Many of the nation’s best-known and best-loved agents and other professionals who promote writers will be in The Big Easy this year to review and consult with you. Enjoy this early look at our agent and editor faculty; the remainder of faculty will be placed here in the next several days.
Literary Publicists & Consultants
Johnnie Bernhard, a former AP English teacher and journalist, has a passion for both reading and writing and currently supports writers world-wide as a literary agent for Loiacono Literary Agency, www.llallc.net. Her own work has appeared in University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, The Ocean Springs Record, University of South Florida Area Health Education Magazine, Parent Guide of Sarasota, Fl, ISD, the international Word Among Us, Gulf Coast Writers Association Anthologies, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, The Last Mayberry, received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally. She is also the co-editor of several anthologies for the Houston Writers Guild. Johnnie was named “Equal runner-Up” in 2016’s Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Essay Category. Her essay, Ignorance or Innocence, was judged by bestselling, non-fiction writer and poet Rodger Kamenetz. Her novel, A Good Girl received short list recognition in the 2015 Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. A Good Girl is set for publication in spring 2017 by Texas Review Press, a member of the Texas Book Consortium: Texas State Historical Association Press, Texas Christian University Press, University of North Texas Press, State House/McWhiney Press, Stephen F. Austin State University Press, and Southern Methodist University Press. Johnnie and her husband reside in Ocean Springs in a 19th Century cottage surrounded by ancient oak trees and a salt water marsh near the Mississippi Sound. They share that delightful space with their dog, Lily, and cat, Poncho. For more about Johnnie as an agent and as author of A Good Girl, visit the author’s web site at www.johnniebernhardauthor.com
Brandi Bowles is an agent at Foundry Literary + Media, a full-service literary and media-development agency in New York. Brandi represents idea and platform-driven nonfiction in all categories, but she’s particularly interested in humor, narrative nonfiction, and big-idea books that change the way we think about the world. Some of her upcoming books include The Hollow Bone: Secrets From the Life of a Reiki Master, The Vice Lords: A History of Wayward Writers, and a memoir from Youtube sensation Ted Williams, the most honest and inspiring story about homelessness you’ll ever read. Brandi also represents literary fiction, commercial fiction, women’s fiction, and YA, particularly novels that feature strong female bonds, as well as psychological or scientific themes. Previously, she was an agent with Howard Morhaim Literary Agency in Brooklyn, NY and an editor at Three Rivers Press. She represents a wide range of authors, from burlesque performers to archeologists, as well as illustrators, professors, CEOs, chefs, rappers, folk musicians, and fitness gurus. As Brandi said in one interview, “I really love big idea books, and books about broad sociological phenomena, but will only consider them if they are written by experts in their fields. I love books that shed new light on something in pop culture, media culture, and everyday life. In terms of fiction, I like Southern fiction, experimental fiction, and cross-cultural novels. Quirky, funny, edgy, or naughty book ideas are always welcome in my inbox, and bonus points go to any authors that can make me laugh.”
John M. Cusick is an agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management, representing picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of Girl Parts and Cherry Money Baby (Candlewick Press), as well as a regular speaker at writers conferences. His client list of bestsellers and award-winners includes Hannah Moskowitz (A History of Glitter and Blood, Chronicle Books); Christian McKay Heidicker (Cure for the Common Universe, Simon & Schuster); and Courtney Alameda (Shutter, Feiwel & Friends). You can find him online at www.JohnMCusick.com and on twitter, @johnmcusick.|
Katherine Fausset is an agent with Curtis Brown, Ltd. She represents authors of literary and commercial fiction, memoir, narrative nonfiction and other select non-fiction, including multiple award-winning and national bestselling authors. Recent and notable books by her clients include Lucia Berlin’s stories A Manual for Cleaning Women, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, YA author Cynthia Hand’s My Lady Jane, novelist Benjamin Percy’s book on the craft of writing Thrill Me, Lisa Brackmann’s thriller The Go-Between, journalist Ioan Grillo’s Gangster Warlords, the prequel to Cara Black’s Parisian mystery series Murder on the Quai, and Kelly Luce’s debut literary novel Pull Me Under. Katherine received her B.A. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University, and back when she was a 20-something, she co-authored The Cooking Club Cookbooks. A longtime resident of New York City, she has recently relocated to her hometown of New Orleans. She is drawn to books set in foreign countries, plots involving knotty family dynamics, lyrical prose, the dark, the strange and the humorous. She also pays close attention to query letters which include compelling comparative titles. For submission information, please see her agent page at www.cbltd.com.
Deborah Grosvenor has more than 25 years’ experience in the book publishing business as an agent and editor. During her career, she has edited or represented several hundred nonfiction books. As an editor, she acquired Tom Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October. Her distinguished client list includes nationally prominent writers, New York Times bestselling authors, and prize-winning historians and journalists. Among them are Stephen Coonts, Eleanor Clift, Morton Kondracke, Thomas Oliphant, Charlie Engle, Harrison Scott Key, John Sexton, Henry Allen, Aaron Miller, Scott Wallace, Curtis Wilkie, Nina Burleigh, Thomas Fleming, Jonathan Green, Jay Rubenstein, Willard Randall, Mark Geragos, Peter Cozzens, Meg Noonan, Barbara Dreyfuss and Elizabeth Pryor. Deborah is interested in narrative nonfiction in the categories of history, biography, politics, current and foreign affairs, memoir, food, the South, humor, Italy, the environment, and travel. For fiction, she is simply interested in great storytelling, especially in an historical context. Deborah is the recipient of the TWIN award (Tribute to Women in Industry), given by the YWCA and industry to “outstanding women who have made significant contributions to their companies in managerial and executive positions.” She has been a part of the Faulkner Society’s annual fall festival since Word & Music was created and regularly judges a category of the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.
Molly Jaffa has been working closely with Folio Literary Management’s author projects since 2008, when she assisted Folio partner Jeff Kleinman (The Snow Child, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Eighty Dollar Champion). She is an Associate Member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR). In addition to building her own selective but growing list of fiction and nonfiction clients (including #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy, and non-fiction projects represented on behalf of the Discovery Channel), Molly is Folio’s Co-Director of International Rights. She actively pursues sales of international rights and attends the Frankfurt, Bologna, and London Book Fairs, facilitating the introduction of the books of Folio clients to world wide audiences in as many formats as possible.
Jeff Kleinman is a literary agent, intellectual property attorney, and founding partner of Folio Literary Management, LLC, a New York literary agency which works with all of the major U.S. publishers (and, through subagents, with most international publishers). He’s a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), the University of Chicago (M.A., Italian), and the University of Virginia (B.A. with High Distinction in English). As an agent, Jeff feels privileged to have the chance to learn about an incredible variety of new subjects, meet an extraordinary range of people, and feel, at the end of the day, that he’s helped to build something – a wonderful book, perhaps, or an author’s career. His authors include Garth Stein, Eowyn Ivey, Robert Hicks, Charles Shields, Bruce Watson, Neil White, and Philip Gerard. His interests include Nonfiction, especially narrative nonfiction with a historical bent, but also memoir, health, parenting, aging, nature, pets, how-to, science, politics, military, espionage, equestrian, and biography; and Fiction: very well-written, character-driven novels, some suspense, thrillers, mainstream upmarket commercial (i.e. book club), and literary fiction. He has absolutely no interest in children’s, romance, mysteries, westerns, poetry, screenplays, novels about serial killers, suicide, or children in peril (kidnapped, killed, raped, etc.). For more information about Jeff (including interviews, books sold, and so forth), please visit him at his site.
Note: Ms. Copeland, Ms. Crichton have been forced to cancel their appearances at Words & Music, 2016. We expect to have the pleasure
of their company in 2017. All writers assigned have been re-assigned.
Brenda Copeland is an Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she has worked since 2010. Brenda publishes a vibrant mix of fiction and non-fiction, from the commercial to the literary, and looks for strong stories told with a strong voice. Current authors include Matthew Dicks, author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Ann Leary, author of The Good House, and Amy Sue Nathan, whose debut novel The Glass Wives will come out in summer, 2013. Over the course of her career Brenda has published such bestselling authors as Dean Koontz, Claire Cooke, Cecily Von Ziegesar, Melissa de la Cruz, as well as Gotham and Deepak Chopra. Brenda teaches book editing at New York University and has a weakness for cheese.
Sarah Crichton is publisher of Sarah Crichton Books at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, which began publishing titles in 2006 and since then has published some of the most notable new books in world literature. She previously was Vice President and Publisher at Little, Brown, and Company, here she had overseen all aspects of the adult trade division of the 163-year-old publishing house.Crichton joined Little , Brown in February 1996 and was responsible for re-energizing that venerable publishing company , which is a division of AOL Time Warner Trade Publishing. In her five years with the publishing house, Crichton steered the company to its most profitable fiscal year ever , publishing a diverse range of commercial bestsellers and critically lauded fiction and nonfiction.In 1999, the house was blessed with three Oprah Book Club picks within a four-month period. But even without the help of Oprah , in 2000 , Little, Brown boasted nine Publishers Weekly bestsellers , and fully one-quarter of the hardcovers published that year were reviewed by the daily New York Times. In just one month at the start of 2001 , three covers of the Times Book Review were devoted to Little , Brown books – Gary Giddins’s seminal biography of Bing Crosby ( which Crichton also edited ), John Aloysius Farrell’s biography of Tip O’Neill and Rick Moody’s short story collection, Demonology. She was one of the top editors at Newsweek, prior to moving to Little, Brown. For more about Sarah and acquiring books, visit these sites:
Wendy Jacobs is a professional freelance editorial consultant, whose clients include both publishing companies and individual writing clients. Born in New London, CT, is a fiction and nonfiction author, as well as editor, writer, graphic designer, and communications consultant. She has extensive experience in print and electronic media, marketing, website and publication design, fine art, and technical writing/editing. While working on client assignments and her own creative projects, she has resided in New York City, Toronto, New Orleans, southern Florida, and Connecticut. She received a B.A., Humanities, with honors, from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Her fellowship for M.A. studies at the University of Toronto was for the Russian language and literature. She also studied art and design at the Ontario College of Art and Three Schools of Art, Toronto. Her current literary interests and projects include a book of translated and illustrated tales, for all ages, with accompanying scripts for film and the performing arts; a collection of short verse tales; and applied-design extensions of her creative works. Her academic and fine arts focuses are engineering and aviation/aerospace; music, film, opera, dance, and theater. The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa, a story from her illustrated Russian fairy tale collection, was first published in The Double Dealer. She has a new Russian fairy tale in the 2015-2106 edition of The Double Dealer. As a past member of the Faulkner Society, she served on the Advisory Council and the Executive Board, on the Double Dealer editorial staff, on the Words & Music conference faculty, and on the high-school master class committee; moderated panels on editing and publishing; gave presentations to the Words & Music conference and to the Trial Balloons children’s literature festival at Tulane University. She also has edited extensively for Louisiana University Press, including books on poetry, contemporary literature, and southern history. She has received awards for her professional and community service and has been listed annually in Marquis’ Who’s Who® publications since 1999/2000. JacobsEditorial@gmail.com/
Andra Miller is an Executive Editor at Ballantine Books, where she has worked since June and is acquiring literary-leaning commercial fiction. Previously, Andra was a Senior Editor at Algonquin Books, where she edited literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, notably, Caroline Leavitt (Cruel Beautiful World, Is This Tomorrow, and Pictures of You), Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow, Ed Tarkington’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart, and Kaitlyn Greenidge’s We Love You, Charlie Freeman. Andra looks for writing and subjects that move her, strong, assured voices, and writers with something to impart or change the way we think about the world. Her particular interest is in quirky or untapped stories and subjects, women’s issues/history, African-American issues/history, multicultural explorations (aka stories set beyond US borders), nature, popular science, and medicine.
April Osborn is an Associate Editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she has worked since 2011. April enjoys working on a broad range of projects across narrative nonfiction, mystery and thriller, and commercial literary/book club fiction. She’s edited New York Times bestselling nonfiction, including John Glatt’s The Lost Girls and Shanna Hogan’s Picture Perfect, as well as critically acclaimed and bestselling fiction including the LA Times bestseller AMP’D by Ken Pisani, and The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel, which just won the Guardian’s 2016 “Not the Booker” Prize. April is looking for smart thrillers, atmospheric mysteries, and literary novels with a fresh, contemporary voice. She’s also on the hunt for compelling new voices in issue-driven nonfiction and fresh takes on love in the modern era. She has a special place in her heart for really good ghost stories.
Note: Ms. Osborn is stepping in for her colleague, Brenda Copeland, and will be contacting
all authors assigned to Ms. Copeland shortly to set up her appointments.
Christine Pride joined Simon and Schuster as a Senior Editor in 2016. Prior to that, she spent more than a decade as an editor at various corporate imprints including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, and Hyperion, and then, most recently, struck out on her own for a wonderful three-year stint as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. Both in house and as a freelancer she’s worked with a variety of established and debut writers and has published many New York Times bestsellers and critically acclaimed books including, Tell Me Where It Hurts, Heaven is Here, and A Reason to Believe. Christine is acquiring contemporary, literary and upmarket/book club fiction. She’s especially drawn to voice-driven novels, high concept premises and books that explore the terrain of family, relationships, friendship, coming of age, and race/culture. She also acquires literary and commercial memoirs—inspirational stories are a special passion– as well as select narrative non-fiction that explores race, pop culture, women’s issues. Overall she’s a sucker for any book that offers a distinctive point of view, sparks reflection, starts a conversation, and resonates with women. Though she does spend a lot of time reading, she’s also an unabashed television aficionado. Christine attended the University of Missouri’s broadcast journalism program and worked in non-profit management before embarking on a career in book publishing.
Maya Ziv joined Dutton in September, 2015 as an Executive Editor focusing on commercial and literary fiction with popular appeal, including suspense, historical, and high concept fiction. Recent and upcoming titles include Fates and Traitors: A Novel of John Wilkes Booth by New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Chiaverini; Final Girls by Riley Sager; Mad by Chloé Esposito, the first in the Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know trilogy; and All Our Wrong Todays, a debut novel by screenwriter Elan Mastai, which will be published in 25 countries. Before joining Dutton, she was a Senior Editor at Harper, where her list included Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the New York Times bestselling novel based on the hit podcast; Roxane Gay’s New York Times bestseller Bad Feminist, which has spent a year on the IndieBound bestseller list; the national bestselling The Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen; and The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. Other authors she has worked with include Sara Shepard, Adriana Trigiani, and Cecelia Ahern.