(Information provided by Sanda Ionescu)
We are delighted to announce that on the weekend of the 18/19th of February, we will be once more welcoming 2 British and 2 American agents at Webster University for our by now traditional Meet the Agent & Editor event. Saturday 18th we will have our usual panel discussion and Q&A with the agents in the morning, followed by Saved by the Bell - reading out of first page submissions, with the agents ringing the bell at the point where they would stop reading. This is a fun opportunity to see what the agents think of the first page of your manuscript! Attendees may come with their first page, which is put into a box with all the other first pages. Each one is read aloud anonymously. At any point in the reading, the agents decide whether they would continue or discontinue reading the work if they'd received it in the mail, and give their reasoning behind it. First pages are chosen randomly and we may or may not get through all of them. Bring your A4 double-spaced first page to the event. Please do not put your name on it. (You may also attend without submitting a first page.)
On Sunday, we will be able to offer one-to-one feedback sessions with the agents (20 minutes for the first 15 pages and a synopsis). This is an excellent opportunity to get a critical reading of your work from a professional and some valuable personal feedback, which we hardly ever get when we submit a manuscript. I would encourage all GWG members who have a novel nearing completion to participate. I have included short bios of each agent/editor and the sort of things they are looking for, so that you can decide to which of them you would like to submit your work. The date for submitting the work is 18th of January, so please reply to me directly (at firstname.lastname@example.org) with your choices no later than 24th of December, so that I can assign you to your first or second choice. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. If your preferred agent is already full, I can either put you on a waiting list or else refer you to one of the others (if they have any availability).
So, without further ado, here is our class of 2017:
From the US:
1) Joëlle Delbourgo is President and Founder of Joëlle Delbourgo Associates. She represents a broad range of adult nonfiction and fiction, as well as a select and growing list of young adult and middle grade fiction and nonfiction. Her authors include New York Times bestselling authors Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines, The Last Policeman), Dale Russakoff (The Prize), Missy Chase Lapine (The Sneaky Chef), Ashley Rhodes-Courter (Three Little Words, Three More Words), Peter Zheutlin (Rescue Road); internationally renowned educators Michele Borba (Unselfie, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions) and Thomas Armstrong (The Myth of the ADD Child, The Power of Neurodiversity); journalist Debbie Cenziper and marriage equality activist Jim Obergefell (Love Wins); novelists Kerstin March (Family Trees), Lindsey J. Palmer (Pretty in Ink), and Marilyn Simon Rothstein (Lift and Separate), memoirist Lisa Anselmo (My Part-Time Paris Life), among many others. The agency also represents Geneva Writers’ Conference member Carol Masciola, author of the USA Today bestselling young adult novel, The Yearbook.
Prior to founding Joëlle Delbourgo Associates, Delbourgo was a senior editorial executive at HarperCollins and Random House for more than two decades. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, she has lived on three continents, is fluent in French, and considers herself to be a citizen of the world.
2) Eric Ruben
A graduate of New York’s Cardozo School of Law and a veteran entertainment professional, Eric Ruben has more than 25 years’ experience as a counselor, litigator, literary agent, talent manager, and professional performer. Interested in all fiction, including but not limited to Romance, YA, Erotica, LGBT, Mystery and more, but not accepting picture books, children’s books, cook books, short stories, novellas, graphic novels, screenplays or poetry. Has successfully sold to publishers such as Avon, Harper Collins, Ballantine, Loveswept, Harlequin, Samhain, Midnight Ink etc.
From the UK:
3) Jo Unwin was an actress and TV writer for many years until becoming a literary agent in 2008. She was shortlisted for the Bookseller Industry Awards Literary Agent of the Year in 2010, and picked out as one of the Bookseller’s Rising Stars in 2011. She has now set up her own agency - JULA Ltd, and is on the look-out for literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, Young Adult fiction and fiction for children aged 9+, as well as comic writing and narrative non-fiction. She does not represent poetry or screenplays (unless written by established clients).
4) Karen Sullivan is owner and publisher of Orenda Books, a new independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction, with a heavy emphasis on crime thrillers, and about half in translation. Orenda was shortlisted for the IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer Award, and Karen was a Bookseller Rising Star for 2016. Authors include Ragnar Jonasson, whose Dark Iceland series has been optioned for TV and sold over 100,000 copies in 18 months, Amanda Jennings, Kati Hiekkapelto, Gunnar Staalesen and Louise Beech, all of whom have had number-one kindles in the UK and ANZ. Karen is looking for literary fiction, primarily in the crime/thriller genre, but anything that is new, fresh and different, will be considered; however, no science fiction, fantasy or YA.