ThrillerFest XIV • July 9 – 13, 2019 • Grand Hyatt • New York City


We’re so excited to add yet another benefit to aspiring writers during ThrillerFest week called ConsultFest! ConsultFest will be available throughout CraftFest and ThrillerFest where attendees can meet for 15 minutes, one-on-one with an industry leading expert.  Recruiting the top acquiring editors and agents for this opportunity, writers will get instant feedback on his or her query letter or first two pages of a manuscript.  The writer will be assigned a time with the expert who will read the writer’s work, provide comments about first impressions, and offer feedback for improvements. The assignments for consults are randomly chosen with the following experts who’ve agreed to help us July 10th – July 13th.



Susan Chang, Tor Books

Bio: Susan Chang is a senior editor at Tor Books, where she acquires and edits for the Starscape middle grade and Tor Teen young adult imprints. She does not acquire picture books, new adult, or adult titles. Like many editors, she has eclectic tastes, and is open to be queried about anything and everything, not limited to science fiction and fantasy. For chapter books she is looking for high concept books or series with an educational hook; for middle grade, action and high-stakes adventure; and in young adult, stories that are thought-provoking and emotionally truthful. She is also interested in nonfiction in the areas of popular science, archaeology, anthropology, biography, and history.

Authors she is currently working with: Kathleen Baldwin, Alan Gratz, Daryl Gregory, P. J. Hoover, David Lubar, Sarah Porter, and Brandon Sanderson.


Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency, LLC

 Bio: Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. Their goal was, and remains, to represent authors in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a degree in Finance, and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with a JD, Liza is a former partner in a NYC based litigation law firm and brings more than 20 years of negotiating experience to the field. This background, along with connections rooted in publishing, movies and television, allowed them to focus and build on a referral based clientele. From picture books through adult projects, fiction and non-fiction, LRA welcomes strong voices and plot driven works. Their inaugural books became available in stores January 2013. Their first was an Edgar nominee, another was an Indie Next Pick, and two others were optioned for film. LRA’s success began right out of the gate. Here’s to more great books!

Current Authors: Robert Bailey II, Linda Stasi, Walter Gragg, Estate of Marc Olden, among others.


Bob Gussin, Oceanview Publishing

Bio: Robert Gussin is the CEO of Oceanview Publishing and Oceanview Vineyards. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson and Johnson. Oceanview is a traditional publisher of thriller, mystery and suspense novels. Titles are published in all formats: hard cover, paper, digital, and audio.

Clients: Raymond Benson, Miles Corwin, Ward Larsen, Matt Coyle, and approximately one hundred others.



Weronika Janczuk, D4EO Literary Agency

Bio: Weronika Janczuk serves as a literary agent with D4EO Literary Agency. She broke into publishing in 2009, working with a small imprint in Minnesota (Flux, now North Star), followed by a series of internships with high-quality agents. She built a list of award-winning novelists from 2010-2012, including Hugo-nominated debut Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (Tor/Macmillan) and Sekret by Lindsay Smith (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan), before taking a break in publishing following her mom’s death. She is daughter to Polish immigrants, has a self-designed B.A. in the philosophy of the human person from NYU, and spent the years in between working on educational, cultural, and health programming in the non-profit sphere.

Clients: Hayley Stone, Jill MacKenzie, Jen Oleniczak Brown, Dr. Donald Hilton, and others.


Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Bio: Jill is an acquiring agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in History. She has a strong Internet and media background and nearly 15 years of publishing experience. She wrote features and ads for Pages, the literary magazine for people who love books, and continues to write book ads for publishing houses, magazine pieces and promotional features for television. After writing ad copy and features for published books for years she knows how to find the “hook” and sell it.

Clients: In fiction, Robert Pobi, Robert Rotstein, David Burnsworth, Janie Chang, Nancy Allen, David Freed, Neal Griffin, Jon Miller, J Lincoln Fenn, Eyre Price, Stacy Allen, and Jaden Terrell, Jacob Appel, Alice Blanchard, Don Bruns, Alex Dolan, Jody Gehrman, and Maureen Lindley.  In non-fiction, Travel Channel’s Nick Groff, actor Fred Stoller, Christina Pesoli, Scott Bonn, Kristina Rizga, Leanne Shirtliffe, singer-songwriter Laura Roppé, Christopher Finan, Mark Johnson, Hana Ali, Pramila Jayapal, and Garrett Madison.


Chantelle Aimee Osman, Agora Books

 Bio: Chantelle Aimée Osman is the editor of Agora, an imprint of Polis Books. The former Editor-in-Chief of RT Book Reviews Magazine and a freelance editor for over ten years, and she also co-hosts the Crime Friction podcast. She teaches writing internationally, including with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Authors at Large and LitReactor. Chantelle is the author of the non-fiction series on writing The Quick and Dirty Guides To… and has also published numerous works of short fiction. She was named a Left Coast Crime Guest of Honor in 2016. Find her on Twitter @SuspenseSiren.

Authors: John Vercher, Patricia Smith, Tori Eldridge, Gary Phillips , Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Gabino Inglesias


Barbara Peters, Sourcebooks Editor in Chief and Founder of Poisoned Pen

Bio: Barbara Peters holds a BA from Stanford University, MA from Northwestern University, MSLS from the University of Tennessee. After careers at the Library of Congress and in law, she moved to Arizona and founded The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in 1989,. In 1997 she and her husband Robert L. Rosenwald founded Poisoned Pen Press; as of January 1, 2019 the mystery imprint of Sourcebooks where she remains the Editor in Chief.

Barbara was nominated for a 1998 Edgar Allan Poe Award, has received the Mystery Writers of America’s Raven Award (bookselling) and Ellery Queen Award (editing), and numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Clients: Jeffrey Siger, Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Dennis Palumbo, Mark de Castrique, Betty Webb, Michael Brandman, Mary Anna Evans, Thomas Kies


John Raab, Suspense Publishing

Bio: Born and raised in Ohio, I relocated to Los Angeles, California in 2007. It was that same year my wife, Shannon, and I created Suspense Magazine, which spawned Suspense Publishing onto the literary scene. Currently publishing #1 New York Times bestselling author Paul Kemprecos, along with award-winning authors Joseph Badal, the writing team of Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly, Jeff Ayers, Sheila Lowe, William Nikkel, D.P. Lyle, M.D., and Kathleen Antrim. Suspense Publishing is also a partner of the ITW, CWA, HWA and IACW organizations.

Current Authors Working With: Paul Kemprecos, Joseph Badal, the writing team of Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly, William Nikkel, Jeff Ayers, Sheila Lowe, D.P. Lyle, M.D., and Kathleen Antrim.


Shannon Raab, Suspense Publishing

Bio: Shannon Raab is the co-owner and creative director for Suspense Magazine and Suspense Publishing. Suspense Publishing is an independent, traditional publisher of titles with a focus on mystery, thriller, suspense and YA suspense/thrillers. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, John, and they spend their free time with their daughters and granddaughter. Learn more at

Current Authors Working With: Paul Kemprecos, Joseph Badal, the writing team of Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly, William Nikkel, Jeff Ayers, Sheila Lowe, D.P. Lyle, M.D., and Kathleen Antrim.


Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management

Bio: Janet Reid specializes in narrative non-fiction; and compelling crime fiction. Her publishing background includes fifteen years in book publicity with clients both famous and infamous.  In her spare hours she drinks scotch and stalks Jack Reacher.

Ms. Reid is a member of the literary agents professional association AAR; an associate member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She belongs to Biographer’s International Organization, the American History Association and The Author’s Guild.

She keeps a blog with information about clients, and answering questions about publishing and query letters at Further information for new authors is available at  Follow her on Twitter @Janet_Reid


Catherine Richards, Executive Editor, Minotaur Books/SMP

Bio: Catherine Richards is Executive Editor at Minotaur Books, SMP. Having spent eight years at Pan Macmillan UK, in early 2017 she swapped her “crime fiction” hat for a “mystery” one and moved to New York. With a background in both commercial women’s fiction and crime fiction, she is currently looking for thrillers and suspense, and in particular female voices and psychological thrillers at the upmarket end of commercial.

Clients: Jeffrey Archer, Ann Cleeves (author of Vera and Shetland), Sandie Jones (The Other Woman), Kate Mosse (Labyrinth, The Burning Chambers), Jess Montgomery (The Widows), Jessica Fellowes (The Mitford Murders), Zoje Stage (Baby Teeth), Ashley Weaver, Mariah Fredericks, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Emily Littlejohn.


Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary Management

Bio: Peter Rubie, is CEO of FinePrint Literary Management, where as a literary agent he represents a broad range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction. He’s a former BBC Radio and Fleet Street journalist, who was a member of the New York University publishing faculty for ten years, teaching the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent.  For several years he was the director of the book publishing section of the NYU Summer Publishing Institute.  Prior to becoming an agent, Peter was an in-house editor for Walker & Co., for nearly six years, whose authors won prizes and critical acclaim.  He has also worked independently as a book doctor for what is now Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and other mainstream publishing companies. He was once a regular reviewer for the international trade magazine Publishers Weekly and is a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. A member of the Association of Authors Representative (AAR), he regularly lectures and writes on publishing and the craft of writing. (Blog:

Clients: Luke McCallin (The Man from Berlin), Chris Goff (Birdwatching mysteries, Dark Waters), J. Madison Davis (Dub Greenaway mysteries, Murder of Frau Schutz – Edgar nominated for Best First Novel, And the Angels Sang), Macolm Shuman (Mysterious Press mysteries), Vicki Stieffel (Bone Man, Body Parts), and William P Wood (Rampage, Sudden Impact).


Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge Books (Tom Doherty Associates)

Bio: Amy Stapp is an editor at Forge and Tor Teen. On the adult side, she acquires mystery, suspense, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. On the YA side, she is actively seeking character-driven contemporary suspense, thrillers, and romance. Special areas of interest include 1920s-1950s historicals, domestic suspense, Southern women’s fiction, Southern Gothic, magical realism, and YA romance.

Clients: Representative titles: Shelley Noble’s Ask Me No Questions; Amber Lynn Natusch’s Dare You to Lie; Sherri Smith’s Follow Me Down, Jessica Pennington’s Love Songs & Other Lies.


Gretchen Stelter, Cogitate Studios

 Bio: Gretchen Stelter began her career in publishing while she was still finishing her master’s degree, helping launch the West Coast-based Baker’s Mark Literary Agency and later moving to editorial director. In 2010, she started editing and writing full-time and has worked on over 500 traditionally published books, doing everything from proofreading and copyediting to developmental editing and ghost writing, as well as working with select self-published authors. She’s a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, Editorial Freelancers Association, and Sisters in Crime.

Clients: ITW members Liv Constantine (sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine, The Last Mrs. Parrish), Paige Dearth, Glenn Dyer, and Jerri Williams; as well as publishing houses Sourcebooks (including books by Marieke Nijkamp, Natasha Preston, Charles Belfoure, Nic Joseph, and Randall Silvis), Albert Whitman (including books by YALSA-honored Linda Joy Singleton), and others.


Marlene Stringer, The Stringer Literary Agency

 Bio: Marlene Stringer founded The Stringer Literary Agency LLC in 2008. Prior to that time she spent almost eight years with Barbara Bova Literary Agency. As a full-service literary agency based in Naples, Florida, StringerLit represents a wide range of commercial fiction. In thrillers, she is looking for all subgenres, from domestic/suburban suspense through military thriller and all variations of crime fiction. For details and submission, visit the website at Mother of four and grandmother of two, Marlene’s hobbies include beach walking, birdwatching, and reading non-fiction.

Clients: Brief list – Charlie Donlea, Emily Bleeker, Tessa Wegert, Charlie N. Holmberg, Emily R. King, Emily Cavanagh, Anna Bradley, Luanne G. Smith, and Suzanne Johnson.


Christine Witthohn, Book Cents Literary Agency

Bio: Christine Witthohn is a U.S. literary and licensing agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency (opened in 2005).  She is a sponsor of the International Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, and teaches brainstorming, branding, and social media classes in various cities around the U.S., U.K., and Italy. A member of AAR, RWA, MWA, you can usually find her at a book fair (London, BEA, and Frankfurt), in a local bookstore, listening to an audio book while commuting, or binge watching foreign subtitled films/television series.

Leading Clients: Kerrigan Byrne, Coreene Callahan, Lisa Marie Rice, Shannon McKenna, Anita Clenney, Cynthia St. Aubin, Sherelle Green, Kari Lee Townsend, Nathaniel Free, S.G. Redling, Joni Sauer-Folger, Yahrah St. John, Sparkle Abbey, Liz Lipperman, A.C. Arthur, Leigh Michaels, Pete Morin, and others.


Check back soon for more editors and agents participating in ConsultFest 2019.


ConsultFest sessions will be scheduled throughout CraftFest and ThrillerFest during which attendees can invest $75 to meet for fifteen minutes, one-on-one, with a top acquiring editor or agent to get instant feedback on his or her query letter OR first two pages of a manuscript. The writer will be assigned a time with the expert who will provide comments and offer feedback for improvements. Opportunities are limited; sessions will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Two sessions may be purchased. Questions? Contact Sandra Brannan, PitchFest Director.