Here is the lineup of agents, presenters, and panelists from the 2019 Gotham Writers, Conference. The 2020 lineup is coming soon.
Rica Allannic, a literary agent with the David Black Agency, represents cooking, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, history, and memoir projects, and enjoys helping authors from diverse backgrounds tell the stories that are important to them. A graduate of New York City public schools and Yale University, Rica worked in professional kitchens before joining the editorial teams of Scribner (Simon & Schuster) and then Clarkson Potter (Penguin Random House).
Kurestin Armada is an agent at P.S. Literary. She reads widely across genres, and has a particular affection for science fiction and fantasy, especially books that recognize and subvert typical tropes of genre fiction. She wants to discover something surprising, ambitious, and weird in a package that connects with readers who read deeply in SFF.
Noah Ballard is an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He studied creative writing at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency. Noah focuses on literary fiction, short story collections and narrative non-fiction, including memoir, journalism and pop culture.
Jenny Bent founded the Bent Agency in 2009. It has since grown to a group of thirteen agents, representing all genres of children’s and adult literature, with offices in New York City and London. Her list is diverse-from YA to commercial fiction to select nonfiction--and includes numerous New York Times bestselling authors. She particularly loves fiction that has an element of magic or fantasy, or that takes her into a strange new world, whether real or imaginary.
Kerry D'Agostino is an agent at Curtis Brown LTD, where she's been since 2011. She represents literary and commercial fiction and is particularly interested in work that is voice driven, accessible, and authentic. Above all, she is drawn to work that either introduces her to someone, somewhere, or something new, or makes her see something in a new way.
Jessica Faust founded the BookEnds Literary Agency in 1999 out of a desire to advocate for authors. BookEnds has grown to include 10 agents representing all genres in children and adult publishing. They also maintain a vibrant social media presence through her blog, YouTube, and Twitter. Jessica is currently representing authors of suspense, mystery, thriller, upmarket, literary and women’s fiction.
Seth Fried is the author of the novel The Municipalists and the short-story collection The Great Frustration. His short fiction has appeared in the Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Missouri Review, One Story, and Tin House, among many others. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker's Shouts & Murmurs and to NPR's Selected Shorts.
Sarah Gerton has worked at Curtis Brown, Ltd. since 2015. Now an associate agent, she’s building a list of young-adult and middle-grade authors across genres—while her first love is fantasy, she’s interested in everything from narrative nonfiction to horror, as long it’s for young people. She’s always looking for a character voice that sticks in her mind, a setting she wants to fall into, or a central question that shifts the way she looks at the world.
Brianne Johnson started at Writers House as starry-eyed intern in 2007 and worked her way up to Senior Agent. She is interested in boundary-pushing, social-justice themed, literary-meets-commercial books for kids, young adults, and adults that reflect recent changes to modern life. She gets particularly excited over big questions, dark humor, and a strong narrative voice.
Kody Keplinger is the author of the novel The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), which reached No. 2 on the New York Times Young Adult Best Sellers List and was made into a feature film by CBS Films. She is also the author of the young adult novels That's Not What Happened, Run, Lying Out Loud, Shut Out, Secrets and Lies, and A Midsummer’s Nightmare, and the middle grade novel The Swift Boys & Me.
Jeff Kleinman is an agent and founding partner of Folio Literary Management. He represents fiction and nonfiction, from book club and literary fiction to narrative nonfiction and memoir. He wants projects that can make a difference, unique voices, magnificently strong characters, unusual premises, and books that offer up new perspective.
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.
Kim Liao has published short memoir, personal essays, fiction, and creative nonfiction in The Millions, The Rumpus, Salon, Lit Hub, Another Chicago Magazine, River Teeth’s “Beautiful Things” column, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Fourth River, Fringe, and Hippocampus, among others. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Creative Arts Research Fellowship. She wrote Why You Should Aim For 100 Rejections A Year.
Joselin Linder is the author of the memoir The Family Gene, and co author of the nonfiction books The Gamification Revolution, Game-Based Marketing, and The Good Girl’s Guide to Living in Sin: The New Rules for Moving in With Your Man. She is also co-author of the humor books The Stoned Family Robinson and The Purity Test: Your Filth and Depravity Cheerfully Exposed by 2,000 Nosy Questions. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Elle and This American Life among others.
Jim McCarthy is an agent and vice president at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret, where he’s been for 18 years. He represents adult, young adult, and middle grade, both literary and commercial, and is particularly interested in literary fiction, underrepresented voices, fantasy, mysteries, romance, anything unusual or unexpected, and any book that makes him cry or laugh out loud.
Cameron McClure is an agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She specializes in fiction and is looking for all types of science-fiction and fantasy or anything with a speculative element. She's especially looking for projects that combine genre style plotting with literary quality writing, and provide us with a new perspective.
Charlie Olsen started his publishing career at InkWell in 2007 and has been building his client list since. He is interested in fiction, children’s books, graphic novels and illustrated works, and compelling narrative non-fiction. He works with multiple award-winning and best-selling authors and he’s always looking for new voices, exciting ideas, and great writing.
Sharon Pelletier joined Dystel, Goderich & Bourret in 2013 after working for Europa Editions and Barnes & Noble. While her interests are broad, Sharon is especially seeking upmarket fiction, including unexpected suspense fiction and smart, complex women’s fiction. On the nonfiction side Sharon is eager for compelling, fierce narrative nonfiction by journalists, experts, and emerging voices with a growing platform. In all categories she particularly welcomes marginalized voices.
David Seigerman is the author of the nonfiction books Becky Sauerbrunn and Tamba Hali, and the co-author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball, Under Pressure, and Quarterback. He writes for the Newbridge Marketing Group and has written blogs and articles for numerous corporate clients, including Polo and Barnes & Noble. He has served as a senior producer for RealFootballNetwork, a senior analyst for Football.com, managing editor of College Sports Television, and a producer/writer for CNN-Sports Illustrated.
Alec Shane is an agent at Writer’s House, where he’s been since 2008. He represents a fairly eclectic mix of children and adult fiction and nonfiction. He loves mysteries, thrillers, bad-ass protagonists with a chip on their shoulders, beautifully told historical fiction, well-researched adventure stories, and great horror.
Alexa Stark joined Trident in 2012, and spent the first few years working with Ellen Levine and her illustrious authors. Alexa is now actively growing her own client list, representing a range of literary and upmarket fiction as well as select nonfiction. She is particularly drawn to literary debuts with a unique voice and perspective, stories about dysfunctional friendships and families, edgy coming-of-age tales, character-driven suspense and thrillers, and fiction that delves into the surreal.
JL is an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media. She is adding to her non-fiction list in both YA and adult categories with smart pop-culture, style, health & wellness, self-help, and memoir and more. She's looking for voices that reflect the world as it changes, stories that share the human experience of life, love, growth, and achievement. And they don’t have to all be serious–having fun is important!
Stacy Testa is an agent at Writers House, where she has worked since 2011. She represents a wide range of genres, from literary, upmarket, and historical fiction to memoir, narrative, and platform-driven nonfiction. In addition to representing her own clients, she is the Writers House Media Rights Manager, a role in which she works on developing film and TV adaptation deals for the agency’s clients.
Suzie Townsend has been an agent at New Leaf Literary & Media since its inception in 2012. She represents all brands of children’s and adult fiction. She loves women’s fiction, narrative non-fiction, memoir, and debut fiction. She is interested in select YA and MG and loves strong characters and voice-driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres, and she’s always looking for unique new voices in stories.
Weike Wang is the author of the novel Chemistry, and her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, The New Yorker, among other publications. She is the recipient of the 2018 Pen Hemingway, a Whiting award and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35. She lives in New York City.
Mitchell Waters began his publishing career in 1995 and is a senior agent at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., where he represents a wide and diverse array of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction, including mystery, history, biography and memoir.