Agents and Presenters

Here are some of the agents, presenters, and panelists for 2020 Gotham Writers Conference. We will be adding more soon. View 2019 Agents & Presenters.

Jacob M. Appel
Jacob M. Appel
Presenter
— Day 1 —
The Benefit of Your Day Job (even if you dislike it)
— Day 2 —
– bio –

Jacob M. Appel is a practicing psychiatrist as well as an author of novels, short stories, plays, poems, and essays (with publications in over two hundred literary journals). He holds advanced degrees in medicine, law, bioethics, history, playwriting, and creative writing. He is the subject of a documentary, Jacob.

Jennifer Armstrong
Jennifer Armstrong
Presenter
— Day 1 —
Writers: How I Got Published
— Day 2 —
– bio –

Jennifer Armstrong is the author of the nonfiction books Sex and the City and Us, Seinfeldia, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, and Why? Because We Still Like You. She served as co-founder and editor of the website Sexy Feminist, and co-author of the nonfiction book Sexy Feminism  (Mariner Books). She has written for the BBC online, Glamour, Mental Floss, Refinery 29, SalonA.V. Club, Details, O, New York‘s Vulture, as well as numerous daily newspapers.

Noah Ballard
Noah Ballard
Agent
— Day 1 —
Pitching Game Show
— Day 2 —
– bio –

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.

Stephen Barr
Stephen Barr
Agent
— Day 1 —
Agents: Why We Will Rep You
— Day 2 —
– bio –

Stephen Barr is a senior literary agent at Writer House, where he started out as an intern in 2008.  He represents a broad stripe of authors across all genres, with a perpetual hankering for audacious, voice-abundant YA, intricate picture books, mysteries that handcuff humor and tragedy to the same radiator, and really any fiction that tackles heavy themes with a light touch.

James Burns
James Burns
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Picture Book table
– bio –

James specializes as an agent in commercial illustration based in the US Bright office. With proven success in his management skills with external and internal stakeholders, James provides fuss-free creative solutions across all genres of children’s literature. He has built a reputation in publishing by understanding the needs of his commercial and fictional audience—not to mention his warm and approachable personality.


Kerry D'Agostino
Kerry D'Agostino
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Literary/Mainstream Fiction table 1
– bio –

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.

Tina Dubois
Tina Dubois
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Middle Grade/Young Adult table 1
– bio –

Tina Dubois is a literary agent at ICM Partners, representing authors across all genres within the children’s and young adult marketplace. She is looking for diverse voices/#ownvoices and is drawn to LGBTQ love stories, blended families, nerd humor, dangerous magic, and most anything with feminist overtones.

Alyssa Eisner Henkin
Alyssa Eisner Henkin
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Middle Grade/Young Adult table 2
– bio –

Alyssa joined Trident Media Group in 2006 to expand the firm’s children’s book business. She represents all forms of literature and illustration for young people. She is primarily seeking middle grade from traditional novels to genre-bending graphic and nonfiction projects. She would love to see more author-illustrators. She also enjoys select young adult novels and memoirs, especially when they champion social justice or have a unique family or romantic dynamic. And with picture books, rollicking read-alouds and new author-illustrators are always intriguing.


David Forrer
David Forrer
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Literary/Mainstream Fiction table 2
– 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. His areas of interest and representation range from literary, commercial, historical and crime fiction to suspense/thriller, humorous non-fiction and popular history.

Alexandra Levick
Alexandra Levick
Agent
— Day 1 —
Pitching Game Show
— Day 2 —
Middle Grade/Young Adult table 2
– bio –

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.  

Charlie Olsen
Charlie Olsen
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Middle Grade/Young Adult table 1
– bio –

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
Sharon Pelletier
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Mystery/Thriller/Horror table
– bio –

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.


Erica Rand Silverman
Erica Rand Silverman
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Picture Book table
– bio –

Erica is a senior agent at Stimola Literary Studio. Her primary interest is in books for and about children. She represents picture books through young adult and the occasional adult nonfiction project in parenting, humor and wellness.

Lev AC Rosen
Lev AC Rosen
Presenter
— Day 1 —
Writers: How I Got Published
— Day 2 —
– bio –

Lev AC Rosen is the author of the novels Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), Depth, and All Men of Genius, and the middle-grade novels The Memory Wall, and Woundabout. He has published short fiction in Esopus and written for Tor.com. He has taught at the Oberlin Experimental College. He holds a BA from Oberlin and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence.

Alec Shane
Alec Shane
Agent
— Day 1 —
Pitching Game Show
— Day 2 —
Mystery/Thriller/Horror table
– bio –

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.

John Silbersack
John Silbersack
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Science Fiction/Fantasy table
– bio –

John Silbersack has been representing authors since 2001, after a 25 year career as editor and publisher, running imprints and divisions at Putnam, Penguin, Warner and HarperCollins. He is an agent at The Bent Agency and represents primarily commercial fiction and non-fiction and at the moment is looking for genre-breaking science fiction and fantasy, thrillers and suspense novels written about real people caught up in extraordinary events and non-fiction including history, current events, politics, science and the environment. 

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
Agent
— Day 1 —
Agents: Why We Will Rep You
— Day 2 —
Science Fiction/Fantasy table
– bio –

Eric Smith is a literary agent and author living in Philadelphia. An agent with P.S. Literary, he's worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. He's actively looking for Young Adult novels, genre-blending literary fiction, select sci-fi and fantasy, and all kinds of non-fiction (especially cookbooks and memoir!). You can learn more about him at his website, www.ericsmithrocks.com.

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Nonfiction table
– bio –

Sarah joined David Black Agency in 2012 after beginning her career in book publishing at Trident Media Group. Her interests, personal and professional, include cooking and eating great food, listening to and playing music, running across bridges, attempting to grow plants on her fire escape and reading good books by great writers. Her nonfiction tastes lean toward memoir, biography, food and music writing, narrative history, and social studies, while her fiction tastes lean toward the literary.

J. L. Stermer
J. L. Stermer
Agent
— Day 1 —
Agents: Why We Will Rep You
— Day 2 —
Nonfiction table
– bio –

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
Stacy Testa
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Literary/Mainstream Fiction table 1
– bio –

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.

Mitchell Waters
Mitchell Waters
Agent
— Day 1 —
— Day 2 —
Literary/Mainstream Fiction table 2
– bio –

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.