Here’s the list of agents and presenters for the conference. You can also browse their books.
Ryan Calejo is an award-winning author of the Charlie Hernández series, the upcoming Rymworld Arcana trilogy, and the ChupaCarter series, which he co-authored with George Lopez. He was born and raised in sunny south Florida where he can still be found planting way too many mango trees.
Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of seven young adult novels and six picture books. In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. In 2019 Matt was given an honorary doctorate from UOP. He teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country.
Samantha Fabien is a literary agent at Root Literary Agency. After attending the Columbia Publishing Course in 2016, she went on to intern and work part-time at three agencies: Ayesha Pande Literary, Writers House, and Chalberg & Sussman. From there, Samantha fostered her love for sharing diverse, lasting, and inclusive stories with the world. Samantha also works with events and organizations like DVcon and The New York Writing Room among others.
Emily Forney is a literary agent at BookEnds Literary, specializing in children's literature, adult fantasy, and contemporary romance. She was named a 2022 Publisher's Weekly Star Watch honoree and was previously a Publishing Fellow with the LA Review of Books. She currently directs the BookEnds Publishing Fellowship, which mentors aspiring publishing professionals from marginalized communities and provides them with hands on education, resources, and workshops for roles throughout the industry. As a writer and former editor, she actively writes about identity, Blackness, and pop culture.
Stephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent with over 15 years’ experience in the children’s book publishing industry. After starting her career in foreign rights at Walker Books in the UK, Stephanie moved home to the US as an acquiring editor at Peachtree Publishers. In 2016, she joined Red Fox Literary where she represents authors and illustrators of fiction and nonfiction picture books, middle grade, and YA. Stephanie lives in North Carolina with her English husband, two very spirited daughters, a rescued border collie, and three chickens.
Varud Gupta is the author of the graphic novel Chhotu: A Tale of Partition and Love and the nonfiction travel memoir Bhagwaan Ke Pakwaan: Food of the Gods. His food and travel articles have appeared in National Geographic and America's Test Kitchen, among others, and his short graphic fiction has appeared in Comixense and Inklab. He has worked as head of originals for the production studio Resting Kitsch Face, and taught for the Indian Institute of Art and Design. He holds a BS from New York University.
George Jreije is the Lebanese-American author of the Shad Hadid children's fantasy series as well as the upcoming graphic novel, Tarik’s Bazaar Adventure, both with HarperCollins. He has also written short stories published in collaboration with UNICEF. When not wrangling words, George enjoys scouring the world for tasty food, messing with new yoga poses, and meeting other readers and writers.
Erin Entrada Kelly is the New York Times best-selling author of the Newbery Medal-winning novel Hello Universe, as well as the novels We Dream of Space, Lalani of the Distant Sea, You Go First, The Land of Forgotten Girls, and Blackbird Fly.
Fred Koehler is an artist, novelist, and screenwriter whose real-life misadventures include sunken boats, shark encounters, and narrow escapes from hurricanes. His published works include the illustrated novel GARBAGE ISLAND, ONE DAY, THE END, and FLASHLIGHT NIGHT, among others. He currently has an animated series, a graphic novel, and many more stories in the works. Fred lives in Florida with his wife, kids, and a rescue dog named Cheerio Mutt-Face McChubbybutt. Visit www.ilikefred.com.
Tricia Lawrence is an agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She represents picture books/chapter books that look at the world in a unique and unusual way, with characters that are alive both on and off the page, and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction that offers strong worldbuilding, wounded narrators, and stories that grab a reader and won't let go.
Alexandra Levick is a junior agent at Writers House where she is developing her picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists. She represents a diverse list of creators whose style ranges from literary to commercial, and just about every space in between. Above all else, she seeks a captivating voice and a strong thematic point behind any work she represents.
Emily X.R. Pan (she/her) is the New York Times bestselling author of THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, which won the APALA Honor Award and the Walter Honor Award. It was also a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Best YA Books of All Time. Emily co-created the FORESHADOW anthology, and currently teaches in the creative writing MFA programs at The New School and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her latest novel, AN ARROW TO THE MOON, was an instant national bestseller and featured on NPR’s Best Books of 2022. Find her on Instagram: @exrpan.
Josh Sippie is Gotham’s Director of Publishing Guidance and host of Inside Writing. He is the Fiction Editor at The Razor magazine, an associate editor at Uncharted Magazine, has served as a developmental editor and proofreader for Del Sol Review and Writers Clearinghouse, and was a literary assistant at Talcott Notch Literary.
Alex has only ever worked for authors. A UConn graduate with a concentration in creative writing, he has experience in every area of literary agenting, from interning and assisting, to selling foreign rights and cultivating his own client list. After two years at the Maria Carvainis Agency, and twelve years at Trident Media Group, he’s thrilled to be bringing his passion for publishing and his expertise in its business to Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and GreenburgerKids. As always, Alex seeks to launch careers, especially for writers who have been systematically held back. His clients today include several award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors.
Michaela Whatnall is an agent at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Their background in school and library marketing accounts for their strong interest in children’s literature, from picture books up through middle grade and young adult novels and graphic novels. In the adult fiction space, they are particularly seeking character-driven speculative fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, and other genre fiction that features historically underrepresented characters. They are also interested in nonfiction for both children and adults, especially narrative nonfiction in the areas of history, the creative arts, and lifestyle.