The following agents and editors are confirmed to attend PitchFest 2023 at ThrillerFest XVIII.
Please check back frequently for updates.
Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates
Bio: Bernadette Baker-Baughman has completed a Master’s Degree in Writing at Portland State University, and spent several years in-house (first editorial, then marketing). She began agenting in 2005 and has worked with VSA since 2010.
Currently Looking For: She is drawn to strong storytelling in all genres, with a special interest in thrillers, contemporary novels, magical realism, young adult, and books for kids. She is also open to pop-culture, gift books, and memoir. She loves smart writing, high concept books, work with great emotional resonance, and humor. She is always looking for authors with a distinctive voice.
Clients: She has represented a number of New York Times bestselling and award-winning writers and illustrators, including Leslye Walton, Faith Erin Hicks, Tony Cliff, Maris Wicks, Liv Constantine, and Carson Morton, to name a few.
Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates
Bio: Caitlin Blasdell has been a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates since 2002, focusing on commercial fiction. Before becoming an agent, she was a senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers. A graduate of Williams College, she lives in Westchester with her husband, four sons, and an ever-expanding flower garden.
She is looking for quality commercial fiction, which to her means a strong plot, memorable voice, clean prose, and, ideally, a good hook. Her specialties include science fiction and fantasy, romance and women’s fiction, thrillers, and historical fiction. She also handles a few select middle grade and YA authors and a very few nonfiction titles.
Her clients include Zen Cho (Hugo-Award-winning author of BLACK WATER SISTER), Scott Hawkins (THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR), Brian McClellan (The Powder Mage series), Joel Ross (THE FOG DIVER), Karen Schwabach/Sage Blackwood (STARTING AT SENECA FALLS and the JINX trilogy), Charles Stross (the Hugo-Award-winning Laundry series), and Rebecca Zanetti (NYT-bestselling author of YOU CAN RUN).
Madelyn Burt, Stonesong
Bio: Madelyn Burt joined Stonesong in 2015 and has worked on a variety of projects ranging from adult and children’s fiction to cookbooks, lifestyle, and more. She is now actively building her own list, and looks forward to establishing long-lasting, collaborative relationships with her authors. A life-long lover of history, she earned her MA in Medieval Studies before joining the publishing world.
Madelyn is currently focused on adult mysteries, crime, and thrillers, although she is interested in both adult and children’s fiction. She is drawn to character-driven stories that feature tight-knit groups and strong friendships, quests and heists, and unique voices. She is also particularly interested in fiction and select nonfiction that is able to make a historical person or period accessible to the modern reader.
Robert Davis, Forge Books
Bio: Robert Davis is an Editor at Forge Books (an imprint of the Macmillan division, Tor Publishing Group). He started off at TPG working under former President & Publisher, Tom Doherty, in 2015 and has been acquiring for the Forge list since 2019.
Looking for: For Forge, Robert is looking for addictive page-turners with characters I want to root for, particularly in the categories of near-future fiction, technothrillers, and (outdoor) survival adventures.
Not looking for: Robert is seeking adult fiction only.
Victoria Dillman, Howland Literary
Bio: Before Howland Literary, Victoria Dillman was an assistant and foreign rights associate at Sobel Weber Associates and an intern at Linda Leith Publishing, as well as a reader for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) Awards. She holds a B.A. in English from McGill University, and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. Her pronouns are she/her.
She is most interested in adult literary/upmarket fiction and narrative and expert driven nonfiction. She’s always looking for a well-paced plot with a strong, distinctive voice. She is fascinated by complex characters and pieces that subvert genre conventions. Give her anything that makes her heart race, a bold new voice, a weird and wonderful plot, and she’s sold. On the nonfiction side, she is drawn to passion and in-depth knowledge of niche topics. Some of the topics she is interested include social justice, climate change, mental health, cults, true crime, and counterculture.
Tony Eldridge, Lonetree Entertainment
Bio: Tony Eldridge is a Los Angeles based film and television producer. He developed and produced The Equalizer feature film starring Denzel Washington for Sony Pictures (2014) and the sequel, The Equalizer 2 (2018) both opened at #1 and were box office blockbusters. His current projects include the feature film War Magician, starring Benedict Cumberbatch for Studio Canal and a television series Joe Ledger based on Jonathan Maberry’s book series for Sony Television. His production company manages or controls the media rights to a number of literary properties including works by bestselling authors Heather Graham, Raymond Benson, David Fisher, F. Paul Wilson, Jonathan Maberry and Eric Dezenhall.
Currently Looking For: Thrillers (suspense, crime, supernatural, horror, erotic), mysteries, paranormal, futuristic, science fiction, true stories and any type of procedurals. Focused on character driven properties that have all of the essential elements needed to successfully make the transition from book to screen.
Not Looking For: Anything with zombies, vampires, or werewolves.
Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency
Bio: Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. A cross-platform company providing development, representation, and strategic career management for clients in all media, their goal is to represent clients in all stages of their careers, from the most established to those developing their craft, as well as debuts. Both former partners in NYC based litigation law firms, Liza and Ginger bring a combined 40 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.
Clients: Robert Bailey II, Isabella Maldonado, Amy Impellizzeri, Danielle Wong, Walter Gragg, Estate of Marc Olden, among others.
Carolyn Forde, Transatlantic Agency
Bio: Carolyn is a Partner and Senior Agent at Transatlantic Agency, in addition to overseeing the International rights division at the agency. She represents bestselling and award-winning authors and is always on the lookout for more compelling stories and talented writers. Currently she is seeking upmarket commercial fiction by female identifying authors, really funny and romantic romcoms from diverse voices, agenda setting non-fiction – either investigative journalism or literary memoir that offers a window into an unusual or rarely seen part of society. Her authors include USA Today bestselling Karma Brown (RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE), critically acclaimed romcom author Jean Meltzer (THE MATZAH BALL), bestselling thriller author Hannah Mary McKinnon (NEVER COMING HOME), bestselling memoirist Clayton Thomas-Muller (LIFE IN THE CITY OF DIRTY WATER) and bestselling investigative journalist Sarah Berman (DON’T CALL IT A CULT).
She is not looking for YA, fantasy, military/CIA thrillers or children’s books.
David Forrer, InkWell Management
Bio: David Forrer began his career in publishing in 1997 after receiving a Masters in Creative Writing (fiction) from Boston University. He has been an agent with InkWell Management since it was created in 2004. He’s had the privilege of working with many talented authors including Catherine Burns (THE VISITORS), Ella Berman (THE COMEBACK), and Claire Fuller (BITTER ORANGE).
Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative Management
Bio: Lori Galvin worked as a book editor before moving to the literary agent side in 2015. She works with a diverse group of writers of both fiction and nonfiction. Through Pitchfest, she is looking for high quality writing across crime and suspense, both literary and commercial—and from all voices. In addition to twisty, dark novels of crime and suspense; mystery/horror crossovers, and high concept thrillers; she is eager to work with writers whose work engages both the head and the heart. Some her clients’ projects have been optioned by A24 and Netflix. She has signed and sold books by writers she has met through Pitchfest, including Wanda M. Morris (All Her Little Secrets, Morrow 2021) and Cheryl A. Head (Time’s Undoing, Dutton 2023).
Clients: Harrison Ash, William Brashears, Cambria Brockman, Sara Goudarzi, Cheryl A. Head, Hannah Kirshner, Jennifer Lavallee, Irene Li, Margaret Li, Wanda M. Morris, Jennifer Morita, Kwame Onwuachi, Sebastian J. Plata, Phoebe Rowe, Samantha Skal, Sarah Stevens, Ross Wilcox.
Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary Agency
Bio: Doug’s path on the road to publishing may have been set early. His first job in the industry came in 1978, walking up and down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan wearing a sandwich board advertising a new book during the 1978 New York City newspaper strike…for $5 an hour. The next year, he took creative writing at Stuyvesant High School with Frank McCourt, nearly two decades before he won the Pulitzer Prize for Angela’s Ashes. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University with Reginald Gibbons. Doug opened the Doug Grad Literary Agency, Inc. in May 2008. As a third generation New Yorker and 25-year resident of Brooklyn, Doug moved to Salem, Massachusetts in 2021. No, he has not been turned into a toad by a witch (yet), and yes, he made out like a bandit on the sale of his apartment…
After starting at Simon & Schuster as an assistant to the assistant of Michael Korda, 2022 begins Doug’s 36th year as a publishing professional. An editor with imprints at Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins for 22 years, Doug acquired and edited fiction and nonfiction bestsellers. On the nonfiction side, Doug has worked with astronauts, generals, war heroes, gangsters, cops, politicians, sports stars, journalists, musicians, historians and humorists. His work is never boring!
Since becoming an agent, Doug has taken on a number of high-profile clients, including New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction Jeff Shaara (whose first two novels Doug edited); New York Times bestseller Kerri Rawson (daughter of serial killer Dennis Rader, known as BTK); New York Times bestselling WWII historian Larry Alexander; jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, and true crime and mob writer Michael Benson, among others. In the mystery/thriller genre, Doug represents Agatha Award and three-time Lefty Award winner Ellen Byron (and her alter-ego Maria DiRico); Jerome Preisler, author of the NET FORCE series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik; New York Times bestseller David L. Robbins; Debbie Babitt; Matthew Betley; and A.J. Chambers.
Currently Looking For: On the fiction side, Doug’s looking for mysteries (cozy, contemporary or historical), all stripes of thrillers, and contemporary fiction with interesting voices. On the nonfiction side, Doug’s looking for military, narrative nonfiction, celebrity memoir, history, politics, travel, music, science, language, and sports.
Not Looking For: Children’s picture books, YA, science fiction, fantasy
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.
Jordan Hill, New Leaf Literary
Bio: Jordan Hill is an Associate Literary Agent at New Leaf Literary and Media. Prior to agenting she worked in the advertising world at a boutique agency, and before that was a bookseller. She is primarily pursuing literary and upmarket fiction for adults. She loves intergenerational stories that grapple with complexities of families and culture through time and anything with an unreliable narrator or a speculative bent. She’s also a fan of weird short fiction. In the YA space, she’s drawn to contemporary thrillers–anything with high stakes and a heart. For Middle Grade readers, she looks for adventure or contemporary stories that deal with tough topics for kids. Across the board, she also considers historical fiction or retellings with a fresh approach and compelling perspective.
Jenna Jankowski, Sourcebooks
Bio: Jenna Jankowski is an Associate Editor at Sourcebooks, a midsized publisher based in the Midwest. She began her career in publishing with internships at Sourcebooks and Browne & Miller Literary Associates (while cobbling together odd jobs, of course). Jenna works primarily under two imprints, Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press.
For fiction, Jenna is looking for psychological suspense, crime fiction, literary thrillers featuring fresh voices, trade paperback cozies, and horror with feminist elements. She also acquires rich and immersive historical novels that illuminate stories from marginalized communities, feminist retellings, mainstream contemporary fiction with a literary edge, upmarket women’s fiction, and speculative fiction—all with an emphasis on diverse voices.
Cecilia Lyra, P.S. Literary Agency
Bio: Cecilia (“CeCe”) Lyra is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency representing adult fiction and non-fiction. A long-term strategic thinker, CeCe prioritizes the creative reach and sustainable longevity of her authors’ careers, and she is especially looking for clients with whom she can build fruitful, lasting relationships. As a mixed race Latinx immigrant, CeCe understands the power of seeing oneself reflected in books, hence her passion for championing under or misrepresented voices and narratives that contribute to a larger cultural conversation. The popular podcast The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, for which CeCe is a co-host, has over one million downloads. CeCe is also a recovering lawyer but asks that you do not hold that against her.
Looking for: CeCe is looking for adult fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, CeCe’s taste gravitates towards books by women, for women, whether commercial, upmarket, or literary. She is particularly drawn to family sagas, female friendship, edgy psychological suspense, closed-setting novels, anti-heroines, and found family. In terms of nonfiction, no title is too serious or too accessible for CeCe’s taste. She is a fan of expert-driven narratives with provocative throughlines that culminate in paradigm-shifting takeaways.
Not looking for: In fiction, CeCe is not looking for YA, children’s books, or heavy SFF. In nonfiction, CeCe is not looking for sports, music, and true crime.
Lynnette Novak, The Seymour Agency
Bio: Lynnette Novak is an agent at The Seymour Agency. Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent. Lynnette has since closed her editing business and is excited to bring her passion for the written word to agenting.
Although Lynnette was born and raised Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends. She loves dark and suspenseful, mysterious twists, unique worlds, light and funny, a good love story, and lots of voice. Follow Lynnette on Twitter: @Lynnette_Novak
Looking for: (Always looking for own voices, diversity, and LGBTQ+!!!) In adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and mysteries (traditional, amateur sleuth, and cozy). In young adult fiction: thrillers, psychological suspense, horror, contemporary, mysteries, and fantasy. In middle grade fiction: contemporary, horror, fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, humor, and novels in verse. In children’s fiction: fiction and non-fiction picture books (non-rhyming preferred). In graphic novels: chapter books, early readers, MG, and YA.
Not looking for: science fiction in any age category, historical romances, Christian romances, adult fantasy, adult horror or non-fiction MG to Adult, including memoirs. (This list changes, so check Query Manager and our website for the most updated version.)
Gina Panettieri, Talcott Notch Literary Services
Bio: Gina Panettieri is Founder of the Milford, Ct-based Talcott Notch Literary, a five-member literary agency seeking the freshest voices in adult and juvenile fiction and nonfiction. Some of her more prominent recent sales includes SONS OF VALOR and DARK INTERCEPT by WSJ-bestselling authors, Andrews & Wilson, THE HIDING PLACE by USA-Today bestselling author, Paula Munier, and UNDER COLOR OF LAW, by Aaron Philip Clark.
Clients: Her list includes Jeffrey Wilson and Brian Andrews, Scott Deitche, Dr. Seth Meyers, Drew Eric Whitman, Paula Munier, Kevin Wolf, Aaron Philip Clark.
Melissa Rechter, Crooked Lane Books
Bio: Melissa Rechter is the Associate Editor at Crooked Lane Books, an independent publisher of crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers and Alcove Press, their new book club fiction imprint, based in New York. She joined the team in 2019, while obtaining her Masters in Publishing.
For Crooked Lane, Melissa is seeking cozy mysteries, suspense and thrillers that deal with small town secrets, complicated family dynamics, and has a particular interest in unreliable narrators, cults, poisonous plants, and locked room mysteries. She’s also looking for historical and traditional mysteries with interesting premises.
For Alcove Press, Melissa is seeking historical fiction (particularly in the 20’s, 40’s) and is always looking for new stories about women and their roles in WWII, stories that center around female friendships and found family, and book club fiction that sparks conversation.
Michelle Richter, Fuse Literary
Bio: Michelle Richter is a Senior Agent at Fuse Literary, which she joined from St. Martin’s Press. Crime fiction is her true love, from police procedurals to domestic suspense to thriller. Not to mention heists and con artists. She’s rarely found a British or Scandinavian crime show she couldn’t get wrapped up in. Recent favorite authors include Ruth Ware, S.A. Cosby, P.J. Vernon, Halley Sutton, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. She is currently looking for suspense, thriller, amateur sleuth, traditional mystery, police procedural, YA thriller/suspense, commercial women’s fiction, book club reads. She loves family secrets, sister/friend stories, lots of twists, and unreliable narrators. LGBTQ, BIPOC, and disabled voices are very welcome. She is not looking for military or espionage thrillers, science fiction/fantasy, poetry, middle-grade, memoir.
Clients: E.A. Aymar, Kellye Garrett, Tara Laskowski, Jennifer Gold, Alan Orloff, and Carl Vonderau.
Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, McIntosh & Otis
Bio: Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, President and senior agent at McIntosh & Otis, has degrees from New York University and Manhattan School of Music. She began her book publishing career in subsidiary rights and then took on the responsibilities of acquisitions editor at a major audio publishing imprint. Initially, she joined McIntosh & Otis to manage all subsidiary rights but began working as an agent shortly thereafter. Her primary interests include literary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery/suspense, and memoir, along with narrative non-fiction, history and current affairs. Elizabeth represents numerous New York Times bestsellers, and both Agatha and Edgar Award winners and nominees.
Alec Shane, Writers House
Bio: Alec majored in English at Brown University, a degree he put to immediate use by moving to Los Angeles after graduation to become a professional stunt man. Realizing that he prefers books to breakaway glass, he moved to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career in publishing. Alec quickly found a home at Writers House Literary Agency, where he quickly began building his own list. He is still aggressively looking for new talent across a wide variety of genres.
Currently Looking For: Horror, thriller, mystery, noir, grounded sci-fi, YA and middle grade “boy” fiction, and beautifully written historical fiction. In nonfiction: humor, biography, history, pop science, and all things sports.
Not Looking For: Romance (paranormal or otherwise), politics (fiction or nonfiction), women’s fiction, picture books, high fantasy, and science fiction featuring aliens/intergalactic warfare.
Clients: Casey Barrett, Hank Early, Stona Fitch, Ronald Kidd, Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Jack Murphy, Christopher Price, among others.
Amy Stapp, Wolfson Literary Agency
Bio: Amy Stapp received her BA from Samford University and MA from Georgia State University before beginning her publishing career at Macmillan, where she had the privilege of working with numerous New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Amy is now actively building her list at Wolfson Literary Agency, with an interest in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, upmarket book club fiction, historical fiction, mature young adult, upper middle grade, and select narrative nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to a high concept commercial hook, polished, well-paced prose, immersive settings, and smart, multidimensional characters. As an editorial agent, she enjoys working hand-in-hand with authors to take their work to the next level. Find her online at wolfsonliterary.com.
Looking for: I’m most eager to find twisty, intelligent suspense, upmarket book club fiction, women’s fiction that explores complicated friendships and multigenerational ties, light magical realism, and historical fiction from a new region or diverse perspective. I’m very picky in YA, but I love a fast-paced, “unputdownable” YA with a mature voice in a variety of genres—romance, mystery, historical, and unique coming-of-age stories. I am always looking for stories from underrepresented voices and in diverse settings. For a more extensive wishlist please visit my MSWL page.
Not looking for: Hard science fiction, Epic fantasy, Military thrillers
Sally Wofford-Girand, Union Literary
Bio: Sally Wofford-Girand co-founded Union Literary 10 years ago (merging Brick House Literary Agency with another boutique agency). Union authors include international best-selling, New York Times best-selling, award winning authors such as: Jenny Offill (DEPARTMENT OF SPECULATION, WEATHER), Michael Frank (THE MIGHTY FRANKS and forthcoming ONE HUNDRED SATURDAYS), Vanessa Diffenbaugh (THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS and a new novel in the works), Grace Paley, James Welch, Susie Yang (WHITE IVY), Jenny Lee (ANNA K), Alyson Richman (THE LOST WIFE and forthcoming THE THREAD COLLECTORS with debut novelist Shaunna Jones), Jardine Libaire (WHITE FUR), Debra Magpie Earling (THE LOST JOURNALS OF SACAJEWEA) Laura McHugh (THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD and most recently WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS) and emerging talent, such as first novelist Ana Reyes (THE HOUSE IN THE PINES).
She is definitely looking for the next Laura McHugh (this is Thrillerfest!) and also literary horror, and character driven thrillers, suspense and crime novels. She loves an unreliable narrator and history. She cares as much about good writing, a strong voice, and engaging characters as she does about plot. Some favorite authors include Shirley Jackson, Amor Towles, Laura Dave, Jess Kidd, Jane Harper (The Dry), Daphne du Maurier, Madeline Miller, Lucy Foley (The Paris Apartment), Kevin Wilson, Maggie O’Farrell and a recent find, Antoine Wilson, author of MOUTH TO MOUTH.
She is a hands-on agent with a passion for great storytelling. She loves the thrill of discovery in working with debut novelists. Union has a network of literary agents around the world and they are active in the foreign market. They work with film agents across the board–from WME, CAA, UTA, ICM to a number of independent agents. Sally is a founding board member of the non-profit Literary Agents of Change, a member of the AALA and the DEI committee. She is also a board member of Writers Omi, an international writers colony in New York. She lives in New York City with her husband and children.
Terrie Wolf, AKA Literary Management
Bio: Since founding AKALM in 2010, Terrie has been honored to manage authors who are at all stages of the writing journey and their eclectic and unforgettable works. She primarily represents adult fiction (mystery, thriller, women’s, regional and inspirational), the occasional non-fiction offering, and children’s fiction (especially MG mysteries) and non-fiction. Maintaining a global outlook, Terrie has sold rights in more than forty countries and thirty languages. She was named ACFW Agent of the Year in 2021.
Clients: Terrie’s clients include Byron Graves, Margaret Mizushima, Jeff Nesbit, Maria Shriver, and the estate of “the King of the Paperbacks” Harry Whittington.
Faye and Jonathan Kellerman*
Larry D. Thompson
J. Jackson Bentley
Jack F. Du Brul*
Eric Van Lustbader*
D. P. Lyle M.D.*
Michael Palmer (2004-2013)*
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Susan Arnout Smith
B. J. Daniels
Vince Flynn (2004-2013)*
Bonnie Hearn Hill*
Harley Jane Kozak
Dennis Lynds (2004-2005)*
Carl T. Smith*
M. Diane Vogt*
Inkwell Management, LLC*
*original member joined by June 4, 2005