Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Ronald Gerber of Lowenstein Associates

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 4.28.24 PMRonald Gerber is a literary agent and manages foreign rights, permissions, and contracts at Lowenstein Associates.

Before joining the Lowenstein team in April 2019, Ronald spent several years in literary scouting at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and Maximum Films & Management and supported two agents at Writers House. Ronald is a proud graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and received his B.A., summa cum laude with high honors, from Clark University.

Ronald is actively building his list in the following fiction and nonfiction genres:

Short stories
Historical fiction
Middle grade
Grounded sci-fi
Narrative nonfiction
Literary fiction
Historical nonfiction


Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Cari Lamba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.02.37 AMCari Lamba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Prior to officially joining the team of agents, Cari Lamba interned for The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency for eight years. It wasn’t long into her internship before she knew she wanted to join the publishing world and help writers bring their books to life. Cari graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She also studied literature at The Advanced Studies in England Program. She has experience as a bookseller and in publicity and content writing for online publications. Cari has been published in Writer’s Digest Magazine and has taught webinars for Writer’s Digest as well.

What she’s looking for

Children’s books and novels: “I’m interested in middle grade fiction with wacky plots (Roald Dahl is a favorite of mine) and characters that drive the story. I would also like contemporary stories that are both humorous and heartfelt. While I am not interested in stories with high fantasy, I would welcome elements of the fantastic and otherworldly. I want novels that will resonate with children without being didactic.”

“Both fiction and nonfiction picture books are welcome. I’m looking for unique ideas with fun and quirky elements as well as sweet, endearing picture books. In nonfiction I’m especially looking for strong female role-models.”

Adult novels: “I’m looking for commercial fiction with original plots and clever characters. While I’m not interested in romance novels, elements of romance are welcome. I also have particular interest in mystery/detective fiction, and novels with culinary ties. I’m NOT interested in science fiction, horror, high fantasy, Christian fiction, political novels, or books with extremely violent elements.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: John Willig of Literary Services, Inc.

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 3.16.49 PMJohn Willig is a literary agent and founder of Literary Services, Inc.

John is very interested in prescriptive nonfiction in many categories. However, his bar for platform for selling prescriptive books is high, so please keep that in mind if you want to pitch him.

Separately, he’s very interested in a broad range of narrative nonfiction categories in history and current events, science and psychology, true crime, politics and sports “shining a light” on untold stories or fresh, counter-intuitive, and well-researched approaches to contemporary topics. He seeks great stories on narrative nonfiction with potential for film/documentary.

His fiction interests are very small and slim. The only fiction he seeks is historical thrillers and historical literary fiction. Please do not pitch him anything contemporary.

Celebrating 41 years working in publishing, John often says to friends that his career actually began as a Newsday paperboy growing up on Long Island, New York. He was fortunate to be raised in a family whose passions included books, basketball, and family gatherings at the beach.

After graduating from Brown University, his first job was as a sales representative in academic publishing. He soon began work as a marketing manager and then editor for HarperCollins. As his interests moved to trade publishing, he became an executive editor at Prentice Hall for business books. While at P-Hall, John enjoyed working with such authors as Henry Mintzberg, Philip Kotler and Jim Collins and acquired Mr.Collins’ first book Beyond Entrepreneurship. In 1991 he decided to become a literary agent to work more closely with writers. Throughout his career as an editor and agent, John has successfully negotiated over 750 publishing agreements. John is a member of The Author’s Guild and participates at industry events including Writer’s Digest conferences and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conferences.

John is the proud father of two sons, both of whom were All-Shore Academic All Stars and graduated with honors from their respective colleges. He enjoys a wide-range of hobbies from exploring new regions and discovering hidden treasures in the arts and antiquarian books.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.58.43 AM.pngKelly Peterson is a literary agent with Rees Literary Agency.

Kelly is a West Chester University graduate with a B.S.Ed in English and Literature. She worked as a Junior Literary Agent for two years before moving to Rees Literary Agency, continuing to champion her authors and the manuscripts she loves.

Kelly seeks manuscripts in various genres within Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult age ranges. In Middle Grade, she loves fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary that touches on tough issues for young readers. Her Young Adult preferences vary from contemporary to high fantasy, sci-fi (not the space kind) to paranormal (all the ghost stories, please!), and historical all the way back to rom-coms. Kelly is proud to continue to represent Adult manuscripts in romance, fantasy, and sci-fi. She is very interested in representing authors with marginalized own voices stories, witty and unique characters, pirates, witches, and dark fantasies.


Get to Know an Editor in Attendance: Julie Matysik of Running Press Kids

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 4.24.55 PM.pngJulie Matysik is the editorial director for Running Press Kids.

Prior to working at Running Press, Julie was the editorial director of Sky Pony Press, the children’s imprint at Skyhorse Publishing, which she helped found. She has worked with a number of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators, including Mallika Chopra, Beth Vrabel, Stacy McAnulty, Thrity Umrigar, Charles Santore, Elly MacKay, and Iza Trapani, and currently works with the estates of Bob Ross and David Bowie. When she is not busy writing board books and editing manuscripts, Julie—a native of Madison, Wisconsin—spends time with her husband and two young children exploring Philadelphia, where they live.

She is seeking the follow categories/genres:

  • Board books (stand alone and series)
  • Picture books (including nonfiction; mainly humor, trendy, socially relevant and no biographies)
  • Middle grade nonfiction
  • YA fiction (contemporary, light—no dark/heavy themes if possible)

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Marie Lamba of Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 4.22.18 PMMarie Lamba is a literary agent with Jennifer De Chiara Literary.

Marie ( is author of the young adult novels What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head and Drawn, of the picture book Green Green: A Community Gardening Story (Farrar Straus Giroux), and of the upcoming picture book A Day So Gray (Clarion). Her articles appear in more than 100 publications, and she’s a frequent contributor to Writer’s Digest. Marie has worked as an editor, an award-winning public relations writer, a book publicist, and has taught classes on novel writing and on author promotion.

Fiction interests:

“I’m currently seeking middle grade and young adult fiction, especially with diverse points of view, or a STEM tie-in. I also want general adult fiction and women’s fiction. I’d love to find an original women’s novel that would inspire the next smart and funny chick flick. I also represent a select number of established illustrators and picture book authors. I’d love a fresh non-gory ghost story for any age. I’m fascinated with hidden treasures, artifacts and with discovering ancient civilizations right beneath our feet. I’m a huge fan of folklore and fairy tales, and, while I wouldn’t want a retelling, I always enjoy those elements woven into a story in a unique way. Overall, books that are original, moving and/or hilarious are especially welcome.”

“I’m NOT interested in Christian fiction, horsey books, thrillers, genre science fiction or high fantasy (though I am open to speculative elements, especially in middle-grade fiction), erotica, category romance (though romantic elements are welcomed in novels), or books that feature graphic violence.”

“Some favorite titles on my reading shelf include Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Shug by Jenny Han, and Dogzilla and Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey. For more insight into my tastes, check out the books I’ve authored, as well as the works of the authors I represent, and visit for my Agent Monday blog posts.

Nonfiction interests:

“I represent nonfiction for children and for adults. For children’s, I’m open to most non-fiction subjects, especially ones that fit into my interests (see above).”

“In the adult realm, I want memoirs with strong voices and unique, inspiring stories (especially foodie memoirs, or ones with a celebrity or pop culture connection). In non-fiction, I’m seeking narrative nonfiction, pop culture, history (little known or unique view of well-known), science and technology for the rest of us, art, biography (especially unknown/little known sides of well-known people), parenting, cooking and food, health and wellness, lifestyle, advice and relationships, and personal finance.”

“Overall, I’m especially looking for nonfiction that is inspiring and hopeful. I have a special interest in social justice, in titles that elevate and celebrate women and diverse people, and in books that aim to improve our society and help our environment.”

“Some nonfiction favorites on my reading shelf include: Rush by Stephen Fried, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I also loved the movies RBG and Hidden Figures, and I’m a sucker for The Great British Bake Off.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Jade Wong-Baxter of Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.17.48 PMJade Wong-Baxter is a literary agent with Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents.

Jade got her start in publishing at Writers House, W. W. Norton, and Folio Literary Management. A graduate of Vassar College, she joined MMQ in 2017.

She’s looking for literary fiction, upmarket/mainstream fiction, and narrative nonfiction, with an emphasis on narratives by and about people of color, as well as the perspectives of marginalized identities.