2017 Pitch Sessions and Manuscript Consultations2018 Information Coming Fall 2017
Special Guest Agents
Announcements coming soon.
Special Guest Editors
Announcements coming soon.
Due to changes in AAR (Association of Author’s Representatives) guidelines, Storymakers will no longer be offering traditional pitch sessions, but will instead give attendees options for individual critique sessions with agents and editors. These sessions include a query + first page of the manuscript critique, or a ten page manuscript critique.
All critique sessions are fifteen minutes, and cost $15. Attendees who are interested in participating in a critique may enter a lottery.
If you can no longer make your critique session, please let us know so we can give your spot to the next person on the waiting list. Remember, there are no refunds for critique sessions.
Participating agents and editors: Announcements coming soon.
* Registration opens 10 AM MDT, January 23, 2017 *
Due to the limited amount of critique sessions available and the high demand, we will be implementing a lottery system for the openings. All attendees to register for a critique session during the lottery period will be pooled together and then openings will be assigned through a random selection process. If you are chosen for a spot, you will be notified by email and given 48 hours to pay the additional fee. If you decline or neglect to pay, you will lose your critique slot and it will be given to another.
The lottery period runs from 8 a.m. MDT on January 23rd to 10 p.m. MDT on January 30th. You will be notified by January 31st if you received a spot. If you did not, you will be automatically placed on a waiting list and notified in the event of an opening.
- Register for the Storymakers Conference. Check out to complete your registration.
- AFTER REGISTRATION IS COMPLETE, you will be given the option to select up to four query or manuscript critique options in your order of preference. The cost is zero at this time. You will only pay for a critique session if your name is chosen from the lottery.
- Although you may select up to four query or manuscript critique options, it’s important to note that you will only be eligible for one critique session with an agent or editor, so research your options well and choose wisely. Please only choose agents or editors you would be happy working with, as we cannot switch your registration after the lottery has opened.
- You may want to pick a mix of manuscript and query critique sessions, as there are fewer manuscript critiques available and they will thus be harder to get into.
- Those whose names have been drawn will be notified by January 31st.
- If you are notified that you have received a critique session, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to pay within 48 hours.
These fifteen-minute critique sessions provide feedback on the first ten pages of the manuscript. The agent will not be providing feedback on the query, though authors may bring a copy of the query letter to the critique session to help the agent understand the story. The agent/editor will pre-read the pages before the critique and offer detailed feedback.
Pages are due to the agent co-chairs by March 2, 2018.
You will need to submit the first ten pages of your manuscript as a single attachment (.doc or .docx). The pages should be formatted as follows:
- double spaced
- 12 point, Times New Roman font
- one inch margins
- Include the title of your book, your first name, and the genre of your book on a title page or on top of the first page. (The title page does not count toward your ten pages).
In the email subject line, please write: Manuscript Critique for [AGENT or EDITOR name here] (example: Manuscript Critique for Tracey Adams).
We send all of the critique pages as a batch to the agent/editor, so it is critical that you get the manuscript to us by the deadline. We will contact you closer to the assignment with the time and room assignment for the critique session.
Manuscripts will be sent to one of the agent co-chairs: Rosalyn Eves, Brittany Larsen, and Rachel Larsen. Once agents and editors have been announced, we will update with information as to which co-chair to send pages to.
In these fifteen minute critique sessions, the agent or editor will provide feedback on the query and first page of the author’s manuscript. These pages will not be sent to the agent or editor in advance, but will be critiqued during the session.
Authors will need to bring a polished copy of the query letter and first page to the critique session. While the query letter may be single spaced, it should not be more than one page; the first page should be double spaced, with 12 point, Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins.
Why is the cost/approach different this year than previous years?
Due to changes in AAR rules (that agents cannot charge for pitch sessions) we have done away with pitch sessions and instead implemented one-on-one critiques. The fee for the critique sessions goes to overhead admin costs, rather than directly to agents, in keeping with AAR rules.
What happens if I don’t win the lottery?
If you don’t win the lottery, your name will be put on a waitlist in case of openings (as people cancel or change their minds). In the (unlikely) event that an agent or editor’s critique sessions don’t fill, they will be offered to other attendees after the lottery period.
What if I can’t get a session with the agent/editor of my choice?
Most visiting agents and editors accept queries from conference attendees. Information on how to submit to the visiting agents and editors will be available after the conference.
When will I find out the time for my critique session?
The agent/editor co-chairs will be contacting authors with critique session times one week before the conference.
What if my critique session conflicts with my schedule?
The co-chairs will have your registration information and will not schedule the critiques during intensives or classes authors may be teaching. If there are other conflicts (not classes you want to attend, but extreme circumstances), please contact the co-chairs as soon as possible (see “Manuscript Critique” above for contact information).
Can I transfer my critique?
No. If you can’t make it to your critique session, please contact one of the agent/editor co-chairs (listed under “Manuscript Critique” above) to let them know that you cannot make your session. They will then offer that spot to someone on the waiting list.
Can I get a refund if I can’t make my critique session?
How can I prepare for my critique session?
- Submit the best possible work: have beta readers give you feedback and revise and polish before submitting/appearing at the session. Make sure that the work fits the agent/editors wish list.
- Arrive a few minutes early to your appointment (we suggest 10 minutes). It’s better to take the time to catch your breath and steady your nerves before you’re in the spotlight.
- Dress professionally.
- Take your time. Settle in, set down your bag, introduce yourself, take a deep breath.
- If you are doing a query critique, give the agent your query and first page.
- Come prepared with questions (about your query, the manuscript idea, the market, etc.) in case you have extra time at the end of the session.
- Please do not bring extra materials (sample chapters, etc.) to give to the agent/editor. Each agent/editor is seeing about 25 people so it would be a lot of paper for him/her to haul back on the plane. All of them are willing to look at submissions after the conference. This is standard conference protocol. The agent/editor will also give you additional instructions if needed.
2017 Agents & Editors
Eighteen years ago, Sara Crowe started her career at The Wylie Agency. She has spent the last decade at Harvey Klinger, Inc., where she has developed the careers of dozens of New York Times Bestselling and Award winning children’s and Young Adult authors and adult authors including Betsy Cornwell, Peggy Eddleman, Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Jeff Hirsch, Varian Johnson, Erin Entrada Kelly, Nina LaCour, Jonathan Maberry, Michael Northrop, Lisa Schroeder and Dan Wells, among many others.
She is regularly ranked as a top children’s agent on Publisher’s Marketplace. She is committed to actively pursuing film and television and other subsidiary rights for her clients. Building on seven years of experience working in foreign rights, she attends major international rights fairs to hand sell her author’s work. She loves finding new talent to champion and nurturing and developing careers.
Michelle Frey is an executive editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she acquires books for children of all ages, including picture books, middle grade novels, young adult fiction, and nonfiction. Some of the books she has edited include the international bestseller Eragon (and the full Inheritance Cycle) by Christopher Paolini, the New York Times bestselling Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birsdall, the first of which was a National Book Award winner, Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long, and Grover Cleveland, Again! by Ken Burns, illustrated by Gerald Kelley. She lives in New York City, where she was born and raised.
Elizabeth Harding is an agent with Curtis Brown Literary. She represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle-grade and young adult fiction. She started at the agency almost 20 years ago as an assistant to the legendary Marilyn E. Marlow. Elizabeth’s list includes New York Times bestsellers, Newbery, National Book Award, Printz, and Coretta Scott King honor and award winners. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), a devoted and hopeful fan of her hometown Cleveland teams and lives in Manhattan with her husband and four sons.
Nicole Resciniti is a Senior Agent with The Seymour Agency. She 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 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. Currently on her wish list: high concept middle grade, any kind of romance, and really fresh voices in YA.
Nicole is a member of AAR, ACFW, RWA, and Mensa. She holds degrees in biology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. “I have the best job in the world. I read for a living and make author’s dreams come true.”
Gordon Warnock is a founding partner at Fuse Literary, serving as a literary agent and the editorial director of Short Fuse Publishing. His nonfiction tastes are broad, and he especially enjoys self-help, pop-culture, current events, business, and memoir for adults – YA. His fiction list includes high-concept commercial, suspense, women’s fiction, and contemporary literary fiction for adults – YA. He also represents graphic novels and verse novels for adults – MG.
EVERYTHING WE KEEP by Kerry Lonsdale
COOKING FOR GHOSTS by Patricia V. Davis
LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST by Susan Schild
TURNING JAPANESE by MariNaomi
PERCEPTUAL INTELLIGENCE by Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler
CREATIVE VISUALIZATION FOR WRITERS by Nina Amir
Heidi Taylor, Editor
(Friday Only) Heidi Taylor has been with Deseret Book for the past nine years. She graduated from the University of Utah where she had the opportunity to study English and Creative Writing with some of the best minds in the business. Heidi works as a publishing manager for the Shadow Mountain imprint of Deseret Book. She publishes children, teen, and young adult fiction and non-fiction, and manages the Proper Romance brand – Shadow Mountain’s line of clean romances. She has had the pleasure of working with New York Times Bestselling author, Brandon Mull, and his Candy Shop War series, Christmas Jar’s author, Jason F. Wright, as well as the award-winning Julianne Donaldson. Her job allows her to work one-on-one with authors to acquire and develop their manuscripts from conception to publication. She loves searching for diamonds in the slush pile!
Things she is looking for:
- Clean romances
- Children’s fantasy and science fiction
- Teen and Young adult
- Historical Fiction
- Christmas Novellas
Heidi will be doing pitch sessions on Friday only. She will not be pre-reading manuscripts prior to meeting with attendees, so be prepared to give her a verbal pitch.
Carly Springer, Editor
(Friday Only) Deseret Book is looking for fresh voices in the genres of children’s, young adult, and gospel topics.
Kathy Gordon, Editor
(Saturday Only) With forty-four years of professional experience in corporate and internal communications, public relations, media relations, marketing communications, and publications management, Kathryn Gordon currently serves as the managing editor at Covenant Communications. Prior to her current position, she was press secretary for a U.S. Congressman; vice-president of Aspen West Publishing Company; manager of strategic communications for software manufacturer Novell, Inc.; director of public relations at Westminster College, a private college in Salt Lake City; and held communications management positions at a variety of national and international corporations.
Former president-elect of the Association of Utah Publishers, she was also on the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Utah County and the Constitutional Principles Policy Council. She has held membership in the Consortium of Utah Women in Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the International Association of Business Communicators, the National Association of Earth Science Editors, and the National Association of State Poetry Societies. She was president-elect of the Republican Women of Utah County and was actively involved in political campaigns at the state and national level. A former member of Sigma Delta Chi, she was named an Outstanding Young Woman of America.
She is the author or co-author of more than seven dozen published books, most of them in the health and wellness field. She wrote an award-winning book-length poetry manuscript recognized by the governor of Utah and is the author of the regional bestseller, Butch Cassidy and Other Mormon Outlaws of the Old West. She and her husband, Glenn, are co-presidents of the Association for Mormon Letters.
Kathryn is looking for exceptional writers for the LDS market. She is particularly interested in inspirational nonfiction from an LDS point of view and intriguing fiction, especially in the categories of suspense, mystery, historical fiction, romance, and historical romance. She is not interested at this time in middle-grade fiction, science fiction, or fantasy.
Kathryn will not be pre-reading any submissions prior to the conference and will not accept hard copies during pitch sessions. If you both agree your manuscript would be a good fit for Covenant, she will request an electronic submission at the end of your pitch session.