensington Publishing. He is interested in a wide variety of fiction and actively looking for mainstream general fiction, women's fiction, mystery, suspense/thriller, urban fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance, gay fiction, and new adult fiction.
Kristin Sevick is an editor at Tor/Forge where she has worked for more than seven years, acquiring a wide range of commercial fiction, including romance, crime, historical, upmarket and women's fiction. Before coming to Tor, she spent a few years working at a veterinary journal which was both good editing experience and also made her a hypochondriac about her dog. Kristin's list includes New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron, Boston Globe bestseller Hank Phillippi Ryan, award-winning authors Rebecca Cantrell and Carrie Bebris, and many others.
Amy Stapp is an associate editor at Tor/Forge and Tor Teen, where she acquires mystery, suspense, women's fiction, and historical fiction. She is actively seeking gritty suspense, mature YA, psychological/literary horror, character-driven historical fiction, and smart romance. When not reading, she enjoys travelling, experimenting in the kitchen, long runs with her dog, and champagne with friends. Find her on Twitter at @AmyStappNY.
Hilary Rubin Teeman
Hilary is an editor at St. Martin's Press. She acquires commercial and literary fiction, historical fiction, thrillers, mainstream romantic suspense, and chick-lit as well as social and cultural histories, narrative non-fiction, popular sociology, playful self-help, and memoir. Recently published and forthcoming titles include: Lenore Hart's BECKY, a novel of the "true life" of Becky Thatcher; Tamar Yellin's THE GENIZAH AT THE HOUSE OF SHEPHER, an award-winning novel of four generations of a Jerusalem family; Lea Jacobson's BAR FLOWER, a gripping memoir of the decadent, destructive life of a Tokyo nightclub hostess; and Lori Uscher-Pines's BUYING THE COW IN THE AGE OF FREE MILK: HOW TO GET YOUR MAN TO PROPOSE; and star of VH1's The Pickup Artist, Mystery's THE MYSTERY METHOD: HOW TO GET BEAUTIFUL WOMEN INTO BED.
Michelle Vega is an Editor with the Berkley Publishing Group, an imprint of Penguin Group, USA. She has a Master's degree in British and American literature and began her career with Berkley in 2005. She is interested in cozy, paranormal, traditional and historical mysteries. She also loves urban fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, and some YA, but she'll read anything with intriguing characters and a compelling plot. Her mystery authors are published under Berkley's New York Times bestselling Prime Crime imprint and she has also acquired for the Berkley, Ace, and Jove lines.
Adam Wilson joined Gallery (Simon and Schuster) in 2011, having begun his career with Harlequin and MIRA Books. As a senior editor is looking to acquire upmarket commercial and literary fiction, elevated genre fiction, pop culture and sports nonfiction. He particularly enjoys working with authors to refine their work, taking on a diverse array of projects and voices. Authors he has worked with include Christina Lauren, Anna Todd, Benjamin Whitmer, Francesca Haig, V.C. Andrews, Robert Levy, Jeff Somers, and Jennifer Estep.
Senior Editor Tessa Woodward edits a wide array of romance, women's fiction, and historical fiction. On the romance side, she edits authors across all genres, including the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers Tessa Dare, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Jennifer Bernard, and Maya Rodale. Her women's fiction titles range from USA Today bestseller Shelley Noble's beach-set novels, to Molly McAdams' New York Times bestselling New Adult stories, to Lisa Turner's psychological mysteries, and the New York Times bestselling historical ORPHAN #8, a debut from Kim van Alkemade. She is the US editor for international bestseller Paullina Simons.
Abby Zidle is a senior editor at Gallery and Pocket Books acquiring commercial fiction and nonfiction, including romance, suspense, general fiction, women's fiction, memoir, and popular culture titles. Her authors at Pocket include everything from New York Times bestsellers to debut novelists. Prior to working at Pocket, she was an editor for Harlequin's HQN line. She began her career in publishing at Bantam Dell, after abandoning the glamorous life of a Ph.D. student (the only job that pays worse than editorial assistant).
Algonkian Assistant Editors
If you combine the personalities of Hermione Granger and Lucile Ball, you'll have Kim, a clever, lively, go-getter, determined to make it in the world of writers. She earned her Bachelors degree in English at Montclair State University and has studied film and screenplay in London England. She has worked as an editor for a start-up fashion site and authored a number of published articles. She has worked as an assistant editor with Algonkian's New York Pitch for two years and is in the process of writing her second novel.
Audrey's path to the publishing industry has been unorthodox to say the least. Graduating with a degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Vermont, she moved to Boston for a job at MGH. After realizing that her true passion has always been fiction, she quit medicine and has been chipping away at the writing business ever since. She is now an Algonkian alumni and assistant editor at the NYC Pitch Conference, and is in the process of shopping her third novel with a fourth in the works. Outside of writing, Audrey is eternally hunting for good wine, fun books, and the perfect reading corner.
New York Pitch Workshop Leaders
Caitlin Alexander is freelance editor in New York, also an editorial consultant for Author Salon. As a senior editor at Random House Publishing Group she acquired and edited a variety of projects including New York Times bestsellers Michelle Richmond (THE YEAR OF FOG), David Gibbins (THE LOST TOMB), Andy McDermott (THE HUNT FOR ATLANTIS), and Gwen Cooper (HOMER'S ODYSSEY); Angela Davis-Gardner (PLUM WINE), and International Thriller Writers Award winner Tom Piccirilli (SHADOW SEASON).
Susan Breen is the author of the novel THE FICTION CLASS, discovered at the New York Pitch and published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group. Her novel was also published by Headline Review (in the UK), Wheeler Publishing (large print) and is a selection of Reading Group Choices. Susan has been a finalist for the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship Competition. Her stories have been published by a number of literary magazines, among them North Dakota Quarterly, The Chattahoochee Review and American Literary Review. Susan teaches beginning and advanced fiction classes at Gotham Writers' Workshop; she is also a contributor to The Writer and Writer's Digest.
Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, Paula boasts broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, SF/fantasy, romance, YA, memoir, and humor. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She's currently VP of that organization.) She's also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting. And she's an active member of Sisters in Crime.
Michael Neff - Director
New York Pitch and Algonkian Writer Conferences director, Michael Neff, now an associate with AEI Films and Books in Los Angeles, is not only workshop-leading in New York, but also on the search for high-concept SF/F, mystery/thrillers, historicals, and generally darn good fiction, upmarket or otherwise. Michael is the creator and director of WebdelSol.Com, a literary and cinema arts community, and one of the largest publishers of periodical contemporary lit on the WWW. He edits and publishes several highly acclaimed national literary magazines including 5_Trope, In Posse Review, La Petite Zine, Perihelion, and The Potomac, as well as the "Paris Review of the Internet," Del Sol Review. His own work has appeared in such classic literary publications as The Literary Review, North American Review, Mudlark, Quarterly West, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Conjunctions, and American Way Magazine. His upmarket political novel, YEAR OF THE RHINOCEROS, was published in 2009.
NOTE: New York Pitch Conference faculty are subject to change as circumstances dictate, however, new editors and/or workshop leaders will be substituted who are just as qualified and diverse in taste.
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