Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 25th annual Writers' Institute. We are already looking forward to 2015. All information below is from the 2014 event, here for your reference.

Who are they? What are they looking for?

We are extremely pleased to welcome these agents to the 25th annual Writers' Institute. Read all about them here, as well as what kinds of material they are looking for. Discover who is seeking what you're offering, and get ready to pitch!

Marilyn Atlas is equally at home in the worlds of film, television, and live theater. Among her film credits are Real Women Have Curves for HBO—which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival—A Certain Desire, starring Sam Waterston, and Brides' March for Lifetime Television. Additionally, she produced the award-winning play, To Gillian on her 37th Birthday. She is featured in the book Write Now! by Penguin/Tarcher Press, and is co-authoring a book on character. Committed to projects that reflect diversity, Marilyn has been a constant presence at the National Association for Latino Independent Producers writer and producer conferences, as well as at various industry events, film festivals, and schools across the country.

In addition to Marilyn’s film/TV credits, she has sold (first time) novels Chasing the Jaguar to HarperCollins, Hungry Woman in Paris to Grand Central Publishing, the Ave Maria Bed & Breakfast to Hachette Publishing, and The Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole to Sourcebooks.

Recently, Marilyn has been developing the Brides’ March for Lifetime Television as well as a limited television series. And she is also producing as a movie for Lifetime, the YA book Choke by Diana Lopez to be shot in Winter 2013. Atlas previously produced the musical version of Real Women Have Curves in Los Angeles in 2009. Atlas is presently partnering with Broadway producer Chris Bensinger for the musical version of Real Women. In the fall of 2012 Atlas co-produced the play Detained in the Desert at the Guadeloupe Theater in San Antonio.

  • Marilyn is looking for: women’s stories, fiction that could be sold as filmed entertainment, and screenplays.
  • Marilyn is NOT looking for: horror, supernatural, or sci-fi.

Laura Biagi joined the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc. (JVNLA) in 2009. She is actively building her own client list, seeking adult literary fiction and young readers books. She also handles the sale of Australian and New Zealand rights for the agency. She has worked closely with Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz on their titles, as well as Jennifer Weltz on the submission of JVNLA’s titles internationally.

Laura’s writing background has honed her editorial eye and has driven her enthusiasm for discovering and developing literary talent. She studied creative writing and anthropology at Northwestern University. As a writer, she has participated in workshops at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She is the recipient of a Kentucky Emerging Artist Award for fiction writing. Laura grew up in a small town in Kentucky and maintains a fondness for Southern biscuits and unobstructed views of the stars.

  • Laura is looking for: In the adult fiction realm, she is particularly interested in literary fiction, magical realism, cultural themes, and debut authors. She is drawn to strong voices, complex narrative arcs, dynamic and well-developed characters, psychological twists, and dystopian/apocalyptic literary fiction.
  • In the young readers realm, she is seeking young adult novels, middle grade novels, and picture books. She loves young readers books that have a magical tinge to them and vivid writing. She also looks for titles that incorporate high concept, dark/edgy, and quirky elements, as well as titles that challenge the way we typically view the world.

Jen Karsbaek joined first Larsen Pomada Literary Agency, then Foreword Literary Agency in 2013, but has been immersed in the book world since 2008, when she founded the influential blog Devourer of Books. In addition to book reviews, during her time blogging Jen has hosted a literary podcast, an online book club, and a popular annual event celebrating audiobooks. Jen is also a freelance writer and reviewer.

  • Jen is looking for: Jen is aggressively looking to build her list with women’s fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, historical fiction, and literary fiction. She looks for books with particularly well-developed characters and strong authorial voice. In historical in particular she is interested in books that bring the setting to life and maintain balance between historical accuracy and strong plot choices. She is also interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to any of the genres listed above.
  • She is not looking for YA or anything that is primarily fantasy, romance, or science fiction.

Elizabeth Kracht joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the fall of 2010 to broaden her perspective on the publishing industry. She represents both literary and commercial fiction as well as nonfiction, and brings to the agency experience as a former acquisitions editor, freelance publicist, and writer.

Elizabeth’s career in publishing took root in Puerto Rico where she completed her BA in English and worked as a copyeditor for an English-language newspaper. When she returned to the mainland she found her “vein of gold” in book publishing. She thrives on working closely with authors and researching the potential market for new books.

Elizabeth’s eclectic life experience drives her interests. She appreciates writing that has depth, an introspective voice or that offers wisdom for contemporary living. Having lived in cities such as New York, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is compelled by urban and multicultural themes and loves settings that are characters unto themselves.

  • Elizabeth is looking for: In fiction, she represents literary, commercial, women’s, thrillers, mysteries, and YA with crossover appeal. She is intrigued by untrustworthy narrators, tragic tales of class and circumstance, and identifies with flawed yet sterling characters. In nonfiction, she particularly loves voice- or adventure-driven memoir, and other nonfiction projects that contribute to the well-being of the self or others in addition to niche projects that fill holes in the market, offer a fresh approach, or make her laugh. She also has a soft spot for nonfiction heroic pet stories.

Jodell Sadler earned her MFA in Children's Writing from Hamline University. She is working on the writing craft book Picture Book Lunch: 20 Tools to Write KidLit to Wow, and has produced 5 Writer's Digest University Tutorials on Children's Writing. Her published articles include Picture Book Pacing: Verbal and Visual Tools for Writers, and Picture Book Pacing: The Ultimate 20 Editing Tools for Your Work, in the Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, 2011 and 2013, respectively. She lives in the Rockton area with her husband, four kids, four cats, bearded dragon, parakeet, and new pup, Rosie.

  • Jodell is looking for: YA, middle grade (especially funny) , fiction and nonfiction, book proposals, and picture books. She simply loves a well-paced story, one that moves the story along to move the reader between joy and tears.

Unable to narrow her focus to just one subject, Rebecca Scherer earned her BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in Political Science, English Lit, and German language. Rebecca joined the Jane Rotrosen Agency in 2012 and now has daily opportunities to put her wide range of interests to use as she actively builds her client list.

  • Currently Looking For: suspense, women’s fiction, New Adult, Young Adult, and fiction at the cross of commercial and literary. I’m particularly interested in fiction steeped in geopolitical or historical events.
  • Not Looking For: Picture books and middle-grade.

Tina P. Schwartz opened The Purcell Agency in July of 2012, after spending 12 years writing and marketing her work, along with helping several others get published.

After a career in Radio Sales and Marketing, she turned to her true passion—selling manuscripts. She sold her first book contract in 2004, and sold 9 other titles—all in the Teen and Youth markets—to traditional publishers before officially opening her own agency.

Since opening the agency, she's sold 3 more manuscripts (1 non-fiction, 2 novels), all in the youth markets. She is pleased to be returning to The Writers' Institute and will be happily taking in-person pitches. [Submissions are limited to Middle Grade Fiction and Young Adult Fiction; plus Non-Fiction for grade school level and teens. Check the Submissions Tab of her website for specifics on presenting your work at» ]

  • Tina is looking for: middle grade Fiction, YA fiction, and nonfiction for grade school level and teens.
  • Tina is not looking for: fantasy or picture books.

Rachel Stout joined Dystel and Goderich after graduating with a degree in English from Fordham University. Her interest in publishing began early in her college career as she sought to figure out where exactly she wanted her life to head, career-wise (and to ward off the all too common assumptions that just because she studied English, she inevitably wanted to become a teacher). An internship with LJK Literary Management solidified and strengthened her determination and introduced her to the agenting side of the publishing world. Rachel hopes that DGLM will further foster these inclinations and is looking forward to the time ahead. After growing up on the South Jersey shore, Rachel now lives in Brooklyn.

  • Rachel is looking for: Literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, and believable and thought-provoking YA as well as magical realism.

Find the agent who's right for you, then sign up for one of their pitch sessions»
—Be sure to get in on the practice pitches as well!